Sunday, 16 October 2016

Birthday surprise

It has been a very busy month so far, mostly to do with Diane's birthday. the first Saturday in October I was busy organising a surprise birthday party and had to collect a cake especially made by someone in Lerwick then a quick call in Tesco for a few things.

During the afternoon i started to prepare the food ,unknown at the time to Diane. if fact i only told her about an hour before friends started to arrive. A quick change before we greeted guests, most of those invited came over for a great night.

                                                                                               A few of our friends

On Sunday it was always going to be a left over day, the food still tasting good. After numerous Skype conversations we headed out to catch the Aurora which unfortunately had gone past its best but it is always enjoyable to see it ( .

Diane's birthday arrived on Monday and although i was teaching a photography course in Lerwick we had a good afternoon down in the Ness where the weather was extremely good for this time of year.

In the evening we went to the Sumburgh Hotel for a meal, a place we have been coming to for 30 years. An excellent meal as usual and a very crowded eating area with numerous birders coming in for a 'peck' at the food.


Later in the week it was down to music with the Shetland fiddlers on Wednesday at Islesburgh then the Accordion and fiddle festival Thursday and Friday both late nights but superb music both at Bigton and Gulberwick.

Then last Saturday night we stayed at Sumburgh Hotel as well has having a great meal - thanks to Diane's Sister Wendy and Dave.

In between we spent an afternoon in Lerwick and saw the last Cruise ship for the season - the Marco Polo, its been a good year for visitors. Everyone is looking forward to seeing big reductions in the cost of ferries from Shetland - Aberdeen but this will not happen before 2018 when the contract is up for renewal.

Some will have come as a result of the Shetland Drama series which has just been nominated for a BAFTA and is up for four awards- this will be back on TV next year which will delight the 5.8 million viewers.

A recent study of the Shetland dialect has suggested that this will disappear in the next 30 years, we really love the accent especially the Whalsay one with a fairly remote population. It suggests that since 1970 when the oil boom occurred many English and Scots arrived which started to dilute the local accent. I am sure this is true but without the influx of people many communities would have folded years ago, this would include Papa Stour, Fetlar, Foula and Unst.

We don't normally get power cuts so the one last Sunday night which affected the whole of Shetland was unusual, it was quickly rectified and we had power back on 15 mins later. One thing that has been bad recently is our internet connection which has been very poor, it's still a lot better than some areas, especially out in the west of Shetland.

With so much oil extraction around Shetland it was only a question of time before another oil spill occurred. This time oil escaped from the Clair field about 40 miles west of Eashness , no action was taken as experts said it moved NE away from Shetland with the weather breaking up the oil.

While it may not get washed up on our shores you have to fear for marine life. Lots of whales and Dolphins have been seen around Shetland and some will be in the area of the oil spill, so we might see some whales washed up and seabirds who spend winter out at sea. for more Shetland photos.

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