Many moons ago, I was fortunate enough to have been taken, as a surprise for my birthday, to see Shirley Bassey perform live on stage. She was, in a word, legendary. I remember at the time having a conversation with friends about what other legends we would like to see perform. I said that the other legendary diva I would love to see live was Barbra Streisand – I doubted it would ever happen as she doesn’t tour much and when she does it normally requires a bank heist, a train robbery and a little negotiation with a loan shark to have enough money to afford a ticket!
So, a few months ago when I saw she was going to be performing at Hyde Park and that the some of the tickets weren’t horrendously exorbitant, I immediately got tickets.
The day arrived just last week and I was finally going to be in the presence of the lady herself. To think she is still performing at 77 years of age gives me some hope for my future!
Out she came on stage in a blaze of pink, wearing a dress designed and made for her by British designer Zandra Rhodes. Opening with a rendition of As If We Never Said Goodbye, from ‘Sunset Boulevard’, Barbra took the liberty of altering the words to make it fit the occasion singing about Hyde Park, Meghan Markle, clotted cream, her love of London and much more. We laughed, we applauded and we lapped it all up.
Barbra famously performed a concert in Central Park in 1967, called A Happening In Central Park, to a crowd of 135,000 people, and the performance was recorded and released as an album under the same name. It was a very special concert and a major turning point in her career as a performer and artist. Barbra told us that she was, unofficially, calling this evenings performance ‘A Happening In Hyde Park’, the inference being, that even though we were only a crowd of a mere 65,000, this was an equally special concert for her. She was reeling us into her performance and we went willingly, she had hooked us and we were happy to be caught.
The rest of the evening continued more or less in the same vein, with her giving us exactly what we wanted with some of her old favourites and some special guests including Kris Kristoferrson and Lionel Richie.
Despite the large clouds rolling across the skies, the weather held up and we all felt blessed to be there. It was a fun and magical evening.
I was even lucky enough to bump into some QVC viewers and fans who came and said hello, which I loved, and I was even asked to settle an argument between a couple as there was some debate as to whether or not I was actually that Irish guy from QVC. Also, not only did I meet some of you who were there, I also met some of our guest presenters like Tracey Krueger, who is the guest and Brand Ambassador for Homedics – apparently it was Tarcey’s fifth time seeing Barbra! (Btw, Tracey tells me she has some great new products coming up from the range in August, so watch this space).
Barbra wasn’t my only outing recently. Our very own Eilidh was performing in a play that she and some friends of hers had devised called ‘Escapology’. It was on at the Old Red Lion pub in Islington, a really famous and respected fringe venue in London, and it was excellent. It was a one-hour show and only had the three actors. I had no idea what to expect and I’ve never seen Eilidh act before but it was thoroughly enjoyable and our Eilidh played a blinder. I was enthralled by it and laughed so much. (I don’t want to tell you any more details in case it comes back again and you want to go and see it!).
A group of us went from QVC. Myself, Craig, Ali K and Claire all met up for a bit to eat, a cheeky cocktail and then went to see the show together.
It’s always so nice when we get together outside of work – it doesn’t happen nearly enough, but is always such a lovely time.
Whilst all of that has been lovely, the not so lovely, and very much dreaded, insomnia has returned recently. I have very disturbed sleep these days anyway, which I have put down to my heart medications, as I was always, historically, a great sleeper. Apart from the odd evening when I watched too much TV or sat in front of the computer too late, or had left too many things undone on my ‘To Do’ list. The insomnia thing has become more of a regular occurrence, which I think may be due to the fact that I also now have arthralgia (pains in my bones and joints) too. I’ve had it for about 7 months now. It means that I have pains, stiffness and the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis all through the day, at night in bed and particularly first thing in the mornings, that’s when it is at its worst. My feet and hands don’t work so well and are extremely painful for a few hours at the start of the day. No more bounding out of bed for me in the mornings, not that I particularly did, but I was always good spirited in the morning and fairly upbeat. Now I struggle to pick up and hold my phone or even to hold the kettle to fill it up. Whether this causes the poor quality sleep and insomnia or the insomnia is simply exacerbated by it, I’m not sure.
I mentioned on Instagram just a couple of days ago about my insomnia and some of you mentioned that maybe I should try CBD oil. Only then did I remember that we have just started selling it on QVC. It’s brought to us by YourZooki, the brand that also brings us the tasty Omega 3 Oil supplements, which I am a huge fan of. Their CBD oil is 10% concentration, which is considerably higher than many of the other examples out there on the high street, it is also third party tested and very pure. If that wasn’t enough, it also has a pleasant mint taste too so I think I am going to order some and try it and see what it can do for me. (Please always check with your doctor, as I will be doing, before taking any health supplements).
With everything that’s been going on with me health-wise recently, it’s been really hard to keep on top of my fitness so I been trying to focus on my nutrition as best I can, but with so little time in the day that isn’t always easy either. To help, I’ve been using the Red Copper 5 minuet chef. It comes from the makers of Red Copper Cookware and its coming up as a TSV and it’s so quick, easy and convenient (807836). It helps you cook meals, snacks and desserts in minutes. I’ve been using it for breakfast, lunch and dinner – whether it’s omelettes, hash browns, roasted vegetables or I’ve even tried Brownie mix baked in it. With its dual cooking surfaces that are wipe clean, there’s no dirty pans to wash and put away. Even better! Watch out for it coming up on Wednesday 17th July (launching at the new TSV launch time of 9pm on Tuesday 16th July.
Until next time,