Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shetland Roots

Hillswick - a seaside hamlet
 My grandparents lived in Hillswick at the turn of last century.  
Hillswick is on the Atlantic side of the island.
The lifestyle of the Shetlanders revolved around fishing and crofting (farming).

Kent home in Hillswick
This is the home my mother was born in, and lived in for three years,
before migrating to New Zealand.
The original home - a croft house - can hardly be seen today as the house has been refurbished.
An artist bought the house and that is reflected in the style.

Blacksmith's forge at Hillswick
In a field in Hillswick stands this concrete forge.  
Along with the concrete foundations 
that is all that remains today of my grandfather's blacksmith's shop.
The sea is only a stone's throw away.

Ollaberry stands on the other (North Sea) side of the island.
This is where my grandmother's extended family lived - the Williamsons.
Again it is a coastal hamlet and the local people live in their crofts.

Peat deposits are designated to different families.  
Here is a cutting where one family is preparing their peat for the winter.
The peat is cut into brick-sized blocks and then stacked to dry (left).
When dry it is stored at home ready to be used. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

D' ye ken Shetland (Do you know Shetland)

This view was from the living room of home in which we stayed.  
It was great to see the changing views of the voe with sun, overcast sky, rain and storms.
With all the voes no part of Shetland is more than 3 kms. from the sea. 
On the surrounding hills are the crofts.
Shetlanders are said to be fishermen (seamen) with a farm.

These croft houses were typically small with a fire in the middle of the room.
The room was hearted by a peat fire.
Attached to the house was a barn and a byre (a shed for the animals). 

 Lerwick is the capital of Shetland and was built centuries ago.  
It is right on the port and very much oriented to the sea - fishing and now the oil industry.

The Viora was finally launched in 2009.  It was built by our friend and host Jim Johnson.
Jim was formerly an engineer on a tugboat, but in his spare time builds boats and equipment for fishing boats.  Our visit was complete with a trip down the voe to the Atlantic Ocean, as on our past visits in 2002 and 2006 we saw the boat at different stages of construction.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bonnie Scotland

Inverurie Gospel Hall
Our host assembly the first two Sundays.  They gave me the privilege of preaching.  
The hall is built in granite which is typical of Aberdeenshire.

The Jenkins home in Kemnay
Kemnay is about five miles from Inverurie, 16 miles west of Aberdeen.  
This is the home of Stanley and Wilma Jenkins.

A typical garden
Sometimes one can see the most beautiful gardens with Dahlias and Begonias.

Scottish village

Ballater Railway Station
This station is now a museum but was used by the Royal family in bygone days.
Balmoral Castle is located just a few miles down the road. 
It is the Queen's Scottish residence.  The family would use this village to shop.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Highlands of Scotland

Glencoe  A spectacular example of a glaciated valley.
Ben Nevis The highest point in the U.K. with spectacular views of the lochs and valleys.
The Caledonian Canal  The canal links the Atlantic Ocean with the North Sea and connects all the lochs along the way.
Urquhart Castle  The ruins of a castle on Lock Ness.  No the monster was not nearby!
Chalet on Loch Linnhe  This was our getaway for five days overlooking a beautiful loch.