What a wonderful way to wave goodbye to September by congratulating Rosie Cullis! She won the much coveted Amanda Wakeley handbag, and guessed correctly – along with over a thousand of you – that London Fashion Week began in 1984. Thanks so much for taking the time to enter the competition, although I’ll be honest and admit to being a tad concerned when a few folk wrote to tell me that the date was actually 1983!
Having checked it thoroughly I found that 1983 was significant in the world of fashion, but it was when the British Fashion Council was founded not London Fashion Week – phew! I did trawl through the huge number of responses to answer those of you who wrote to update me with your news, and hopefully I managed to respond. Please forgive me if I missed you, and I hope it won’t deter you from writing to me here this week!
It’s hard to believe that Colin and I returned from Gozo over a week ago, but it was an incredibly relaxing break and once again we had the most beautiful weather. While we were away sunning ourselves it was all happening at home! Firstly my niece Emily gave birth to her and Paul’s second child, a beautiful baby boy called Noah.He was born on 21st September, my late father’s birthday, and I know Dad would have been as delighted as we were. Their son James (named after my Dad) is just 20 months old, and he is thrilled with the new arrival. I couldn’t wait to get over and meet Noah who is just as gorgeous as his brother was when he was born. I had a lovely cuddle and was really impressed with how their little family have adapted so easily to having another baby to love.More good news came when my niece Claire (my brother’s daughter) who got engaged last month, wrote to tell us that she is to marry her fiancé Cale on 21st April 2018. The wedding will be in her home town in Sydney, Australia, and she asked us if we’d be able to join them! You may remember she came all the way over to England when Colin and I were married, and I’d always promised that we would do the same when she tied the knot!
It’s just over a year since my brother Peter was in England, and it will be wonderful to be able to support him on this very special occasion. It will also give us a chance to meet Cale and his family before the big day, and to hopefully help with some of the arrangements. It’s going to be bittersweet though for both families as Claire and Cale will be leaving Australia just a few days after their wedding to come and live in England. It’s going to be a big wrench for Peter and his wife Sarah, although ironically it’s much the same as Peter did after he married Sarah way back in 1982. I’m hoping it may mean they might consider coming back one day… fingers crossed!
Colin and I have already started looking at flights and we’ve decided that we would like to break the journey up and visit another country on our way to Australia, so it will be decision-making time soon. Having booked a number of trips in the past, I know it can be a lengthy process, but I am due to have a fair bit of time on my hands…
As I mentioned in my previous blog, I have to have surgery on my right shoulder, and this has now been scheduled for 10th October. Although the procedure itself is apparently quite straightforward the recovery time is lengthy, and unfortunately I won’t be able to work for about four weeks! I’ve been talking to Kathy Tayler as she had much the same operation carried out some years ago. It was her left shoulder though and she’s right-handed like me so she said she coped fairly well.
As it’s my right shoulder and I’m right-handed I thought I’d better have a practice at using the other hand. I did try drying my hair with and putting on my mascara too but it didn’t go well at all… think Coco the clown! I may have to stay indoors for the entire time! I’m not really looking forward to it, as I thought my somewhat lengthy experience of surgical procedures was over. It’s also a shame it has to be now because it is officially Breast Cancer Care month, which for me, like many other women, is all important.
My own diagnosis of breast cancer in January 2011 meant that I had to face something I naively believed only happened to other people. My world tilted, and although it all seems a long time ago now, this month always brings it back into sharp focus. Breast Cancer Care were chosen years ago as QVC’s designated charity and during that time, with your help, we have managed to raise over six million pounds for them.
This year we have put together a capsule collection of products which are available on our website, and include beauty buys, fashion and accessories and of course jewellery. Our new Diamonique ribbon brooch is there along with the earrings and large pendant from my ‘I Hope’ range of jewellery. At least 60% of the sale price of these items will be paid to Breast Cancer Care which interestingly, is the only UK-based charity dedicated solely to supporting those affected by this disease.
It’s been lovely to know that thousands of you have chosen from the five pieces I have subsequently designed, and that the message of Hope is now shared by so many of us. This year I was once more asked to add to the collection, but it was suggested that I worked alongside the Diamonique buyers to incorporate a simulated diamond somewhere within the new design.
It took a while, and a few discarded sketches before I came up with a beautiful pendant. I have stayed true to the original teardrop shape, but it will be available in both rose gold and rhodium plating and features a single carat simulated diamond at the top of the teardrop – it will be available very soon, so do look out for it, I hope you like it. The message remains the same, as a world without hope is not something I can imagine. Over the years I have had some beautiful comments on this blog, telling me why it was you bought the jewellery and for whom… I hope this new design will carry the same sentiment.
Due to our two-day Fashion Event this week there wasn’t a Diamonique show yesterday (Tuesday) but instead we’re treating you to some of our bestselling fashion brands, with MarlaWynne today, plus Butler & Wilson, Centigrade, Clarks, Amanda Wakeley and Joe Browns which are just a few of the brands that will also feature, so make sure you have look through our TV Guide so you don’t miss your favourites!
My last two days at the Q before my break will be this weekend when we’re looking ahead to Christmas! So, if you wanted to get in early I can tell you that there’ll be fabulous pre-lit Fir Christmas Tree and a terrific Make-up collection from Tarte headlining on those days! Follow me on Twitter (@alikqvc) and I’ll give you the item numbers and prices ahead of time! : )
I’m going to miss you, my shows and my friends here, but I’ll be keeping up to date with the blog so I hope you’ll find time to write, and I promise as always to write back to you. There’s Twitter too, so in truth I won’t be that far away, and your support will be much appreciated as always.J
Stay well and I look forward to hearing from you.
With my love,