Hello there and thank you very much for the overwhelming response to my first two blogs of the year! It meant so much to me to hear from you after all this time and to know that life continues to be pretty good for most of us, with some marvelous milestones achieved by others – congratulations!
I also loved comparing notes on how you’re spending your retirement and thanks to Jo for her advice re my marauding rabbits – my lupin is definitely happier! 😊
I can’t believe we’re almost at the end of August and that it’s virtually three months since I retired! Although I miss the gang at QVC very much it still feels a bit like the sabbatical I took last year, but this time I won’t be returning… I’ll be honest though, I seem to have been crazy busy each week, not just in the garden, but also indoors. I’ve completely spring cleaned the kitchen and hope to redecorate in the new year, and we have finally chosen a colour for the sitting room and dining room walls. We decided to paint just one wall in each room – a feature wall I think it’s called – and so I completed it a couple of weeks or so back. The colour is Lido Blue – what do you think? There’s still a great deal of ongoing work but I can definitely see a light at the end of the tunnel. I promise I’ll bring you up to speed on the renovations another time.
So, in between all that, we headed to the Vale of Glamorgan for a couple of days to join Colin’s son Joe and partner Hayley, plus our two grandsons Rhys and Corey. They were holidaying there with Colin’s other son Dan and his daughter Calla in the beachside caravan park at Porthcawl. Colin and I had found a lovely little Airbnb cottage not far from the coast and so we stayed there at night but spent the days with the family. It’s such a lovely part of Wales and we visited Ogmore by Sea and Southerndown and were blessed with two afternoons of bright sunshine and blue skies. Perfect for rock pooling, paddling and collecting shells before a supper of pizza and chips! Sadly Lucy and Honey couldn’t join us but Honey had been to stay over a few weeks earlier and we’d had a great time – running races, painting, playing crazy golf and Monkey Buzz and enjoying brunch out! Precious memories.
I had a memorable day out with my sister the following week, when we were treated to a photo shoot – a Christmas present from my friend Jo. We travelled in London on the Elizabeth line and were treated to a total makeover before having a lovely selection of photos taken. This was one of our favourites and the perfect reminder of a very special time together.
I was also really pleased to be able to have my godmother Edna to stay. Now that the spare room and en-suite have been completed I could look after her properly, and we were also blessed with great weather as the sun shone for almost her entire visit. She’s had a very difficult time of it this year having lost her sister and then her dear friend John, and so it was good to be able to give her some TLC and a place to rest.
We’re lucky as our home is in a pretty rural area on the outskirts of a small village with the rather unusual name of ‘Touchen End’! We’re on a fairly busy road but that week there were temporary traffic lights so it was pretty quiet. However some days aren’t as peaceful as others because we’re also directly under the flight path to Heathrow Airport! You can almost set your watch by the planes some days but to be fair it’s probably on three days out of seven. In an effort to embrace this amazing mode of transport, I downloaded an app that enabled me to recognise not just the airline, but also where the plane had come from. Luckily while Edna was with us they were pretty sporadic and it reminded us of the years we lived in Surrey, which wasn’t a million miles from Heathrow – same as here really. Although occasionally we’d be aware of a PanAm or BOAC plane darkening the skies for the most part it was pretty quiet. That all changed in 1976 – the year I left school and the same year Concorde was launched. British Airways operated a twice daily service between London and New York and we’d see this incredible aircraft shooting through the sky like an enormous swan in flight and then seconds later the supersonic boom would make the Crittall steel window frames of our house shake! God it was loud but absolutely glorious! I would’ve loved to fly in Concorde or to meet someone who had. I know it stopped flying in 2003 but perhaps you were lucky enough to experience this amazing flight which apparently soared so high you could see the Earth’s curve? Do let me know if you did.
Thank you for your TV and reading recommendations, I hope to work my way through them over the next few months. I’ve been glued to the Prime series ‘This Is Us’ which was such a huge hit in the States and was released here during the pandemic. It is absolutely superb and although I still have the final series to watch, I don’t want it to end. Colin and I enjoyed the film The Duchess with Keira Knightly and Ralph Fiennes last night, and last week we made a rare visit to the cinema to see Oppenheimer which was incredible yet very disturbing.
Well, I think that’s all my news for now, so I hope you’ll have a great weekend and time away if you still have a holiday to look forward to. Do drop me a line if you have a moment, and I promise to reply.
Love Ali xxx