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Everything posted by Patzel

  1. Does anybody know the present fax number of the Bank of Scotland (Lerwick branch)? Can't find it in the www. (***Mod Edit - Altered subject to be more relevant***)
  2. Ciao Orsa sei giorni sull'isola di Fetlar e sto comprando una casa... se tutto va bene probabilmente mi trasferisco da Monaco a Fetlar prossimo anno what a pity that you suffer from seasickness. When I was up last October I flew from Munich to Amsterdam and from there to Aberdeen and took the ferry to Lerwick, which was the cheapest way. I tend to seasickness too but if it get's too rough you can always lie down and then usually you feel better. Apart from KLM's (the Dutch airline) bad service it was a pleasant journey. I can only recommend to hire a car not to be dependant on bus timetables. You will see more great places and driving is much more relaxed (and slower!) than in Italy. Enjoy your trip!
  3. did the continental madness spread? I know that here in Germany one does actually need planning permission for erecting a fence as well as for erecting an animal shelter for horses. And unless you are a farmer there is no way for horse owners to get the permission at all! People even had to dismantle fences and shelters which had been standing for many years only because someone all of a sudden felt deranged... So it's perhaps more down to something like building standards than to grazing an animal... but without a fence round the field there is no grazing Horses and ponies are not considered agricultural here unless they are working horses or it's an agricultural (not a professional) breeder. Perhaps you should check the council whether there is now a daftie from the continent employed who brought those crazy ideas to Shetland? Found this http://www.gateshead.gov.uk/DocumentLibrary/Building/Leaflets/planning/adviceguides/7.pdf it's not Shetland, but...
  4. yes... with an excemption clause they would be allowed to travel with the horses About worming and vaccinations: all our animals have always been vaccinated and wormed regularly so according to the DEFRA this should be sufficient. The only thing might be a dispute about the ear tags. It took me years to get an exemption by the authorities for the two cows and the two goats, that they don't have to wear their ear tags. Exemption was only granted because we use them for drawing carriages on historical shows. And it would just look awful... decorated carriage and harness with the yellow plastic ear tags. Due to the fact that it is a very long journey I was thinking about a break in Aberdeen anyway. And of course sailing will depend on suitable weather... Northlink have been very helpful and cooperative when I was up. So I had the chance to inspect how they transport animals and even my special wishes (some might have been strange for them) were considered.
  5. You didn't get it right, they offer the choc to the parents for their children because the message is for the adults No way... being some mixture of a farm and an animal sanctuary some of the horses are for working only and some have had a hard life, were neglected, almost starved or came to us spoilt by being used as tourist attractions or in petting zoos... apart from this: the sort of insurance needed for this would be far to expensive the only thing I could imagine would be offering horse-drawn coach tours round the island The costs are not too bad, this is the lorry the'd be all travelling with http://www.horse-service.com/html/horse_transportation.html The goats and our chicken can travel in our own horse box. About BT I have asked already. We are not in a BT area but vaccination was compulsory here so they are vaccinated and as long as I can present all the relevant papers I was told it would be ok. About cats and dogs... we don't have a dog and our cat might stay with friends in Germany or would need to stay inside the house. She is sixteen now but would still go after birds and considering the rare species of birds this is not a good idea.
  6. Probably nobody would want that. I might just be a little bit worried... when I was up we had to crawl around and climb hills to find two mares and get them back home to their owner's place (one was needing urgent medical treatment). This would not have been necessary if people had not left the gate open (although they had been asked by the owner many times before always to close the gates). In this case the ponies were from the island and probably lesser at risk than my horses (and the other cattle) would be never having seen cliffs, burns and other dangerous places. I just think it is a pity that one has to discuss things like this at all. It should just be taken for granted that there is generally spoken no reason to wander around on pastures if there are many many other ways round. For myself a fence (even a small one) means I am not supposed to go in there. It has to do with respect and perhaps being polite. @Frances144 Feeding seems to be a problem everywhere in the world. At least now it's prohibited and last year someone even got fined because he fed fresh hay (not dried yet) in a riding stable to horses. The stupid guy picked the hay up from a field nearby and threw it over the fence because the horses "looked hungry". One horse died, some of the others needed medical treatment. He had to pay a fine, the value of the dead horse plus the medical treatment for the others. And in cases like this the Third Party Insurance covers for a start but recourses then. Friends of mine tackle the problem now in a different way: if stubborn parents come and want to feed their horses they offer them chocolates filled with liqueur for their children. Most people get the message...
