ROCKITS MESSENGER - READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE
Welcome to the Rockits online magazine. At times, what’s coming can be much better than what’s gone. It’s like getting your very favourite dessert after a terrible main course. I do though want to start by offering my wholehearted sympathies to anyone who lost someone close to them, through covid (or otherwise), during 2020. I hope this year brings you better fortune. My very best wishes to those of you and yours who have been unwell; please take lots of time to rest and get better. I genuinely welcome this new year with loads of positivity and hope it won’t be long before we are all together once again. 2020 was stressful and worrying and although we aren’t yet out of woods, I can see happier times not too far ahead. Somebody once told me that today is called the present, because that is exactly what it is…a present, a gift. That may sound a bit naff, but I am starting to realise that it’s true.
I am sat writing this from my very tiny studio at home. I have spent SO many hours here over the last ten months, arranging music, mixing songs, ordering groceries from Tesco and keeping us going the best I can. When I first heard of the dangers of Covid, I immediately shut the choirs down, long before many others did. The thought of anyone becoming unwell at singing, was just too awful and today, I am still very glad I made that decision and kept everyone safe. I did worry about you all, as I know many would miss our weekly get-togethers, myself included! I tried to keep those of you that needed occupying busy learning songs and recording them, but this wasn’t everyones cup of tea.
Some singers are shy, some are technically challenged and some were busy baking countless loaves of bread. The thing is, that the Rockits are such a lovely, sociable bunch and that is a huge part of why we all enjoy it so much when we get together. It’s brilliant to sing along to ‘Angels,’ with a mate on either side and a glass of Prosecco in your hand, isn’t it? I get to see all the smily faces doing this too. Magic! The Rockits performance Choir (now called the Heart of Kent Show Choir) DID work right through lockdown, having tiny rehearsals when we were allowed, or recording from home when we weren’t. I am immensely proud of the choirs achievements over the last year. Not only did we continue raising lots of money for our charities, but we also played an important role within our community. My little video team worked all the hours under the sun and yes, it was hard work, but it also brought so much fun into all our lives.
Finally, and most importantly, I want to thank you lovely lot for your continuing support, every single day. I hear from many of you and am always so happy to do so, even when it’s to ask how to use WhatsApp haha. I wish you a healthy and happy new year. No matter what’s in store for us this year, we will do it together. For now, please stay home and stay safe (and get vaccinated as soon as you can). This term we have started a little cookery challenge club for to keep us going, so hope to see some of your baking efforts, haha. Much love always, Max xxxx
The Rockits Reading Room
There is no better time to treat yourself to long lazy days curled up in the library with a good book
We have a few recommendations for you but please send us more... what have you read recently that you think others might enjoy?
Email : Sarahwickham@gmail.com
Recommended by Sarah W - I actually listened to this on audible rather than read it, but it transported me to the place and time and I loved it. Such a gentle story, yet at the same time a murder mystery.
A painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature . . Owens here surveys the desolate marshlands of the North Carolina coast through the eyes of an abandoned child. And in her isolation that child makes us open our own eyes to the secret wonders-and dangers-of her private world ― New York Times Book Review
Recommended by Sarah W - This book was a gift from Max and has, among other things, taught me how to construct a 'cello! I am only half way through it but love the little suprise twist the author brings to the narrative, and I assume and hope that the second half will continue in same vein.
Recommended by Ruth C - A moving lockdown read
Recommended by Ruth C - Starts off sad but is ultimately an uplifting read
While we can't sing together, let's do the next best thing and bake our way through lockdown and restrictions
Take part in our light hearted cookery club challenges. Just follow our recipes and email a photo of your results (good or bad, funny or amazing) to Max (email@example.com), who will post to our facebook page for the amusement and entertainment of anyone who wishes to vote on their favourite, by 'liking' etc.
CHALLENGE ONE - ICED COOKIES
Closing date for sending in your photo - January 23rd
Preheat oven to 170 degrees
- 200 soft butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 100g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 beaten egg
- 400g plain flour
For the Royal icing
- 2 large egg whites,
- 500g icing sugar,
- drop of glycerine.
Combine the soft butter with the icing sugar and caster sugar and vanilla essence and mix together (don't add loads of air or your cookies will spread in the oven).
Mix in the beaten egg and then the flour.
Roll out on floured work surface, cut out the cookies and bake for 10 minutes at 170 degrees. Don't let them burn - they need to be light, golden brown on the edges
Decorate with royal icing and loads of sprinkles or a design and embellishment of your choice
Whisk the egg whites lightly, then add the sugar bit by bit, mixing well between additions. When it’s all incorporated, add your glycerine and then continue mixing until it forms stiff peaks and is a nice consistency to ice your cookies with. Then let loose your inner artistic self
THE ENTRIES SO FAR
"I am SO pleased that I am in Butsys family group – we count as one household. With the new baby due, I’ll be taking over the care of Amigo II when required – and fingers crossed that Baby Whatman II will arrive via a more direct route than his/her brother! Today, we baked basic sugar cookies.. . . "
Click here to read the rest of Max's latest ramblings