Aberdeen to Sumburgh

I made my way home to Shetland today.  All went very smoothly and my suitcase even came along for the ride, which is an unusual occurrence these days.

We landed at Aberdeen on our huge British Airways flight. A proper big airplane which merited the full Aberdeen Airport experience.

This is the gate you get if you are a British Airways customer.  Clean, tidy, organised, new….. ready to go.

Other flights, both national and international, also get the same treatment.

And then there is the Sumburgh flight.  Firstly, you leave the lovely shops/coffee bars/restaurants and departure gates to climb up a flight of stairs and walk down a long corridor.

Then turn left and keep walking right down to the very end……

Note this is where the money/airport investment stops.  Slightly less classy.

Keep going along your corridor, past the outer spiral arms of the Aberdeen Airport galaxy.

One notices that everything is becoming shabbier and grottier as you go – yes, those are ripped up seats or ones worn away by the bottoms of weary travellers who have walked the corridored miles.

The dingy corridor gets darker and more uninviting until you are now beginning to feel like something that would’ve been swept under the carpet if they could be bothered to have one.  It is cold but no worries, the radiator is going to burn you. There are numerous signs telling you this.

And onto the plane to Shetland where life gets instantly better because of the free cup of tea and Tunnock caramel wafer.

But best of all, I know I am going home.

I cannot forgive Aberdeen Airport.  They treat Shetland residents and visitors like second class citizens who have no worth at all.  There is no intention of change – they’ve told us that.  Thanks a lot.  The person next to me said it did Shetland no favours at all.  I had to agree.

But I am home and that is all that matters to me.

To the Garden Centre

This is my last day here in Berkshire so Mum and I went to do what my mother loves most – going around a garden centre.

This is our local garden centre – Squire’s Garden Centre, Wokingham.

We had a trolley and did our best to fill it.

I was fascinated.

Flowering primroses (how are they flowering this time of year, I do not know – ours only arrive in late April) were for sale which made me smile inside as I have a whole bank of them at home growing wild.

Their primroses….

My primroses earlier this year.

(I like mine best)

We sped around, outside first and then indoors, with our trolley when I spied this little chap.  He has an “honest face”.

I did not buy this white cat for OH, despite his position of Chairman of the Monster Mutual Appreciation Society.

Inside and Christmas had well and truly arrived – yes, even on 5th November which is leaving it quite late by England standards.


Yes, I bought this little chap for Mum despite wanting him very, very much for myself.  He has a excellent expression.  Sadly, there was only one wol, though Mum has promised, when she goes again (and she will) to keep a look out for another one for me.

There was an absolute dearth of sheepie things (they are missing a trick, there) but a plethora of Scandinavian tomte/nisse (not my cup of tea).

Anywho, we trudged with our Christmas sledge around and I even managed to start my Christmas shopping.  Flying home tomorrow.

Two Walks

I went for two walks today.  The first was with my mother and her dog, Teddy.

We went out at 7.00 am onto the municipal golfcourse that surrounds the house.

The sun was just rising and it was very still and beautiful.  Definitely worth the effort.  I don’t get up at 07.00 easily.  It’s just not right.

The rest of my day was spent wading through more family memoribilia, slides, photos, art and newspaper cuttings. I found a few treasures too.

My time here is drawing to a close – I go back home on Wednesday – so I need to get on top of things while I can but I needed a break and while the sun was setting, I went for another walk.

I am perhaps more than a bit obssessed with the trees and their fallen leaves.


We just don’t have trees like this in Shetland.



My Great Aunt Kate

Katharine Faraday Boyd was born in 1879 in Hampstead, London, England to Philip and Lucy Boyd.  She is my Great Aunt, on my mother’s side, and played an important role in the family.  Although I never met her, she died 2 years before I was born, I was always told about “Aunt Kate”.

Great Aunt Kate wrote a daily diary from 1894 (so she started when she was 15 years old) until the day she died at 81.  This is amazing and I now have 67 years’ worth of personal diaries about to be sent up to Shetland.

There are a couple of years missing but I think I can live with that.  They may turn up somewhere else or actually may have never been written (though, I doubt that).

The writing is teensy-tinesy and there is a weather summary for each day written on the side.

The writing is small because the diaries (mostly Letts) are also ridiculously little too.  About the size of half a passport.

Great Aunt Kate led an extraordinary life.  She lived through two world wars, volunteered helping refugees in London and Belgium (received an OBE and a Belgium medal), went to the Slade School of Fine Art (the Henry Tonks era), looked after her younger sister when her mother died very young amongst many other achievements.

I am not quite sure what I want to do with the diaries at present. I have a feeling I should transcribe them, or some of them, because the history will be fascinating.  So that’s a project for the winter, and possibly many more to come.  Realistically possibly the rest of my life will be spent trying to decipher teensy-tinesy writing.  Am I mad to want to do this?

Look Who I Saw

07:00 dog walk, I walk out of the garden gate and guess who I see? A beautiful roe deer just standing there.

I watched him a while trying hard to take a photo without looking like I was actually moving or taking the picture.  Of course he leapt away and then stopped again to look at me.  This time I made Lambie/Muzzah noises and we just watched each other for a long time.

Eventually I had to leave as Mum and Ted were well on their way with the dogwalk.

The weather was looming in a threatening way.

We upped the pace and walked fast round the agreed route.

Still, the morning first-light had it’s moments before the rain well and truly arrived so I took the opportunity to take photos of the beautiful old oak trees.

This is a “stag oak” for which the house is named.

From the National Trust website – “There is an old saying that ‘oaks grow for 300 years, rest for another 300 years and then slowly decline for a further 300 years’.”  So this tree is over 600 years old.  Wow!

Anywho, I am glad we got home before the torrential rain started.  I hope I see the deer again. He was nice.  I wonder if I could bring him home too (strokes chin), though I doubt Lambie would be too impressed.