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Category Archives: Events and Performances

The Joys of Zoom Gigs


Well firstly… HAPPY NEW YEAR! Let’s hope this year holds better news for all of us!

Just before my New Year’s Eve gig

Obviously in light of Covid, all my booked events and care home gigs were cancelled last year. It was a miserable feeling and unsettling time (notice how I’m using past tense as I’m determined that 2021 will be slightly better?), but I did receive a couple of Zoom gig requests, which made me feel slightly less useless to the world.

It is always funny, watching videos of other people’s dysfunctional Zoom meetings on YouTube. Children interrupting news reporter parents, cats deciding that world domination should start by destroying one laptop at a time, people forgetting to properly leave meetings; subjecting their workmates to nakedness, preparation of online porn watching and more besides.

See a hilarious Zoom Fails compilation here!!!

Luckily I haven’t recorded my own personal experiences, but they will certainly be embedded in my memories for a long time!

My first online gig was for a wonderful felting group. They could meet for their annual summer meet-up, so hosted an online version with tutorials and chat. I was the half time entertainment for this fabulous fibre-pricking faction and set myself up in the garden with backdrop, props, PA system and laptop. I asked Mr. Mew to entertain little one whilst I was singing, but this seemed to loosely translate into ‘please let her go into the garden, play loudly, then fall over.’ I tried to carry on regardless, but had to excuse myself and pick up screaming child myself. The show went on and I added a couple of extra songs as way of apology to the filters. They were wonderful, fun, great company… and I haven’t heard from them since…

Cut to yesterday when I was booked last minute to perform a 49 minute singing set on zoo for a care home! Huzzah! With a little help, I was set up in a quiet room with a PA system, spotlight and laptop. No children, no cats, no problems! All was going brilliantly until about 3/4 of the way through. I was mid song when I heard a ‘POP!’. It threw me for a second and I had to fight to remember the lyrics, whilst pretending to absentmindedly look behind me. I thought I had accidentally knocked a glass bauble off the Christmas tree behind me, but there was no evidence on the floor, so I turned back to camera. As I carried on, my eyes got distracted by a wispy movement above the laptop. Suddenly I focused on…SMOKE. It started to plume rather generously from the spotlight unit and I realised that this wasn’t just a little ‘pop’, the unit was on fire. I excused myself for a second, whilst we got the light outside. The room was full of smoke, but I apologised and continued the concert as windows were opened around me and frosty air filled the room. I tried to control my composure as all I wanted to do was burst out laughing! An extra song was added and I had a brilliant time entertaining them all from my cold, smokey setting. Thank goodness things didn’t get more serious!

Have you had anything crazy happen in online meetings or chats? I would love to hear yours!

VE Day 75 Celebrations 2020

VE Day 75 Celebrations 2020

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Who would’ve thought that in these uncertain days of isolation that we could get so many people together (safely distanced) in joyful celebration and remembrance.

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Flags were flying, bunting hung and the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement as the whole street prepared for the 75th anniversary of VE Day. This special day celebrates Winston Churchill’s famous speech that WW2 was finally over.

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This anniversary has come at a time where community spirit is again so important in keeping spirits lifted in a difficult time.

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On thursday evening Richard and I did a Zoom video interview for Studio 10, an Australian news programme on Channel 10. It aired at 11.40am Sydney time, although due to the time difference, we had to do the video call at 10.15pm!

On Friday morning at 9am I had a visit from the BBC Coventry and Warwickshire van and was interviewed live about the day’s upcoming events.

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At 11.30am I started my live singing set, which was also featured on Facebook for those in carehomes, hospitals, workplaces and homes worldwide. Viewers in America, France, Germany, Australia and Britain all joined me as I sang a selection of 1940’s classics to my neighbours and the photographer from Stratford Herld. I had a slight hiccup in Watch the Birdie, when my ‘mummy head’ clicked in as betsy hurt her finger. All words went out of my head as I watched and mentally checked that she was ok, whilst mumbling incoherent nonsense through the microphone. Ok, good Richard is getting her a plaster. BHAM! Back to singing head. Where am I in the song? Shoot this is going out live! Ok, just smile and look like you know what you’re doing… “Watch the Birdie, let’s take a candied camera shot, Watch the Birdie come on let’s give it all you’ve got, Watch the Birdie just  pick a flop-n-derp-n-bop and hold it!” ha ha ha!

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I decided to raise funds for Combat Stress, my favourite charity, who help veterans young and old (as well as their families) dealing with depression, PTSD and anxiety. There are already too many vets dealing with homelessness, addiction and psychological problems associated with their time fighting for their country. Combat Stress is here to assist those struggling. For those who would like to donate, you can do so HERE and 100% of the donations will go to the charity. The link will be active for 2 weeks after VE Day, do if it is no longer working, you can contact me directly!

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It was so wonderful seeing everyone enjoying themselves and coming together as a proud nation. It just shows that even in these depressing and worrying times, we can create strength and joy to see us through.

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There was music playing, people having picnics and BBQ’s and even an ice cream wagon giving out free ice creams and waffles! Thank you to all who made the day so incredible special and memorable, and remember…just  pick a flop-n-derp-n-bop and hold it!

