Disclaimer – No offence is intended with this post about the arrival of US President Donald Trump in the UK yesterday – it contains very bad language and pokes fun at the Brits, the Yanks, the Queen, Churchill, Hitler and the man who chased someone’s hat along the runway after DT landed. If you are easily offended, go find a food blog – they are usually pretty safe and I don’t want to fall out with you.

I know nothing of politics and have no idea if Donald Trump is the new Messiah or the Devil incarnate.

I only know the press makes shit up and so, the only thing I know for sure about anything is that I know nothing, apart from what the media tells us and of course, what Donald Trump Tweets.

Well, he was hardly off the plane at Stanstead Airport yesterday and Donald Trump was moaning at Foreign Secretary Jeremy Kunt – I do beg your pardon – the K and the H are only one key apart and – well, clumsy old me! Thankfully the C is on the line below.

Anyway, as I was saying, Donald Trump was barely down the steps of Air Farce One when he started bending Jeremy Hunt’s ear about being bullied by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Kahn.

Gosh what terribe things he is saying! Or to put it another way, gosh, what terrible things is he saying?

It’s made me realise that online bullying has got really serious now and it needs to stop before someone pushes the red button in a fit of temper gets hurt.

It isn’t clear how Jeremy Hunt replied but there have been rumours he advised Donald Trump to stay away from Sadiq in the playground or tell a teacher if it happens again.

Thankfully, Donald seemed unpeturbed by the perfectly reasonable points made by rantings of Mr Kahn and came back at him with a volley of abuse just as the plane was landing.

Oh come on Donald! Half his height? That was a low blow (no pun intended – honestly).

Chin up Sadiq. Sticks and stones and all that. Not sure what this will do for the war against online bullying for children when such a powerful man can call the Mayor of London a short ass on Twitter and still get invited for dinner at Buck Palace the same night.

Not sure what this will do for the war on online bullying for children when such a powerful man can call the Mayor of London a short ass on Twitter and still get invited for dinner at Buck Palace the same night. Click To Tweet

The irony of it is, I bumped into Wills when I passed by his end of the table on the way to the loo at the State Banquet last night and I said “Oi, William! Wotcha think about Donald’s Tweet calling Mr Kahn a short ass then?”

Because as we all know, William and all the young royals have been very vocal about cyber bullying lately.

As I was wrestled out in handcuffs by palace guards, I yelled “I was just sayin’!”

Those Tweets of Donald Trump got me thinking – what if we’d had Twitter in WWll?

As I sat outside the palace gates, feeling like a peasant and rubbing my wrists were the handcuffs had dug in – I wondered what kind of Tweets Churchhill would have put on Twitter aimed at Hitler back in the day.

Can you imagine? World leaders back then, carrying on like they do today? Well I can and it goes like this:

I’m not sure that Churchill would have used the word ‘ass’ though.

Probably would have said, “I look forward to licking your bottom”, as is the way of the British upper classes, especially those who went to boarding school.

I'm not sure that Churchill would have used the word 'ass' though. Probably would have said, "I look forward to licking your bottom", as is the way of the British upper classes, especially those who went to boarding school. Click To Tweet

So I’m left wondering what the Queen thought of it all.

But she was in a difficult position really. I mean, all those cars of his, parked in her back yard!

After a servant said, “oh, I think Donald is here Ma’am’, she went to the window (I’m told by by contact at the palace) and watched for his car.

Her Majesty, I am reliably informed, after watching 12 cars drive up the front garden with no end in sight, said “FFS! Who the hell are all these people and did we get enough Tea bags in?

“And which car is he in anyway?”

“He’s in the helicopter now landing on the Begonias out the back Ma’am”, was the reply.

The Queen, allegedly expressed her surprise at this by uttering:

“A helicopter? A fucking HELICOPTER with all these fucking cars? What is this world coming to Camilla?”

A very good question Liz.

And of course there are about a gazillion Secret Service people swarming around the palace.

But my hero in all this so far is the man who has probably done years and years of training to be able to do what any bodyguard hopes they will never have to do – and that is chase someone’s hat down the runway just as the president is stepping off the plane and the whole world is watching. (See clip that starts at 0:57 seconds).

There are rumours that the runaway hat-catcher has been signed to play for Spurs in goal next season in the hopes that maybe next year they can actually win the European Champion’s League.

