Hello there, and thank you for your lovely comments on the last blog. It was so nice to share my photographs with you, and to read about your family and the memories you’ve been making. I know that Father’s Day wasn’t going to be easy for a number of us, but I hope that you filled it with things that made you happy. Although I was working on the Sunday, Colin and I did manage to meet up with four of his five children, and that was lovely.
Just the week before we heard the sad news that my mum’s sister Hilda had died. Hilda was 93 and had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s some five years before. She’d lived in Colchester all her adult life, and moved into a lovely care home in Great Horkesley some years after her husband died. They didn’t have children, but throughout her life she’d loved and looked after a large number of cats who spent hours with her in her garden – her other great passion.
She helped me create my very first garden in my two up, two down terraced house on the Harwich Road in Colchester that I moved to when I was first married. I’ll always remember her wicked sense of humour, and the fun evenings I spent with her. She had a beautiful singing voice, and could whistle any tune you could name. I’d never heard of Mantovani’s Music of the Mountains or The Seekers until she played them to me on her record player, but she knew all the words to all the songs. Even in the last few years of her life, she was known throughout the home for her fabulous and tuneful voice.
The last time Colin and I visited her was in March, and she didn’t know who I was at all; she was unable to recognise the photo of my mum either. This had always been the link for her, and made sense of my visit. I could see it was distressing her to try and recognise the faces we felt she should remember, and so we had to leave. I know there are so many of us whose families are touched by this dreadful illness, and inevitably we lose those we love long before their lives are over.
Colin took this photo though of Hilda and I, and so I feel very lucky that I have this last memory. It’s been hard for my mum as she lost her other sister Eileen five years ago, but we’ve put together a lovely eulogy for Hilda that I’ve promised I’ll read for her. It reminds me just how precious time is to us all, and I will continue with my ethos to cram in as much as I can, every day I have left on this earth.
Something else my Aunty Hilda used to enjoy was travelling. She’d visited most of Europe and always sent us postcards of the sea and sunshine. Last week I’d taken a few days off as Colin was going to Spain with some mates to watch the football, and I’d planned to stay home, but a friend who was heading to Portugal for a week, rang to say their apartment had two bedrooms so did I want to join them! I don’t think I’ve ever packed so quickly in my life! Talk about lucky! ☺
The apartment was set amongst beautifully landscaped gardens with three golf courses in the beautiful resort of Quinta do Lago. I remember taking my children to Albufeira in Portugal when they were very young, and although we had a good time, they were very badly bitten by mosquitoes. Not wishing to take any chances, I sprayed myself liberally with Jungle Formula while I was still in the airport… much to the disgust of those standing downwind! Suffice to say, the weather for once was FAR better where I was than at home… as you will know… and although jolly windy every afternoon, the sun shone from morning to night.
We visited the market, spent several days on the beach, and ate out in a number of great places, including The Chicken Shack, and this fabulous beachside restaurant, where my dress matched all the paintwork and furnishings! Definitely somewhere I’d love to return to – the resort not just the restaurant – but then most places I’ve been lucky enough to visit make me say that ☺
I was straight back to work on the Saturday, and as it was so good to see Simon Wilson from Butler & Wilson and to hear about his very special 50th anniversary shows in August. Another guest whom I love to spend time with is Tova Borgnine and she shared my 8pm Diamonique show on Tuesday. Just to let you know, the regular Diamonique show’s moved to Monday 24th June at 8pm next week as we have a Summer Sale Day on the Tuesday.
Of course the month of June is special to many people as it’s one of the busiest months for weddings – indeed Colin and I celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary on the 26th, and his daughter Vicky will marry Lewis next year on the 27th – all very exciting!
Another anniversary worth noting is for our pearl jewellery range Honora. They’re celebrating their 20th anniversary this month, and I wanted you to know that there’s zero P&P on every piece of Honora jewellery until the end of June which is great news! I think what makes it even more exciting is the quality of the pearls we have on offer.
I’ve seen some stunning Akoya single pearl earrings – their perfectly round shape and high lustre make them a relative rarity so at £150 they’re worth considering. 342155 is the item number for the Honora limited edition baby Ming pearl necklace at £669.00. These pearls are a unique shade of purple and are quite rare – our buyers have no idea when we’ll find more so if Ming pearls are your thing, have a look at our website now. You will also find South Sea Pearls in the most gorgeous cream and gold tones – very rare and hard to come by. All at great prices and assured quality, because Honora only use the top 3% of all pearls harvested.
I wore a pearl and Diamonique necklace and earrings on my wedding day, did you choose pearls for your wedding? I think they’re perfect, and plan to wear the earrings when Colin and I go out for dinner next Wednesday to celebrate our fourth anniversary. They have refurbished the hotel where we had our wedding, and we have a table booked there. I’ll make sure I get a photograph for the next blog 🙂
That’s pretty much all my news except to mention that from the 2nd July we will be launching our TSV at 9pm rather than midnight. Join me on the day as we have a fabulous collection of Ultrasun at an amazing price. Hopefully will get the weather for you to use it! Do take care, keep in touch, through Twitter and Instagram as well as Facebook, and I promise I’ll always write back.
With my love,