Welcome to this month’s issue of Shetland Life. This is the Simmer Dim, or midsummer, and we are spoiled with daylight – basking in it for up to 19 hours a day. This means more opportunities to get out and about. With this in mind, Shetland Life have been getting out too. This month we head to Fethaland, Hoswick Visitor Centre and Alex Garrick-Wright takes to the water to find out about competitive rowing as the season kicks off.
Having so much daylight has other implications, and demands other aspects of our time – in the garden everything is bursting into life. Shetland has a very short growing season – under 100 days – that means that most of our growing is done now. With this in mind Ali Grundon Robertson visits local producers at Turriefield in Sandness and Misa shares some of her tips for the garden this month.
And you’ll remember Fenton and Friends from last month? Yes, they’re back for more adventures this month!
Next month the schools break for the summer holidays, and we would like to help you make the most of them. We’re compiling a summer holiday bucket list for you to cut out and take on your adventures. But we need your help. Do you have a favourite place to visit, picnic or play? If so, get in touch and let us know and maybe it will be added to the list. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. And, whatever you’re up to, we love to hear about it, use our hashtag for the chance to be featured online or in the magazine #myshetlandlife.
Even if you’re not in Shetland, you can still keep up-to-date with all the latest. Remember you can subscribe to Shetland life online at https://shop.shetlandtimes.co.uk/pages/subscriptions#shetland-life and let us know if you have any comments or suggestions at email@example.com.
As ever, have a great month and enjoy Shetland Life – OUT NOW!
This month Shetland Life are set to dive into the New Year feet first and we hope that you will join us for the ride. We go through the keyhole, taking a sneaky peek behind the scenes of Squad 43. And, with Up-Helly-A’ looming, we meet this year’s Jarl, John Nicolson, and discover how he became the fourth Nicolson Jarl – following in the footsteps of his father and brothers before him.
For those opting for better health and wellbeing in 2019, look out for our new columnist, Ali Grundon Robertson who this month focuses on consumerism. Finally, our new feature – in collaboration with RSPB Scotland – introduces a monthly Nature Calendar and examines the health benefits of a daily dose of fresh air, ensuring that you put your best foot forward into the New Year.
What are you waiting for? Look out for this month’s Shetland Life, in shops and online now!
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.
We have a truly amazing prize up for grabs this month. We’re offering our readers the chance to go on a day-long wildlife expedition with award-winning photographer Richard Shucksmith.
In addition to being Shetland Life’s regular wildlife contributor, Richard is also the co-author of Otters in Shetland: The Tale of the Draatsi.
Turn to page 38 of March’s Shetland Life to enter our spot the difference competition and be in with a chance of a day with one of Shetland’s most talented naturalists.
John Coutts has kindly shared some wonderful photographs from the 1960s, when Up-Helly-A’ was all about squad meetings, preparation and making suits and props. In this photo by Dennis Coutts, Ernie Lockwood and Douglas Coutts are working on paper mache masks.
Intrigued by John’s selection of images for January’s Shetland Life, we decided to catch up with some of the people in the photographs. For interviews with Douglas C. Smith, Ronnie Gair, Rae Leask and George and Lorraine Jamieson, don’t miss this month’s issue.
We were delighted to have Alexa Fitzgibbon on board this month as our featured photographer. In addition to supplying the marvellous images for our cover and lead feature, Alexa provides a fascinating glimpse into Up-Helly-A’ from a socio-anthropological perspective.
We asked local photographer, Andrew Hutton to share some photos of views which get him in to Christmas mood. He obliged by sending in a stunning series of photographs which show Shetland in all its winter glory.
On the subject of photography, this issue also features beautiful images by Joy Allan, Richard Shucksmith and Dennis Coutts among others.
There’s a very strong focus on local food throughout our November issue.
I was delighted to take part in a Come Dine with Me event, genially hosted by local butcher and local food enthusiast Chris Wright. Find out how his meal was rated by our discerning foodie guests! If you think you’ve got what it takes to host a similar event, then please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.
