Social Services 0 – Us 1. Ave Maria

Had a fabulous rehearsal in Rosina’s Garden this morning with various Rockits. It was nice to have the time to break the songs down into sections and work on them more slowly. I felt flat this morning, but soon felt MUCH better when I saw everyone there. Such a lovely bunch. I am really struggling with summer – I can’t breathe at all well when I am outside and not much better when I am inside. I just did, Ave Maria, for the Hearties and found it incredibly hard to sing. With no air, it’s hard to pitch well and I scraped through the highest notes. Ouch! Never mind, I love the clashy “love can come” that pops up a few times.

Hugo, keeping a sleeping Rufus company.

I’ve decided that people talk too much about entirely the wrong stuff. “Women are finally talking about the menopause.” Really? What is there to say? You’ll get hot flushes, you’ll feel a bit rubbish…you’ll get over it…eventually. Some of us may even need medical help; it’s no big deal either way. Why do we have to dissect and debate everything? Is it more that people have become self obsessed? No one wants to get old, but we do! We get wrinkled, we go grey, we get tired, we get sweaty while queuing in Tesco. The great thing is that our eyesight also fails and we are blissfully unaware of our unruly eyebrows, whiskery chins and varicose veins. We start seeing life through a Vaseline covered lens, like Greta Garbo. Women have always talked to their closest friends about women’s stuff, I’m not aware of anyone ever being embarrassed by it – on the contrary, we laugh about most of it. Vaccine debates are still raging, people don’t stop moaning about the country we live in (move out then – try a country with no NHS, or financial support of any kind) and women all think they’re in the *peri menopause, oh please! I say, go to a nice tea shop with your pal and just sit quietly together and watch the world go by. Stoic. That’s us – sure, we are changing in odd ways, but it needn’t overwhelm us and blight our later years. Branch out, just like your eyebrows are trying to do. Also, NOTHING is as bad as “The Masked Dancer” (ITV). *I think Peri Menopause could be a new character for CP to play! He will need a new wig…

Little Max enjoying Benenden Park.

Wrongdoings can never really be put right, especially when they impact on a family as badly as last years events did to mine. However, we just had news that I am pleased about. The Social Services acted appallingly and bought into a fabricated story, without collecting any factual evidence. I lodged an official complaint against the Social Services and rather surprisingly, this was picked up by our Local Government Ombudsmen (they investigate final stage complaints against councils) and after their lengthy investigations, they found the Social Services to be at fault. We will be issued with formal apologies, a small financial ‘sorry’ (peanuts compared to the court costs!) and there will be changes made to the way cases like ours are handled in the future. The LGO have access to all official documents, so they went off and did their own independent searches (without asking for a single word about it from us), and of course, came to the same conclusion as anyone else would. Needless to say, the imbecile from the Social Services no longer works for them.

A day out in London for Finn and co. xxx
Ave Maria, Beyonce. Arr. Max Wilson.

Tractors, Time, a 50th, a photo.

Tractorfest has been cancelled! What a shame! After a year of waiting to join together for some festival fun, we have been stopped in our tracks, before we’ve even ordered our new wellies! It can’t be helped, but hugely disappointing. However, we will be singing at the Kent County Show, Detling, on a lovely bandstand and also locally at Hawkfest (my spellcheck keeps trying to write Hawfest, which I definitely don’t fancy going to). We have just FOUR weeks before the County Show, so I’ve pulled in some of our old favourites, Fire to the Rain and our lovely version of, Angels. The Ruby Sisterz will also be singing at the KCS, along with The Hearties. Our old friend, Jamie Johnson is also coming along! Market Square sessions are going VERY well and this week we had the entire choirs in, but in socially distanced pods. Caroline measured out Market Square, taped areas off and hired snipers who were positioned ready to fire if anyone stepped out of their box, haha.

The Ruby Sisterz have been working super hard.

