It's official!!! 12 days to go until the Big Day itself! No I can't quite believe it myself. Not just that the last month has flown by; but it's almost a year since I had my life packed away in cardboard boxes, and was on the verge of leaving the little cottage that had been my home for the previous 24 months!
Quite frankly, two years of my life have passed which I'm more than happy to put behind me, and yet I do have many fond memories of my time there
But this last week or more has been all about keeping up and catching up! Thanks to the vast number of you who entered the competition to win Mally's phenomenal collection of make-up, lip colours and mascara – the majority of which chose the correct answer to my question…
What is Mally's surname? The answer was a) Roncal, and Sarah my editor this week, has randomly picked Christine Collins – Congratulations!!! I will make sure I post it to you Christine while I am at QVC over the next few days, and very much hope you enjoy using all the make-up and tips that Mally has included.
Commiserations to all those who didn't win, but I will see if I can set up another competition before the end of the year – fingers crossed!
After a cracking TSV launch with Dennis Basso, I was rather sorry not to have been able to keep the rather gorgeous faux fur coat and take it with me to the Cotswolds, where I was to meet up with my girlfriends for a weekend break.
We were staying at the same house we'd been to many times before, but the weather forecast was particularly grim, so I'd brought my thermals just in case! We used to all travel together, but now that a number of us have moved further afield, we make our own way to the village of Clanfield.
Not that I expected to see Dame Maggie Smith on her way to Budgens, but I was hoping for a sign – just something – that would bring to life one of my favourite TV dramas!
I did see the little church where Matthew and Lady Mary were married, but what me laugh out loud was the sign clearly set in place for myself and the girls warning visitors to watch out for elderly people!!
We spent our first few hours in the local pub, which has an incredible collection of gins – almost 100 different varieties! I chose the one with the green lid as it matched my jumper, and after two of those and a smoked salmon salad, was more than happy to walk back to our house in the freezing cold!
I think this was possibly one of our laziest trips away, although Suz and I ran on Friday and then again on Sunday, and managed an eight mile walk on Saturday! Good job too, as I had eaten an entire melted camembert cheese to myself while watching Strictly, and had trouble lugging my enormity up to bed
We ate, talked, and, yes, drank a few Cosmopolitans, caught up with each other's lives, and enjoyed home cooked food – a perfect weekend we all agreed.
I actually left a little early on the Sunday, as Colin and I were due to celebrate his son Joe's birthday, and I needed to get back for the celebratory meal! We did a little shopping first, bought the Christmas tree, and then met up with as many of the kids as possible, including my Sam and Jack which was nice. We also managed to arrange who we will be seeing and when over Christmas, so I now feel far more organised and ready.
So, the tree is up (as you can see in the photo at the top), festooned with the usual knitted decorations, baubles from many years back, and my two new ones from Lucy, as this has become a tradition for her to buy me something for the tree each year – bless her
The tree lights I bought from QVC years ago worked instantly, and this year we have gone for a more traditional pine with the small needles… having hoovered the carpet three times since Sunday I'm thinking we may regret this decision, but we'll see…
I'm hoping very much to see my stepdaughter Becky, Mark, and their son Ethan over the Christmas holiday too – thought you may like this photo taken the week before last – we had such a lovely day.
Mind you, when it comes to organising Christmas, no-one does it like my dear friend Jo… This is her 'grotto', but I swear the elves must have been busy there too! Exciting to think that one of those is mine!
Well, I will sign off now but look forward, as always, to hearing from you and catching up with your Christmas preparations.
Some pretty difficult times for some of you I know, but hopefully by sharing our lives, it will make it that bit easier.
Love Ali xx