Lots to read in latest edition of monthly magazine

This month’s Shetland Life contains a wealth of articles to appeal all ages, ranging from topical comment and local history to recipes, photography and a children’s section.

Editor Malachy Tallack starts with his thoughts on Viking Energy, observing that at least the polarising debate shows that people care deeply for where they live, and says: “Not everything should be for sale.”

Columnist Vaila Wishart muses on New Year’s resolutions, and questions whether councillors have made any. The unavoidable spec­tacle of the SIC imploding has been “painful to watch” she says, and puts forward her view that the charitable trust cannot continue as it is.

Another point she raises is that the leisure centres were all closed over the festive season, and “the library was at it too”. Why was that, when people were at home and possibly at a loose end?

Another question comes from Bryan Peterson, creator of Shetlink, who asks why council staff are banned from using it most of the day when it offers up to the minute information on road conditions, especially pertinent at this time of year. More wishes for the New Year come from people interviewed by Marsali Taylor. As well as world peace there are some more wacky, and equally unrealistic hopes – to own a donkey sanctuary and that Status Quo would play in Unst are just two.

Comic answers also come from Falkland Islander and local charac­ter Dinks Jennings, the subject of 21 Questions. He names his favourite breakfast as “four good-sized mutton chops and couple of penguin eggs”, which is quite in keeping with his adventurous life which has been largely connected to the sea.

There is something completely different, and utterly fascinating, in the form of an article from Charlie Simpson about the visit of flying ace Charles Lindbergh and his wife to Shetland in 1933, and a wonderful old photograph of his plane Spirit of St Louis in Lerwick Harbour.

The Lindberghs were possibly the biggest celebrities to visit Shetland until that date, and the story of their visit, which included taking coffee in the home of county convener Magnus Shearer, is quite amazing.

Coming up to date, architect Iain Malcolmson urges us to “look up” at some of the unexpected detail on Shetland’s historic buildings, shown in some interesting photo­graphs. This comes ahead of Shet­land’s Power of Place celebrations later in the year.

There are more beautiful photo­graphs, this time more seasonal, from Austin Taylor, including the biggest full moon of last year.

Archaeologist Val Turner reveals what soil can tell us about life thousands of years ago, and Colin Fairweather writes about his “green” house which benefits from a ground source heat pump and a wind turbine – lots of interesting infor­mation there.

In addition the magazine has sug­gestions for com­fort food which is easy to prepare as well as to eat and is perfect post-Christmas fare.

There is lots more besides in the magazine, which is in the shops today.


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