This morning on the last day of Febuary I got a message from my eldest daughter, High C, as you know I called her asking me if I had time to Skype. So I did and we were talking about what they were doing and she suddenly said we went for a walk on that beach this morning and look what we found! She held at the hand and there was a large diamond ring on her finger! I was absolutely gobsmacked as I didn't expect this at all but it was a very proud moment for me and her. She is going to be 21 in May. She and her fiancé are in no hurry to get married quickly an have their careers ahead of them. They literally got off the plane in Auckland, drove down to Wellington where they went for interviews and both got jobs and accommodation, courtesy of a friend of mine, and start next week!
Yes....so it has been a funny old month. The weather has been rather kind to Shetland so far this year with the exception of at least one bad storm and a couple of weeks ago we had snow which didn't hang around for long! Typically, we have more bad weather forecast for tonight just when I am going out! We have had some extremely cold windy weather though since I wrote this (I am editing this as I go along!)
I have been working on this year’s BBC Ten Pieces which takes place on 19th March at our music venue/cinema. This year it is for Primary schools and last week I travelled to five schools worth of pupils all over Shetland with the organiser of our Shetland Community Orchestra and the BBC Ten pieces and I had to work with up to fifty pupils at one go getting them to listen to one piece of music and then put together a movement piece which we then filmed for the big day, it is a Nationwide event, and the filmed pieces will also go on the BBC website. I am doing a piece with some of the ballet schools pupils to Stravinsky's Firebird. I want to do something quite modern and whacky! It involves dyed bedsheets and large painted cardboard boxes out of which small children will spring!! Something like that anyway! One of my committee mums got me a box of Dylon and I have dyed 6 big bedsheets this afternoon and a lot of old white handkerchiefs all red!!! Still have to get the boxes but are working on that!
So I am sitting here at work, sorry this episode is going to be slightly late due to work and other rather nice distractions! as the Scottish Hydro have decided in their wised to subject the whole area of Sandwick to a power it from half nine to half three! They must replace ceramic resistors and wire which is necessary but also a pain unless you have fuel burning stoves as back up. I took my client up to Lerwick to do some exercise and to keep warm before coming back down. I had to then go for a meeting with Low C at her school so we could discuss her subject options for when she moves back up to AHS, the new school which is being finished now, as she will be starting her big subjects and also her study course at the Shetland College as well. So she will have a lot of work to do during the week! The phrases ‘buckle down to it’ and ‘nose to the grindstone’ spring to mind! Too much time is wasted by teens on technology these days! There seems to be an inability to get off social media which has exploded in the last ten years!!!
Well tonight I am going to hear the Community Orchestra perform and then after that going to the British Legion to hear some bands play including a Kletzmer band made up of various Shetland musicians including my lovely friend, she also plays in the orchestra, and I will no doubt meet up with a few of my ballet mums out for a night to let their hair down! (I did!! Some very merry ones!) Should be fun and then tomorrow I have to stagger in to The Garrison for a dress rehearsal of our entry piece for the festival. I won’t say much about my character except he is larger than life and looks slightly outrageous, nothing different there then!! Then we have the usual rural hall performances that we do to fund raise for afterwards!
The Orchestra performance was superb and I recorded it with my Zoom recorder which is a ingenious little work of art itself. The Quoys Baptist Church has rather nice acoustics anyway and the recorder, somehow, I don’t know how it does it, filters out any back noise like coughing to a greater extent. If I had have got to the event earlier I could have sat in the front row but then that may have been the other way! Too loud! Any way a great evening of Bach, Jenkins, Williams and Beethoven. The Jenkins piece with a local Choral group called Veev was excellent and the Williams piece was a lot of fun. Now I do like Beethoven, especially some of his Piano Concertos but Symphony Nr 7 is rather long and disjointed to my liking. It was beautifully played but I just felt that it was out of place with the rest of the evening. The Legion Concert on the other hand was very loud, packed to the rafters and non stop. I came away from there at just after one in the morning with my ears ringing but I did enjoy the Kletzmer band thoroughly and also another band called Scalding Bragg was playing in the side bar so that was a bonus!
Our night at the drama festival went down very well with the audience. I went for a Chinese with my friend beforehand, she was in the audience for ours but went after that as she was a bit tired as she has a large workload on at present. We had to replace one of our cast at extremely short notice due to illness and the replacement was exceptional as he always is. He was line perfect and even added a bit extra to the performance so all in all it was a very pleasing performance! I am going to help out tonight and also go on Thursday night to help out too hopefully. Wait and see what Awards night brings? We then have to perform the play twice more on Wednesday and Thursday in Sandwick’s Carnegie Hall and Bigton’s Community Hall respectively and we always get a splendid reception there!
Sorry this edition is late and also rather short but then February was a short month anyway! Its just turned four o’clock and I really should be doing some trombone practice. I bought a second hand trombone yesterday with the help of a mate who is an Australian Trombone player in the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and he recommended his repair man who runs a business and sell’s trombones for people in Edinburgh. So I was very lucky as he went into the shop as he lives near Edinburgh and tested a selection of the ones on sale and chose me a Yamaha 354 which is one of the original Japanese models, not a Chinese replica, and he was very impressed with it. I googled it and went on a Trombone users forum, yes they do exist! And the comments about this model were very pleasing and made me feel happy that I have got a good instrument! It should be arriving in Shetland on Friday so I can take the borrowed one back on Monday next week and test drive my new one! I will keep the red plastic one of course! It is still a handy instrument to practice on and even use out and about!
So that is all the news really! More next month and I will endeavour to get it out on time!!