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2008-05-02 a message from James

Gosh, we have been away from home a long time... Too long perhaps, but I am just reporting in to say we are still alive, and all in pretty good form considering!!

We have had some ridiculous travel days... I will detail one presently which will make you...either laugh or cry or both... But, as I say we are all still fine, and the shows all seem to be going down incredibly well everywhere.

I have not been in touch for several weeks now apart from a few photos. But I am sure my colleagues have been keeping you up-to-date on all our goings on? (Ha, Ha, good one eh?). But I see Colm has written, in fact I was beside him on the bus as he diligently did his homework.

By the way, speaking of said gentleman, Colm Henry is a truly magnificent and inspiring musician, and we are SO lucky to have him as our MD, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart... those of you who have not heard him play are truly in for a real treat. He is also a very funny guy, but I am not sure at times he realises it! And feel free to quote me on any of the above.

Glad you liked the pics...well guessed Heather..they are indeed Matthew's boots that Donna was swimming in! With regard the picnic at scenic Qualicum Beach (see went back to a shop we had been to before, called "Goats on the Roof" (how apt is that??). Its a beautiful shop, perhaps a little expensive, but worth it...oh gosh is it worth it?? The! And yes, that is a big Pecan Pie there, which was possibly the best Pecan Pie I have ever had (not single-handedly you understand, we all had some). Salmon Pate was also INCREDIBLE. And much more!

British Columbia is truly magnificent, and we LOVE it there. I also adore Vancouver, and could happily live there. Great to have seen the ever-enthusiastic Felix again, and I was delighted to hear he has recently been treading the boards... keep it up Felix. Thanks Nina for a great review. Make sure your son never stops making music and performing!

Ok, so you have all heard that we sang "Four Strong Winds" in Canada. The last time we were there we asked every audience what they thought Canada's answer to "Danny Boy" or "Shenandoah" might have been... In third place came something "Quebecois?", in second place was "Northwest Passage" but WAY out in first place was "Four Strong Winds" which we will now be singing in Canada in the future we seemed to go down very well.

"Hard Times" by Stephen Foster is a song that has been suggested to us for years also and it is now in the set at the moment, and we hope to have another new one in Bakersfield too.

Did you all see the article where I was the "Protestant between the two Catholics"? Daryl was not entirely happy about that. Not sure how he took me up like that in the interview, or indeed my cottage in the WEST of Ireland? But lovely articles otherwise. Very friendly interviewers.

Angie - good to see you a while back... you mentioned Great Falls, which was nearly a disaster for us... We left Courtenay on Vancouver Island at 5am a few days ago, drove to Nanaimo Ferry, drove from Vancouver to the airport and flew to Kelowna where we were picked up. Had our dinner and then soundchecked, and then the show. After the signing we drove about 250 miles to the US border, spent a while getting through there, drove to Spokane and arrived there at 5.15am!!

Went to bed for 3 hours (perhaps slept 2 of those), and up at 9 to leave for Montana! Drove all day to Great Falls where we had a show at 7.30pm. We arrived at...wait for it...7.26pm! They delayed the show by 15 minutes while we warmed up and dressed... The 1600 people in the audience were VERY lovely indeed. It went really well. And so, that was Great Falls! Nightmare few days...

And so, now, in Nevada it is past tenors' bedtimes, and Matt Svobodny will be here any second to read us all our bedtime stroy, so I have to go...

Goodnight... Love to each and every one of you, Jamezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.......