Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Tuesday 28 December

Kept a quiet day today, as my cold is taking its time to go away. Walked to the shops, which are about 20 minutes walking away for a few bits and pieces. I normally ride there on the bicycle, but away from the main roads, the residential streets are in an appalling condition. So, I walk. The pavements [sidewalks] are no better than the minor roads, I should add. The snow is melting only slowly, as the mercury is hovering around freezing. I am hearing tales of woe about people whose properties are flooded when their frozen pipes thaw. The motorways in many parts of Holland also require emergency repairs, to prevent major potholes from forming. Wish they would do the same in the UK - when I return to Stornoway on January 5th, I fully expect to find the town's roads full of potholes.

I've just finished reading a very interesting book, The Great Lone Land, by W. F. Butler. Lieutenant Butler traversed the west of Canada in 1871 on a commission from the British government. He had to investigate conditions in the Saskatchewan Valley and beyond with regards to natives, trade and lawlessness. He did the journey in autumn and winter, with temperatures going down well below zero in Fahrenheit.
The only minor niggle was that the Echo Library (who supplied the copy) did not weed out all the OCR errors (I have advised them of that). What happens is that they scan the pages of the original text, then download the resulting digital file into a text file. And it tends to be full of errors. I know all about it, as I am applying the same process to the Napier Commission, whose report I have been going through in the past couple of months (see the posts on my blogs Atlantic Lines and Pentland Road).

1 comment:

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Best to stay in where it is warm and nurse that cold a bit.I'm about to drive out to the shops which are about 20 mins drive from here. Take good care.