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  • Clare Teal -
    lot Muddy declared action be taken and suggested we invest in an exercise bike My mind instantly leaped to an image of the neither use nor ornament fold up budget exercycle thing that mum and dad had circa 1981 I really wasn t keen reminding Muddy unfairly that the sewing machine we absolutely had to have is 6 years later still in it s unopened box Seemingly in one breath she assertively yet kindly made mention of approximately 27 now redundant objects that I had insisted we couldn t live without including a set of dentistry tools and an autoharp The bike arrived in a big heavy box which we slid down the stairs and into the living room Muddy had read that it could be assembled in just 10 minutes It took two of us 9 minutes to get the box open and after enlisting the help of our hero a further 81 minutes for three of us to assemble it The bike worked perfectly for all of four minutes then locked in lap mode I rang the company we d bought it from conversing with a stroppy woman who said she couldn t possibly help unless I could ascertain whether the bike had broken wires connections or a faulty console Thankfully our friend Anthony was imminent he s from Preston and very clever wires wise and after an hour or so of clipping and unclipping stuff Anthony had ascertained that it was the console at fault respect I rang the number again this time I dealt with an equally stroppy man who asked me to try using batteries I explained maybe seven or eight times that there wasn t anywhere to put batteries although by now I could have suggested a few places and that even if there

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/exercise-or-not/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    the atrocities that occurred on the Normandy Beaches one Chelsea Pensioner looks to camera We didn t like Mr Adolph Hitler did we bit of a rascal you know D Day was two years in the planning its success relied not only on the unimaginable bravery of the many 1000 s of predominantly British American and Canadian servicemen but also massive amounts of vital information gathered configured and deployed by the intelligence departments Nearly 160 000 troops crossed the channel on 6th June 1944 It was a huge turning point in the war many of the men interviewed talk about fighting to end the war to restore peace as you d imagine there s little mention of winning much more about just making it stop I hadn t realized that before the war 60 of all our food was imported so once at conflict it made sense to ration supplies also when you think that British seamen were having to risk their lives to provide folk with everyday necessities I now see the importance of mantras such as waste not want not and make do and mend This is clearly laid out on p24 of Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain 1942 under the heading WASTE MEANS LIVES Amongst the many other useful tips and hints my favourite is found under BRITISH RESERVED NOT UNFRIENDLY To say I look like a bum is offensive to their ears for to the British this means that you look like your own backside On my radio show I play a lot of the pop music of this time and though I know quite a bit about the music of the day I m learning how important it is to place these records in their historical context to better understand the general moods of

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/d-day-thoughts/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    in this instance growing vegetables and the trials and tribulations of being on a diet on the road it seems I inadvertently confused the partner of the person who wrote in who was intrigued by my numerous mentions of the Emmanness Phullapherlonga NB read it carefully which he assumed to be some exotic new vegetable and who not only asked two friends where he could buy one but more importantly how would they cook it This made me think of the many times I ve been caught out misinterpreting song lyrics I always hear the music before the lyrics and will often fall in love with a song having no clue what it s about till the fourth or fifth listen Great drummer and friend Chris Dagley sadly no longer with us made us cry with laughter when he admitted to as a kid thinking the second line to Somewhere Over the Rainbow was Weigh a pie Or what about the time Muddy and I were at an industry do and overheard a well known and well oiled TV personality trying to introduce his inebriated girlfriend to actor comedian and now DJ Craig Charles she misheard spun around and shouted I don t believe it I love Ray Charles Or the time comedian Julian Clary gave a local interview about having recently moved into Noël Coward s house When printed the story read that he d moved into an old council house Or the time Jamie Cullum introduced me to one of my all time heroes Quincy Jones at the Jazz Awards he looked at me in absolute wonder before saying Crab your name is crab Doh Goodbye street cred and though I repeated my name clearly at least 6 times the room was very noisy and so forever I

