Recently I attended the funeral of my Grandpa (Pepa) Hoather. It would have been his 89th birthday on 3rd December. On my Dad’s birthday, the funeral took place, so we celebrated that and shared our happy memories at the Orchid Lounge at The Pan Pacific in London the following day. We chose to celebrate there as my parents love the tv show ‘Bake-off the Professionals’. The competitors are judged by Cherish Findern, a phenomenal pastry chef whose keen eye for detail won the admiration of my parents. Cherish Findern is the Executive Pastry Chef at The Orchid Lounge, she curated two tantalising afternoon tea menus and they certainly did not disappoint. As well as the amazing sweet and savoury treats, Cherish came out to greet guests which served as the icing on the cake for my Dad.
I’ve had my third booster shot against covid, and we’re looking forward to a Christmas Holiday. I really enjoy keeping and sharing my blog for many reasons. At this time of year, I appreciate that it encourages me to look back on the past 12 months and celebrate my achievements and remember special occasions. For my last two posts of this year, I thought I’d reflect on my 2021
In January “The Fire of Olympus” composed by Tim Benjamin, was released to stream internationally online via Marquee TV. We recorded this digital adaptation in 2019 at the RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music). In both the digital and live performances, I sung the role of Pandora, a hardworking and extremely efficient young woman whose ambition and drive to be respected and accepted as an equal to her male counterparts unfortunately leads to the demise of the world. It was really exciting to host a socially distanced watch party online with family and friends.
In February, I completed my online training in Sales Skills and received my certificate. This training improved my ability to connect with clients and build relationships with potential customers. I immediately saw the benefit in my telesales work, which I completed to supplement my income whilst the opportunities to perform live music were few.
Alongside my telesales work, I learnt new arias, recorded audition and competition videos and applied to online events. As a result, I was awarded 1st Prize in Odin International Music Online Competition. 1st prize gold medal in the Grand Metropolitan International Music Competition, 2nd Prize at the Citta Di Massa Xth International competition and 3rd Prize in The VII North International Music Competition.
Weekly, I shared track insights for each song from our recently released album “Songs from our Balcony.” I enjoyed creating these posts, allowing me to share my translations and highlight interesting historical facts and my interpretations. Thank you to everyone that downloaded the album, bought a cd, or streamed the tracks; we appreciate your support.
In March, I celebrated my 8th WordPress blogiversary.
In April, I was invited through Instagram to become an ambassador for Nakano Knives, in which I would be able to compete in their fruit carving competition. Thanks to your support and my quirky entry, I won a set of new chef quality knives. A wonderful present for our home and to celebrate our upcoming wedding.
In May, I appeared in BBC One’s new Saturday night game show called “I Can See Your Voice” (series 1 episode 4). It was my first experience of working on a TV show, and I loved every minute. I appeared under the karate-inspired pseudonym “One Hit Wonder” I got to wear a crisp white Karate Gi with a diamante encrusted black belt; I felt very Strictly Come Dancing. I participated in most of the rounds on the episode, which involved posing, lip-syncing to my own pre-recorded track, an interview, and finally performing “Think of Me”. It was a lot of fun, and it was a joy to share the experience with friends and family after keeping it hush-hush for so long.
In June, George and I performed our first concert post covid-lockdown in Buckinghamshire. We performed an operatic gala at the home of Brian and Alison, who won access to the performance in the form of a prize from Waterperry Opera Festival’s charity auction. The performance took place outside so they could share it safely with their family and friends.
I was awarded a “Developing Your Creative Practise” award from Arts Council England to explore and gain the skills needed to produce and devise a primary school show inspired by thematic events in Alice in Wonderland and to raise deaf awareness. I have thoroughly enjoyed this research and training period, and I look forward to making and sharing more information about this show in the future. I also passed my first certificate in sign language and am working on my second examination.