Saturday, 31 December 2011

BBC Weather

Just stopped by the BBC Weather site and as usual it was tremendous - if you speak either English or Welsh. If you speak either Scots, Gaelic or Shetlandic, and they are all areas covered by the BBC, then you're buggered. You can sit and look at the forecast, all the nice pictures etc and understand nothing.

Has the head of the BBC got a taff on the side because I can't think of any other reason to provide purely Welsh if English is not your first language.

Another reason that the telly licence is a waste of time.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Hillswick today

Hillswick today has been absolutely beautiful - mild, still and the sun shining on us at approximately 1.00 in the afternoon. What more can you ask for at this time of the year, apart, of course, from Ms Patel at the BBC getting rid of Capita. The Scottish North Harassment Division of T.V Licensing, nee Capita, have let me down again and not inflicted themselves, legally or otherwise, upon me because I don't have a telly licence. Wonder why that is. Not quite up to standard if they don't pester you and inflict themselves upon you with absolutely no justifiable reason whatsoever, is it?

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

TV Licence Man fiddling about

I found this on Youtube. It certainly goes to show how little the T.V License man knows about his job. I wonder if he can play the fiddle and fiddle about at the same time.

A beautiful morning

It really is a beautiful morning today, sun up at about ten past nine and the wind down too. The wind is forecast to rise to approx 46mph at midnight tonight so it's well worth considering starting to prepare a cold New Years Day dinner today - while the power is still on.

It might not be on for long though. After all, there are no promises in life, are there!!!

Oh, and I've just realised, I'll have to get on to Ms Patel at the BBC. The Scottish North Harassment Division of T.V Licensing have sent no threatening letter today. Is that what is really paid for by the BBC, a half-done job of threatening people that don't watch T.V. After all, they are expected to do a full and complete job.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Shetland News : Electricity supply and powercuts - 11 - Shetlink

Zarin Patel, of the BBC

I popped around to Capita's site just now, to see what utter garbage they have been coming out with and I came across this on their page.

"Zarin Patel, BBC Chief Financial Officer, said: 'This contract represents great value for the licence fee payer. Capita's bid was the best both in terms of innovation and efficiencies and  so offered best value for money. The success of recent efforts by the BBC and TV Licensing to encourage people to pay via     Direct Debit and use self-serve channels such as the web has   enabled us to re-structure the new contract to realise the     savings benefits. Additionally, savings have been achieved by  consolidating what were previously two contracts.'"

Let's be honest now Zarin, T.V License, nee Capita are harassing, offensive and obnoxious. I don't watch the telly but that doesn't stop them sending threatening letters, time after time after time. From now on, I think that I'll forward them on to you. I'd be grateful if you would justify each and every one that comes through my letterbox.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Imagine - the power's back on!!!

Quarter to three on Christmas Day the power went off and stayed off for twenty-six hours, coming back on at ten to five this afternoon. It probably went off because of the wind that was gusting between 90 - 100 mph. Wind is a problem to the electricity supply which is delivered above ground and has been, to this area, for approximately thirty-five years.

Talk about technology. We're about thirty-two miles from the power station, power supplied above ground, not under, power cuts averaging about once a month, that last between a few minutes to a couple of days. Around here we have electric lighting, heating and I also have an electric cooker and in reality it's worth about as much as a chocolate watch.
What a marvellous power station, sending top quality electricity nowhere near me to destroy the turkey that I threw out for christmas. I'm sure that I wasn't the only person to enjoy cold pie and beans for dinner yesterday, followed by a Boxing Day tin of coke today, perfectly chilled to room temperature because the fridge-freezer was off like everything else, that went with the sandwich, after the cornflakes to start, when today's lunch was enjoyed while looking out the window, watching the horizontal rain pour past.

I just hope the people that provide delivery of electricity enjoyed the same 
Christmas that I did.

Next year I will be buying a cooked turkey because considering the crap 
service that is provided around here, it's not worth taking the risk.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

T.V license or no T.V license

Their ref: 6034672418

I do not like the telly, it bores the backside off of me so I don't watch it.


Last year, about September, a young lady from T.V Licensing phoned me about the fact that I don't have a license and I courteously explained to her exactly why I do not have one. I also explained why I won't buy one in the future.


