Achievement of the year – working at the vaccine centre
Well I kicked off the year – when we were all thrown back into an intense lockdown, if you remember – by volunteering at the local vaccine centre in the GP hub side of the mass vaccination centre at Epsom Grandstand. I loved the camaraderie, how everybody was so grateful to be getting this amazing new vaccine that would save so many lives, and helping to wipe down the chairs and show people where to sit. That’s all I did, but I did it regularly, every Tuesday, for as long as I could through to late spring. Our family all got involved gradually as they needed more people, and we ended up being featured in a newspaper as ‘The Jab’em Family!’ Made me feel very much like I had done my bit and I’m really proud of what we achieved, all the volunteers who helped up and down the country. Thank goodness for speedy medical advances and please, if you have not had your jab or you know someone who hasn’t, please encourage them to do so. One of our lovely guests at work just recently lost her old mum because the mother had read something on the internet and refused to get the jab. So sad when who knows what might have been avoided. Anyway, had to mention it as it set the tone for much of the year, and what a year it was!
Had lots of these! Obviously, top individual experience was the entrance of little first grandson and third grandbaby, Kaleb Carter, to our family in late August, and another one due from my lovely daughter at the end of January, can’t wait! Top get-together was at the start of December when we went ice skating all together near the Natural History Museum and spent our little annual family Christmas weekend at Brad’s. Got some absolutely lovely family group photos and adored seeing the little granddaughters playing together, plus me playing the Friends board game with the grown ups! Brad won! Lovely seeing them grow and as I said to my daughter at Christmas, if there was a choice between having my career/doing all I have done, and having children, it would be children every time, and weekends like this one show me why.
Top picture I took
I just love this photo of the two little granddaughters climbing up the gate when we all went on our annual trip to see Lauren in Wales in the summer. I will try to get one like it every year as they grow, if the gate holds up! It was so hot when we were there, and we had some lovely time at the beach and in the hot tub outside Lauren and Nick’s ‘Hiveaway’ cabin. This photo was taken when they had just had an alfresco supper under the trees out of the heat. I can’t believe it was not long after the absolute downpour we experienced mid-June when we all went to the Chessington World of Adventures and it almost monsooned! Still had lots of fun though. Such lovely memories. 🙂
Apart from the charity I’m an ambassador for, Medical Detection Dogs, finally proving that their dogs can detect Covid in people, I enjoyed a fur-fest photo with these four on a little family trip to the caravan site in Hastings, where we all rented a van and the dogs came along. This photo was taken of me and all four of them – my Daisy, who obviously still lives with pup Beau with my little niece Evie in Kent, Maggie – other niece’s spaniel, and Ziggy – my brother Glenn’s dog. Had this picture as my header on my Facebook page for ages! It was nice to have my daughter’s two cocker spaniels, Luna and Baloo, for a few days at Christmas here in my flat, but my goodness did my Dyson V11 get up some serious fur from the carpet afterwards!!
Has to be the five nights I spent in July at the Somerset juice fast/yoga retreat, Amchara, given I have not been away anywhere abroad this year. Hoping to make up for it next year though and maybe go to the Malta version! Obviously UK holidays were a big thing for many people, fortunately for me as my holiday let in Devon was very busy, and it’s now mainly a holiday let as I only do six to eight writing retreats a year. Going down there once a month is much better, I find. And I’m still loving my new flat next to Mum in Surrey. I will see how this year goes and then decide whether to keep Devon up for another year or get somewhere nearer to Lauren in Wales, which would make more sense because I could be down there more often and kill two birds with one stone, rather than having to be in Devon. Although, I do have a lovely life in Devon and I love my friends down there, so I will always make lots of visits there. 🙂 Plus, while my little dabble into the world of very small scale local politics continues for a while, I do not have ambitions as I once did, I think lockdown has changed all that and made me realise what my priorities are. And it’s grandchildren… And getting that fifth book written finally #FrenchOrDutch!
