Life Sparkles

Saturday Smiles.

Tomorrow, or should I say later today (I’m awake late as usual) my boyfriend is coming to visit for the day. I cannot wait to see him. We haven’t seen each other since 23rd September and I do miss him. He is also a carer, for his Mother. His sister lives with them so he has back up but if she is away, or working as she sometimes has to, he cannot get out to see me. 

I don’t have any family back up so it is even more difficult for me to get out or to drive over to visit him and his Mom. I have to be home in the mornings and if I do go out, I need to be back by the time “Sundowning” may hit Mom as Dad is unable to cope with it alone anymore. Therefore I have a slot between 1:30 pm and 6 pm to get there and back and visit. However, if Mom decides not to get up until early afternoon…my slot is missed.

I count myself extremely lucky with my b/f, he’s understanding of my situation, he is kind, caring and supportive of my parents and he supports me. Whatever mad cap, crazy idea I come up with he just lets me get on with it and I know he’s in my corner. He has the most amazing sense of humour and he makes me laugh when I least feel like doing so.

I miss our every weekend dates; walking, eating out, cinema trips.  I miss our weekends away, our holidays, our nights out with friends. Life has changed completely for us both and so far, we’ve managed to keep it together. We text everyday, we talk everyday and we WhatsApp funnies to each other. He doesn’t get me and my Twitter and Instagram life but he accepts that sometimes I just need to tweet!!

Today, (ok, it was yesterday, Friday), during my vocal coaching session (stress busting session) I sang a song I’ve never sang before. “Babe” by the band “Styx”. It popped into my mind, we looked it up on You Tube and off I went. Part way through I started to feel emotional, I could feel tears pricking my eyes. The words I was singing made me think of my boyfriend…

Because he does give me strength and courage to carry on. He has my back, I can totally depend on him, I can let out my inner voice to him; my fears, my anxieties, my frustration and I can trust him. I am so lucky, I’m blessed and I know some people can’t say that about their partners. I certainly couldn’t have said it about any of my prior, let’s call them “life lessons”.

We have differences of opinion, we have to agree to disagree on certain things, I know I’m a pain in the ass and we are very different in many ways but we just work. 

So Saturday I will be smiling, which totally unnerves him as he thinks I’m planning something. If I could just get him to understand “Sparkles”…

Happy weekend to you all.

Lyrics from Google.

© @aurorasparkles 

The Music Sparkle.

Summer in Dublin.

No, I’m not in Dublin at the moment, not physically anyway.  We watch so much Irish TV here at home and listen to Irish Music so often and also Mass from Knock Shrine via their webcam, I think our home is a tiny province of Ireland here in England.

Nathan Carter sang the brilliant song “Summer in Dublin” at his recent gig at the 3 Arena in Dublin and it is a fabulous version of the song. Well done Nathan Carter!

This brings back so many memories as I do remember a Summer in Dublin when the original recording of this song was out by Bagatelle.  I remember buying the single, on vinyl, in the record shop in Tipperary Town after hearing it on the radio. (I still have the record).  Then we had a few days in Dublin visiting family and I can clearly remember walking by the Halfpenny Bridge on a hot summer afternoon, there was a lot of traffic and the cars had the windows down.  They must have all been tuned into the same radio station, as Bagatelle filled the Summer afternoon with their words…”and the Liffey as it stank like hell, the young people walking on Grafton Street, everyone looking so well…”

Isn’t it strange the things that stick within our memory and how the lyrics and music bring it right back to life for you.  When I first watched the clip of Nathan singing this I was able to sing along to every word even thought I hadn’t heard the song for years.

They were happy, uncomplicated and carefree days and I do remember that Summer in Dublin.





The Music Sparkle.

Mixed up Music.

My visit to my vocal coach on Monday was brilliant.  I always look forward to my session and I am constantly amazed at how my voice is improving, the clarity of notes, the pitch and the resonance.  If feels wonderful, because I am doing something I love and also following a dream.

I’ve started over the past few months to download backing tracks and print off lyrics and learn the songs and the music, to inject emotion and passion although my confidence to do this is still not very good.

