Thursday, July 09, 2015

Simmer dim

And then we got the overnight ferry to Shetland.

Shetland is really quite far north - about the same latitude as Bergen in Norway or Hudson Bay. It's about as far from Edinburgh (up the way) as Edinburgh is from London (down the way) - only with more sea in between. And one thing I was really looking forward to was experiencing the "simmer dim", or summer dimming of the light, at the end of June. It never gets completely dark at this time of year. Even here Edinburgh the nights are very short - just now, for example, it's half past nine in the evening and it's as light outside as it would be on a rather dull afternoon. But in Orkney and particularly Shetland, it's broad daylight till 11pm, somewhat duskish between midnight and 1am and then it starts getting light again.

We didn't have a great view out of the window of the place we were staying. We weren't far from the sea, but somehow Mr L isn't the sort of chap who's enthusiastic about going down two flights of stairs and making his way down to the harbour at midnight. And I didn't particularly fancy a lone midnight walk. So my photos are unspectacular but you can still get the idea of how light it was.


I did go outside and take a photo of the house at 11pm, above. We had the light on, as you can see up at the top of the house, but only because the windows of our living room were quite small and didn't let in very much light at any time of day.


These are views from the kitchen window about 11.15pm.




Midnight. The little light is the moon.

 

3.15 am, above and the two below.



 
Yes, you're perhaps right that I should spend more time sleeping. But I'll be doing that permanently one of these days. I don't like to waste too much time doing it now.

12 comments:

  1. I've noticed that when we visit Britain that it stays daylight much later than it does here. Did you see any Shetland ponies?

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    1. Yes, lots of Shetland ponies.

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  2. This looks like a sweet place to visit - it's going on my list!

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  3. I've always wanted to see this too. Thanks for staying up!

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  4. I've just finished reading Anne Cleeves Shetland series and been checking out the map to try and get an idea of just how far north it is and where all the places are in relation to each other, so it's really good to see your photos - thank you!

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  5. Such very Scottish looking houses , somehow !

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  6. Oh, I don't think Shetlanders really regard themselves as being Scottish...

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  7. Ahhh, you're a woman after my own heart -- I think sleeping is a waste of time. Too bad we need it so much! Shetland's light sounds much like that of Iceland -- I loved it there with so much daylight -- I wore my family out!

    And your comment just above this is interesting -- Do Shetlanders think of themselves as a country of their own?

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    1. Well, a lot of them feel (it's often said) more Scandinavian than Scottish. The nearest railway station is Bergen! Mainland Scotland is a long way away.

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  8. Sunrise 07.17, sunset 17.14 here. At the solstice, sunset was at 17.05, so I'm watching those numbers greedily.
    What an enviable excursion you had . I had, actually, no idea that Shetland was so remote. Thank you for wonderful photos - not from a phone, surely? - and for educating me.

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  9. This has been fascinating for me to read, Pam! I cannot imagine what it would be like to have daylight for so long, even dim daylight! I am sure I wouldn't be able to sleep either. I dislike our daylight saving for that reason; I feel like I lose an hour's sleep over the summer months, although they keep extending it and I think it's about six months now. Good grief, half the year...why don't 'they' just reset all the times permanently...

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  10. It is similar to where I stay in Finland, I can never get to sleep over there.

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