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Singing at Snitterfield Arms 29th Feb ‘20


This coming Saturday I will be doing a vintage singing set WAY past my bedtime at Snitterfield Arms! Nestled in a flourishing village, just outside Stratford Upon Avon, this pub has been a local social staple for locals and passers by. This year they are upping their game with more entertainment and I’m one of them!

I start warbling at 9pm, so it would be wonderful to see you there! Plenty of parking, good food and cosy decor.

Remembrance Sunday 2019

Remembrance Sunday 2019

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This was my 4th year doing the Post Remembrance Music Cafe at Snitterfield Village Hall. Angie Tomes, my co-host, does soooooooo much work for this event. From putting up the bunting to baking mountains of delicious treats, she really is the driving force.

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Yet again, we had a full house. It was a complete whirlwind as the crowd arrived, fresh and chilled from the service at White Horse Hill. They laughed, chatted and socialised between mouthfuls of yummy cakes, brownies, biscuits and tea, before leaving to start their afternoons.

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Thank you to Hilary and Mama for donating homemade cakes for us to sell too!

My laptop seemed to decide that Sundays were indeed days of rest, forcing me to sing A capella for half an hour. I did manage to put on some 40’s tracks (thanks for the help Mr. Mew) and we had a little dance, before counting all of the donations and helping to tidy up.

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My chosen charity this year was Service Dogs UK. They provide dogs to veterans suffering from PTSD and seemed like a wonderful cause. There is so much proof to show that pets can be great therapy for depression and anxiety (I think they mean cats, dogs and fish, not tarantulas and scorpions). We raised £240 through donations and cake sales, so a HUGE thank you to everyone who came along.

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Next year we will be doing something a little different, so stay tuned!

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Dobbies Garden Centre Christmas 2019


Well, from Wyevale to Dobbies, this local garden centre has gone through a bit of a transformation, but I will be yet again gracing their Christmas section and singing you a selection of Christmas, vintage and Disney songs! Why not grab a hot chocolate in the cafe, treat yourself to a new fancy bauble and enjoy the music with your whole family!

Dobbies Christmas ad 2019

Remembrance Sunday 2019


I will be back in Snitterfield Village Hall this Remembrance Sunday (10th November), for our annual Remembrance Cafe! Angie Tomes will be serving homemade cakes and treats, along with hot and cold beverages. I will be singing vintage and Disney melodies and hoping you will all donate to our wonderful charity of choice: Service Dogs UK!

There is no admission charge, but we are hoping you will help us raise some money to unite British veterans with therapy dogs. It is well known that pets can help with depression, anxiety and stress, so imagine what one could do for men and women who have seen the horrors of war.

Welshpool WW2 Weekend 2019

Welshpool WW2 Weekend 2019

Here are a few pictures I snapped of the event. Was lovely to see my friend Jayne Darling again! Just a shame that there aren’t more vintage people attending the event, there is mostly general public. Hopefully it will see more through the years.

A wonderfully colourful sweet shop on the main road. If you look past the gaudy window stickers, you can see some Art Nouveau mirror borders with flowers and the word ‘Toffee.’ Very tricky to photograph, but absolutely stunning.

Inside the town hall where I had my vintage stall and performed on the stage. Always lovely stall holders and relaxed atmosphere up there.

Welshpool 40’s Weekend 2019


Looking forward to seeing everyone at Welshpool 1940’s Weekend! Again, I will be there on the Saturday only, upstairs in the town hall. Look out for my stall as I will have many pieces of clothing, hats and accessories out of my personal collection. Have your hair styled by Karen D Bebbington and then sit with a cup of tea and enjoy the music!

My performance times are 11.15am and 2.40pm on the Town Hall stage.

Avon Valley Railway 1940’s Event

Avon Valley Railway 1940’s Event

Today, poorly or not, we decided to go to Bitton in Bristol. Somewhere we haven’t been for 7 years, but changed our lives forever. This pretty little volunteer run Railway was I got married in 2012! The first members of the public to wed on the line, I immediately fell in love with the place and friendly staff.

Whilst showing me around our possible wedding venue, I happened to glance in the engine shed at a large pile of iron. The Station Master tried to distract my attention back to the steam loco, but I enquired what they were doing up in the shed. It ended up being a Diesel engine used in the D Day landings (WD70031, later named Grumpy on a another war department mission where each loco was named after one of the seven dwarves) and eventually our wedding train.

I couldn’t wait to see the place again and it was a shame that only a couple of volunteers there today were around on our big day. I consoled myself with spam fritters and enjoyed the short train ride up and down the line.

There was a fantastic prop Spitfire, many military vehicles and in the centre of the display… our Grumpy. It’s not a pretty loco, it wasn’t made to be, but it felt like an old friend and I was rather emotional seeing it again.

This was obviously the highlight of my day, other than showing little Betsy. I think she very much enjoyed the Punch and Judy Show featuring Churchill and Hitler.

What a joy also to see our friends Lady She and Jayne Darling too! Lady She gave me an excited squeal when she saw us and gifted Betsy a lovely necklace. I think she was also rather delighted with the Fry’s Chocolate Train too!