NB: This story was first published in 2018, and details have changed.
For Vicky Schofield, an advanced nurse practitioner at the Lerwick Health Centre, moving to Shetland for her dream nursing job four years ago also meant moving the family of four up from Chester.
“Of course, there were a lot of questions,” she says. “Would we fit in? Would we like it? Was there a brass band? Charlotte, her daughter, was really worried that we wouldn’t have the same furniture. We spent a lot of time reassuring her that it would still be the four of us together, that nothing would change — and that, yes, we’d have the same furniture.”
Four years later, we’re sitting at Vicky’s old dining room table in Lerwick as she makes a post-work bacon butty and a mug of tea, served in a Union Jack tea cosy. Jeffrey and Golden Batman, the two goldfish, are vacantly doing their thing in their tank (Reuben, Vicky’s six-year-old son, gave Golden Batman his name because he likes Batman but alas the goldfish isn’t black. No one seems to know why Jeffrey is Jeffrey, or how to spell his name). While the beloved family dog, Rocky, passed away recently, Vicky has plans to get a new black labrador puppy for the family.
Reuben and Charlotte, nine, are at school, and Vicky’s husband Martin is working at the Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, at Shetland’s beautiful southernmost tip, as a conservation officer for RSPB Scotland. “They’ll stop meetings to watch humpback whales, and through the summer he’ll be out doing bird surveys all across Shetland.”