February 18, 2007

My Mandola

Posted in My Mandola at 11:51 am by Anne Coley

mandola.jpg This is my mandola. It is a Musikalia Octave Mandola, and tuned to G D A E.  I have only been playing (or learning to play to be precise) for a few months. My husband says that I don’t play it as it should be played, and he is probably right, but I enjoy what I do, nevertheless. I have always wanted to play an instrument that I could sing along with, so I tend to play chords to back tunes rather than the tunes themselves. Once I had learned a few basic chords, it is amazing how many songs that I can fumble my way around.

Once I had mastered a few basic chords I then started to experiment with plucking the strings rather than just strumming. It is not as easy as it looks, especially when you have arthritis in your fingers, so I have devised a little warm-up tune that I always play when I first pick up my mandola, to warm my fingers up a bit. I think this tune has now evolved into a form of torture for Bill. 😉


January 1, 2007


Posted in Kerlan at 5:06 pm by Anne Coley

Kerlan is our home in France.


We were lucky enough to live there permanently for two years, before re-joining the rat race. We aim to return there permanently at the first given opportunity. Until that happy day, we visit as regularly as possible, often accompanied by various family members.


I always like to think that Kerlan Bihan is a sociable sort of place. A place where friends gather to sit around a table and enjoy themselves. During the two years that Bill and I were living there we had a few memorable such gatherings. 

everyone.JPG This was my 50th birthday party.  We all enjoyed it when the Jack Danielle Band played on the lawn.


and then Bill decided to help them out …..


It was a brilliant day.

Alan and Sheila, our next door neighbours, live just down the lane. They decided that apart from their chickens, ducks, geese, 5 cats, and their dog, Todd, they would buy 4 piglets, and rear them. I could write a whole blog just about those pigs!!

However, once they had reached a certain age, they were sent off to be slaughtered. It was decided that one of the pigs would be used for a pig roast, to be held in our hangar.

December 31, 2006

My music

Posted in My Music at 5:02 pm by Anne Coley

Music and singing has always been a part of my life. As a child I was sung to, and I remember that car journeys were always an excuse for family sing-songs. My brother Ian and I used to drive Mum and Dad mad with “There’s a hole in my bucket”, and Dad used to teach us old wartime stuff like “Bless ’em all”.

When we had our first record player I remember spending hours listening to LP soundtracks of musicals such as “My Fair Lady” and “Fiddler on the Roof”, which Mum and Dad loved so much.

When I got to the age of buying singles with saved-up pocket money, my first ever purchase was “Silence is Golden” by The Tremeloes. I loved The Monkees and The Beatles.

Those years were governed by the “Top Twenty”, Radio Caroline, and Radio Luxembourg, until I joined the school Folk Club. I used to sing, mostly with my friend, Christine Brady, and John Chapple on guitar. We did a mixture of old and new “folk” music, in a very wide sense of the word.  We even visited other folk clubs to perform, until a group of us sneaked “Threshing Machine” into the set, and after that we weren’t to be trusted outside of the confines of the school.

During my mid-teens Simon and Garfunkel, Moody Blues and Fleetwood Mac were my favourites of the time. I can still listen to S  & G and enjoy the music every bit as much as I did then, though I think that the memories that the songs bring back add to their attraction.

I love this one.

During the years since then, and there are LOTS, I have enjoyed so many different pieces of music from very different genres ranging from classical to heavy metal.

This Limp Bizkit track reminds me of the days when my daughter Jo and her friends used to be heavy metal fans, and used to congregate at our house on Friday evenings to “hang out” and listed to their music. I liked some – not all, I even bought a White Zombie cd and Metallica’s “Loaded”, but I really love this one. George Michael doesn’t even come close. This version is fun.

Two of my  all time favourite cd’s are Joshua Tree by U2 and Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette, though I have many all time favourites. I like this track.

The latest band I have added to my list of enjoying listening to is Snow Patrol. This is brilliant, despite being a little on the “edited” side.

I could go on, but think I’d better save some for another day.

December 30, 2006

My Family

Posted in My Family at 3:45 pm by Anne Coley


 annie-new-years-day-2007.JPG I took this picture today, 1st January 2007,  with Bill’s new webcam.

 I am very lucky – I have a brilliant family.

 bill.JPG My husband, Bill. I could write a book about him. In  fact, I have the title already. “I married a six year old schizophrenic”. He comprises of several different people, all aged six. He is an avid Sunderland fan, plays the guitar and sings at the hint of a request, and loves being the centre of attention. He is the life and soul of any party, and I haven’t stopped laughing since we met, usually at his expense, because his jokes are really bad!!

My daughter


 Joanna, is 23, and in her last year at university in Derby studying Shiatsu. She is already a qualified Yoga teacher.


Jo plays the guitar and has a fabulous singing voice. She is very talented, capable, extremely funny, something of an eco warrior, and beautiful. That is not just me being biased, by the way – ask Bill.

My son.

chris-and-his-jo.JPG My son, Chris, seen here with his gorgeous fiancee, also called Jo. Chris is 31, and teaches Sports Science at our Grammar School. He is full of energy and enthusiasm for just about everything he does, and I frequently get told that he is an excellent teacher by parents of his pupils. He is extremely happy at the moment having recently become engaged, and he and Jo have just bought themselves a house. Exciting times for them.

My Stepson

dane-and-mags.jpg This is Bill’s son, David, with his beautiful girlfriend, Mags. David and Mags live in London, and we stayed with them recently when we all went to see a Ralph McTell concert. We had a brilliant time with them. They are great fun, and cliched though it may  be, they do seem to be made for each other. We are looking forward to them coming to visit us soon at Kerlan, in February.

My brother.

ian-and-sal.JPG This is my brother, Ian and his lovely girlfriend Sally. Bill and I spend a lot of time with Ian and Sally, they are really good company and we laugh a lot together. Ian and I have a great relationship, because over the years we have always been there for each other if needed, but never judged or interfered. I call him “Bro”  and he calls me “Sis”. I love my Bro.

My Mum

momma.JPG My Mum is called Joan. I call her “Momma”. She lives in Spain, but she visits Guernsey regularly, as she has a flat, which is part of my brother’s house. Momma will be 75 in January 2007, and we are planning a special day for her. She is coming to Guernsey for a few days so that she can celebrate with family and friends. Momma is a very independent lady. She travels all over the place, and is the hostess with the mostest. As a Mum, she taught me a lot, and I am looking forward to giving her a big hug on her birthday.

My Dad

me-and-daddy.JPG This picture was taken in 1996. My Dad died in 1997. I always remember him as being full of fun. He was very outgoing and made friends easily. He was very clever, very easy going, and everyone liked him. I miss him.

A few more pics ….

jo-ian-sal-and-mum.JPG Jo, Ian ,Sally and Momma at the party the night before Bill and I got married (and Dennis cooking in the background!)


Jo and Chris, at our wedding.

bill-thinking.JPG Bill looking perplexed, setting up his new webcam.


Posted in My Family, Uncategorized at 11:01 am by Anne Coley