Sunday, 26 July 2015

Up North

Shetland has so many great places to visit. Although we have been coming here for nearly 30 years there are still many little gems to visit. Some people don't like going back to the same place twice as they think that the second time will be a disappointment - this definitely doesn't apply to Shetland

I like going back to places time and time again. I always find something new to see whether its the light that reveals a hidden part, or the wildlife which is constantly changing.

Shetland offers the old and new, often mixed close together. A bit of decay adds interest and as a photographer it's these little bits of detail creates a great photo

People really are creative, the sign posts below are splendid and intriguing, obviously make by visitors from different parts of the world that have been lured to Shetland. Once you have been , Shetland gets in your blood and you must come back time and time again.

Sitting on a beach somewhere has never appealed to me, I like exploring places and Shetland has so much to offer even a casual visitor. Like us this can lead to big decisions, like moving here some thing we have never regretted.

The old and even older (Giant Stones- Hamnavoe) equally interesting. Seeing these things gets you interested more in archaeology, the range of my interests has been broadened  by coming to Shetland

Music has been a big plus with so many concerts to go to, the young south mainland fiddlers are inspirational and may even get you started playing an instrument. We had a chat with someone at 76 who has just started playing a mandolin so its never too late, that's if you can fit it in with everything else going on

I have now finished painting all sides of our house and have arranged for someone to give us a quote on painting the roof. This will add extra years onto the life of the house.

The house a few doors away has still showed no signs of being repaired or painted and his garden is very overgrown so the value will have decreased considerably.

I have just been asked to do a talk `A year in Shetland' when we go back to Sheffield, it's going to be very difficult knowing what to leave out.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015


On Thursday  last week we went over to the music at Asta, it was packed. As always teas and homebakes came out at  9pm, as it was nice everyone enjoyed the food outside in the late evening sun.


While people talked and ate we couldn't help but hear about someone complaining that they had been in a long traffic jam and had been held up a full 1.5 minutes. The joys of driving in Shetland.  But on the downside, as we drove back to Sandwick a car past us going well over 100 mph, just managing to avoid a van coming the opposite way and continuing to overtake other cars before disappearing over the hill at Sandwick. What a plonker!, he could have easily involved other cars in a bad accident.

Normally we can drive for miles in 5th gear without seeing another car. Entering Lerwick everyone slows down to 40-30 then 20 around the school as much to wave at the lollipop guy that must have it built into his contract that he must wave to every car or van coming down the hill in the morning. This is not the case though, he does it because he is being friendly. The same can be said for most drivers who acknowledge other drivers and even pedestrians. We could never say that of Sheffield.

We had two days of good still weather so we started to paint the house with help from our neighbour who helped with the higher parts of the bungalow. During this time we managed to paint both high ends and one lower part. At the same time discovering that we need to replace some of the wooden ends, although trying to get someone to some and look is a major problem. The paint , Butinox is not cheap at £120 per tin (10 Litres) but it is tried and tested and in harsh weather conditions lasts about 5 years- try Frank Williamson in Lerwick. Late on Friday it started to rain and the fog closed in so Saturday was out for any further painting

                                                                                                        Piglets at Swinster

The football season is drawing close and Sheffield Wednesday have already signed 8 players, with the new owners apparently loaded, money seems no object. However they had upset many fans by increasing match day prices , now up to £46 for the KOP on category A matches. We will be going to a match when we visit Sheffield in a few months, the first since March 2014. It will be interesting to see the new pitch and score board as well as a new team.

Its been very busy at work but helping the old folk is very rewarding and it was good to see them enjoying an old Shetland film from the 1970's after their lunch.

Memories such as photos are such important things, if our house was burning downing, I think i would try and get my external 2 TB hard drive containing thousands of great memories, other things can be replaced.

                                                                                        Sanderling south mainland

We have just had a couple of reminders that it is coming up to a year since we moved into our home, first the renewal of the TV licence then the home insurance, which proved very difficult last year as very few people would insure a wooden house. Thankfully Tower gate insurance seems to have been a good choice with other home insurers charging about £150 more for the same cover. You could try Admiral as well.

If you get chance please have a look at my other two blogs

Monday, 13 July 2015

Many thanks Folks

Many, many thanks to all who view this blog, this week i found out that i had reached over 10,000 views on this blog. I do hope that this blog has been some help to anyone moving or has an interest in Shetland - please let me know.

You also may like my other blogs



Have you ever checked your on line presence ? you may find out something interesting even though you might not be on a website, have a blog, face-book or twitter account or something similar.Checking the web we found this

1251 Lago Vista Drive    
Find on map >>
Show street view

Beverly Hills   90210

Owner - Me & the wife

Value $7,071,986

Built: 1948

                                                                           Looking out to Mousa

I know we are more than content with our life in Shetland so we wont be moving or doing a weekend visit to Beverly Hills. Our surname isn't that common , most ending in so I was very interesting in the above link

The weather is always the talking point in Shetland, no weather forecast can seem to get it  right. Yesterday was on of those days `Between the weather', glorious sun from about 11- 8.30 and the hottest day of the year about 20 degrees. But later very thick fog which appeared in an hour, so thick we had problems seeing next doors house.

The day before wet and windy, the same the day after.

This week we have had a couple of large cruise ships in Lerwick. 

The usual procession of hired coaches transporting visitors south. I could just imagine the tour guide- looking left you could see Mousa if the fog wasn't so thick, later on - now we will stop for a short time so you can walk along the beach- make sure you take your waterproof clothing and thermals.

Its only July, still time for the summer to arrive, in fact its the wettest year in living memory. Last year we arrived in April and it was still dry and sunny into October- the best summer in living memory. So next year or even tomorrow who knows we take it as comes.

In the meantime we are still waiting for a dry period to paint our house. The condition is not that bad but they always say these wooden houses need painting every 5 years and we are not sure when it was last painted.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Summer - well one day of it !

Well we had summer on  Thursday when temperatures went up to 18 degrees, very respectable in Shetland. As the day wore on the sea fog came in and started to cloak the Scousburgh hill until it disappeared for that night.

During the night thunder and lightening hit Shetland especially down the west side. At least we didn't get the tennis ball  size hail stones that hit north east England which smashed greenhouses and windows and dented many cars.

With the nice weather came a spot of gardening, grass cutting to start with now we have a new lawnmower - the last one the engine burnt out. This was followed by building a rockery and then a bit if weeding in our vegetable patch. Its the biggest garden we have ever had, the last two just postage stamp size.

A few days on and the daisies have reappeared, they are very prolific in Shetland and fields of Daisies often look like areas of snow. The same can be said about dandelions, it doesn't really matter whether you clear your garden as many seed heads can be blown in from other areas.

Shetland is perhaps the only place where council grass cutters actual cuts round flowers, these are special flowers - Northern Marsh Orchids. These seem super abundant if a little late and can be found growing around Tesco or the power station or equally in road side verges, this makes the journey to work a pleasure.

Shetland ponies can be seen in most places and often close to the road. In the south mainland these are fenced in for safety reasons but in Unst they roam about freely, once blocking the road from the ferry and didn't move for a good 10 mins

We went to the Mareel this week to see our first film, and we came out very impressed with the theatre. We can remember when they had films in a cinema on Harbour Road in a small building, perhaps a few nights a week. Now they had both 2D and 3D films, both very popular.

News has just come out that the council will have to spend £1.7million on repairs to the Town Hall stain-glass windows and walls. I do like the stain glass here as it depicts the history of how Shetland was handed over from Norway to Scotland. A worth while trip for anyone, access is normally straightforward. If possible try to get onto the roof of the Town hall the views are amazing.