Archives For 12 Days Of Christmas

When I thought about setting myself a little challenge over Christmas I never imagined how much support and involvement it would attract.  I set out the competition outline in the first post :

“Then we discussed how best to involve all my friends from my blog, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. I thought it would be fun to put all the names of those who comment on my posts over the course of the twelve days into a draw, The person that we select at random from those who comment will win the twelve pictures and a CD of the final song and a copy of the video”.

Thanks to one of my lovely blog pals mareymercy I had a random sample program to use my Mum had typed in everyone’s name and day of the comment into a word file, over 470 entries, this was then cut and paste into the random name picker and Voila.,,,,

But you are going to have to watch the video to see who won 🙂

I also noticed that today I’ve just broke through 100,000 views thank you all so much for all your support 😉

My posts with the most comments from March 2013, when I started the blog, to-date were:

1. Welcome
2. My Performances (Audio and Video) 
3. Lights, Camera, Action ! 
4. Art is Calling for Me 
5. I’m Getting My Sparkle Back 

The top five most popular topics I’ve written about are:

1. Opera Singer
2. Soprano
3. 12 Days of Christmas
4. Art
5. Entertainment

Best Ever view date was:

1952 views on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 with 1091 visitors, 376 referrals that day were from Facebook.

I would like to thank you all for connecting with me during 2013 your support, help, suggestions and comments have been wonderful to receive and I can not thank you enough 🙂  I am really looking to what 2014 has to bring and I hope we can enjoy it together. 


I hope that you’re having a happy day 🙂  I have just finished the final touches on the “Twelve Days of Christmas” cards ready for posting.  I’m closing the competition tonight at midnight.  I’ve entered all the commenter’s names to-date into a random selector ready to make the selection.  Here’s a picture of the complete set.



Well folks this is my last post of my Christmas challenge and I have had loads of fun thinking what to do each day and allowing myself to break my voice back in gently. The response from everyone has been fabulous and it has been a wonderful help to me in getting back to full voice.

I thought long and hard about what to do for my last instalment and after mulling over two or three suggestions I decided to keep it simple, just me sat at my piano 🙂


Robert Gear and Me

My friends have all been arriving in Glasgow over the weekend ready for tomorrow’s first day back and Robert, my flat share, arrived late this afternoon.  We thought that it would be a great idea to take my Mum, Dad and brother to Waxy O’Connors in Glasgow City centre before they headed off home.

It has a great atmosphere on a Sunday afternoon as many of our friends get together and play improvised Scottish folk music at the front of the pub and really gets you in a cheerful mood, which I needed before saying goodbye to my family 🙂


Susan Bates ( Harp ), Robert Gear, Me and Jillian Hunter ( Flute )

To give you a taste I filmed a short burst and put it at the end of today’s verse so I hope you enjoy it too.



With my boiler working again I started to unpack with my Mum and tried and get my flat looking straight again for the new term.  Finding proper homes for all my most important things took a little re-organising but it is looking loads better this evening.

I always knew where I wanted to film today’s verse, right opposite the RCS is the National Piping Centre for Scotland and I thought that it would be just perfect.


We walked over to the centre just after lunch as there was a break in the weather and as we walked down the steps opposite the centre I could see that the centre was closed 🙁


The National Piping Centre, Glasgow

We tried several times during the afternoon but there was no sign of the centre opening at all.  I talked it through with my Dad and we decided to go back after dark and film outside on the steps.

As we walked back towards the centre it was still bathed in darkness but literally as we arrived on the steps outside all the lights went on inside and someone opened the doors 🙂

We went inside to try and persuade them to let us film inside but there was a wedding on and the bride and guests were due any minute but if we were quick we could film on the steps,  All the staff on duty wanted to get involved and I asked them to get together for a picture 🙂


We went outside and filmed today’s verse and finished by taking some pictures of the centre.




So here it is “Eleven Pipers Piping”


I arrived back in Glasgow this evening and it was raining so we had to unload all of my luggage whilst trying to dodge the worst of the weather. Once we were settled in my flat I put the kettle on so that I could make my Mum and Dad a nice warming cup of tea. Then I ran around turning up all the radiators as the flat was really cold having been empty over the Christmas break.

Arghhh !! the boiler was not working, no heating and no hot water. My Dad had a read through the manual for the boiler but he could not get it working. So I telephoned British Gas to report the problem as I took out their Homecare cover when I moved in. Guess what they don’t class no hot water and no heating as an emergency and the earliest I could persuade them to come out is tomorrow morning otherwise it would have been Monday.

I am so glad that I had a hot water bottle from my Mum and Dad this Christmas because I am going to need it tonight 🙂

So you will have to excuse my little dance in tonight’s verse as I was trying desperately to keep warm 🙂


My parents both went back to work today so I packed up Christmas at home for them because they’re taking me back to Glasgow after work tomorrow and will return late on Sunday.


I don’t like packing suitcases but I hate unpacking them again and putting everything away even more. I’ve had a de-clutter and taken out all the clothes I no longer wear and books I’ve read and won’t read again to give away. We do this every year and used to get old unwanted toys too.

