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wastafirth 01

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Everything posted by wastafirth 01

  1. Malcolm Smith pianos, Edinburgh. He comes to Shetland a few times a year. Very reliable and always does a good job.
  2. The music teacher from Aith JHS is advertising private music tuition on Facebook (SHETLAND MUSIC TUTOR)- dependent on level and need she may consider singing tuition?
  3. Just heard this from family south: Man going by the name of Ian Willow or Ian Howard - sometimes accompanied by a woman. Their ploy is going around pubs, befriending folk then arranging to fit/install a kitchen/bathroom for them. They've taken 20K from folk in Dundee area from either failing to fit agreed goods or fitting rubbish/cheap products etc. Police are aware of the couple "working" in Glasgow and Borders before this latest bit of work in an affluent area of Dundee - yes there is one! Rumour is that they are now said to be heading north to the isles - they may or may not get here but thought it worthwhile spreading the word!
  4. Just had a visit from a charming man wanting to give us a new driveway with an excellent price to boot! Do what you wish, but the company is registered in Edinburgh to a mailbox shop.
  5. Just had a visit from Wilsons&Sons. Very eager to give me a quote on a new driveway! Beware company is registered to a mailbox shop in Edinburgh!!!!
  6. Boys from our company went to the dump today and the dump guys were there in the morning but decided to close due to the strong winds,
  7. Can anyone recommend / let me know of someone who does household cleaning in the Weisdale area?
  8. Looking for 4 shetland hens, any one know someone hatching out this year?
  9. I ordered a piece of kitchen worktop from Rearo and paid on collection. Person at desk took payment from card there and then. No bill had been sent out prior to collection. A month or so later, I received a bill from Rearo with the message, "When you were in paying for your goods YOU didn't pay for VAT so you need to pay the balance" I ignored the letter because as far as I was concerned I'd paid all that was due - their mistake if they'd undercharged me. I'd paid what was asked. A further letter came and I ended up contacting the manager who agreed it was their fault and waived the "debt". I did also question how they had got my address because nothing had been provided to them. Must have looked me up in the phonebook... It didn't end there though - I got further letters asking for the money even though the Manager had said I didn't need to pay...including threatening to forward it onto debt collection. I won't be going back - far too disorganised. If they can undercharge, they can also overcharge and the hassle they gave me wasn't worth it.
  10. If cheap and basic works, my brother used the youth hostel. 4 adults and a toddler. They got a large room to themselves and the hostel provided a cot as well.
  11. I'm just waiting on us being told we can only travel when booked in advance....I can see that's how they'll get around the staffing....or they'll bump up the prices nearer the travel dates to discourage last minute bookings
  12. On the phone to the Hydro earlier about my bill when the call centre operative asked if he could go through some questions to save me some money. Cutting to the chase he's offering anytime calls, line rental and unlimited broadband with the Hydro for £31 per month. After first 3 months a £40 credit would also be applied to my hydro bill if I switched. Currently with BT so it appears a little bit cheaper...but the biggest plus point would probably be the uk call centres if there were a problem as I always end up coming off the phone to BT more confused than when I started. So, before I hear back from the guy, does anyone have any experience with them? Thanks in advance!
  13. As far as I can remember, the cashback stopped a few years ago - you can still pay by card though
  14. Just want to say thanks for your replies. After all that.... we ended up at Monty's - the wife seen food she was prepared to eat on the menu and the whole meal was delicious. Couldn't have faulted one part of it. Off to Shetland Hotel later this week - fingers crossed it's good too!
  15. Going out to celebrate a birthday next weekend and not sure where to go for a decent meal with the other half. Definitely don't want Chinese or Indian. Monty's too fancy; Museum's evening menu is generally seafood based and not a hit with wife... Don't mind travelling a bit out of town if there's a "hidden" gem further afield either. It'll be a Friday night feast (hopefully) so roll on your recommendations - thanks!