We said goodbye to each other, in a very friendly manner I must add. Nice young girl, pity I'm still married but you can't have everything, as I found out when I got married but that's a story for another day I think.

A year passed and the letters started to come in. The situation hasn't changed by the way. I still don't watch the telly and I don't see myself watching the telly in the future, assuming that I manage to retain sanity. I can only hope about that I suppose. The sanity, I mean.

So the question is I suppose, what to do next? I've never been taken to court before but there's always a first for everything (Wonder if the Sheriff likes the telly?). Or I could get in contact with my M.P of course. I won't mention his name, Alistair Carmichael is a very busy man etc, etc but he could possibly see to it for me.

I'll think about it. Might get to court before I make the decision though.

I like the name of the department that Sarah Armstrong, who wrote to me, works in. "Scottish North Enforcement Division" is particularly good for people that enforce unnecessarily and unreasonably on people that neither want nor need anything to do with them. It really is harassment, isn't it. From now on we'll call them the Scottish North Harassment Division of T.V Licensing.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Monday, 7 November 2011

Why has Shetland never gone for independence?

Shetland, along with Orkney, became part of Scotland in 1469, when they were pawned to the Scottish crown, believe it or not, as part of a dowry payment from the king of Norway and Denmark to James III of Scotland. The agreement made was that once the full dowry was paid the islands would be returned to Denmark, and until that time Norse laws would remain in place. The dowry never was repaid and Scotland, surprisingly, never made any fuss about it.

Over the next few centuries Denmark appealed to the crown but got nowhere and Norse law ended in 1611 but, and one thing in particular should be remembered, Denmark has never renounced its claim for the isles.

Following the Act of Union between Scotland and England in 1707, at a time when many islanders still spoke the native Norn as their first language, the vast majority of Shetlanders were forced into serfdom. The people were cruelly exploited by their new Scottish landlords until the end of the 19th century.

This somewhat tainted history explains not only the antipathy towards Scotland, which has continued into the 21st century, but also the persistent nostalgia of a romantic, Nordic past, which is continues to be apparent in the Viking festivals of Up Helly Aa, held around the isles each winter.

So, what do the Shetlandic people feel that they are? Do they feel that they are Scottish? I don't think so, not with the history of serfdom to Scotland. Do they feel part of the UK? Again, I don't think so, with all that oil in our water and all of its financial benefits being taken 'doon sooth.'

Shetland Island Council has started to develop another ambitious energy project. The world's largest, community-owned wind farm is set to be built here in Shetland. There will be approximately two hundred huge windmills generating electricity and supplying twenty-five per cent of the power required by Scotland. Scotland will have to pay for this, providing a major financial boost for the Isles. We can look after ourselves.

Remember, Scotland received Shetland as a pawn, nothing more and she has not yet been paid for, that does not make her part of Scotland.

And if Denmark should pay her debt, will we let her take over? That is up to the people but I think that after the lesson that Scotland taught us, I can read the answer written in the oil and in the wind.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

I thought that Shetland had drifted too far north

Oh goodness, gracious me, I thought that Shetland had drifted too far north but perhaps not. Perhaps they've fixed it this time, perhaps BT has decided that we're worth re-connecting to. I wonder just how long it'll last this time around.

I've been disconnected from the internet for twenty-two and a half hours this time. I, like everyone else, pay for 24/7. Will there be any discount in the next bill I wonder, you know, just to say sorry.

I must admit that it may not be the whole of Shetland that has been affected, it might just be Hillswick for all that I know. Regardless, it proves time after time what a crap system they are operating.

But they keep on charging - and they don't blush.

Sunday, 30 October 2011


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Is Shetland getting ripped off

Is Shetland getting ripped off when it comes to paying for the Internet or is it just as bad as everyone else in the U.K?

When you initially set up your Broadband Internet, you expect it to be available 24/7 – but it is not. First thing in the morning, between 9.00 and 10.30am you very often cannot get on because the rest of the U.K is doing what you want to do. Now, the rest of the country’s schools are closed mid-term and all the children are playing on the internet so it is impossible to get on-line.

