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Published: 12 November 2014

By Andy Ross

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A happy misfortune

You possibly (probably) know that we have a group of young performers who sing and dance and act - Singing Saturdays. This is a story about what happened last week during our planned trip to Orkney.

We had planned and plotted, schemed and fund-raised for ages and ages to get us all to Orkney. This was to be our final Big Thing for the year and we were looking forward to making new friends across the sea. But Fate intervened in the shape of Really Bad Weather, so bad that all the flights were cancelled and we simply could not get off the islands.

Now, living in Shetland is an adventure, sometimes more so than others. For 24 hours, we were cut off from the Mainland, and had no connections, flight nor ferry, and we are used to making the best of situations and dealing with things when they happen. Faced with a group of children who were not very happy that the planned trip was not happening, we decided to have an adventure of our very own.

A quick trip back to town in the howling gale, and a settle back into the hostel, then out into Commercial Street for a £5-what-is-the-most-unusual-thing-you-can-find-in-a-charity-shop hunt. Hot chocolate while we mulled over who had won, and everyone claimed something from the spoils. Then painting on ceramics - mugs, ponies, plates and a chipmunk(!), followed by lunch. Swimming in the afternoon at the local pool, a make-your-own-pizza supper, and a film with sweeties. The planned midnight feast could not happen because no-one was awake for it. Up early for breakfast, then out again to a 3d animated film in the local cinema, and lunch and home.

At the end of the weekend, a weekend when we should have been in Orkney, we had not left Shetland and yet still had a brilliant time. Thanks everyone for being so enthusiastic and making it such a fun few days. One day we might even get across to our neighbours!