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June 2019
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2005-12-29 A message from James

As you know we have been more or less on every night for over two months now, but there is light/time-off at the end of the tunnel........


Thank you ALL for lovely comments about my columns, in particular about my Christmas story. I try to bring a Christmas ornament back form every country I visit (for my niece/god-daughter), and it seemed like a good basis for my stroy. I have to admit that because of our schedule my story was very rushed in the end, and I was not entirely happy with it, but there ya go.......Thanks to you all for your nice words!

As I approach WEEK 200 of doing columns, that is almost 4 years, 700 words every week (double at Christmas) - almost 150,000 words I think - how many novels, I am really thinking of how I can come up with new topics....... It is hard to be inventive after 200 weeks....... Maybe time to think of an alternative.......Hmm.......

Thanks to so many of you for Christmas wishes, and to almost ALL of you for lovely cards and gifts, too many to single out. (Though that cake was a highlight, especially after its traumatic journey!! My Father LOVED it. So did I, though of course I only had one tiny slice. At first. )

So today we have a day off, YIPPEE! I can do laundry, YIPPEE! I only had 2 free days at Christmas, the others had 3! I, as always, said I would sing a short Christmas recital in the hospital chapel for the patients of St Johns Hospital in Sligo. It was at 3 o'clock on Christmas Eve and the chapel was packed, with people, seated on the pews, or in wheelchairs, and even beds in the side aisles.......It is one of the most highly charged emotional things I do each year, and really moves me deeply. One year, a lady lying flat on a bed paralysed had tears rolling down her cheeks as I spoke to her afterwards, and she said that she had never been to a concert, of any kind, in her life!! This year, a lady in a wheelchair in the front row, had sung years ago in the Choral Society as I sang solo, and now she was singing along with me as I sang Christmas carols....... Of course, I realise some of those present do not even know they are there, but it was SO emotional, and a perfect way to spend Christmas Eve.

Love to you all, James.