Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Scotland, England and Shetland-Part 1

Warning..............picture heavy post.

My trip to the Shetland Islands, Scotland and England was Amazing!!!  We met so many wonderful people, most of them Shetland sheep breeders that drove us around, provided room and meals for us and shared their lovely sheep.  A heartfelt thank you goes to each of the people that were so generous and kind while we were there, we felt so welcome while visiting all of you.

Oct 7th we flew out of Chicago to London, changed planes and got to Edinburgh in the early afternoon, we were picked up by Kate Sharp and Alan Hill and then took a little ride around the city.  Had a really nice time meeting Ellen Bain and her husband, then got to see their nice flock of sheep.

Bains-lovely people-lovely sheep

We look a bit travel weary here.  lol

Some of the Bains' really nice Shetland ewes-I was so tired when we visited that I felt we didn't really get much of a chance to visit with these nice folks.  I really like that they've maintained a lot of wool on the poll and checks of their sheep.  Something I saw more of in the northern flocks than in the ones to the south.  The kat markings on their sheep are crisper and sharper than the ones I see in America too.  I feel in love with the kats in the UK. 

 After having a truly tasty meal at a nice Bistro, we got settled in our hotel for the night.   Being overly excited about the upcoming days, I slept very little, so lots of caffine, a nice breakfast and we were on our way to Kate's holding to meet with Suzanne Meikle, Susan Russel, Philip Cowen and his girlfriend, Amy.   After some tea and biscuits (turns out there's a LOT of tea and biscuits in the UK) we crammed our luggage into the vehicles and headed out to Aberdeen to board the ferry for Shetland!!! We had a lovely visit with Suzanne's flock and boy does she have some nice Shetland sheep and a lovely little place in the country to keep them.

Suzanne has moorits and whites and I'd take them home if I could get away with it. 

I wanted a close up on the head on some of her sheep.......very Shetlandy sheep.  (is that even a word?)

More of Suzanne's ewes

And yet more ewes....notice the great conformation on these gals. 

We noticed several fleece styles, but all of them were single coats that we saw, wether in England, Scotland or on the Islands.  Even the Foula didn't have noticeable double coats.  This style of fleece is referred to as Pearly in America. 

Look at this yummy stuff

Love the head on this gal.  Screams Shetland sheep to me. 

This young ram was one of my favorite faces, very unique.

Another of the younger rams

Look at those sharp katmoget badger faces!!! 

This old fella was impressive

ram lambs.....

more yumminess

part of our motley crew.....left to right: Mike in back, Susan, Alan, Kate, Amy and Philip

The ferry/ship ride.
I've never been on a ship or ferry, so when we drove the vehicles into the bottom of this ship, I was impressed.  There were semi trailers in there and quite a few of them to boot!!!

Driving into the ferry

Parked in the bottom of the ferry with semi trailers parked all around us and then passenger vehicles in front and behind us.  Garrett on the right, Philip and Amy on the left.

We got what we needed for the overnight voyage and headed to the decks above us to grab a bite to eat before we set sail.  We started getting a wee bit concerned when we heard that there were going to be gale force 10 winds that night, but one of the crew assured us we would be fine.  We'll call that an understatement, because it was NOT FINE.

This is the view from the inside of the ship just before we left the harbor. 

Stay tuned............will our unsuspecting sea goers make it safely to the Island?  Why do they have the tables and chairs tethered with cables to the floor of the dining area?  How far out of the water does a ship go before it slams back into the water?  That's right, I said SLAMS!!!!

Cheers all


  1. You did get to see one of my sheep! I think that is Creedy Charles caption 'Look at those sharp katmoget badger faces' :-) SueWx

  2. So you did get to see one of mine too! - not in Somerset - but at Suzannes. The fawn kat ram lamb with the sharp markings is Creedy Charles! :-)

  3. Been waiting to hear about this trip. Keep it coming!!!

  4. Oh my goodness! What an awesome trip!!! Can't wait to hear and see more :-D.

  5. Love, love, love the poll wool on those Shetlands!


He who angers you, controls you.

And my favorite.......You can't control what others say or do, but you can control your reaction.

Mike and I

Mike and I
Mike and I at Nick and Emily's wedding

Raised beds & chickens coops

Raised beds & chickens coops
Can't wait for this stuff to actually be food....