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/misunderstandings/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    puppy emerged he didn t know what to do with himself and to be honest no one slept much last night This morning however is a different story altogether After a good breakfast of chicken and rice and the longest wee of his short life sorry to be graphic dog lovers will understand he s a different chap and is now playing with his new toy a fluffy bear we ve named Kahunas in memory of the occasion Granted shouting Alan where s yer Kahunas is perhaps a little unsubtle but so far he seems oblivious 24 Apr Easter Traditions Being on diet over the Easter weekend of course meant no chocolate and only the merest slivers of Simnel cake rude not to I was curious to discover a few of the more unusual Easter customs carried out in other parts of the world In Bulgaria for example families dye eggs on Maundy Thursday the first red egg is seen as a symbol of health and good fortune and kept till the following Easter After the Saturday evening service a huge egg fight takes place or choukane s yaitsa the person with the last remaining unbroken egg is proclaimed the winner or borak the winning egg is also kept till the following Easter On Easter Monday in Slovakia and the Czech Republic men dig out their pomlázkas or hand made whips formed from 8 24 willow rods they then whip or spank women this apparently can be painful but isn t intended to cause suffering it s merely in order to maintain the woman s beauty and health for the next 12 months personally I d rather stay unwhipped ugly and eat chocolate By way of revenge women are allowed to pour buckets of cold water over any man the next day n Hungary however Watering Monday or Locsoló Hétfö involves visiting males sprinkling the womenfolk of the house with perfumed water in exchange for an Easter egg again I d just go for the chocolate Great big fires are the thing in Cyprus It is customary for eager youngsters to collect as much scrap wood as possible on which to burn a small doll representing Judas Iscariot such is the sense of competition between neighborhoods the fire department are often called to put them out On Easter morning in Bosnia and Herzegovinia you take a basket of food to church to be blessed this will usually involve bread coloured eggs ham horseradish and potica a kind of nut cake I m most approving of the basket idea it sounds right up my street as does the Jamaican tradition of spicy fruit buns and cheese Over in Bermuda they fly homemade kites and eat fish cakes in addition to hot cross buns Finally in Norway people partake in the bizarre relatively modern tradition of reading and or watching murder mysteries apparently Poirot is a firm favourite and publisher s schedule their whodunnits to coincide with Easter A few ideas there for next Easter 18 Apr Happy Eater Haze machines are a singer s curse They make the lights look pretty but most of us hate the stuff with a passion I was at a gig last week and within two songs I was really struggling I didn t realise until after the concert that they were using the vile stuff It s like inhaling powdered glass My breathlessness wasn t helped either by the fact that my emergency gig trousers the larger ones were let s say a little snug Only one thing for it cept I hadn t realised Easter was upon us when I embarked on this monumental diet it s early days I only started on Sunday To help me this time as I can t seem to lose weight without some gimmick or other I have employed the services of an app on my phone You tell it how tall you are and what you weigh it doesn t laugh then you tell it how much you want to lose It sets a goal and gives you a daily calorie allowance mine is 1 200 Here s the brilliant part you just scan the barcodes of what you re eating and it works out the calories you can also search from a massive list of foods from celery sticks to black pudding to a kumquat I was trying to catch it out but no one kumquat 13 calories If you do any exercise tell it what you ve done and it swaps your toil for extra calories What a marvellous invention Short of the fact that I m hungry all the time this app makes dieting fun but then I am only on day three I think keeping a food diary of any kind be it pencil and paper or digital really helps as it makes you think about what you eat I know if I eat anything extra I have to write it down so I don t bother Planning the Easter menus is going to be a little tricky I don t think I ll be able to get away with crisp bread and cottage cheese followed by kumquat surprise for Sunday lunch Also I find shopping when hungry difficult unless you take a list and have a stern word with yourself before you go in Any Easter eggs I get are going to have to sit on the shelf until August but then most of them have been sitting on the supermarket shelves since last August anyway 10 Apr Muddy s been buying Most of last week was taken up preparing and performing our Doris Day concert for Radio 2 on Friday in tribute to the great lady herself who turned 90 on Thursday and looks just marvellous We had such a great time I was joined on stage by the BBC Concert Orchestra and fellow singers Matthew Ford and AJ Brown if you missed it it will be on the BBC iPlayer

