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Shetland with Laurie Podcast

Shetland with Laurie Podcast

By Laurie Goodlad
Shetland with Laurie is hosted by writer and tour guide, Laurie Goodlad and delves into all aspects of life in Shetland; the place, the people and the landscape.

You can find out more about Shetland with Laurie by following on Instagram @shetlandwithlaurie
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A look at the mythical creatures from Shetland's folklore

Shetland with Laurie Podcast

An interview with Ann Marie Anderson, author of the Peerie Ooricks books
Welcome to episode 21 of the podcast - this week’s show is with Ann Marie Anderson, author of the popular dialect children's book series, Peerie Ooricks. Ann Marie grew up on the west side of Shetland, and now lives on the island of Whalsay. She is a writer and artist who has created the lovable Ooricks – small characters who explore Shetland’s landscape, language and culture. In today’s show, we speak about her series of children’s books, her love of the language and Shetland’s culture and the ways we can help to preserve and maintain the spoken language in Shetland. We also speak about her work as joint convener with Shetland ForWirds, an organisation that aims to foster and promote the use of written and spoken Shetland dialect as a valued and essential element of Shetland’s distinctive heritage and culture. You can sign up to become a member of Shetland ForWirds or access a wealth of dialect resources via their website. Ann Marie’s work is available via her website or you can contact her on Instagram @peerie_oorick or at This is the last episode of Season Two and I will be back in the autumn after the migratory birds depart for the summer! This podcast would not be possible without the support of my patrons on Patreon. You can support this podcast and help me bring more of them to you via Patreon.
June 08, 2021
Shetland dialect with Chloe Irvine *spoken in the dialect*
Welcome to episode 20 of the podcast. Today’s show is a bit different, and due to popular demand, we are carrying out this interview, predominantly on language, in our native tongue. In today’s show, I speak to Chloe Irvine who grew up on the island of Whalsay and has just completed her degree in Journalism at Edinburgh Napier University. Chloe talks to us about the transition between living in Shetland and studying on the mainland (Scotland), and how she has had to deal with varying degrees of language discrimination during this time. We speak about ways that we can protect and promote the dialect and its usage, and Chloe shares a poem in the dialect that she wrote to tackle and highlight some of the feelings that are brought to the surface when language discrimination takes place. I’ve left a disclaimer at the beginning of the show to say that, as this is in dialect, it may be difficult to understand but, we felt that it was important for you to hear the language spoken to get a sense of how it sounds when it’s spoken amongst Shetlanders. If you struggle to understand, play it back from the start and you’ll be surprised how quickly your ear can tune into the language.
May 25, 2021
The Shetland Bus Operation with Bill Moore
Hello and welcome to episode 19 of the podcast. Today we have a very special guest and a fascinating topic to explore. Today I welcome Bill Moore, a local historian, to speak to us about the history of the Shetland Bus which was an undercover operation between Shetland and Nazi-occupied Norway during the Second World War. It’s a fascinating episode and I really enjoyed taking a deeper look into this period of our history with Bill. On the show, we discuss many elements of the operation, including its roots and some of the early missions that took place. We look at the locations that were used locally and a few of the men who were key figures in the resistance movement. The early days of the operation saw equal amounts of tragedy and success, and we speak about some of the harrowing stories from a few of these risky missions, including the story of the Blia, Axel and Bergholm. In 1943 the operation changed with the arrival of three sub-chasers, gifted from the United States. We talk about how this changed the operation and how, today, we still remember the events of the Shetland Bus at the Scalloway Museum.
