December 2014

Well one month on and I do have a toilet, a sink, a bath and heating, although I can’t turn it on!! Michele decided underfloor heating would be a wonderful thing to have throughout the bungalow and it might well be but it cannot be turned on because of the protective boarding that is laying throughout the property. Thank goodness for the neighbours who have come to my rescue on a number of occasions. For a month I was going over the road at 8.00am to wash and then at 8.00pm at night. They also let me have use of he washing machine every week although why I bothered I don’t know. The dust levels inside are colossal, it doesn’t matter how much I clean it comes back after a few minutes.

I still don’t have a kitchen, well let me re-phrase. The kitchen was delivered on 29th October but it hasn’t been assembled because of all the parts missing. The fitter has been here four times but to no avail. I have also had two damaged doors and although Magnet agreed to replace them I had to wait two weeks for them to come in. I cannot believe a company of that size doesn’t hold any stock on site. I ordered a larder, which is a new product for their catalogue except the hinges that were delivered didn’t fit the unit and the company didn’t realise!! Each hinge has something called a grommet, which is needed to be able to drill the screw through to the woodwork – you got it, there are no grommets. I am now waiting until 3rd December for a delivery but I don’t hold out much hope of being able to use the kitchen for Christmas.

Just as imperative to the process is the worktop. I ordered black quartz and to be fair it was delivered on time, it’s just that it didn’t fit. The guy who had drawn the template up had measured it too short albeit only 10ml but that was in each corner so it looked pants. I didn’t see the offending item until after he’d stuck it down so it took quite a bit of work to take it out without damaging the carcass underneath. Then I noticed the other piece by the sink was not consistent in colour and asked about it but the phone interrupted me. By the time I had come out of the office (I use the word lightly) the other piece of quartz had been removed and the guy had packed up his van and driven off telling the builder through a wound down window that he wasn’t coming back. I had eight workmen on site with their mouths on the floor. Talk about a hissy fit, I’ve never known someone in business to throw his toys out of the pram like that. Let’s put it in prospective, it was his fault. The builder held his level up alongside the island and there was no question that the cut was out.  The fact he walked off the job didn’t bother me as much as the fact he had my money. Don’t forget he hadn’t told me he wasn’t coming back and I haven’t heard from him since.

With regard to the planning application I finally received approval and all being equal the windows and front door will be here on Friday. The good news didn’t extend to the patio doors I ordered from Salop Glass on 9th October. They should have been here 3 weeks ago but the date I’ve now been given in 15th December. I am flaming but the thing is these companies have you over a barrel. It is too late to get someone else in now and so I can only hope they come in on the date specified. I have booked delivery of my items in storage. The removal company need two weeks notice and I want my stuff in time for Christmas. If I then have to cancel them because the patio doors aren’t in situ I have to pay 60% cancellation fee, which is near on £500.00.

Secondly the burglar alarm has to be hooked up to that patio door. The system was booked for installation on 4th December, that has had to be moved now which means I have had to move the installation of the automatic garage doors as well as they are also being hooked up to the system. All of these delays are not helping the project to come to a close.

Thirdly and most importantly, none of these companies work between Christmas and the New Year. I leave the country on 4th January. If I were then burgled I would NOT be insured. That was the case the minute that the wall came down and the temporary boarding went up covering the twelve foot space, the only difference is I am not leaving the house unattended at the moment. The insurance company will not provide cover while the property is unsecure.

I think this property must be hexed and it wouldn’t have surprised me to have unearthed a dead body in the foundations. Every part of the build has hit a snag, a problem or an uphill challenge. Thermostats have been put in the wrong place, as have some of the light switches. I can’t even remember how many toilets arrived damaged before we got two that were usable. The vanity unit was missing the shelf hooks and the water supply was put on backwards. The shower valves were put in the wrong place and the seat was too high for a small fry like myself. Sharps brought the office units but the tabletop doesn’t match the shelving in colour. When I complained they said well it was because they were two different materials. My argument was that the company had a duty to tell the client before purchase so they were aware there could be a colour variation. Sharps don’t feel it is something they need to relay to their customers. Thy have also used these ugly butterfly silver nuts on all four corners of the cubbyholes instead of the dark brown plastic ones that meld into the background. Sadly there is nothing that can be done anymore as the whole unit would have to be dissembled and Sharps weren’t willing to do that, in fact they

The oak tree is finally down but the Council haven’t been back to fix the wall. Several phone calls later I have been sent an insurance claim form asking for sketches, dimensions and photographs. I’m sure they make these things so difficult in the hope you won’t bother pursuing the remedial work. I’ve finally submitted the forms now so it is just a matter of waiting another few months for a reply.

Onto Matt Monro news: Bert Bossink wrote to me from Holland to say that dad was in the Evergreen Top 1000 chart and had been voted ‘Artist of the Week on NOP5 Nostalgia for the second year running’.

One thing that has made my life easier in terms of research is that the BBC now have all their Radio Times listed on a new website:

Phil Farlow wrote to me at the end of October as he’d been having a massive sort out and on going through a heave of documentation was reminded of a series that dad appeared in.
"(Robert) Farnon in Concert" BBC Radio Orchestra. Sundays 14.30-16.00.  The edition that dad appeared in was 5 February 1967. I immediately wrote to David Ades of the Robert Farnon Society who amazingly had an original (domestic) tape of the show and went about making me a copy to add to the archive.

