Amigo II, my sunshine, is TWO!!

For the Chinese it may be the year of the rat (turns out, it was the Chinese year of the bat), but here in Tenterden, it’s definitely the year of the dinosaur. Today is Amigo II’s second birthday. He is magnificent and sweet and I love him endlessly, just as I do my other little ones. I have had the honour and pleasure of living with him when he was newly born and I have seen him nearly every single day since then. We are the best pals we could possibly be and very happy when we get to spend our time together. I know him so well – the feeling of his soft, chubby hand in mine, the smell of his little head when he’s napping on my lap, the way he always blows me kisses. I am proud to have helped with his upbringing, he is such a sweet little boy.

Don’t you just love the smell of a new car? Drives like his nanny – ice-cream in one hand…xxxx

Due to Covid, we couldn’t get together and have a party, but we had a mini online family get-together and we all sang while Amigo II blew his candles out on his dinosaur cake. I was robbed… no cake! The three Amigo’s are already SO different. Amigo I is full of beans and mischief, very independent and lets off a high pitched, whistling-kettle sound, at random times. Amigo II loves to be outside, digging and exploring, but always needs to be close to his family and likes a good giggle and being chased by a gorilla. Amigo III is bright and bubbly, chatty, gentle natured, calm and thoughtful. He has the softest skin I have EVER felt. Before we know it, they will be at school! I was very naughty at school and ignored everything, except for music lessons and lunchtime. Luckily, I’m ok at maths, so could sleep during that lesson, I quite liked English, but didn’t like homework, I got the world map upside in a geography exam (but still labelled it all), I HATED sport as I was too wheezy and itchy, I did T.D. because the class was full of boys (I didn’t even own a ruler) and got in trouble for doing ear- piercing in the toilets. It’s fair to say that I was a terrible pupil. I never did any homework and would escape lessons on a daily basis and hide out in the local cafe. Nothing much has changed!!!

Happy Birthday to our lovely bear. He LOVED his wall of dinosaur balloons!

I’m STILL plugging away at the term packs. The first ones are more or less ready to roll now. I am printing on lovely pastel coloured paper. We NEED colour right now – chalky pink, baby blue, daffodil yellow, apple green, crocus lilac…if you have ordered a postal pack you will soon see exactly what I mean!

You are my sunshine. xxxxx

Supercali-beach-hut-tistic…

When I am left to my own devices for too long, I think far too much. I am amazingly good at thinking ahead in order to stop worrying about the present or dwelling on the past. I could compete in the dreamers olympics if there was such a thing. I do wake up many mornings in a worried state due to family stuff (not Corona stuff), but I get my cup of tea and potter back into my cubby-hole and work and tinker. So, while on the subject of cubby-holes, I have started dreaming about the beach hut appeal once more. This dream resurfaces every year or so and I drive everyone mad about it and they tell me it’s not possible for various reasons. Most things ARE possible. My dream has ALWAYS been to raise enough money through the Rockits fundraisers, to purchase a beach-hut and donate it’s summer use to patients from local hospices. I know it sounds an odd thing, but I can think of nothing better than sitting with your nearest and dearest, eating fish and chips on a beach, by your own beach-hut for the day. There is no better medicine than a trip to the seaside. Then, the beach-hut would also be used by the Rockits out of season – for meet-ups, dog walks etc.

Easter eggs… gotta love ’em xxx

In between manuscripts and term-pack work, I have been super-cali-busy-baking as I needed to make a birthday cake for Amigo II, as he will be two tomorrow. Aaaaaahhhhh. I am a bit short of things to make it with, so have used plaster of Paris and emulsion paint. Not really – saying that, it’s going to be my most scrappy (with an S) cake yet, as my cake pantry is a little bare. It’s tough getting shopping delivered as everyone is trying to do the same – it’s a shame though that the ‘able bodied’ are also using this service, meaning that lots of elderly and vulnerable can’t get a slot. I think the government are stepping in to sort this out…maybe. Oh well, we are all safe and well and I am still fat. For the season of lent, I have decided to give up dieting.  I am also denying myself a full packet of mini eggs each day and instead, eating half a packet.   CP left essential supplies outside. Thank you x

Amigo II’s dino cake ready and waiting for tomorrow.

