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  1. Hi All, Can anyone tell me if/when the next Hamefarin might be ? The last one was in 2010 and from the (scant) information that I've managed to find, they are only held every 25 years ? Will I really have to wait until 2035 ? Are there any 'smaller' hamefarin events held in Scalloway or elsewhere ? I'd like to arrange to meet (in Shetland) other relations of Shetland descent, who live in the US and in England, and it would be great if this could be done around some 'official' kind of event - Up Helly Aa or the Hamefarin, though the time of year that Up Helly Aa is held would make it difficult to visit that event. Any comments ?
  2. I use Bitdefender and it is excellent. https://filehippo.com/download_bitdefender_antivirus/
  3. I'd recommend 'Writer's Café (£24) and/or 'Jutoh' (£24); with these two pieces of software, you should be able to produce just about any sort of written output - and in any format that you require. 'Writer's Café : http://www.writerscafe.co.uk/explore.htm 'Jutoh' : http://www.jutoh.com/benefits.htm I have both of the above and at £24 each, they aren't expensive; of course, with any piece of software, it is always wise to check that it suits your specific needs. Oh yes, I might mention, that with regard to Jutoh, I contacted the director of Anthemion Software (Julian Smart) regarding a query that I had and he was very helpful indeed. I'm certain, that should you contact him, Julian would offer unbiased advice regarding the suitability of his software for what you require.
  4. Hi All, I've a compilation CD called 'Shetland Under Canvas' which I bought some 16/17 years ago from High Level Music. My favourite tune on the CD is called 'Maggie Anne's Tune', which is played by Bryan Gear & Violet Tulloch. The tune was written by Charlie Laurenson. Does anyone know of any CDs by any artist, which contain a recording of the same tune ? I can't find anything about it on the Internet . . . . . . . when Aly Bain played at our pub a few years ago, I played him the tune, but he said he hadn't heard it before. Sadly, I've not found the tune on any of the few CDs that have been recorded by Bryan Gear - he really is a top-notch musician and I'd sell a kidney to be able to play like that. I'm curious to know, did Charlie Laurenson write any other tunes ? Did he make any recordings himself ? Anyone know anything about him ? Thank you for any replies . . . and 'Merry Christmas' to all !
  5. I've taken a look at their website and it looks really good, with impressive facilities such as a hot tub and pool. I probably wouldn't stay there though, but only because the countryside is very similar to where we live - that's what we love about Shetland, it's entirely different (for us).
  6. I could have written this ^^^ myself; except that in my case, I do the journey in reverse. {Where did you stay in Wales ? - would you recommend it ?} I live in a tiny village called Trefonen in North-West Shropshire, right on the border with Wales. In July, I went up to Shetland with my two sons; the cost of the ferry (car/cabin - return) was more than we paid for ten days of self-catering accommodation on Burra. My sons have flown quite a few times, but they much prefer the ferry - they loved not just the cabin, but all the facilities, such as being able to go and see a film. Apart from the obvious issue of cost, the other important consideration, is the requirement for the payment for the ferry to be made in full at the time of booking. With accommodation, it is (usually) possible to pay a deposit and then pay off the balance at a later date - when funds have been replenished. Having to pay upwards of £600 in a single hit, means quite a jolt to my monthly disposable income - and rather difficult, when trying (at the same time) to set money aside for spending whilst on holiday. What I can tell you though, is that it was well worth the money; every aspect of the holiday was brilliant ! We saw Orcas, went on a brilliant fishing trip, and experienced a fantastic night of live music in The Lounge Bar. The folk that we met were great people and most welcoming. My two sons are probably fairly typical, in as much they have to be prised off their gaming devices, to get them to do anything. They had a computer-free holiday . . . . . . . and loved it ! We can't wait to return !
