NEWS PAGE & BLOG


Hello one and all and welcome to my news page. Here you can see me as my two alter egos the ever efficient secretary Prudie Jones, Evette the Spivette and plain old little me as you catch up with all that is current in my world. Regrettably unlike Prudie my spelling is quite frightful at the best of times due to my dyslexia so I shall apologise now for anything which might be shamefully mis-spelt. In the mean time I hope you find this page fun, entertaining and informative and become a regular visitor to my site.

Chat soon & keep reading
Fiona Harrison
A Voice in a Million


Remembrance Week, Blue Peter and Off to York!

Remembrance in Stokenchurch!

Remembrance Tributes!

I’m sorry it’s been a little longer than normal since my last post but with remembrance I’ve had a steady stream of shows which has kept me very busy and constantly on the go. These last two weeks I’ve done the full Military British monty, ATS, WRNS and WAAF shows to tie in with the Remembrance season. I have to confess that by the time I’ve been getting home I’ve not really been in the mood to start on paper work and just a little too tired to start blogging. So today I’ve been catching up with both and next years contracts. I’m almost there as next week I will be in York and I want to clear my desk before I go away.

I’m taking a well deserved holiday and there is so much I want to see and do including a visit to the Cathedral and afternoon tea at the famous Bettys Tea Rooms. I’m particularly keen to see the bosses in York minster as many years ago I was a runner up in a Blue Peter competition where it was the task of each ch

Remembrance WRNS Style!

On Stage for the Friday Club’s Remembrance Meeting!

ild who entered to design a boss after the great fire which happened in 1984. My design was based on the new 20 pence piece which had just gone into circulation and somewhere I still have a piece of York Minster which was given to me as a prize along with my Blue Peter badge. I have two Blue Peter badges tucked away as I also won another one for my design I sent into the program for The Liverpool Garden exhibition.

Both my brother and I grew up watching Blue Peter and I have to confess I’ve never had the opportunity to visit York minster. I’ve skirted round York on my way to other places so this holiday will be a real treat. It’s taken me over three decades since I entered the Blue Peter competition but I’m looking forward to seeing the bosses at long last.  We also want to visit Harrogate and Paul is very keen to visit Whitby. I know Whitby is famous for it’s jet and Count Dracula. Two things that remind me of my school days as I played Frau Gretel in the school musical “Dracula Spectacular” back in the day and my English teacher use to wear a lovely pair black jet earrings which use to glisten and fascinated me when she was discussing Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Her earrings had some age to them I think as modern reproduction Jewry doesn’t usually have the same luster.

My Blue Peter Badges!

Tomorrow I’m back in Aylesbury performing a 1950s and 60s show just to break up the run and then on Saturday I’m over to Abingdon performing the last of my Remembrance Shows of the season. I’m keen to get my ATS shoes into the menders. As with all old things shoes do wear out especially when they are old to begin with and you do as many shoes as I do. When it comes to uniforms it’s important to keep everything up to snuff and lickity spit and I feel my shoes now need to have a complete new sole fitted. The uppers are starting to turn which I don’t like to see and the leather is starting to suffer. A job for a master cobbler.

My Letter from Biddy Baxter!

On Sunday I will be back with David working on a couple of new videos and I hope it wont be too long before I have a brand new 1940s showreel to share with you all, which is all very exciting. I shall leave it here tonight  and when I get back from York I will have lots to tell you and many more photos to share with you all before I start on my Christmas Season.

I was just about to sign off only I’m pleased to say I’ve found all my paper work and my letters from Biddy Baxter along with my Blue Peter badges. Apparently 32,373 children entered the York Minster bosses competition in 1986 which was when the competition was run and 19,940 entered the Liverpool Garden Competition in 1984. Along with my badges I have a list of all the places I can enter for free which I’m just dying to try out now 30 odd years later!

Keep Watching and Toodle Pip!

My Blue Peter Prizes!


What Katie Did Lingerie to The Poppy Man of Pitstone & We’ll Meet Again!

Out and About in Olney!