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/category/clares-blog/page/6/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    battle was staged in rounds which were marked using an antique boxing bell which I very much enjoyed ringing The competition was properly fierce climaxing in a specially written Battle Royal where both glorious bands played simultaneously my ears are still ringing Did we have a winner I couldn t possibly say If you d like to hear the concert which was streamed live on BBC Radio 2 3 you can listen again Alternatively if you want to see what we got up to switch on BBC4 this Sunday evening at 7 p m 25 Jul Festivals Last Friday I made my King s Lynn debut for the fifth time ably accompanied by NYJO or the National Youth Jazz Orchestra to give them their full title As with most big band concerts there was precious little time for rehearsals The band had been sat on a bus battling their way through the weekend traffic but were eager and breezy as they assessed the music for the first time I was blown away by their competence it was great also to see some familiar MYJO Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra players making up the throngs NYJO has been led for the last three years by trumpet master Mark Armstrong who took over the baton from big band stalwart and NYJO founder Bill Ashton and what a marvellous job he s doing I know I say this a lot but if you haven t ever heard a big band in action I urge you to remedy this at your earliest convenience There are some incredible bands on your doorstep some playing old school swing others forging ahead in new directions and many entertaining folks with a combination of all styles and genres It s such an exciting vibrant sound which has to be heard to be believed It s important that we support all our big bands but the youth bands in particular need an audience to learn their craft and develop their gigging chops not only will you hear some kicking tunes but you also get to spot the stars of the future After chasing or rather being chased home through the wee hours by some if the most incredible thunder and lightning storms we ve ever seen Saturday is spent watching our hero dog proof the garden whilst Alan the dog in question not content with watching his brother bang stakes in the ground in the pouring rain decides to jump in the pond One much needed bath later a beautifully coiffured and rather fragrant Alan joined us on Sunday for our annual gig at The International Marlborough Jazz Festival this year with our mini big band or brassy octet Marlborough is definitely one of this country s best jazz festivals As I write Muddy and I are driving over the Severn Bridge for a concert tonight with The Capital Big Band at St David s Hall in Cardiff as part of the Welsh Proms and I m hoping they sell Joe s ice cream at the interval 16 Jul Exciting times It was one of those days you end up pinching yourself on a regular basis Sir Tim Rice had emailed a few weeks earlier to ask if I d sing one of his favourite lesser know songs at a concerty thing as is his style he totally under hyped the whole shebang A stellar cast the BBC Concert Orchestra and me were assembled to perform a tribute to Tim and his extensive catalogue at The Royal Festival Hall filmed by the BBC to be shown at a later date By the time I arrived for soundcheck another tune had been requested so in addition to Never Again a song from an opera Tim wrote with Alan Menken called King David for which Grant Windsor had written a stunning new arrangement I was also thrilled beyond thrilled to be performing Tim s Bond song All Time High written with John Barry for Octopussy It s a big old tune both very low and very high with long sustained notes requiring the lungs of an Olympic swimmer If that wasn t exciting enough I was accompanied not only by the BBC Concert Orchestra but also Grammy winning film composer and guitarist David Arnold who has scored 5 bond films Independence Day Godzilla oh and Little Britain and Sherlock After the rehearsal I dashed over to Radio 3 to do a live session and interview on In Tune before whizzing back to the South Bank for hair and makeup alongside Roger Daltrey Tim Minchin Rob Brydon and Alexander Armstrong Muddy and I shared a lift with sir Andrew Lloyd Webber a surprise guest playing piano for Mr Brydon Other performers included Rick Wakeman Rufus Wainwright Gemma Arterton Laura Mvula Tom Chaplin Seth Lakeman Julian Ovenden Frances Rufelle Cynthia Erivo James Fox and Siobhan Harrison It was then on up to Wigan for the International Jazz Festival A key event in this country s big band calendar This year Jools Holland kicked off proceedings there were also great performances from youth bands WYJO and MYJO trumpeter Jon Faddis and closing with The Super C Band s tribute to lergendary trumpeter Derek Watkins Our Doris Day show performed on the Friday evening Despite getting soaked inadvertently walking into a shower block powered by sensors and splitting my lip bashing the mic into my face whilst encouraging the audience to sing along to Que Sera Sera a great night was had by all 29 Jun Battle of the Bands This week you find me putting the finishing touches to the set list for our prom I still can t quite believe it s happening but on August 8th at 10 15pm 32 of the finest musicians in this country will file onto the stage of the Royal Albert Hall and commence a battle of the bands Duke Ellington v Count Basie Duke Grant Windsor will lead the Ellington side and Count James Pearson will head

