View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Saturday 28 June

It's Armed Forces Day in the United Kingdom, and I would find it slightly more palatable if they had toned down the celebrations a bit. As I stated earlier today, it is a hundred years ago today since the events took place that precipitated the First World War. I am the first to salute the efforts and sacrifices made by our military in today's world, but an acknowledgement of the historical significance of today's date would be appreciated.

At 6pm sharp, one of the two vessels docked in Glumag Harbour repeatedly sounded their foghorn in remembrance of the start of events leading up to WW1, 100 years ago that moment.

Visited Museum nan Eilean for the Stornoway Historical Society's exhibition on WW1 casualties from Stornoway and environs (as far afield as Berneray. Had a brief discussion with the Society's chair about WW1 and WW2 casualties who were missed off the CWGC's registers.

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Friday 27 June

Bright but not sunny, as there is a fair amount of mid-level cloud around. 12C / 54F (at 10.30 am) is rather cooler than of late. The summer is here though, as monitoring has revealed increased levels of algal toxins, in West Loch Roag and in Loch Stranndabhat.

Interesting. Isles FM (on-line) report that there are already questions over the capacity of the new ferry, MV Loch Seaforth, which will come on to the Ullapool route in September. I would have expected an assessment of required capacity to be carried out before the boat was even designed. Although there is no point going back over done deeds, there was a question whether TWO boats should be doing the run. I can sort of envisage the good ole Isle of Lewis kept on stream to double up on the route.

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Thursday 26 June

Brilliantly sunny in Stornoway, but with a very keen northeasterly breeze. Once again 15C / 59F at the moment.

Local radiostation Isles FM 103 put out the following statement: We remain off air. Isles FM continues to work at identifying the damage to our transmission network, which we believe was caused by an unknown surge or lightning strike. We are hoping to be back with you next week, if not earlier, and will continue to prepare excellent, local, volunteer-led programmes for your listening enjoyment.

Ships, ferries, and fishing boats are to fly their flags at half-mast between sunrise and sunset on Saturday to mark the anniversary of the first event which triggered the First World War. In addition, vessels berthed in port are encouraged to sound a remembrance signal by giving a blast on their fog horns at 6pm (5pm GMT) that day - to mark the hour of the first shot fired in the war.

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Wednesday 25 June

Discovered a newly reopened path in the Castle Grounds, leading off from the path to Strawberry Hill. Another new path branches off in the opposite direction, so will have to go back to explore that. However, I have a good idea where that leads: to the top of Strawberry Hill and on to the quarry and Marybank. Why do I keep going on about Strawberry Hill? It was previously inaccessible.

My camera came back from the repair place, unrepaired. However, it is back in a semblance of working order. Maybe taking it to bits and reassembling it did something. Fingers crossed - next time it conks out it'll have to be replaced.

Today was a glorious day, after a slow start in terms of sunshine. At 9pm, I'm watching the ferry going OUT on its final crossing to Ullapool. It is due back into Stornoway at 2.45 am tomorrow morning, and is due to depart on its Thursday schedule by 7 am.We had a cruiseliner in as well: the Louis Aura.

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Tuesday 24 June

Quite a nice day here in Stornoway, a pleasant 15C on the thermometer and the sun is slowly sweeping the clouds away. We have an easterly breeze, which usually brings us fair weather.

Went on a walk to Sandwick in the afternoon, in blazing sunshine and this easterly breeze. I recently found an old picture of one of the gravestones in the cemetery there, and revisited the site. Only to find the inscription badly faded, 5 years after being touched up. Sandwick Cemetery gets blasted by sand, wind and rain. 

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