WLM Member Monday – Julie Haigh

Julie Haigh MM

Alan Parks: Ok, OK, I am here now. Todays Member Monday (stepping in at short notice, thank you) is the lovely Julie Haigh. Join in and maybe Julie will choose you to win one of two ebooks from the header!

Becky Corwin Adams:  Hi Julie!

Janet Hughes:  Julie, Welcome to your Member Monday, Here’s something to distract the marauding hoards until you compose yourself.



Julie Haigh:  Hi Becky and Hi all! If I do half as well as you did Becky it will be ok-fantastic Sunday spotlight yesterday-how do I follow that!

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  Morning Julie lovely to meet a fellow Brit

Shirley Ledlie:  Hi Julie

Becky Corwin Adams:  You’ll do fine, Julie. I have a quick question before I get ready for work. What is your favorite genre to read, besides memoirs?

Janet Hughes:  So Julie, what’s with the Koumpounophobia? Does it have a large impact on your life? *Mmmm these pastries are really good, want one Shirley Ledlie?

Shirley Ledlie:  I love ginger beer too! Do you suffer with OCD lol

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  I am intrigued about your eating – do you only eat salads individually?

–One of my most cherished childhood memories was my grandad’s ginger beer plant – have you ever made one?

Shirley Ledlie:  I would Janet but fasting today -its a great spread and I am sure Julie will enjoy it

Janet Hughes:  Right you lot! Give the girl a chance Pancho! start serving breakfast quick! No you can’t lick the cream off….

Julie Haigh:  Ok, Becky, I love to read all genres-I like to keep my reading varied-I like crime fiction, autobiography, obviously travel memoirs, forensic pathology-eg Bill Bass of the Body Farm fame-a bit of chick lit occasionally, confessions of series eg, nurse/doctor/paramedic, history-just EVERYTHING! I like to feel I’ve learned something when I’ve read a book.

–now Janet which phobia are you talking about-the buttons one or the food one?

Janet Hughes:  Buttons

Julie Haigh:  Anne-the eating one-I have always eaten foods separately without realising. Eg. fish and chips I eat the chips first and as I think the fish is the best bit, I eat it last. Salads-I have to have all the tomatoes together, radishes together, cucumber together etc, just don’t like it chopped small and tossed together. Same with veg. I do eat things like lasagna though which is technically mixed up. I never realised about it until Victoria Wood’s Dinnerladies TV series-so she’s obviously observed this in someone- she was telling someone to hurry up in the canteen so she could clear away his plate. She said it’s just two forkfuls- put your egg on with a bit of sausage- and he said ‘oh no I can’t do that-I cant eat foods all mixed up’ Very longwinded explanation-but that’s just how I eat too!

Shirley Ledlie:  Julie – the button phobia – when you are out clothes shopping would you not buy something you liked because of buttons?

Julie Haigh:  Anne, no I’ve never had a ginger beer plant but my Nanna used to make ginger beer-she used to say something about ‘feeding albert’? do you know what I mean?

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  Yes I do – thats what my granddad did -‘ fed’ his one x

— http://wholesomebee.co.uk/how-to-start-a-ginger-beer-plant/

Julie Haigh:  Shirley and Janet-the button one-well I just hate hate hate buttons. I won’t wear anything with them. I don’t mind the metal ones on jeans-it’s the ones with holes in which you sew on. I think it’s something to do with my Nanna having a ‘button box’ with lots of different buttons in, odd ones, she thought some were beautiful but they disgusted me. Now I don’t mind those in a shop sewn on a card-eg, when I have knitted baby clothes, if they are small buttons and safely on the card it’s ok, but if buttons are loose I just have this feeling they are going to go in my mouth! I must have nearly swallowed one when I was little or something. I sound CRAZY! ha ha

Shirley Ledlie:  My gran had a button tin – I loved it! made a lovely noise as I rummaged through it

Julie Haigh:  It is a recognised phobia. I’m also frightened of them coming undone or coming off-can you imagine a blouse and you lose a button-gaping open at the front and not a good look-so I don’t have them.

Shirley Ledlie:  I have heard of it before

Janet Hughes:  It’s a bit like people who are afraid of heights, they feel compelled to jump off! Pleased it doesn’t impact too much on your life.

Julie Haigh:  Now my sister loves buttons so I would buy something for her which I know would be to her taste, say for her birthday, I just wouldn’t want to wear it myself. Other than these things I assure you I am normal!!!

Shirley Ledlie:  lol

–You don’t like travelling but do you go down to see your sister?

Janet Hughes:  Sounds like you’re NFWLMMs (normal for WLM Members)

–Well sometimes, she tends to come over here more to see her grandchildren. I don’t mind travelling when I’m in the mood. My sister could book a holiday and go the same afternoon but I couldn’t, I like to plan more.

–That’s why I like to read travel memoirs-you get to experience everything but without the hassles! I’ve had lost luggage, planes breaking down etc in the past, I also like to take everything but the kitchen sink with me and now you can’t take this and you can’t take that!

–Am I keeping up with everybody ok?

Shirley Ledlie:  Do you teach full time?

Woofie Wotsit:  With ginger beer, do you like the home brewed type with a ginger beer plant? If so, have you made it yourself and if so have you had any disasters with the bottles blowing up?

Julie Haigh:  Yes Shirley, I teach full time. I would normally have started work this morning at 8.15am as my first pupil is a retired lady and she likes to get her lesson done early then the rest of the day to herself but she’s not here today. I have a few lessons dotted about the mornings with retired people but most people need to come after work or school so my working day mostly starts when others are finishing-3.30pm ish to about 7/8 or even 8.30pm

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  I have just realised I have an OCD – been out to peg the washing on the line and I have to have matching pegs – just cannot hang something with different coloured pegs lol

Julie Haigh:  Great Anne! and do you hang out the clothes in sections? All trousers together/ all tops together etc.?

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  I do lol x

Julie Haigh:  Woofie-I LOVE all ginger beer. I haven’t made it myself but my nanna used to-don’t remember any bottle disasters. The only disappointment was with that Crabbie’s alcoholic ginger beer-I really don’t like it-it’s not worth it having alcohol in, it doesn’t taste as good as the normal variety. I like it really strong gingery-I like the Jamaica ginger beer the best.

–Going back to the teaching Shirley, I teach Mon to Thurs and Sat just the mornings. I used to be a concert organist also, performing all around the country. I travelled a lot doing that but I never really got to see much of the places as I would be practicing at the venue before the concert. I will try to put some photos on here of my performing days

Woofie Wotsit:  I agree with you Julie Home made ginger beer (which has only a small amount of alcohol and thus safe for children etc) is much better than alcoholic stuff. In fact there is nothing to beat home made ginger beer.. as long as the bottles don’t explode, which they can in hot weather. In the old days ie before my time, there used to be special earthenware bottles with funny necks and tops which were designed specifically for home made ginger beer and the tops released pressure if there was too much gas. I wonder if you can still get them?

Julie Haigh:  https://scontent-b-cdg.xx.fbcdn.net/…/196924…



Shirley Ledlie:  How long did you do that for Julie?

Julie Haigh:  https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/…/190706…



Julie Haigh:  https://scontent-a-cdg.xx.fbcdn.net/…/199720…



Shirley Ledlie:  A celebrity!!!

Julie Haigh:  Shirley I always divided my career between performing and teaching up until 1992, when I had to retire from the performing. I started performing about 1982?

Julie Haigh:  https://scontent-b-cdg.xx.fbcdn.net/…/227707… author Graham Higson also once turned up at one of my concerts and he and his family had all got themselves T shirts with JULIE HAIGH fan on them and were wearing them-a complete surprise-I was gobsmacked!

[Insert Photo#5-T-shirts]


Julie Haigh:  I had to cancel some concerts in 1992 with some mystery illness. I thought I would get back to it. I wasn’t diagnosed until three years later with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis.

Valerie Robson:  I shared a home with a guy, friend of many years, who ate all his food separately! He said he could taste the items better that way!