Huge happy 50th to Sarah P, a good friend, great singer, lovely choir leader and best pal to Beth – in fact the official, Matron Of Honour at next years wedding. Oh yes and mum to Thomas. ❤️❤️ I am also having a few small celebrations (with Hugo) because, 1. Butsy seems on the up and has pulled herself through several VERY hard months. It’s so hard being a mum with a newborn that never sleeps and a super energetic 3 year old. 2. I saw the photo below of lovely Liz and it made me smile so much. Brilliant attitude. I was EXACTLY the same when my hair went (chemo) too. Beth and I were laying in my bed in hysterics. It’s not nice and both Liz and I had a few quiet minutes when it happened, but then you’ve just got to carry on, carrying on and smile and write “ha, ha, ha” on your photo. It’s just a body, it’s just hair – it’s not who any of us actually are. 3. I came home on a real high after tonight’s rehearsal, just like I used to pre-Covid. 4. Went to the cinema for the first time in over a year, to see, The Father. Not jolly, but good all the same.

Happy 50th to Sarah P. xxxxx

Time, the new BBC series with Sean Bean, is bloody brilliant. Harrowing, gripping, but just enough moments of light, in the darkness. Fantastic casting. I think a dream part for Mr Bean. On another (random) note – why do people say that despite a disability you should still be able to turn your dreams into a reality? That’s simply not possible. I’d love to have been a prima ballerina in the Royal Ballet, own a theatre and in the Olympic synchronised swimming team, BUT none of those things are possible – not just because I didn’t try, but because I am too tall/fat/poor/stupid… etc. Dreams need to be achievable. Today Dad and I went to look at a car and we chatted about this on the way home – seriously, I would have liked to have either been a lawyer or a conductor (orchestras, not buses). It was never something I thought possible when I was young and so I just headed off into married life and teaching piano. Forty years later, either of those things would seem normal and achievable for a youngster. I’m happy with my music now though.

When I saw this photo it made me SO happy. Hearts, music, laughter and smiles. xxxx

Spirits, Stonehenge, Spiders!

For some time, I have been dipping into the song, Spirit, by Beyonce. In my head it will sound great with the choir singing it, but it’s quite fiddly…however, we will try, haha. I just played it to Butsy – I knew EXACTLY what she would say before she said it. “Love the clashy resolving note and the sops scale at the end.” This song takes a LOT of puff, especially in this lovely hot weather. Speaking of which, the boys have been to beaches and eating lollies galore.

I loved the new series on Netflix, Halston, with Ewan (still very easy on the eye) McGregor. It’s a bit crazy, but dripping with elegance – I love series set in the 60s/70s, that are full of glamorous costumes and dazzling sets. You wouldn’t believe I love fashion, as I live in worn out Sketchers, jeans and anything else that fits. This series though, somehow inspires me. Inspiration is so important to have in our lives. I’ve missed seeing live music and shows – I normally come away feeling my batteries are recharged and ready for a new project. Whatever I see, I want to do something better, despite that fact I am a nobody from Tenterden with a hairless cat, a very slow computer and an overdraft.

Oh my word, I had ANOTHER tooth taken out! I really, REALLY am fed up with all of this. My dentist says its mostly due to the aftermath of all the cancer treatments. Great. We pull ourselves through all this chemo and rubbish and end up with teeth resembling a miniature version of Stonehenge. Call me, Max MaCavity. Oh well. Dad said, “never mind. I read in the paper that you can live on porridge.” Thanks Dad. Also, for the first time in my life, I found something that I couldn’t bring myself to eat. I am honestly the least fussy foodie I have EVER met – I will literally eat anything (unless its coriander). Today I was defeated by a Waitrose low calorie Thai chicken curry. I couldn’t even manage two forkfuls – it was so disgusting. I just hate Thai food and I am sure of this, as I have now tried it twice.

Aaaaaahhhhh. 1am and went to bed, only to find a HUGE spider on the ceiling above my bed. This is the problem with being single – no help catching arachnids! I usually quickly tread on them (sorry), but when one is above your bed, you CAN’T fail! This calls for the hoover, on its super, spider-sucking setting. Take note Mr Dyson…you may have good filters and no bags, but you forgot the bloody spider setting! My hoover is now in the garden just in case the spider crawls back out in the night. EEEEEEEEKKKKKK!!!

