Friday, 8 March 2013

International Women's Day 2013 - A Promise is a Promise. Time to End Domestic Violence.


Today is International Women's Day.

I wonder what that means to you? Is is a day for celebration? A day for holding hands with our sisters across the globe and standing in unity, supporting those for whom life can be a struggle? Or is it a day for political campaigning to make a change for women who experience abuse, violence and discrimination? I have read some debate in the papers today and some questioning if it is possible to celebrate at the same time as taking time to think about things suck human trafficking, female genital mutilation and domestic violence. I think it is possible to do all three - we women can consider each other, campaign for each other and celebrate each other within the same day. We should be doing it every day!

The theme for International Women's Day this year has been 'A promise is a promise - time to end domestic violence.'  UN research has shown that around 603 million women world wide at this moment in time are facing domestic violence. Nearly 70% of women across the globe face abuse at some time in their life and violence against women caused more death and injury among the global female population than cancer, malaria, road traffic accidents and war. In the UK, one in four women have experienced domestic violence. Two women a week are killed by current or former partners in England and Wales. This is something that has to change and governments across the UK need to make changes to ensure perpetrators of domestic violence are bought to justice and women protected.





Yesterday, AVON ambassador, Alesha Keyes, spent the day leading AVON's 'In Her Name' campaign against domestic violence. AVON have recently completed a survey on domestic violence and, throughout the day, Alesha spent time sharing some of the findings with the media. Findings such as the fact that;

One in five 16-18 year-olds did not think, or weren't sure, if pressure from a partner to have sex or engage in sexual acts meant domestic violence.

One in five 16-18 year-olds weren't sure if slapping or hitting was a sign of domestic violence. 

I find these statistics worrying. Clearly, there is a great need for education and awareness about respect for each other and what constitutes violence within relationships. It makes me wonder what we can do, everyone of us.  What do you think? 

You can make a stand by buying and wearing this pretty necklace as a symbol of support and solidarity for each other and a stand against domestic violence. What's more £1.76 from each necklace sold will go to charities who support women who have been affected by domestic violence. You can buy yours now from our online brochure. (I'm an AVON Lady now in addition to everything else, I really need to write some catch up posts on this blog!




For us, today has been a day of thinking of others, campaigning but also of celebration. I and my two beautiful daughters have celebrated each other and shared a meal and we've been interested to learn what others across the world have been doing in celebration. In China, International Women's Day is given as a holiday for women only and employers give gifts such as cinema tickets. Other countries, such as Russia celebrate the day with special meals and flowers. I think we, in the UK, have a long way to go to make this day as big a day of celebration and campaigning as it could be. I'm already committed to organising something more next year. 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Fancy a free book or £10?

After last week's emotional show on organ donation and transplant, I decided to make today's Anything But Ordinary radio show a little more light hearted an fun. That said, I had to mention the wonderful Lou and play her song, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, which was another emotional moment and bought a huge lump in my throat. Good old Lou for choosing such an upbeat song that soon had me bopping in the studio again. Honestly, one of these days I will forget to switch my mic off I'm sure and you will hear me singing along, probably in harmony, and it will be immensely embarrassing. On the show, I mentioned the video where I talk about Lou and share the song I wrote about her. You can find the link to that here if you want to listen. 

After some fun chit chat about birthdays (as mine is tomorrow), wishes and beating the winter blues, I was really pleased to welcome Jason from [Re]designdesign to talk about their amazing project [Re}design Christmas.

Jason with the santa beard, one of the quickest and easiest projects in the book.



I met Jason at the Ideal Home's Christmas a few weeks ago when his stall really caught my eye, standing out in a sea of everything that is commercial about Christmas. Jason and his partner Sarah set up [Re]design to encourage people to make things out of materials that would otherwise end up in the landfill and to encourage designers to think about sustainability and how to prevent the product of their work ending up in a landfill. The idea originated from one Christmas when they and their family decided that, the next year, everyone should make a present for one adult member of the family - kind of like a home made secret santa. A wonderful tradition was born and each year each adult hand makes a gift for another adult member of the family and that's all they get for Christmas. I think that's amazing and what Christmas should be all about - giving something with love and care, not just the latest gadget or piece of plastic with little thought sometimes. I'm going to adopt a bit of that spirit and make things with the children to give to others this Christmas. Jason gave me a copy of their [Re]design Christmas book at the show and am hoping to make as many pieces as possible - crochet purses and knitted bags made from supermarket carrier bags and Christmas tree decorations from plastic bottles. You can also make lampshades, a gorgeous cushion from an old seasonal jumper, even a full sized suit or armour from the boxes discarded at the end of Christmas Day - a real Boxing Day project in every sense of the word. While we were chatting all about their work, Jason showed me how to make yarn from carrier bags and we made pom poms. Now I know how to make the yarn I plan to get the knitting and crochet needles out to make bags and purses as presents - that wil be my first project from the book.