Why are you fasting today? xxx

Shirley Ledlie:  On the 5.2 diet

Julie Haigh:  I’m not fasting-I never fast-it was someone else that mentioned that. I like my food too much! especially puddings!

Shirley Ledlie:  I could murder some ginger beer–the fiery one

Victoria Twead:  Wow, Julie, what an interesting person you are! I have zero musical talent, so I really admire yours! How old were you when you started to play the piano, and is the rest of your family musical?

Julie Haigh:  Victoria I was always tinkering from an early age but my parents were wary of taking the plunge with a musical instrument simply because my sister used to change from one thing to another and they wanted to make sure I was going to keep to it if I got a piano or organ. I got my first organ aged 9 so I have been playing nearly 40 years now! aargh! and teaching nearly 30 arrgh again!

— I also played the oboe at music college and loved the experience of being in an orchestra because piano and organ-well you’re usually on your own.

— https://scontent-b-cdg.xx.fbcdn.net/…/2663… a rare photo with my oboe just before a college orchestral concert-in my mums dining room-years ago-note the really old TV



Janet Hughes:  Elevensies ish



Julie Haigh:  Yes Victoria I am from a musical family, my dad played saxophone in Aub Hirst’s and Lewis Hill’s dance bands and that’s how he met my mum, he asked her to dance on the band’s break and the rest is history. My mum played piano accordion but she doesn’t play now.

Janet Hughes: …  and home made fiery ginger beer of course…

Julie Haigh:  https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/…/190338…



–Photo of my dad in his dance band days. Thanks for the cake and ginger beer Janet x

–……and I’ve had a very big piece of cake Janet-lovely!

Janet Hughes:  You’re welcome

Victoria Twead:  Do you have children, Julie? And if so, are they musical? *dives head first into Janet Hughes  cake* 

Julie Haigh:  Yes I have a son, Adam, who’s 20, he will be 21 at Christmas. I also have a Grandson, Finlay who’s 4. Adam isn’t musical, he tried playing a couple of times for a few minutes lol-he is really good at sport and doesn’t like things that take ages to perfect. Finlay seems to love music though and already can play twinkle twinkle little star with right hand.

—  https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/…/2663…

Photo#11-Julie's Son


Julie Haigh:  This is my son in his referee gear. He doesn’t get chance to do this so much now but he’s had the chance to ref on a few occasions at the Leeds United Academy. I can’t find some of my photos on Facebook now they’ve changed it! Adam is now a computer technician at a school and is studying computer forensics at uni 2 days a week.

Jacky Donovan:  Hi Julie, loving all your posts. I used to play clarinet and then piano. I stepped in to play organ in church when my sister in law was pregnant – but I was so bad they had to tell me the hymns one week in advance so I could practice all week

–Btw how about Chocolate Buttons?! Do you avoid those too?? At least they’re allowed to leap into your mouth and the only consequences are they’re naughty but nice

Julie Haigh:  Jacky-I do like chocolate-er -wotsits! I like the taste but I don’t even like saying the word….buttons………yak!

–Jacky no need to worry about you being ‘so bad’ on the church organ. We are a dying breed, not many of any type of organist around and when I go to weddings etc. it’s cringeworthy how terrible some of these ‘organists’ who volunteer for the task are. I was at a family wedding once and I was on the groom’s side. The bride had arranged all the ‘music’ herself. It was abysmal-the organist even had to stop when the bride was halfway up the aisle as he got so mixed up. At the reception a very posh looking lady came up to me and said ‘JULIE!!!!-THAT F****** ORGANIST!!!!!!!! I never expected those words to come out of her mouth!

— Right-I’ve had a bit of sustenance-Pate and Toast-Pate ON THE TOAST-I’m getting brave!

Shirley Ledlie:  WLM page can now cure OCD !

Julie Haigh:  Not really Shirley-pate and toast is one of the combinations I do usually eat! Just joking!

Chris Kenny:  Would you ever consider playing the lead in the Cinderella pantomime?

Julie Haigh:  Think I am a bit past it Chris! you need a beautiful young thing for Cinderella!

–Were you originally from Huddersfield Chris? I’ve read your book but can’t remember if it was Brighouse or Bradford or something? Authors Jill Pennington and Craig Briggs are also originally from Huddersfield-so it’s a reight gud place init!

Chris Kenny:  Originally from Bradford Julie. Spent plenty of time in and around Huddersfield though. The Cinderella question was a wind up by the way, or did you know that and just let it go?

Julie Haigh:  I knew that!

Jill Pennington:  Hi Julie, where about in Hudds are you from?

Julie Haigh:  Dalton, Jill. I’ve never left it even to go to music college and university! Yet I love to read travel memoirs. My nanna and granddad lived at Blackmoorfoot Road, Crosland Moor and I remember you saying your grandparents also from same street when you did your spotlight sunday

Jill Pennington:  Oh yes, I remember. small world.

Julie Haigh:  You see it’s ok if you go to music college and you do something like violin-you can take it with you-an organ and a piano is a different matter and you have to rely on being timetabled to practice in churches eg sunday morning 6 o clock till 8 o clock-so it was easier to stay home. I think that’s another reason I don’t travel so much-I don’t like being parted from my piano. It’s annoying if you’re out at a restaurant on holiday and you hear a song you want to play. You can’t go back to the apartment and play it if no instrument.

–Right, that’s better-just had a toffee cheesecake…….er that’s A PIECE of toffee cheesecake

Steven Whitacre:  What is your favorite part about teaching? And do you sometimes wish you had focused on a smaller instrument that was more mobile? I see you played the oboe for a while.. what made you return to the keyboard?

Janet Hughes:  What do you think about these electric pianos? I’m a bit of a purist myself

Micki Stokoe:  Just popping in to say hi, Julie! I see you like doing cross stitch – what subjects do you choose, & what do you do with your finished works? (Mine end up in a drawer)!

Julie Haigh:  Steven, I have always played piano, theatre pipe organ (like those they have in some American Pizza parlours-and like the Blackpool tower organ) church organ, electronic organ, keyboard, they are all so different, different techniques. I never left playing them. I had to do an orchestral instrument as well at music college as everyone has to do two instruments and one has to be piano. As I had two keyboard instruments that’s why I had to pick another. I was thinking something like flute but they said they were short of oboes in the orchestra so can you do that. Straight in at the deep end the year after into orchestra and I loved it. (2nd oboe) When the other oboes left as they were in the year above me I graduated to playing first oboe! I loved the experience-I might have to join an orchestra when I retire (if I ever do as I love teaching so much) when I’ve more time. I love teaching as it’s so rewarding seeing people who start at say 6 years old and they are still coming to me in their 20’s and they develop into some wonderful players. I’ve never done any other job and can’t imagine doing anything else. I still love playing too-I practice throughout the day between lessons and am often on the piano after teaching at 11.30pm still finding new pieces to play.

Susan Joyce:  Julie Haigh, hola! (goggle gobble) That breakfast buffet is delicious. Sorry for the delay in welcoming you to the tell-all seat today. Very interesting about your Koumpounophobia and your eating habits. Our son also eats one food group at a time. I’ll let him know that he’s not alone in this. That even the brightest of Brits shares his obsessive finickiness with food.

Julie Haigh: Janet-I have had acoustic pianos before and have played makes such as Steinway Grands at college. I had a technics digital piano for about 25 years and it was pretty good at the time (digital are different to electronic) I can’t stand when pianos go even a bit out of tune as, when I was a concert performer, organs and pianos would always have been tuned before a performance. When my old technics one pegged out I tried different makes and I’ve got a Yamaha digital grand now. Technology has moved on so much I would say this is even better than playing those Steinways at college. Some of my pupils who were also ‘never going electric’ had to admit it was so much better and they have gone on to change to digital. I liked it so much I bought another. I have one in my music room at my mums where I teach and one in my front room at home. The digital grands look exactly like a piano and feel like it. I have tried other makes and I didn’t like them so much. Other benefit is you can play to your heart’s content at 2 o clock in the morning with headphones on without waking the neighbours.

