Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A waste of wood....

While we were watching the burning of the Up Helly Aa galley last night, 'she who often makes silly statements' said something like: "As a Shetlander you must think that's a waste of wood?"
This statement of course referred to the way that, because I'm a Shetlander, I never want to discard a piece of wood, since it can always be used for something. Even if the piece of wood is no bigger than a match stick it can still be stuffed in a hole to tighten a loose screw in a door hinge, for example.

For any Shetlander reading this, I'm stating the obvious. But for those who don't know, Shetland has hardly any trees. So wood is a very valuable commodity.
I, like many Shetlanders my age and older, spent many hours 'beach combing' for drift wood. (It's a good reason for a coastal walk anyway). And I, like many others, felt a sudden lifting of inner spirits when a vessel carrying a cargo of wood happened to lose it's deck cargo near the islands.

But back to what I started to post about. 'She who makes silly statements' asked if I thought Up Helly Aa was a waste of wood.
Well... No, I don't think it is. Perhaps there are some issues about all the torches and burning wood affecting the ozone layer, (incidentally there is a hole in the ozone layer over Shetland,,,, I wonder if Up Helly Aa is to blame,,,, joking....). But in my opinion the Up Helly Aa festivals in Shetland do so much good for the community spirit of the islands, as well as maybe helping the tourism figures, that it can only be a good thing.

However, at my work there is a total and horrifying waste of wood on an all too regular basis. We don't have a solid fuel fire or this situation would be quickly rectified.
Old pallets and wooden packing materials end up being burned, as witnessed in this shameful picture.
That lot could have kept any of the wood burning fires of my co-workers going for a month, if they could have been bothered to chop it up and take it home, rather than buying wood. I really must try to learn them some Shetland values. LOL

Anyway, enough about wood.

Lord has the weather ever been rubbish this last week. It's been raining Cats and Dogs most of the week. And to prove it, here's a picture of another jigsaw puzzle that Little Sis sent us.
It was another of those very easy 'impossibles' puzzles which I mentioned in a previous post. But given the weather we've had, it was very appropriate.

yun's aa fir enoo.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lerwick Up Helly Aa 2011

On the last Tuesday of January every year the small town of Lerwick in the Shetland Islands is home to what is likely the best known fire festival in the world.
There are 10 annual fire festivals in Shetland which follow the same theme, revolving around the islands Viking ancestry. You can find more general information by clicking the following link: Up Helly Aa

The Lerwick event is well under way now. The procession has taken place, the galley has been burned, and now all the participants are settling down for an all night party.

For further pictures and information on this years Lerwick Up Helly Aa click on this Shetlopedia page.
Or visit Kozetland1's blog
His blog has an amazing archive of pictures from all aspects of Up Helly Aa.
Here's an example of what you'll see:

I'd like to say a special thanks to Kozetland1 for the pleasure his almost instantaneous pictures give to exiles like me when events like this happen in Shetland. Much appreciated. :)

Also maybe worth a mention is Visit Shetland. Thanks to their live webcams we were able to watch the whole event live tonight.

Yun's aa fir enoo

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Daddy's Girl - Red Sovine, Country Legend.

I just found this recording on You Tube of a song by an old country music favourite of mine, Red Sovine.
It kinda made me think about a couple of people who are very important in my life, so I thought I'd post it here.

Red Sovine was one of the great heroes of old country music. I listened to his songs back in the days of LPs (those black round things which can't be downloaded), but which could be played and gave us kids a connection with another world, before the days of TV, CD, Internet, Bullsquash, etc....
One of the songs by Red Sovine which I first heard about 40 years ago, and which touched my heart deeply, was this one.
You'll need something available to wipe away a tear from your eye.

Yun's aa fir enoo.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Anybody who has read my blog before will know that I have a fascination with jigsaw puzzles.
Now my little sister also knows this, and this Christmas she sent me a supposedly impossible jigsaw, which was titled "impossibles".
Unlike a normal puzzle, there are no edge pieces. There are 5 extra pieces which are part of the scene, but are the wrong shape. And the picture on the box only shows a small part of the scene.
But, my dear sister, you failed to beat me yet again.....
It's definitely one of the best puzzles I've built. It was very addictive.
Although perhaps Kevin almost got me and the wife hooked on his online jigsaw puzzles.

Onywye, I böst geeng an skrive a grain o sharn upö facebook, jöst ta wind up a twartree fok I ken.

Yun's aa fir enoo.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Mary

My youngest daughter's birthday was today. She's into double figures at the grand age of 10 (I remember that being very important to me when I was a kid).
One memory of her earlier years, which is burned deeply into my computer hard drive, is the first ever digital picture I took in 2003.
God, was she cute.
She's still as cute. And she still has that cuddly dog, along with dozens of other cuddly toys, (all of which are named, and a large number of which I am responsible for buying, just because I like cuddly things too).

