A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: HennyJoseDiana

An Evening with friends

Charity event with Merrill and Justin

from Aug 31-Sept 1

When I was at the Osmonds Brothers Up close and Personal concert tour in London, I heard about the
plan of Tracey organising an event for the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund with Justin.
As I support that cause by heart,I decided at that very moment I would go!
Finally the news was out and tickets were available .
The first idea was of me going on my own, but fortunately two very nice friends wanted to go as well, so
we, Lorraine Connors , Yvonne Rietdijk and me, started planning and booking the trip.
Of course, first the tickets ( would be handy to have some :) ), then a family room at the Queens and of course our flight.
So, with that all being booked we only have to wait and count down till we are set to go.

Wow!!!! The fans are so very enthousiastic about this event and charity raising, that it is already a big success before it all starts.
Fans are organising brunches, lunches, raffles, baking cakes , making cards, etc etc, All for the meaning of raising money.
I think till now ( and we still have 10 days to go before it starts) they already raised loads for charity!!
But with everything going on and being organised, we really need to make us a list of when and what is happening where....
Fortunately most of it will be held in the Queens itself, so we are at present all the time:)

Day of departure;

Getting up early to get ready for my departure to Schiphol. Lorraine left very very early, even earlier than expected as her cab arrived half hour early. So when I arrived at Schiphol she was already waiting .
After a short wait Yvonne arrived as well and we were ready, and set to go.
With only a short flight ahead of us, we didn't have much time to get to know each other well, but hey we had the whole weekend so...
Ariving in Leeds we noticed the weather was great. We had a lot of sunshine, and so the weather forecast through internet was very very wrong. Fortnately we didn't need the umbrellas:)
The ride to the hotel was lovely as we saw a beautiful sight of Leeds. It took us about 15 to 20 minutes till we arrived at our new home for the upcoming two days.


Entering the hotel we already met several very nice Osmond fans,who made us feel welcome right away.
We had to wait till our room was ready so hanging out in the lobby wasn't very bad:)
When Tracey came down she asked us to come up for a minute as I knew she had my pictures ready; I gave her a bunch of pix a while ago, so the family could sign them, as they are the sept free gift for the allonosmonds store.
Coming up, we already got eye on eye with the first Osmond; Shane. Such a sweet man. I could leave Yvonne and Lorraine with him in peace, so I went with Tracey to get my stuff. Going there, I had my well needed Osmond hugs by Merrill, Justin and Mary. So kicking off the day with those nothing else could go wrong now, lol.

We went down, to check on our room.
When we were checked in, got dressed for the event, we went down and party time started.
First we went to the stalls, where they sold lots and lots of Osmond items and raffle tickets. This was so funny; each time when I finished buying, the girls Susan and Debbie put new stuff on the stall which was so very tempted and I had to restart buying again. Well, it was a mission for Allonosmonds, so I HAD to(yeah...right, lol)
Lorraine had another excuse; her Osmond room wasn't filled enough and she found some lovely stuff there as well.
OK, finfished buying...we went up to the bar and had a drink and a nice lunch.
BUT, as soon as we thought our money was safe, Debbie found us in the bar and showed us some very sweet collectables....here we go again; well, the Hearing Fund UK is a great cause so....!!!

Yvonne's experience of the friday night.

I was asked by Diana to write a piece for the blog aswell so I will give it a try. I have to warn you all : Sorry....I am not good at this , but I'll give it a try.
Because for me the whole weekend was just so heartwarming and I felt a little overwhelmed by all that took place in the beautiful Queens Hotel in Leeds.

I wil continue the blog with the Friday-night event :The Evening With Friends and oh Boy : Am I a Friend !! Ha

The friday night started by registration at 18.00 for the Evening with Friends and the Buffet.
After standing about 1 hour on our high heels, Diana and me were getting a little restless and were just dyin' to take place at a table.
Lorraine already got in, as she needed to sit down because of her bad health.
And there they were : Merrill/ Mary, Shane and Justin.!!! wauwww....i could not believe they were in the same room with me and I was getting more nervous by the minute !!! ha.... felt a little sillie with my Stroopwafels for Merrill ( I know he likes them) and couldn t wait to give them to him.