Micki Stokoe:  Phone running out of charge! I’ll be back!

Julie Haigh:  Hi Micki! I like making cards in cross stitch-usually cute animals like forvever friends/tatty teddy/country companions/ especially xmas cards. Smaller projects these days and I don’t do nearly enough as I’d like. Have you got any UFO’s? (for those who don’t cross stitch etc. that means ‘unfinished ones’) I am ashamed to say that I started a country companions large pic of a rocking horse and the animals when my son was 2 and he’s 20 now!………well it’s nearly finished…..

–My mum’s just put the telly on for Jeremy Kyle Show-here’s my claim to fame- I was at music college with Toby Bricheno! He is a composer and he composed the Jeremy Kyle theme tune amongst his other more intricate creations!

Susan Joyce:  Julie, love the photo of you in front of the grand organ. You look ready to rock and roll em.

Julie Haigh:  Yes Susan, don’t be put off with the organs-it’s not all Bach-I love all types of music-Chopin, Ludovico Einaudi, Tom Odell, Adele, Show tunes, everything

Susan Joyce:  Julie, also love the photos of your musical family. Nice! The ginger beer is delicious. Love anything gingery. Thanks Janet!

Terry Bryan:  Little snack, Julie? I have a friend in South Carolina who likes her food like this. But she doesn’t eat a variety, just a few plain foods. Do you like most foods?

Julie Haigh:  Oh wow Terry-it’s all separated into sections!

Terry Bryan:  She likes her food really separated…but the only thing on this plate she would eat is the cookie.

Julie Haigh:  And Yes Terry, I like most foods, especially curry, lasagna, chili, cottage pie (which I know is mixed up) salad, fish and chips. I love my puds-especially lemon meringue pie, cheesecake and hot chocolate fudge cake.

Susan Joyce:  Julie, do you like spicy foods?

Janet Hughes:  When you play music, do you see it in 3D? For example I ‘saw’ the aura of music differently depending on which instrument I was playing at the time, wind instruments were all encompassing in shape, whereas the piano was more linear.

Julie Haigh:  Yes Susan, I actually prefer foods like curry, Italian, things with sauces rather than plain. I don’t like it too spicy though. Favourite curry is chicken tikka masala.

Terry Bryan:  Since you like cross stitch…cookie? Don’t let Victoria see the chocolate…



Cherry Gregory:  I’m impressed with your musical talent, Julie…I love listening to a whole range of different music (depends on my mood) but I have no talent for playing a musical instrument or singing. So I very much admire anyone who can play! Do you miss the performances ?

Julie Haigh:  Janet, I wouldn’t say I see music in 3D-I do lose myself in it in a performance-need to pour all my emotion in it to get the expression. It’s all about creating a picture of what the music is saying and creating emotion. Like the music in sad films, sometimes it can make you cry and you have to put that into everything so the effect will come across to someone listening. You also enjoy playing it so much more then.

Janet Hughes:  Cherry Gregory, don’t worry about Victoria Twead, she’s still ‘wearing’ the chocolate cake

Susan Joyce:  Music is most powerful when it’s soulful. Energy is key.

Julie Haigh:  Yes Cherry, I do miss performing. I do play all the time but since developing Rheumatoid and Psoriatic Arthritis I wouldn’t be able to put the huge volume of practising needed to do a two hour concert to the standard I want it to be. Joints unreliable now. I can do it and still play ok but it needs to be perfect and I have to constantly change technique. I even went through a spell where I couldn’t get to the end of a piece without dislocating my wrist and I actually broke my wrist just talking to my mum and moving my hands to express what I was talking about, as you do. Once I had popped it back into place I thought-yes that’s better and taught that day. I didn’t find out till months later that my wrist joint had fallen apart. I had it reconstructed about 4 years ago, my ulna head taken out. There isn’t enough bone to put a replacement joint in and the wrist is such a complex joint they aren’t a success. A year after that my other wrist went the same way so I had the same done to that. It works incredibly well. Thank heavens for the wonderful surgeon in Leeds as at my local hospital they said nothing could be done and they would have to make it permanently stiff-the thought terrifies me now what could have happened. I have a few broken fingers too but they don’t replace the joints in my case as, once it’s broken off, the pain goes and it’s ok flopping around in there and allows more flexibility for me in my job. I can laugh about it now as my wrist would dislocate in the most inconvenient places!- my partner was trying trousers on in a shop once and it went and he couldn’t come out of the changing room trouser-less so he had to pop it back in place over the top of the changing room door to my AAAAAARGH cries in the shop. Doing ok now and on some great treatment.

Janet Hughes:  Crumbs Julie, sounds like it was a nightmare! Hope everything is more stable now

Shirley Ledlie:  Has your condition been caused by your playing?

Julie Haigh:  Yes I’m doing ok now thanks Janet, it’s not just my hands that are affected, it’s knees, feet etc. No, Shirley Ledlie, it hasn’t been caused by the piano playing, it’s an autoimmune disorder-your immune system attacking itself as it becomes over active. For this I take immune suppressant drugs-methotrexate injections-(a low dose of a chemotherapy drug) and Humira injection. I do the methotrexate myself, it’s only once a week, I can do it at night rather than having to go to hospital and it disrupting my working life then I have to have a family member to do the Humira as it’s a fortnightly injection and needs a bit of strength to do it as it’s in a pen the size of what you would give to a horse! These work incredibly well for me and it’s easier than going to hospital as for the Humira I would need to stay in hospital for the full day once a month if I didn’t have it at home. I am pretty ok at the moment, these are powerful and toxic drugs but they have given me a new lease of life. The surgeon said ‘How do you play the piano-it’s like bloody scrambled egg in there’-His words! But now he agrees if I wasn’t moving my fingers about so much all the time I wouldn’t be anywhere near as flexible as I am now.

Susan Joyce:  Julie, your fitting room incident sounds horrible and painful. Speaking of hot spicy foods. I also love anything masala or curry. I’ve started sprinkling cayenne pepper on most foods I eat. It has great health benefits –used to treat everything from inflammation to the pain of rheumatism and arthritis. May this is why you like spicy foods. Your body is telling you something.

Cherry Gregory:  Fantastic that the Leeds surgeon could do something to help and thank goodness you didn’t listen to the local hospital! Your wrist certainly dislocated at an inconvenient time in the clothes shop. It reminds me a bit of my husband whose shoulder dislocates very easily. A few years ago he and my daughter were canoeing down a deserted stretch of river in Scotland and Keith’s shoulder dislocated. He was holding onto his chest so much, my daughter (then about 17) thought he was having a heart attack. They made it to the side of the river but there was nobody about and no signal for their mobile, so Keith put the dislocated shoulder back in himself! When he eventually got back to “civilisation” and I got him to a doctor, the doctor went white when Keith explained he’s put it back himself! He might have to have an operation to secure it but he will lose a lot of mobility so he isn’t keen.

Julie Haigh:  Now, on that note, I will have to have a break for a few hours as I need to teach until 7pm. I will go back in the hot seat soon after, when I get home, please keep your questions coming and I will reply. I was quite shy about today but I’m loving it now-I’m on a roll! Please join me later-until 2am if necessary as I don’t need much sleep x

Janet Hughes:  Mexican tapas to tide everyone over, Susan Joyce, the jalopeno sauce is by the mojitos.

Shirley Ledlie:  Droolin now

Susan Joyce:  OMG Janet! You’ve outdone yourself. Love it!

Victoria Twead:  Tsk, tsk, Janet Hughes, I do wish you’d stop posting up yummy food pics. I’m really trying hard to concentrate on chapter 17. Now, you lot, leave some of that food for Julie when she gets back.

Becky Corwin Adams:  Drat, I’m home from work and the party is over. I guess I will just grab a snack before I leave……

Steven Whitacre:  well… does the party ever really end around here?

Valerie Robson:  Never… xxx

Victoria Twead:  Julie is coming back, Becky Corwin Adams, she has to give a couple of music lessons. Post your questions and she’ll answer a bit later.

