Month: June 2017

Expedition Otter

11-year-old Hakki Hunter was absolutely delighted when he won a day out with award winning photographer, Richard Shucksmith in our March competition. So delighted, in fact, that he wrote an article all about his experiences of otter hunting around Shetland. You can read Hakki’s writing and see some of his spectacular photos in the magazine this month.

Baking with Marian Armitage

This month, as part of our special Bairns’ Takeover issue, Marian Armitage visited Sandwick School to teach Ella, Gracie, Willum and Kaden how to bake. They have shared the recipe for the delicious flatbreads they made below:

500g Strong Flour
7g Easy Bake Yeast
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons of caster sugar (We didn’t add)
1 tablespoon of soft butter 300ml/1/2 a pint of hand–warm water

Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a big bowl. Using your fingertips rub in the butter until only fine crumbs are left. Mix in the water with a cutlery knife.

Tip onto a lightly flour dusted surface, and knead for 10 minutes (or use the dough hook attachment on your mixer).

Lightly grease the mixing bowl with some oil. Put the dough back in, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to rise until double in size (about 1 hour depending on how warm your kitchen is).

Knock back the dough by gently kneading just 5 times to get the air out. Mould into a smooth oval and lift into a lightly oiled 900g/2lb loaf tin.

Cover the dough again with a clean tea towel and leave to prove until doubled in the size again. Preheat the oven to 200C : 180C fan : gas mark 6.

Lift the tin onto the middle oven shelf and bake for 30-35 minutes, until you can lift the bread loaf from the tin and when you tap the base it sounds hollow. Cool on a wire rack.

All photographs by Leanne Macleod

June’s issue: out now!

Welcome to the June magazine. For this month only, Shetland Life magazine has not just one editor, but an editorial team. A group of 15 pupils from Bell’s Brae, Sandwick and Dunrossness Primary school are in charge!

For this Shetland Life we have written some articles about crofting, lambing and spring. We also have put together some suggestions about things you can do in your free time in Shetland, so you never need to be bored again. We’ve interviewed some really interesting people too. You can find out who we spoke to when you buy the magazine.

We’ve really had a lot of fun working on this magazine. The best part of this experience for us has been working with friends and meeting new people. Going to The Shetland Times office and seeing the printer room was a highlight. We thought that there would be a lot of small printers, so we were quite surprised to find out that there was just one and that it was massive.
We liked working with Marian Armitage when she visited Sandwick School. Marian was really nice and really fun.

We’ve all done a lot of writing for this magazine. Writing the articles was hard work but it was worth it in the end. It was hard to think what you were going to write to start with but once you got it flowing it came much easier.
It would be good to do this again if we had the chance.
We’d like to say thanks to all the people who helped us get this magazine together: Genny and the people at The Shetland Times, Leanne the photographer, Marian Armitage and our teachers who’ve given us time to work on our articles in school.

Ella, Gracie, Kayden and Willum (on behalf of the entire editorial team)

A year in the life of my croft

Emily Gifford describes life on her Bressay croft.

Crofting takes a lot of time, dedication and hard work.

In January, we get early calves.

In February, our early calves come.

In March, our main calves come. We spread dung, plough and cultivate. We sell store cattle.

In April, our lambs and main calves come. We plant tatties, barley, oats and grass seed.

In May, it’s lambing time. We spread slurry and we put cattle outside.

In June, we take our first cut of silage.

In July, we cut hay and clip sheep.

In August, we take our second cut of silage and we harvest our early tatties.

In September, we wean and sell our lambs and start harvesting our main crop of tatties.

In October, we wean and sell hill lambs and we wean calves.

In November, we take in cattle and slip the inbye rams.

And in December, we slip hill rams.

The land work is weather dependent. The lambing still goes ahead regardless of the weather, but if it’s bad weather we have to try and get the ewes and new-born lambs inside.

The encounter with trows

Enjoy a brilliant (and slightly spooky)story from Bell’s Brae pupil and talented young writer, Freyja Tait.

