<![CDATA[ The phrase "poorly organised" pops up when I think of this weekend.
At the same time as the Stornoway Half Marathon (130 participants) there was the Great Give-Away. There were up to 3 compost bins per household up for grabs for each household in Lewis. There is a great drive towards recycling in the Western Isles, with big blue bottle banks in various locations, taking glass, aluminium and plastic together with separate ones for paper. This weekend, the compost bins were going to be given away for free from the Creed Park Industrial Estate, a couple of miles south of Stornoway along the main A859 Stornoway to Tarbert road.
The result was total mayhem. Everybody turned up for their bin, everybody wanted their full entitlement of 3 bins and everybody wanted it there and then. Miles and miles of tailbacks, people deciding that the Highway Code is the first item in their compost bin. Police very quickly closed the road and the council closed the give-away early. The A859 was closed at Willowglen, and not a mouse could get through, until the entire lockjam was cleared.
What a contrast on Sunday.
As announced in the Stornoway Gazette, the cruiseliner Costa Classica turned up off Holm Point. She went at anchor at 1pm and proceeded to ferry the passengers ashore using tenders. According to the website, this ship can carry up to 1300 passengers. I went into town to see what had been laid on for these poor folk. The answer is a big, round
The passengers came ashore at the linkspan for the ferry, and were let loose in the town. Stornoway echoed to the excited talk of the Italian passengers, but not a shop was open, perhaps the odd bar. The place was derilict. Only a handful of enterprising taxi drivers hanging around the busstation, hoping to get a fare to take some people over to Callanish.
I will say that the cruise company got it wrong to put their Stornoway visit on a Sunday. It is well-known that nothing moves here on Sunday. But for these folk, the abiding image of Stornoway will be the resounding silence.
The only shop open is the one incorporated in the petrol station on the roundabout at the Sandwick Road / Island Road junction. And people were queueing out the door at 3.30 on Sunday afternoon, by all accounts. Sounds like there is a demand for a shop on Sundays after all. ]]>