There’s a fantastic quote from Benjamin Franklin: “You may delay but time will not!’ and by crikey that’s true! Last time I wrote to you, we were two days away from the second of our big family weddings and now it’s just a memory, but WHAT a memory! How lucky are we to have witnessed both our sons marrying their loves in the same year 😊 More on that in just a moment.
So how are you? I do hope you’ve had every opportunity to enjoy the wonderfully warm weather we were blessed with over the last three weeks and that life is good? Thanks so much for your kind comments regarding my thinning hair and my insecurities associated with the fear of losing it. Since Elise cut it and I’ve been keeping up with the scalp treatments from Philip Kingsley, Tweak’d and Hairfix it has definitely improved. I’ve also temporarily reverted to using Velcro rollers rather than my hot brush and I think that’s helped too.
I loved hearing about your lives and a few of the building projects although Sue, the thought of eating my Christmas Dinner with my coat on has given me the horrors! 😊 Things continue to inch forwards and I’ve commandeered as many of the children as I can to help us on Saturday 4th November when we plan to completely unload our life from the container that is currently on the drive and sort through it to make space for all the tools that will have to be shifted from our bedroom before work can start there… I’m hoping the boys will do most of the heavy stuff and I’ll get the girls to help me decide on what to keep and what to get rid of – mind you, that’s not an easy task either! BUT… I know it’ll all be worth it in the end, and the huge amount of effort Colin has put into it over the last two years has saved us a fortune. I’ll keep you up to date here on the blog and social!
The build couldn’t have been further from our thoughts on Friday the 22nd of September as we headed into the City of London for Colin’s son Richard’s marriage to Jordana. We met with most of her family the night before for drinks at The Intercontinental Hotel at Greenwich. What a fabulous do that was! I’ve only ever been to one other of the Intercontinental Hotels and that was on Kowloon Harbour in Hong Kong when I was away on business for QVC. In London, the views were incredible right across the O2, the City and beyond and all bathed in soft evening sunlight and we had a great time getting to know most of the other guests. Our hotel was just four minutes from The Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich where the wedding was taking place and so we were literally able to walk there the next day with the rest of our family who arrived on Saturday morning. However, for the wedding party, the cars that had been ordered were unable to get over to the hotel as the Blackwall Tunnel was closed! Dressed in their finery, everyone including the bride, had to leg it down to the river and board the Uber Ferry that took them one stop to the College where the rest of us were. Bless her, Jordana was completely unphased – I know it was a day she’d been waiting for all her life, and I truly believe she wasn’t going to let anything spoil it.
And what a day it was. I have honestly never been to a venue quite like The Painted Room and as you’ll see from the photos it was absolutely stunning. There was a string quartet playing us all in and then serenading each of the bridesmaids and groomsmen as they entered individually and took their places on the steps. They all looked incredible, and Lily, Richard’s twin sister particularly beautiful in a soft shade of coral. Colin looked very dapper in a black Tuxedo as was Richard and all the guys, and I had managed to find an incredible ‘hatinator’, just days before, that was the perfect match for my dress and new hairstyle! Very last minute, but I visited a recommended milliner in Farnham called Beverley Edmonson, and I’d never seen so many beautiful hats, fascinators and hatinators in one place! Beverley makes them all herself and her workshop is set up there too. After trying on several options she found this one for me and I was thrilled. Because I now had a pale blue hat I was able to wear my fab Moda in Pella silver court shoes to finish the outfit, and felt sufficiently well dressed for the surroundings. However, I had asked lovely Rachael Avent, one of QVC’s makeup artists if she would do my make up on the day and so bless her she’d travelled all the way into the City luckily avoiding the Blackwall Tunnel! She is an absolute expert when it comes to working with older complexions, and I felt a million dollars once she’d worked her magic. In fact all the family looked fabulous, as they had done for Sam’s wedding and I was hugely proud to be with them all.
As Richard arrived and stood centre stage we were all asked to stand for Jordana and her father, and as she moved into view the tears poured down Richard’s face and Jordana’s too! It was wonderful to witness so much love and emotion between them and completely made the day for me. Jordana’s dress had been made to her own specifications and I think you’ll agree, it was breathtaking, and with Richard by her side they made the perfect couple. After the ceremony we stepped outside and had some fizz with rest of the guests while the caterers came in and totally transformed The Painted Room with stunningly set tables and flower arrangements. Conversation flowed along with the champagne, and the speeches had us all in stitches! Afterwards we vacated downstairs to a huge room where there was a busy bar and a six-piece live band – manna from heaven for a family do! 😊 To be honest, I think the photos will tell the rest of the story for me, but suffice to say yet again, we felt truly blessed to witness another of our children marrying their true love on a day that was filled with happiness and joy. Big thank you to Katie Rogers Photography for allowing me to share her official photographs with you too.
More celebrations but on a smaller scale when Colin and I revisited The Fox pub in Harpenden for lunch on Saturday 7thOctober. It was there we’d met 17 years ago for our first date and we actually got to sit at the same table – it was lovely. Not a lot of people know that we met through an online dating agency and Colin was one of three men I’d arranged to have lunch with – he was the keeper obviously! 😊 It hasn’t been all plain sailing and life has definitely thrown us some curve balls, but I know it’s rarely straightforward for any of us, although I believe it’s the tough bits that make you stronger.
It was party central that day as after we returned home, we had a cup of tea and then got changed into our feathers and sequins – and that was just Colin – ready to attend the party of the year! Jemma Forte – QVC’s Molton Brown guest and popular political pundit – was turning 50 and I have some cracking photos that I promise to share with you next time.
Before I sign off I do want to recommend a particularly clever trilogy of books – the Rachel Hart mysteries – written by another one of my QVC colleagues -Julia Roberts writing as JG Roberts. Little Girl Missing, What He Did and Why She Died feature the enigmatic DCI Hart who unravels three completely unrelated yet fascinating murders. Incorporating cleverly drawn characters and a great many false clues, these are real ‘on the edge of your seat’ reads. Rachel’s own story it’s also investigated as we uncover, over the three books, the abuse she and her sister suffered when they were children. I’m not going to say anything more other than I would highly recommend you read them and you’ll find them on Amazon in either Kindle or paperback. I’m just starting the fourth Richard Osman book in the Thursday Murder Club – The Last Devil to Die which I know is going to be a corker, but do let me know what you recommend and we can compare notes! Oh, and on the telly box, the return on Channel 5 of All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot, which is just fabulous! I remember working for the publisher Michael Joseph who brought the book out in the late 1970’s to huge acclaim. 😊 You may have watched the original series on the BBC, but honestly, I think this is better.
Well that’s it from me for another week, but I’ll look forward to hearing from you if you have a minute and will of course get back to you. Do follow me on Instagram and Facebook if you’d like to keep up with the day to day too!
With my love, Ali xxx