A Duke, Amigos and Madonna.

Can’t believe I finally managed to see all of my little ones within a week! Had a wonderful visit from my eldest and his family today. SO lovely to see them. Amigo III has shot up and turned into a little boy over the last ten months. He has lovely manners and a mop of curly, auburn hair. The little ones squealed with delight as they ran around the garden for hours on end. So lovely that we are coming out of this dreadful lockdown. Our shops are opening tomorrow and as I walked along the high street, I could see all the shopkeepers inside, stocking and painting. Sadly on Friday, 9th April – Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh died. A great Briton and colourful character, who often put his foot in it, but was always dutiful to Queen and country. He had such a twinkle in his (roving) eye and a passion for life; brilliant man. He almost made a century too – so a long life, well lived.

RIP Prince Philip.

April is here. I love this month although it can be freezing or frazzling! I am doing well with my monthly goals but no real weight is going. This month I am going to : 1. Start exercising and walking much more. 2. Complete rough running orders for 2021 events. I finished my Think Pink Girl’s Medley today (it’s at the bottom and has a chunk of instrumental at the end as I am thinking to have a voice over here) and the score for, Courage. 3. Clear, clear, CLEAR more of my house. 4. Drop all sugar, although I still have some lovely Easter treats. 5. Attempt to ignore all stress intentionally caused by one certain individual. Just like in the fish world, there are those that live at the bottom of the tank and thrive on a diet of dirt.

A first visit from Amigo III in many months. With Nona and Pop xxxxx

In writing my monthly goals, I thought about my diet again and I do stick to a Mediterranean style diet most of the time, sort of. I am not in favour of fashionable vegan diets (if not chosen for health reasons), because I do worry about our health and our poor farmers! I get why some choose a vegetarian diet, but vegan? No eggs or dairy produce? Hens lay eggs without being harmed and surely cows aren’t too reluctant to provide us with milk? TV is full of ads encouraging us to ‘save our planet’ (CO2 emissions) and switch to plant-based fake milk – what about our dairy farmers? There was a vegan lady on tv who has 106 dogs, seriously! They live in semidetached stinking squalor. Poor dogs. Poor neighbours.

An armful of Amigos.

Saturday, was a day spent having my MOT at the hospital. No fun. Waiting for results will be even less so. I couldn’t even stop off at the shops or take anyone with me. Never mind – I consoled myself with online browsing during the long wait. I was also horrified to look down and notice a huge dollop of dried lasagne on the front of my trainer. Oh dear.

Amigo’s I and III met up in a sunny park in Benenden.
I definitely am not a fan of, I wanna dance with somebody…but this medley is for a girls night. xxx

Party Saturday, Easter Sunday.

I am SO excited as it seems we can sing together OUTSIDE from May 17th! WOOHOO! Bring it on! This will mean park sessions for the Rockits and smaller garden sessions for the Hearties. This will get our cogs moving and our springs springing again, ready for a proper return to singing in late June (fingers crossed). This week I have been shivering along with several little pods of Hearties at frosty al fresco sessions. It’s been SO cold – there was thick ice on our little dino swimming pool in the garden. The hearties pods are a maximum of six singers, so I am having to shoot around quite a bit, but I just love seeing everyone once again and getting back into the swing of things. I tend to choose the sessions that involve cake.

A birthday dino T shirt! xxxx

Our birthday celebrations continued for Amigo II on Saturday, with a party for him in the garden, with his nearest and dearest. His daddy dressed in an inflatable T Rex suit, which pleased our young dino-lover SO much that his poor daddy had to wear it for the entire day, haha. While stood watching all the fun, I had a sobering thought. I guess on average, if we are lucky, we live for about 30,000 days. Amigo II has already reached 1098! Don’t waste any of those days – tell people how much they are loved, be kind always (but not to a certain few individuals, haha), do everything you enjoy, splurge instead of save…love your life and live your life well – wear an inflatable T Rex suit just for the hell of it.

My four Easter chicks! Amigos – III, II, I and IV xxxx

There are always new words and phrases emerging, I can’t keep up! I keep hearing people being described as “vanilla.” This means they are plain or ordinary. Vanilla is my favourite flavour (except for cherry) and my favourite smell (except for Play Doh and sweet peas). Another word we are now bombarded with, is “woke.” It means being socially aware, but I think in our crazy world, it’s all got absolutely out of hand. Now we have the new “BAME” label. It groups all ethnicities, except white. Why do we have to make divisions and cause problems that didn’t exist? Why are there BAME literary, music and film awards? Sure, no one should be overlooked and any injustice should be investigated – but I do wonder. Doesn’t some of this actually stop the world being inclusive? There is terrible racism in certain parts of the world and that needs dealing with, but I do not believe it exists on the same level in this country. I remember going to Silver Springs in Florida about thirty years ago and being totally horrified to witness a sickening black/white divide. I like Calvin Robinson and his opinions.

The Easter Bunny left me some rather extravagant gifts this year. xxxx

The Bear is 3!

Another of my Amigos has reached the grand old age of 3. Amigo II, AKA, The Bear, had his birthday yesterday, April 1st. He is actually having a little garden party tomorrow, so that his family and friends can see him in instalments. Amigo II is still obsessed with dinosaurs, but has now progressed to all creatures great and small. There are giant spiders all over the place, snakes, sharks and turtles. When not stomping around like a dinosaur, or attempting to eat “dinosaur snow” (shake ‘n vac – oh dear), he loves taking his sea creatures for a swim in a bowl of water, or putting plastic bugs on me, so I pretend to be scared and run around squealing. We do lots of squealing.

