We started with a visit to Mum who was in good spirits.
The week went very quickly and I just cannot remember on which days things happened. I do know that Nigel took most of the photos. I think, the second day, the weather was good and we took the boat out fishing for the first time. Nigel caught five, or was it eight, mackerel ... honestly, they're in the bucket.
It was hard work so we allowed ourselves a little reward before we cleaned and filleted them for the next day's breakfast .... delicious.
On Friday we went to Skerries on a silky smooth sea. Saw about six neesicks (porpoise).
This is James Laughton Johnston and behind him is the lighthouse manned by an Orcadian, James Laughton in 1863 and after whom our grandfather was named.
This is the harbour and the ferry on Skerries. Sadly there are only about 60 people on the islands (two inhabited and joined by a bridge) half of whom are 60 and over. There are four Secondary and three Primary children and only one pre school child. The main income is from the salmon farm and a couple of white fish boats.
At the Long Ayre we searched for Kirsie Cottie's Lodge (Christina Sutherland, a Cottar [no croft]). We did not find it because it is now under the runway (on which I am almost standing taking this photo). This is the spot that she brought up our grandfather, his sisters and brothers in a hovel on a diet of limpets.
We met two third cousins and chatted until about ten with a lovely sunset.
We were due to leave at 11.30 am the following morning but had a call at 9.30am and told to be ready for the back of ten when the ferry would have a look and see if they could pick us up. They would not have come if we had not been booked for the entrance in bad weather is challenging!
The car was lashed down on the deck and off we set. We were not supposed to be on deck but couldn't resist it. In the end it was not half as rough as we expected, but we still enjoyed it!
Since the ferry dropped us at Vidlin (where we stayed the last year in Shetland in 1979) we went on up to Lunna to the old kirk where Christina (Sutherland) married Thomas Johnson (our great grandparents).
On Sunday we went to Unst for the day to visit George (Geordie) and Lorraine Jamieson. Geordie, now retired, was latterly headmaster of the Lerwick (Shetland) secondary school and Lorraine has been Shetland's premier actress for many years. On their kitchen table we pored over genealogical connections. Lorraine is our second cousin. Her grandfather, Thomas Johnson was our grandfather's brother. Nigel thinks there is a touch of sister Elizabeth in Lorraine. They have a daughter Morag who is the next generation's third cousin and nearest Shetland relative (not counting me!).
Thomas Johnson was Lerwick's lamplighter and here he is in the 1880s (foot on ladder) lighting up the lamp above the public toilet in Lerwick.
The last thing Nigel did for me on the morning of his departure was to help me pull the boat ashore onto the trailer and take it back up to the house.
We had a great week and will hopefully repeat it next year.