VE Day, birthday treats and busy times!

How is it possible to be EVEN busier??? And yet still be chasing my tail most of the time? There is still a messy unsorted house here, but we are still well and still going… isn’t that the main thing?

I do hope you are all managing ok as it’s a definite twisty, turny road, isn’t it?

My gang and I have good and bad days, some pressure cooker moments – mostly from me. There’s a general ‘mooching along’ kind of vibe from the teens in the house.

We have eaten well, and in between working I have tried hard to coordinate Tom’s college work and nag gently/forcefully both Maddie and Joe on doing some school work. I am aware however, that this is a chunk of time we will never have again with a slowed pace for them and connections remade.

There’s been a fair few moments of jostling of personalities and whilst my neighbours may disagree, a fairly harmonious albeit slightly lazy household has ensued… (I wrote that earlier this week and now thinking if I wrote that today it may sound a little less chilled! I’m a bit tetchy today (I know!). Isn’t it amazing how we vary daily? I shall continue to practice my Compassionate Mindfulness, as it’s clearly much needed today!

We celebrated Toms’ 19th Birthday, which was ok according to Tom (!). When he was asked to write about it for his college work, I thought ‘OK, OK?’ I’ll give you ‘OK’ young man… I was shattered, I’ll have you know.

From a breakfast prepared by Maddie as Dan and I had to work first thing, Tom was not impressed. Mind you, neither were Joe and Maddie when woken up before 6.30am, which has certainly NOT happened since lockdown. But when your big brother demands his presents … we all toe the line.

It did rather set the tone of the day, as when I returned home from work I gave him a pedicure with Margaret Dabbs London. He approved, although it is rather ticklish. I may have to book him into one of the clinics!

Maddie and I popped a turbie twist on him and performed a facial with Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and a lovely massage with my oils to follow.

Although, he appeared to grimace his way through it all I see. He was clearly not appreciating how very lucky he was to have such a hands on experience, especially at this time!!!

There were chocolates galore and gifts dropped at the doorstep, chats through car windows and much excitement each time the gravel on the drive crunched, signalling yet another delivery! Beer, balloons and homemade cakes were all accompanied with so much love and when Dominoes delivered tea, his birthday was made.

Pizza, beer and chocolate cake… a 19th birthday well celebrated.

Thank you to all of you for his gorgeous birthday messages on Instagram, I was so touched and it was a very happy day.

It was indeed a week of celebration with Tom’s birthday at the start of the week and the wonderful VE Day celebrations on Friday. I felt so emotional watching the footage. The poignant voice overs where memories were recalled, which made my own current difficulties pale into insignificance in comparison.

If you were wondering about the photo above, I decided ahead of my shows on QVC on the same morning that I would try to recreate an authentic look with my hair and make-up. I was pretty proud of the result and felt very ladylike and glam – gosh what an era though, and goodness they must have been proficient. I wished I could have leapt back in time to watch them doing their hair and getting ready – I could have stolen some tips!

I hope you enjoyed the coverage and had some fun celebrating. It felt delightfully old fashioned in many ways introducing oneself to neighbours at a distance. It reminded me of street parties we had when I young… happy memories.

Actually there have been a few moments over these last few months that have felt similar to when I was a child, where I endlessly filled my days with walks with my best friend Gillie.

We would make perfume with rose petals we collected as we rearranged and tidied the graves in the Cemetery, which was our favourite place to eat away the time. The days felt long and we had promise ahead of us… I feel I must try and tap into those moments now, because a lot will be changing and the time will no doubt march on faster once again… before I feel ready, I’m sure.

My running (ok, ok, it’s debatable to call it running just yet) – my Couch to 5K that I am trying to do is coming along with my final run of week 4 to complete. I cannot say I like it, will I ever? I’m not sure, although I’m assured I will get the bug.

