• Christine Collister

Blogpost No7 July 2022

Where to begin? I had a gig … that's a good place to start. On Saturday July 2nd Christine Collister & Friends took to the Erin Arts Centre stage. We were given the honour of closing The Manannan Festival which ran for a whole week. What a fabulous occasion it was. We set up at midday and before the PA was ready, myself, Christy DeHaven and Jo Callister took the opportunity to dip in Port Erin’s gorgeous bay. It was glorious. I then did the sound check in my dad’s Terry towelling robe! There’s pictorial evidence somewhere on FB if you know where to look.

The show itself was a delight. My first in person live performance … in a year! We may do another before too long … fingers crossed but there are a lot of diaries to co-ordinate for that to happen.

Mum was sat on the front row with my brother Colin and his wife Rachel and Aaron (my favourite nephew! I’m allowed to stay that:-). When Pip the promoter (great title for a kids tv show;) was introducing me, mum piped up: “That’s my daughter!” … ripple of laughter from appreciative audience and then … “Is she here?” … made me laugh out loud. She was very much a part of the show and when thanking everyone at the end of the night she said … “What about me?” … to which I replied:”Without you there’d be nothing!” It’s true too.

In other musical news I still haven’t written my last song for “Children Of The Sea” though there are a few ideas bubbling away in the background however song number 7, a collaboration with Michael Fix in Australia, is developing nicely and song No 8 was played on Manx Radio 3 times on the run up to the gig! In keeping with my “sharing songs in development” with you, here’s a snippet of song No5: “One Way Back”. I decided to give you the middle of the song so you get the second verse, a chorus and the middle 8 … no particular reason. The song tells the tale of Timmy who was the smallest moonbeam polisher that ever was … who, in his excitement to try his brother’s much larger moon beam … fell off and found himself on the Isle of Man. I won’t give the whole tale away but I think it’s a sweet and delightful story and I love the way the song’s turned out. Have a listen:

My endeavours with growing veg are really paying off now. Potatoes are ready and absolutely delicious and we’ve enjoyed courgettes, carrots (not a one of them straight!) salad leaves and even a few French beans. The most exciting pick so far was my first cucumber … what a delight that was and totally unexpected. One day there were sweet little yellow flowers and almost overnight a fabulous ridged cucumber which had a wonderful crunch to it and there are plenty more where that came from. There’s still a ways to go before the tomatoes are ready to eat but there are many of them hiding behind a plethora of fabulous smelling greenery. The flowers are also outdoing themselves at the moment and even the calendulas, which I planted ages ago, have finally decided to show themselves. Patience has its visual rewards.

My walks with Sweep continue to amuse me. Recently we’ve been walking half way up Peel Hill at 6.15am and then I dip with friends at Fenella. This morning, after coming out of the sea we spotted this huge Jelly Fish! Note to self … be extra vigilant this month while the Jellies are out in force!

I’ll sign off for this month and hope to have more musical news to share in August, and of course … regale you with the continuing delights of the veg patch.

Till then take very good care of yourselves and remember … keep rising above the turbulence!

Much love

Christine x

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  • Christine Collister

Blogpost No 6 2022 June 12th

Sitting down to write this month’s Blogpost it’s my mum’s 84th birthday - June 11th 2022. The last of the TT races are happening as I type - an extra day needed to fit them in due to our mercurial weather. I can hear them screaming through our usually peaceful village. It meant I was at M&S by 8am buying up snacks and deliciousness for tomorrow’s belated birthday celebrations. Hopefully the wild wind will blow itself out and we’ll have a perfect, still, early summer day to eat, drink and be merry. I may hold off posting this to include photos :-) x or more likely that will be my opening gambit for next month.

The last few weeks haven’t been as productive as I’d hoped but I’m still incredibly excited by the fact I now have 8 songs more-or-less completed. No one’s more amazed than me. Truly. Who knew? So in keeping with these Blogpost shares I’m delivering a slice of song No4 Which will be the first track on the CD when everything’s done and dusted. I had an idea to create a kind of invitation … an enticement into the magical, curious world these songs inhabit. It’s called “Lift The Veil” and is meant to pique your interest to move closer to the every day magic that’s everywhere all the time - honest! Anyway here’s your sneaky peek … see what you think:

In other news the greenhouse is now fully blooming with groaning grow-bags of tomatoes, cucumbers, peas and (my favourites from last years experiments) dwarf French beans, now well on their way to becoming edible goodness. A modicum of patience is yet required but the signs are good. I can’t tell you just how exciting it is for me to tend to these wondrous things. I mean, yes there’s an element of work involved but basically nature’s in the driving seat. I mean … seeds! They’re little miracles … even if you scientifically explain what they’re designed to do (whose design?!) … it’s a jaw-dropping miracle to me. I am blessed, and I deeply appreciate it.

