Pillow Talk and Achilles Heels.

I LOVE an old 50s/60s American romcom. Doris and Rock are so brilliant together – he’s suave and sophisticated, she’s scatty, wholesome and usually in a pickle. Rock, of course, had a very private life that only those close to him knew about. Doris did. She never spoke about it and they always remained the closest of friends with amazing onscreen chemistry. Oh for life without social media! There are also some lovely remakes such as, ‘shop around the corner’ (not to be confused with ‘shop around the clock’ at St. Michaels), which eventually became, ‘you’ve got mail.’ I do though HATE the film ‘pretty woman,’ – it’s trashy and fake and Julia Roberts horsing around as a sugarcoated prostitute just doesn’t work for me one single bit.

Amigos I and II. Baby Rockits Feb.

One or two people have asked how we have managed to save so much money to go to Abbey Road. Well, basically, it’s because Head Office (including myself) take very, very little for running the choirs. It’s a total labour of love. We are a not-for-profit group (different from a non-profit group) which means after deductions are made, all remaining money is either used for the good of the group as a whole, or given to charity. Over the last twelve years, we have given well over 150k to charities and I think that Abbey Road is something you all deserve – I know it’s certainly something I am very much looking forwards to. So, ENORMOUS thanks to all the Head Office girls. Sarah W. (who puts her pennies from the cafe and Rockit Shop BACK into funding things for us) and Helen, Rosina and Caroline, all working their socks off to make this journey possible. Couldn’t do it without them XXX

A visit with Amigo III. xxx

My Amigo’s are definitely my achilles heel. I loved the song too when it was released as the debut single for a band called Toploader (remember, ‘dancing in the moonlight’?) around the year 2000 (maybe!).

Achilles Heel. © Arr. Max Wilson.

Hallelujah! The big one is 36!

How, oh how, can I have a son who is not only about 6′ 5″ tall, but also now 36!!! I still think I am 36! He is my placid one. My first one, who was an only one for several years. When he was about 18 months old, we started an afternoon nap habit that was just lovely. We would lay on the sofa, he would lay on me, with his little sticky, jelly-totty fingers stuck to my jumper, and we would doze for ages. Ol is quite brainy too; he’s got a doctorate in English and is department head at a huge school in London. I knew something was wrong when he used to read for hours and hours on end when he was very young. He was also SO sensible and not ONCE did I ever have to tell him off, not ONCE in his entire life! It’s not that he’s dull or anything, quite the opposite, he would just never worry or upset me…I am so very, very proud of him. He is a brilliant husband and such a wonderful dad. He is also, of course, VERY musical. All my offspring are! He very much likes the music of Prince – an unusual match.

Here he is, on a visit to a museum with Amigo III.

The Hawkhurst and Tenterden Rockits are going to Abbey Road on July 10th. Woohoo! We’ve scraped and saved (as you can imagine, this world famous studio is very expensive) to give everyone the opportunity to do this. There also aren’t many studios equipped to take a hundred+ strong choir. We hope to record every couple of years, so newcomers, Aldington, and anyone that misses it this time, will eventually get their chance to walk across that zebra crossing and stand where the Beatles stood. I’m working on lots of arrangements for next term and adding a little extra sparkle as several of these will end up being recorded. I wonder which ones will be chosen by you? Today, in Ol’s honour (he loves Jeff Buckley’s version), I have totally revamped my old arrangement of Hallelujah. I got rid of the twiddles, spins and hard bits and (hopefully) strengthened it up. This, I think, will be a winner for Abbey Road!

Amigo III looks SO much like Ol in this photo. Gorgeous. xxx

I’ve just returned from a brilliant interactive show – The Titanic Experience. It was very good fun, the meal was delicious, the entertainment top notch – AND, I didn’t get the slightest bit wet! Despite the Heathcliffian weather outside, inside the Titanic (The Old Ship Hotel), it was toasty and warm and the only ice to be seen was in the Moët buckets. The only shocking part was the burlesque stripper – I must have gone to make a cup of tea when that bit was in the film. I also found a new word!!! How fully exciting! My new word, is, BRIG. CP tells me it’s where I should have ended up while we sailed on The Titanic. It’s a ships prison basically, but also one of those old fashioned ships with the huge square sails. I’m quite an old hand with all things maritime now.

Here I am ready to sail third class on Titanic. I like wearing swishy skirts. xxx
Hallelujah. 2020. Vocal Mix. © arr. Max Wilson.

Something old, something new.

Woohoo! Yet another girlie addition to Head Office. It seems we are having quite a plethora of baby girls this year, which is truly great as between us we have managed to produce an entire football team over the past few years. Well yes, I do know girls can and do play football, but I am referring to boys! This bumper 2020 female crop, means there will be plenty of available females when my Amigo’s need wives. Brilliant! Sarah W’s little one arrived safely yesterday and she is truly adorable and perfect in every way (and the baby). No one will ever love these little ones like their nannies do. xxxx

Goudy with her lovely chitterlings. Aaahhh… welcome to the world little girl! xxx

VERY good to hear Hawkhurst Grease singers yesterday as we get set for our Grease-a-thon on June 20th. I keep reminding everyone that we are NOT doing the show as usual – that would be plain ridiculous as our average age is about forty years too high. I am reversing the parts for Summer Loving – the girls now get to sing the, ‘get down and dirty’ part, while the boys can sing about lemonade and girlie stuff. GIRL POWER!!