It’s challenging as I’m not a runner, but there’s a sense of accomplishment, which is great and I’m enjoying the ever changing landscape where something always catches my attention: from clock dandelions to caterpillars, I make mental notes to stop and look on my cool-down walk as I simply cannot pause when I have to run, or else I may never start again!

Since I wrote this I had a tumble, resulting in a rather bruised chin and knee, it’s horrid falling and skidding and rather spectacularly I must say! Especially when you are a grown up, no one saw me, I lay still for a moment or two and almost turned around and headed home.

But…I didn’t! I carried on and was met by a very sweet daughter, looking concerned by my bedraggled grubby appearance. We still managed to laugh, although I appreciated her ‘hug better’ that’s for sure.

As I write now I’m aching , but still going …today is week five and the second run, I must complete my challenge as all my other wish list things like painting and gilding have as yet eluded me !)

So what’s new in the world of QVC?

There’s, as always, so much to enjoy. From the necessities to the luxuries, we can help you organise and priorities, with treats for you or a gift to send.

I just want to thank those of you who have taken a moment to thank US for keeping you company and cheering you up. I can honestly tell you that we are so very thankful to YOU for your company and for your kind and warmest wishes.

I shall be joining you on Tuesday with Rylan and his Luxenoa collection. I so hope he’s ‘in’ studio safely with me.

Today’s Special Value on Tuesday will be the gorgeous Radley Grove Garden handbag (184360) currently only available with us at QVC, which always feels special.

I love the wider guitar strap, which feels very cool at the moment and it’s cross body – so nice, practical and comfy. The bag itself is neat with a flap over front and two zipped compartments inside. The hard part (if you are like me!) will be deciding on the colour!

With Pink, Green or Tan in the plain leather or textured croc-style versions in Black, Chalk and Denim, plus a grainy leather design.

The week is looking mighty fine with a couple of Big Deals that I am certainly interested in. I love the Eco Refill collection that L’Occitane has on offer to replenish the Liquid Hand Soap included.

There is much cooking going on in the house, both by Tom with his weekly FaceTime with one of his carers, as well as Dan creating so many amazing dishes with our pizza oven. It’s like Master Chef here some days!

Maddie and I laugh when Dan is out and we suggest having some ‘beige food’ as a treat! Shhh, do not tell him!!

Luckily we have a butcher close by where our meat comes from, but if you are struggling to get out then we have a couple of meat hampers by Althams available that you could have delivered. Don’t forget to use the FOOD3Z code on all your food orders as then you can have three Easy Pay instalments!

I am excited about a couple of new fashion pieces I have ordered and great finds spotted on My Little Eye. So I’ll be looking out for parcels, along with new washing-up bowls and clothes pegs… it’s not all glamour here, you know!!

By the way, I know I said it would be competition time in my last blog, but out-of-my-control- timings, lockdown and all that jazz means it will have to be in my next blog!

I do hope you are keeping as perky as possible and enjoying some of the simpler things. Try hard not to berate yourselves for achieving seemingly nothing and instead congratulate yourselves for getting through your day.

I’m now going to take my own advice and congratulate myself for actually completing my blog (after many thwarted attempts). A cup of tea as a reward is coming right up !

Lots of love and stay in touch

Claire xx

11 Responses

  1. Hello Claire, I just wanted to say keep persevering with couch to 5k, I did it 2 years ago, and like you was no runner. When I first started I never thought I would complete the course and run non stop for 30 minutes!!! But I did it and now I am addicted to running and run 10k a couple times a week. You are doing GREAT and you can do it. Well done x

    1. Helen, oh that gives me hope Helen!!
      In fact I’m just typing this to you and then…week 5 last run needs to be done! Let’s hope I get that same magic you clearly got! So well done to you and I’ll keep going,
      Much love Claire x

