When you are planning ahead you always hope that the weather will be good, especially for an outside event. Before Christmas we planned to go to three Up Helly Aa fire festivals. The first in Scalloway was a great introduction, with superb weather. The second and largest was the one in Lerwick, again the weather was great, although the forecast was for windy wet weather.
So during last week we had a few gales, very heavy rain and it was cold so it didn't bode well for our last Up Helly Aa at Bigton in the south mainland. On the day however the weather changed completely, it was sunny and completely still, this carried on through the night providing ideal conditions.
We arrive early with our friends Beryl and Maurice and parked in the lower car park. We had followed a long line of cars so we knew it would be busy. After around 45 mins, and after a 15 min delay the procession started. Around 400 torch bearers filtered down the hill towards the beach singing away.
This year history was made when the first ever female Guizer Jarl, Lesley Simpson lead the procession, also many of the torch bearers were women, not a thing you would find in the Lerwick procession.
They soon disappeared and reappeared on the beach and the Galley put in position, the torches soon followed thrown into the galley which was then pulled out into the sea, well just, it got stuck on a sand bank at Sleo Clett, opposite St Ninian's Isle.
It looks so good when they are burnt in the sea, the Lerwick one is the only one burnt on land i think.
After, we were treated treated to an excellent firework display, then it was follow my leader as a procession of cars head back over the hill, that is except one car which was stuck in the muddy field.
An excellent night made even better with Sirius shinning bright and Orion looking superb in the south sky