Saturday, 23 December 2006

Happy Holidays from Snowy Argentina!

Wishing all of you a fabulous fiesta with friends and family.

Much love from all of us at the Hillyard Home in Buenos Aires Argentina.

Family Update for December 2006

It's been a strange year with me away for much of it doing teacher training and conferences and workshops in four different countries. The highlights have been my " Let's Live Liverpool" course which I did twice this year. The first time was in the hills of Cordoba, in a holiday resort with beautiful cabins and a pool and superb views to the mountains at the back and the lake in the valley below. The second time was in Pico Truncado, Patagonia, at the newly refurbished municipal theatre. We had three wonderful days of Liverpool history, literature, language, culture and song all through drama. It was a lovely experience to get to know each other so well and the final reviews were wonderfully original and creative.

The other highlight was the teacher training experience at NILE in Norwich, where I stayed in conference accomodation with 28 other trainers from all over the world training teachers from all over Europe.There was the woods outside my front door at Constable Terrace in the University of East Anglia and I ran through the woods and round the lake every day before class. Mick came to stay for 3 weeks so I went to Leicester to see him and his parents who are both old and ailing now. In all I've done about 50 talks in 30 events.

Mick is fine, still at Nightingale as the rocking Headmaster and the band is doing better this well, that when I am at home, they are playing most weekends! They've been upgraded to the downtown branch of the Irish Pub John John where they play once a week and they've had lots of important private parties and weddings too. Mick gave up smoking last year in October and has put on about 8 kilos. He looks great although he thinks he's too fat! I hope he doesn't go anorexic on me! He looks much better and is much happier in general. Still loves his food, especially his Argentine steak, his music, his films and his beer. We've found a few pubs that sell REAL ALE now and we've had a few outings with friends trying to convince them that Real Ale is what it says it is!

Jamie is still working with his friend selling inflatable adverts ( those huge inflatable bottles and brand packets etc). He's doing a bit of teaching, translating subtitles for films and is thinking of going camping in Europe for a while next year. He's done quite a bit of private catering and I'm very proud of his "touch". He's just as good at Chinese as he is at Indian or Thai. We often cook together and invite a mixed bunch of oldies and youngies over for dinner parties. He's just got it. He is still with his lovely Armenian girlfriend and seems very happy.

Sarah is thrilled she made the decision to choose a career as a bilingual kindergarten teacher. She loves the course although grammar and phonetics were difficult for her. She goes to the Teach Training college in the morning ( leaves home at 7 am) and then dashes off to teach in kindergarten all afternoon in a very important school in Recoleta. She has developed her singing skills with the band as you can see below and now gets some considerably important solos. She has wonderful stage presence and gets on very well with the boys in the band.

So we're all still together for yet another Xmas and New year do. The house is coming on although still lots to fix so we're looking forward to another busy year here in Argentina.

Sunday night we will all go to our respective friends' places for the traditional Argentine Noche Buena and then on Monday we will invite friends over here for the Traditional British Turkey and Trimmings lunch up on the roof terrace in the scorching sun!

Merry Christmas to you all and a happy new year.

Friday, 22 December 2006

Just missed out most of the year 2006!

I've jumped but I suppose that's OK too. My intention is to cover my first freelance year with the most memorable moments .....which is just about all so my next job is to go back and look at all the stuff I did this year and dig for photos!

Bluesberry Jam in Buenos Aires

Today is Mick's birthday, but in true Argentine fashion, we celebrated last night by going to the Bangalore Pub in Palermo, a trendy area of boutiques, resto bars, traditional AR food like grills ( fab steak and chicken in all its forms, with lots of exotic innards and sweetmeats....nothing is wasted here!) and copycat English pubs , Irish pubs and American bars plus a sprinkling of Sushi restaurants and Asian eateries.

Mick chose the Bangalore as it has a pub atmosphere, real beer, Stones, and goodish ( if a short menu) Indian food which is hard to find in AR

We had a great time and came home to wish Mick happy birthday and give him his presents which revolved around accoutrements for our home bar and music books.

Today he slept late and then we went for lunch in a lovely old rustic restaurant called La Escondida ( The Hidden One) and we're now getting ready to go downtown to John John, an Irish bar where they will perform from midnight to about 3am when we might( or not) come home and go to bed like all good people!
The pic is the latest ad designed by Sarah that we send out by mail when they play.

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Bluesberry Jam

Mick has been with BBJ for about 10 years now and they have had some great gigs like Hard Rock Cafe, Bs As, Zilos in Puerto Madero, Sahara in Recoleta and Kilkenny, opposite the Sheraton downtown. They've also played on St Patrick's Day to crowds of 10,000.

Sarah became the official backing singer 2 years ago and is now getting a number of solos due to her incredible stage presence and her powerful voice. Some people heard it wrong that she is Mick's daughter and asked if she is his sister and even one thought she was his girlfriend!


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