Sunday, March 09, 2008

''...hello! anybody in there..?''

...and so the musical theme continues with Toti busy setting up his own business and Joanna trying not to get too turned-off with all the talk about amps, desks and pro-tools programmes because as any self-respecting rock-chick knows it is the handsome bass players that are the attraction,not his tools ;-)!!!
So, it has been a long time since my last entry-I continue to work hard, study hard(yes, just can't seem to give up on that successful combination) and am feeling more and more settledat work. Funny how I have found my niche in in-patient services after all the years as a community nurse. My skills have developed, my HR expertise has quadrupled and my skin has grown thicker! I continueto fight for justice and stick my head above the parapet (usually involving senior managers!) but as T said 'that's one of the things that made me fall in love with you' so it can't be all that bad and it doesn't seem to be doing my career much harm on this side of the pennines!
Jolly-one continues to play in his beloved fiootball team although as T mentioned in his last blog also continues to cope with the fall-out from our stay in Iceland, as his self-confidence and self-esteem took such a bashing that he struggles to reach out to people for fear of rejection. We are here for him and help him as much as we can but it is still heart-breaking to see his daily struggles. He is not particularly happy with his current teacher either and will be glad to move up in September-I have to agree that i don't like this teacher's approach either. J benefits from a more nurturing style of teaching and not an old-school private type. But as i keep telling him we all had to cope with somefavourite teachers and some much less favourite ones!!!
EBB is loving it at school and is desperate to go full-time, so in september will be going 5 days rather than 4. He is always the first to sit down to start work, has built great friendshps with lots of children but finds it a challenge to get over his naturally reserved approach. A lot like his daddy he is-and his mummy too at that age..(ah! how people can change!!).
So we are all potterring along but as T put it a few weeks ago-the pieces of the puzzle don't quite fit..I am so keen to be back in Iceland and struggle every day with the compromise I have agreed to make for my beautiful boys..I am happy at work, happy within my family but probably as socially isolated as i was back in Iceland...T's parents are visiting this weekend and brought me lots of icelandic papers etc..''it just makes me homesick'' I commented to T..the irony of that statement was not lost on either of us..home is definitely where the heart is (and the sea and the mountains and the fresh, crisp air....).
Hopefully T's business will allow us to spend more time 'at home'...and as we are about to embark on yet another adventure I will remind him to keep you all updated via the blog...if there truly is anybody still receiving? (do let me know!!).
Take care one and all, Lots of love J and 3 boys (2 asleep) and one currently on stage in red and black flares, blue flowery shirt and huge afro..:-) xxx

Sunday, February 17, 2008

"... Happy New Year ..."

Well ... better late than never! Let's just go straight into the news update ...

Since you last heard from us Toti has decided to go into business for himself doing what he loves ... music! He is opening a recording studio ( with capabilities to do location recording as well as on site recording, mixing, mastering, editing and will work with graphic designers to design the CD covers for their recordings as well as providing clients with as many copies of their CDs as they want. This will also give Toti the oportunity to write and record his own music for (hopefully) TV, film, websites and anything else.

He will also be hiring himself out as a sound engineer and producer, working both in his own studio and other studios in England. Alongside this the business has the equipment to hire Toti out as a live sound engineer with the option of recording gigs, confrences, lectures and whatever else.

Last but not least, Toti has taken on funky bass duties in a 70s band/show called 70s express as well as playing in a band (with the same people) called Pure Fantasy. As you can gather, these are mainly private functions, holiday camps etc. so that will keep Toti gigging about three times a week and is a useful source of income for the business, as well as being something Toti loves doing ... although he is still trying to come to terms with having to wear makeup on stage ... not exactly the outgoing flamboyant type, really!

Joanna is enjoying work but the shifts that Toti is currently doing are making life harder for her as she is having to do alot of the work at home with the boys in the evenings and in the mornings.

Joanna is also working hard at her work related studies (made more difficult by group members who don't hand in their work on time and certainly don't meet Joannas standards when it comes to committment). Those high standards are exactly why the Freysson-Burton household works well despite the Freyssons being quite out of touch with anything to do with organising and time managing :-)

Jolyon is still loving his football and has just come back from a 3 day sports trip to Wembley in London with school. He now fancies trying some cricket as well. Football will always be number one though!

Scouts are also a great source of fun and energy release. Toward the end of August Jolyon will be going away, along with 5 other scouts and some scout leaders, on a 10 day camping trip in Holland. We are hoping that he will come back having built up even stronger friendships with his scout friends and neighbours because he still struggles to make friends, although we are making headway.

Elijah is blossoming at his new school (he started at Wakefield Independant Nursery in January). He looks really cute in his uniform and now tells us "I'm a school boy," very proudly! He and his brothers find daddys shifts very hard as well as mummy and daddy and we can't wait for daddy to be self employed so he'll be at home in the evenings and for the school runs! It's taken a toll on us all emotionally, more than we expected it would!

