Friday, June 29, 2012

The Concert!

Well, it was just amazing!
In the last post, Maggie May calls me an "old hand" at concerts, and to some extent I am (getting there!) but this was different.

We arrived at 5.20 for our 8.00pm concert, and immediately began tuning, sound checks and then rehearsals with the Tenor, the Choir and the Dancers.
Then we were directed to the Dressing Rooms, backstage. Oh my goodness, I just HAD to take a photo!
I couldn't believe it! The lights and all!!
There were 2 rooms for the men and 2 for women, so no overcrowding, lots of space to do make-up!
They also provided a room with tea, coffee, sandwiches and a fridge full of water.

There was a champagne reception before the concert, and we were invited to hang out there (but only for a little while, as we had to get back up to get our tuning done), and some of us may have had a little sip to settle our nerves!

Then it was out on stage, and the music began.
I'm the third horn from the left...

I have a little video clip that I hope you'll enjoy, but can't get it to upload and my "techie experts" are away, but I will post it in the next couple of days.
 I had to blink a few times and assure myself that I wasn't dreaming! It was a really great evening!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bits of news

Today, Daughter finished her Leaving Cert! Phew!
She is now officially finished school, and will (d.v.) start college in September. She was great during the exams, so calm and not phased by papers that didn't go her way. She took 8 subjects (extra one being music which she did in Band) and took Higher Level in all those papers! Her last paper was this morning, Applied Maths.
So after she finished, one of her teachers brought her for hot chocolate in a local café, just the 2 of them. Wasn't that sweet? The teachers have made a huge effort to make it up to them for the awful finish they had to their schooldays; her English teacher went and selected a book for each student. Zoe got "Mrs. Dalloway", and I know that she will treasure it always, especially because of the lovely and inspiring message that her teacher wrote on the inside cover.

After her hot chocolate outing, I brought her out for lunch, just the 2 of us, and told her how proud I am of her. I am constantly impressed by how calm and mature she is, and especially how she and her friends held their dignity during the recent events. They were much more dignified than the Principal!

Tonight she's gone off out to celebrate with her friends-it's been quite a while since they had a night out, so I hope they really enjoy themselves, and stay safe. I have a feeling it will be a late night!!

 Tomorrow night our band plays another concert! It's quite a big event, with a Tenor, some Irish dancers, an exerpt from Riverdance (this is worth watching, especially from 4.22 on!), a choir and some Indian dancers. Should be fun!
And as there are 4 horns, it will be another great experience for me!
Sometimes, I blink and think "I can't believe all these wonderful things are happening to me!" The opportunities that have come to me from my involvement in music have been so exciting, and especially since I joined the new band. We will also be playing several outdoor concerts over the summer, and also at a music festival in Clonakilty in a couple of weeks time!
 I am loving every minute of it! even the "gradually faster to end"!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Garden and Nature

My poor garden!
Last weekend, I finally tackled the flower bed at the end of the garden, so, for shame, I'm posting pictures of the state it was in! Or does it look like a healthy herb garden/wildflower garden?

These poor plants were being strangled by the weeds! They were crying out for some TLC.

I only got half of it done, postponing the rest but because of awful weather here, that second bit is still not done. It's been cold, wet and wintry here all week, so bad we even lit a fire last night! In June!
I uncovered this little gem when I cleared the weeds:
 It barely looks like one, but it is a rose!

Does anyone know what the next plant is called? I think I will plant lots of it in the hope that it will keep out the weeds. It seems to just grow and grow, effortlessly.

And finally, one morning in May, as I was driving to work, I had to stop to admire this family of ducks! I love that part of my drive to work; it's such a lovely way to start the day, affirming a connection with nature.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mia: An extraordinary young lady.

A few weeks back, my friend told me "Keep Friday 25th May free, we're going to an amazing evening in the National Convention Centre".
Amazing just about describes it...

Mia was born in Hunan province in China.
In her own words: "I came to live with my Irish family in March of 2002. I live with my dad Clem, my Mom Sally, my sister Meghan, my two brothers Jordan and Brett and my dog Harry.
When I was tiny in China, I had an accident where I was very badly burned. I needed a lot of treatment and operations so I have been going to Crumlin Children's Hospital ever since I arrived in Ireland." Isn't she just beautiful?

Mia had been doing fashion sketches to pass the time in hospital

and her friend sent some to John Rocha, designer. He was very impressed and he and some other Irish designers decided to make up some of Mia's designs.

Together with many others in the fashion/showbiz world, and some family friends, they organised this night "Thank you Crumlin, love Mia".

It was the best night's entertainment I've had in a long time.
Mia's designs were stunning, and she had loads of them! Some were modelled by family and friends, some by professional models. I really hope that some store decides to make them for sale, because I would love to buy some! Here she is being interviewed by a TV3 presenter, and her outfit is one of her own designs. I loved it!

Mia was recovering from her latest round of surgery, so she was on crutches, but that did not dampen her spirits at all. She smiled from ear to ear all night, gave loads of interviews, and just enjoyed herself.
There was other entertainment, The Nualas (below) performed (they were hilarious!)

and Brian Kennedy too. Here he is interviewing Mia just before he sang.

I was completely bowled over by Mia. She was so natural, so unassuming, she even said it was easy to do the designs, "it only takes about 4 minutes"!! She turned a tragic event around, and has now brought so much joy into so many lives, and will continue to do so with the funds raised to refurbish the orthapaedic unit in Crumlin. Wow! Inspirational!