Santa Claus came to town!

No caption needed – those smiles say it all.

Tenterden Christmas market is on at the mo. It’s not like the fabulous ones previously held, kindly organised by local residents, with local stallholders, it’s another commercial ‘Zoom’ event. I guess it’s good there is something (thanks TTC for always trying), but I hope it’s not disappointing for anyone visiting Tenterden. I walked along the high street and decided the only Christmas spirit to be found on Friday was at Beth’s little SEN room. They are open each day this weekend for childrens ‘letters to Santa’ and the SEN room girls are all dressed as elves. We’ve had a visit from Santa and his wife and Rudolph too! I am incredibly proud of the SEN room – something genuinely good for our community. It takes an awful lot of work, so is largely a labour of love and many of us help Beth with its running. Community matters and this little room already means so much to so many. There are lots of additional activities on through December which I hope will do well as that will help with the running costs into next year. 🥹

Caro-Elf is taking a quick snooze at the SEN room!

I’ve sorted the running order for cabaret and I think we will stick to it. As cabaret approaches, I get like an expectant mother and start clearing and cleaning everything at home. I think that I always do this. Maybe, without even realising it, I know that I cope better with a chaotic few days if my house is relatively peaceful and tidy. I have no idea how the cupboards fill up within a few months? My problem is that I don’t like throwing weird things away – a strip of ric rac may be just what I need for a kids craft project, an empty Pringles tube too, fairy wings, pretty jam jars, spare cat bowls… oh dear. Tomorrow, it’s upstairs wardrobes after babysitting and then back to work recording for Christmas.

Rex and Grandad Wilf are getting in the spirit xx

I will leave you with some wise words from Bear Grylls. His “message to our next generation” was, “have courage, always show kindness and never give up.” Basic, but quite right.

He is surely on the NICE list? Mummy isn’t so sure…

Elves, Artists and Fleas.

The Rockits SEN Hub is ready for Christmas! Woohoo! It’s SO cute, right from the old fashioned Santa scene in the window, to the little grotto with an empty, fur trimmed chair, waiting for Santa. It’s an upside down world; with an upside down Christmas tree and presents on the ceiling! There’s Snowball Street, with its gigantic silver and white balls hanging and meteor lights in between. There’s Candy-Cane Alley, with its red and white stripes… it’s all just very lovely. The elves have worked SO hard and I have to say, are very proud of the finished result. Kids will LOVE it. My traditional Mrs Claus outfit has arrived. The things we do for Beth, haha!

Ready and waiting, for Santa xxxxx

Christmas is all around us now and it’s got me thinking that it REALLY is the season for spreading good vibes, kind gestures and giving (not receiving). The Hearties all have WhatsApp group chats (for each group) and I am so very happy when I see their endless, friendly chats – it’s one of the best ‘side effects’ of having choirs! Early this morning, I put a shout out for props for the 12 Days of Christmas, for cabaret. By lunchtime, one of the ladies had a ginormous papier mache goose egg, four giant inflatable phones were located (calling birds), cows udders were found, a papier mache partridge was being created, berets loaned (French hens), feather boas found (for swans) and we were almost there. Blue Peter badges for most creative artists, go to the Tenorettes. They are our smallest group but great with a paint brush and some craft glue! We also have some great flea market and charity shop hunters, who source lots of sparkly stuff. Newsflash – there is now an actual pear tree for the partridge to sit in! Amazing!

Ivy & Maxon are both on the NICE LIST xxxx

Last nights dreadfully bad Christmas film was, Baking all the way. It had all the usual ingredients, including lots of gingerbread (a secret family recipe), someone called Kris and a widower with a young child. Another 1/5 candy canes. A random question – has anyone else noticed that Carol Vorderman is turning into Dolly Parton? If you want a (non Christmassy) GREAT film to watch, My Old Lady, is very good! “Precision and wine is the key to a long life.” Half the people rammed in Tesco today were in the wine aisle, stocking up. They didn’t hear about the economic crisis. Everywhere I have been is ultra busy. I’m not sure I agree that everyone needs the financial assistance they will be receiving, sure some do, but certainly not all! I always feel that those on benefits get more help than the young families who try to support themselves, work hard and just manage to keep their heads above water. Maybe they’d get more help if they washed up in a dinghy at Dover?

That naughty elf is hanging on for dear life!

Ashira l’Adonai!

I am slightly fazed when I look at the amount of scribble on my fridge calendar, haha. The Rockits SEN hub is VERY busy (well done our lovely Beth) from next week, which means I’ll be helping out with more bits there, doing my nanny daycare, being Mrs Santa, getting out to the choirs (which is now sometimes twice a day), trying to arrange all the music for Jan/Feb events super quick, pulling us through cabaret and then, somehow have the kids all fed, merry and together in my little house over Christmas. I have a few nice treats lined up (a couple of shows to see), but I don’t have many days off really, until the new year. Thank goodness the choirs are great at pulling together! The GL’s have been brilliant, right through the pandemic and to this present day, working hard to help where they can, thank you. They’ve definitely earned their stripes and when our day comes and we step out on to the stage at the Albert Hall, I won’t forget, haha. I have also been touched to see a few with no voices (otherwise fit and well) at rehearsals, just listening and learning.

