Part 1: The Week

know it’s been a while since I last checked in with you all, but when you read what I’ve been up to you’ll know why!

I’ll start two weeks ago, on the 14th of May, when I flew off to Germany and the land of Starlight Express Bochum.  There I spent a week, and every waking moment of it working on the show for the upcoming 25 year celebrations. We’re talking early morning to late at night meetings, rehearsals, conference calls, you name it we were busy doing it. So it was on barely any sleep I made my way home on the weekend from what was an exhausting, yet truly exciting week, all to be continued with the Birthday show itself in June…
This brings me up to the week just past, and it has truly been a week to remember. It was the week of my 70th birthday, and a week of being surrounded by friends and family from literally all over the world.  The first to arrive was my darling Cimone and her beautiful baby Hudson, who had come to stay with us for the week from Australia. Cimone was my PA for many years, and became a part of our family during that time, although of course there was no rest for the wicked, and having her there to jump back in where she left off was a godsend. Despite our constant contact of emails every week, it’s certainly been a good 4 years at least since we last saw each other, so there were many tears of happiness on arrival.
With Cimone
Long before I had anticipated my birthday would become as big as it did, I had been booked to appear on The Wright Stuff every morning that week, so there I was, with Alana, up at 6am every morning to be in hair and makeup. ready for the morning ahead.  Over the course of the week there were some fascinating topics I got to discuss, with guests including Donal McIntyre, Amy Childs, Dan Wright, and Josh Groban. I had so much fun being on the panel, and I hope you got to tune in at some point over the week and catch me in action! 
 With Matthew Wright
With Josh Groban
On Monday after the show had finished, I made my way over to the Chelsea Flower Show with Abi, who as you know is the most amazing florist, and it was a dream for both of us to be in the presence of such floral beauty. I was particularly proud of the Alzheimer’s garden, which won a gold medal, which as you know is a charity so close to my heart. Abi and I had such a wonderful afternoon, it really is an event I look forward to every year, and am already eagerly anticipating what next year’s blooms will bring.

Tuesday afternoon was a crazy catch up with Coco, as being away the previous week, and with every afternoon onwards being filled, left hundreds of emails for us to tackle!

Wed was The Birthday, and due to the party being such an event, I’ve written all about it in a separate post for you to read, complete with fabulous party pics!

Thursday was utter madness, as after The Wright Stuff, I had a photoshoot and interview with Femail Magazine for the Daily Mail, followed by a very grand dinner at the Savoy hosted by the fabulous Kathy Lette, all as well as managing to fit in a visit from my darling Louanne who flew in all the way from Las Vegas for one night to see me! The shoot was at the Kensington Royal Garden hotel, where she came to meet me and we managed to start gossiping straight away while Alana was finishing off my hair and makeup. Two outfit changes, a quick chat all about turning 70, and I was out in exactly 2 hours, which left time for a little more gossip back at home before it was time to get my glam on, and get to the dinner!  It was the most fascinating evening, and I managed to get the hotseat next to the very hot Tom Hollander, who really wasn’t like Rev at all! Also on my table was Andrew Lloyd Webber, jewelry king Theo Fennell, Stephen Fry and Stephen Frears, Terry Gilliam and Nigella Lawson with Charles Saatchi, there were stars all over the room. Kathy certainly has the A list at her fingertips.  It was a thrilling evening, and already quite late before finally making my exit to get a couple more hours with Louanne before she flew back to Vegas early the next morning. I also popped up on the cover of Woman’s Weekly, did anyone manage to get a copy? 
Friday was my final 6am start, and I’m sure you can imagine I was really starting to feel it by this point!  The last show over, I made my was back home for lunch with our dear friend Nick and Mary Ellen Howey, who had also flown over from Las Vegas for my party. There had been so many people there that night that I had barely had a chance to catch up with anyone other than to say hello and thank you for coming, so it was lovely to sit down for the afternoon and really relax and chat. That evening was our last night with Cimone, so Angus made a beautiful meal, and we all finally sat down, the week over, and nothing but rest over the Bank Holiday to come.
Saturday was spent mainly in tears over Cimone flying back to Australia, most of them during our last lunch together at Aubaine up in Hampstead, pretty sure the staff there must think we were all nuts! We waved her off that afternoon, Abi off to a party, and Angus off to the countryside, so it was just me and Alana left in what seemed a pretty quiet house after all the week’s madness. The day ended with some sushi and a very big cuddle, as I waved Alana off home, and finally, on my own, fell fast asleep!
I hope you have all had a wonderful Bank Holiday, and don’t forget to read part two of my blog, The Party!
Until next week, much love, 
Arlene x

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