I'm so sorry it's taken me this long to let you know how my birthday celebrations went, but a technical hitch with the camera and rather too many long nights have led me to make many false starts to this blog, but here we go…
Having been expertly coiffured by Lulu's stylist Kevin on last Thursday's Time Bomb show, I'd booked the following day off to begin my somewhat protracted 50th birthday celebrations with friends and family (it wasn't actually till Tuesday!).
Yes, our long-awaited 'Gone to the Dogs' night had arrived.
As I've mentioned, I'd arranged a few surprises for the girls, including a race named especially for us – we even got our photo taken with the winner, balloons and a couple of Tote tickets each. Debbie's other half found out about the sponsored race when he was checking the form to advise us which dog to bet on… it's all so serious, isn't it? You'd think as long as they are a dog of the greyhound variety, could negotiate their way out of a square box and liked hares, they'd be fine : )
The final thing I hadn't breathed a word about was our mode of transport to and from the dog track in Wimbledon. We'd originally booked a minicab to take us but the driver called a couple of days before and said he just couldn't do the trip… not sure quite why, but I fear it may have had something to do with the association of six women, alcohol, gambling, music and at least five hours trapped with us all in a small space!
So instead I booked one of those ludicrously long cars that have lights, music and champagne inside and a 'WARNING LONG VEHICLE CONTAINING BADLY BEHAVED WOMEN' sign on the outside. Having told them that all I could find at short notice was a Polo and that Sue would have to travel on the parcel shelf, their screams of delight when this monster of a vehicle pulled up were priceless!
I think the photos say it all, but suffice to say we all peaked a little early and I wasn't sure where my camera went once we arrived at the track, and even if I had, I doubt I would've remembered how to to work it! It was a corking night though and one I think we'll all remember. Most repeated quote of the night was yours truly inisisting that I was celebrating my 43rd birthday, inspite of the incredibly large 50 sign around my neck…
Talking of which, I did think it was very thoughtful of the motorway maintenance men on the M25 to line my route on Saturday with signs to celebrate my half century (obviously, they WERE NOT speed signs)!! Yet another party beckoned, again to celebrate said passing of age, but this time with friends I've known since I was seven.
Sadly there aren't any photos of the party girl herself, or the rest of us for that matter, as my camera remained hidden until after the event. But we had such a wonderful evening, not only reminiscing about the old days but making some lovely new memories too.
And so to Mother's Day…
For Mother's Day I was treated to a fabulous meal that Lucy had prepared, which was a delicious recipe she'd created from chicken, sausage meat, bacon and stuffing. It was almost like a savoury roulade, and she served it with roast poatoes and vegetables; then a homemade sticky toffee pudding for afters. It was just me and the three children, and with all their lovely gifts, cards and company, to me it was just perfect.
And the treats just kept on coming with my birthday just a day later. My friend Jo came up for the day and took me to lunch, and it was so warm that we actually ate in the garden of the pub, what a treat. She'd made a beautiful photograph album for me which included pictures of pretty much all my family and friends from the last 50 years. The words she wrote were a mixture of memories and reduced me to tears – it's something I'll always treasure. The fact that so many of my friends and family had been involved in gathering the pictures together made it even more special.
I felt very spoilt with all my lovely gifts, and Colin completely surprised me with a seven stone diamond ring which is absolutely stunning. All the children came over for dinner that night and we drank champagne and laughed ourselves silly watching Michael McIntyre at Wembley.
That really should be it, shouldn't it, but this day next week will see me exfoliating, applying face masks, choosing jewellery and probably wearing my dressing gown unless I pull my finger out and buy a dress, because… I'M HAVING A PARTY!!! Lucy has arranged the whole thing for me and as many as my lovely friends from QVC as can make it will be there, along with family and everyone else I've been writing about. I've been promised some surprises on the night, so I promise on THIS occasion I'll make certain I have my camera with me!
Have a lovely weekend, and thank you so much for all my lovely cards again this year, I really appreciate them.
Love Ali xx