Becky Corwin Adams:  Thanks, Victoria Twead. I’m glad she left the food here. I worked up an appetite this morning.

Linda Kovic-Skow:  What a great interview Julie Haigh. I’ve always admired people who have musical talents, especially when its tied to the piano! BTW, I just love your profile photo. It always makes me smile. You said you’re an armchair traveler, but is there one place you’d like to visit in your lifetime?

Charlotte Smith:  Sorry I’m late Julie. Does your fear of buttons include the chocolate variety?

Micki Stokoe:  I’m doing a landscape with rhododendrons on linen as I prefer that to aida. It’s a work in progress though! You are a talented musician – do you sing?

Julie Haigh:  Right folks-the interval’s over and I’m back!

Becky Corwin Adams:  Welcome back, Julie!

Julie Haigh:  Linda, somewhere I have always wanted to go is Egypt. I love reading all about Egypt and the artefacts. I wouldn’t want to be sunbathing on this type of holiday, I would want to look around everything and learn even more. I love reading fact and fiction set in Egypt

–Thank you Becky-I loved in your book Cherished Cats how you reminisced about having get-together evenings and serving food-this really struck a chord with me as our family used to go around friends and family having ‘musical evenings’ and playing each others organs and pianos and putting a buffet supper on. We had so much fun and people don’t tend to do this anymore now there’s so many gadgets and satellite TV etc

–Charlotte- in answer to your question Jacky asked that one earlier today and yes, I do like chocolate wotsits/thingy’s but I just don’t like to call them chocolate ….er….buttons aaargh!

Charlotte Smith:  Chocolate poppers then!

Becky Corwin Adams:  So true, Julie. I admire your musical talents. I played the flute briefly in junior high. I was kind of forced into it because my sister played the flute. I always had to “follow in her footsteps”. My granddaughter played alto sax all through high school. She was very good, and was planning to pursue a music degree in college, then something happened that changed her mind.

Victoria Twead:  Oooh we did that and split the holiday into 2 so we had sunbathing time too. Thoroughly recommend the Nile cruise.

Julie Haigh:  Becky, I have lots of pupils in this sort of situation where circumstances made them give up on their music but then they come back to it 20 years later and start taking exams again

–Sounds good Victoria, when my son was 10 he used to say he was going to take me to Egypt for my 50th birthday and I used to laugh and think it was ages away-but eeeek how time flies.

–And yes it’s difficult Becky, if you’re forced into learning an instrument just because your parents want that, you have to want to do it

–Sorry about the long gap anyway, I’ll stay on here as late as possible and just keep your questions coming-anyone up for an all-nighter? I’m just trying to see if I can get more than Alan Parks 326 comments on his spotlight Sunday hee hee!

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  I went to see the Pyramids on the windiest day in history – so had a quick whip round and then back on the coach. It was like being sandblasted with a giant machine – but I am glad I have seen them

Becky Corwin Adams:  No problem, Julie. I need to stop working on Mondays so I can be here to chat.

Julie Haigh:  Micki, yes linen is a much nicer effect than aida, I like finer designs. I’m not a singer, I can sing in tune but I haven’t got ‘a voice’ of any distinctive nature. I was in the choir etc at college. I did enjoy that but I wouldn’t be good enough for a top choir.

Becky Corwin Adams:  What were your favorite childhood books? I was a fan of Carolyn Haywood, Beverly Cleary, and the Nancy Drew series. When I finished all of the Nancy Drew books, I read the Hardy Boys series.

Julie Haigh:  Becky, I also liked the Nancy Drew books although I can’t remember much about them because I never owned them, I had them out of the school library. I also loved Enid Blyton-The Twins at St Clares school series and the Malory Towers series and Famous five. Paddington Bear-I had all those books and read them many times.

— forgot-I also like Sue Barton nurse series. I did buy them again recently to read again!

Becky Corwin Adams:  I have never heard of any of those except Paddington. I guess I missed out.

— I named one of my dogs Beezus after the Beverly Cleary character. No one I meet has ever read the book or seen the movie. People at the vet’s office call her “Beavis”. I get tired of correcting them.

Julie Haigh:  Enid Blyton was a very popular children’s author over here, her work is somewhat dated now and considered ‘politically incorrect’ but I loved them. I read the school series’ over and over again. Ok they do have some expressions such as ‘jolly good’ and ‘lashings of lemonade’ and ‘jolly hockeysticks’ but I never noticed these impairing my enjoyment at the time! Sue Barton nurse series was also one of the most famous teenage girls’ series’.

Julie Haigh:  I have heard of the Hardy Boys books

Charlotte Smith:  I loved Enid Blyton when I was a kid.

–Famous Five, Secret Seven and Mallory Towers! Awesome

Julie Haigh:  Yes I loved those Charlotte-I think I may have only read one of the secret seven though.

Charlotte Smith:  This makes me nostalgic – maybe I’ll read them all again!

Julie Haigh:  I have always read and read and read. I am never without a book, as I finish one, I always start another. Sometimes I read two at once if one is fiction and one factual. But usually I prefer to focus on just one.

–Charlotte, I saw, a while ago on amazon, some kindle Malory Towers books-but then I noticed that someone else is doing these ‘in the style of Enid Blyton’ I didn’t think it would be the same but they seem to have good reviews.

Charlotte Smith:  I’ve got a fiction and a memoir on the go at the moment and a stack of 5 waiting for me. Love books

–Really? Will check out the new Mallory Towers. Full of bad schoolgirls like me!!



Julie Haigh:  http://ecx.images-amazon.com/…/51YvJjh3TfL._BO2,204,203…

Charlotte Smith:  Fab!

Julie Haigh:  but thttp://ecx.images-amazon.com/…/51c%2BHRJg5rL._BO2,204…, guess what, they now also do the Enid Blyton versions on kindle

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/…/51c%2BHRJg5rL._BO2,204… This is the Enid Blyton version-if it works-the last link didn’t-available on kindle



Frank Kusy:  Blimey Julie this is a long fred, read it all with great interest. So you eat all yore salads separately, that’s the total opposite of my missus, she loves salads but ‘plays’ with it endlessly – moving it all around the plate like she’s marshalling forces or something. Then she starts massaging it like she’s in a Turkish bath, it drives me mental Anyways, let me ask you as an avid reader, what is your all-time favourite memoir and why?

Julie Haigh:  Well-at the moment it’s our own WLM member Jill Pennington’s ‘Diary Of A Single Parent Abroad’. I thought it was amazing and it really struck a chord with me as I have had some similar circumstances with my ex-husband although nowhere near as much as Jill had to put up with but I wish I had had the balls to write a book like that-that’s what I put in my review for Jill’s book-A Memoir With Balls-She is an amazing woman and I wish I was as gutsy as her.

Jill Pennington:  Wow, just about to go to bed when I saw this, thanks a mill Julie.

Julie Haigh:  Party is just getting livened up Jill- have another glass of wine!

Julie Haigh:  I am!

Jill Pennington:  Ok, but can we invite some lively men to this party?

Julie Haigh:  Sure!

Charlotte Smith:  Uh oh……..what have you done Julie????? She was about to go to sleep!

Frank Kusy:  That made your day, Jill. And ‘lively men’? Don’t look at me…

Jill Pennington:  You’d better be lively in Manchester next month, there will be wine!

Frank Kusy:  Will you be collecting the corks?

Jill Pennington:  No I’ll be chewing em

George Mahood:  Did someone call for lively men? …Sorry, I don’t know any

Julie Haigh:  Yes George-you’ll do

Frank Kusy:  Wotchit, George

George Mahood:  I’m always late to the party.

–Great interview though Julie. My wife eats all foods separately too. When I remind her that sometimes foods taste good TOGETHER she tries them, agrees with me, and then goes back to eating them individually.

Frank Kusy:  Wear lots of buttons, George

Jill Pennington:  But you have to eat stuffing with the turkey?

