We are 60 Degrees North

It's a bit windy today!

                         August interestingly my son had to go for the same procedure that I had a couple of weeks ago. He had anaesthetic and it all went smoothly. They had to do some minor surgery and he has to change his diet to include much more fruit and veg!! He also has to a sachet of Lacido, powder that you mix up in water, every morning. It is a bit like wallpaper paste! I finally got my video link consultation with a specialist in Aberdeen. This was as a result result of my accident in Kent last August and as a result I have to go down to Wood End Hospital for a scan to see what the problem is. I'm not personally very happy as this has dragged on so much and the consultant showed some irritation when she said, "why wasn't he just sent for a scan in August last year?". My thoughts exactly! So it's all ongoing....

                 Hooray the sun has finally come out here. We have had some miserable weather to be honest and my seedlings have not shown any sign of growing so hopefully this will spur them on! Actually, I spoke too soon as we have had nearly two weeks of grey dull foggy weather and then thankfully lots of rain which will make the farmers very happy as it was seriously needed. Just a shame my grass cutting chap is on holiday as my lawn is about a foot high and I have never seen
Last class of the term tomorrow and then most of my pupils are off for 8 weeks hols. Some of them are going to work on a couple of dance pieces for a show at the beginning of August. Two of my Senior pupils Ballet West


                  Despite the term for the school finishing I have been teaching a block of adult Ballet classes on Tuesday nights and on Saturdays doing some private tuition, an Adult Tap class and rehearsing for a small show that the school gets asked to do each year. I always hope to get out of doing it but we have make an appearance at it. I am only using a small number of pupils this year as it's easier to work with a small number.  Doing some small piece to some old Gospel songs and a piece to one of Richard Strauss's Four Last Songs 'Im Abendrot' with my twins, who are a stunning mix of Shetlander/Tanzanian.  Stunning young ladies and an absolute joy to work with as they just retain and remember everything!  We will do these pieces at the end of year show as well. The local Hip hop group Inferno is also going to do something as well and the local lass who went to Labon is doing a week-long workshop and performing something with her dance partner. So this and next week is going to be a mad rush to get everything completed and polished. One of my girls has been away to a ballet workshop and on holiday only gets back to Shetland on 24th July and then is straight into rehearsals next morning! The show is on 3rd August!

                   We received our new recycling wheelie bins yesterday and mine are already half full. I had been saving up paper and cardboard and turns that it’s going to take an awful long time for collections to get into full swing as a lot of people still seem confused about what can go in the bin despite the council providing carefully laid out instructions. I’m delighted to see that you can put corks and bottle tops and any sort of metal tops from Jars into the recycling as those have always gone into the general waste. The only thing that I find a bit annoying is the trays from ready meals and any plastic trays from the butchers all the shops cannot be recycled which really is rather annoying as they all go into the general waste and apparently in Shetland there is a fair amount goes into landfill, but I can’t understand where that might be.


               I am only doing two days’ work next week and then on taking some time off the whole last week of July and three weeks of August. The reason being is that my main client was going to be going on holiday on the 21st of July, so I decided to book in other things and then consequently he went into hospital with a viral infection but after three days was sent home by a sensible doctor as it was a viral thing and he would have been better off in the comfort of his own familiar surroundings anyway. He is better now and is off on a short break down in Scotland with his wife. So now he is going at the end of July and coming back third week of August. I have my friend from London coming up on the 2nd of August and she leaves on the ninth and then my friend from Dubai comes on 14th and she leaves on the 26th of August. I will still have to call in and take care of my other Gentleman some days in the afternoon as we could not get full cover for him. So, I will earn a little bit of money in order to cover the rent and basics. 


                      I have been rehearsing several girls for the show we are doing at Mareel on third of August. We will have some pretty intense rehearsals next week and hopefully one good run through on stage before the show. There is a lot to be done but I am pretty sure that we will be able to manage it all. I have adult ballet classes as well up till the end of July and this Tuesday BBC radio Shetland are coming in to interview me and some of the participants and I believe that the reporter is even going to take part in class it should all be hysterically good fun. Then when my friend from Dubai is out we have a class with the Shetland Lady’s Rugby team and their two coaches who have been told they have to join in the class as well. So this is going to be equally interesting when it happens and the newspaper will send A reporter and also again BBC radio Shetland will be present.