The kids have as much right to the internet as we do, I hope that they are learning from their visits to wherever and enjoying it as well – but why am I paying for a full-time service that I get on a part-time basis? Why am I getting ripped off, not supplied with what I pay for?

What are B.T going to do about this system that they sell us – when, in effect, it doesn’t work?

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Towards Space

This is a film of a rocket made by a friend on google+. Enjoy!!!


Sunday, 2 October 2011


I'm sitting in the garden just now, wondering where the sunshine comes from at this time of year. I would have thought it a bit late for weather like this in the beginning of October but I'm obviously wrong, the sun is shining and it's warm too. Okay, there are some clouds on there way but we wan't complain, can we.

The question is how long will the good weather last? Surely, not much longer now?

If it does though, I won't complain!!!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

More Pic's

When I first started this blog I used my mobile phone to take snapshots and they were really popular. Unfortunately, the phone was in my jacket pocket but the jacket wasn't on my back whilst I was playing pool in a pub in Edinburgh.

After all these years, well, two or three, a new phone is on its way. I expect to get it on Saturday and will put up any decent snaps that turn up.

Hopefully, by then I'll have conquered the problem of the anonymous posts that are still appearing, fingers crossed, eh!!!

Oh, if you ever find out who the bugger that nicked my jacket and therefore my phone which was also my camera, then please let me know!!!

Saturday, 3 September 2011


I've been having some problems with other people posting here on my blog. I don't know who these people are but they do not have permission to post here. If any more turns up please accept my apologies, I will deal with this as soon as I can find out how. If anyone knows how to block this garbage I would appreciate it if you would let me know. 

Saturday, 20 August 2011

How long will the summer last this year?

I enjoyed spring a lot this year, it was really nice - calm and warm. I must admit that it was so good that in the middle of April, up in Unst, I whipped of my breeks and jumped into the sea. It would be fair to say that it was refreshing.

Since then it has remained quite good, no sunburn but summer hasn't finished yet. With luck it'll last well into October because it always helps people's mood, if nothing else.

A recently planted Black Hawthorn has unfortunately been damaged by one of my friends. I won't tell you what Chris's name is but he was doing the lawn and buggered the tree with the strimmer. It's so thin and young that I'm going to try to get it to root again and hopefully get it back in for the spring next year. It was planted a few months ago and was coming on so well, fingers crossed that I can save it. If anyone has any tips on it I'd be grateful!!!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Tall Ships Race

I haven't managed to spend any time in Lerwick for the Tall Ships race this this time around. I passed through on Thursday and couldn't miss the crowds of people enjoying themselves. I also spotted the tail-end of the march going down the Esplanade and the tops of a few masts but that was all I'm afraid.

I will see it next time around, no worries about that!!!

Monday, 18 July 2011

I've done something useful

I hope that I've done something useful at long, long last. I put in the Met Office widget, set for Lerwick, at the left hand side there. If there is a majority reply saying that it would be preferred set for Scalloway or Wolverhampton (folk live there you know) then I'll change it, ok.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

The hidden power of smiling

I found this very interesting so I copied it into here in the hope that you would find it interesting too!!!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

The price of petrol

I've just read an article in MailOnline regarding the price of petrol down south. It bears absolutely no relation to the cost of living here in Shetland.