Extraordinary Pink Rag ‘n’ bones.

I don’t want things to return to normal – I want them to return to better, to brilliant, to extraordinary. The power of “we” is huge, so let’s see what WE can manage with a little more effort and imagination. The choirs so need to be back now – choirs are only partly about singing. They are support systems too and a year without socialising, spent sitting on the sofa, has done no one any favours. I’ve got one of my best ever ideas brewing…simmering away. This year will be all about picking up where we stopped in early 2020, but bring on 2022! For now, it’s all systems go for Tractorfest in August, Think Pink (Breast Cancer Now) dates in October and our usual Christmas cabarets. There will also be a Macmillan Coffee morning in September, anything for a slice of cake! I very much hope that Covid stays at safe levels and our plans don’t get hampered.

We’ve all had such grotty colds, but I can just about sing again, so finished off my little Rag ‘n’ bone/Pink song, Anywhere away from here. It’s super simple and is mostly just two parts, with a third higher part for added oomph later in the song. I had three requests for it, so have done it for the Rockits. This song doesn’t lend itself to anything complex and I think it’s simplicity will make it lovely. I recorded it with Hugo nestled on my chest, so you may hear a few purrs if you listen carefully. He has a little tin of shower caps for when I run him under the tap. Speaking of caps – I have a helmet. CP has bought a scooter…

The year that has gone has made me value life even more…cancer and a year of being shut at home due to Covid, makes you think about every detail of your life and not worry in the least about trivial rubbish. We need to celebrate with friends, to laugh, to treasure our freedom. I hope others feel like me and decide to tackle things they always feared, embrace new and difficult, ‘outofyourcomfortzone’ stuff. Come on – you really can do it, seize the day.

Ru and Maxon

Sunny Busy Bank Holiday.

It’s all happening this weekend! Hugo has moved in, Glenn had a birthday, Rexy got registered, the Whatman’s went to Wingham, the Wilson’s went to Port Lympne, panelling went up in my hall, the garden got tidied, I babysat so Glenn and Butsy could go for their first post Rexy drink and in between I beavered away at the Think Pink Medley, score. OMG – it was so long and so complex and took bloody ages. Just to make it even harder, at one point, I left Hugo in my music room and when I came back, found he had walked across my midi keyboard and input an entire page of music on top of all the other bits I had already written! Aaah!! Next week promises to be ultra busy too and includes a visit with my surgeon about phase two of my rebuild. I will certainly be ready for my little break in the IoW in July.

Rexy finally got registered. Rex Anthony Whatman.

Hugo is TINY, I guess usual kitten size, but as he has no fur, he looks that much smaller. When he’s tucked up, his body looks exactly like a small poussin (pre cooking) and he has a scrawny head, no bigger than a ping pong ball, massive Yoda ears and piercing, blue eyes. After a time you get used to his wrinkles and instead see his cute (but odd) little face and he is so affectionate. The Sphynx is known to be the most intelligent breed of cat and I will test this out when he is older and able to do mathematics. This is my final attempt at having a pet that I’m not allergic too. Strangely, they don’t come entirely without allergies and need rinsing off under the tap once a week, to keep their skin looking pink and freshly plucked. Finn said, “he is beautiful, but weird and um…pink!” Rufus thinks he is a wingless Pterodactyl. In case you are wondering, he feels suede-like, a bit like a peach, with a dusty coating on his skin. He has black Siamese points which have slightly more fluff on them. Ooh – and webbed paws.

A heatseeking missile of a cat – Hairless Hugo.

Friends, the reunion. They made 236 episodes and ended up with 25,000 000 viewers a week! My kids loved Friends and I remember watching it as a family for so many years. It’s a tiny part of the absolute, with no doubt, happiest years of my life. Such a happy home. The reunion show brought back so many memories and it was interesting to see that they are actually, genuinely, very close friends. I suppose that is what made the show work.

A fishy chocolate cake with jazzies for scales made by Din Dins and Rufus for Glenn’s birthday.