Blogs from Shetland, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Shetland November 14th 2019

At 7:45am, the sound of a low, heavy vehicle could be heard, seemingly waiting outside the croft. For the last three days, apart from Robert returning home to his house, that I can neither see nor hear, there has not been a vehicle here. We are at the end of an unmarked, narrow, perfectly tarmaced lane. No one comes here. This morning is heavy with the residue of icy hail which I heard on the roof window at 4am. The ice-cold weather has permitted me the luxury to read in bed this morning. I have no dog to walk, no animals to feed, no gym to cycle to for a swim and now no job to attend. For now, I’ll appreciate and enjoy this small luxury of reading a borrowed book from this lovely home. It’s ... read more
a church of great beauty and rememberance
ferry, please wait for me.

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Shetland September 8th 2019

Shetland – August 19 I have to be honest with myself and admit that a small percentage of why I have returned is because he is here. We return for people or a person and place. Lerwick After arriving, I did not want him to leave but he is not and will never be any real part of my life although he is a real part that has just buried itself deep inside my rib cage, like a stone, so that when I exhale, after he has gone, the breath will not fully leave me. I cannot quite breathe. Nesbister As I sit on the doorstep of Nesbister Bod (an old fishing bod built in 1844, grandly resting on a pebble peninsular and surrounded by sea on 3 sides) I feel a deep calmness from a ... read more
peat heat

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Shetland August 22nd 2019

Shetland. Walls. Tuesday morning started off much colder at 10 degrees and very overcast with a little drizzle in the air and a 20 mph westerly wind. Luckily we were heading south off the island and down through Yell to the mainland. The first ferry was just about to set off as we arrived and we rode straight on for the 10 minute journey. Once on Yell we got onto the main road and fell into a peloton with me at the back (mostly) being protected by the younger and fitter riders. The ferry at Alsta came in 10 minutes after we arrived and then sat in the harbour for 45 minutes. Luckily we could get into the passenger lounge to get warm with a coffee bought at the shop which was open today (Closed Sundays). ... read more
Great Skua
Replica Viking Longboat.
Burrastow House.

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Shetland July 19th 2018

What makes that one pure creative moment? I’ve unknowingly walked for almost two years to find this pure creative moment – Or, did this one pure moment draw me back to this derelict, abandoned croft house on the tiny island of Bressay to find me? Planning for the unplanned. This morning, I didn’t know that I was going to return to this place. I was in Lerwick, it was sunny, I spontaneously caught the ferry for one last time over a seven-minute stretch of water between two islands. I instantly feel free, always standing on the steps of the ferry deck to watch the island of Bressay greet me. I walked left to right, my feet bringing me the long way around to a place I know well. In my back pack a tube with a ... read more
April 2017

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Shetland June 21st 2018

18 May, Saxa Vord, Unst, Shetland. Day one. At 4:20am, I’m woken by an American guy banging cupboard doors in the communal kitchen which is opposite to my room, at the hostel. No chance of returning to sleep. A great ball of bright sun sitting on the window sill which is faces East, illuminates the room as if it’s mid-day. The Simmer Dim is almost fully upon Shetland. The time of year when there is hardly any darkness – only daylight and half-light. My mind goes over previous conversations / words / unspoken words – Will this R&D trip work? Work for me? The funders? As a project development? For my Creative practice development? I’m putting pressure on myself to deliver when R&D should be calm. What does it mean to make this trip work? Is ... read more
Norwick Beach
Precious junk

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Shetland December 17th 2017

Where do I begin to write about this residency here in the Booth in Scalloway? What do I tell you? Of how I came here? That I sold my house to enable me to go back to uni to do an MA in knitting at the age of 53, that later led me to this place in Scalloway by meeting an amazing woman who worked in a wool shop in Lerwick, who said I could probably stay in her house in the January 2016 because I could find no other vacant place for Up Helly Aa, and that on one of our jaunts during one of my subsequent visits, she pointed out the Booth and explained it was an artist’s residency place and I should apply? Or do I tell you of the place itself? I’m ... read more
painted flowers
laser cut in Bressay

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Shetland June 10th 2017

Conjuncture Flawed Work / Imperfect Beauty Series. This body of Flawed Work / Imperfect Beauty is a collaboration between the relationship of Process and the interface of place, travel, memory, history, tradition, language, people and returning. Fundamentally, I am interested in the creative process of knitting to explore and articulate memories and tracing journeys. Knitting and returning, create the platform for the final work in a site-specific image, film and soundbite. Journey I initially found Shetland when traveling to Lerwick to learn traditional Fair Isle knitting techniques. But, the islands’ rich landscape and raw beauty completely drew me in. I began to wander away from the stationary act of knitting to take hikes across the small islands. Now, the two acts are intrinsically broug... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Shetland April 18th 2017

Early Sunrise on Bain's beach is a place my heart rests. The voices cease to the sound of the seagulls and the sea lapping. The gentle flapping wings and the cooing conversations of the pigeons join the chorus. The receding sea tide leaves a jewel encrusted beach littered with sea smoothed glass of blue, brown, green, opalescence. Every morning among the jewels, I find a sea-smoothed glass heart. Hello Sunrise Basking in the delight of the absolute pure beauty, I find contentment. Where did the whales go? I can feel them under the surface of the vast ocean but they have not shown themselves for days. I naively think that if I wait long enough in one spot, they will rise from under the glistening surface of the surprisingly calm sea. They seek breakfast. My pockets ... read more
hello sun rise

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Shetland August 26th 2016

The strong women of Shetland come from a long line of strong women and traditions and culture. They sing and dance and work and are creative and make do, like anywhere else but it is the sea and weather that surrounds these small islands that affects the decisions of daily life. Other women have moved on to the Islands from America, Yorkshire and other places. They've made their lives within the community. All of the women are supportive, open-minded, strong in voice and nature. It is good to be in the company of such women who support one another and are not afraid to be themselves. It is late August, the orchas have left the islands' seas. A seagull has been in a fight. He's had his tail feathers ripped clean out and his wing is ... read more
yellow light at Church Road
outside gate inside
the window that has the look of being looked from

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Shetland January 27th 2016

Why is it, that when heading off on a very long journey, on a train and a plane and then another plane, I eat all the food that I have packed whilst sitting on the platform of Sheffield station, before I leave my home town, and this being a time before I normally wake? There's something about the journey that makes me prepare then break down all preparation within the hour of leaving - all edible things are eaten, a book is opened and read, tickets are checked again and again when the departure times are already known and the time is watched during the whole journey. It is an early start of 3am to give the time to travel from Yorkshire to the UK's outer most Northerly islands. The 'express' train travels through the pitch ... read more
beautiful detail
been there for over 100 years

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