Thursday, 17 July 2014

Long term

Following on from last week’s blog about the Norwegian Viking longboat (Draken Harald Herfagre) that appeared in Lerwick harbour, I later found out that it is the world’s largest replica longboat. On this trip it was manned by a crew of 30 including six girls although it Viking times 100 crew would have been aboard. 
The mast measuring 28 metres snapped in strong winds forcing the longboat into Lerwick. It was great to see and it goes to show that the unexpected turns up, even this far north.

It was interesting to read about the property market in the Shetland Times on Friday. It indicates that house prices have doubled in Shetland over the past 10 years. Locals are finding it a problem buying a house with one offering £20,000 more than the asking price but still did not get the property. This house needed at least £20,000 spending on it to bring it up to a decent standard.

We found the same problem and it’s only going to get worse as The Shetland Island council agreed a £500 million gas sweeting plant at Sullom Voe so construction workers will still be in Shetland for another 5 years or so.

It was very disappointing to hear about the decision by three top Scottish judges who gave the go ahead for the Viking wind farm. This means that 103 wind turbines will spring up in the central mainland, so if you are looking for a house in that area be warned you may have one next to your house. The Energy isles project – along with the proposed tidal turbine bridge between Yell and Unst has also won a lot of support.

One thing we moved to Shetland for was the fact that it has a low crime rate; this remains the safest place in Scotland according to a recent report with nearly 75% detection rate with a 17% reduction in overall crime. The major problem still causing concern is drugs and alcohol but Shetland has good `intelligence’ in this area. Many people living outside Lerwick and Scalloway still don’t lock their houses and often leave keys in their car; where else could you do this?

Over the past few weeks we have been out making good use of the sunny weather which has given us some great sunsets. Up here with the light nights it’s often after 11 pm when the best colours come, sometime later, it’s a question of having enough energy to keep going.

This week we visited Fetlar, which despite a foggy start turned into one of the best days we have had on the island

Lots of interesting bird life see for further details.

House news
With the energy report having been received by the seller we are now just waiting for the home report to be completed which should be next week, then if there are no major problems we will give the go ahead and hope to be in our new house by the beginning of August

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