She has three grown-up children and off screen she enjoys spending time with them and her partner Colin, good food, music and the odd glass of wine!
Another week’s passed and I still don’t have my iPad, but we do still have this glorious weather - although I have to admit to finding the storms a little disturbing! Thanks to all of you for your response to the blog, and for letting me know how things are going - Mary, no doubt you could have done without your nightime vigil, and Debz, nothing quite like cat vomit to sharpen the senses!!
That said, it’s lovely that we can all share our news - good and bad - on this site, and thank you, as always for keeping me in the loop. I do think of you often!
I realise, having read back over last week’s blog, that it was a tad lengthy, and for those of you not lucky enough to have had any form of a break, I felt somewhat churlish! So I thought, for the final part of our holiday, I’d try and let the photos do most of the talking…
Hello there, how was your weekend? Bit of a wash-out here, which was such a disappointment to the endless numbers of folk who’d organised Street Parties and Summer Fetes! Thank Heavens they had a cover for Centre Court, I hear you cry!
I’ve so enjoyed reading all your comments, and now feel up to date with all that’s been going on in your lives, although I am sorry to know that for some of you, this last month has been particularly difficult … I very much hope July will be kinder.
Well, it’s taken me longer than I thought to collate all my photos, but I’m now ready to share with you the second instalment of our journey across America.
Having arrived in Nashville the day before the CMAs started, we needed to pick up our four-day passes, which would enable us to see not just the live evening performances in the giant LP Field Stadium, but also the daytime shows on the Riverfront.
It works out to be about £25 a day, which is amazing compared to the price of live gigs/concerts in England! Unfortunately this year we weren’t as lucky with the weather, and not only did it pour with rain, but it was chilly too. I had brought a waterproof jacket, but wouldn’t have been very popular if I had put my umbrella up - although I did bring it with me!
I've just been smirking at the heading of my last blog - should have known that as soon as I left British soil the weather would change! :) I am glad though that you've all been basking in balmy temperatures while I've my fair share of wonderfully warm and sunny weather in the good ol' US of A!
Thanks for your lovely comments, and apologies for the late replies, but we've been to places where Wi-Fi is unheard of and Apple is just something they put in a pie! That said, we had a great holiday, visiting seven different States and covering thousands of miles.
We took so many photos and saw so much, that it would be impossible to fit it all in one blog, so I'm going to split it up over the next few weeks ... I also wanted to make space to let you know about a brand-new Jewellery Icon which, for the month of July, is from Diamonique and is just beautiful :) Buckle up, and off we go!
"Good heavens, is it ever going to stop raining?!" I overheard these words as I sloshed through a maze of puddles on the Chiswick High Road, while wearing a large plastic bag over my head emblazoned with the words "Enjoy the Ride"! When I say over my head, I could see out and the words were relevant as I'd just been to a Cycle Shop to buy Colin's birthday presents :) I bought him a bike on eBay and felt that he may benefit from a pair of padded cycle shorts - the saddle on the bike looks INCREDIBLY uncomfortable! :)
What a filthy week it's been, eh? I do feel for all those of you who've been trying to keep the little ones occupied during half term week - so much harder when the weather is grotty, but if we are to believe the incredibly enthusiastic weather experts, the weekend will be better! I do hope so, although selfishly Colin and I will be flying out to Nashville on Sunday to enjoy the Country Music Festival in Nashville, where it's meant to be a lot warmer :)
I can't believe the time has come around so quickly, and so we've spent the last few weeks seeing family and friends before we go. Last week we met up with Kathy and Ollie in Windsor for an early supper and enjoyed not just a lovely meal but a fabulous sunset and view from the bridge of the river. We also found this rather strange magnifying glass thing, which I couldn't resist looking through - quite an improvement, Colin thought :)
Gosh, the months just seem to be flying by don’t they? Can’t believe I was writing about my Easter weekend last time, and here we are almost in the middle of May! Thanks as always for your lovely comments and stories of weddings, cakes and family times. So good to share, and to hear how you’re all getting on.
We’ve had one more family celebration since then, which was for my sister Jenny’s partner, Linda. Her 50th birthday fell on the 5th May, but we had the party on the Sunday so the theme was “May the Fourth be with you!”.
