Christmas lights switch on.

Christmas lights switch on up at St Thomas’s Church, penkhull.

There was a fair crowd as we,  the panto  cast, and junior cast members stepped outside to sing in the choir. The wind was blowing coldly up over the hill. The Lord mayor lit the lights and the tree and we sang many traditional carols including Silent Night and Hark the Herald Angels sing, which are both favourites of mine.

Penkhull village brass band were playing up a storm, and Father Christmas mingled with the crowds.

One thought as we sat there was how cold it was. An hour sitting on a plastic chair, starting to shiver and shake. Makes you wonder how homeless people cope. How do they survive. In this season if goodwill to all men, let’s have some real goodwill to all men and women!

PS sorry about the photos,  it was difficult to take photos. Had to concentrate on singing….


Coughing and spluttering


Yesterday, at choir practice I started with a tickly cough. One of those ones you get sometimes when you hold a note for too long. But then I started wheezing… Lovely… Now this morning the coughing, sneezing, and spluttering has started. I hope I’m not in for a bad bug or anything. I’ve got stuff to do, people to see as they say. X

This picture of me indicates how muzzy headed I feel. Now you know. X

Singing workshop


Quick sketch of people singing at a workshop today up at Penkhull village hall.

We sand lots of autumn songs, including old English songs and a poem set to music by the poet Lemn Sissay and musician Anni Tracey. We also sang a French song written in 1945 and translated into English called Autumn Leaves. It was by Joseph Kosma and Johnny Mercer with arrangement by Greg Stephens.

We got on really we and had a lovely time. The teachers Kate and Penny were very patient and helpful. I enjoyed it




I’ve missed singing for the last couple of weeks, one choir I’m in breaks up for the summer and the leader of the other is away on holiday. I love the boost singing gives me. It releases endorphins which improve your mood and helps lower stress. What prompted this was hearing an item on a radio programme where choirs who have a complaint about something ( like the price of fuel?) get together and write a song about the issue then sing it out. The idea is you sing cheerfully but express your complaint. Apparently this is happening all over the world. The item was on BBC radio 4 and may be on the BBC sounds app.

Big sing

I went to something called the big sing, organised by a group called appetite this afternoon.

Four choirs including Clay Chorus, Loud Mouth Women, Staffordshire Community choir and Village voices for lung health gathered together alongside members of the public to learn two songs together and also sing from their own repertoire. There were about 110 people singing in the Regent theatre who had allowed us to use the venue for the event.

After two hours learning the songs together we sang our own songs. Then we came together to sing two final songs. There were about 70 people massed together to sing them. We made a big noise in Piccadilly, Hanley. The atmosphere was great. I was so happy to be part of it. I even managed a quick sketch  of the Staffordshire community choir while we waited to go on.



The choir were there but I decided not to include us in the photo. We have two more meetings of the choir before we break up for August then return in September.

Loud Mouth Women is an a capella choir, who meet at Newcastle Baptist church in Stafford Avenue, Clayton, Newcastle-under-Lyme on a Tuesday evening. It is made up of female singers who don’t audition or have to read music and is open to anyone woman who wants to sing. It improves confidence, allows you to socialise, and gives you the opportunity to learn a new skill of singing in different languages. To do this we learn by repetition, learning songs phonetically.

Tonight we learned an arab song about friendship, sang an old favourite “moonriver” and had the pleasure of being taught by Caroline who was deputising for our normal musical director Kate.

We have also recently had the enormous pleasure of going to a Yoga group run by one of the Louds, which is run an hour and a half before we sing. I was so relaxed tonight I almost fell asleep in the choir.

Pirates of Penzance

sketch-1560973460669Last night we went to see the Pirates of Penzance. The comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan was a live broadcast from the London Coliseum by the English National Opera shown at cinemas throughout the country.

The story is about Frederic, a pirate whose nurse took him to the sea to learn to be a ships pilot. Unfortunately she mistook the word pirate for pilot so he was indentured to be one until the contract ran out. The story starts when he is leaving the pirates. He tells them his duty will be to stop their piratical reign when he is free of them.

Later he meets a daughter of a Major General who he falls in love with. As the opera continues he is caught in a dilemma, whether to persue the pirates or rejoin them.

Many memorable songs made up a wonderful night out. The song ” I am the very model of a modern major general” and ” A policeman’s lot is not a happy one”.

I won’t give the end away. But it is very enjoyable. The twists and turns of the plot hold your attention. Excellent.