  7. Thank's for the suggestion - I've booked a fishing trip with them !
  8. Since I live in Shropshire, I can only give an outsider's viewpoint on the points that you've raised. In the last 15 years, I've noticed a significant increase in the price of properties in Shetland and especially so, in Lerwick. My mum's family is from Shetland and I think it is a really great place - I've often hankered to going there to live, but this is looking more and more unlikely. Those homes that might seem good value, always seem to need many thousands spending on them - probably a false economy; better to spend more and get the right property which doesn't need money spending on it. In Lerwick, house prices seem about the same as where I live in Shropshire; 15 years ago, I'd have said the houses in Lerwick were about half the price. Regarding the cost of getting to Shetland, the cost implications are such, that I don't go up there anything like as frequently as I'd like to. I'm going up to Shetland next month, with my two sons. It'll be a good 400 miles up to Aberdeen and the same back, so that's 800+ miles, plus the petrol that we'll use whilst we are up there. In all, I reckon that we'll do close on 1100 miles - probably something the region of £150+ for petrol. The ferry . . . . . . . "ouch !". The cost of a return journey by car, my two sons and myself is £708 ! The cost of where we are staying is £500. That's close to £1400 pounds and obviously, there's money to be spent on food, trips out etc., etc. We are going up to UnstFest - that'll cost on the ferry. I'm taking the boys on a sea trip to see seals & seabirds - another £80, then there's Jarlhof etc., etc. Some of these aren't expensive in themselves, but twenty pounds here and there, it all adds up. If my Missus hadn't had to stay at home, it would have been £800 for the ferry. For a family of four, you've really got to be very keen on Shetland to pay that sort of money. The accommodation was paid by a deposit and then a settlement of the balance - being able to 'split' the payment was a big help. The boat trip had to be paid in full at the time of the booking. To have £700 or £800 going straight out of our account, is a big hit, it really has an adverse effect on our finances. I went up to Shetland most years between 2000 and 2006 - I've not been back since, mainly 'cos i now have a family - so haven't been able to afford it. What i found previously, is that there were very few places for a family to eat out. In England, there's always a pub where you can take the family, have a drink and a meal - the situation may have changed now, but back in 2006, I found it frustrating that so few of the pubs in Shetland seemed to be making an effort to be more inclusive & attract a wider audience. I remember, when I went for a drink in the Kiln Bar in Scalloway, frankly I can't remember going into a less attractive and less welcoming pub. Having owned/worked and lived in a pub for nearly 30 years, i could easily spot aspects that could have been improved; I really can't think of any redeeming features that it might have had. Perhaps that pub is in new hands and has changed ? I don't like being critical of other pubs, but it seemed that many landlords couldn't be bothered to make an effort. I remember going in to one pub and having fish and chips; the fish was clearly a frozen findus-type product . . . . . . . how can you visit Shetland and get frozen fish ? Talking about fish, the fish and chip shops were all very good indeed ! This time next month, I'll be in Shetland again - I really love the place; a shame that it is so expensive to get there, but there's always the scenery and the wildlife. In 6 or 7 weeks time, I'll let you know how I found Shetland, after 10 years of not having visited.
  9. It seems rather ironic that I've asked this question . . . . . . . I see that the new landlady of a pub very close to where I live in Shropshire, is actually from Shetland. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PzpuKKaN5c http://www.shropshirestar.com/entertainment/2016/03/09/pairs-community-plan-for-oswestry-pub/ http://baileyhead.co.uk/2016/03/03/oswestry-mayor-to-open-community-pub-run-by-real-ale-champions/ The landlady's name is Grace Goodlad - does anyone know her ? I wonder what part of Shetland she is from - my Grandmother was quite friendly with some Goodlads on Burra Isle. Apparently, Grace went to University in Canterbury and has since stayed in England; I'll certainly be paying her pub a visit soon !
  10. Cheers for that suggestion - we'll certainly give it a try !
  11. I'm aware of the legal constraints, but I was just wondering how 'fluid' the interpretation might be. In our pub, I remember when one couple (regulars) brought in their daughter at one day old. She visited the pub with her parents, at least once a month for nearly twenty years. We (ahem) turned a blind eye to the law and the Police never, ever bothered us, 'cos we kept a very orderly house - e.g., we were very strict about no swearing - and especially in front of children. We noticed that all those children who came in at a very young age, turned out to be very nice, well-rounded and mature adults; when they were legally old enough to drink, it wasn't much of a big deal - they couldn't understand what the fuss was about and didn't feel the need to get blind drunk. I guess that I was just hoping, that some landlords might not object to a very well-behaved child, though of course, I'm not familiar with how judicious the Police are up there.
  12. Hi All, I'm up in Shetland in July - can't wait ! I was just wondering, can anyone tell me which pubs might or might not allow me to go in with my 12 year old son ? (afternoon or evening). As the holder of a Personal Licence and having had a family-owned pub in Shropshire for 27 years, I realise that not all pubs make children welcome . . . as we used to do. My personal view (based on experience) is that there would be little harm to his well-being, if he were (for example) to hear live music and experience the convivial atmosphere of the Lounge Bar . . . . . . . of course, the Landlord/Landlady and/or other customers might not see it that way, and might consider it to be the equivalent of selling his soul to the devil. Can anyone recommend anywhere where we could go in the evenings ?
