We are 60 Degrees North

It's a bit windy today!

                          Well the Scottish ballet is a distant memory now though we still will keep in touch.  Just getting folk to fill out survey forms now which is a bit of a challenge! Actually, getting them to fill them in and then hand them back is a full time job!  I have just recovered from the folk festival which was very good as usual. I got to see a fabulous trio called the Tim Kliphuis Trio which included Nigel Clark, a rather famous guitarist! Their gig was nothing short of amazing and it is one of the very few times that I have seen a Shetland audience standing up applauding! The Cajun Country Revival Band from Louisiana was very good, singing in their own indomitable style of French, great sounds! Then there was William Prince from British Vancouver, and boy what a voice he had! I am still kicking myself for not buying his CD!  Will just have to hunt for a cheap one on the Internet! 


The other big treat of the month was that the film of Akhran Khans production of Giselle, danced by English National Ballet, came to Mareel. Now in New Zealand we danced a lot of contemporary ballet which I enjoyed it immensely, but this piece was fabulous! I went with some of my Adult Ballet class and they were totally engrossed with it.  It was mesmerising and there were visual images that still are in my mind now as I write this. I loved the Willis in their drab dresses continuously on pointe! And dancing with long bamboo sticks held in their mouths! Yes! I kid you not! Such a clever idea! After the film we went to an Indian buffet at Saffron, a restaurant I had kept meaning to go to but never got around to. It was very nice food and pleasant company to boot and just nice to be able to sit and talk freely without any problems or worries about time. Also, nice that these people are my age group and we have all been through the mill so to speak!

                I am waiting for my appointment to go into hospital for what is called a 'flexible sigmoidoscopy'. It involves sedation and the pre-preparation for it can, I gather from the anaesthetist, who plays trombone in the wind band with me, be slightly unpleasant so I'm not looking forward to that too much....and then I am still waiting for my scan appointment in Aberdeen as well. It really is dragging on! Getting ever so slightly frustrating!  I need to know what exactly is wrong with it.  It still hurts me at certain times especially when driving and I have to refrain from lifting too heavy an object. I noticed when it is damp that it aches a lot more!

               We have been blessed by the weather this week here in Shetland. So far warm and sunny. The downside to a lot of sun is that the grass grows very very quickly. I can't afford £30 every four weeks to get it cut so I am tempted to get a pet sheep and see if I can get away with it!! Or I will just have to get the Diddy electric mower out! Takes ages too! foggy and started raining heavily. I am glad I resisted the temptation to put my seedlings out or else they would all be wrecked!  Then there are the usual garden pests to deal with like slugs and cats though I solved the cat problem on my fish boxes by cutting pieces of plastic net and tying them over the top, so the little buggers can't get at the soil and dig up the seeds or seedlings!

               I have get up at silly o'clock and go collect my client’s car and then drive back up to Lerwick to collect them off the ferry, take them home and then go back and collect the cat from the cattery! So rather a lot of driving...still I'm used to it after ten years of driving! The sun has disappeared behind a mantle of chilly fog! So much for the sunny 9 days we were promised! Glad I still haven't put my seedlings out!

                So, this weekend we have the Relay for Life, fundraiser for Cancer Research, which happens biannually up here, and Shetland manages to raise more money than any other group in the UK. I always donate a small amount, usually by purchasing raffle tickets, they raised £126,000 in the end. Last Friday I ended up calling Bingo numbers as a friend of mine got let down. That was a hoot though I had to keep it clean as there were a huge amount of youngster’s present! I don't really go in for that sort of game, prefer buying scratch cards!! Seem to have more luck at them! Well all my bleating about crap weather seems to provide have paid off! We have had consistently hot weather with temperatures of around 22 degrees.


