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  • Writer's pictureChristine Collister

Looking back and forward too …

Blogpost 12 December 2023

Well we’ve made it dear reader! Another whizz round our glorious Sun. Are you ready to strap yourself in for another adventure on our beautiful blue planet? I am!

So much has happened this year. So many challenges and changes with mum’s developing Dementia. A bad fall in February where her right shoulder was broken, marked the beginning of a sharp downward turn in her overall health. In June her mental well-being was measured by a regular “memory test”. Last year she managed 15 points out of 30. This year? 4. Not our finest moment. Soon after this revelation, she lost her place at the Day Care Centre she’d been attending since early 2018.

Mum’s been in full time care since the beginning of October. She was quite ill the first three weeks of her stay but once a chest infection, UTI and lymphedema had effectively been addressed she’s been relatively good. In fact her mobility has really improved. Apart from the fact she refuses point blank to go to bed and instead insists on snoozing on a chair in the lounge - she’s doing well. Bless those amazing carers who happily let her be who she is.

I wish I could say wholeheartedly that she’s great and has found a new lease of life.There are days however when she’s upbeat, witty, full of mischief and trying to help others in a less capable state. But these occasions are becoming rarer. When they do happen, we appreciate the small moments of connection and delight. Our glass is half full even when it’s not.

Bob and I, on the other hand, have bounced back remarkably well. It took me a few weeks longer to find my bounce but we’re well and truly on our way to being on an even keel.

In March this year Vicki, one of Bob’s lovely nieces, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain cancer. A terrible blow to the whole family but especially her partner of 20 plus years, Pete and two gorgeous daughters Ellie and Billie and of course her her lovely mum Jean. Vicki and Pete married soon after this life altering news. Vicki played her cards with such courage, strength and honesty and her characteristically wonderful sense of humour. She had a wide circle of family and friends that all adore her. She was and will remain an inspiration to those of us privileged enough to have known her. Vicki died Dec 4th surrounded by her close family. There is such heartbreak.

Bob and I arranged to leave the island (first time in nearly 4 years) to attend Vicki’s funeral Dec 19th. But the weather gods were against us and we were unable to leave due to storms. We watched the beautiful and often laugh out loud service via a live stream. One of Vicki’s many strengths were her amazing organisational skills. She wrote her own eulogy and arranged everything from music to Celebrant and Wake. It was one of the most moving, poignant and eloquent celebrations of life I’ve ever experienced. There were passages presented by or on behalf of family which were every bit as moving. We were deeply saddened and deeply disappointed not to be there in person. Rest easy now Vicki, know you are loved beyond measure.

Children Of The Sea is nearing the end of its creation. All moving parts involved in the making of the physical CD and book are now with the manufacturers. We don’t have a date yet for receiving the final product but … fingers crossed it might be the end of January/beginning of February. It’s been a very long and drawn out process but I hope you all feel it worth the wait, once we’re ready to release/unleash it out into the world. Your continued patience and excited anticipation are required just a little longer … but soon, very soon.

I had a quick look through the other Blogposts of 2023 (only mine you understand I mean there are a lot of other Blogposts in the world!!:) just to remind myself of what’s gone on over the last 12 months and the overwhelming evidence is, that I obviously love the garden and all things to do with growing fruit and veg. Even at my rudimentary level it’s such an exciting and heart warming inspiration to play with and in Nature. Gratitude abounds!

There has been very little in the way of musical activity this year but I sincerely hope to make up for that in 2024. With the release of Children Of The Sea I’ll be able to tour a solo show - complete with projected imagery and also using the tracks I created for the CD as accompaniment which I think will work really well. Then as a second half I’m thinking a solo set of acoustic versions of songs from past releases - a mixed bag consisting of what I can reliably remember and perhaps what people request? Have a think and let me know what you’d appreciate hearing. Thanks.

The biggest news going forward is that Bob and I have finally been able to arrange a trip to see Bob’s gorgeous daughter and our twin granddaughters in Sydney. To say we’re excited is the understatement of the year! We’ll be there a few weeks before the girls go back to school which is wonderful. We’ll also be able to see my brother Paul in Perth on our way back. All in all our hearts are super grateful and excited and full to the brim with love to share with those beautiful beings of light that mean so much to us and who we haven’t seen for 4 years now. Bella and Chiara were 8 and half when we saw them last. They’re 12 and a half now. That’s a massive amount of growing up we’ve missed out on. We love Jo and her gorgeous girls so!

Once we’re back on the topside, the real work begins on preparing Children Of The Sea for release. Date as yet to be decided. But I’ll definitely be having a launch gig on the Island to celebrate that long-awaited event! Watch this space …

If you’re interested in the details of the past months of 2023 feel free to revisit or read for the first time those previous Blogposts found below this most recent one.

I try to bring you an interesting musical something-or-other each month and here in the final throes of 2023 I'm sharing a wonderful song taken from The Soldier of Orange. My good friends Tom Harriman and Pamela Phillips Oland are the composer and lyricist. The show has been a fantastic success in Holland since 2010. When plans began to bring the show to London in 2016 Tom asked me to sing the vocal demos in English (written in English originally they were translated into Dutch for the original show) . I was excited and honoured to be asked. Tom is an amazing composer/musician and directed me in the performance. Something I'm not used to at all. But I loved the experience and I particularly love this song. For some reason Soundcloud and YouTube no longer let me add their icons here so all I can do is share this link if you don't mind travelling all the way to Souncloud, here it is:

Having just celebrated my birthday I am full of love and appreciation for family and friends who mean the world to me. My gorgeous husband, Bob, is a truly remarkable man. He has been a huge support through the whole of our beautiful connection - 13 almost 14  years married, 23 almost 24 together. But particularly over the past 4 years … he’s been truly amazing. I could not have done any of the caring I was able to for mum, without his unwavering love and support. I just felt the need to acknowledge that fact. Thank you.

This is where I wish you all the best of all possible outcomes for the coming year. May we each find strength when needed, love and kindness often and peace beyond understanding. Know you are loved beyond measure … I really do appreciate you!

Till next year dearest reader ❤️ Stay well and keep rising above the turbulence!

Much love

Christine xx

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Beautiful message and great to get a sense that you're bouncing back :-) Keep Tiggering in 2024 ! x

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