We are 60 Degrees North

It's a bit windy today!

                         The Ballet school had a Sunday Teas to raise some funds for our yearly show. I decided to hire some display stand to put up some photos of what we had been doing over the past years. I had rented the stands from Islesburgh and collected the two bags after classes on the Saturday and next morning went around to Tingwall Hall where on opening the bags we found that we had been given two lots of legs and no screens! Needless to say I was not really impressed so we had to improvise! I obviously got a refund! We ended up sticking photos on to a long table and on a pillar. Even for a late Sunday Teas we managed to raise about £950 which not bad and this will help us be able to buy some costumes for the show. I have even had a few enquiries about new pupils starting which will have to be in the New Year as the classes are full at the moment and I canít take any more until we can get the show work out the way. I was remarking to someone the other day how multi international our school is as I have obviously got lots of little Shetland pupils but also have pupils who originate from Kenya, Poland, Rumania, half German/Shetland! It certainly is a great mix of cultural diversity!  


Orchestral rehearsal for Fiddler. I had my solo taken off me because I kept missing the intro! We only had about three run throughs of this particular song. I wasnít particularly worried really as I prefer just doing the dancing and have quite enough lines and chorus singing to do. Nearly all the main characters have been away on holiday so itís been ridiculous trying to do a complete run through! One person has been in for about one dance rehearsal! I wasnít very happy about this as it is me who is associated with the dance content, well some of it anyway though we did manage to go through the bar scene dance a couple of times. We still have to practice the bottle dance with hats that fit and bottles that can securely balance on top!! At time of writing, 30th October, still no run through with hats and bottles!! Iím slightly nervous about that as the first night is on 7th November! The old mantra Ďit will be alright on the nightí does not always ring true...


Ballet school show, I started work on this last Saturday. I have now more or less casted everyone. I have a nine year old boy who has the most expressive face and he does exactly what is asked of him! You canít ask for much more....I donít have so much to Ďcreateí this year fortunately as some of the show content we did earlier in the year. So theoretically that should save me some time! Well I do have to put together a version of Anything Goes and something to a concert arrangement of Smetana's The Moldau which is a lovely piece of music so that should be fun.


I went to a UHI (University of Highlands and Islands) Presentation at Mareel a couple of weeks ago. Made some useful contacts for funding but it looks like setting up Performing Arts courses will take some time...though will be very beneficial for some of my younger up and coming students. They would be able to start their modules in S3 or S4 and then only have to spend a year away to finish what is a useful qualification. 


Another tail end of a hurricane on the way. Well after all that panic reporting and a localised flooding report! Nothing! Media hysteria but then last night was horrific! Windy and wet. Low C was on the boat to Aberdeen last night and apparently was not very well. She then had to fly to Newcastle where she was met by her aunty and taken to Sunderland where she will spend a week of her hols. 


Holidays - One of my pupils and her family went off to Berlin. I managed to get permission for her to watch a rehearsal of La Bayadere which was a fabulous experience for her and then she and her mum saw the Staat Ballettís production of Swan Lake which they enjoyed very much. 

Two others of my Senior pupils went to see Mayerling at ROH, I tried to see if they could go to watch a class but had no joy with that. I was very grateful to the Berlin ballet for their arranging for my pupil to watch rehearsals. There was also a live cinema transmission of Mayerling but we didnít have it in Shetland. It is one Ballet I would like to see! I am hoping to get down to London to see Don Q with Osipova and Corrales in March 2019. 


We still have this problem with different companies on Mainland UK! Saying they canít post to here, despite the fact when I tell that I get items posted to me posted from Europe i.e. a Serrano ham posted from Spain for £4.99!!


ďHi Matthew,So Sorry Matthew, unfortunately we are unable to ship to the Shetland Islands, we currently are only able to ship to UK Mainland.Hope you have a nice day! Kind Regards, A*** Marketing AssistantĒ. A pretty common reply we still get when shopping on some internet sites! After all that I ordered some of the product off their website and the woman very kindly walked over the road to the Post Office and posted it to Shetland for me! Mine you Iím still waiting for the parcel to arrive. Skip forward a few weeks nothing arrived so they refunded my money! I wonder if it was actually posted..Iíll laugh if the parcel turns up Iíll be better off than when I started (it did turn on 1st November, almost three and a half weeks since posted, that must be a record for Royal Mail!!). Anyway I was sitting in the car park at the doctors and one of my ballet mums rang me. She was in Arbroath at the place that couldnít post stuff to Shetland! The product I wanted was two for a pound! Cheaper than the supermarkets! So I have ten jars of this coming to me. 


Yes, so I was rung up by my doctor who wanted to speak to me about my MRI scan. He thought that I would have had heard from the consultant and was a bit agitated to hear that I had not. So he had to tell me that the scan had revealed a lesion on my Medulla Oblongata so now I am on an urgent referral to a Neuro surgeon. This is all to do with my pavement trip in August 2017...I had to ask for a referral to get a scan, which happened in September this year so now this is a rather unwelcome result of that which I was not expecting. I got home on Saturday from rehearsals to find a letter with an appointment set for the 3rd of December in Aberdeen. I will have to wait and see what happens after talking to Neurosurgeon. I will be able to get some of my Senior girls to run the Sunday rehearsals for me! 


Well today is the 1st November and last night we got to use hats and bottles finally! Itís going to be thorny and apparently there is a painted floor covering! So there could be a few bottles flying around on stage....we have created a relatively safe way of holding the bottles in place on the hats but there is nothing which can be 100% safe. Hopefully there will be no broken bottles....


Well itís been a busy month. I donít think I will get any Christmas cards out this year as I have so much to think about so if you donít get my usual card please donít be offended


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.