Title picture: Cloudscapes, Stornoway, 1 February 2017

Monday, 27 January 2014

Monday 27 January

Things have calmed down somewhat since yesterday, and as the wind veers round to an easterly direction it is not immediately noticeable (inside) that it is still blowing at force 6. The ferry was an hour and a half late leaving port this morning, and did not return until 3pm. The customary second run was cancelled. Our usual boat, the Isle of Lewis, is now in drydock in Birkenhead, near Liverpool, for its annual overhaul; it's now the Clansman covering the run.

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Holocaust Memorial Day

Today it is 69 years ago since the infamous Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp was liberated by Soviet forces. More than a million people, mainly Jews, were killed there during the Second World War. The process was conducted as an industrial process. To date, some of the goods left behind by the victims of the Holocaust remain on display. These include suitcases with name tags, spectacle frames, hair and shoes. I have never visited Auschwitz and am not likely to. January 27th is Holocaust Memorial Day, remembering all the victims of the Nazi's policy of extermination of all those they considered to be sub-human. We must never forget. Nor the victims of other holocausts, perpetrated around the globe before and after. 

Sunday 26 January

Rain and gales sums up today. Windspeeds averaged some 40 mph, force 8 on the Beaufort scale, and gusts in excess of 80 mph in exposed locations. Windy, but nothing to write home about. There was not a ferry out of port in any of the islands, meaning we were all truly islands again for the day. Even the freight ferry, the Clipper Ranger (or Clipper Clanger as I sometimes call it) has not ventured out. I did venture out, to my usual vantage point at the Coastguard Station. The waves slammed into the coastline, creating impressive curtains of spray. Pics below.

It was reported that someone had inverted a line from the speech to the Haggis on Burns Night last night, making it run: "pudding of the chieftain race", referring to Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond. Of course, the original line goes "chieftain of the pudding race".

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