As for our future dreams, Joanna wants to live in Iceland and Toti wants to live in England. Due to, amongst other reasons, Jolyon slowly finding friendships here in England we don't want to uproot the boys again. So, we'll be staying here until Elijah finishes Wakefield Independant in ... 15 years time approximately. In 15 years Joanna will also be able to take early retirement (because she'll be 35 then ... won't you babe ;-). Until that happens we're planning:

1. For Totis to successfully make a decent living being self employed in the music industry, therby freeing him up to move between countries fairly freely!

2. To have purchased a nice second home in Iceland which will become our first home once the boys are grown up!

3. To have two happy and content young men who can enjoy the positive experiences they have in life and build on the negative ones to become stronger persons!

Not too much to ask for we think!

Until next time (in 2022) ...


Toti, Joanna, Jolyon and Elijah xxx

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Well, Joanna keeps asking me to do a Eurovision blog so here goes ...

Me and Elijah flew over to Iceland on the Friday night and as always Elijah was a great traveller. On Saturday he spent the day with his amma Kristin and afi Freyr whilst dad was in TV rehearsals etc. I got to see him before bed though. I had a great Saturday evening with Menn Arsins playing my song in the pre Eurovision selection thingy and although we didn't win in the end and went away with nothing we all aggreed that we had stayed true to ourselves and left with our integrity intact. I know, I know ... that doesn't get you anywhere in life and it's a common exuse when a musician doesn't get what he wants but I still believe it's true. Anyway, if you want to watch Menn Arsins and myself preforming the song on the TV programme just click on the link below.

Elijah is also looking forward to the fact that after father christmas has come and after we've been to Iceland for new year he will be going to 'normal school'. That is to say, he is going to be joining the nursery at Jolyons school and he is really looking forward to that 'cos he's a big boy now.

Jolyon is still enjoying his football and after a small spell of loosing his place in the first team, as we were away in Malta, he has regained it and is, rightfully so, very proud of himself. Him and dad went to Old Trafford last monday and watched his team, Manchester United, beat Fulham 2-0. For someone who isn't into football, his dad certainly sees a lot of games.

Joanna is enjoying work more now and has some colleagues to work with that have really taken the pressure off. She used to be doing two jobs on her own but the other post has now been filled and all is looking good.

Anyway, time to blog off for now. We'll try and write more frequently but I make no promises.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

'''s been a while...'' sorry for the lack of entries..I was hoping T was keeping up-to-date with the bloggin' but when you're a eurovision master I guess it's hard to keep your feet on the ground :-0.
But we have all just got our feet back on the ground after a quick holiday in sunny Malta...the four of us and by bestest pal Deb (yes, she actually survived coming on holiday with us all!). I last went there 20years ago and it was defintely more built-up than I remember it. I can't say I loved or hated it..T fell in love with the place however and is now hoping my next dream job will come up in their slightly under-developed mental health servcies so we can settle out there and he can lounge around in the sun, composing more eurovision masterpieces!We had a great time though and T enjoyed meeting up with an old friend from his days in the USA-they had both been there as children whilst their respective parents studied-they had had no contact in over 20 years. It seems like a friendship was resumed however , with lots of memories and trips around the non-touristy parts of the island.
So we all returned to work, school amd nursery on Monday..I have just started yet more studying...a management course at the local Uni..I'm afraid it is rather tedious and not quite of the standard I was expecting but I am trying to keep going, in order that I can acheive the certificate next year and move onto bigger, better and brighter things!My new team leader started this week though so hopefully, my job may become a little easeier...?
J was nervous abut school as he has been struggling a bit..we have recently found out that this is probably due to literacy issues, as a reuslt of his year out of the UK system when we were in Iceland. But a bit if extra help, some hard work and a few more tantrums and we should get there!!
EB is teething again..last ones but big ones at the back...he and his Daddy were stuck together like a rock and a limpet when we were away and he was a bit teary at nursery yesterday but Amma and Afi are visiting this weekend so he is counting the sleeps until their welcome visit.
And T continues with ths climb towards eurovision success...what more can I say??!!
Oh! and by the way Jo-it was great to see you in York..the wine went down very well, but not as well as your company and some ol' friends times! Hope to see you soon?!
Take care one-and-all..stay in touch..
Lots of love J and boys xxxx

Saturday, October 06, 2007

"...Eurovision residential football language ..."

For a few years now my mum, Kristin, has rung me up around August time and said, “how do you feel about sending one of your songs in to the Eurovision song contest?” She did the same this year, except I think she said, “I’m going to send one of your songs into the Eurovision song contest.” I had nothing against that and signed the papers. About three weeks ago, I got a phone call from Linda at RUV (the Icelandic equivalent of the BBC). She informed me that my song had been chosen to enter the Icelandic song contest to select the song that will represent Iceland in Eurovision.

