Look Back At 2021 ( Jan to Jun )

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.

68 thoughts on “Look Back At 2021 ( Jan to Jun )

  1. It wasn’t too bad first half a year, despite all the restrictions. I love the word “Telesales”. I’ll bet you do well at it. Sales skill are essential for artist and musicians, you’re a smart one Ms Hoather. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas! I look forward to the recap of July – December.

    1. When I first started calling potential clients and not just customer service calls, Timothy, I didn’t like it, one guy really shouted at me for disturbing him and I thought oh my goodness I’m only trying to do a job. I’m used to rejection though in my performing career and that always feels more personal than being told to go away on the phone 😂.

      I was pleased to do it though as it was safe work at home and I could do lead creation at night so that I could sing all afternoon.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. I don’t yell at phone salesman, but I give them a hard time. Most of the calls I get at the office are people trying to sell phone systems or IT services, neither of which I need. Phone sales is a really tough job.

  2. Such a productive and exciting first half of 2021! My heart-felt condolences to you and your family. Here’s to enjoying the remaining 6 months retrospective! Merry Christmas and Happy Nw Year to you and those who mean the most to you!

    1. Thank you Annette, I had a couple of projects cancel on me which were moved to later in the year but it all worked out well in the end. Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to you and yours too.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you Benn, I called him throughout covid and he was kept busy with his carers and meals on wheels ladies and my cousin Judy kept house for him as she lived nearby. Happy Holidays to you too and a Happy New Year.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you, John, he led a very full and busy life. I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year to you.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you, Don. It feels like my plans for what I wanted to achieve by now are up in the air, I’ve just had to cancel an important audition because of covid restrictions. We are just trying to make the best of it. I wish you a very happy New Year and hope that you enjoyed your Christmas too.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  3. Hi Charlotte. So sorry to read about the loss of your grandfather. My deepest sympathies with you and your family.
    Wishing you and your family a safe, healthy and happy end of the year.

  4. So sorry to hear of the loss of your grandfather. Losing family members leaves us incomplete except for the memories we share with those who knew and remember him, too.
    You’ve had a busy year – Happy New Year as you and George move on to 2022!

    1. Thank you Sheila it has certainly made me do a bit of self-reflection. I was really happy that my grandpa got to see me perform on the tv show as he couldn’t attend any of my concerts and I have a lovely photo of him proudly holding up the cd I sent him.
      Happy New Year to you and all your lovely family,
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  5. Yes, with everyone else I join in with commiserations over the loss of your grandfather. Nothing can take that feeling away, but in time you will come to reflect on the great joy of having had him for so long, and the pleasure of knowing that you will have made him very proud of you in that time. His love will always be around you.

    1. Thank you Martin, im pleased that he got to see me on tv because he couldn’t make the live performances so every cloud. My overwhelming memories of him are of his garden of rose bushes, hydrangeas, small trees; apples and pears, and his greenhouse full of tomatoes, and the onions he strung and dried in his outhouse and his roast chicken dinners he was a great chef learnt his skills in the merchant navy. I hope that he was proud of me he wasn’t one for expressing his feelings. Happy New Year to you have a good one.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  6. You have clearly grown into a consummate professional, Charlotte, and I am delighted that you’ve taken us along with you! I am sorry to hear about your grandfather, but he lived a long life and got to see how you’ve grown! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, George and your families!

    1. Thank you Noelle, I feel derailed by covid restrictions at the moment, another key audition I’ve practised and practised for cancelled for another year. But I have a lot to be grateful for and that is what I concentrate on. He did live a long and busy life, He had twelve grandchildren, four that lived nearby and three great grandchildren that he got to see grow up, one to eighteen!
      I hope that you had a lovely Christmas and very Happy New Year to you.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  7. Dear Charlotte,
    My prayers are with you and George in the passing of your grandpa. Jesus is the resurrection and the life he that believes in Him shall live. So your grandpa is in heaven with Jesus and to live is Christ, to die is gain. I thank the Lord that you are fully vaccinated, as I am as well. This virus is teaching us to enjoy our family and friends closely because we never know when the Lord will take them away from us. Keep up the good work on your Blog as it is a blessing to all of us. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to both of you.

