It's Thursday at Fiddle Frenzy, and Laura brings us some late night (and early morning!) reflections on tours, sessions and the joy of the Frenzy

Thursday, thursday & a frien' fae lang ago- fit hiv ye daen to me?! Tourin' a' day & late nicht tunes aifter a lovely little concert at nicht....typing this listening to sess comin doon fae upstair which I fully intend to be at aince I've wrote aboot 2day so far!

Coffee, a water and a dram of Bowmore to liven me up (what ither option is there at Fiddle Frenzy I ask mysel)?!

My day doon Sooth & along West wi Maurice & Lewie (top tour guides & good guys); a trip tae the trowie knowe far the Aith Rant wis heard before the lad walked hame ower the hills. Went roon' by Sandwick far we walked in the rain (very refreshing) and were telt tales o' copper mines and 'Jack' fa broke da prison door, one John Gaudie fae Levenwick if my memory serves me right!.....trip excellent, informative (I couldna write it a' doon!)- music fae upstairs session too good, I'll tell ye mair Sooth Mainland tales in da morning*! x

*12.35am!....My wander hame fae sess in the rain still wi honeysuckle smell lingering was a fine chance to further reflect on day. Starting far I left off we saw four or five seals on the pier at Sandwick- area had a name tae itsel' but soonded German to me......I winna even attempt to write it doon, ony dialect words are North East Doric, nithing like Shetland.....once back on the bus Maurice had abody laughing wi his telling of a Laurence Tulloch story concerning a seal & a young lady!

Andrew Gifford dedicated a set of Irish tunes at the cpncery tonight to the encouragement & influence Laurence had given him. A well known local story teller, his presence much missed in the community.

Community involvement and pride in place/promotion of local talent was obvious a' the wye through oor merry tour. Lewie told how historically the South Mainland had maybe produced less well known fiddle players they had mair than made up for it now. I can say that would be so wi me knowing alot of the names mentioned and being impressed and inspired by the two talented teenagers who played in tonight's concert. The Hoswick vistors centre was a perfect place for a break, tunes, tea and tales o' fun at S.Mainland Up-Helly-Aa, wi one o' the former Guiser Jarl's being wi oor group as photographer.

We went in by the crofthouse museum, a really interesting place to vist (I'd been before). This time we were there with a mission, to dance the Shetland Reel. As I hope the photos show afew fiddle frenzy folk were abley guided through this kinda complicated dance by Maurice and Lewie. Hope the pictures do it some justice- sitting in that crowded, peat reek smelling, room wi fiddle bows and feet flying everywhere, I got a glimpse o' days lang ago. But to this day Shetlanders are well known for having a spree, fondeness for partying and good music!

We were treated to fiddle and self penned songs at tonight's concert. Songs that spoke of the sea and the spinning, rock and sand. A passion for fiddle playing and crofting was how fiddle maker Euan Thomson was described. Him and his wife welcomed us wi an open door and a dram, a warmth and quiet pride we fair enjoyed oor time and tunes. Aifter that the rest o' the group headed for the Lounge but I headed to Hostel to dae a load o' washing which goodness kens when I'll get to tumble dry....there's a row of socks hung carefully on the bedrail!

For noo I fear time has run oot ,clock on the wa' reads 1.25 and if I wint ony chance o' following tunes the morn (1st catching the ferry to Bresay - bus in aprox 7hrs) I'd better awa to bed! Lx


This morning wi 4hrs sleep aifter my valiant efforts at being "rock n roll" & partaking in the evening session I lay safely in the hostel darkness typing doon some real (for me) frenzy feelings. Question marks peppered wi an awareness that this immersion has to be seen to be experienced in full, as weel as an admission that ok, I doobt I canna dae (far less record) a'thing!

To me likely the fiddling aspect is maist important but the surrounding arms (o' people and place) are what hold up a self confessed addiction/ hunger to hold onto and improve a link fae the past; this week in this beautiful wilderness has allowed me to do that whilst enjoying the search for Willafjord (read all about it in Maurice Henderson's book " In search of Willafjord", beautifully self-penned, & illustrated wi his own photos, proving equally capable behind the camera lens & fiddle bow.) I never cease to be amazed by this island's ability to give back & give back...tak the chance and start your own journey at Fiddle Frenzy anither year.

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