Hello every-one I’m back at my desk after another busy week as I started on my run of “We’ll Meet Again” shows. This is to tie in with remembrance and In fact apart from one day I’m fully booked for the month of November and the same again for December. Paul and I did decide some time ago we would take a weeks holiday in November something I’m looking forward to very much.

We will be heading off to York on the 20th November so if any of you out there have any ideas about the places we should visit while we are in York please do let me know. I really want to visit Betty’s Tea Rooms and The Shambles. I’ve also heard there are all sorts of special tours you can go on in town including a couple of ghost walks which sound like terrific fun. After I finish this blog tonight I will be having a look on line but I would love to hear from any of you out there your suggestions and recommendations.

Me with Joe Marling The Poppy Man of Pitstone!

Joe Doing his Bit for the Poppy Appeal!

Lynda With Trusted Underground Man Steve!

Enjoying the Walk Along Portobello Road!

Lynda at What Katie Did!

Shopping for Lingerie!

Grace and Rachel Who Were So Helpful!

In the mean time let me tell you about what I’ve been up to this past week. On Friday I had a morning “We’ll Meet Again” show in the Northampton town of Rushden and afterwards I stopped off for lunch at The Teapot in Onley. Onley is a beautiful market town and full of great character as I sat down and enjoyed a wonderful lunch of home made hot spicy parsnip soup which was perfect for the day. I have many happy memories of Onley as this is the town where I performed my very first professional paid engagement back in 1990. Oddly enough it may come as a surprise to learn my first professional performing job didn’t involve me singing at all. Instead I did a one woman stand up show of poems and monologues in the Joyce Grenfell style and I haven’t looked back since.

After lunch I had an appointment to see my friend Joe “The Poppy Man of Pitstone”.I had promised I would come over and take some photos of him for his facebook page. If you haven’t bought your poppy yet and you live in the local area do make a point to visit Joe. You can catch him every day from 9.30am – 4pm out-side Mason’s Stores in Pitstone with his 1940s Jeep collecting for the Poppy appeal. People come from all over to see him including one man who flew in from Australia after seeing Joe on facebook. So don’t forget to buy your poppy and to wear it with pride this November.

On Saturday I had arranged a visit to London’s Portobello Road. I had booked a fitting at “What Katie Did” a shop which specializes in vintage style underwear as I was in need of a whole new lingerie wardrobe. When it comes to corsets I don’t like buying off the internet and I wanted to be measured properly. I don’t go into London that often but I had wanted to visit this part of town and the “What Katie Did” shop for a very long time. So on Saturday my friend Lynda kindly joined me for a girly outing as we ventured into town.

As you might expect there was work on the Hammersmith and City line so after finding Steve a trusted underground man  we changed to the Central line and popped up at Notting Hill Gate. In some ways I’m really pleased we did as Noting Hill Gate is at the start of Portobello Road which makes for a fascinating walk. There is so much to see in Portobello Road where stylish shops rub shoulders with antique stalls and the people you meet have great character and individuality. My sort of place!

London has a real hustle and bustle about it which I sometimes find a little over powering but not here as Portobello Road is much more on my wave length. The What Katie Did shop sits in Portobello Green and is well stocked. I had quite a shopping list as I splashed out on the Shirley black and gold range which is perfect for my every day and a Merry Widow foundation garment.  The Merry Widow fitted like a dream and will give me the lines I want under my Victorian and Edwardian costumes, but I also have a feeling it will work well under my vintage suits too so a good investment. Part of my going was to be measured for a new corset and I found just what I was looking for in the Luna Extreme which is designed for curvy women like me with extra width over the hips with a tighter waist line.

What Katie Did offer is a wonderful personal service as I was looked after by Grace and the manager Rachel as they found me just what I was looking for. Do check out the companies web-site which is a must for anyone who wears vintage clothes http://www.whatkatiedid.com

This week I’m fully booked with Remembrance “We’ll Meet Again” ATS shows although saying that I have two WAAF and one WRNS to do with much the same next week too so I will leave it here tonight.

Keep Watching and Toodle Pip! 😉

Me With My Bag of What Katie Did Goodies!