You too can have a go, Jason and Sarah have very kindly donated a [Re]design Christmas book for anyone who uses it to raise money for William's Wishes. If you think you could make and sell some things out of, in may cases, household waste, please let me know by e-mailing me or using the contact page and the book is yours. 

And while we're on the subject of freebies and William's Wishes - I will give £10 of my own money to 5 people who can use it to make at least £50 for William's Wishes. How you do it is up to you! 

You can hear the show in full here - scroll down until you find the 27th November episode of Anything But Ordinary. 




Sunday, 18 November 2012

An Amazing Day at Anfield with the Liverpool Family

I knew our trip to Liverpool was going to be amazing. From the moment the awesome Mark invited us up to be part of his special performance of Beating Berlusconi, to help raise money for the Hillsborough Justice Campaign to build a new memorial to the 96 in Liverpool City Centre, I had that kind of gut feeling that goes beyond just nerves and excitment. That feeling that tells you somehow that you are about to embark on something life affirming or even life altering. I had no real idea what that was going to be. All I know is that, since I sat down and wrote 96th Son, it has taken me on a journey that the song itself seems to be steering and I knew this weekend would be the beginning of a new chapter. Beyond that, I had no idea what to expect.



As the weekend unfolded, it became clear that this chapter is a big one, and a long one. It's one is going to take some time to think about and plan before I embark fully into it's pages so bear with me because this blog is going to be in at least two parts, maybe three, but I do promise I will write it daily so you won't have to wait too long. I'm going to do that, not just for the blog but because putting it all down here will help clarify things for me and also enable me to make some public commitments to myself and to the people I met this weekend.

I'm going to write this blog back to front and talk about Saturday before I talk about Friday because that way I can talk about the easier 'newsy stuf' before I get deeper into my reflections from the weekend. I have never been to Liverpool before and, other than on TV,  I've never seen Liverpool play before either. This weekend, I got to do both and both were amazing! If I lived closer I'd be saving up for a season ticket! I hear all the time that Liverpool fans are like a family.



I have experienced this through the many fans I've met on twitter and have spoken to, especially since 96th Son, but there is nothing like being at Anfield to really feel part of something. You arrive as a stranger and you go home a friend, a member of the Liverpool family. It sounds a cliche but never have I heard or uttered the phrase 'I'm coming away with new friends' after a weekend away with such sincerity and warmth. When we first planned the weekend, it was all about being a part of Beating Berlusconi and performing the song (I'm going to write about Friday evening tomorrow). Then, I came down with a big chest infection, spent a fortnight in hospital and had to focus on getting enough strength back in my chest muscles to be able to sing at all. It was only last week when I began to think about what else we would do while we were in Liverpool and realised that it was a home match weekend. I had a crazy idea that we may be able to buy tickets (and later learned that tickets for each Liverpool Premiership home game are oversubscribed by 20 000) but discovered that there is a match day stadium tour - and that the only spaces left at such short notice were 9.15am the morning after a late night event. But we would be in Liverpool on match day and that was the closest we'd get so we scrapped any ideas of a lazy hotel morning and leisurely breakfast we may have been harbouring and booked ourselves on. Then, on Thursday evening, Mark called to say he had two spare match tickets on his hands and was offering us first refusal on them. How could we be at Anfield on match day and say no to that!!

The wonderful Mark picked us up from the hotel and took us to Anfield first thing in his morning after a huge night for him. He also arranged for our luggage and the keyboard to be taken care of while we were on the tour and, later, the match - you see what I mean about friendships and family!  We arrived at Anfield at about 9 am and there was already a sense of preparation and anticipation in the air.  Before William's bowel transplant, we lived at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital - literally, for months and months at a time. In the end, we weren't allowed out until his transplant so it became home. The hospital was on the same stretch as Stamford Bridge so I often experienced the match day build up - the merchandise stalls setting up, the smells of hot dogs and chips and the crowds. I thought I knew what to expect but there is nothing like the building anticipation of a match day you are going to be part of.

