Getting ship shape, rooftop swimming in Bath, and a dating update…


Lauren and Debbie at the Bath Thermae spaThis week…
- A rooftop spa in Bath
- Syd Field's tips on screenwriting
- Getting ship shape and dating developments
- And did you guess the caricatures?

A rooftop spa in Bath
Rooftop pool at Bath Thermae spaThe problem with working so much of late and having such a hectic social whirl is not being able to visit me kids as often as I'd like! So last week I took time out to go see my lovely daughter Lauren in Bath, where she now works in a hotel, having finished uni in the summer.

She needed to use up a birthday voucher for a spa day and she'd asked me to go with her. We have a bit of a mummy/daughter tradition of going to spas, so it was a pleasure. We went to Jamie's Italian Kitchen the night before, (see EAT in the Footnotes below) and the next morning, took ourselves off to the Romanesque rooftop pool where you can enjoy the bubbles, in 33 degree water, and get the most amazing views across the hills beyond – really warm, really relaxing, and really special!

Indoors there's a larger pool – the Minerva Bath -  with more of the warm, mineral-rich, thermal spa waters. They rise up naturally from beneath the ground, which is why Bath was so popular through history, particularly in Roman times, and during the Victorian era.

I love geology and history so I liked reading that the water fell as rain around 10,000 years ago then sank to a depth of 2km where it was heated in the earth before rising up through one of the three hot springs in the centre of the city. (OK, I copied this bit from the brochure!)

I've always loved Bath – not just because I read Northanger Abbey at school. It was the first place I went on a proper grown-up holiday with my first proper boyfriend Martin Doe – and we went camping. (Although one of my strongest memories is having a nightmare about a 'living dead' coming through the tent walls, 'cos I'd just seen 'Friday the 13th' at the cinema! Wonder if that's why I'm not keen on camping now…? Hmmm).

Brad my son also went to uni there, so I've been visiting regularly for five years or so. I don't like not seeing Lolly so often, now she's working full time there, but I do like going for special treats when we do meet up!

Lauren and Debbie at the spaAnd this was a super–special treat. We loved the steam rooms with their frankincense, lavender and eucalyptus-mint, plus the waterfall shower with its fibre optic lighting, and of course the massage-foot-spa area, and had a smashing lunch in the Springs Café too.

It's one of those places where they do fluffy towels and dressing gowns and slippers you can hire, and lots and lots of treatments, we'll definitely be going back for more of those at some stage in the future!

Syd Field weekend – a student again!
Syd Field classSince my ambition when I'm a grown up is to write movies, I indulged myself at the weekend with a bit of studying – Debbie style – on how to write them. Syd Field is one of the original gurus in story telling for the big screen, and he's not been to London for many years, so I was glad to be able to attend his weekend intensive seminar.

It was a packed room for both days of fascinating guidelines on plot points, conflict, 'action revealing character' and the like. And best of all, tons and tons of movie clips! (See WATCH in the Footnotes below for a superb DVD recommendation).

And there was a whole section on how film is adapting to our multi-media society, with Facebook, emails, internet and so on being used concurrently on smartphones or computers. This 21st century multi-tasking as given rise to films like 'Inception', and the 'Bourne' series, where there are multi-level, multi-textured shots and storylines interwoven with one another – you just wouldn't have got that years ago 'cos it wasn't how people were used to thinking. They were more likely to have an inspector recap a hero's past from a notebook ('Casablanca') than actually show it in fast paced flashbacks.

A lot of what he had to say about how you usually structure a movie also relates to how to structure a novel, so as I'm about to start my monumental revisions of my own novel, it was very good timing! Find out more online if you're interested in his work and eight books. Thoroughly recommended. (By the way, this weekend (29th) is the London Screenwriting Festival, and the weekend after, Robert McKee is back in London for his own 'Story' seminar, which I highly recommend having been on last year's. I'm planning to go the following weekend to his comedy writing one day-er. Google them both for more info!)

Getting ship shape
Ship shape!Firstly – owww, ouch, oh, OOOW! My quads and glutes – aka leg and bottom muscles – are killing me as I type this! As many of you have kindly noticed, (thank you so much for commenting!), I've been getting a bit more toned up during the summer. YES due to things like wakeboarding, which I only did three times in the end, but plan to do more of next spring. But mainly 'cos I've been making a concerted effort to a) eat more healthily, and b) do exercise!

