In spite of my late night at the Q and not getting into bed last night until 1.30am, I was there at the window, poised, ready, like a hawk… to witness the eclipse. No, I didn’t have any special glasses, but I thought I could just take a sneaky peak… fat chance!!! Complete cloud coverage curtailed any chance of my witnessing this amazing event which was meant to happen between 9.30 and 10.30am. Did you get to see it?? I will though always remember the complete eclipse in the year 2000 which was just incredible. You’ll probably remember it too, and I’m not sure whether it was the ghostly grey cast that leached the colour out of everything or the still silence that spooked me most… either way, maybe I’m not all that sorry I missed it! This fabulous sunrise that greeted me earlier in the week though was stunning – the plus side of having to visit the bathroom at least four times each night.
I’m delighted to tell you that the cloud though has now lifted, and the garden is bathed in golden sunlight, highlighting my spring bulbs that have burst into life! The tiny white dot you can see in the biggest pot is a crocus! I think this year though I will miss the best of them because of our last minute trip to Morocco, but I remember March last year when not only were all the daffodils, crocuses and hyacinths in full bloom, but my magnolia tree was too.
The fact I remember it, was because we celebrated my birthday by having lunch in the garden it was so warm! And that leads me nicely into thanking you ALL so much for my birthday wishes, your Mother’s Day stories, and a lovely collective of events. I do enjoy reading through your comments, and although once again I know this time of year has been hard for many of you, I hope that the warmer weather, and the promise of spring will make things a little easier.
My birthday started early this year with lunch on Friday in Farnborough. I met my sister Jenny there, and had a great catch up over Eggs Benedict and Earl Grey tea! She very kindly brought hers and mum’s birthday gifts for me, which included more of my favourite pottery, some Portmerion eggcups and a beautiful heart. She also very naughtily bought me a scarf too which I love! Mum treated me to the splash guard for my Kitchen Aid – essential when making cakes – and something that will probably feature in our midnight hour on Friday 3rd April! Actually Chris and Ros made me a cover for my KitchenAid too, so it’s looking very posh on the side now. The 3rd will be my first night back after my holiday, so you can check out the TSV and my tan! Oh, mum also bought me a stunning white camellia, which is now in full bloom – beautiful. Below is a pic of me with Jo on my birthday…
I raced home and packed hurriedly for my next birthday treat which was an overnight stay in a fabulous West End hotel – this was arranged on our bed when we arrived : ) He’d also organised for us to have a meal and spend the evening at Boisdales Jazz Club which is fabulous.
My starter was deep fried haggis which was served with a wee dram of fine whisky and was delicious! It was followed by a fabulous lamb dish, and all washed down with a particularly good Malbec – yum! Suffice to say we had a ball – I so enjoy Colin’s company, and we always have fun : ) We rounded the evening off dancing to the live music, and the following day we took a lovely long walk through London including St. James’ Park. In spite of the chilly weather, we thoroughly enjoyed the exercise, which is all good practice for my next challenge – The London Moonwalk – on 16th May! The charity has been raising money for Breast Cancer Research for many years, and is always very well attended. 26.2 miles across our fair city at night is certainly going to be testing, but some of my mates at QVC will be joining me including Jackie Kabler, Kathy and Debbie Flint, so I will be in good company.
I’m hoping it won’t be quite as exhausting as the Three Peaks Challenge I endured last May, but this time it would be a huge boost to me if you would maybe sponsor our team to help us increase these much needed funds? Here’s the link if you’d be so kind, and any donation, whatever size, will be gratefully received. In the meantime I will keep on training, and have my running/walking shoes packed and ready to take to Morocco – there’s a fabulous promenade which is about three miles long and I aim to run that at least three times a week. What I could really do with to inspire me though is an amazing gadget that Claire Sutton showed me, and Anne Dawson has written about on her blog! It’s called the FitBit.
After our walk, Colin and I came home and cooked an enormous chilli in readiness for his children and my Jack and Sam to join us for more celebrations! I love having all the children together, and as I’ve mentioned before I’m truly blessed that they all get on so well. Also joining us were my niece Emily and her husband Paul, which was great as they don’t often get time to spend with the rest of the family, and will mean they won’t be strangers at the wedding. I was spoilt rotten with beautiful jewellery, perfume, flowers, plants, a fab shawl with sparkles that looks great over leggings and a lovely sign for my kitchen from Joe which reads “Memories are great, but dreams are better”…
I’m getting closer to seeing my dreams come true when I marry Colin in June, and the wedding plans are coming together nicely! What do you think of the invitations (pictured below)? We were very pleased, and have got some real ink pens so that we can do the typeface justice! I’ve also spent time with the church florist Maggie, and she will be creating my bouquet for me along with the church flowers… I am going to have lily of the valley, freesias and white roses, and having seen some of her work I am very excited to see what she will create for me : )
And talking of creations, both Colin and I were absolutely thrilled when Julie Bates from Peony flowers offered to make our table decorations for the Wedding Breakfast! How incredible is that? In fact in just 24 hours she and her designer Stevie came up with these… lily of the valley, freesias and roses! Absolutely perfect and so kind of her – the room will look amazing! Colin and I visited the venue again last night and had our taster session in lieu of the three course meal. I’m not going to give too much away, but suffice to say we just couldn’t decide on the dessert…. So this is one of the two delights we’ll be enjoying on the day! : )
Well, that’s pretty much all my news, but I’m going to end this blog with a request… There is a part of our wedding day I’d love you to help me with… and that is in choosing our hymns. The younger folk have learned a whole raft of new songs, but Colin and I are very much old school and were thinking possibly of ‘Jerusalem’? ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ is lovely but it was sung at my father’s funeral so I’d prefer something else. Whatever we go for it has to be something we ALL know and so I’d be really grateful if you could jot your ideas down here on the blog? Thank you so much from us both : )
Well I’m off to finish my packing now as we’re heading to Agadir first thing Monday morning. I’ll miss you til I’m back, but will check in with you while I’m away.
with my love,