There was a Raffle with prices donated by The Hearing Fund and another Raffle which Amy organised the afternoon at the stalls

Justin is just such a sweet man and he presented the evening along with Merrill and Shane and they were just fooling around ! the atmosphere was quite relaxed. We laughed and during the Raffle Diana won some prices and Yes....I won a Canvas photo signed by Merrill.
Lorraine also got lucky, winning a Marie doll, but she returned it as she already had this one at home.
So instead, Justin kindly offered her a Hearing Fund Bear, but that one was also bought by Lorraine...
Well, there was one price she didn't have yet; Merrill's mini pizza! lol.

Merril asked us to just get something to eat at the Buffet while he sang some songs....
I just don t know anymore what it was heSang but okay.... forgive me for this as it is not so important, because just hear Merrill sing is a gift !!!

It was awesome and finally while everybody was eating I dared to sit next to Merrill and Mary and gave them the: Cookies from Holland ?as Mary with a big smile asked ). She explained to Brittney that these are so very delicious, so why didn't we think of bringing more than one can.

Justin called up a little boy on stage, named Matthew. He was explaining his story and how he wants to become like Justin when he grows up.
Matthew was such a sweet boy and we were touched by his story and when he said he raised 700 pound on his own! Wow!

After a Q&A, the raffle, the music, the sales, etc etc... the night was coming to an end.
We were saying our goodbyes to Merrill and the family and then with a bottle of white Wine , which wasfriendly given by the bartender for just 75 cents, we went to our room ( 705 instead of 805 !!! hihi) and while talking and giggling for hours in the room, it has got very late !
We were also Up very, Very early because our other roommate ( Lorraine) decided to get a bath in the middle of the night ! but okay, It was Fun!!!! After 3 coffee we were ready for the Brunch .

We went down for our walking bus, but when we came outside everbody, but 2, were already gone. So, we just "followed the girls"
The Brunch was held in the beautiful Browns and we were with about 30 fans.

We ordered our drinks and food and then it was fun time all the way. Getting on pictures , mostly.
Merrill had donated a jacket from the store, so we had a silent auction , and the jacket was won by Gerry and another 125 pound was raised for charity. Also we had the possiility to buy beautiful photos of Merrill, signed by them, which of course were sold like warm bread.
When we finished our brunch Amy told us, that Justin was planning to join us but he had a meeting which lasted longer than expected.
SO, Justin decided to meet us all at the Queens. The group from brunch was kept aside and there he was.
Justin took his time, and went on pictures with all of us; the sweetheart must have been exhausted.

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We ( Lorraine, Diana and me ) went upstairs at 16.00 for resting a little bit and took our time for hair and make-up.
Going up to our room, we noticed it took quite a while till we arrived at our floor; floor 1, floor 3, downstairs again , floor 5, in the meanwhile Shane and Philip joined us
and we then noticed we didn't pressed any button for 7th floor. They must have thought "what the heck is going on in this elivator" , we were laughing out loud when they entered.

Lorraine said she had a great idea with my hair cause i didnt know what to do with it.
So there she comes with hairspray and a kind of hairglue, it became a totall mess !! I looked like someone from the movie: Invation of the Bodysnatshers or something like that !
So I went to ask Diana about it and , after 30 minutes of hilarious screams and jokes , we both agreed to tak ea shower and wash and blowdry it all over again !
Okay the washing I can do, but Lorraine's Blowdryer exploded so the evening was getting a disaster before it was begun ! I felt I wasn't getting ready in time….
So frustrating because Diana and Lorraine were all ready , and looking great! To relaxe our nerves we took a glas of wine , and yes : It helped…

We went downstairs to join de GalaEvent and we had to wait in a room with all the rest of the guests I think , so Diana and I feeling a little lost and went outside to pose like real moviestars on the red carpet at the entrance of the Queens !Well .we had our moment of Fame !!
And that was pretty cool . As we entered the Ballroom and the Gala started.

