2022 was a challenging year in so many ways – I certainly don’t need to spell them out as we are all more than aware. However it also had so many highs for me, and lots of great memories, like the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (seems like another world now), some amazing days out and trips with family and friends and of course the Michael Josephson Charity Ball – which was an amazing success, raising £751,900 for charity.
Needless to say I was pretty tired by the end of the year, so Christmas couldn’t have come sooner. We celebrated Christmas Day with Lindon’s mum at our favourite local restaurant La Popote, a delicious experience as ever and a big thank you to the team there who always look after us so well. Then on Boxing Day it was Beef Wellington from Fortnum’s at home, no better place to be, sometimes I enjoy Boxing Day even more than the big day. New Year’s Eve started with dinner and friends at Cibo in Wilmslow, which again was really lovely, followed by dancing and drinks in one of our local pubs.
Post-Christmas involved a getaway to one of the most amazing places we have ever been; St Lucia. We stayed at the Sugar Beach Viceroy Resort, which is absolute paradise. It’s close to The Pitons which are two mountainous volcanic spires. We captured some amazing shots of the bigger of the two mountains, which is called the Gros Piton (the smaller one is the Petit Piton!).
The holiday really allowed me to recap on the previous year and to plan for the year ahead. Firstly, something I really enjoy is seeing the money raised at the previous years charity ball being donated to the people that need it. This year I am very excited, because as well as the three main beneficiary charities (Variety, the Children’s Charity, Mahdlo Youth Zone and The Rainbow Trust), there will also be donations to 10 smaller charities. I believe every charity no matter how large or small should be given a share of things so this is something I am really proud about.
There’ll be some business trips of course; I’m heading to Paris in February to meet suppliers, and of course I am looking forward to attending the TFWA in Cannes again, which is the duty free and travel retail’s global summit, held every year in the South of France.
Then of course, it’s the Michael Josephson Charity Ball 2023 planning! We’re just about to release the save-the-date and we always like to make each event bigger and better – and to try and raise even more money for charity. So, watch this space because there’s going to be lots of exciting announcements this year! Bring it on!