Last night, I watched a brilliant documentary about two amazingly talented brothers, called, ‘The Sherman Boys.’ What’s odd is that we all know dozens of their songs, but we know nothing about them! As a child, their father (the famous, Al Sherman) came to America in 1909, from Kiev with his family. They then invented the chicken kiev – no, that’s just one of my bad jokes. Al Sherman became a mood pianist (they were the ones that played along while silent movies were shown – a live, one man soundtrack) and then met an actress and that was that. The brothers were born and the family moved to Hollywood, as their father eventually became a hugely successful songwriter. One brother became a writer and poet and the other, right out of the blue, became a brilliant songwriter, just like his father. The brothers were chalk and cheese and didn’t get on at all and for some time, never even considered working together – but thankfully, somehow they did. Initially, they wrote countless smash hits like, ‘you’re sixteen’ and then they fell into writing for Walt Disney. Mary Poppins, Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty, Bedknobs and broomsticks etc., etc. All of the songs that all of us and our kids grew up with – it was the Sherman Brothers and I never even knew they existed! They were so special, that they were the only songwriters ever contracted by Walt Disney. Such an amazing story. Hushabye Mountain? Sherman Brothers! It’s on Disney + and youtube.

The truly BRILLIANT Sherman Brothers. Well done boys!

And the winner is…

I laughed my socks off at BBC2’s Mister Winner – especially the episode about the piano – watch it if you are bored at home. It’s rare I laugh out loud while alone, but I did. It’s because it was EXACTLY the kind of thing I’d do. C.P. too. We once had a function band, called Barking Ted, with W.O. on drums, me on keyboards and vocals and Butsy on vocals too and we used backing tracks. C.P. can’t play an instrument (we tried everything, tambourines, congas…) and (forgive me C.P.), he’s not a natural singer, so, we gave him a keyboard which wasn’t even plugged in and a mic that was turned down and he would mime. He was an exceptionally good mimer though. It was all fine until we played at a venue where we were placed centrally. It took a while for us to realise that guests were gathering behind C.P. and all were aware (and amused) that he was miming. Haha. What a hoot it all was. We would be in fits of laughter throughout much of the show… to the dismay of many a bride and groom. As a much younger woman, I did used to stretch the truth on occasion, because I believed (often mistakenly) that I could turn my hand to anything – I still do believe this far too often, haha. I once got a job as a GPO telephonist (remember the GPO?) after telling them I was fully qualified – hhhhmmmm. I arrived on my first day and was confronted with an entire wall of wires and confusing things I had never seen. Somehow, I kept this job! Confidence IS key to most things, although I did give a man a TERRIBLE home perm once. The only thing I genuinely know inside out and upside down, is music. I have seen it from every angles – teaching, performing, working in studios, writing, arranging and recording. I like writing stories too, but haven’t had time to do this in ages… oh yes, and I like baking of course which I am doing, due to being isolated.

C.P. was, Barking Ted, half black, half white. SO funny. We used to use boot polish haha. xx

I am ALWAYS buying things online that are the wrong size. ‘Wow, what a bargain!’ I think, so excited to have found a trombone for £4.50, that I quickly buy it without reading that’s its a dollhouse miniature. My most recent muddle was with an SM58 microphone… hahaha. Now, I just need to buy a mouse to sing into it.

Testing, Testing!

Sat for ages yesterday waiting for my Tesco home delivery, then realised I was waiting a day too early (Amigos – we couldn’t leave our houses during the Covid emergency!). I am happy to report that it has just arrived and my fridge and cupboards are now stocked ready for another week or so – with an array of very odd things. Thank you Tesco. I am rubbish at online grocery shopping. I need to walk around the shop to work things out and see what looks nice. I’ve forgotten to add fresh fruit, but have masses of toothpaste. I hear today there has been over 250 deaths in the UK, absolutely tragic and unthinkable. I am so sorry. London is the epicentre of the CoVid outbreak here. The Excel centre, a massive building usually used for marketing expos and conferences etc., will have its two, 1km long halls turned into a 4,000 bed hospital – in just two weeks! That’s faster than the Rockits throw together a show.