Stores cut unleaded petrol to 69.9p a litre

by RAY MASSEY, Daily Mail
Supermarket chains yesterday slashed the cost of unleaded petrol to below 70p a litre at some filling stations - the cheapest for two years.
The move came as the Morrisons group, which has 88 forecourts and 114 stores across England and Wales, sold unleaded for 69.9 pence a litre, a drop of about two pence.
The price is about 12 pence a litre less than last year, and was last seen in April 1999.
A spokesman for the firm said customers would reap the benefits of a fall in crude oil prices through savings at the pumps.
Asda immediately said it would match the cut, announcing that from today none of its forecourts would sell petrol for more than 69.9p.
A spokesman said: 'Some of our stations may be lower than that, of course, but that is the maximum.'
Tesco said it would also match the low prices and added: 'If we have a Morrisons within three miles of one of our stores we will match that price.'
And Sainsbury's said unleaded would cost 69.9 pence at all its 225 UK filling stations stores from today.
More filling stations are expected to follow as petrol retailers have vowed to keep prices 'competitive'.
But critics said the cuts, while welcome and likely to continue, were only shadowing the drop in crude oil prices.
They added that British motorists were still paying the highest prices in Europe, and blamed the high taxes - around 80p in the pound - imposed by Chancellor Gordon Brown for the scandal.
Yesterday, the Allstar Fuel Report by Arval PHH, Europe's biggest fuel and fleet management company, said UK unleaded petrol prices have fallen week on week since the September 11 terror attacks on the United States. They have dropped from an average 76.7p per litre to 75.2p. During the same period, the price of crude oil has fallen from between $28 and $30 a barrel to between $21 and $23.
Martin Hender, director of fuel at Arval PHH, said the fall in oil prices was due to a combination of recession fears, a downturn in global oil demand, plentiful supplies and the fall-out from the September 11 tragedy.
He added: 'UK fuel prices have fallen by 7 per cent from 12 months ago. But what is needed now is action from the Government on the rate of tax on petrol, which remains the highest in Europe.'
John Bond-Smith, president of the Retail Motor Industry Federation, yesterday called on the Government to appoint a regulator to monitor excessive profits made by oil companies while retailers were squeezed out of business.

Read more:

It really makes a huge difference to the cost of living, in effect cutting the cost of food as the cost of travelling to and from the shop is hugely different up here when compared to the price down south.

Can that be considered fair or reasonable?

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The difference in the bus service between the north and south of Shetland

If you live in Lerwick, Shetland, or south of it, you find that there is a superb bus service. If you live north or west of Lerwick then things are vastly different.

Lerwick to the airport at Sumburgh, the bus service runs seven days a week, up to Lerwick and back again, on and on, often with very few, if any people aboard.

Here in Hillswick, thirty-five miles north of Lerwick where I live, things are not the same. There are no buses on a Sunday at all. If you want to go anywhere on a Sunday you either drive yourself, get a lift or walk - that's it - unlike Lerwick, where the buses go round and round, or back and forth to the airport.

During the week we have a minimal service, down to town in the morning and back home in the afternoon. Six days a week there is a bus leaving here at 07.30, getting to Lerwick at about 08.50 and five days a week there is a bus leaving here at 10.00 which gets in at 11.10 - but not on a Wednesday - oh, no, there is a bus into town, getting you in at 08.50, and leaving town at 17.10. A large gap of approximately eight hours in between. Very nice if you want to watch the tide come or go. It's similar Monday, Friday and Saturday except there's a 10.00 bus down to town but even that can mean a long, expensive day out. There is a bus from Brae, coming in in the morning for visitors (three months a year) but nothing to take them away later in the day.

Why? Why is this the situation when we need the use of public transport too. Some of the people using the airport come from up here. Some of the people living up here would benefit by being able to go shopping on a Sunday. Why is there no similar service for us, why does Lerwick and south of Lerwick enjoy a massively better service. Some of us up here do not drive for a variety of reasons, as is true of those south but they have a decent bus service looking after them while we do not.

And being a Wednesday today, after a hospital appointment I caught the 11.30 to Brae and walked for about six miles with my thumb out. I got a lift all the way home from there from a very kind neighbour but that is not possible or suitable for everyone. What does the rest of our society do when those at the south end are going up and down on the bus?

Monday, 13 June 2011

When will Shetland gain independance???

You hear a lot of chit-chat about what would happen to Shetland (and none of what they tell us is good) if Scotland were to go for independance and break away from the UK.

Personally, I'd like to hear the truth instead of the political garbage that gets spewed out incessantly.

If we got the truth and nothing but the truth, would Scotland still be giving its oil to support the UK.

Come to think of it, would Shetland be giving the oil that comes ashore here away to support the waste of the UK and the EU

Let's face it - why should we???

Sunday, 29 May 2011

What is the next political step here in Shetland?

There are a lot of people willing to go on and shout and bawl about seperating Shetland from the United Kingdom. Personally, I think that there could possibly be massive gains in this for us all, not only for the fishing industry but oil too. In fact, everyone here in Shetland.

