I was asked just the other day if I was nervous or stressed about my imminent wedding – just two weeks to go as I write this!! “Good gracious no! Everything is sorted,” was my reply, but I have woken up this morning from a very bizarre dream that saw me walking up the aisle in my wellingtons! Yes, you’ve guessed it, I STILL don’t have my shoes! I will though be taking your advice, and Jilly, you’re right, even if the shoes are expensive, just tot up the number of times I wear them and all will be well : ) Thanks to all of you for your lovely comments on the blog and for keeping me in touch with your life and all that’s in it – so busy for so many of us!
Well, since I last wrote, I have been to Shropshire, Swindon (twice : )), Dorset, a beautiful hotel in Windsor and a lovely restaurant in Chiswick! So I’ll begin with Colin’s and my trip to Shropshire – a beautiful county, where of course I spent many happy years before returning to the South of England in 1995. The reason for our trip was to collect the table centre decorations that had been created for us by Julie and her team at Peony.
If you’ve ever seen the shows, you will have heard her talk of the Ruckley Estate where she grew up and where the flowers are made and arranged. Ironically, the Estate is only a few miles away from the little nursery school that both Lucy and Sam attended all those years ago. We found our way very easily and met Julie at the Showroom and workshop entrance. I took these photos in the Showroom/shop, and I’m sure you’ll agree that it looks far more like part of the Chelsea Flower Show, with it’s incredibly impressive array of blooms! Impossible to tell they’re not real, as the detail is so exact : ).
Julie showed us around the workshop and we met Stevie who had personally overseen the making of our arrangements. For those of you who missed my original photos, here’s a quick reminder of what we will have on each of the tables at the Wedding Breakfast… Julie has included all the flowers I will have in my bouquet in each of these arrangements – even lily of the valley! : )
Having loaded the carefully packed boxes into the back of our car, we then followed Julie up an incredibly long driveway until we were in the courtyard of the Ruckley Estate. It is just stunning, surrounded by acres of landscaped gardens, fabulous woodland, and an enormous lake. We dined on salmon in a stunning room that had views out over the garden, and chatted with Julie’s mum Margaret, and her youngest son Cameron – all were delightful company. We spent an hour or more walking around the grounds and admiring the fabulous ‘real’ flowers, and then sadly it was time to head home. Both Colin and I are seriously indebted to Julie for her generosity and expertise – the flowers will be spectacular and make our day even more special…
Of course Swindon is fast becoming my second home, as that’s where my lovely Lucy and delightful granddaughter Honey live. I’ve managed two visits over the last fortnight, and am due to see them again tomorrow, but I did see Lucy last Sunday for a fabulous afternoon, which I’ll tell you about shortly. Honey changes each time I see her, and is so alert and engaging.
She is still sweet tempered, and although she keeps her mum awake a fair bit in the night, she isn’t grumpy or grizzly, and is completely relaxed when other folk hold her. Simon’s sons Henry and George are marvellous with her too, and everything has slotted into place beautifully.
Sadly I didn’t take any photos of my trip to Dorset where I travelled to see our friends Ros and Chris, but suffice to say I had a wonderful time there. I’d chosen to visit while Colin was away on his stag weekend, and planned to leave after work on Thursday. You may have noticed that I didn’t present my Diamonique show that night, and that was because I was lucky enough to be dining out with the winners of our QVC Experience auction from last October’s Breast Cancer Care fundraising night.
Eugenie (pictured above left) and her husband Don were the couple who made the highest bid, and they had a fabulous day at QVC, meeting with Kathy Tayler, Ali Young and many other presenters and guests, before being whisked off to supper with Craig Rowe and I. Kathy had styled Eugenie (who kept the fab outfits), and then Ali had spent a long time with her, advising her and then giving her a makeover. It was a perfect night. They are a delightful couple – strong in their relationship and evident love for each other – and supportive of one another too. We had these photos taken as a memento of the day, and I felt truly honoured to have been a part of this special prize.
My journey down the A303 past Stonehenge was great at that time of night, and then Friday was warm and sunny, so Ros and I went for a walk to pick elderflowers to make cordial, and met Chris at the local pub where we had a delicious lunch. I relaxed in front of their log-burner in the evening and then I headed home in the morning, promising to return asap.
The only thing that made it easier for me to leave was that I knew I’d be seeing her the following day because she and Lucy had been planning a surprise for me! On Sunday afternoon my friend Jo picked me up and drove me to a beautiful hotel in Windsor, where I was met by a group of family and friends whom Ros and Lucy had invited. Some of them weren’t going to be able to make it to the wedding, and none of them had met Honey before, so that was an added bonus!
So much effort had gone into decorating the room, organizing fab food, and arranging games! We had to create our own wedding dresses out of fabric, loo roll and safety pins, I had a round of Mr and Mrs (didn’t do as well as I’d hoped there!) and they all came up with date nights in for Colin and I. Lucy had downloaded all my favourite music which played throughout, and then we finished the afternoon on the lawns in the sunshine with a glass of champagne… I felt very cherished and loved, and the little cards that everyone filled in with their wedding wishes made me cry when I read them at home later that night… It was a perfect day, and one I will remember always.
And so with only a fortnight to go, I can tell you of a fabulous competition that I’m going to be setting up in the run up to the wedding, but I need a little bit of help from you first. The Diamonique buying team and I thought it would be lovely to have a whole hour of Diamonique wedding jewellery, but we want to base it around the pieces YOU wore on you wedding day. Just let me know what it was, and if there are any special stories around the jewellery itself that would be even better. I will set a competition in the next week, and the prize will be the jewellery that I have designed to wear on the big day itself!
I do hope you like the idea, and I will look forward very much to hearing from you over this next week. And staying with Diamonique, I’ll be sharing my 9pm show with Tova, when hopefully there will still be some of her beautiful TSV to show you! Hope you can join us. It’s also perfect timing for our Clarks TSV tonight (pictured above) – now the sunshine’s out and summer is here for sure!
Take care, enjoy the sunshine, and stay well. Sending you my love,