What a difference a day makes! Yesterday, I was enjoying the bright sunshine and warm breezes, and today the sky is decidedly grey and it’s lashing with rain. It’s so dark that I’ve got my desk light on even though it’s only mid-morning! But to be fair, this last week or so has been the Indian summer we are always promised, but that rarely materialises. I do hope you had good weather too, and were able to make the best of it! I know from your comments that many of you who’ve been away are now home, and those who’ve had the summer off are back to work. Colin started a building job at the beginning of August, but we had a long-standing engagement in the diary for our friend Chris’ 60th birthday so he didn’t work that Saturday. Roz had started organizing the party months ago, and even when I stayed in July she was making and freezing scones. She spent weeks batch baking and getting the garden and house ready for their friends and family who had all been invited to celebrate with him in their lovely home in Dorset. They couldn’t have been luckier with the weather, and everyone fully appreciated their beautiful garden and all the food they’d prepared and barbecued.
Those of you who know me well will remember that Roz and Chris are old school friends, and they are still in touch with a number of other folk who also attended Wayneflete Secondary School in the 70s. This photo of us was taken in the early afternoon, and pre-empted a not-too shabby rendition of our old school song!
As Chris is the first of us to turn 60, I think we’ve got a fair few parties yet to come, but we may drop the singing next time 🙂 We stayed outside until the sunset and were treated to this fabulous full moon. My first attempts to capture it on my phone failed dismally until someone kindly pointed out that I had some kind of sauce smeared on the lens!! So much better after I’d wiped that off 🙂
Talking of parties, Colin and I were delighted to be asked to Simon Wilson’s 50th anniversary party at the very swanky Sea Containers 12th Knot roof-top venue. It’s been 50 years since Simon set up the company Butler & Wilson, and this was a fitting tribute to his tremendous skill, imagination and all the hard work he’s put in over those years in building such an empire. He has dressed royalty and umpteen celebrities, as well as designing couture jewellery for the likes of Adele, Madonna, the Duchess of Cambridge and David Bowie. Of course we are very lucky at QVC to have his fabulous jewellery and accessory collection, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who owns a fair few pieces and has gifted many more. The party invitation arrived last month, and the code of dress read: We do not do subtle! I was delighted to have an occasion to wear this stunning teal sequined dress that I’d bought years ago to host our Breast Cancer Charity night. Luckily it hid all of my scars, and I have to admit to feeling a million dollars in it. I of course wasn’t the only one wearing sequins, as the many QVC friends and colleagues who were there also glittered and sparkled and looked incredibly glamorous.
The champagne flowed, the music played, and we danced all night! I took quite a few photos so here are just some memories to share with you. Colin and I stayed overnight in a riverside hotel, and even had breakfast in our room – a fitting end to a fabulous night out.
We took our time driving home, and were sitting in traffic when my sister called me. She’d had a long conversation with Mum’s doctor and the news wasn’t good. Although Mum’s chest infection has cleared, she still isn’t eating or drinking very much at all, and her mind is almost permanently muddled. She is becoming very frail, and in terms of time, Jenny was told it may only be weeks now before she’s too weak to go on. This obviously was devastating news, and so Colin and I continued down the motorway to Portsmouth where mum is in hospital. She still recognises us all, and is happy to hold our hands and talk, but her conversation makes little sense… Sam and Jack have been to see her, Lucy is there today, and both my brother’s children visited along with Jenny’s daughters too. My cousin Colin, who lives in Somerset also came, and mum remembered a great deal of her past while talking to him. In between my days at work, I’ve been driving to and fro, and some visits are better than others. I’ve taken Joe to see Mum, and he is coping well – his family are now helping him to make plans moving forwards… There is a possibility they may move Mum to a nursing home, but at the moment the general feeling is that she’s so very well looked after and is used to her surroundings that a change may not be good for her. It’s heartbreaking to think that just three months ago I visited with Lucy and Honey, and although Mum was having trouble walking, she was bright and relatively mobile. Just so difficult to take it all in really, but I wanted to let you know as you’ve been so kind and concerned, and your words and thoughts have been, and continue to be, a huge comfort to me.
It’s lucky that Jenny lives far closer to Mum than me, so she is able to visit most days and I’m heading there whenever I can. I find working helps keep me from over-thinking everything, and I’ve had some busy shows and great guests too.
This week of course we will have our Christmas Preview on the 25th September, with an illuminating TSV! It’s item number 518619 and is a set of three Pull Cord Lightbulbs with a colour change option. They’re under £20 so I’d grab them while they’re still in stock. I’ll be bringing Christmas Gift ideas and a whole hour of home decorations for the festive period. Later in the week Kelly Hoppen’s ‘K’ home brand features with a Crinkled Faux-Fur throw as a TSV (item number 808850) and Babyliss have a fabulous Diamond Radiance Dual Big Hair rotating air styling brush up for grabs too (item number 401516). It’s only £36.98 so may be just what you’ve been looking for as a gift for a friend or for yourself!
One final thing I wanted to give you a heads up on is the Emu All Weather Latrobe leather and Suede zip mid-length boot that’s coming at the very beginning of October. It is a brand new design that’s waterproof, and will come in six different colours – Black, Dark Grey, Oak, Claret, Brown and Olive Green. Lined with Emu’s sumptuous sheepskin, the boot has a zip to make it easier to put on and take off. The price is excellent, so if you keep in touch with me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram I will be able to let you know the price nearer the time, and then you can decide on your preferred colour!
I’ll leave you with these rather fabulous photographs I took when I was last out for a walk with Honey and Lucy. We couldn’t quite work out what had happened to the acorns though? Any thoughts?
Thanks so much for the lovely comments last time, and I hope I managed to answer them all. Ali’s Army is dear to my heart and particularly comforting during these difficult days. Take care and I’ll be in touch.
With my love,