Back in Surrey this week and I had a lovely evening stroll in nearby Banstead Woods. See below for the vlog. It definitely makes you yearn for spring, all this sunshine. The same day there was the most beautiful sunset across our horizon in Surrey. I’m a sucker for a vista like this.
It made me remember that I have the Northern Lights on my bucket list – regulars will recall I went to Iceland a few years ago with my friend Gill and we ended up in a deluge of rain and cloudy skies with no chance whatsoever of seeing the Northern Lights. It’s definitely on my list. I’d like to say bucket list, but I’m going to try and do it all long before I start worrying about running out of time! That’s the theory, anyway. 🙂
And we still await the news from Wales about the latest arrival who seems quite comfortable in her mummy’s tummy for now! But I’m not back at QVC for a week and a half, so you never know by the next time I return, possibly there will be some news. Although if it was like last time, maybe not!
New picks of the month
The gardening one with free P&P for the month is Thompson & Morgan Begonia Nonstop Joy 30 Garden Ready Plants with Incredibloom. And the Beauty one? Well, it’s time for Judith Williams to wow us with her range again and already selling well is the Derma Perfect Lifting Serum. Lifting and firming are definitely what I need for my face. But more than that, I need to slim it down a bit!
After seeing the inspirational Davina last week, when she came in for her exercise bike deal and discussing new leases of life now I’m taking HRT thanks to her program, I had a little bit of a shift in my thinking. I’m now of the opinion that, in the year I turn 60, I really should A) get out more, B) do more things I like, more often, and C) see more friends more frequently.
The other thing I realised is how much I miss self-publishing my novels. My little library of novels online hasn’t really grown much since I took over the retreat in Devon. And whilst I love what I do, I do believe it’s time to be a bit more discerning about the balance in my life. I know I’ve said this before, but this week I wrote a long-awaited blog on my own personal website and explored the ideas of really getting my headspace back to doing MAINLY the things I love to do. Mudlarking, for instance. Spending my spare time with the grandchildren, instead of sorting out so many issues and projects.
Given that I probably have 5 to 10 more years at QVC, depending on what happens, it would be a good idea to aim to reduce outgoings and mortgages down as much as possible by the time I have more time on my hands. Ever come to one of those watershed moments? After all, it will be 30 years since I started at QVC in February 2024, and that’s not far away! Anyway, if you want to read my ramblings do feel free, you’ll find them over on my website. Let me know if you ever had any changes of life as a result of a deliberate decision-making process or an a-ha moment.
The grandchildren obviously will play a massive part going forwards and needing to spend more time with them, I will definitely be prioritising differently going forwards. After all, you know what they say, nobody puts on their headstone “I wish I spent more time working”, and for me, some of my voluntary stuff feels like work, and some of my personal stuff feels like really hard work some of the time! LOL. But never when I’m with the little ones. This week I took little four-year-old Blake to the playground after nursery and said to her “What would you like this week, babychino in the coffee shop, or a magazine?” And she turned round and said to me “Actually, I think I would like both though.” And guess what she got? Yes, I know, what am I like! But I did get treated to her own nonsense-words rendition of “I’m a little teapot short and stout”, with a fit of the giggles at the end as we walked back up the road afterwards to her home. Precious moments. Hopefully plenty more where that came from.
Poorly brother came to stay when I was away so when I got back, I took him to a lovely coffee shop in nearby Walton on the Hill for a catch up. It was the first sunny day in ages, and we met my nephew Ricky and his family by coincidence when we were in there. I really like Walton, its pond and its wildlife!
One thing I love doing is guest auditions, it really makes a change and sometimes we get allocated to do an interview of a new guest over Zoom. Lovely guest manager Tina, a good friend for years, and my old pal Andrew, the producer for the day, gave a big smile when I took this picture! Guests get an initial audition, then some training before they ever get to go on air. We have a little churn of old brands leaving us at the moment (Yankee, IT Cosmetics, commercial decisions on both sides, etc.) and you may well have seen quite a few of the new brands that we are bringing in as well. We have a new business team that helps decide which new products make it through. It’s very well organised, no wonder QVC has been voted one of the top employers in the UK for yet another year!