I know there’s a lot of excitement about the TT but for those of us living “inside the course” it’s a fairly disruptive experience. Mum’s Day Care Centre closes down for 10 days which makes life … even more weird and wonderful than it can otherwise be. Mum usually has 3 days a week when she’s picked up around 10.30am, then it’s onto Peel where the fun begins, plus a lovely 2 course lunch, with more fun after that. Then she’s brought back after 3pm. We are hugely grateful for these services; no more so than when we don’t have them. Slips into other worlds for mum, are more or less constant when there’s nothing to break up the unremembered repetition of each day. We do our best to find entertaining things to do: watch movies; walk Sweep; paint ornamental garden objects etc but there’s only so much 2 people can bring to another’s attention when their perception seamlessly merges experiences we can’t be a part of. Yes I’m being cryptic! But that’s what it feels like all the time … like one giant cryptic crossword puzzle with no reference resources to help.

All things considered we do remarkably well. And I absolutely include mum in that. Life is never less than interesting … n’est pas?

One little thing I did at the beginning of June was plant up a lovely large, old, blue pot that had been home to some pretty weeds this last year or so. I picked up a number of beautiful flowering plants to adorn the pot and lo and behold it looks gorgeous. We now have a lovely, colourful thing to focus on when washing the dishes :-) x

I confess it was a challenge for me mid month when Daphne’s Flight took off on their much awaited twice-cancelled tour and of course they absolutely stormed it. I’m so happy for them, they’ve worked their socks off to make this happen and formed new and lasting bonds in the process. These things are hard-won and I whole-heartedly applaud it all.

When all’s said and done it’s just life. And for some mysterious, unfathomable reason it all matters. Every thing feeds everything else, good, bad or indifferent and while we are given the chance to keep breathing, we have the opportunity to experience whatever life has to show us.

I love it all!

This coming month could bring the writing process to a close. Well that’s my hope. I’m co-writing a beautiful song with Michael Fix which is progressing nicely and then, as far as I can tell there’s only one more song to do … you’ll have to wait to find out if I reach my target.

And on a truly positive and exciting note, I have a fabulous opportunity to tread the boards once more with my lovely talented musical “Friends”- Lindsay, Steve and Callum Rowe and Christy DeHaven and Jo&Juan Callister - at the Manannin Festival on Saturday July 2nd at the glorious Erin Arts Centre. Rehearsals begin the week after next and tickets are on sale HERE!

Thanks as always for dropping by. Till next time stay well and keep rising above the turbulence!

Much love and endless blessings.

Christine x

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  • Christine Collister

Blogpost No 5 2022 May

Is it me or is time speeding up (again!)? It’s hard to fathom how we’re fast approaching the middle of the year! But here we be …

It’s been a productive month for me. I now have 6 songs complete and the seventh, which I’m writing with the fabulous Michael Fix, is well on its way to being finished too. I’m properly amazed at the output. Now wether anyone likes what’s been created is another thing entirely but I’m very hopeful.

To whet your appetite for more creations here’s a sneak preview of song number 3 which is about a favourite place I love to sea dip: Fenella Beach.

The garden and the greenhouse in particular have been inspiring the last few weeks too. I even had a fully ripe strawberry from last year’s plants which was utterly delicious. Two teeny-weeny plants from a garden centre that gave me a pound or more of delicious fruit last year have sprung into an amazing trough (built by Bob:) filled with very happy plants now competing for how many flowers they can produce … it’s a wonder!

The potatoes have started flourishing too and I’ve planted out a whole slew of tiny carrot seedlings which - miracle-of-miracles - have survived an entire week outside! I planted out a load of seedlings last October and only one survived (after three days!) That carrot is now looking like a giant … I darn’t pick it for fear it’s all top and no trousers ;-) x

My early walks with Sweep continue to be a joy. We’ve walked the beach on mornings when the tide is way out and there’s not another soul about … apart from the seagulls, Manx Shearwaters and guillemots which Sweep is enamoured of but can get nowhere near … thankfully. He’s never been interested in getting in the water until last week when it was exceptionally still. He happily trotted in and out several times but has shown no interest since … go figure. Makes me laugh.

My wee Facebook Live was fun if a little chaotic to begin with when I realised (too late!) that I hadn’t turned on the video to upload to YouTube later … hey-ho. I’d spent so much bloody time setting up so it would run smoothly. I can dream!

If you weren't able to watch at the time it's still available on FB Or on YT.

I’m excited to be performing with my “Friends” at the Erin Arts Centre (Isle of Man) on Saturday July 2nd. Tickets now available: HERE

I just want to mention that Daphne’s Flight are now out on tour. Please do go to as many shows are you’re able! They’ve waited a very long time to be able to promote On Arrival which is a wonderful album I share love and pride in. Tour dates can be found: HERE … I’m with them in spirit!

So I will continue to write up a storm and hope that in the not-too-distant future I can mix and master and prepare to have an actual CD to share with you … I’m aiming for mid November but let’s see how life shows up. I’m certainly doing my bit!

Till next month gorgeous beings ... stay well and keep rising above the turbulence.

Endless blessings!

Christine xxx

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