Monday, November 10, 2008

Foundations

To build a tall building I've seen you need strong foundations. Currently I am building towards a vision for a new company. To build it well I see, and Christiane helps me see, that I need strong foundations in place. It takes time..... and sometimes I find that frustrating, I want to move faster but other times I feel this is definitely the right way.

Creating a studio, looking at what's the output, who's it for? What will be the benefit and who will be the customer? Over the years I've done lots of coaching and learnt lots about business but never really done it! Now, a detailed business plan, a production factory set up is being established and I'm learning loads.

As I share with people I think they may think I am a little crazy, perhaps I am.... but I am also quietly excited about having a space to create some magic .. when will it surface... next year now. 

My son Tiger swam with me for the first time the other day, I'm blessed with having great times with my family. I know many dad's don't have that much time with their children as they grow up, currently I get to see lots of my little boy as he grows daily, brilliant - if exhausting - at times!

So wherever you are on your life's journey I wish you well. I am privileged to be enjoying the journey and I hope you are too. It's an amazing time for us.

I'm doing commentary on Eurosport every weekend this month too. Great fun being alongside Chris and Simon. I tried to do a pancake live on air two days ago! You had to be there to get it. Hope you can tune it to join us.

Love

Nicky

Saturday, October 18, 2008

AUTUMN LEAVES

Today we walked through a nearby park. It was beautiful. I sat with Tiger under a tree and covered him in leaves that had fallen. His first time seeing leaves in autumn, he loves to feel everything and as an 8 month old, try to taste it too!

Having lived nine years on the sea front in Brighton I would see the change of season with seaside businesses closing down, shutters being put up and the sea front preparing for winter storms. This year it's different. I now live looking over a river estuary, it's quieter, more peaceful. A great place for creativity and a park is around the corner. I'm seeing more green and brown.

So what? Well it's just good to be alive and see the miracle of the seasons.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Telephones and broadband and BT!

I forget to mention about the land line saga - and the mobile saga for that matter! What choice we have. How I would like less choice and better service. Even when you've identified what you want from all the information on offer you find it doesn't work in your area. So what was the point of all that time in working through the details - no point at all - it's just to get me into the shop so I can be sold.... 

So BT - you have the most incredible telephone menu system in the world that takes me ten minutes ever time I call to get anywhere, and sometimes to the wrong place. The best menu item so far... " you have reached the broadband test area - (how goodness knows) press one  to test your line - sorry this option is not available - press two to .... ahhhh!!

And then, after traveling via numbers all over the place a voice says we will call you back in under 45 minutes leave your number. And they do - brilliant - but why the pain beforehand, madness and my life is worth more than the time you take and the energy you take!!!

So - thank you lovely man who took my order on phone, thank you engineer who came to fix the line after I was assured it was working, err not my end.... 

But I'm off to Talk Talk - even though you are charging me £70 to leave your contract BT - how can you be allowed to do that!! Ratbags...

Great people when you get them at BT, lousy systems and skulduggery in the charging. I can get a person after four clicks on Talk Talk - yeah!!!

Now to sort the mobile contract....

September...

Autumn breezes, low light, beautiful air, I love the autumn.

Since writing we've been on the Ventura (P&O's new ship) cruising - I did two shows, they went very well but, with little one with us it was exhausting. Need a holiday to recover from the cruise! Also I always remake my presentations as they are organic and until they are done I can't fully relax. They were near the end. 

Had dinner one night in the White Room aboard the ship - Marco Pierre White's restaurant - hmmm... very nice. It's a tough job but someone has to do it!

Having a wonderful productive time right now. Sorting and planning and writing, all cathartic, all good.

I read once that highly creative people need to be very organised. Having moved and the opportunity to get everything sorted everywhere is helping me clear the way to move ahead faster. It feels like we're creating the space for greater productivity...

We shall see. the proof of the pudding is in what is produced methinks.

Love

n

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Landline!!!!

More like a landmine... Trying to get a landline and broadband installed. Is it just me or is Customer Service a misnomer when trying to get a telephone and broadband provision.

Talk Talk was a trip - the menus, the take you through entering your number - then they ask for it again! Why... and the 'getting nowhere end of the line - only 25 minutes of my life and a few pence on the mobile but not quit my idea of entertainment...

BT - into menu heaven - reach an operator hello sir please give me your fullname and your date of birth? 'Why on earth do you need my date of birth? I just want a landline connected..." ...... she cut me off - rat bag... so through the menu heaven again. Haven't had such an effective cut off since a Washington based taxi company lady cut me dead - in the US of A. 

Try again - Dave - helpful - £125 for your line but then we have to tie you in for twelve months, as you'd expect, and by the way if you leave us in that time we charge you £70... 

Ok so let me get this straight - you charge me to connect, you force me to get a 12 month package as a part of that and then - should someone else provide a better service you charge me to leave... let me think about it!

Easier to negotiate world peace than get a simple solution on your phone package? Perhaps....

I've been having a great day before that!!!!

Enjoy the weekend.

Love
Nicky

Friday, August 8, 2008

NEW HORIZONS

We've moved - upped sticks from Brighton and found a new place to live with a superb live and work space split. Bit of a caffufle sorting out all the details to say the least but all will be fine.

And now we have a studio space - amazing and exciting and then... Lots of work to set up and make things happen. I've been wanting to have time and facilities to develop music and visuals for ages. Now we have the space... so no more excuses! Just do it.... Ha ha.

Love

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ADVENTURES

1,600 miles in 10 days, two successful ICE TIMES shows in Darlington and Fife, new partner Jade for Darlington and a new couple Jordan and Kaysha for Fife along with Charlotte coming up and doing a great job for our last show.

Fourteen ICE TIMES shows since January and I am now confident in my control of the show content, I'm better at delivery, letting words breath, saying less at times and pushing things along where they need more pace, I'm able to deliver within a 60 minute and 45 minute format. I now control a myriad of cue points for visuals and sound and you don't see these happening. All this is a million miles from when we started the shows. Pain there has been at almost every venue and major challenges but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and I know more what to expect...

So a theatre show has been created and people seem to really love it, they laugh, they find it insightful and they get value for money. It has loads of music, skating and visual content and is now sophisticated in its use of technology. Brilliant fun....

So now - review and chose what's next. A big job in itself... exciting times.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

BONNIE SCOTLAND - FIFE...

We are in Scotland for the last ICE TIMES show of our current run which is in Fife on Saturday.

Darlington was last Tuesday and we had a fine time - the rake on the stage was so great that it enabled me to get loads of speed up on the down slope! I love raked (angled) stages. Also the audience sees the lovely colours on the ice and the whole look is enhanced. The theatre is beautiful with triple layer in the old style, I had to remember to keep looking up.

I had no partner coming up to Darlington last Monday and, after an appeal on the regional news, I found one - Jade was great fun and did really well.

So it's been: Louise 1, Louise 2, Charlotte, Jade and now Charlotte again as my main partners and having Stephen and Zoe involved for four shows was also super. Quite a journey.

I'll be glad of the break after Fife, we've learnt so much from doing this tour and now need a bit of time to reflect, take that learning on and see how we can develop things. I love it all in this show business but a month off for August will be just fine. Although we have plans now for August that are exciting and another blog subject.

I was really pleased last week to not be stressed by not having a partner for the show. We spent a weekend with family and friends, I sang in the band at church and we made our way up here. By Tuesday evening everything was just fine. Amazing for me to realise more and more what's possible without being stressed out about it!

Oh yes - how did the Worthing show go? Good, but not brilliant - I spoke for too long and the back lights didn't work leaving a flatter atmosphere but.... well I think it was a 7 out of 10. So far I think we had one 10 / 10 evening in High Wycombe, the next will be Fife! Darlington was a 8.5 out of 10....

Love

n

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

NEW WEBSITE


I've been playing with my iWEB features on my Mac and have published a very simple site that includes some new photos from ICE TIMES and recent pictures of my son TIGER. You may want to have a look - click on site button adjacent.

Two shows this next Thursday and Friday. First time with two back to back, a different challenge. It will be interesting to feel how this works... plastic ice takes its toll on the blades and everyone needs a re-sharpening after each show. I'll need a new set of blades after this tour! I think I'll get some old style Pattern 88's - theyd have bolt on blades - I'll see if I can have some specially made for me for next time! We shall see...

