Worst summer in 40 years, best October in 20. Or so a local fisherman told me yesterday in the newly refurbished Brae Garage, which is now a shop, off licence and general impersonation of the Tardis, complete with computerised flight deck.
Brae is the nearest sizeable village to our humble hamlet, some 10 miles away towards the Sullom Voe Oil Terminal (the biggest in Europe). And in Brae you can get petrol, LPG ( I have an old gas-fired Volvo and Susan's getting her Jeep Cherokee converted even as we speak) fresh-baked frozen French bread and the papers. Or as they say hereaboots, da peppers. In Brae you can also get a decent meal, a pint, have a swim, a sauna or go to the gym, and there's a six-year secondary school too. Not to mention a brand-new health centre the size of Wick, and a residential care centre for elderly folk, including my mother-in-law. Oil money makes Shetland the last remnant in the UK of the late lamented welfare state. And we're grateful, don't think we're not.
Anyway, glorious October is over, and while November has come in similar shining splendour, I could see a big nasty front approaching from the south east as darkness arrived this afternoon. The clocks have gone back, soon it'll be dark at 3.00pm or earlier, and it's the season of peat fires, home brew, music making and enjoying the weather that's battering the outside of the house.
Must to bed. That's a year of blogging. My 50th birthday is all too close and my knees are creaking. Must be all this typing.