Auntie Anita, Uncle Kenny and little Kenzie.

I’ve started my usual spell of watching cheesy Christmas movies at night. The REALLY naff American ones, with fake snow and rubbish actors. Tonight’s, Random Acts of Christmas, was so bad it only just scored 1/5 candy canes. I heard something nice; if kids are writing a Christmas list, try getting them to list one thing they WANT, one thing they NEED, one book to READ, one item to WEAR and something to SHARE – like a game or *tropical disease. The five gift Christmas plan. *obviously not! The Day clan had a get together – I will get to one eventually, I’d love a proper chat with all my cousins and family.

Mum with cousin Linda, the birthday girl.

There I was whizzing through, When you Believe, (by Whitney and Mariah) from the film, The Prince of Egypt, when I hit a whole patch in Hebrew, hahahaha. I really should check a song right through before starting, but I’m always too eager to get going. Oh dear. I made a cuppa and thought it through and decided to continue. Consonantal Aleph’s are a real thing, but I really have no clue as to exactly what they are. The vowel sounds are pretty regular (phew), but there’s the odd, guttural noise that is key to making it sound authentic. The part in Hebrew also gets very fast. I think that by the time some turn their page – the song will be over. Oh well, in for a penny in for shekel, haha. “Ashira, Ashira, Ashira!” Me – that’s what I’m singing as I stand in the queue in Waitrose.

Pop with his little bro.

Remembering.

Our first Armistice Day without the Queen. I once heard that we wear poppies because of the poem, In Flanders Fields, but don’t trust me if you’re in a pub quiz! It’s good to think about Ukraine today too and remember those lost during this awful war. Today, Ukrainians are raising their national flag in central Kherson after Ukraine forces swept through the area and Russian forces withdrew. Bugger off back to the Kremlin!!! Who would have thought Ukraine could have achieved this. 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦

Dozing off with Din Dins xxxx

With Christmas fast approaching, I’ve been asked what I’d like. I will ask for slippers, a big sewing box and some Clarins. Secretly though, most of all I’d like a little octopus, but I really don’t think I could (or would want to) deal with a marine tank. Scientists recently discovered the first ever octopuses nursery! There were over 1000 octopuses there, caring for their eggs. Octopuses have always interested me so much and would be better to watch than the tv. I don’t know why there isn’t a better plural – octopi or something. A group of octopuses is called a consortium. Tooty Frooties – when did they disappear?

Ru and Rex are just missing Din Dins, the Octopus!!!

I’m working on ‘When You Believe’, the Whitney/Carey (Mariah not Jim) cheesy powerhouse from the 80’s. I though am doing the Prince of Egypt, film version. It has a bridge of odd little excerpts which I think are either Hebrew or Klingon. It’s been totally stuck in my head and I found I was singing it (if I’m walking, I’m singing/humming and may need professional help) as I walked along the high street this afternoon. Perfectly autumnal, sunny and crisp. Glorious. Sometimes I forget to get myself out and enjoy what’s around me. Today, Nige and I would have walked and sat in cafes. I do actually feel better about the whole Nige thing, although this time of year will lack our unique form of merriment. I’m thankfully feeling more or less done with it. I’ll miss aspects of my friendship with him hugely, but in life there’s always quite a lot of missings which we have no choice but to accept. I do though think I’ve had my fair share of wrong’uns, thank you very much. I will stop fretting now and just eat some Maltesters (No!!).

Tricia’s Alto 2’s had a bling and sing session ❤️

Saint Anne and Ants.

It was Mum’s birthday on Sunday, so we had a day out shopping in Canterbury, with lunch at Cotes. Delicious! Ann is a perfect name for mum; Saint Anne is the patron saint of housekeepers and mothers, two things that mum has excelled at for her entire life. We are a family of slightly obsessive mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers and we live a very close life, all helping as required.

Our beautiful Noah xxxx

Bloody blimey did it ever rain today! I love everything about this time of year except for soggy days. My poor hair just can’t cope. On a good day, post Aussie Miracle, a blow dry and some Velcro rollers, it’s ok for about an hour, if I don’t get it damp. A bit of drizzle and my hair instantly reacts with very unruly, wispy, frizzy bits that make me look like I’m still in Halloween mode. It’s just not fair! As women get older, good hair is an absolute must to deflect from the wrinkles and dull skin. No hope for me, haha.

Nearly 3 months old and so like Ollie xxxx

It’s been a good week at singing, but I’ve been under par and oddly tired and my voice still isn’t back fully. It may be that I’m just freaked out because Rufus and Rex’s stick insects have actually laid 20+ eggs. It’s bad enough knowing there are three bugs in the house when I’m there, but now there will be even more…yuck. Hearties have some very nice events to look forward to next year and from now until Wintersong in Feb will be quite busy. I need to pull out all the stops on choral arrangements now! Xxxxxx

A quick trip for the Whatman brothers xxxx