                       My London friend coming up will really need some time to chill out as she has had a run of bad luck recently, so I am looking to spending some time with her. Then after that my friend is coming from Dubai for part holiday and taking some classes in our weekend dance workshop. I also have a ballet class lined up with The Shetland Ladies Rugby group so may get her to take it but I probably will do it as she will be probably a bit tired. It's great that I can get friends up here to help me out in such a way.

                        Another acquaintance in NZ passed away a couple of weeks ago and there was an enormous celebration of her life in Wellington. She had always worked in the arts and was known by so many people. I would have flown over for the funeral if I had not have had this show to do...The work on this show is taking a bit of time to get finished but the other morning I felt that we were finally at the top of the mountain and staring down at the finishing post on the other side. I think it will be worthwhile!

                       The weather has picked up again finally. It has been aggressively hot over the last few days and today for us was almost unpleasantly muggy and clammy heat. Hitherto unheard of here in Shetland. I prefer cooler weather to be honest! The reservoir levels are right down to their lowest I've certainly ever seen since I moved here! The downside of too much rain of course is the peat can only take so much before swelling and bursting! A bog burst is not a nice thing to happen and be extremely dangerous! The last one that happened could have been much worse than it was.
I am still waiting to find someone to mow my grass which has not been touched for over seven weeks now and, is almost a foot high! I'll probably get a snotty letter from my landlords sometime. I will point out that if it's a choice of being able to pay my rent or having to spend £40 on grass cutting what do they think my choice will be?

                    So, the government has admitted that it may have to start stockpiling food in case it's Brexit policy collapses! What a ridiculous mess! We should just get out of the mess right now as it is costing the country a fortune. Mind the country is in a right mess at present anyway! God only knows what is going to happen...

                   Just booked another block of Adult Classes for September/October. I have a pianist for these classes too which is brilliant. He is a superb pianist and has an excellent ear for tone! You can hum him something too and he can play it for you! It was my last class of the block last night and when I had set up the barres my pianist beckoned me over and asked what I shall play for such and such? Then could I play this for this exercise? ‘Yes, that’s absolutely fine’ says I. Then I said, ‘what about an adage’? ‘Oh, how about this’? and he started playing the Four Little Swans!! I just looked at him as to if to say how on earth could you imagine that that would be suitable for adage? Then in they burst, into the room, in tutus (which they had spent hours making, and practised the steps too!! I was very touched, and they gave me a lovely bottle of gin as well!! The rest of the class just stood looking gobsmacked and clapping!! It was very funny!


                  I'm sitting here in the Clickimin Health suite watching my Huntingdon client use the machines. I can't at present as my shoulder is still sore unfortunately. Still waiting for the Aberdeen appointment for a scan to come through. It's coming up for one year since I had my accident in Canterbury....and the damm shoulder is still sore! 


                  My Dad has told me that my mum must go see the Doctor as he was so worried about her. So, I will speak with him later during the week and find out what occurred. He is not allowed to accompany her which seems a little unfair. Seems there is some memory loss but when you are mid 80’s I am sure that is ok! I think a trip over may be in order…High C is getting married next year anyway so it has to be done!


                Just had my front lawn cut, it was rather high! So, it looks a bit tidier now. Shetland friend of mine came around and did it for me. A bit cheaper than my other cutter who seems to have vanished into thin air. Stuart said he has lived on Shetland all his life and never known prolonged heat like the weather we are having. Usually for us it comes in short nips and then it changes to the usual cold and cloudy, but he said this weather is just not normal for wis! I don’t get the grass cut too short in any event or else it goes brown and dies in patches, so the front is short but not too much and the back lawn is long!! It can manage that length and the birds like it for grubs and flies!


                Anyway, I had better get this out there hadn’t I? lots to do in the house, another load of washing. Just read my electricity meters for the first of the month. My electricity consumption is creeping slowly..might be something to do with a 20yr old who spends a lot of time on his computer but then again they don’t use that much electric do they?



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.