Fun with Five

Summer fell on a Sunday

There’s a large puddle of water on the floor in the garage.  For once I’m not worried about it!  It does not originate from any of the plumbing, nor from either of the cars.  It’s from the wet suits hung up to dry.

And wetsuits for all

Wet suits.  In Shetland.  You read that right.

Well, if you’re going to go swimming in the sea you need a damn thick skin and even my whale-like blubber finds it hard going.  So the addition of 7mm of neoprene really does help.

This has been a golden weekend.  One that we will all remember for a very long time.  From the lazy, relaxed family time of Saturday to the more energetic pursuits of snorkelling in a couple of different bays, playing for a good hour at the playpark and rounding it all off with a stroll around the village.  Absolutely golden.

Snorkelling in Shetland is amazing.  The water is so cold.  SO cold that you can’t keep your head under for long, that your hands and feet submit their complaints very, very quickly (unless you managed to get a bargain pair of size 12 Gul wetsuit boots in which case your feet stay lovely and toasty warm).  But it is so clear!  It’s not like snorkelling on the reefs in the red sea, it’s not teeming with huge, brightly-coloured life – but it is teeming with life.  Tiny jellyfish pulsing past your mask, huge swathes of barnacles with their fronds snatching food from the passing water.  Snails and limpets making slow progress across the rocks, shoals of tiny fish darting in and out of the kelp.  Oh, and seals just popping in to see who/what is invading their territory.  And you have to watch out for the seabirds who have a tendency to dive-bomb anything entering one of their no-go zones.

I know all my kids are confident (verging on overly so) in the water, this is bolstered by the buoyancy of the neoprene suits.  Climbing the rocks to jump in from as great a height as they can find.

And it turns out my kids have picked up some new skills while they’ve been “doing nothing” at the park.  I did not know that Thing 4 can fly…

964209_10151955495037388_1696349663_oThat Thing 3’s balance had improved so much…

964671_10151955493722388_1594132884_oOr that either Thing 2 or 3 could do this…

964649_10151955495177388_600011783_o 964963_10151955495617388_95757277_oMy kids were made of pure Awesome this weekend.  We got out and we had fun.  Fitting the new hall carpet with the help of the kids was fun.  Shopping with the “help” of the kids was fun.  Even mowing the lawn in the gorgeous afternoon sun was fun.  A late-night stroll around the village with my wonderful wife was definitely fun.

I know it’s father’s day next Sunday, but even if it were celebrated in this house there’s no way it would top this day.  Besides, it’s also Thing 1’s birthday and that’s far more important.  Somebody turns 13…




Silent Sunday

#SilentSunday – January 13th 2013


The Gallery

The Gallery – Light

Very lucky up here on Shetland.  Very lucky indeed.  When it’s there, the light is fantastic.  We get the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets, crepuscular rays blasting through the clouds and illuminating sea and land, double-rainbows arcing across the sky.  But one of the best things about Shetland is the lack of light at night.

A couple of weeks ago, Venus sat near the moon.  Now I freely admit I need a far better camera (and steadier hands), but my phone gave me this:

I didn’t manage to catch Jupiter as well as the clouds rolled in.

Last night, if the moon wasn’t full, it was very nearly there.  And Jupiter was out to play again.

So there you go.  Light, or the lack of it.  It’s now light when I’m bringing the kids home from school, light when we wake in the morning at 6.  The year is turning.  By the end of June it’s impossible to take photos like these in Shetland as it’s too light!  Doesn’t stop the moon from looking stunning, though – expect photos. (If we could have “the moon” as the theme for the gallery in June/July, that’d be grand!)