Tuesday, 15 August 2017


Just back from 2 weeks in Sheffield and had a great time but we are glad to be back in Shetland. The weather at the time was better in Shetland than Sheffield and even Cornwall.

The trip did give us chance to give an illustrated talk on Shetland to 54 people at St Augustine Church hall in Sheffield, a mix of wildlife, Shetland Life and Landscapes. It was a very enjoyable night and i have been asked back next year.

While we miss our family and friends in and around Sheffield we don't miss the traffic. It doesn't get any easier travelling in Sheffield, with frequent traffic jams, pollution and difficulties in parking. The proposed Ikea store is well on it way to completion and an extension of Meadowhall still to commence,  all this will add to the congestion.

Our journey back to Aberdeen was straight forward after all, even though on the way down we had to go through 11 sets of roadworks. The fun run in Dundee had ended an hour before we arrived as had a number of roadworks

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Lots of ships visit Shetland with a great variety of oil and tourist ships joining the local fishing boats

The nights are closing in now but with blue skies and sun today its great to be back in Shetland, the travel to work a pleasure with roads free of heavy traffic. We do have a few reminders of our visit south, Yorkshire teabags, Henderson relish ( a specialty from Sheffield) we called in at Tesco for Yorkshire puddings but didn't bring back the Sheffield fishcakes , although we did have a few at the time. Lots of photos to come as well

Saturday, 15 July 2017


Seems a bit ironic that we went to hear a talk by the Lerwick Observatory on Earthquakes and the Aurora the other Friday night but that afternoon an actual earthquake hit Shetland , with a magnitude of 4.8.

It hit a point in the north sea south of Shetland, 10 km deep and this time people have felt the effects. The last one, 8 years ago close to Lerwick measured 3.3 and there has been a few more going back 25 years but not as big as the other Friday.

I do like photographing detail and Lerwick provides many opportunities. I took a group of photographers from my Shetland Adult Education class on a practical the other day and had a good time. Everyone sees different things or different angles so we all got something a bit unique.

Details about a new Beginners (Know your own camera) photography course starting in September and a brand new Night Sky Photography course starting at the beginning of November should be available very soon. Both will be run at Islesburgh in Lerwick

You may have seen a petition going round to try and change the Shetland Island council's mind about withdrawing funding for the Shetland Amenity Trust who run  Promote Shetland.

If you are thinking of moving here then this is an excellent resource, they provide a lot of information together with running the webcams around Shetland and also proving a Video link to Up Helly , today i was informed that at least the webcams will still run for the time being.possibly to the end of September.

                                                                        No Policeman outside our No.10

While it may not have been as hot as the south of England we have just had a superb week with temperatures up to 18 degrees. With the ozone layer being much thinner in Shetland this made it a lot warmer than recorded

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Monday, 26 June 2017

Simmer Dim

While the rest of the UK have had very hot weather, up to 32 degrees in places, Shetland has had strong winds, cool temperatures 11- 16 degrees together with some thick fog. Thinking back to when we visited  Shetland on holiday, back in the late 1980's it was even cooler mostly not more than 10 degrees in June, often with hail.

                                                                                        German ship in Lerwick today

Shetland however does benefit from the long days, nearly 23 hours daylight, known here as the `Simmer Dim'. Last weekend the Simmer Dim Motorbike rally took place with around 400 folk attending, its always a sell out weeks before the event.

                                                                                      National Geographic Orion & Marco Polo

The roads seem busier with many tourists visiting, while Lerwick harbour is full of yachts, many from Norway. A lot of these visitors have been attracted to Shetland by the recent BBC TV series Shetland which should be back on our screens later this year, it will feature Shetland, Glasgow and Norway.

Two friends are due to arrive in Shetland soon, one for a day on a cruise and the other making the usual yearly pilgrimage to Walls in the west mainland. It will be good to meet up with them.

For our holiday this year we are heading back to Sheffield to see family and friends, just a 620 mile 22 hour journey via Orkney. The ferries go by this route a few times a week, you arrive in Orkney around midnight so anyone going here for a break will have to know where they are intending to stay.

In the bay at Fladibister, a number of oil related ships have been gathering. Two are oil tanks waiting for the next order so they could end up anywhere in the world but the two larger ones have parts of an oil rig which will be transported north once the gigantic crane arrives on site.