Speaking of cuddly things. here's a recent picture of Mary and her big sister:
 Thankfully, in the whirl of the genetic gene pool, they didn't get their good looks from me.

Yun's aa fir enoo.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Roundabouts are a great way to speed up the flow of traffic. I always thought they were effective until I came to Norway.
Nobody seems to understand the basic concept. Perhaps this is because in rural areas the law states that you should give way to traffic coming from your right hand side, then suddenly you enter a roundabout and have to give way to traffic from you left hand side. It's like a giant game of dodgem cars, although thankfully everybody is so unsure of the rules that everybody stops for everybody at every junction, thus no traffic moves, very safe environment....
NOT!!!  Wrong idiot always moves first. And that's usually me. It's a wonder I'm still alive, or half-way sane.

But tonight I came across this video from Germany, and suddenly realised that it was a very near replica of how roundabouts are handled by the skillful local drivers in this area. (I won't mention the unskilled ones)...

Yun's aa fir enoo.

An, Loard bliss you bairns. Dunna try onythin you see atil yun video.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dawn today

A mountain dawn, a burst of gold.
A beauty for the heart to hold.
I just love mountains...

Yun's aa fir enoo

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Facebook, who needs it?

Just a general comment on a site which has become a worldwide phenomenon.
And the comment is simple.
Why to hell should I sit around and wait for 15 minutes for a page to load, when any other site I access will load in micro seconds? (We have a 15Mb connection) (smug grin) :)

I've often heard people say: "Facebook? Get a life".
Now I know why.

Facebook might be OK for young kids who have a whole life before them, and plenty of time to wait. But I'm an old fart with very little patience, no time to wait, and absolutely no patience with websites which fail to perform.

Rant over. I'm going to bed to sleep for a long time, as old farts like me normally do.
And hopefully when I wake up Facebook will have loaded.

Unlikely... LOL

Yun's aa fir enoo

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A musical post - Ernie Haase & Singature Sound

Normally I only post musical items if it's Willie Nelson, or maybe Johnny Cash. But this is a very special musical rendition from a quartet who are doing a show at the Clickimin Leisure Centre in Shetland on the 9th of February.
I've always liked American Gospel music, thanks mainly to Willie & Johnny, but these guys really made me sit up and listen.

I wish I could get to see these guys live. I'd certainly suggest to any Shetlanders reading this that they should consider taking in their show.

And for more info on the quartet, check out their website:
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

Yun's aa fir enoo

Monday, January 10, 2011

Da young een's first day..

For his first day at his new job he got off fairly lightly. A nice easy day with no real pressure, and nothing that could really be called hard work.
A little bit of welding.
A little bit of grinding.
It's great having a bit more help with jobs like that, and I think he's going to learn fairly quickly...
Just when to hell did he hear me ask for help with my jigsaw puzzle???
Guess I'll just start another one. It's good to see somebody else hooked on this great passtime.

Yun's aa fir enoo.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Shetland Ponies

Hopefully nobody who is seriously interested in these lovely little ponies finds this post because likely they'll be shocked that I can only see the comedy in these short legged little work horses.
I found this video again last night by accident, whilst searching for something sensible, after one beer too many. SO I thought I'd share it here, it's a classic.

I have to admit that video is a bit cheeky, in as much as it portrays Shetland Ponies as being slow. And given how slow broadband operates in Shetland it's a bit cheekier still. So I thought I'd have to redress the balance with a video to show how fast Shetland Ponies really are.

They really are gutsy little ponies, with hearts of gold. They're a favourite worldwide as the best pony for a child to learn to ride. And they're cute.
For more info on them check out this Shetlopedia page .

But, like everything from Shetland, there is always an element of comedy, and the Shetland Pony is no exception. A man I work with here in Norway has a Shetland Pony stallion.
He found it to be completely uncontrollable. It was always escaping from it's field and wandering miles in search of female company. Only solution to curb this natural Shetland urge was a visit from the vet with a vicious tool to separate the poor animal from it's gonads. Let's hope that only happens to four legged Shetlanders in Norway. LOL.

Yun's aa fir enoo.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

End of the Christmas season

Since today is Old Christmas, as per the Julian calendar, we've had a mini Christmas celebration.

Now, anybody who has read my recent posts might remember the trouble I had just before Christmas with this little Julenisser who had the cheek to invade my keyboard.
He then made a nuisance of himself by taking over my mouse docking station. Although, when challenged he had the decency to hold his hands up and plead guilty.
Well I got really mad with him and locked him in the bottom of the clock, although I did promise Santa Claus that I'd let him out in time to help with the deliveries for 'Old Christmas'.

