I mentioned on my last blog that the tenth anniversary since being diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia was approaching on 26th April. On the first anniversary, we went to Brighton to celebrate that I’d made it through the year, and we tried to do that on each 26th April, but obviously it hasn’t been possible for the past couple of years due to the pandemic. The family weren’t able to come with us this time as they were all working, but we did have an extra guest in the shape of Quin, our son, Dan and his fiancée, Katie’s dog. If you’re wondering about ‘Glamma’, I didn’t call myself that – it was Katie who came up with it along with ‘Christopa’ for Chris!
Quin was as good as gold and particularly enjoyed stopping at every single doggy water bowl for a drink! His only naughty moment was eating a shell on the beach – is it normal for dogs to like fish? Bear in mind I’m a cat person, so that is a genuine question. It hasn’t done him any harm as we had him for an overnight stay this week while his pawrents had some building work done on their porch.
Although the family couldn’t come to Brighton with us, we did all get together in the evening for a family meal at a restaurant called The Seahorse near Guildford, which we’ve driven past loads of times and I was keen to try. It was a lovely evening, and I was even on the receiving end of this gift from our daughter, Sophie. She knows how much I love bees and their symbolism.
In case you don’t know, the bee symbolises hard work and persistence. Aerodynamically, the bee is not designed to fly but it doesn’t know that, so it flies anyway – kind of the story of my life.
Speaking of bees, the Ceanothus in my garden is a positive bee magnet and it is even more beautiful than ever this year. I love the colour so much that we now have four dotted around, three with the bushy growing habit but also a ground cover one. To say that they are all laden with blossom is an understatement and they are alive with the hum of bees hard at work when you walk past or perhaps sit next to them in your favourite garden chair.
How lucky am I? I mentioned to Chris how much I liked the Today’s Special Value chair from last Saturday when I sat in it on the garden set at work. It is soooooo comfortable and has a rocking habit rather than a swinging habit, which I’m less keen on. He always struggles to think of a birthday gift for me, but not this year. The grey one, which works best with our garden furniture, is due to be shipped the week of my birthday… I can’t wait, for the chair that is, not this particular birthday! I officially become a pensioner this June (note I missed the “old age” bit of the description) so maybe Chris is imagining me slowing down a bit – not going to happen! I have edits for my next book and a first draft for the book after that to be getting on with, not to mention QVC.
On the subject of books, I was asked to be a guest at a literary festival last Sunday. It was the first year Birchington had held a literary festival and the first for me as a guest speaker. I had a lovely chat with interviewer, Karen Beynon, and also met and signed some of my books for readers. Note I was wearing the same Dannii Minogue pink trousers that I was wearing while reclining in the garden chair above! I now have them in cobalt blue too. The rest of my outfit was also QVC. Skechers leather trainers, Joules top and Dannii Minogue faux suede jacket which is GORGEOUS.
I ditched the jacket in preference for something a bit warmer (also QVC – Centigrade) when we drove down to Margate after the festival for a walk along the sea front. It wasn’t cold, but it was a bit cool and grey and with a spit of rain in the air.
It was a trip down memory lane for us, as Chris worked in summer season in Margate forty years ago. Funnily enough, he shared a bungalow in Birchington with two other members of the Jim Davidson backing band. I wasn’t able to stay for the season due to work commitments, but I visited whenever possible. This photo was taken by Chris on one of Margate’s beautiful sandy beaches – be honest, with that blue sky, it doesn’t look like the English seaside, does it?
We went in search of The Winter Gardens theatre, which is the venue Chris worked at. I was shocked to see the disrepair it has fallen into, although apparently it is still hosting live shows – Josh Widdecombe was on the bill on Sunday. I hope it can be saved from falling derelict by someone with deep pockets.
So, a long day in Kent, but a lovely refreshing shower revived me when we got home using the rose shower oil from the L’Occitane Today’s Special Value, which is new to me.
The Today’s Special Value launches on air tomorrow at 9pm but is already available to purchase online. It’s a really good offer with half litre sizes of the shower oil, liquid soap and eco refill of liquid soap, and a separately boxed hand cream, all for £53.46, which is less than half the usual price, and it’s on 3 interest-free Easy Pay instalments. And if rose isn’t your fragrance, it comes in vanilla as a different option. I’ll see you on Sunday for L’Occitane shows at 2pm and 5pm, with gardening shows making up the rest of my weekend.
Hopefully see you there!