Living somewhere like Shetland can be difficult. Having grown up here, I never thought I would settle at home. It felt too small, too parochial, the weather and long dark winters drove me insane and I often felt bored, frustrated with the lack of anonymity and choice.
I’ll be honest: I often still feel those things, and having a husband who travels a lot for work makes this place – 100 miles from the closest point of mainland Scotland and further to its cities – less than ideal as a family base, and we often wrangle with the idea of moving to a more convenient location.
This past weekend we got together with a gang of excellent people to have a beach barbecue to celebrate mine and my good friend Floortje’s birthdays. Our men organised it all for us and chose Reawick beach, on Shetland’s west side.
Shetland is incredibly diverse geologically speaking. The isles were awarded Geopark status in 2009, meaning they belong to a network of areas notable for their geological importance (if you’d like to find out more about this you can here). Reawick and the surrounding area is made up of red granite, so the sand is a wonderfully rich orange.
It was such a lovely day, and when I got home, covered in sand and smelling of barbecue smoke and exhausted from a whole day outside in the fresh air, I had a realisation. It was that if we’re going to be here, we need to make the most of it and really *be* here.
The day also made me realise how many wonderful places there are in Shetland to explore that I’ve never been to, how much of the place I don’t actually know.
Being outside is such a tonic. It might sound obvious, but I feel like we can be so busy in our day to day lives that we don’t often stop to consider our surroundings. Being outside and slowing down, just breathing and taking the time to notice little things – the plants growing, the shades of colour in the sea or sky – is so important: just using that time to stop the whirlwind of our minds for a little while.
So with these things in mind, I’m going to start a new series on the blog to document some little trips around and about, and, let’s be honest, as a motivator to actually get outside and explore more! Once you’ve said you’re doing something on the internet you have to, right?!
Here is the first of Our Weekend Wanders. I hope they might come in handy for you tool, if you need inspiration for places to visit.