This has been my look at Donald Trump at the start of his visit to the UK – what is your take on DT and his travelling circus?

I’ll find my way home is a wonderful song written by Jon and Vangelis.

It has helped me get through a very difficult week which saw the 19th anniversary of my former husband’s death, alongside the death of my relationship with my former web hosting provider.

Sadly, the death of loved ones cannot be fixed and this puts everything in perspective with everything else that can be fixed.

Sadly, the death of loved ones cannot be fixed and this puts everything in perspective with everything else that can be fixed. Click To Tweet

Nothing is really that much of a big deal apart from human loss.

I wasn’t the only one feeling the pain this week. Mimi, my heart went out to you when I read your words. And there really are No Words.

Normal service has been resumed for my websites thanks to a genius called Gavin who worked flat out over two days to fix the fixable.

If only we could do the same for people who break and take their own lives.

And as Gavin fixed my online life, I sat listening to I’ll Find My Way Home while remembering the happy times with Phil.

We had divorced before he died and my life was back on track – we were also 3,000 miles apart living different lives.

So the trauma the children and I suffered was vastly different to someone who comes home to find their loved one has gone – I cannot imagine how anyone ever gets over that.

In the beginning – clowning around in the Ontario woods when we first met – 1978

Phil felt worthless. He was anything but that.

He lives on in his sons and, in our five grandchildren he never saw.

I hope this YouTube video will play for everyone watching in other countries – sometimes US videos won’t play over here – so I hope this one plays for you. It is a truly beautiful song and I will put the lyrics below.

I get great comfort from this song and the breathtaking images that are on the video.

Here it is – I’ll Find My Way Home performed by Gregorian:

And here are the lyrics:

I’ll Find My Way Home

You ask me where to begin
Am I so lost in my sin
You ask me where did I fall
I’ll say I can’t tell you when
But if my spirit is lost
How will I find what is near
Don’t question I’m not alone
Somehow I’ll find my way home
My sun shall rise in the east
So shall my heart be at peace
And if you’re asking me when
I’ll say it starts at the end
You know your will to be free
Is matched with love secretly
And talk will alter your prayer
Somehow you’ll find you are there.
Your friend is close by your side

At the CNE ground Toronto in 1978 – happy times.

And speaks in far ancient tongue
A seasons wish will come true
All seasons begin with you
One world we all come from
One world we melt into one
Just hold my hand and we’re there
Somehow we’re going somewhere
Somehow we’re going somewhere
You ask me where to begin

Am I so lost in my sin
You ask me where did I fall
I’ll say I can’t tell you when
But if my spirit is strong
I know it can’t be long
No questions I’m not alone
Somehow I’ll find my way home
Somehow I’ll find my way home
Somehow I’ll find my way home
Somehow I’ll find my way home

Songwriters: Evangelos Papathanassiou / Jon Anderson
I’ll Find My Way Home lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

What are the songs or words you turn to for comfort when you feel sad?

Drop me a comment below and let me know how you cope with loss.

A happy weekend to everyone – hug your loved ones as much as they will let you before they start wondering if you know something they don’t! 😍

And if you are missing someone – listen to I’ll Find My Way Home or read the words – because we are all going home in the end – make the journey a happy one. 😘

blogging anxiety
When the little man in the garden taunts you too…

Mmmm….when it comes to blogging anxiety, it’s several things really…

Not even a week into our collective comeback and I’ve got blogging anxiety again. And I’m hearing voices. Well, one voice really. Mine.🙄

Ever get that nagging feeling?

And it taunts me with these neurotic questions which, I answer one by one further down: (The voice is thin and whiny but my answers are very shouty because I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF MY OWN VOICE WHINING AT ME!

  • “What if you don’t have time to blog every day, week, month, year, decade, century?”
  • “What if you don’t have time to read every blog in the known universe and, what if new universes are discovered and they have blogging there?
  • “What if you miss someone’s post and they think you’re ignoring them and they hate you forever.”
  • “What if you miss a comment held in moderation and people think you are ignoring them and they hate you forever.

What about that then? Eh? Eh? (I used to speak Canadian, can you tell?)

Blogging Anxiety -What if you miss someone's post and they think you're ignoring them and they hate you forever. @GillyMaddison Click To Tweet

Blogging anxiety is such a thing for me I did write about it once before. when I got blogging block.

See, I’m neuwritetic (a bit like neurotic only worse).