After the results of the last election, which I must admit surprised me a little as it was poorer than I thought it would be, the general public has been shouting loudly that they want this and that they need that.

What are we going to do about it?

Are we going to make a move to go it alone?

We can do it if the people want to. But they need to speak up. They need to be honest about their beliefs.

Where are you now, Billy?

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The ferry

I have just had a look at how Northlink have been doing over the past few days and, more importantly, how they will be running the ferry tonight from Aberdeen up to Shetland because a friend is booked to be on it tonight. As usual he's on his motorbike and he'll be here until Sunday.

Fingers crossed that the boat sails fine and that we have a week of good weather. It's always a better visit if the sun is out and the wind is down. Then the walking boots go on and the camera can come out.

Hopefully, while he's here we'll get the chance to walk from here in Hillswick, up by Heylor, right along the voe, out to the Atlantic. It's easy to access from here where I live but I've never done it via the next voe up.

Fingers crossed, eh.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Alistair Buchan

Jings, crivens, help ma boab, I'd no longer commented on the fact that he hasn't blogged lately than wham, bang - it's right out there. Now, the question that we have to ask is, was his weekly blog, as usual, a week late, or possibly, did he read my blog and feel that he'd been spotted - not doing the job that he'd actually promised. Now before I go any further I have to point out that I had not been paid to point this out in any way, I had not been paid to make him look small in any way - I do all these things quite naturally!!!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Shetland Islands Council Chief Executive's Blog

It's very good, Alistair Buchan putting out his blog for us to read and enjoy, and making sure that we have the information that he wants us to have (truth - well maybe?) but the header states "Weekly Updates from Chief Executive Alistair Buchan". It would appear that the Shetland week is longer than anybody else's.

When will it come out again - or - Will it come out again?

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Norwegian visitors pay tribute to Shetland Bus operation

May 17th, 2011 by Jim Tait 

A crowd of Norwegian visitors celebrated their country’s independence day with a march through Lerwick town centre today.
The group arrived the previous day on a number of boats, including the Helandwhich is of special significance to Shetlanders, being a veteran of the Shetland Bus operation during World War II.
The parade began at 10am at Victoria Pier, headed through Commercial Street and the Esplanade and back to the pier where the Norwegian national anthem was sung. The event was recorded for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, to be shown on television in the country.
In the afternoon, the visitors laid a wreath at the Shetland Bus Memorial in Scalloway in memory of those who lost their lives during World War II. They then headed back to Lerwick were, accompanied by members of the Norwegian-Shetland Association, they laid flowers on the Norwegian war graves.

Sunday, 15 May 2011


I've just heard that Stiff Little Fingers are looking to come up to Shetland and play in Lerwick in the autumn, now  that looks good to me. I remember them in the 80's, I loved them and it's good to see that they're still running.

Now I feel my age, oh gawd!!!

Stiff Little Fingers history
Lyrics for a lot of SLF

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Willie Rennie

Willie Rennie is taking over from Tavish - who is he, what's he like, do we have to find out the hard way? We'll hold our breath!!!

Tavish Scott

It has come about that Tavish Scott has chosen not to take his seat. What will happen now I do not know but when I do I promise to let you know, ok. It could possibly mean big changes, fingers crossed, eh!!!

Friday, 6 May 2011


Regardless of the outcome of this election, whether you see it as right or wrong, good, bad or indifferent, let's get on with life and make sure that next time around the right man gets voted in.


Just noticed that Tavish Scott has held his seat. Unfortunately it means that little will happen in the next few years regarding life but plenty effort will be made breaking wind.

I really hope that Billy Fox stands again next time - this was just a step on the learning curve Billy!!!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Vote Billy Fox

Hi everyone

I hope that you are all going to take the time to go down to the voting station and put your political heart on paper - and I also hope that you're going to vote for Billy Fox. He's an independent, he doesn't have to follow the party beliefs or stand up and say what he's told to. He is a man on his own and entitled to his own opinion. That can be a good thing and in Billy's case, in my mind, it is. He can stand up and fight for what he believes.

