Monday, 28 November 2005
Sunday, 27 November 2005
Thursday, 24 November 2005
Further notes in a separate entry
Ardrossan Brodick Service
Due to adverse weather conditions the 1350 sailing has been diverted to Gourock eta 1600. All remaining sailings today have been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Due to the adverse weather the sailings have been cancelled meantime
Sound of Harris (Berneray/Leverburgh)
1320 ex Berneray & 1440 ex Leverburgh cancelled due to weather conditions. No further sailings today
Due to adverse weather conditions this service is cancelled for the remainder of the day. Sailings will resume as per timetable on Fri 25th November - weather permitting.
Oban - Castlebay & Lochboisdale
Due to adverse weather the 1530 hrs from Oban has been cancelled. Next sailing will be 0930 hrs on Friday weather permitting.
Mallaig - Armadale
Due to deteriorating weather conditions the 1600 ex Mallaig and the 1645 ex Armadale sailings are cancelled.
STORNOWAY - ULLAPOOL SERVICE
MV Isle of Lewis will attempt a crossing from Ullapool to Stornoway at approximately 1130. It is anticipated that the vessel will arrive in Stornoway between 1500 and 1600. The 1345 sailing (ex Stornoway) and the 1715 sailing (ex Ullapool) have been cancelled, due to forecasted severe adverse weather.
Due to the weather forecast for the next couple of days, the Master of the vessel has indicated that the following sailing may be affected from Stornoway and Ullapool; Thursday p.m - doubtful Friday a.m - extremely doubtful Friday p.m - extremely doubtful Saturday a.m - doubtful Because of the knock on effect of these disruptions we took the decision to close the affected sailings for reservations. This will be reviewed on a sailing by sailing basis, if the weather improves at any stage it may be possible to attempt a crossing WEATHER PERMITTING. Please contact local offices for further details.
Tarbert - Portavadie cancelled until further notice.
Rum and Canna calls cancelled due to weather MV Lochnevis returning to Mallaig
Due to adverse weather conditions the ferry between Oban and Craignure has been cancelled for the whole of today. The next scheduled sailing will be 0800 hrs on Friday 25th Novermber from Oban
Sound of Barra Service
Chargehand has advised that due to weather conditions he was cancelling the first return sailing on this service. ie 07:15hrs ex Ardmhor and the 08:20hrs ex Eriskay. He has now advised that due to weather conditions and forecast he was cancelling the remainder of the sailings on this service for today. Weather permitting timetable as normal for Friday 25/11
Wednesday, 23 November 2005
It's a very pleasant 1 km stroll to Mealabost, where a small picnic area awaits the weary and hungry. A few head of highland cattle browse in an adjacent field. Four jegfighters come past before circling to land at the airport, just over the hill. The bus comes at 1.35 and returns us to Newton some 15 minutes later. When I go to Somerfields, I encounter Sally (from Balallan) who I have not seen for several months. Her daughter had to leave Lewis due to bullying, but will be returning to continue her education at a university. Cloud increases as the evening progresses, and it comes on to rain at 10pm.
