August 2011 Visit Shetland Newsletter
I'm Abby - the author of www.shetlandmylove.com and I'll be bringing you monthly Shetland happenings, information and holiday suggestions. If you are considering a visit to Shetland, please do not hesitate to contact us for holiday planning advice, using either the contact form on the website or by phoning +44 (0)1595 98 98 98.
I've been watching the fields in front of my cottage turn golden - haymaking has begun. Vibrant purple thistles carpet the landscape, self-heal, violet in colour, grows abundantly along the verges and bell-heather - pretty in pink - dots the moor. Weekly sightings of Orcas have been reported and spectacular Shetland videos and photographs have been showcased. Perhaps the most memorable sighting was recorded on Fair Isle, a couple of weeks ago - the infectious enthusiasm of children watching Orcas hunting at Fair Isle reminded me of how lucky I am to live in such a stunning environment. I have experienced many 'WOW!' moments in Shetland, however, the one trip that will stay with me forever involves an Iron Age Broch and tiny birds - known locally as Alamooties...
A late night ferry trip and an evening of golden light - the moon so luminous; casting its rays across glassy water - a shimmering path guiding us to the small island of Mousa. Tom, the Skipper, led our group - 'cup your ears and listen out, can you hear them?' Churring-churring - a distinct song heard in the crevices of dry-stone walls, boulder beaches, and in the largest bird's nest in the world - Mousa Broch! Under cover of darkness I watched sooty-black Storm Petrels swoop across the sea - hovering, flittering and fluttering, bat-like, circling the Broch - eventually finding their homes amongst ancient stone. Several hours later we made our way towards the twinkling lights of the mainland. A visitor whispered, 'what a magical night, I wouldn't have missed this trip for the world'.
Last week, Fletcher, an African Grey Parrot and resident of ConsulateDesigns.com, mercilessly mimicked my laugh, answered the door, in the way that parrots do, and said hello to no one in particular! Another fun packed day in Shetland and a visit to Hilary Seatter's studio. Fletcher might be the star of the show but Hilary is definitely a Maker not to be missed. Stop off at her creative den and be stunned by irresistible hand finished knitted pictures, contemporary fabrics - printed with bold bright Shetland motifs, sassy silk screen prints, nostalgic pinhole photographs, unique bespoke scarves - designed from Hilary's spellbinding 'Vyeshch' collection. Make sure you call before you visit this exceptional studio and if Fletcher answers - say hello from me! Follow the Craft Trail and be amazed!
The Tall Ships Races was a blast, however, there's no rest for festival crazy Shetland! August 7-14th celebrates Shetland Fiddle Frenzy , featured in July's newsletter. September 3rd-4th showcases the superb book festival: WordPlay, and lights, camera, action! Screenplay - Shetland's annual Film festival, curated by Mark Kermode, is set to take place from 29th August - 4th September and features a smörgåsbord of film screenings, lectures and panel discussions, including a guest appearance from a personal favourite of mine: Jim Broadbent. Sparkly dancing shoes on and off I go to the Shetland Blues Festival (9th - 11th September) and the world-renowned Peerie Willie Johnson Guitar Festival. Phew! I've bought a plentiful supply of Berocca, and several bottles of Irn-Bru, in readiness for another hectic (but always phenomenal) time in Shetland. Follow @PromoteShetland on Twitter and I'll keep you up to speed with festival news.
Several woop woops and a wee jig for June's prizewinner: Angela Johnston. Angela is now the proud owner of a beautifully crafted St Ninian's Isle Treasure Pendant in sterling silver - designed and made by Shetland Jewellery. This month's prize is a high quality wooden jigsaw featuring an illustration of Bressay Lighthouse by artist Ron Sandford. Ron has exhibited his work across the globe and now lives on the picturesque island of Yell, where he continues to draw and be inspired by the Shetland landscape. Ron has been dubbed 'the Wizard of the ink bottle' and this 250-piece jigsaw is sure to cast a puzzling spell!
Team PS has been on location! Shetland is looking gorgeous in our first mini feature film - available to view here . Music from Fiddlers' Bid , views of spectacular Foula, St Ninian's Isle, Fair Isle, puffins, orcas... and our very own Shetland star - Deborah, in a rustic bathtub! Celebrate Shetland's uniqueness, its beauty, indomitable spirit (and fine sense of humour!) Request a Shetland Brand Pack and proudly support Shetland and all it has to offer - 'because we're worth it!'
See you soon!
The brand new Scalloway Museum has recently opened its doors. Call 01595 880734 for further information. I'll be reporting about this fabulous visitor attraction in September's newsletter. In the meantime, share Shetland's beauty with us, via one of our many webcams. Enjoy!
We would welcome any comments you have about this newsletter, or about the www.SHETLAND.org site.
Also, if you have any enquiries at all about Shetland we would be more than happy to assist you. Please contact us using any of the methods listed on our contact page.
Thank you again for taking the time to read this newsletter and please feel free to forward it to anyone else who may be interested in Shetland.
The team at Promote Shetland