Debbie Flint in Cambridge University

Fulfilling a Student Dream… And a QVC Record


It was a bit of a time slip this week, when I went and stayed in University accommodation for only the second time in my adult life :-). I attended the fascinating Medical Detection Dogs scientific conference, satisfying my inner geek! It took place at Emmanuel College in the Cambridge University buildings, and I ended up staying overnight in what would normally be a student dorm. Of course Cambridge and Oxford students go back much later after the summer than anyone else if I remember right.

The thing is, I went to the London School of Economics, and I lived at home since I was based in south London and just used to commute. Including, one year, on a little Honda 90 moped – #bikerChick Haha! I did lots of other things outside of university, during my time in London, and moving out is one of my biggest “things I would do it differently next time” (I hate using the word regrets, I try not to have them!) Yes, in my next life I would go and stay on a campus university and join in properly with university life. It’s one of the reasons why I encouraged both my children to do so and they both went to Bath uni and Bath spa and made the most of it.

Anyway apart from the loo being two-floors down, and the kitchen being called something weird –  a Gyp (why???) – it was surprisingly pleasant. After all, I only needed to sleep there :-)!

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Geek time The scientific conference was fascinating, I won’t bore you with it here, as I no doubt would if I wrote about the bees study, or the cows study, although the nanotechnology being used in the research that MDD are doing was impressive. So were words like ‘quantum coherence’ which is one theory as to how the dogs detect changes in their owners for instance. The charity are doing a three year study to provide the necessary science to get NHS approval to use these amazing animals to reliably sniff out things like prostate cancer; they aim to do it with breast cancer too, and down the line hopefully save tons of NHS costs. They already do, with the valuable work with diabetic patients, as owner Claire explains – she has a detector dog herself called Magic and he’s changed her life, and in her work as a diabetic nurse, ironically, she’s also helping run studies. But suffice it to say with my head full, I won’t need to fo be geeky for another few months! Watch Claire’s report below.

However here are some interesting trivial facts –

  • A bee has 190 smell sensors on its antennae to detect smells
  • There are 73 MDD dogs at the moment and they only have the budget to train around one new dog per month – that’s why I’m waiting for my slot to name a puppy. And why I so want to help.
  • Dogs have forty times more sensors for smell than humans and can detect compounds down to one drop in the equivalent of two Olympic size swimming pools. They can also do it within seconds, rather than the tens of minutes it wiould take an electronic nose machine to do it.
  • In Norway, under a lovely lady I met called Siri, detection dogs are already working alongside prostate cancer charities and cancer research, and if all three dogs detect prostate cancer in a urine sample then it is flagged to the hospital and enhances the confirm rate. Currently 25,000 prostate biopsies are done in Norway every year and only 5000 are positive. So using this screening process helps pinpoint more accurately who to do a biopsy on – it saves a lot of biopsies and a lot of money.

Hopefully once the results of the prostate cancer research are out, medical detection dogs here in the UK, under the amazingly clever Dr Clare Guest and co, one day the same thing will happen here. And with the breast cancer studies. And even with ovarian cancer, which is notoriously difficult to detect early. Who knows?

This is why I am so keen to help raise funds for this amazing charity. If you have any connections with this subject, do watch out for my updates on a big plan we have for raising a lot of money to help them. And sign up for my newsletters on my website so you will know what my next fundraising scheme will be!


Claire and Magic What’s it like to have a medical detection dog? And how does life change? Claire Pesterfield and her dog Magic were doing a talk at the conference. Sooo fascinating. Do watch this – you may be surprised…

And if you’d like to donate to them, do go to their eBay page where something might take your fancy! Go to my latest newsletter on my website where you’ll find the link in the ps at the bottom. Click here.



Family get-together at the weekend! Well the rain held off, and Sunday was a lovely day. My four siblings attended, with their partners and/or one or two kids, as did my lovely Lauren and my mum. And Bouncy Baloo and little Luna – only 13 humans and 5 dogs this time – thank goodness my Bijoux cottage held out. It was a lovely day. Look at little Izzy with an intruder making herself comfortable on my massage chair! It’s a dog’s life for sure! Hehe!

2 MINXES Family


Watch Didn’t make it to the movies (diary was too packed this week). But I do ‘do’ catch-up. I hate to say it but I am loving ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ at the moment. Here’s one of the stand out moments of this series so far – Channel 5, nightly – big final soon! It’s a big experiment in human behaviour, what can I say! Lol.


 Back to You Update – don’t miss this week’s comprehensive blog on my website, where I’m discussing my own upcoming eating plan challenge (with tips and a preparation guide to help succeed!) and :

  • I link to the fab web chat from Monday night on main QVC UK Facebook page – an Alpha H special! Find out what Tom Ogden said to the 62 year old who needed advice about which moisturiser to use on her oily skin

Tom web chat

  • Hear what Doris from Doll 10 had to say about how to make-up someone who’s a red head with fair skin and freckles
  • And discover what Bruce from Bodyblade had to say about perfecting the wobble!

Go here for this week’s Back to You blog on my website.


