Blogpost No 5 May 2023 Draft
Ola gorgeous Blogpost reader. I’m feeling light hearted and upbeat, as the sun has been shining and the garden is looking absolutely gorgeous right now. I have been attending to my greenhouse babies and equally, duelling with slimy slugs in the veg patches dotted around and about. Dipping has been adventurous as ever. The sea temperature has hardly shifted so even with slightly warmer air temperatures the water is still a challenge … which is why we do it!
For those not in the know, I attempted a FaceBook Live on Saturday May 13th. I say “attempted” as I had a few technical difficulties. I spent a considerable amount of time, the evening before, setting up in the greenhouse. It looked lush and I was excited to share the glory of my first ripening strawberries with the waiting ethereal audience. And in deed there were 5 glorious uninterrupted minutes of birdsong and strawberries for those gathering to watch the performance. I popped round in front of the camera at the allotted time and said … “Hello! Because we’re in the greenhouse there may be some drop out but …” and sure enough we lost contact with the wiFi! Bob, bless him, who was watching on his computer in the lounge, came running round to to say: “You’ll have to set up in the lounge this isn’t working!” So that’s what we did. Very hastily.
With the rush to get going as soon as possible, the extra camera to record the performance to share on YouTube later, was unfortunately at a very dodgy angle and so I haven’t had the courage to upload it. I’ll look again and see if it’s not quite as bad as I thought at the time. Unlikely though.The original video is available on FB (HERE) but the quality is seriously down graded (by FB!) When trying to share on any other platform, so I won’t be able to simply share to YT. C’est la vie! These things are sent to try us.
However the 7 songs I chose to sing went by so quickly … and even though I think I messed up every song in some way shape or form … I smiled my way through the whole lot, as I was in deed so happy to be singing again. I miss performing. Especially the privilege of interacting with real actual people, so that even an ethereal experience like a FB Live is a pure and simple joy. I truly hope that in the not-too-distant-future I will be able to tour and see you all in person. It may still be a while but I hold tight to this lovely dream. I only hope you still want to come to a show :-) x
One of the songs I learned especially for the brunch time show, was in honour of the passing of Canadian great Gordon Lightfoot. A sweet and wonderful story teller/songsmith whose songs linger long in the heart. I chose “If You Could Read My Mind” … as a result of which I’ve recorded a very simple version for this month’s specially recorded song. Hope you enjoy:
Of course we also lost Tina Turner just a few short days ago. Another unforgettable and inspirational performer. I remember having the audacity to sing River Deep Mountain High in my early twenties, with The Rocking Dansettes here on the Island. And almost 40 years later, in 2019, I recorded a wonderful acoustic version with Michael Fix on our CD North&South. I still love singing it. So in honour of a gorgeous goddess of a woman who no longer graces our beautiful planet, here as tribute and in honour to her sad passing, is mine and Michael’s version:
There have been some interesting twists and turns in our continued journey and adventures with mum. There was a memory test this week. The first since July last year when mum scored 15 out of 30 points. She’s had these tests twice yearly for at least 7 years and I’ve accompanied her to 90% of them, so I feel I know the routine fairly well. I’ve also often thought they were a pretty useless exercise. This year however has seen significant decline in many areas for mum, not least after the fall in February and her subsequent stay in hospital. She has slowly, slowly, regained a little confidence, appetite and general energy but nothing like she was last year. I sat with mum in the little room and waited for everything to unfold. As expected, the day, date and year were a mystery to her but her date of birth rolled off the tongue without hesitation. All as expected. There are other phases to the test which went by all a little less assured than previously. But when it came to: “Now draw a clock face with the hands at ten minutes past five … “ everything went somewhat pear-shaped. All this to say she scored 4 points. 4! I mean I knew she had lost some capacity but the extent of it came crashing down at that moment for me. Mum was blissfully unaware that anything was wrong as she was praised for her efforts ... and rightly so. Bless her! Life can’t make any sense to her at all at this point. It hardly makes sense to me anymore. We continue with kindness and as much daftness as we can muster. When in the land of confusion it’s generally best to laugh as much as possible. In between the laughter are bouts of deepening sadness. Life’s rich tapestry …
Yesterday I planted many tomato seedlings into grow bags. They all looked happy and healthy and ready for their new, grander, richer homes. I have 5 varieties on the go: Tiger, baby bell, cherry, plum and organic beef toms. I’ve also potted on Aubergines and red peppers. The green house is looking fabulous I have to say. I’m equally thrilled by the many flowering plants we now have in the front garden this year (see photos above:). The intricacies of the colour and form of petals, leaves and stems is awe inspiring. I could stare at their beauty for hours. Truly, nature is amazing.
I can just hear the whine of the first TT practice as I type. Looks like we’ll have fine weather for the coming fortnight of racing madness. We live “inside” the course so we have more inconvenience than those “outside” it but at least we have space and access to numerous walks along the old railway lines into Glen Wyllin and along the beach to occupy Sweep. Hopefully we’ll be able to get mum out into the garden for a snooze from time to time.
Children Of The Sea continues its long and meandering journey but it is moving. There are various artworks to consider and decisions on production grow closer day by day. I am so grateful to be partnered with Fledg'ling Records along this part of the track. David Suff (Mr Fled'gling himself) is a font of wisdom and source of great support through these new waters for me. Couldn’t do this without him.
One last sad note before I say goodbye this month and that is to acknowledge and celebrate the life of a wonderful, wise, generous, funny and most beautiful woman: Vanya Anderson. Vanya and her gorgeous husband Graham, have been the most delightful and generous souls hosting house concerts for many years in their beautiful homes. Mine and Michael Fix’s last UK concert in 2019 was with them and we were, as ever, shown such deep love and respect.and had the most wonderful evening. In fact that’s the last time we saw one another. Bless you Vanya. We love and miss you. The memory of your bright beaming smile and twinkling mischievous eyes will always make us smile. Rest now. See you at that great house concert in the sky.
Till next month sweet reader … stay well and keep rising above the turbulence!