Last Friday I got on the ice and found I was slipping sideways! It was awful I just couldn't skate. I tried to get emergency sharpening but - being in Malvern - this was impossible so I did the show sliding all over the place... I didn't do the routines with Charlotte because it would have been dangerous. I was able to demonstrate how not to skate very well!!! There's always an upside. I just felt such a plonker and really cross with myself. My blades had been part sharpened the show on Wednesday and I somehow thought they would be ok. This was not the case.

I've got Charlotte and Zoe and Stephen with me for the next two shows which will be excellent as they are a lot of fun and do a great job. Next week they can't skate though so - new cast to find again... Anybody out there in the Darlington and Fife area?

The slides and videos seem to have a mind of their own again for the shows. Need to get them nailed down - they seem to do their own thing at times. A bit disconcerting when presenting in  front of an audience.... keeps you on your toes though.

Love

N

Thursday, July 10, 2008

THE SHOW MUST GO ON...

Interesting day for Hayes Show yesterday. I feel I am being trained for something in this series of ICE TIMES what the something is I'm not sure yet. Anyway - we lost our technician for the show who sets up ice and lights, sound, set so we had no show at 10.15am. A bit of a pity as we had already cancelled this show once and to do so again would be awful. 

I'd met Ryan and Ricky at a charity bash for Leukemia last week and they had ice - I helped youngsters to skate on it. Wasn't sure if it would work but called them and they said they'd come along. So we had a show - at 11.15am..

But I needed to be the technical set up director as well as present the show and skate with Charlotte and Zoe and Stephen and re-brief them so - all in all a bit to do. And I needed my blades sharpened - thanks Clive in Slough for that. 

So theatre set up, Patch on lights - great job... fun to have the moving lights revamped. Becky on sound and Kerry helping get us set us... all coming together. Focus time for me. There's a lot of stuff to sort out. Ice went down....

And skated - couldn't hold edges! Sliding sideways, plastic ice surface was harder than Ice Magic surface and none of us could skate properly - and to do routines was impossible. Show set, everything ready - 7 pm. Do I pull the show because we can't skate routines? No pressure at all then! What would you have done.

Giles our Producer who was on his way I was a help - "We've come so far you've got to give people a show." So I considered..... everyone waiting, spoke to Christiane, skaters, theatre manager.... Choose Nicky... "OK we go ahead." I edited the show content in 10 minutes to remake the show!

So we did the show, and  the projector didn't work at the start (it had been working) so I had a false - warm up start - funny time. And start again. Two hours overall - a bit too long but we had a lot of fun and the audience could see we were giving it everything we could. It is always a surprise to me that different stories come up and associations in each show. even though I have a framework It is always different.

I tried to skate at the end! I looked like Bambi - I would have got applause for a fall I'm sure.

Great comments from audience at the end who really enjoyed it and Giles was right... "The Show Must Go On." This is Show Business..... and I love it.

Day off and to develop my theatre brief as Technical Manager(!) and to Malvern Theatre on  tomorrow. We'll see some skating there.

Have a great day.
Love

n

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Our 'Source' said

Ha ha - a friend showed me an article that said the DOI judges were asking for much more money - a doubling of their £60k to £120k per series that was in a Sunday paper.

How interesting to read something you have had no input into! It is a story, fiction...  based on something? A source said... who is that person called 'Source' I've never heard it as anyone's name.

How do you/I respond though? This is where you see the 'it is fabrication and we can't talk about individual contracts' disclaimer being handed out. 

What would my statement be? Perhaps....

"I am quite happy with the £1 million pounds per series I receive which added to the use of a Bentley Turbo for the year as a tax free perk makes my involvement in the show enjoyable." - now that's another story - or maybe I'm dreaming... Would be good though, maybe I should suggest this to the producers?

or...

"I don't do it for the money I do it for the joy it brings to the British public, for the inspiration it brings to young people who take up the sport and to contribute to fair decisions amongst the competitors."

Or maybe it's somewhere in between at which point you get to. 'I am not a liberty to disclose individual agreements." 

And I used to believe what I read in the papers! Duh....

Love

N

HAYES SHOW AT BECK THEATRE TODAY

This evening we are due to skate ICE TIMES at the Beck Theatre in Hayes. 

Looking forward to seeing you there if you've got tickets. 

Looking to replicate the success of the last one... lots to do today!

Charlotte, Zoe and Stephen will be along with me on stage.. we'll have fun...

LOVE

N

Monday, July 7, 2008

THiS IS LIFE...

I've been hectically busy and then last week - (I don't know if this ever happens to you?) - I hit a wall. I forget to schedule in the holiday after some major projects and tried to keep going. Both Christiane and I were completely cream crackered and productivity dropped off to a standstill! I need to get better at holidays... Back with engines firing on most cylinders today.

We're staying at a friends house whilst they're away as house sitters - great fun - but they have a television - and I want to watch it all the time! I haven't had a tv for seven years and it eats time and energy. Some wonderful entertainment - Vicar of Dibley and Wimbledon final and news on Channel four but such lightweight shows elsewhere and repeated ad infinitum.... It's odd to see The Bill after all this time and analyse scripting etc... I need a time limit on viewship so it only works for four hours a day maximium - must invent one of those....

Where we are staying the guy of the couple is a guitar expert as a player and collector. The upshot of this is that I have 13 beautiful guitars to play with. Danelectro 12 string is awesome as is Turner Jumbo and the Fender Telecastor - he has a Stratocastor somewhere I must find. Grist to the mill of songwriting and playing guitar that's for sure, it's an Aladdin's cave.

Talking about tv Anyone see the tennis yesterday? Fantastic. I  haven't seen the championships for a few years. I really liked BBC's coverage, very accessible and so well presented with a coue of quirky moments - being interviewed on a roof with wind blowing / boys walking out into rain at end of interview, the last one Sue picked up on.  Sue Barker was excellent as anchor with her mix of knowledge humour and professionalism and Andrew Castle's insights into the people of Wimbledon made it a more real occasion or me - great coverage. Boris was very strong and funny and Tim did well (they must take the monitor out of his eye line though it distracted him, - it distracts me when I do interviews too) Tim mentioned the phycologists always told him - Stay in the present - it's not the past or the future, it's the present you're playing in is how I interpreted that. Makes a lot of sense. 

Two shows this week for ICE TIMES - the first time I'll have done two shows almost back to back. Charlotte and Zoeanna and Stephen will be with me and we will have some fun.

I've also got a couple of contracts being negotiated - we'll see how things go. I'm excited about the possibilities I see in the next year and whether I'm in TV or producing songs somewhere lovely, or a mixture o both there's a lot to be done.  

Right now though to have some time out to develop my competence as a songwriter / performer and producer is the priority. I need to complete songs I've written and have an ongoing production capability for more. Big mountain to climb but one I love the challenge of. I've got some super material and it keeps on coming as I learn more about the craft of songwriting but I need to bring some to fruition. The big question for us is where to base ourselves in this time? The options develop daily....! 

I think too I'm a bit reticent about 'coming out' as a singer songwriter, I did a demo for my friends very quickly three years ago and it was - creative, bold and.... from a production and performance point of view well.... - pretty dreadful! So I want to get excellence before lifting the curtain on this again.... and for this I need time and to focus exclusively on this area. That's what I'm aiming or right now.

Little Tiger is a joy, he found himself surrounded at church yesterday by four lovely little girls - ha, ha he can't engage in meaningful conversation yet but they didn't seem to mind.

I was a bit stressed at times last week (you know when you're tired and have so much more to do and... well you just can't be bothered...) and then I stepped back and looked at my life. I have a beautiful wife I love to bits and a gorgeous son, I am 'being showman' by being on stage in my own show and people loved the last one in particular. I am pursuing an area of development in music that is a thrill for me and singing is a big stretch - I love that challenge. I have a super family, loads of great friends my health is good and I have the blessings of sight, hearing, motor skills etc... (I so take these for granted). And I have a firm faith in God  as a Christian. Not a PC thing to put on a blog (?)  but hey let's do politics and religion. Actually I don't like the word religion I prefer faith.

