We are 60 Degrees North

It's a bit windy today!

                       Snow all gone but suspect more will be back! I had been driving over a lot of ice over the last week so one day last week I had the radio turned off and as I braked, I could hear this horrible grinding noise. At first of all I thought it might just be some of the grit they mix in with the salt to put on the road but decided to call into the garage and get them to have a look at it. The disc brake pads were worn right down, bit odd in itself, and new links were needed on the roll bars. So not a cheap job by any means...I have to get the timing belt done this year as the car is now of a certain age and has done a far bit of mileage. When you get that done you get the water pump and auxiliary belt done at the same time as there is a lot of labour involved in taking the front of the engine off!


So, I dropped the car off at Scalloway Motors this morning then walked half a mile up to the doctors to make an appointment for a Doppler assessment. Measures the pulse and blood circulation in the lower legs but I had to wait till after my scan which was at the end of December. It is quite a busy surgery, so I have to wait till next Wednesday morning! So, after doing that I walked the long way around down past Scalloway Castle, taking some photos for my friend in Melbourne, and decided to go for breakfast at the Kornerstone Cafe. A small breakfast and a latte as it were bitterly cold outside with a little sleet coming down. A lot of tradesmen and harbour workers come in there in the morning so there is always a bit of banter! If they aren’t really busy you can nurse a latte, theirs are excellent I have to say, and since Islesburgh’s coffee machine has been broken since before Christmas, I have had to frequent other establishments in Lerwick whose coffee is adequate but not brilliant. I do limit myself to only two or three coffees a day though it is supposed to be good for the liver! I’ll have to wander along the waterfront and get a couple of photos of the Norwegian Shetland Bus monument and the harbour as well as I don’t often get the chance to do this. Eventually I went back to the garage and had a bill of £275.00 waiting for me and I still need to get the rear windscreen wiper fixed or replaced!


February is one of those months that seems to and go very quickly..., Middle C turned 21 on 20th February which is a milestone. He is still on the waiting list for his own flat within Sheltered Housing but it takes an inordinate amount of time for one to come up. Fingers crossed that it happens soon! I need to declutter my house somewhat as I seem to have collected a lot of junk...I have got a friend with a trailer which will be very helpful..


Funny thing in Shetland is the ‘bush telegraph’ and of course FB as well. A pal of mine posted a picture of someone on line saying how sad it was and RIP old mate. I recognised him as someone I knew from the leisure centre here in Lerwick, apparently he had left work on the Friday saying he felt unwell. His work tried contacting him over the weekend with no success so his boss went to his house and found him. Of course, everyone knows everyone in Shetland and I got to know him when after the 2014 Drama Festival, when Brenna Players swept the board of trophies - myself getting the major Open Adult players trophy, he came up to me at the Leisure Centre and said how much he enjoyed my Basil Fawlty. We always said hullo when we saw each other. A nice personable friendly guy. He was only 45....


A bout of cold and windy weather has hit us along with some awful flu and cold bug to which loads of people have succumbed, which always impacts on a small community harder sometimes. Also, personal hygiene has some relevance here. Some parents just seem to send their children out to school and community events regardless! Proper hand washing would also be a start! These anti-bacterial gels are not entirely 100% effective either. Good old soap and hot water!


The new TV Shetland series started last night. I was teaching so had to watch it on Catchup on the internet. Don’t know why they had to rename everything in Shetland. It really annoys a lot of us viewers as there is no rhythm or reason for it!! The original names are perfectly okay! Anyway its really gritty drama this time around and the theme is quite plausible and scary because it could be going on here and we wouldn’t necessarily know much about it!!


Another wet and dreich day here. My clients internet is not working so I am not contactable which is a bit worrying as I am a responder this week because one of my other clients main responder is away off the island and the other carer is also so I am just hoping that nothing goes wrong till well after one o’clock!! 


The folk festival will be starting in May and I have just bought my membership ticket for it. There are some pretty exciting acts on this year including some Cape Breton tap dancers who also sing and tap and exciting Spanish artists. The folk festival is always an entertaining time of year and it always had some great acts on offer!


Still a rather chilly wind hitting us from the south east and apparently more snow is promised...oh joy! I really could do without it as it is a pain in the arse for driving! Shetland weather is not really kind to cars at all! I have to get the tuning belt done on mine this year as well as the auxiliary belt and water pump. Worth doing altogether as there is a lot of labour involved so you want to make it worthwhile and do it altogether at once or else you really would spend a small fortune! The front of the engine has to come off so as that is a big job it makes sense!


We’ve had some short ballet films on at our local cinema over the last couple of months which were performed by the Northern Ballet. One was one of the Aesop’s fables about the Tortoise and the Hare. This month is The Shoemaker and the Elves and then there is one next month, Three Little Pigs I think. I bought two rows for my younger students as some parents will have probably already purchased tickets for their bairns. It’s my little treat for my younger pupils as many of them have been coming to classes for a good few years and thus supporting me so it’s my way of saying thank you to them. There are a couple of full-length dance films in the pipeline that I am hoping we can get the venue to bring up then I can take some of the older pupils to those. I am looking at planning another workshop for August, booked my ex pupil from Edinburgh already. Maybe have another tutor I can call upon to provide a class in Jazz or Modern. I’ll do ballet and tap. It’s just trying to get everyone in one place at one time that is the hardest part!


The school has to do an early show this year due to Panto not finishing till 14th December so that is too late for us to get a show in just before Christmas. Too much of a mad rush so near to the holiday. Next year we are doing The Nutcracker again and hopefully with full orchestra!


An intelligent highly educated music teacher who thinks we should get out of the EU because of all the legislation, when asked to name some legislation that is causing us problems can’t actually identify a single piece! I shake my head in despair at the idiocy of it all.


Terrible fog, that has now cleared, caused chaos for flights in and out of Sumburgh. Two of my ballet parents were flying in from Glasgow and they said that the people at the front of the plane could see the runway, but the pilots decided to accelerate and fly back to Aberdeen! So they ended up on the ferry for a 14hr trip instead!


I have lots of little projects on the bubble. Exciting stuff! One is to be featured in the Shetland Library with a group of my younger pupils and a narrator reading a book in Shetland dialect and a bit of a story and dancing ensues! It will be filmed and end up on the Scottish Ballets website. Then I am hoping to enlarge on that and make it into a show piece accompanied by the Shetland Community Training Orchestra. That is the general idea anyway. I need to wait till the Drama Festival is over and the School’s Music Festival as well before talking to the Musical Director of the Orchestra about that!


My son was just going out this morning and popped his head around the door saying, “I’m out tonight and there’s a big puddle of water by the chest freezer”. The day before the hand-held scanner had fallen down behind it and I had reached down to retrieve it never thinking that it had knocked the freezer plug out by a fraction thus turning it off! All my prepared meals had to go in the bin, the meat at the bottom was still very cold so as much of it as possible went in the fridge and I had to give some of it away to friends. Not what I really wanted on a Friday morning! 


To top it off I received a letter from my housing association yesterday telling me that my rent is going up by £15.00 pcm! Council tax is going up by 3% and electric is going up by £100 a year. Do they think we have a magic money tree growing in the back yard...? Anyway, there is sadly not a lot I can do about it…


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.