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Good cheer from the northern isles

January 30, 2010

Today has been bright and sunny, with a bitter north wind. Our morning walk should have been lovely: blue skies and icy puddles to stamp on. Unfortunately, this sort of weather reminds me too much of Spring terms being made to play lacrosse at boarding school on the east coast of Scotland, where the frequent fine weather was always accompanied by a skin-shredding wind. Apparently, some people actually enjoy lacrosse….

However, my kind husband brought me back to the present by reminding me that schooldays were, for us, a very long time ago and that we were going home, not to the spartan miseries of dormitory life, but to hot coffee and a wood fire. I am still hoping for more snow: we have had a dusting over the past couple of days but not enough to soften the hard bones of the end-of-winter landscape. Inside, though, all is warm and cocooning. Just in time to brighten the dark days after Twelfth Night, I discovered a source of wonderful crafts from the Shetland Isles. For example, this Fair Isle bunting is the perfect thing to cheer up this raw time of year: cosy-looking, slightly daft, knitted in wonderful traditional designs and it makes everyone smile:

It arrived in a packet with a title in English on one side and in the Shetland dialect on the other:

I had no immediate plans for a ‘foy’ (party) but couldn’t resist hanging it up straight away. Other delights from include this tea cosy, so thick and stretchy that I have been almost tempted to wear it as a hat:

whereas I think our comfort-loving Westie rather covets it as a fireside cushion. No chance.

God willing, nobody will ever shout at me on a lacrosse pitch again. But if they did, at least I’d be keeping my ears warm in a Shetland tea cosy.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2010 8:07 am

    Thanks for your lovley comment on my blog, how great to discover a Shetland blog. I’ve got very fond memories of visiting the Northern Isles, we went for our honeymoon in 2002 and stayed in Lerwick then at Busta House. We did a lot of driving (up to Yell & Unst in an attempot to walk to see Muckle Flugga but the weather was against us) and a lot of seabird wathching too. I really fell in love with the houses around Sullem Voe (?). My husband’s been back for a couple of gigs too, one of our favourite places in the world.

    I’ll look forward to popping back soon. What a cosy fire to curl up next too. Stay warm.

    • dancingbeastie permalink
      January 31, 2010 12:58 pm

      Steph, thanks for visiting! I hope I haven’t lured you here under false pretenses: I live on the southern edge of the highlands, far from the isles (and too far from the sea for a west coaster like me). We make a point of getting away to the western highlands and islands every year, but have not yet made it to Shetland. It’s clearly pulling us, though – perhaps it won’t be long till we get there at last…!

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