Is there a better way to spend a Tuesday than to drive down to Rye in Sussex and visit a gorgeous flower shop that is also a cafe? I don't think so. And the sun shone for me. As Billy Kelly says, if I fell in the docks I would come up dry!
Cafe des Fleurs overlooks one of the fingers of water that push their way into the town of Rye from the sea, and is an enticing mix of flowers and gifts - and of course, cupcakes & coffee. Owner, Lucy Forrester, has read my books and has kindly said she will help me with a new book I am researching.
But first stop a cappuccino amongst the flowers.
It's not everyday you have coffee with six foot teak horse! Lucy says she saw this wooden sculpture at a recent trade show and had to bring it home with her. We discuss whether it would be undignified to hang a wreath of flowers around his neck, or maybe add some Christmassy antlers.
Over coffee we chat about the book idea (more of that closer to the time) and Lucy asks about my book Flower Shops & Friends. In this book I visit 12 beautiful flower shops around the country and as part of getting to know the florists there I ask them to tell me their favourite flowers, food, drink etc.
It is not long before we are discussing what would be on Lucy's list - so here goes.
Favourite flower: Peony (good choice)
Favourite food: Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding
Favourite drink: Vodka
Favourite view: The sea at Camber Sands
Favourite song: Stir it Up by Bob Marley
Favourite fragrance: Scented roses
It is very easy to lose yourself amongst the flowers, gifts and Christmas decorations. I see a pink stripy heart decoration that would be perfect for my daughter Libby, but decide to wait and let her choose herself. It is a tradition that the girls and I each buy a new tree decoration every year. Now our Christmas tree is a record of all the things they have loved as they have grown up. Libby's are mainly pink and involve a lot of sparkle (my budding fashion journalist) and Alex's are mainly animals (my budding zoologist). Funny how things turn out.