  16. Perhaps there would be less need for having more ferry runs to/from the north isles if there were more buses meeting the ferries? That would certainly cut down on the number of people commuting to work etc from having to take their car. There would effectively be more room on the ferries for lorries etc as residents could leave their car at home and travel as foot passengers. I know that if you live in Yell / Unst there is 1 bus running through the isle(s) to lerwick and back again (apart from a trip to Tesco, what use is arriving at 10.30am and having to leave at 2.30pm to anyone?). I used to live in Yell but worked in Lerwick. There was no way I could get to work on time unless I did drive. Even taking the car to the ferry then getting on the bus at the other side meant that I was late for work - getting into LK at 9am is no use, especially when getting on a ferry at 7.15am! Oh, and if you're not aware - there is no internal bus within Yell to take passengers down to the ferry to catch the 7.15am ferry which meets in with the bus. The number of cars on these early ferries do warrant the larger ferry, but if SIC/ZETRANS got their fingers out, it could end up being a win, win for everyone. Less fuel costs for island residents, more environmentally friendly travel, and keeping folk in the isles, with less urgency to increase the size of ferries As for the ferry fares, I don't know how they work staffing wise, but I can't see why the ferryman who does the gate can't take up the tickets? Passengers could pay on their way off/on the ferry as they pass the barrier; might take a bit longer, but if it saves money why not? The cars are quite often sitting waiting for a bit before being waved on by ferry staff - maybe this time could be utilised better? Unst/Fetlar residents are at in a less favourable position giving that in order to get to the mainland they need to take 2 ferries so I do agree that they should at least get a discounted fare price - perhaps they pay for an islander's ticket that sees them straight through to mainland on that day only? Everyone else visiting these isles should pay full whack or at the very least, some form of payment. i understand council's reasoning behind giving them free travel, but surely in these times, we need to be generating something from these crossings?
  17. The rooms in maternity all have tvs in them, then there's also the tv in the day room there. Perhaps it's something they are planning on rolling out throughout the hospital? I do know that Maternity has been "done-up" within the past 2 years. I would however be careful what you wish for... surely free tv access would be the preferred option? The prices for accessing radio and tv on these units in south hospitals cost a fortune for the patient. Fine if you're in overnight, but what if it's an extended stay?
  18. We got ours the end of last week (westside) 52 bags and not any better quality than the cheap ones I've been buying from Tesco....perhaps this is where the SIC could be saving money. I certainly won't be giving them £9 for another roll!
  19. Having read the election results, where the votes went etc. I do wonder how many of the candidates who got in on 7th votes would have been elected had the person handing out the ballot paper not told each person to rank the candidates 1-7, whilst omitting the fact that you didn't need to vote for all 7 candidates. For folk who understand the system, this is fine, but for those who aren't used to it/don't understand it, surely this is encouraging votes for candidates who would not necessarily have been given a vote otherwise? Whilst I was in voting I even overheard someone reminding her elderly mother that she didn't need to use all 7 votes, just to vote for who she wanted to vote for - this was after the pensioner was told to rank each candidate 1-7!
  20. MJ, a pupil does need to perform on 2 separate instruments at National Certificated levels, but it has always been the case that these pupils were exempt from charges whilst studying for these courses and this is the case nationally. I also need to clarify that there is a difference between music instructors and music teachers. Music teachers are generalist teachers, who deliver a broad music curriculum to our pupils and guide them through courses to achieve nationally recognised awards. Music instructors teach a specific instrument/groups of instruments which they specialise in whilst also reinforcing many of the musical concepts that are taught within the general classroom. In order to attain one of these nationally recognised awards, a pupil must perform on two different instruments. A music teacher can help pupils to do this in the classroom playing on a select number of instruments (usually electronic keyboard, tuned percussion, voice, guitar, and less often drum kit). Having instrumental instructors widens the instruments available for pupils to choose from, but this choice is normally made in either primary school or early secondary. A child's love and interest in music then encourages them to choose to study music for a certificated award. There is also the element of standard which can be achieved. The SQA have devised standards of performance which are reasonable for pupils to achieve, and can be achieved whilst being taught from a generalist music teacher. However should these pupils wish to study music at university, it is unlikely that they will have met the required standard to gain entry to these courses. This is not to say that they can't play their instrument to a good standard if learning from a teacher only. Pupils who have chosen to specialise in a non-classroom based instrument, usually complete their exams playing pieces of a much higher standard and leave school performing at a level which could allow entry to further education experiences in music should the child wish to further their music education after school. The difference in grades is usually Grade 5 with higher or Grade 7/8 with specialist input from an instructor. This is not to say that our music teachers fail our children on the performance side of things - there are many pupils who do end up performing above the minimum level suggested by the SQA. People must not forget either that in addition to the performance element of these courses there is the listening and composition elements which a teacher delivers on top of the performing element. Most pupils who do receive instrumental tuition use this instrument for their main instrument for performance and then complete their course by choosing their second instrument (which is usually performed at a lower level) from an instrument taught by the class music teacher. I'm a bit saddened that this thread has diverted so far away from my original point - WE ARE AT RISK OF LOSING SPECIALIST INPUT FOR MUSIC INSTRUCTION! We need to be letting SIC know that we need this service to continue at the level of provision that we have had for the past few years. I wasn't complaining about the fees - I just wanted to know if the service was valued by the Shetland community. Ideally, I would like to see the service being provided for free, but if SIC don't have the money to do this, then we have to accept it and pay a contribution to the service to help maintain it. Pupils are in school for around 40 weeks a year even with the price rise to £210 a year this works out around £5 per lesson. I DO value the service and don't want to see it disappear which is where this is going, along with the jobs of these instructors. ONCE IT'S GONE, IT'LL BE GONE FOR GOOD I fear that if people don't stand up and let SIC know they are making a terrible decision in cutting the service drastically, if not totally, the musicianship we have experienced by our young Shetlanders will dwindle in years to come and it really will only be the ones who can afford private tuition at around £15 per lesson who will be coming through the ranks representing Shetland on the music side and that really would be depriving some of our other talented younsters.