Her first closeup. She is perfectly pink and very soft looking.

Heard todays song on the radio recently and thought it would be nice for you guys to sing…what do you think? We will have a go next term, as it’s a lovely summer one. It was by a very 80’s band, called, The Dream Academy. It’s got very miserable lyrics, but never mind! I’ve left the bits out about all the factories closing.

Life in a northern town. © Arr. Max Wilson.

Corona, Copperfield and crap.

Interesting week ahead with Grease auditions. We went to view the village hall at Benenden and it’s just perfect for it – so, its all booked for June 20th. Our new group in Aldington, are a lovely group, with some very sweet singers (Tracy and Donna are doing a wonderful job too), so I’m hoping some of them are brave enough to audition this week.

Butsy and Lewis doing a little Sandy and Danny – 2016.

There is something far worse and more deadly than the Corona virus – there is, David Copperfield, the new film that’s out right now. It should definitely be avoided! It’s just plain odd – it’s been made with a kind of live stage feel and there are also some bits that were almost Pythonesque (is that a word?). It’s meant to be funny, yes, yes… a parody, but we didn’t laugh once and found many of the scenes just stupid. Visually, it is a surprisingly beautiful film though, with lovely sets and bursting with colour. Mark Kermode just loved it, which shows he’s not so perfect after all.

Would you risk going on The Titanic with this man? CP is trying out his Titanic outfit. I’ve told him they didn’t have Apple watches then and his trendy glasses may get lost when we hit the iceberg.

Bugger off Valentines Day. There is nothing I like about it, in fact, I think it may make some people very sad. It’s not a celebration for those on their own, is it? Why, oh why, do couples choose to go out for dinner, just because it’s Feb 14th? Get crammed in a restaurant and sold overpriced rubbish? Sure, go out for dinner, send flowers, be romantic (I have never possessed a single romantic notion) if that’s your thing, but do it on the other 364 days of the year (365 on a leap year). I just remembered something very funny. The last time the MFI sent me roses for Valentines Day, they were orange. Haha. I asked why he had sent me orange roses, knowing I dislike orange flowers, and he said, they are the colour of passion. I expect he sent the red ones elsewhere. Anyway, this coming weekend, I am going on The Titanic with CP. We have sorted our costumes – we will be third class passengers, so will try to catch head lice before then, to make it all very authentic. CP is going to crack some TERRIBLE jokes…

Yes. I’ve been there. Better to have your space and your company when you choose it. xxxx

Just sorting arrangements for our Rockits trip to the Abbey Road Studios – yes, we will be going in July. They all have trendy names like Apple, Peach, Jojo etc. At GREAT expense (as we had to move to the very big studio), here we come Abbey Road…xxx

Gimme Gimme, Mamma Mia!

An interesting few days. It felt like I jumped off the dentists couch and landed a day later on a little wooden seat inside a Greek taverna at the O2. Nope! I wasn’t dreaming. We were at Mamma Mia, The Party, well, less party and more an interactive show. However much a ticket costs, it’s well worth every penny and I highly recommend it! You get a very good and plentiful (in fact, it’s unlimited) three course meal, all-singing and dancing fab entertainment throughout – but it’s nothing like a stage show! You really do feel you are sat having dinner on the terrace of a taverna as staff buzz around serving you, stopping every now and then to dance and clap to the Greek music. Many of the waiters were wearing discreet headsets so they could join in with the singing, which started shortly after the first course finished. The performers are among you, live musicians accompany the show and brush by with their guitars. There is a tiny string of a storyline, BUT it’s basically a feast for your eyes, ears and stomach! There must have been close to 500 guests, but we still felt like we were on holiday, sat drinking a glass of wine, beneath the purple and pink wisterias and gently lit lanterns. Magic!

There we are, sat on the top, far left in the photo. Thank you for the music xxx

Next interactive experience is a trip on the Titanic in a fortnight – I’ve got a sinking feeling about this one haha. Actually, I am fully excited. This is extremely odd for me as, wait for it…all the guests MUST go dressed accordingly – I have managed to go most of my life without dressing up as I get very self-conscious. Luckily, I am going as a third class passenger, which will be easy now I have hardly any teeth, hair, or body parts. I have lots of poor looking clothes too. We actually chose to go below decks as the menu includes apple and pecan crumble! They say it’s a very authentic experience, so I expect to have buckets of water thrown at us when we hit the iceberg. CP is getting lots of naff jokes ready, which include asking the waiter if he can have iceberg lettuce with everything – always saying “no ice!” when he orders a drink and I am going to talk about cap sizes. There will be actors, music… and yes, crumble and custard.

One of the Mamma Mia, all singing, all dancing bars. A REAL bar too where we got our drinks!

I shouldn’t even be thinking about crumble – I am on a very harsh diet and doing ok today. My only vice is food – so maybe I need to find some new vices to replace it with? I MUST lose a stone in six weeks before my round of hospital tests pre next surgery. I CAN lose a stone. I have done it many times before. Anyone that sees me eating cake from the cafe must do everything in their power to stop me. Please! I worked a fair bit today, which is usual for a Sunday and as I had ABBA on my brain still, I came up with this for next term and our ABBA show. We did Gimme Gimme some time ago, but this is lovely 2020 version. Can you hear the drums, Fernando?

Gimme Gimme 2020. © Arr. Max Wilson.