“Daughter of Mine is most definitely now a tweenager.”

I started a draft post with this title and opening sentence over a year ago. Distracted by life, it – along with many other posts – was never finished and published. But then again, this blog has ended up being mostly about my memories; this photo qualifies as a memory –  my blog, my rules.

This photo was taken in February 2012 – when Daughter of Mine was still just 11 – and texting was as social as she got. Tomorrow she turns 13… with the best and worse of social networking within her grasp.

Although, according to news stories following the publication of Facebook’s annual report, teens are turning away from the social media giant in favour of other, more awesome/wicked/cool (or whatever the latest ‘word’ is) social networking apps.

You know, the ones where you don’t have Mother of Yours as a friend.


A Fisherman’s Friend or a Drunken Sailor?

Husband of Mine bought me some mints the other day from Café Nero. He said he’d been on the look-out for small, flat mints for me for some time now, to refill a beautiful, but very thin, art deco tin that was given to me as an after-show present for a production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. It’s the kind of thoughtful thing he does well; seeking out things that I’ve mentioned in passing. Take The Monolith Monsters DVD, for example.

Anyway, the mints are thin enough to fit inside, so there I was last night shaking one out of the tin during the interval at the dress rehearsal for The Memory of Water. Now, mints might come in handy for this play, for obvious reasons in Act I; but are definitely a necessity during the interval to get rid of the nasty taste of the herbal tobacco that is in the roll-ups that are passing as our spliffs.

Charming On-Stage Lover asked me if they were Fisherman’s Friends, probably, I thought, fearing that I was germ-infested, but actually because he’d seen earlier on in the day that I’d become a fan of a Facebook group for Fisherman’s Friends.

Ah, but those little menthol lozenges are singular – Fisherman’s Friend – which probably refers to the fact that one can’t stomach more than one at a time. You can probably guess from that comment that I would never become a fan of original extra strong Fisherman’s Friend, singular.

No, the Fisherman’s Friends, of whom I have become just one of their 850 fans (and counting), are most definitely plural – a 10-strong group of male singers from Port Isaac in Cornwall who I saw on BBC Breakfast yesterday morning. They have been catapulted into the spotlight because of a £1m recording contract for their harmonic sea shanties and folk songs, with which they have been entertaining Cornish pub goers for the last fifteen years. 

Good for them, I thought, when I saw the interview. I hope their story will be inspiration for The Renegade Dogs, who last week returned, flushed with success, from their first proper gig at the village local.

I will be buying their music.  The Fisherman’s Friends, I mean.  Not The Renegade Dogs – I get that played to me live, for free, and pretty much on request. But I do want to get the music of Julian, John, Jeremy, Trevor, John, Billy, Nigel, Peter, John and Jon from Cornwall, as I am a sucker for male voices singing in harmony. I’ll also probably be buying it on CD, even though I have just read an article online that suggests that the only people who buy CDs in preference to downloading their music are the over-50s (and I’m not there yet).

There’s something satisfying about a CD collection particularly in the genre that most of mine fall into, namely musicals. Satisfying I suppose in the same way that folk of a different certain age reminisce about their collection of LPs and 78s. Where’s the satisfaction in owning just the digital music files to a musical without the associated blurb so often found bundled with the CD: lyrics, synopsis, director’s notes, cast list? Okay, so one could argue that it’s all available online, to look up at a moment’s notice. But it’s just not the same, is it?

Yet I’m not denying it is useful. Now that everything is online I was able to check instantly that thankfully the forthcoming CD doesn’t feature a Fisherman’s Friends rendition of ‘What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor?’, although there is a YouTube clip of them performing this very sea shanty.  Husband of Mine has an as yet unresolved aversion to that particular song – he doesn’t know why he can’t bear it, but it sends a shiver down his spine if he hears so much as one bar of the refrain.

As a song, I’m rather indifferent to it really, I can take it or leave it.

But if forced to choose? I know I’d rather have my very own minty version of a Fisherman’s Friend than a Drunken Sailor.

Dedicated follower of…

An exhausting day today. Not only is Son of Mine off school with a dizzy/headachey sort of thing, I still have my own headache to contend with. Maybe it wasn’t Tuesday’s aftershave abuse that caused it, maybe it’s a genuine virus that’s doing the rounds. Apologies then, to anyone who has, ahem, tried to snog me since then.

Of course, another very possible reason for the headache might be the amount of time I have spent blogging and fumbling my way round the plethora of social networking sites in the last seven days.

So today’s post is really just a status update on my first week’s activity on WordPress.  I have now managed to connect this blog with Twitter and Facebook – which one I have to update first I’m still not quite sure!  I think one of the reasons for all this online activity is the nagging thought that if I do ever want to return to the wicked world of Marketing I left three years ago, then I ought to stay abreast of the latest trends.  Yeah, yeah, I’ve also read that blogging is so, like, old-fashioned –  but hey, that’s me,  I’m always following the latest trends just as they’re on their way out – just ask my fashion advisor.

Oh and I’ve also added a new page – Shows – for anyone who wants to see what I’ve been up to on stage over the years (oh yes, there’s more to follow!).

Going nuts?

Somebody has read my blog!  A bit of it anyway.  And made a comment.  Just not on here.  But hey, things are looking up… it may be of interest to some people, someday, somewhere. 

The friend who has “read a bit of it” does seem to get the gist of the lonely goatherd connection, confessing that she started singing in the office.  Except I’m a closet shepherd… not goatherd – I like sheep because they remind me of being on a mountain – but I digress.  As for the comment, it was on Facebook, which then led me to look more closely at her posts as they’ve been linking to her profile on Blipfoto in recent weeks.  She’s taken some fab photographs… viewing these then led me to wonder whether I should document my oh so exciting life on Blipfoto as well on a blog.  I take LOADS of photos, strictly on a “point and click” basis, but some of them come out pretty well, and of course another half-baked idea in the back of my mind is to learn more about photography at some point… 

I take a quick reality check and decide that it would be just one more thing on the giant “to-do” list in my head – I can post the best of my photos on High On a Hill, and not be tied to only posting them on the day of shooting, which I’d never get around to.  Blipfoto seems like a great site though, I’m definitely going to use it for inspiration.  I have enough trouble keeping my Facebook status up-to-date and as for Twitter, well I’ve tried it, but don’t think I’ll become a long-term user – I “talk” too much for 140 characters…

So today’s photo wasn’t taken “today” but yesterday in Hotham Park – it’s amazing how easy two children with handfuls of nuts find it to tempt the pesky squirrels down from the treetops!