  7. "Warning - stallions on this pasture" is a good idea, because there are 3 stallions running with the herd. Funny thing, the dangerous ones are not the stallions. Hopefully our big one (the draught horse with a weight of 750kg and he will probably reach approx. 850 - 900kg when he's fully grown) will deter people. He is an absolute gentleman but most people are scared to go near him. Well, "near the house" might be an abstract term... if one was to fence certain areas beginning directly round the house stretching into several pastures behind one another... some area should be covered which could still be considered as "near the house"...? Perhaps this could be a solution? I mean I am not talking about vast areas of land but only some hectares around (or rather behind) the house.
  8. I am sure I spent more money before replacing wooden posts regularly. Those posts are granite and have a concrete foundation, so they should last for eternity. If you consider the replacement costs for wooden posts and the time you have to invest for fence repairs the granite posts (each was 93 € made to measure with the holes for the wood already drilled) are amortised after a couple of years. The wood was free from the sawmill down the road. Electric fencing equipment was here already because some years ago I bought bulk cargo. I'm not worried about neighbours because they would not be strangers. My animals accept people they have seen in my company before and don't do them any harm. To introduce the whole population of the island to my animals should not be the problem... But they are very hostile to absolute strangers if they go inside an area they consider to be their territory. In Germany I don't mind this behaviour at all because we had many incidents in this country within the last years when cattle (mainly horses but also cows, heifers, sheep and goats) were attacked, injured and even killed by abnorm criminals. And we do have wolves again which cause big problems to herds and farmers are very annoyed. This is why I am quite happy that some of the courageous ponies go after dogs and strangers. One of the mares even goes after prams (don't ask me why, she also kills mice) so it's definitely better for everyone to stay out of her reach. How about liability in case of a nosy hillwalker who'd end up being a ping-pong ball for a playful ox?
  9. did any of you experience problems with unwanted visitors (people, dogs etc.) on your pastures? I've worked my way through a leaflet... but many questions remained unanswered. If I get it right a paddock or some other area round or near the house and/or stables can be properly fenced and the gates locked to deny access. Talking about a fence I mean something like this (my heavy duty version of "keep the animals away from the roads and the people away from the animals") http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/8315/094jb.jpg But what about ordinary pastures? What if they are a few hundred meters away from the house, surrounded by open accessible meadows and not obstructed paths? Does one really have to accept that some "stronzo" (sorry for the Italian word but the one I would like to use is unprintable) does not want to stick to the paths or to stay on the open and decides he MUST climb the fence and worry the animals? What if the fence is built in a way that there is no access unless you have the key for the gate? Legal or not? What about stray dogs? What am I allowed to do if a dog worries my lifestock? And who is liable if my animals attack a stranger? Will a sign "no access - bull on this pasture" (even if it is an ox, most people won't know the difference) be sufficient not to be held liable in case of an accident? And as far as I know Scotland is one of the few countries in Europe where wild camping is still allowed. Everywhere?! It can't be pleasant to find "droppings" of humans in the hay or silage... Any personal experiences? Any advice?
  10. I am used to the contrary (in Germany). Tenancy gives you some rights, but the owner definitely has more. So usually everything the tenant builds on the land will afterwards belong to the owner, no matter whether it's an exceptional and expensive fence or an animal shelter. Owners are quite happy to rent out poor soil and get back improved land (with a higher value) after the rent period. The owner can choose some other tenant (without the need to have a reasonable cause, it is sufficient if he doesn't like your nose) and after having received a notice you only have two more years for the land use. I am rather lucky myself because I have written the tenancy agreement for our rented land myself which means, shelters as well as fences do belong to me and for the landlord to give notice within a 10year period is excluded (unless I would "spoil" the land).
