If there’s one thing I love, it’s going for afternoon tea. And that’s exactly what I did back down in Devon this week with some of my lovely friends including fun pal Caitlin, lovely local lady Barbara Lawton, and my fabulous friend Sheila from Holsworthy (one I’m always talking about in certain fashion shows because of her coordination!) The Half Moon Inn pub does an amazing half afternoon tea. So delicious!
Then it was lunch with my dear friend Sheena on Thursday, and cinema in the evening to see Belfast (see below). Hopefully seeing Jenny at some stage, and a flying visit to Tavistock on Friday to help to sort out an event I’m organising in March. It was all go! And that was around cooking the dinners and looking after the guests at my New Year writers retreat! See below for the first sumptuous meal. 🙂
I did enjoy my first week back in Sheepwash for months. And of course, that was after a fleeting trip to Wales to see Lolly Pop and her new place!
I needed to drop off some bits for their new house, now their conversion is nearly done. Well, done enough for them to move in. Obviously lots of boxes everywhere but they are getting there. I am so absolutely proud of both of them and Nick is a genius considering he did most of it himself! The old dilapidated barn is now a home. And just-in-time for the new baby to arrive this Sunday… Okay, the due date is this Sunday. My feeling is that she will have it on the 5th February, I don’t know why, that’s just what I think. Probably because that’s the weekend I’m due to go to a conference on that very day! Let’s see what happens. 🙂 I’m going to try to see her soon after the baby is born, but I have a week earmarked towards the end of February for a proper visit. Exciting times!
Retreats are back!
Oh my goodness, I was so glad to be back in Devon at my guesthouse sorting out another lovely group of writers. My old friend Julie Cohen, master of show, don’t tell, award-winning author and brilliant tutor was running it. First night we had sausage and mash. My favourite was local sausages and two different types of mash and lots of vegetables. Whole-grain mustard being a key secret ingredient, well, not so secret ha ha.
One interesting thing that happened to me was realising there are certain things you have to look out for when you let your place as a holiday let when you’re not there. I found an exploded bottle of champagne in my freezer! Well, what I found was a pile of ice and frost, which was obviously the frozen champagne once exploded, but they must’ve forgotten about it and they left it there, and I pricked my finger in a bit of a glass I didn’t realise was underneath it. 🙂 Oops! Things to look out for with a holiday let, eh! Anyway, a packed week ahead, so more about it next week!
I’m glad I get to be on QVC for our Beauty event for the last part of Sunday because there is something very special happening this weekend. Very, very special indeed if you love offers!
Big Beauty weekend ahoy
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You will not believe what we have in store this weekend, starting at 9pm tonight. Ali Young will reveal all, don’t miss it. Meanwhile, check out this timelapse video of lovely June from Makeup Junkies doing my hair with the Dyson Corrale straighteners. I’m very impressed with these and especially June‘s talent. But she says the best thing is to take little sections and that’s how you get the best results. Especially when you’ve got as much hair as I have! Great results, well done June! And well done Dyson, check it out here.
Happy birthday Glenn Bob
Happy birthday brother Glenn for last weekend. We went to our favourite Sunday roast venue, and once more had the most delicious dinner. The White Hart in Godstone is a godsend ha ha. Brother Glenn is still considering moving to Sweden, which is very sad because as regulars will know, I lived with him and his family whenever I came to London to work every weekend, for many years before I got my flat. Watch this space. But we all had a lovely time and I gave him, amongst other things, Neom’s three-wick candles! He and his wife adore them and say they are the nicest candles they have ever used! So if anyone misses Yankee Candle as we are no longer selling the brand, I would highly recommend Neom.
So much to choose from this week! First, the film Belfast at the cinema. Set in Northern Ireland during the troubles, it starts in 1969 and follows a specific family with Jamie Dornan (the Tourist) playing father and Outlander’s Catriona Balfe his wife, this is a very arthouse. Some beautiful shots, filmed in black and white, and super performances including from some really well-known faces. Seen mostly through the eyes of one of the boys, it really makes you think. Would I see it again? No. Am I glad I saw it? Yes. 8 out of 10.
Secondly, I watched ITV’s Trigger Point, from the makers of Line of Duty and starring the female actress again, Vicky McClure. She is very good but the star of the show was her counterpart in the bomb disposal unit… But… well, you will have to watch it to find out what happened. Will definitely be watching this every week.
And finally the new one from Martin Freeman taking on a very convincing Liverpudlian accent, in The Responder. Following him as he takes on a series of stressful nightshifts and looking at its impact on him and his life as he is the first responder copper in all manner of diverse incidents. I think I might like it even more than Trigger Point! Catch it on BBC catch up.
Did you hear Will’s chat with Dr Seaweed, Craig Rose, this week? Next week, he’ll catch up with and fitness and wellbeing expert Charlotte Dormon. You can listen to all the podcasts here.
By the way, catch the podcast with Davina if you can.
I stopped her in the studio when she was in for her exercise bike Today’s Special Value the other day, (my niece got one, did you get yours? Go here to find out more). I just had to say thank you to her for her “Davina: Menopause and Me” Channel 5 show, which I watched last year and decided to go on HRT patches. I am so much brighter now and I don’t get hot flushes anymore. Check with your doctor if you want to go on them to but her program is very illuminating and dispelled a lot of myths. She was very happy to find out I have been added to one of the many ladies who are now changing their lives as a result of her show and patches.