It means I can squeeze into samples I'd previously not be able to wear! With the added help of the de rigeur Spanx of course!! Well duh, can't do without those! Lol. Anyway, we were given some samples of a new range due to air soon. This dress, from Cydney Mar, launching around November 19th, was lovely!

And I'd like to say thank you to everyone on this blog and on my Facebook page, who have been so kind as to notice and give me some very lovely compliments and encouraging words! It means a lot so thank you so much. It's an on-going thing – I'm aiming to have lost nearly two stone by my big birthday next year. If you want to read more, and what I've been up to, click on this link and look at the comments section, for my reply to a lovely lady called 'Margaret' – spin down to bottom of the page here to find it.

Debbie with Audrey LandersAlso loved the ponte knit dress of similar shape in the Landers STAR collection with Afton from 'Dallas' (AKA Audrey Landers) doing her own fabulous range. So many amazing dresses on QVC! Look online to find out more!

It's on the cards
That's a dress I'd wear for a dinner date for sure – very stretchy! Lol! Talking of which, time for a date update…

Visualising how you want to be, or how you want life to be, is really important to me. In fact, 'The Secret', which I love, (have you read it? Or seen the DVD?) is all about the laws of attraction, manifesting your destiny, and all that. They say we should picture what our ideal life would be and focus on it as if it's real.

Well that got me to thinking about that old chestnut of making an 'ideal man’' list. What would he look like, be like, act like… So that's where I'm at right now. Did you ever do that? What happened? If not, what would your list include? What's essential to have? And to definitely NOT have! Someone who claims to be a 'Flaky Airhead' would be on my 'not have'!

And on the 'must have'? Apart from tall, dark eyes and handsome, solvent, GSOH etc? Lol… Well can I put George Clooney, Colin Firth, and Paul Rudd please? Oh sorry, am sure they meant characteristics not characters. Well that gives you an idea, and a girl's gotta have a dream huh? Hehe! Who would your ideal date be? Can't wait for this week's cinema trip this Friday actually – another Clooney special.

Anyway, they say that you get what you focus on, so why not focus on a fabulous wish list of things that would constitute an ideal partner and leave the rest up to the universe. I have a question for you – is your one ideal? I do love it when I hear wonderful inspirational stories about happy marriages. Tova is my hero, as I told her recently! I guess it has to be someone who's an equal. As they say, 'I wanted an 'other half', not an 'other eighth!' Funny!

Tarot cardsCourse it doesn't help, probably, that I'm filling my head with my Mills & Boon romances. But in any case, I've written a list and we'll see where we go from there. For insight, I went off to a fascinating psychic reading – with a colourful array of tarot cards – with a lovely lady called Linda Rowntree in Essex, and she said that there is definitely going to be a romance in the offing! Just not sure how 'off' the 'offing' is!

We'll see… I'd only mention it on here, by the way, when the time is right, so don't ask this time! Lol. But am having a few dating developments, shall we say. Will keep you informed – maybe. Or maybe not…

Did you guess?
CaricaturesHere are the solutions to last week's pub quiz questions – how did you do? Starting at top and going left to right it's:

Sean Connery, Gillian Anderson, Wayne Rooney, Barbra Streisand, Marlon Brando, Kirk Douglas, Victoria Beckham, Steven Gerrard,  Leonardo DiCaprio, and Englebert Dinckerhump, er, Duncker Himp, er, Humperdinck…

And in the Family Fortunes round, the top answer to 'name a pop song with Lord or Lady in it' was 'Lady in Red' – how appropriate since we had Chris de Burgh on QVC recently with his new CD.

Eating at Jamie's ItalianEAT: As mentioned above, I can highly recommend Jamie's Italian in Bath – really tasty food – we had a mixture as Lauren and I can never decide so we always share! Including a turkey escalope with fried egg on top in a special sauce, and fantastically tasty baked carrots, plus their iconic 'posh chips'. Her boyfriend Nick, pictured, had a lovely veggie lasagne. Nice place!