Julie Haigh:  George, it’s quite obviously a trait in brainy people! And Frank DO NOT MENTION THE B WORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Frank Kusy:  x

Julie Haigh:  Yes Jill, some combinations are ok- I would have stuffing with turkey but I would eat the meat separate and then the stuffing-a mouthful at a time-I couldn’t mix the two together

Jill Pennington:  Mental picture of turkey sat at table with a plate of stuffing

Julie Haigh:  No, one slice of turkey, one ball of stuffing

Jill Pennington:  do you only turn up the volume on the TV remote in even numbers as well?

Julie Haigh:  My grandson seems to be going the same way and none of us have ever said about this to him-he just started doing it. He likes Heinz beans and sausages on toast BUT he wants his toast on a separate plate and he eats it first, then he eats the sausages and finally the beans! Don’t know why he started too.

–No Jill, I’m quite normal with the tv wotsit, I can be adventurous with that!

Jill Pennington:  Noo, that’s illegal, if my daughter leaves it on no 13, I have to snatch it off her and go up one or down one.

Julie Haigh:  Oh, good I’m not the only one then with some quirky ways!

Jill Pennington:  No Huddersfield is the nut job capital of Yorkshire.

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  Which part of Spain does your sister live in Julie?

George Mahood:  I’ve got a friend that goes ballistic if I turn his car radio volume to an odd number. Which I of course do all the time.

–How do you eat a sandwich? Do you have to dismantle it first?

Julie Haigh:  where’s the one about the sandwich gone George?

–Anne, my sister lives in Torrevieja

–Costa blanca

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  I know it well – we have just sold our apartment just South of there – have you ever visited her?

Julie Haigh:  Yes, my sister and brother-in-law bought it as a holiday home probably 20 years ago or more so I have been quite a few times. Only thing is, I always feel there’s so many places to visit in the world that I don’t like to keep going to the same place every year for a holiday and now she has grandchildren she comes over here quite a bit so it’s easier for me to see her here. Also they both have jobs in Spain so I actually spend more time with her when she has a trip over to England

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  Did you ever get down to the Mar Menor – near La Manga?

Julie Haigh:  I liked the sandwich comment George but my computer kept saying it’s not possible when I liked it so it kept going onto unlike and back to like so put it back on if you took it off because you thought I didn’t like it-it was good!

–No, I’ve never been to La Manga Anne, only been to Guadamar, La Zenia a few places near at hand. When I go on holiday-guess what I like to do-READING and lots of it! I don’t like shopping trips which my sister-the shopaholic tries to get me to go on!

–Janet! Good to see you back! Can I have a glass of red wine please? I’ve tried to put a photo of one one but failed-you’re the expert!

Janet Hughes:  one coming up



Julie Haigh:  Ah, I needed that! One for Jill too if she’s still around. And where are those men? No stamina!

Janet Hughes:  I’ve got you a nice waiter as well. Treat him gently, he’s only young

Julie Haigh:  aw cute

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  When you go back – just go for a drive down to the Mar Menor – it is beautiful – The Mar Menor offers the largest therapeutic open air mud bath in Europe. The mud is well known for its many minerals. It is recommended for skin problems, rheumatism, arthritis, throat infections and rehabilitation.

Janet Hughes:  help yourselves to red wine:-)

Julie Haigh:  Ah yes Anne, I have heard of these, I think my sister may have been. I don’t like getting mucky though-but if it helps.

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  It makes your skin feel amazing

Janet Hughes:  Here’s some nibbles too. Nighty noodle doodles

Julie Haigh:  thanks Janet, aw you’re not going to bed are you? The night is young yet.

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  Ha ha – all separate too – just as Julie likes it

Julie Haigh:  I always go late to bed and find I’m better having a power nap after dinner.

–Yes, I noticed it’s all organised Anne!

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  Sorry to be a party pooper but I am just off to bed with Frank and Ginger – I am shattered. Thanks for the chat – it has been lovely getting to know you.

Janet Hughes:  Got Spanish exam tomorrow, need all the help I can get!

Julie Haigh:  Lovely chatting to you Anne too. Good luck with the Spanish exam Janet x

— Right well I’m still here TILL VERY LATE! I’ll just read a bit of my current book Victoria Twead’s ‘Two Old Fools Ole’ until the next question.

Frank Kusy:  I just read that about men having no stamina and it’s not true. Seventeen power naps a day and I can climb mountains Julie, do you have a favourite film, and is it soppy?

Julie Haigh:  Back again Frank-have you just had a power nap now? Favourite film? well one that springs to mind that is really memorable and emotional for me is actually a mini series- Bangkok Hilton-I loved that. Wonderful music in it too.

–And yes I like the stuff that makes you cry and really gets you involved and ‘living it’ whether it’s in a book or a film. Prefer to read the book over see the film every time though.

Frank Kusy:  Ooh, that’s spooky Julie. I loved that series too, aksherly visited some girls in that prison and wrote a story about them.

–It was part of my research into a Thailand guidebook.

Julie Haigh:  You should perhaps develop that story into a novel then? I would read it defo

Frank Kusy:  It’s been done unfortunately, by one of the girls who got pardoned not too long ago. But the ‘short’ will be in my next book which I’m not allowed to plug so won’t

Valerie Robson:  It just turned midnight here in Zimbabwe, and I woke up to tiddle! Am not able to read all that has gone before, only last two comments, but think that it is wonderful that you are still there being grilled by us all… This group is so much fun! Thank you for being there for us xxx

Julie Haigh: I would happily stay on here all night-I’ve enjoyed it so much.

Susan Joyce:  Valerie, I agree. We sure are a fun people. It’s dinnertime in Uruguay, so I’ll check back later and see if the all-nighter continues.

Julie Haigh:  Frank, don’t worry, as soon as I find your next book online somewhere I will happily plug it for you!

–Still think you could write your own version of that Frank, I’d be eager to read it

Frank Kusy:  It’s very graphic Julie. Two of the ladies I read it out in writing class had to leave the room.

Julie Haigh:  That means it’s good then in my book, if it affects as much as that!

Frank Kusy:  It’s going to sit rather uncomfortably alongside twelve other shorts about cats, little old ladies and black underpants

Julie Haigh:  More like stand out as The Amazing Bestseller then

Frank Kusy:  How can it lose?

Julie Haigh:  Yep-go for it!

Frank Kusy:  Okay Julie, what kind of music do you like? Were you ever a punk?

Julie Haigh:  Well I like a wide range but no I never liked any punk stuff. A standout track for me is Stairway to Heaven. Like all sorts of stuff.

Frank Kusy:  Stairway was my anthem at uni, alongside Gary Glitter, though I pretend I don’t know him nowadays

–As an organ teacher, I’m guessing you like classical music? Is it all Bach and Pachelbel? Personally, I’m a sucker for Gregorian chants.

Julie Haigh:  No Frank I teach Piano, all types of organ, keyboard. Theatre organ, church organ yes only a bit because there’s not much call for it, electronic organ. All types of music. I do like to play some classical but I do like variety so I play lots of different styles. Pop, jazz, whatever a pupil wants to learn because most youngsters are put off with the classical. The associated board even recognise this and the list C pieces tend to be more modern now eg. grade 3 the other year had Both Sides Now/ Top cat theme.

–Come on Karen-join in the party!

–And Frank-you got to be kidding about the Gregorian Chants!

Frank Kusy:  I loved Top Cat as a kid, now you got me whistling it in my head, it’s the ultimate ear worm!

–And no, I kid you not. I was brought up by Jesuits, wanted to be a priest one time.

Julie Haigh:  Really, wow.

Frank Kusy:  You can read all about it in CH, it didn’t quite work out

Julie Haigh:  CH?

Frank Kusy:  Chemical. I can’t say more, I’ll be banned!

Julie Haigh:  Chemical Heaven?

–Oh I see, A Marriage Made In Chemical Heaven-hey I don’t think I’ve been sent my prize yet-can you give Victoria a nudge

Cherry Gregory:  Just caught up with all the chat and questions (in the middle of packing for Scotland) and just had to say I like Gregorian chants (must be my name) but when I was a uni a long time ago, I liked punk. Now I’m more likely to listen to my husband’s favourite music, the piano concertos of Beethoven.

