NEWSLETTER MARCH 2010-03-07
Dear Friends everywhere!
Don’t panic! Roger will never say the word ‘retirement’ again after the last time! Which took precisely 6 weeks before he was asking where his guitars were and whether there was a way of rigging up a small studio in the little house we lived in when we first came to Ireland. Since then he has done 6 tours! Having said that, Roger will be 75 before the next tour and I will be nearly 70 YUCK! It is not the concerts that tire him, so much as all the travel – it can be quite gruelling even when you are in your 50’s!
However this German tour will be at a wonderful time of year for so many of you – we hope – to make your vacation a trip to some of the wonderful cities of Germany and Austria. Flowers and trees in bloom and weather, hopefully, much warmer than it is at present. So you have a year to plan, and we look forward to seeing many of you during the tour. Check the “CONCERT” page on the website for dates, ticket availability etc.,
As far as albums are concerned, that is in the lap of the gods – and the whims of the ever changing record industry, but certainly there is going to be another English album with many of the titles that Roger wrote on this, and the previous German album, in the original English.
We are delighted and excited that Sony have made a video of his title “Geronimo” and it will be shown on TV in the next week in Germany - you can also view it on the Roger Whittaker Facebook Fanpage
Now, as to family and other news, since October, the months have been a real rollercoaster of events, most of them somewhat unpleasant but now resolved fortunately.
First Jessica had to go into hospital for a very nasty operation, and it took her a long time to recover especially with such young children and still trying to work. Then just before I was due for my surgery, Roger got ill and had to delay his recordings. Then Alex was told he had to have an operation behind one of his ears…..so needless to say, with all this going on, I cancelled my surgery as it was obvious I was needed on my feet.
As it turned out with the dreadful weather that Ireland has been having since the 16th December, along with the rest of Europe and many parts of the world, it would have been impossible for me to be on crutches in the ice and snow. The office and studio parts of our house were completely iced up until the middle of February so buckets and kettles of water had be carried down these (150 yards from the house!).
Christmas itself was actually great fun. We had a buffet party for 40 friends and neighbours, and then just Roger, Alex and myself, with a couple of other friends for the actual festivities. Then it was back to work immediately – the usual endless business problems for me, and Roger rehearsing all his new songs.
Roger and I finally planned a break in France, for us to experience the cold weather there and see if we could bear it. But before , we visited Jessica and James and the babies. James is frantically busy putting the finishing touches to his book, due for release in May/June, so we only saw him in passing, but had a marvellous time with the littlies, both complete characters – Isabella is just a complete clone of her mother in the way she talks and all her mannerisms, and Max is just one chilled out kid with the beaming smile to die for!
We didn’t manage to get to see the other grandchildren, due to the snow and ice. Emily and Stewart were snowed in for five days, without even the hope of getting a tractor to get them out. James and Milo thought that was great – no school – until the power went as well and there were no more electronic games to occupy them! Sledding down the snow bound lane only held an appeal for a couple of days!
The boys managed to get to us in London because the trains actually were running over the time we were there, so we had a family dinner and a huge laugh. Guy is touring more and more with FINK and was in South Africa during some of the ghastly weather. Alex was just as stuck for a few days (he lives very near to Emily) but it gave him time to keep working on his next exhibition of new work, I believe some time in July this year. The work is very intricate and time consuming as he is working on old prints but I would have to get him to explain what it entails – too complicated for me! When it is all together I will post a lot of the work on line – plus his explanation!
Lauren and Tony are fully occupied with the three younger children but sound wonderfully happy. Rebecca is now in the north of England working with children on holidays, but there again I would need her to describe what she is exactly doing. The only huge change to their family life is that Nathaniel is now taken his middle name of Arthur and is referred to as Arthie!
After the family getogether, Roger set off to Hamburg to hear the final version of the album. Then I joined him two days later in Munich for marketing meetings and to analyse this totally new product.
Then we set off to France for the planned two weeks break – HOWEVER first there was a strike at Munich airport – so plane delayed for 5 hours, but we got out at last on a small commuter plane bound for France. Oh How I wished I had had a camera with me!
Just as we are all queuing on the tarmac to climb the one set of narrow stairs into the plane, the wind whipped up and a blizzard started! Within second us shivering mortals were literally covered in snow! What a sight! No room to put our snow wet coats or anything…when we finally arrived in France, there was no snow just very cold – and to top it all no hire cars available, but we managed to find a knowledgeable taxi driver, who charged the earth, but got us safely to the house.
The house was warm and welcoming, and we gulped down some scrambled eggs and crashed into bed. The morning sun shone beautifully on the light snow and ice around us, but we froze – the heating had died in the night. We spent four days with the plumbers visiting daily to re-set then re-set again. We couldn’t even light the log burner as the flue was jammed with dead pigeons ! Our roofer had forgotten to put the cap on the chimney!
All in all with neighbours feeding and warming us we had a wonderful time. The on the Monday, Sony called to say they wanted to do the ‘Geronimo’ video in London the following week. So the computer went red hot as I and |Howard organised costumes etc., and then flights to London. He left on the Sunday, got costumes done on the Tuesday, filmed and got back to Ireland on The Wednesday! The greeting from our darling pooches, Titch and Boris, was unbelievable.
I was still in France, and they announced an air traffic controllers strike there! But despite delays and rushed connections in Paris, I finally made it home on the Saturday, only to be met with the new that Titch needed an operation the next week. Fortunately all went well, but it has been very difficult to keep Boris and Titch from playing, or for her not to climb stairs, jump on her usual sofa without being lifted (62 lbs!) so I have been sleeping on the sofa and , rather like nursing a sick baby, listening with one ear to her every movement. After 4 nights of very broken sleep, the vet says her wound has healed sufficiently for her to spend the night in the basket with Boris. They have never been separated before so he is very confused!
This week Roger flies to Germany for the first of the TV shows to present ‘Geronimo’ to the public and media , first with ARD/ORF Musikantenstadl on March 13th at 8.15 follwed by MDR Musik fur Sie on March 14th at 8.15 pm also.
So for me it is back to catching up in the office, reading all the wonderful letters on the Guestbook - yes we read them all! Just wish we could answer them all. Of course, all of you asking when he is coming back to your country, your area, the opening news is disappointing, but do try and make a special trip to Europe, in the Spring 2011.
Those of you who might, please keep in touch with Rory and Vicky and they will try and co-ordinate you all for fan club get-togethers.
This year the whole family – yes all grandkids included – are meeting in France to have a big bash for Lauren’s 40th Birthday. We missed Emily’s big 40, so it is very special to combine her 42nd with Lauren’s birthday and have all the kids, swimming in the lake, crazy suppers with us, and generally getting to know the area, especially a couple of beautiful châteaux’s and some grottos and caves nearby, as well as a recently discovered Roman dig, that is exciting everybody as they think they have found a small Roman town.
Milo is especially fascinated by all this as he is heavily into palaeontology and all things old – not to mention dinosaur Grandparents! So I will have 10 days of cooking for 20 not counting the grand uncles and aunts that may be there! They will probably hightail it to the nearest restaurant .
So I had better get back to the red hot computer again and attend to business!
Thanks again for all your lovely comments, letters and entries on the Face book - it is such fun for us to put faces to names at last. Have a good Spring and lets hope the weather starts to warm soon.
All our love
The Official Roger Whittaker
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