It does make me laugh that at times I crave (or I think I do) structure & stability and then I get the kind of week that I’ve had. Rehearsals are full steam ahead re-embracing the beautiful music that I’ve sung on many an occasions at Welsh National Opera and well as other opera houses around the world. Roles like loveable Papageno, conniving Don Alfonso, and the broken Rigoletto. When I sing or listen to this repertoire I know that so much of it would have to accompany me on my desert island. Who could live without ever hearing the quintet from The Magic Flute ever again?

Another thing that I would hate to be without are my brothers. Like all families we exasperate each other I know ……..but this week was my eldest brother’s birthday. Generally, as a family we are not “into birthdays” and often miss each other’s. My mother could easily miss a birthday until she was reminded but when it came to Christmas half the town seemed to be invited to celebrate with us. Gifts poured from each corner of our home.

As big bro and I weren’t working on the Thursday we felt a few beers might be in order. So off we went accompanied by his charming wife for pizza and red wine at 8pm. All I can say is that it was gone 4am when we retired to bed and the following day is still a blur. You can take the boy out of Carmarthen but not Carmarthen out of the boy! Thanks Huw & Donna let’s book birthdays in the diary.

A few months back I was asked if I would co-present the Welsh heats for “Face of the Globe”. The event was explained to me on the phone and I must admit that initially I thought that it was a simple pageant the kind of horrid things that we often see on the telly from the across the pond – plastic and manufactured. Before I accepted the gig I looked them up as each life experience has taught me not to judge and to be mindful when possible. “Face of the Globe” is an international pageant held annually in Disneyland Paris. It brings together young women from all over the world who work together to make a difference and raise funds for amazing charities.

The main charity, founded by Chico Slimani  has become “Rainbow Child Foundation” and donates 100 percent to the people they support. I decided that I accept the invitation so off I went last Sunday to Llanelli.

The event was a pageant, no getting away from it, but it was fantastic. Each contestant supported each other, girls of all shapes and sizes strutted their stuff with confidence and pride that we all would be proud of. A magnificent young lady called Frances was wheelchair bound and with the help of her best friend beamed and lit up the catwalk. Just amazing and what a great job the Ffwrnes theatre did.

This article was originally published in the Carmarthen Journal in Mark’s weekly column for the paper.

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