I’m sure quite a few of you have been doing a little more baking during lockdown, provided you’ve been able to get the ingredients, but I honestly thought it would be me rather than my son, Dan, doing the extra baking! I’ll tell you more about these yummy chocolate chunk and pecan nut cookies later in the blog, but first I wanted to share some of the fabulous shows and events we have on QVC over the coming few days.
If you watch the gardening shows I present, you will know how much I love my garden, and I feel very fortunate to have had this outdoor space whilst the weather has been so glorious. When I haven’t been working out the plot for the new book I’m about to start writing, I’ve been outside reading and enjoying the sounds and smells around me. This ceanothus attracts the bees so there is the constant industrious hum of them buzzing around while the air is heavily perfumed by my neighbour’s white lilac tree, situated on our border very close to our ‘al fresco’ dining space.
We’ve had a few lunches outside, but last night, prior to the ‘clap for our carers’ at 8 p.m., we had spaghetti bolognese (made with Quorn) accompanied by champagne… again, I’ll tell you more about that later! Our spring garden has been so pretty with all the de Jager bulbs and a couple of days ago I noticed the first signs that our tree fern is about to unfurl its fronds. These furry nodules don’t look particularly promising but I’ll post another picture in a couple of weeks time and I’m pretty sure you will be amazed.
I have a couple of gardening hours with Micheal Perry tomorrow at 4 and 5 p.m., which hopefully will feature the Thompson & Morgan Gerbera Today’s Special Value if the stock lasts that long.
Our plants having been proving very popular, understandably, as we have a huge variety and we deal with well-regarded growers. All our plants are direct dispatch so they do take a little longer to reach you, 7 – 10 days rather than 3 – 5 and there are occasional slight delays in these difficult times, so please bear with us.
Talking of these difficult times, thank you so much if you’ve felt able to contribute to our ‘Giving Back’ initiative to help raise money for the National Emergencies Trust to help people in real need at this time. Our initial target was £125,000 (a donation of £50,000 from QVC, plus a pledge of £2 for every £1 donated by you) but thanks to your generosity, we have now increased that target to £200,000 – please see the message from His Royal Highness Prince William on our website for more information – together we can make a difference.
So, lots of gardening shows tomorrow, but none on Sunday as it is The Great Beauty Event. We have a Judith Williams Today’s Special Value for the day and lots of other favourite beauty brands featuring, including full-hour shows from: Doll 10, Perlier, Nails Inc, Shay & Blue, L’Occitane and Laura Geller. I’ll be with you bright and early at 9 and 10 a.m. Even if you’re fully stocked with beauty products, they make a thoughtful gift for others and can be sent directly to the recipient for birthdays, anniversaries, thank yous and congratulations, which brings me nicely to the cookies and the champagne.
As well as a full-time role in HR for a well-known department store/supermarket, Dan’s girlfriend Katie has also been studying for her Level 4 diploma in Paralegal Studies. Not only has she qualified, she has done so with flying colours, finding out this week that she achieved a ‘Distinction’.
Understandably, Dan is very proud of her and would normally have gone out to buy her some flowers but obviously that’s not possible at the moment, so I came up with the idea of buying iced flower biscuits from an online company I’ve used before. Unfortunately, they couldn’t guarantee a delivery date so Dan said, ‘let’s make some cookies instead.’ Fortunately, we had all the ingredients and Dan’s first attempt at baking biscuits was as good as his first attempt at coffee and walnut cake a couple of weeks ago – maybe he’s missed his calling! That was also the reason for the champagne celebration with last night’s dinner. Incidentally, the photo of Katie was taken on her birthday before lockdown, in case you were wondering.
I was also indebted to Katie this week because she coloured my hair for me on Tuesday. I’d been putting it off as I’ve never home-coloured before, but I was starting to run low on Color Wow and anyway, it was starting to get to the point where my ‘roots’ were almost an inch. She did a really good job, applying with a brush like the professionals do – that should keep me going for a few weeks!
I’ve now run out of my self-published full-length novels to offer for free on your Kindle, so tomorrow’s offering will be the very unseasonal ‘Christmas at Carol’s’ novella. At around 20,000 words – it won’t take you long to read and might transport you back to happier times before the current upheaval started.
Before I finish, I just wanted to highlight a couple more things coming up on QVC this week. Butler & Wilson is back on Tuesday – unfortunately I’m not working Tuesday, but Butler & Wilson World is on with Chloe at midday and Debs Flint will be with Simon ‘ virtually’ at 6 p.m.
Also, we have Diamonique Day on Thursday. The Today’s Special Value is a pretty droplet pendant necklace from the Escape by Melissa Odabash range – it will be available on pre-sell so maybe check our website early. We all need a bit of sparkle in our lives at the moment, so I hope you’ll join me at 5 and 6 p.m. on Diamonique Day, as well as some of my shows before then.
Stay safe and much love,