Tuesday, 30 November 2010

A month in a flash

It's the end of Movember. The beast that has been living and growing on my upper lip has sprouted it's last. I'd like to have made it feel a bit more welcome after all the trouble it went to, but to be honest, it was nothing but an irritation and not popular with my better half.

It took Clare and Beren a little time to notice it's dissapearance. I told Beren it had blown off like the hairs on Michael Finnigan's chin. I think he's still looking for it out there somewhere!

Thank you to all who supported my efforts to raise awareness and money for Prostate Cancer UK and those who gave me the very necessary moral support in this daft endeavor.

For your amusement and entertainment here's the month in a flash (music too)...

Another late night trip to the loo ended up in this shot of the moon

And another day of snow, ending in a long and stressful drive home on poor roads. See what tomorrow brings eh?

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Top Tup Takedown

It may be arctic out there, but when a group of Suffolk tups are put in a field with a load of little Shetland wives there's more to do than worry about grass.

Two tups in particular were having a slug fest today. Like a pair of heavy weight boxers in a 10 round fight they grunted, snorted, pushed, shoved, pawed and occasionally put in a sneaky headbut.

Here they are just warming up. These big boys just didn't think there was room in the field for the two of them

"Oi, what y' looking at!"
Luckily I was the other side of the fence of these warriors

Fink yer ard d'ya?

Snorting, pawing and grunting they lean into each other for half an hour or so

Getting more aggressive as they go on

A sneaky charge

And it's good night Vienna...

Ironically while these two were being all macho another was merrily getting to know the lasses. May be a lesson in that eh?


The moon seems to have caught my attention of late. Last night, needing a trip to the loo and some of Beren's cough medicine, it caught my eye and I just had to take a photo.

What difference a day makes, 24 little hours; Friday night's...

Think I'll try and capture the full cycle if the weather lets me.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Sleepy day

After my first week back at work I'm having a sleepy day. Achy legs and droopy eyes. A good covering of snow overnight and waves of snow blowing in from time to time makes it a good day to rest. No point going out and risking hurting my knee.

The view from the window was good with the moon standing out in the clear blue sky between bursts of snow.

The Mrs Chickenses had porridge for breakfast and braved the snow.

Back 'home' in the North East, my daughter had been down the snow covered banks and beach with her dogs at Skinningrove.

And it would seem that everywhere has a worse case of snow than Shetland. But not everywhere is quite as beautiful as Shetland in the snow.

We did eventually venture out on a long slow drive to Lerwick. Lots of library books-you can get 20 each on a ticket here, not that we got 60!-then a most excellent lunch at Monty's Bistro, and finally new winter boots and slippers for Beren.

The views on the way were nothing but stunning. Unfortunately with the hard shoulders and lay-bys all packed with snow and unseen dangers there was no chance to stop for pictures. The Burradale Sisters with the snow and moody back lit clouds were enough to enamour all to wind turbines. It was a wonderful drive in. I did get a few photo's nearer home though.

This is possibly my favourite view in Shetland from the A968 across Dales Voe towards Lunna Kirk.
 the 'mo' doth still grow...

Looking north of here towards Lunna Holm(left) at the end of Lunna Ness

As I type this the weather we had expected last night seems to have finally arrived a day late. It's pretty much a white-out out there and there must be a good 3 inches of snow fall in the last few hours.

It's Beren's birthday tea with his mates tomorrow, I hope they can get here! His birthday isn't until the 2nd so may be we can re-arrange it.

And while it snows 

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

A bit of winter

It was white over this morning when we got up. Nothing to shout about, but neither me nor the dog relished going out, rather nippy!

The drive in to work was ok, but during the day we could see wave after wave of snow coming in from the north-east across Bressay. At one point there was a little 'tornado' of snow whirling it's way across the sooth mouth, amazing, pity I hadn't the camera handy!

Out and about I caught a couple of pictures of the hardy Shetland Ponies braving the elements, they're so cute. I felt very guilty when they came up wanting some food I didn't have to offer.