I was told you can't be in the entertainment business and talk about religion or politics. Well we shall see. I love to talk about both. Maybe there's a job in that somewhere, that would be fun - once I've done the music... don't get distracted.

I'm getting rid of a load of stuff from my life right now. Years of cutter, empty files that I've kept (why) and books I've read. Going 'light weight'... another big job but useful if you are about to cast off and travel to some - yet to be defined - song writing inspirational place in the world. 

Wish me luck.

Have a great day - love n




Friday, June 20, 2008

Great time in High Wycombe!

Well would you believe it ICE TIMES - the latest version - was brilliant fun last night in the Swan Theatre in High Wycombe. Charlotte, Zoeanna and Stephen did a great job and the show was a success! Well at least that's what many people in the audience told me afterwards.

My legs are starting to ache today. I skated miles as we brought together a theatre show in the afternoon, rehearsing and then performing in the evening all on plastic ice. Nothing like adrenalin and focus to keep you going.

So from having no one to skate with to three with me in the cast and then remaking the show to fit this dynamic as well as incorporating what I developed on the cruise has been my week! The result - well Richard said it was brilliant with great energy and fun - and he's a strong critic. For me, well I think it's the best show performance I've ever done - so I'm a bit gobsmacked by that and it leaves me today feeling a sense of accomplishment. Adversity and keeping going really does pay dividends then... Of course you are only as good as your last performance but I'm encouraged now to get better and build on this baby platform.

Richard - who drives me and assists with the show was a star as ever - he had a Guinness on the bar for when I finished - I think this should be written in to my rider, if I had a rider! We got back at 1 am. I couldn't sleep so 3 am before I went to bed. Too much of the sports drinks to keep me going perhaps. Tiger then proceeded to wake me what seemed like every ten minutes until 6am... Joys of being a dad!

Now the next shows to sort out. But my idea of having the show not dependent upon a single girl has legs. It's full on in the show developing routines and the unexpected in there. But I thrive on all that and it keeps things fresh! As you never know what will happen next...

Love

N

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

ICE DANCE PARTNER!!!


I've just been away on a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords. Great except Christiane and Tiger couldn't come - he's not old enough yet. Did two presentations and they went down a storm. Deja vu to last year when the projector screen starts swaying as we sail across the North Sea. Thankfully it wasn't too rough!

And I get back to find I am partner less for my show this Thursday - again! What is this...? I need to change my deodorant - obviously. But what to do for this Thursday? So far I've trained up three girls spent a fortune and loads of time travelling the country and here I stand without a partner again. Nightmare... so having to invent a way whereby I can perform and the show is not dependent upon one girl! That's what I'm doing today, working out how this can be andI think I'm making progress. What's coming is the idea of making up routines - on the day, before your very eyes... Along with the rest of the show running at the same time. Dancing on ice you get a week - how about 20 minutes? What can be achieved in that timeframe? And I'm getting more skating ideas from Vauderville times as I face this challenge - I think we'll see some more fun on this tour yet...... and hopefully less stress!

How was the Basingstoke show? Well just OK from my point of view - I think the audience enjoyed it but the technical stuff all worked (for the first time) and it kind of got in the way. I played to the slides and visuals rather than being able to give full out to the audience. So - from my perspective - a 6 out of 10. Could be better... I was also a little freaked by the size of the theatre - huge... felt like I needed more to fill it although once the lights are down its like anywhere and I've played big arenas so don't know what was going on there.

Wish me luck for Thursday - I have a sense that a stronger, funnier and more robust show will come out of this adversity... It's certainly character building! I have 48 hours to rehearsal time to find a partner - n0 problem at all then.

Love

N


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

BASINGSTOKE ICE TIMES TOMORROW

Well tomorrow there's another show and I'm working on more visuals and music this evening. I'm excited about building some of the photo content with music from the period it was taken in so the audience gets a feel of the time. 

I have a partner for tomorrow too which is super. Since last ICE TIMES Louise Owen and I decided not to keep our partnership going. Louise Walden by the way, my first partner, had only agreed to do the first four shows and then review things - she is now training in France so I needed someone else.

I've had a busy couple of weeks visiting some rinks and Kathy Green from Sheffield is skating in tomorrow's show. She only gets to skate on the plastic ice before the show in the afternoon - she'll be fine! Actually I'm sure we're going to have a have a blast.

I fell head over heels today, sore shoulders and hip tonight along with bruised elbow - I love the war wounds... 

Skated in Slough today - cost me £18 for the two of us for an hour and a half! Ha ha... made us work hard whilst we were on the ice though.

Wish us luck for a great show.

Love

N

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

NEW PARTNER NEEDED FOR WEEK TOMORROW....

Ha ha, Emma glad you enjoyed the - slightly different show in Croydon! Best night out you've had in ages with your friend - well we did laugh a lot, what a night!

OK HERE'S THE CHALLENGE
I need a new partner for my next ICE TIMES show a week on Thursday. No pressure at all then!

I need a petite top class ice dancer to come out of the woodwork and magically appear! Actually I am taking steps to find someone who could take on the role but there seem to be very few girls who will fill the bill right now.

I sit in how to make the shows brilliant for the audience and not be beholden to 'the girl'. Otherwise the shows cannot continue. It's an interesting conundrum.

I'm excited about how the show has developed and we're working on all technical and content aspects to try to ensure we have all our systems robust.

But 'the girl' now there's the challenge.... we shall see. Know anyone? Let me know. 

DATES CHANGED
We've changed some dates and I need to have the site updated! 
Sorry for people who were not able to see me in Hayes we'll be back July 9th


Love

n


Saturday, May 24, 2008

CAN IT POSSIBLY GET ANY WORSE!

ICE TIMES last Thursday! Goodness me. This show is having it's technical problems but Thursday was the biggest and most challenging so far. From 4 pm to 7.45 start and then beyond up to ten people trying to get the computer to link up to the projector and the sound to work. Sound link to computer broken, visuals work... and sound fails.

So - what do you do? Carry on... It was quite a night. I think being alongside Peter Kay must have provided some inspiration as the audience and I laughed our way through the scenario of 'Can it possibly get any worse'. Improvisation, seeing the same slide 25 times - (so exciting!?) and working with the pain of the moments had us laughing and almost crying from 7.45 to 10.30.
Sorry for the long interval without info everyone - I was remaking the second half!

Skated with Louise Owen and she coped well with the alterations...

I will be glad when the gremlins are out of this show technically. Even the guitar sound dissapeared between half time sound check and me playing - crazy.

However, it does show what can be done and the humour of the situation gave everyone more laughs than I had heard before so on a laughter / value basis this show - with technical meltdown - was the most successful. Maybe there is a lesson in that?

Have had to cancel some shows because of lack of support and reschedule others that had good audiences for a variety of reasons. My apologies for anyone who is inconvenienced about this, hope you can come to new dates.

In some ways, even with the enormous stress points the show is creating for me regarding technical issues ICE TIMES is developing in an exciting way. It is becoming more dynamic and more spontaneous - God knows where it will end up! But I hope there will be a lot more insight and laughter for the audiences that will build to and inform our next production...

Love

N

Friday, May 16, 2008

The end of Dancing On Ice Tour - Ice Times beckons

Dancing On Ice perk - sitting next to Peter Kay who was our guest judge in Manchester one evening. He created wonderful comedic chaos and I loved every minute of it. 

DOI Tour finishes tomorrow - 51 shows I think we've had, now that is some tour. It's been great but enough now, time to have a little space at home.

Two ICE TIMES shows next week and loads to do. New boots - they were white and I've dyed them! But they won't dry properly. New partner Louise Owen - skating together Monday. New Production Manager, new way of running show with my controlling visuals and probably sound too. So it's going to be a busy week.

Can't wait to get into the show again and looking forward to it  as well as being daunted by so much to do and leaning stuff with Louise - we'll make it fun though.

Written some lovely chords on my guitar this week - it's still got altered tuning and is providing a rich source of new music.

Tiger is doing brilliantly and starting to do long conversations that almost finish with 'Hello' or maybe he's just gurgling?

Love

N

Monday, May 5, 2008

Liverpool Dancing On Ice Tour - Wedding Anniversary

The city where I was born. I am a Scouser! Probably wise to not let people know I support Manchester United then partly owing to the fact I was dragged away to Bury in Lancashire at the age of 18 months and grew up around the Manchester area.

