Dear Cat & Fi: The One on Easter Monday

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Dear Cat & Fi,

Hello and a hearty happy Easter to you both! I’m currently demolishing the Mini Eggs in the above picture as I write this. Very good they are too. It’s been something of a drought blogging wise since the last entry I wrote to you but never fear, I am back and ready to go again. In my defence, the first three months of this year haven’t had much to write home about to so maybe that’s some of it.

So I hope your Easter weekends have been tops. I’ve been taking full advantage of lie ins, and chocolate, and just generally lovely family time on the whole – we saw Mairi and the kids yesterday and Helen and Mark today. The clocks of course went forward this weekend as well, although unusually I’ve not felt the alteration on my body clock like I usually do when it leaps forward or back. Not that I’m complaining, you understand.

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My last post which I did last Sunday was a new poem I’ve written called ‘Begin Again’. I did speak before in another blog last year about how autumn was my favourite season of the year, but I do have to say, spring is a very close second. This time of year, the weather changing and the days getting longer always seems hopeful and full of promise, and I really felt moved to capture that whilst I was out for a walk over at the country park and saw the daffodils all coming into bloom and the blossom on the trees. It’s not quite Wordsworth, but I did my best attempt I think.

So what else have I been up to? Well, the new series of ‘The Voice’ has been on BBC One to keep my Saturday evenings occupied (and the last on there before it moves to ITV next year) and whilst I’ve not seen all of this year’s series, there is one contestant on there this year who I’m really rooting for. On Ricky Wilson’s team, one of his final singers is (pictured below) Kevin Simm.

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He of course used to be part of Liberty X, the ‘losers’ on the original series of Popstars all the way back in 2001 (I watched it again on YouTube out of curiosity recently. It feels very old hat watching back now compared to the reality TV talent shows of current!) who went onto do even better than the winners, Hear’Say – their chart topping (and still rather good) ‘Just a Little’ won them a BRIT award in 2003. They’d been back on our screens as recently as 2013 when they did the first series of ‘The Big Reunion’ for ITV2.

He’d still been singing since the band formally called it quits in 2007, and he did attempt a solo career which didn’t take off. His blind audition, where he sang Sia’s ‘Chandelier’ was – to put it mildly – absolutely mindblowing. There’s a danger when you have people audition on shows like this with a former pop past that it’ll backfire spectacularly – Sean Conlon from 5ive, for example, did a blind audition on the first series of the show in 2012 and got no turns. Likewise, Cleo Higgins (of Cleopatra fame) auditioned the following year and only got as far as the knockout rounds.

But such is Kevin’s vocal ability, it almost obliterates whatever kind of past associations anyone would have with him career wise, particularly coming from a band who found fame from a show that is like ‘The Voice’ in a lot of ways, but also his level headedness – interviews I’ve seen with him since finding success on the show highlight that and his very laconic, dry Northern wit about it all – is probably part of the reason he’s now made it as far as the semi finals of the show next weekend. I just hope I’ve not jinxed that for him in anyway, but I’ll be voting to make sure he goes far.

I’ve also been looking at travel, as quite excitingly I have my first ever holiday abroad with friends coming up in July. Myself and several #MursArmy buddies are going over to Cork in Ireland for a long weekend as Olly Murs is doing a show over there as part of a month long festival they have called ‘Live at the Marquee’. Loads of other top names like Tom Jones, Chic & Nile Rodgers, Little Mix and The Corrs are headlining on different evenings from 12th June onwards, Olly’s show is on 7th July.

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Disappointingly, I won’t be seeing him supporting Take That when they play Hyde Park in London a couple of days after as I’ll be flying back to the UK on that day (now that I would have killed to see), but I’m really excited as I’ve wanted to visit Ireland for years so this seemed like the perfect opportunity, Dad’s always told me so many stories about places and faces from his time there growing up.

So that’s about it for this week, I’m off to enjoy some TV in the dying hours of the long weekend. Cat – I shall be popping by to see you next Friday for a day before I head off to see Years & Years on their tour at Wembley Arena. Can’t wait to see you, Indi and Trent again. Fi – hope you’re well too, I’ll ring you at some point this week.

Until next week, in the words of Yoda, ‘When you look at the dark side, careful you must be…for the dark side looks black’.

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Luv-oo, Alex

x x

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