Halloween Magic to Remembrance!

Going Halloween!

It’s just a very quick blog tonight as I’ve a busy week ahead of me and I still have a few loose ends I need to tie up at my computer. It’s a never ending job keeping up to date with my paperwork especially as I start on my Remembrance shows tomorrow and I will be running straight through to the 15th November with “We’ll Meet Again” performances. On the plus side I’ve already sold 50 shows for 2018 and a few for 2019 which is all very encouraging – so onward and upwards!

Today I’ve been out performing my Halloween show “Fly me to the Moon”. This year I had the pleasure of singing my new Doris Day number “It’s Magic”. I commissioned the song some time ago and I picked the backing track up from the recording studio in July. It was one of those songs that took a long time to get together as I wanted a Liberace feel and once again Richard did me proud with his arrangement. I thought it would make a great addition to my show and I recorded it as part of my new 1940s showreel. I’m using it to open the film so keep watching this space and I will keep you posted as and when I release it to You Tube. There is still a bit more editing which needs to be done but I hope it wont be too long now so do keep following.

We’ll Meet Again!

In the meantime thank-you for all your positive comments concerning my new films “GI Jive” and the “Andrews Sisters Medley”. There are a number of other songs I will be releasing next year which as yet I just haven’t  had time to sit down with David to edit. I do have quite a list, and now the filming has been done it’s time to move onto the post production and editing stage which is all very exciting.

This Saturday I shall be down in London shopping in Portobello Road at he What Katie Did shop. It’s time for some new vintage style underwear and What Katie Did are the masters. I want to try on a few different style corsets and the Isabella Girdle. I need some new foundation garments to go under my costumes and it’s important to get the right fit. I hate to do this sort of thing over the internet.

That’s all my news for now Keep Watching and Toodle Pip! 😉

 

 


From Chichester to the Launch of GI Jive & My New Andrews Sisters Showreel!

Shopping in Chichester!

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I last wrote a blog but these last few weeks have been extremely busy for me and I’m only just starting to get straight after returning home from performing in Italy. In fact I have lots of news to share with you all, including the launch of two new videos and in fact last weekend I was down in Portsmouth enjoying a few days away with Paul as we visited Southsea and Chichester. You could say last weekend was the lull before the storm as my Halloween and Remembrance seasons are just about to begin.

Which reminds me – I need to go back over my Halloween repertoire and make sure I have everything in place for the 31st. My shows will be running through to Guy Fawkes before I pick up with Remembrance. But first things first let me tell you about last weekend and my visit to the South coast.

Paul and Poppy invited me down to visit “Greens”

Lunch with Paul & Poppy at Greens!

the dog friendly cafe on Saturday for lunch at Southsea boating lake. So after my Friday show in Aylesbury I hit the road and went straight down the A34. Usually I go round the M25 and down the A3 but as I was the other side of Aylesbury I thought I would try a different rote for a change. All was well until I hit the M27 where there had been an accident so I didn’t reach Portsmouth until gone 7pm.  In a situation like this, needs must and I had to take an all important comfort break. During which I put down my leather gloves and couldn’t see them in the dark to pick them up again. However I knew exactly where I stopped in the traffic jam so the next day Paul very kindly took me back to the spot where I was able to retrieve my gloves. Although a little soggy due to the previous nights rain fall I was able to dry them out and they are now as good as new!

Shopping for Vintage Fashion!

A New Pair of 1940s Shoes!

Saturday had been set aside to take Poppy for a long walk and to visit Greens cafe for lunch. It was a windy day and I think Poppy was as reveled as we were when we arrived. Greens always offers a warm welcome and has lots of complementary dog biscuits on hand for it’s four legged visitors, as we all sat down and enjoyed our lunch. Afterwards we retrieved my gloves from the M27 and just had enough time to visit Southsea’s vintage fashion shop “The One Legged Jockey” where I was fortunate enough to pick up a beautiful pair of 1940s evening shoes and a smart 40s suit. Both need a little work but when done will look stunning.

Before the Show at Pinner Synogogue!

