Monday, 26 December 2016

Uncovered by a storm

Storm Barbara (90 mph) forced the cancellation of the visit by Father Christmas to the south mainland villages by helicopter. 

Bressay was hit by lightening with many home loosing power and with the ferries out of action it was hours before it was restored. Over 100 homes without power in Tingwall and a further 30 up at Sullom again due to lightening strikes

Today Storm Conor hit and this was even stronger at 105 mph (recorded at Scatness) so we haven't been out much. The roof on the next door's shed was ripped off and the rest was vibrating badly, lucky this was at then end of the storm.

You could feel the vibration through our house and see the windows flexing as the wind thumped against the building. We do feel safe as these Norwegian houses are very well built,  but newer wooden houses may not be up to the same construction specifications.

All the photos here are from Jarlshof, covering 4,000 years of human settlement. First the Neolithic period at 2700 BC remaining occupied until 1600 AD

With oval Bronze age houses and Iron age broch and wheelhouses, Norse longhouses , Medieval farmsteads to the Lairds House dating from 1500 , it is one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe

It was ideally positioned next to the sea in the south mainland but remained hidden until a storm, like today, in the early 19 century uncovered the site.

Excavations started in 1925 and stopped in 1950

From Walter Scott 1821 Novel the Pirate

"Amid this desolation, the inhabitants of Jarlshof had contrived, by constant labour and attention, to keep in order a few roods of land, which had been enclosed as a garden, and which, sheltered by the walls of the house itself, from the relentless sea-blast, produced such vegetables as the climate could bring forth, or rather as the sea-gale would permit to grow; for these islands experience even less of the rigour of cold than is encountered on the mainland of Scotland; but, unsheltered by a wall of some sort of other, it is scarce possible to raise even the most ordinary culinary vegetables; and as for shrubs or trees, they are entirely out of the question, such is the force of the sweeping sea-blast."

Don't forget to join us on our new facebook group page - `Shetland Aurora Hunter ' just send a request to join.

Also other blogs (Canvas prints)

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas visitors

Well Christmas is almost here and Christmas eve we always enjoy the visit by Father Christmas. He flies in the Coast guard helicopter over Sandwick and other nearby villages.

                                      Coast guard HQ Sumburgh Airport
                                                                                                  Ready for take off
                                                                                                         Here he comes

 Father Christmas may however be side tracked, one pilot said a few years ago they has just set off to fly over the villages when an emergency call came in so they diverted to pick someone out of a sinking boat. You can just imagine Father Christmas being lowered onto the boat to save someone - no one would believe his rescue story. Don't think they will be over today with the gales


 We love to get out on a winters day when the sun is shinning, the landscape always takes on a nice warm colour especially with low light. This week however has been filled by heavy rain, gales and a visit from Storm Barbara yesterday with winds around 70 mph and very large hailstones. Today went out to car and nearly got blown away, very difficult to walk against the wind.

On Christmas day it is expected to be around 95 mph so i don't think we will be going out

                                 The plane now landing at ` Sumburgh Lighthouse'

We decided that due to ferry disruption we would go  to Tesco on Wednesday as we heard that things  were already running out, a good job we did as we only just managed to get all we needed, except for bread.

Have a great Christmas and thanks again for looking at this blog
You may also like to look at the following

and come and join a new facebook group - `Shetland Aurora Hunter' - send me a request to join.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Brilliant winter days

The weather is still dominating the news with cancelled or delayed ferries and also last week a white van was blown off the road at Cunningsburgh, just 10 mins after i had passed the junction.

                                                                                         Fire starter at Scatness

                                                                           WW2 building Compass Head

In between we have had some great sunny days, still but very cold. Its at this time it just great to get out photographing. I took a group of photographers down to Scatness the other day and although it wasn't stormy enough for the photos we planned it was a good introduction in what to do when it blows.

The other day we ventured out to Burra in the late afternoon , it was very still and the first time we had managed to photograph Bridge End as the sun went down.

Everyone seems to like Shetland ponies and those in a close by field certainly wanted their photo taking, posing too close sometimes. With their long hair it was a surprise they could see where they were going.

Like everywhere in Shetland several people stopped to talk, its a very friendly place.

It seems everyone likes to see the Aurora or Mirrie Dancers as they are called in Shetland so i have set up a group facebook page (Shetland Aurora Hunter) please send me a request to join

As we move close to Christmas it seems it is a time for  numerous concerts, panto and music nights, we have never been out so much.

Much of our Christmas shopping is done online and we are thankful for Amazon especially as postage is free. Many Shetlanders head down to Aberdeen or further south to shop but it can be a bit rough on the ferry and you are never guaranteed getting back on time. We are looking forward to a visit from Father Christmas when he comes over Sandwick to wave to everyone from the coast guard helicopter on Christmas eve.

You still have time to buy a Shetland Canvas print from