Vote your mind and make sure he wins!!!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Billy Fox's thought's regarding voting

What do the people here in Shetland think of the system used at the moment regarding voting? See what Billy Fox has to say at What Billy Fox thinks?

Personally, I agree with the way he is leaning. Pity that old Tavish Scott has stuck his nose in.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Scottish Parliament 2011

Voting for the Scottish Parliament comes up shortly and here in Shetland we have the usual sorts to choose from. We've got the Lib Dem's, Labour, SNP but only one is worth the vote, only one is doing it with a heart. Vote for Billy Fox!!!

Billy Fox – Independent Shetland candidate for the Scottish Parliament 2011

Monday, 14 March 2011

The old mackerel

I've just picked up on what Iceland and the Faroes are doing about the amount of mackerel that they can catch, as deemed by the European Union. They are going to go ahead and ignore it, as they did last year. They will take all the benefits that they can from the EU, plus the fish that they ain't supposed to.

Now, to me that just ain't right. If a country is going to take the benefits then it has to play the game too, it has to follow the rules. If they are going to take with one hand then they give with the other.

But will they - I doubt it!!!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Travelling on a Wednesday

On a Wednesday the bus service here in Hillswick is poor. There is a bus to town, leaving at seven thirty in the morning and a bus leaving town at ten past five in the afternoon to bring you home. Not up to much is it?

Today I had an appointment with the dentist at quarter to ten in the morning so got the bus to town which was fine. I got there at nine o'clock and wasted a bit of time before heading to the administrator of pain on Burgh Road, Lerwick. I was only in for a few minutes and when I came out I went to the Harbour Cafe for breakfast before I caught the bus up to Brae. Before the ten past five bus on a Wednesday it's the best available, that's why I took it.

Walking out of Brae with my thumb out I got a lift all the way home which was great. I couldn't believe that I got a lift so quickly and the chap took me almost to my door, thanks mate, I owe you one.

But you have to admit that it's a pretty poor service here in Hillswick where, all too often you have to do what I did, namely, get the thumb out. I have on a number of occasions had to walk the whole way.

Our MP, Alistair Carmichael has contacted the Shetland council to see what can be done about this. We'll wait and see what the council has to say about it.

Don't stay quiet about it though. The more people that stand up and shout, the quicker there will be action by the council that will benefit us - so remember and shout out loud!!!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Oh Gawd, age is going to hit!!!

Between now and August I'm going to slowly but surely realise just how old I am. I was asked last night if I'd like to join in with a 10km run and while not thinking sensibly, like the fact that I'm forty-nine and never do anything more physical than get up in the morning, I said yes.

Having said yes I now feel that there is no way out. No problem with the person that invited me, actually getting the invite is really nice but now I've got to get fit and able and it scares the s**t out of me. Never done a moments exercise in my life, oh well, I said yes so I guess that I've got to wear it.

So I started the exercises this morning, slow easy-going stuff. I walked three or four miles to the Braewick cafe, looking forward to a cup of coffee and a bun when I got there. When I did I found that it opens next month. Great, I turned around and walked home. The time spent out in the fresh air did me no harm and I'm sure the legs will get better - sometime.

I certainly learnt one thing though. I am not as fit as I kept telling myself. No here near at all.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

The cashline card and the Co-op

I have found out what happened at last!!!

Remember the story about the cashline card and the Co-op? Well, it turns out that some chancers have been trying to pinch my money, accessing it via the cashline card and because of that The Royal Bank of Scotland had, quite rightly, stopped my card. The annoying bit is that they had, quite correctly, done that - but, and a big but too - the information about it had not reached me at that point in time so I tried to buy food using a piece of plastic that was nothing more than that - a piece of plastic.

It's all sorted now though, the new card is on its way here and I'm aware what has all been happening. Well done RBS!!!

But now I can't pay for the grub - can I come around to yours for dinner please?

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

What sort of day was today?

A good day or a bad day - well, there's a bit to consider, I suppose.

For a start I slept in and that's not the best way to kick it off, now is it? And it's Wednesday and that means that there ain't too many choices, are there?

