Lisa was initially employed full-time but now juggles a part-time role with childcare duties, while the couple also tend to over 200 sheep and a 440-acre croft, while Erik also has a day job as a civil engineer with CASE Shetland – a combined workload ensuring the family are always kept busy.
Hansen is taught locally at Ollaberry, one of 22 primary schools in Shetland, while Emilie attends nursery at Urafirth Early Years, just a few miles to the west of their home. Her daily commute, like Lisa’s, is a relatively short one along quiet, but impeccably well-tended backroads.
Situated just under 25 miles north of Shetland’s main town Lerwick, the settlement of Brae expanded significantly in the 1970s after Sullom Voe Oil Terminal was built, followed more recently by the Shetland Gas Plant. The major industrial presence means that, despite its fairly remote location, there are plenty of amenities to serve the local population.
“Brae has always been busy with the oil terminal and the gas plant, so it is well catered for with shops and hairdressers, schools, places to eat [including multiple award-winning Frankie’s Fish & Chip Shop] – it’s really good, lots going on,” says Lisa.
And there is no shortage of stunning scenery to be found on their doorstep: “The north of Shetland is a great place to stay. There’s lots of dramatic scenery, including up at Eshaness with the cliffs and the lighthouse. It’s very rugged, with Ronas Hill [at 450 metres, the highest summit in Shetland] and also lots of lesser-known spots that are really beautiful too.”