We find we struggle to get through Lerwick without calling at the Peerie Cafe. On this occasion we were too early so did Tesco instead.

Then the cafe. Warm fresh cheese scones, lashings of butter (plenty of calories required to insulate us from the Northern wet and cold) and great coffee.

A walk through the deserted streets (it didn’t feel like the Saturday before Christmas) and we saw this: the window of Jamieson’s the famous Shetland Knitwear shop with a terrific display of hand knitted baubles, beautifully crafted by ‘MRImaakers’ (those raising funds for an MRI scanner ON Shetland)from around the world. Each bauble bears the name of its maker. They are to be auctioned in January. I’d like the sheep one!

Then we found Jimmy Perez’ house – the détective from Ann Cleaves Shetland mysteries.

And some typical Shetland humour:

Then a drive up ‘mainland’ (the largest Shetland island), across by ferry from Toft to Ulsta onYell, a 25 minute drive up Yell to Gutcher and a 10 min Crossing to Unst (Belmont) on a ferry that runs between three islands: Yell, Unst (population 650) and Fetlar – famous for its birds and with a population of 60.

There are no police on Unst. There is no 999 service. There is always a doctor and usually a nurse. Today I took over from the doctor, Dr Ruth Booth, who lives on another island but does several days work each month on Unst. She was kind and thorough, logical and particulartaking pains to explain who was available to help, how to call a ferry out at night,when to call a air ambulance…..(ie helicopter) and when to involve the coastguard.

We took her to the ferry at 7pm and felt very alone.

I am now the ‘which service do you require – ambulance part of the 999 service’.

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