Sunday, 13 January 2008

Mission statement 2008

At the start of each year, I've written a Mission Statement. So, I've revamped the 2007 one, headed it 2008 and here goes:

In recent times, quite a few new readers have picked up on my blog. A note of warning: it has been going for more than 3 years, so you have more than 4000 entries to go through if you want to read it all. Not to mention the hundred or so in the preceding blog Northern Trip - The Start. Link in linklist. 

I commenced Northern Trip in October 2004, two months after starting my travels around Northern and Western Scotland. In November of that year, I settled in the Isle of Lewis. Things have been on the change since then.

At first, I did a lot of walking in the islands, in all sorts of weather. Later on, I began to get more involved in the local scene, although I am afraid that this has now deteriorated more into an observer's role. That is actually the premise under which I operate my other main blog, Arnish Lighthouse. Again, link in list.

I observe the weather, watch shipping coming and going and go walkabout around Stornoway. This is the capital of the Western Isles, pop 8,000; the islands themselves have 25,000 people. Occasionally, I'll go further afield within Lewis.

I rely heavily on Internet websites for my information, although local and national radio and TV play their part as well. 

Characters: Mrs B and her family and friends; I don't name names. I sometimes give a name of a guest, staying in her B&B.

Isles FM is the local radio station. Manned by volunteers, they mean well but their rate of trip-ups is high. To quote one presenter: "I need electrocution lessons".

Ferries: The Isle of Lewis is the main passenger ferry. She sails daily (except Sundays) for Ullapool at 7.15 and 13.45, arriving back from there at 13.15 and 20.00. The weather tendsto wreak havoc with those schedules. The Muirneag is the freight ferry. She carries lorries and trailers in on aseparate schedule, departing for the mainland at midnight and returning at 8.30 a.m.. I am staying on the waterfront, so I see everything that comes and goes.

I am involved in historical projects, both relating to World War One. At that time, about 6,000 islanders went out to fight for King and country. 1,000 did not return, having fallen on the field of battle or perished at sea. They are remembered in my site Faces from the War Memorial.

An additional two hundred drowned on their return from the war. They were on board HMY Iolaire, which was wrecked 2 miles south of Stornoway. Only 75 others survived. I occasionally refer to this tragedy, read more on my Iolaire page.

About 100 islanders were interned at Groningen, Holland, for the duration of World War One, after retreating into Holland following battle at Antwerp in October 1914. They were allowed home for the harvest each year, provided they returned to Holland afterwards. Which they did, to a man. That was at a time when a man's word still stood.

A fourth project is done on an Internet messageboard, which records the location and inscriptions on War Memorials across Scotland.

Last week, I commenced a Memorial on-line for casualties of World War II.

Some general questions and answers:

Do I work? No.
Am I going to find a job here? Maybe.
Do I have a family? No. My relatives live outwith the island.
How long am I going to be here? Dunno.

What is my blogging remit?

To relay to readers news items I think are of interest. Not just from Lewis, but from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. There is an emphasis on mattersmaritime, bearing in mind my position in a small port.

It says at the top of my blog:
"A view of the world from a small island
A view of the island for the world"

I take a special interest in the weather, and try to relay hurricane warnings where possible.

I have also taken on a role as general blogger, commenting on everything I see fit to comment on. Or not.

Since the spring of 2006, I have become involved in the J-land community here on AOL, and try to adopt a social role, pointing out those in J-land who could do with extra attention for various reasons. If any new blogs come to my attention, I sometimes give them a mention as well.

Any questions? Send me mail, and I'll try to answer.

On a personal level, I take the following line.

I have a simple motto in life, which is live and let live. People can do what they like, as long as they don't inconvenience, trouble or otherwise make life difficult for others.

Another motto is that I take people as they come. We all have our crosses to bear, and it's nobody's business what brought those on our backs. We all make decisions and choices, in good faith at the time. Whether it all turns belly-up in the long run, well such is life. But life can also take its own course, totally outwith anybody's control.

I passionately HATE judgmentalism, pigeon-holing and intolerance.

You are you.
I am I.

I cannot stand by and let somebody run themselves into the ground. Aye, we all got our own little faults, good god, I've got more than I care to think about.

If somebody doesn't like me - I cannot be bovvered. Life's too short.


  1. Excellent entry Guido Jan xx

  2. Love your entry here Guido.  I agree, life IS too short to be bothered ... may as well be happy as not.  

  3. Is "looking for a job" where you live equitable with "waiting for the current lighthouse keeper to die?"

  4. Reply to Monponsett:
    Literally speaking, the lighthouse is automated.
    Metaphorically speaking: in a way I am the lighthouse keeper for J-land
    Otherwise, the relevant line could be rephrased into: Am I going to take a job here. But I'm not going to - it stands.


  5. thanks for posting this; helped me to learn about you and where you are currently living


  6. Bravo !! Well Said !!  I continue to enjoy your journal even if I don't leave a comment on each and every entry.  Your fan in Washington state, Linda

  7. In Honour Of Our Ever Vigilant GUIDO

    **Lighthouse Keeper’s Tribute**

    Stubbornness is often said
      To be a trait we all should dread.
    Sometimes though it’s plain to see
      It watches over you and me.

    Look at the beauty a lighthouse gives
      Brightening shores where ‘ere you live.
    We take for granted that pretty sight
      When seen by day, but what by night?

    Storms roll in to blast the shore
      And seem the worst when people snore.
    When most people go to bed
      There still is a lot to be said.

    Lighthouse keepers look up to skies of gray.
      Storm clouds make the moon go away.
    Sea’s roll in, smashing water high
      As if raining upward into the sky.

    Temperatures fall, making water ice.
      All burrow in, even the mice.
    Ice coats sidewalks, catwalks, rails,
      Windows and foghorn, stopping the mails.