    1. Thank you for your lovely words Rev. Tim. He lived a long and good life and now he can join Mema after five years apart.
      We are very grateful to the scientists that have made the vaccine available and pray that it is safe and trust in them that it is.
      My blog friends are also something that I am very grateful for. I took a week off all computers over Christmas and got my two posts ready before Christmas Day so that we could savour some time together this year as a complete family again as my youngest brother Tom couldn’t come last year.
      Happy New Year to you.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  8. Hi Charlotte , I have just to say : I’m very very very proud of you and George . And this is your first real year of “Miss Rainbow voice”, you have work in many way, all with a different color, and all you have do was good, nice and crazy !!!! Wish you all the best for ever !!!! xxxx (Now your Grandpa is a new star in the sky and he smile seeing at you….)

    1. Merci beaucoup Pascal. I had an audition in France that I cannot attend due to lockdown sadly. I am glad that you see the rainbows in my voice I thank you for your support. I always work on my voice every day, even through the holiday.

      I am hoping that Grandpa can send me a bit of sparkle down this year, I have a lot that I want to achieve.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. Merci à Toi !
        For France, no possibility of offering them to audition in video? Because given the travel problems that affect everyone, it is time for the organizers to get into this style of thing.

        The horoscope says that 2022 will be a year of challenge. I’m sure your Grandpa will watch over You, and I’ll join him in sending you energy thoughts xx

      2. Non malheureusement je ne peux pas 😢, ni un FaceTime. Beaucoup de candidates. Je suis très triste.

      3. Tu dois pas être triste. Rappelles-toi. Chaque fois qu’une chose a été annulée, tu as peu faire après des choses encore plus intéressantes. big hugs my Rainbow Voice

    1. Thank you John, Grandpa wasn’t one for flowery words but my cousin Judy sent me a lovely photograph she took of him holding my cd and she used to show him videos on her phone.
      George and I have been practising over Christmas, he is learning new piano repertoire which always makes him manic. We managed to see the London fireworks last night at my brothers which was an unexpected pleasure as we thought they’d been cancelled this year.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  9. My sympathy to you on the death of your grandfather. You had an amazing year! Keep up the good work and may your spouse work with you to cultivate carefully an enduring marriage. Sing on with joy!

    1. Thank you Michael, music brought George and I together and has been an enduring strength to us throughout the covid pandemic even though it frequently derailed our careers. I will sing on with joy, thank you and best wishes,
      Charlotte

    1. Merry Christmas and thank you, I hope that you have a super New Year.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you Christine, I took a week off from computers so I apologise for not responding sooner, I hope that you and David had a super Christmas and a Happy new year to you.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. Christmas was tiring this year for some reason. New Year has started slow as David and my mum are full of colds, so I am playing nurse, though I’m not the best nurse. x

      2. There has been a bad cold going around with a dry cough at the end, lots of friends and family had it, although all testing covid negative, it is very tiring if sleep is disturbed. As for nursing you reminded me of Mum if we were ill we were sent to bed with just a book or a crayon book, no tvs in our room or phones/computers, chicken noodle soup and water to drink, thank goodness we weren’t ill often hehe.
        Fingers crossed everyone is well soon.
        Best wishes
        Charlotte

  10. I am sorry to hear about your loss. I am glad to hear that on your father birthday you celebrated to share happy memories.

    Please take care and still be safe as always.

    1. Thank you for your message. At first I thought it was a shame the funeral was on my Dad’s birthday but soon realised it meant we were all together as a family and my brother and his soon to be wife came down from near Edinburgh, Scotland and stayed at my flat.
      You stay safe and a Happy New Year to you.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  11. It is possibly only as you documented this post that you truly appreciated how much you have achieved under trying circumstances. It’s a sad end to the year to lose your grandfather, but as others have said, he leaves you all with precious memories. Neither Bill nor I knew any of our grandparents, all having died before we were born. But I hope we have created good memories with our own, and now we are already on to the following generation! Great-grandchild number two is due in May.

    1. Yes it was a good exercise to look back as I’d started to despair I’d not achieved what I’d wanted to by now. Pepa had a good, long, fruitful life. 12 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren that he got to see as they lived locally to him. I’m sure you have created good memories with your own grandchildren all of my memories of him and my grandma were at his home in Kent, we used to go down to visit and make a holiday of it as my parents only took a couple of weeks off each year from work, so either Easter bank holiday weekend, a week in August, or failing that over Christmas.
      Congratulations on no.2 grandchild let me know when they arrive.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Aww thank you. He was always very confident in me and thought he’d see my name in lights so I was pleased he got to see me on the tv show as attending live events wasn’t possible.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  12. Charlotte, You are so amazing,
    Your Granpa must have been very proud of you, as we are..
    Your year has been wonderful for you both..amongst a terrible time.
    You always aspire to try everything,and we love to here everything you are doing..
    We wish you both a very happy Christmas,lots of love.😘❤️❤️❤️

