29 Jul

I’ve been so busy these past few weeks. So very very busy, that I’ve barely had time to sit down, let along write the odd blog post.

The biggest news has been Cal’s graduation and sudden media stardom. He’s left Foxes with several English and Maths skills developments, a full NVQ in Housekeeping, an Outstanding Learner of the Year Award for his communications skills development and at least one possible housemate for September. He doesn’t have a house yet, but that’s being worked on. We are so very very proud of him.

He’s also been in the paper receiving his award, and the TV documentary he’s in in the autumn is cranking up their publicity too. Channel 5, A Very Special Hotel. Cal has done so well thanks to the very many people who have seen something in him and persevered to bring out those skills, ever since he was a rolling ball of screeching fury as a toddler. THANK YOU!

so now, we’re waiting to hear how searches for housing and support are getting on, somewhere near to us. And once he’s settled there, then it’s some kind of supported job search. Exciting!

He’s crashing around the house now, even though he doesn’t need to get up yet, as he’s about to do one of his favourite things – go on a plane. This is one of my least favourite things, which is why I’m crashing around the house too. Still, at the end of it, we will be in Dubai, en route for Sri Lanka. Which is a bit different from camping in France, and which I can’t quite believe we are doing.

Wifi willing, I will get some more blogging time at last. :) :)

here’s photos of our star, looking very dignified.

image image

Jo xx


25 Jun

Rosie’s been in our thoughts a lot this week. Woke up and there was Rosie’s cheery face on Facebook, connected to an article about Monkeyface and You’re Amazing.

Had a lovely day with Cal on Sunday and there were loads of birds swooping around which would have terrified her. Not one for birds, our Rosie.

Then on the way home, one of the songs we played at her funeral came on. That was sad.

Yesterday, I gave a short talk to some very kind people, about Rosie and The Knock on Effect, and all of you. And met two mums whose daughters knew Rosie.

Then tonight, Sylv brought in some drawers which belonged to Rosie. Full of necklaces, bangles, earrings and…hair slides. It was the hair slides which set me off. And the smell, of her.

Jo xx

It’s time to download

8 Jun

The TKOE elves will connect the link shortly, but meanwhile if you go to good old or even and search for Monkeyface MP3 You’re Amazing, you can download the song for only 99p. So if you can do that, and get your friends to do that, and get the friends of friends to do that, we’ll have 1,000 downloads in no time, and see The Knock on Effect in action :) And get a pretty fine song into the bargain.


Jo xx

Monkeyface: you rock! From gigs to crochet.

7 Jun

What a night. What a turnout. What music. What tea towels. What generosity. It was such a good gig last night. The sun shone; the people at the venue were lovely; the band were fab and everyone who came was so supportive. Almost £300 was raised for TKOE which is an amazing amount – we are so pleased. Which means we are around £500 into our £3k target for this year. :) :)

We’ve got a great long roll call of thank yous, so here goes:

Monkeyface themselves, present and past members – Paul Alcock, Julian Avery, Tim Atkins, Paul Hamer, Dave Ganner, Andy Clarke and Ruth Troughton;

Dave Draper of Tower Studios – Producer and Engineer;

Tim and Mandy Pellatt at CordialAV who produced and edited the video and also did the press comms;

Darren Sawyer for being the official photographer – can’t wait to see the shots;

Everyone at SevernFM who have been pushing the single, and continue to do so;

The Citizen and the Echo for promoting the gig, single and video;

The Wheatsheaf, Leckhampton for being such a good place to hold the gig;

Lucy and Jane Henderson for putting Paul in contact with us;

Mike Arnold, chief TKOE elf for designing the artwork and doing all the tricky webstuffy things, and making it look easy;

Rosie for giving us all the inspiration to carry on.

We’d especially like to thank Paul Alcock for approaching us with the idea, putting so much into this, sticking with us when we were going through tricky times and couldn’t really think about nice things, and generally being a brilliant person. This has really been a knock on effect in action, just like Rosie wanted it to be.

Next thing then is to get those singles sales going. Our new best friend in America, Barbie, is on the case for the digital distribution so we’re just waiting, waiting , waiting for this to reach the top of the iTunes queue, plus Amazon and all the others. Once it does, we’ll let you know. And then we want to see if we can get 1,000 downloads. Cos we like setting targets. Because all of you are really good at beating targets. :) Thanks to those of you who have already downloaded from the CDBaby site.

So, while we’re waiting, and  Monkeyface are having a week off to recover (it’s the rock and roll lifestyle, you see), is there anyone reading this who can crochet? I’ve got a bit of a TKOE experiment that I need a small bit of help with.

Jo xx

You coming to the Monkeyface gig tomorrow?

5 Jun

It’ll be a good night out in Cheltenham and all for a brilliant cause. So come along. Pleeeeassse. :) :)

In other news, you should be able to download from iTunes and Amazon very soon indeed. In my music distributer guise I have been liaising with a digital inspector in the US of A called Barbie – yes, this is true – and I have just had to approve the full digital release. I felt very powerful for a moment. :)

Thank you for all the comments on the song and the video. It means a lot.