Show 5 of 6 in three days approaches. The shows are all going very well and audiences are having a great time. Everyone seems to be fine - I imagine all the skaters will be shattered by the end of tonight.

Day off tomorrow. In Manchester all week. Wonderful. One show days from Tuesday to Friday so I've time for work out, do my show prep and some skating plus a show int he evening. Busy but a fixed schedule.

Tiger and Christiane like our hotel. It's gorgeous, light and central, a week relaxing for them and Christiane meeting up with family members will be just fine.

Great life for us on our Wedding Anniversary - today. One year on and we have a lovely little boy and are on the road with a show tour and lovely people - wow - we are so blessed.

Have a great day.

Love

Nicky

Friday, April 25, 2008

The book is closed...

Every time I judge ice skating I have a note book. I write copious notes and then have a few choice phrases - or not - ready. Since Wednesday I've closed the book and now have to use my brain - ha.... Words still seem to come out but not quite sure what they will be!

And it's another day in the office for the Dancing On Ice Tour. Half way I think we are? Judges not quite agreeing on everything - as per usual. Show great fun - Carol from Loose Women was guest judge and did a super job tonight.

Skating at Slough from 9.15 am this morning for two and a half hours with Louise. We've been practising this week. A lot better this morning from me and we're starting to get things together for the next ICE TIMES show. I am a lot less like Bambi now (compared to Wednesday when I looked geriatric) but still having real challenges with my blade alignment. Can't hold forward insides - keep getting turned - i may have to buy a new set of boots and start the process again! Well that's what happens when you don't get new boots for about twenty years!!!! Workman blaming tools comes to mind but it's a pig to not feel the blades aligned correctly and I've moved them already. More incremental movement to come.

Went in to Christiane's work today with the family - she's on maternity leave right now. It was great to meet lots of her work colleagues and for Tiger to get passed around the ladies. he's fine with this.... He was quite taken with blonde hair of one of the girls at one point! 

We've taken to eating out of the hotel - it's crazy prices in there - even though its covered by the our. Anyway Man United are staying at our place tonight so it can't be that bad. I suppose they can afford the £10 extra gym fee and the £28 for breakfast as indeed we can but... well it's just not right!

Awaiting bus home. It's a glamorous life! And my driver Bisi - from the DOI TV series is here driving Linda home. Maybe they would swing past my place. I'll go and ask.

Love

N



Tuesday, April 22, 2008

DANCING ON ICE TOUR..... WEMBLEY...

Backstage picture of family Slater in Birmingham. Little one is getting used to the show and can sleep blissfully through the second half if he needs a rest.

A week in London at posh hotel. £59.50 for two breakfasts was our bill this morning! A different and crazy world. I had  thought £2.50 for a Mars bar  and £4.50 for a 99p bottle of beer in our Sheffield hotel minibar was hectic but this is a different league. Taxi to the airport sir? Certainly, that will be £150! Well that was what an American chap had been quoted I shared the lift with.

Trying to get blades set on new boots for a skate with Louise this week. Real pain, one seems to be off line and they seem to be set too far forward so my weight is weird and I'm skating like Bambi presently. The fact that they are sharpened to the nth degree for plastic ice doesn't help. So in early at Wembley to try to get that sorted today. I've also got a bit of berii berri which adds to the fun.

Last week was one year since I had my Oasys keyboard delivered to Birmingham. It was good to reflect on what a year has produced from that perspective. Right now she sits at home but guitar and microphone plus laptop are touring. Along with Christiane and Tiger - now that wasn't expected. The missing is the songs being on the web and produced. Time passes and we've done a lot but I think I need time out to get the music production in gear.

However... I'm excited about a song that came about over the last two weeks with my set up.  

Firstly I had a wrongly tuned guitar and developed some chords around this, then some words came, prompted by Tiger holding my hand in his carrying sling whilst we walked to the shops. Thirdly I've got Logic now and it's easier in the new version and with my big laptop screen I can run the music and develop lyrics against it. Finally I've upped my guitar game - even have a hammer action in the song - a first for me, thank you Iain for the coaching oh yes and Christiane for a lie in the song.

 Karen said - sounds like proper music... amazing. It's called Legacy. Jason asked me what was the top line? I didn't know what that was - I have it now - it's the words - duhh!

Did the show DVD on Sunday. I wasn't that happy with me in it, one of those times when things stick in your head about what you should have done. All the skaters did extremely well though and the DOI show rocks. The dvd will be spectacular.

Love

Nicky



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

DOI TOUR - BIRMINGHAM

Love it here. Great hotel, 5 minutes walk to arena, centre of town, people very pleasant and we're here for a week. Washing needs doing after two weeks on the road!  The practicalities of life. 

Tiger is doing brilliantly and is being looked after by various of the girls and Robin at various times. There's a pool area in the hotel where I think he should have his first swim. Well 8 weeks old it's time.

Show is changing with some of the skating couples really getting to grips with their routines so for us judges there's different results coming up. I've met people who are coming to the show 14 times!!! Goodness... and they will always see something new.

I got the judges dance right tonight - after 14 shows I've got it. Now to work on my style!

Love 

Nicky


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Nottingham Dancing on ice

A good day. The show went very well and the judging panel was rocking along. I did a couple of interviews for BBC Radio Nottingham this afternoon for Jo and Sarah. Jo's was funny she has read this blog - HELLO JO! - and we had a laugh about the fact I don't have a TV! So now people in Nottingham will know, but hey, it's not a crime!

I thought I had a rubbish day yesterday. I was all over the place judging and speaking. Might be the result of pretty bad conjunctivitis and a trip from Brighton. It took Robin four hours and seven for us. Have to factor in feed stops for Tiger!

Anyway better today and on the ice with new boots. Blades set wrong so need to amend their positioning but good to be back on ice.

To Newcastle tomorrow - the crew and cast have gone in the tour bus. I'm here coming down after the show and enjoying a night in our hotel. Busy time for the crew with an overnight ride and a get in for a show tomorrow evening.

If you haven't got a ticket for Dancing on ice yet do get one. It's a great show and competition and the standard of skating from the celebs and pro skaters is high. Chris and Jayne aren't that bad either!

Goodnight. Now where's the makep remover?

Love N

Monday, April 7, 2008

50th Birthday




Wow I was fifty yesterday on the tour. Andy Peters kindly wished me Happy 50th just before we started show 5 last night! Great fun, and Ian - one of our superb production team was 50 too. Backstage Christiane and Tiger sat watching. What a great way to spend a 50th, the biggest tour in the country, part of the DOI family and married to a wonderful woman with a lovely 7 week old son - Thank you God I am very blessed......

And thank you Tony for arranging a couple of pictures from the show. 


Friday, March 21, 2008

RINKSIDE - FRIDAY


Me and Chris rinkside at World Figure Skating Championships here in Gothenburg. Friday is Short Programe for Men - we're on in an hour and ten the final of the Ice Dance tonight with the Free Dance which will be exciting.

I'm loving being here at World', first time for ages and the perspective on the level of skating you get from being rinkside is brilliant. Ladies final was full of drama last night and Chris called it superbly.

Having fun with Chris and we are getting loads fo feedback into our messageboard from all over the world.

Walked through the snow to get here! Didn't expect that in March. 

Enjoy the viewing on Eurosport today.

Love

n

Thursday, March 20, 2008

GOTHENBURG WORLD'S THURSDAY!

Full on here at the rink side commentating for Eurosport, my we do do the hours! It's great to be able to do all the Original Dance today and half the ladies but I will be cream crackered by the end of it. A normal work day would be eight hours I hear - not for us.

But, well, it's not really a job is it, sitting and talking about ice skating at a World Championships? It's great fun but my body misses working out, sitting for eight hours a day and then eating late on is not great for conditioning.

Having fun with people emailing into our message box and reading them out on air - we've had comments from all over from Iceland to Turkey! Eurosport has quite a reach.

Apparently Hello pictures are great, although the text has some inaccuracy but not to much I'm told. Surprised they used some of my pictures too from the past. Can never tell how a story will be presented.