May 18, 2021
Some of Shetland's best walks
In today’s show, I talk about a few of my favourite walks in Shetland. I begin by talking about the Eshaness Circular that sits in the northwest corner of Shetland and represents the best section through the flank of a volcano in the UK. It boasts the UK’s largest sea cave and some impressive coastal features, and 2,000-year-old archaeology. I then consider walking some of Shetland’s National Nature Reserves, and, in this, I include the National Reserves of Hermaness, Noss and Sumburgh Head. Finally, I share a few of my favourite walks for archaeology. I look at Mousa Broch, Culswick Broch and, lastly, the Neolithic temple at Stanydale. All this and more in today’s show! --- Support my work on Patreon
May 04, 2021
A guide to Shetland's archaeology
With thousands of scheduled sites and monuments, you may be at a loss as to which archaeological treasures to visit when you’re only in Shetland for a limited time. This podcast will outline the top archaeological attractions and take you on a voyage of discovery through 6,000 years of human history. In the show, we begin in Shetland’s Mesolithic Period where hunter-gatherer people first arrived here, in search of food. From the Mesolithic, we journey through the Neolithic and see the first farmers settle in Shetland, beginning a long period of occupation. After the Neolithic comes the Bronze Age, a brief period that precedes a long and, often difficult, Iron Age. We look at how the Vikings and Norse settlers brought a wave of change to the islands and, finally, explore Shetland’s transition into Scotland, and what that has meant for us culturally, today. --- Stanydale Temple at the Spring Equinox blog Support my work on Patreon
April 27, 2021
A Guide to Shetland literature - what books to read (fiction & non-fiction)
Hello and welcome to episode 16 of the podcast. In today’s show, I’m talking about books and literature from Shetland. “What to read” is something that I’m asked time and time again. I’ve written a blog about my favourite Shetland fiction books, and this podcast will include those, as well as my favourite non-fiction books too. I’ll ease you in gently and begin by introducing my favourite Shetland fiction novels and the reasons why I’ve chosen them. Where they are still available, I’ll leave a link in the show notes on my website for you to buy them. --- You can find the full show notes at
April 20, 2021
Shetland on Film: an interview with Greg McCarron from The Shetland Film Archive
Hello and welcome to episode 15 of the podcast. This was an accidental podcast, so I may lapse into dialect a bit more as usual, and I don’t welcome my guest in the same way! But, today’s episode is with Greg McCarron from the Shetland Film Archive. Greg has been working for several years with the Film Archive, which is a charitable organisation that collects, preserves and protects the film material of Shetland, making it publicly available to be enjoyed. Recently the group received some funding to digitise more film material, and that’s what I’m chatting to Greg about in this call. When I was listening back to the call, I realised that this was an interesting topic and would make a good podcast episode. Also, for those keen to get involved, listen to Greg and find out how you can volunteer to help the Film Archive. Greg is also an old friend who now lives on the Scottish mainland and works for Scottish TV, so it was really lovely to catch up with him. In this episode, we find out about the films that the Shetland Film Archive holds, a little bit about the history of film in Shetland and some of the technical stuff that I was unsure about - like when we start to see sound coming into these films. I found out so much about the history of film and why it’s such an important historical tool. So, let’s dive in and hear what Greg has to say. --- Shetland Film Archive website Shetland Film Archive YouTube channel Shetland Film Archive Facebook page Sailing boats and burning galleys - Greg’s favourite quirky film in the archive
April 13, 2021
Witchcraft in 17th century Shetland
Hello! And welcome back to season two of the Shetland with Laurie podcast. I’m absolutely thrilled to be back behind the mic bringing you another season and, more importantly, I’m touched that so many of you, the listeners, have asked for another season. This episode is a solo show and it’s the findings of some recent research that I’ve done into the witches of Shetland - those who were tried and executed for witchcraft. It’s going to be a long episode as I kept getting lost down rabbit holes in the archives and I found out so much about this shocking period in our history. --- Support me on Patreon National Database of Witches in Scotland Lawrence Tulloch’s Shetland Folktales, buy the book Listen to the story of the Fetlar witch Witches of Scotland website
April 06, 2021
An interview with ceramicist and photographer, Ellie Duncan, Island Ceramics
On today’s show, I speak to Ellie Duncan from Island Ceramics. Ellie is a ceramicist who makes incredible one-of-a-kind hand-crafted pieces that are inspired by her love of the sea and her island home. Ellie is also a photographer who loves to capture the many forms that the sea can take. In this episode, we talk about how she started her business and how she found herself at the potter's wheel. We speak about how the sea inspires her work and how using the colours and the dialect words that we use to describe the sea are important to her collections. We speak about her photography and how she has been taking photographs since she was 11 years old, and why it's important to slow down and live in the moment. We also discuss the problems associated with plastic pollution and how everyone can do their bit to mitigate these. All this and more, in today's show! --- Island Ceramics website Cyan clayworks, Edinburgh Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary A walk to Deepdale A walk to Hermaness, Unst Podcast episode about Shetland dialect and language Support the podcast on Patreon
March 30, 2021
Interview with writer Ann Cleeves
Today's guest needs absolutely no introduction - author of over 30 critically acclaimed novels, international worldwide bestseller, the creator of popular TV detectives Vera Stanhope and Shetland’s very own Jimmy Perez - I am so excited to welcome the hugely talented Ann Cleeves to the show! In today's show, we speak about Ann's new book, the latest in the popular Vera series, The Darkest Evening, and her inspiration behind the Vera and Shetland series and about her time in Shetland and Fair Isle. We discuss her writing routine and how she feels particularly drawn to Shetland as a place that she has been visiting for over 40 years. --- Shownotes: Buy Ann Cleeves’ books and support local booksellers. The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves. Ann talks about Eve Eunson’s latest exhibition of Fair Isle chairs in Shetland Museum & Archives - this is the link to that exhibition. Ann is a patron of the Fair Isle Bird Observatory Appeal. The Observatory is a key part of the Fair Isle community and was lost to fire in 2019. Fundraising efforts are underway to reinstate this research and holiday facility and donations are gratefully received. You can book a trip to Fair Isle by visiting the Shetland Islands Inter-Island Air Service page or Inter-Island Ferry page. Mareel is Scotland’s most northerly arts and music venue which Ann recommends to get a taste of the local culture. You can find out more about what’s on, here. Get a taste of a few of Shetland’s many festivals here. Ann also recommends a visit to Eshaness in Shetland’s north-west corner. This is where some of the filming for the TV series was done and you can read more about Eshaness here. Take a look at my Shetland TV Series tours. --- This podcast would not be possible without the support of my patrons on Patreon. Generating an income from Patreon means that I can allow time to do these and buy all the hardware and software associated with podcasting. This has been a dream of mine for so long and you have really made it possible! You can support this podcast and help me bring more of them to you via Patreon.
