Natalies News December 2003
  Dear Friends:

Christmas is here again, and do I have presents for you! As you will have gathered, Roger is back in Germany as guest artist for a series of Christmas concerts there. He is also just finished a brand new album entitled "MOMENTS IN MY LIFE" with several of his Irish inspired songs included in it. The first release of this album will be in February in Ireland as he does four concerts here, and then later in March when he will be on the extensive tour of Canada (keep checking concert tour section of the website). He is also planning a short tour of England in July followed by a short tour of Scandinavia, and possibly a few more Irish dates. He will then be back in the USA during November until the first week in December.

But before all that BMG is releasing a very special compilation celebrating four decades of singing for you all. Forty Years! It doesn't seem possible.

This new compilation, called "NOW AND THEN," will be released world-wide immediately after the new year. Apart from the really famous titles such as "Last Farewell", there are many that have not been included for years. Titles such as "If I were a Rich Man", "Mammy Blue" and going all the way forward to two of the new titles from the new album, called "Feather in the Wind" and "Jenny" are there. It will have a booklet with a biography and descriptions of the different decades and the highlights of those years.

More goodies for 2004. I am hoping to put out a DVD of the "ROGER WHITTAKER IN KENYA", a Musical Safari, the much requested TV special he did in 1982. This will be on sale at the concert venues and also by post for all over the world and for those of you who wish to add it to your Whittaker Memorabilia. I will be posting a special announcement in February, on the website with details of how to order. So keep watching the front page of the site.

Also, to celebrate the 40 years, I have put together a special tour programme, As so many of you will not be able to attend the concerts this year, I will be printing sufficient for you to order. It has many family pictures and items over the years-in fact it is packed with many photos that you may never have seen before. Definitely a "must" for the shopping cart. These, however will not be available until February/March, but keep watching out for the announcement.

As soon as the Summer holiday was over, Roger was busy back in the studio, finishing the new songs, and that went on for several weeks, most of it here in the house studio. In between working with the most incredible Autumn weather we pottered around in the garden, planting and planning for next year, and finishing rebuilding the old Victorian greenhouse.

The Edwardian vine house now has peaches, apricots and figs growing, and I had an absolute glut of tomatoes of every description, as well as bushes of Basil that I made into pesto, soup and, would you believe, ice-cream! It was divine!

The puppies are growing so fast that I can hardly call them puppies anymore. Rough is nearly 70 lbs. And is the kindest, gentle and humorous dog we have had in years, but he and Titch (as she now is known) are hell bent on destroying everything that can be chewed, including skirting boards, and banisters! Nothing offered by vets to paint on deters them, so we can only hope they finish teething soon. Titch is much smaller than her brother having suffered a dreadful virus when she was ten weeks old, and we thought we would loose her. But apart from being small she is now feisty and flirts with every man who comes to the house. Our darling Millie is now completely at home with them and tolerates their rambustous romping with just the occasional snarl if they get too cheeky.

That's the news for our new "babies", but on the human front, the grandchildren are all thriving and growing, with young Alistair now starting to talk, and like his sisters, Rebecca and Imogene, is extremely stubborn. I tell Lauren, that they remind me of her at those ages! Lauren and Doc are in great form, but unfortunately will not be joining us for Christmas as Doc has to work all but the 25th and 26th, so we will miss them enormously.

In fact this year will be very quiet as Emily, Stewart, Jamie, and Milo will be spending the holidays with Stewart's mother, and Merte and Guy will be in Denmark with her parents, planning the wedding in July. Mette has just landed a wonderful (but scary) job working as a Forensic Psychologist in Reading, having got a brilliant Masters, so she and Guy have moved out of London, fairly close to Emily and Stewart. Guy is looking for a new job. He is hoping to get a writing job, as he writes brilliantly, but has not yet found the niche he needs and may have to return to the IT business again. He and Jessica contributed to my brother, Donough O'Brien's new book called FAME BY CHANCE, which is all about the names we have all come to know by circumstances of history. It is widely available in the UK and Ireland, but will not appear in North America until next year.

Jessica is still busy with radio and voice-overs and has written several ideas for TV shows, (we are keeping our fingers crossed). Her wedding is postponed due to both of them so busy that they want to sort out an easier time. So my summer won't be so crazy after all.

Alex is still busy painting, and developing etching, sitting exams and generally finishing his Master in Savannah, but is currently in England visiting all his siblings, nephews and nieces, before coming to spend three weeks with us in Ireland for the Christmas festivities. Sadly, he and Jen are no longer together, but have remained great friends.

Roger will be busy recording a new German album for release in the Autumn, and also a TV special here in Ireland. So with all the touring it will be a very busy year, but I hope there will be boating and fishing time, and we still haven't decided what we are going to do for our big 40th wedding anniversary.

Well, that is all the news for now, and Roger and I wish you all the happiest, healthiest and great holidays and New Year. Take care and keep in touch.

All our love Natalie

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