Killers on the loose in Life magazine

A FIRST hand account of hunting for Shetland’s killer whales from Andy Foote of the University of Aberdeen
is among the highlights of the August edition of <i>Shetland Life</i>.

The group’s research in the isles is set to continue into 2009 and beyond and Mr Foote outlines details of his team’s work and provides tips for would-be killer whale watchers.

A photo spread on peat banks at Clumlie and Levenwick this summer by Dave Donaldson signifies the recent uptake in the number of Shetlanders heading for the hills to collect their winter fuel.

With the price of oil hovering around $130 a barrel mark, cutting peat for fuel – recently assumed to be largely a thing of the past – has taken on a new appeal and the number of people wielding tushkars is expected to grow again next year.

Charlie Simpson tells the strange and sorry saga of the steam drifter <i>Consolation</i>, which sank in Lerwick harbour 100 years ago.

Editor Malachy Tallack delivers his verdict on two recently-released travelogue books offering very different approaches to the Shetland experience: Ron MacMillan’s <i>Between Weathers: Travels in 21st Century Shetland</i> and <i>True North: Travels in Arctic Europe</i>, a book by Gavin Francis which includes Shetland as his “disappointingly brief” starting point before heading further north for Faroe, Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard and Lapland.

At a time when local shops are perceived to be under threat from the arrival of Tesco, Vaila Wishart decries the passing of the Shetland Smartcard scheme, “one of the more positive things they did to attract more business”, she writes. She also calls on journalists to give Tory leader David Cameron a harder time, having spent recent weeks concentrating on the continued, and very evident, shortcomings of Gordon Brown as our leader.

Bryan Peterson’s Shetlink musings focus on Tesco and his ambivalence at the prospect of marginally cheaper food prices; discount tokens and loyalty cards from the Lounge and the Thule would be more likely to rouse his enthusiasm.

This month’s photo spread is a black-and-white special from Heidi Pearson, while the amenity trust’s
Val Turner asks: “Why do archaeologists find so few skeletons?”

There are all the usual features, including Douglas Sinclair’s history article, Ronnie Eunson on his visit to Fair Isle and Joyce Garden’s wildlife diary, while familiar face Davy Cooper answers 21 questions.


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