No, no, I am – don’t try to make me feel better, I can turn absolutely any situation into one of high anxiety.

I’m not doing blogging anxiety ever again, therefore, I’ve set me some ground rules so I can stop babbling in my own ear and driving myself nuts.

So here’s what I’m telling that voice.

Q: What if I don’t have time to blog every century?
A: For a start voice – quit whining in my ear. You’re driving me to drink and what a shame to destroy 29 years of living on carrot juice. I’ll blog when I have time. Maybe every century is a tad unrealistic, but, we’ll see.

What if I don't have time to blog every century? #blogging anxiety #bloggersgroups Click To Tweet

Seriously, I’m not going to go quiet on my blog again now that Mimi has fired us all up. But I know I can’t write every day and sometimes every week might be hard. I have a 91 year old mum to care for and a business to run so time is tight – as it is for all of us.

And I also spend an inordinate amount of time in the summer sitting on the garden swing in a trance, staring at ants because they fascinate me.

And, I don’t suppose anyone will care if I am not popping up every five minutes with a new post – so it’s all good.

Q: What if you don’t have time to read every blog in the known universe and, what if new universes are discovered and they have blogging there?

A: For heaven’s sake voice, what do you want from me? What with gluing bits of card to other bits of card and filming it, repeating everything to my mum 20 times on the phone (her hearing aid is 10 years old and the NHS isn’t in a hurry to replace it) and, with all the ant staring, how much time do you think is left for reading?

Seriously, this issue cropped up for me a lot back at the start when it was all a big race for stats (or some of us believed it was). Some people will relate to this I’m sure.

You’d join a group and everyone would be jolly hockey sticks about interacting and it worked for awhile.

Eventually, it became apparent when a narcissistic blogger was in my midst. They were the ones who would lap up your comments like a thirsty dog in a puddle but just didn’t reciprocate. (While complaining bitterly on forums when others were not liking or commenting on theirs.)

For awhile, I continued to do my bit regardless of whether a blogger was supporting me (or not!) Afterall, if I’d enjoyed a post, did it matter if the writer wasn’t ecstatic about mine?

Unfortunately, in the end, it did matter. Why? Because there are only so many hours in the day and I found I was letting good people down because I ran out of time every day.

And then people would post again before I’d caught up and every night, I was up until the small hours bashing away at the keyboard while my husband wondered if I was avoiding sex him.

And I’m not one to write things like “Great post!” – I never hit and run. I like to actually read the post and connect with the writer – so it all became a bit crazy for me.

In the end, with needy parents taking up lots of my time, I lost track of everyone, even the good guys and I just stopped reading anyone.

On an Elderly People Crossing road sign. And now, my dad has crossed the heavenly road 😥

This time round I’m going to be a lot more organised 😂😂😂 It’s three strikes and ‘no shows’ are out. No messing. I will gladly read and comment on anyone’s posts – if we are supporting each other. Hell, I’ll stay up all night when we are all helping each other.

But if a blogger I am supporting isn’t supporting me, I will assume they don’t like what they find here and I will focus on those who do – no matter how much I like their posts because, well, I’m not a doormat anymore.

That may sound harsh but last time around, I remember how crazy it got with late nights trying to catch up with everything. And I’m not doing that again for bloggers with narcisstic personality disorder. 😂🤣😂

Lets communicate! If we are too busy to keep up with each other – lets talk about it in the group instead of just ignoring the issue.

Lets communicate! If we are too busy to keep up with each other – lets talk about it in the group instead of just ignoring the issue. Click To Tweet

Q: What if you miss someone’s post and they think you’re ignoring them and they hate you forever.”

This is not me. It was posed by a model.

Oh. My. GOD voice! What is wrong with you? Your paranoia is reaching new heights! You need climbing ropes and spiky boots for this one!

Seriously, if I usually show up and then I miss a post or haven’t responded to a comment or just appear to have disappeared – it will not be deliberate (unless there’s been three strikes😂).

There were times last year when my dad was dying when I almost forgot who my husband was, so the blogging world never stood a chance!

We all have stuff to deal with and the beauty of our group is that we can prod each other and say – hey – WTF are you – you missed my post!

I probably won’t do that myself, (because of my own personality disorder which no one talks about and hasn’t been named yet🤪) BUT I’m happy for people to remind me if I haven’t shown up yet when I normally do. There are times when I am AWOL from my own life because of some elder crisis or another and we all know – it’s hard to do everything.

