Three girls, 16 years of friendship together, yet our first trip away. We already knew we “got on”, we already knew we “admired and valued” each other, but this time together served to put that in capital letters etched in stone.
We had dry, fresh weather, no rain, yippee!, as we cycled off to experience Amsterdam. There was nervous fear as we set off behind our tour guide Gideon who said aside from giving us a tour and a history lesson his sole job was to keep us safe… well thank goodness he did, there were a few hairy moments attempting to cross various intersections with cars, pedestrians, scooters and bikes, all 1.2 MILLION of them (not all out that day I hasten to add, though it sure felt it at those intersections). I would highly recommend that way of getting around Amsterdam, though if it had been Tom, Joe and Maddie with me we would have been on foot as Tom is not a bike rider… yet!
Nancy, Anna and I laughed loads, talked endlessly, discussed, cogitated and yes cried at the memories… Jacob felt close to us and always will be, we have always been so lucky to have each other and our friendship is something to treasure as are the memories we made this week.
The Pulitzer, our hotel, was fabulous, and when we arrived to champagne in our room (Anna’s 50th) even more so! We ate some truly sensational food, drank some wonderful cocktails and tried to get out and see some of Amsterdam’s wonderful treats in the time we had. I made sure I was sorted in the footwear department, settling on my suede over-the-knee Clarks boots, a small block heel gave me enough height but was super comfy for all the walking and cycling.
Actually as I’m looking at all my photos I realise I well and truly flew the fashion flag for QVC. On our first night I wore my lovely Label Lab trousers, sparkly Capollini courts and my leather look slim jacket by Rino & Pelle. I travelled in my H by Halston metallic skirt and grey (yes I know, me in grey!!) cashmere jumper with my Clarks boots, a Lulu Guinness bag and Kipling luggage. I had learnt my lesson from last time where my lotions and potions were confiscated as there were too many to fit in the little plastic bag (I wonder how on earth Alison Young ever manages… maybe she always puts her bag in the hold!) this time I well and truly travelled light but now I’m home I’m going to layer on my Gatineau mask as feeling a tad dehydrated.
The Palace at Dam Square was gorgeous and gave us some lovely nuggets of history, the shops were just beautiful, the “coffee” shops… well let’s just say whilst we didn’t go in them I reckon we breathed it in without even trying! The red light area we were shown by our guide left us totally shocked, I’m no prude, but crikey I was bothered, the girls were so young, so pretty.
Anne Frank’s house was sobering and I felt terrifically affected, as we stood in the room where she spent two years locked away with her sister Margot, there was total silence as we all recognised the atrocities that had made this imprisonment happen and the realisation that ultimately Anne still lost her life in a concentration camp. There was audio as you moved through the house and the video at the end was very moving. We walked out and were free to walk the streets as she had done before which really connected us. Her diaries were a voice, a powerful voice that humanised what had taken place. I pray we will never face that again, yet our world seems to have other ideas I fear…
Dan did beautifully whilst I was away, even handling Options Evening with Maddie… not super easy as she really doesn’t know what to take. I am busy saying “you must do what you enjoy, darling” followed by “crikey Madds you need to take this you are super at it”. Not the most helpful advice, though let’s hope her teachers can try and guide us a little this week. Having spent an hour or so with my friend discussing both of her sons, who are currently handling Mocks, A levels and visiting universities I’m not relishing the next bit!
I hope January has been better than you thought and that positivity was chucked around with abandon! Chloe Everton’s advice of planning things has certainly helped me and I shall be looking ahead to lunch with my gorgeous old friend Ali, home from Canada for a while I hope, a trip to Guildford with Maddie to spend some time out with my Mummy (no doubt a visit to Liz Earle will be on the cards). There’s a 50th birthday celebration and afternoon tea to make me smile as I turn the pages of my diary… and of course a chance to chat with you and enjoy my shows at QVC. There are some fabulous things coming up as always, I’m sad I missed Beauty Weekend but I’m sure I shall catch right up on all the superb launches we had and have been enjoying trialling lots of exciting things… more to divulge in my next blog.
Remember as February takes centre stage, make sure you are right up there with it, drinking in the applause (hold that thought my lovelies…).
Much love to you all,