Having filled your lives with wonderful images of Shetland with blue skies and piercing rays of sunlight through streaks and spreads of high clouds and intensifying greys of weather, I can now share with you the fact that this picture is not typical even though the temperatures outside are pretty minimal, hovering around zero in a cutting breeze.
I woke up this morning to grey skies. Within minutes there were flurries of snow in a bitter north westerly wind. 10 minutes later it was proper snow settling on the immediate landscape and hiding the village and the hills with a thick curtain of white gauze. A further 15 minutes down the line and the band of weather passes revealing a huge expanse of brilliant blue sky and we are back to the weather of yesterday, waiting for more bands to send folk scurrying indoors.
I want to show a different side to Shetland, now. This is where the oil and gas are pumped ashore, stored and await the arrival of huge vessels to carry it away to some refinery somewhere in the UK or northern Europe. At the same time the workers on the rigs have pumped money into the island economy and generated considerable wealth for the local councils & businesses.
Most drinking is done within the privacy of one’s own home. However there are a few pubs on the main islands. Here is the one at Voe.
Inside, the place is heaving with one guy behind the bar and one guy on his stool, nursing a point of local brew. Half a dozen wooden tables, slightly sticky with years of slops, are waiting for an influx of locals who never come. Maybe the weekend will transform this place. Let’s hope so.