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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.
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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.
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.