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Crown Copyright: The Royal Maalie Court

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Royal Maalie Court

Maalie is the Shetland name of the Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis, a seabird related to the albatrosses, that breeds on rocky cliffs around the rocky shores of northern Europe. During my 27 consecutive summers during which I took expeditions of students from De Montfort University to Shetland (where we conducted ecological monitoring near the North Sea Oil Terminal) the Maalie was one of our target species for study and ringing. These birds bite, scratch and tend to vomit their half-digested fishy meal all over the captor, and so represent something of a challenge. We were catching more of these birds than any other team at the time, and the title The Maalie King was bestowed upon me.

The Herra Public Hall on the Island of Yell, where the expedition made its headquarters, became known as The Royal Maalie Court. The Maalie Kingdom (the area in which we conducted our studies) was considered to be the island of Yell and, in particular, the waters of Yell Sound and it's uninhabited islands from Lunna Holm in the south to the Ramna Stacks in the north. The 300 or so students and guests who became involved with the work are referred to as Maalie Courtiers.


Blogger simon said...

Indeed, not to mention the Rumble club of course. I was very proud to be involved inone of the laqst expeditions. And it will remain one of the greatest moments of my life.

I learned a great deal, fell in love with Yell, Wind house, and of course Whaal Firth. Not to mention the wonderful people of Shetland too.

I have not done anything that even comes close to the memories I have of the Mallie Kingdom, its court and of course its King!

( BUT as we say here in Australia..even to Kings... Thanks Mate!)

4:37 am  
Blogger simon said...

ps.. please forgive the dreadful "typos"....

4:38 am  
Blogger carwynfowler said...

Maalie Kingdom: a durable (albeit limited) case of a micronation...

1:16 pm  
Anonymous 7 DU said...

To the Maalie King .........don't forget the starting trend at the Royal Maalie Court of the Mystery Guest!

I am proud to say that I was the first Mystery Guest in 1994.

I gained the grand title of the Dunlin Queen during my visit to the Maalie Court.
7 DU x

4:12 pm  
Blogger Davy said...

I was elevated several times during my service to the King. I began in 1997 as "Chancellor to the Royal Maalie King". A brief insurgence as "Pretender to the Royal Maalie Throne", did not prevent me from eventually attaining the highest award of the "Knight of the Garter, to the Royal Maalie King", an achievement that I have yet to surpass.....

3:26 pm  
Blogger Davy said...

Unless friend to the King is a higher honour?

The Kingdom has now reached out as far as Western Ireland....

3:29 pm  
Blogger Davy said...

Hey, things become clearer.... Check my Irish/Scottish/Viking history!

Solangé, Slainté and Cheers Mate!


10:30 pm  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

My surname means 'royal bard', and apparently we royal bards were quite powerful, as we could ridicule Kings with our tongues.... so they had to be careful of us.....

6:55 am  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

Oh, by the way, is the King still into Facebook? I have it now, as young teaching friends have absconded all over the place, and they use it... I tried a search, but your name seemed distressingly 'common'!!

6:57 am  

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