Well this little Julenisser hasn't learned anything from his spell in the lockup... I let him out earlier today, as promised.. Now just look at the state I found him in tonight....... He's simply legless....

Now, back to more sensible things.
Firstly the explanation for my post last night when I mentioned that today we would be flying the Shetland Flag.
Simple reason. Another Shetlander has arrived here on a permanent basis. My Son has sensibly decided to leave Shetland before it becomes nothing more than a wind farm feeding the wallets of a few greedy money grabbing individuals. (Don't get me started on my hatred for Viking Energy..... I wouldn't give a crap if they hadn't got mad at me for criticizing them,,,, obviously the truth hurt,,,, rant over)
I've got him a job at the same place I work.. I just hope he doesn't show me up by working harder than me.

Anyhow, here's the boy enjoying his Old Christmas meal of Pinnekjøt... Shame he had to wear a T-shirt advertising a piss poor English beer.

And, finally, after all that rambling, a snowy scene...
The wife has just told me I'm writing another bloody novel,,,, so I'd better stop writing...

Yun's aa fir enoo.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Nice Ice

Yesterday we had a slight thaw so the floor in the production hall at work was fairly well covered with pools of water from melting ice and snow from the various bits of metal we had taken in from outside.
This morning most of that water had frozen, and was as slippery as hell. But amongst the icy patches I found this beautiful ice pattern. About 8 inches across, it looks good with the reflected light from an overhead lamp.
The weather is looking like getting a little colder over the next few days, with more snow on the way. So maybe some nice outdoor pictures this weekend. Assuming I can see past the piles of snow that the snowploughs are building up everywhere.

Tomorrow of course is Auld Yöl (Old Christmas as per the Julian calendar). Russia still celebrates Christmas on the 6th of January, and most folk know that. But not everybody knows that the small Shetland island of Foula also celebrates Auld Yöl (I suppose that would be Gamle Jul in Norwegian).
But tomorrow is a rather special day in this household, a day on which Auld Yöl will be observed, and a day on which we'll be flying the flag. Not the Norwegian flag but the Shetland flag.
I'll explain why tomorrow night.

Yun's aa fir enoo.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Snowing again...

After 48 hours of rain and thawing snow, with inches of water on the top of ice which made walking rather difficult, we're back to lovely fresh snow.
Normally I enjoy shoveling snow. But I've managed to hurt my back yet again, so here's a picture of an extremely  rare creature. A 'Snow Clearing Trowie'.
I guess that picture will earn me a slap around the ears, so.

Yun's aa fir enoo

Happy Birthday to Bobbie Lee Nelson

Born on January 1st 1931, I don't think Bobbie ever thought of fame, and given her gentle nature I don't think she ever wanted fame.
But her brother Willie Nelson was always going to drag his older sister along with him. He's been doing that for many years now, and still introduces her as "Little Sister" at all their live shows worldwide.

OK, so Bobbie is 80 now. Maybe Willie will let her have a little time off?? No chance, she'll never let him. They're a team, and always will be. That's family...And that's what has made Bobbie Nelson and her 'big brother' so loved by all the fans like me who enjoy their shows.
Here's a pic I pinched from a great Willie Nelson fan's site,,, hope you don't mind Linda Lee.

With Bobbie now at the sedate and relaxed, supposedly, age of 80. And Willie at 77. Surely there is some grain of logic which states that it's time for these two 'old folk' to retire.
This question has been asked of Willie before, and the answer was something like: "Retire from what? I play some golf, sing a few songs. What's there to retire from?"

Another great picture (pinched from of Willie, Bobbie, and their great friend Paul English.
When you see folk smile like that because they enjoy being on the road, and in each other's company, you just know they will never retire.
Here's a little video from the Langesund show this year. Willie singing 'Me and Paul', but as usual 'Little Sister' was very hard to catch on video since she's always hiding behind her piano.

As usual I've written more than I meant to. But it's hard to say what you want about a living legend in few words....
Or, maybe I got it right with the title of the post,,
"Happy Birthday to Bobbie Lee Nelson"

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year fireworks.

Last night the weather could best be described as crappy. But we still went out to join in the traditional celebrations. Not that many other people did, and I can't blame anybody who decided it was best to stay at home.
Here's a few pics of the Vestnes fireworks.
Maybe not as impressive as the beautiful display from the London Eye, which we watched on BBC News 24, but the sentiment was just as important for a small community like Vestnes.
So well done to those who organised the fireworks. We certainly appreciated their effort.