Q: “What if you miss a comment held in moderation and people think you are ignoring them and they hate you forever.

Here we go again voice – get the spiky boots and ropes out again! No one cares that much. Get over your damn self woman!

Seriously, I catch up with everything in the end. It might take a few days, but I don’t ever really forget what I need to do because I keep a bullet journal with the most detailed tasks of stuff to do. It’s not so much a Bu Jo, more of an OCD Jo.

If you feel as if I’m not playing fair – tell me – when I realise I’ve missed something I’ll be mortified – I can say sorry for England. I’m a contender for the Saying Sorry OlympicEvent and I’ll probably get a gold medal in the next Olympic Games. 🥇

So, that’s it – my blogging anxiety all laid bare.

I’m going outside to stare at ants because it is a beautiful sunny day and I’m allowed because I’m the boss around here (and the only employee which is why I talk to myself so much.)

How about you – do you get blogging anxiety or do you just not give a f*&k? – talk to me and tell me if I’m mad – I only need three more yes’s for an official diagnoses.

Blogging Without a Niche – Magical Mystical MiMi Saves The Day

Blogging without a niche is also called blogging for fun. For fun ? What’s that? It’s what Magical Mystical MiMi does and it’s made me think I should be less MeMe and more MiMi!

If you don’t know who MiMi is, click here to go to her blog which will explain itself better than I can.

This is SO exciting! A new Facebook page for bloggers who blog about random stuff.

This is SO exciting! A new Facebook page for bloggers who blog about random stuff. Click To Tweet

And there was me starving my own blog of content because it is nicheless (I just made that word up).

Blogging without a niche, in a world where blogging gurus will tell you that niche matters, has been lonely.

Blogging without a niche, in a world where blogging gurus will tell you that niche matters, has been lonely. Click To Tweet

At times, I’ve sat watching the tumbleweed blow through my blog, feeling as if I’d let it down for not being more specific.

But the big mistake I made was listening to other people who set themselves up as experts on blogging.

Back in the olden days (2014) I allowed myself to be lead down a path that took me away from the fun of simply writing as  I was pointed towards the chore of getting followers, comments and likes.

It was, it seemed, all about your stats.

Back in the olden days (2014) I allowed myself to be lead down a path that took me away from the fun of simply writing as I was pointed towards the chore of getting followers, comments and likes.It was, it seemed, all about your… Click To Tweet

Well in the words of Pink Floyd’s Not Now John

– f*%k all that!

blogging without a niche

Well yes maybe she did👀 – you can blame MiMi – she gave me the courage to be MeMe!

Do I cuss (or swear if you are British) in real life? Yes I do – like a soldier – which is fine because MiMi says she cusses like a sailor

So why not on here? Who knows (shrugs shoulders).

And I’ve always loved MiMi’s posts because she uses cuss words so eloquently as she tells it like it is.

There is even a message on her blog that warns people it contains opinions that may offend – but I have never been offended by anything I’ve read – just amused to the point of hysterics at times.

She clearly never was seduced by the notion of keeping readers happy to get followers.

Unlike MiMi, my best blogs have never been written because I didn’t want to offend anyone – I played it pretty safe and kept the real me in check.

And gradually, I wandered away from my nicheless blog to create www.funcraftstodoathome.com

and my YouTube channel Rainbow Lane both firmly in the craft niche.

And so my days of blogging without a niche were over.

I came back here occasionally, like visiting an old friend that I liked but who I neglected.

My last post was connected to my other blog in an effort to stop this one feeling left out (yes really 🙄)

And then came the invitation to The Old School Bloggers – The Originals and I saw the light!

I should never in a million years been swayed by the niche promoters.

Looking back, it was ironic,  that many of the blogging gurus had niches that were in…blogging.

So lots of what they were saying was probably completely true…if you were blogging about blogging – you could get thousands of followers quite easily by having that as your niche.

Us newbie bloggers would lap up anything written by ‘experts’ because we had no idea, really, what we were doing.

blogging without a niche

So someone who was a few months ahead of you in their blogging journey seemed like an expert.

And they probably were, in blogging about blogging.

So naturally, they would say you needed a niche because they had become successful having a niche.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my craft website and YouTube channel.

They are my real work and connected to all the ways I make my living now. It’s been much easier to get followers on my YouTube channel than any other platform and it’s been easier to make money on there too.