  11. which estate agent/solicitor can anybody recommend? I am looking for a reliable solicitor who can give good advice and can be trusted. Because I am not so familiar with the present Scottish laws and many things would have to be arranged from a distance it's important that the solicitor is abolutely trustworthy. Is it necessary to have a Shetland solicitor? Any disadvantages if I'd rather deal with my former solicitor who is on the Western Isles? How about the costs? Does it depend on what is to do or only on the value/price of the property? What legal fees are usually involved? Does anybody know whether it's possible to make an offer for a house with a fixed price which includes all fees and all costs (seller and buyer) to avoid unpleasant surprises afterwards? How complicated is it if the sale of the property includes a tenanted croft (apart from getting the consent of the Crofters Commission)? If there were the chance of buying the croft directly of the landlord and the property itself of the buyer does this complicate things even more? Reason is that I am not so happy about buying tenancy rights. I'd rather own a croft than only rent it. Has anybody made any personal experiences?
  12. http://www.petitiononline.com/ukcghq/petition.html
  13. Perhaps, but even scientists found out that often the isolated active ingredients don't work but the original plant does... and the dose is something which differs for each individual. Herbal medicines have not been studied to an extent one would wish. Probably because many of the strongest herbs grow somewhere in remote places where there is not much to earn for the pharma business. Tests with rats and mice to find out how a herbal medicine works with human beings are in many cases no use because every species might react completely different. Some herbal remedies you can use for goats are poisonous for men and horses, some other herbs you can feed horses but you should never give them to your dog. In some countries people are dependant on herbal remedies and in Europe we have problems with resistance... think about antibiotics... and not many people know that there are natural antibiotics in different plants with no resistance (yet, because luckily GPs have not had the chance to prescribe them en masse). In Germany (probably the same in Britain) most physicians and vets do not learn anything about herbal remedies while they are at university. (This is probably why they still recommend camomile for eye sores ) To get deep into herbal medicine you need at least 5 years fulltime studying and even then you will never know everything. I know what I am talking about - I deal with this subject now for more than 9 years. At the moment I am working together in a study with a Swiss and a German university about the use of herbal medicines (compared with mainstream medicine) for the treatment of horses with cushing's syndrome and laminitis... so far one can say that the results of the horses treated with the herbs are more than promising and the side effects are far less. Nobody needs to use herbal remedies if he doesn't want to. But past times show that many mainstream remedies had to be taken of the market due to very adverse side effects and risks (phenylbutazon for example which was a very often used medicine but is now considered not to be prescribed for humans anymore). I don't want to be a test person for the pharmacy and prefer the way thousands of years people cured their maladies.
  14. sometimes it might not be a bad idea to have a look what they do in other countries... (Austria, Bavaria, Eastern Europe...) In our old farmhouse there were just some electric radiators and electricity bills were almost the level some of you pay. There are many different types of kachelofens (the type you have to choose depends on whether you can use wood or coal or pellets etc.). Ours can be fired with wood (dried cowdung and peat are also possible but no coal) and heats the place so warm that you open the livingroom door deliberately to let the heat escape into the other rooms. If it's not below -10° it's sometimes sufficient to get it going every second day. Electricity bill now is not even half of what it was before. Hope the pic is not too big... (if someone can make it smaller - much appreciated) (***Mod Edit - Consider it done - Imgshack gives you the option to resize when you upload***) http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/5180/006ls.jpg
  15. not yet it depends whether you look for treatment or whether you just need some information or advice about some problem which might be cured by herbal remedies... If it's not treatment you are looking for you could perhaps get in touch with a lady who's just getting deeper into the subject of herbal medicine for home use. She lives in Shetland... you can send me a PM if you want contact with her.
  16. With my cow and ox on the field it's NOT SAFE for anybody they don't know. You would definitely notice... Never! Whether they want to play with you or to chase you they will always be faster (and stronger) than you. And I doubt that a 700kg cow stops in time once you wave your arms and shout... if she wants to play (or if she's in the "mood") she will just ignore this. The best weapon ever invented is the good old waterpistol. It doesn't heart at all and keeps even a 2 year old cheeky ox who wants to play with you in a safe distance. To be honest: I can't really see the point why one would ever want to enter a field with grazing animals unless you are the owner of the animals. On the Bavarian "Almen" happen so many bad accidents each year so best advice is to stay on the roads, paths etc. and outside the fenced grazings. My animals (also the horses) hunt each and every stranger. Since wolves are returning to Bavaria I am glad that they also hunt dogs if they come through the fence.
