A rooftop spa in Bath
The 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!
And 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!
Since 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
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
Also 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!
Course 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…
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.
EAT: 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!
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.