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/page/7/?page_id=2 (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    the more I saw a nightmare scenario The jingle kicks in after the 9 o clock news and then radio silence till the continuity person announces to the nation sorry Ms Teal is unable to broadcast tonight as the flippy floppy won t open and she s stranded fuel less at Buck services on the A303 Time to think about trading in old Enid who like Beryl before her has served us well but now in the Autumn of her years deserves a quieter life with less miles Now the first time Muddy and I tried to buy a car we headed to a well known American purveyor of automobiles finally managing to drag the salesman away from chatting to his girlfriend on phone by shouting We d like a new car please it has to be black with a decent stereo air conditioning and a sunroof and outside our house by Tuesday the chap said he d just go off and find a few brochures for us and was never to be seen again Yes I suppose we might have come across as flippant but we had money to spend little experience and an urgent need for a new car but thanks to Mr Disinterested neither of us would ever consider buying anything manufactured by that company in the future I read that in America women buy 54 of cars and influence 84 of all vehicle purchase decisions yet are prone to being ignored patronized and or ripped off at dealerships After 10 minutes or so we gave up waiting and moved on to the next garage This was a well known Japanese purveyor of automobiles The experience couldn t have been more different and we emerged an hour later having test driven and bought a new car Thousands

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/cars/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    flippy the more I saw a nightmare scenario The jingle kicks in after the 9 o clock news and then radio silence till the continuity person announces to the nation sorry Ms Teal is unable to broadcast tonight as the flippy floppy won t open and she s stranded fuel less at Buck services on the A303 Time to think about trading in old Enid who like Beryl before her has served us well but now in the Autumn of her years deserves a quieter life with less miles Now the first time Muddy and I tried to buy a car we headed to a well known American purveyor of automobiles finally managing to drag the salesman away from chatting to his girlfriend on phone by shouting We d like a new car please it has to be black with a decent stereo air conditioning and a sunroof and outside our house by Tuesday the chap said he d just go off and find a few brochures for us and was never to be seen again Yes I suppose we might have come across as flippant but we had money to spend little experience and an urgent need for a new car but thanks to Mr Disinterested neither of us would ever consider buying anything manufactured by that company in the future I read that in America women buy 54 of cars and influence 84 of all vehicle purchase decisions yet are prone to being ignored patronized and or ripped off at dealerships After 10 minutes or so we gave up waiting and moved on to the next garage This was a well known Japanese purveyor of automobiles The experience couldn t have been more different and we emerged an hour later having test driven and bought a new car

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/isle-of-wight-adventures/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Clare Teal -
    handpicking a diverse bunch of brilliantly unique acts such as Kurt Elling Tigran and Get The Blessing One of my top records of last year was Sing to the Moon the studio album debut of Birmingham born singer songwriter Laura Mvula so I was thrilled to learn that she had been picked as Cheltenham s artist in residence and gutted not to be able to attend either her headline gig or the her guest spot with another favourite singer of mine Eska Radio 2 were out in force Friday Night Is Music Night came to town Jamie Cullum did a special broadcast from the festival on Saturday and I did my show live from the VIP lounge on the Sunday One minute I was sitting on a brown leather sofa introducing records with my headphones on then running across to the small stage area to sing a few tunes with my trio introducing another record from the stage then running back to the sofa ready to interview on of the 5 special guests we had lined up One of the greatest British jazz singers Liane Carrol came to have a chat and a sing by now we had a small crowd milling around and being only 30 feet from the purpose built 1300 seat Big Top the constant thump thump thump followed by rapturous applause that was Gregory Porter and his band After Liane came the legendary drummer Billy Cobham what a privilege to interview such an awe inspiring musician you wouldn t think it to look at him but the great man will celebrate his 70th birthday later this month In the second hour of the show we had a live performance from a Brooklyn based quartet called Lake Street Dive coincidentally Muddy s cousin Simon had told us

    Original URL path: http://www.clareteal.co.uk/index.php/cheltenham-jazz-festival/ (2016-02-15)
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