Last night I could not get dear sleep and I took to strolling in the garden, clicked this picture @2:45 am with half open eyes that could not find my camera only the phone.
…. and ofcourse the facebook junkie in me posted the picture on FB. Got up this morning and found out that friends didn’t believe what they saw and called it ‘Dokha’ which means ‘Scam’ in Hindi! And that’s it! I got my next inspiration to write…
The Unfinished… The unfinished sunset!…The Midsimmer Dim! .. The very unique and unforgettable Shetland Midsummer!
(PS: Mid Simmer- That is not a spelling mistake, that is Shetland Dialect)
A typical Shetland calendar commences with Up Helly Aa in January, followed by, Up Helly Aa in February and then Up Helly Aa in March! That’s right, the UHA madness continues for a quarter of the year (so that deserves an individual post), trailed by the world famous in Shetland, the Folk festival on the last weekend of April, closely followed by the Jazz Festival.
And by then we have arrived at the steps of the ‘Mid Simmer’- Almost an Unfinished Sunset! We don’t lose light in mid simmer and that’s why some call it the time of light. The hours between dusk and dawn are the prolonged twilight hours and that is the very unique- ‘Shetland Simmer dim’ with 19 hours of midsummer daylight. Joys of living at 60°! The pale sky shares enough light for me to read a book all night long. This is that time of the year which is both wonderful and a bit confusing to my mind’s eye! This is the time that I don’t want to go to bed because there is still that much light outside. It’s wonderful in so many ways, the best time of the year to explore Shetland, the busiest time as well with so much going on that one can easily struggle to be everywhere, and a time that I love most because it brings some traditional featured events and I create memories, like at the Noss National Reserve open day, Summer of 2013.
Zindagi-Rawmazing foresees the month of June as Month of Loads! On here, you will find annual events, festivals, outdoors, handicrafts, Sunday teas, music and loads more with loads of island flavour. Summers in Shetand are joost (again dialect) magical, because there is something for everyone at this time of the year. Starting from music festivals, the wool week, the craft trail, the galas & carnivals, the races & regattas, the Nature Festival, the Geopark week, oh, I am losing breath! You name it and Shetland has it. There are so many ways one can choose to soak in Shetland summer. So, here I am sharing my ‘Simmer Dim’ bucket list. My top five personal favourites of how I want to spend a midsummer’s night-
- The Mousa Storm Petrel Dusk Trip– The boat trip runs at dusk, to the island of Mousa, which, by the way, provides me a spectacular view from my living room window. Surely, one of the highlights of the simmer dim – The Storm petrels (or Alamooties as they call them in Shetland) return from feeding at sea, circling over you, in a bat like style, using the simmer dim paleness to evade the predators. One can not get any closer to nature than this! I have already booked my trip for next weekend, have you ?!
- Top of the Ronas Hill (1475ft/450m)- How remarkable will it be to be on the highest summit of the northern most point in U.K! And relish a fine panoramic view. This sounds like a paradise for the photographer in me and much well worth the effort. So, this will be soon to come!
- Simmer Dim night in a Camping Böd– The bods are old style fishermen homes. The first of these campingBöds opened in 1992. TheBöd are all at very striking locations and make a great budget home for the backpacker or just for the fisherman’s living experience. I stayed at the BettyMouats Böd, when my friends from Glasgow visited last summer. Originally this stone built cottage was the home of an impressive lady who, in 1886, drifted alone on a fishing boat to Norway and lived to make an interesting history for theBöd!
- Play golf at midnight! Shetland has 3 Golf Clubs; The Shetland Golf Club, The Asta Golf Club and the Whalsay Golf Club. I have not done this yet precisely because I don’t know a thing about Golf but I know this is a very popular mid simmer activity and I would not mind holding the stick, even if like a cricket bat!
- Befriend a Fisherman! Now if you do that, it will be super for all-round the year, because Sea Angling in Shetland summers is of a grand scale. If you want some mackerel, ling or haddock for a splendidly fresh meal, or if you are a pro and want to take on the bigger catch like of halibut or porbeagle shark, Shetland waters is what you need and you need a boat of course!Still to do!
Did I not say, Simmer dim months in a Shetland are the “months of loads” ?! So keep tuned for more such events, outdoors, festivals and more fun because Zindagi Aka Life is Rawmazing in Shetland! Until then, relax and unwind in the essence of Shetland, Joost like our Puffins.
Happy reading, happy travelling and Happy Mid simmer dim, come back soon!
PS- Special thanks to Carol Anderson for letting me share her pictures on the blog.