The pressure is on for the Garrison theatre in Lerwick to find support to stay open. Shetland Arts has for sometime wanted to close this down and transfer all activity to the Mareel. Rents for the Garrison went up with a bang last year, and I inquired to run a charity concert but was priced out.
Its a really nice theatre which lends its self to plays and small concerts which just wouldn't fit in with the Mareel image, in fact to say they are run by the same company there is a complete lack of support. No advertising of the Garrison programme anywhere in the Mareel apparently. Lets hope for a change of mind on this, I for one would miss going.
Anyway last week we have been to the Mareel four nights on the trot to see the school music competitions and the young musician of the year and what excellent quality it was. In addition to this the sky has been alive with the northern lights (see shetlansky.blogspot.co.uk)
The Shetland TV Drama has now come to an end, with most people giving positive reviews. Douglas Henshall said he would like to do another series but there are no plans at present. He will be coming back to Shetland for holidays in future such is the pull of these islands. It will have certainly been good for Tourism , I just hope they include more Shetlanders in future, only two appeared in this one and people need to be able to hear the accent. It 's been good for tourism and there is hope for yet another excellent year
Now when you live on a small island the dangers of the sea are very evident. Recently the government wanted to take away the Orkney based Tug ` Herakles' when the contract expired at the end of the month , but it was given six month extension. This might not mean very much but when shipping runs into trouble the local Tug is vital to stop a disaster. You only have to look back to when no cover was on hand and to the Braer incident which ran aground on Fitful head in Shetland. A new risk assessment has been done indicating a residual risk. Therefore they need to find solution !
Other notable changes in Lerwick will be that the Zebra accommodation barge will be moving north in early April. This will leave an open view over Bressay sound something that hasn't been visible since it arrived back in 2013.
I was pleased to see another one of my photos in the Shetland Times, this time of the Swan which was having maintenance work done in preparation for the new season. The Swan is a 1900 sail training ship which this year is heading to St Kilda, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
We are still waiting for the new heating system to be installed and just had a quote for some new flooring in the kitchen and bathroom. The floor in these areas seem very bouncy and the tiles break up easily, so we will have the floor boarded before laying vinyl.
We received very sad news earlier today that one of our best friends for over 40 years, had passed away back in Sheffield after a long illness. John Linton Smith was always very enthusiastic about anything to do with Scotland and Shetland and we shared many happy memories and photos, we shall miss him very much.