Monday, 21 November 2005
Saturday, 19 November 2005
Friday, 18 November 2005
Wednesday, 16 November 2005
The new journal St Martin's Storm 2005 is now on-line. It contains the following:
- reports from Metcheck
- a bundle of forecasts for the storm
- transcript of newspaper article about the Muirneag
- diary entry for the day
Tuesday, 15 November 2005
Monday, 14 November 2005
Pictures taken at the height of the hurricane are now inserted into the entry for 11th November; click this link if necessary. http://journals.aol.co.uk/pharmolo/NorthernTrip/entries/1841
It's a grey and drizzly day, with a thin wind blowing. Jerry left on the ferry, which finally departed for Ullapool at 7.45. Breakfast at 10 o'clock, after which we watch the Remembrance Day ceremonies in London's Whitehall. It's sunny down there, and the trees are still very much in leaf. Services are being held in 4 different churches in Stornoway, each allocated to one or more units of military or civil defence forces. I go out shortly after midday to attend a Service of Dedication up on the War Memorial. As I walk down Kenneth Street, the Free Church goes out, everybody hurrying to their cars to get home. I head down Bayhead Street to the Porter's Lodge, and along the Willowglen Burn to the Watermill. From there, I head up through the housing estate between the Lochs Road and Stewart Drive, to the Memorial. A lady is staggering up the Lochs Road, talking loudly to ... nobody. When I reach the top of Stewart Drive, two minibuses from the Army Cadets are parked. Walked up behind a group of fire officers. A fair crowd had gathered at the Memorial, about 100. A proportion of Army and Navy as well as veterans. Rev W. Black of the Church of Scotland started with a longish prayer, for which everybody took their hats off. Even though it was raining steadily. After that, we sang Psalm 46. Fortunately, someone passed round a crib-sheet with the words. After the psalm, which was not exactly sung with thunderous gusto, the wreaths were laid inside the Memorial. As the picture at the top of the entry shows, this is a tower, 26 metres high, perched on top of a high hill. It can be seen from far away. The tower is normally locked, but opened for this occasion. Proceedings were closed at 12.50, 15 minutes after it began. We sang two verses of the National Anthem, verses 1 and 3. For those who have just forgotten what the lines were, go to http://ingeb.org/songs/godsaveo.html. Everyone filed away, the Army cadets were marched down, the Airforce Cadets, complete with banner were bellowed on their way by their sergeant. The Army lot only went as far as the Stewart Drive gate, the RAF cadets went all the way to Memorial Avenue. I cut through the estate to the Lochs Road and went to the Watermill to take some pictures. Returned to town via the Golfcourse which looked very autumnal. Hardlyanybody about in the town. Returned to Newton at 1.30, where I joined mrs B for lunch. A large flock of gulls wheels over Sandwick Bay, behind the Coastguard Station. We await the return of the ferry, but end up waiting all day. Don't know if it came back. A Navy boat is hovering on the horizon for a while. The lifeboat goes out at 15.10. As darkness falls, visibility drops below 1 mile. Arnish Lighthouse is only visible by its light, on account of the heavy drizzle. With the evening progressing, the wind picks up. The moon is out at 8pm, and a strong wind blows. A severe gale warning is out for the tops of the hills. Later in the evening, I accompany mrs B to her sister's house, just down the road. She is due to return to Stornoway later this week, after an absence of 15 months. The house has lain empty for that time, except for a spell in the summer when a lady staid there for a while. I switched on the electrics and the central heating boiler. It's a nice wee place, but it's a bit pokey; windows are set deep in the 2 feet thick walls.
Sunday, 13 November 2005
Jerry was due to go on the ferry (sorry, no pun intended) at 7.15, but CalMac cancelled the sailing. The wind has now veered into the northwest and is still at galeforce. By 10 a.m., we learn that the 13.45 will be going as timetabled. TWO lifeboats are seen leaving port at 10.15 - strange, we only have one on station normally.
Because of the poor weather, the wreath laying at the Ness War Memorial, at Cross, will now be taking place in the church. Most ferry services are going normally now, apart from the Small Isles sailing which was unable to call at Canna. The Eriskay to Barra ferry is off as well. The Isle of Lewis is NOT sailing after all; it has broken down. Again. On Thursday, it took 5 hours to reach Ullapool, a crossing that normally only takes 2 hours 45 minutes. CalMac put out a desperate appeal for parts, which served to patch it up. Now it's not going again. Another boat is due in tomorrow, and folk are being bussed down to Tarbert to go via Skye. Jerry cannot take up that offer, because his car is parked in Ullapool. Yesterday, schools were closed, a plane couldn't land at Stornoway Airport due to water on the runway. Another plane had to turn back from Kirkwall because the 55 knot winds were too strong. Debris is still flying around in Skye. Weather her starts cloudy with spells of rain, but later on the sun breaks through. Very cold wind. Muirneag did come in, but it still has lots of stuff on board. Lorries were damaged during the crossing yesterday. Isles FM reports that CalMac are putting on an extra sailing tomorrow, which is very unusual for a Sunday. There has not been a proper ferry service for 3 days now, and huge backlogs have built up for cars, vehicles and passengers on both sides of the Minch. After nightfall, the showers turn into hailshowers. Jerry and myself are served lasagna by mrs B. The former goes to An Lanntair for a jamming session with his bouzouki. A raging success, he doesn't return until 3.30 a.m..
