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Archive for the ‘RANT ALERT’ Category

Yes our beloved local water supply is still under threat so, as you’ll see from mirln’s blogs, we have begun the campaign.

Yes – i can hear lots of people saying “but they’ll do what they want anyway” – maybe so, but you’ve gotta stand up for what you believe in. When we were wee mirln and i thought our water was better than bottled stuff and we even had plans to have a stall in the summer time selling bottles of our water to thirsty tourists and for much less than a bottle of the spring stuff. Ok, so we didn’t know we couldn’t sell public water, but that’s how much we believed in the local product!

Mostly i take issue with Scottish Water’s duplicity. They have presented us with three options – refurb the current water works, rebuild a new one or lay the pipe, but in fact the first option was not an option at all as they say it is way beyond the refurb stage and the second isn’t a considered option either as they say it’s too high a cost – so hey presto! Its number three!

Because we’ve been stamping our feet about this in the media now as well, SW seem to be changing tack saying, for the first time throughout these proposals, that our local water supply cannot support the community! Well there are only about 32 more people since the 1991 census, so i hardly think they’re using it all. Mind you mirln and i have just moved back – maybe we’re crippling the loch?!

Anyway, as i said, you gotta do what you feel is right, even if you face being smacked down by the big bad.

…and we’ve collected signatures from a third of the community already and it hasn’t been a week since we went live with the petition.

That’s mainly been me for the last week – water and work, and a bit of turning a year older too…scary potatoes!

And i got me a bike! It’ll be the same strain on the old knees no doubt, but an easier way of getting to the Bressa Ferry in the morning!

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Gerroff my land!

Do you ever see a face in the crowd that takes you aback cos it looks likes someone you once knew, and that you’d rather forget? Usually there is a sigh of relief because it’s not them…well, I didn’t get that relief this weekend, but, rather than depress you right away I’ll tell you about that later.

This weekend was the 29th Shetland Folk Festival – four days of unadulterated listening pleasure! On Thursday Jam and I went to the Legion in Lerwick; there were a couple of Shetland bands and visiting artistes were The New Rope String Band, The Emily Smith Band and a Scandinavian tour-de-force called Frigg (which is also my favourite word as a substitute for the other F word) – all were brilliant.

We’ve seen the Rope String Band before, when they were the Old Rope String Band; sadly they lost a member, but sally forth in his memory – they even do a very amusing musical tribute to him. If I can fathom out how to add a video amid blog, if indeed i can, i will try my best to bring their jollity to you.

Friday was a nice sunny, but windy day and i went to the Clickimin centre with Jam and the kids for the kids concert where we saw the New Rope String Band again (the kids loved them)and Glasgow trad folk band Anarkali (named after an Indian restaurant!) who had the kids up dancing before they even started playing!

After a trip to Debenhams, who were up visiting at Clickimin, it was off to the festival club with me and a couple hours chilling to some fine local music, but no rest for the wicked as i was off to meet Jam again and go to the Legion for another night of tunes.

Friday night at the legion had a good line up including Orkney band Saltfishforty, Danish band Zar and Asturian band Felpeyu. All were great, but i was particularly taken by Zar, the singer had such a beautiful voice that it didn’t matter that i couldn’t understand her language.

We went to the festival club after that to see who we could see – once the evenings concerts are finished at the different venues then the acts have sessions at the club. Shooglenifty were to be playing there as well as the others that we had seen. Unfortunately i got a bit claustrophobic and we had to move out of the session room and we decided to go home shortly thereafter – it’s a horrible feeling claustrophobia – feels like you’re drowning.

On Saturday Jam and I went to the Legion again and this time I took my eldest niece who loves music. Unfortunately she was starting with the cold (as was i) and didn’t enjoy it as much as she would have. Highlights from Saturday were the Jani Lang Band and Madviolet. Madviolet are like the Dixie Chicks more mature Canadian cousins – we bought CDs!

However just as came back from the merchandise table i saw that face in the crowd – the one face i could, cheerfully, never see again.

