Sunshine, laughter and tears…

Wow! What an amazing response to the ‘beauty haul’ competition on my last blog, but it was a pretty amazing prize. The winner has been randomly selected and notified – more on that later. Because of the number of entries, I won’t be able to respond to you all individually, but I’ve read all your comments and thanks to those of you who included birthday wishes.

Do I feel any different now that I could officially be claiming my state pension? No… in fact I’m feeling younger at the moment than I have in years because the health issues I’ve experienced in recent years seem to be under control. The endocrinologist tells me my pituitary gland is now functioning normally, but I’ll wait for the results of my brain scan next week before I start celebrating.

Speaking of which there has been a fair amount of celebrating over the past couple of weeks. The photo at the top of this blog was taken on the evening of my birthday when the family gathered for dinner at a local restaurant to help me mark the occasion. We sat outside as we had Quin the dog with us and if I’m honest it was borderline warm enough despite the glorious sunshine of earlier in the day. It was a lovely evening though topped off back at home with a slice of Espresso Martini birthday cake, courtesy of our son Dan’s fiancée, Katie – shame I didn’t get a photo before we all dived in!

My day had started well with some beautiful flowers from Chris and some funny little presents… one of them a mug he’d had made which I can’t share on here because of a ‘naughty’ word when describing me as ’66 and ******* fabulous!

My BIG present was this garden rocking chair which he ordered when it was a TSV last month. It had arrived just in the nick of time and only took about twenty minutes to assemble. As you can see from the photo, it really is a BIG present and soooooo comfy – really pleased we’ve been having the weather for me to enjoy it. Also sneaking into the photo is my ‘Brian the Snail’ purchase from QVC (his eyes light up at night courtesy of a solar panel) complete with his fuchsia. I did a final bit of planting on my birthday morning, using Richard Jackson’s Root Booster of course. I’ll post some photos on my next blog because everything is coming along nicely.

Chris finally managed to drag me from my comfy garden chair to go for a walk at nearby Virginia Water. Just look at that blue sky – we were so lucky with the weather. He probably regretted his suggestion as we ended up walking six kilometres – it was a good job I was wearing my ankle support!

Actually, to digress a moment, some of you may have seen on the news that traces of the disease poliomyelitis have been found in samples taken from the Beckton water treatment works in London. For those that don’t know, I contracted the paralytic form of this disease at 14 months of age and although nowhere near as badly affected as some, I’ve lived with the after-effects ever since, including needing remedial ankle surgery in January 2020. People think polio is consigned to the history books like smallpox, but it isn’t, although it is preventable thanks to the vaccine.

As well as my chair, Dan and Katie treated me to some new bedding, perfect as I’d hinted several times that I would like some, and Sophie and Reece got me a garden clock, a wall sign and these glorious flowers – the aroma of the peonies permeated the house for days.

My friend, Denise, who we recently went on holiday with came across for Pimms and a barbecue on the Saturday. We’d had a bit of a running joke about the ‘boys’ (I use the term loosely) not being brave enough to have tattoos and, unbeknown to me Chris had ordered some tattoo sleeves! Just look at them posing but it did make me laugh!

Last weekend it was Father’s Day, always a bit of a tricky one for those of us who no longer have our dads. It happened to fall on what would have been my dad’s 102nd birthday. I was fine in the morning even posting this photo of me holding my son, Dan at just a few months of age, (he’s now 35!) flanked by Chris and my dad. On the drive into QVC though, the song A Thousand Years by Christina Perri came on the radio.

To give context, this is the song I walked ‘down the aisle’ to at our beach wedding in Mauritius on my son’s arm. Just prior to this photo being taken, Dan had said to me, ‘Bobbie (our children’s name for my dad) would have been so proud of you.’ I only just held it together on my wedding day but didn’t stand a chance on Father’s Day.

I hope you were able to either celebrate with or remember your dad with affection last Sunday. Our children came over to ours again and we had takeaway pizza – Chris’s choice – followed by a luscious lemon cake which I’d thrown together before work.

Speaking of which, I need to head into QVC now but not before congratulating Shayni Thomas, the winner of all these beauty goodies. I really hope you’ll enjoy using some of my favourite QVC beauty products, Shayni.

Have a great weekend
Much love
Julia xx

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