The evening was opened with this beautiful video of Justin doing his wonderful work with the themesong Sweet sang by Nathan Osmond.
We were sitting at a table with Chantal, a french friend, and 5 young people who didn't had the clue who the Osmonds were. One of the boys looked like Hugh Grand, so we asked if he was his son,lol.
We decided that he should be our team captain for the night.

Between the dinner served, we had lots of entertainment, under which the auction.
So much money was raised ; but hey, there were some great prices. Can't remember all of them but there were 2 tickets for Donny and Marie with train tansportation to get there, Merrills show jacket from Branson ,
Lunch with the Osmond family , 2 tickets for I believe it was Strictly come dancing, etc.
After that it was music time:
We had the fabulous Jane singing , wow, that lady sure knows how to hit the notes!
Then Merrill began with Having a Party etc… and that was the moment the party Really got started !
Merrill put Justin to the spot by handing over his violin and so Justin performed with "the touch of the masters hand".
Can he play the violin …wauwww..never heard something so beautiful as that and found myself in tears, As I looked to Diana she had the same tears in her eyes !!!


Lorraine was totally Out of our sight and by the end of the evening we caught her running through the room selling Justin's Book. What a Lady ! The most fun we had was during the Afterparty which I haveon video, only the problem is: It s Upside down !!! While dancing a DutchPolonaise with Justin Upfront and Merrill dancing and talking with me (and about 30 others) we sadly had to call it a night.

I am sure I left some moments out but okay…… some I forget, some I won t !!!

IT WAS UNFORGETTABLE !!!! and we were humbled for being a part of this whole event.
Exhausted but satisfied we went upstairs after our goodbyes to the family and our sweet friends. Off to go to bed, for a long night sleep.
That's what we thought.
Again in the middle of the night Lorraine woke us up, telling us we were having a flooted bathroom.
Checking out the bathroom, we noticed that water from the room above us, was pouring down into our bathroom.Lorraine already phoned housekeeping so there they were,
coming in very relaxing walking to the bathroom but almost ran out when they saw the damage.
Not much later we heard a strange story about the woman above us in room 805 who had a shower but couldn't get rid of all the water. Must have been some shower!
Anyway, as it was "just" our bathroom, we decided to stay i our room, as it was only a couple of hours away till we needed to get up again.
Hopefully we still would manage to sleep a little.
Which fortunately we did. After waking up, getting dressed , having a very nice breakfast, it was time to say goodbye to all of our friends.
A very big thank you to Tracey and Philip for the Hearing Fund UK event. Amy for organising the brunch and all the other fans for making this weekend the most wonderful one to experience.

Posted by HennyJoseDiana 11:16

Donny and Marie Osmond

Glasgow febr 1


Posted by HennyJoseDiana 07:45


Can you believe it? The very last concert of the "up,close and personal" tour is here.
So many dates were added to this tour, and I can imagine the Brothers are exhausted .
But what a way to say Goodbye!!

So, today Mario and I left very early .The alarm was set at 03.30 ough!! As we decided to travel by car and boat
we needed quite some time to get there
This concert will be very strange; the very last one, my friends are not with me, and it is
the very first time I am going to an Osmond concert with Mario.
But I can do with a shoulder to cry on at the end, lol

When we arrived in Dover it was raining, but driving to Bournemouth the sun came through and we had
lovely weather all the way.
It was funny as a car passed by with Osmonds fans ; the car was decorated with scarves of " I love the Osmonds".
Anyway, we arrived in Bournemouth at 1 but couldn't check in yet, so we went for a nice walk on the beach, through the parc and having
a drink on a terrace.
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Walking by the BIC, we met some french fans, and some UK fans who were already waiting for the bus to arrive.

As Mario had agreed on being at a meeting point at 16.30 h to deliver "Remembering Elvis" cd's to the fans attending the Bournemouth concert, we had to hurry, checking in and get on our way again .
When the cd's were delivered we had a quick meal at pizza hut ( that's right, no fancy dinner for us...just the normal meals during an Osmond trip; mac Donalds or pizzahut,lol) and got changed for the concert.
We sneaked in Marios camera with us, but when we were seated at the balcony we weren't brave enough to use it afterall. So my little camera had to work all through the concert
We had a nice seat at the balcony; a good overview of the audience and stage.
Most of the concert was the same but the emotions were running up, needless to say I guess.

