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!


  1. Bonjour,

    Une publication très intéressante... merci pour l'ensemble de vos photos accompagnées de vos bons mots.

    Gros bisous ✺ ♡ ✺

  2. Welcome back - such a lovely and interesting post :) Looks like you've had a very busy year! Look forward to hearing more of your year in future posts.

  3. Thanks Martine and Ragged Robin for your lovely comments, it's good to be back up and running again :)

  4. Great to see you back in blogland, Jerry! You had some impressive visitors! I can't wait to see the program on Discovery Channel, I'd love to see how you work. Thank you for your comment on my feathers, looking forward to see some of yours. :)

    1. Thanks Judy - I'm not sue yet when it is scheduled for the Netherlands but I have just heard that the programme is going out on Discovery in the UK on Friday 27th February 8pm. After that I think I will be able to have access to a link for the programme which I should be able to put up. Have a great Christmas! Jerry

  5. Dear Jerry, because we're friends on FB we have continued to be neighbors of computers.
    But looking at the post I understand why you havelittle time for Blogland !!!
    Congratulations to all, for the many wonderful events!
    Have nice december time with your lovely family,Rita.

    1. Thank you Rita - hope you also get plenty of time with all your family this Christmas too!

  6. WONDERFUL post, Jerry!!!!!! Love all the photos and I can see how you've been busy.. PLEASE keep us posted on the program on Discovery channel..."How do they do it" is one of my husbands favorite shows....

    1. You are very kind Hilda! Yes I will try to let you know when it will be shown in the US. Have a great Christmas and New Year. Jerry

  7. Hola Jerry. Veo que has tenido un año muy atareado y te hemos echado de menos en el blog. Qué bueno que estés de vuelta. Sonia y yo os deseamos una feliz Navidad a tu familia y a ti. Un abrazo para todos.

  8. Hola Francesc. Thanks for your lovely greeting. Happy Christmas to you and Sonia too.

  9. Querida familia. Muchas gracias por mostrarnos todos los felices acontecimientos en este post. He visto la preparación de los vinos y la comida de Navidad, todo es muy entrañable. Jerry, yo estuve en Surrey hace algunos años, me quedaba en casa de una familia muy agradable, la señora era de Malta y su marido inglés. Yo iba cada mañana a Londres en tren para estudiar inglés en un colegio y regresaba a Surrey por la tarde a la hora de la cena. Tengo muy buenos recuerdos de Londres y de Surrey, especialmente cuando los viernes por la tarde íbamos a comprar "fish and chips" para cenar :)
    Francesc y yo os deseamos un Feliz Año Nuevo!!!
    Un abrazo, Sonia.

  10. Hi Sonia thanks for leaving such a lovely message. It's wonderful to know that you have visited my home county... and enjoyed the fish and chips too :o) The nearest I have been to where you are is probably when we had a holiday near Sant Pere Pescador but I know you are still a lot further South than this. We enjoyed the very friendly people, beautiful scenery, amazing wildlife, fabulous food... and we wish one day to go back. Our only bad memory there was one day when Thomas lost control of his wheelchair and ended up in a ditch. I instinctively threw myself between him and the bottom of the ditch and it took four very strong Spanish men to pull out Thomas in his chair and to free me; thankfully we were only a bit bruised. I hope you have a great 2015 and I promise to try to keep in touch with you guys much better.
    Un abrazo, Jerry x

  11. Hello Jerry!:) You certainly had a busy 2014, and it's been very interesting to read all about it. I thoroughly enjoyed the vídeo clip, and seeing all your photos. I can see you have formed a close friendship with your fellow harp makers and loved seeing the two group photos. You have such a talented family, and good friends,what more can anyone want, except good health to enjoy them which I wish for you and your family this year.
    Take care,x