Enjoy the skating if you get a chance to watch it today...

Love
n


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

EUROSPORT WORLD'S - MAIL US

Sat rinkside in Gothenburg getting messages on Eurosport coverage.

Here's the address - mail your comments on coverage via the forum

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/winter-sports/

Love

n

HELLO HELLO!

Apparently we have a four page spread in Hello today! But I am in Gothenburg and cannot see it! 

Snow, sunshine, compulsory dances

Day 1 Gothenburg - Compulsories this afternoon, I love this. Same steps same music the only time you get a side by side evaluation of edge strength and quality and the alignment of the couples. 

Pairs short tonight.

It's freezing, sunny and snowed lots the last few days! Before that it was spring.

n

Monday, March 17, 2008

HELLO - GOTHENBURG TODAY FOR WORLD'S

IN HELLO THIS WEEK! See baby pictures - rock n roll.

Change gear from Dancing On Ice. A week away from Christiane and Tiger, off to commentate on World Figure Skating Championships with Chris (Howarth) for Eurosport today.

Watch and listen on Eurosport this week and please do send us emails with your comments - we love all that.

No limousine today (enjoyed having my drivers for Dancing On Ice - I think I should have one every day!) so it's the bus to Hammersmith and tube to Terminal 4 at Heathrow.

Diner with Chris in Gothenburg this evening and work starts tomorrow. I'm excited about being at World's I'll meet old friends and make new ones and see live the World's best skaters. For many years I've only done Europeans for Eurosport so this is brilliant. I'm a lucky boy to have a job - and life - like this.

Have a great day.

Love

n

6.0 - DANCING ON ICE TV - WHAT A SERIES


What a final, the best one yet. What a series! The best ratings, the most controversy, the furthest any celebrities have ever come. Bring on the tour it will be superb.

We judges gave two clean sweeps of 6.0's for Suzanne Shaw who skated with Matt Evers. Brilliant partnership they make and the highest marks by far we've seen on DOI.

All the contestants came back and did a joint routine which added to the fun and two routines from Chris and Jayne closed off a brilliant show.

I stood in the studio at the end of the show and enjoyed the space. I love places where an audience has been entertained there is a lovely atmosphere in the air. It has been a fun and exhilarating experience for me personally being a part of the team. 

Well done Suzanne and Matt, well done Chris and Frankie - what a battle that will be ongoing on the tour between them. What a tour it will be.

After show party was fun, blooper video a hoot had a dance with Linda - I think I'll teach her some salsa.

I stood and enjoyed the atmosphere in the studio afterwards, may be last time to be there - I hope to be on the series again but I always hold these things lightly - we shall see...

So off to Gothenburg for World Championships today for Eurosport - brilliant, a week of fun to come.

Love

N

Saturday, March 15, 2008

TUNBRIDGE AND PREVIOUS ICE TIMES SHOW COMMENTS...

Stephanie said 

I know quite a few people who have gone to your show and every single one of them have really enjoyed it and it is very much a unique show that I have not heard of.........! :P

Mar 14, 2008 8:12:00 PM


Hi Nicky 
I loved your performance on Monday night at tunbridge wells. I think you are great and i think your little boy is so cute. 
I just wanted to say you have given me so much inspiration - You have made me realize that i do want to do ice skating and i have actually got in touch with my nearest ice skating centre. I would love to be able to dance with you but know that, that will probably never happen. 
Anyway must go. Thanks again - Mel 

Mar 12, 2008 8:50:00 PM


ali said...

Just got in after the show in Tunbridge Wells which was thoroughly entertaining and emmensely enjoyable. Your son is so cute too!

Good luck with the rest of the tour.

Mar 10, 2008 11:07:00 PM

Friday, March 14, 2008

EVERYBODY'S TALKING AT ME....

I've reviewed two critiques, one verbal from audience members on our Tunbridge show last Monday and one written after the Welwyn (3rd) show. I also had Jason Gardiner calling me eratic at a Dancing on Ice Press Conference at ITV yesterday!

My my - Everybody's talking at me.. goes the title to the song.

The written critique was in the iSkate magazine that is circulated to the skating community in the UK. This is probably not the best way to encourage people to buy tickets! We had invited them along, we would have preferred a really positive review! 

Interesting to read something like this, particularly when you're absolutely cream crackered from lack of sleep as a new dad... How to respond? Ignore it - fight or flight? Be embarassed because of the circulation? What is the appropriate response? Possibly not to write a blog! 

I always hear the negatives louder than positives, this is a normal human response apparently. 

Firstly - the bottom line is there are 'some truths' in the critique. I have been having a heck of a time trying to get: the visuals, my free form way of working, the overall content nailed and the requirements of the technical lighting and sound team to all link up in ICE TIMES.

Creating a two hour show that has part story, part demonstration with ice dance routines and a trip through time with stand up, new stories each week and a different audience to work with at each venue is a developing journey for me.  Every show people offer me more information, I learn more and the show can evolve and become deeper and more fun. The tension here being that the technical team want a set show that is predictable so that they are clear on the many cue points. How to square the circle? How to have it be 'my show' and grow rather than it be me trying to work for the technical, sound and lighting team? How to give the freedom I need to improvise, power ahead and control what is happening in a way that works for me and the rest of the team? How to do this in a way that still delivers a great show at great value? This is the challenge I grapple with right now.

Secondly in this critique there are issues of inaccuracy, I'm no lawyer but there may also be issues of defamation. When comment steps past a personal evaluation from a writer and speaks of what I think and would agree with, without speaking to me directly, then it is misleading to readers as it is conjecture. Seems like it was suggested I swore when off stage, what type of a review is this? What type of publication to say such a thing? How can you be sure it was me? It wasn't actually yet my name is damaged by these comments.  Perhaps the lawyers should have a closer at the text and how it was presented. We shall see. Anyway...

Finally, what is the point?.......The point past one article or group of critiques?  The applause and the barbs, how to deal with them?

I think, for me as I reflect, the point is not to be upset by critique but to listen in light of the overall goal I seek to achieve. We all want to hear the applause, and there is that, and not the boos, unless you are the pantomine baddy. So what is the goal I seek?

(My son has just delivered a rather loud bottom burp whilst feeding.... puts things into perspective! You have to laugh, he has great timing. He's grown 10 ounces in a week - good boy!)

My goal then is in my company mission statement: To create and deliver brilliant, profitable entertainment. This is the service I seek to deliver and I focus on, it is the business I seek to grow with my lovely Christiane, it is a major part of my background: (1) Brilliant in that the audience love the experience and receive tremendous value for money in entertainment I create and deliver and (2) Profitable because if we don't make income we cannot pay the team, suppliers and ourselves and grow this and other projects.

The response to critique then? What would you do if someone had a go at you? Kick or hide? What would your response to a Jasonite moment be?

My response was already in hand before any written critique was seen and I think is correct. ICE TIMES is growing to a place where I control the flow and pacing of audio and visuals in a way that enables me to develop and easily add and fine tune the content. The grounding of this means I will have freedom within the framework I have created, a framework people have said is fascinating, informative, funny and beautiful. 

I think this will be pushing technology in a new way for ice and I sense it could enable ICE TIMES to always be a little different, always fresh and always growing. It may also enable future shows to sparkle even more!

And so back to work to deliver - Unique Skated Storytelling.... Oh yes and to change a nappy!

Ha ha and I have to remember that we have had brilliant shows on the tour so far and that we're creating something fun and unique here - a least that's what we've been told by 'some' of the people that attend...

Love

N



Monday, March 10, 2008

HURRICANE OUTSIDE MY WINDOW

There's a hurricane outside my window
On the seafront in Brighton this morning
It's 5.29 my eyes are stinging 
I'm so tired I'm past yawning
There's a lady and a baby beside me
They are fast asleep and I stand guard
I hope the windows hold against the gales
Windswept balcony furniture jars

There's a huricane outside my window
I'd like to sleep, I've a show tonight
But I'm on the bow of a ship facing this storm
My own and neighbour's windows alight
I'll be glad when I see the next dawn
And the white tops will settle to calm
No more chairs being blown around balcony
No more wondering if wind will do harm
And I think I can feel the building rock 
Still wife and baby sleep quietly beside
Another coffee soon and another magazine for me
As I blog another yarn...