December 08, 2020
Interview with adventurer & blogger, Bee Leask @bumblebambi
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. --- Shownotes Instagram @bumblebambi Walk Highlands website for walking in Scotland and Shetland I Am An Island, a book by Tamsin Calidas about living in the Hebrides which we talk about in the show. Shetland by Numbers, a website by Walter Scott A list of Shetland’s Marilyns ... This podcast would not be possible without the support of my patrons on Patreon. Generating an income from Patreon means that I can allow time to do these and buy all the hardware and software associated with podcasting. This has been a dream of mine for so long and you have really made it possible! You can support this podcast and help me bring more of them to you via Patreon.
December 01, 2020
Language in Shetland; the dialect, it's usage and challenges
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! So, let's dive in! Links from the episode: Blog about the Clearances in Shetland, as referred to in Rhoda Bulter’s poem. Shetland For Wirds, a group that promotes and preserves Shetland dialect. Dialect map of Shetland - this is where you can listen to the local accents which differ throughout the islands. The Collected Poems of Vagaland - my favourite Shetland poet Hairst is Coosed - The Rhoda Bulter Collection of poems --- 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!
November 24, 2020
A look at the mythical creatures from Shetland's folklore
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!
November 17, 2020
Interview with Aimee Budge from Bigton Farm
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, 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 Today they manage and run the 350-acre farm, as well as another 350-acre farm nearby and an additional 300 acres of rented grazing land. Bigton Farm is in Shetland’s picturesque South Mainland and has panoramic views across the beautiful tombolo and St Ninian’s Isle. The farm has about 90 cattle, 500 sheep, several horses and ponies and they grow 60 acres of barley. Farming is in Aimee’s blood, and as a fifth-generation farmer, she is continually building on the hard work and dedication of all those who have gone before here. She is a real advocate for women in farming and promotes the Young Farmer’s Group both locally and nationally. As well as working the farm full-time, Aimee also offers both farm tours and Shetland pony tours for visitors who are looking for an added layer to their Shetland experience – and where better to see the ponies than overlooking the sweeping sands of St Ninian’s Isle. She talks about what farming in Shetland looks like, her time at agricultural college and parts with a final message which urges more women to get into agriculture! Links: Find Bigton Farm online on Facebook and Instagram BBC Countryfile Farming Heroes award The Award-winning Farmer Shetland Young Farmers
November 10, 2020
Walking in Shetland and understanding the Outdoor Access Code
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. I come to this topic with no crofting background, I’m from a fishing family, but I enjoy long walks in the country and I too love to visit Shetland’s beauty spots. But, with this there comes a caveat; I – and we collectively – must do this responsibly. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we look after nature. And the overriding message is that our countryside is not a playground; it’s a habitat, it’s a workplace and it is incredibly fragile and susceptible to change. There is often an idea that, in a small place like Shetland, walkers will not come into difficulty or become lost; this is a misconception, and with the best will in the world, walkers are often caught unaware as low cloud or mist roll in off the sea reducing visibility and making it difficult to find the route back to safety. In this episode, I touch on ways that you can stay safe while out-and-about. If you do find yourself in an emergency situation or spot someone else in trouble, you should call 999 and ask for the coastguard. --- Links: Scottish Outdoor Access Code Promote Shetland’s Walking Page What3Words app A walk to Hermaness in Unst A walk to Culswick Broch, West Mainland A walk to Deepdale, West Mainland A walk to Burland Broch, South Mainland A walk to Stanydale Temple, West Mainland --- You can support this podcast and help me bring more of them to you via Patreon.
