I know this is off topic, but I wanted to share my news with you.
Two weeks ago tonight, I was inaugurated as the Civic Mayor of Tameside here in the North West of England. My wife, Francoise is now the Mayoress.
It's a position that is only held for a year, unlike the European and US models, which are for considerably longer and which come with quite a degree of power.
The Civic Mayoralty, as the title perhaps suggests, is much more concerned with tradition and ceremony, and involves a heavy schedule of events and visits. We have already attended lots of functions, the best ones being those that celebrate the work and achievements of local "unsung heroes", and giving them a 'pat on the back' for the fantastic work that they do. We also attend functions which allow us to interact and mix with dignitaries from other authorities and even from foreign shores. Tonight we've been to a function in Manchester hosted by the Italian Consul - who we got on with very well, along with other Consuls and Honorary Consuls. Effectively, we stand in locally for the Queen. All in all we expect to attend upwards of 600 engagements in the year.
I don't know whether I'll have time to write much music this year, but I do intend to use my musical background to raise money for my Charity Fund -which will be dedicated to a number of local worthy causes. If I get the chance I may try to do a CD (or downloadable selection of pieces) which if people will pay a small amount for, will also go to my Charity.
If you're interested in finding out a little more, then you can have a look at the following link (and surf the associated links on that page).
from there, there's a link to a video of the Inauguration Ceremony in our Council Chamber - but I wouldn't expect anyone to sit watching that! It lasts for ages!
Lastly, please don't think I'm in any way showing off about this. Of course I'm very proud to take on this incredible role, but only in so far as it gives me the power to make those 'unsung heroes' feel good about themselves, and it gives me the opportunity to raise funds for some very worthy causes.
Best wishes to everyone,