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Published: 06 May 2017

By Andy Ross

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Shetland summer begins

Last week we were in the middle of a cold spell, so cold in fact that there was snow and ice. This week things are entirely different. 

One good thing about the summer in Shetland is the length of the day. This morning the sun was well and truly up at four thirty, and will  only go down after nine thirty. Plenty of time to wake up early, eat a leisurely breakfast and walk to work in time for visitors to arrive. Walking to work is one of the pleasures of this island life. Few cars and those that do pass are friendly, waving as they drive by. Beautiful scenery - down the hill into a glacial valley, past the loch with the divers on it calling their weird baby-like cry, around the corner and the second loch with swans and ducks, wave to the neighbours who cut peat alongside the road, and into the studio. A half hour walk with time to myself for thinking and listening to music, or to the larks overhead. 

I always think better when I walk. Any everyday problems that come up can be solved as the landscape unfolds, and for some reason the mere mechanics of placing one foot in front of the other seem to unlock things in the brain. I don't think I am alone in that. Lots of creative people walk or do some form of exercise or meditation which gives them time to think differently about things. For me, the summer is the time to get the grey cells working away on plans and ideas. How exciting!