When I told people I was moving to Shetland, I was issued with warnings aplenty about the “killer” long, dark nights. Being a solar-powered kind of person, I was genuinely worried as to whether or not I would cope.
Well, I’m still here. It would be disingenuous to say I love this time of year. I’m close to tears when my summer clothes go back in the trunk for another eight months, and I don’t get particularly excited at the thought of bobble-hats, cosying up by the fire or going through a tube of lip-salve per day.
What’s kept me going through the years is the buzz of night-time activity that starts in September and begins to reach a wild crescendo in January (need I say why?). Say what you like about the Shetland weather, but the Shetland winter what’s-on offerings are excellent.
My early winters here are a blur of drama festival preparation, night classes and the infrequent but always enjoyable evening at one of Lerwick’s fine hostelries. More recently, the Althing, adult ballet classes and an occasional “curry club” have pulled me through.
Looking ahead to the next few months, this autumn/winter looks like it’s going to be an absolute cracker. No sooner is Wool Week over than we have Taste of Shetland. Hot on its heels is the Shetland Fiddle and Accordion Festival. Then it’s not too long at all to wait until Wordplay…
So, whatever else winter might be, it’s unlikely to be boring.