I'm sitting beside Billy in the accident and emergency department of our local hospital with not much to do – so here I am! I've been here a number of times over the years, frequently enough during Charlie's first years that I was questioned by social services! One time Bex arrived ahead me as she was rushed by helicopter, having fallen off her horse at speed, landing on her head. Thankfully, a full recovery has been made each time, with no lasting damage.
Billy has been my least troublesome child in the hospital department, but he is trying to put that right! He is working at a wakeboard and waterski lake at the moment, and was up on the cable apparatus sorting out a faulty tow line and managed to get his finger caught between the metal cable and its roller wheel. It's not a pretty sight, so while we wait for the X-ray results I have a moment to help you catch up with what's been going on in the Olley household…
Today, in fact, has been rather lovely – when Billy called to tell me about his accident I was on my way back to the QVC studios after having enjoyed lunch with Jenny Brennan, our guest for Fashion by Together. She showed me around their offices and design studios where I met the team behind the fashion. It's really interesting to hear how the clothes we bring you start their journey first on paper, then as sample garments to judge how well the cut, colour and fabric work together. Each style is fitted on two mannequins in sizes 12 and 18 to ensure the finished article will work on all shapes and sizes. Tiffany, one of our QVC models, is often one of the 'live' fit models to double check that everything is as it should be.
Jenny and Kerry, one of the Together designers (pictured above), liked the outfit that I was wearing – a printed top in soft tones of coral and a biker style jacket but styled in a taupe viscose crepe with silk georgette sleeves rather than black leather. I teamed them with a maxi crinkle skirt with side pockets. Kerry took some photos of me and may use them as inspiration for some new Together separates that we could see on QVC next summer! Exciting! Fashion by Together has been so welcomed by you, our viewers, that we are planning to feature many more shows in the future. As Jenny is so busy overseeing everything – Together clothes are sold in many countries – designer Kerry may be an occasional guest as well – it will be brilliant to hear about the inspirations behind the clothes we love to wear. Easy, effortless style to give us confidence is what she aims to achieve – in my opinion she does a grand job!
Other recent news – Olley celebrated his birthday yesterday – the same day as Debbie Greenwood's husband, Paul (also widely known as the Chocolate Miser, or something similar!!). We both enjoyed meals in gastro-pubs on the River Thames, although they were several miles downstream from us! For the first time in a while we ate with all five of us around the table and had a thoroughly lovely evening. 'We all get on well, now, don't we?' remarked Bex, of she and her two brothers. And they do – they must be growing up! We had such a good time that I completely forgot to take a photo.
Photos aplenty were taken last weekend, though, when Bex took part in her first Triathlon. We were up at 5am to get her to Thorpe Park in time for the 750m lake swim and 25km cycle ride followed by a 5km run. She is her mother's daughter, and swims well, but we didn't expect her to finish 4th in a field of over 50. You can see everyone behind her still in the lake in the photo. She lost some places in the bike ride, gained a few in the run and ended up 2nd in her age group and 13th overall, finishing in 83 minutes, under her target time of one and a half hours. Not bad for a novice!
I'm back now after seeing a nurse with Billy. His finger is well and truly broken – he has a dramatic X-ray to prove it (see above). He needs a splint for six weeks to straighten the tip as the bone begins to mend or he will end up with a permanent droop known as 'mallet' finger! So his hopes for a summer of driving boats and teaching wakeboarding has stalled before it really got started. He saw the bright side as he told me he won't be able to do the washing up for a while, as he mustn't get it wet. But I was pleased to inform him that emptying the dishwasher would do him no harm at all!
I must say, with all the negative press the NHS is getting at the moment, Billy was looked after very well at Wexham Park hospital and we were on our way home within two hours of him getting there. I hope I don't have to visit again too soon, but no complaints this time. I wish you all health and safety until next time – hopefully no trips to A&E for you. I must get to bed now – a long and eventful day today, and an early start for the Morning Show tomorrow. It's our 'Hello Summer' day on the longest day of the year – let's hope it's not all downhill from here!!