View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Wednesday 5 February

A fairly bright day, although mostly overcast. We had a moderate breeze, an enormous contrast to the stormforce winds that wreaked havoc in the southwest of England. A fishing port was wrecked in Portleven, Cornwall, and the Exeter to Plymouth railway was broken at Dawlish, where the sea washed away the trackbed.

I was disgusted to hear that the UN had severely criticised the Vatican for maintaining a method for alleged child abusers in its ranks to be protected from punishment. I count devout Roman Catholics among my friends, and am deeply distressed for this betrayal of their trust - and worse, the betrayal of trust to the vulnerable in society that were abused by a number of RC clergymen. It does not sound as if the Holy See is about to act fast on this issue, which makes it worse. I will say that an organisation which states that its supreme leader (in this case the Pope) is infallible is vulnerable to corruption (in the widest sense). The RC church was known to sell absolutions for money in the Middle Ages, and the litany of child abuse scandals that has come to light in recent years has done little to improve the image. I have just as little time for some Protestant denominations, which split and split among themselves over interpretations of the Scriptures. That is such a moot point, the Bible being a conglomerate of texts which have been translated several times over during the millennia.

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Tuesday 4 February

Quite a reasonable day, with the mercury around 7C / 45F and no rain to speak of. The winds are also moderate, which makes a change. We even had good spells of sunshine. At lunchtime, it was musical piers, as the ferry boats jostled to dock at the ferry terminal. The Hebridean Isles is here to take freight traffic, but was drafted in as passenger ferry at lunchtime. Only after she left could the Clansman, which had suffered a breakdown on passage, dock and discharge her passengers. In the afternoon, I went for a short stroll in the Castle Grounds.

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