I have added a few more dates to my diary, so check out the updated list in my Performances 2019 tab!
So here are some events that I will be singing at this year, I do hope I get to see you at some of them?
2nd Feb – Woody’s War Dept Dance, Stoneleigh Park, CV8 2LZ. Doors open 7.30pm.
3rd Feb – Stoneleigh Militaria, Stoneleigh Park. Doors open 9am – 3pm. I’ll be singing in the foyer again at 9.15am and 12.45pm.
9/10th March – TBC
2nd June – Southam Retro Fest
29th June – Bloxham Steam Rally, Military area. I’ll be singing some vintage classics again at this wonderful family event!
6/7th July – The Big O Fest, Edenbridge, Kent. Details TBC.
20th July – Festival of the 40’s, Hollywood Canteen Marquee at 12.30pm and 4pm.
23/24/25th August – TBC
More info will be added as and when!
Happy new year dear followers!
Just to let you know that I will be appearing on Welcombe Radio again today on the 5pm (UK time) show. I may even sing a song! You can listen live HERE and even ask me questions live on air by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may remember that I appeared on the show last year and sang Over the Rainbow, as well as talking about the release of my steampunk novel. You can hear a clip of my warbling on the show below…
As you all know, Remembrance Sunday 2018 marked 100 years since the end of the First World War. This has obviously been the main focus of this year’s anniversary, with remembrance poppies being significant to the fallen of the Great War.
One of the most iconic symbols in the UK to be associated with war, the poppies pay homage to fallen servicemen, women and animals that have served and fallen. The paper versions you may purchase each year to adorn your lapel are actually made by disabled or impaired veterans. These have been created since 1922 (albeit the originals were made of silk) and are a significant part of our Remembrance Days and services.
This year there has been an abundance; created by the W.I., crafting individuals, church groups, schools and more. The public displays have been breathtaking and in some cases extremely moving.
A few years ago I thought it would be nice to start a Post Remembrance Service Cafe in Snitterfield so that people could warm themselves with a nice cup of tea and piece of cake.
Angie Tomes (with a sprinkling of volunteer helpers) has helped me turn this 2 hour event into a yearly one that raises money for a different charity each year.
A charity very close to my own heart is Combat Stress, which started in 1922 and helped rehabilitate veterans suffering from shell shock after the war. Instead of shutting them away in a mental hospital, this charity would use things like basket weaving to focus their minds, relax and socialise. To this day, the charity help ex-servicemen and women suffering with depression, anxiety, shell shock and other mental illnesses with the aid of creativity and specialist therapists.
First and foremost, thank you to everyone who donated cakes, money and their time! The cafe was busier than ever and it really was an incredible event. I must apologise for my sound system playing up! I battled through as best I could and have now found the error, so next year will be back up to scratch!
After the cafe, we headed to St. Mary’s Church in Cubbington. Well, what a gorgeous little church! Not only was it pretty to begin with, but the amount of poppies and displays were incredible. I got to sing in front of a packed crowd and felt very honoured to be part of such a special day. We managed to collect just over £312 for Combat Stress!
Thank you to Charlotte Doran Davies for the wonderful photos from Snitterfield and to Trevor Wright for the ones at Cubbington!
Today we made a trip to the stunning Fawsley Hall Hotel and Spa for a Harry Potter inspired Afternoon Tea! Dressed for the theme, we entered the jaw-dropping hall, which was the perfect setting for our spellbinding lunch.
After a glass of Butterbeer, we were treated to fresh loose-leaf tea and 3 tiers of sandwiches, scones and cakes. The sandwiches were cheese and pickle, ham and mustard, cucumber and cream cheese, egg and little brioche buns with salmon mousse. On to the scones and I was very relieved to see that they were freshly made and not frozen ones! The pots contained strawberry jam and a very generous helping of clotted cream (the first time I haven’t had to ask for extra!).
As you can see by my photos, the cakes and tarts were certainly Honeydukes worthy and brought a smile to all of our faces. I enjoyed the chocolate cauldron, filled with mousse, but there was an awful lot of chocolate on the plate so I had to be careful (migraines). It would’ve been nice to have a fresh fruit tart to bring a little tartness to all the sweet flavours and balance the palette, but it was still I wonderful spectacle and experience.
Half way through, one of the waitresses brought out a few broomsticks and Betsy enjoyed zooming up and down the room with hers. She has yet to get into Harry Potter, but I dressed her as Hermione Granger in the hopes that some spark would stick!
It was lovely to see Mr Mew dressed up and he may as well have been wearing an invisibility cloak when sat on the sofas! Almost identical patterning on his outfit as the upholstery! Ha ha ha!
My lovely friend Charlotte came with us. With a spidery headdress and flashes of red from her crinoline, it gave her a Merry Widow air! I decided on loosely basing my outfit on a young Professor McGonagall, with tartan skirt and matching ribbon in my shoes.
All in all a magical afternoon was had by all and we look forward to hearing of other themed teas and dinners to get involved in!
It was an utter pleasure to shoot with photographer Charlotte Doran Davies a couple of weeks back at the incredible Pumpkins R Us!
Situated in Kenilworth, this wonderful location offers a mind-boggling array of pumpkins and Halloween decor! I enjoyed it so much last year that we went 4 times, and this year Ive been twice already.
I had created a black and white outfit for myself and Betsy Rose that were meant to be worn at Crich Steampunk Event. My skirt was repurposed from a ballgown I used to sing in (but never fit very well). I cut out all the underskirts and re-draped the top layers; adding contrasting trim in orange and teal green. I created a bustle pillow for underneath and wore butterfly tights to compliment Betsy’s wings!
I also had a wonderful black coat that didn’t make it into any of my chosen photographs. I have to work on the shape as it made me look bulky with my bustle. It was a long one I bought second hand off of Ebay that I cut and reshaped. The long coat had faux fur trim all around the bottom and up the front, so I reused this once I had cut it into shape. Its a pity it didn’t look right, but I will get it sorted!
The hat I made from hessian, EVA foam, part of a wooden boat, pillow stuffing and Fimo, with some trim, ribbon and battery LEDs to finish it off. It is in homage to Travella; a character from Boodle – A Steampunk Story, by Tilly Copperplate.
Now onto Betsy’s outfit! The skirt was repurposed from a beautiful Laura Ashley one I have had knocking around for 10 years. It no longer fit me and was such a great fabric. I cut it down, took in the waist and used the trimmed fabric and netting to create a bustle effect. Trimmed with pom poms in the same colours as mine, it matched really well, without looking too ‘Mommy Dearest.’ The pierrot clown hat was made from EVA foam, with teal green pom poms, pleated fabric trim from her skirt and laser cut cogs. The back has a leather buckle piece to bring in more of the steampunk element.
The orange of the pumpkins worked so well with the boldness of the outfits. I wanted to create a slightly Gothic, Tim Burton-esque Steampunk feel and the balance was pretty tricky. The colourful trim helped with this I think and Charlotte did an wonderful job capturing our day.
Thank you so much to Pumpkins R Us for letting us into their marquee and their fields before they were open to the public. Hopefully you will see some of our images gracing their website page next year!