Thursday, 25 September 2014

St Ninian's isle

Just over the hill from us, on the west side is Bigton and close by is St Ninian isle. The superb white shell sand tombolo, considered one of the best in Europe leads across to an island where in 1958 a local schoolboy discovered a hoard of Pictish silver.

The tombolo has been built up by wave action from the Atlantic around the island. On some rare occasions you may need to wear willies to cross. The beach holds a Rural Seaside Award from Keep Scotland Beautiful.

 During the excavation at the church (believed to be Norse 1150, they discovered that it had been built on an earlier pre- Norse structure.

Twenty –eight pieces were buried in a box made of larch. Replicas can be seen at the Shetland museum, Shetlanders say the originals were `stolen’ for safe keeping and is on display in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Crossing to the far side of St Ninian isle you come to some spectacular rocks and skerries which are home to colonies of Fulmar Kittiwake and a few Razorbill and Guillemot.

This is a major attraction in Shetland and draws people from all over the world. We met up with people from Germany, France, and Switzerland – and Eddie Granlund and his wife from Sweden. Eddie is a wildlife photographer, some great photos at (, he is a fellow Nikon user so it was good to compare information.

Now that autumn  has arrived the winds are starting to blow the sand up and a trek over sometimes feels like you are crossing a desert. You do have the consolation that you have the whole beach to yourselves.

Back home we are still waiting to hear back from three joiners who are quoting for a new window and door, it seems that a price depends on one person who is off ill.With winter quickly approaching we don't want a board leaving up to the window but even if we agree a price this week the door a window frame still has to be made. One person we spoke to the other day was still waiting for a door ordered two months ago so its not looking good.

Having had the `Air to Air' heating in for a few weeks we are very pleased with it. Its seemed strange at first as we are used to looking at a fire which always makes you feel warmer, now with the heaters on the wall we have a great view to look at instead.

Last night we managed to get tickets for the High Level Music Gala concert at the Clickimin centre. It was packed out and no wonder as all the students then teachers gave some great music renditions. Its great that so many young ones have a musical talent. Music is a big part of the culture and identity of Shetland.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Boats/ ships

As the tourist season comes to an end it was good to see two large cruise ships in Lerwick during the past few days. As people wandered round, mostly Americans i wondered what they thought of Shetland, most would have only seen Lerwick unless they managed to get on a tour bus.

The day before they arrived Lerwick had been quiet, perhaps the quietest since we arrived in April. Even the harbour was empty, just the accommodation ships in berth. It will be interesting to see what arrives in the winter months, some ships will be seeking shelter from the gales.

                                                                                            A bit  of a windy day

Over the months it has been interesting to see vessels from all over the place and what people had named their ship boat. I recently came across this poem which says it all:

Namin a Boat

Tak time, name dy boat wheel
fur du's
namin a wye o life
namin a attitude;
da spring
in a crewman's step,
da glint
in a skyipper's ee

Caa her Gleaner, Pacific
moadest names yun,
win nae or bluster
Caa her Golden Harvest,
an wiss her saesons o plenty
Enterprise, Venture
noo dere's names wi some pooster, bit
Naah dat soonds ta me
a coarn ower purjink.

Tak du dy time,
Name dy boat wheel,
fur du's naming
da dreams o a halelate

by John Cumming taken from the `White Below'

We continue to have the house altered and next week look forward to have the kitchen sorted then we can at last get rid of the last cardboard boxes. Now that we have changed the layout in the living room we now have a view overlooking a field looking out to sea, much better than wall.

One thing for sure is that when you meet any Shetlander you feel that you are meeting someone special, someone with a sense of values, with a unique identity and whether or not Shetland staying within the UK it will remain a place where people fall in love with
                                                            This is the reason why Shetlanders are so special

Monday, 1 September 2014

September arrives

Its been a busy old week, with the solid fuel burner out, decorating the living room, some electrics that needed sorting and repairs to the ceiling and wall where the burner was located. A few things have arrived from Amazon, one of the few companies that deliver free.
                                                                  A very heavy stove it took 4 people to move it

We also got set up on Skype and made contact with Diane's sister in Sheffield, it was a big surprise to find out that the quality of the picture and sound was so good. Its so much better to see someone at the other end instead of just phoning.

The last time we could be seen on screen so to speak was when we went into Lerwick about a month ago and stood in front of the webcam near the harbour and talked on the mobile phone. We bet some people thought we were nuts!!!

Lerwick seems to be getting a bit quieter now that the main tourist season is almost over. Today though a large ship arrived, the Black Watch  and a superb clipper the Pogoria. Its always an interesting place to visit, you just never know what will turn up and watching is a traditional Shetland pastime.

Yesterday we visited one of our local beach at Sandsayre, to find that a few yachts we out in the bay and an ice bucket challenge was taking place.

The weather has really been superb this spring and summer, apart from one day when it rained so heavy that several landslides occurred and even the road was flooded. Yet some nights the sunset has given some glorious colours, once or twice the stars have even come out from behind the cloud that seem to gather at the end of the day, but too windy for any photography.

Some people actually saw an aurora the other night further north, we are so looking forward to seeing one ourselves.