  21. Fusion and Russabell - I actually do agree with you that there should be a contribution made. (There are many other areas where I think we should also be giving a small contribution, but don't get me started on that) We are now in the situation that due to the current financial climate SIC are thinking about pulling the plug on instrumental instruction in a number of areas if not the entire service. Surely paying a contribution is far better for our children than not having the option of instrumental tuition at all? Even with the contribution, SIC is still providing a relatively cheap service to those who do opt to learn an instrument. I did a bit of digging and checked to see what some of the other councils are charging per year: Aberdeen City Council - £340 for individual lessons / £275 for group lessons Aberdeenshire Council - £268 for individual lessons / £180 for group lessons Highland Council - £228 Moray Council - £258 for individual / £171 for group lessons SIC - £140 per year If parents are contributing, they are helping the council to provide this much needed service. To avoid it being an elitist option - those who can't afford to pay it, simply don't pay it - it's means tested as it is across the country. However, even with this current contribution, SIC seem adamant that they need to cut the service and the children are going to lose out. To get their own way (getting rid of the service or cutting it right back) the current council are putting it up against school closures in their "high level" savings list. I am hoping that the new council rip up this list and look to make efficiencies elsewhere or in another way within this service. Anyway, back to my original question about whether or not SIC should continue to provide instrumental instruction in a variety of instruments, i.e. not just fiddle and piano which has been mooted. I am pleased to see that there are some people who do value the service and the knock-on effect that it has on the Shetland community as a whole with the many festivals etc. Maybe the way ahead as Trowie246 has said could be for SIC to pass the provision onto the Charitable Trust / Arts Trust etc to manage and/or help fund. We've already lost the violin instruction as was provided by Alan Gifford before he retired and there looks like there is no way that it will be reinstated. Pupils are already losing out because of this and it's probably only going to get worse.
  22. I am looking for opinions on whether or not the Shetland community feel that Instrumental Music Tuition offered by SIC is valuable to our youngsters. Pupils have/have until recently the option to receive tuition in the following instruments: Brass (Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba etc.) Woodwind (Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone etc.) Strings (Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass) Percussion (Drums) Traditional Instruments (Fiddle, Accordion etc) Piano Voice It has been widely publicised that parents are now charged for such lessons; and given the current period of cutbacks we are experiencing, perhaps this is acceptable, however, would it be acceptable for SIC to reduce the range of instruments offered or worse still offer no instrumental instruction? I feel that this area of education is extremely vulnerable to cuts which could have a huge impact on not only the opportunities our youngsters could (should?) have whilst at school, but our musical culture here within Shetland. We are all aware of how many fantastic traditional musicians Shetland has bred, but Brass for example - can you imagine Lerwick UHA without the Brass Band? Could the Brass Band survive without youngsters learning in school? Even within Woodwind and String tuition, did you know that many Shetland youngsters have won places to take part in national orchestra training courses south? This is something we should be proud of! Learning an instrument is a fantastic way of building confidence in a young person; there has also been research carried out to show that pupils who received such instruction have performed better across the whole school curriculum. The other benefit for pupils who undertake individual music instruction at school is that many universities look for students who have the discipline of learning an instrument whilst at school on top of their regular studies when they are allocating places. Learning an instrument is not for everyone, granted, but I believe we should still have it as an option for every pupil. We are all being asked to vote on 3rd May and we all have our priorities for services we would like to maintain and areas of concern. Viking Energy, school closures and cuts for the elderly are all important matters that need to be considered carefully, but please remember there are other cuts being thought about which will have a huge impact on our community long term if the wrong decisions are made now. I, myself, don't know who I am going to vote for but I hope whoever is elected into our new council doesn't make music tuition as the scapegoat for "easy" cuts. This is just my opinion; I look forward to hearing yours.
  23. Posiedon - thought the exact same myself. Not sure what sort of impression it gives for making the correct decisions in this time of cutbacks.
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