The snow's not thick, but it's been on and off all day. The drive back north wasn't too clever with lots of slush and the road white over in plenty of places. Been a few smashes today too. The good news is it's meant to get worse with higher winds and more snow as the week goes on. Should be fun!

A winter moon...

Oh, the manly mo is still growing. Still itching. Still getting a laugh or two. In a weeks time it will be gone though...mwahahahahaaaaa!!!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Making the most of the day

After a morning stripping out the woodwork from the dinghy Beren and I went for an afternoon to the Burn of Lunklet. There's a geochache there for Beren as a treasure hunt and I had hopes of some photos of ravens, but it wasn't to be so.

Beren raced off up the path, full of energy, and I slowly followed until we got to the geocache. He left his little offering to the box of goodies and, surprisingly, didn't want to take one of the treasures.

Here's the view of the falls from the geocache

We had a splashing time

It's really starting to get dark early now, and that's on a good day. When it's overcast and raining, well, it's very over cast and raining!

Twilight over Swarbacks Minn, Vementry to left and Muckle Roe, right

The sun was soon setting

and the moon was rising

On the way back through Voe someone was stoking up the fire in the shed on the water. Hope they've got plenty of fuel in, it's been cold of late.

We arrive home to a scrumptious roast dinner of local lamb complete with yorshire puddings and apple crumble and custard to finish us off!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The limp of limplessness

Our bodies are funny things aren't they? Habits and ways of moving we pick up from others, not to mention injuries, mean we move and use them in ways that there is not necessarily a need.

Obsessively reading up on that purveyor of stress, the internet, about recovery from knee surgery; what I can do, how I can do it and when; I came across a bit saying to that as soon as you can walk without a limp to stop using a crutch.

Did you know there are different types of limp . Think mine is antalgic LOL!

Well I never had a crutch! And I've had limps from various aches and pains for years now. But it got me thinking about my walking. Did I have a limp or not? Did I need to limp? Was I limping and if so when and why?

As well as my basic physio exercises I've been doing I've been trying to do a short walk with the dog on good ground to get my leg  strength back after 2 weeks on the sofa. It's tiring, by the time I'm back at the house I am limping due to fatigue and discomfort. Hey I'm doing a whole kilometre, on the flat LOL!

Oddly though, I've noticed at other times I'm limping when there is no limping to be done. Time's of stress, such as getting Beren to the car quickly in the rain and wind or just when I'm generally rushing or tired. But there often isn't a need to limp. It's not through pain, just habit!

So I'm currently trying to use Alexander technique principles to allow me to release tension and expand, lengthen up, widen out and extend forwards. Not thinking of limping, not thinking of not limping just allowing myself to both slow, release and move naturally. And you know what, when I do that the limp goes! Well there may be some noticable to an onlooker, but for me the difference is drastic.

So be up, be wide and let my body move. Something I should be doing all the time anyway.

Two books recommended to me, that I'd recommend to anyone who is interested and has no Alexander teacher are 'How you stand, How you move, How you live' and 'Body, Breath and Being'

As for the 'mo' it's getting along doing it's own thing. Irritating me constantly...

£35 donated so far, but you could donate mo...

Monday, 15 November 2010

Shetland jigsaws on-line!

Auld Rasmie mentioned his like of jigsaws and the odd photo that would make a good one, so in honour of the Auld Een here's the link to one of Johnnie Mann's Loch... 

And another of The Stanes Of Stofast...

preview198 piece

You'll need java on your computer. All you do is click and drag the pieces into place, use the scroll wheel on your mouse (you do have one?) to rotate them. You can do it with a ghost image to copy, the image to refer to or with no cluse what so ever!

To find more Shetland Jigsaws from me go to Jigsaw Planet


Gunnister Voe; should have brought the otter lens...

Well this morning has been an odd one. I started out planning to go for a drive over to West Mainland Leisure Centre at Aith for a change of scenery and more weights machines. This would mean a lovely drive over 'The Alps Road' from Voe and possible a hobble up to The Burn Of Lunklet. Great. I'll take my camera too, no need for the telephoto though, just some photo's of the reflective Voes.

