After very relaxed three Christmassy weeks in Oxford, it was time to head back to the south end of Shetland. As you might expect at this time of year there was lots of weather about, ranging from relatively warm dry weather, via pretty serious winds accompanied by horizontal rain, sleet and hail, through to bitterly cold clear weather.
SkyNews and STV News to use the pictures online and on their TV broadcasts. One of the interesting aspects of my aurora watching was the role of online media, particularly twitter, both for sharing photographs after the event, but also for tracking what was happening during the evening as the aurora started to become visible. The aurora watching was very much a community activity.
The one thing I needed to miss out on in Shetland this January was the extra-ordinary event that is Up Helly Aa. This ﬁre festival is held on the last Tuesday in January each year, and is the chance for Shetlanders to get in touch with their inner Viking, to dress-up in clothes both traditional and esoteric and to spend the best part of 24 hours getting wasted in the 'Halls' of Lerwick. I've been on Shetland on the day after Up Helly Aa, and the only sound you hear is the wind (and people going "shhh" as you walk past the doors of their houses).