Hooray! At Last! I can hear you cry! This newsletter is so late that I don’t know what to say, other than this has been a real rollercoaster of a year with plans falling apart and others coming to fruition in a rush, as well as charging back and forwards to England, Germany and France. To top it all, when we did look forward to family and garden time, we endured the worst, wettest summer on record in Ireland.
One bit of news you can now order Roger's "In Kenya" DVD. Note It is available in PAL format only, so make sure it will work in your area and on your player before ordering. You find out more by using this link: In Kenya DVD
The year started with Roger dashing to England to do some promotion for his “Golden Years” album, which charted the first week on the market, but then had to go to Germany for the start of the 5 weeks leg followed by 10 days off .
When Roger came home for his break in the concerts, he developed the worst viral cold he has had in years with high temperatures, hacking cough and days in bed. Nearly all the musicians etc., had had it but he had hoped to avoid it…no such luck!
Here is a Slideshow of Family Pictures from 2009
At this point I was holding on to writing a new newsletter until immediately after Jessica and James became parents again with little Max (Maximillian Michael Brabazon) who arrived exactly 2 years and one hour after his sister Bella. A great boon for grandparents of 9 that two now with the same birthday to remember!
With Roger back on tour, Jessica had asked me to go over around the time of his impending arrival, and luckily I had 10 days off, so over I went. She was working up until the afternoon before the due date, never expecting that a baby actually arrives on time. But that evening after organising Bella’s 2nd Birthday party for the following day, I told her that he was ‘imminent’. No she said! I sent her off to have an early night and I went to dinner with my brother at a local restaurant. We had not even ordered our food before the phone rang, and she was ‘off’. Great excitement all round. Bella’s godmother looked after her, while we waited. Not for long! Max arrived wonderfully, and I have to say is one the easiest babies with huge smiles all the time. Isabella is besotted with her brother, as are all the family.
Then I charged back to Ireland for a few days before Roger and I left again to do the filming in England of the German MDR Magazine programme introducing the baby to Roger. We couldn’t do it in Ireland, but apart from being very tired Roger was thrilled to meet little Max, than aged only 3 weeks old for his debut television appearance. Bella ‘acted’ to perfection for the cameras, as did grandsons James and Milo, who joined us.
Back for a 2 weeks in Ireland and then return to Germany for Florian’s Spring Volksmusic show, when Roger was his usual professional self, but I messed up my lines horribly, and had to wear bedroom slippers until the last second before slipping on glam. shoes to appear on stage before the cameras. But that is a further tale of woe for later.
We then ‘upsticks’, as they say, and went to France for 10 days peace and quiet. We also enjoyed, and took part in the town International arts festival, with Roger reciting some of his lyrics as poetry and my reading my favourite poems by Patrick Kavanagh.
Other people from at least 8 different countries, read, exhibited sculpture, paintings , sang or danced, and then in the middle of it all, a wedding party took to the streets with a band playing behind…all very romantic. In the evening 200 of us gathered for a sumptuous feast, folk music, and flamenco dancing! Enormous fun.
On our return, Roger went straight into ‘writing mode’ having completed nearly 8 new songs, (the count now standing at 16!)
So I thought I would go straight into doing this newsletter, but the fates were against me, as I stubbed a toe, breaking it badly and it wouldn’t heal. My back and neck were agony again, to the extent that I couldn’t sleep more than a couple of hours a night. I couldn’t
Concentrate on work or anything, so doctors took the decision to send me to a clinic for full skeletal scans etc.,Rheumatologists, orthopaedics surgeons - you name it. I have had acute arthritis for years and a few joint replacements but the scan showed I have an advance form of bone disorder, not osteoporosis but some other weird and wonderful disease. I am on so many pills I cant count them, but the pain is far less. I am now waiting for surgery this year on my left foot, as I can hardly wear any shoes, and then next year my right foot, ankle and heel.
So I wait while they sort things out.
By now Roger was getting into learning his new German album lyrics for recording in November/December for release in March, and which Roger said he could sit and do in France, as Jessica, James and their lovely little family were joining us for a break there. But again luck was not on our side!
The week before we were due to leave, Boris our 5 year old bulldog, who had been unwell for weeks with an internal problem, suddenly was in agony walking, lying or anything, for even a few minutes. So he was rushed to the vet clinic where they X-rayed his spine and found he had a slipped disc. He was to be caged, not allowed to go up and down stairs, and only allowed to walk to a patch of grass for his necessaries. So we went to the flat next to the office which is all ‘on the flat’ and Roger cancelled his trip, but told me to go ahead.
Boris was utterly wretched in the cage, and within two days had rubbed his face raw, and had tried to get out to the extent he bent the bars of a piece of equipment meant to house dogs up to great danes in strength.
All the phone calls from a distressed Roger, who could not concentrate on his work, was back and forth from the vets clinic, and wasn’t cooking or eating properly, made me cut short my trip and fly back to help out.
I’m renown for being a ‘bossy boots’ and I could immediately see that one of the problems with Boris was that he was miserable in his surroundings and felt he was being punished. So I moved him back to the house and told Roger ‘we take our chances’ with the stairs etc., Within a day he had perked up and was visibly improving. He still has to have painkillers and is stiff in the mornings, but he is back to his naughty personality, taking my shoes off, if I am not paying enough attention to him, but not yet bouncing in the air, but sufficiently mobile to steal the footballs that come over from the schoolyard next door! We will keep our fingers crossed, but being realistic we know his back will never get right. So it will be a judgement of ‘quality not quantity’ of his life that will matter. But it has certainly been a draining emotional time. Isnt it crazy how much we love our animals and the older we get , the more they replace the care and attention we gave to the children before they flew the nest!
Now that things are calmer we can both concentrate on the future and while Roger flies off to record before Christmas, I hope my foot will be done, and whilst it is in plaster, I will start on the book of his lyrics as poetry with some of his brilliant photography as illustrations.
He had forgotten over these hectic years, how much he loved his photography, and how he looks forward to spending more time in the dark room again.
I will not promise WHEN I will get the next newsletter out but I will certainly post on line the moment we have news of the German album release, and also the possible English album.
In the meantime, all our best wishes to you all and do keep writing.
Roger loves scrolling through the guestbook and takes on board all the wonderful things you write.
Take care of yourselves,
Taken from the:
The Official Roger Whittaker Website
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