We are 60 Degrees North

It's a bit windy today!

                             March Shetland Diary

According to a rather good site on-line a Nasal Drip is described as thus: the inside lining of the nose produces large amounts of mucus to clean the nose, trap foreign particles (e.g., dust), and to fight infection. Post-nasal drip can be caused by various medical conditions including sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses), viral infections such as the common cold, rhinitis (a runny nose that may be acute or chronic), allergies, or bacterial infections. In some cases, post-nasal drip can be caused by reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. People who experience post-nasal drip often describe a feeling of mucus dripping at the back of the throat. This may lead to frequent throat clearing, sore throat, and coughing. Other symptoms associated with post-nasal drip may include bad breath, stuffy nose, hoarse voice, or coughing. Well I’ve had this on and off since getting over my chest infection during panto in December and it cheered up considerably when I went to Abu Dhabi for those weeks but came back with a vengeance when I got back. It really is a pain in the arse especially when teaching.

 The trouble is with the inclement weather in that you never know whether it is going to rain, snow or shine. Having lived here now for twelve years I should know what it is like but still can be caught out. You can dress for one temperature and go outside, and it is completely different! Safer to wear several layers and peel one off if need be. We’ve just had a fine spell of lovely weather and then are told the coldest patch of weather including lots of snow is expected in the last days of February! Great! Still this is Shetland and anything can happen!

My youngest, Low C, had been busy rehearsing for her Singing Teacher’s Disney Concert, which was collecting for a charity called Toybox, helps street children all over the world. She has been having one singing lesson once a week and since I had bought her a sewing machine she decided to make her own costume. I finished teaching on the Saturday and toddled along to the Baptist church which was absolutely heaving, packed to the rafters with loads of dressed up Disney characters and proud parents. Low C’s voice stood out well above everyone and she was singing with the grown-up ladies choir too, Veev, which I have to say I have always enjoyed listening to. Some beautiful harmonies and lovely sound. She had a solo to open the second part of the show and I videoed it. Boy she had come on in leaps and bounds since working with Deidre, her coach. Low C asked me the next day if I could put the video on Facebook so her friends, who couldn’t make it to the concert could watch. Two days later the video had received over 1100 viewings. At time of writing it is now over 1200! Lots of lovely comments from professional friends of mine too which was lovely including one from a lady in Mumbai, whom I worked with in the West End, she worked on Blood Brothers in London and on Broadway, she is a professional singer and she saw Low C’s video last year at the School Music Festival and was stunned at how good she is. She said she would happily coach her for a year! High praise indeed. She is in another concert on 15th March so I am looking forward to that as well!

Talking of all things musical, the vocal coach’s daughter is coming back to Shetland for an orchestral performance next weekend. She is a Cellist and lives in London and is very good. So she is going to perform the Schumann Cello Concerto and the orchestra are going to play Dvorak’s New World Symphony. I was asked to review the performance, but I declined as I am really not a musician in the sense that I could write at great length about the technical demands of playing such a piece of music and discuss the ins and outs of what the composer was attempting to do with his/her composition. Still I am determined to go and enjoy the music without having to worry about analysing it and doing a critical review about it. Incidentally when the BBC Ten Pieces workshop and performance comes up, then we will be using Dvorak’s New World Symphony amongst other pieces. But more about that later.

I had to go to a Golden Wedding party last night. A friend of mine and his mum picked me up as it was on the way for them, so I was able to have a drink and chat with friends, a moment of relaxation which is rare for me. The celebration was for my elderly gent, and his wife, who I look after during the week. Effectively I had the night off so it was great to be able to get up and dance and not be on attendance. Fifty years of marriage? I suppose that is some achievement living with the same person all that time…

Also, this week end I have two Dance Workshops at Islesburgh. One of my Senior pupil’s sister is a professional performer, does musicals etc and she offered to do some sessions up here as she was up on holiday anyway. I leapt at the chance obviously and have organised a room and advertised the workshops on Facebook amongst all the various performing groups and Nell will take charge of the actual content of the workshops and I can sit and watch! Its great to be able to offer something different to my pupils and I’m sure it will be great fun and they will enjoy themselves immensely!

Then in April we have the Scottish Ballet coming up for two performances and workshops. They are going to do one for the Parkinson’s group which my elderly gent attends. The Education Manager asked me to watch it as it was something which I was interested in doing anyway. Then my Adult Ballet class is getting a session with them in the evening and then on the Saturday each of my school dance groups is getting a little session with some of the company dancers and the education part of the company, so it will be a pretty full on weekend. I am then taking a group of my seniors and some intermediates to watch the professionals do their ballet class on the Sunday morning at Clickermin. This I think will be the most useful benefit for the older girls, and boy, as they will be able to see the professionals in action!

Well when I started writing this a few days ago we had had some fine weather up here in the most northerly part of the UK, with just a sprinkling of snow. Mainland UK has been hit really really heavily by the most freakish amounts of snow you can imagine! Scottish weather forecasters have issued a Red Alert for the first time ever in the history of modern forecasting and from the pictures people are posting on Facebook it looks pretty horrendous!! It is bitterly cold here in Shetland needless to say and we know that we will get even colder temperature’s tomorrow and Friday. I just feel really sorry for all the homeless folk down south because sure as hell this awful goddam Westminster regime doesn’t care about them, having caused the problems in the first place. It really is quite depressing actually reading about all the suffering (unnecessarily too) that is going on down south. I am embarrassed to be holding a British passport sometimes when I read such terrible stories. The whole Brexit carryon is a shambles and needs to be stopped with one stroke of a pen and it could be done too if enough politicians pulled their finger out and realised that it is just one small element of the Tory group who are causing these problems. I despair about what is going to happen. I really wish sometimes that I was back living in Germany….

Well the snow has hit us big time and I got out to the Community Orchestra performance tonight except the vocal coach’s daughter who was the star turn couldn’t make it up from Manchester due to the weather and all the closures and cancellations, but the lead Cellist Donald McDonald came to the rescue and played the Schuman Cello Concerto instead and did a lovely job of it. I can’t say it was my particular favourite but it was interesting in colour and sound. I was tempted to stop after for tea and bakes but it had started snowing when I arrived at The Quoys Baptist church which was the venue and a friend of mine sent me a message in the middle of Dvorak’s New World Symphony saying the roads were really bad. I set off and went through Black Gaet which was pretty hellish but driving in the car tracks of the car that last passed through is always a good idea and eventually I got home safely.

We had our dance workshop for the younger ones today and that went very well. The girl doing it for me remarked on how together they all were and how well behaved! Made me very proud of them all and they did a great job of what was quite difficult and different stuff! More tomorrow hopefully if the weather holds out and the roads are cleared!!

More next month!! Hope everyone stays safe and sound!!

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.