Firstly, apologies that I haven't written a blog for a couple of weeks – as those of you who read my blog regularly know, I write it on a Friday and for the last two Fridays I've been on a plane … lame excuse but I'm sticking to it!
Chris and I managed to get away for a week during my time off from work and what a lovely getaway it was. We revisited Barbados, where we celebrated our thirtieth anniversary, as we both love it. It has been a crazy couple of years for us, the second anniversary of my CML diagnosis is looming this month, so we figured we should celebrate that I'm still around.
We stayed at a resort called The Sugar Cane Club and I would highly recommend it if you want a bit of peace and quiet. It's on a hillside with views of the west coast although sadly we didn't see any amazing sunsets while we were there. We did however see monkeys roaming around in the hotel garden on our first morning, along with two cockerels and a family of hens! There were also lots of birds and one in particular had me panicking that we had a mouse in our room … let me explain.
Neither Chris or I take sugar in our hot drinks so I was very surprised one morning to find two packs of sugar lying on the kitchenette work surface, torn open with the contents spilled. I asked at the reception if it could be a mouse and was greeted by laughter, "No it's the birds, you must have left your French doors open."
Really?? I was a bit disbelieving as I couldn't imagine a bird flying into the room, finding the sugar and flying out again without either of us noticing. How wrong I was. That afternoon I was sat at my laptop writing my novel (another nine chapters written whilst away) when a beautiful, small black bird with a bright yellow breast flew into the room and settled on the counter top about four feet away from me.
It then proceeded to fly to the bowl with the coffee, tea and sugar sachets in it, selected the sugar and pulled it out onto the surface. All the time I was talking to it and eventually it lost its nerve as it flew behind me to settle on the sofa before exiting the way it had come in. Cheeky little monkey! We also had a couple of sparrows visit us for sugar, which we offered them on a saucer when sitting on the balcony.
Sugar Cane Club had a decent sized swimming pool so I was able to get plenty of swimming in, usually at the end of the day when most of the other guests were sipping cocktails or getting ready for dinner. I didn't swim a hundred lengths but I did do sixty on a couple of occasions – well I needed to keep the exercise up whilst away from my Pilates machine.
Speaking of which, I have a Pilates show on Thursday at 2pm with the lovely Caroline Sandry. I don't know if you remember but she used to be a model for QVC and she was so impressed by Marjolein Brugman and the Pilates machine that she took her Personal Trainer qualifications, specialising in Pilates. Marjolein can't make it for the show so Caroline and I will be demo'ing for you.
Our week in Barbados seemed to go very quickly but we used up every minute with trips to the beach near Sandy Lane on the 'Boogie' bus, packed lunch and all, and even went on a glass-bottom boat trip before we left for the airport on our departure day.
We were treated to an appearance by the turtles as our boatman threw in bait for them and I was about to go in for a swim until one one of them 'pooped' under our boat … I changed my mind!
The boatman was also pointing out the houses of all the 'rich and famous' along the coastline. If you watch X Factor you may recognise this as 'allegedly' one of the judges houses … gorgeous isn't it?
Apparently it isn't their house at all but I wonder if you know whose house it was said to be??? No prizes, just for fun.
Although it was a long flight I managed to catch up on four films I had been wanting to see so it wasn't wasted time. I watched Gravity, Philomena (which made me laugh and cry – beautiful film), Dallas Buyer's Club and The Heat with Sandra Bullock, which just made me laugh. Our flight home got in at 6.30am, so just time for a short nap before heading to Selhurst Park to watch Crystal Palace take on Chelsea.
To be honest, I wasn't expecting anything from the game but was hopeful for a draw. What a fantastic effort from the team, especially Ward and Speroni, to clinch a 1 – 0 victory. Brilliant! We had already lost four hours because of the time difference, then we lost another hour with the clocks going forward.
No mind I still had to get up early Sunday as I had promised Daniel that we would go and watch his CPFC U10s who were also playing Chelsea. It was at the Chelsea training ground in Cobham and what fabulous facilities they have, including a small spectator stand!!! Palace Academy may not have the same facilities but they must have good coaches (I would say that!) because they acquitted themselves well, losing one half, drawing two and winning one … proud mother moment, particularly apt as it was Mother's Day.
Sophie came over later in the afternoon and we all went for dinner to a restaurant called Bluebells, which is close to where we now live. I was treated to Leon's Vegetarian Cookery Book and some reed diffusers, as well as a gorgeous bunch of flowers in pinks and purples.
Talking of flowers, Peony are back on QVC on Sunday as part of our Founders Day – it's 21 years since QVCUK was incorporated and in celebration everything on air will be free P&P. The TSV is Mally, but not sure if it will still be around for our show at 8pm.
Back to Peony, check out the Sunday Times this weekend as there is a feature on Peony which you may find interesting. Wilfie certainly found this Peony Phalenopsis Orchid interesting!! He loves plants, so much so that we have had to move our yukka outside as he keeps eating it, but I think he was fooled by how real the orchid looked.
Well, I really must stop now or this will turn into a 'novelette' and I'm on air in three hours time -eek! Do join me for Fashion on Friday today at 5pm as it is a Fashion Edit looking at 'top summer bottoms', 'top summer dresses, and 'top summer seperates'.
Have a great weekend!
Much love, Julia xx