Juice Alert! Not long now till juice guru, Jason Vale joins us for his Today’s Special Value premium Retro Juicer on the  27th. Meanwhile, do have a quick look at his video about his upcoming Juice Challenge Oct 5th – 9th –  go here to find out more. Psst do come back on Tuesday for a flash competition to win one of his amazing juicers!


 Book of the Week – Jack Reacher’s 20th outing from Lee Child. I couldn’t resist it! A real Brit success story. ‘Make Me’ is just out. And I’ve been looking forward to this for MONTHS! Ever since I met him at the Crime Fest in Bristol in May.

boo of the week

“A remote railroad stop on the prairie with the curious name of Mother’s Rest seems perfect for an aimless one-day stopover for Jack Reacher  … but instead there is a woman waiting for a missing colleague, a cryptic note about two hundred deaths, and a small town full of silent, watchful people..’

As always, Lee says on his website, Reacher’s rule is ‘If you want me to stop, you’re going to have to make me!’

OMG what a fantastic audiobook, I just love Jeff Harding reading one of my favourite authors, and one of my favourite heroes, in his latest outing – on top form, dealing with the baddies as only he can, I blimmin love his adventures :-) This 20th Reacher story gets 10 out of 10 from me.

One day, when I’m a grown-up, I want to write books like Lee Child. For now, I’ll just get lost in Jack Reacher! If you’ve never seen it, go to my website Read it Write it Sell it blog this week for my interview with Lee on QVC in 2011. Click here.

CBBC then and now: look what the Manchester evening news did in their report following the 30th anniversary show last week! It could have been worse I suppose :-) !

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VINTAGE BLOOPER – a classic from our lovely model Catherine – this one really made me laugh back in 2012!


View from my coffee cup There’s a little spot in my house by the patio doors where the sunshine comes streaming in… when it appears! So this is this week’s ‘view from my coffee cup’! Lol. And if you’re interested, click here to listen to the sounds of the subsequent rainfall too!

Coffee cup


Happy Anniversary to me - and a bit of a record. This week, I passed the milestone of being back at QVC for longer than I was here the first time. Six years Feb 1994-2000, and second time round, the six year mark was passed on Sept 14th 2015. Happy anniversary toooo meee! As much as I loved those early years, I’ve loved this time round even more! Possibly cos I get to do so much writing, via social media? Here’s a little clip ‘back in the day’ – just to mark the occasion – enjoy! Lol.


This week on QVC  –

  • Dyson upright – join me Friday (18th) midnight for Saturday’s Today’s Special Value offer
  • Mally is back this Sunday with a GAWJUS Today’s Special Value offer – it will include a brand new product
  • Decleor mini-series starts Monday incl two-hours with me from 8pm on Tuesday
  • The big Gatineau Today’s Special Value is on the Saturday 26th

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AND – warm bedding bargain! This Sunday midnight (20th) – a new warm flannel set of two lots of bedding is the TSV launching with me – just in time for some of those colder nights! Yay! It’s a really lovely scroll design with a reversible plain side, plus another plain set – really superb value and so cosy!

Have a great week!



PS – *TiFFT – Try it For the First Time Club!

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  1. Karen Lewis September 19, 2015 at 8:28 am -  Reply

    Hi Debbie, your clip of “back in the day” is sooo funny, you are a complete nutter, don’t ever change, love you lots
    Karen xxx

  2. Nikki September 19, 2015 at 2:11 pm -  Reply

    Simon Parkin is now the ITV Meridian weather presenter and has mentioned the 30th anniversary a few times. Clearly fond memories.


  3. Geraldine Halliday September 20, 2015 at 2:05 pm -  Reply

    I love the Jack Reacher books and I have read them all. I received the new one on the day it was out and I read it in 1 day.

  4. debs f September 21, 2015 at 10:54 pm -  Reply

    Geraldine – I loved it too! OMG I wish the next one was out now! Great writer, right? x #WeCanButAspire

  5. debs f September 21, 2015 at 10:54 pm -  Reply

    Nikki –
    yes indeed! Lots of them. I was only on for a couple of months (fell pregnant with my son ) – the others had years of memories – but all good fun! x

  6. debs f September 21, 2015 at 10:55 pm -  Reply

    Karen –
    we aim to please! And they’re not even the worst clips I’ve done! hehe! x

  7. martin forbes September 26, 2015 at 6:23 pm -  Reply

    enjoyed the cbbc annivarsary 30 years on cbbc on sky how did you get on with phiip schofield and simon parkin happy 6th anniversary hope your daughter and your son are well
    how are you settling in your new house is it far from qvc i rember from your ist few years on qvc you and the brilliant paul lavers doing a show i think small office home office one of the old shows.iam now next thursday taking a9 day holiday from work doing noting being lazy.

  8. Judith October 1, 2015 at 8:24 am -  Reply

    I was one of QVC’s earliest customers “back in the day” – well, it took me three weeks to dip my toe in the water and buy something [a kitchen carousel – the container is long gone, but I still use the spatulas, whisks and spoons every day.] Have bought plenty since ! Can’t believe 22 years have gone by ! Best wishes to you and all at QVC.

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