I don’t often get to write this, but this past year has been an exceptionally good year for me. Here’s a bit of a recap of 2019, looking forward to 2020.
I’ve recovered well from the serious spinal operation I had at the end of August 2018. It took until April of 2019 before I began to feel better, but it has really changed my life. I’m so grateful to the skilled surgeons and staff involved in the surgery that literally saved me.
In February 2019 my husband, Graham, and I went on a trip to Arizona to visit my family. We tacked on a few extra days and did some exploring, visiting two fabulous museums – the Pima Air Museum near Tucson and the Music Instrument Museum in Phoenix. I can highly recommend both. We also visited some fascinating National Park sites, including Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupakti National Monument, thanks to my sister and her husband.
Once I had recovered from the surgery enough to feel like getting back to work, I really got my head down in earnest on the new album. I set myself a goal (more on that later) for the end of September, and – just – managed to meet it.
There was a brief respite in August while I waited for the mastering engineer to come back from holiday. At that point I’d sent the finished album off and there wasn’t too much to do. The master came back sounding marvelous and was duly dispatched to the manufacturers along with the artwork. Once the packaged CDs were home safely, I took a much-needed break.
I met my self-imposed deadline with just a few days in hand. Anyone who knows me will know what an eager new convert I am to the music of Gary Numan (translation: I never shut up about him). I had a ticket to see him in Aberdeen on 27 September, so my goal was to have the album done in time to hand him a copy at the meet and greet for the concert.
I’ve been lucky enough to meet, and in some cases even become friends with, many of my musical heroes, so I’m generally fairly relaxed about meeting ‘famous’ people. I loved chatting with Gary and we had a fantastic, geeky conversation about studio equipment, in a wide-ranging conversation that took in
Los Angeles, Orkney, aircraft crashes, Aspergers Syndrome, studio re-builds and several other topics. I proudly handed him a signed copy of my new CD, the first one to come out when the boxes were opened. So that particular goal was met. Only then did the album feel truly finished for me.
In October, Graham and I went on holiday to Austria for two weeks. We stayed in Vienna, where I realised a life-long dream of seeing the Lippizaner stallions at the Spanish Riding School, and we had a few days in beautiful Salzburg. It was lovely, and I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. It was the first time I’d been on holiday without suffering from being ill, either from my spine or pernicious anaemia or something else annoying for many years, so it was very special.
On 1 November my new CD, Facing The Falling Sky, was released. We had a launch for the album at the Orkney Brewery, just up the road from our home. It was a brilliant evening, and I truly enjoyed getting to play some of the material live for the first time. I’m hoping this will lead to more live performances in the new year.
Since the release of the album, the support has been phenomenal, and I mostly wanted to write this to say how grateful I am for it. Every play, download, stream and review is so important and so helpful, especially as an unsigned artist. So thank you to everyone who has listened, written or spoken about my music.
There’s always a slight apprehension about what a new year will bring, but I’m facing 2020 with a lot of hope that it, too, will be a good year. And if it isn’t, as I know 2019 wasn’t for many people, then I’ll deal with whatever it has in store.
But I hope it’s a kind year for you, full of exciting adventures and happy moments.
Here’s to 2020 – may it be full of music and joy.
All the best for a Happy New Year,