  17. I always tried to travel alone (although men do not appreciate separate holidays) and never had problems to get a discount for single travellers whether it was during or out of the season. I reckon because the running costs of a house depend not only on the number of people staying in it.But still, as I said, I cannot confirm the above. First time I stayed on the Western Isles I booked a self catering flat for myself and my son (who was 3 years old at the time) and was offered a huge discount being only "a half family". And although it was a self-catering accommodation we were surprisingly invited to join the family for the evening meals right from the first evening (poached salmon and other fine treats ) Whereever I stayed in Europe, whether it was a luxury hotel in Austria (single occupancy of a suite) or a small private B&B in Belgium or... I was always offerd discounts for single accommodation. The only exception was London where you pay for a messy place a lot of money and don't even get a discount when the place is full of cockroaches...
  18. I hired a car (Bolts) when I was up and was absolutely content with the price. And it was a rather new car which needed not much fuel. To bring my own car would have been far more expensive. Of course hiring a car in Shetland is more expensive than to hire one on the Western Isles, but there you might get an old van whose last passengers were sheep... usually you find a rusty bin at the very end of the airport car park with papers and keys in the car.
  19. after having seen the many derelict buildings and also an empty old house with a very good base for restauration... why not repair the buildings traditionally and convert some into a museum or even some sort of romantic self catering accommodation? It did work on Lewis (thinking about this www.gearrannan.com or the Arnol Black House etc.) so why should it not work in Shetland? I am not so keen on the typical visitors centres where bus loads of tourists come, buy so-called souvenirs (which sometimes are purely rubbish), leave their litter everywhere and the whole place is more or less ruined because it has lost it's authentic atmosphere. Worst example I have ever seen in Scotland is the Loch Ness visitors centre and I have seen really bad examples in Bavaria (where I live) and Austria ("Ausverkauf der Kultur"... which can probably best be translated with sale of culture). To be honest: it was just the missing of the "typical" tourist attractions what I liked most when I was up a week ago. If tourism still is not a very big thing... it might have other reasons. Most people I came across (at home and whilst travelling) didn't even know where the islands are. Many of my friends who have travelled all over the world and have been to other remote places had no idea where Shetland is. Funny thing: About Orkney and the Inner Hebrides most people have heard... but noone obviously knows the Outer Hebrides and Shetland (so you seem to have something in common ). Buy a map of Scotland and you will not even find the islands where they are geographically.
  20. which provider is best is probably not so important as long as there is one. I suppose my Eplus will just book in what's available for roaming. I wouldn't even mind if there was no cover (being not a friend of radio masts everywhere) it's just that I would like to know before anyone at home goes crazy because they cannot reach me. If there is a poor coverage and one knows before it's possible to arrange something else... being complete clueness about modern technology: does the phone work on the North boat? I guess not...
  21. Well we are deep in deprived Southern Bavaria since I would have to drive about 4 km to get a signal for the mobile phone I am very confident now that my family will be able to reach me on the islands but they will have to use an ordinary phone ... living in deprived Bavaria
  22. how is the mobile phone coverage on the islands? Any chance that the phone works on the northern islands (Fetlar and Yell)? Or is it better to look for a phone box?
  23. All done already crossed the Minch in a gale with a small fishing boat (the ferry wasn't out that day due to the wheather) about 15 years ago spent most time downstairs in one of the bunks though
  24. hopefully they won't refuse a single lightweight foot passenger... what also worries me is that there might be again sailings cancelled (if the wheather is bad again)... I do have a plan B but don't know yet whether this works It's a pity that it's such a long journey. To cross the Minch is easier if there is no ferry available... get a lift on a fishing boat for instance... but I doubt that any of the smaller Aberdeen vessels go fishing so far north
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