We are 60 Degrees North

It's a bit windy today!

                               The nights are getting darker but the grass is still growing. As is the building site behind my back lawn. I looked out of my kitchen window the other morning to notice that a ready big digger had been right along the fence and dug up a huge channel which appears to be having large pipes laid in it, presumably to lead away any surface water to the Strand Loch which is just in front of Tingwall Hall where you can get some excellent fishing if you have time to do it. I am supposed to be going to a party at the hall this Saturday but typically there is a jazz gig booked at the Sandwick Social Club which is a friend of my mate, Jeff and his missus Dawn, she is a singer from New Zealand and staying with Jeff and Dawn for the interim. So, I really should make an appearance at that to be polite and I suppose that when I drive home I could have a look and see if party at the hall is still going?


I am still experiencing some stiffness and awkward pain in my shoulder. I went to see the consultant a week ago and he was pleased with the progress of it but did reiterate once more that it will take some time to get right. I am supposed to do physio exercises every day but have found that these seem to aggravate my shoulder more than help. So I shall have to try and exercise in a more sedate fashion. I have not heard of any progress from my solicitors regarding this matter. I suspect that the defendants in this are dragging their heels perhaps? I can't see that they really have a leg to stand on in this matter but we shall see what happens.


I see that Mexico had a rather strong earthquake a few days ago and following that subsequently New Zealand had rather a strong one. My eldest High C still has not experienced an earthquake even when she was standing in the kitchen at work when it happened! Mind you sometimes you don't feel it because it depends on the nature of the ground and foundations of the building. I certainly felt the big one when I was over in New Zealand in 2013 because the whole building was swaying and it was quite spooky! You would not want to be in an open space with tiles and trees falling for sure so I can only sympathise with those poor people in countries where the building standards are not up to scratch.


I had a very nice birthday thank you. I met up with my youngest daughter and we went for a Chinese meal and then went to see a concert at our local venue, performed by Shetland born professional musicians and a very good concert it was except my youngest was flaking a bit towards the end. No stamina these youngsters nowadays! 


I have just joined an action group which has been set up to help protect the future of our local little theatre, The Garrison, which will endeavour to put more shows on and promote the viability of this lovely little venue. The ballet school always uses it now for its performances as it is ideal for our use. I am very lucky this year as a young Shetland lady has returned here after having completed her university course in theatre which predominantly involved stage management, and she has worked in musical theatre, so she is going to help me run our two shows I will be performing on stage. We are doing The Nutcracker and I am playing Drosselmeyer, a role which I will thoroughly enjoy doing. It is a bit of a challenge both having to choreograph the show and appearing in it! Hence the need for a good stage management team.


One of my Senior students broke the news to me that she wouldnít be able to be in the show as she had auditioned for a Performing Arts Course at the Edinburgh College and been offered a place straight away! Naturally I was very pleased to hear the news, another one of my students going on to study dance which is great for our little school but it did come as a bit of a bombshell admittedly when I was told that another one of my young pupils would not be taking part as she was too nervous! I donít quite know how to answer that. I think you just need to go for and get on stage and do it, but I guess everyone is different in their makeup. For my part I just try to reassure them that it is quite fun going on stage and making a fool of yourself! I have two new boys who have joined in the production purely because they can play at being soldiers and have a pretend musket!!


We don't have that long before the performances which are in the middle of November. Also, there are extra-long October school holidays coming up which is due to the new high school being opened and all the equipment from the old high school has to be transferred over plus the teachers have to get themselves settled in and obviously the pupils as well when the term starts. This of course is going to place a little bit of strain on our rehearsal time so I am endeavouring to get as much done as possible over the next couple of weeks before children head off on their holidays. I still have some hair left to tear out as well so that is a bonus!


I will be working during the holidays and doing some teaching and rehearsing for those who are still here. I am also starting a new job as a relief social care worker in a council care home which is going to be an interesting role for me to do. It is going to take me quite a lot of work as I will have to work on a vocational qualification certificate and reach a certain level within a certain time so that is going to be a bit of a challenge for me. I might have done it all by the time I hit 60 years old! 


Bit alarmed hearing about all these big quakes in the Pacific. A 6.5 in Fiji this morning and a volcano in The Philippines that hasn't erupted for nearly a century ready to blow plus one in NZ last week. I spoke to my daughter Hi C tonight in Wellington and she told me that a customer in the restaurant said there had been a quake while she was working. She didn't feel anything at all!


Well sadly it looks as though I won't be going to Abu Dhabi now in January. This is not through any problem of my own but a situation which has arisen with my friend who lives over there and is currently working there. She is going to moving from there to pastures new sadly. I guess things can happen in any job that makes positions untenable and this seems to be the situation in this case. It saddens me because I really want to go and check out new opportunities and have a bit of sunshine in the worst winter months of the year for Shetland but I guess it's not to be. I may be able to change my ticket though to another destination. Iím on the phone now listening to ĎIím sorry all our agents are busy right now helping other travellersíÖ.zzzzzz!! I see Monarch Airlines has also just gone bust!! Probably couldnít afford next monthís fuel bill!!


Funny I was just mentioning the Pacific quakes. A FB friend of mine flashed up a message saying, 'our house just shook'. I said yes it was a tremor, just felt it where I was and thought oh no that's the last thing I want to experience here! Bloody quakes! I remember feeling a slightly bigger one when living in Bigton. I have my fine tuning turned on now. Consequently, every time I hear something the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Doesn't help when the cat at work creeps in so quietly you don't hear him he suddenly moves his food bowl 'Shit!!!!'


Went to see the new Kingsman film last night which was as good as the last one but please why do we have to be subjected to nearly three quarters of an hour of bloody adverts and trailers at a late showing? Plus having to listen to the audience munching away. Don't they have bloody dinner before going out!!!Consequently got home at quarter past bloody eleven, straight to bed as I was completely knackered!


Spent the whole weekend rehearsing for the show and now with extended holidays because of the new school opening a whole load of my pupils are away so I can only rehearse piecemeal bits though I guess I can sort out technical requirements! So much to do! Its all the little bits that take up the time!


My lovely sister is leaving the UK to move back to NZ as she has basically had enough of living in England and is sick of the slackness of workers in companies that employ her and donít provide her with proper back up. Well that is the gist of what I got from her. She is a pretty hard-working person and doesnít put up with any nonsense! She arrives in New Zealand on 12th October in Wellington late and is staying with a friend of ours while she house hunts and looks for work. I havenít seen her for a few years now but we communicate regularly by Skype and email. I am the only one left here now from my parentís children and donít have any plans on going back to NZ to live. I donít honestly know if I could get a job with my particular qualifications now and at my age.


Ah well on with the chores. I am having a better month this time around. Taken a step back from rehearsals to reflect on what we have achieved and what still has to be done. We have actually done most of it all now and we just have to tidy up pieces and finish the endings of the big pieces. Just been talking to a friend on mine in LA, she has been running a Dance Academy there for the last 25 years and they are doing Nutcracker for the first time ever! So exciting!!


Tomorrow is World Ballet Day so I will be up early to see the start of that, Australia starts and hopefully I may see something of the Royal NZ Ballet if they get a lookin!!


Well, hope you all enjoy this monthÖmore next month!!

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.