AS 2023 comes to a close, Jules Peters has reflected on an "immense" year after nearly losing her husband in 2022.

Jules, who is married to Dyserth rocker Mike Peters, frontman of The Alarm, and has two sons -  Dylan and Evan - said "everyday" in 2023 has been a blessing and that the couple have "thrown themselves" into their new life with "vigour and renewed energy."

Jules said: "There has been so much gratitude and excitement for a clean bill of health for Mike after such a distressing 2022 when we nearly lost him.

Rhyl Journal: Mike performs to the crowdsMike performs to the crowds (Image: Jules Peters)
"Cancer affected our lives when we were young adults just starting out in life and so our mindset has been shaped by the understanding that all we have is today.

"A day without hospital admissions, blood tests, waiting nervously for results is a good day."

Mike relapsed and was hospitalised in September 2022 following an acclaimed national tour with his band [Mike was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia in 2005].

The rocker stopped responding to his medication and had to undergo a new gruelling treatment plan.

"Since Mike’s miraculous recovery at the hands of Dr Heartin and the incredible team at North Wales Cancer Centre, Mike has gone from strength to strength," Jules said.

Rhyl Journal: Mike has gone from strength to strengthMike has gone from strength to strength (Image: Jules Peters)
The couple have not long ago returned from Norway; Jules and Mike traditionally visit Norway for the last two concerts of the year.

Reflecting on highlights of the year, Jules noted: 

  • Renovating The Red and transforming it into a village local bar and coffee shop in Dyserth
  • Presenting the 30th Gathering Weekend in January at Venue Cymru with Mike back to good health 
  • Performing a 'sold out' show in April at St David’s Hall, Cardiff to celebrate The Alarm’s 40th Anniversary
  • Hosting Snowdon Rocks Weekender on behalf of their charity Love Hope Strength
  • Performing a Sold Out Gathering show in New York New York in June
  •  Releasing the brand new Alarm album “Forwards” to critical acclaim, an album which had been written the year before in Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan during Mike’s hospitalisation
  • Performing a Sold out show at Cardiff Castle with The Cult in July
  • Rocking the Alps in September on behalf of Charity Love Hope Strength and raising £100,000
  • Attending the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in California in October 
  • Closing out the year with a transatlantic tour of the USA and UK
  •  Finishing 2023 with two 'sold out' concerts in Norway

Jules purchased The Red Lion in Dyserth in 2022 and rebranded it as The Red /Y Coch.

Rhyl Journal: Mike in hospital but with a smile on his face. Jules said everyday in 2023 has been a blessingMike in hospital but with a smile on his face. Jules said everyday in 2023 has been a blessing (Image: Jules Peters)
Jules said: "Many of my nearest and dearest thought I was crazy and I understood why. Mike thought it was one step too far and he’s the most positive man I know but I just trusted my instinct. It’s hard to explain but I feel very content when I’m in the vicinity of the waterfalls, the Chapel, the Red. It’s truly a place of remarkable beauty, enveloping a lot of spirits and voices from the past. I used to visit The Red with my parents during my A-Levels and never in a million years did I think back then that I’d buy the village local.

"I knew in my heart that with the help of a great team I could reignite community spirit into The Red by transforming this stunning 12 bedroomed Victorian hotel into a licensed coffee shop, venue and bar.

Rhyl Journal: Jules, Mike and their sons Dylan and Evan in CardiffJules, Mike and their sons Dylan and Evan in Cardiff (Image: Jules Peters)
"The Red is situated right next door to our Chapel which we converted into five luxury apartments in 2020, having bought the Chapel back in 2000 after the local worshippers appealed to us directly to take over the Chapel and preserve its memory."

Jules said The Red has become a "safe" community space for residents and visitors from afar. It is also somewhere Jules and Mike can spend time with Alarm friends and fans.

Jules said: "It’s a dream come true.

"Our local villagers have been massively supportive and it’s just built up word of mouth. We haven’t officially opened yet!

