Archive for the ‘family’ Category

    Today I was in the mood for a little bit of reminiscence. Sometimes the body and mind just crave a tender walk down memory lane. For some time I have wanted to revisit the family croft. Its not far away, just over the water in Bressay, and every time we drive into Lerwick I see it there  – not so picturesque – next to the fish meal factory – crumbly and grey and even at that distance it looks in need of a wrecking ball, but so many childhood memories are there.

I remember…. A white washed house, inside a tiny kitchen with one cold water tap….A hay loft that made me feel like Heidi….a kaleyard with tall walls….an old tin bath and Belfast sink in the garden…..lots of out buildings to play and hide in…feral chickens and even more feral factory cats…yelllow fields….sheep everywhere…family everywhere….dipping, clipping, lambing…jostling about in the back of the hay cart, being carted downhill in the tractor….

    As we walked along the road and got closer to the croft house the ground was still the same deep, spongy marsh that, as a child, you felt might swallow you up if you stood in certain places. Even though there is a brand new road that goes on past the house, my feet carried me instinctively along the well-walked track. The last time I was at Annfield was before dad died, probably about 8 years ago, and although I knew the place had fallen into disrepair it was sad to see it so run down in those few years and even further removed from my minds eye.

  Even if I screwed up my eyes out of focus I could still see that it was vastly different from how I remembered it, or how my mind wanted me to see it (those kaleyard walls don’t look particularly tall, could it have been that I was just too small to see over them once?

   The Belfast sink and bath are still there, but looked more sad and discarded than fun farm objects. I found the hay truck too…doesn’t look like it would be very safe to travel on these days!


Sadder still it was to see that someone had broken the door in and had a wee trash. I wouldn’t have gone inside anyway as the roof is rather unsafe, but seeing that was a little like having ones childhood memories stomped all over. So, there was no whitewash and no family and no feral animals (though still some sheep!)

But I couldn’t help feeling connected still. Even if my remembrances were fading into reality.

And then I laughed…because, as I told my lovely time travelling companion, We usually hated going to the croft when we were wee! It might have meant a 3 mile walk there (a lot for little legs), we might have been dragged there in our summer holidays when we had better things to be doing, we might have had to suffer spending time with older family members (one of whom, breathless and hopelessly rotund my 7-year old little sister pushed at least a couple of yards in a wheelbarrow once! Fact!), it might have meant eating spam sandwiches on the beach or at the peat hill and getting sand and peat mould in places that no-one wants to get sand or peat mould…

How fickle the mind! That it only lets us remember some things and sugarcoats other things. But I am sure we always enjoyed ourselves really! Since leaving Bressay today I had some vague words by Norman Maccaig floating around my head..

‘…The circle of this year.

the smaller of the last year.

the smaller one of the year before last –

They narrow down to a point

and balance on that crystal.

I see in it

with exact clarity

endless things

and endless meanings of things…’

I think that as the years go on and the memory adapts to retain new information only the honey of memories remain, so I’ll take that and remember it just as I do.

Walking away from the house, we went down the park towards the beach and the old fishing station. I do like a pebbly beach and this is a pebbly beach! Not very stunning (with the Lerwick Power Station in close view) but lots of treasures were found.


 I love nothing more than puddling around a pebbly beach and coming home with a carrier bag of treasure….and today’s was put to good use straight away!


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Hello! I’ve been led astray these last weeks hence my unusual quietness!

Brrrr, it’s FREEZIN! Bressa’ is covered in a very thin covering of the white stuff and there is far more to come if the weather man is to be believed. If he is to be believed it’ll be the first white christmas is about 3 years here I think.

I’ve had a glorious 2 weeks in that Edinburgh, it was fantastic to spend some real time catching up with my mates and not having so little time that I have to “book in” more than one reunion a day!

I also went to see Jools Holland at the SECC with his great big ol’ band! it was AMAZING! My friend Evelyn and I used to live together in Edinburgh and every year we said “Oh! Jools is coming to the Playhouse we have to go and see him”. Years later, she lives in Dingwall, I live in Shetland and we managed to see him finally in Glasgow haha! It was such a good atmosphere and his special guests were very special indeed. Not only was the Goddess that is Ruby Turner there, but the angel that is Eddi Reader also made an appearance as well as legend Dave Edmunds!  We were peckin’ after all the dancing and have booked our tickets for next year…we won’t put it off so long again! Ev’s pics are here

So in amongst shopping, dancing, winter-wonderlanding, catching upping (and a wee tiny bit of falling into mutual lusting !:wink:) I found a wee bit of time to do the (nearly) last of my christmas knitting…only two more very small items to go!

Mirln and I were at our nightclass on tuesday and we’ve both become more than just a little bit spell-bound by the whole play writing biz! The aim of the class is to write a play or plays for the Drama Festival in March and while that sounded terrifying and daunting at the beginning of the class, everyone has just become so inspired and there is so much brilliant stuff being produced. Watch this space for more in the New Year when it steps up a gear and we get into the acting side…I’m ready for my close up Mr Demille!

How’s the chrimbo preparations folks? I feel rather unorgaised this year, I have everything bought, but just no get up and go to get it done, I am off next week though, so I should get into the christmas spirit…if wrapping up the presents doesn’t do it, the snow will!

If I don’t get the chance to say so before thew new Year, I Hope you all have glorious Christmases and all your New Year Wishes come true…Have a fantastically wonderful festive season and see you for more musings next year

Loadsa Love…

oh..here’s your Chrismas card…

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

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