Our beautiful bear, asleep in the bluebells.

As it’s not his party until tomorrow, I am saving his real birthday cake for that – Amigo’s always get a numeral cake which they will hate when they are 37. Yesterday though, we had a little lunch and I made him this volcano cake, which surely is the easiest cake I have ever made – Amigo II loved it! I do like piping gel – makes great stained glass type designs on cakes and brilliant fake blood and lava.

Jurassic Cake Disaster. xxxx

I am using my Easter break to crash through as much work as is humanly possible. I’m working on a song I dislike, I wanna Dance with Somebody, but I need it for October’s Think Pink (Breast Cancer Now) parties, so I will push myself on, with the promise of a nicer song to arrange once it’s finished (Spirit, from The Lion King). I have even been too busy to come up with a grand April Fool’s joke. We’ve done some GREAT ones over the years – we fooled several when we said the choir had been selected to take part in the Olympics, with a synchronised swimming team. Then, there was the year one of my original songs had been chosen by Bulgaria for the Eurovision Song Contest… and the time we handed out a VERY complex piece of music, written in latin. We had added “Aprilius Foolius” to the words on the second page, haha. xx

Happy Birthday my darling boy xxxx

A Perfect Remedy.

Actually doing things again has made me feel so much more jolly – now I really can’t wait to be going out for dinner, meeting friends in the pub with a hug, singing together at events, shopping and being allowed to try things on (that won’t fit) and soon… holidays! Amigo II has been out in his paddling pool most of the day, he already has rosy cheeks. Today we had our first al fresco pod session at Sarah’s house. I can’t tell you how lovely it was to sit in the sun with friends, chat, sing, have tea AND homemade cookies! Woohoo…

Amigo I playing with pigs at nursery school. xxx

I am still beavering away with the songs for all the 2021 events and I have to say (to myself as I never blow my own trumpet), that some of my best work is here. I was VERY pleased with yesterdays song, Remedy, by Adele. I originally arranged this in 2016 for the Adele tribute night we did at Rochester Cathedral – the one where we (I) forgot to add the word “tribute” to the artwork and it appeared the real Adele was coming to sing, haha. It was definitely good for ticket sales. I have though, totally rebuilt the song, keeping just a few bars here and there. Rebuilds are usually good, because I keep the bits I love and then come up with new ideas to entwine with them. They are souped up versions. I am shifting the range of the choir up a little as we now have no baritone parts (that’s sounds slightly rude. The bridge in Remedy is my own invention – there is no bridge in the original song as Adele must have gone for a tea break and forgotten to add one. I looped a section of the piano to form a long bit and I stood my bridge on it. I also very much like the tiny “I will”s near the end of the track.

Eat your heart out Johnny Depp – a new pirate has come ashore. xxxx

Poor Amigo IV has such bad reflux. He gets so upset and it’s very hard for Butsy to deal with 24/7. The doctor has given him some medicine to help, so I very much hope it does! He is growing well though and now 8 weeks old. Took him to see my folks today, as it is their 58th wedding anniversary! xxxx

Remedy 2021. © Arr. Max Wilson.

Things that really matter.

Well that’s quite simple, my family, my friends, singing buddies and the choirs. The choirs also put us in a very fortunate position, because we are perfect to raise money for charities, just by doing what we do anyway. We sing, we dress up, we have fun, we do events – and those events do raise loads of money for some wonderful causes. I think the YMCA has been one of my favourite video’s so far because it really shows who we are. It’s so jolly and you can’t help but smile when you see it. Our little video team (me, Caroline and John) have got much better at putting things together. It was a steep learning curve to say the least.

This matters : YMCA – already 750 views and a lot of money donated to Brain Tumour Research.

I am wanting to have a huge clear out, in particular my garage, which looks like one of those hoarders homes you see on Channel 4. I don’t mean tidying, I mean totally emptying. I love STUFF. I find it hard to part with; show props, dog beds, guitar amps, speaker stands, old bikes, I even have a round (3 metres!) stage in there! I envy those neat people with organised wardrobes and no more than six mugs in the kitchen. I have four double wardrobes stuffed full, because I can’t bear to get rid of my size 10/12’s, although I seem squeezed into the 14/16’s! I actually only use the clothes from one wardrobe and I reckon I have twenty mugs in the kitchen. I started to think that if I wanted to move, or died, or elope, or emigrate or immigrate, that my house isn’t ready! Clutter also clutters my brain. Maybe this last year spent mainly at home has made us want a slightly different kind of life – stripped down and simple, where we worry less about stuff and concentrate on what really matters. Yes. We don’t really need much stuff, we need our family and friends around us and sunny days in Rye, cinema trips, tea at Peggy Porschen’s, having a good sing.

This matters : Great Grand-Pop and his newest partner in crime.

I am so pleased to read that due to the uncertainty over foreign travel, us Brits are expected to spend £62 billion on staycations. Surely our economy needs this and blimey, so do our shops, pubs, restaurants, hotels etc. Maybe it will also renew our love of holidaying closer to home. I am included in this as some time ago, we booked a birthday break in the IoW for July. Beth is coming with her family for part of it and then my parents followed suit and will be joining us…then my dads brother and his wife. Usually we would be somewhere in France, shopping and eating pretty pastries in a little café. We holidayed in the IoW for the first time last year and it was perfect and the kids loved it. I was also reading about Broadcaster Kate Garraway. What a truly amazing woman, such an inspiration, so down to earth and so strong too. Her documentary about her husbands horrific year long battle with Covid, is really touching too.

I’ve started work on a set for Think Pink October. Run to You. © Arr Max Wilson.