Rhyl Journal: Rocking the Alps in September Rocking the Alps in September (Image: Jules Peters)
"I am loving meeting up with friends old and new and having a space where people can linger together and catch up.

"On Friday nights, when we are home, Mike becomes 'DJ Michael Peters'. The Red Bar transforms into a magical musical club. I think we’ve all enjoyed gathering together, meeting up, dancing, reminiscing planning for the future.

"I love the mix of ages, ranging from my 17 year old son to my 83 year old father. 

Rhyl Journal: Jules and Mike with hospital staffJules and Mike with hospital staff (Image: Jules Peters)
"The licensed Red Coffee Shop is a perfect sanctuary and I am very grateful to my business partner Gail Jones for all her coffee expertise having previously owned Haus Coffee in Colwyn Bay which became a beacon for all coffee lovers everywhere."

Jules said that Gail was especially kind to her when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016.

Gail also manages the Chapel and Waterfall Apartments next door, giving Jules the freedom to continue touring around the world.

Dylan and Evan have trained as baristas and bar managers.

Rhyl Journal: Dylan and Evan have trained as baristas and bar managersDylan and Evan have trained as baristas and bar managers (Image: Jules Peters)
Jules's mother, Dottie, bakes cakes for the coffee shop and her father, Peter, looks after front of house. Ziggy the dog also makes an appearance welcoming other pets - the coffee shop is dog friendly. 

Looking back on September, when Mike and Jules 'Rocked the Alps', Jules commented how nice it was to have Mike back by her side. 

He was too poorly to accompany her for the Sahara Rocks Hike to Morocco last year.

Jules said: "Next year we will be Rocking the El Camino Way in Spain as we build up to our ambitious hike in 2027 when we will be returning to Everest.

"As cancer survivors, our thoughts are never far away from other people going through the same situation. No one knows what lies ahead but having our shared experience, we continue to try and help others as best we can by raising funds for those less fortunate than ourselves and offering a helping hand by mentoring others."

In January (from January 27 to 29), Jules will be hosting a Free Treat Retreat at the Chapel for other cancer survivors who can come and stay at the Chapel and recharge and rejuvenate.

Rhyl Journal: Jules's beautiful new spaceJules's beautiful new space (Image: Jules Peters)
Jules has also opened up a Yoga and Pilates Studio at the rear of the Chapel. This was formerly the Chapel Sunday School and then The Alarm Recording Studio.

A new Yoga Teacher called Tania, who has relocated to North Wales from Ukraine, will be joining the team.

Jules said: "Tania will be teaching three classes a week from the first week of January so I am very excited to practice with her.

"Yoga means everything to me and has really helped me keep focused especially through the turbulence of our private life during 2022."

Jules said 2024 is "crammed to the roof" with tour dates.

The couple will be kicking off the New Year in January with the Gathering in Cardiff.

"This is the first time we have hosted The Gathering in a city, after 30 years in North Wales," Jules said.

Rhyl Journal: Jules with family dog ZiggyJules with family dog Ziggy (Image: Jules Peters)
"From Cardiff, we will travel to the USA for a massive American Tour including the famous Cruel World Festival, performing alongside Simple Minds and Duran Duran, and then return for UK Summer Dates including concerts as special Guests to Status Quo and then a huge British Tour leading up to Christmas 2024."

Jules and Mike have started a new tradition with 'New Years at The Red with Mike Peters' which has already sold out.

"We will definitely be finishing the year back in our favourite place on earth, The Red," Jules said.

"The Red is styled around our favourite things and is a reflection of all our favourite bars and coffee shops from around the world.

"There is good music, candlelight, leather sofas, memories on the walls, tour memorabilia, books, fire, great barista coffee, cold beer, cocktails, mosaic tiles, Moroccan Lanterns, fairy lights, vinyl, angels, lemon meringue, almond croissants, the list is endless and we keep on adding as we go."