Paul Does a Quick Sound Check!

Paul and I spend so much of our time dashing from show to show that come Sunday we decided to have a leisurely day pottering about Chichester and stopped off for  lunch at The George and Dragon. I love Chichester as its a town with character and there’s always lots to see. We don’t get too many down days as I was straight back to work on Tuesday performing in Bedfordshire for Harlington WI “The Magic of the Musicals” and then Paul was doing sound for me on Wednesday in London.

I had been booked by Mill Hill and Pinner Synagogues to perform two shows back to back. The first was my “20th Century Show” where I sing from 1900 through to the year 2000 all the different musical styles from Opera to Rock

Singing in Triplicate Andrews Sisters Style!

and Roll and then for my 2nd evening show I had been asked to perform a double bill of “The Great American Song Book” followed by “The Swinging 50s and 60s”. All great choices and shows I enjoy performing very much indeed. Each of these shows have wonderful content and it’s good for me to sing in different musical styles from time to time.

Now I’m back home I’m catching up on my paper work and I’m thrilled to announce I’ve released two new 1940s videos this week. The first is my Andrews Sisters Showreel where you can see me performing in triplicate to split screen “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” . Just click the link

https://youtu.be/o0-xlQHv-Po and my second video is “GI Jive” written by Johnny Mercer. My costume inspiration came from the Varga girl pin ups of the 1940s and you can see both videos by clicking the enclosed links https://youtu.be/EoUgsNIk6s4

Tomorrow I’m performing for a private party in Harlow and then it’s straight into Halloween shows. So keep watching this space as I still have another 1940s video to share with you all which will be my new 40s showreel. But more news on that later.

Toodle pip and Bye for now! 😉

GI Jive!


Part Three – The Castle at San Colombano & Tea with Mussolini!

Paul and I Exploring the Castle – Barbiano di Belgiojoso D’Este

Lunch with Paul, Daniele, Frederico & Guiseppe!

Welcome back to my blog and the last episode as I tell you about my Italian trip. After a very full Sunday, Paul and I were looking forward to having a lay in on the Monday morning after our shows in Graffignana. This was very much needed. We weren’t due out until 12.00 noon which gave us the time we needed to recharge our batteries so we would be bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to meet our hosts at noon.

Last year on our day off Paul and I visited Milan, the La Scala opera house  and the cathedral Duomo di Milano. On this occasion we felt we wanted to stay a little closer to Graffignana and see something of the surrounding towns and countryside. So this time we visited the castle of San Colombano after first being taken to lunch at the Trattoria Giardino restaurant. Paul and I had had the pleasure of dinning there once before last year for my birthday so it was lovely to return and we were treated to a wonderful selection of Italian dishes.

Afterwards we went for a stroll around the grounds of the castle which during the second world war was occupied by the Germans. Now they often use the court yard

space for concerts and fairs and while we were there the staging was still in place. Of-course I

Out and About in San Colombano!

Barbiano di Belgiojoso D’Este!

couldn’t resist trying it out as I sang O Mio Babbino Caro to all our Italian friends.

It was such a lovely day and as we were walking around I thought it would make the perfect location for a picnic only little did I know that I would turn out to be lunch as I got bitten by loads of mosquitoes.  17 times on my legs in fact, as we then all dashed off to the pharmacy for cream and anti repellent spray.  It never occurred to me there would be mosquitoes in October this late in the season especially as we weren’t by water. But then just like my father, I’m allergic to these nasty pests . The little blighters only went for me, nobody else in our party, as they did their best to drink my blood and eat me alive.

After coating my legs in cream our next engagement of the day was to visit to the Pallai WW2  museum.  Our friend Daniele has been collecting WW2 artifacts for many years and he now he has a small museum which houses mostly uniforms documenting the British, American, Italian and German campaigns. It’s a wonderful collection and when you look at the size of some of these uniforms people were certainly much

In side the Pallai Museum!