I love to explore different markets around the area in Devon, check out the latest on my Facebook page for more! Also look for the regular #Thursdaybantz, my live post that I do every Thursday night! It was a late one this week because I went to see a very good film at the cinema (See ‘Watch!’)
Book of the week
Just had to say how much I have been enjoying the latest book from Diana Gabeldon in the Outlander series. Yes, I’m still reading it, but don’t forget it was 49 hours long! I worked out that if you start at the beginning and listen to all nine books you will have more than 400 hours – yes 400! – of wonderful listening enjoyment, all narrated by the brilliant Davina Porter. Begin now. Better value than any TV box set ever!
Anyway, I saw Jill Mansell has a new book out, so I bought that for my next listen. Her stories are always good, great characters and compelling plots, so check out Should I Tell You on Audible – she is not called the queen of feel good fiction for nothing!
QVC top deals for the next seven days
Friday (today) – go here to see and buy what’s left of a new gardening TSV – you know spring is just around the corner when Plants2Gardens are back this time with a Penstemon Phoenix collection.
Saturday – if you love Doll 10 TCE foundation, try the five-piece Luminous collection here, already online. 🙂
Sunday – Foreo bring us their Bear microcurrent facial toning device with serum… I will be on at 6pm and 8pm to help you Revitalise your Wellbeing for this very special Beauty weekend (more special than anyone suspects!) And their devices are always very clever and effective, a big favourite amongst beauty press and people who know a good thing when they see it. And you guys, of course. 🙂 What I like is that you have a 60 day trial to see if it helps to tone up the muscles in your face, and with the technology they employ, it is bound to do so, just listen to the instructions and make sure you use it in the way described.
Big Deals are available on air for usually a week, they may be longer online if stocks last. New ones every Sunday night! Subject to change!
WynneLayers luxe crepe unstructured colour-block top
Doctor Seaweed Weed & Wonderful Organic Scottish Seaweed 120 capsules
Denim & Co. roll tab sleeve button front soft utility tunic top
Yankee Sleep Diffuser with three refills
Emma hybrid mattress
SBC Skincare five-piece Hydra-Collagen Replenishing Skin collection
Elemis four-piece Dynamic Resurfacing collection
And here are the new Big Deals launching on Sunday 30th at midnight:
JM Fashion by Julien Macdonald chiffon overlay top
Nails Inc six-piece Florals for Spring collection
Hollywood Smoother and four additional replacement heads with Puff and Brow Perfector
Centigrade quilted lightweight jacket with pockets
Now back to the Today’s Special Values for the rest of the week:
Monday – Moda in Pelle back this time with great news – a new wide-fit loafer! The Enleena will be a really good price for this brand, and I hope to get in the seven, if there are any available I will wear it at 9pm Monday night when I am launching…
Tuesday – the Spotlight Ultimate Whitening Heroes collection. Unfortunately I have really, really sensitive teeth so I cannot usually use whitening products so I was very curious to see what this one can do. You have to use it for quite a long time, so please commit to use it regularly if you buy it, but with 60 days to trial it, isn’t it worth a go? Think what you could achieve in that time! Plus Tuesday night at midnight Dyson are back with…
Wednesday – the Dyson V7 Animal Extra, at a super price for one of the workhorse vacuum cleaners, especially if you have pets! If you’re prepared to give it a thorough clean every so often and make sure the filters are kept in good condition, I think there’s not a lot that beats a Dyson. (I also really enjoyed finding out more about the V15 recently, it practically lifted the carpet off the block it was attached to! And I was impressed enough with the V11!) Anyway. this V7 is a really good down-to-earth basic for anybody looking for a new vac, a second vac, but definitely a cordless vac!
Thursday – SBC Skincare return with Propolis, one of the most premium of their body gels, well this is the Soothing Face & Body five-piece collection in a new set, and as always a really keen price.
Friday – another WynneLayers for you, this time the soft knit colour block 3/4 sleeve striped sweater.
They fly out so this would not surprise me if it finishes early.
Friday 9pm – the Plants2Gardens Colour Combinations 10 x 9 cm collection is here – we will have regular weekend deals I’m sure from now on. Roll on spring!
Plus the Sixpad Foot Fit EMS training device is also going on sale early in the week. I love these products and really regularly use them. If you know anyone sedentary, look out for this!
Next week: baby news? Who knows by then! Watch out on my social media for news. I am due to be off for a few days this weekend coming (the 4th/7th at a conference in Devon) and who knows when Lauren’s baby may come, so hopefully I will do the shows I mention above, at least, before the little one pops out! (If only it was that easy, ha ha!) But then I’m back in Devon anyway for another retreat from 7th and will be back the weekend after that! Hopefully with baby news but you never know, mine were both two weeks late, so it could be another three weeks yet for Lauren!
By the way, I did not make it to The Apprentice You’re Fired recording on Monday in the end, but someone accidentally told me what happens to our lovely Amy Anzel! I’m saying nothing. 🙂 Hoping to get to go and see one of the recordings at some stage anyway.