Again there have been many, mostly on audiobook. Billy Summers by Stephen King was brilliant, and I really enjoyed books by my fellow presenters Julia Roberts and Jackie Kabler, and friends Merryn Allingham (cosy crime set in 1950s) and Claire Firth (raunchy regency.) I’ve also been really pleased to discover the Jackman crime books by Joy Ellis. Such a good series, looking forward to reading the next one. But the best books of the year, considering how memorable they are for me, are firstly, The Spirit Engineer by A J West, who has promised me an interview at some stage, based on real characters just after the First World War and set in the world of psychic investigators. I loved how he interwove fact and fiction. Tied winner this year was ‘Will’ – Will Smith’s autobiography. Unusual for me to love an autobiography, as I don’t choose them very often. But this one is a mixture of philosophy, revelation, and personal discovery, and it ranks highly because of his frank openness and honesty about his journey to inner peace. I love how funny he is and how he incorporates some of the music and clips from his career in the audiobook. Look out next year for Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone, one of the big tomes from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, possibly my favourite book series of all time! Can’t wait for the new season of Outlander on the telly box too!
- Thursday bantz, obviously! Following on from my 100 night sing-a-long fixture in the first lockdown last year, I have continued doing a weekly Thursday night Facebook live. I love the interaction of anywhere up to 120 people, watching or joining in and commenting, and it’s lovely to see the familiar names pop up and read everybody’s comments out as I update them on what’s happened in my week. 🙂 Join us on my Facebook page.
- Spending time with my lovely family and friends, far too numerous to mention. But thank you to my team down in Devon who have helped me keep the place running when I wasn’t able to be there, and my lovely friends down there who I see as often as I can and who keep me sane!
- Organising events. I know it is a forte of mine, having done several now, including when I organised a huge winter dinner in Devon at the end of November with guest speaker/local VIP (in spite of Covid) and it went off without a hitch (apart from my accidentally truncating my introduction to the VIP, but hopefully not many people noticed! They started clapping, he stood up, so I just sat down, ha ha!) I’m now also the patron’s chair down in the Surrey Association as well, so I will continue to do things small-scale. Loved the big conference in October as it was a great time to have a get-together with like-minded friends. And also saw Alison Cork, who had unveiled her brand-new three-stone-lighter figure. So inspirational. Watch this space for my little transformation of my own in time for my 60th birthday.
- Also organised a fundraiser for medical detection dogs including auction winners who will have a nice trip around the Milton Keynes HQ in February with me. That’s the month I will also be getting a little operation done on the lump on my finger, probably.
Obviously this blog is about peaks, but one of the biggest troughs this year was when I had my detached retina at the end of September! I will be having a cataract operation in the summer no doubt, because there are apparently already signs of one coming in my left eye where the retina operation was. Your lens does not like the gas bubble that they insert to help do the reattaching inside your eye, so over six months it gradually develops a cataract. Boo. But apparently it’s a very simple operation so I’m not worried about it. We’ll just have to get the timing right – so many people are off at QVC at the moment, for obvious reasons. I’m trying to pick my moments for these little operations. Getting old sucks a bit doesn’t it? 🙂 Still, it’s better than the alternative, right?! So I always put a positive spin on things!
Okay I know it’s recent, and there have been tons of TV series I would highly recommend, and have done during the year, but the cinematic event of the year for me, apart from the Bond film, was Matrix Resurrections. I loved this film original series so much, it was with much trepidation I went to see it this week, after cramming all three original films in a binge-watch beforehand to refresh my mind. But it did not disappoint. I know it has got slated by some, but I thought it was genius. How were they ever going to revisit such a perfect trilogy? There was only one way, and they did it so brilliantly. 9 out of 10 (regulars will know this is very high for me!), and I can definitely see myself seeing it again in the future. I love Keanu!
So many. From my Neom Magnesium Body Butter (such a deep sleep) to their reed diffuser, there have been so many, as usual! If it’s additions to my life I now could not imagine being without, how about my fabulous aloe vera-infused Muk Luks socks I now wear in bed, which work to keep me warm and fast asleep, made feasible now I no longer get hot flushes since taking HRT since the summertime – another life changer this year. Or the Kim & Co 75% viscose cardi, top and lounge trousers which I bought in several colours and wear a lot, including at home (and in bed!!).
