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Today on the show, I’m very excited to have blogger, adventurer and Shetlander Bee Leask who you may know from her Instagram @bumblebambi join me. Bee grew up in Shetland and now lives in Scotland, but Shetland is very much a part of how she identifies and it has shaped her life in so many ways which we discuss in this episode. I started following her a few years ago and was so inspired by her adventures in the highlands and Islands where she is busy ticking off all Scotland’s inhabited islands and 282 Munros.
In the show we speak about community, belonging, overcoming challenges and we talk a lot about hiking in Scotland and the beauty of our island communities.
Hello, and welcome to episode 10 of the Shetland with Laurie podcast.
This is a big one for me, and probably the most requested topic that you’ve asked me to discuss.
Today I’m going to talk about language in Shetland, and, if I’m honest - I have no idea where to start with it! It’s a huge topic and it permeates every aspect of life here; it is the very fabric that holds our community and culture together. Without this common language, that has evolved over the years, Shetland would be unrecognisable and our heritage far less rich and nourishing to those who live here.
This is such an emotive topic for me and it brings up so many feelings of both pride and also fear and sadness. It brings me pride because I’m deeply proud of our language, its roots and its place in our culture and heritage, and it brings me fear and sadness because, as with any other marginal language, it’s under increasing threat. It’s onstantly being eroded, changed and lost by external forces for various reasons which I’ll discuss as we explore the topic more deeply.
My accent and the language we speak here is something I am constantly asked about - especially when I have people on tours and they pick up on my strong accent, the intonation of my voice and the way I pronounce vowels in particular. Guests often apologise that English is not their first language, and to that, I tell them that it’s not my first language either!
On today’s show, I’m tackling Shetland folklore and all the mythical creatures that inhabit our islands. Folklore was a huge part of Shetland’s society and culture in pre-modern times. Many of the folktales have been written down and, although many have now been forgotten, they can still be found in books and literature.
The dramatic coastline and moorland expanses have given rise to a rich and deep-rooted culture of folklore, superstition and deeply-embedded traditions.
In the past, education, literature and access to news was limited, even within the isles. Travel for pleasure was almost unheard of, and a venture out into the neighbouring parish or district was a novelty. Friends and neighbours, particularly in winter, would gather together beside the fireside and share stories and tales of the past to occupy the long winter nights. This chapter will explore some of these stories.
Today we cover trows, njuggles, witches & wizards, giants, selkies and sea creatures who have all played a prominent role in the folklore of Shetland.
If you have enjoyed listening to the podcast, you can support it and help me bring more of them to you via Patreon. Patreon also gives you access to unpublished essays, videos and much more!
On today’s episode, I chat to Aimee Budge from the Bigton Farm. Aimee, and sister Kirsty, took over their family farm in 2014 following the unexpected death of their father. Aged just 17 and 21 when they took over, they have achieved great things since they took over, including an appearance on the BBC’s hit show This Farming Life. They were also winners of the prestigious BBC Countryfile’s Farming Heroes Award in 2018
In this show, we delve into the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and consider how we can access the outdoors safely and responsibly.
Shetland is a walker’s paradise; with long swathes of uninterrupted coastline, peaty moorlands, heathery hills and inland lochs offering something for all walkers who come here to enjoy the spectacular scenery. While we want you to enjoy every inch of our beautiful islands, we also want you to stay safe.
In Scotland, and Shetland, people have the freedom to roam and most areas are accessible through the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, but you must do this responsibly.
In today’s show, I chat to Alexa Fitzgibbon, an amazingly talented photographer, weaver, designer and anthropologist who first came to Shetland 12 years ago from France to study. She has since moved to Shetland, and now calls it home.
In this episode, we chat about her studies on religion in the North Atlantic area and the relationships between the living and the dead. And as we are approaching Halloween, we hear about some of Shetland’s ghostly tales that she uncovered during her research and the burden of Protestant guilt that lives on in the lives of Shetlanders today. We speak about how the fundamental differences between Protestant and Catholic belief systems have contributed to a ghost society in many northern areas.
In today’s show, I chat to my dad, Arnold Goodlad, about the fishing in Shetland.
Fishing is Shetland’s mainstay industry, combined with aquaculture, these industries make up 50 per cent of the island economy.
In the show, we speak about dad’s life growing up in Burra and what the fishing looked like when he was a boy – half a century ago – and what it looks like today. We touch on the oil industry and how fishing remains the greater employer even today.
We speak about what life at sea was like and how it differs from land-based jobs, and we touch on some of the dangers that come with doing one of the most dangerous jobs in the UK including the incredible courage and bravery of our lifeboat crews.
In today’s show, I chat with Misa Hay who runs Shetland Wool Adventures and has just released a fascinating Journal dedicated to all things Shetland.
We speak about how she came to be living in Shetland and how she started her business running knitting and hiking holidays. Misa is passionate about many things and has a real creative flair so we cover loads! We chat about her latest creative project, The Shetland Wool Adventures Journal, what to expect in there and, most importantly, how you can get your hands on a copy!
We also speak about the all-important work-life balance and how she manages this in her business – in particular through her love of gardening at 60 North! We also chat about wild swimming, what to take with you when you come here and some of our favourite Shetland authors.
In today’s show, I chat with Chris Dyer, an archaeologist and crofter who also offers tours of his croft at Garths on the island of Bressay.
Bressay is a small island on Shetland’s east coast, just a seven-minute ferry from Lerwick. Home to about 340 people, Chris works his 40-acre croft with his wife and welcomes guests throughout the year.
We speak about archaeology, sheep farming, rearing pigs, growing crops and, a few of the challenges associated with living and working at 60 North.
In this show, I'm chatting to Terri Malcolmson who runs the business Terri Laura.
Terri is a knitwear designer and teacher based in Shetland.
We chat about her work, her classes, her inspiration and the amazing benefits of wool.
A little about Laurie
Hello, and welcome to my podcast. I hope that you find what you're looking for, whether you are planning that perfect holiday or maybe you're from Shetland and looking for some inspiration. Hopefully, there is something here for everyone.