This is not the blog post I had planned out in my mind. I had great intentions. I was going to make time, sit and write a meaningful and reflective post about my first year in business; what I’ve learnt and how I mean to progress in 2019. Unfortunately, it’s 5.30 (it's now 10.50) on Hogmanay, there’s a Nerf gun war happening in the living room, Aaron’s trying to make a beef wellington with a running commentary, Lena has been cooped up inside for too long and is bouncing off the walls (literally) and I’ve already poured a glass of wine. Never mind. It actually sums up this whirlwind of a year to a tee. We've never quite stopped and everything has been done at a hundred miles an hour so why change now, at the close of play on Hogmanay?
Therefore, I thought I would have to confess to how I ended up in the pub on a Friday afternoon. In this particular case, the story involves me, the tour guide, and a very drunk man who I had the pleasure of guiding.
We've just had the summer solstice here in Shetland. That time of the year when the long days of summer merge together in a haze of soft sunshine and warm breezes which are punctuated with the sweet smell of squill and thrift, a time when the laverock's (skylark) song never ceases and the sun only dips below the horizon momentarily... Or not. This past week has seen the worst weather of the summer so far. Today, Saturday, I stayed indoors most of the day with the fire on - yes, in June! - watching from the window as my neighbours braved the wind and rain to have their annual midsummer BBQ (hats off to them, they did it)! The wind has decimated the garden and the few trees which do endure the elements here have been stripped bare of their new, spring leaves.
Today has been another very busy day Guiding. I feel as though I've hit the ground running and it's extremely invigorating - I'm loving it. My first season as a fully fledged tour guide has started with a bang.
On Saturday I welcomed two lovely groups from the Celebrity Eclipse who were making a short visit to Shetland before heading south to Dublin. After arriving at Victoria Pier at 8.15am for duty, it was a case of load the busses and go!
We went to Jarlshof - a fascinating prehistoric and Norse site - taking in the scenery of Shetland's spectacular South Mainland along the way. We were lucky enough to catch a group of seals on Rerwick beach and the guests were in good spirits as Shetland presented herself in all her early summer glory. It was a fantastic day, blue skies and a sun that never abated. Unfortunately for me, the crew seat on the bus meant that I was in full sun all day and my left cheek went a lovely 'brighter shade of red' - I'm going to look like an old leather hide if the sun keeps up all summer!
After a jaunt around Jarlshof and 5,000 years of human history it was back to the town to pick up the next lot of passengers from the pier. Without even time for a pee we were on our merry way again. I returned at 5.15pm feeling happy, tired and extremely satisfied that everyone on the tours had enjoyed Shetland at its best.
Today (Sunday) was a similar format but this time, the route was to the West Mainland and the ship was the Norwegian Jade. Our tour involved a stop at Shetland Jewellery and the fascinating Scalloway Museum and Castle.
The day started with very, VERY, thick fog and between the three lanes (heading out of Lerwick) and the Halfway House (towards the North Mainland, before we turn west), we could see nothing! Thankfully, I had enough stories up my sleeve to occupy everyone till the fog lifted.
As is the case so often in the summer, Scalloway (on the west side of Shetland) was basking in lovely, bright sunshine as the east coast lay shrouded in mist. Thankfully my guests were very pragmatic and just glad that they had picked the west route rather than the south on this particular occasion!
A fantastic day - Guiding really is FUN!
A little about Laurie
Hello, and welcome to my blog. I hope that you find what you're looking for, whether you are planning that perfect holiday or maybe you're from Shetland and looking for some inspiration. Hopefully, there is something here for everyone.