Monday, January 11, 2016

Catching up - BIG time!

New years are seen in some cultures to be a time of renewing friendships, and it's on this note that I've had a fascinating and delightful experience over the past few days. It started when Naomi and Steve both received a Facebook message from a friend and colleague of mine who taught at the same time as me at Christ Church School. In the 80s. She was trying to get in touch with me. She'd recently joined a FB group comprising a large number ex-students of that school, some of whom were asking about me.

Now, I've been a FB refuser for years. As an ICT teacher, I thought I ought at least to know about it, so I created an account very early on in its history. But I wasn't attracted to it, so I let it lie dormant. I've been back to it a few times since, but deleted it a couple of months ago. After Maria's message, I created a new account, and joined the group. My goodness, what a welcome I received!
And then followed all of the greetings from dozens of people, most now in their 50s, to whom I taught RE all those years ago! Hundreds of messages now! Loads of them have friended me. It's really wonderful to hear from them, to see their photos and hear what they're doing, where they are. Lots of reminiscing, friendly teasing, banter. There were just three teachers in the group already, and I brought in one more. It's amazing what these "kids" will own up to, now they're grown up! I love Facebook!

I can't say we've been terribly busy since Christmas. The kids are back into work mode, and Grace and I have been rattling around keeping occupied. Grace has made a seat cushion for the sofa-bed we bought last year. It's a lovely bed, but rather hard as a sofa. The cushion sorts that out perfectly.

The book's selling well. "Life with our feet under water" There's only been one day since its publication when I sold no copies. I'm encouraged. Hopefully, it's going to be reviewed in Canal Boat magazine and Towpath Talk in the next few months.

We've been spoiled for choice of films to view, having acquired quite a pile from Naomi and Ed in their process of post-Christmas tidying-up, plus a host of good films on TV.

For my own record, we've watched...

Despicable me
Albert Nobbs
Iron Man 3
And then there were none
Shakespeare in Love

More on those another time.

I tweeted the arrival of Said the Maiden's CDs last week. "Of Maids and Mariners". 1,000 CDs. Find storage space for that lot in a house which is already bursting at the seams! The Maidens had already sold over 100 pre-release on their PledgeMusic campaign, and spent ages signing these one evening. Then came the official launch of the EP, yesterday afternoon.

As with their last CD, A Curious Tale, the launch was at St Albans' Empire Records, the vinyl record specialist shop Eddie works at. It was a great event. 

Loads of people came along, filled the shop, and spilled out through the door and around the windows. The Maidens sang the four songs from the EP, as well as a number of others.

Jess had been suffering from a cold for days, but her voice hung in there right throughout. Just!

Said the Maiden's music video can be seen on YouTube, and a live performance of their superb rendition of Joleen, too. It's a superb EP, believe me - though, of course, I'm biased! It'll be available on all of the music download sites very soon. Just you listen!

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