This coming Sunday might be a tricky one for those of us who no longer have our Dads on this earth. I lost mine in November 2007 and although I still miss him and wish he could have stayed for longer, I have learned to appreciate that we were very lucky to have him for as long as we did. It would have been his 101st birthday this Saturday too.
With perfect timing, my first few sweet peas bloomed earlier this week, the relevance being that they were my dad’s favourites. He grew them most years from seed and I have enduring memories of the rows of canes to support them and the runner beans, which he was also a dab hand at growing, at the bottom of the garden of my childhood home on Musters Road in West Bridgford, Nottingham. I have tried to grow sweet peas from seed a few times over the years but without much success, so this year I ordered the Richard Jackson plants and they have gone ‘bonkers’! Not only are they a delight to look at, sweet peas also have a beautiful fragrance, again bringing back childhood memories. I will be cutting some to bring indoors at some point, but my house is currently awash with flowers – more on that in a moment. I have actually ordered some runner bean plants from Plants2Gardens, which should be arriving any day… I hope they will be as successful as the sweet peas!
Apparently, according to my husband, Chris, mine are doing a lot better than our next-door neighbours and he would know as he was asked to water their garden for them while they were away for a few days. He willingly obliged (odd really, as I’m always the one that waters our garden) and for his trouble was given some home-grown rhubarb and a couple of bottles of Pinot Noir.
The wine is unopened as yet, but the rhubarb has been stewed and frozen for some delicious crumbles with custard when the weather turns cooler. I know rhubarb is an acquired taste, a bit like Marmite really, but I love both the taste and the smell of it. The Philip Kingsley Elasticizer in Rhubarb & Elderflower was a real favourite of mine – mind you, I’ve loved most of their fragranced ones as they leave my hair smelling gorgeous as well as looking shiny and feeling silky soft.
Mentioning beauty products, I’m really sad not to be on with Caroline Archer for this weekend’s Liz Earle shows. The good news is that I won’t be completely missing her as she is the subject on this morning’s Permission to Pry on my @juliagroberts Instagram if you fancy watching live at 11am. I do always put the video up afterwards if you won’t be able to watch live. I have a snoop on my ‘subject’s’ Instagram grid before our chat and I have to say there is a lot on there about Caroline that you may not realise just from watching her on QVC. She also no longer has her dad, although her loss was much more recent than mine. In a way, it’s a good job that she will be busy presenting the Today’s Special Value on QVC this Sunday.
That said, it is already available to pre-order and by all accounts is proving to be very popular. The collection has 200ml sizes of the iconic Cleanse & Polish and Instant Boost Skin Tonic, your choice of Superskin Moisturiser in either Original or Natural Neroli, and new to us, the Superskin Alt Retinol Paste, an overnight treatment which everyone is raving about that leaves skin looking plumped and with a youthful glow. It’s a smidge under £50 and is on five interest-free Easy Pay instalments, so you could get it home to try using your 60-day money back guarantee for an initial £9.99 plus P&P. I’m looking forward to trying my sample when I eventually pick it up from my dressing room, which looks as though it will be Wednesday 23rd.
I really wasn’t expecting to be off this long following my cataract operation, but after initial issues with the chemical preservatives in the eye drops you have to use many times a day, it took a while for my eye to ‘recover’. Then, of course, there has been the problem with my vision not improving as it should have done. Yesterday, I went to Moorfields eye hospital for a third opinion on why this might be and was relieved to hear that I’m not going mad with the symptoms I’m describing. There are a couple of possible causes, and both have solutions eventually, but for the time being I will have to rely on my other eye with a contact lens in to be able to see what I’m doing.
I hadn’t realised quite how blurry my vision was without glasses or a lens until my train journey into London yesterday. It was the first time I’ve travelled by train since January 2020 and was actually slightly busier than I expected on the journey into town. On the way back though, it was pretty quiet as you can see from the photo, but it was a good job I had Chris with me or I might have got on the wrong train, particularly after having the pupils in both eyes dilated so that the consultant could thoroughly check my eyes!
So, back to my house being full of flowers. It was my birthday last Thursday and knowing my love of flowers, my family all sent me beautiful bouquets. The first ones were from Chris and were on the breakfast table, along with some thoughtful gifts, which included a fab pair of trainers that unfortunately weren’t very comfortable so had to be returned. I think I’m best sticking with Skechers, which seem to be perfect on my feet.
The second lot of flowers, from my son and his girlfriend, arrived as a delivery. They had a small box of chocolates that amazingly I haven’t sampled yet. They also got me a beautiful silver ‘family tree’ necklace following a post that I’d put up on Instagram about families spreading their branches but the roots always being there.
And then in the evening, prior to dinner out with Sophie and Reece, another first in over eighteen months to eat dinner ‘out out’ in a restaurant, my third beautiful selection of summer flowers. My treat from them is Afternoon Tea for Two at Pennyhill Park in Surrey, where the England football team stayed as their base for some of their recent international games.
Speaking of which, great start for both England and Wales in the Euros – long may it continue… wouldn’t it be great if one of the home nations could bring the trophy home this time…
Well, that’s it from me for now and hopefully I’ll see you back on air on Wednesday.