Well the road past Voe was closed! OK, I'll go to North Mainland Leisure Centre at Brae. Erm... we have schools in for an hour! Ermm... OK I'll go for a drive up to Nibon and Gunnister to sit for a while and enjoy the views and then come back...

Johnnie Mann's Loch just as you turn off the A970

Gunnister Voe looking lovely despite the over cast sky

The voe was like a millpond except for the radiating rings from seals at play; and a right splashing snorting racket they were making too. The 'arty' photos I took of the interlacing rings just didn't work, but here are the seals as they decided to follow me.

By now I knew I should have brought my telephoto lens, especially as I thought I'd look at a spot near Nibon where I've seen an otter before.

Obviously, with the wrong lens it was bound to be there, sitting eating a fish in front of my eyes as I sneaked round down wind of it. I did manage to get a few pictures though (my first) before it noticed me and dissapeared. With the wonder of digital technology and cropping I've managed to get a few pictures that atleast show the otter.

 Having a swim

A roll on it's back

And the last I saw of it

Now time to get back to the gym for my exercises, home for dinner and then feet up.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

A gentle sail...

Today me and my boat partner were going to start to strip out the boat for refurbishing over winter, but due to an injury he couldn't make it. Being such a lovely day with a very light wind I asked another friend if he fancied a little sail out instead. I really wanted to get out on the water; he could sail and 'show me the ropes' and my knee should be fine if I wasn't doing all the work.

The wind was unbelievably light for up here, practically non-existant, but you could see it out on the water and some chimneys said it was there too, so we went for it.

I had my handheld GPS which was reassuring as it told us we were actually moving, around 1km/h at first. The wind that was out in the open water vanished and for a while we were very sedately crusing along at may be 3km/h. I was lovely though; still water, sun, the odd seal, otter, heron and shags.

Sailing down wind from Brae

Sails goose winged going down wind

More down wind sailing towards Muckle Roe

We had a few squally showers come through which was surprisingly nice; it meant we actually got some wind and topped out at just over 10km/h. Woah... speeding compared to our exremely relaxed pace the rest of the time. Be nice to get out in a nice steady wind though.

As you can see, apart from the jib halyard needing tensioning properly and a few other sloppy issues, the sails need a real good cleaning and alot of the rope work needs replacing, plus sanding and painting inside the hull. Never the less we had a grand hour or so pottering about out from Brae Boat Club. My friend showed me a thing or two about sailing like how to 'Hove To' amongst other things and we had a good bit of fun.

I had to be very careful, and didn't have to do much of the grunt my knee, so luckily my knee was only a bit achey after the outing. I was just tired more than anything. Time for feet up on the sofa now though and a few tablets.

May be she'll get stripped out next weekend, but if the weather's fine...

Friday, 12 November 2010

12th Movember...

Still needing some encouragement to grow mo 

It's more than just a chance for you to laugh at me...

A bit more rehab. at the gym this morning for my knee. All's going well for general potteriness; I'm just glad the weather of late has be so Shetlandic otherwise I would be really feeling the strain to be out and about.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


Last night I took the dog out! A very sedate 330m in total but the first 'walk' since me knee op. I was pretty tired and a bit achey by the time I got back but not bad as it was the end of the day.

On the back of that I tried my first drive in the car this morning and went to Braefor a few bits and a go on the exercise bike in the gym. The recommended recovery exercise plus the other knee strengthening physio I'm doing. 10 minutes a a light resistance and all was fine, the odd twinge. I follwed up with some upper body weights. All was fine tired but nothing you wouldn't expect after nearly 2 weeks doing nothing. Great!

I'm signed off until 22nd November/ I'll be back then but not before. Today was a start, but a long way from being back at work.

So now I'm at home with my legs up resting and going to watch the rowing on iplayer in a few minutes like a good patient patient.

NEWS FLASH: Tonight I took the stitches off as they were hanging off and re-dressed it.

In other news: I'm still in slo-mo...

You can still encourage my mo to grow though...