The Galley and The Bill

Tuesday = flute lesson = Mozart weeping in his unmarked grave.

Hey ho.  So, afterwards, Daisy and I drove to Lerwick for our messages.  These days, I have a very routine life – a narrow comfort zone.  Needs must.

The Up Helly Aa galley had been paraded earlier down the street with the Jarl Squad (the main Viking squad) and was sitting waiting to go again this evening down to the park to be burned.

I have never been near the galley to examine it so I used the opportunity to take a few snaps.


And there was the statutory hand cut off at the wrist, ready to be thrown onto the Shetland shore.

It was an amazing boat.  So much craftmanship.

It seems a pity they are going to burn it.


The street was buzzing.  Folk were wandering around in knitted Viking hats.  This afternoon, the Jarl Squad in full kit were busy visiting Primary Schools, Hospitals and eventide homes as well as the Museum.  They appear again at 19:00 for the torchlight procession with the boat as well all the other squads (approximately 30, I think, don’t quote me!).

The Bill is placed at the Market Cross.

It is a proclamation specific for 2017 and for the Jarl Squad.

And still, we featured in teatowel form, as well as a jigsaw puzzle!

It was lovely to see the street alive with people.

Once our messages were done, Daisy and I had to rush home because the vet and SSPCA were visiting to check over the latest additions – Gina and Gypsy.

Ponies before people.

If you want to watch it – Live Web Stream – kick off is at 19:00.  It is a tad feisty out (howling gale and rain) so enjoy Shetland’s most amazing festival from the warmth and comfort of your own home.

7 thoughts on “The Galley and The Bill

  1. Sally Richmond

    Oh that ship is too beautifully made to burn….you’re posts give us a peep into a different way of life, thank you.

  2. Terri

    Thank you so much for the close-up photos and for providing the link to Up Helly Aa. I have been watching since it began (as I write this, it’s still burning) — and I was especially delighted by the commentators!

  3. Tuula

    I’ve been watching Up Helly AA live webcast and seen the galley been burnt. This time the whole episode, last time in the TV series “Shetland”, which I loved. How nice it would be some time to see it in Lerwick.
    What a gale this year!

  4. Louise Stopford

    What a shame they are going to burn that Galley. Thanks for a very interesting post. It’s so good to get an insight into Shetland traditions and lifestyle. I was wondering how the vet visit went with Gypsy and Gina. Gina looks adorable, bless her. I am so glad that they are now with someone who will take care of them properly and hopefully give them some happy years in their old age. Looking forward to an update on the girls. Kind regards.

  5. Sam

    Such a lovely boat. Love the pictures. And I don’t think Mozart is rolling in his grave after your lesson.
    Now, if you were taking oboe lessons, that is a different story.


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