Saturday, 12 November 2005
At 12.30 the sun puts in an unexpected appearance. Wind increases
appreciably, now gusting to force 10. Barometer going down like a lead
weight: 983 mbar at 12.00. Ferry is not sailing once it's back from
Ullapool. The road across the Braighe is closed due to a high tide at 3
pm. Although the rain has now turned into showers, it's still very
wild. During one squall, we lose sight of Arnish, and a wild frenzy of
spray is blown over the causeway. This is force 11. Several more
showers come barrelling through, with a similar effect. Malin Head
reports 65 knots, which is force 12; Benbecula at 1pm is on 57, force
11. The ferry was expected in between 1.30 and 2.00, but there is sight
nor sound of her. She is reported to be sheltering in Loch Erisort. An
accident is reported on board Muirneag, also still out there in the
Minch. Lorries have crashed into each other and she is now sheltering
off Tolsta. I went out for some shopping at 3.15, which was a
disconcerting experience. The force of the wind made walking difficult.
After getting food, a paper and a roll of ilm, I went out again for
some pictures. Don't know how they're going to come out. Took the
camera to the coastguard station, and snapped away. I abandoned
any idea of crossing over to Goat Island. The causeway is awash with
massive seas going over, and the wind is so powerful that they blow the
water clean out of puddles at the corner of the CG station. Back to
town, where big seas are running into the seawall on South Beach
Street. Water is flying over Newton Street, Shell Street, the
busstation (buses are parked up against the shrimp factory, rather than
in the bays). Walking very difficult, as I have to hold on to whatever
comes to hand. Railings, bins, cars. A gale blows up Cromwell Street.
All the fishing boats are tied up in the Inner Harbour. Return soaked,
in spite of wearing waterproofs. Wonder where the ferry is - still up
Loch Erisort. As darkness falls, winds continue to increase. Tiree and
Benbecula now ratcheting up windspeeds of 75 and 73 knots, full
hurricane force gusts. Sustained winds there of 55 knots, force 11.
Gusts in Stornoway at 4pm reached 65 knots, also hurricane force, so
that explains my problems in getting about. Sustained windspeeds up to
45 knots, force 9. The ferry finally comes in at 5.45, 4Â½ hours late.
Suddenly, the winds decrease to sustained force 7, gusting to force 10.
Still very strong. The really severe weather transfers east. The
heaviest gusts occurat Loch Glascarnoch, between Ullapool and Garve,
at 62 knots, nearly force 12. Tulloch Bridge and Skye are both going
strong with gusts of 50 knots, force 10. Wick is now topping the bill
at 65 knots at 9pm. Even Kirkwall and Lerwick are now affected, with 56
knots, force 11. In spite of all the strong winds, there do not appear
to have been major problems. Electrical engineers were on standby at
the substation in Dunvegan, Skye, which serves the Western Isles.
Although we had a few dips in power, it never went off. Mrs B's son and
his wife turn up to lash down their caravan, which is parked in the
backyard. The wind is expected to veer northwest overnight, which puts
it at risk of being blown away.
Friday, 11 November 2005
BERNERAY TO LEVERBURGH
Due to adverse weather 1355ex Berneray + 1505ex Leverburgh have been cancelled. Next sailing 0830ex Berneray 12/11, weather permitting.