    1. Aww, thank you. So sad that we missed seeing you this year, so sorry you had to cancel, it was lovely having Tom home this year after he had to miss last Christmas. I have the wedding album now to show you and I bought Mum and Dad their own album for Christmas.
      All my very best to you both,
      Charlotte x

    1. Someone told me at the start of 2020 that it would take at least two years before things got back to any normality and I didn’t believe them at the time, it has been a torrid time for the entertainment businesses. But we have been inventive to keep busy and I am very grateful for the opportunities that I have been presented with. Happy New Year to you.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you Karen, all our best wishes to you and David. Happy New Year.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Happy New Year, Jovina, sorry for the delay in my reply I decided to concentrate on the family this Christmas and was practicing for an audition that sadly I can’t make because of a lockdown.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  13. Quite a year. Ever so sorry about your grandfather. So many memories that go away…
    May 2022 be a great year for you and Georges. (I always put an S at the end. I wonder why you Brits have to re-write everything… 😉)

    1. Thank you Brian, it has been quite a year. Two of the projects were delayed which caused me to have to cancel on a new project that I really wanted to be part of in September/October. Things just work out that way you can’t be in two places at the same time.
      I will hold on to your good wishes for 2022 and keep our fingers crossed for a good productive year.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. Look at it this way: you finally got married, after a few attempts. You have been back on the stage. You invented “songs from your balcony”. You did meaningful things. Not as much as one would have wanted, but… “Life is a walking shadow”, remember? All of us “poor players” strut and fret what we can on the stage, right?
        A bientôt Charlotte…

      2. Absolument je préfère être positif. Merci, till soon.
        Best wishes
        Charlotte

      3. I think I did not reply to that comment. Indeed you can’t be in two places at the same time. When you’re a consultant, sometimes projects overlap because of delays, but one can “juggle” with time, part time on one part time on the other. You can’t be on the stage in Brighton and Glasgow the same night.
        I do wonder about Omicron, but it might do us a favour in the long run, provided we stay careful.
        A bientôt chère amie.

      4. I know I don’t know what is happening with WP, sometimes I put on likes and they don’t show, they don’t always allow my comments, i think it is if I move from my laptop to my iPad?

      5. Mysteries of Programming. I’ve dealt with with computers for 50 years this september. 1972! Learnt programming, punch cards and followed most upgrades, but some of today’s programmers don’t know how to code… Still marvelous what one can do now… 😉

  14. Charlotte!

    I just got my booster today!

    Anyway, you deserve every prize you’ve won. Lol, I can’t believe there is anyone out there better than you.
    Then again, I don’t know what each challenge was exactly about.
    I’m very excited about making an Art Gown for you. I just answered your email.
    We have lots to organize for this project. Much of it is designed to build an Art Gown for someone I won’t be able to fit.
    What a fantastic challenge! If anyone has the chops to pull this off, I do.
    Excited!!!
    Resa x

    1. Yay! You’re safer now. I got close in other competitions in Finals but not placed sometimes you choose the wrong arias or songs or just aren’t the type of voice the judges prefer in that round. I always give my best so I try not to get down about it.
      I’ll check out my e-mail tomorrow, its my bed time now, German lesson tomorrow at 0830. Excited about our project.

  15. I am sorry your grandfather has passed away, Charlotte. Cherish the memories. Only one of my grandparents was still alive when I was born. My grandmother died when I was 14 years old. She live in another state and I did not know her well.

    You have worked hard, shown much fortitude and resourcefulness, and accomplished so much! Wishing you and George the best in 2022.

    1. Thank you Clare, I’d been speaking with him throughout the pandemic but my last visit with him was the Christmas before lockdown. I’m glad I did the tv show now because that is the only time he got to see me sing. I’m doing my best but it’s harder now to get paid singing work believe it or not. Scant auditions and the ones I had were cancelled because of lockdowns, very frustrating because I’d practiced for weeks for them. Oh well, at least it helped me to focus and learn some new material.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. I am really sorry things are so difficult for you at present. People are still being very cautious and I am sure the performing arts have suffered more than any other group or profession. Try not to lose heart; I am sure that this year will be better than last xxxx

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