Nicky resigned from Bristol Uni in early 2012. The least said about this the better. Nicky has learnt firsthand how busy one can be without a job – Stuart has turned this into an art form for decades. She started a 3 day per week maternity locum at Manchester Kids Hospital in the middle of the year, and is renting an apartment from Di, one of Stuart bass teachers.
Stuey has been running up the miles in the Mazda, tearing all over the country to do gigs and auditions, 55,000 miles in two years, more than TWO return trips as the crow flies to Australia and back if you could do it in a car!! He had trials for no2 jobs with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Opera North as well as gigs with a range of groups including Scottish Chamber. Highlights were a UK tour of Wagner’s Die Walkure, plus two festivals in Cornwall, St Columb and St Endelion. Later in the year Stuey worked with Orchestra Victoria, the Australian Ballet and the Tasmanian Symphony, among others. The year started with two basses, and ended the same, having bought one and sold another.
If our professional goals have not have been achieved, our personal ones certainly have. It’s been great to spend quality time with family and friends, too many to mention in this letter. One aim was to do as much of Europe as possible, and we have partly achieved that goal. In late Dec 2011 we stayed in Chris and Sharon’s beach pad on Ile d’Oleron, off the West coast of France. There was of course a detour to Bordeaux, to check out the Left bank of the Gironde including St Julian, Pauillac and Margaux.
The “only” other trips were to Australia. Nic popped over 3 times, Stuart just once, for a 3 month stint from Sept – Nov. Any doubts about returning to Oz were extinguished in our trip to Melbourne in late 2012 – it’s a wonderful place to live and its home for us both. 2013 will be about making that transition happen.
We wish you and yours a wonderful Xmas and a safe and healthy 2013. For those out you outside Oz, save and up and come visit us. For those in Australia, get your beer fridge stocked up – we are coming back!!