I've been on the Wembly and the Stamford Bridge tours too and seen their museums so I thought I knew what to expect of the Anfield one too but I was wrong. A tour on match day is fascinating and exciting. You don't get to see the changing rooms but you do get to see the preparation - setting up the cameras, getting the pitch ready. We even saw Wigan arrive and exchanged a little banter with the guys that bought in their kit.



The Liverpool museum is steeped in history and that sense of love and pride that oozes from everything you see that has anything to do with the club whilst in the city. It truly is a special place and one I recommend anyone to visit, regardless of their own personal football allegiance. There is so much to see and experience in the museum. My Mum's Dad (not who I call Grandad because her Dad died when she was 6) used to play professional football for Port Vale so I really enjoyed the historical sections of the museum. It made it possible for me to imagine the world he shared. I also enjoyed the film about Istanbul as it followed on nicely from the 'Beating Berlusconi' story. As a writer and someone who loves to put words on paper (or screens) and communicate, it was this that most touched me in the museum.



It was amazing to see the typewriter such a legend used for all his correspondence. Seeing letters he wrote to the fans and the excitement it would have bought to receive one made me think more about how we are losing the art of the letter. We so often tweet, text or write on a Facebook wall - even things such as a Happy Birthday to a close friend. We get excited when someone famous tweets at us too but these things are transient, you can't put them in memory boxes and re-read them. You can't pass them on to your children. I took this photo to remind me of that and to inspire me to put pen to paper for people more often.

With an early start after a very long and busy day before, we were ready for a hot drink and a sit down by the time we'd finished the tour and museum. We had always planned to go into the Hillsborough Justice Campaign shop while in Liverpool and introduce ourselves, tell them about our song and see if there is anything more we can do. So, we decided to pop in before we took a break.




And that was when we met Steve Kelly and that was when I realised why I was standing in that place at that point in time and that my gut feelings about this weekend were right.




Steve lost his brother Michael at Hillsborough. He always believed that Michael died within the first minutes of the crush and that his body was found in the stands. Following the Independent Panel Report published in September, Steve discovered that his brother was in fact on the grass at the opposite end of the pitch, alive, long after the 15 minute cut off the original inquests made such a big thing of. Michael was one of the 41 people we now know could have been alive had the paramedics and ambulances been allowed to get onto the pitch to help them and now, Steve, and the families of 40 others are having to come to terms with it. I had a very long chat with Steve and, later, when we returned to the shop to store our gear during the match, with an amazing women, Becky Shah, who at just 17 and with a 13 -year-old brother, lost her mum in the crush. Becky is on Panorama tomorrow night talking about Hillsborough and the Independent Police Complaints Commission and I know what she has to say is incredibly powerful so do watch. I have a lot more to write about my encounters with Steve and Becky, the things I learned from them and how my time with them will shape a lot of what I do in life and in work from now on. I will post a blog about this tomorrow so, for now, it's enough to say that, as we began talking about why we were in Liverpool, the wonderful Steve took us upstairs to sit and talk and made us a cup of tea, just what we needed!

We had to spend some time at the memorial to the 96 who died at Hillsborough before we went into the match. It almost felt like a pilgrimage to spend some time and reflect on those individuals whose stories inspired our song and dedicate 96th Son and journey it has taken us on to them in person. We spent a while there watching the fans pay their own respects on their way into the stadium by leaving something or simply the marble as they passed. A lot of people did that which I thought was a really nice way of acknowledging them in love and including them in the day - it's that Liverpool family again.



And so the time came to go and see Liverpool play at home at Anfield. Our day had taken an unexpected turn with our time in the HJC Shop and we finally arrived to our seats literally as the game was kicking off.