Mercifully no fancy dress, just really impressive invitations, and the chance for Colin and I to have bit of fun with her cake - what do you think? I made and iced it, stuck the stars and her name on, but it was Colin who created Yoda’s face, which she thought was brilliant - I had to agree.
But that was over a week ago, and since then I have taken on and completed possibly one of the most physically testing challenges of my life - the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. I was completely honest with you when I said that I genuinely didn’t think I’d make it around the 26.2 miles, and that was BEFORE I discovered that the mountains I was to scale were well over 2,000 feet high!
I’m writing this to you while snuggled up in my Carole Hochman fleecy two piece. It’s not that I’m too mean to put the heating on, it’s just that funny shivery feeling which I’m hoping will wear off if I distract myself :)
I have though been out for a long walk today, in my walking boots, hoping that I will be fit enough for the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge the week after next…. But that’s looking ahead, and it would be rude of me not to fill you in on all that’s been happening since Easter!
Thanks, as always, for keeping me up to date with your egg hunts and family lunches - sounds like we all did our best to get together over the long weekend. I think though, as Mary wrote, the weather (apart from in Scotland - thanks for that Rhona! ) was pretty shabby, and bloomin’ cold in truth. Easter Egg hunts were carried out in hats and scarves with mittens making it difficult to peel the silver paper off the eggs once discovered!
Thank you so much for an unprecedented response to my competition this week! It's been great to hear from so many of you and particularly good to hear about your 21st birthday celebrations and gifts - so many of us were given jewellery!
Also interesting, I thought, that the majority of you who took part in the competition thought the answer was the hand towel - because it was! I first saw this in a hotel in London many moons ago and have been carrying it around in my handbag for months! I thought, though, that you - like I - would enjoy the element of surprise when the water is added :) ... made me laugh anyway!
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So we've officially moved into British Summertime, which is probably why we had a frost so fierce it predictably burned all my magnolia blossom! Still, at least it had been in full bloom and all its glory for my birthday, and I'm really glad I'd shared it with you by way of the photos in last week's blog :)
Thanks as always for your delightful comments and for bringing me up to speed with all that's been happening. Of course those of you who read this blog regularly will know that Colin and I have had a week away in Morocco, which was a truly restful break. We had originally planned to return to the same hotel, but decided at the last moment to stay a little further down the coast.
I think it was Mae West who said 'You're only as old as the man you feel', and luckily Colin is two years younger than me! :) If you're wondering what relevance this quote could possibly have, I celebrated my 54th birthday last Sunday, in the garden, with my family and friends, while the sun shone and we basked in a balmy 20 degrees. I could never have predicted such a perfect day, but it did tiptoe in, close on the heels of Saturday at the O2, which was fantastic in every respect.
Hello there, I do hope you ALL had a touch of summer this last weekend, because I would hate to think the incredible warmth and clear blue sky was purely for those of us in the Southern Counties!
Thank you for all my beautiful birthday cards and messages you posted here, on Twitter and Facebook - truly appreciated! I am so sorry that we got into a muddle legally with the competition I set last time, meaning we would be unable to recreate your favourite piece of jewellery, but I think the beautifully descriptive messages you posted more than made up for it. All your lovely comments and more importantly the sweet stories about your jewellery; who gave it to you, why you bought it, who it reminded you of - quite moving a lot of them, and I thank you for them.
Thank you so much for ALL the beautiful cards you've sent to me, the comments on this blog, the Facebook messages and all those tweets on Twitter! Incredible! Both Colin and I have been overwhelmed by your kindness and caring, and it has been an absolute joy to share our good news with you all.
I went to see my mum last Friday, and to have a drive in her new car which is a beautiful shade of blue, and quite sporty! It wasn't quite Top Gear style driving, but we cornered the Bishops Waltham roundabout quite tightly! She very much approved of Colin's choice of engagement ring, which is not that dissimilar to my dad's choice for her all those years ago.
I know you will have heard me mention more than once, the hours I would spend at her dressing table watching the light create a kaleidoscope of colours from that very ring. I often talk about the memories that are created when giving and receiving jewellery, and as I begin my regular Diamonique Jewellery show this Thursday at 9pm there's something I wanted to ask you, which could become a permanent way of us sharing those memories...