Have you ever wondered what really spurred me to start Look Fabulous Forever in 2013? Yes, I hated the anti-ageing rhetoric of the beauty industry; yes, I wanted products which actually worked on my older face, and yes, I’d had a terrible year in 2012 when my special granddaughter India was born in need of such care. But that wasn’t all. How can I best explain? Ahead of me was a tunnel leading inexorably to old age (I was 65 at the time). I had few fears about getting older, but I was fearful of a life without stimulus, without novelty and without engagement.
Yes, there are inevitable losses with the passing of time, but they are far outweighed by the benefits of wisdom, perspective and self knowledge which can only come with age.
Well they say be careful what you wish for! I am writing this in Italy where I am having a much needed rest in a rental villa on the coast in Liguria. The past week probably comes closest to showing the extent to which my desire for stimulus, novelty and engagement has been fulfilled
So, here is an account of my week:
A busy day because I am leaving next Friday for a new adventure. Selling my French house last year has released funds and a desire to enjoy some new experiences. I’ve already had one week on a painting holiday with a group in Tuscany, and now I’m renting a villa on the coast in Lerici (otherwise known as the Gulf of the Poets because Byron and Shelley loved it here). As usual on a Sunday morning, I check and read all the comments on this week’s blog about the wonders of video and am thrilled that our subscriber numbers on YouTube have shot up by over 100! Thanks everyone. I decide to start planning and preparing my blog for next Sunday so that I can crack on with it tomorrow. I’ve called it ‘Are You Happy?’ and hopefully it will offer some useful ideas for contentment in ‘midlife’. At 7pm I drive over to my daughter Anna’s house to have a Sunday roast with her, her husband and my two beautiful grandsons.
Having fun with my two lovely grandsons
I’m not a morning person, so I manage to get to my computer by 11.00 a.m. to write the rest of the blog. I really enjoy this process and I love all the engagement I get from those who read it. Many say that it’s part of their Sunday routine; something to be enjoyed with the first cup of coffee of the day. I don’t write with a specific person in mind. I just hope that if the subject interests me then my readers will like it too. Later I whizz to the supermarket to get just enough fresh food to last until Friday lunchtime.
Anna emails first thing to say that my zoom interview with Lorne Blyth of Flavours Holidays has been cancelled because she has Covid and is not feeling great. Honestly, I am quite relieved, because we’d booked out an hour in the morning to chat through questions and then the Tricia Talk was due to go live at 4pm. Suddenly I have a free day! Yay! I can pop out and get all those bits and pieces that I need for my holiday without rushing around like a headless chicken under pressure to get back in time to speak with Lorne in the morning and afternoon.
Last edit of my blog and then I send it off to Anna and the LFF marketing team of Bryony and Emily. Anna (LFF Managing Director) always checks my blog to make sure it’s ok. Very occasionally she might query something, or maybe correct something, but mostly it gets a thumbs up from her. Emily now takes my words and adds images, sorts the layout and sends me the final version for my approval. It’s always a relief when it’s put to bed for another week. At 3pm Bryony arrives for a Facebook Live session at 4pm. These are regular conversations with our new and existing customers and are proving very popular. Before we go live, Bryony videos me for a YouTube promo and then it’s all systems go online. Today I am not actually demonstrating a specific application (huge relief as this feels like high jeopardy in a live event!). Instead, I talk through those LFF products we selected beforehand, and I manage to chat for 30 minutes. Lots of interest and questions and the video of the live event will also get more views on FB. Afterwards I bathe, eat my supper and at 8pm a car picks me up to take me to the Premier Inn in Enfield by 21.30 as I have a very long day of filming tomorrow.
Up and out by 7.45 a.m. - dressed, hair done, makeup immaculate as I am working all day in a studio with a film crew making a 15 second advertisement. This is being done in collaboration with Facebook and they have assembled about 50-60 people for what turns out to be an extremely long day. It’s all very professional and well organised and I am needed immediately to start the voiceover recordings and the ancillary footage which will be used to make the complete video (which will include the ad). Anna arrives at about 10.00 am and I immediately relax. Her presence makes all the difference to me because I feel that she always has my back. The day is full on and by 6pm it’s clear that we’re not leaving anytime soon. Eventually a car picks Anna and I up at 9pm and I walk back into my flat at 10.30 pm.
