Once upon a time in a life long ago, my dad was the school caretaker and we had a mini farmyard in suburbia. Dad had about 30 chickens, they ate every single blade of grass wherever he moved their run. They were very smelly and very problematic. The eggs, admittedly, were delicious. But the problem was the juxtaposition of country life with suburbia. A cockerel crowed at 5am and Dad got hate mail. The chickens did not last long after that.
This week, I went to a lovely writing retreat for a couple of days run by my friend Charlie, (urban retreats is a bit of a misnomer, because she does them mostly in London, but occasionally she will do them in Devon.) We had a kind of retreat swap, and recently she came to me, so it was my turn to go to her. Outside of Stickwick Farm, somewhere near Newton Abbot, was a veritable menagerie of lovely animals: rabbits, sheep, cows, goats, guinea fowl (who, incredibly, sleep halfway up a tree outside my bedroom window), ducks, and… chickens. A massive cockerel had its beady eye on me as I tried to take a photograph, and Richard the farm owner explained to me how everything works. They waste nothing in the country, if you get my meaning.
The room was lovely, the view amazing. I wish I could’ve stayed there a week, instead of two nights. But it was a nice reprieve in the middle of my hectic schedule, before heading back to my place in Devon to do the tearooms again. I had no choice, as my friend Pat is poorly it’s currently all down to me and lovely right-hand-girl Sian.
It’s interesting how the mind-set of being away at a retreat where I’m supposed to be writing, actually helped me write. So much so, that I wrote quite a big extension of the above topic, on my own website blog. (I promised myself one a month having done virtually none last year. Last year was a weird year for sure.)
Anyway, I left feeling my shoulders relaxed and stomach less tight, having loved my time at Stickwick farm. One day, when I’m retired, eh… 🙂
Go here to see my little vlog I did on my Facebook page from outside near the chickens.
I also posted pictures of the storm in Torquay, and the sea bashing up against the seawall in Dawlish too this week. And don’t forget to follow social media to see all my shenanigans in between weekly blogs, right here on the new look Stories section of QVC‘s website.
Elemis this weekend
Full details of the next week’s sneaky peaks are below, but here’s a pic of Sunday’s Today’s Special Value offer. Already on sale, the Elemis TSV features the Peptide4 range, including an incredibly powerful overnight treatment – makes it easy to be reassured that you have made the right decision considering you have 30 nights to test it with our 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee. Go here to see and buy it!
Lolly in Wales
Had a speedy trip down to Wales to see my daughter Lauren and baby Phoebe in their new glamping cabin that her hubby Nick built. It is going great guns! Had a wonderful afternoon shopping with them on Thursday and loved how baby is learning words. She is saying the first half of most words like Dar, for star, et cetera. Always, always a pleasure to spend time with them.
Train take the strain
Last weekend, I went to a conference in Torquay and on the way there I really relaxed and enjoyed my travelling because it was by train. My aim is to go by train much more, as I need to write my book! This was the photo I posted on the way there. Like one Piers Morgan had done before, apparently, on his way to the Oscars or something. Great minds think alike? LOL. I also passed part of the rail line that goes through Dawlish, right next to the sea. And the waves were right up against the sea wall. The video is on my Facebook page. Then the storm hit, and I ended up posting another video the morning I left, when the wind was whipping up and the sea was choppy beyond belief. On the way back, the train WAS a strain, as it was limited to 50 miles an hour, and we took five hours instead of two to get back to Paddington! Phew! Better safe than sorry though. I hope you were okay in the carnage wreaked by storm Ciara.
Toff ‘n’ me
At the conference dinner in the evening, reality star Toff, Georgia Toffello, was attending and did not mind posing for a quick photograph. I had not seen her and Stanley Johnson (there to sign books) on TV in the jungle, but my daughter was impressed with the pic! She is very lovely too.
Last week it was all about The Witcher. This week it is The Pale Horse, on BBC catch up. Agatha Christie‘s two-part drama, starring Rufus Sewell and a clutch of well-known faces from current top shows, which has a similar spellbinding theme. It’s a trio of witches responsible for local dramas… can’t wait to see it! Have also booked to go and see Alfie Boe and Michael Ball at the end of March, in one of those theatre productions they show at the cinema! And of course, Oscars season means lots of other wonderful films at the cinema. If I get time to go!
Book of the week
A Tale of Two Sisters. Merryn Allingham’s 7th novel I think. It has intrigue and loss in a strange land. A sister goes missing and her sibling Alice boards the Orient Express to Topkapi Palace, in what was then Constantinople, to find her. Cleverly researched, and wonderfully prosaic, Merryn has a beautiful way with words. Her period dramas have been consistently entertaining, and this one is no exception. Highly recommended.
This week’s highlights:
Big Deals old and new
Michele Hope swing hemline shirt with pockets
Prai three-piece 24K Gold Wrinkle Repair collection
8Greens effervescent drink tablets
Thermapulse Relief Wrap
Monsoon jersey printed midi dress
Doll 10 six-piece Lip Halo Lipstick, Line and Gloss collection
Ecozone Limescale Remover Kit with Machine Cleaner, Appliance Descaler and Limescale Remover
It Works Spray and Clean Flip to Dry Multi-Surface Mop
Monday – The stylish Moda in Pelle Larya slingback shoe.
Tuesday – MarlaWynne with another shirt option, this time her luxe crepe style. Top end and in Marla’s iconic fabric.
Wednesday – the Spotlight 1 hour Express Teeth Whitening strips.
Thursday – top notch security returns with Blink‘s XT2 outdoor/indoor security system hub.
Plus, if you did not know already, there is so much food on offer on QVC all with a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee. Dale has a “food around the British Isles” two hour show at 2pm on Thursday. Go here to see all our food items in advance, some of it will already be loaded online, and you can be amongst the first to trial it.
Friday – LAB are back with a focus on eyes and lips with their masks and tool TSV.
9pm Friday and all day Saturday – BeautyBio bring us their popular Retinol R45 Anti-Ageing Day and Night collection, retinol in stages, for those who are sensitive.
Next week – another lovely week in Devon, and meeting up with some behind-the-scenes movers and shakers plus a catch up my son Brad.