LARGS CUMBRAE SERVICE
DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER CONDITIONS THE LARGS CUMBRAE SERVICE HAS BEEN CANCELLED UNTILL FURTHER NOTICE.LAST SAILING WAS THE 10.15 DEPARTING LARGS.
Rothesay/Wemyss Bay Service
Due to adverse weather conditions the following sailings have been cancelled 1100 & 1145 ex Rothesay & 1015 1100 & 1215 Ex Wemyss Bay. MV Bute will depart Gourock @ 1200 sailing to Rothesay. Intending passengers are advised to check prior to travelling.
Due to adverse weather conditions passengers are advised that the 1105 ex Brodick will be going to Gourock. ETA 1310hours. There will be a bus service from Ardrossan to Gourock at 1230hours. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Uig / Lochmaddy Service Disruption 11/11/05
Due to adverse weather conditions the 1245 ex Lochmaddy and the 1500 ex Uig sailings are cancelled. Subject to an improvement in weather conditions, MV Hebrides hopes to take up the 0730 sailing ex Lochmaddy on Saturday 12/11/05.
Services to Colonsay, Barra, Uist and Mull
Due to adverse weather conditions the following sailings have been affected:---- 0930 sailing to Barra & Uist cancelled. Next sailing 1500 Sunday 13th as per timetable.---- 1000 sailing to Colonsay cancelled. Next sailing 1430 Saturday 12th weather permitting.--- 1600, 1700 and 2130 Oban/Craignure/Oban sailings currently looking uncertain due to weather. A final decision will be made at 1500. MV Isle of Mull will however operate an extra Oban - Craignure sailing today at 1200 weather permitting.
Sound of Barra Service
The 09:25hrs ex Ardmhor and the return 10:30hrs ex Eriskay have now been cancelled. Due to the weather forecast the remaining sailings for today are very doubtful.
Mallaig-Small Isles service
The service to the Small Isles today of Eigg and Muck has been cancelled due to adverse weather.
Mallaig - Armadale Service
The 0840 ex Mallaig and the 0925 ex Armadale have been cancelled due to adverse weather. We will update later with regard to this afternoons sailings.
Due to adverse weatherconditions this service is off at present. We will update as and when we get further information. This service has been CANCELLED for the rest of the day.
Tayinloan - Gigha Service
Due to adverse weather conditions the Gigha Service has been suspended until further notice.
SOUND of BARRA SERVICE
CHARGEHAND HAS NOW CANCELLED THE 12:30hrs EX ARDMHOR AND THE RETURN 14:10hrs EX ERISKAY. ALSO THE 17:10hrs AND THE RETURN 18:15hrs EX ERISKAY HAVE BEEN CANCELLED. THUS THERE HAVE BEEN NO SAILINGS ONB THIS SERVICE TODAY
Armistice Day today, with some quite appalling weather. Gales and rain. Many ferry services are off - I've copied the list of cancellations at midday into a separate entry. The Stornoway ferry is on its way across (rather them than me). Irish weatherstations on the west coast report gusts up to 60 knots (force 11). Stornoway is on 45 knots, force 9. A rare gull was blown across on the winds of Hurricane Wilma and is now attracting twitchers to Bragar. If they can get across at all.
Further updates in a separate entries.
Wednesday, 9 November 2005
Stornoway 68 kn (120 km/h)
Tiree 74 kn (135 km/h)
Malin Head 77 kn (138 km/h)
Lerwick 78 kn (140 km/h)
South Uist 86 kn (155 km/h)
At midday today, the wind is still sustained at 35 kn (force 8) with gusts up to 51 kn (force 10). Irrelevant information: finished another pen in 11 days. The ferry is an hour late leaving for Ullapool, with quite a few showerclouds around. About 6 in sight at 3.30 pm. We're having two guests in. One is an elderly gent who is very quickly out of breath. Mrs B spares him the ordeal of having to walk the 10 minutes into town for his meal and gives him a meal in his room. This chap, Geoff, lives in Benbecula but hails from the Home Counties of England. He is in Stornoway to attend hospital. The other is a jolly fellow from East Anglia, who is here on a house-hunting mission. A little while ago, the house by the pier at Garyvard, South Lochs, was advertised for sale. Jerry plays the bouzouki
which is what they call an 'octave mandolin'. Each string is actually double-strung, with the two strings tuned an octave apart. It sounds sharper than a guitar. We have a music session, comparing various types of music. Me on the keyboard and the Runrig and Salm CDs. Jerry plays a CD on which he and his partner perform. Very pleasant.
