Card from abroad

Propped on my easle next to my latest painting, a lovely card from my friend in the USA. I felt a wave of joy and guilt! Joy to be connected with such a lovely person. Guilt because all my intentions to send cards were knocked for six by this chest infection. I had to rely on sending emails and Facebook. I only sent cards to a few close relatives. I even have cards in my handbag I was going to deliver on Christmas eve but didn’t get out on the freezing cold.

Thank you to Martha for this card and letter. You really made me smile today. Thinking of you and Bear and Teddy. Hope you get some good snow!

Mince pie floater?!

Oops! I watched in horror as my mince pie slid from the plate, past the cat, down into my fresh mug of tea! Errr… It floated for a while then started it’s inevitable sinking. Like the Titanic movie at Christmas it was soon glugging (with bubbles) out of sight!

How had it happened? A jogged elbow, a tipped plate, the cats paw? It just happened.

Rescue mission? I took a spoon and tried to fish it out, like a trawler reaching its net down into the murky depths. But the disintegration had started and the tea was dissolving the pastry. I decided I could drink the tea, and then spoon out the pie as I drank. I did. Turns out pie pastry isn’t as nice when dunked as rich tea biscuits. But waste not, want not. But the minced fruit was nice. However I would not recommend it as a tasty treat!

Christmas TV

So, there was a strange mixture of secular and religious TV on for Christmas Eve. We started out watching the Festival of nine lessons and carols from Kings College, Cambridge this evening. The choral singing was beautiful, etherial, sublime. The arrangements were lovely and the readings were excellent.

But what else to watch. I wasn’t interested in game shows or music quizzes and I just wanted a quiet night. I’m still not very well and it gets worrying as you get older when you don’t recover as quickly as you would have in the past. I’m waiting for the antibiotics to kick in.

My hubby decided to watch an old Clint Eastwood film. It was violent and much more realistic than some more modern films (which have people dying without blood and guts). I’m afraid I just went to sleep, occasionally waking up at particularly noisy bits of it. Not exactly Christmas viewing!

Trying to enjoy

My mind is muddled,

My thoughts are muddied

My intentions busy

But ideas are muzzy…

Such a joyous time of year

To enjoy, with good cheer

Or so they say, and so I wish

To drink and eat a tasty dish

To share love far and wide.

But also remember those that died?

For they are here no longer, live

And for their memory we will strive.

We cannot follow where they’ve gone

We can only know their life is done.

So sad and sweet my thoughts entangled,

To relax my mind I’ll try to wrangle.

I can not say about it, more,

I do not want to be a bore.

I can only think of farewells

Then listen to midnight bells

And listen to the Christmas carols

Sung by all of heavens heralds.

Enough of this

Peace is my wish.


A rescue from my sisters house. A pink cyclamen plant in flower. It fits in with the Christmas cactii, a similar shade of pink. I can’t find another place for it because there are radiators under the windows so they are only really good for germinating seedlings.

I would have bought all her other plants home with me to look after, it’s sad to think they are all sitting there in her house, in the cold. It’s sad I won’t speak to her on Christmas day, I won’t be able to share my thoughts, ask how things are going. Be interested in her family. Still, I will look at the Cyclamen and remember.



I’m fed up. My chest is wheezing and if I go out in the cold it gets worse. Thankfully the weather warmed up a bit today, but my voice is croaky, like a box of frogs. It had dropped so low I even recorded it! I could have been a bass singer, even basso proffundo! Given that my range is generally an alto (contralto) it was quite disturbing to hear the noise I was making. I was due to go out on Monday afternoon to sing with the Mystery Singers at a local park (I’d already missed singing on Saturday) and again in the evening to go Carol Singing around our local pubs. It’s an annual thing that the Mystery singers do on the evening of the Monday before Christmas. Not for me this year. Apparently a few of the others have had the bug too. I’m really fed up.

A Christmas Carol

This poster of our performance of a Christmas Carol has just been released. The painting was done by the organiser Glenn James. He’s a very talented artist and performer. If you happen to be around Newcastle under Lyme on these dates you might like to come and see us. The figure on the poster is a portrait of the actor Alistair Simm. He appeared in a film version of the story a long time ago (1950’s or 60’s), it was such a brilliant adaptation. I really love watching it.

Tuning in…

I have a loud voice, and I love singing, so I’m in a couple of choirs. Tonight we were practicing our Christmas songs, mainly Carol’s for our annual singing performances. We are called the Mystery Singers and different groups of singers come together in November to practise music for the season.

We sometimes have people join who haven’t done this before and tonight as one of those occasions. I was standing next to a new singer and my friend on the other side of her encouraged her to listen to me. That would usually be fine, but tonight I was making some mistakes! I couldn’t catch the tune, I’m used to singing with louder singers and the group I was with were being drowned out a bit by the Sopranos, Tenors and Basses. Most of them already knew the songs, so I found myself trying to tune in and sing louder to make myself heard. It’s funny how you can suddenly become nervous about something you are usually capable of doing. Even so I really enjoyed the experience.

Singing today

Screenshot, it doesn’t play

Loud mouth women singing at a local supermarket today, we sang on the car park then inside the foyer of the store. After a long hiatus of performance it was great to be out singing with my friends again. Some of the ladies are a little camera shy so I have blurred their photos. We had a lovely time, and it was good to get applause and smiles from customers.