Head Office, Rockits group leaders and soloists are making you a surprise! Here’s Wayne B xxx

Nipper – always in my heart xx

I do wish the knockers would stop knocking the government and I wish the protestors stopped protesting etc. Even poor Boris has the virus now. It’s a horrible, HORRIBLE time we are entering, so why do people bring others spirits down and cause them to worry more? It’s a downside of social media. If I have a worry, I speak to my friends and family privately about it. This next spell will be long and hard, so if we could pull together, get ready to weather the storm and grin and bear it, with a smile for our neighbours, that really would help. I have a very bad, but rather fun new thing I like doing. It’s my new isolation sport, except I can’t really say what it is, or it will spoil all the fun for those in the know. Sarah says I am like a little Jack Russell called Nipper. Hahaha.

Say hello to Nipper. xxx

I am SO impressed with the Rockits! Some are making a surprise video for everyone and being very brave, filming themselves singing all alone at home. I actually just remembered that I ought to do it too! I am though, busy putting final arrangements together and writing manuscripts up for your new term packs. They will start to be posted out NEXT WEEK. I have got pretty coloured paper and pretty coloured envelopes, so that when they whizz through your letterbox, you will know it’s from me and not worry quite as much about contaminants. We have no idea when next term is… so, this lovely batch of songs have been chosen for everyone to be learning at home. I have just recorded a few new ones, that I hope you will find uplifting – the word, ‘stoic’ springs to mind.

Well done NHS – those that care for us are doing an amazing job.

There was a very lovely thing that happened this evening. At 8pm, nearly everyone went outside their house and applauded the NHS and care workers. You really could hear it everywhere. CP called and asked why everyone in his road was applauding him. It’s good I have things to amuse me as there are lots of things going on, that are quite grim. Also, my hair is seriously falling out. I’ve had blood tests and I’ve spoken to my oncologist and rien, nada, niente…zilch. They tell me to reduce my stress, which stresses me out even more, as my family are experiencing a lot of turbulence at the moment. By the time the Rockits are back, I have no idea if I will be wearing a hat, a wig, or sod all on my head, except a smile. Losing my hair through chemo was fine, because I knew it would grow back. Now – bloody blimey!! What more does this world want to throw at me? I have had serious health problems all my life, yet I’ve soldiered on and just got on with it. The cancer treatments have buggered up my teeth and ruined my body. I would just like to keep my hair… but no, it seems not! I am not the sort to wear a jaunty little hat and I would feel too self-conscious to wear a wig…its just not very fair at all. I will train Peppa to lay across my head.

Always in my heart are the Three Amigos. xxx
You’ll be in my heart. © Arr. Max Wilson

Toombo Iso. Just pass it on…

Toombo iso, or tumbuiza, means, to soothe or calm. Todays song is one of my dad’s favourite’s (he likes it covered by Joe Cocker) and he’s said a few times that the choir ought to sing it. Well, it seemed the time to give it a crack. The sentiment was just SO right for now. It’s about supporting those around us and the fact that they don’t owe us for that support AND in turn, they should pass that support on to others. Simple. When we get back to singing we will learn this and we will laugh at the loud HA! that pops up throughout the song. Definitely not good for any of our ladies lacking good bladder control hahaha.

Amigo II getting some fresh air with mummy and daddy. xxx

Rockits – you are the kindest ever! I will stop moaning about foods I already miss, because you are so sweet, that you actually came to my rescue. I will stop whinging, as I am nearly 56 and can deal without mini cheddars and crusty bread haha. Today, I had lots of exciting deliveries including foody treats of strong flour and yeast, so I can bake bread! How thoughtful is that! I am going to attempt this tomorrow! Then, I opened my door to find a little bag of warm, freshly baked bread rolls tied to my letter box, baked by the renowned pastry chef, Menzies-Sacher. Then…another gift of millionaires shortbread and carrot cake! There’s more…then the most beautiful book. It was like Christmas without the pudding and The Sound of Music on TV.

Your true colours, are beautiful, like a rainbow. Amigo II – still dino crazy xxxxx

With the country basically now in lock down, there’s not a lot to do other than get on with our odd lives, in our very tidy houses, for the foreseeable future. I usually spend most of my days in my little studio, so at times, I forget what is actually going on. PLEASE stay safe Rockits and Ramblers. PLEASE keep in touch – go on the website and join in with the activities. Big love to you all. xxxxxxx

Stargazers. xx
Just pass it on. © Arr. Max Wilson.