I’m looking out at almost 17.5cm of snow in my garden. The central heating is on and I’m toasty! 🙂 This is the best stage of Snow when it’s new, soft and great for making snow balls! Everywhere looks bright, clean, fresh, crisp and different. I love it!
2012 was a great year for me. There were quite a few gigs. In one particular week it was 9 gigs in 7 days! That’s a record and a one off…or maybe a sign of things to come. Either way, writing to you has not been as regular as I’d like so this blog is a big catch up of the highlights of the year.
I had my first photo shoot with Evette Chiverton. It’s not that easy actually. I thought it would be a singe and I’d be like one of Tyra Banks’s next top models, but nope! Standing and posing does not come naturally to me. It feels odd somehow. Evette was great at getting the best out of me but my early shots will never leave my hard drive, that’s for sure! The better ones will be used for gigs, the website, the Single and eventually the Album. I don’t think you’ve seen this one:
I saw the Queen of England, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip. This was a chance meeting. I was on my way to work and saw a crowd gathering around Snow Hill Train station also there were Police around the station and nearby roads. Usually I would pass by and get on with my day but the activity attracted my attention. I gingerly approached a very tall Policeman (everyone’s taller than me), who looked friendly enough because you know they usually have their mean face on, and asked
“Excuse me, are you able to say what is going on?”
The response of
“Sorry, we’re not allowed to say” was what I was expecting, but he replied, “The Queen is coming to Birmingham”.
I lit up! “What time?” I asked eagerly.
“In the next ten minutes”.
Well, forget work! This was a chance in a life time. When was I going to see the Queen again? Ever? I joined the gathering crowd, got front and centre and held my spot despite the readjustments to the barriers by the Council Staff to ensure we were not too close and security could do their job. Before I go any further, I must say that I do work for myself so I was able to adjust my day somewhat without getting fired by my husband J Anyway, there were Police helicopters, marksmen on the roof and Starbucks (at least I think it was Starbucks Coffee Co UK) where giving out Smoothies in small plastic sample cups. Talk about opportunism! Anyway, the car that would take the Queen and her husband to Victoria Square and QE Hospital arrived first. After a few minutes their luggage and the Queen’s salmon pink bag and car blanket past in front of me. They were carried from the train to the car. No Corgis. After a few minutes the cheer from the crowd erupted. I got my phone ready and the rest, you can see here…
I noticed she had great skin. Her outfit colours, hair and makeup just right. Actually she’s shorter than I expected and Philip taller. Still it was a great and treasured moment.
Performing at the Jamaican 50th Year of Independence events was brilliant! There were Dinners and Church Services. I played the national anthem while the Jamaican flag was raised by Corporal Desmond Hammond at the ‘Flag raising ceremony’ Victoria Square, Birmingham. I was not able to see all the acts at the ‘Salute to the Jamaican Olympic Athletes concert’ at the Symphony Hall but I did meet Jackie Graham, Benjamin Zephaniah (his poem is side splitting!), Abigail Kelly, Prince Count Miller, Jimmy James and Miss Culture Jam. Sandra Golding, a good friend of mine, danced exceptionally well while I played ‘No Woman No Cry’ with the band led by Otis an excellent Music Director.
I attended ‘Jamaica in the Square’ celebration in Chamberlain Square, Birmingham. There were many, many, Jamaican, Jamaican heritage and ‘Jamaicanish’ people celebrating and behaving! It was cool! Listening to the silky smooth sweet vocal of one Mr Freddie McGregor, one of my top top reggae artist, made my night!
For the last 5 years there has been a steady increase of requests for my CD at gigs. There’s been a steady growth of followers. Peter Daley and I had been speaking about a recording project off and on for a couple of years. Like most people the recession had impacted my finances considerably and on the emotional front supporting my parents through illness had put things on hold. At a Women’s Conference I received prayer about this matter and received a word that God would provide the necessary finances for the CD. It was almost a year to the date that I was playing at the Jamaican Diaspora 50th Independence Service, Milton Keynes. Peter attended and we a had chat at the end. He said ‘…don’t let money be an object, send me something…’ You didn’t have to tell me twice, this was the answer to prayer. But I was still nervous about what he would think of my ideas. You know what it’s like: taking a driving test, music exam or any exam for that matter. You are the exam result. You are the audition. You’re pretty exposed so I was pretty anxious waiting for his thoughts on my ideas. Long story short we’ve worked on two pieces for a Single, which is definitely, definitely coming out. The November target that I had mentioned in The Voice Newspaper article was a little ambitious as I didn’t realise how long it takes to get registered with various bodies, getting barcoding, agreeing recording, duplication, artwork etc. I’ve learnt a lot in the process.
Right now the tracks are with Colin Bassett for Mastering. I’m dizzying over which duplication company to go with. I’ve whittled it down to two now and will finally decide on one in the next couple of days. Pictures and track info are ready so, soon and very soon (to quote André Crouch) it’ll be in your hands. Watch this space…