Corona Chronicles July 2022


Boris Johnson has submitted to pressure and has stepped down from the post of Prime Minister, however, he has appointed himself caretaker PM until his replacement is in place. This means he’s still at number 10 Downing Street.

COVID far from fading away, has come back with waves sweeping the country. Fortunately, the latest mutations of the Omicron variant strain appear to cause less severe illness. Unfortunately, these sub-types appear adept at getting around the immune defence system, even people who have had COVID and those fully vaccinated.

Although my lateral flow test was negative on two consecutive days, I suspect I picked up the virus at an event in Newcastle. I was indoors close to individuals performing poetry, playing instruments or singing. That Saturday night I scarcely slept a wink, with sore throat, runny nose and generally feeling very poorly. How I managed to play for the service at church the next day is a miracle. I was scarcely present…having to force myself to concentrate. Luckily, it seems playing on auto-pilot was enough to get me through. No one noticed. Not sure whether this is through low expectations on the part of the congregation…or my over critical attitude of my own performance.

A few days later…I was fine.

A swift recovery was what I needed to face the unexpected challenges that popped up. A performance of Animal Apocalypse – a freshly created musical look at the state of our planet and taking part in an 80 minute session playing the Bethesda Chapel organ for one of their open days. The results of the filmed interview at the Television Centre, White City in London became available this month along with AIDS: the Unheard Tapes.

Soho Works Television Centre White City London

Mel, Sheilah and me spent the best part of a day talking about HIV Stigma and our own personal experiences of living with HIV. The intention was to provide a contemporary view to the BBC 2 documentary AIDS: The Unheard Tapes. You can judge for yourself whether or not we succeeded by clicking on the Programme webpage link to the Open University ‘Discover More’

STOKE PRIDE 2022

Stoke Pride 2022 was the biggest to date with over 80 stalls and the most vibrant Parade. The LGBT Older People’s Group had two gazebos in action. Their pitch was well visited throughout the day.

Sue, Stephen and Maurice outside the OLGBT gazebos
OLGBT Group marching in the Parade

The above image shows only a small section of the parade…for more photos of Stoke Pride 2022 – click on the link to visit the official website

ANIMAL APOCALYPSE

Animal Apocalypse – a musical look a the plight of our planet – was devised by Robert of Etruria and Greg Stephens with actor Sean O’Callaghan as narrator and the Clay Chorus conducted by Kate Barfield. I sang with the choir and played the organ as accompanist, soloist and in duets with cornet player Mike Walker. The event took place in the historic Bethesda Chapel. Ray Johnson filmed the performance…so there’s something to look forward to.

Animal Apocalypse Poster

WITH SOUNDNESS OF HEART

“With Soundness of Heart” – was an intergenerational and inclusive performance project by FRONTLINEdance.
The performance will took place on Saturday 25th June starting at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, then proceeded up Piccadilly. It was wonderful and exhilarating to take part in this joyous celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Maurice and Charlotte – Royal Garden Party Duet

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