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After a great concert , filled with lots of fun moments, emotional moments, and one big party they closed it down for the very last time!!
So, this was it!!! The very last Brothers concert ( at least in UK).
With mixed feelings we went outside and on our way to the Osmania Farewell party.
It was a nice evening , so we decided to walk . Afterall it was just around the corner....Yeah right...we got lost .
Even with the help of different security people at the local bars, we couldn't find our way.
FINALLY, at 12 we arrived at the Norfolk Hotel, where the Karens gave their smashing party. Just in time to see how Osmania girls party!! I knew they do know how to throw a party but never been to one!! What fun all those fans had!!!
After Mario "got rid" of the Merrill cd's we went on a photograph with our two US friends Karen and Judy, and then had to leave again.

On to the next address, having a quick drink and chat with another friend and then off to bed to get ready to leave the next day again.

Thank you Mario for giving me the chance to see my hero's for the very last time, for driving me all the way to Bournemouth , and for your
understanding when I cried when I realised it was over!!!

Posted by HennyJoseDiana 11:57

High Wycombe

by Mario Jekel

The name Wycombe comes from the river Wye, and the old English word for a wooded valley, combe. In the 1960s the town center was redeveloped. This involved culverting the River Wye under concrete, and demolishing most of the old buildings in Wycombe's town center. Two shopping centers were built along with many new multi-storey car parks, office blocks, flyovers and roundabouts. Areas of cottages and period buildings have been replaced with a town centre which looked like any other built in the aesthetically challenged decade of the 1960s. On the open area known as Frogmoor the original cast iron fountain and some Georgian buildings have gone. A recent town centre regeneration project (the 'Eden Project') was originally going to uncover the Wye, however in a change of plan the new shopping center has been built over the whole area, right up to the road which runs parallel with the river.
Nowadays the population of High Wycombe town approx. 95000.
As we arrived at High Wycombe through the valley combe we saw a lot of Red Kites gliding, a magnificent view on a bird very rare in our country.

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But now the concert, the concert of today was scheduled at the Swan Theater – a nice small venue with good light and viewing conditions.
The evening starts with ‘The Osmond Trivia’ followed by a 4 song performance of ‘The DropOuts’ with guest player Si Mulvey ( Bay City Rollers ).
After the intermission it was Osmond time, they start with ‘Crazy Horses’ – followed by a smoothly rolling show were Brother Jay was marked as available.
There was a small part for the Brothers left in the States in the goose bumps giving song ‘ Remember Me’ were we saw a picture from Alan, Wayne and Donny.

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At the final part there was a nice song as a tribute to a grandma with silver hair –

during the final notes of Crazy Horses they thanks the audience for the support for many years and received a standing ovation as thank for giving so many memories and good feelings.


After this we went home or leave to spend the night in a hotel – looking forward to the next and final show of this tour – Bournemouth.

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Posted by HennyJoseDiana 00:48


by Mario Jekel

Monday , april 30.

Today we left early for a weekend of "Up , Close and Personal "concerts, starting up with Oxford.
We left to trafel with Eurostar from Calais to Folkstone and then off to Oxford.


When we arived in Oxford , our hotel , seemed to be a rebuilded jail-house from the early days.
They changed the cell-blocks into bedrooms but they tried to keep the authentity of the jail-house as much as possible.
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We were "locked in" in the "house of corrections " where they put youth delinquents to keep them on the right track except of course without the luxury of the hotel.

Oxford is a city of 150000 citizins and also called " city of dreaming peaks " -because of the buildings rising up above average heigth.
Well-known here is "Christ Church College "where they filmed a couple of Harry Potter films..