WATCH: Well having been to Syd Field's screenwriting seminar and watched several dozen film clips, how could I not recommend one of those? The one that I came out wanting to watch immediately, and still do, is 'Little Miss Sunshine'.

Would have watched it this week with my film-buddy but he's gone all radio silence on me – got another buddy nowadays I think. So will see it again soon anyway with another mate. It's Steve Carrell again – one of my faves – plus Toni Collette – ditto – and a stellar performance from Greg Kinnear. You feel their pain, you feel their joy, you go on the journey with them – quite literally, as they race against the clock to get little Olive to the most important event of her life. Pathos, action, escape, and tear-jerkers, as well as some amazing comedy moments, it's one of the best films I've ever seen and great for uplifting you. A clear nine out of ten for me. 

Next week, I'll be reviewing 'Ides of March' – Clooney's new one! Yay!

HP TouchSmart HD All-In-OneQVC: Do watch out for this Sunday's fabulous high spec HP all in one PC – it's got a huge hard drive of 1.5tb, and a Blu-ray player amongst other things. I'm on earlier in the day – midday then afternoon.

Then I'm off to Devon for a few days and will be back on air the weekend after, with some wonderful beauty and fashion.

In next week's blog will also update you on the Hallowe'en party I'm going to this Saturday, and stand up comedy in Greenwich with a very brave pal. Have a great week, and do please leave me a comment below! It's easy, and you can put whatever you like – don't forget to say where you're from too! Thanks to all my regulars for adding their thoughts too.



  1. Steven October 30, 2011 at 9:08 am -  Reply

    You can take me on a date anytime Debbie! Good luck with your romancing. You certainly do look fab at the moment Missy. You are so much fun into the bargain too
    Take care xx

  2. Jenny Longworth October 30, 2011 at 9:42 am -  Reply

    Hi Debbie! Wow! What a fabulous read as usual. You have such a fun-packed life, I’m envious of you. I really do believe that, if I could do even one of the things you do, then I wouldn’t miss my one and only son, who is at Uni in Warwick, so much. (I’m single btw).
    I admire the fact that you have carved out a good and happy life for yourself after Bradley and Lauren have grown up and fled the nest. You must be very proud of them both attending and finishing Uni. Lauren’s graduation pics were lovely. Proud Mum and Dad, eh! I have that to come in another couple of years.
    You do look amazing but I have to say that you looked pretty damn good before. I really do have to start doing some exercise but can’t get going. Maybe a New Year’s resolution… lol.
    Good luck with all the writing. You are certainly expanding your knowledge by attending all the courses. Go girl!
    Just one other thing…. have you ordered those winter tyres this year? Let us know how you get on with them won’t you?
    Lots of love

  3. Muriel O’Toole October 30, 2011 at 1:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie,love reading and hearing about Lauren and Brad ,but your love life was not mentioned,hope its all going well you so deserve to be happy,and yes your trim figure looks really good well done,bye for now enjoy Devon love Muriel.

  4. Carole cooper October 30, 2011 at 3:33 pm -  Reply

    Hello deb this is the first time I have replied to your blogg I enjoy reading your stories. This year we went to bath for a week my hubby and I had a great time we did the Jamie Oliver restaurant it was great, the shops are wonderful to and also had a trip round on the open top bus. We also went to longleat on a VIP trip on a 4 wheel drive and saw everything close up it was wonderful we will go again. Take care deb xx Carole wigan

  5. Liz Clements October 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie, Catching up with all your blogs. In your previous one you mentioned Dr. Tom. One of my daughters works with him in The Essential Clinic in Glasgow and he is still an amazing man, quite a character. We swear by the high levels of EPA in his Omega 3, that’s what keeps me young (well almost at 65!!!). Keep entertaining us with your tales and that wonderful laugh of yours on air.
    Liz xxx

  6. Sharon Escudier October 31, 2011 at 1:44 pm -  Reply

    Hey Debbie,
    Your old school chum here – My hotmail is: – drop me an email and I’ll send you my mobile number and we can meet up – seriously I remember hardly a thing about last week let alone primary school! But we’ll have loads to talk about. How funny that you’ve met Lee Childs one of my heroes and I’ve met Richard Curtis one of yours? Typical!
    p.s. you are looking very trim – I’m similar shape, size etc to you, well at least to how you used to be – you must let me into your diet and fitness secrets, then all I’ll need is a big dollop of energy, perhaps you can lend me some of yours!!!!
    Take care
    Sharon xx

