Having just returned from Chiswick Park after a great day with Mally, I was ravenous! So, having demolished a rather large portion of fish pie, my brain is now functioning again, and I’m ready to bring you up to speed with all that’s been happening over the last week or so, and to give you details of my new competition with a FABULOUS prize up for grabs. Before I begin though, thanks as always for your lovely comments – a delight not only for me to catch up with your lives, but for you to catch up with each other's.
Since writing to you last time, I’ve experienced a mixture of delights and disasters, and as I’m not one to major on the negatives, I’ll get that out of the way first!
As the proud owner of an iPhone and iPad, I do find them both very useful, not just as a way of keeping up with emails, phone calls, tweeting and blogging, but also as a method of cataloguing events and experiences – bit like a diary.
I’ve been doing this since way before I was diagnosed, and so have some really poignant information and memories too. Unfortunately, on Thursday night, having parked at QVC prior to my Thorntons launch, my phone slipped out of my pocket and straight into a water-filled drain!
Top marks to AJ in security, who had the rather disgusting task of fishing it out, and after disinfecting it (!) gave it back to me. Incredibly it was still working, but totally corrupted, and so I phoned my provider who arranged to have a replacement sent out.
Unfortunately for me, somehow when swapping SIM cards, and trying to back-up the phone, I lost everything – all my contacts, photos, texts, but more importantly my notes – many of which were written during my treatment, and were to be used in my book… my iPad has everything from 2012 onwards, but the rest is gone…such a shame :/
All that said, I have had plenty to smile about too as I’ve been catching up with the family, starting with a trip to see mum. Since Colin and I moved last December, the journey time to her has halved, and as Colin was working, I was happy to head off down the M3 to see her.
I arrived in time for lunch, where I was treated to a delicious beef dinner – mum’s own recipe using brisket and a marinade made cleverly with a mix of mustard, horseradish, tomato puree and vinegar. Delicious!
There was pudding too, and then cake at teatime, so I felt thoroughly spoiled. She’s always enjoyed cooking and you may have heard me recently, talking about her making our Christmas cake in the washing up bowl! I always preferred the raw mixture to the baked cake.
After lunch we spent a fair bit of time looking online at QVC’s fashion, as mum was trying to find dresses with loose sleeves. She, like I, struggles with Lymphodema and so needs clothes that have Dolman-style sleeves. She was very impressed with our ‘Virtual’ dress-sizing system – brilliant! Check it out on qvcuk.com!
After a lovely evening chatting about all sorts, I slept pretty well, and was then greeted with a running buffet for breakfast that would have put any 5-star establishment to shame! My car was slightly closer to the ground as I headed off to spend the rest of the day with my sister who lives just 20 minutes away from mum.
Jenny had a rare day off, and so, having not seen each other since the summer, we had a lovely lunch – more food!! – and then I headed home, safe in the knowledge that she would be coming to see me ‘en famille’ the following week to celebrate her birthday. And boy what a busy week it was, with Colin and I deciding to decorate not just the kitchen but our bedroom too!
We painted by day, and then I came to work in the evenings, while he carried on decorating at home. The carpet was fitted on Thursday, and we were delighted to have everything sorted in time for our six guests on Friday night. I have to also thank Joe, Colin’s son, and my Sam for helping too, as we’d have been lost without them.
Here’s a photo of Jenny with my neice, Verity, and her boyfriend Danny – he’s the son of the late Ted Rogers who used to host 321 – such a lovely lad. Jenny’s older daughter, Emily, was also with us, along with her husband Paul – you may remember their wedding 18 months ago. It’s been two years since we were all together in one place, and so, having eaten massively, we all retired to play a mix of charades and other games which were hysterical!
I think the point of no return though was with three of us trying to set the Aerobed up…least said, soonest mended, as my granny would have said! I have to admit to feeling a little dusty the following morning, but rallied after a large cooked breakfast and several cups of coffee.
Socialising sorted, it’s been back to work, and as we move ever closer to that ‘most magical time of the year’, things are getting even busier at QVC! I was lucky enough to meet and interview The Tenors – four incredibly talented Canadians whose singing voices made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.
If you’re a Strictly Come Dancing fan, you will have seen them perform the Bob Dylan classic ‘Forever Young’ last weekend… They sang it in our studios too and, having been moved to tears watching them, I retired to the gallery with our director, Barbara, to watch their performance of Nessun Dorma.
You can enjoy that performance (as well as my chat with the boys) over on QGossip!
Their Album ‘Lead with Your Heart’ is available now, and is an incredible mix of Classical, Folk and Opera – ‘You and I’ the first track is simply beautiful, but they’re all soooo worth a listen. We’ve also had some fabulous TSV’s from Decleor, Elemis, Apple, Dyson, Thorntons, and of course Mally, whose 12-Piece Celebrate Your Beauty Collection had the phone lines on fire!
I am delighted to tell you that I have one of these to give to a lucky winner who can answer the following question correctly:
Q. What is Mally’s surname?
With over £200 of value it’s definitely going to make someone’s Christmas, so just enter your guess in the box below, and I’ll draw a winner next week. Good luck!! (See the full terms and conditions here).
With only four weeks to go before the big day, I do hope you’re feeling pretty well organised, and excited.
I’ll look forward to hearing all about your plans, and will of course write back to you. Take care and enjoy this week,