NEWS

December 2015

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Well here it is, the biggest month of the year and what a year it has been. I know I say it every year but I have no idea where the time has gone and the older I get the quicker it seems to go.

The last few months have seen me working on Celebrity Eclipse and I have to say I had a fantastic time. The itinerary remained the same but that was just as good as it gave e a chance to explore the areas more thoroughly. It was just a pity that the weather wasn’t at its best; in fact it was far warmer in Spain than it was in the Canary Islands. The Entertainment team of Sue and Maarten were fabulous and we managed to have a few laughs along the way especially on Halloween. The passengers made a superb effort and the whole ship was transformed into a ghostly shrine. You have to give the staff their due. They work hard all of the time but when it comes to a ‘special ‘, they really do excel. The whole of the central staircase was decorated with bales of straw and pumpkins that both the kitchen team and the passengers had carved out. It took them hours to get it all ready and by the time I went to reception in the morning it was all gone, the whole place as clean as a whistle.

I got off the ship on 1st November and now I’m off for the year. Normally I'd be working right through until December but my arthritis in my knees is so bad that I could hardly walk on the last cruise. I'd seen a specialist before I left and had a MRI and Doppler and saw him again the week I got back for THE DECISION. The good news is that I don't need new knees after all but it appears that when the arthritis flares up the muscles, ligaments or sinews (haven't got a clue) go into some sort of spasm and it gets so bad that I cannot unbend the knees at all. Anyway I'm having a bi-lateral arthroscopy on 3 December so I’m hoping that will make the rest of the year bearable.

I went for my pre-operative assessment a few days ago and you would have thought I was having life-threatening surgery. I had tests for everything including an ECG. The only good thing about going bra-less at my age is that it pulls the wrinkles right out of my face! I’ve decided to have an epidural, mainly so I can keep an eye on what is going on and secondly so that I can go home immediately after. Although my specialist is calling it an arthroscopy, it is really an exploratory. I’m having physiotherapy a few days before so that my knees are at their worst and with that achieved he wants to see the actual damage with his own eyes rather than through a scan. Depending on what he finds will be the deciding factor on what he will do. That is also a good reason to be awake so that we can discuss things at the various stages and I can make sure he stitches up nicely!

Sadly I got done by Customs on my return to England, they took all 14 cartons despite the fact that I thought they were legal and had kept all my receipts. The guy was all right but then this officious agent got involved. I tell you there is no justice in the world. I had what I thought was a legal amount and yet there are people bringing drugs and diamonds here, go figure - they of course never get stopped. It is only because I had 7 pieces of luggage and 3 hand luggage, whereas the smugglers have a normal amount and the drugs are much smaller compared. Customs may use dog sniffers around the luggage but people are wise to this and they carry it on their person. I’ll never forget my Amazon trip on Marco Polo in 2014. The ship does not have security of any kind and our first stop was Amsterdam. I’d never been before but had been told that they openly sell marijuana in the coffee shops dotted about the city. It still didn’t prepare me for how openly everything is over there despite the fact that it is not legal. People assume it is but the laws state that it isn’t but it is tolerated and the police turn a blind eye. Having said that I have heard on the news in the last few weeks that several coffee shops have been closed down. Anyway back to the story in hand. That night and for the rest of the week all you could smell on the open decks was the familiar whiff of a joint.

I got home to 6 weeks of mail and the first thing I opened was a speeding ticket!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 36 miles an hour. Not a lol moment. So tomorrow I’ve got to attend a speed awareness course. I would have taken the points and fine if not for the fact that Max said it could affect my insurance for the year. The thing is I have a Sat Nav with speed camera software and apart from that there are great big signs saying that the camera is there so I very much doubt I was speeding and it makes me very cross that should I have chosen to argue it and lose than the option of going on the course is also out the window. Yesterday it was in the local paper that a driver had been done at the same set of traffic lights where that camera is. He argued it because he hadn’t even been driving but parked on that road! Luckily, in his instance, justice prevailed but one has to think very carefully about the issues before trying to defend your corner. With a parking ticket, during the time it takes to argue the fine is going up by the minute so they use scaremonger tactics saying if you pay today then it is only £60.00 but if you choose to contest the issue and then lose then guess what? Yes you got it, the fine has doubled.

The last few weeks has certainly given me the time to catch up. Since I got rid of the container the contents have filled all of the garage and most of the house so I boxed the majority up and sent it to a local auction house. At long last I’ve been able to box up certain things that were in the house and put them in the garage. If I hadn’t done that I would not have been able to have anyone here over Christmas and most certainly we wouldn’t have been eating off a table.

Even though I’m bursting at the seams, I still found the room for the discs that Antje Harrod sent me from her father’s collection. I thought it was such a kind thing to do especially as she would not accept any money for the postage.  I was worried at one point that they had got lost, as they hadn’t arrived by the time they should have. Several days later I got a bill from Customs and Excise for import duty. Nevertheless they are safely here and are now amongst my growing archive.