Friday, March 7, 2008

THANK YOU FOR EMAILS.....

My beautiful wife has just shown me that there are comments on this blog. 

Ha ha I did not notice some of you had: 
- said hello, 
- given ideas for names, 
- offered congratulations 
and been touched by some things I've written.

So a huge THANK YOU for taking the time to write in. As I get to grips with this blogging thing I might even learn how to 'answer'! It's great to get comments:

Name for TIGER? - getting there - no that's not the name that's the process.

Just watched 'Walk the Line' Johnny Cash's story sat with C and little one - he was asleep. We first watched this film when we were courting! Ha ha and I too am being a second chance as he was.

About skating in Dancing on Ice? Well I think the whole crew should do a number with Holly and Phillip as well. Now that would be fun....

I think a duet with Holly and Phillip would be very special and maybe Andy Peters could do a turn on the tour as he's presenting as we go round!

You can, of course, see me ice dance with Louise on Monday in Tunbridge.... we've got 220 tickets sold so far - brilliant - aiming to break the 300 barrier for the first time. That would be a super achievement and a larger crowd gives a more exciting atmosphere.... On the way to my 500 a show audience goal.

I was thinking Christopher Dean aims for 20,000 seats sold a day on the tour, me... ha ha I'm going for a more modest turnout!

Oh... got to go - nappy duty calls.... I am the nappy changing king!

Love

N

ICE TIMES,TUNBRIDGE WELLS MONDAY - NEW POSTER



ICE TIMES fourth show - no doubt a different version to the other three as each one seems to develop - is on Monday at the Ambassador Theatre in Tunbridge Wells at 7.30pm..

We've designed a new poster for the tour, but we can't print it out because we already have posters. Trouble is the ones we have don't really protray the show.

So... if you have any contacts in the Tunbridge Wells area perhaps you'd point them to this blog and my website so they can come along to the show and let others know. I'm convinced it's a networking thing and we've had a lot of overall airtime and Woman's Own etc.. Just need it to translate to more bums on seats...

Louise's last show on Monday then I need another girl. The search is on....

Hope you like the poster. See the website too if you come here first it's starting to get in better shape and has more current pictures up.

I love the web as a communication tool.

I get my laptop back from Cancom today - they had to take it back and fit a slower processor as they had installed one that was faster and that invalidated the warranty - their mistake, I loose my machine for a couple of days! Not great customer service.... but anyway I'll have it back and continue show work and new site design - exciting.

Tiger is quiet alongside me, eyes open nearly two weeks old. I think he should have his skating debut at 15 days old at Tunbridge on Monday - what do you think?

Love

Nicky

Thursday, March 6, 2008

HELLO!



Had a great day yesterday with Sarah, Tony, Gemma, Alice and Boo for Hello Magazine shoot.

Never did get time to clean the windows so hope they don't show up on thye pictures too much! We did have a laugh and little one - at eleven days old - was a superstar for the camera - go Tiger!

Christiane had a ball being dressed and made up and she looked a million dollars. Looks like the article could be published in next week's mag which would tie in with 'Finals Week' at Dancing On Ice.

Life has been so hectic recently that I wonder if I should have had a cleaner in before the guys came? Anyway - too late now and had done a decent job of the floors... but the windows!!!

I was inspired by seeing Gemma jumping on the beach and Tony taking a silhouette shot of her against the pier as the sun was setting. So I asked if I could have a go. We got a great 'jump' shot as I launched myself skywards and fell over on landing. I'll post it when it comes through. It's definitely a 'Come to Brighton' shot for the tourist board and will a great keepsake for our time in Brighton if / when we move on to somewhere else in the world.

Rock n Roll

Love

N

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

MEDIA FRENZY!


Ha ha well hardly but...

Mirror two pager last week - they did me with content - hey ho...

Woman's Own two page spread out today - great pictures... well done Fiona for words.

Daily Mail two pager in a week or so to come.... see Femail for that - had a wonderful business lunch today to gear up for this. I concluded, after a glass of champagne and a little wine and great conversation that I need to be in an alpine resort with some ski-ing and skating to get me in the mood for the creative writing required. After all being in the right frame of mind is crucial for the insights to flow and a week away ski-ing would help me in this regard. Not sure this will be acceptable but we'll see if the receipts are covered when... if I go...?

Hello feature - the guys are coming tomorrow. I will need matchsticks to keep my eyes open and I'll need to clean the windows too... the glamour of it all! Think I'll have the team to help clean the windows, probably not a usual part of their job description. Don't know if little ine will stop feeding long enough to allow for a picture but we can live in hope.

Love

n

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A birthday

It may be Mother's Day in the UK but it also the birthday of a little boy close to my heart. Our son is one week old at 2.30pm today.

A man I know sent me an e mail story about a little boy who had a handicap and who was allowed by other little boys to lay in a baseball game, he ended up, with the help of everyone winning the game for his team, he died the Christmas after. Tears flow again as I remember the story.

I worked for a charity that supported young people with disabilities as well as the elderly for six years of my life. Some of that time was super, some very challenging. Today I realise what a privilege that was for me and how, with a son who appears to have all his faculties, I want to help those less fortunate than me again. My lovely Christiane reminds me that I am doing that in the choir I'm in as we sing for charity...

So from a blessed dad who has a new son to all those dad's out there who are as proud as me and have a son or daughter who has a disability all my love to you today. We are all so special and, the story I read suggested that each person who has a disability provokes love around them and an outpouring of the human spirit - amen to that.

And Mother's Day - I bought three cards - my wife, her mum, and my mum. 

Have a great day.

Love

n

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Quiet...




Day three of a little boys life. A new daddy who has actually had some sleep. 

A house full of flowers and love. 

Standing guard as baby and mum sleep; what could be better?

And Robin (Cousins) was not correct - he said 'I would never hear quiet again.' It sounds golden right now.... Thanks for the card by the way Robin.

Have a great day wherever you are.

Love
N

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

THIS BABY STUFF IS EASY!

Ha ha they said it would change my life, they said it was tiring. What do they know?

I managed to sleep nearly three hours last night in between bionic nappy changing (contents are bionic!) and having him sleep on my chest. Easy Peasey,... Bring on the Nurofen.

TV interviews this week? My eyes may be shut. Dancing on Ice next Sunday? May need something to keep me awake.

Day 2 of a young life... wow.

Love

n

PS Apparently little one has made the news according to Neil in Australia. I've been too busy to see!

Monday, February 25, 2008

WETTING BABIES HEAD...



Apparently it's a tradition to have a drink to 'Wet the baby's head. So who am I to disagree with that especially after Phillip and Holly gave us a bottle of Bollinger from the Dancing on Ice team at the studio yesterday. So Christiane's mum Margaret myself and Christiane have wet that baby's head. Christiane had a sip or two and that may have contributed to the fact that little one was hic upping and making loud crying noises for a while this evening. Thankfully some respite for a few moments. And so insomnia begins...

My son is one and a half days old. And he is gorgeous...

Love

N

THE PICK UP....



No these two guys are not getting married the one on the right is my driver for Dancing on Ice BISI. He's Nigerian and has his eight child on the way, he's been busy! Iain is there to help whisk me back to the studio if we can make it in time for the show. The guys sat outside waiting for me and as I came out after the birth they presented me with these flowers for Christiane and me from the DOI Team - lovely gesture. They had put them on the bonnet of Bisi's Mercedes but I had to get them to pose together. What a handsome couple they make!!!

We left at 4.10 pm got to the studio at 6 pm and were on air at 6.25 pm. Brilliant timing, perhaps I could leave at 4 pm each week for the show? Perhaps not.... A trafic jam on the M25 got Iain's pulse faster but Bisi made it in time.

DOI show was eventful - lovely to have little ones arrival announced on national tv - saves ending cards out. Wish I'd given a plug for home births and the mid wives though. I also proposed Tiger as little ones name. Mixed reaction from great to - you must be kidding! Still negotiating with Christiane on this.

I was so pleased to see Suzanne and Matt skate their socks off - nearly, or so nearly gave a 6.0..... Mind you in the mood I was in and with three hours sleep in the previous 24 I was about to give everyone a 6!