Grand get together
Helped organise a patrons club do for our association and heard about some poor Afghan refugees who made their way across to the UK under terrifying circumstances last year. Crispin is helping to sort them out as one of them was an old army pal of his – their story really is a movie waiting to happen. Really makes you realise how lucky we are to live how we live; I think. It’s nice to have a little catch up with everybody, it’s a very small group and no problem to organise. And I’m determined to keep it that way, especially with my new ethos for 2022!
Binge watch alert! I got to finally see the whole series of The Responder – Martin Freeman is amazing! Set in Liverpool, it’s kind of an Ozark in Merseyside, with a bent cop with mental health problems, his tangled home life and his heart of gold. Highly, highly recommended, excellent script and really well acted. Seeing him in a completely different heavyweight drama light was a revelation, compared to his genius lightweight comedy roles (The Office, Nativity, et cetera). Please watch it if you haven’t already! Very, very satisfying, and only five episodes long.
Did you hear Will’s chat with Charlotte Dormon this week? Next week, he sits down with Cathy Kangas from Prai. You can listen to all the podcasts here.
There are no words! LOL!
Just one of the many reasons I love my job and the people I work with @qvcuk @dalefranklintv 😁 #carryonqvc #livetv #funatwork #lovemyjob #enjoywork #weareqvc #greatplacetowork #catherinehuntley pic.twitter.com/bEbh0bzjqi
— Catherine Huntley (@TheHuntley) February 3, 2022
A little winter walk in some lovely evening sunshine!
Book of the week
It’s back to Joy Ellis for me and The Stolen Boys. This time focusing on some of the peripheral detectives and officers in Jackman and Evans’ CID dept in the fens. A bootleg business dealing in hot designer gear and a slave trafficking ring to bust. Love the interplay of personal challenges that Joy gives these characters. Feels a little bit like catching up with old friends when I go to the next book. Very highly recommended. 🙂
QVC top deals for the next seven days
Friday (today) – go here to see and buy what’s left of the WynneLayers soft knit colour block three-quarter sleeve striped sweater, order now, pay later!
Saturday – Plants2Gardens return with another fabulous gardening deal, the Colour Combinations set of 10 9cm young plant collection.
Sunday – but available now here, the Sixpad Foot Fit training device with EMS technology. I absolutely swear by this because all you need are batteries to power it, so you are not tethered to a socket in the wall! Really makes your feet feel like they have had a workout, in fact I’m sitting doing it right now! It’s an investment but highly recommended, especially if somebody is very, very sedentary. Up to 20 power levels (okay, I am hardcore!), but the movement is quite subtle. Check out what it does to your feet with this clip.
Having trouble viewing this video? See YouTube’s Help page
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!
Denim & Co. roll tab sleeve button front soft utility tunic 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
JM Fashion by Julien Macdonald chiffon overlay top
Doctor Seaweed Weed & Wonderful Organic Scottish Seaweed 120 capsules
Elemis four-piece Dynamic Resurfacing collection
Emma hybrid mattress
And here are the new Big Deals launching on Sunday 6th at midnight:
Denim & Co. heavy jersey cowl neck drawstring print tunic
Tili metallic make-up organiser vanity case home and away
Alison Cork round velvet storage ottoman
Ultrasun three-piece Anti-Pigmentation collection
Now back to the Today’s Special Values for the rest of the week:
Monday – it’s a fashion by Finery TSV, I’m sure Ali Keenan will look amazing in it. 🙂
Tuesday – Korres return with a supersize Pure Greek Olive Oil Hydrating Shower Gel 1L duo.
Wednesday – we return to holiday themes with a three-piece luggage set from Heys Duraflex range.
Thursday – Babyliss are back with Bev and another super “big hair” hairstyling tool.
Friday – we stay with hair and the Percy & Reed six-piece Ultimate Volume collection.
Also, two offers for the weekend going on sale mid-week!
Friday 9pm – Ruth Langsford‘s colour-block Ottoman jumper, and another massive Elemis deal – the five-piece Restore and Re-energise Skincare collection , the TSV for Sunday, and another really good price.
Next week – I may or may not have news about my new grandbaby! Watch this space! And don’t forget to watch my #ThursdayBantz Live on Facebook each week – that may be the first place I can talk about it if my daughter’s new little one arrives by then! In any case, I’m off for a week and a half, including a conference in Devon and another retreat at my guesthouse in Sheepwash – depending on what happens in Wales! But look out for some more of those lovely Devon country walks!