Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Chips, snow and a Shetland ghost story...

Johnnie Mann's Loch
I used to stop for a wee nap sometimes, when I was driving back from Lerwick to Hillswick after work. It's 40 miles or so, and sometimes, when my eyelids began to droop, I would pull into a lay-by and have a dreamless sleep, waking...not refreshed, but, with a window wide, just about able to make it home. Sober, too. I tire easily.

I once stopped, with an early twilight falling, next to the lovely little trout repository called Johnnie Mann's loch, which is in one of the pictures taken here. As usual, I woke up after about 15 minutes, darkness having fallen, and drove home, groggily.
Towards America

A few days later, I heard the story of Johnnie Mann, who had tried to cross the ice on the little loch which now bears his name. The ice gave way. He was never seen again. What was seen there, by someone in the 19th Century who stopped by the loch for, ahem, a nap, was a friendly horseman who, when he took of his hat, was revealed as having no...head.

I have never stopped for a snooze there since.
Sullom Voe Oil Terminal

There are more strange stories associated with the immediate vicinity (Nibon, just over the hill, a very beautiful spot) which you will find hinted at by resident poet Jim Mainland here: http://www.northmavine.com/node/915 . 'Gunnister man' - the mummified body unearthed from a nearby peat bank - shows what happens when you stop for a snooze...and never wake up.

Anyway, these are pictures taken today during my jaunt through the snow for chips at multi- award-winning takeaway Frankies. And very nice they were too. No napping was involved.
Towards the Ness of Hillswick

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