Frank Kusy:  Really? If nothing by morning, please nudge me!

–Do you like animals, Julie, have you got any pets?

Julie Haigh:  Wow Cherry, I never would have thought you would have been into punk. Yes i love playing Beethoven-my favourites are Moonlight Sonata and the Adagio Cantabile from the pathetique.

–I love animals Frank. I haven’t got a pet at the mo with working most of the day and not being able to give it enough attention and walks but we’ve had many dogs over the years. My auntie and uncle used to breed dogs and show them and they have been judges at crufts. We have always been given dogs by them, ones who didn’t quite make the grade for showing standards. They have bred poodles/red setters/Lakeland terriers/welsh terriers/Airedales. We always had welsh terriers as they have a lovely temperament and are really good with children. They were called Megan, Taffy, Janie and Davey, sadly all dead now. My auntie and uncle used to have boarding kennels and I used to be a kennel maid in the school holidays for a couple of weeks and I loved it. They also had a cattery.

Cherry Gregory:  Everyone was surprised I was into punk, even at the time. I was studious and very polite and quiet, so not at all punk-like in character but I liked the anger in the songs because deep inside I felt very angry and it helped me release the tension! Now I love the deep emotions that classical music arouses in me, sometimes sadness but often tranquillity or happiness.

Karen Knight:  Hi Julie, wow what a fabulous thread. I have played the recorder and also the clarinet and guitar. I also enjoy cross stitch and currently I am making winnie the pooh cushion covers. I also am a fan of Enid Blyton and love the Malorey Towers series. Of which I still have the Set that I read as a teenager. Famous Five and Secret Seven also remain favourites.

I live in Brighton and we have the famous Brighton Dome which housed a fabulous organ. My question is have you ever played this organ. If I remember rightly it was regularly played by a gentleman called Douglas Reeve. Have you heard of him?

Julie Haigh:  Hi Karen, yes I have met him, actually played a concert with him at Sheffield. He is now sadly dead. He died in 1999. I haven’t played the Dome Brighton organ but I have played the organ at Portslade Town Hall in concert on a couple of occasions, I think that was near Brighton?

Micki Stokoe:  You are allowed if someone asks you about it, Frank! Hi Julie! Just got in from choir practice! What kind of stage musicals do you like?

Karen Knight:  Yes Portslade is on the west of Brighton outskirts. Yes sadly Douglas Reeve has died but he was a fabulous gentleman

Julie Haigh:  https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/…/199992…



Karen Knight:  Unfortunately during a refit and up grade of the Dome the organ sadly no longer exists

Julie Haigh:  Karen, this is the organ I played with Douglas Reeve, it was in Sheffield City School but there was a fire at the school a few years later so this organ is now gone.

–Sad that the Dome Organ is no more-but I do know a lot of the Theatre Organ Preservation Society members so wonder if that organ has been put into another venue-I will find out

Karen Knight:  So sad Julie that these wonderful instruments are disappearing

Julie Haigh:  Micki-hope you were in good voice tonight-or are you in charge of the choir?

–Musicals I like-Les Miserables.

Cherry Gregory:  Must get to bed now as I’ve a long journey to make tomorrow. Great thread, Julie. Thanks for answering our questions and being such a star.

Julie Haigh:  Karen, I know some people who have bought organs such as this and installed them in their homes, then they have monthly concerts. Some people are so passionate about it.

Karen Knight:  If you could have written a book in history, which book would it be?

Micki Stokoe:  No! I’m one of the altos in a 20 voice close harmony group! We sing songs ranging from the Beatles to Adele.

Julie Haigh: I think, musically Les Miserables is the best one for me. I’m not as keen on Andrew LLoyd Webber’s musicals, his songs have appeal to some extent but they are nowhere near as skillful as Les Miserables.

–Karen-I’m thinking

–Angela’s Ashes? If that’s not from far enough back in history I did like Wuthering Heights when I did it for English but not sure how I would enjoy it now.

Becky Corwin Adams:  Some people from my hometown installed a huge pipe organ in their home. It took up an entire room.

Julie Haigh:  Yes people do that over here Becky, one man I knew in Dumfries had a whole concert hall built in the grounds of his house. The trouble with some people installing these big pipe organs in their homes is, if the room isn’t big enough, the acoustics just aren’t right and there isn’t much reverb- and they are a pig to play then!

Julie Haigh:  They will be members of the American Theatre organ Society so I will look them up and read about their installation

Karen Knight:  Thank you for a brilliant day. My pillow has by name on it. Good night

Julie Haigh:  Goodnight Karen, it’s been great chatting to you. Night x

Becky Corwin Adams: Larry and Janet Evritt is their name. I am sure Larry passed away.

Julie Haigh:  Thanks for that Becky, I will have a look.

Micki Stokoe:  Apologies if you’ve already been asked, but have you always lived in Huddersfield? I’m based in York!

Victoria Twead:  Julie Haigh, what can I say? Amazing Monday Member and AWESOME fred!!!! Thank you so much! I’ll leave it pinned up overnight so latecomers can have a laugh. Have a think who you’d like to nominate for prizes.

Julie Haigh:  yes Micki, I was born in Huddersfield, always lived in Huddersfield, never left Huddersfield. Didn’t even go away to college, got in at Huddersfield Technical College School of Music which is renowned for music and students came all the way from America, Switzerland, France to study there so I didn’t see any need to go anywhere else. I went to Uni in Huddersfield-at the time it was Huddersfield Polytechnic. Pianos and organs are not so moveable so I don’t travel light! I have always lived in Dalton, my mum lives in Dalton and my sister lived just up the road in Kirkheaton so we have always lived really close together-so it was a big wrench for me when my sister and brother-in-law decided to try out living in Spain for a while, but threat of Redundancy loomed for my brother-in-law so it was a new start. I love reading about people taking the plunge and making the move but it would be my worst nightmare!

–Victoria- the night is young-still at it! determined to get as many comments as possible!!!!!

–Micki- our family used to love to go for the day to York shopping and looking around the Castle Museum, National Railway Museum, Jorvik Viking Exhibition-a great day out.

Susan Joyce:  Julie Haigh, I think you’re into setting a new HIGH! Go girl! Wonderful conversations! I’m off to bed soon. It’s been a long day. I’ve so enjoyed following the questions and answers and getting to know you. Great fun! Check out the benefits of cayenne pepper. Thanks for your time and energy. Fab interview!

Micki Stokoe:  My husband is from Yorkshire & we moved to York 32 years ago from London after he was made redundant. I’ve never regretted it! It would be difficult to transport pianos & organs!

Terry Bryan:  Still here, Julie…and you were nervous, I think. I see you love your music but your writing is very good too, entertaining, informative. I think we all have enjoyed getting to know you better. I’m hoping you get to Egypt! And I hope you write a book about your musical career. And I’m not leaving the states…

Paula Hilston:  This has been really special.

Julie Haigh:  Thanks everyone for all the kind comments. As many of you as possible please stick around!

Susan Joyce:  Very special indeed! Thanks all!

Jacky Donovan:  Really fun day thank you Julie Haigh and WLM

Paula Hilston:  Ps…I eat single foods at a time. It is always nice feel less nuts. Lol….my Kindle isn’t letting me type…..urg

Julie Haigh:  I think it goes with being more brainy Paula

Terry Bryan:  Ya know…one of the great things about these session is we learn easily we are not alone in any way…somebody somewhere is just like us and we know we’re all great.

Julie Haigh:  Great comment Terry

— I love this group-I go on here far more than the normal Facebook now

Micki Stokoe:  I’ve just read about your way of tailoring your lessons to the musical likes of your pupils – a brilliant idea! I hated going from tunes to exercises titled Ducks in a Farmyard & suchlike & never really got to grips with the bass clef. I taught myself to play Fur Elise & the Moonlight Sonata because I liked them & was told I could have a guitar if I learned how to play these pieces!

