Hear a different slant on a piece of island history. Lord Leverhulme abandoned his plans for industries in Lewis in the 1920s because of opposition from local crofters. They were against BECAUSE the traders in Stornoway were opposed. Leverhulme represented a multinational company, which they perceived as a threat against their vested interests. The merchants told the crofters, who were dependant on them, that Leverhulme was going to oust them from their land. A very cunning approach, because only 35 years before there had been bitter struggles in the island and beyond (more specifically the Battle of the Braes, in Skye in 1885; the mass trespass in Eishken in 1887 and the uprising at Aignish in 1888) to gain more rights for crofting tenants. I have recorded this also in an entry on my Arnish Lighthouse blog. Mrs B goes out for dinner which is a roaring success as far as company is concerned and a roaring disaster foodwise. I had my usual microwaveable dish. The weather deteriorates through the evening, with the wind getting up to gale force and the rain lashing down. A lady on the VisitHebrides bulletin board says she'll be in Lewis for a week in January. Plenty to do for adults, but what is there for kids aged 2 and 4. Precious little, but I advise her that Eoropie beach is very nice, and it has a play area nearby. Indoors, there is the pool and play area at the Sports Centre.
Bit of a wet morning to start with, but this clears up by sunrise. Muirneag was in on time this morning, as the lorries were rolling past at 8.45. There is a big row about same-sex marriages. Registrars in the Western Isles are not prepared to conduct the ceremonies - but they will register the marriages, which is a legal obligation. Gay rights movement up in arms, threatening with the European Court etc. As I said, there is no legal obligation for the registrars to conduct a ceremony. Very nasty comments on the VisitHebrides bulletin board. I feel that if two people want to get married, that's fine, even if they're of the same sex. Conversely, if the registrar has got misgivings about conducting a ceremony for people of the same gender, that should be respected. Talk of bigotry &c does not help and is inflammatory. Western Isles Council reports receiving abusive emails, phonecalls etcetera. Enough of that.