If it’s the one thing I use regularly more than anything else, it would be my insulated cup from Lock & Lock. It is not watertight, but has meant I have thrown away fewer cups of half finished cold tea this year than ever before. I even take it away with me when I go on holiday! Not in stock at the moment but hopefully it will be in the future, but meanwhile go here to see the Lock & Lock range.
But I suppose looking back on the year, I have been most proud to introduce my Debbie Flint bee jewellery to QVC. Basically our own Diamonique simulated diamond, sterling silver bee designs, which I cherry picked and they put my name on them. Very proud to have presented them on QVC, go here to see what’s available at the moment. I wear the black bee watch all the time on air, and of course the lever back earrings – check out these reviews, how proud am I?!
And to end my highlights of the year, here is one of the funniest bloopers – enjoy!
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Thanks for regularly being here and reading my blog over the year – especially if you are a lurker and never leave me a comment, it’s just nice to know you are there. If you feel like leaving me one this time and saying what your highlight was from my blog, feel free and I will try to answer every comment if you leave it below.
Have a smashing New Year everybody, and let’s hope 2022 ends with the world regaining some kind of normality, two years after it got very weird indeed. But at least QVC has been there for you – and us – all the way through. Well done QVC.
QVC top deals for the next seven days:
Friday (today) – go here to see and buy what’s left of the Skechers Sketch-Air Dynamite trainer. I should have the 5pm show! And oh my goodness, it is New Year’s Eve! Hopefully I will be able to report back next week on having dinner at my lovely friend Shyama’s, as I’m not working late on New Year’s Eve for once! Hope you have a nice time whatever you are doing and keep us company if you, like me, are not really a party person. 🙂
Saturday – Watch out for Richard Jackson’s 14kg – yes, 14kg, new mix Vitality Bird Food. It’s available now here and also on Auto Delivery. I will be stocking up on this one. It has some amazing new ingredients and is specially designed to help to give the birds the calories they need for the winter months. He has some fabulous bird feeders as well, I really highly recommend his products and hope you will get a chance to try them when they are on a Today’s Special Value price. Looking forward to my 7pm home and garden show.
Sunday – already available online here if you need a new bed, the Sealy Response Gel 1400 pillow top mattress and divan is here, or just get the mattress. Absolutely brilliant and one of the best purchases I have ever made, I sleep on nothing else if I can help it! Lots of whole hours throughout the day in our mini home event.
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!
Hairfix two-piece Follicle Treatment & Volumising collection
WULI:LUU by Gok Wan Suedette Jacket
Cozee Home lavender weighted Hot & Cold shoulder wrap
Zwilling Fresh & Save 14-piece Vacuum Food Storage System
Gale Hayman Ultimate Lip Lift five-piece collection
Cozee Home Becca Ribbed Velvetsoft & Fleece four-piece duvet set
Skinsense four-piece Anti-Ageing Flawless Complexion Collection
Go here to see and shop them all
And here are the new Big Deals launching on Sunday 2nd at midnight:
Kim & Co Wellness Brazil knit harem trouser
My Hair Doctor Volumise Supplement collection
Tidy & Co 20-piece large sizes water-activated cleaning blocks
Periea set of five large sizes printed compression storage bags
Now back to the Today’s Special Values for the rest of the week:
Monday – get organised with the Periea set of four small and medium patterned collapsible storage boxes.
Tuesday – time for the Lola Rose semi-precious Buddy heart necklace, which adjusts from 18″ to 25″.
Wednesday – join me midnight Tuesday as we bring you a new look good, feel good, exercise machine called the Twist and Shape.
Thursday – Ecoegg are back with 16 Fresher for Longer discs with two disc holders to keep food fresher in your fridge.
Friday – and it’s time for the Doctor Harris anti-wrinkle eye mask set.
Friday 9pm – looking ahead to spring with the Ruth Langsford padded coat with removable hood, lighter weight and very stylish. Plus going on sale earlier in the week, the Alpha H Liquid Gold Complexion Reboot Trilogy – including a new intensive overnight cream you can use in conjunction with whatever moisturiser you already use. More about that next week.
Next week – another New Year on QVC!!