Dad sings many of the usual suspects rather than anything new but the quality is great plus the bonus is that dad talks to John Dunn before each song.

Love Is A Many Splendoured thing
Beyond The Hill
I'll Take Romance
One Day


An invitation to explore the glittering world of Robert Farnon who conducts The Radio Orchestra. Leader John Jezard with his own arrangements in a programme of distinctive popular music
This week's special guests Matt Monro, Hugo D'Alton and The Polka Dots
International guest conductor, composer, arranger Barry Gray
Introduced by John Dunn Produced by Vernon Lawrence

Richard and I have still not heard from Warner about the release of the new album although Odeon have moved forward with the DVD project. We are going to discuss the final running order this month so there is still every hope that we will have a release for the anniversary.

I think it is ludicrous not to have a new album out for the anniversary year and if Warner won’t then ‘Mint Audio’ will. Richard Moore and I have put our heads together to bring you something very special. ’Operation Santa Claus: Live in Hong Kong’ is a wonderful concert that dad did back in 1962.

“A phone call came from one of Matt’s close army day pals, Roy Cordeiro garbling an excitable message about him having to come back to Hong Kong and to expect a follow-up call from Ted Thomas. Details confirmed Matt left for Hong Kong to take part in ‘Operation Santa Claus’ a one-day charity concert with the entire journey involving some 20,000 miles. It was something of a sentimental journey for Matt remembering the great times of his youth.” (The Singer’s Singer: The Life and Music of Matt Monro)

This very special anniversary release will include:

All of You
Without a Song
Portrait of My Love
My Kind of Girl
What Kind of Fool Am I
My Love & Devotion
Bill Bailey
I Guess It Was You All The Time
What Now My Love
When The Saints Go Marching In
A radio Interview done especially to mark the concert

It will initially be on sale for £10.00 at

We don’t have a confirmed release date yet.

Matt Monro Jnr will also be commemorating dad’s anniversary by flying to the Philippines on 9th February 2015. A special show has been put together by agent Robert Pratt which includes The Platters, Filipino Christian Bautista and Matt for a series of 10 concerts. Exact dates will be advertised on the Forum and Matt’s own Facebook page.

Being that it is the 30th Anniversary in February I have been approached to contribute to several radio shows. Tom Stevens of Siren 107.3 FM was first off the bat with an idea to focus on the Matt Monro years with contributions from both Matt Jnr and myself.

I am pre-recording a show with Mike McLean of Vinyl Radio this week, as unfortunately I will be out of the country for the actual anniversary date. His programme will air on Sunday 8th February and as before I am sure he will do a stellar job.

Sadly I have had to ay goodbye to my regular spot on Siren FM next year. Even though I reduced the shows to twice monthly this year I found that the majority had to be pre-records as I wasn’t in England and next year seems to be busier than ever. Rather then turning my back on my Matt Monro spot completely we are treating 2015 as a mini hiatus and all being equal I will return to the airwaves in 2016.

My cruise calendar is as busy as ever and for anyone interested these are the dates I have booked for 2015

4 January - 4 April – P&O Adonia
30 May – 14 June – Celebrity Eclipse
14 June – 27 June – Celebrity Eclipse
19 July – 2 August – Celebrity Constellation
30 August – 13 September – Celebrity Eclipse
13 September – 27 September – Celebrity Eclipse
10 October– 21 October – Celebrity Eclipse
21 October – 1 November – Celebrity Eclipse

Don’t forget to check out our Spotlight feature this month, I know so many of you enjoy them. This time round we look in on Johnny Rivers

Check out the ‘Rough Guide to’, which is available towards the bottom of the Homepage. If you don’t know how to access certain areas of the site or in fact are unaware of new areas, this guide will explain how easy this website is to get around, once you know how.

There is also another information box “How to Use the Forum’. I know a lot of people have been tempted to join in on some of our conversations but are slightly nervous of doing so. For that reason I have printed step-by-step instructions of how to access it. It really does only take a few minutes.

Whatever the coming year holds, suffice to say that I shall be plugging Matt Monro’s music at every opportunity.  That is the wonderful thing about working the ships, it gives me a brand new audience each time and if then, a small percentage go home a fan, then it is worth all the blood, sweat and tears, not to mention the Bay of Biscay!!!!

Until next year may I wish you all a fabulous holiday season. Don’t forget we never do an update in January so I’ll catch up with you all in February.

Warmest to you and yours


Past News - November 2014

Past News - October 2014

Past News - September 2014

Past News - August 2014

Past News - June 2014

Past News - May 2014

Past News - April 2014

Past News - March 2014

Past News - February 2014

Past News - December 2013

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Past News - December 2012

Past News - November 2012

Past News - October 2012

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Past News - March 2012

Past News - February 2012

Past News - December 2011

Past News - November 2011

Past News - October 2011

Past News - September 2011

Past News - August 2011

Past News - July 2011


  - Press this link to see the Amazon Listing for The Singers Singer by Michele Monro


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