You know what makes me grumpy? All the Grumpy Old Men who appeared on the BBC TV series were younger than me, that's what makes me grumpy. Mutter, mutter....

The Grumpy Old Artist

The Grumpy Old Artist
Would YOU pose for this man???

Exhibition Poster

Exhibition Poster
Catterline Event, 2011

Oil Painting by Jim Tait

Oil Painting by Jim Tait
Helford River, Cornwall

Oil Painting by Jim Tait

Oil Painting by Jim Tait
Full-riggers "Georg Stage" and "Danmark"

Other Recent Works

Other Recent Works
Fordyce Castle and Village

Hay's Dock, Lerwick

Shetland-model Boats at Burravoe, Yell

Tall Ships Seascape

The Tour Boat "Dunter III", with Gannets, off Noss

The "Karen Ann II" entering Fraserburgh harbour

Summer Evening, Boyndie Bay

1930s Lerwick Harbour

Johnshaven Harbour

"Seabourn Legend"

Greeting Cards!

Greeting Cards!
Now Available in Packs of Five or in Assorted Sets of Four

Sunday, 1 August 2010


I was grateful to my nephew Kenneth, who is up here for a long weekend, who offered to run me around the various places I had to go to on Friday morning, saving me a small fortune in taxi fares. I had to get fish from the shop at Sound, my mother's medication from the Scalloway pharmacy, my own medication (the blue ones are best this week!) from Boots and mother's usual pension and shopping from the Whiteness shop (not necessarily in that order).

While I was in the various buildings, collecting whatever had to be collected, Kenneth sat in the car reading the Shetland Times, which goes on sale throughout the islands on a Friday morning. When I emerged from the last (and lengthiest) of our stops, he said that if life in Shetland is as depicted in our local newspaper, he is glad he stays in Aberdeen. He says the Shetland Times portrays life in the islands as much the same as anywhere else, with its drug, drink, domestic abuse and general crime problems. It is Shetland's uniqueness which makes it an attractive place to stay, and, if it is becoming like everywhere else, he doesn't want to live here any more. Now, how much this is due to media portrayal and how much to the present nature of island life, I don't really know. I certainly don't recognise the Shetland which I see on a daily basis reflected in the pages of our local paper, so Kenneth seems to have a point.

Here we have to face two unfortunate facts, namely that good news doesn't sell newspapers, and that Shetland now has serious drug and social problems, which are affecting the lives of many young Shetlanders in particular, and consequently the columns of our local rag. I have a suggestion!

Most of the chatty bits of news (much of it good) from around the county have been hived off into sections headed "South Mainland Notebook", "North Mainland Notebook", "Isles Views", "Views from the Scord" (Scalloway), and sections on archaeology, the arts, wildlife and an amusingly ill-informed fishing and marine column, as well as regular features on religious activities, cooking and news from the SWRI branches. There are probably others I've neglected to mention, for which I apologise, and I mustn't forget the large sports section at the back. Why don't they do the same with crime? Shove it into its own compartment, and anyone who isn't interested in the minor misdemeanours of the local crackheads and bampots can ignore it, as most people outside the "catchment" areas do to the district news columns. There you go, petal! Once you put a problem into its appropriate box, it won't hurt as much. So it can be with Shetland's burgeoning social and crime issues (the causes of which are too complex for this blogger to address here).

As the folk singer John James neatly puts it:

Put a little label on it
So you won't know
Just what it was that frightened you so!
I said, put a little label on it
And give it a name
Then everything can go on just the same.

That's all, folks!

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