21.07.2016 - 24.07.2016
We have learned to totally disregard the weather forecast in Shetland. It is not possible to make weather-dependent plans in advance - it is much better to look out the window and decide what to do depending on the conditions at that moment. We implemented this strategy to good effect on Thursday - in the morning it rained, so we watched movies and sorted photos, and in the afternoon the sun shone so we took the dogs for a big walk. We then took ourselves for an even bigger walk to the lighthouse at Sumburgh Head, so that we could hang out with the puffins again. We took the coastal route - along Westvoe beach, past Jarlshof, past the Sumburgh Hotel... all in the sunshine! It was so peaceful and calm walking by the water in such ideal weather conditions - no beanie, no scarf, no jacket! Almost like a real summer day. All this pleasantness was very conducive to doing some reflections on life, the universe and everything (as Douglas Adams would say). But I think that the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything is not just 42... it's 42 PUFFINS! They were in fine form along the cliffs, and there was barely a breath of wind. Divine puffin watching conditions. On our way back down the hill, we detected an Australian accent and ended up chatting to Jack and Molly from Wagga. Jack moved here in October last year and she was showing Molly, her daughter, around the island. One thing led to another and we now have somewhere to stay if we ever come back to Shetland!
On Friday we bussed back into Lerwick and did one of Simon's favourite things - we went to the cinema. The BFG (3D) was easy entertainment for the morning, and probably counts as research for me since I work with children, thereby making this entire trip tax deductible. Pretty sure that's how it works. After lunch and a spot of shopping, we headed home to relax with some Shetland Reel gin (made with seaweed!) and Mirrie Dancers chocolate. Drink local, eat local.
Louise and James came back to the island on Saturday and we all enjoyed a hearty dinner at the Sumburgh Hotel, complemented by the walk home via the beach.
On Sunday we all learned the 'burrito method' for fitting a duvet cover before it was time for us to ferry off. I enjoyed some people listening (like people watching, but more of an auditory experience) - the highlight was an English couple debating whether or not they should let their son have a Tango because he was getting rather fat but they didn't want to say that word in front of him and maybe he could share the sugary beverage with his sister instead. When aforementioned son appeared later he appeared to have a rather normal weight, and simply reported that he might be able to get his phone charger back from the other ferry but he really couldn't be bothered as he was due for an upgrade soon anyway. I also enjoyed a conversation about Polish cuisine vs English cuisine but when someone started getting on their high horse about feminist literature and the importance of travelling alone, I had to leave. It was too hard to concentrate on my Virginia Woolf book with all that racket going on. Besides, Simon was off meeting people (which you are apparently less likely to do if you have the nerve to travel as a couple). Ah people are funny things...