When I told people I was moving to Shetland, I was issued with warnings aplenty about the “killer” long, dark nights. Being a solar-powered kind of person, I was genuinely worried as to whether or not I would cope.
Well, I’m still here. It would be disingenuous to say I love this time of year. I’m close to tears when my summer clothes go back in the trunk for another eight months, and I don’t get particularly excited at the thought of bobble-hats, cosying up by the fire or going through a tube of lip-salve per day.
What’s kept me going through the years is the buzz of night-time activity that starts in September and begins to reach a wild crescendo in January (need I say why?). Say what you like about the Shetland weather, but the Shetland winter what’s-on offerings are excellent.
My early winters here are a blur of drama festival preparation, night classes and the infrequent but always enjoyable evening at one of Lerwick’s fine hostelries. More recently, the Althing, adult ballet classes and an occasional “curry club” have pulled me through.
Looking ahead to the next few months, this autumn/winter looks like it’s going to be an absolute cracker. No sooner is Wool Week over than we have Taste of Shetland. Hot on its heels is the Shetland Fiddle and Accordion Festival. Then it’s not too long at all to wait until Wordplay…
So, whatever else winter might be, it’s unlikely to be boring.
This summer has been a bumper year for cruise ships, with visitor numbers breaking all records. Yet just how hospitable a place is Shetland from a visitor’s perspective?
For this issue of Shetland Life, we wanted to experience the local hospitality scene from a new perspective. The best way to do this, it seemed, would be to become a tourist for one day. Editor Genevieve White donned a disguise and took the streets of Lerwick. You can read all about her findings in this month’s magazine.
Our September issue is a celebration of some of the best hospitality these islands have to offer. Featuring a visit to The String, a colourful account of Pigstock (Burra’s new festival), tour stories from The Revellers and much more.
Pull up a chair, make yourself at home and enjoy!
This month, yoga instructor Lana Hodge shares some yoga poses specially designed for mothers and mothers-to-be. Look inside the magazine to see Lana’s sequence for the “Salute to Baby” sun salutation with an easy-to-follow photo sequence by local photographer Sophie Whitehead.
Here are Lana’s 3 yoga poses to relieve back pain during pregnancy:
- On the inhalation move your chest forward, then lean to your right. On the exhalation, round your back and shift your torso slightly back and then lean to your left. Rotate your body with a breath, leaning forward on inhalation and rounding your spine while moving back on the exhalation.
- Eagle pose (Garudasana) – Bring your two hands together with the elbows close to each other. Take the right arm around the left arm and make the right palm touch the left palm. At this point, your two arms should be intertwined like snakes. Keep your spine straight and relax your shoulders. Change hands.
- Gomukhasana pose – Extend your left arm up toward the ceiling with your palm facing forward. Then, bend your left elbow and bring your left hand to your spine. Extend your right arm to the side with your palm facing down. Internally rotate your arm so your palm faces behind you. Then, bend your right elbow and bring your right hand up the centre of your back. Tuck your forearm into the hollow of your lower back. Then change your hands to do the same for the other side.
We absolutely loved reading your nominations for inspirational Shetland women. Thank you to everyone who got in touch.
The women featured in this month’s Shetland Life come from all over Shetland and are remarkable for their energy, passion and creativity. It was a real privilege to meet them for a fun photo shoot with local photographer Leanne Macleod.
The nominees are:
Back row: l to r
Sarah Thompson, Cheryl Jamieson, Jill Franklin, Shona Manson, Kaila Tarrant, Thelma Irvine
Front row, l to r
Julia Odie, Belle Spence, Joan Nicholson, Vivian Ross-Smith
Also nominated (but unable to attend the shoot) were Marian Armitage, Laura Whittall, Mona McAlpine and Mary Andreas.
We hope you enjoy reading about these wonderful women and their achievements!
For this month’s sport issue, Alex Garrick-Wright looks into one of the most interesting and unusual sports available in Shetland: Medieval Armoured Combat.
Alex meets Scott Miller, who is Chair of the Scottish Knights League and also trains a Shetland group.Will Alex be brave enough to don some armour and give it a go?
You’ll need to buy the magazine to find out…
The party season is upon us. Time to discard the layers of cosy wirsit and step into something a little more festive. The party starts here! With sparkling photography by May Graham.
Nothing says Christmas quite like a performance of Tchaikovsky’s well-loved ballet, The Nutcracker. A feast for the eyes and ears, it’s nonetheless an extremely challenging and time-consuming production to put on: with the story necessitating a large cast, opulent costumes and loads of on-stage action. Would Shetland Community School of Ballet manage to rise to the occasion? Read December’s magazine to find out. With photographs by Dale Smith.
Last month’s Wool Week saw the launch of a very special book, which gives voice to the shared memories of local knitters. Reflections apo hands is the fruit of a collaboration between Alzheimer Scotland, Shetland Arts, photographer John Coutts and playwright Jacqui Clark. Shetland Life met Ann Williamson and Laura Whittall to hear the story behind this inspirational and far-reaching project – don’t miss the full story in November’s magazine.