Let’s address the issue on all our minds, the one that we all can’t help ourselves talking about – the heat. Wow, it’s been warm. Well, at least down here in London and the South East. Over 38 degrees centigrade (that’s over 100 degrees Fahrenheit). Many of us go on summer holidays to foreign parts and never experience temperatures that high. It’s safe to say we are not always very good at handling that kind of heat. We’re northern Europeans – we’re just not built for it, but it seems we will need to get used to it, as these kinds of summer temperatures are likely to be come a regular occurrence rather than a one off. Having to travel anywhere was an exercise in masochism, particularly on public transport or even in my car, as the air conditioning is broken and all it does is blow very hot air around, making it feel like the searing Scirocco winds of the Sahara have temporarily placed themselves inside my car for the duration of my journey!
Luckily for me though, I met a lovely lady recently called Adele who came into QVC for a Guest Audition (every guest goes through this procedure to make sure they understand what is required when you go on air at QVC). She came in with her rechargeable fan unit called the Fanu Fan. All the stock we had sold out, we got advanced orders and they sold out, and I believe we have more advanced orders, so if you want it you are going to have to be quick! I managed to get a sample of it, which Adele kindly allowed me to have so I could try it out. I honestly haven’t left the house without mine! It’s perfect on the go. It is sleek, compact, portable and rechargeable. A full charge will give 2.5 hours of usage. Mine is now my constant companion and yours will be too!
With all this warm weather, it’s often been difficult to know what to wear. My advice has been to keep your colours light and reflective rather than dark and absorbent, your materials natural for breathability and the fit loose and comfortable. Thinking about summer fashion leads me to the fact that I recently went to see the Dior exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
I saw it in Paris when it first opened a couple of years ago but I just had to go back. All of the tickets had sold out here in London but it proved so popular that they extended it and I managed to nab a couple of tickets as soon as the extra dates became available. I headed off with Simon Brown, who many of you will know as our regular kitchen guest and the ambassador for many of out best known kitchen brands like Cooks Essentials and Lock and Lock.
What many if you may not know is that Simon is a huge fan of vintage clothing and style and as we were going to look at Dior, whose first groundbreaking collection was released in 1947 (remember the Bar Suit and The New Look?), Simon decided to pay homage to the era by wearing a suit from 1946. He looked super stylish and handsome, so much so that other visitors to the exhibition were taking photographs of him as well as the dresses!
There were so many classic looks in the exhibition from Dior himself, as well as Yves Saint Laurent (who studied under Dior and took the helm after Dior’s sudden death), John Galliano (the ‘enfant terrible’ of fashion), right up to the present day ‘head of womenswear’ Maria Grazia Chiuri. It was a joy to see the collection again and I would highly recommend it to any of you.
Speaking of classics and legends, I got to experience both in one go as I got to see and hear the living legend that is Burt Bacharach recently. The man is a unbelievably talented and he is still touring at the age of, wait for it… 93!!!
Out he came on stage and waved to us all before seating himself at the piano and playing some of his biggest and best known hits. He was accompanied by some of the best backing vocalists in the business as well as his guest Joss Stone who, between them, sang us through many of the high points from his back catalogue. I watched and listened in, what I can only describe as, awe. We journeyed from ‘I Say a Little Prayer’, made famous by the inimitable Aretha Franklin, to the soulful, ‘Walk On By’, a hit for Dionne Warwick. The number and variety of hits and huge stars who sang them was quite breathtaking to imagine – Dusty Springfield (‘I Just Don’t Know’, ‘Wishin and Hopin’), Tom Jones (‘What’s New Pussycat’), Cilla Black (‘Alfie’), Etta James, Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, the list goes on and on.
I sat and held my breath in awe for much of the concert. Here was the true definition of talent and genius and yet when he spoke he wasn’t boastful in anyway, but rather was so full of gratitude to the U.K. and the support of the British people which helped his career take off before he was even known in the U.S.
He told stories of writing the songs and the inspiration behind them and what it was like working with some of the stars who recorded them (like Dusty Springfield who was incredibly hard on herself in the studio, accepting nothing less than perfection). It was a truly magical 2 hours that I won’t ever forget. I consider myself incredibly lucky, as at 93 years of age I’m not sure I’ll ever get the chance to see him on stage again any time soon.
It’s turning out to be quite the summer. I am feeling blessed. Better than last summer at least when I spent all of it feeling unwell. For that reason I feel doubly blessed.
I have lots coming up on Q in the next week or two as well. I’ll be fortunate to be hosting an hour of Butler & Wilson on Friday 1st August (also my mum’s birthday, she’ll be 81, bless her). Butler & Wilson are celebrating 50 years in the business so I can’t wait to chat about that and discover some of the pieces they will be bringing us to celebrate.
We will also have a great TSV coming up on 5th August, the Clean Spin 360 Spin Mop. I’ve been looking for a new mop recently and this might be just the ticket. (Is it just me or do you find yourself mopping the floors more in the summer than in the winter? I’m not sure why that is – do I spill more things on the floor in the summer?).
The Spin Mop and Bucket is so easy to use and makes cleaning a breeze. If you’re tired of damp, germ-laden, smelly traditional mops in your kitchen or cleaning cupboard this could be just the thing for you. That’s because the revolutionary bucket system spins the mop dry using centrifugal force and the mop heads, as well as being super absorbent, are machine washable too. Personally, I can’t wait to try it for myself!
Until next time,