Could you manage without imported food? We challenged Aleks McKay to eat local only and keep a diary recording his experiences. How long did he last? You can find out by buying the magazine! (Personally, I’m not sure I could get by on a diet of local food only, but if I lived with the chef who cooked Alex’s meals then I might be prepared to give it a try…)
Bryan Peterson talks about his journey from toasting sassermaet to improvising three course meals. An inspiration for all those who “can’t cook, won’t cook”>
Of course, this issue is also about drink. Neil Riddell talks about his experience of beer brewing and has some of his tipples reviews by our very own beer reviewer.
As usual, there’s a smorgasbord of goodies to enjoy within these pages. Bonne appetite and see you in December for our bumper Christmas special.
Guest blogger Andy Howard shares his tips on successful wild camping in Shetland.
Photo: Andy Howard
In my life as a professional wildlife photographer I spend most of my time in the great outdoors. To me my job is anything but a job, it’s a privilege, so to be able to conduct my ‘work’ in a place as beautiful as Shetland makes it extra special. It’s the abundance of wildlife that lures me back year-after-year. When I describe Shetland to people I tell them ‘there literally is wildlife everywhere. Where else in the world could you have a real possibility to see orca from a supermarket’s car park?
Photo: Andy Howard
By far the best way to get close to this abundance of wildlife is to wild camp. This is a great way to do be in the right place at the right time, and this is fundamental to a wildlife photographer as nature doesn’t work to a 9-to-5 timetable, the best way to capture really good images is to be out there with your camera either very early in the morning or late in the day.
Being relatively unpopulated as it is Shetland is an ideal location for wild camping. With miles upon miles of coastline and well grazed grassy slopes there are oodles of potential wild camp sites available. For those of you that have never wild camped before I’m going to share my ‘top 10’ hints and tips to making your experience a memorable one for all the right reasons.
Photo: Andy Howard
- Invest in a good tent; remember that the weather this far north can be ‘unpredictable’ to say the least. A good small or medium dome or tunnel style tent is best, something that won’t catch the wind. A good tip is to upgrade the standard pegs for dedicated storm pegs.
- Make your sleeping quarters as comfortable as you can, we use a double inflatable mattress and goose down duvet and pillows. I didn’t say wild camping couldn’t be glamorous, did I?
- Choose your pitch well, be respectful of the locals and don’t pitch up close to someone’s home, also be aware of any potential ground nesting birds. As a rule of thumb if there are birds wheeling around and screaming at you, move on!
- Never pitch your tent in a hollow, next to a stream or on a low lying headland that is if you don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of water lapping around you.
- In Shetland you’re never far away from a community centre, and at most of them you can pay a nominal fee to use their shower facilities. Visit Shetland Island Council’s website for details.
- Buy groceries often and in small amounts, this way you’ll cut down of wastage and you’ll be supporting local shops and in turn the local economy.
- All of the ferry terminals on Shetland have toilets and Wi-Fi, and some even have vending machines, that come in handy if you are a chocoholic like me and need a quick ‘fix’.
- Plan your menus so that you can cook meals using just one pan, as this saves time, fuel and washing up (never a bad thing!).
- Make things as comfortable as you can. Folding chairs and tables are a good idea, and it’s really up to you to decide the level of comfort you want.
- Relax and enjoy. There is no better way to enjoy the gifts of nature than to sit inside the open door of your tent whilst observing the antics of otters playing on a nearby beach or to drift off to sleep to the soundtrack of a Shetland summer’s evening, the haunting call of the red-throated diver or golden plover, the drumming of a snipe or the call of a whimbrel. Nights like this will live in your memory for ever.
Photo: Andy Howard
Last but by no means least, leave only footprints!
Any tips you’d like to add? Feel free to post your comments below.
July’s cover shot by Sophie Whitehead
Each month, Shetland Life will showcase the work of a local photographer. Our featured photographer will be commissioned to take the front cover shot, and will also cover two or three features within the magazine. Could this be you?
We’re looking for enthusiastic photographers with some successful commissions already under their belts. You’ll be reliable, punctual and have a sense of adventure. July’s featured photographer is Sophie Whitehead. Photojournalist Calum Toogood is working on the August issue.
If you think you fit the bill, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org