Friday, 25 July 2014

Better than most

This week again has been good weather, much better than down south!, even some of the lochs are drying out, such as Henry Loch (see photo). The main reservoir just on the outskirts of Lerwick is showing its banks, it must be the driest spring for a long time.

The Oil and gas workers have had another boost with the arrival of the Gemini which is the sixth floating accommodation vessel housing 400 workers. This is now berthed in Dales Voe just north of Lerwick. This now takes the total of workers up to 2,400 working on the £800 million Total gas plant, apparently this is now 90% complete with the first gas due to come through in January 2015. It has been estimated that the gas plant project bringing’s in around £2.5 million a month to Shetland economy.

A lot is being said of the decision to erect 103 (reduced number) wind turbines in the go ahead with the development in the central mainland. This decision to go ahead has had a mixed reception and I certainly think that this will have a big impact on tourism and wildlife option and which will be irreversible. If it was going to happen at all, then a site in Yell may have been a better option, providing that a survey was done to assess the impact on wildlife and that it would not be near any housing.

This week we also took part in the Mori survey on the quality of life in the islands. At first it seemed strange that we had been chosen, but this goes on the house not the people. Anyhow I think it’s always good to take part in surveys as it can help determine how much you know about the subject. Shetland has the best quality of life according to several different survey’s and we both feel that we have done the right thing moving up here.

 With the lowest crime rate in the UK, good health care and transport and a better sense of community where people support each other in a number of ways it’s a great place to live. When you are 60 you are entitled to a free bus and ferry pass, not 65 as it is in Sheffield.

There are grants available to help you keep your house warm and we have already applied for this so when we move into our new house sometime in August we might be in a position to start work before the winter comes. We are looking especially at the Air to Air heating system which takes a day to install and makes a big saving on heating costs. With no gas available it’s all a lot dearer with either solid fuel (not the best to have in your old age- a way off this yet), Oil and electricity as options.

At present we can only keep in contact via mobile phones which is not cheap and with no internet in the rented cottage we have to go to the library to catch up with things. We thought of a different way to keep in contact with our friends Mavis and Ron, we decided to stand in front of a shop covered by the Shetland webcam; we arranged a time to wave and spoke on the mobile – an alternative to Skype for now.

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We should hear back about the Home report either later today or Monday then we can set the ball rolling and hope the move date can still take place on the 1 August. Then we have a lot to sort and arrange for our things to be brought up from Sheffield.

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