After my first post on this subject, I was actually pleased to see the number of comments - many thanks to all. I have distilled a couple of conclusions from this. Each island has its own character and traditions. Lewis's Sunday is proverbial, and in some quarters the object of ridicule. The latter is just disrespectful. As an observer (in which capacity I write this blog), I respect the Sunday - or locally Sabbath - because when you're in Rome, you do as the Romans do. I spoke to someone the other day who sneaks out of the house to go loch fishing on Sunday, although it is heavily frowned upon in the community.
I agree with those that say that in some parts of the UK, the Sunday has become another working day. There is no day of the week when the hubbub of daily life comes to rest anymore. Here in Lewis, it still happens, on the basis of religious conviction. Some argue that it is an infringement on your human right that you cannot travel on Sunday. A North Uist councillor quoted the problems of weekend visiting at Western Isles Hospital for residents of the Uist.
Another point was the apparent rivalry between Orkney and the Western Isles, of which I was not aware - so much for being an observer! Rather than being rivals, I would like to advocate cooperation. Until last year, the Scottish Islands Network was very active in sharing out information across the Western and Northern Isles. Its activities were severely curtailed because of a lack of interest from local authorities, who didn't even bother to reply to letters. Behind the above link hides a number of newsletters, which I found very useful.
Coming back to Sunday observance, a middle way could surely be found, which satisfies the need for transport & services and does not completely obliterate Sunday observance in Lewis and Harris.
Let's talk, rather than dig into entrenched positions. ]]>