The Matt Monro Story finished its run on 19 November and although I wanted to get to the last show in Tamworth it just wasn’t possible but I am thrilled at the way it has been received along the way. I think it was a fitting tribute for dad’s 30th anniversary. I know Matt Jnr enjoyed his time on the road and I’d like to thank everyone that came along and endorsed the show. If you’d like your say over anything Matt Monro then don’t forget to visit dad’s Facebook page, which Richard and I have now taken over. https://www.facebook.com/mattmonro

 

Would you believe I’m still waiting to be told the date of ‘The Nation’s Favourite Bond Song’. Shiver (the factual arm of ITV Studios) commissioned a documentary special celebrating the most popular songs from one of the longest-running and most iconic franchises in movie history. Transmitting over 90 minutes at peak time on ITV later this month, the show will pay tribute to the greatest tracks that have featured in the hugely successful 007 film series.

Using extensive archive and interviews with the key players, the show will tell the fascinating stories behind twenty 007 classics, which have been chosen in close collaboration with Bond producers Eon and our programme consultant, Bond composer David Arnold. It will also feature the results of our exclusive ITV poll, revealing which Bond song the British public consider their favourite of all time.

The Nation’s Favourite Bond Song follows on from the success of previous award-winning Nation’s Favourites, applauding the work of musical greats such as Queen, the Motown label and Elvis Presley (the latter of which was seen by over 7 million viewers). You’ll just have to keep your eyes peeled.

Earlier in the year I did an interview on Stardust Melodies with Anna Vlasakova for the Czech music fans, which has now been released. If you’d like to see the English version then please click on the link below.
http://stardust-melodies.blogspot.cz/2015/10/michele-monro-i-think-my-dad-would-love.html

One fan, Iris Hargrave told me about a South African radio station called Cape Talk Bandstand AM 567, which is also available through the Internet. The host Eleanor spoke on the radio last Saturday saying she would be paying tribute to dad for his birthday. The show is airing on Saturday 28 November and Saturday 5th December between 7.00pm and 9.00pm. As well as playing some of her own favourites, the show will also feature requests from her listeners. South Africa is two hours in front of us.

STOP PRESS>>>>>
One thing I need to warn you about is a Kindle book being sold through Amazon. ‘Matt Monro Unauthorized & Uncensored.’ I beg everyone not to invest in this complete load of rubbish. They bill it as having 27 pages but most pages have only three or four lines of text. Other pages have a thumbnail picture, which has been blocked because of copyright, in other words the page is empty. The small bit of information in this piece of tripe is actually wrong. One page is marked ‘Fun Facts’ and the opener is that Matt Monro died of cancer; I didn’t find that to be a fun fact at all. This is the Deluxe Edition and it says it comes with videos but once again you cannot access them because they have been blocked because of copyright infringement. The reviews are bogus and quite frankly I find the whole thing a disgrace. I bought the book and immediately demanded my money back, which Amazon did within the hour and I have since lodged an official complaint, which I am waiting for them to act on.

In all my news working for the Estate I have never come across anything quite so cheap or nasty and it is being sold under false pretences. There are various headers to this ‘book’ one being ‘Earnings or Wealth’ Once you click on the page it says there are no known details about MM’s wealth so it would appear he liked to keep this part of his life private. Those few lines constitute another age, where as the rest remains blank. It might only cost £2.18 but it is better spent on firewood.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Matt-Monro-Unauthorized-Uncensored-Deluxe-Videos-ebook/dp/B00IA8EOO2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1448458597&sr=8-2&keywords=matt+monro+kindle

As most of you know I branched out into photography and released a portfolio of photographs called ‘Lights of the Caribbean’ in January 2014. Although they sell very well on the ships some are also displayed in Galleries Alive in Telford Shopping Centre.

My new dates for 2016 have started to come in and the ones confirmed so far are:

Cruise Calendar 2015/2016

5 January – 16 February – Cruise & Maritime Magellan
6 June – 1 July – Fred Olsen – Boudicca
9 July – 23 July – Emerald Princess (TBC)
23 July – 6 August – Emerald Princess (TBC)
26 August – 3 September – Celebrity Eclipse
3 September 17 September – Celebrity Eclipse
17 September -30 September – Celebrity Eclipse
30 September – 3 October – Celebrity Eclipse
3 October – 16 October – Celebrity Eclipse
16 October – 29 October – 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 the ever-popular Tom Jones.

Being that it is the season to be jolly, I thought I’d get you into the festive spirit with a few quizzes to test those little grey cells.

Can you Identyfy the 10 Christmas Films from the extracts below?

Secret Santa - Who's Behind The Beard?

 

Christmas Movie Quiz

 


BONUS QUESTION.
This is the first ever mass produced Christmas card from 1843 but why was it controversial?

Have fun. How good were you - Find the answers HERE

Check out the ‘Rough Guide to mattmonro.com’, 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!!!!

May I take the opportunity of wishing you all a very happy festive season. Here’s hoping the coming year will bring you everything you want for yourself and your family.

Don’t forget we don’t do an update in January so I will check in with you all from the depths of the Amazon in February. In the meantime I leave you with my ten favourite quotes of the year.

The road to success is always under construction
If there’s a ‘WILL’, there are 500 relatives.
If you can’t see the bright side of life, polish the dull side.
Well-behaved women rarely make history.
He who laughs last, didn’t get it.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
A word to the wise isn’t necessary, it’s the stupid ones that all the advice.
I don’t suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
I don’t deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don’t deserve that either.
I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word I’ve said.

 

Warmest to you and yours
Michele

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