Almost August…

How is it possible that it is almost August? Well, it is and this August we celebrate twenty-five years of Butler & Wilson on QVC. I’m delighted to say I have several shows with Simon during the month and I’m also kicking things off with a pre-launch show on Friday at 7 p.m., where we’ll be showing you some of the pieces especially designed for QVC. Simon has done some collector’s pieces which have been engraved with QVC 25 to mark the occasion.

This is the reverse of a crown clutch pin, worked in sterling silver and set with Swarovski crystals that is reminiscent of the crown that sits atop Simon’s Fulham Road store in London. He’s also done the iconic shoe earrings in a host of colours and under £20. And above is the eye-catching crystal bee necklace, which is perfect for the summer when the bees are so hard at work.

Speaking of which, I captured this one inadvertently while I was taking a photo of this fragrant shrub in our garden, which is a veritable bee magnet. Does anyone know what it’s called?

We have lots of fragrant plants in the garden, but I also love fragrance indoors and I’ve treated myself to some new Yankee Candles this week. Actually, I need to thank a lady called Jo on Twitter, who tweeted me last Friday evening to draw my attention to the fact that QVC were showing a collection that featured Snow in Love, my favourite Yankee Candle fragrance, which is now retired.

I was online immediately to find the item number and while I was there, I also ordered the Home Spa Collection, which I’ve been meaning to do for a couple of weeks! So, I’m all set with lovely candles to burn around my home, probably for at least the remainder of this year. That said, I have a Yankee Candle show on Sunday at 4 p.m., so there are no guarantees that I won’t be tempted again!

Candles are a great way to disguise unpleasant odours, but there was nothing unpleasant about the aroma of this lovely dinner cooked for Chris and I by our son, Dan. The gnocchi was home-made and he adapted a pesto and pine-nut recipe that I normally do with pasta penne. I must say, I preferred it with gnocchi… or maybe I just preferred not having to make it!

We also had a lovely dinner last Saturday, but that was courtesy of our local Indian take-away restaurant. Our daughter, Sophie and her family had come around to join our ‘bubble’ and after dinner we played the card game ‘Chase the Ace’ and also Dudo, a Peruvian dice game which was hilarious. It’s less tactics, more luck, particularly when there are fewer and fewer dice on the table.

I’ve mentioned before that we had air-conditioning units installed in our family room because we are south-west facing at the back of our house and it gets very hot in the summer months. We don’t have one in the lounge though, as it is a much smaller room and would have looked quite intrusive, so I’ve been trialling the Dyson Air Purifier fan in there. It’s an excellent fan, cooling either a warm individual or the space very quickly, but it is also brilliant at cleansing the air. We seem to have been sneezing quite a lot this summer as I think the pollen levels have been high with the warm temperatures, but this really appears to help.

It is on the pricey side, but like all Dyson products, a lot of research and technology go into them before they come to the market. We have a Dyson V11 Today’s Special Value this Saturday with full hours featuring just the Today’s Special Value, but I have an hour of Dyson Top Offers at 2 p.m., which will feature various Dyson products.

Those of you who follow the progress of my writing will be pleased to hear that I exceeded my 2000 words a day target that I had set myself while I’ve been off this past nine days, taking me up to 66,000 words on the first draft of my next book – unfortunately, the story is still not told. That’s the thing with writing a book, you can work towards a word count for a deadline, but sometimes the story has a mind of its own. I’m hoping my editor is feeling generous and will give me a couple of extra weeks, otherwise there will be no sleep for me this weekend! I’m not making excuses, but my progress has been somewhat hampered by my MacBook Air playing up in terms of double-spacing when I only hit the space bar once. To give you an idea, this blog is around a thousand words and I’ve had to make forty-two corrections! Multiply that by twenty and you can imagine how frustrating it has been. It’s off to the Apple store to be looked at once I’ve finished writing today.

Just a reminder for those of you who listen to my live readings on Fridays, they are not on for the next couple of weeks – this week because of the Butler & Wilson show and next week because I’m on annual leave again. In fact, there won’t be a blog next week, but I’ll catch you up with all my news on the 14th August, the day after my mum’s 94th birthday!

So, as there is no blog next week, I thought I would treat you to a cute picture of Wilfie the cat to keep you going. I’d like to say that this super tidy drawer is mine, but I would be lying! Of my two children, Dan is definitely the ‘tidy’ one!

Well, have a lovely weekend, whatever you are up to, and if you love a bargain remember to tune in to QVC on Monday as it is ‘Sale’ day… fashion, gardening, beauty, jewellery and so much more.

Much love,
Julia xx

6 Responses

  1. Hi Julia
    Already made a sneaky purchase of a couple of Butler and Wilson pieces must have been buying for 25 years as have rather a lot ! Your bee magnet plant is Myrtle which Queen Victoria had in her wedding bouquet,
    Please give my regards to Simon and wish him many more years,

    1. Hi Jean
      Thanks for naming my plant and the added information re Queen Victoria – I knew it was a female name but for some reason couldn’t get Beryl out of my mind!
      Simon wasn’t allowed to come in on Friday but should be in for the rest of his anniversary shows – we’re together on the 16th
      Julia x

  2. Hi Julia,
    That’s a Myrtle evergreen shrub and it will grow up to 15 metres !!, according to my gardener hubby.

    1. Thanks Linda,
      It was in the garden when we bought our house but we had to move it when we extended. It’s done really well in its new position – at least 6ft tall
      Julia x

  3. Hi Julia
    Tip re air purifier, I have a different one in my bedroom and rather than having it stand on the carpet I have it on a thin cake board, does make a difference with prolonging the filter cleaning as it’s not directly picking up from the carpet and also acts as a barrier as some units can get warm underneath…just a thought!
    Nice to have a distraction at the moment and well done on your writing.
    After 25yrs together, my ex o/h has decided the grass is greener on the other side, so the past few weeks have been very painful and upsetting with still more to come, so whilst you may not see me on here, I will be reading your blog.
    Great picture of Wilfie BTW!
    Annette x

    1. Hi Annette
      Really sorry to hear your news – I hope you will be okay during what are bound to be difficult months ahead.
      Thanks for the tip re the fan – in the bedroom we tend to have it on a stool so that the air flow hits us rather than the base of the bed…. very hot, humid nights lately.
      Keep your chin up
      Julia x

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