So today when I heard from MiMi about the new Old School blogging group – it hit me like a ton of bricks – this can be where I write exactly what I want – cussin’ ‘n all if I feel like it!

It always was just that. It was the place where I learned how to create a blog and everything that went with it so I could go on to create a niche blog elsewhere.

This blog is my old friend – the place where I can unwind, be real and say what I like.

Thank you so much MiMi for reminding me where we all started out.

I love you!

Blogging without a niche is OK – and I'm not the only one who thinks so – see me back here next time for a more irreverent look at my world. Click To Tweet

Blogging without a niche is OK – and I’m not the only one who thinks so – check out this blog and see me back here next time for a more irreverent look at my world.

Free craft printables are available to download over on my other website which is dedicated to crafts and creativity. 

Are you a crafter? If you are then you may want to pop over the my other website www.funcraftstodoathome.com

craft printable

If you are following me here on anythingexcepthousework and you happen to be into crafting, I’d love you to hop on over to my YouTube channel and follow me there too.

As a thank you to my 8.6k YouTube viewers for following my tutorials over the last couple of years, I have just started giving away the designs I use in some of my craft tutorials.

So far there are two 6×4 digital downloads available for you to print and use in your crafts and these are available as a thank you to new subscribers too.


Free craft printables for making tiny earrings and small pendants or, card toppers and dangles etc.
Free craft printables for making 1 inch bottle cap necklaces, card toppers, dangles and scrapbook embellishments.

And there will be many more free craft printables coming up.

I am currently designing some colorful decorative alphabet letters that I will be giving away as free craft downloads this summer.

So if you want to keep up with the designs I give away over the next few months, all you need to do is subscribe to my YouTube channel to see the tutorials I post and also, subscribe to my craft blog.

And you are very welcome to subscribe to this blog too as I will be keeping you up to date with what’s happening in the Fun Crafts studio on here too.

Although my fun crafts blog is dedicated to crafts – this one is where I write random posts about anything (except housework!) 😃

So if you do subscribe here too, be aware that you will see other posts – not just craft based posts.


If you aren’t sure how you use craft printables, you can get some ideas to start you off, in my tutorials on YouTube.

craft printables

With the first design I gave away, I made a cute little set of earrings with matching pendant  (see above).

This set is very inexpensive to make as I show you how to utilise scrap cereal box card to use as a very durable base material.

craft printables

With the second free printables design, I made some bigger pendants (see left).

I also made earrings which you can see further down the page.

But you could use these 1inch circular designs in many other crafts such as making dangles for your journals or incorporating them into scrapbook layouts.

You can use these glass domes over the designs to turn them into something special.

craft printables

The ones you see in my hand above are the teeny little 1.7mm glass domes I use over the designs on my earrings.

But I also use 1″ glass domes on my pendant designs because they really enhance the images with a beautiful domed shine.

The domes also add weight to the pendant and protection for the printed design.

If you want to use the I” designs to make earrings and you want the domed shine without the weight of glass domes, you can do as I do and use I” clear resin stickers.

craft printables
craft printables
craft printables
1″ Clear Resin stickers to add shine and protection to craft designs.
The earrings I made using the 1″clear resin stickers over the design.
One of my pendant designs with a 1″ glass dome attached to add weight and shine.

Seasoned crafters usually know exactly where to get their resources.

How many of us pop into Hobbycraft or Hobby Lobby, just for some glue and come out $50 poorer with a ton of ‘stuff’ we forgot we ‘needed’

However, depending on where you live, it can be hard to find craft supplies that go slightly beyond what is sold in mainstream craft stores.

So for the people who can’t get out or don’t have a craft store near them, I opened two Amazon stores selling craft supplies.

And here they are:



Below, you can see the kind of items you may have trouble finding where you live.

craft printables
craft printables

Right – Glass Domes
Above – 1″ Circle punch.

craft printables

Above – clear resin stickers to use when domes are too heavy.

Buying online is fine BUT if you have a local independent craft shop, I would urge you to support the owner by using it for as many of your craft needs as you can.

Although I do make commission on anything I sell from my Amazon shops (see my Amazon statement here), it is only a very tiny amount, certainly not enough for it to be anything more than a resource I have developed to help people find what they need if they can’t get it locally. Therefore I urge you all to try and get your stuff from actual high street shops while you can.

That’s it for today – any questions?