We had a little time left to walk through Covered Market, with lots of different shops
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BUT OF COURSE the most important thing was the concert which was given at the New Theatre in Oxford.
The Venue was almost sold out, except for a couple of balcony seats left.
Our seats were on balcony, first row, not bad at all, if you want to have a good overview of the stage and audience.
The atmosphere was very relaxing.
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The evening started like every night with a Trivia quiz, to see your knowledge of the Osmonds facts.

After the break the Osmonds opened with Crazy Horses and the whole audience joined in, with all songs, the new ones included.
As you all know it was Merrill's birthday and of course it was mentionned couple of times, and Jimmy even had made a cartoon of Merrill with his name written as Melvis
The concert contained barbershop songs, a medley of old and new songs, Closing down with Goin'Home

They gave another encore and then the curtain fell; Looking back at a great concert, a great atmosphere and a great audience!!
On to the next one!

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Posted by HennyJoseDiana 00:34

Merrills Message


Posted by HennyJoseDiana 10:48


the concert

The concert, started with The Dropouts, aka The Osmond Brothers Band
These guys really know how to get an audience move.
They were so very good, playing songs from the 70's; they totally Rocked!!!


They played for about half an hour I think, and then they announced a little intermission of 15 min
before the Osmonds would come to stage.
During the intermission there was this Osmonds Trivia quiz.
Oh boy, I really need to get my Osmond Facts straight . I think I failed the test :(

With the first notes of Crazy Horses, the fans came running up to the stage, and got stuck to it through the whole concert.
I stayed at my seat, as I thought I was close enough....dumm, dumm, you can never be close enough, lol.
What can I say about the concert which you already know; It was fabulous.
Old songs, several of the new ones, available at "TESCO" (Jimmy kept calling the advert as every little bit helps" :) )

Words are not enough, so enjoy the photo's!!!









Posted by HennyJoseDiana 10:07


on my way to meet and greet

After weeks of "shall I, or won't I ", finally it was time to leave for my first Farewell concert.
London here I come.
This trip was a trip filled of 1st, as it was the first time I was going to an Osmond Concert without
my VVC friends; we have this foursome, who steady go to Osmond concerts in Europe(UK). Except for this year.
It felt strange doing the concert without them.
Feeling brave, I set the alarm at 4.30 so I had plenty of time to get my things ready, AGAIN! I still wonder,
why I am packing my things before, as on the day I Leave, I unpack again, to be sure not to forget anything.
I totally forgot, that if you check-in online, and only carry hand-lugguage , you don't need to be at present 2 in front
SO, I was very, very early at Eindhoven airport, which gave Mario and I the chance to drink some coffee, and talk things through;
esp because I travel on so many different ways; flying first, then bus, then metro...
Mario told me, he would be standing at the end of the runway to get the picture of me up in the air (guess he wanted to be sure,
I'd be gone, lol)


As I arrived 10 minutes late in London, I missed my bus, so first I needed to reschedule that part of my trip.
Walking to the stop, I totally lost my way (which isn't that hard for me, as I get lost in my own back-yuard :) )
I got stopped by the bus driver who totally blew my head off; "what was I thinking??? I could have been arrested if they saw me,
crossing the street, and in that case I wouldn't be able to travel at all, anymore" ...wow!!

Anyway, I arrived at Hammersmith, got my tube and arrived at the Novotel, where my roommate Jaana was waiting for me.

We decided to go into town, check the Apollo and get something to eat. Then back to the room where I needed to get dressed for my
One thing I am very grateful for, is Facebook! I have met so many sweet friends through Facebook and other social networks, but the
most special moment was when I received a letter from a friend I met about 35 years ago, and who found me again through facebook.
She decided to go to the concert as well, and after so many years we met!!!
I met so many öld friends" at the meet and greet, and of course sweet friends from my country.
It was party all the time.

The meet and greet started up with a photo of the fans with the Brothers.
It was a rush thing; standing in line, picture taken and move on, to safe time, so the brothers had plenty of time for the Q&A.
When it was my turn it was good to see , and esp hear, the surprise on Jay and Merrill's face for me to show up there.
We had a nice chat, and I went up to my seat. Not that bad 2nd row.

