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Two days in - Fiddle Frenzy blogger Laura updates us on Tuesdays going on in Ollaberry

TUES- an early start but soon all people & fiddles safely packed in bus. Then we toured lovely roads heading up NW to Ollaberry, past Brae on a road that straddled the Atlantic & the N. Sea at Mavis Grind.

I wasn't so happy to hear window wipers, my plan is to be sketching but I've also seen that the improvers class is wi Bernadette Porter and Jim Leask!.....loads of interesting trips ongoing, from up-helly-aa galley shed & burra bears.

Bus continued on single track road wi afew passing places, we approach Ollaberry flanked either side by cotton grass on road verges, peats raised for drying and shorn sheep. Tells of crofting and community, in this special place where fiddle frenzy is part of and so we are all part of for a week.

Noo off sketching wi Amy!


A bus full of cheery chatter, folks that ken each ither by noo; (alot of fiddle players some guitar players and some arty, interested people) travels the same road it came, back to Lerwick.

Yet aifter the brilliant Tuesday at Ollaberry nithing will be the same again; I feel part of this family of friends and today learned how to loosen up my sketching! A neglected hobby, re-inspired by 3 fun, practical classes wi Amy, one of the art tutors. I really enjoyed the time spent wi a lovely group, and my art has hopefully found a new focus, by slowing down and enjoying time taking in the energy and fresh air of Ollaberry.

Aboot 4.30 when oor car (I wis lucky enough to be offered a lift) arrived at Ollaberry Hall the sun was shining and a good going session had started ootside at the gable end. 11pm when the bus arrived Fiddle Frenzy & North Mavine Fiddle & Accordion were still happily exchanging tunes. Such has been the wye o' as long as this lovely wee summer school has been going. Growing ower 14 years to tak in a wider range of activities such that there runs alongside an established creative fringe and various trips and activities available to opt in and opt oot o'.

As oor car carefully drove from the school to the hall, past groups of friends walking the road together. I wis fine pleased to realise we were getting supper at the same 'foodie hall' (as somebody telt me it wis known) where we earlier had had lunch.

Ollaberry Hall can fair put on a spread (I already knew that from the Folk Festival gig I attended this year) so I wis mega chuffed to see fresh made fish & chips followed by sticky toffe pudding. Kept us going through a fantastic night of entertainment & keeping me going to give you a flavour of today's events! Even aifter the bus journey hame my heid is ringing wi tunes and inspiration (Lwk IS oor official hame for this Frenzy week and oor Frenzy Family has been welcomed wi open arms, the reason a good number o' the students have been makin it a calander event for over 10yrs).

The concert was fantastic; from the fine, sweet tone of the Northmavine Fiddle & accordion club to the amazing precision of the Papa Stoer sword dancers- quite unique, this maintained and beautiful piece of living history- to the contempary fiddle/guitar duo of pounding energy, virtuoso playing and sheer brilliance that are Ross Coupar and Tom Oakes.

Sadly my Wednesday fishy tale was a bit of a red herring......the Fish Market Tour, which I wis so lookin' forward to, had to be cancelled, I think due to some safety concerns.

Nivver mind though, on the bright side I'm fair looking forward to a day's fiddling instead. Much care and concern is given by volunteers and tutors alike to ensure each individual student is happy with each day. The Full Frenzy programme is quite organic and fluid in terms of choice and folks have been able to swap choices to include a tour reccomended by anither participant or change between fiddle classes if they think a different level would be more suited. For me the improvers fiddle is jist right; I again dare to dream fiddle and feel inspired before breakfast time on day 3!


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