Today starts sunny, but it clouds over very rapidly, and the wind picks up just as quickly. Rain starts at 10.40. It doesn't last very long, and recedes into showers around lunchtime. Head into town after 4.45 to get a paper and a lottery ticket. There was a long queue at the lottery counter in Somerfields. Someone bought £45 worth of tickets. Guy Fawkes night in Stornoway was a damp squib; hardly anything went off. Weather not fantastic, but I heard that plenty of fireworks had been sold. Very nice supper with mrs B, who is spoiling me rotten. Lottery yielded nothing, but mrs B won £10.
Sunday, 6 November 2005
When I leave the library at 5.45, it's dark - small wonder, the sun sets at 4.30 pm. Mrs B is making mashedturnip and separately mashed potatoes with onion rings. Mind you, the turnip was fully organically grown, fertilised with seaweed. And mince balls, which I'm in charge of. I made them a bit too big.
After updating the website, I heard of a rescue going on 200 miles west of Benbecula. A man had been crushed by a 2 tonne door. The coastguard yanked a local GP off a scheduled flight and took him on the helicopter. This had to refuel at Benbecula before setting off into the Atlantic. Bought a microwave meal for mrs B and myself, which went down a treat.
JOURNAL OF THE YEAR 2005:
Just One Girls Head Noise - his1desire
LORD OF THE BLOG:
The StupidSheet Guy - stupidsheetguy
LADY OF THE BLOG:
Judith Heartsong - judithheartsong
DUKE OF THE BLOG:
Dave Cryer, Cave Dryer - davobarbus
DUCHESS OF THE BLOG:
Adventures of a desperately fat housewife - tillysweetchops
MARQUIS/MARQUISSE OF THE BLOG:
Aurora Walking Vacation - plittle
BEST INTERNATIONAL BLOG:
My Journey to Life - grassriver
BEST USE OF GRAPHICS:
Judith Heartsong - judithheartsong
BEST USE OF ANIMATION:
This and that, and hockey - nightmaremom
BEST USE OF PHOTOGRAPHY:
WonderGirl - cneinhorn
MOST HUMOROUS JOURNAL:
Adventures of a desperately fat housewife - tillysweetchops
MOST EMOTIONAL JOURNAL:
Watching My Sister...Disappear - mlrhjeh
MOST THOUGHT-PROVOKING JOURNAL:
Just One Girl's Head Noise - his1desire
MOST EDUCATIONAL JOURNAL:
Inane thoughts and insane ramblings - swibirun
MOST INSPIRATIONAL JOURNAL:
A Pennies Worth - blondepennierae
BEST POLITICAL JOURNAL:
the wizard of ahs - anarchitek
BEST SPORTS JOURNAL:
High Above Courtside - monponsett
BEST TRAVEL JOURNAL:
Alphawoman's Blog - alphawoman1
BEST ENTERTAINMENT JOURNAL:
Albert's World of Artsy Fun - lamove04
BEST FAMILY JOURNAL:
DUST BUNNY CLUB OF NORTH AMERICA - dornbrau
BEST PETS JOURNAL:
Random Ramblings - xzasporated1
MOST OUTSPOKEN JOURNAL (TIE!):
Mrs. Linklater's Guide to the Universe - jevanslink
Screamin' Remo - screaminremo303
BEST USE OF ATTITUDE (TIE!):
Freely Floralilia,the official journal of pointless posting - floralilia
Mortimer's Café - luvmort
MOST WELL-WRITTEN JOURNAL:
In The Shadow Of The Iris - justaname4me2
BEST FICTION/POETRY JOURNAL (TIE!):
Musings from Mâvarin - mavarin
TO GROW IS TO BE ANXIOUS - deabvt
BEST ENTRY OR SERIES OF ENTRIES:
"The Wedding From Hell"
Adventures of a desperately fat housewife - tillysweetchops
BEST THEME-BASED JOURNAL:
Stories From My Ambulance - sekirley
BEST YOUNG-PERSON'S JOURNAL:
I Have a Life, This is It - animaquarius2500
BEST TEEN JOURNAL:
Holding On & Letting Go - rickysbunnie
BEST COLLEGIATE JOURNAL:
Life Or Something Like It ~ LIVE from the U! - luckyaugustgirl
