woensdag 1 september 2010

A Summer in Shetland....Part 1.

Work has started this week but we came back form our holiday last week Friday. Looking back at it now it had ups and downs. Bram has suffered being ill for almost all weeks over there and taking care of him did take a lot of energy from me. But on the other hand we both are very happy that we have done it. Not really what we had expected it would be but sometimes life sends you to take another route.
We left our home on a Thursday and took the ferry from Ijmuiden to Newcastle. Our brand new car was packed with everything we thought we needed (later we discovered that we went on trip very chaotic) and on top of all package was the wheelchair. We has asked if we could be placed by the elevator so everything would work out fine. So it did....in a way.... Bram seated himself in the wheelchair, I packed the bag and we went into the elevator. All fine till that point and the button to level 6 was pushed. Small mistake.. Bram asked me on what deck we were. Guess what happened? I stepped out, had a look (deck 4) and before I knew the elevator closed with Bram inside and leaving me on deck 4. Elevator came back and was empty. I had to laugh and went in to search for him. I finally asked a woman from the ferry if she had seen my husband in a wheelchair and she told me that he was taken to the cabin already by 2 very nice Philippine male crew members. We both had to laugh when we met and Bram told me that smiling that I came a bit to early to the cabin...
I found out that driving the wheelchair wasn't so easy and I didn't feel comfortable with it at all.Now it goes slightly better emotional but I think it will take much more time to get used to it. We both keep ourself strong in a way when we go out with this "new vehicle" but inside me is still a lot of tears and sadness and resistance to it all. It feels like we only loose at this stage of life in our relation. I know it is supposed to give us more freedom but I still can't cope with it very well. Time will heal I know.
But back to Shetland now. We arrived and after some coffee in Lerwick, some shopping and another coffee at the Pierhead Bar in Voe we went to our cottage in Sweening (north of Lerwick) From Vidlin the road went down and at the end were 2 houses: a big one with our landlord Des and as last house on the road our cottage.benches, books and magazines Very well equipped with a nice living-room with comfortable benches, shelves full of books and magazines(so enjoyable to read Country Living I must admit!!). A very good kitchen and in which I have enjoyed the joy of the dishwasher (thanks to Birgit!!) and 2 bedrooms and a good shower room. It felt a little damp when we came in but with the help of a dehumidifier it all came well. The view outside was amazing and beautiful in all weather conditions. On the first Sunday afternoon I made a walk among the Voe and on the way back I thought of the program from Simon King (the Shetland Diaries) and how wonderful it would be to see an otter this holiday. At that same moment I heard a strange noise from the water and 2 otters looked at me. I couldn't believe it and it brought me in tears. In Shetland they say that you never will find an otter, but the otter will find you. I took some pictures and at the end one of them almost swim with me on the way back to the cottage. The experience was overwhelming for me and this is one of the things I feel that will always stay with me.
The colours and different shades from the nature in Shetland always connects me to the colours of the Shetland yarns (will post another episode only onto knitting) I took all this pictures during a walk I made while on the top of a hill next to our cottage.
After a few days together our friend Birgitta (who lives near Glencoe, awesome place!!) came for a visit for 5 days and on the first friday I picked up our friend Tiny who stayed 9 days with us. So I had friends over for my birthday since many years celebrating that together and for the first time I had a garland hanging in the kitchen.
We made little trips together and one afternoon we went to the cliffs from Eshaness on the west coast of the Mainland which is always great to go to. There is a great lighthouse and the view is fabulous.
But Bram kept very tired and not very well (which was really worrying for the both of us) so we ended up going in the first week to Doctor Scott in the health-centre in Brae and Bram got antibiotics. The have helped more or less but the tiredness and not well feeling stayed so he had to stay home most parts of the days and if we had f.e. coffee in Lerwick he had to rest the whole afternoon. I loved the place very much but Bram later told me that he had felt sometimes very lonely when I was away which I can understand in a way from his point of view.
During the afternoon from my birthday we went to the Agricultural show in Voe where you can see all results from a competition in which everyone can join. From nice sheep to cakes and from fleece to knitting and from crafts by children till Tug of War(Yes, the Vikings came back but lost the game!!) I always love to go to these kind of shows because you can see how important it is for a community living on those islands. It is about meeting up with friends, drinking tea with home baked cakes, the competition and lots of fun and laughter.
I made a nice walk with Tiny on the Lunna peninsula. We started at the house with a bric-a-brac store done by Frank who was obviously gay and who lives in an amazing spot (and the house should be really beautiful inside) at the end of the road with striking views to the island Yell. Mind you, he knew the Dutch singers Pussycat who sang that song in the 70's.......(later I heard that he is into reading tarot cards with famous people) It started foggy but later the sun came out and after we found the track back by going through the bog we arrived rather later at home than planned. Lunna is wonderful with Lunna house, a nice church and great views, especially in the evening
I really wanted to go to the Northern Isles. Unfortunately Bram could not come with us. We left early and took the 2 ferries to Unst, which is the most northerly island and there (after coffee and cake) we visited the Boat Haven with great examples from boats used in the past by Shetlanders. I found this great example from a prayer at the exhibition. Unst is a great place to go. Not so desolated as Yell, but I always wonder how people live in those conditions. In summer is isn't so bad I guess. Sometimes there is sun (we didn't had such good weather as last year) but all is very changeable during the day. But during the winter it must be different with dark and short days, storms and rain. So I always like to look at houses in were you can see people make sort of effort to make it a home. This example I found on Unst but close to it was this shed with in my point a view a beautiful colour palette.On the way back a group of Shetland ponies was on the middle of the road and Tiny took this picture of me surrounded by those beautiful animals.
It is sort of funny but when we are in Shetland we always meet Jan and Paula who now came sailing with their beautiful sailing ship "De Bastaert van Campen" from New Newfoundland and who I found in Lerwick harbour. I picked them up and we had lunch in our house and I made tasty fishcakes after a recipe in the Good Food.
After the girls had left we had a week together and we did is very easy. Coffee in Lerwick at the Peerie cafe (still a good place to go), a visit from friends, a little shopping (yes, yarns and books again!!) and we had tea in Busta House hotel where I pictured Bram as Laird of the surroundings.
We left Shetland on Saturday and thanks to a sleeping pill we haven't noticed anything from gale-force that night or as a crew member mentioned: it is going to be very bumpy tonight..
More about our return home in my next post and part 3 (and maybe part 4 too) will be all about "KNITTING"