Drop me a comment below, pop over to my YouTube channel and introduce yourself in the comments and make sure you subscribe to it (and my other blog if you want to know when more freebies are added!)

Don’t forget to grab your free craft printables and let me know what you make with them – see you next time. 😘

how to have fun decluttering your house

How To Have Fun Decluttering your house 

When I'm not busy singing with Pop Chorus or making films for my YouTube channel - I spend my days racing against time to get my house decluttered ready to have it altered so my mum can come and live comfortably with us.

I'm really not good at decluttering though! I'm terrible because I get so sidetracked by every tiny thing and so stuff goes backwards and forwards between the keep or get rid of boxes about a million times!

So I wrote this after my first real day of decluttering when I spent so long messing around with stuff I was finding, I really didn't get very far. I wonder how many people can relate!

I'd love you to tell me but no matter what I do, I can't get my comment section to work since I disabled it when I didn't have time to deal with comments.

I'll try again - but if it doesn't work, you can always contact me via the contact form and I'll try to find a way to publish your comments. Yay - it works!

I hadn't checked the discussion box at the top of the page!

Shout out to Melinda of Purple Slob In Recovery who is the Queen of Clean and Jen at The Hidden Hoarder who also knows the decluttering struggle really well!

Fun Tip No 1

  • Even though you are on a mission to get rid of junk - make sure you find small insignificant things, such as those miniature screw drivers you bought in a charity shop 15 years ago (because they would 'come in handy'), but never used and spend an hour obsessing over whether you should keep them for another 15 years...or not. Make a game of it! Keep moving them from the 'Keep' box to the 'Charity' box while singing the chorus of the Hokey Cokey - not forgetting to 'shake it all about' at the appropriate moment.

    How to have fun decluttering your house. Click To Tweet

Continue reading

Poems about the moon have been written in vast quantities for centuries.

If you Google 'poems about the moon' there about 235,000,000 results - so I am under no illusions that in writing my short poems about the moon, I am blazing any kind of a trail!

My teeny little poems about the moon are purely a way of expressing my thoughts about it.

I have always loved the moon and see it as a link to every single person who has come before me.

When it is full, I often stand under it, gazing up and feeling content knowing that all those people I have loved and lost have stood under the same moon.

The sky, with all its wonders, has covered us all since the dawn of time - and I love the fact that whatever changes around us, all we have to do to see something all our ancestors saw is simply look up.

I have written before on how much I love solitude and when the moon is full, I feel that solitude when looking up at it, even in a crowded place.

Poems about the moon


I wrote these two poems about the moon in December 2018 and January 2019.

The second moon picture was taken early in the morning of Jan 22nd, just over 24 hours after the eclipse (which I missed!).



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Elvish Adventures Haute Couture

Elvish couture has never featured in my life - much like high fashion in general really, as anyone who has seen my wardrobe will tell you.

Elvish couture has never featured in my life - much like high fashion in general really, as anyone who has seen my wardrobe will tell you. Click To Tweet

At best, my fashion style can be described as Mish Mash Abstract (yes, I made that up, so don’t even bother, ok?)

So it may come as a shock to my friends when they see the designer handbag I just bought.

Continue reading

Pop Chorus directed by Yula Andrews Performing at the Martlesham 100 Event in the summer.

Pop Chorus is truly a phenomenon that is hard to explain.

But, I am going to try.

Back in April of this year, I wrote a post about singing. In that post, I spoke about joining a choir but I had only been in it for three months at that point.

But I already knew I was involved in something unique - I just didn't know how unique Pop Chorus was at that time. The choir's musical director was Yula Andrews and she had decided to expand the choir by forming another group, which was the group I joined in January 2017.

We are one big choir but we rehearse in five different groups, coming together for shows and big rehearsals.

Three months after I wrote the post about Pop Chorus, we performed a sell-out show - Lose Yourself In the Music - at a 700 seat venue in Ipswich and I was starting to see what an unstoppable force Yula Andrews is when it comes to Pop Chorus.

pop chorus

Pop Chorus - Lose Yourself In The Music - the sell-out show - Ipswich Corn Exchange July 15th 2017

Pop Chorus played their biggest venue to date with a choir made up of people who 'can't sing'.

And it was a sell-out. People were queuing to get in and there was not a single seat left.

Can Pop Chorus members sing? Oh yes.

