Moody Monday…… Changeable

Sumburgh Head

The shore line of  the West Voe of Sumburgh, looking towards Sumburgh Head.  Shetland Isles

This last Saturday, we  crossed the equinox from winter to spring…  a time of change.   The above image was taken on the Autumn Equinox back in 2019, again a time of change. It was also a time when one could travel so freely, no clues as to what what would be in store for all of us…. we only had the weather to worry about.

On this particular day we certainly were enjoying weather, that was as they say, changeable.

Looking out on the above scene, across the West Voe, to Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, there had just been a heavy downpour of rain. It wasn’t long before the sun came out again, the temperature climbed again…..  but 10 minutes later we enjoyed a snow storm.  Then it was a case of repeat, until the day made up its mind, and then we enjoyed a fabulous sunny day that only the Shetlands can deliver.

Bressay-Lighthouse,-Lerwick

Bressay Lighthouse, Lerwick, Shetlands

But as we left the Shetlands that evening, the signs of the inevitable weather change could be seen.

Just a reminder that Change is always with us.

Wherever you are and whatever the weather…..

Please Remember to ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

22nd March

(C) David Oakes 2021

Reality and Fiction…. on The Shetlands

Lerwick... Jimmy Perez House

Followers of the TV Series, Shetland will instantly recognise this harbour side house as the ” Fictional Home of Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez “.  

Like all TV Detective and Murder series, you would have to wonder if, any one was left alive one on the Islands.

This little fantasy corner can be found just along from the harbour in Lerwick.  The Shetlands, and the capital Lerwick, have always made the most of their remote destination to attract visitors, its Natural Beauty, History and Wildlife make it a draw….  But who can blame them for making a great deal out of the series…..  even a Jimmy Perez Antique and Gift Shop, Tea Room, Bar and so on !

With or without this influence of television, the Shetlands are well worth a visit.

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

8th October

(C) David Oakes 2020

 

 

 

A Shetland Metropolis

 

LERWICK,-Shetlands-N16_00003

As you approach Lerwick,  your first views of the Shetlands, is that you are indeed arriving in a very special place.  I guess many of us have visions of an isolated group of islands to the north east of mainland UK and so close to Norway with whom the Islanders have an affectionate relationship. Then of course there are the many Wildlife and Travel documentaries that portray the Shetlands apparent remoteness, the lack of population (possibly in decline), the wild winters and the sometimes idyllic summers of  long days and ever so short nights…. and of course the abundance of wildlife, in particular seabirds.

But head to the south of the islands, in particular to Sumburgh.  OK., the Islands Airport is there, but to the west overlooking the West Voe of Sumburgh there is somewhere very special.

This is Jarlshof...

LERWICK,-Shetlands-N16_00030

Jarlshof…  is old…very very old.  Historians and archaeologists reckon there has been significant human occupation here at Jarlshof for over 5,000 years.  They have discovered and dated Neolithic structures , Bronze Age and Iron Age.  Norse Longhouses and also Medieval Farmsteads and a 16th century Lairds House.  This indeed would seem to be a remote location,  it has though obviously been of great importance.  An area supporting human habitation and their culture over the millennia. Houses, a complete settlement, that would appear to have been built below ground level, perhaps ensuring that we can now see just how complex and solid these building once were.  Farmsteads and Longhouses now just outlines are etched on the landscape.  It is a complex mix and should you visit an expert guide would be a great help in interpreting the Jarlshof for you.  But let me show you some more highlights……

In timeline terms, Jarlshof was only a recent and accidental discovery.  A sever storm in 1897 swept away layers of sand and Jarlshof was discovered.  It may well be that local historians were aware of a settlement but from all accounts, what was uncovered by these forces of nature, was far beyond anyone’s imagination.

Talking of ‘forces of nature’…..   even if your visit is on a sunny day, take a warm waterproof.  Shetland weather can and does change quickly.  Our visit was in September last year.  The sun shone and it was warm, one wondered why we need bring our waterproofs.  Within an hour we had rain, heavy!…. more sun to suggest it had just been a shower.  Then we had snow…. so go enjoy, but be prepared for both the weather, and to be impressed with what our ancestors have left for us to discover.

LERWICK,-Shetlands-N16_00046

But where ever you are……

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

8th September

(C) David Oakes 2020

First and Last…..

Bressay-Lighthouse-Lerwick

Bressay Lighthouse, Bressay Island, Shetlands

We sailed up to Lerwick via Bressay Sound.  Bressay Island one side and Mainland Shetland on the other.  It was our first visit to the Shetland Isles and sadly only a brief visit. It came at the end of over 2 weeks cruising Northern Norway and the Lofoten Islands. The weather had been unbelievably fantastic and the scenery just terrific….so we approached Lerwick with some uncertainty, would it be an anti climax.

Well the scenery is of course very very different but in no way does it play second fiddle to what had gone before.

There was just so much to see on the whole trip, and as Christmas approaches, I am still wading my way through all the images….sometime soon I may be able to post a ‘Postcard’ of the trip.

Just to make sure we understood that the trip was coming to an end, the weather changed as we left the shelter of Bressay.

As for Bressay Lighthouse it was both our first and the last view of the Shetlands… well last for the time being – we will be back.

23rd December

(C) David Oakes 2019