  7. debs f November 1, 2011 at 1:54 am -  Reply

    Sharon – thanks hon! Will email you! it’s squats and lunges mostly to be honest! Never has my rear been so pained! lol! will share more when we meet up! hugs d x

  8. debs f November 1, 2011 at 1:55 am -  Reply

    Steven – haha! Thanks for the offer! lol
    i try hard to be fun on air – you gotta have a laugh don’t you!
    ps I’m guessing you’re not on dating sites too!

  9. debs f November 1, 2011 at 1:58 am -  Reply

    Jenny – thanks so much hon, yes am very proud of my kids!
    In the end I plumped for bigger tyres – on a bigger car! I got a 4 x 4 in the hope I don’t get stranded in the snow again this year!
    Thanks so much for writing – am sure you’ll get used to son not being at home – he’ll be having the time of his life if he’s able, i’m sure! Lots of great cd’s and books on how to get out and do stuff but the thing is you have to visualise yourself doing it and want to! that’s my belief anyway! i just finished telling a lady on facebook about The Secret – have a read/watch if you’re interested! it’s fab! hugs

  10. debs f November 1, 2011 at 2:00 am -  Reply

    Muriel – thanks so much for commenting – lovely to have you on here – I hope you will come back regularly!
    yes, as you’ll see from the next blog, I’m back on the ‘dating’ scene – embryonic at the mo but more – just a little more! – in the next blog! lol! Thanks for asking!

  11. debs f November 1, 2011 at 2:01 am -  Reply

    Carole – how lovely of you to leave me a comment – thanks so much! yes bath is wonderful isn’t it? That open top bus sounds a must-do at some stage! now Lolly’s living and working there, there’ll be lots of opportunities to visit and sightsee I’m sure! Best wishes – do come back regularly!

  12. debs f November 1, 2011 at 2:06 am -  Reply

    Liz – what a small world! How lovely! Do ask your daughter to send him my regards – I very much enjoyed hearing his information about how amazing EPA is for the body when I worked in the health food industry for a few years whilst I was away from QVC. Get her to ask him to leave a comment on here with a little summary of how it can help you! I was talking to one lady with arthritis recently, whilst we were being treated by Charlene and the team at Zeal beauty salon in Tadworth, about what a difference it can make because eicosapentanoic acid (EPA – an omega 3) works on the same pathways as ibroprofen and it’s very anti-inflammatory. it also helped sort out my poor daughter’s eczema as well as avoiding sodium laureth sulphate! If only I’d known all those years ago when she was a kid!
    best regards to you and yours – I’ve lost Tom’s contact info so it’d be nice to hear from him again!

  13. Steven November 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm -  Reply

    Nah I have enough fun chating up you lovely QVC presenters to bother with dating sights Debs! xx

  14. debs f November 2, 2011 at 5:30 pm -  Reply

    Steven – good luck with that one then! lol

  15. Sara November 7, 2011 at 5:42 am -  Reply

    Hi Debbie
    I have always wanted to go to the Bath spa, you’ve made me think I need to get my act together and do it! Re. your question – my one must have in a partner is that he not be over concerned with what people think of him and so not afraid to be a bit unconventional. Ie. won’t care if I go out in odd clothes, but it also goes deeper than that, I like individuals!

  16. debs flint November 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm -  Reply

    Sara – good one! I’m guessing there’s a bit of a back story going on there! lol
    ps i dont mind unconventional, as long as the person’s also capable of scrubbing up when appropriate! lol. And yes – who cares about matching clothes – hasnt he heard of ‘colour blocking;’? !!
    thanks for commenting – do come back regularly!

  17. Elizabeth November 29, 2011 at 11:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie
    I just wondered if you know whether QVC have stopped selling Kathy Van Zealand bags and why? Thanx

  18. debs f January 2, 2012 at 4:29 am -  Reply

    Elizabeth – not sure hon, probably to bring in other ranges like Le Sac? But if you email, or ask on qvcuk facebook, or tweet @qvcuk, they may be able to tell you – hope ok! d x

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