In the countryside of Waas lived two girls: Lilly, who was 12 and her sister Jane who was 8.

It was a Wednesday, so they were at their granny’s house for a visit. But as the modern world is, they were on their phones and IPads.

“You’ve been on those things for hours on end!” said granny, scowling.

“What?” grunted Jane, refusing to raise her head from the screen.

“I think you ought to go outside for a peerie walk before it gets too dark”, said Granny, putting down her knitting. She was concentrating on a hat for the Waas show, and the constant noise from those blasted gadgets was distracting her.

“Fine!” shouted Lilly. She made her way to the coat cupboard, which was piled high with boilersuits, waterproofs and shoes. She pulled on her wellies and jackets, while her sister reluctantly followed.

A little face peered round the door.

“Can I come too?” asked their four year old cousin, James.

“No!” replied the girls together as they stomped out of the house.

This made peerie James cry. As he sobbed, it made his curly blonde hair bounce up and down and tears streamed from his blue eyes.

It was a fine night and the moon was just beginning to come out. The girls made their way through the field, chatting about school, family and friends. They passed an abandoned crofthouse that was filled with overgrown nettles so they decided not to go in. They stopped at the beach and both picked up pebbles and threw them into the wide ocean. They continued walking until it started to get dark.

“I think we better turn around” said Jane.

They turned around and realised that they had walked for too long and were lost. They kept silent and started to retrace their steps.

At that moment two trows came our of a little hole in the ground after smelling human flesh.

“I smell…humans!” said the first trow.

The second trow took in a deep breath. “I smell children, I feel it in the air!”

The two creepy figures walked ahead of the girls and hid in the long grass. As Lilly and Jane walked on they thought they heard someone sneeze. The girls looked at each other and shook their heads. There were always strange noises at night.

That was when the trows pounced! The first thing the girls saw was the crooked dark figures running towards them. Then they noticed the big ears and saliva dripping from their mouths.

The girls screamed and started to run but the trows were too quick. They grabbed the girls and dragged them back to their secret hole far under the earth. The corridors were long and winding, lit by fire torches on the walls. The sisters looked at each other in terror, knowing there was no way to escape.

Eventually, they reached a big room filled with hundreds of trows that all looked the same. The girls were placed in the middle of the room.

In front of them stood a trow who wore what looked like a crown, sewn together by long pieces of grass. They guessed he was the king.

The trows spoke in their own language, so the girls had no clue what they were saying. After a couple of minutes the girls were taken to another room. The trows guarded the door whilst the king stood in front of them. This time he spoke in a language that the girls could make out. He told them that they would have to stay for 28 days in the trow world before they could go home.

“Why?” asked Jane.

“Because the hole you came down only opens up every 28 days.” replied the king trow.

So the girls stayed in the trow world for 28 days. They taught trows things like how to knit, talk proper English and eventually they all became friends. On the day of their release the king told them something very important.

“I have not been wanting to tell you this,” he said sadly.

“What is it?” asked Lilly suspiciously.

“Everyday in the trow world is a year in your human world.” the king said. And with that he gave each of the girls a hug and led them out of the hole. He then walked back inside and the hole closed up.

The sisters looked at each other in disbelief. 28 years couldn’t have passed!

They could see their granny’s house from where they were standing, except it looked a bit different. As they walked towards it, the girls started noticing that things didn’t seem quite right.

“Look at these trees. Granny only planted them last week and now they’re huge and full of leaves” said Lilly.

“And what about that slide in the garden? And those fancy cars? Granny doesn’t even drive” said Jane, beginning to get a horrible sinking feeling in her tummy.

Slowly, the girls knocked on the door. A young man they didn’t recognise answered.

“Hello?” he said.

He had thick blonde curly hair and bright blue eyes. Two small children ran up to the man from behind, staring at the two young strangers at the door.

“Who is it daddy?” asked one of them.

The two girls looked at each other.

Could it be?