Sunday, July 5, 2009

Memories of Shetland

Maalie and "yours truly" leaving Aberdeen

Maalie recently blogged about Shetland, and it evoked some very fond memories that I wanted to share with you.
In 2002 I was in the UK for a number of reasons. I had a singing career that had potential, and with the help of Cathay Pacific, Sylvie Guillem , London Review magazine I was to have an audition with the Royal Opera.

The hut which was home for those days.
Sadly a health issue arose in 2001 and I had to concentrate on it, the doctors telling me I might have cancer, and so the audition was cancelled. Yet against doctors advise, I went ahead with the trip.
Frankly I did not know what to expect. Jim had helped me with a number of things and I thought it would be nice to meet.

Heading out in the Zodiac, Maalie at the helm!
So , after 38 plus hours in the plane, and a trip to Aberdeen I meet Jim for the first time.

 I am going to say this- Shetland was, and still is, the most memorable experience of my life. With like minded people, who loved birds, opera , ballet, beer.. it was a mix of the most amazing experiences that I shall take with me wherever I go. Jim became an instant friend. A deep friendship, not formed in just trivial things, but across a range of issues, and shared experiences.
The Rumble. I am  a member!

With my time spent there, I discovered the world, opened my mind to other feelings and tastes, of ideas and attitudes- it was incredible. When I left I shed a tear. The doctors told me I may not make it to 50 years of age, my singing fell in a heap, yet I had something more valuable, more precious happened when I was there- I formed friendships. The most valuable gift on earth.
Big Dave and Maalie heading out for research.

There is too much to write here. I hope you will enjoy the photos, and if you want to share more, there will be further posts.


  1. it was, and still is the best thing i have ever experienced..

  2. Great memories mate. Good to see the Royal Maalie Court regalia flying in the breeze!

  3. HI Simon. Thanks for visiting my blog and glad my posts brought back happy travel memories. They are always the best! Bit late right now.. so will take a tour of your blog later. Thanks again for your great comments. Julie

  4. Maalie- yes mate! and the photos don't look too bad considering they are scans of 35mm

    Julie- You are welocme- great photos!

  5. Oh, two of my most favourite bloggers - I had no idea you have actually met up in person.

    Aberdeen is my birthplace!

    Simon, you have lived several lives in this one, already. Everything we experience shapes the person we are, and from what I see, you are an amazing, giving, compassionate and gifted friend to all who know you. I hope your health issues will be, or have been overcome. There is so much more yet you have to give to the world.

  6. Shrinky! HUGE thank you for your comments.

    Yes Jim and I are good friends- we meet up every year, Australia, Shetland, England, France. It great!

  7. wow you did not get to audition??
    What happened with your health.
    I am hopefully assuming you are well considering your current profession and continued world travels.
    Just being amid all natures greenery and good friends had to be healing for you.
    What does an Australian magpie look like?
    Your friend across the wide ocean and a billion grains of sand

  8. well... it needs a BIG email majamom! or ou can email maalie....

  9. I'd love to see more posts on this, Simon. Sorry I haven't seen this sooner. I've been quite tired lately.

    Yes, Maalie's pics over there are quite interesting. So glad you were able to meet up with him and form the bond you have now.

    I see friendships as inherent to what is best in humans, and what is to be central in the new heaven and new earth in the new creation in Jesus.

    And I love friendships now. But I'm not as good at them as I want to be; I want to keep growing in them.

    I hope your health issues are better now, Simon. It's good to see you getting around the way you do- from what you share on your blog, here. My wife would have you regimented to a stict vegan diet with lots of raw vegetables and fruit, and carrot juice. :)

  10. Ted- thank you for your thoughts mate! :o)

  11. great to read about how you met...and see the tall and the short of it all!!!