Monday, 22 February 2010
Definition - extreme (adj):
1. highest in intensity or degree
2. going far beyond what is reasonable or normal
3. farthest out, especially from the centre
4. very strict or severe
5. denoting an activity in which participants actively seek out dangerous or even life-threatening experiences
1. the furthest limit or highest degree of something
2. something or somebody that represents either of the two ends of a scale or range, for example, the highest or lowest degree of something, or a quality and its polar opposite
3. the first or last term in a mathematical proportion or series
Having come to Shetland looking for the extreme, whilst I may not have seen any extreme waves, it is a place of extremes, although I realize that this is a relative term. What may appear extreme to me may well be simply taken for granted by the indigenous population of Shetland, and is probably nothing to someone living in the Antartic. Nevertheless here on Shetland the weather dominates and changes rapidly.
Sunday morning in Scalloway was almost tshirt weather, bright warm sun, the harbour water as still as a mill pond, and although there was still some snow on the ground, I worked in the studio with the doors wide open. Setting off early afternoon with an artist from the Veer North group to travel across to the islands of Yell and then Unst on a quest for a beach and blue plastic, I remarked on the amazing dark cloud hanging in the air as we drove north. As we arrived at the ferry crossing, there were flecks of snow descending. By the time we had crossed over to Yell and driven its length to catch the next ferry over to Unst, it was snowing fairly steadily, but we ventured on. Having arrived at Unst this had become a blizzard. We drove a short way up the road before reason set in – we couldn’t actually see much of the road - and we turned back (with some difficulty) and drove slowly to the ferry. It was all very beautiful though.
This morning in Scalloway there has been no power, and now snow is sweeping across the harbour… obliterating my view of the hills on the other side.
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