November 03, 2020
An interview with photographer, social anthropologist and designer, Alexa Fitzgibbon
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. We chat about Alexa’s great friend, and world-renowned storyteller, Lawrence Tulloch who she spent a lot of time with before he passed away. His book on Shetland Folk Tales which she illustrated is linked in the show notes. Alexa is a photographer and we speak about her photos and her love of portrait photography and capturing moments with people. With Christmas approaching family photo shoots make a great gift idea and you can book a session with Alexa via her photography page, Odd Poppy Photography, on Facebook. Alexa also spends several days a week working as a weaver for the Shetland Tweed Company where she produces woven cloths, inspired by Shetland’s landscape and seasons. She explains how she became a weaver and the intricacies of producing bespoke cloths for the Yell-based company. We also consider the role of weaving in Shetland’s textile heritage. Another of Alexa’s many projects is creating Kokeshi dolls. Kokeshi dolls are Japanese wood-turned dolls that are engraved and painted with bright and colourful designs. Alexa began creating these at home during lockdown and now sells bespoke, one-of-a-kind commissions all over the world. She talks us through the process of creating these incredible pieces of art. Hear about all this and more in today’s show! --- Shetland Folk Tales by Lawrence Tulloch, illustrated by Alexa Fitzgibbon A blog about my trip to Yell where I encountered a ghostly presence that I discuss with Alexa in the show. Alexa’s Instagram page @lex_in_the_north_sea Odd Poppy Photography Shetland Tweed Company on Facebook and Instagram Tour recommendations for the Noss experience: Seabirds and Seals wildlife boat trips Shetland Seabird Tours Private charter on the Mousa Boat to Noss Hermaness blog You can support this podcast and help us bring more of them to you via Patreon.
October 27, 2020
An interview with fisherman, Arnold Goodlad
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. We hear about a time when they lost their boat and had to abandon ship and how he went overboard fishing off Fitful Head. We also speak about what life was like for him growing up on an island, Shetland’s nature; birds and whales and he offers his top three things to do in Shetland. Some links that we speak about; Water in Burgidale: Shetland Fisheries in a Pre-electronic Age by Charlie Simpson --- You can support this podcast and help us bring more of them to you via Patreon.
October 20, 2020
An interview with Misa Hay of Shetland Wool Adventures
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. Links that are referred to in the show: Shetland Wool Adventures website Buy a copy of the Shetland Wool Adventures Journal My Shetland Garden blog Shetland Webcams Promote Shetland’s website and their walking page A list of community museums and interpretive centres Shetland’s wild swimmer’s Facebook Group Wild swimming books: Salt on my Skin and Swimming with Seals 10 favourite books about Shetland, and a few more … Shetland with Laurie’s guide to the best of Shetland fiction 10 Favourite Shetland Knitting Books You can support this podcast and help us bring more of them to you via Patreon.
October 13, 2020
Episode with Chris Dyer: Garths Croft, Bressay
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. Links that are referred to in the show: @Garthscroftbressay on Instagram Bressay Development videos on YouTube Garths Croft tour on YouTube Aald Papa, I’m Dine! By George P.S.Peterson - a book about Papa Stour You can support this podcast and help us bring more of them to you via Patreon.
October 06, 2020
An interview with knitwear designer and teacher, Terri Laura
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. You can find Terri on Instagram and Facebook @TerriLaura or on her website where you can sign up for her newsletter and blog. To find out more about the Benefits of Wool campaign and shop products, visit You can support this podcast and help us bring more of them to you via Patreon.
September 29, 2020
Welcome to the Shetland with Laurie podcast!
Hello and welcome to the introductory episode of the Shetland with Laurie podcast. In this show, I introduce myself, Laurie, and tell you a little bit about what to expect from this new podcast. I am a writer and tour guide based in the Shetland Islands and this podcast explains a little about the work I do and what to expect from the podcast over coming months. === The following are links to some of the things that I discuss in this episode: My blog  The Growth of Lerwick blog Stewart Earls blog Mousa boat website Lerwick Walking Tours info Instagram @shetlandwithlaurie Promote Shetland blogs NorthLink  My online Patreon page Online shop If you would like to email me with any suggestions or to just say hello, you can do so at You can support this podcast and help us bring more of them to you via Patreon.
September 22, 2020