Shetland is awash with colour at the moment, the wild flowers look superb with lots of Orchids mix in with others. We even have two Northern Marsh Orchid growing in our lawn, first time we have seen them here. Like elsewhere in Shetland i have cut round them, they are so special.

My photography class today in Lerwick - more on this next time

next time we take a closer look at the south end of Lerwick

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Sunday, 11 June 2017

Shetland Tourism

Shetland Tourism has taken a hit this last week when the contract for Promote Shetland was not renewed by the council. This has been run by the Shetland Amenity Trust for the past 8 years and they did some tremendous work running the website, live streaming of Up Helly Aa , publishing the 60 degree north magazine. as well as running several webcams.- all this may stop

                                                                                                    Scalloway boat yard

                                                                                                       Scalloway visitor
                                                                                   A cruise liner leaves Lerwick
                                                            Shetlanders have a good sense of humour

With the oil industry in a decline tourism should have become a priority and it will also leave a gap for people wanting information on moving to Shetland. It certainly helped us when we moved to Shetland just over three years ago.

Tourists are being encouraged to come outside the normal summer season. Winter is becoming quiet big with several Up Helly Aa's a great attraction and of course a chance to see the Aurora ( join us at Shetland Aurora Hunter) - send a request on facebook., music galore and plenty of stormy weather if you like that. The wildlife is also a big draw with plenty of Otters and a chance to see Humpback Whales with plenty of birds about.

You have to be prepared for poorer internet and mobile phone connections. I recently was persuaded to change to EE- a bad move as i found it has limited coverage in the south mainland, so i soon returned to Vodafone ,a lot better signal

We will soon be returning to Sheffield for a holiday,  just a 21.5 hour journey by ferry (14 hours via Orkney) and road. Not looking forward to traffic jams but it will be good to see family and friends, Skype has kept us in contact over the other 11 months of the year.

If i can help you at all please don't hesitate to send me a message

check out my website at http://www.amazingshetland.co.uk

Monday, 29 May 2017

Counting the cost

Interesting to see e-bay selling a 750 ml jar of Shetland fresh air for £40 - I will be back in a minute.............. I now can offer 100 750 ml jars of Shetland fresh air - job lot  for £1000 (what a bargain)

We all take fresh air for granted, back in Sheffield certain areas - around Meadowhall, have warning signs about air pollution and this will only get worse with the go ahead for Meadowhall extension and a new IKEA

No such problems in Shetland, clean air is one thing most people don't even think about unless you have some sort of breathing problems.

Space for one car bin please 

                                                                 Shetland Bus memorial service on Norwegian day

                                                                                      Bigger than your average insect

The Shetland Times has just published an article about the Conservatives pledge support for the bigger Wind farm projects including those on remote Scottish islands including Shetland. as far as i am concerned this is bad news for Shetland

Dr Wills said `` Some folk will not be pleased, of course, but when they consider the potential income to the charitable trust perhaps they will cheer up''

Alot of folk have said that the the oil money that the Charitable Trust was looking after for the Shetland people has been wasted, why should this be any different

Cute Perrie Shetland ponies

What cost the Shetland Landscape and wildlife ???,

Once the interconnector is in place it is not just the 103 Viking turbines that will blot our landscape but Peel projects will also start their Wind farms including a further 21 turbines near Lerwick and 17 in Yell, others will follow.

Currently Shetland has 5 large turbines at Burradale, construction of these completed in 2003 and a further 5 smaller ones in Yell

Also remember that on Offshore windfarm project may get the go ahead, a map sometime ago showed Shetland surrounded by  deep sea wind turbines

Back in 2014 eighteen companies expressed an interest in building a large wind farm in Unst and Yell, with a small cable connecting to the interconnector at Kergord.

If you are up in Shetland or any part of Scotland this autumn be warned, The Police have announced that they are axing the speeding thresholds. Scottish drivers even going fractionally over the limit will receive a formal warning letter. If they are stopped a second time they will receive a £100 penalty and three points.

Today i wish the police could have caught a 4x4 driver who decided to overtake three cars on Cunningsburgh hill going at least 80 mph, while just missing an oncoming car. If they had crashed it would have also involved another three of us.

Anyway the rants over for a while, it is still a great place to live,  we have been here for over 3 years and never regretted the move. Things do change but sometimes you just need to stand by what you believe.

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