Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Don't follow the crowd: the alt Shetland Fire Festival

Everyone talks about the world famous Fire Festival known as Up Helly Aa, held in Lerwick.  People fly from all over the world to see this fiery extravaganza - but why follow the crowd?  Be different!  There isn't just one UHA - there are many rural UHA festivals across Shetland and Scalloway is definitely one not to miss  - it's the uber cool alt Fire Festival and I do love Scalloway (Shetland's old capital) - it's got a great vibe.  Plus, and it's a big positive - Lerwick UHA has people booking flights, ferry and accommodation often a year in advance.  Attend a rural UHA and booking accommodation is easy and far cheaper (for now!)

Watch the Scalloway video - read all about the fest here and when people ask if you've been to the Lerwick Festival you can do that snotty traveller thing - 'ohhhh god NO! Scalloway is the Fire Festival to attend - Lerwick is sooooo commercial!'


 Insider tip:  find out more about rural Up Helly Aa festivals here and for the official tourism website - amble over here


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Happy New Year!

Stunning Nozawa Onsen, Japan

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a fab festive season.  I wandered off to Japan for a couple of weeks and had an incredible time with lots of chat, laughter and some great sake, too!

Nara, Japan

I missed the 95mph gales  - however, more wild weather is on its way...I don't sleep well unless the wind is battering my cottage!

Up Helly Aa is the big happening this month - a must do on the bucket list.  An incredible crazy annual fire festival with hundreds of Vikings, a Longboat, songs of olde, flaming torches, an all night party (there's a Shetland holiday the day after UHA!) and so much more.  Read all about it here.  If you fancy coming over to see it (last Tuesday in Jan) - book accommodation, flights, ferry - everything - months in advance.



Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Shetland Wool Week and Yorkshire walls

admiring the stone walls in Yorkshire!


I've just returned from a fun break in Yorkshire with my good pal T.  Here I am in Heptonstall - a beaut village where Sylvia Plath is buried and there are rather beautiful stone walls, too.  While on my travels I got some very lovely compliments with regards my Shetland Fair Isle poncho (double click on image for close up).  It was a very hot weekend, however, I did manage to showcase the Shetland knit quite a bit; flinging it over restaurant chairs, twirling around the airport, shimmying down Hebden Bridge high street and such like....

This brings me, in a roundabout way, to the annual Shetland Wool Week - the yarn extravaganza to top all yarn extravaganzas is fast approaching (24th September - 2nd October) and visitors from across the world are flying in to attend all the fab events (top tip: book accommodation and flights asap).  If  you're a yarn addict - I guarantee you will be in woolly heaven.

Handy link:
Jamieson & Smith website and read their fascinating blog here.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

A good place to eat my cheese and pickle sandwiches

St Ninian's Isle
(click image to enlarge)

Oooh it's been too long!  I've had heaps going on - no change there!  So, today, I thought - 'I deserve a break - a me day'. I travelled down south to St Ninian's Isle and I took a packed lunch of cheese and pickle sandwiches and I felt truly contented.  It's not the big showy things in life that make me happy - it's moments of  just being, of walking along a stunning beach collecting pebbles and thinking of jewellery crafting projects that I want to do at my kitchen table during the long winter nights, it's finding a sheltered spot and sunning myself, it's laughing when the wind got so lively and I was sandblasted from all directions, it's saying hello to fellow strollers (all two of them!), it's listening to the sound of the crashing waves, it's being totally present and thinking: i'm so lucky to be here right now and thanking the universe for bringing me to such a beautiful place.  Life is sweet when you keep it simple.

Have a lovely evening all

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Shetland Sunday Teas are too good!

an Abby drawing

Shetland Sunday Teas - a great place to meet the community and get a yum sugar overload.  The funds raised go towards good causes.  However, don't attend too many!

Shetland Times (published every Friday and online) has a list of Halls holding Sunday Teas (may include a craft market, too).  Weisdale Kirk (near my Airbnb cottage) also has a very popular cake extravaganza from 2-4 pm every Monday.

happy Sunday all