Islands in the mist

islands in the mist
Crossing the sound

Friday 7 September:
Mist rolls in frosts the glass with tiny crystal droplets.

Hello this is our offices are closed. To reach our automated system press 1 for sales; 2 for technical support:
Press 1 for network status – there are no problems on the interconnected communities network
Press 2 to test your connection – your disk is working and you have a connection, your router is working, please check your computer settings.”

We are becalmed and nothing stirs – just gannets drifting by like the Ancient Mariner’s albatross.

“Hello Tracey – do you have an internet connection?
No we’ve been off since Friday – as has most of the island.
I’d not realised it was the whole island! We’re planning to cross the Sound tomorrow and need a local weather forecast can you get a connection via your smart phone?
Mobiles are down too and everything else!
OK thanks I’ll have to rely on the shipping forecast if I can get it on either the car or portable radio”

The mist now enfolds the land like a cold wet shroud and blankets it in a dense silence.

“This is BBC radio 4 and here is the shipping forecast issued at 05.05 on Sunday 9 September on behalf of the Maritime and Coast—————-“

It is understood that if commanders of nuclear submarines can not hear the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on three consecutive days, they know it’s time to break out the codes and prepare for Armageddon.

Hello, is any on there?

The call is muffled by the mist and echoes as a whimper.

2 thoughts on “Islands in the mist

  1. Hi Chris – such an evocative post…. I could really begin to picture how it must have been for you and your fellow islanders. Has it cleared by now? How often do you get mists and communication black(?!)outs like this – and what is the connection between them, assuming there is one? I remember as a child in Edinburgh (a long time ago) we used to have mists (haars) that seemed to last for days or even weeks, but seem to recall it being peculiar to that part of the east coast – I don’t think my Mum has particularly mentioned Luing being prone to mists, but of course you are far more exposed on Uist.

    • Very calm periods with dense mist are unusual and usually they disappear quite quickly. I should explain that our internet connection is delivered by a radio system via a series of masts, so when there are problems it normally only affects part of the island when one mast malfunctions. Sometimes in very severe weather we can lose all communications, but then the reason is fairly obvious. This time it was strange because of the silence and the mist and I suspect that loosing radio 4 was due to poor reception on our portable radio. So no explanation so far – you can chose from a host of conspiracy theories, but I suspect that it was due to the normal incompetence of rather than being jammed by the Russians or UFOs. This post was really just a musing on a strange set of coincidences and watching too many old movies!
      We are back to normal now and I’m saving to buy a satellite- in the long run I think it will be cheaper than paying a monthly subscription to Connected Communities.

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