What a wonderful trip down memory lane it has been to read all your holiday stories, I find it incredible that so many of us visited Alum Bay on the Isle of White at least once, and that so many more of us chose to put our sands in a lighthouse shaped phial! Alum Bay is of course the correct answer and having picked just one of the myriad of correct answers, I am delighted to announce that our winner is: Hilary Patterson! Congratulations! Liz Earle will be despatching your prize to you, directly from the Isle of Wight.
Slightly ironic that within a couple of days of posting the blog, I was with my mum, who took me for a lovely day out to Lee-on-Solent. Of course from there you can actually see the Isle of Wight, and although the weather really wasn’t brilliant, the sun deigned to shine on us for about 20 minutes. We’d been collecting shells – well I had! – but made the most of the warm rays by sitting on the wall between a row of beach huts! We reminisced about our family holiday all those years ago, when we stayed in Sandown at the Jesmond Dene hotel. My dad’s legendary lack of common sense came up in conversation, and we both remembered the infamous near accident in the sea water! My sister Jenny, brother Peter and I, all stood in a line in the seawater, holding onto dad’s hands. Jenny was barely seven years old and very small, and as the waves came in, everyone jumped to avoid them, but Jenny’s head never rose above the level of the water! It took a couple of waves before mum’s screaming alerted my father, who then rescued a rather soggy Jenny!
Before our brief sojourn beachside, Mum and Joe took me to lunch at a fabulous pub – The Osborne View – which has huge windows looking out onto the Solent, and across the water to the Isle of Wight and Osborne House. Although it was a little grey that day, I could still see the outline of this imposing property built between 1845 – 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. I promised mum that this summer we’ll go there and maybe treat her to a Liz Earle facial in Ryde too! I have other treats lined up for her this next week, as it was her 80th birthday last year, and Colin and I weren’t able to celebrate with her, as we were on our honeymoon! Jenny and I have planned two days filled with special things for her to enjoy, and are looking forward to it very much – better late than never eh?!
Last weekend was Colin’s birthday, and I wanted to thank you so much for your kind birthday wishes and tweets. Although his birthday was on Bank Holiday Monday, we had all the family and a few friends over on Sunday. Great choice of day as the weather was corking! I had made masses of cold finger food but Roz and Chris bought Colin a deep fat fryer (so he could make chips like his mum used to) and as the evening wore on, he set it up and not only produced chips that Roddy Doyle would have been proud of, but on Sam’s instigation, he deep fried halloumi cheese too! Wicked but very tasty. I made his favourite cake in my KitchenAid – Victoria Sandwich with a twist – meringue crushed into the fresh cream and strawberry filling! He had two other cakes too – a chocolate cake from daughter Vicky, and a very unusual but tasty custard and fruit cake from Jean!
All eight of our children were with us, including their partners, and little Honey enjoyed playing in the garden! I spent a lovely day with her just this week, when Lucy had to go for a job interview, and we had great fun inside Honey’s new home – a pink mushroom! Her eight teeth have really changed her face, and she sometimes looks so grown up… particularly in this photo (right).
It’s been a busy few weeks at the Q too, and I’ve had some great midnight hours with all sorts of different products. It made me smile the other day to realise how many things around my home I have bought over the years from QVC. My Nutri Ninja makes my breakfast and any spare goes into a Lock & Lock! I warmed Colin’s croissants in the Air Fryer before going out to mow the lawn and then strim the edges with my GTech strimmer. If I’m feeling noble I’ll clean the entire house with the Dyson Fluffy, and then treat myself to a sit down in the garden on my recliner. Oh, and I mustn’t forget the fact I’m able to enjoy my pots in full flower thanks to Richard Jackson’s flower power, illuminated at night with my Luxform solar lights and a vast array of flameless lanterns! That’s only the tip of the iceberg in truth, but once you’ve read this blog, check out our website, especially Clearance, as there are loads of bargains to be had!
This is my long break before I’m back with you next Thursday at 9pm for Diamonique, when I will be joined by the marvellous Andrea McLean. I find her great company, and we’ve had some lovely shows together over the years. I had an absolute hoot with her just last week when I mentioned – innocently – that I’d enjoyed celebrating Colin’s birthday with him that morning! It wasn’t a hot flush that time that made me blush! She is bringing with her a stunning Angel Wing pendant which would look beautiful with the angel wing earrings we had such success with last time.
There’ll be several more of her designs in the hour too, and my pick of course I’ve chosen an update on our all time most successful tennis bracelet. It’ll be available in all three colours – rose, gold and rhodium – and in three different lengths, and you’ll be pleased to know that it has a magnetic clasp and two easy payments! I do hope you can join me for that.
I’ll leave you with this photograph I took just before the heavens opened, of a meadow close to home. Very strange the way the rain falls just in specific areas. This side of the road had puddles for 24 hours, whereas we didn’t get a drop in our garden! I think it’s much the same for the rest of the country, but I do hope you get to see the sun a little over this month.
Colin and I are still prevaricating over where to go for our summer holiday this year. We’ll be leaving later than usual as we don’t want to miss the birth of baby Elsworth in July, so any suggestions would be welcome!
Take care, have a great week, and as always I look forward very much to hearing how things are in your world.
Love Ali xx