For once, I have been busy wrapping presents in advance of Christmas Eve and, apart from a few last minute purchases, I’m completely sorted. To be honest, I needed to be, as I am working every day now up to Christmas Eve and wanted to have everything ready as we are having a few guests to stay, which takes a bit of organising in a small house.
My mother-in-law (first Christmas to say that), Audrey, confirmed that she would be coming to stay a couple of months ago, and we also have our son and his girlfriend staying at Christmas, but my mum had declined, saying she couldn’t face the journey from Nottingham – perfectly understandable as she is 93. However, when I spoke to her on Tuesday evening she said, and I quote, ‘So am I coming to yours for Christmas?’ It’s still not definite that she will come, largely dependent on how she feels health-wise, but it would be lovely to welcome her as she and Audrey get on so well.
The house will be even fuller on Boxing Day when Sophie and her partner, Reece, with his two children Amber and Taylor, will be coming for lunch and staying over. Ten people in a fairly small three-bedroom house… no problem! We have my writing room on the top floor, which has a sofa bed and there is also a sofa bed in the lounge. I have an air bed (currently on loan at Sophie’s), which we can set up in the gym at the bottom of the garden and sofa cushions for the floor in the family room – sorted! I realise how lucky we are to have so many people who want to gather at our house. I know it’s not the same for everyone, but I do hope that you will be able to enjoy some festive cheer wherever you are.
I’m not sure what happened to the picture of my ‘naked’ Christmas tree last week but here it is, all eight foot of it, before it was beautifully decorated by my son and his girlfriend, Katie.
They decided on a tinsel-free zone for the tree, which I really like, but I did manage to sneak the traditional red and blue tinsel around the stair bannister – traditional for us in the the sense that it is the Crystal Palace team colours! They were on TV on Monday night playing their arch rivals, Brighton. I’m going to be honest and say we were pretty dreadful, but a point was rescued for us by a ‘wonder goal’ from Wilfie Zaha… I think I may be the only one who calls him Wilfie!
We watched the game after I got back from a double appointment in London. One was a very enjoyable lunch with my Bookouture editor, Ruth. The food was delicious and we also thrashed out the structural edits for book three in my DCI Rachel Hart series. The other appointment was slightly less enjoyable. It was a meeting with my ankle specialist to discuss when he would be operating on my ankle. The end of January has been agreed, so you won’t be seeing much of me on-air in February and March. I’m dreading it to be honest, but the position of my ankle needs to be corrected surgically to get the best out of physiotherapy. It will be a long road to full recovery – at least a year apparently – but hopefully my trusty Aeropilates will pay a huge role in getting me back to mobility.
I hope you’ve been enjoying the Presenter festive videos? This week’s instalment was naming Christmas songs (not carols) – see what you think, but I’m pretty sure the winner, Charlie Brook, may have named a few artists rather than songs – bah humbug!!!! Only kidding, he was very good while I continued to have a total lack of recall even though I listen to Magic radio, where it is full-on Christmas songs and has been all month!
Talking about listening to things, have you checked out the latest Inside QVC podcast? It’s Simon from Butler & Wilson and I listened to it while making a second batch of mince pies on Tuesday. It’s brilliant! He talks a lot about his young adulthood and his early days as an antique dealer and how he and Nicky Butler created the brand we all know and love today. Next week’s podcast is featuring Ali Keenan – I think that might be quite an emotional listen.
Ali wasn’t able to make either of our Presenter lunches this year. The first was held on Monday, which I couldn’t make of course, but I was able to pop along yesterday along with Kathy, Ann, Natasha, Miceal, Simon and my ‘roomie’ Katy.
It’s always good to have a catch up with other presenters, as a lot of the time we are ships that pass in the night – how lucky that the hat inside my cracker matched my top, although I was eyeing-up Kathy’s purple one.
When I got back to QVC after the lunch, I opened and put up your cards to decorate mine and Katy’s dressing room… thanks very much to those of you who send them – I’ve reciprocated if you included an address.
Before I finish for today (my year-end round-up will be next week’s blog) do remember to check out the Perricone Today’s Special Value if you love a bit of science in your skincare. It launches on-air tonight at 9 p.m., so won’t be guaranteed for Christmas delivery, but maybe it will be a new regime for you as we move into a new decade. It’s the five-piece anti-ageing system and features a cleanser, day moisturiser, eye cream, serum and neck and decollete cream – it’s already on pre-order if you want to be sure of getting it.
Tonight’s double helping of Fashion on Friday was supposed to be with Glen Campbell but he’s not well, so a huge thanks to Jenny Blackhurst who is filling his shoes – I’ll bring her in a mince pie!
By the way, tonight both hours are on the main QVC channel rather than the follow-on show on Style.
Have a wonderful Christmas.