Let me explain. You have the choice of getting the bus to town on a Wednesday at half past seven (I've possibly mentioned this before) in the morning and travel on the bus home, leaving town at ten past five in the early evening, or finding some other means of transport and if like me, you suffer from epilepsy (oh, I've mentioned it before as well) then you don't drive so you need to find other means to travel.

Well you can walk, it would keep you fit and if you timed it right then you would only (ONLY!!!) have to walk eleven or so miles to Brae where you could get the necessary bus. At least it's not Sunday though, no bus coming or going that day. Perhaps they all spend the day praying for their souls. They possibly need to (Please ignore that one Jenny.).

Or you could thumb a lift, that was what I did today and a lady that stays in the village picked me up after I'd walked four or five hundred yards. Brilliant, that was that problem sorted. Thumbs up, thank you!!!

I had come into town for a hospital appointment that would last about fifteen minutes so I went to the Harbour Cafe for breakfast and it was great, always is, my stomachs idea of paradise. Then it was off to the library, where I could go online and spend some time wastefully but happily before getting it done (I won't describe any) and then having plenty time to do the next bit of necessity - the shopping.

And this is where I got angry - very, very angry indeed.

I wandered down to my favourite, absolutely supermarket - the Co-op, walked through selecting my grub and then heading to the checkout. It was all added up as I put it in the bag and the girl gave me the total. I pulled out my wallet and handed her my card, only to be told "No, sorry". I was a bit put out because I had checked it this morning. I suggested she put it through again and she did - and came back with the same. I needed the food so I wasn't in a position to say "Stuff it" and walk away so I paid cash for as much as possible and left the rest behind.

I was a bit put out so, as I walked out the door with only half the food required, I decided to pop down to the bank and find out just what the score was. The first question to the teller in the bank was to tell me how much was available from that account. His immediate response to that, after checking, was two thousand, get the idea, plenty to pay for a weeks food so what had happened there? Had the Co-op made a mistake or was there a problem with their BT link to the British mainland where the Royal Bank of Scotland would deal with all the payment malarky, or was it the Bank themselves?

Whoever made the mistake made a big one. There are now people in the shop who saw what happened, what do they think? I have to go back to "a shop" tomorrow, probably a different one and get the food that I tried to buy today.

I will contact each and everyone of them and complain profusely, making a real nuisance of myself and I'll stand proud for doing it too. If we don't then what will happen? That's right - nothing!!!

Then I got the bus home. Thank God for that!!!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Why have I not been on the computer?

Sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning there was a power cut. I don't know how long it lasted for but by the time I woke up the power was back on so, what the heck, off I went about my business. I had a good day, spending the morning at college and in the afternoon I had an appointment at the hospital and then I went and did the weeks shopping.

Then I got the last bus home at ten past five,getting in at quarter past six.

And when I got there - no electricity - again.

It's my fault that I don't have a torch, or any means to get by when there are power cuts because they happen everywhere, to everybody.

But it doesn't happen quite so often to the rest of the population as it does here in Hillswick, Shetland.

And is a reason given?

Or perhaps an apology?

No, never. There is no sound of them improving the electricity supply either.

Wonder why?

Saturday, 29 January 2011

The weather is getting better

The weather that we are enjoying is certainly better then central Scotland. Nothing to complain about here.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Monday, 24 January 2011

Fraser Tait playing Shetland fiddle

I just could not resist putting this up when I spotted it. I hope you don't mind Fraser!!!

Friday, 21 January 2011

I've shown sense at last

I've done it, I've finally shown sense and done the right thing. If you remember, at Christmas I had my mobile phone stolen so I couldn't take any photo's to post because my camera didn't work either.

Well, I've had what seems to me to be somewhat akin to a mental breakdown, I've taken the camera in to be fixed. God only knows how much it will cost, probably won't have a meal for a fortnight but I will be able to go out in the sun and the rain and use the camera and not a bloomin' mobile phone.

It'll keep me entertained for ages, it's something that I do enjoy and it always surprises me when I find out new things - like the moonlight can be beautiful to take photo's in, or the storm that's going on can be shown with real feeling.

And Shetland provides so much to photograph that there won't be time for dinner.

Don't get excited though, it's not back, all fixed and working just yet.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Is it spring already???

