Julie’s Diary Part 8 #Juliesdiary

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 Feb 10, 2015 

Well. What a view. What an absolutely stunning view.

No my darlings, I’m not looking out of the window at my favourite hunky tree-surgeons. That comes later. Nor am I inspecting myself in the mirror before slipping slowly into a hot and steamy bathtub. Again, I’ll be doing that in a moment, thank you.

No – it’s the view I’ve just taken in while looking out of the window from my luxurious bedroom here at Strutt Cottage in Belper, nestled away in the beautiful Amber Valley of Derbyshire. It’s part of the delightful Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and it’s a wonderful place to stay, relax and unwind. But don’t just take my elegantly spoken word for it: take a look for yourself by visiting their website: www.derwentmillscottages.co.uk and follow them on Twitter @StruttCottage

I find that a sumptuous room like this (with such a dreamy and comfortable bed and crisp, white linen sheets) is always far better shared. That’s why I always have you all with me on Twitter, tweeting away with me through the evening before I undress for bed. It’s simply exhilarating and ensures I always drift away into sleepy-time with the broadest of contented smiles upon my face…

How dreamy. Speaking of which… while I’m here relaxing and indulging myself, Drew and his darling son are both hard at it al fresco, over at the Doehole Vineyard. That’s where the magic happens for those wonderfully committed fellows Barry Wessington (@Wessington) and Duncan Mercer (@DuncanMercer) – better known to you and I as the clever clogs behind Amber Valley Wines (@AmberValleyWine). Are they there to sample the current vintage? Far from it.

My tasty tree #fellers have got their tools out, and are using them to exceptional effect. And your Julie xx couldn’t be more excited – and not just about her fruity TreeHuggers either. They’re expertly felling a rather large sycamore tree so that the vines can get as much of the #Derbyshire sunlight as possible to help the vines flourish – and the end result of that will be the incredibly fine #EnglishWine that Duncan and Barry sell via their online@EnglishWineShop.

Special crop from Amber Valley Wine

That particular crop will be sensuously squished make their first ever batch of Derbyshire wine, which will go by the name of Lindway White & Lindway Pink (named after the lakes near the doehole vineyard) – the result of Barry and Duncan’s combined vision, investment and years of hard work. Honestly, the whole thing is getting me a little carried away and emotional. I’m such a part of it too – I’ve got equity for winebuff shares and Drew has been adopting a vine for the last 3 years. He’s such a kind-hearted soul, that one – such a sweetie. (both available throughambervalleywines.co.uk)

I can’t wait to try Amber Valley Wines’ first vintage but I am a little anxious. You see, the pre-order went so incredibly well that there may only be a scant few bottles left when it’s eventually released. I can see I’ll have to put my famous charms to work to see if I can convince Duncan and Barry to save me a bottle or two. Needless to say, I’ll make it very much worth their while…

In fact a nice, slow, comfortable and relaxing glass of crisp and delicious wine is just what I need after such a busy year. I’ve had over 1000 winners in my ‘Julie’s Picks’  (#JPOTD. #JPOTW #JPOTM) competition on Twitter and in my best week I left 43 million impressions about my winning ‘Julie’s Pick of the Year’ (#JPOTY) business picks. Phew. I needed a good lie-down after that, let me tell you.

I adore being able to promote my business friends along with those of @TreeHugga and I love to sit and write my blog for you. It’s fun to support and share, and the blogging has earned me another place on the shortlist for this year’s UK Blog Awards (@UKBlogAwards) in London. I’ll be sending along darling Drew and Ross Lowe (@RossCopywrite) to enjoy themselves and live it up in our fair capital. I’ve no doubt that this particular dashing duo will do me proud, won’t you boys?

Hmm… thinking about those delicious boys is getting me hungry. I need something truly satisfying to sink my teeth into, so what better than a breakfast made by little o’l me here in the kitchen at Strutt Cottage? It really is divine, and I’m going to recommend it to the @stickybeakblog I’ve no doubt that they’ll enjoy it just as much as I do but I fear, as I’m not a restaurant or take-away, I may not qualify #winks .

Pitching to Paphitis

As I get myself ready for my pre-breakfast bath, listening to Amber Sound FM (@AmberSoundFM), my mind is cast back to when I sponsored Dave Maurice’s (@davemaurice) #DanceFloorClassics last year. I really did enjoy that, and, by sending the ever-talented Drewy-Woowy along to represent me, I was able to lie-back and drift off while listening to his dulcet tones. He really is a multi-tasking tree-surgeon, that one – as good with his voice as he is with his hands. He’s my best friend too – a real soul mate.

So I couldn’t be prouder of all the good publicity he’s been generating for himself recently. Our Drew is ‘well-in’ with the biggest movers and shakers of the UK business world, y’know. Oh indeed. You may remember that he won Theo Paphitis’ Small Business Sunday award back in January 2013? I was so, so pleased for him. But he never stops, that big handy lad. He likes to go all the way – and he did exactly that earlier this month when he attended Theo’s #SBSEvent15 along with the wonderful Paul Curran-Bilbie from @AmberValleyInfo (The place to go for localambervalley info) . Not content with just attending the brilliant event, my Drew got straight in there and pitched to Theo himself for border maintenance at the distribution depots for all the businesses that comprise the Theo Paphitis Group – that’s Robert Dyas, Ryman, Boux Avenue, and Red Letter Days & even sponsors DHL.

And you know what? Theo gave him the thumbs-up! Well, how could he not after all? As a result Drew and those TreeHugger boys have their fingers firmly crossed. I just hope all this fame doesn’t go to his perfectly-shaped head, but I very much doubt that. For a man who spends most of his life in the air, he’s an incredibly grounded chap. While at the event Drew met Phil Buckley from @EnduringSolns and Dan from @Biz_Promo_Video – lovely fellows each. The whole affair got my Drew very excited – he can’t wait for the event in May. Have a peek at his listing on Theo’s#SBS site http://www.theopaphitissbs.com/profile/591/Tree-Hugger-%26-Son

Sensual Soak at Strutt Cottage, Belper

Anyway! I must go and have my soak before I head down to make breakfast. So before I depart, I’ll just take a moment to remind all of you, my little darlings out there, that it’s so easy to get on my radar. Just add your email atjuliespicks.com and like me at my Facebook page facebook.com/JuliesPickOfficial

And if you’re of the Twitter persuasion, don’t forget to give me a cheeky wink at @JuliesPicks @juliesdiary@JPOTW. You can be certain that I’ll wink back (and you can be certain that you’ll love it).

I’ll leave you now as I slip out of my gown – my bath is looking bubbly and inviting, let me tell you. I just want to send out lots and lots (and lots) of love to you and all my followers, likers and subscribers. Not to mention the amazing winners of my various badges and all my fabulous Twitter friends who re-tweet, support and chat to me day after day, all year-round. It really means the world – truly. My hugs and kisses to each and every one of you.

Love always,

Julie XX

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