Audience, technical crew and everyone gave me congratulations - how amazing the birth of a little one can be for releasing some love in the world...

DANCING ON ICE YESTERDAY..... THE SET UP...



Nicky Slater’s baby dash!
Published: Sunday, 24 February 2008, 1:55PM
Show bosses panic as judge Nicky Slater's wife goes into labour ahead of tonight’s live show.

Well this was the DOI set up for Sunday's show on the DOI website... Hee he we had no idea if I would be able to make it...


This series has been a tumultuous one for our Ice Panel, with rows, ultimatums and the odd poem popping up in each breathtaking live ice-travaganza.

And this week there is a new source of excitement among our judges, as Nicky Slater rushes from rehearsals on the day of the live show to be with his wife Christianne (whom he married last May), who has just gone into labour with their first child!

But whilst our thoughts and best wishes are with Nicky as he soars down to Brighton for the birth of his baby, there is the small problem of a certain live show beaming out across the nation tonight.

And a gaping great hole in that Ice Panel…

But the show must go on!

So will five judges become four for the week seven ice spectacle?

And what on earth would we do if there was a tie break in the skate-off?

Tune in tonight at 6.25pm and 8.30pm to find out…

WHAT A DAY!

12am to 2.30pm to help Christiane have our little boy.

1 hour 30 mins to say hello to little boy and then to Dancing on ice with Bisi driving and Iain.

Arrive six pm 25 minutes for prep for national tv show and be part of that live!

Sent out announcement of birth to 10 million viewers - saves on cards....

Very nearly gave Suzanne a six! She was superb....

Home with little one and wife wondering at the gift of life.

How blessed I am.

Thank you every one for the congratulations and to capital radio for the poll to find a name, or validate 'TIGER' - I like Tiger as a name.

Love

n

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A LITTLE BOY....

Wow. At 2.30pm GMT Christiane gave birth to a baby boy. No drugs or anything for me or Christiane.

Chloe our midwife was brilliant along with Polly and Jenny - another midwife who was here too. Awesome.

Outside Iian and Bisi (my driver) - from Dancing On Ice. have to leave by 4.15 to reach the show.

Name? - in negotiation. I'm pushing for Tiger John Edward Slater... Christiane is not sure yet.

Love

Daddy Slater - rock n roll

Having a baby!!!

In process... Things are hotting up!

Pick up for Dancing on Ice at 11 am not on then. I might miss the show tonight!

This whole birth process is amazing. I'm tired already, and I'm not doing anything...

n

Baby coming!

Good morning - it's 6.01 and Christiane is having contractions every four minutes - last one, one minute ago was 1 minute 15 seconds. Little one - working title 'Tiger' Slater is on the move.

Hospital is short staffed, (have I heard that before?) so home delivery may be in jeopody as only two midwives covering Sussex Hospital and our area. But newly qualified (midwife) Polly, our friend from church, is on her way from London so we'll see what she says when she gets here.

Amazing to be in the process of birth! Well not me actually I'm just the morale support.... Better put computer away another contraction coming...

Love

n

Friday, February 22, 2008

ON THE TELE & IN THE PAPERS...

Sat with Andrew and Kate on GMTV sofa this morning, driver took me up and down from Brighton to London. For some reason Kate didn't think I should be sure about baby arriving tomorrow morning? Had a good chat about Dancing on Ice and Ice Times and baby.

Left at 5.45am back 11. Worked in the car - felt like one of those exec type people being chaufered around.

On Alan Titchmarsh this afternoon at 4.45pm. Which will be great fun.

In Daily Mirror tomorrow with Karen (my former skating partner and co-judge on DOI).

As long as they include weblinks that will be fine. Takes loads of time but great to be meeting people in the business.

Baby is due tomorrow... Oh my. Managing stress levels and the unknown...

Have a great day

n

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

ALAN TITCHMARSH SHOW



I'm on the Alan Titchmarsh show on Friday at 4.45pm. Had a great day yesterday meeting Alan, the producers and execs and Paul Young. Lovely man.

And there was Andy Collins - our warm up supremo for Dancing On Ice - great to be around friends...

Alan was just as I expected and the team were welcoming and enthusiastic.

Monday, February 18, 2008

DANCING ON ICE - WEEK 6 - THE FIGHT OFF!


What a quiet show last night!... I am kidding of course. Since the seating arrangement has been changed I found myself in a pincer movement between Karen and Jason. You may say I brought it on myself but things certainly got lively for a few moments on the judging panel. I even got earache from my driver Bisi on the way home... what's a man to do? Plus a 'Nasty Nick' note (with a loving welcome back inside) sat on the oven hob from Christiane when I returned home.

It's week six and the competition is starting to be just that, a competition, it makes for a different dynamic.

But.... I am more pre-occupied with our baby which is due next Saturday!

I've told our show producer Maria at Dancing on Ice to have a stand in if I'm needed at the birth. So if you think you could judge better than me why not let ITV know you're available to be my stand in next week if I need one!

See ITV Website for all the lowdown. Here's the link.... You'll need to cut and paste it.

http://www.itv.com/Entertainment/reality/dancingonice/Latestnews/default.html

Love

N

Saturday, February 16, 2008

THE MORNING AFTER THE NIGHT BEFORE...


A day off. Luxury. Sun shining and off to the Lookout for a coffee on the beach front here in Brighton. One week today to baby due date.

So many stories from the show last night and the week before but a sense of satisfaction that the team achieved what it set out to do - to deliver brilliant entertainment. Our audience loved the result of all our efforts and we had 194 seats sold. We all deserve a day off.

I was nearly squashed by the ice floor before the show. I stood in the van about to help unload and Jamie undid the ties that bind the plastic sheeting (it weighs about a ton). Unfortunately the van was parked on a bit of a slope and the sheeting, that was stood on its end fell towards me and pinned me to the van side. Fortunately my knees took some of the strain but it took Richard and Jamie to eventually lit it back to vertical. Half way through unloading our ice repeated it's trick and pinned me down again. The guys had to come and lift it off me again. It's heavy! Lucky nothing got broken or damaged, on me not the ice floor.

I reflect on a week of intense work on show development and content, and then the computer breaking down and no visuals being used as a result. the sound was added in though and that really worked. I've sourced music that fits to the eras I'm speaking of and can skate to those tracks. This is a rich pallete and I loved emphasising the stories with the music.

My guitar playing section with Louise was must stronger, it's wonderful to play for someone to skate to and improvise to my music. A gift.

I feel that I learnt another life lesson. That, no matter what happens the hard work and thought of preparation I put into something pays off. We had a pretty dire situation where people were held out of a theatre for 30 minutes after the 8 pm start time. One person asked for their money back. Technical stuff was not working, ice going down was very late, practise time 15 minutes after a week apart. Do you cancel the show or go ahead with no visuals...?

We went ahead and...

We (I) discovered a new way of presenting the performance that reached peoples hearts, provoked loads of laughter and had much more skating, more repartee, more stories more fun and energy, more of me relating to Richard as props man, Jamie on sound and Louise. The stories came more alive...

Funny how moments of adversity can build something better if we (I) just keep going....

Off for a coffee on the beach on my day off - first one in ages.. yay. Have a great day.


Love

n

OH MY GOODNESS.... ICE TIMES IN HORSHAM

It's 1.07 am we've just got home. What a day.

I worked with Ben and Jamie on the show from 11 to 3.30 we then had ages getting all lights and ice in and it was 7.30 when ice was down and it needed cleaning and spraying before the show so hardly any rehearsal.

Then my laptop fell over repeatedly and all the assets I'd worked on and the guys had set up could not be seen on our projector! Show start was for 8 pm and we held people back until 8.30 and had to choose how to proceed. So, after the most intense week of prep on visuals and another days work of the team plus printed out cue sheets we decided to go ahead with NO VISUALS! Ha... I was amazed at how calm I was.... it's good training for something.....

The show was great fun. I ache from the amount of skating I did, my throat was dry from he amount of talking I did, the new music cues worked a treat and we had our third standing ovation. Wow...

Louise was lovely but is beating herself up because she didn't feel on top form. She was skating early morning on real ice and drove all the way down plus had 15 minutes rehearsal... not the ideal for her. But she's great to work with and she had so many curve balls thrown at her tonight her head should have been spinning.

