This is what the sky looked like this morning when I went on a walk. I was intending to say goodbye to the seals, but none were out as the water was rough and jumpy, and the waves nearly reached the sidewalk. Shetland behaved today; sunshine all day and a nice breeze coming through our tiny windows. I heard the seagulls outside today, and the toll of nearby church bells, both of which I block out on a daily basis. It will be weird going back to Kansas, the polar opposite of the island life.
Saturday was spent Christmas shopping and watching a heartbreaking Scotland v. Italy football match. It was a Euro 2008 playoff game, and Scotland played well, especially against a team of diving cheats. (It always shocks me to see that a normal bump sends the ragazzi sprawling onto the field, grabbing their whatever, rolling around, wailing, embarrassing themselves). One would think that referee school would include special clinics on how to officiate a match involving the Italian football team. I adore all things Italy but the cheating and chaos that surrounds their 'national sport' needs to be controlled and the refs need to learn to not fall for their vomito. Pardon the rant.
Yesterday we went to Hillswick in the northern part of the island to the St. Magnus Hotel. It's a fabulous Norwegian design, and the wood was shipped on steam boats from Norway. Every Sunday they do a 'carvery', which at the St. Magnus means an all-you-can-eat feast of Shetland lamb and Scottish pork, ham and beef, veggies, potatoes, and Yorkshire pudding. I'm not a massive meat lover, but Shetland lamb is gorgeous. The locals say it's got something to do with the heather and the seaweed, and the fact that the sheep and lamb here are allowed to roam free and hang out wherever they wish. That and that the animals here are treated like royalty. The flavor and velvety texture are amazing. We arrived at 2:30 and by the time we left at 4, it was pitch-black. There's nothing like being in the middle of nowhere in the dark to really feel secluded.
I chose this title because I am having a tough time putting the recent book to rest. The new one is plodding along but I am forcing it a bit. A day of flying will be good for it. I love flying - the time alone, just you and a selection of horrible Hollywood blockbusters and a stack of chick magazines. Below, this morning's sunshine in a sepia - fun with iPhoto.