Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Back from a 'Blogging Sabbatical'

Firstly, I'm so sorry I haven't posted anything for most of this year - oops! It wasn't a deliberate thing and my family and I are all fine. I'm tempted to say that life has been too hectic and certainly we've had lots to do in all aspects of our family life but I think that's an easy excuse and also perhaps I just grew out of the habit a little. But I'm feeling re-invigorated now and I thought I might just do a few posts with a little look back over the year starting here with some of the more interesting harpy highlights AND... I couldn't resist putting this picture up first! Yes early this year we were graced by a very special visitor, none other than His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent!!
He seemed to thoroughly enjoy his visit and we loved the fact that he was very relaxed and 'hands-on'.
From left to right John Hoare (fellow harp maker), Dame Sarah Goad (Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant of Surrey),  HRH the Duke of Kent, Captain James Scott-Barrett (Equerry to HRH The Duke of Kent), Councillor Beverley Connolly (Chairman of Tandridge Council), yours truly (and proud father), and Anna (my daughter playing to HRH - not bad for the CV!) .
If that wasn't enough, few weeks later we then found ourselves playing host to all the mayors of Surrey
and I'm certainly not doing the 'from left to right' thing with this picture!!! In fact it was a delight to have them and we especially liked the way they all wore their chains of office.
Phew, next up, a TV crew visited to film an episode of 'How do they do it' - which I think is due to go out fairly soon on Discovery Channel. I'll try to keep you posted as to when that's going out.

..and as this post seems to be largely an exercise in name-dropping - we've had some interesting harpists playing for us including the very talented Tom Monger who is harpist with 'Florence and the Machine'...

... and Scottish harpist Katie Targett-Adams who lives in Hong Kong and is extremely popular in China...
... and Welsh harpist Iona Thomas who is Harpist with charts star Laura Mvula.
Iona and Tom also were amongst the performers at our late Summer Workshop Open Day...
... as was the International Youth Harp Orchestra. The Open Day was so much fun; we hired this lovely marquee and opened up the workshops for tours and demonstrations and ever popular was our tasty barbeque.
But it's been nice too when we have just had the place to ourselves to get on and make a few harps.
Compare the above to this picture which was taken in the early 1980's - we've hardly changed, hmm!!
But that's not quite it for this post, we have just recently been filmed for Living Surrey TV and here is a link to the programme which went out last Friday on Sky Channel 192. The bit which features us runs from 17:02 - enjoy!