BEST NEW JOURNAL:
Fresh Cup...Move Down - schnozbeary
BEST AIM JOURNAL (TIE!):
The Daily Snooze II - hewasolddog299
The Light's On...But No One's Home - krspkrmmom
BEST-KEPT SECRET JOURNAL (TIE!):
From Here to There - firestormkids04
Lotus Martinis - txguinan
Life With Linny - lindainspokane
MOST CREATIVE/ORIGINAL JOURNAL:
Adventures of the 2-Faced Baseball - upseted
Saturday, 5 November 2005
The Iolaire disaster, where 200 men died yards from shore
31 December 1918
THE ISLE of Lewis had a hard war. Some 6,200 men joined up and nearly 1,000 had died. Every family on the island had lost fathers, sons, brothers or uncles. So, the night of 31 December 1918 was tense with expectation. The war was finally over, the world was at peace and after four long years the men who had served king and country were on their way home.
The Kyle of Lochalsh was alive. Hundreds of laughing, boisterous servicemen were crowded onto the quay. The regular steam-ferry, the SS Sheila, was soon packed so the Royal Navy ordered the Iolaire across the Minch from her berth in Stornoway to carry the extra men left behind.
The Iolaire had been a luxury yacht before the war, sailing under the name of the Amalthaea. She was used by the navy in anti-submarine and patrol work when she was renamed the Iolaire – Gaelic for "Sea Eagle".
When she arrived in Kyle there was some discussion between the Master, Commander Mason and Commander Walsh, in charge at Kyle. Commander Mason was worried about the paucity of life-saving equipment onboard. She was kitted out with only two lifeboats and lifejackets for 80. Even more worrying she had never sailed into Stornoway harbour at night, a tricky manoeuvre in daylight.
Discussions were brought up short when two more trains arrived at the quay spilling out more demobbed men. The master ordered the 284 servicemen, predominately navy reserves, up the gangplank and onto the ship.
She left at 9:30pm, sailing out of the darkness of the new year. But 12 miles out of Stornoway Harbour the weather turned. As a gale took hold the crew of a local fishing boat watched in confusion as the Iolaire failed to change course to make harbour. Instead she carried on full steam ahead into the pitch-black night.
Biastan Thuilm - the Beasts of Holm - is a rocky outcrop just short of the harbour entrance. A small light attached to the rock warns mariners of the approaching danger. When the Iolaire failed to turn, the flickering light was useless. The momentum of the ship kept pushing her forward.
Visibility was poor. Sleet was falling and the seas were wild. When the ship collided with the "Beasts" she went over almost immediately. Nobody on board knew where they were. The boat was lying only about 20 feet from land, but between the ship and the rocks was a boiling, raging sea. Fifty men jumped into the water and made for shore. They all drowned in the freezing water. The two lifeboats were launched, but were swamped immediately as too many men battled for too few seats.
At three o’clock in the morning the ship’s back broke and she went under.
As the men onboard slowly drowned one man, John Macleod, swam for his life hauling a rope behind him. When he reached shore he set up another stronger rope, and 25 men escaped along this safety line. John Macleod was awarded the highest peacetime aware for heroism for his incredible courage and strength.