The way the competition works is that RUV gets 9 well-known songwriters to write 3 songs each. That’s 27 songs entered. Then they choose 6 songs from the unknowns (like myself) and enter them in the competition. Mine was one of those 6, chosen from 146 entries. I’m quite proud of that.

Unfortunately, as I am not living in Iceland and have just started a new job, I won’t be able to perform the song myself. Instead, I have hired the amazing ‘Menn Arsins’ (Men of the Year) which is the band I was in when we were living in Iceland. They will record and perform the song and I can’t wait to hear what they do with the arrangement. Halli, the pianist in the band, has had copious amounts of emails from me and is probably sick of me already ;-)

So, this is your mission … if you choose to accept it …

On Saturday November the 24th 2007, everyone I know in Iceland needs to sit down in front of their television and watch the song being performed by these amazing musicians. They then need to pick up their phones and vote! Thank you for your co-operation, this message will self-destruct in five seconds … Stick that date in your diary!

As I mentioned above I started my new job this week and I am loving it. It’s great and fun and the people are good and I’m the boss-ish and it’s cool and I look forward to going to work in the mornings!

Joanna was on residential training this week. That means that she was away from Tuesday until Thursday … well that was the plan. But the residential was actually at a hotel in the next village so she spent the Tuesday night here with her boys but stayed over on the Wednesday. We really missed her and she missed us. She has another residential, this time in York, in just over a week’s time. Hmmm … should I start getting worried … ;-) We’ll miss her again and she’ll miss us … She’s enjoying her role although, as you would expect in such a demanding job, there are days when she comes home shattered and fed up. It’s because she works so hard that darling!

Jolyon is enjoying his football. In a very short space of time he has worked his way up from being in the third team to being a first team sub, which usually means he plays at least half the game. This is purely down to his enthousiasm and hard work. He struggles with his organisation and academics at school but when it comes to sport, he excels!

Elijah is starting to realise that he is learning two different languages. A typical conversation:

Elijah: “what is breakfast?”
Daddy: “Breakfast is morgunmatur.”
Elijah: “Mummy say breakfast, daddy say morgunmatur?”
Daddy: “Yes, well done.”
Elijah: “What does Elijah say?”
Daddy: “Elijah can say breakfast or morgunmatur.”

Nine times out of ten he’ll choose the english word for himself, which is normal as he is growing up in an English speaking environment. But I am now using every oportunity to teach him that he has a choice. He knows that amma and afi say like daddy and grandmum and pops say like mummy. Sometimes, like with car (bill) he’ll choose to use the english word but will use the Icelandic word when speaking to daddy. I guess it’s more important than ever for me to stick to speaking Icelandic with him and I admit, I am not as good at this as I should be but I do try.

So the sentence of they day is ‘Eurovision residential football language’ … and that is that …

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"...Toti got the job ... but ..."

Toti was offered the job of bass player in a professional function band. Unfortunately due to Totis recent success in getting another job, which involves shifts, he can't commit to the amount of gigs that this band plays. So, sadly, he has to say 'no, thank you'! Maybe family life, shift work and music just don't go together and one of them has to be left out ...

Question of the day: Where's your happy place!?

Monday, September 17, 2007

"...At the Car Wash ..."

We had such a fantastic weekend. A great family day out on Saturday which was only supposed to be a few hours walk but ended up being a long walk around Saltaire, near Bradford, then pottering about the Saltaire Festival which we didn’t know was happening this weekend and then topping it all off with tea at Frankie and Benny’s. Both boys were worn out afterwards. Jolyon still managed to fit in a visit at Harrys new house afterwards though and then had a nice walk home from there with his dad. He is struggling a bit with his organisational skills at school and his parents are trying to tread the fine line between telling him off for forgetting his homework and supporting him in getting more organized. Oh, the joys of parenting! :-)

Sunday we had a stay-at-home day which was also great fun and very chilled. Toti and Elijah did sneak out though to go to the Kite Festival in Heath Common for an hour and Elijah had great fun. There were ‘doggy kites’ and ‘fish kites’ and ‘car kites’ and all sorts.

Joanna has hired her band 6 (a bit of nurse talk there ;-) and by the end of the week she’ll have someone acting up on a temporary basis until the new person is in post so that’s someone to share the pressure with. This is of course great news for our family life, which I have no complaints over anyway!

Toti has got a ‘job interview’ tonight. Well … he’s going to meet a guy who runs a semi-professional function band to jam with him. This guy looking for a bass player and after hearing one of Totis old CD’s the guy decided to halt all auditions and get Toti to play! Now Toti just needs to do’ his thing’ properly tonight and he should be in. That will mean regular gigs and some more cash coming in to the household. We will let you know tomorrow how that goes!