and here is what i (her proud mama) did all day, to anyone and everyone i shared (forced) this exciting news. thank you scott, our entire family was thrilled and love the photograph (thank you to the other kind 13,000 + on instagram that liked it too). and as scott's probably learned by now, she is as beautiful and sweet, on the inside.
the adventure continues!...after arriving to burrastow house we spent our first hours getting to know each other and our surroundings...
we met the host and chef extraordinaire of burrastow, pierre
a newly married couple arrived to have their wedding photos taken at burrastow
our first evening, we gathered for an informational talk by our lovely tour leaders, gudrun johnston and maryjane mucklestone. they had a surprise for us, in the kishie (basket) on the table were hand made project bags filled with special treats! the fabric of the bags is so cute, it's of knitted fair isle sweaters!
jumping ahead, sorley, our driver extraordinaire (and gudrun's lovely brother) made a special stop so i could get this photo. i saw a shetland otter!
my very first morning, i woke so excited, at 4am, the sun was already high in the sky. i ran to my window and couldn't believe my eyes!! there was an otter swimming in our bay. i grabbed my camera and tiptoeing out the room and down the stairs, still in my pajamas!
i remembered reading simon king's 'shetland diaries' book, he talked about how timid the otters are here. it's important they don't see you, or even smell you. oh dear, which way was the wind blowing? i couldn't tell, so i crept behind the low wall surrounding burrastow house. coming closer to mr. otter. i stealthily peeked over the wall and watched as he exited the water scampering up on to a pile of rocks and seaweed...
carrying a large fish in his mouth! i could hear him feeding on the fish, tearing it apart with his sharp teeth. forgetting the rules, in my excitement i stood up and immediately knew my mistake. mr. otter dropped his meal, turned and bolted back to the sea...
and then he watched, cautiously (curiously?), before swimming out of our voe and into another around the bend. it was the only time this trip i would see one, but i saw one! and saw the otter sign too!
artic terns here on their migration, i love these birds so much...
time for our first field trip! our trusty ride, driven by sorley, gudrun's brother. (thank you again sorley!)
on the way to...
waiting for a tour with oliver henry!
the master of jamieson & smith shetland fleece
explaining the sorting process
lovely pat admiring a peerie fair isle jumper (look at the gorgeous vest she made!)
tour is over, back in the shop for our lace knitting class with elizabeth johnston! and look who's here! it's friends sandra manson and ella gordon! eek! very excited to see them both!
i tried on sandras sample cardigan, hairst, and bought the pattern :)
time to leave, our visit to jamieson & smith was a highlight for all of us i think (we actually returned 3 times!)
some have asked to see my journal, i have no idea how to share, so here is just a glimpse inside...
just like this post, it's incomplete. there really was no way to document all the wonderful things that happened on this trip. i tried my best though, filled almost ninety pages! i didn't add the photos of the second part of this days field trip to this post, the textile museum (for fear of the post becoming too long). oh dear. if there is still an interest, i'll keep sharing! there is a LOT more!
'do not worry about the fog' these words were coming from my kind (but inebriated) seatmate on the tiny aircraft scheduled to take off for sumburgh airport, shetland islands. 'we'll be diverted to norway if it gets too bad!'
luckily, i missed no flights or connections on my travels to the edge of the world. (i did suffer my share of not so good luck though, completely my own fault, more on that later). i'd already spent a couple of days in edinburgh, before jumping on the flight north (still need to share that city adventure too). we made it to shetland, without any mishaps or any detours to norway. :)
mary jane and gudrun were there to pick us up, kathy cadigan and paula butzi and i had all taken the same flight from edinburgh. we drove straight to sumburgh lighthouse, and within an hour of taking our first steps on the island, we saw puffins.
the puffins live in little burrows, you can just make out here. i see two, can you see them? looking from above is maryjane, kathy, gudrun and paula.
there are three in this photo, one is just popping up from his burrow.
if i could, i would have stayed here all day and the next day too. i know now why puffins are so loved, they are every bit as charming and adorable as their portraits show. the way they tilt their little heads (they are much smaller than i'd thought!) and waddle around. and when they fly! it's hilarious, their wings beat madly and all the while their orange feet hang down. what a grand start to this adventure...
driving to burrastow house, where we'll be staying the week. everywhere in shetland is a picture postcard.
too beautiful for words and definitely for my camera.
my bedroom window. from here i could see...the water, the isle of vaila,
arctic terns, lambs, shetland ponies, bunnies. i know i am writing,
but honestly there are no words. it was a fairytale come true...
i could not wait to explore more...
soon after this photo, several of us donned our swimsuits and dove in the the voe of vaila (the water between the islands). it was cold, but really had to be done. :)
there is so much to share, i still don't know where to begin, our group was extraordinary, so lovely, really so talented and beautiful and kind and inspiring! and fun! each and everyone. and then there were the friends i'd come to know previously online (hello claire, nicole, kathy. truly gorgeous women inside and out). i did fill my journal, though that was difficult to find time for, we did wear our bressays! and i think its safe to say we all experienced SO MUCH, and for me, so much more than i ever dreamed. at the risk of sounding overboard, i had one of the best times of my life. thanking the most lovely (adorable) tour leaders ever, gudrun johnston and maryjane mucklestone, you were outstanding, i really did not want it to end.
next post, jamieson & smith and the Böd of Gremista and Shetland Textile Working Museum