We were on the Anfield Road Stand, the second tier of seats up and right on the corner, aligned almost with the corner flag. The view was fantastic. The atmosphere was immense. We were soon singing along with everyone around us. A lot has been written already about the amazing Suaraz - his amazing talent and the slightly controversial tackle which left a Wigan player injured enough to leave the game. Sadly, this followed another player, Ben Watson, leave the game with a broken leg. It's always sad to see someone injured but we were a litte confused by a loud announcement over the tannoy both times announcing it was time for 'Operation Anfield Exercise.'  Living from London, I'm used to the coded messages for incidents on the tube but surely there was no need for secrecy when all 44 000 of us could see there was a man injured, and surely it wasn't an exercise but real. Just after the whistle blew for half-time there was another anouncement telling us there had, indeed, been an exercise involving the police and the club in testing their abilty to evacuate the ground. It was clearly just coincidence that both announcements had been given when there was a man down.




During the first half, most of the action was down at the Kop end goal Liverpool were shooting on but there were no goals. During the second half the action was a little more even but there were goals - three of them and all down our end. It was really exciting to be in the part of a crowd where home goals were happening so close to but it did mean that I actually didn't see any of them because everyone stood up as the ball came down. Next time Liverpool, can I pretty please have a few goals up each end so I get the atmosphere and get to see them. Thanks guys :)

And I will be back. I'd say it was a once in a lifetime weekend - and it was in some ways, much of what happened couldn't happen in the same way again. But what can, and will happen again, is going to Anfield and watching the Reds play, and hopefully win, again.

Mark tweeted this to me earlier today;

"Liverpool is a special place made special not by buildings or investments but by it's people. Many people come, most don't want to leave but all come back." I know I will - I have a family to visit!
You'll Never Walk Alone

Friday, 16 November 2012

Beating Berlusconi....and chest infections

Well, my aim to blog daily has clearly suffered a bit of a dent in the last month! There is good reason though. My last entry was all about breathing and singing. Shortly after writing it I went to a chest clinic appointment and ended up being kept in hospital as my lung finction, heart rate and oxygen levels were rather a tad below par. I was surprised as I wasn't feeling too bad. It turned out to be a good thing though as I did get more poorly over the first weeked in hospital - but because of that, a few days turned into two weeks of treatment with intravenous steroids and antibiotics and more tests.

It was disapointing timing as I had to miss the Chery Orchard Arts Festival which I had been really looking forward to taking part in. Over the last week, I've been slowly picking back up with everything and getting back on track ready for another really exciting event we're taking part in today. This is a quick update because we're getting ready to jump on a train to Liverpool to take part in a special fundraising performance of the very awesome and very funny Beating Berlusconi in aid of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign. We'll be performing 96th Son and the classic anthem, You'll Never Walk Alone. Then, tomorrow, we're off to Anfield for a stadim tour and to see a Liverpool home game. An exciting and action packed weekend but I have to be really strict now to make time for my treatments and chest physio.

I have lots to share with you about 96th Son, the radio show and some really exciting things coming up but it will have to wait until Sunday when we get back, when I'll also tell you all about tonight and share some photos and maybe some new videos too so please do come back...

Monday, 22 October 2012

Breathing through it

Wow, so today is a pretty special day as I have my first single out. I'm really pleased that it's such a special song for a very special cause and that it came out on a historic day. Right now, I'm listening to the Commons Debate on Hillsborough, the disaster, the cover ups and the misgivings of justice that the families have been fighting for the last 23 years! In an hour or so, BBC Radio Merseyside are playing our song and interviewing me about it and why I wrote it. I sincerely hope the song sells well, charts to show support for the families and raises loads of money for them but even if that doesn't happen, our song has touched people and become a small part of this incredible chapter of our social history. I'm really proud of this little song we called '96th Son' and excited about the journey it's taking us on - whatever that is. If you haven't yet, please download it by simply clicking here.

This time last year, I could never have dreamt I'd be in the studio singing and performing as much as I do now. I still have 40% lung function and have to work really hard to control and project my voice. I have to concentrate on every note and, at times, you can hear the struggle. One thing I've learned during the rehearsal and, more so, recording of 96th Son is that the way my voice sounds and my 'breathiness' at times is part of it's uniqueness and quality. I was spending a lot of energy and effort trying to hide my extra breaths, wheezes and huskiness. We were lucky enough to have a fantastic sound engineer, Tony Brady, a highly experienced, platinum disk owning engineer who has worked with some huge names, working with us on recording 96th Son. Rather than masking and hiding my breathiness and breathlessness, Tony pulled it all up in the mix and made it part of my sound. That had a huge impact on the confidence I have in the sounds I make. I have learned to embrace those elements and am working on using them to give my voice it's own unique character. Tony kept telling me to breathe through each note with as much breath as I could muster and it worked wonders. 