3 opmerkingen:

  1. Great pictures, it really looks like a very nice place to vacation. (I love rain and stormy weather, guess I live in the wrong place)
    A garland in the kitchen is what we need every day not only on birthdays!! Happy Belated birthday wishes from us.
    Looking forward to the knitting posts, and more about the Islands.

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  2. Met tranen in mijn ogen heb ik je prachtige stuk gelezen. Wat een emoties, verdriet, onmacht, bezorgdheid. En aan de andere kant het geluk in dit schitterende land te mogen zijn, een otter die jou vindt, het samen toch de zomer zo door kunnen brengen, de liefde van vrienden......... Een emotinonele rollercoaster.

    Ik heb erg genoten van je schitterende foto's, zat haast met mijn neus in de pc om het land te ruiken, te voelen, te horen. Helaas nu alleen zien, maar misschien volgend jaar........

    Ben erg benieuwd naar deel 2 3 en hopelijk 4.

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  3. Veilig weer thuis, welkom! En ondertussen natuurlijk alweer aan het werk.
    Roerige zomer lijkt me.
    De laatste twee foto's van deze post zijn super, en ik wacht met ongeduld op al je yarnverhalen (en foto's).

    En ik hoop je op de beurs in R'dam te zien in okt.
    x uit rotterdam

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