Daniel O'Donnell: Michael looks on the bright side during Covid shutdown
English happy to spend more time with parents
MICHAEL English, like all of us entertainers, is looking forward to the day when he can return to the stage.
A great songwriter as well as a top performer, Michael, who has just released a new single called Please Say One For Me, was one of the busiest performers on the country music scene prior to the shutdown.
As the ever popular country singer says, back then if there were eight days in the week he'd play all eight of them!
It has been a really difficult time for him, as it has been for everybody in the world of music, but Michael says he's been busy behind the scenes as well as performing online.
He is a very positive person, so he set about doing meaningful things with his life.
One blessing, he says, is that it gave him the chance to spend time with his elderly parents.
"That's the thing I'm most happy about," says Michael, who is an only son. "For a long time my sisters were looking after my parents. I often felt guilty that I hadn't more time to be with them, even though I tried to help in my own way.
"My sisters were keeping the ship afloat at home, cooking and helping out. So in recent times I had the chance to get into the kitchen and do some cooking for Mam and Dad.
"I'm no Jamie Oliver, but, fortunately, they like the traditional Irish dinners such as bacon and cabbage, roast chicken and stew. I gave them a good go, and all the dishes seemed to have gone down well. I love doing that for my parents as they were so good to us growing up."
Just before the lockdown in March, Michael had moved from Portlaoise to a new home in Naas, Co Kildare, so that gave him something to focus on when he came off the road and he got the chance to put his stamp on the house and garden.
"It was like a honeymoon period for a while because I'd moved to a new town and a new house," he says.
"I never thought I'd get the time to do what I'm doing now around the house, sorting out the garden and so on. It's not a big garden and it's not like the Chelsea Flower Show, but I've planted a hedge, sowed grass and a few flowers and painted the wall."
However, Michael says that he has had to work at keeping his spirits up. "I didn't mind the first month or two, but then it started to kick in that this was going to be our reality indefinitely," he explains.
"It's all about keeping active. I've been doing lots of exercise to work off the Covid half stone, which crept up on me when I wasn't looking."
Michael takes an optimistic view of the future and believes that the country music scene will come back bigger and stronger than ever.
Amen to that.
You can now request Michael's new song, Please Say One For Me, from your local radio station.