What a terrific response to our Anne Klein competition – although I’m not surprised as it is a beautiful watch, and one I know somebody is going to be more than happy to own! I only wish we had one for all of you, but our winner this time around is Elaine Patterson! : ) She, along with most of you guessed correctly that the answer was 1868 – congratulations Elaine! As it’s Christmas, I’m going to squeeze in one more competition before Christmas, and the prize will be a fabulous floral arrangement from Peony. Worth over £100 it is the same as the stunning table decorations Julie Bates and Peony designed for our wedding reception, and it’s a wonderful cream and white collection. If you want to be in with a chance, make sure you watch this space!
Thanks so much for your lovely comments and tweets this last week. I am sorry that so many of you have fallen foul of the latest round of heavy colds and flu. I had a flu jab this year – first time ever although apparently I should have been having them regularly – so am keeping everything crossed that I will be able to avoid it. I hope that for those of you who have been struggling will by now be feeling much better and relieved to know you’ll hopefully be in fine fettle for Christmas.
Thanks also for all your sweet compliments about my new hairstyle! I had reached a bit of an impasse with the styling and the length, and it didn’t seem to hold any shape at all. Those of you have been watching me for number of years will know that prior to my chemo, I had always had my hair fairly short anyway. It was just that when it grew back, I found it very difficult to ever get it cut… Sounds daft, but I guess it’s just one of those things. When Beverley C was at QVC recently with the Babyliss TSV, I chatted to her, and she suggested I come to see her at her salon in Kensington and she would cut it for me. Not only did she do a cracking job of the cut, but also arranged for her colourist Adam to warm the colour up slightly too, and so now I feel like a new woman! Let’s just hope Colin doesn’t!
Talking of my man, he and I had a lovely, if rather soggy day at the Christmas market in Bath. We were joined by our friends Roz and Chris and also Mitch and Ali, and after a very damp but successful morning’s shopping, we spent the afternoon drinking mulled wine while Michael Buble serenaded us with Christmas songs – perfect!
What do you think of the hat (pictured above)? I hadn’t remembered to bring my Centigrade hooded coat and looked like a drowned rat having been caught in the rain, so Roz lent me her lovely hat. I didn’t take it off until bedtime!
I think I’m probably two thirds of the way through my Christmas shopping list, but still have a way to go. We also have five birthdays between Christmas Eve and New Year’s day, so my powers of present purchasing are definitely being put to the test!
A lovely distraction from ticking names off my Christmas list was Honey’s Naming Ceremony last Sunday. Lucy and Simon had booked a local church hall for the event, and it was just the right size to fit us all in.
The kitchen was very well equipped, as was the hall itself, and they had also arranged for an inflatable play area including a ball pit for the children.
One thing that caught me by surprise was this photo (pictured above left) in the toilets there… I’m sure you’ve heard of towns being twinned with places in the world that have a similar number of inhabitants and businesses? Well, this is all about toilet twinning!!! I don’t believe it has anything to do with similarity between the facilities, but is a rather novel idea of raising money to provide sanitary facilities in poorer areas of the globe!
Lucy and Simon had decided on the date way back in the summer, and ironically it was to have fallen on my niece Emily’s due date! Of course she had baby James a month early, and although Em, Paul and James weren’t able to make it, my sister Jenny did, with Grandad Joe (pictured above), which was lovely. James has really grown since I last posted a photo of him, so I thought you may like an update!
My mum had been planning to come also as she’s only seen Honey twice, but she wasn’t feeling too bright, and so we will have time with her on Boxing Day instead. My son Sam (pictured below left) had flown back early from a weekend in Dublin to be with us, and although Jack sadly wasn’t able to make it, he was mentioned in despatches and will hopefully get to see Honey before Christmas. For those of you who may not have been to a ‘naming ceremony’ before, it is much the same as a Christening, but with no one from the Church officiating. Lucy and Simon both stood up and spoke, and I was really chuffed that they chose the poem I had found for Honey to read to us all: it is on a little cushion I bought for her when she was first born.
“My wish for you is that you will smile the biggest brightest smile, be happy most of the time, feel brave, feel strong, be healthy and live long, run along windy beaches, climb trees to far off reaches, feel the sun and smell the rain, pick blackberries on a country lane. I wish you love and laughter and lots of fun, I wish your life and dreams to be full of sun…” Says it all really doesn’t it?
Roz and Chris (pictured above right) drove the distance from Dorset to join us, along with Lucy’s dad and all his family, Simon’s folks too and many of their friends. The more the merrier I always say, and it was certainly a very happy occasion : ) Everyone brought food, and most of it was homemade so some real treats, particularly when it came to cakes and biscuits. I had promised I would make a cake for Honey’s special day, and having spoken with Lucy about what she would like, a ‘bee’ theme was agreed.
My original idea of a giant bee was scrubbed in favour of a classic cake, topped with a bee hive and lots of little bees on and around it. Colin actually made the bees out of sugar paste, and engineered a special container for the wires on our ‘flying bees’ to go into. It took us about six hours in total, 14 eggs and a whole lot of ready to roll icing, but I will admit to being pleased with the finished article – as were Lucy and Simon : )
Honey as always was a delight, and considering how many people were there, and the general level of noise and excitement she coped remarkably well. She even managed two naps in her pushchair! I’m actually back up to see her today as her brother Henry is the narrator in his Christmas play, and I wouldn’t want to miss that : )
I will though be with you on Thursday for two hours of Honora Pearls from 6pm. Ralph Rossini will be with me, and I know that we have some fabulous designs and amazing prices! Incredibly original idea for these button pearl earrings that are carved into the shape of the flower that represents each month of the year! And I think I should mention that they are a Christmas Surprise! A surprise to me as I know how difficult it is to carve something as fragile as a pearl!
We are thrilled to have two new colours in time for Christmas of these oh so popular 7mm pearl earrings – 3 pairs for under £35! Last minute gifts anyone?!
It would be lovely if you could join us. We don’t have our regular Diamonique slot at 9pm as Jilly will be bringing you an hour of Gifts for the Gourmet which will no doubt be a treat for all of you foodies!
Take care, keep in touch, and if you get the chance to write to me, I will always write back.
With my love,