Julie Haigh:  Yes, I find they will practice more if it’s something they really want to play, even if it’s a harder piece they still tend to manage it if they do it really slowly at first. Some pieces you just have to do to learn the basics but then you’ve got to keep it interesting. I like arranging piano duets too and doing them with pupils-eg. the accompaniment part of Adele’s someone like you is quite hard for someone eg. Grade 1 or 2 but I do the accomp bit and the pupil takes the melody and they’re well chuffed with the finished sound

Micki Stokoe:  Far more fun!

–Do you ever have pupils who come to you able to play by ear?

Julie Haigh:  and that’s what it’s all about-far more important to have fun. I get pupils who play in school concerts who go down really well simply because they pick ‘crowd puller’ pieces, ones that their other buddies can relate to. It’s not always about playing a grade 8 piece because an 8 page Bach piece tends to be boring to a school assembly audience even if it is technically accurate.

–Yes Micki, I do have pupils who play a bit by ear/ones who have taught their self. I think it’s important to be able to do BOTH, reading music and have a good ear. I encourage being able to play by ear and make sure their music reading develops too. You often get popular music tracks not coming out in print until the pop song has been and gone so I work out those by ear for my pupils so they can be playing them when they are current.

–Yay! Just checking what the Amazon deal of the day is and I’m in the top 10,000 reviewers-8, 025 to be precise.

Micki Stokoe:  That’s fantastic! Your pupils are lucky to have you as their teacher! Have you ever played for a show?


Julie Haigh:  For a show? As in a musical theatre production or do you mean a concert? I used to be a professional musician, concert organist mostly and sometimes pianist

–I actually made two albums-they were on tape at the time-it was after records but before CD’s! I used to sell quite a few when I went around the country doing concerts and they are actually sold out now.

Micki Stokoe:  A musical theatre production.

Julie Haigh:  I was asked to record them on the theatre pipe organ at Louth Town hall, Lincolnshire. Micki, I think musical theatre productions better with an orchestra so I would love to play oboe in that sometime in the future if I ever get more time to revive that.

–I’ve also been on BBC Radio 2’s ‘The Organist Entertains’ programme on a few occasions-I’d forgotten all about this. I once took part in a Live recording on the Wurlitzer at South Bank Polytechnic, quite scary but in the end I think it was easier to record-did it in one take as when an audience there you just play to the audience and get the atmosphere and the applause. If you do a recording where it’s just you and the engineers you know that you can ‘do it again’ if you go wrong-so you inevitably do!

Micki Stokoe:  I’ve only been involved with amateur productions & we’re lucky if we can get a couple of keyboards, a drummer, a bass guitar & a saxophone together. But I agree with you, a full orchestra sounds great. What is the strangest instrument you’ve ever heard or played?

Julie Haigh:  A man once played a tune on a saw in a Christmas concert I took part in years ago

–He sort of waggled it and moved it up and down and it did sound really good, he got the pitch just right for each note

Becky Corwin Adams:  Julie, we are pretty close in the Amazon reviewer rankings. I am 6718. You must read and review a lot of books!

Julie Haigh:  Well yes I just love to read and I review them all. I don’t always get chance to read them as quickly as I’d like with work etc, but I love to get engrossed in a really good book, far better than watching telly for me.

–I just wish my sister would write her memoir about moving to Spain or ‘Confessions Of A Dental Nurse’-as that’s what’s she’s always done as a job and she has loads of stories to tell. But she’s not as into books as me and she says the writing is definitely not happening. Perhaps I might have a go writing it for her!

Micki Stokoe:  Now that’s an idea!

Julie Haigh:  Wouldn’t know where to start-it’s much easier writing like this

–I think it would be easier for me sticking something on recording and just write it vocally

–Great, you’re still there Micki-anyone else still up?

Frank Kusy:  Blimey Julie, you still here? Another couple of pages and you’ll snatch the longest fred prize from Alan

Micki Stokoe:  Night owls unite! Have you ever tried writing short stories? Do you keep a diary?

Julie Haigh:  Yes I’m still here-we’re very hardy us Yorkshire folk! I’ve now got 329 messages Frank-how many did Alan get?

Frank Kusy:  Dunno missus, but it woz a long one. Check out Sunday before last’s spotlight if you can find it

Julie Haigh:  No Micki, I’ve never tried writing short stories, to be honest I rather read full books than short stories so I don’t think I’d write in that medium. No I don’t keep a diary-just a diary of my lesson times and appointments and things. I have got a really good memory for things years ago.

–I thought Alan got about 326 comments? Don’t know-where would I find an archive of it?

Micki Stokoe:  I agree – I like full books too, & rarely buy short stories. I’m writing a ‘happy’ diary this year for the first time in ages, although I’ve kept notes on my guide meetings for 30+ years! You ought to start recording some of your memories, either on paper or CD as your life sounds fascinating.

Julie Haigh:  It does sound interesting to me looking at it written down! I never knew!

–I might publish this in book form and put it on We Love Memoirs hee hee!

–just joking!

Micki Stokoe:  You should give it a go!

Becky Corwin Adams:  I had to skip out of the conversation for my bedtime story – Ginger the Buddha Cat.

Micki Stokoe:  Good book!

Becky Corwin Adams:  Signing off for the night. Tomorrow is a work day for me. xx

Julie Haigh:  Good night Becky and thanks for chatting, it’s been a really memorable day for me x

Micki Stokoe:  Night, Becky! Sleep well! Julie, have you always been a night owl?

Frank Kusy:  Just spent 20 minutes trawling the whole WLM site. Can’t find Alan’s Spotlight, but surely, at 340+ messages you pip the post Julie!

–Night night Becky, hope you find Buddha cat an enlightening experience

Julie Haigh:  Micki, I don’t need much sleep, wide awake at the moment. I have to be really tired to go to sleep so I often read well into the small hours eg 1/1.30am then I usually get up about 6/6.30am ish. I enjoy my power nap after dinner (that’s lunchtime to everyone else-in Huddersfield we call it dinnertime and tea time for evening meal) I seem to feel really refreshed after a power nap rather than a night’s sleep!

Frank Kusy:  I don’t go to bed till 4/5am Julie. I find sleep boring, rarely get more than 4 hours of it.

Victoria Twead:  That’s the Spanish way of doing things, Julie. it’s quarter to 3 here in Spain, but I’m trying to get some writing done. This is truly a massive Fred!

Julie Haigh:  Yeah-waste of time isn’t it-you could be reading-or writing a book!

Terry Bryan:  Y’all are night owls…tis getting late here…Alan’s post should be reached through Victoria’s blog I think.

Frank Kusy:  Did you know that before the Industrial Revolution, people had two sleeps – one from around 8pm (after din dins), and another from 4 to 8am, after sitting around chatting and eating from midnight to 4am?

Julie Haigh:  Once I do get off to sleep I do sleep really well-once on a college trip to the opera, Covent Garden, London, the fire alarm went off in the hotel in the night. First I heard of it, same goes for the girl I was sharing with, was at breakfast when everyone was talking about being lined up by the fire escapes. We never heard a thing!

Micki Stokoe:  Same here! I tend to read at night, too. At the moment mostly memoires on my kindle (wonder why?)! Although I have a pile of books waiting to be read by my chair. Do you have a favourite place for reading at home?

Frank Kusy:  There was also a siesta built in mid-afternoon, that’s also gone in many countries. The modern post-Industrial 9 to 5 age has a lot to answer for!

Julie Haigh:  Micki I read anywhere and everywhere, my book or kindle goes. Dare I say it……?I even read in the loo!

Frank Kusy:  I once dropped off in a bus going into Malaysia, failed to get my passport stamped, when I tried to leave the country again I got arrested as an illegal immigrant and offered the death penalty. One power nap I will never forget.

–Of course you take your kindle into the loo Julie, I would expect nothing less of such a devoted reader

Micki Stokoe:  When I was a child, my favourite reading place was in a tree!

Julie Haigh:  My goodness Frank Kusy

Micki Stokoe:  That’s scary, Frank! How did you talk your way out of that one?