It's a funny thing but for me the lack of visuals behind me meant I had to present out and forward, so I added loads more skating moments. The result was a buzz at half time and a fun ending.

What a privilege to be able to be on stage and performing in this way. I have to pinch myself sometimes.

Oh yes and one of the audience pinched Millbrook and he was sat watching on her knee -it was funny (Milbroook is our mascot). They waited for an hour at the stage door to see me afterwards in the freezing cold - after returning Millbrook.

Richard drove us there and back and helped lay the ice and was my props man tonight, he's a star - he also keeps me fed during the day.

I was cleaning the ice at 8.15 singing about the joys of showbusiness. It's the glamour darling.

A Pimms and the sleep. What an amazing day. Lie in tomorrow / today.

Next production = baby next week after Dancing on ice of course.

Love

N

Friday, February 15, 2008

COUNTDOWN TO SHOW 3 - BABY TALK - WORLD's

08.07 GMT. Time... I seem to be using every waking minute on preparing for tonights show.

1.07am I went to bed after working flat out this week to create the show assets for tonight's performance. At issue is the leadership and co-ordination of the team working on the show, Louise, Ben, Jamie, Stage manager, Richard and for myself to remember the script with cues over the two hour show,

I'm learning to write a show. In fact, I AM writing a show in a format that will work for techies and artists, wow, I love it.

So far - 36 scenes, 25 music cues, over 100 images, lighting cues, costume changes and 10 skating routine areas all knitted together to create theatrical magic and brilliant entertainment.

Right now I'm concerned about the software wobbling and falling over during the presentation so creating separate video files of ever major transition may be necessary! But don't know if there is enough time..... a challenge.

The show has grown to embed music and dates as we travel over time, I excited about it's potential to entertain and inspire and i sense a growing of the baby if we can keep selling tickets and people support us.

We got 'FANTASTIC' stills through from last week's show. the best show pictures i've ever seen of my skating and the set, Louise and Millbrook look wonderful. It looks like the set of Chicago at some points and the ice show it is at others - these will be up shortly. Brilliant assets to represent what we are doing.

So, how to create the slide cues for tonight and video? shower to think and then into it. Meeting at 11 am to go through everything. I need more time....

BABY TALK

Christiane has last day at work today - 8 days before baby due.... We are getting a delivery of logs next Thursday so he has been told to wait until saturday due date so I have time to make environment lovely. Actually asked for first rumblings at 8.30 am and pop out at 12.30 so I'll be able to go and watch the football in the afternoon. We shall see if he's been listening. Christiane thinks I might not be interested in the football if he comes out then. I think she may be right...


WORLD FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Hurrah I'm going for Eurosport to Gothenburg. Brilliant. Will be gerat to see old friends - I haven't been to World's for so many years. Fantastic...

Have a great day and say a prayer for my technical stuff please and all the show bits and bobs.... if it works it will be a miracle of teamwork, intuition, preparation and luck! `And my small idea of a one man show! Hardly, this is turning into an epic - Rock N Roll.....

Love

n

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

SCREENPLAY WRITING & 200 SEATS...

I have 197 slides, 3 videos, 20 music pieces and a challenge of how to get all this information in an order whereby the team can work everything to accurate cues by Friday evening. I'm used to free form working when I present so this structuring is proving a stretch. But... well I think it's going to be great. I'm just having o do a load of wok 24/7 to try to get it sorted. It's the admin but of creativity and it takes me longer.

Article for Women's Own next week agreed, interesting angle on the women in my life, as you might expect. Think it will raise a chuckle or two - should be in next week if I can get photos scanned by then.

Horsham Friday for ICE TIMES - we have nearly 200 seats sold - yippee. Brilliant... just have to get everything ready by then.

Off to World Championships in Gothenberg for first time in years - will be fantastic to cover it and meet up with old friends again.

so busy... and knackered...

Good night.

N

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

OXYTOCIN - the love drug

Oxytocin is very important to child birth I was told last night. It is (now I think I remember this correctly) the drug created when making love! So there you have it. Apparently when you feel secure, warm and loved up Oxytocin is having a field day. Watch out though if you get frightened adrenalin will turn it off. So when the lady feels secure and warm and loved she finds oxytocin is produced and, hey presto, this helps the baby to get its skates on (not literally) and get into action... Informative this is - or perhaps - too much information!

Polly, our midwife friend was explaining all this last night as we looked at what having a baby entails. God is clever in how he made us - it's incredible - but I do sometimes think it's a little bit of too much information for the guy and I'd like the traditional birth of turning up when it's over.... only partly kidding. I think I'll be fine though, I'm planning to take everything, pan... something or other (that has you flying around the airport), gas and air, Guinness and anything else on offer. I think that should see me through.

Compared to show production baby production is a whole other level and there's 11 days to go. My job, because the man needs a job apparently, is the externals, the lighting, the ambience, the seeing my lovely Christiane is as comfortable as possible. This support could be over days! What happens if I get distracted? What happens if Manchester United are playing as they need my support right now. No doubt a gentle and subtle reminder from Christiane will bring my focus back...

ICE TIMES
I'm laying out the show ICE TIMES in Omnigraffle, enabling an overall view of it with different music and cues. It is becoming richer and I know it more, just have to be sure the guys working on it can follow what is required. Adding music clips to bring to mind specific dates along the Ice Times timeline - every cue adds another potential error point so nailing the detail is going to be key or my stress level will explode again...

Brighton is beautiful, sea is calm and it feels like the start of summer.

Enjoy your day.

Love

n

Monday, February 11, 2008

DANCING ON ICE 3 AND STAGE PLAY WRITING...

Blimey i was tired at Dancing on ice and pretty hopeless on my comments last night. Part of it might be that I'm waiting for the call from Christiane but it's no excuse. For the first week I was not comfortable. C says I need a day off - i haven't had one for ages, by next week's show I've got to stop for a while getting a bit jaded....

Nearly added some purple gloves to my shiny black outfit and purple tie I wore on TV last night - would have created a stir! Ha - either I didn't have the bottle or I'm sensible.... not sure? I think I would have been like the joker....

Re-writing ICE TIMES so that I can script in cues for sound and light operators. A real brain draining experience as I work so much by intuition and overall framing of what I speak of. So, to try to be scripting 2 x 50 minute of a show feels quite a challenge and then formatting it so that the cues come on time and the different people doing lighting sound and props - even without knowing what I'm talking about can drop things in on cue is a detailed job and provides a bit of a strait jacket in my mind....

I feel a bit like I'm having to play to the rules of a different game and that I'm being made to conform (which i don't like)! Ha ha - get over it.....

My bottom line though is to develop a brilliant show and I think by working through this process I will be doing that and developing my scriptwriting ability that will bode well for the future. Just feels restrictive and I'm kicking and stressed by it. No doubt in the next two days i will have something that works - don't want to go through another show first half like last week this Friday.

So I'm rewriting, setting visual assets in place, recording them out to video clips and pulling them back in against cue points as well as looking at music and prompts for props and my partner. Flipping lot of stuff here. I'm starting to look at hit tunes from the different dates of ICE TIMES to be able to establish the dates in peoples minds - that were alive then. Just need an easy way to do it. Ice shows were much easier than this theatre experience....

Show scores on the doors for ticket sales:

Show 1 - 146 - Brighton
Show 2 - 77 - Welwyn
Show 3 - 200 and rising


So lost on show's 1 and 2 and no contribution to recoupment and Show 3 is much more promising. Hope word of mouth gets out and sales come up so we can keep the baby alive and have it grow. As i work on it i want ot include more music and visuals - I'm just concerned that they won't get rolled in at the right moment so I'm trying to work out how to make sure they are there - may link the videos to music - that would do it - perhaps...

And when i step back and think about it here I am sat looking over the sea with the balcony doors opening on a fine sunny day writing a show. Life can't be that bad and it will be great when one day I can be showing 3,000 sales or more on events - then we'll be really cooking....

And, as a break, I've just put the cot up for little one that my brother and sister in law have given us.... looks great - must by the little fella a hanging whotsit so he can gurgle at as it spins around above his head...

Have a great day

N

PS anybody know how i can get photos to upload my blogging account won't take them now! Pain...