This morning, when I left at half past seven it was mild with no wind at all. It was possibly the lack of wind that made it so mild but it was really pleasant. The one thing that was a bit out of place was the fact that this mornings sky made me think that it was almost spring. A bit early for thoughts like that but it was beautiful.

Over to the east there was a gap between the top of the hills that grow right out of the shore and the clouds sitting quietly, waiting. The gap was a gorgeous blue, lighter than I expected, hinting at spring when you looked at it.

It felt like winter in your heart but I wish I had a photograph of it. Because of the lightness of it, it looked so much like spring that I had to check my diary to make sure that it really was January and not March.

Unfortunately I was right, it is still January.

Friday, 14 January 2011

That was a bit of a screw-up. Had plans to go to college today, I'd been invited out for lunch, in essence there was a lot to look forward to and then - I had a fit. The main problem is that it takes time out of my life when I'm unconscious and after I need a lot of sleep. This time round I've slept for about fourteen hours.

Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

The out-of-season bus.

The recent problem with the bus home, out of season, seems to be resolved for the time being. I contacted Northmavine Community Council and explained the problem that I had discovered and immediately they contacted Johnson's, the bus company that cover the route who replied saying that the drivers would be instructed to pick me up in the future.

This means that next time I go down to see the lady of my life I can come back, in season or out, on the bus, without the need to spend twenty quid on a taxi. It also means that if I wish, I can go down to Brae first thing and go to the Co-op for my messages, or visit the swimming pool for a quick swim, or anything else for that matter and then get the bus home for ten o'clock. Perfect, what more can I ask for, or, more to the point, expect to happen so quickly!!!

Anyone fancy a swim tomorrow morning?

Saturday, 8 January 2011

I got home - eventually!!!

This Christmas and New Year was wonderful. I spent it four hundred miles south of home with the lady that I love and the biggest wee man that I've ever known. Nine years old and a great guy. I hope everyone had at least half as much pleasure and celebration as me, this time around it was brilliant.

There was a problem though - getting home. I got the boat up from Aberdeen, Scotland to Lerwick, Shetland overnight, landing at seven-thirty in the morning and I caught the first bus up to Brae, which is about twelve miles from home. There is a bus that leaves the garage in Brae at about twenty to ten and goes up to Hillswick where I live and that was the bus that I stood waiting for.

Up to this point the journey had been fine. I slept well on board the boat, the first bus was on time to pick me up, all went well until the nine-forty bus came along. It drove up towards the bus stop, the driver waved - and carried on driving. The next bus is in the late afternoon so I invested twenty pounds, angrily, on a taxi.

After calming down I set out to find out why this had happened. I contacted the council who informed me that there is a summer-only service, from Brae to Hillswick at that time in the morning but it is only a summer service.

That, it turns out is true but it is also true that throughout the year there is a ten o'clock bus leaving Hillswick every morning bar Wednesday. To provide that service the bus leaves the garage in Brae at - yes, you've guessed it - twenty minutes to ten.

Surely this is a bit silly. During the summer there is a superb service up to Hillswick, available to all and sundry but off-season the residents of Hillswick cannot go home in the morning, people who wish to visit friends or family cannot catch a bus to do so, even though the bus is making the same trip that it makes in the summer. People in Hillswick cannot pop down to shop, or visit for a short time and then catch the bus home an hour and a half later.

All because a bus that travels up five mornings of every week of every month of every year only picks up passengers in the summer.

It's a long walk - or twenty quid in the taxi!!!

Sunday, 2 January 2011


Well, the Christmas cum New Year bash is almost over unfortunately. Come Wednesday and I'll have to jump on to the boat in Aberdeen and paddle my way back up north. I won't see the love in my life for two or three months or so but there is the phone, emails etc to keep us in contact so we'll get by. Maybe when I get home to Hillswick the neighbours will recognise me, you never know.

I get home on the Thursday and start back at Uni on the Friday. Looking forward to that as it is really good at keeping me out of trouble. With any luck I'll pick up some useful info too, here's hoping.

There has been a bit of thought regarding me moving down to the central belt of Scotland again, it was where I was born so I'll keep my eyes open for a cheap flat. Not as beautiful as Shetland but much more homeland.

What do you think?