We’ve had some lovely weather here in the South, and I hope it’s been the same for you. Apologies for being so slow in responding to those of you who wrote to me on the last blog. We had so many entries to the competition, it took me a while to read through them all! I’m delighted to announce that Brenda Watson won the beautiful Lola Rose TSV bracelet and also the necklace, as her name was drawn out of all the other correct guesses in naming the necklace. It was indeed Hannah, as that is Nikki’s middle name, and her team felt it fitting to continue with the theme.
I’m hoping to have something suitably spectacular for a Christmas competition in December, so watch this space!
Of course it’s officially Christmas from now on at QVC, and I have to say I think this years Christmas trees and colours are some of my favourite. I did rather miss the cosy set by the fireplace when I was with Stephen from Yankee Candles last week.
I had a wonderful surprise when my dear friends Roz and Chris told me that I was to be accompanying them to the 30 Year Anniversary performance of Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre on the Haymarket in London.
You may not be aware that Chris makes the theatrical curtains and drapes for most of the London theatres, including all of the Cameron Macintosh productions like Phantom, Miss Saigon, Mary Poppins and Half a Sixpence to name but a few! He works alongside a lovely lady called Rosalind who very kindly asked me to come along as her plus one.
She is an avid QVC fan, and so we had a fair bit to talk about outside of hers and Chris’s amazing achievements – I felt so proud of them both, as did Roz. It was great fun to get dressed up in our finery and sparkles – Chris included! and after a fabulous meal in a lovely restaurant, we found our seats and sat back to watch this incredible Opera. I have to admit to seeing it over 20 years ago, but the bonus of now having such an appalling memory is that I didn’t remember anything! It was like watching it for the first time, and the cast were simply outstanding.
After a standing ovation, not only did Cameron Macintosh appear on stage but so did Andrew Lloyd Webber, Michael Ball, Michael Crawford, and a whole host of previous leading men and women from the show. They all entertained us with the history of the show, some stunning singing accompanied by Andrew Lloyd Webber on the piano, and a fair bit of fooling around which was hilarious. There was an after show party too at the Prince of Wales theatre and we drank champagne, ate more fabulous food, and danced the night away. I even got to meet the delightful Mr Macintosh!
It was just the best of times, and I felt very lucky to have been asked to share such a special night with such lovely friends.
Chris and Roz
I’ve managed to squeeze in a few visits to Lucy and Honey, and stayed over on both Wednesday nights, which was lovely as last week was Lucy’s birthday and so I was with her for that. An added bonus was that Simon’s boys George and Henry were also there.
I got up early and made breakfast for them all before school and had forgotten just how much there is to do, even though the boys are extremely good at sorting themselves out! Honey joined in as you can see here, and I had a hilarious conversation with Henry who was telling me about his mum’s new puppy. “How big is he?” “Almost as big as my friend Adam Jute from school.” ‘Ah. And what colour is he?” “White.” “All over?” “Adam? Yes, white all over.” Love him!
Being with them all reminds me of how much I enjoyed those days with my own children, their company, their conversations, their unquestioning love and loyalty, not just to each other, but to me too.
Life hasn’t always been that easy for any of them, and like most families we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs. Those of you who have been with me for the last eight years or more will know about my son Sam’s motorbike accident in 2007 when as a result of his injuries he lost his right leg. He was just 18 at the time, and it changed the course of his life forever. Sam lived with Colin and I for the first three years, and had just moved out and started University when I was diagnosed.
In June this year Sam’s friend Edd Hawkes made a film about Sam’s journey over the last nine years. Edd had been studying film at college and this was his final project. He and Sam started junior school together, and he described it as ‘humbling’ to put into film, all that Sam’s been through. He was awarded an HND at distinction level when he graduated.
I wanted to share this film with you:
I saw this film for the first time in August, when Edd posted it on his Facebook page. I had no idea that it had been made, and it had a profound effect on me. Although I feel I have lived Sam’s journey with him, there are things here I have never heard him say, and as his mother, they will stay with me always. I am beyond proud of my boy. For never giving up, for facing his fears, for finding the strength to accept his situation, and for finally believing in himself as I have always believed in him.
I hope that for those of you currently struggling with life it will get easier, and remember that between us, Ali’s Army provides an incredible support network. Do keep in touch with me, and I will always get back to you.
Time stands still for no man, and I must crack on with my day. I’ve got Toni Brattin’s terrific range of hair pieces and wigs on Thursday the 20th at 6pm – can’t wait to have a play with those! Join me and see which one I wear. Of course there’s the Diamonique Spectacular on Thursday the 27th October – a three hour event I am soooo looking forward to bringing to you, and a very special Honora Pearls hour with Ralph on Friday the 4th November which is Jewellery Day! So much to look forward to.
I thought I’d leave you with the latest photo of Calla Lily – how gorgeous is she?!
Enjoy your week, and I will look forward very much to hearing from you as always,
With my love,