  13. Hi All, About 10 years ago when I was last up in Shetland, my son and I went on a sea fishing trip from Scalloway. This was with John Tulloch, on the Cycharters boat. We had a brilliant time and would like to do something similar when we go up in July. It seems that Cycharters is no longer operating -perhaps John is now retired (?). Since we will be staying on Burra Isle, can anyone recommend somewhere reasonably close - offering sea fishing trips out of (preferably) Scalloway or Lerwick ? Thank you !
  14. Hi All, I'm off up to Shetland with my family in early July - can't wait ! Can anyone recommend anywhere in Shetland, where I might be able to take my son to do a spot of fishing from the shore ? Our fishing equipment is pretty rudimentary - it's more an exercise in keeping my son occupied for an hour or two. We shall be staying on West Burra, so suggestions of any fishing points not far away from there would be much appreciated. Thank you !
  15. I've found your postings very interesting; I don't live very far away from you - a few miles West of Oswestry near the Berwyn Mountains . . . I've made a few trips to Abakhan with my better half to buy various fabrics etc and bought some things from Deeside Furnishings in Greenfield and over 20 years ago, I did a course at Kelsterton College, so I know the area where you live quite well. Shetland is entirely different . . . but in a good way. Given the fact that you are young and have no children, you have much more 'freedom' than those of us who are older and 'settled down'. Given your circumstances, there'll probably never be a better time for you to go to Shetland; if it doesn't work out, you'll be the only one affected. Obviously, I can't know Shetland as well as anyone who lives there - my perspective is one of having a strong emotional link to the place, partially because that is where my Mum's family is from (I've many relations there). However, I can give an opinion on Shetland - from a similar perspective to your own. The Positive Aspect Shetland is totally unlike anywhere else that I've visited - whether in the UK, or further away. It is impossible to make any comparison with where you currently live, or anywhere else, for that matter. I first went up to Shetland in 1971, to stay with my grandparents on their croft in Burra Isle; I thought it was fantastic and over 40 years on, I still feel the same way about the place. It has changed quite a lot - back in the early 70s, there were still quite a number of small fishing boats in Lerwick harbour and the main street in Lerwick seems much quieter nowadays. However, most of the good things remain - magnificent scenery, friendly people, community values etc. Whilst I've never needed any healthcare up there, my older relations praise the health system. Things may have changed, but I've always had the feeling that in Shetland, they really look after the old and the young, far better than they do in England - both of these, seem to be much more involved in the community. In the Summer of 2003, I went up to Shetland with my better half - she'd never been there before. We were very lucky, because the weather that year was glorious - the temperature was in the 80s . . . . . . but it isn't often like that ! We stayed on Burra Isle and I remember going to a beach called Banna Minn and lying on the sand, sunbathing. The beach was great and we were the only ones on it, the sea was crystal clear . . . . . . . I don't think that we could have been on a better beach - anywhere in the world. http://c.shetland.org/assets/files/8806/img_9005.1680x0.jpg We decided that we'd do a pub crawl around Lerwick and call in every single place that sold alcohol. We started at the Marlex and then worked our way into the centre of Lerwick. Despite being rather older than most of the others, we even had a drink at the Posers 'nightclub'. We finished up at the Lounge Bar. A point that I'd like to make about this, is that in England, we'd have been rather wary of carrying out such a pub crawl - because of all the idiots who are often out and about. But in Lerwick, we've never felt that we might face an uncomfortable or threatening situation. Sure, there were a few drunks about, but everyone seemed very good-natured and friendly . . . such as the large group of young men dressed in Hawaiian shirts, who seemed to be out on a birthday party or stag night. I've always found people to be very friendly, good-natured and helpful towards strangers such as myself. I remember talking to a guy on the harbour in Scalloway - what started as a casual remark about the weather, ended up as a conversation of over an hour. The (potential) Negatives Well, there aren't many of these; because Shetland is so far from Mainland UK, if you wanted to visit your family (or have them visit you), it is quite expensive. It sometimes rains and sometimes, it can be quite windy . In the Winter, it might be depressing, 'cos there's not much daylight. I don't actually know, but I suspect that you might find it difficult, to meet a single lady of your own age . . . or any age. From what I've observed on nights out in Lerwick, there always appear to be significantly more single men, than there are single girls. Summary All in all, Shetland is a wonderful place ! If you do intend to live there, if you don't have any transport, I'd consider living somewhere like Scalloway, or even somewhere on Burra Isle; that way, you'd be able to experience the rural side of Shetland, but not be too far away from Lerwick. You are going up at a great time of the year - try to get to Sumburgh Head before the end of July, to see the Puffins. I'm going up there in July and I'm really looking forward to it ! Best of luck, with whatever you decide to do.
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