Fetlar, food and fine music in Shetland Life

THE SEPTEMBER edition of Shetland Life boasts a varied selection of articles on food, travel, music and archaeology.

The decline in the availability of indigenous beef is the subject of an article by Neil Riddell, who finds that an ongoing quarrel between some in the agriculture industry is stunting progress towards allowing locally-reared beef to be offered in local shops.

Regular columnist Ronnie Eunson pontificates on the shortcomings in promoting Shetland food as a brand, pointing out that lamb produce in particular is genuinely good and needs no hype or hyperbole behind it, but does need to be heard about. “For most of our recent history Shetland has managed to remain unknown to consumers, the qualities of its goods unappreciated by the public,” he says. “Shetland food is nothing new, it’s just been cleverly hidden.”

Malachy Tallack editorialises on the problems facing the island of Fetlar and concludes that a lack of housing is its chief problem. He suggests that the best way of tackling the crisis is a community housing scheme which prioritises the community’s needs as opposed to the applicants’. He signs off with a tongue-in-cheek suggestion that councillor Laura Baisley could help to make a start by giving up her holiday home on the island.

Housing is also the matter at hand for Vaila Wishart’s Comment, gliding through Thatcher’s “disastrous” decision to sell off council homes in the 1980s and calling for councillors to address the problems the Iron Lady created “with a bit more urgency and possibly a bit more lateral thinking”.

Douglas Smith reports on the wonders and stunning scenery of the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway, while this month’s centre-spread photo gallery is given over to Howard Towll’s sketches of hares.

The latest EP from Little Green Machine, What You’re Looking For, also falls under Tallack’s microscope and emerges with its reputation enhanced. He muses on why the talents of the band, fronted by singer and songwriter Jack Sandison, have not yet been more widely-appreciated despite nearly three years in the business, while Oscar Charlie (née Black Bic Biro) have been “whisked away, wined, dined and shined by industry lawyers after only a handful of gigs”.

Marsali Taylor hears from Marnie Baxter about putting on a play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, while overleaf actor and stand-up comic Sandy Nelson explains why he was glad to be in Unst during this year’s festival because he really, really hates what goes down on the capital city every August.

Multi-talented budding artist and writer Lauren Bulter, 18, tackles 21 questions, while this month’s The past in pictures features Twageos House and there is a gallery of the partial reconstruction of a Norwegian stofa in Papa Stour last month, alongside all the usual monthly columns and puzzles.

Shetland’s only serious monthly magazine is available from all good newsagents in the isles from today, priced at £2.30.


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