Obviously, the highlight of our Shetland trip was our visit to Fair Isle. I knew the plane would be small, but holy cow! Where's it's mother? When you have to flip the seat up, like getting into the back of a car... well.... I'm just sayin'... it was small.
I could reach out and tap the pilot, John (who was very friendly... very young, but friendly), on the shoulder... and I was in the 2nd seat. I was just glad Joe didn't keep asking, "Are we there yet?" like he usually does. It would have caused John great angst and we couldn't have that. To tell you the truth, we didn't talk much because you couldn't hear over the engine anyway. For the first time in my life I was nervous in a plane. I love to fly. In real planes.
I forgot all about it the second we landed though. As I was getting off the plane a woman approached me, "Jean?" I assumed it was, Florrie, the woman we were renting a car from (the island is small and walkable but with two kids and unpredictable weather we wanted to be sure to see the whole island). Nope. It was a Kathy Coull whom I met online through the group that I went to Mull with a couple of years ago. I hadn't emailed with her in months. She handed me a map of the island (don't laugh - it actually came in handy for the two roads) and invited us to lunch! She'd spoken with Liz Lovick (one of the Mull group) in Orkney the day before and Liz had reminded her that we were coming in. I was very pleasantly surprised. She put out a very nice spread of breads, cheeses and tomato soup which was perfect for a misty, windy day. If you get the chance to go to Fair Isle, she does run the only B&B on the island so if you google her name and Fair Isle you can contact her. She'd just moved into the house she's in now from another one on the island. There were a couple of nice young men staying at her B&B who had lunch with us. They were doing research on the social aspects of living in such a small community. I'd love to read the paper when it's finished. The boys fell in love with Kathy's dog. Another picture I forgot to take. I need to send her a thank you gift for her kindness.
I love this little photo from the war. It's was meant to show how the soldiers built relationships with the islanders. Sappy, but cute. For such a tiny place, it actually saw a bit of action. The South Lighthouse was actually bombed a couple of times in WWII. You can read about it here.
What I can't seem to get my head around is that this teensy little speck in the sea is known the world over for it's knitting of all things. It's incredible. They have a little museum that was open during the afternoon we were there. If you click on the thumbnail of the knitting display, you'll get a bigger view.
If you look up in the right-hand corner of the museum photo and squint really hard, you can see a long knitted sampler. I'm a dork. I forgot to take a picture of it. I didn't even get it in the video. But you can stop squinting. I tried cropping down to it from the museum picture for you:
You can also see part of a sign off of one of the older Good Shepherds. That's the boat that brings mail and supplies to the island from Shetland. We thought about going this way instead of the plane but we heard it's a very rough ride and it's longer. We didn't have the time this trip. I'd like to try it next time though and actually stay on Fair Isle for at least a week.
Here are more croppings from that museum photo:
I forgot one of the sheep pictures in the last post. We always try to hit Science Centers in cities we visit because the boys love them. This special sheep was at the Science Center in Aberdeen. You push a button and watch as the sheep eats some hay and then it either poops or pees. Sometimes you get lucky and it does both! :-) You could hear people yell, "Jackpot!" when that happened. Okay. I'm lying. Would have been funny though.
Don't forget to check out the stash sale! I lowered the prices a little and will continue to do so until it moves. I have to get rid of some of this stuff before we move next Spring! Click here to go directly to the photos.