February 9, 2021

The first few months of the year can be challenging living on an island in the middle of the North Sea; all the festivities of Christmas are over (although those were a bit different this year), it’s dark, it’s cold, there seems to be a pressure on us to make a new start with the beginning of the year with New Year resolutions and making new plans, and to be honest very often all I want to do is sleep (nature is hibernating after all so why can’t I?). It’s especially challenging this year with the restrictions due to Covid-19, not being able to visit friends as well as juggling a business with homeschooling. I tend to find that getting outside as much as possible really helps. We have been blessed over the past few weeks with beautiful weather as opposed to the relentless gales and rain we often get at this time of year. It has been very cold and we have had a light covering of snow for a few weeks now (there tend to be less here in Burra than other areas of Shetland as we are surrounded by so much sea) with temperatures dipping down to around -8C on some nights, but the lighter winds than usual make such a difference. A phrase I like to try and live by at this time of year is to “embrace winter”.

I actually prefer how the landscape looks at this time of year. I love how the low sun casts shadows on the chiselled hills showing off every crevice and fold.

The view to the East from the croft
The golden colours of meal beach
Sheep with a golden glow
Watching the snow coming in at Kettleness in the south end of Burra
Dying the indigo last week
The island of Foula looking from the west of Burra
Ice crystals on blades of grass in the garden

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of the island and you too can embrace the winter wherever you are.

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