Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Treeless Narnia, Day 6: when the going gets tough... phone Bolts car hire. Actually, all the car hire companies in Shetland have always, in my experience, been excellent to deal with. But I have a soft spot for Bolts because they supplied the first car I ever drove in the islands, more than 30 years ago. It was an old-style Mini 1000, I was a young reporter, Shetland was in the midst of an oil construction boom which made the whole place look like a building site, and I thrashed that wee thing through mud, slurry, peat and ice for a week, until nothing on it worked except the gearbox and engine.

I said no more snow pictures: this doesn't count, as I stole it from the Auto Express website. I'm picking up a Skoda Octavia 4X4 ("impressive in snow") after the show, as by that time Susan will (hopefully) have made it home in the Toyota. The schools are closed and the weans are at home with chicken goujons to defrost. Anything could happen!

I need to stay on late in Lerwick as tonight as I'm hosting BBC Radio Shetland's Speakeasy programme, on the subject of Shetland's music scene and its future. By that time I'll have missed the last bus, and there's a good chance in any case that it won't go.

Because today, Day Six of Snow Go Zetland, is the worst so far. The road south from Hillswick was blocked earlier, but we managed to follow a snowplough out.

I was intending to stay in Lerwick overnight, but a look at hotel prices (and, for that matter, some of the visitor comments on TripAdvisor) convinced me the money would be better spent on hiring a 4x4. And, let's face it, for a petrolbrain like myself, it will be more fun.

The Skoda Octavia 4x4 estate looks like it will do the job. Weirdly, every minicab in greater Glasgow seems to be a Skoda Octavia. I was once told there was some kind of sinister element to this fact, but I know nothing more...

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