    When pea soup fog came rolling in
      Engines were cut amid foghorns’ din.
    Flu season be damned, they went about
      Assuring their horn’s mighty shout.

    Summer, winter, spring and fall
      Regardless of weather, through it all
    Lighthouse keepers tended lights and horn.
      From all dangers, strangers were warned.

    Anonymous lighthouse keepers kept the watch
      Whether healthy or well, battening the hatch.
    Lesser men couldn’t take what they got
      But lighthouse keepers were a stubborn lot.

    More men would have died, and women too,
      If lighthouse keepers relied on brew.
    Instead they faithfully kept light and horn
      Through the night and into the morn.

    Their faith in God and service to man
      Stand many times taller than
    The tallest lighthouse tower you see
      As a tower of power for you and me.

  8. In Honor Of Our Ever Vigilante-GUIDO -the rest of the peom

    So while you pass a lighthouse tower
      Think of behind the scene power
    Of a stubborn man braving nature’s fury
      Protecting strangers, no favor to curry.

    Loneliness broken by wife and kids,
      To some it would be hitting the skids.
    Lighthouse keepers stayed firm on the rock,
      Sometimes with a boat on the dock.

    Lighthouse keepers were saving souls
      By light, horn, and boat, what ‘ere nature doles.
    Thanks were anonymous as sailors passed by
      But better that, than for sailors to die.

    The Lighthouse Service filled a great need.
      Motivated by service, never by greed.
    Though they reached the end of their time
      It would positively be a crime.

    If we didn’t take the time to say
      “Thank you for being there night and day.
    As you retire and take your rest
      Know your example was of man’s best.”

    We kids who lived in lights with you
      Could see firsthand all you do,
    Your coping with every kind of strife
      Taught we kids how to deal with life.

    BY ··· Michael Bauchan ···

  9. Well said're the they say here. Lovely poem apt. Peg oxo

  10. I like your motto that tells the value you place on an individual.
    That lighthouse saying hit home...I once stayed in a place called "Lighthouse"...

    May I "snag" this Lighthouse tag?

    You have a great week,
    Gem :-)

  11. you are half a world away from me......we'll never meet in person.....we know each other thru photos (on my end), words and thoughts shared in blogs....but you are a really special person....i wish i had a big word to use right are the heart of J land for have posted more news first than anyone...i come straight here when there is a death or i want you to know someone is hurting or needs help.....i hope you know the great need you fill and how beloved you are here.
    i think it is fascinating that you are in Scotland and tell the stories you do!
    BE safe,

  12. What I can add seems so insignifcant to what has been written by all your friends before me....but I can say THANK YOU  you are the BEST...first friend I meet every morning. You give us so much to think about you are a true "lighthouse"  love Sybil x

  13. Thank-you Guido. I have only known you for a couple of months but your name crops up alot in my house. I share your interesting enteries with anyone who will listen. You have made my feel welcome and safe here in j-land. I apprieciate all your help and support and wonderful journal. take care mrs t x

  14. I loved reading your mission statement and found your motto to be the same as mine, live & let live.  Your stance on judgmentalism is one I wish were infectious as many are so quick to judge.  I've made so many blunders and bad decisions in my life I don't feel I've the right to judge anyone.

    I am happy to have met you, I consider you one of my most cherished friends I've met on the internet and I simply adore you!! (don't worry Doug knows..LOL)  You always provide a good read and the warmth & support you extend to others is second to none.  You've been so kind to me and so many others...the world needs more Guido's.  

  15. I agree with all the comments. Guido, you are a very special person.  Thanks for being so caring, besides being a fantastic photographer!!!

    I consider myself lucky to be your friend.

  16. You are awesome....friend to many ....and also a caring person.  Your mission statement was wonderful.  I enjoy doing my catching up daily, if I can...and know when I come here there will be something of interest to everyone.  Take care...and keep up the great work...

  17. Hi Guido,

    Congratulations on your 4k+ entries and always being there for all the JLanders!
    I always enjoy reading your entries.
    Keep up the good work!

    Thanks for keeping us posted with all the emails be it suggestions or issues.
    We (the journals team) appreciate it.


  18. I always enjoy your Mission Statement, and I particularly appreciate your closing comments.

  19. ((((Guido))))
    This entry is why I love you and your blog so much :). You are a great asset to the Internet, AOL and your home. I've even got my Pop visiting your site now because he loves weather related anything! (LOL)

    Your the best :)

  20. It's taken me awhile, but I've finally found Guido.............You are a jewel. Did you know that the only WWI memorial is in Kansas City?  Let me know if you want to visit..........I'll show you around.  I'm still getting ove the loss of my Luke, The Wonder Dog.   You've sent many a person my way.  Thank YOU!  Lovingly, Anne

  21. alright i finally had the moment to adventrue through this small link to this entryi, i just wanted to thank you for your on going support since my injury, you are something. though through memory maybe confused one with the other but i fixed my brain to try to remember small things, well thought to say hello, and agin thanks a bunch. your life sounds very intresting. its great to see that you post about your life, give other people the view on your eyes,,,,, wishing you luck in all endevours,,,wow a big word for me,,lol brain improving, thanks thanks . hats off to you so being so kind.

  22. Guido~
    I have read this so may times and I never get tired of reading your words. As a matter of fact and to be totally honest, I read it about once a week. LOL-no kidding.
    Many stick in my mind, but his is one of my favs. (they're are so many)
    "But Life can also take its own course, totally outwith anybody's control."
    Oh so very true my friend :)

    Huggers (again),

  23. I`ve not read this before Guido but I found it very interesting. I do like the way you pass of information on current affairs that sometimes we miss. I don`t want to flatter you too much ( hehehe!) but I really enjoy your journal. :o)

    Love Sandra xxxx