Well I can hardly believe that I am sitting here writing the end of year round up. My first question is, where did it go to? I don’t know if it’s just me but each subsequent year seems to go faster and faster. I’m not sure I like the feeling!
Working backwards through the year, last week was a highlight as I was at the House of Commons meeting with Members of Parliament talking to them about British business. Jackie and I were there and it was a fun and relaxed evening promoting our British vendors, some of whom were in attendance; Elemis, Lola Rose, SBC, Joe & Seph’s Popcorn, Richard Jackson and a few others.
Jackie and I have been working together a lot this year, it seems, as we hosted the annual Breast Cancer Care fundraising evening which for me was a huge honour and I was humbled by the stories of all of the people that I met. Not only did I host on the evening but I also did their first Pink Ribbon Moonlight Walk through London with many of my QVC colleagues to raise money and awareness, and there I met many people who work so hard for the organisation.
People really are amazing. For every rotten person who doesn’t hold a door open when you’re struggling with a pram or shopping, and for every hoodlum who throws rubbish on the street or acts like a lout making you feel afraid on a bus or on the street, there is 100 good, decent people out there who are full of the milk of human kindness. I know, because I saw them all out walking the streets of London in their pink T-shirts raising money and awareness, not to mention a few blisters on their feet!
As part of the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign I also got to host a table at their afternoon tea and fashion show were Darius sang, breast cancer survivors modelled and their families cheered. All-in-all, an experience to remind me to not sweat the small stuff. A reminder, which we all need from time to time, to stop, take stock and appreciate what we have.
This year also saw me get to take a week’s holiday, the first in three years. It wasn’t nearly long enough but I got the opportunity to go to Italy and indulge in one of my interests, opera! I jetted off and went to the hometown of Giacomo Puccini and saw some of his operas performed in the open air at the theatre built in his honour, on the side of a lake right next to his house. Sitting there listening to the music and watching the moon rise behind the stage was breath-taking. Once again a reminder to take a moment to acknowledge just how fortunate I am.
In the summer my youngest nephew, now 19 years old, came to visit me for the first time in London en route to Japan for a trip. He had saved up for himself with his part-time job because he loves Japanese culture and wanted to find out, first-hand, what it was like. I am very proud of him, it was his first time away from home on his own. It was great to spend time with him as an adult and get to know him in a different way. Not only does time fly, but in the course of it flying it also changes relationships, some times for the good, sometimes not so. For my nephew and myself I definitely feel it was for the good as I felt very close to him and saw him in a whole new way. I saw him no longer as a boy, but for the first time as a man and more than that, a well brought-up, intelligent gentleman.
At this very moment I am at home with the Christmas music playing, a group of visiting friends have just left, I am wrapping gifts and my mum – who has had a bit of a rough year health-wise – is arriving tomorrow (her health allowing, as I have just had a call from my sister to advise me mum isn’t feeling too well) with my niece to spend a week with me over the festive season. I have lots planned and just one or two presies under the tree for them! Yes, indeed, a lot to be thankful for.
At this time of year it can be difficult for many people. It is a reminder that time is flying, that things have changed. Perhaps life is not what it once was, or relationships or not what we would wish them to be. All I can say is that I recognise that nobody’s life is perfect, mine certainly isn’t, but I still have a lot to be thankful for.
Try to find even just one thing in life that you give thanks for. It could be the companionship of a faithful friend in bad times (be they human or animal!), it could be simply that you have been in good health this year or even just this winter. Whatever it is, take a moment this Christmas to find your ‘thing’ to give thanks. It will put some peace and joy in your heart and make all the difference. That is what Christmas is for me, it is about being thankful and because of that I would like to thank all of you who watch QVC, who send me messages or replies to my blogs or send me good wishes, thank you. Truly, thank you.
Wishing you all a peaceful and joyous Christmas and a year ahead that brings you a lot to be thankful for.