Thrilled this morning to get my copy of the latest ’60 North’ magazine. I’ve a cover story in there that touches on one of my favourite wildlife families, cetaceans or, to you and me, whales and dolphins.
Writing ‘Britain’s Sea Mammals’ was a labour of love – these beautiful animals never fail to quicken the pulse, and even though I can on a calm day pretty much guarantee a sighting of a Harbour Porpoise from the kitchen window at home, an encounter with any cetacean is always special. Writing about them was a real pleasure, and I like to hope that armed with the book more people will make a point of looking for them, will know what they’re seeing, and will cherish the encounter thereafter.
Choosing to write a piece for ’60 North’ about Shetland’s historic whaling industry was, therefore, always going to be a delicate balancing act. I couldn’t possibly condone the killing of these beautiful animals; but nor did I feel it was right to condemn the historic actions of those who did; doing so would not undo what had happened in the past, and we have moved on subsequently. Better then to document what happened and look to the future with some cautious optimism.
My next piece for the Spring 2015 issue will be a lot less contemplative, and very much set in the present day! A little something for Easter…