How lovely are you?! 🙂 I cannot tell you how much pleasure your comments have given me over this past week or more, and how wonderful it’s been to be able to share them with even more of our friends since I returned to work on Sunday the 5th April. Such an incredible response to the competition I set in the last blog, and as promised, I’ll be announcing the winner of the £350 collection of beauty products at the end of this blog. It took well over three weeks for me to shake off the cough I was still struggling with last time I wrote, but I’m very relieved to say I’m feeling 100% better now, and thank you so much for all your kind messages and comments not just here, but on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – they were a real boost.
Being back at the Q has been a tonic in itself, and everyone backstage has gone above and beyond to keep us safe while we work. After 22 days of self-isolation, it felt very strange leaving the house. The M4 was almost empty on my journey in, and although we live fairly close to Heathrow there were very few planes flying overhead. I wake up most mornings now to the sound of birdsong, and more recently ducks quacking! Let me introduce Bert and Ethel! I believe that mallards can live between five to 10 years, so there’s every possibility that these two are the same couple that began visiting our garden four years ago. It’s not just the pool they love, but they sit patiently at the bottom of my bird table in the hope some of Richard Jackson’s High Energy bird food might land at their webbed feet! 🙂
Since I’ve felt better, I’ve been out in the garden as much as I can – wrapped up in a hat scarf and gloves before this warm spell. It’s been good to be able to help Colin with the inordinately large number of jobs we’ve been ‘putting off’ over the last 12 months. Armed with a large brush and equally large rubber gloves, I have finished creosoting the new fence Colin built, and have just the side gates to complete. I love the smell of creosote, it reminds me of my granddad and the tiny little potting shed he and nanny had in their garden. He kept all his tools in there and sometimes I would be allowed to help him plant out his seedlings. I’m so glad that QVC’s gardening shows are still going ahead, enabling us to order our plants and keep up with the pots and borders. There’s going to be another Lily Growing Challenge amongst the presenters this year – we are just waiting on the delivery of our corms! I’ve been delighted to see how my two olive trees are now flourishing since Colin planted them into the ground last spring.
Our friends Roz and Chris bought this one for us as a wedding present – almost five years ago now. Look how it’s grown! I do hope that if you’re not lucky enough to have a garden of your own that there is a least somewhere you can walk to for your daily exercise? I know a great many of our parks are now closed, so it’s not easy. We just have to take each day as it comes, and keep looking forward. This won’t be forever…
Having more time on my hand has meant it’s not just the garden that’s had my attention but some of those jobs in the house that I tend to avoid – like cleaning the silver! That looks so ostentatious written down, but I’m referring to a few silver photo frames, a collection of candle snuffers and a crystal and silver perfume bottle! They look so much nicer when they’re buffed, and it brought back memories of Sunday afternoons sitting with mum, and cleaning the silver cutlery we had then. 🙂 I’ve cleared a few kitchen cupboards too – my prize find being some cider vinegar with a sell-by date of 2011, and I had a field day with my H20 steam mop in the bathroom, loo and kitchen. So gratifying to get it done.
Something else I’ve been meaning to tackle is my inordinately large collection of photos that are not only taking up space on my phone but here on my computer too. When I found the photograph of my olive tree, I also found these memories of my granddaughter Honey when she was first born – just six weeks before my wedding in 2015… seems like yesterday.
I’m finding it hard not being able to spend time with her, but we’re keeping up with our bedtime stories, FaceTime conversations and the drawing game. I took a screen shot of us playing so you could admire Honey’s robot! 🙂
I also found this photograph of Colin and I in Nashville for the CMA’s in 2014. It made me smile as I mentioned the very same cowboy boots when I was on air with our fabulous Moda in Pelle footwear range on Tuesday.
Evenings at home have meant more TV, and we’re currently enjoying the new Julian Fellowes period drama Belgravia. Are you watching it? It’s beautifully filmed with a stellar cast and a very clever plot – I’d highly recommend it. Something else I thought was superb was The Split. Nicola Walker and Stephen Mangan head up the cast of this complicated drama about a family of divorce lawyers and their clients. I must have been living under a stone as I’d completely missed the highly acclaimed first series, but thanks to BBC iPlayer we were able to catch up and watch both series! Of course many of you have been enjoying the Book Club set up by Jackie Kabler, Catherine Huntley’s Beginners Guide to Sign Language and Kathryn Goldsmith’s Cookery Classes! It’s good to keep in touch this way, and to feel part of something, especially if you’re maybe spending a lot of time on your own. I’m hoping to set up something of my own now I’m well, so watch this space 🙂
Knowing that we’re in this together always makes us stronger I feel, and so I want to let you know about a special fund raising campaign that was launched by QVC just last week called Giving Back. It is our way of giving something back to the community by donating to The National Emergencies Trust who have partnered with the British Red Cross to raise and distribute funds to support communities in the UK made most vulnerable by the Coronavirus outbreak. QVC UK have pledged £50,000 to the appeal and will donate a further £2 for every £1 QVC staff and customers donate, and together we hope to raise up to £125,000. A special page has been set up on our QVCUK.com website QVC UK Giving Back and there you will find a blue button you’ll need to click to donate. I know under normal circumstances we’d be out there doing our thing and raising funds in all manner of ways, but because none of us can physically get out there and do our bit, I think this is a great way of showing we care.
And so to the competition I set last time – your chance to win all these fabulous beauty products that make up the prize worth over £350. I asked you to complete the famous quote that begins “If you want to be happy…” It was written by Leonard Tolstoy and required only one word to finish it… That word was ‘be’. Many of you got it correct, but I have to say again how inspired I was by the extraordinary number of original and thoughtful quotes you sent to me. So many tied in with the difficult times in which we are currently living, yet all of them were comforting and uplifting. The correct answers were put into a draw and a winner was chosen at random, and I can now reveal that the winner is…
We will get in touch with you and work out a way to safely the deliver this prize. CONGRATULATIONS!
I very much hope that you might have had the chance this Easter to raise your face to the sun, get out for your walk, cycle or essential visit to the shops and also managed to contact those you love, even if you weren’t able to be with them.
I’m looking forward to ‘seeing’ you again on Tuesday night at 8pm for Diamonique and will be inviting you as always, to be a part of the show in any way you choose. Be a part of our ‘Giving Back’ campaign too if you can, and remember that #QVCAlwaysWithYou.
Take care and stay safe.
With my love,