I still get stupidly nervous before I perform though and need to learn to breathe through that now. Any ideas and tactics for the dreaded butterflies would be most welcome! 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Anything But Ordinary - Hillsborough Special

I can't believe it's been a week since I posted here. Well, I can really because it's been a crazy busy time!. Jnr 'Sunraii' Keys and I were in the studio recording the single - 96th Son ready for release on Monday (22nd October). 































Then we had Acoustically Speaking on Sunday where we performed the song and I also sung another of my new songs 'Wordsmith' with the awesome Stevie Blu. The performance wasn't perfect (mainly because I have an ongoing battle with placing the mic in a perfect position for me when I'm singing at the keyboard. It always seems to slip down and I can't sing all hunched over so I placed it high this time and, guess what, yep, it stayed there making me stretch for it and go a tad quiet when looking down at the keys!) Nevertheless, I like the way the song is coming so I'll add it to my YouTube and soundcloud later today - after the radio show. I also want to blog about the things I learned from our day in the studio - not least about my voice and how Stevie (who is also my singing teacher) and I are working together to develop it so I can make the most of the lung function I have these days. It's all a work in progress but the amazing Tony Bradey, who recorded and mixed the single, had some interesting observations to make. Tony is a platinum album owner who has worked with some hige names in the industry and we were honoured that he took the time out to work with us on '96th Son' and did so for free to help us get the song out and raising money and awareness. Tomorrow, I'll tell you more about him and the things I learned but, for today...'on with the show!

Today I'll be talking about Hillsbourgh and giving our single it's very first play. I hope you like it and will encourage everyone you know to buy it in support of the families who are about to face a new set of appeals, investigations and court cases and in tribute of the loved ones they lost. I'll be talking more about the Reds Rose Walk and reading out some tweets and emails I've received from people sharing their memories and feelings at a time when every week brings new reports and revelations about a disaster that happened 23 years ago! Why has it taken so long? This very moving piece from Radio 4 explains a little as well as some dramatic accounts of the impact 23 years of lies has had on the families.  

Our song is our own little voice into the fight for peace and justice for the 96 who lost their lives and Hillsborough but a far more famous song that has become associated with Liverpool Football Club and Hillsborough is the classic 'You'll Never Walk Alone.' I've been researching why this song has such a big place in the hearts of the Liverpool fans and will be talking about that on the show, as well as explaining how and why the 1963 hit came to top the charts again last month after selling 28 000 copies in 24 hours! I take hope from that staggering statistic that our little song can sell the few thousand it needs to make enough impact for people to notice it, play it and hear it's message and for us to raise a significant amount of money to help the families at a time when they need it the most again.

I'll also be playing a fascinating interview I had with Su Pollard last week. It was loads of fun so do listen to find out why I met her and what she thinks of seeing a picture of her younger self in an exhibition here in Croydon as well as her thoughts on TV shows, including the X-Factor, playing the villian in pantomime and what she's doing with her life these days. Su was a lot of fun and her interview is so entertaining that I'll be running it in two episodes. Next month, while we all think about glamming ourselves up for the Christmas party season, I'll share with you her thoughts on fashion and how you can make a fascinator like the one she was wearing when I met her. 

 


 
If you want any more information about Su, her panto and the exciting projects she's about to embark on then check out her website. 
 
Su and I talked about the opportunities she had as a young person and we all know the shocking facts and statistics about the lack of employment and education opportunities for our young people right now. This was something my amazing young writers, Josh and Molly, have been exploring in our writing workshops we hold at Positively Marvelous Temptations cupcake cafe in Addiscombe on Saturday afternoons. Josh and Molly performed their poems at Acoustically Speaking on Sunday and I was so proud of them. 
They did so well that I'll be playing their poems on air today. If anyone else wants to come and join us then please do get in touch. The workshops are open for all young people between 13 and 18 and we are now performing spoken word under the banner of the 'Croydon Cafe Collective.' Josh and Molly were joined on stage by the awesome Paul Cree, a professional poet who performs with the amazing Rubix Collective who inspired them hugely and showed them that anything is possible. It's all about following your dreams! 

If you missed the show, or if you want to listen again, you can do so here 



Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Anything But Ordinary - National Chocolate Week




Welcome to the first 'Anything But Ordinary' radio show blog. Every Tuesday I'll be blogging the stories and off air background and gossip that didn't make the airwaves, as well as giving you all the information and links for the things I did mention on the show.

