Lovely March, you were marvellous… but not your weather! Now let us be grateful for April and feel buoyed by the longer evenings and excited by our days ahead.
Before we speak of days to come, I must just speak of the ones just left as I had a gorgeous indulgent birthday. Maddie planned it all. “What makes Mummy happy?” she asked herself. “Family time, being together, and time at Aldeburgh” were her answers (she knows me so well), so she took it upon herself to find a dog-friendly cottage and pitched her plan to Dan the money man, lo and behold a three night birthday break was mine.
… gin making at 10.30 in the morning (as you do) at Adnams in Southwold. A Christmas present from Dan was to make my own gin, and as we love Adnams Copper House I wanted to create something similar but with my own twist.
Well, what a fabulous morning I had. I LOVED it. I had no clue that vodka is the start point for gin, which rather blew my theory that I can’t drink vodka following a rather unfortunate experience in Monte Carlo… (tables and nightclubs and that’s all I can care to remember or care to divulge!) Having being educated fully about the distillation process we set about creating our own recipes using kilner jars of dehydrated delights and a pie chart where it was suggested we keep to threes rather than darting around the circles and randomly selecting things which have no hope of ever going together. Why is it as soon as I am told not to do something like that, I want to do… just that! Our gorgeous guide persuaded me otherwise and, aside from some raised eyebrow moments at a couple of my requests, I created “Mummy’s Magic” my own personal secret recipe! What would you call yours I wonder? Have a go, it’s harder than you think.
We watched as our gins dripped slowly and seductively through the handmade copper stills testing by way of a mere drip on the finger as the various fruits, florals and spices travelled through and changed the taste. We were warned it was not to be drunk at this 84% proof stage as it would be lethal (in this instance and unusually for me, I recognised this was NOT a moment to go against advice) however, drink we did! This lot!
The fumes alone of my x3 vodkas x3 gins x3 whiskeys x1 limoncello and x1 sloe gin tasters were enough and windows were immediate lowered when I was collected by Dan and the children. “Oh dear, Mummy” was my greeting as I happily and giddily waved goodbye to lovely Nikki, who had known it was me from QVC from the start but kept it to herself till we knocked back our testers! My voice was the give away apparently. She was super lovely and has QVC on lots at home, it was a treat to meet her and I’m glad she came out with it so to speak! Max, her partner, was intent on adding honey to his gin, even reputedly secreting some about his person… he runs a pub called The Beehive in Horringer so clearly it would have been perfect. A honey infusion added afterwards was recommended and I bet it will taste delicious, though I wasn’t as keen on the idea of coconut flavoured gin that one of our team created… still, each to their own. I really loved the session and would thoroughly recommend it.
The weather whilst we were away was quite gorgeous, cold yes, however sunshine prevailed. The light on Aldeburgh Beach never fails to thrill me and the pictures we take are repetitive yet seem so totally new each time, as although the landscape doesn’t change, we all do of course and as we’ve grown, so too has what we see… I don’t think I will ever stop loving it.
Talking of loving it…
Gus LOVED it (with capital letters and fully underlined). It was so gorgeous seeing him so happy, happy to be away with us and happy in his surroundings. He is not a water boy for sure but our walk over to Snape and the beaches we went on meant he was in heaven. Maddie was playing with portrait mode on her phone snapping away and Joe was getting all arty for a photography project, though don’t even ask why his camera was left at home…! Some of the family shots are below, I hope you like them.
My Helene Berman coat looked amazing against the sea and sky… such a great buy. I’m getting lots of compliments when I wear it, and just popped on with jeans and pumps it feels rather cool as oppose to formal. Versatile… bonus!
The beady-eyed among you will indeed have spotted the Kipling bag in my above picture I’m sure. Actually, wouldn’t that be an interesting experiment to see what our eyes “see” first. In a photo, I would probably lock onto my face to see if it looked okay! I’m being honest! Some of you would go straight to my handsome Gus but, I reckon loads would clock the bag. I spotted so many Kipling bags around that weekend; Kipling and Skechers seem to be the super trend and we can’t get enough of shoes and bags after all! What was so great about it and makes it even better value is the versatility with the extra zipped area… Honestly, once that’s opened there is soooo much more height there, so I got much more in when I was packing to go away and then for a neater and more handbag style, I zipped the zip. Being able to do this was super useful during the days as extra layers, bits of shopping and the “Mummy can you carry my coat” moments all happened. Having emptied my bag to decant into it, the benefits of lightweight and durable sprang immediately to mind as I cart this little lot around on a daily basis and that’s before all the extra things I mentioned earlier! (For the inevitable Adnams purchases of gin and beer, the crossbody strap came in very useful to spread the load!) It is our Today’s Special Value for Saturday 7th, created especially for QVC and called Airaz, and the monkey’s name is Haike.
For those of you who aren’t aware, at QVC each midnight we share something special and specifically priced, but for 24 hours only! It’s a first come, first served moment as sometimes our available stock is sold out before midnight strikes again.
I wanted to end with my heartfelt thanks to you all for the amazing response and kindness in your messages following my blog about World Down’s Syndrome Day on March the 21st – you never cease to amaze me. Dan and I (plus Joe, Maddie and of course Tom) are truly, so very very grateful to you all for your continued care and support of us.
Lots of love and here’s to April and fingers crossed some nicer weather!