Our picturesque seaside town has no pubs or supermarkets and the weather is horrible – but we love it | The Sun
LOCALS living in a picturesque seaside spot with no pubs or supermarkets have revealed why they love it.
The residents say while they're battered with wind and rain for much of the year, they find they miss the weather when they travel away.
There are only about 30 residents who live on Foula, a small island roughly 20 miles off the west coast of Shetland.
It's been described as a "hard island for hard people" and it can only be reached by ferry or a plane.
There is no wi-fi, no pubs or bars, there is not even a shop to buy basic supplies from.
But those who call the small island home are used to living that way, and keeping well stocked.
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Sheila Gear, a resident of Foula for almost 60 years, is one of those.
She told the BBC: "It can be a difficult place, especially in winter.
"There's the darkness and the continual wind and rain.
"Just going outside can be very difficult, and yet you can grow to miss it.
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"The first time I went abroad was to Madeira and I found myself missing the weather. It was ridiculous."
Sheila said there's a point where the weather calms – but only for a small while.
She continued: "It's only really late April or May that the wind finally stops.
"You have to be well-stocked, but you're used to it if you live here."
Locals like Shiela rely on regular deliveries of supplies – which can be tricky with the wild conditions.
The island only got water in 1982 and full electricity by 1984, supplied by a diesel generator.
Now it uses a renewable energy system – mainly solar- backed up by diesel.
The tiny spot isn't swarmed by tourists either – it mostly attracts birdwatchers and that's it.
Other than the birds it has very few landmarks or attractions and it only has four main places – an airport, a primary school, a post office, and a wool shop.
But, it has one bird that the locals love to hate.
The great suka, or bonxie as it is known locally is huge, brown gull-like bird that has "the instincts of a predator".
The bonxie has been known to attack lambs, and even Shetland pony foals, using its "barbed" beak to peck relentlessly at its victims.
The birds fly south for winter, and return in the spring, giving residents and livestock a well deserved rest from their predatory antics.
Sheila said: "We're still really glad to see them come back each time.
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"They're part of life here and we're fond of them, even if we're not so fond of their behaviour."
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