The Q & A were fun; Jay tried to tell jokes, but be fair, no one can tell jokes like Wayne does.
So we laughed our heads off, when one fan asked Jay to explain his jokes.
The meet and greets were so very relaxed and fun to attend; I thought it was worthed every effort (and money) I had to spend getting the ticket
After about an hour, they were closing it down, so the doors opened and fans were walking inside.

Posted by HennyJoseDiana 08:22

The Osmond Brothers up,close and personal

Getting ready



Since I was lucky to do the Cruising with Friends trip , I thought I was very wise to safe up money.
But the love for the Osmonds is much stronger than the will to safe up.
Well, for one who has decided NOT going to the " Up , Close and Personal tour " I had a very busy last couple of weeks, trying to get tickets, flights, hotels,etc etc.
My first goal was getting a ticket; I already decided to do Hammersmith, as that area I have been before and as I was going to travel on my own,I rather do a city I know a little bit.
Google Osmonds concerts, and you'll find great seats, but also expensive seats. It was my only one, so I'd go for the 95 pound seat, row E
Next stop; Osmond general store to upgrade for the meet and greet;
Unfortunately no luck, the meet and greet tickets were sold out, the night before. A little too late :(
Oh well, at least I got in!!! and had a nice seat!
Flight....the only flight I could book on return , for a good price, was the one leaving early...very early.
Oh well, The Osmonds are worthed and at least I have no roommates who I'd wake up when I have to leave.
At least, that's what I thought at that moment. So, okay, flight got booked.
Hotel was easy. I knew Novotel was nearby, so that one was booked right away.
With that having done, all I can do now is wait, and counting down the days.

THEN I received this email from my sweet friends from USA: they were doing the last concerts. "Please come?!"
Oh boy, how do I explain this at home?!
Easier than expected, ha. My sweet hubby offered to drive me to Bournemouth, and even offered to walk around there when I was doing the concert.
Nah...that's no fun. Okay, I'll book 2 tickets and believe it or not , I am doing the concert with Mario.
I don't know if this will be any fun of him, to attend the very last concert with me, as I already know I am going to cry, like most of the fans will.
Anyway, I booked 2 concert tickets; not the very best ones...we are on left balcony, but row A, so no tall people in front of me,HA
As he was so sweet to offer this, and even paid for the tickets, I booked us a beautiful room .
Boat was booked the very same night, so Bournemouth was added to my wish list.

What else could I wish for???
I still had this thing with the meet and greet ticket....I felt so sorry for myself I didn't manage to get one, haha
I decided to search on ebay uk, and BINGO; there was one.
BUT it started at 95 and still several days to go.
Without thinking (when bidding on Osmonds items, you better not think) I made a max bid of 200
With only 1 day to go my max bid was gone. Okay, let's try 250 then. Oh boy....
even that didn't manage. Did I want the ticket that bad???? YES I did.
So watching the bidding, I made a final bid at the last couple of minutes, and HOORAY, I "WON"
I couldn't be happier with this prepairation of the trip; got my meet and greet 2nd row ticket,
PLUS I am doing the last one, PLUS I am going to see my sweet US friends, and all the other sweeties I have met over the years.

Then I believe it was Mario who said, "hey aren't the Karens doing the Afterparty in Bournemouth"?
ARE THEY??? Yes they are!!!!!!
woohooo, shall we be that lucky to get in there as well? I know these parties are always a huge success and booked completely full.
And they were. BUT, they could sqeeze 2 small people in, and so again, we booked and paid:)

Following every post on spotlight, on facebook and other fansites, I received an instant message from 2 scandinavian friends.
They were having problems with booking a hotel in London....Could they join me on my room?
Of course they can, but remember my early flight. I need to get up at 5.But if that's no problem, they are more than welcome!
Today, only one week away, I am thinking of other important matters....what to wear.
So I'm afraid upcoming week will be all about clothes problems!
More to come on april 28th!

Posted by HennyJoseDiana 06:50

More pictures of our cruise!

Thanks to Ina van Mourik

















Posted by HennyJoseDiana 14:41

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