Frank Kusy:  A tree, Micki? Is that where you ‘branched out’ into literature?

–It’s in the last few pages of the book that must not be named but starts with ‘R’ and ends in a Indian currency, Micki

Julie Haigh: Naughty naughty, no self promotion now!

Frank Kusy:  Gotta go now ladies, I may not need my sleep but my missus does, ciao for now, and Julie, great fred, hope you enjoyed it as much as we did, good night! x

Julie Haigh:  Night Frank I’ve had a blast!

Micki Stokoe:  Lol! Certainly turned over more than a few leaves!

–Night, Frank! Sleep well!

–Apart from your music & cross stitch have you any other hobbies? That’s if you have any spare time with work & looking after your family! Is there anything you’d like to have a go at but haven’t as yet?

Julie Haigh:  Well Micki we’ve got 367 comments. I’m going to leave the computer on so if anyone wants to comment, feel free. Victoria, I have my winners: drum roll: Micki Stokoe for her true Yorkshire staying power, being the last one up, fantastic conversation, it’s been fun, and Janet Hughes for laying on the food!


Much, much later …

Julie Haigh:  Hi again Micki Stokoe


Micki Stokoe:  This is called getting it up to 370 (an even number for Jill!). A big thank you, Julie – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the conversation too! I think you’ve earned a rest now! x

Julie Haigh:  Can’t really think of anything! You have actually made me lost for words! I love the reading and reviewing and have recently been asked to beta read a novel by an author. I really enjoyed that and I did find about 17 errors in it and the author used all my suggestions and said my help had been priceless-I was really chuffed. I would like to perhaps do a bit of proof reading. I do worry though if it would take the pleasure out of reading if doing this sort of thing all the time.


–Night Micki x

–376-an even number for you Jill Pennington x

Julie Freed:  Been at doctor all day … just catching up on all the fun I missed! Sorry I’ve made this “odd” now haven’t I?

–I have a wee one who is soon to be picking up her third instrument – violin, piano, and now trumpet (recorder in between but that doesn’t really count, right?). We are music lovers in this family fo’ sure! (even Jill Pennington!) Thanks for a fun night night read

Cherry Gregory:  This is truly a great thread…just catching up in the morning (because unlike those tough Yorkshire lasses and Frank Kusy, I need LOTS of sleep!)

–Frank Kusy…you can mention your books in a thread if it’s a natural part of the conversation (eg if someone asks you what the title of your book is, or something like that!) You won’t be put on the naughty step.

Julie Haigh:  See-that’s what armchair travel is all about-having a party with loads of friends from all around the world and never even leaving your front room!

Alan Parks:  Seriously Mum, How Long is this Thread?

Becky Corwin Adams:  Alan, are you self promoting your next book???? LOL

Saffron Mello Castro:  For some reason Julie Haigh I thought you were in the USA!

Susan Joyce:  Julie Haigh, can’t believe you’re still going strong. Or are you? Your answers seem to still make sense.

–Julie Haigh, great choice of winners. I cam back to see if there was any food left.

Janet Hughes:  Wow thank you Julie, I’m truly honoured, any time you want to explore Henry’s wine cellar, give me a poke

–Here’s some sushi for the adventurous



Janet Hughes: …  and some fish and chips for the more (what shall we say) … traditional



Shirley Ledlie:  Sushi for me – in fact I am just on my way out to collect some for my tea tonight while watching Eastenders

Julie Haigh:  Susan Joyce, I kept computer on all night and went to bed about 2.45am-got up at 6.45am and felt wide awake. Surprised still comments on here!

— 391! Can we get 400?!!!!!!

Valerie Robson:  Easy, need about three minutes… xxx

Alison Teeshirts:  wow Julie, you have some stamina!!

Susan Joyce:  Julie Haigh, when you announce an all-nighter with this zany group, it’s party time all over the world. It’s now 9:25 AM in Uruguay What time is it there?

–Julie Haigh, will you take a nap later in the day? If so, wishing you a lullaby and an illusion.

Janet Hughes:  *Rattles knife against Susan’s head* Toast! Every one raise your glasses to toast our Marathon Monday Member –

Susan Joyce:  Hip-hip hooray! Cheers!

Alison Teeshirts:  hip hip hip hooray!

Victoria Twead:  Congratulations Janet Hughes and Micki Stokoe for being picked by Julie Haigh and winning books from the header. Which books would you like?

Susan Joyce:  Congratulations Janet Hughes and Micki Stokoe! You’re winners! Enjoy!

Valerie Robson:  I can only see last two comments on little phone… did we make the 400?

if so yayeee xxx

Susan Joyce:  Definitely made it over 400. Great interview Julie Haigh! I think you might want to consider interviewing as your next career.

Janet Hughes:  Just had a gleg and I’ve already got them all, so first one to solve this anagram wins (if that’s OK with Julie Haigh) – HI HUGE JAIL

Victoria Twead:  Oooh, that’s different! got it, but not saying…

Janet Hughes:  Clue – it’s someone’s name

–Rhymes with day…

Alison Teeshirts:  julie haigh

Julie Haigh:  Does it?

Janet Hughes:  Way to go Alison Teeshirts, you are a WiNNeR!!!!!!

Susan Joyce:  Yea! I think we have another winner.

Janet Hughes:  What does it rhyme with?

–Victoria Twead we have another WiNNeR!

Susan Joyce:  Go Alison! Good job!

Alison Teeshirts:  woohoo!

Janet Hughes:  So which one are you going to pick lover-girl

Alison Teeshirts:  lol, hang on, let me peek…

Julie Haigh:  Well done Alison Teeshirts! But Janet it doesn’t rhyme with day how we say it in ‘uddersfield- it’s Hay-G or even Ayg!

Frank Kusy:  Good gawd, everyone still here? At this rate, Julie’s going to make Member Wednesday!

Julie Haigh:  *drum roll*

Alison Teeshirts:  a little chemical heaven please!

Janet Hughes:  Frank you hear that! *Fanfare* She’s picked your new book!

— Crumbs Julie, you make it sound like a fatal illness

Susan Joyce:  Good choice, I’m sure. Frank is a great writer.

Frank Kusy:  Fanx Alison, hope youse enjoy it


Alison Teeshirts:  sure i will Frank! now i need an enforced reading day!

Janet Hughes:  *turns fan onto turbo, to waft smell of chocolate hobnobs over to Victoria Twead*


Frank Kusy:  Enforced reading day Alison? Hi, huge jail!

Micki Stokoe:  Bouncing happily! A Thousand Miles from Nowhere please! I’ve got the others! –Well done, Alison, & thank you, Julie!

Alison Teeshirts:  lol, i have so many books i want to settle into but with my life juggling at the moment [new business etc] its hard to find time! tv off time!

Terry Bryan:  Hmmm congrats Micki Stokoe, Janet Hughes, and Alison Teeshirts…did I get everyone?

Victoria Twead:  *gallops in following waft of chocolate hobnobs* Congrats to Alison Teeshirts, will send book now. Thanks, Janet Hughes for giving your prize away. Did Micki make her request? This Fred is so massive I can’t find it!

Julie Haigh:  Micki Stokoe chose A Thousand Miles From Nowhere, just 3 messages before yours Victoria Twead

Victoria Twead:  Sorry… I obviously didn’t refresh the page and it wasn’t visible. Or I’m blind as a bat.

–Prizes sent.

Janet Hughes:  Wow! that was a long thread!

Briannjulie White:  wow is that the longest fred we have had in a while ?

Frank Kusy:  Who’s up next Sunday? They’re goin to have to pull an all nighter with seventeen Red Bulls to beat it

Alison Teeshirts:  poor fred; we’ll never get clothes to fit him soon

Sue Clamp:  And this is my first comment in the thread. Sorry I missed out! My head’s been somewhere else.

Terry Bryan:  Julie needs one of these…


Susan Joyce:  Fun!

Julie Haigh:  love it Terry-and it’s in my favourite colour!