Well here I am sitting in Whalsay school; the fiddlers, knitters and writers are distributed throughout the building and I just noticed a Shetland pony walking past the window. I've had my coffee and can draw breath to think about how its all gone so far.
Yesterday our first full day went fantastically; the feedback from our students is that they are delighted with their classes, the trip to Scalloway castle and Tingwall Kirk with the storytellers went down very well and the addition of a visit to Cecil Tate's workshop and talk in the fisheries college over coffee added another aspect to the story of Shetland past and present.
It was an early start for our students today after their late night session in the club. Our two busses left Lerwick at 8.30 and headed north. It’s a lovely bright but fresh day so the 35 minute ferry journey, although not rough, was a new experience for many of our students. Several of them have come up to me specifically talk about the set by Bryan Gear and Violet Tulloch at the concert last night, from his playing technique to Bryan's Shetland made fiddle. "Gobsmacking" has been a phrase used on many occasions.
So back to today. The storytellers are walking round Symbister this morning with our guests and Lee Jamieson our bus driver has the delights of touring our them round the rest of Whalasy in the afternoon. Then it’s dinner before we head back on the ferry to Voe for tonight’s concert.
And here's Helen Whitham's thoughts on Monday's activites!
"Well it’s fiddle frenzy time again and I thought I’d maybe ease myself in to the week gently with, what I though would be a nice, fairly quiet, easy going family dance...no chance!! When I arrived the floor was filled with folk whirling and birling and wheeoochin! as they danced a Strip the Willow to the Jim Halcrow Dance band. It was a great night and the dancers continued to fill the floor with each dance that was called, a Pride of Earn, Boston Two Step, Dashing White Sergeant, you get the idea… I certainly enjoyed myself and it was great to see a few familiar faces from a couple of years ago. There were a few local families there too and along with the students everyone looked like they were having a great time and getting to know each other.
Then it was up to the Garrison Theatre, where the festival club is this year, for a few tunes. There was a session on the stage as well as up the stairs in the dressing rooms and Davy Cooper, Laurence Tulloch and … were there as well to tell some stories. I’m sure the tunes continued long after I left at 11 as the students were keeping things well fired up! Roll on the concert and sessions tonight!"
Images of Fiddle Frenzy 2009