Tea with Benito Mussolini!

smaller than they are today. One of the uniforms Daniele has in his collection was found by chance stuffing the cushion of an old chair. Back then these uniforms and artifacts were of little interest but now they are of great historical importance and it’s good to know that there are people like Daniele who are preserving these items for future generations to understand.

My favorite item was a photographic album taken by a German officer of his time in Paris during WW2. I found this album very interesting as all the shots were of the officer off duty enjoying the sights  just like any tourist would today. There were some great candid photographs showing the officer in his room looking out over Paris from his balcony which really caught my eye.

Afterwards we were all invited back for tea with Mussolini and just like Maggie Smith in the film I poured and played the part of mother!

For our final evening in Italy Paul and I joined our friends for dinner at the Il Gandulin restaurant in Belgioioso. It was a special evening as it gave Paul and I a chance to celebrate our birthdays together with all our Italian friends as we all sat

Happy Birthday at Il Gandulin!

Flying Home to Blighty!

down to another wonderfully cooked dinner.

Of-course all good things have to come to an end and by Tuesday it was time for us to fly home to Blightly. I’ve always loved Italy and the Italian people ever since I first visited Rome back in 1988. I certainly hope this wont be my last visit to Italy and I know Paul and I are both looking forward very much to meeting up with all our friends from Graffignana when we return to Normandy next June.

Paul and I would like to take this opportunity to  thank our host Guiseppe for his fantastic hospitality and to his family and friends for helping to make this trip possible especially for making us feel so very welcome.

This coming weekend it’s Trafalgar Day on Saturday 21st and by change I will be down in Portsmouth so I don’t know if the Navy will be doing anything special to celebrator. As you might imagine I’ve been out performing Wren shows this week to tie in with the date and when I get back I’m off on Wednesday to perform at Mill Hill and Pinner Synogogue’s but more on that in my next blog.

Keep Following and Toodle Pip for Now! 😉


Part Two – The Italian Job – Rock & Roll to Puccini!

Paul and I at St Peter & Paul Apostles Church!

Ave Maria!

Out and About in Graffignana!

Sitting Down for Lunch!

After our Saturday night show at Serata della Riconoscenza Paul and I were keen to get to bed. With our early morning flight at 6.20 am we had been up solidly for 48 hours so it didn’t take much encouragement for us to fall straight to sleep as soon as we got back to our hotel. Sunday was our show day as I was due in church to sing in Latin for morning Mass “Ave Maria” before performing my afternoon concert at 3.30pm. This had been scheduled to take place on a stage out-side the church in the town square Piazza Mazzini to which the whole town had been invited.

I don’t mind confessing I could have done with a few hours extra sleep that morning but as they say in show business the show must go on and Paul and I were all up, pressed and dressed really for our 9.30am lift with mass at 10.00am. Graffignana has a wonderful church choir who are a joy to listen to and during the service they had a soloist. A trumpet player who played superbly and who was of the highest caliber.

The church was full and when it was my turn to sing I took a deep breath and I thought carefully about my singing

Paul and I Shopping in Graffignana!

All Ready to Shake Rattle and Roll!

Me with Our Sound Engineer John!

Paul Doing his Thing!

Transport The Italian Way!

technique. On this occasion I had no microphone and I needed to be heard over 300 people. I was still a little tired and it takes real strength to sing the proper way with-out a mic in front of a big audience. But it’s good to go back to basics as I worked my diaphragm just that little harder than normal to support those long sustained notes. It’s true when you have a microphone you don’t have to work quite so hard but when it comes to classical singing good technique is essential.

After mass Paul and I spent a little time at the festival market which sold everything from vacuum cleaners to cars, sugar almond sweets to snails. There was an exhibition of local artists and a group of local military veterans. One stall which caught my eye specialized in selling mushrooms to which I had no idea there were so many different varieties. Another stall had a fantastic selection of cheeses while a stall further along sold salami’s which I think might have belonged to the gentleman who had been acknowledged with an award the night before.