Last Monday I sang “Rose Garden” made famous by Lyn Anderson and more recently by Martina McBride. From there I moved to “Love of the Loved” by Cilla Black.  A totally amazing song written by Lennon and McCartney in the early Sixties and was Cilla’s first single which I think entered the charts at Number 35 and she was disappointed at that.  I first heard this song when I watched the film/documentary “Cilla” a couple of weeks ago.  What a story.  I think it made an impact on me because I grew up to the sounds of Cilla, I remember my family watching “The Cilla Black Show” on Saturday evenings and I remember Cilla hosting “Blind Date” and “Surprise Surprise” she was definitely a UK national treasure.  This film brought to life her start and the whole music scene in Liverpool in the early Sixties, her friendship with Ringo Starr and the Beatles, singing at The Cavern, the fashion of the time and her wonderful friendship/relationship/romance with Bobby Willis who became her husband and was her only love.  A truly fabulous story and I fell in love with that song, “Love of the Loved”.  It is not easy to sing, it jumps up and down and there are a lot of lyrics to fit into a few bars of music but I still loved singing it.

From there I made a complete change to a rock song, “Home Sweet Home” by Motley Crue. Oh yes, a big change from Country Music and The Sixties.  I have loved this song since I heard it in the 1990’s and wow – can I belt it out too – it is in my vocal comfort zone but still needs a lot of practice to perfect it.


So a few new songs to learn here, to sing out clear and brightly, to inject the emotion and to gain confidence.  To record on my iPad and listen back to, to see where I can change a note or a phrase to make it mine.

Video’s shared from You Tube – I hope it is ok to do this, I just wanted you to get a feel of my mixed up music this week.

Thank you for reading my blog.





The Music Sparkle.

Ray of Sunshine.

I remember well “Young Guns” and “Wham Rap”, they were played non-stop in our house. The album “Fantastic” was also played at any opportunity and when my nieces came to visit we would disappear to my room, plug in the microphone and record ourselves singing “Love Machine”.  In 1984 there was a cold Winter, lots of snow and I caught a bad chest infection. Confined to bed with the radio for company, “Everything She Wants” was on every radio show. 

I queued outside my local record store in order to purchase the 12 inch “Careless Whisper”, oh how I loved that song. “Club Tropicana”, a Summer holiday anthem, another favourite of mine and again, played over and over. “Last Christmas” still a firm favourite and like “Careless Whisper”, touches the heart and soul and reignite’s memories.

Waiting for the album “Make It Big” to be released, playing “A Different  Corner” over and over whilst drinking lots of coffee and listening to a friend talk about her heartbreak after a relationship break up. Happy nights out dancing to “Wake Me Up”…the soundtrack to life continues.

I could go on and on about George Michael and how I had Wham plastered around my bedroom walls. How I was lucky enough to see them live and experience the silence in the concert hall when George Michael sang “Careless Whisper” accompanied by Andrew Ridgley on guitar, it was perfection, beautiful, moving and unforgettable.

Yes I was disappointed when George “came out” as were a million other girls my age with the usual dreams of marrying their idol. George Michael had his problems, his issues, his demons but don’t we all. He also managed to touch the hearts and minds of people across the world with his music, lyrics, voice and kindness.

2016 has been a year of loss of many of our well known stars and I have felt sad to hear the news of their passing.  The shocking news of George Michael has affected me all day, hence this post. At the moment I can’t listen to him singing for fear of tears falling and heartbreak. It’s so strange, how can the passing of someone I don’t know or have never met make me feel like this? The power of music, of words, of a voice and memories.

“Sometimes, you wake up in the morning with a baseline, a ray of sunshine…”

God bless you George Michael.

The Music Sparkle.

A little bit of Dolly…

Like most Country Music fans I love Dolly Parton. Her songs, her quotes, her style and her humour, to name but a few reasons why. 

It has taken about 4 months but I have finally mastered singing ‘Why’d ja come in here looking like that”. I thought I’d never get there!!  I just couldn’t get the lyrics to fit the music. The first few times I attempted to sing it I was out of breath in seconds. I started to wonder why I’d chosen such a difficult song. As the week’s went on and I still couldn’t sing it, I began to wonder if I ever would manage to sing it without keeling over and requiring medical attention and then one day… I just sang it. No breathlessness, no couldn’t get the words to fit the music, no incorrect key change…the girl had got it!!!

Picture via Pinterest

I’m still practising this fabulous song, I want to bring my own emotion to it, to live it when I sing it. If I just think of my own boyfriend in Cowboy boots that will inject the correct level of surprise into my voice.

I have two further Dolly songs on my list; “If I could fly” and “Better get to livin”. I find I am choosing songs which not only challenge my ability but which also have meaning for me.  

My amazing vocal coach said that only a lack of self confidence and self belief would hold me back. If I am to make any kind of headway at all I must start to throw myself into this heart and soul. I am a confident person but I’m not good at self promotion. I believe God gave me a voice and now is my time to use this talent. I can do this!!!

Picture via Pinterest.

Thank you for reading my blog.