This month’s edition of Shetland Life, in the shops today, covers topics as diverse as bannock and lichens and as usual is a mine of information and opinion.
Editor Malachy Tallack writes about the recent drug seizures police have made in Shetland, arguing that “police are fighting a war they cannot win”.
More thoughts come from Fair Isle man Jimmy Stout, who proudly mentions the isle’s input to Celtic Connections and stresses the need for sheltered house wardens to be retained over the festive period – they were deemed non-essential under single status. The thought of old folk needing help (especially in the winter) contrasts with Louise Brewer’s report from Tasmania, where she mentions pushing the pram through the rainforest.
Shetlink’s Bryan Peterson writes about the curse of the camera-equipped phone where you are not safe trying karaoke in the Marlex and are “fair game for public paparazzi”. Facebook and other sites produce “a distorted view of the confidential”, he says.
Columnist Vaila Wishart argues that the Iraq war is “still an election issue” and asks why there are no women honorary sheriffs. And the proposed council newsletter, she says, is a “complete waste of money”.
That was the feeling that first greeted the Mirrie Dancers illumination project, writes the amenity trust’s Davy Cooper. He makes a strong case for visual arts, saying that he has never seen them as “vibrant” as today and points out the choice is not “hospitals or art”, but art here or art elsewhere. The Mirrie Dancers illumination of the Giant’s Grave at Lochend, he said, looked like the stone age and there is a remarkable photo of red lighting at Westsandwick dunes in Yell.
Cooper argues for more collaborative ventures and training in marketing.
More beautiful photography comes from a gallery by regular visitor Theresa Elvin, and there is an unusual snap of a snowboarder in a “sporting moment” from Kevin Jones.
Old photos are always interesting and one of Lerwick’s Hillhead, accompanying Douglas Sinclair’s article about Gullit’s Brae, is no exception.
Shetland’s musical talent is showcased in band The Red Show, making waves in Glasgow and longing for Mareel to be built.
Marsali Taylor provides an insight into crofting life and there is more of this from Ronnie Eunson, who bemoans the rabbits and likens politician Brian Pack’s proposals for the single farm payment to Beeching’s destruction of the railways.
A fascinating reminiscence from Hilda Peterson about being brought up in the house which is now the Royal Bank of Scotland (her father was the bank manager) recalls an earlier age. Her family had a gardener, a cook and servants who would clear the plates when the family finished a meal. Then there was the huge brass handle to open the bank’s safe, and outside was the town crier who announced lamb sales at the Market Green.
More good things come from Ann Prior, with her recipe for cheesy bannocks and the world’s best sausage rolls (discovered in the Falklands and made from minced lamb).
There is something completely different in Joyce Garden’s article about lichens and Eileen Brooke-Freeman’s about craigsaets, places on the rocky shore associated with fishing.
Then there is dialect – a prize for the best dialect singing will be presented at this year’s schools music festival.
The usual puzzles, sudoku and bairns’ items complete the magazine.