Another week gone, and even more leaves to collect in the garden! Wonderful to see so many of you taking the time to enter our competition to win the Nails Inc Special Effects collection and, as promised, I will be naming the winner at the bottom of this blog
Not sure how things are where you live, but here in the south of England it is still unseasonably warm, so much so that I was running in my sleeveless vest enjoying the warm of the sun on my now somewhat pasty skin!
However it was towards the West that Colin and I headed last Friday on an incredibly grey and wet morning. We had been invited to join our friends and their two children who had spent the half term week on the Gower Peninsula in Wales. I have to be honest and admit that not only had I never been to this part of our fair Isle but, in truth, had no idea where it was!
Kathy Tayler had been there in the summer, and sent me a fabulous photograph of the view she was looking out of her motor home at, which was stunning! After crossing the Bristol Suspension Bridge in high winds – a tad scary – we had lunch in Penarth, which is right on the coast, with our friend the jewellery designer Marsha Varrow.
They have recently refurbed the pier there and made it into a theatre, which, as you can see, looked very impressive in the five minutes of sunshine we were treated to
We then continued along the coast road to Rhossili, which is where Steve and Dawn were staying. It was lashing with rain by then, so we holed up in a local hostelry and played games with the children whilst tucking into a fabulously fattening feast of pie and chips Of course it was pitch black by the time we left, so we had no idea of where exactly we were until the morning, but as the sun shone through the windows we gathered our belongings and headed off to Rhossili Beach and The Worms Head – the name for the rock that sits out to sea there.
The beach is HUGE – purportedly the one used by the Top Gear team for their spectacular sand races - and by jingo there is certainly a lot of sand there! That morning though, the majority of it was being blown across the beach in the Force 9 winds that were coming off the sea. The waves were mighty, and it was jolly cold, but I had borrowed a hat from eleven-year-old Alfie and had my Centigrade coat on, so I was as warm as toast.
We decided to try and make it along the cliff path to the end of the peninsula, but were warned by several walkers that the winds were incredibly strong so to hold on tightly to the children! I thought this was possibly an exaggeration, but no, by the time we reached the coastguard's watch tower the wind had increased to 80mph!
How do I know? Because along with the rest of our troupe, we were allowed in to see the coastguards who told us it was 'Gale Force 9'. I have seriously never been in winds like these, and have to admit to having a lot of fun trying to lean into the wind without being blown away…not bad, eh?!
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It certainly blows the cobwebs away and, after a lunch of Welsh Rarebit – would have been rude not to – we set off home. Luckily the weather on the journey home was far less agressive, and three and a half hours later we were parking the car in the last of the sunshine.
I've done a fair bit of driving over the last week, and was lucky enough to spend a day with my daughter Lucy whilst she was on her half term holiday. She has been working incredibly hard and, like so many other teachers, really needs these breaks to recharge the batteries. Lucy also now has three delightful step sons, who spend a lot of time with her and Simon.
The eldest is 16 so, understandably, has his own agenda, but George and Henry are nine and four years old respectively, and were delighted when Lucy discovered the Living Rainforest not far off the M4! Colin and I drove up to meet them all, and we had a fabulous morning discovering tree frogs, snakes, crocodiles and marmosets, all hidden in and amongst huge orchids and other foilage!
It was very realistic – warm and humid – and having dutifully filled in our questionnaires, we made tracks for the local pub where we motored our way through another fabulous meal! As it was Halloween, the boys had a party and then Trick or Treating, but we had this photo taken just before they left. I so enjoy being with the little ones and felt quite emotional as we held hands and walked around the Rainforest…so many wonderful memories of my three when they were small…good times
Of course I've been back at work since then, had my hair cut and coloured (not certain, but I think the curl may have been cut out of it!!), and far more importantly, spent an evening with some of my colleagues from QVC supporting our thespian friend, Catherine Huntley!
She is starring as Mary in a marvellous production of 'The Memory of Water' at the Barons Court Theatre. It is a very emotional and quite intense play written by Shelagh Stephenson, and has a very talented cast of five. Catherine's acting made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and also brought me to tears more than once…incredibly sensitively played and she didn't forget her lines once! What a star
I am hoping to go again with Kathy and Debbie before the end of the run on the 17th…would so love to tread the boards before I'm under them…it's on my tick list
Just a quick mention to reassure those of you who knew I'd been for an MRI, that it was purely to make sure that one of my implants hadn't ruptured. Unfortunately it's all gone a little pear-shaped in that department, but there was mercifully no damage, it appears that the transferred fat has dissipated, and so we can hold off the next phase of surgery until the beginning of next year. So much to look forward to with Christmas and QVC I wouldn't have wanted to miss any of it
Well, I think that's about it…Oh, of course, the winner of our competition!!! We needed a much larger hat this time to put all the correct entries in, but for those of you who took part, the answer to the question (What is the name of the Entrepreneur who founded Nails Inc?) was of course Thea Green!! Many congratulations to Debs Le Sueur and I will post the Special Effects to you asap.
Thank you ALL for taking part though, and rest assured there will be another competition before Christmas with a special collection of goodies
Have a wonderful weekend, and I look forward, as always, to hearing what you've been up to, and how you are.