Up-Helly-A’ is over for another year, and those of you who have completed a dry January are hopefully toasting your success with a glass of something strong and sweet. We’ve really enjoyed seeing all your #myshetlandlife posts and photos this month – keep ‘em coming, we love to hear from you.
For this month’s issue of Shetland Life, we’ve immersed ourselves in the past. And, what better place to escape February’s biting cold? We visit Tommy Isbister in his boatshed and find out about his love of boat building and woodwork.
Maybe you’re thinking about celebrating Candlemas this year? Then let Alex Garrick-Wright take you on a journey through Shetland’s fascinating world of calendar traditions.
Or have you ever wondered about some of our place-names? Eileen Brooke-Freeman discusses some of the piggy place names around Shetland – this is the Year of the Pig after all.
And for those who are in search of a good story, and the odd trow, there are plenty of those to while away the last of the winter nights…
Finally, looking ahead we’ve been thinking about ways to get fit and beat the bulge. If you want to find out what we’re planning, pick up a copy of Shetland Life – out tomorrow!
As this issue is sandwiched between two major musical events (namely the Schools’ music festival and the 37th Shetland Folk Festival) it seemed fitting to go for an all-out musical extravaganza. Whatever your musical taste, you’ll surely find something in here to make your heart sing.
This has been an easy issue to put together. Why? Well, Shetland is so ridiculously well-endowed with musical talent that you really don’t have to look very hard for interesting people and stories to feature.
So, what have we got for you this month? Chris Cope visits local music promoters Neil Riddell and Davie Gardener to find out just what this glamorous sounding job entails. Louise Johnson, Folk Festival Committee member, gives us a preview of what we can expect from this year’s Folk Festival. (Tip: it sounds stupendous – get these armbands right now if you haven’t already done so!) If you fancy winning a free Folk Festival pass, then turn straight to our competition page.
This month, you can dip into the quirky world of local band Big Time Quell, take a visual tour of Tommy Isbister’s fiddle workshop, and learn the intriguing story of Heavy Metal Buffet TV. We also go behind the scenes at the Shetland Community and Training Orchestra and hear about the BBC Ten Pieces Event from one of the young participants.
There are musical blasts from the past too – don’t miss John Coutts’ stunning musical images from the 1960s and check out our Life Story feature to hear from two local legends.
Music is the food of love, but all the tunes in the world won’t fill an empty stomach, so if you’re feeling peckish head straight for our food column on page 28. Our distinguished guest this month is Bruce Gilardi from Walls Bakery, who has kindly shared a delicious recipe for rhubarb torte. If Bruce’s bread is anything to go by, this is going to be good.
Wishing all our readers a wonderful April filled with music and merriment. Next month we’ll be courting controversy with our “Issues issue”. Looking forward to it already! See you in May.
This month, we visited the inspirational fiddle maker and boat builder Tommy Isbister at his home in Burland.
The home of Tommy and Mary Isbister will hold special memories for many Shetlanders. The couple live on Burland Croft: a favourite day trip destination for nurseries and schools all over Shetland. Throngs of bairns come to meet and feed the animals every year, but few of these young visitors will ever have seen inside the house or be aware of the treasures it holds. Tommy Isbister has an amazing fiddle workshop and a shed where he builds his own boats. See April’s Shetland Life for the full story and wonderful photography by Leanne Macleod.
Would you like your home to feature in our Through the Keyhole feature? If so, please get in touch.