ST. OLAF'S KIRK, UNST
I haven’t mentioned the house sale for a while – it has been a bit annoying in general. Having wanted me out before the end of November, which through a huge effort on my part I had done, the whole thing has since just limped along, to my mind, in a most pointlessly annoying way
You may remember the title to the property was unregistered, not at all unusual with an old property in our area. The purchasers and their solicitors were perfectly well aware of this fact, but not until contracts were prepared did they decide they could not proceed unless the title was registered. Fine, but why not mention this at the beginning, so the wheels could be be put in motion? The title was duly registered and another contract prepared. No - they couldn’t proceed unless a particular covenant existing since the 1950's was removed. Again fine, but as the purchasers had actually mentioned to me back in January that they intended to get this covenant lifted after they moved in, then why now decide that it was to be my responsibly not theirs? So it will now need to be re-registered. Do folk go out of their way to slow things down? Equally fine, but in that case why say they needed me out before the end of November? Whinge over - though it still rankles inside a bit.
So with all that, and bear in mind I am now in the far north, I had to get various things sorted out to post off back to the Midlands, from, as it happened the most Northerly Post office in Great Britain. As an aside when did we stop being Great Britain and become the United Kingdom? – I still think of it as Great Britain, perhaps our European partners resented the Great in Great Britain and had it removed?
So I headed on down to Baltasound to find the post office. I missed it of course but there was a big, well - shed really, and it had a hairdresser and goodness knows what else, as well as the obligatory two pumps one for petrol and one for diesel. When I popped inside not only was there another store selling everything you could need, but it was a bakers, so of course I had to buy some warm fresh bread. And lovely bread it was too – rich, dark, treacle coloured wholemeal, freshly sliced and tasting as delicious as it looked, and I got some fresh fruit scones, cake and soft baps. Plus I found some Sheltand sausages and also some Shetland black pudding. And I have to say I enjoyed the black pudding more than all the ones I have tried so far. It was far more puddingy than the others, but with non of that bitterness one often gets with black pudding. It definitely hit the spot for me and I shall be looking out for Anderson's Butchers of Whiteness, Shetland, wherever that may be, and with no internet or phone connection at all where I am parked I will have to wait to find out.
Leaving Baltasound I thought I should try and look at some of the west coast of Unst so headed for Westing, and what a truly beautiful place it is. I would have like to have stopped somewhere along the road looking out over the coast, but Thebus is too big to slip into odd places, and in the event it may have been better that we couldn’t, as it turned out to be a very windy twenty four hours. But as you crest the hillside to look out over the rocky shoreline it is stunning.
A local had pulled over in one of passing places on the single track road and I asked if there was somewhere we might stop for the night. He pointed across the bay to the carpark by the ruined St. Olaf's Kirk, saying that though there were several gates on the way just open them and go on through if they were closed.
Its a truly lovely bay, and completely secluded bay, as I sit here typing there is a seal drifting on its back in the bay beneath us and the wave are crashing onto the rocks opposite Apart from the wind and strong showers it has been perfect, and there has even been a bit of bright weather in between the rainstorms.
There are lots of sheep in the area, and I have been watching them down on the shore eating the seaweed that has been washed up. It looks like the big flat variety that the lady on Orkney was collecting for her North Ronaldsay sheep, though these look to be the normal variety of small, smudgey white-brown Sheltand sheep.
In the evening I fired up the generator (just push a button) and microwaved some potatoes to eat with the last of the pheasant with celery, mushrooms, whisky and cream that I cooked on the very top of Saxa Vord. We had the fan heater on for a while to cheer Phoebe up while I had a lovely hot shower, bed early, then alarm set for half eleven so I could lie in bed and watch the northern lights in case they decided to do anything spectacular, which sadly they didn’t, other than twinkle and pulse a little.
View of the West Coast of Unst towards Westing
As you can see from the raindrops on the lens it was a wet overcast day, but imagine it in the sunshine, stunning.
The waves were crashing onto the rocks off shore and round the coast - I can almost hear the roar and crash of the breakers now!
These photos of mine only give a glimpse of the breadth of these views
The road here follows the cliffs and shoreline all along, and there is a coastal path to walk if you are a walker
The resident birds were already staking their claim to nesting sites
Looking down over the bay by St. Olaf's Kirk taken through Thebus' rather smeary window.
You can see the Kirk just on the left on the photo
St. Olaf's Kirk and Kirkyard
Shetland Sheep, most waiting for a fresh harvest of seaweed on the next tide
But one lone one having an extra munch
They caused me a lot of problems the following day!