Living on a small island is always going to be challenging and you will have to take this into account if you are thinking of moving here.
If you are into shopping then you will be disappointed, there are no large department stores, no indoor shopping areas of a decent size. We have Commercial Street where the few shop we do have are constantly changing. News that the long standing photography shop and more recent antiques shop are closing is no surprise. it doesn't help that most of the 40,000 people arriving by cruise ship spend little money - except in the charity shops.
Before coming to live here we found a fair number of people being ripped off with excessive postal charges but we have been lucky so far. Amazon and John Lewis deliver mostly free and have a big selection of items - that's the problem for the shops, not just in Shetland but everywhere, a lot more people are shopping online now.
News that 600 jobs will be lost in the oil industry, may not come as a surprise with prices dropping all the time, but this will also affect the Shetland economy
In winter getting to and from Shetland can be more difficult, just take the other week. The ferry ran into a Force 9 gale and took 28 hours to arrive, around 5.5 hours was spent off Orkney where the ferry tried to tie up at the pier but ropes broke 4 times, they were unable to anchor as well, but they failed to hold so they went round in circles until they managed to dock mid afternoon.
In December 16 sailing out of 217 had to be cancelled and 44 delayed as well. If you think the plane may be better this has not been the case as Aberdeen runway developed a hole in the runway due to heavy rain, they transferred to Inverness. Some Shetland people then took a taxi to Aberdeen but on four occasions the driver was told to turn round due to flooding and heavy snow but some how managed to get to their destination. the runway has now been repaired
Living on an even smaller island like Foula may sound idyllic but you are along way from the mainland. After a year with power, the two houses in the south finally had power reconnected. But also over the Christmas period they didn't have any healthcare.
I watch the BBC1 programme drama on Shetland on Friday and found it much, much better than the other series. It was great to see the scenery and even though the old folks home was actually Sumburgh hotel the plot was well thought out.