                 These sorts of temperatures don't often occur in Shetland so one should grab them whilst they are around! Very tempting to go down to the beach.... I am so looking forward to August as I have two different friends coming to stay and I will be able to take them out and show them the sights.
I got a post card from the postie through the door saying I had a parcel to collect, puzzled as I hadn't ordered anything. So, after dropping Low C off at school I went to the Post Office. It was from the hospital and was a large squeeze bottle of an enema to self-administer before going into hospital. The only concern I have is getting caught short on the way in! I have been told horror stories by well-meaning friends though I suspect there is a certain amount of windup element involved! I still relive unpleasant memories of being trapped on a night bus one night and not being able to hold in! A rather squelchy walk home!! I am going into hospital on 7th June for my procedure and then take it from there I guess.

                   Anyway, during today, it has got progressively hotter! I had to take one of my clients into town this morning for various chores and now after a very late lunch, sitting on the hillside looking at the sea, I am now sitting in the Clickimin health suite watching my other gent doing his exercises on the exercise machines. Gives me some time to sit and relax and write this! I sometimes even manage to read a bit of a book which is a luxury as I don't often get time to do that.  I get one library book 8th and usually end up renewing it at least once! I haven't really found any new writers that interest me for a while. I've read everything Bernard Cromwell has written plus other authors like Wilbur Smith for example. I enjoyed reading Clive Cussler rather fantastical series but even those get a little bit boring! The best thing about today is that it's payday! Not that I see much of that as it is pretty much well all accounted for in the first week of the month!

                   I've been rehearsing every Sunday afternoon on the BBC 10 pieces as that performance is coming up on 10th June. We have nearly finished the piece and just need to work on the ending! It's whacky and daft but it's about having a bit of fun! We are also doing a rather gymnastic version of Russian from Nutcracker!! Fitting it on the stage is the biggest challenge and having even 16 children on stage is a little worrying sometimes when it is so narrow depth wise.... though no one has fallen off yet!

                   Sitting here listening to Richard Strauss’s ‘Im Abendrot’. I’m choreographing a piece to it for two of my Senior girls, twins who are stunningly beautiful young ladies, and this piece is just sublime. Sung by Jessye Norman, who is not a singer I’ve really listened to much. My friend in LA, Michael Hudson-Medina has often raved about her and now I can see why. I don’t often do pieces to songs, in fact the last piece I did was to the Danish singer Ditte Fromseier and that was superb. We are going to work on this piece in July as the girls are off to Tanzania for six weeks. They go every second year as their Dad is from there and there is a large family out there. They take huge suitcases of charity shop clothes and other presents with them when they go out!

                  It’s my eldest’s 22nd birthday today and I’m thinking about her. She is probably on her way home from working a long shift in a hot kitchen or hopefully she is out for dinner with her fiancé sipping champagne and having a good time!! I posted her present rather late to be honest and have been tracking it since 21st May. It has taken 10 days to get to New Zealand, this is by airmail, and I paid for it to be tracked and signed for. But it has taken such a bloody long time! My parents have sent me parcels which have taken far less time. I am anxiously awaiting a call from my daughter to say that she has received it! I will be really annoyed if it goes missing as I bought her a lovely gold chain bracelet in Dubai from a lovely gold shop and it has freshwater pearls and turquoises in it.

                Well this is going to be a short diary this month. I have been rather busy this month. Low C is staying with me tonight. She has finally finished all her exams and now just has to wait for the results which come in August. I hope she does well. If she is anything like me who hated anything really academic well… We shall see what happens. Right well more of the same next month folks!

The Web Cam


This is the Da Neuk webcam set up for people who might like to sit and watch a Shetland sunset. We cannot always guarantee fine weather as the weather in Shetland can change very quickly and dramatically even in Summer. With the volcanic eruption earlier this year the weather patterns have been extremely erratic to say the least affecting crops and sunlight levels. However during August and September we do experience some rather sensational sunsets and if you tune in to that address above around 20:45 to 21:30 GMT time then you should see something! Enjoy


This webcam is on the house of our local satellite dish installer. You can see the bay of Spiggie from his camera and Reawick, the small hamlet where he lives. Feel free to log onto this. A very much different view to ours!



All the music played on this website is performed by Shetland Artists. If you are interested in purchasing any of Shetland Music CDs then please do contact me.