SHADWELL WANTS TO SHOW YOU THIS FROM THE SHETLAND ISLES
A Brief Journey to the Place where Shadwell
NEWS FROM THE
March 24th 2008
LAST NIGHT as I laid
down my head I dreamt a dream.
In need of solace
I headed for the hills and soon lost my bearings.
The ancient cairn I used as a landmarker was gone
and in its place was a giant windmill.
need of rest I looked for a place to sit and tried
to settle at the base of this great graffiti
stricken rusting beast. Amongst the broken glass
and beer can filth I looked around and found myself
in an industrial landscape with wind turbines
stretching as far as the eye could see.
I heard a truck driving up the giant road that cut
into the hills. Then men and boys unloaded
motorbikes and screeched around the track they had
made into the heather.
Distressed I began to
draw and looked to the sky in search of spiralling
lapwings, but instead all I could see was the never
ending spiralling of windmill blades cutting into
this once tranquil air like a knife in the
Unable to draw I began to walk and found
myself at the shore of a loch where years ago I
could catch a dozen half pound, ruby encrusted,
brown trout with ease. I fished on without a fish.
Then I looked into the water and noticed that it
was black with death and peat run off.
down my rod and walked again. Then in the distance
I saw a traveller. As he approached I noticed that
like me he too was weeping and heavy laden. I asked
him where he was from and what was he doing here.
He said he came from afar in search of Shetland’s
legendary beauty and multitude of birds, but so far
he had found neither birds nor beauty.
enquired where he could see merlins and whimbrel
and I said they had not been seen round here for
some time. Even the curlew and snipe had nowhere to
rest their heads on this hill and the skylarks no
longer sang, though the bonxies were doing well on
the dead birds that lay beneath each
farewell and he said he would not be coming to
these isles again. In despair I headed back to the
village to seek out the company of friends and when
I knocked on the door of the dishevelled house a
bleary-eyed woman answered who I did not
I enquired what had happened to
my friends and she said that several years after
the turbines had arrived they could take the noise
and visual intrusion no more and unable to sell
their house they had upped and gone and let it out
to her. I asked why this village, which I remember
as being so full of fun and children, was so empty,
and she said that no one wanted to live here any
I started to run as fast and far away as
possible but no matter how far I ran in any
direction I could still see the turbines.
and sweating I collapsed into a heap and then
suddenly I was awakened by the sound of a skylark
singing high above the house. I looked outside and
the hill was still intact and I realised it was
indeed a very bad dream.