At 12.30pm we all went for lunch which was at a restaurant just opposite the church and was where we dinned the year before. The Italians do lunch like a banquette with all sorts of different dishes starting with the Anti Pasta a selection of meats, then sea food and then onto the meat courses of which there are usually several of each. By about the 6th plate Paul and I thought it might be time for us to slip away and change ready for our afternoon performance. We never made the dessert and coffee but that was fine as we had had so much to eat that we were both looking forward to getting on stage and burning off some of the calories.

On Saturday night I had had the pleasure of working with sound engineer John and I was pleased to see he was back with me again on the Sunday. On this occasion I had been engaged to sing the music of the 1950s and 60s so I wore my 1950s black and white polka dot dress with all my petticoats. The sun was strong that day so I covered myself in sun cream and wore my jacket for most of the show just to protect my skin. Apart from singing the 50s and 60s I had been requested to include some Italian Opera and to finish my set with Nessun Dorma. 6000 people had been expected to attend the festival and looking at how busy it got after lunch I would say that number was easily realized. Paul delighted the Italians with his Sinatra songs as he sounds just like Frank as the crowds shouted for more.

That night our friends took us out for Italian pizza which was delicious. Everything in Italy is freshly cooked  unlike in the UK where food seems to come from straight out of the freezer. Restaurants are family run and there is a great sense of personal pride which is refreshing to see when it seems almost impossible to find an a affordable restaurant in the UK which isn’t run by a big chain.

In my next blog I will be telling you about our visit to the castle at San Colombano, the Pallai WW2 Museum and Tea with Mussolini.

So Keep Watching and Thank-you for Following! 😉


Part One – Flying to Italy & On Stage in Graffignana!

Come Fly With Me to Milan!

Shopping Before Take Off!

Hello every-one it’s been a fantastic week and for those of you who follow me on facebook will know I flew back from Milan on Tuesday. Since returning home I still haven’t fully unpacked as I hit the ground running with a show booked in on the Wednesday straight after my trip plus a mountain of e-mails I just had to answer. I’m sorry I’ve been a little slow in getting my first blog out to you this week but I hope the wait will have been worth it as I have so much to tell you all. With that in mind I have decided to split my Italian trip blogs up into three installments which will include Paul and I having tea with Mussolini – but more news on that in my next posts!

This was my second trip to Milan as Paul and I had been invited to perform in the town of Graffignana which sits just out-side the city. Last year I had been invited by the Mayor to perform in uniform and sing the music of the 1940s as Graffignana’s 1940s themed event attracted re-anactors and visitors from all over Italy, America and Brazil.

Paul and I Out & About in Graffignana!

Inside St Peter & Paul Apostles Church!

This year the theme was the 1950s and 60s and in true Fiona style I changed my look to suite the festival.

My first show of the weekend was on Saturday night at the Serata della Riconoscenza otherwise known as The Town Hall. Paul and I had left really early in the morning as our flight from Luton Airport was at 6.20am which meant our taxi picked us up at 3.30am. Although we were able to sleep a little on the plane it only takes about 2 hours to fly to Milan with the rest of the time wasted in the airport going from one boring que to another being checked for this and that. It’s such a relief when you are eventually up in the sky flying over the British Isles and once the plane touches down it really doesn’t take that long to reach Graffignana.

It’s always a delight to be invited back to a town I’ve played before and the one thing the Italians offer is amazing hospitality. On this occasion we flew out on the 7th October which was Paul’s birthday and we flew back on the 10th which was mine. So as soon as we checked into our hotel we were taken to a beautiful restaurant in the center of town for a wonderful meal. When it comes to eating the Italians don’t do things by half’s as the courses kept coming. I particularly enjoyed the octopus and the squid which is a favorite of mine as we sat down to Paul’s Birthday lunch with all our Italian friends.

On Stage Saturday Night at The Town Hall!

Veronica, Guiseppe and I at The Town Hall!

After lunch it was straight to work as I had a quick run through with the organist at St Peter and Paul Apostles Church ready for Sunday. I’d been requested to sing “Ave Maria” in Latin for Mass which went down so well last year with the congregation that I’d been asked to do it again this year. I always enjoy singing in church as the acoustics are perfect for a soprano and where I also don’t need a microphone. Afterwards it was a quick sound check at the Town Hall and then all change at the hotel before the Saturday’s show.