Jo xx

Here’s something to make you smile

1 Jun

well, this weather’s a bit rubbish, isn’t it. Still, there’s the Monkeyface gig to look forward to on Saturday; people are starting to buy the download to raise money for TKOE; and now, I can link you to this lovely girl. Who was amazing and continues to inspire.


You’re  Amazing video

Jo xx

Monkeyface gig and our first ever song for TKOE

31 May

Hello hello

I was so excited a few days ago, I realise I didn’t properly explain what was going on. So unless you follow the blog avidly, you’d have been a bit confused. I know this, because people have said.

Soooo… to explain from the beginning.

A song in memory of Rosie

A cousin of the mum of a friend of Rosie’s – it’s ok, it doesn’t get more complicated than that – approached us ages and ages ago. He’s called Paul, and he’s the singer in a local band called Monkeyface. You can find them on Facebook – just go onto Facebook and search for Monkeyface. He and the band were really interested in releasing a charity single, to raise money for The Knock on Effect. So, with the help of some amazing people, the band recorded a song, called You’re Amazing. Chief Designer Mike did a design for it. And another group of lovely people did a video. If you look on the blog, you can see the link to buy the song, which  is available for download now at CDBaby (it’s just making it’s way through the gnomes at iTunes, Amazon and so on, so will be available through all those avenues too) Every penny raised goes to TKOE. Which is fantastic. And incredibly generous.

In case you can’t see the sidebar with the details on, you can get it from here:  You’re Amazing by Monkeyface at CDBaby

The gig

To launch the single, Monkeyface are playing a gig – their first one for a couple of years – at The Wheatsheaf, 283 Old Bath Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham, GL53 9AJ. The link to the event and venue is on the blog page, next to this post. Just click the monkey. :) :)

It’s on Saturday 6th June 7.30-11.00pm and tickets cost an amazingly good value of £3.00 on the door. There will be some TKOE goodies to go with the tickets, as well. Which can’t be bad.

So, all you local TKOE supporters, it would be fabulous to see you there, so we can raise more money for this year’s TKOE charities, Hope Support Services and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

You know, there are so many kind people in the world.

Jo xx


26 May

When was the last time you spent a Tuesday night arranging to sell music on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and all places digital? Eh?

How exciting was that!

It’s not quite ready to go on sale yet, mainly because the distribution company has gnomes, rather than the more agile elves that TKOE has. But, in the next day or so, The TKOE/Monkeyface musical collaboration will go worldwide. Do you hear that, people of Greenland? I am expecting a blog reader out of this, at least.

Monkeyface have to take all the credit for this. Our part in this has mainly been wringing our hands and looking pathetic at all talk of downloads, file types and musical genres.

Details of the gig to follow tomorrow.

Happy days :)

Jo xx

5 cats, 1 dog and a rabbit

20 May

hello. I’m going to pretend that there’s not been a blog silence for a bit, and just carry on as though nothing had happened. Just keep it between us, ok?

Been a bit busy, busy recently. GCSE revision , work, assessments for Cal as he finishes Foxes in two months, finalising a video to accompany a song launch with Monkeyface, and dealing with the rabbits. We already have more animals than we want, really. But the cats obviously disagree. Every day now for about a week, one of them has bought in a rabbit. A different one each time, because they are always beheaded. Always. At 6.30 yesterday morning, three cats were sitting in a row, watching another one sucking on the neck, like a cookery demo. On the floor was a spleen, a liver, some intestines, and two ears.

Tonight, the dog joined in.

And what is it with the spiders? Have you got epic sized spiders in your house? I expect it in the autumn but why are they here now? Does it mean there’s going to be a monsoon or something? An earthquake? A volcanic eruption.

Anyway..what’s that? Video and song release? Oh yes, On June 6th. In Cheltenham and on the Internet. To raise money for TKOE. Interested? More to follow at the weekend. Verrrrry exciting. :)

Jo xx


10 Apr

Pah! One day back at work and I go down with a hideous migraine/sinus thing. Have just got up at 4.30pm and feel a bit better.

Did you do any eggs for 1MinuteMemory.? We did. If 100,000 people did a one minute sketch and donated a pound, that would raise £100,000. 20 of us did it so we’ve made a bit of a contribution.

i have just been wondering about how you can tell how your life changes by looking at the open tabs on your computer. Mine currently has:

Estate agent in Ledbury to start looking at a flat for Cal as he wants to live their with friends.

How to tell if your dog has a bowel obstruction – she doesn’t. In fact, she is in rude health.

Circle of friends – for Cal again as he’ll need friends to live with and help him, along with us. Us helping him, that is, not us needing help. Although that would be nice.

Agoda – for a hotel booking for the summer. More on that later

Facebook – just because

Polonium ion – no, GCHQ this is not a terrorist outrage. This was to settle a GCSE chemistry dispute with Sylv in my weakened state. She was right. I wasn’t.

I think the only one which would have been there twelve months ago is Facebook.


Jo xx


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