Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Shetland Ponies do Up Helly Aa

A few months ago, my cartoons of the Shetland Ponies - inspired in part by the famous Orcadian comic The Giddy Limit - debuted on this blog in the post following the referendum result. The annual Shetlandic festival Up Helly Aa (pronounced "Up Hell-Yaa") takes place in a couple of weeks, and Sigurd and Thorfinn are excited for the festivities.

On one of my trips between Aberdeen and Kirkwall aboard either the Hjaltland or the Hrossey, I met some extremely kind Shetlanders. I told them that I'd visited Shetland, and that it hadn't gone particularly well, and they insisted that I was absolutely going to come up and celebrate Up Helly Aa with them. I feel like that voyage took place in November or maybe early December. I left Scotland in late December having never heard from any of them despite having given them my business card and expressed some interest in coming up to the festival. Oh, well, c'est la vie... Or, as the Orcadians might say, "Ah've jus' gottae get awn wae hid, beuy."

Also, this may not be the first time Sigurd and Thorfinn have discussed Up Helly Aa...

If you're a Shetlander who happens to be seeing these, have fun at the festival, and try to stay safe!

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