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Saturday 9 September 2023

Viewing Houses, Lunch at The Olive Tree and Organizing a Twitch!

Wednesday 7th September

I spent most of the day viewing properties to buy. Picked up the keys to go and look at a chapel at South Nesting. Jill and Rob very kindly met me at the property to give me their thoughts – they know far more about renovating properties than I do! Its on the market for offers over £50,000, which probably means it will go over £100,000+.

I had aleady been to look at this property a week ago, but not had the key to look inside the chapel. South Nesting is a particularly idyllic area of Shetland and I fell in love with the location. The property next door has a very mature garden with pond and trees, shrubs etc – all good for birds and the other side of the chapel was open fields, full of roosting gulls, Jackdaws, Starlings and Meadow Pipits and the huge Benston Loch was the main viewpoint with a huge copse beyond this – well, I say 'huge', huge for Shetland! It felt like a really good spot for birds.

The carpark in front of the chapel would have worked out perfectly to put a garage and Polycrub at some point in the future. We noted several expensive issues. Long and short of it, we all decided it would not be worth the risk, with the funds I have and also the fact that I need to be out of my NHS accommodation fairly soon. This chapel had huge potential, but far too risky I decided.

Went to look at another house at Vidlin (without keys) and I did not feel excited by this property at all, without going into details, plus it was really too far from work and would have cost too much to heat with four bedrooms.

We left and went to Lerwick for lunch at the Olive Tree cafe. The food here was scrumptious and it was very busy – always a good sign, when you have to queue for a while. Jill and Rob then returned home and I drove south to look at two properties, that will be coming up in the future. Both properties in awesome locations – one of them is currently empty and looks like it needs lots of work.

Yesterday (Tuesday) a MEGA Yellow Warbler was found on the island of Foula by Donna Atherton (3rd for Shetland) – the picture she put on the WhatsApp group at 19.07 was jaw dropping! Vivid yellow warbler perched in a hebe bush (shrubby veronica) which for those of you that don't know, has dark purple flowers – this was a mega rare bird on another level! It remained there today! There have been eleven previous records in the UK – the first one for Shetland was at Helendale, Lerwick on 3rd to 4th November 1990 and the second one was at Garths Ness, mainland, 15th to 17th September 2005.

Would it be possible to get to Foula to see this incredible bird? Jill and Rob were in the know about a ferry, that I didn't know existed, which departs from BK Marine Ltd at Walls twice a week – on a Thursday and Tuesday. It just so happens that the next one was going out tomorrow, leaving at 13.30 and leaves Foula to return to Walls at 9.30am on Saturday. This meant that we needed to enquire about staying over and if it was even possible. The only accommodation available on the island at the moment was Ristie Self Catering – a croft house at the north end of Foula. I phoned up and spoke to a lady called "Mai" on 01595 753281,who said they only allowed a minium of three night's stay, but yes it was available tomorrow, but booked out from next Monday. It took a long time to sort this booking as Mai found it difficult to understand me and I her (long story short). I ended up speaking to her husband, who was working in Amsterdam to clarify the booking details. Basically this cottage is split into two lots of accommodation, a smaller and seperate area of the cottage was £65 a night and the larger section was £85 per night (both for the cottage, not per person). So basically we paid £255 (£85 each) for three nights, even though we were only staying for two nights. Jill, Rob and I agreed to this and I booked it! I booked the ferry with "Gordon" on 07881 827636 which I got from the answer phone message on the number on BK Marine website: 01595 743976.

Spent the evening madly packing a two day bag and food supplies as there is no shop or food available on Foula. However, we did find out during the trip that "Mai" does offer full day's meals: breakfast, lunch and evening meal, delivered to your door for £60.00 per person, per day. Took an anti-sickness tablet in preparation for the two and a quarter hour ferry and went to bed.

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