Donald Morrison climbed the mast as the ship went down and clung on as she submerged. He was picked up alive the next morning at 10 o’clock, having spent eight hours in the water.
His brother was not so lucky. He drowned alongside 205 men who had seen off enemy fire only to die within shouting distance of their own homes.
The Lewis Roll of Honour records the poignant loss of Kenneth Macphail whose death epitomises the tragedy: "He was the sole survivor of a ship torpedoed in the Mediterranean in October 1917. He had a terrible experience before he was rescued having been nearly 36 hours in the sea until washed ashore in Algeria. Pathetic in the extreme it is to think that this powerful seaman after so miraculous an escape in the Mediterranean, perished within a few feet of his native soil."
Aerial photograph of Stornoway
As New Year’s Day broke across the islands, families waiting for the arrival of their loved ones heard rumours of a terrible disaster. Men walked miles from villages to Stornoway searching for news. What they found was devastating. The Scotsman of 6 January reported the tragedy, soberly noting: "The villages of Lewis are like places of the dead. The homes of the island are full of lamentation – grief that cannot be comforted. Scarcely a family has escaped the loss of a near blood relative. Many have had sorrow heaped upon sorrow."
Days went by and still all the men were not recovered. Boats left the harbour in search of bodies to return as night fell to a silent crowd waiting at the harbour. In 1959 Donald Macphail, speaking on Gaelic radio, recalled the moment his friend found the body of his son.
‘The man’s son was there, and I remember he was so handsome that I could have said he was not dead at all. His father went on his knees beside him and began to take letters from his son’s pockets. And the tears were splashing on the body of his son. And I think it is the most heart-rending sight I have ever seen.’
Two investigations were ordered. With the crew dead no conclusion was reached, other than to rule out drink as being the cause. A public enquiry held later found that the deciding factor in the tragedy was the lack of lifebelts and life craft in the vessel.
How traumatically the Iolaire disaster affected the islands is unknown. Roddy Murray director of An Lanntair museum in Stornoway thinks that it cannot be underestimated. "We can speculate on its contribution to the mass emigrations of the twenties, its effect on the Lewis character, the rebirth of an inherent fatalism. Its effect was like the Passover of the Old Testament."
Snaking through the whole story, like a spectral ribbon are tales of supernatural occurrences. John Macleod later told his son that he saw his mother standing before him as he jumped into the sea. Deer, portents of death, were seen in a number of villages that night.
of all was the story of a man from Breascleit who was tormented with
visions of a body floating in the sea. He walked to Stornoway and
directed the recovery boats to the area he had seen in his dream. Sure
enough a body was recovered in exactly the place he had described. It
was no surprise to anyone when the body turned out to be the old man’s
Thursday, 3 November 2005
The wheel is not operating right now as fencing still needs to be erected for safety's sake. Return to town at 3pm. Cloud has increased gradually, and it's feeling cold. Feel very full after the lunch, so contend with a bowl of soup. Watch some TV during the evening, such as All Creatures Great and Small.
November started with a bang at 4 in the morning, on account of two flashes of lightning and two claps of thunder. Heavy rain accompanied this shower. More follow through the morning. Three workmen are staying with mrs B, but their gear has not arrived on the good old Muirneag. Have a good old yarn with mrs B about the church and all the splits that continually occur in the Free Church here in Lewis. The weather turns pretty changeable, with heavy showers alternating sunny intervals. The ferry is about 15 minutes late getting in at lunchtime. I'm writing descriptions for hidden places in Lewis, such as Steimreway, 4 miles west of Lemreway. Others include the Iolaire Monument outside Sandwick and the sheilings at Cuidhsiadar and Filiscleitir in Ness. Also discover a very interesting article on the net from Views of Scotland about sheilings and the proposed windfarm. A bulletin board on VisitHebrides.com features Angus Nicolson, a local councillor, who has some vociferous exchanges with a German photographer and frequent visitor. By nightfall, at 5pm, the showers fade away.