In case you missed today's debut show, you can listen to it again in full here. I'd love to know what you think. The show is all about interaction and sharing stories so I'd love to hear yours. 

I've never really been one to make it easy on myself and today was no exception to that rule. After a late night cutting an interview to play on my first radio show today, I spent the morning recording another session, gave myself less than an hour to edit it and then had to learn all the technology involved in putting on a show. At a small station likeCroydon Radio  we, the DJs, have to research and produce our own shows. This means a very steep learning curve at first. For me, the research and putting a set of features together in a magazine show like 'Anything But Ordinary' are skills that transfer easily from the other forms of journalism I do but the technology is a whole new set of ball games and, yep, it showed at times. The little pauses between my announcing a track and you actually hearing it and the very interesing remix of Coldplay's 'Paradise' are examples of that. One thing I learned that hard way today is how long it can take a big file to appear in drop box. I was mighty relieved when the whisky and chocolate tasting piece finally made it from my laptop screen to the studio computer. I was pleased to have a couple of long tracks on my playlist today that gave me some time to find additional material to play in case it hadn't made it ontime. In the end, I had more than enough to say and didn't have time for it all - another reason for the blog.

So, this week we celebrated national chocolate week and london cocktail week in style with a fantastic feature on whisky and chocolate with Mark Thomson at Dramatic Whisky



 

I think we managed to potray how good those whisky's and chocolate's were. It was certainly a partnership where the pairing bought more than the sum of the parts. The combinations of taste bought out extra characteristics in each other that I hadn't noticed before. Mark's knowledge is nothing short of awesome. Did you know that whisky is stronger when it first comes out of the barrel and that the alcohol that evaporates off is known as the angel's share. That imagery really appeals to the writer in me. Angel's breath is another one. If you don't know what that is then listen to the show as I can guarantee you'll find it fascinating. Mark has very kindly offered a 50% discount to his tasting evenings from now until the end of 2013 for any Croydon Radio listeners. I know I'm going to take him up on the offer and savour my whisky and chocolate at a time when I can enjoy the full dram without thinking about a radio show in an hour. Get in touch with me if you want the discount code too. What a wonderful Christmas present it would be for the whisky drinker in your life or anyone, like me, who wants to discover more about it. 

My studio guest this week was 'Jet Logan' from London INC, 'the hottest faction in British wrestling'. 




As you can see, he's a big guy and he demonstrated an equally big personality throughout the show. 

We really hit it off and had a lot of fun chatting both on and off the air. I can tell you know, Jet will be back. You're going to hear a lot more from that young man on the show. I still can't believe he plays the bad guy in the ring. I'm going to have to go and see it for myself when he and the rest of the crew come to the Fairfied Halls on 21st October. It's a show for all the family and I think it's going to be something pretty special. Make sure you get your ticket here

While we were off air, Jet and I were munching on sweet potato and white chocolate cakes. They really are yummy. Jet has challenged me to find a way of adding protein in them so he can include them in his weight gain programme. Weight gain?! You don't here that often! You chose the right week in chocolate week to come on the show Jet. Here is the sweet potato and white chocolate cake recipe we tried. I also tried some lovely chocolate and mint soap from My Roo.

We heard what Su Pollard makes of Wasabi Chocolate and I'm sure Jet was bitterly disappointed she took the bar and saved him from sampling it live on air! Su was a real sport for taking the chocolate test, although she didn't need her arm pulling that hard! You can find out why I caught up with her, what she thinks about fashion, the X Factor and playing the villain and what she's planning to do with her amazing career next, in next week's 'Anything But Ordinary' where I'll also be taking you on a behind the scenes tour of recording '96th Son' tomorrow and thinking back to that football match, 23 years ago, that was anything but ordinary at all.

We were played out this week by the amazing Shanice Smith, AKA Shan Smile and her 'Showers of Blessings'. Catch her on YouTube here 

All in all, it was a busy day and a busy show. There's only one thing for it now. A night cap of 'Naked Grouse' (thank-you Mark for leaving that bottle with me :) ) and a piece of chocolate - not the wasabi one but I never really fancied that anyway. Thanks for tuning in. See you next week. In the meantime, I'll be here on the blog and on twitter.