Builder finds '˜the light of his life' while installing 24 hour electricity to Fair Isle

A builder working to install 24 electricity to a remote British island for the first time is set to stay there - after falling in love with '˜the light of his life'.

Marie Bruhat and Thomas Fisher got together thanks to the energy project. Picture: Marie Bruhat.
Marie Bruhat and Thomas Fisher got together thanks to the energy project. Picture: Marie Bruhat.

Labourer Thomas Fisher, 20, was told by his bosses that he would be ‘working away’ installing power on an island he had never been to.

Thomas travelled to Fair Isle off the coast of Scotland with dad Barry, 55, and his older brother, also named Barry, in February 2018.

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But now he has moved permanently after meeting ‘light of my life’ Marie Bruhat, 24, who moved to the island nearly two years ago from Auvergne, France.

The couple met in a community centre where the island’s male congregation gather to play darts on a Thursday evening - with textile designer Marie being the only female.

After their first meeting in February, they became friends and quickly bonded over their shared appreciation of the beautiful scenery, and became a couple in June.

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Fair Isle gets 24-hour electricity for the first time

Now Thomas has moved to the island full-time and got a job on a ferry - and another work pal who met islander has settled there too, boosting the population which was around 50 in the summer.

Thomas said: “I’d never been to Fair Isle before - we got told we were working away and I didn’t have a clue where Fair Isle was. Now I love the place.”

The couple say they do not often have candlelit dinners, and that although the limited electricity has been an inconvenience it can be overcome with battery packs.

The lifestyle on Fair Isle, where until recently electricity cut out at 11.30pm and transport to the mainland is limited to a couple of times a week, meant Marie feared her dating opportunities were limited when she moved in February 2017.

“It is such a different way of life on Fair Isle,” she said. “I wouldn’t expect to find a partner in Paris or Nice who would have the same dream as me.

“I was thinking that someone would visit and fall in love with the island.”

She first visited the island in 2015 and fell in love with it, before returning to her studies and moving full-time in February 2017, initially for three months, to take up an internship with Mati Ventrillon, producing traditional Fair Isle knitwear.

Marie also volunteers as a retained firefighter on the island, motivated to help out the community she loves.

Thomas said his dad was not at all surprised by his decision to stay, and said: “He told me ‘never look back’.

“My dad loved it here too, he said if he was younger he would have stayed.”

As well as knitting, going for walks and watching seals frolicking in the sea, the couple enjoy playing darts every Thursday.