The Nutcracker…and other Christmas gifts…


It is amazing to think that when I first moved to Miami there were people in the United Kingdom who asked ‘Won’t you miss the culture? Miami is all about the sunshine and the beaches.’   Wrong! 

 For the record, in the past month I have participated in the Miami Book Fair international,  just one of the over 500 authors who contributed to America’s largest book Fair – now in its 31st year. 

Attended Art Basel, another international  event that is celebrated as the largest Art Fair in the States along with its partner exhibition Miami Design.  

To cheer on fellow choir members from Miami Community Church, I was in the audience for a wonderful performance of  Madama Butterfly by the Florida Grand Opera.   This weekend with friends, I enjoyed a magical Christmas Favorites concert by the New World Symphony orchestra which was broadcast on a warm December evening to a crowd of some 3,000 who watched on the Miami Beach wallcast from the lawns outside the  auditorium. 

As an added bonus, the concert was conducted by Christian Reif, (pictured) a young German conductor I confidently predict will become world famous on the classical concert stage. At 24 years old, he has movie star looks and is charismatic, dynamic and wonderfully assured as he showcases the musicians and presents the musical program with joy and exquisite charm.   Watch this space.  Christian joined the New World Symphony in Miami just a couple of months ago –  he must not be allowed to leave!  

My cultural adventures continued with the iconic Christmas show ‘The Nutcracker’ performed by the Miami City Ballet under the direction of Lourdes Lopez.  The production was enchanting and the dancers delightful.  For someone who has probably seen ‘The Nutcracker’ more times than I have had hot Christmas dinners – this staging was one of my all time favorites.  Congratulations to the entire cast and creative team of the Miami City Ballet and  the Adrienne Arsht Center.  

And for foodies –  a special mention goes  to the new Books & Books restaurant (and bookstore) on the concourse at the Ziff Opera and Ballet House on Biscayne Boulevard.  The menu is imaginative, the food good and the setting  destined to become a new go to destination right in the heart of downtown Miami.

If you think that I love the twin cities of Miami and Miami Beach – you are right!  Miami has become an Arts and Culture destination and we of course still have the beach, and the cruise liners….a perfectplace for me to live my Fabulous Life.   

Are you remembering to practice the Seven Steps to Fabulous ?  Every Day.  

And so to Christmas ……..

Some years ago during my BBC broadcasting career, a Children’s Charity, Childline,  headed by the ever resourceful television star, Ester Rantzen asked various media figures to write original Christmas  stories as a fundraising venture.  The finished pieces were collected in a special Christmas edition with a Foreward by the late Diana, Princess of Wales mother of Princes William and Harry.    

It would please me to share with you the story I wrote for that collection. Titled  ‘Late Night Santa’,  the setting was the late night radio studio at the BBC from which the popular show ‘The Jamesons’  was broadcast and I was allowed to read the story for the one million listeners all across Europe who tuned in to the late night radio show on Radio 2.  

In the spirit of Christmas, I dedicate ‘Late Night Santa’  to my Late husband the newspaper editor and  broadcaster Derek Jameson.      

After Art Basel 2014

December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas Miami style.....mince pies on the beach....

December 22, 2014

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