Individually, many of us, myself included, would not consider ourselves to be singers. If I had not been coerced by an old friend, I would never ever have thought about singing in front of anyone, never mind on stage in a large theatre!

But Pop Chorus does not tolerate people saying 'I can't sing'. Yula believes in everyone. The only difference between Yula and Gareth Malone is that he has a TV show and she doesn't - YET.

The result is a group of people who, together, make the most amazing sounds singing pop songs in four and sometimes five part harmony.

Big as the sell-out concert was, Pop Chorus, I was sure, still had something even bigger to come.

Those of us who took part in that performance will never forget it. The relentless rehearsals, the learning of song after song, memorising lyrics, practicing parts at home day after day, the build up to the show, the jostling for space in dressing rooms, the camaraderie on and off-stage and then finally, the intense pride and joy we all felt as we took several bows after the most incredible night of our lives.

The whole experience was multi-layered, rich in the warmth of being with people who share a love of music and who trust each other enough to bare their voices week after week.

And all driven forward by one person - Yula, although it must be said that Yula does have two 'wing men' - voice singing coaches Jen Leyton and Becky Alexander who lead two of the groups.

But big as this sell-out concert was, it didn't drive me back to the keyboard to write part two of my thoughts on the choir.

I even interviewed Yula and much as I loved what she told me about what drives her, I still wasn't ready to write part two.

Something bigger was coming - of that I felt sure, but I had no idea what it was.

Straight after the concert, I, like many other people fell into a strange malaise. Pop Chorus was over for the summer and many of us felt lost.

A few people got a group together to continue meeting up throughout the summer while Pop Chorus was on a break but I retreated back into the world I had been in before joining Pop Chorus.

I was, I told myself, relieved it was over. I'd done it, I'd had the experience, I'd met some wonderful people but it was over and now it was time to get back to work and stop all this frivolity.

But then came the first whispering of the 'big thing' I was waiting for without knowing what it was.

Yula wanted us to make a CD to raise money for our community partner, St. Elizabeth's Hospice.

And so, the 'Always' project was born and a new chapter in the life of Yula's Pop Chorus began.

It was an ambitious project but by September, everything was in place for it to go ahead - Yula had secured the services of renowned music producer Ian Curnow, who was from the Stock Aitken and Waterman stable, producing hit after hit for the likes of Kylie Minogue, Talk Talk and the Pet Shop Boys.

An original song had been written using lyrics generated by  St. Elizabeth Hospice patients and it was about to form the centre point of the most ambitious project Pop Chorus had ever undertaken.

Pop Chorus members were stunned - we were going to record a CD - a proper CD with a proper producer!

Us people who 'could not sing' had sold out a concert and now we were going to make a CD.

As soon as summer was over, we were rushed back into rehearsals a week earlier than choir should have resumed and the hard work began.

Five leads were auditioned, and they went into the studio of Ian Curnow to record the lead part of Always.

But what about the rest of us?

How to you record a whole choir professionally?

So the Diss Corn Hall was hired and a professional studio was set up in there.

We spent a day recording our original song, 'Always' and three of our most popular covers:

I just Don't Know What To Do With Myself - Dusty Springfield
The Power of Love - Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Chandelier - Sia.

And our CD was born!

pop chorus
pop chorus

This is what makes Pop Chorus a phenomenon.

It's the tireless work of director Yula Andrews and her team. The dedication of the choir members and the support we have all had from family, friends and the people who come to our shows.

In the 10 months I have been involved with Pop Chorus, I have come to understand the bonds that are forged when a huge group of people has a common interest and purpose.

I have never been part of a group that is so warm and supportive.

The single is doing incredibly well on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play - we have been going up and down the charts on all three since the CD release on November 17th.

We have held our own against some really big names and are hoping against all hope we make it into the Top 40 by midnight on Thursday Nov23rd.

Number 1 would be an absolute dream for St. Elizabeth's Hospice and their patients.

Please help Pop Chorus help terminally ill people - visit http://www.popchorus.org and follow one of the links to download our single or our EP. The single is only 99p and the EP is less than £4.

Pop Chorus is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Women and war - two words that I never really think about.

But yesterday, when I visited the war graves in my nearby town, women and war suddenly became related in my mind for the first time in all the years I have been going to my uncle's grave.

Whenever I visit the cemetery, I always think in terms of all the men who died in the World Wars, which of course was incredibly naive of me and made me think about how I have always perceived male and female roles in wartime.

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