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The Sound of a Sister from another Mr!

Holy moly me oh my I could pee myself I'm so excited. The Bodylushious guest blogger for May the month of Sound is my very dear pal Phillipa Hiles, based all the way over in Nelson, New Zealand. Phillipa is a beacon of Joy, Play and doing shit that matters, and ever so bravely and courageously she uses her voice and supports others to use theirs.

We met over 20yrs ago in the days when we ventured to London on our OE, in fact we 'dossed' in a house together in Queens Park and slept on the floor alongside other travellers, all lined up like tinned sardines - IT WAS A TIME IN OUR LIVES WHERE WE STARTED TO FIND OUR WINGS!

Fast forward to 2021 where a massive big ocean separates us; nothing will come between our friendship, love and respect for each other. She's without a doubt my Sister from another Mr and it would take me the rest of my days to tell you all the fun and games we've shared together!

We share a love of musicals, going to see London West End productions of Les Miserable, Sound of Music, Saturday Night Fever, The Donkey Show, and on and on and on the list goes. OMG we had so much fun! Now you're a mum and you probably live very much in the 'daily grind'. What memories from all those lifetimes ago stick to your heart that you still carry with you today?

BC (Before Children) everything is remembered as a fun adventure. Our time dossing and living in London in our 20’s, earning money, cheap travel, lack of responsibilities, seeing the world, new loves and drunken nights were all major highlights. We lived, travelled and partied together. Experiencing life on the other side of the world, as baby adults, growing up together with a kiwi posse to play with . What a time!

You started a band called the 'Mapua Mother Pluckers', please share in your words why and how this all began.

7 years ago when we moved from Wellington (Capital city) to a South Island Village, Mapua, I met Suzy and Pip. They were new friends, and when I said “Wanna come and play ukelele?” they said “sure, until someone else wants to join you, then your on your own new friend” (something like that anyway). All these years later we are still mates, and still play together. The idea was an inclusive , relaxed group that played music together. We’ve had some amazing experiences playing. A lot of ouzo before we perform and a great sisterhood has developed.

We’ve played at a Ski-field. The Geraldine Ukulele festival (big time!) , yesterday we played at the Stoke Seniors Citizens' lunch. We have fun, and chat a lot.

COPD, Emphysema, Asthma, Chronic Bronchitis - all conditions you have dealt with in your work as a district nurse. Please share the inspiration behind the idea you had for bringing joy to people struggling with breath

Years ago I was a respiratory Nurse running exercise classes for people with respiratory disease (best job ever). Just as I was leaving that role, the respiratory team set up a Singing group called Sing Your Lungs Out (SYLO) - a singing group for people with chronic respiratory disease.

After moving to the South Island village I decided to create SYLO for the area. I found an amazing music teacher called Hillary Gregory and 5 years later we are still going strong, meeting on a Monday morning all year round. I make the tea. The group sing, enjoy companionship, have a giggle, with a byproduct of strengthening their lungs , (increasing respiratory output and quality of life). Its a simple formula, which works like magic.

No one talks about disease at SYLO. They just have fun, together. The highlight of their week they say. Pretty cool huh?

A passion for sound runs in the family, in fact you're married to a Sound Engineer who also gets pretty excited about sound. What role does sound play in the everyday lives of your family?

Consciously or not, there is a music soundtrack running through our lives. At small or big events it features. Cooking, driving, gardening, at the movies . Music for every occasion. Like now, I have cruisy Paul Simon on the go. In February at my father in law’s Tony's’ funeral, per his wish, Supertramp's “In the Quietest Moments” was played as a reflection piece. Chris Hiles (my hubby) set up exquisite sound. It seemed in that Wellington restaurant where the service was held, we were transported to the forest where the music begins. It was beautiful and moving. Perfect for Tony.

Two weeks later at my sister Angela’s, 50th birthday party , (Italian themed , the trip to Italy cancelled thanks to Covid) during the speeches to a packed house, my love-a-party mum cranked up Dean Martins “Thats Amore” (while sheets with the words were frantically being handed out). At first the crowd were looking at each other in horror but soon enough the vulnerability settled and everyone was singing enthusiastically and candidly to the words. It was a lovely, fun few minutes of love, connection and celebration, full of emotion with the whole room singing with Italian flair and gusto for Ange. The music helped make that party an extra special event. Thanks to Deano, my mum and the brave party goers.

After yesterdays, Stoke Senior Citizens Ukulele concert , I asked an elderly punter what he thought of music (research for these Questions!). He replied “Music is everything, especially in these times”. Seems to ring true for everyone, for all occasions big and small.

“Music is everything, especially in these times”.

You are an ambassador for living a life filled with Fun and Joy. Please share your top three tips on how to stay connected to living a life that enables you to access these areas.

  1. Following what brings me peace and joy. See number 3.

  2. Avoiding every thing that does not feel good to my intuition.

  3. Deep, conscious Breathing. Other examples include;

  • Walking Nina the dog

  • Planning adventures

  • Sea swimming (new obsession)

  • Gardening

  • Playing Rummikub with anyone around who is keen

  • Reading

  • Op shopping

  • Connections with humans, animals, plants and particularly flowers

  • Inspiration quotes (hello Instagram)

  • Hanging with my boys

  • Snoozing in the sun.

Tell us anything you'd like, this is your moment to say whatever it is you'd like to share. WHATEVER YOU CHOOSE IS PERFECT!

Songs that make me feel good (currently);

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