  2. Hi Claire thank you for taking the time to write such a great blog and an honest one at that. As you say our moods are very up & down – so thankful that we are ok but depressed at the same time that it is all happening and thinking about families who have lost loved ones – unfortunately my youngest daughters father- in -law being one of the statistics. They have had to wait weeks for the funeral and only three can attend. But hopefully soon a memorial celebration of his life can be attended by all his family and friends.
    Some ‘fun’ experiences too including trying to do my roots and getting more on clothing than on the grey on my head! Forgetting words for something because staying home so long seems to addle the brain (that’s my excuse anyway!) Pleasures can be found in the garden seeing the peonies coming into flower and speaking more to neighbours who are now working from home. We joined them on VE day staying in our own drives and sharing a commemorative glass to all our heroes including some of my family. I would like to think that I looked as great as you did in your outfit and brilliant hairstyle – but I did change out of my joggers and put some make up on.
    QVC has as always been there with friendly faces, excellent brands along with excellent customer service and I would like to thank you all for that. In the scheme of things it could be said that it isn’t important but it is all about communication and at a time when we crave our families & friends to be near us it makes you realise that we are not alone in this world and we all have a common bond and that is caring for each other and that has definitely come through over these last weeks
    Take care everyone and stay safe with love from Julia (Smith) xxxx

    1. Julia, how kind of you to write that, I know all of us are so touched by such lovely words we have received and I think we too have realised the powerful and special energy source that Qvc is, connecting us all to one another each day.
      I have one fully burst through Peony and then really tightly budded ones I’m awaiting …my poppies are beautiful and whilst the winds walloped a few of my delphiniums down sadly , everything else is blooming , it gives me pleasure to inspect daily!
      I am so very sorry to read of your daughters father in law…it must be so incredibly difficult for them all. I hope the Memorial Service they can plan will help to ease their pain, though if only this wasn’t all happening….
      Hope you did in fact get a little less grey for your troubles Julia!
      Enjoy a lovely settled and I hope happy weekend and Bank Holiday .
      Take Care ,
      Claire xx

  3. Oh Claire
    You cheer a soul when I’m feeling particularly grumpy, tetchy and down. I feel exhausted listening to you and all you achieve and a little envious of having a lovely family around you . Lockdown solo isn’t a lot of laughs with family 6000miles away. Still it’s the end of another day! Keep cheering us up. Kxx

    1. Oh Kathryn,
      That must be hard for you my lovely, as infuriating as a house full can be some moments….I know how very lucky I am . Let’s hope those days move easily toward seeing your family again super soon.
      Take Care
      Claire xx

  4. Hi Claire,
    This first thing I noticed at the start of the blog was that lovely picture and your hair. It looks amazing and I did think you must have created it yourself. What a clever lady you are! I found the VE Day celebrations a wonderful albeit emotional respite from the days we are going through and seemed to make our daily worries,moans etc rather trivial in comparison.
    Take care,


    1. Denise,
      That’s exactly how I felt ! it was I think most welcomed.
      Glad my hair do passed ! Honestly I was a bit worried in case it all fell out! thank goodness for spray 🙂
      Another week has passed and Bank Holiday is upon us , I do hope you can enjoy it.
      With love
      Claire x

  5. Hi Claire, thank you for sharing your lovely blogs. I always enjoy reading them. Happy Birthday to Tom. I just can’t believe he 19 years old already. You are doing a fantastic job. Thank you for all your tips. Stay safe. Antoinette

    1. Oh Antoinette,
      Greatly appreciate reading that Thankyou so much , it’s very kind of you to reply back. Tom and 19 ….everyone is right, it FLIES by….. my big grown up young man has just announced its Friday Beers and a BBQ tonight apparently …cheeky chops !
      Take Care
      Love Claire

  6. I don’t do twitter or instagram so thought i would leave a message on here about your latest instagram post … whatever you’re dealing with at the moment have faith in the fact you are not alone – i read with much pleasure your instagram posts and QVC stories and find your honesty and humanity so refreshing – I wish you so many positive vibes and a speedy resolution to whatever dilemma you’re facing at the moment. Sending much love Clare Harris Xxx

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