The view from my terrace of the harbour and chateau of Lerici
I’ve left all the packing and final preparations for my holiday until this morning because I’m not leaving until 14.40 for a 17.40 flight from Gatwick to Pisa. I feel a bit brain dead and headachey after yesterday, but take one of my magic migraine pills and feel fine again within 30 minutes. Packing goes well and it appears that I have remembered everything on my exhaustive list. Just as the taxi for the airport arrives I get a text from Easyjet. Just what I was dreading. Flight now not until 18.30, but check-in is still at the original time, so I leave for the airport. On arrival the flight is now showing at 19.00 so after a very swift baggage drop and security checks, I settle down for a three hour wait. I get chatting to a delightful woman called Olivia for an hour and then notice that my flight has now gone forward to 20.00……. Heart begins to sink. However, I fill the rest of the time talking to a woman on the way to New Zealand who is delightful company. My gate is finally opened at 19.15. Maybe I really am going to Pisa this evening after all! Very long story short, our plane eventually took-off at 21.00 and landed at the local time of 23.45.
Get to bed at 2.30 a.m, having arrived at the rental villa, unpacked, showered off the dirt of the day and am finally able to rest my head on the pillow I’ve brought with me (yes, I know). Wake at 9.00 a.m to brilliant warm sunshine and take my breakfast onto the large terrace where a stunning view across the bay greets me. I can absolutely see why Shelley and Byron loved this place and why it might have inspired them to write their romantic poetry. I intend to be inspired to paint, to read and, of course, to continue to write my weekly blog. After all, I am choosing this life of stimulus, novelty and engagement. However it feels really good right now to finally stop, take a deep breath and…….relax.
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Upcoming Event Information:
Tuesday 26th July
Teatime with Tricia - Lorne Blyth, Flavours Holidays
Flavours Holidays is a specialist ATOL bonded tour operator – offering quality cooking, painting, Pilates, language and photography holidays in Italy since 1998. Set in idyllic and unspoilt regions of Italy, guests have the opportunity to learn from local chefs and passionate, experienced tutors
Interesting read as usual Tricia. I find that 'feasts and famines' describes my life at the moment. I'm busy making lists of things to take on a Med cruise, leaving from Palma in Majorca on 02 Aug. Paul decided last year that he didn't want an airport experience any more and was more than happy to spend holidays in the UK. I'm not of the same mind, so when my daughter and grandchildren invited me to join them on a cruise holiday I jumped at the chance. Can't wait. I've just had a weekend in Yorkshire, my Motherland, which was wonderful. Again Paul didn't want to go with me as I was attending a reunion of someone I'd worked for 50 years ago, so he wouldn't know anyone. Also, as you may have read on the TST page, he is being treated for Myeloma so has weekly hospital visits to Shrewsbury. He's doing well - no serious side effects - so we can still do trips in our Hobbit House, albeit short ones and not too far away from home. I love having time to potter in the garden, no agenda for the day. Then after a while I'm bored and need some stimulus. I don't respond well to pressure so I'm a planner rather than a spur of the moment person, hence all the lists I do! Enjoy your time in Italy. It looks idyllic from the photo. After your holiday you'll be ready to wind yourself up again!
Wow what week. I’m exhausted after reading all about it. Hope you have a great holiday. I’ll just pretend I’m there too. Love your blogs.
I too really enjoy reading your blogs. Always so interesting and subjects which can relate to many of us. Enjoy and have a well earned rest in what looks like a beautiful place. Rosemary x
The week you’ve just described was full on! I smiled when you describe lerici chateau : it is I think a fortress maybe even a castello! I am fortunate to have been there many times but now only travel there by small boat as driving and parking is a nightmare. Enjoy yourself and take a trip along the cinqua terra to portofino where the silly rich hangout. You can take a train and visit all the little fishing villages but I know it’s very hot there so maybe the suggestion of a boat trip might be more comfortable.
Enjoy your holiday Tricia. I love Italy and have many happy memories of holidays spent in various regions over the years. What a treat to wake up each morning to such a wonderful view. I bet it leaves you beaming from ear to ear and I look forward to seeing your interpretation in water colours! xx