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July 2015 Newsletter

by Helen Smith -


Hurray! The school holidays start this month - it's always great when the schools break up and families can enjoy time together. There's so many places to explore in Shetland, that whether you've got kids, or you're a big kid yourself, you're going to have fun during your holiday. The summer months are packed full of activities and community events - it's a good idea to look at our What's On section, the Entertainment section in the Shetland Times, or BBC Radio Shetland's What's On diary for up to date information - but I'll give you a quick run through of what's happening this month.

Dates for Your Diary

Cullivoe Party on the Pier (4th to 6th July) is a great community event - last time I went I experienced the best barbecue EVER! It might be a long way to go for a BBQ, but I guarantee it's worth it. After you've sampled what Cullivoe has to offer you can head further north and experience UnstFest - a festival like no other.

The Shetland Nature Festival runs from 4th to 10th July (more about that later) or there's the Wild West Fest! The Skeld Regatta is on hold for this year... but, don't worry, the local boating club will be hosting the "Wild West Fest" on the usual weekend on 24th - 26th July so you won't miss out on another great weekend in Skeld. If you're thinking of heading out with a caravan you should book a pitch at the campsite soon. The Sandwick Family Fun Day does exactlly what it says on the tin! With lots of stalls, pony rides and another quality barbecue it's definately fun for al the family.

Lerwick's Shopping Week runs from 11th to 17th. Commercial Street in Lerwick is home to some lovely independent retailers and shoppers will have the opportunity to pop along to "Meet the Maker". You can settle down and listen to live music at Harrison Square, or take part in the sand castle and pavement art competitions, seek out new geo-caches or take an Instagram tour of Lerwick's town centre.

The Shetland music scene is alive and kicking! I'm really looking forward to seeing some of Shetland's most talented Singers & Songwriters at Mareel on 12th July at the second in a series of concerts; this time singers will swap songs and perform a song written by another Shetland songwriter. Between Islands is on 18th July - it's a musical collaboration between Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles with artisits who have come together to write new material, inspired by their shared islands heritage.

And finally, I recommend you visit Islesburgh Photographic Club's "Oot an Aboot" exhibition, which opens on 25th July in the Shetland Museum and Archives.

Shetland Nature Festival

When you visit Shetland you're close to nature - and whether it's the bird life, killer whales, seals or otters that's on your list of must-see creatures there's the possibility to see them all during the Shetland Nature Festival. This is the 7th year of the festival and it co-incides with European Geoparks Week. There are more events than you can shake a stick at, and it's difficult to pick a highlight but here's some things I'd love to do: herbal remedy making, take a botanical drawing workshop, be brave and try climbing a cliff or track otters and look for signs of where they've been. Some events charge are free and available on a drop-in basis, others you have to book and there's a reasonable booking fee. Have a look at the programme to see what you fancy getting up to.

Shetland Craft Trail 2015/2016 Booklet

I was so excited to pick up a copy of the new Craft Trail booklet. The booklet itself is beautiful and worthy as a souvenir - or you can go digital and download it.

All the craft makers in the booklet are full members of the Shetland Arts & Crafts Association and are quality assessed, so you'll know that you're buying a beautifully hand crafted item that will be cherished for years to come. The handy map helps you plan your journey around the isles and with 22 dots on the map, you'll see some exquisite items and meet some fantasticly crafty people along the way. Have fun!

Handy tip - if you're restricted by luggage allowance you can ask the craft maker about their postal service, or keep hold of the booklet so you can order at a later date. I know all too well how frustrating it is to return home and think "if only I'd bought such and such!"

Competition Time!

Congratulations to Margaret Wheeler from Berkshire who won our June competition. This month we are giving away two beautiful cushions from local textile designer Kathy Coull, her designs were inspired by the lichens found on various surfaces throughout Fair Isle.

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