Feast in latest Life

THIS month’s Shetland Life offers a varied feast of subjects with a seasonal emphasis on food.

Editor Malachy Tallack’s editorial warns that none of us is immune from the financial crisis and that pouring money in is “rebuilding a house of cards”. Better, he says, to buy local produce and make sure the money stays in Shetland.

Buying local is also a theme of the isles’ first food festival, which is reviewed in depth. From Shetland lamb to Bigton tatties, local food has none of the air miles and e numbers of imported stuff. And Ronnie Eunson, seriously into local food, makes a plea in his column for the selling of more native ewes.

Fair Isle rabbit, marinated in oil and yogurt (recipe included) is made to sound mouth-watering in Ann Prior’s cookery article, written this month from Uruguay. Her writing conveys the sights and sounds of that poverty-stricken country, with its scents of jasmine, honeysuckle and ubiquit­ous maté tea.

More proof that there is a Shetland connection all over the world comes from Louise Brewer, writing from down under about house prices in Tasmania – still cheap, apparently.

Her column is the antidote to Jimmy Stout’s from Fair Isle, a “fairly strong community” where houses are not “sold to the highest bidder”.

Then there is a fascinating article about the Fetlar wife who gave tea and biscuits to the isle’s first Russian refugee, who eventually attracted the attention of three plane loads of reporters.

The life of a Shetland exile is recalled in Eric Johnson’s article about his father, who was never able to return to the isles he loved, an ordinary life which has now been recorded.

And the title An Ordinary Life is one which the newly-ordained Roman Catholic parish priest Colin Davies says he would call his bio­graphy.

The magazine has much more from its regular contributors.

Vaila Wishart tells readers why a new school at Clickimin makes sense, and as Remembrance Day approaches Charlie Simpson makes a plea for the sacrifice of the Great War not to be forgotten.

There is poetry, dialect, wildlife and photography to enjoy, Donald Murray’s column and review of his book The Guga Hunters and regular bairns’ slot Tushie Truncher­faece.


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