The first caught me totally by surprise and was actually the week before my birthday – the last day I was on air at QVC before my holiday. I had already been pleasantly surprised when the Elemis team presented me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers at the end of my Elemis show with Keeley – aren’t they stunning? Gorgeous summer colours.
Fashion on Friday on 3rd June was with Jenny from Together. We had a really enjoyable show and as 6pm approached I was told over our talkback system in my earpiece that Debs Flint was going to walk onto set to ‘tease’ her 7pm show, wearing a Together tunic. I turned to welcome her, and she was pushing a trolley with a huge cake in the shape of a 60. I was totally gobsmacked – if you missed the complete reaction, here it is.
Huge thanks to my friend and colleague, Nat Gray, for organising it, Jo for baking the yummy cake and Debs for agreeing to come in early to help with the surprise.
Saturday was spent last minute shopping for my holiday, picking up my new glasses and gardening. Yes, you read that correctly!
I have been so busy lately with all the book stuff that I hadn’t had a chance to plant my hanging basket and various other containers I like to have dotted around with summer bedding. Daniel and Sophie were incredulous as it meant I didn’t actually start packing my suitcase for our early flight on Sunday morning until past 6pm on Saturday evening!
It was worth it though as a riot of colour greeted me when I drew back the curtains yesterday morning. I guess all the rain in the UK has helped my plants establish but my heart goes out to you if you’ve been caught up in the flooding.
Unsurprisingly, there was no rain in Spain for the whole eleven days I was there – although we did have a couple of cloudy days and it was very gusty at times. The first three days it was just Sophie, Daniel and me, then on Wednesday, Chris, my friend Denise, and her partner, Steve, arrived with two of my friends from QVC, the aforementioned Nat, and Teresa.
Wednesday afternoon was a ‘lolling by the pool’ day, but Thursday we went to the nearby Arenal beach in Javea and four of us went jet-ski-ing. The last day of my fifties was spent in part speeding through the waves off the Spanish coast, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. At some point that evening I must have been reminiscing with Denise about a party we went to when we were in The Price Is Right together – I’ll explain in a moment.
My birthday morning dawned a little grey to start with but it very quickly brightened, in more ways than one. It transpired that while I had been dropping off to sleep the previous night, Sophie, Nat and Teresa had been blowing up balloons and pinning up 60th birthday banners and that was what greeted me bright and early on the 10th.
Not only that, but Sophie had already been up for a couple of hours making raspberry coulis to go in the bottom of the champagne, so thoughtfully purchased at the airport duty free shop by Denise and Steve. That is what I had been remembering with affection the previous day and Denise had asked Sophie if she would be able to make it. After a quick search on the internet Sophie was all over it. If you’ve never tried it, you should for your next celebration. Just spoon the coulis into the bottom of a champagne flute, top up with fizz and drop in a strawberry – really delicious.
Next it was cards and pressies – I won’t say too much but thanks to my lovely family and friends for truly thoughtful presents and I can barely wait until October when I’ll be going to watch the awesome Andrea Bocelli – predictably I cried upon opening this present. After an afternoon relaxing, me with Philip Kingsley’s Rhubarb and Elderflower Elasticizer in my hair (pictured below), we got ready to go out for birthday dinner at Satari’s, in Moraira, owned by Slim n Lift guest Janie Renner’s sister and brother in law, Abi.
He had put up birthday balloons and banners, Steve treated each of us girls to a rose with an extra one for the birthday girl, but possibly my highlight of the evening was Sophie getting up to sing two songs – proud mummy moment. I can honestly say it is one of the happiest birthdays I’ve ever had – thank you to my friends and family for making it so special, I feel very fortunate.
Once the birthday party went home on Sunday, Chris, Daniel and I enjoyed another three days of relaxation, although I have been swimming a lot, before Chris and I headed home on Wednesday evening. Our flight was nicely co-ordinated to allow Daniel to pick up three of his friends for a week’s holiday – I think a lot of watching football (Euro 2016) will be going on. Actually, Dan gave me his John Grisham book, The Litigators, to read once I had finished ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes. Very different books but both highly enjoyable and I would recommend them.
On the subject of books, I mentioned on my last blog that I was doing an interview on a book show on Marlow FM radio - click here if you fancy a listen – and for any other book news just head over to my webpage www.juliarobertsbooks.co.uk
So, after a fabulous holiday, the fly in the ointment was that our flight back to the UK was delayed by over two hours, meaning we didn’t climb into bed until 3am (4am Spanish time). This had a bit of a knock-on effect as I was due to be going to Ascot yesterday. I dragged myself out of bed, did my hair and make-up, and arrived at around 12.30 but realised virtually straight away that my pounding head wasn’t conducive with wearing a heavy hat for hours so sadly I never went inside the racecourse, deciding it would be best to return home and curl up on the sofa instead.
At least England managed their first victory of Euro 2016, plus I had the pleasure of a second birthday card opening session. Thanks so much to those of you who sent cards (many kindly forwarded by Debs Flint) – if you gave me your address, I’ll drop you a thank you note.
Well no Focus on Fashion today, but normal service will be resumed on next week’s blog. I’m back on QVC next Thursday for The Lunchtime Show at 1pm (doing pre-records the rest of the day) and then Friday at 2pm SBC, 4pm Liz Earle and 5pm Fashion on Friday with Antthony.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend – let’s hope the weather picks up – and see you all soon.