What a fabulous summer we're having. It's been so lovely to finally make the most of the garden at home – since we moved in more than three years ago we really haven't had any consistent good weather so I've been absolutely loving it this year.
And what a difference a bit of sunshine makes when you have to go to an outdoor event too. Last week I was invited to Cheltenham Cricket Festival with some of the gardening show team.
To be honest, I'm not really a cricket fan (even though I used to present cricket shows for Setanta Sports News a few years back when I was still freelance – how on earth did I manage that?) but it was such a lovely day.
A stunning setting in the grounds of Cheltenham College, glorious weather, great food and the delightful sound of leather on willow, punctuated by gentle applause. Oh how very civilised, and how very pleasant. The picture above is of me with regular gardening show guest David Ponton (yes, there was wine involved too!)
As many of you know, I live in Gloucestershire so the cricket festival was right on my doorstep. Work is a little further away – with QVC being based in West London, I can spend up to five hours a day in my car on days when I don't stay over.
So anything that can make my car a nicer environment to spend time in is very welcome. I pass the journey by listening to audiobooks – over the past year I've worked my way through every single one of Ian Rankin's Rebus novels.
Now I've been trying out something else to improve my driving experience – a Yankee Candle fragrance collection designed specifically for the car! Obviously, there are no naked flames involved, but it's a way of getting those gorgeous Yankee scents into your vehicle as well as your home.
It's going to be the Today's Special Value on Monday 28th July and it's a fantastic collection which includes really clever little fragrance sticks which fit into the air vents as well as the brilliant "car jars" (pictured above left). I love it!
I read a lot of real books as well as listening to audiobooks, and I still read on paper – I know it's becoming very old-fashioned but I still can't bring myself to use a Kindle or e-reader; I like to collect books and love having them on shelves around my home!
A lot of my reading is confined to holidays now as I simply don't have time, but with the fab weather I've started sitting down for a while in the garden in the early evening, glass of wine and book in hand. What a treat. This week I've been thrilled to finally catch up with the latest Bridget Jones. I was such a fan of the early books so it's great to read all about her exploits again – poor Bridget!
I've also been on the hunt for a very special present. It's my 20th wedding anniversary in September and my husband's gift is already sorted – he's a fabulous chef who does all the cooking in our house, and he's about to become even more fabulous because he's asked for a specialist cookery course, so later in the year he will be heading off to Cornwall to Rick Stein's Cookery School.
But my gift has been a little more problematic. At first I thought eternity ring, or some other piece of jewellery, and then totally changed my mind. I now want something I've longed for for a very long time, but we are having a little trouble tracking one down. I don't think anyone will work out what I want in a million years – but, just for fun, any guesses? Leave me a comment below!
Have a great week.
Love Jackie xx