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?