Graffignana has a great community and every year in October the town acknowledges people who have done good deeds for the town. I had been asked to perform 3 x 10 minute sets in between the prize giving, music from the 1920s – 1960s concluding with the Italian aria “O Mio Babbino Caro”, which as every Italian knows is from Puccini’s Opera “Gianni Schicchi”. It’s very interesting to see the people who are reconsidered which this year included a girl who makes a living as a professional blogger. She writes for the fashion houses of Milan and when she came up to receive her prize she looked particularly stylish with her ostrich feather shoes. Another gentleman who was acknowledged  was the towns sausage maker who is famous for his wonderful salamis. When he came to the stand he received a wonderful round of applause from the audience which means he must be greatly respected and loved by the people of Graffignana.

While I was waiting to go on stage I was listening to my translator Veronica who was telling me their stories. Before the show Veronica’s daughter Luciana presented me with a wonderful drawing she had made of me which now has pride of place in my office.

In my next blog I will be telling you more about my shows in the town square when I mixed Rock and Roll with Puccini. So Keep Watching and thank-you for Following! 😉

 

 


Singing for the Veterans at Southsea Castle and off to Milan!

Paul and I at Southsea Castle!

Hello every-one I’m back at my desk although I have to confess not for long. I’ve so much to tell you all that time is quickly running away with me and once again I’m burning the midnight oil. I can’t believe this Saturday Paul and I will be flying back out to Milan for Graffignana’s Vintage Festival. I still have my show plans to prepare and much to pack that I’m a little at sixes and sevens due to the fact my September has been non stop after performing 40 shows back to back which hasn’t given me much of a turn around. I’m also out everyday this week singing so I had better get typing and tell you the latest.

Early Morning Sound Check!

Remembering The cockleshell Heroes!

If you caught my last post you will know I’ve been down in Portsmouth performing at Southsea Castle for the Normandy Veterans. In fact I’ve had a run of shows down there and on Saturday night I had another engagement performing on Hayling Island for a private party. In between performances Paul and I have been out walking Poppy and it’s been interesting catching up with the story of the Cockleshell heroes

Catching Up with Old Friends!

Meeting Up After the Show for a Natter!

who trained in Southsea. If you look and you can find references everywhere in the street names.

For Paul and I our Saturday started bright and early at Castle field as I had been engaged to perform 3 x 45 minute shows daily. One WRNS, one glamour and one ATS. I had been looking forward to this job very much. I know many of the veterans personally due to the number of shows I’ve performed for them in France. My first Normandy show was staged in the town of Ver-sur- Mer as part of the 60th D-day Commemorations  in 2004 and I’ve been back every year since playing at different venues along the Normandy coast line.

On this occasion I had concerns about the weather and sure enough no sooner than the speeches finished and it was my turn to step on stage the heavens opened and all the veterans retreated into the castle where they had tea, coffee, food and more importantly somewhere warm and dry to sit. I however played on regardless with “Rule Britannia” and “The Fleets in Port Again” to a sea of empty chairs and worms. What can I say the show must go on and I made sure it did for a few soggy re-anacters who were left on the field. However by the time I was due to come back on stage for my second glamour set the rain had cleared away and we had been re joined by the veterans and The Red Devils who parachuted in. I’m also pleased to say the rain stayed away for my grand finally as I quickly changed into my ATS uniform and we finish the day in style with the Best of British before we were able to return to the castle for a hot cup of tea and a natter with the veterans . So a big thank-you to Mark and The Spirit of Normandy Trust who invited me and I hope it wont be too long before we all meet up again.

I’m afraid I wont have the opportunity to write again this week but when I return home from Italy

All Dressed Up for My Glamour Set!

I will have lots to tell you and many more photos to share with you all so Keep Watching. Paul and I fly out on the 7th October which is Paul’s Birthday and we fly back on the 10th which is mine so I’m looking forward to this next week very much.

Keep Following – Toodle pip and Bye for Now! 😉

Paul and Poppy in Southsea!


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