My youngest brother finds it hard to get rid of things though and Mum tries to persuade him every year to put ‘Match’ magazines and ‘Nintendo’ magazines in the recycling bags or to pass them on to someone new. Mum says he’ll end up like Mr Trebus,a famous hoarder, because he’s still holding on to his transformers, cars, etc. Then again I can’t say anything, I can’t part with my dolls house or beanies 🙂 Every year my Mum threatens to get rid of our rocking horse and all three of us say “NO”.


Packed up and ready to travel back to Glasgow.

There was just one last thing to do tonight and that was to record today’s verse, “Nine Ladies Dancing”. However after constant nagging from Mini Me to get in on the act I finally gave in and let her take the spot light for one night 🙂


Well here we are at the beginning of a new and exciting year. Thank you so much for all your lovely messages it has given me a fantastic start to what I hope will be a wonderful and eventful year for us all. I had a fun filled evening with Ellie last night and I hope it is a taste of what 2014 has to offer.


Ellie & Me


I love the idea of looking forward to the what the year is yet to uncover and wonder at every twist and turn that it presents me with.

I try to learn from my mistakes, reflect on past achievements and plan for what is to come, though you can never second guess fate, you can enjoy each moment as it happens and appreciate every opportunity that you find as the year unfolds.

I am not sure what 2014 will bring for me but I plan to meet it head on and relish every second of it 🙂

To kick start the year here is the eighth verse of my “Twelve Days of Christmas” challenge.


Today I was invited by one of my best friends, Ellie King, to join her and her family for a New Year’s party in North Wales. The evening was to start with a meal and be followed up by a some dancing, which I was looking forward to.

I thought the arrangement was to meet at my house at 3:30 pm and then I was to travel with Ellie’s family to the hotel. Unfortunately I got the times mixed up and when Ellie arrived at my house it was 2:15 pm and I was still travelling back from the hairdressers 🙁 Luckily they said they would wait and so my Mum finished packing my overnight bag with Ellie’s help and found the dresses I had left out to take with me as I could not decide which to wear.

It was a fast turnaround once I arrived and after saying my farewells to my parents I dashed off. Shortly after I had left, my Mum sent me a text to say that I had left without recording today’s verse. I had completed the drawing in the morning and had intended to record my verse just before leaving for the party.

When I arrived at the hotel Ellie agreed to film me on my phone but then the next problem was getting the recording to my Dad to upload for me. It took ages to sort out a WiFi connection and luckily it seems to have worked, so I hope it turns out okay 🙂 If not I will record it again tomorrow.

I also managed to take a couple of pictures when we arrived at the hotel, here is one of the rooms for the party tonight 🙂



We set out this morning to attempt our family walk through Delamere forest, the weather did not look very favourable but as my older brother will be leaving to travel back to London tomorrow it was our last chance this holiday.  We normally go on Christmas day but this year the rain put paid to that.

Anyway, as we got closer to the forest the heavens opened and the rain came down again, though we had umbrellas and boots the wind was driving the rain sideways and there was no way we would be going into the woods as the trails get too slippery 🙂

Undeterred we decided not to go home but instead we drove to Cheshire Oaks ( not a forest unfortunately ) and take a walk around the outlet shops and check out the festive decorations. I saw the tree and just had to take a picture as it was huge.


It was billed as the UK largest Christmas tree and for a small donation to charity you could take a peek inside, so I did 🙂


It was all twinkly and sparkly inside and so I took another picture but it does not do it justice but I still wanted to share it with you.


I tried to record today’s video inside the tree but the noise from the carousel outside made it really difficult for my Dad so we had to move on.

When we left Cheshire Oaks the weather was a lot brighter, the rain had stopped and so we headed back to Delamere forest to see what the paths and trails were like. We parked up and had a great time just walking through the trees and enjoying the quiet stillness of the forest at this time of year. On the way back to the car we stopped and recorded today’s verse.

So here it is and I hope that you enjoy it, don’t forget to leave a comment if you haven’t already. It has been as much fun to read the reaction of all my blog friends to my challenge as it has been to perform it.


I went to see one of my best friends from school today, Oscar White.



Oscar took Drama, Dance and Music Theatre classes with me but sadly left before 6th form to go to Hammonds a specialist performing arts college.


Oscar and I played Ryan and Sharpay from our version of High School Musical


He is now training as an actor in London so I don’t get chance to see him often so it was good getting all of his training updates 😉

Oscar’s parents have recently taken over the Dun Cow Inn in Ollerton near Knutsford and I had a lovely lunch there, it was very busy and a lovely atmosphere, it was great catching up with his Mum too.

Then I got back to some Music studies when I got home; vocal practise and music theory. I drew my golden rings picture and recorded the video, for all you animal lovers reading the coat is fake 🙂

Knowing what a clutz I am Mum warned me not to hold the candle too close to my coat or hair so I nearly couldn’t sing for laughing.