I have to admit to being staggered by how many of you have either visited, lived or worked in Turkey, and it's been lovely to read all your memories – thank you for sharing them with me this week. I think the general concensus is 'LET'S ALL GO BACK THERE !!'
Actually, that said, I am loving being back at work – your kind words and compliments have been very welcome, so bless you for them.
The new studios are very smart, and the fact we have them on the same level as our dressing rooms, and the guest lounge saves an enormous amount of time and effort trying to find people and products!!
First Week at the new studios
This is a glimpse of Kathy and my dressing room before I managed to unpack my crates!
Having started with Super Sunday, the week just got better, and it was lovely to work with an old colleague of mine – Matthew Biggs – on the gardening show.
I met Matthew years ago in my Granada TV days, when we worked together on a gardening series in Manchester. He was lovely then, and hasn't changed, and although I was sorry not to see Richard Jackson, it was a very enjoyable hour.
Actually Richard's Flower Power - fab plant food – is responsible for the incredible life span of my ever flowering orchid! You may have heard me mention it, but I thought you might like to see a picture. My friend Jo bought it for me five and half years ago as a house warming present, and it has never been without flowers
Of course our new home means I have a rather circuitous journey in to work now, so the exciting news is that Colin and I are house hunting! :)The thought of leaving our cosy cottage is a little daunting, but life moves on, and is too short to be spending so much time in the car!
I do have a couple of options with the journey, but they all involve the M1, M25, M4 or M40…!! You may have heard that the M4 developed a large crack in it on Friday night which caused chaos around Chiswick!
I came out of work at 8.10pm and by 8.50pm had travelled a quarter of a mile!! It did make me smile – no that's a lie – it made me swear rather rudely – to see a telephone number on a sign by some bollards which read "Expect Delays until August 2012"…
I wouldn't fancy answering the phone to anyone who'd been sitting in traffic for the best part of two months!!!
Breast Cancer Care Fashion Show
Outside of work I have been involved with Breast Cancer Care, in readiness for the fashion show on 3rd October this year. I met up with some of the other models, and had my photo taken for the newsletter. I will also be interviewed for the autumn issue of Vita – which is BCC's quarterly magazine. Very exciting!
I can also give you a sneaky preview of a photo shoot I went to for Woman and Home magazine! They are doing a piece prior to The Fashion Show on autumn fashion and have chosen four women, from completely different lifestyles, and styled us individually.
I was a little nervous at the thought initially, thinking I might have to get changed with a whole gang of other people. But the other girly who was photographed that morning too was in another room. So I was spoiled rotten by the hair stylist and make-up artist before slipping into the most gorgeous dress with poncho style coat. What do you think? Not bad for an old bird eh??
I have to tell you that the shoes were two sizes too big, but we stuffed tissue in the toes and then prayed that I wouldn't lose my balance whilst posing in a way that made my knees look less baggy…! I think the proper photos will be in the September issue, but I'll let you know nearer the time.
This last weekend has been particularly busy too, with a lunch party to celebrate two of my village friend's birthdays. We've found a lovely gastro pub that let us stay as long as we like, and don't mind the occasional crowing and cackling in the corner – we had a great time!
The following day Colin and I headed up to Colchester as his cousins live there and there was to be a family gathering. We went this time last year, when I really did feel mouldy, so it was good to be in fine fettle and to catch up on all their news. Of course Colchester is where I lived when I was first married in 1980, and my mum's sister Hilda has always lived there too.
Sadly Aunty Hilda has dementure and is now in a residential home there, but we called in to see her before the party. Bless her, she didn't remember me at all, but with the help of some photos we established that I was Kathleen's daughter and had three children. She was very happy though, with a room that has a door out into the garden.
Gardening has always been her passion, and so I was glad that although physically she's not able to do much any more, she can enjoy looking at the plants and flowers. They also have a rabbit that hops around outside and she loves him
It was a busy day, and a happy one, and we rounded it off by spending time with a very old friend of mine who recently contacted me through this blog. Wendy and I were the best of friends when I was first married, and her husband Mike was our best man. But the years pass, I moved, remarried, and somehow we lost touch… To see her, looking exactly the same as she did all those years ago, it was as though the last 20 years hadn't happened, and we both burst into tears…
Many hours and many tissues later, we vowed to make up for lost time, and the fact that Mike and Colin got on so well means plenty of good times ahead for us all. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's been lucky enough to find someone again, and it would be lovely to hear from you if you've been through this blog too….!
I think that's all my news – oooooooh apart from myself and Craig are attending the Jewellery Awards tomorrow night at the Grosvenor House Hotel, as QVC has been nominated for Jewellery Channel of the Year!!! So excited! I will have photos and gossip for you next week.
Stay well and happy, love Ali xx