She arrived off the NorthLink ferry from Aberdeen on a cold New Year’s Eve morning with her husband Alex Armitage – a consultant paediatrician at the Gilbert Bain Hospital and an elected member of Shetland Islands Council – and their son Ayanda, who was 7 at the time.
Shetland was far from unchartered territory as Deepa’s mother-in-law Marian Armitage, co-founder of the Shetland Food & Drink group, grew up here. They visited Alex’s grandparents most summers while going through medical school, and also married in Gulberwick 12 years ago.
Back then, Deepa says, she would “never have contemplated” living in Shetland. She would have worried about living far from her family, about the long, dark winter nights and the strong gales.
But over time she came to see more and more special things about the islands: its nurturing communities, its “incredible” natural landscape and wildlife and thriving traditional music and craft scenes.