I’m actually writing this on board a Boeing 737 returning to Gatwick from the Costa del Sol! Colin and I snuck away in search of the sun for our anniversary, and were lucky to have a couple of corkers in between some unseasonal storms – hot sunny days I mean!
Actually, we had a bit of a moment at the airport when, having very carefully decanted all my favourite beauty products into small bottles for my hand luggage, it was made very clear to me that I was only allowed one plastic bag full, and it had to be the same size as the tiny bags they give you!
It was very last minute and a complete spoiley, particularly as on Saturday as I’d had to dodge hailstones at home as big as bullets!
Thank you so much for all the anniversary cards, tweets and Facebook messages you sent and posted. They meant a great deal and reminded us both just how lucky we are to have such a large number of lovely friends and family!
In fact, this last couple of weeks have been all about our family as, in between working, I’ve managed to cram in my mum’s belated 80th birthday celebrations, our wedding anniversary, Rae’s baby shower, and Honey’s first steps!
I’ve written 32 chapters of my book and have been taken on by an editor, so I feel like it’s really going to happen now – although, I still have quite a bit of writing to do.
Also, I’ve got a fair few holiday destinations to pick from thanks to all of your thoughtful suggestions! Seems a bit cheeky talking of going away again when I’m just on my way back from our brief sojourn to the sun, but after a lot of thought, we’ve have decided, and I’ll tell where you in a moment.
There were no snap decisions either when my sister Jenny and I decided to plan the special two day treat for mum’s big birthday. She was actually 80 last July, but as Colin and I were away on our honeymoon at the time we weren’t able to celebrate with her properly.
Jenny and I took her to Venice ten years ago, but she’s not able to travel that far now so we decided we’d arrange something closer to home. We had initially considered the Isle of Wight, but logistically it was a bit tricky and so, after much deliberation, this is what we came up with to fill our two and half days together…
We began with dinner on Tuesday at an Italian restaurant I found in Bray. Owned by the Caldesi family, who are originally from the Amalfi Coast, their menu includes not just traditional Italian fare but their own family recipes.
They also run Italian cookery courses, so it was no surprise to find out the food was delicious, and they even had photos of Venice on the walls, which brought back some lovely memories for us all. Mum was thrilled to be presented with her pudding on a personally decorated plate.
The following morning, the sun came out just long enough for us to truly enjoy our short riverboat trip along the Thames in Windsor. Mum was born and brought up in Chalfont St Peter and had made many trips there when she was a child, so she really appreciated the sentiment.
After a light lunch at home Colin very kindly drove us into London, where we enjoyed a fabulous cream tea at The Wolsely on Piccadilly.
I was relieved I wore my Onjenu London dress with the ruching across the tummy as (having eaten my entire body weight in carbohydrates, cream and cake) I could barely move!
The three of us ambled down Piccadilly and made a visit to Fortnum and Mason before hailing a cab to take us to King’s Cross Station. We weren’t travelling anywhere, this was our final destination, as Jenny had booked theatre tickets for The Railway Children!
As children, we’d watched the film with mum, and felt sure that it was something she’d love. The production company have very cleverly staged the show at the back of the station and the entire play takes part on two platforms with a track running between them.
At one point a real full-size steam train puffs its way into the theatre, and is just one of the many very clever scene stealers that make it such a memorable show.
We all equally enjoyed it and even cried at the end; just as we had done all those years ago watching Jenny Agutter as she sees her father through the mist.
Colin then drove back into town to pick us up, which was great as we were all exhausted!
As I had to work the following evening, we’d decided to take mum to Waddesden Manor during the day. It’s an incredibly beautiful country house built by the Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild to display his outstanding collection of artwork. It’s about an hours drive away from where I live and I’d been there with Jenny, Linda and Colin some years before, but mum hadn’t ever seen it.
Jenny kindly did the driving and, amazingly, we had sunshine pretty much all day – which was definitely a Billy-bonus! I was sorry to see them go but I have all these wonderful memories, and we’re hoping to get together again once Jenny breaks up from school in the summer.
I’ve enjoyed a fair few fashion hours over the last fortnight, including Kim & Co, Atthony Designs, Yong Kim and Nina Leonard. In fact these labels were just some of the clothes I chose to bring with me on this holiday, including my Skechers – which I wouldn’t be without. So comfortable! I’ve got an entire collection of them at home and a whole hour with some new designs this Sunday at 3pm – do join me!
My daughter-in-law Rae has replaced her five inch heels for Skechers, as being pregnant she can’t risk teetering around in them. She told me she can’t even see her feet any more! She’d actually decided against a baby shower but her sister Lily said she thought we girls should do something for her to celebrate the imminent arrival and so, along with Vicky and Lucy who came down for the day, we all went for a cream tea! Yes another one!
It was such a laugh, and so exciting to think that within a few weeks I will be able to hold my second granddaughter in my arms… I feel truly blessed.
Talking of blessings, little Honey is doing so well, and actually walked a few steps the other day! I went with her and Lucy to Messy Monkeys which was great fun. I know there’s been an enormous uptake of colouring books for adults, but quite frankly rolling around in porridge oats, walking in wet paint, and sifting through straw is far more fun! I’m sure it would catch on!
My regular Diamonique show is taking a break tonight as Ali Young will be spoiling you all with a three-hour beauty extravaganza from 9pm tonight. She’s bound to be featuring our Beauty Product of the Month for the final time, and if you haven’t already got it, I’d highly recommend you do.
I’m going to be with Judith Williams the hour before, and then have something really special for you at midnight…. Here’s a clue…
I loved reading about all your holidays, and thank you for sharing some truly moving memories. I know how hard it must be to no longer have someone to spend your free time with or if the memories of being with them are still too raw for you to want to travel. It made me realise even more keenly just how lucky I am to be able to have Colin with me, and how fortunate we both are to get away as often as we do.
It was really difficult to choose but it was actually the lovely Keeley Aydin from Elemis who swayed me, and so we are heading to North Cyprus in August and staying not far from where she lives. She has offered to show us around some of the beautiful sights there, which is really kind, and it’ll be great to have time with her when we’re not working!
Well, the Captain’s just told the crew to prepare for landing, so I’ve got to shut my iPad down, but I’ll look forward – as always – to hearing all your news and will write back to you as soon as I can.
I look forward to your company whenever you can make it,