For over three years i have been pursued by a person who has told me that they believed themselves to be in a relationship with me; this is a woman who was an acquaintance. To cut a dreadful and long story short, she told me that i was lying when i said i was not gay, that i was in denial about the whole thing. Needless to say i cut all ties with this person but she plagued me with calls, letters, parked outside my house, came to my job etc etc the full enchilada. I threatened her with the police and the situation got better but she never really went away…so whose face do you think i saw through the crowd?!

Jam recognised her too and asked me if i wanted to leave – I decided that unless she approached me and caused a fuss, like she usually does (screaming “why aren’t you talking to me, what have i done?”) I would uphold the vow i made to myself three years ago and not acknowledge her or talk to her. But if she did approach me i also made a vow that I’d tear her up for arse paper, a lot of my depression is her doing and part of the reason i moved. I won’t be intimidated on my patch GERROFF MY LAND!

Except…she’s the kind of person that likes ANY attention, so even this would feed her sick infatuation! To be honest I’d much rather push her off the end of the pier and gladly hand myself over to the cops!

Determined this individual wasn’t going to spoil my weekend we hastened to the club, but the freak of nature was there too! This time she clocked me, but saw I was with my Jammy bodyguard and scarpered (She, quite correctly, thinks all my friends are gunning for her).

When i woke up on Sunday morning with full-throttle cold and knowing it all wasn’t a bad dream i was glad it was the last day of the festival and that i wasn’t planning on partying into the night, which is a staple on final night of the festival. We went to the afternoon concert though which was Aussie bluesman Hat Fitz, Emily Smith and Cara Dillon. All were great again, the standard was so high this year, but again it was marred by the appearance of that awful person who stood in my eye line as a means to intimidate me. As i wasn’t giving in, it appeared to slump down on to the floor – i felt triumphant at this, like the young boy who slew the jabberwocky, but, as always, i fear that’s not the end of this saga!

And so it was home to my sick bed to sweat out the fever and get an early night – a good weekend, but the memories off it will be slightly tarnished.

This morning i came to work and we watched Martin Clunes Islands of Britain on my computer – what a gyp! First of all he went to Muckle Flugga, then to Unst, omitting to say that you have to go to Unst first to get to Muckle Flugga – and, for the record, Out Stack is the most Northerly British Isle, not Flugga and there is no such place as “THE Shetlands” it’s just SHETLAND!

I felt he and the programme makers totally parochialized us, ok, so we have no cinema (we do have a theatre Mr Clunes!) but we certainly don’t all wait the week-long for a community concert to liven up our poor remote lives, maybe fifty years ago i grant you.

And as for featuring “Forvik” as an island of Shetland! “Forvik” is actually called Forewick Holm, it’s an uninhabited islet and for those of you who have heard of Stuart Hill you will know he’s a complete nutter who loves any publicity for his crown dependency cause.

Shetlanders despair of him and his publicity stunts. Recently he placed an advertisement in local press asking for an old vehicle and has subsequently parked, in a dangerous place, an old Land rover, complete with “Forvik” registration and license plates. He is also reported to have placed landmines around the island for trespassers! “GERROFF MY LAND”– So much for his motto “free Shetland” – of course he can’t physically stop people from going on the holm as it doesn’t actually belong to him – and even if he did there is the Right to Roam! Clunes made him out to be a bit of a hero. He should have done his research, I’m sure if he’d have bothered to he’d have found out we’ve lots of islands to visit and lots of sane people too – and he might have even discovered a wee place called Orkney, which must have completely dropped off Clunes’ map. Needless to say i shan’t be watching next week and I’ve completely gone off Clunesy – I was going to give his Reggie Perrin the benefit of the doubt, but think i shall forget it now!

Anyhow I shall not leave you completley depressed and ranted out – please visit the folk festival website and have a listen to some of the fantastic music I’ve heard this weekend.

Oh! And a certain teacosy is coming over the fence for a cheeky wee Earl Grey!

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