What a lovely new year I had – one of the best in recent years! More later, plus…
– Review of my year – on and off QVC including Honora's Ralph losing it on air!
– Tom Cruise on a 'Mission'.. and it's a good one!
– And resolutions ahoy! I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours!
"Another year over… and a new one's just begun…"
Had a lovely New Year's Eve – you? After the plethora of family and casual acquaintances abounding over Christmas, it was refreshing and fun to spend New Year's Eve with an interesting group of people at my lovely pal Shyama's house in Kilburn!
I hot-footed it across after finishing my shift at 6, which had included a fabulously fun hour co-presenting with Dale – doing best of Diamonique – he mentioned he'd had a few 'ripe' comments on his blog – must remember to go read them! lol. Thanks for all the lovely texts brightening up our New Year on air that night!
Anyway the company I enjoyed at the dinner party this New Year's Eve was stimulating, fascinating and consisted of a couple of people I'd met before, and others I hadn't – but my little team still won 'Articulate'! hehe! Congrats to Shyama's pals Martina and Keith on their honours list mentions, and thanks to all for a fun night, specially my lovely mate Shyama and her super kitchen!
It's always a time for reminiscing, isn't it? Well we worked out we've known each other since meeting 21 years ago, in the green room of a nightly live showbiz programme called '31 West' on BSB – we were presenters. (Incidentially, said Green Room is now one of the offices on the first floor of our QVC building! Well it will be for another five or six months anyway – the move to Chiswick approaches fast!)
Anyway our kids are the same age, we've both been divorced about ten years and have many similar interests – so it's always fun to spend time together – as many of my blogs have shown! I look forward to much more of the same in 2012!
'Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol' – just HAD to get straight to the excellent new film I saw this week with Tom Cruise. The fourth 'Mission Impossible' film could have been very 'so-so', but it's been revamped with more than a meagre dose of fun and a fair bit of fallibility! Mostly courtesy of our own Simon Pegg – who is fab.
Intriguingly, the possiblity that some of the gadgets and stunts might go wrong keeps it fresh, rather than predictable, and it's jollied along by the extra humour injection from the supporting crew, all of whom are well-cast, and not a weak link amongst them. So having had a very enjoyable couple of hours (it's a long one!) I gave it 8.5 out of ten! Go see it if you can! And read on below for my own film of the year!
Review of the Debbie year
BEST FILM - 'Bridesmaids', what else!
Sticking with films, then, to kick off my look back at 2011… the brilliant 'Bridesmaids'! Oh my goodness, if you haven't seen this chick-flick yet, do put it on your DVD list! It's my film of the year, simply because it resonates so much with some of my own experiences, or those of my female pals.
I had tears in my eyes at some of the antics I can tell you! And also because of the deliciously warm, fuzzy feeling it leaves you with, especially how adorable the policeman character turns out to be! (our own Chris O'Dowd). And because Kristen Wiig both wrote and starred in it. A real talent to watch! And it gets a nine out of ten from me – that's almost top marks (nothing has ever got ten yet!).
Runners up would be 'Return to the Planet of the Apes', (for the jaw-dropping moment the whole audience gasped when the ape first spoke!), and probably 'Friends with Benefits', 'cos I just blinking love that film! What was your highlight? At the cinema or on DVD release?
BEST ON-AIR MOMENTS – hard to choose; it's been a fun year!
But my most memorable moments from 2011 on QVC were the super interviewees I got to chat to on air! Peter Andre, natch! And Lee Child (top-selling author, a real role model!). And some of the smashing regular guests – including my first time with some new ones – like the delightful Anttony, and also Harald Glockler from Pompoos!
Three highlights for you –
• Peter Andre, in to promote his single 'Perfect Night', was every bit as charming and gracious and 'normal'! – as you expect him to be from his reality show; when I chatted to him in May/June time – he even did a little piece to camera for my 'blog people'!
• Lee Child was also a thoroughly decent chap too – he was in to promote his new 'Jack Reacher' novel, 'The Affair' – out in September in hardback and we were amongst the first to have it – signed too! It was fascinating hearing how he only does one draft, and what he had to say about why this 'prequel' story sets the scene for all the existing novels. And what he thought of Tom Cruise being cast as his 6'5" hero!
BEST FUNNY – Ralph Rossini from Honora Pearls loses it on air!
My third highlight just has to be this one – it's also my funniest on-air blooper-type memory, from those featured on this year's blogs. Not only because it was Ralph and we all want to see more of him(!), but also because he made himself go so unusually red-faced! Here's the longer version of his little episode at the end of a long visit and many shows – funny!
He's a pleasure to be on air with, and it's no wonder he's one of your favourites as well! if you can remember any other moments that made you laugh during 2011, let me know below!
BEST MEAL – The Lobster Pot
Most of the new places I've tried have been via those daily deals vouchers – Groupon, Wahanda, KGB, Living Social and others – well worth signing up for if you fancy doing the same!
PERSONAL HIGHLIGHTS OF THE YEAR
Well where do I start? Far too many to mention, but as a little snapshot of my year, here are some that spring to mind. And what a fab year it's been – never had such an action packed summer!
– My lovely Lauren's graduation, for her music degree in Bath. Just like with my son Brad's a couple of years ago, definitely one of my proudest 'mummy moments'!
– Rocker Nigel came along to the graduation, of course, and as well as Center Parcs, scuba diving, cruising up the Thames, and visiting all sorts of restaurants and seeing all sorts of films, it was lovely to spend time with this funny, lovely man, whom I'd known for 30 years! Some lovely times to look back on for sure!
Nige is still one of my film buddies – in fact, we're due to go see 'Silent Movie' next week!
– This next one's a lovely one – I became a great-aunt! Now I have three little nieces/great-nieces to spend time on and relive my own kids' younger years with! An excuse to go see 'Puss in Boots' or 'Cars 3' as well! Lol.
– Getting trimmer was quite an achievement too – like when I squeezed into this Cydney Mar dress in October! Just got to get back on track now, that's definitely one of my resolutions with the aim of losing a further stone by my big birthday in May!
– It made walking for miles and miles a lot easier that's for sure, on little holidays like my Stonehenge weekend in September with one of my oldest friends, Gill!
Second time for me, but being an archaeology geek, I luv it, luv it, luv it, as does Gill. As she says, whomever I end up with, he'd better like history! Lol.
– And of course to tie in with my writing, there were lots of events to look back on and smile, including a trip to Monaco with lovely pal, our model Goody: partly for research and partly for fun! We achieved lots of both!
– And of course the August writing retreat in Inverness, where I met some more amazing new writing friends, and wrote another 12000 words in four days! It's been a very productive year, I've learned a lot, and hopefully it'll all help get a publishing deal in 2012!
BEST TiFFT OF 2011 – wakeboarding!
The concept of 'try it for the first time' continued throughout the year, basically doing something new every month that I've never done before, and brought me some innovative ways of whiling away my time – including wakeboarding (Groupon!).
I loved it so much, I went a few more times, and intend doing it lots more in 2012! In fact, I've one for scuba diving in open water, and for horse riding (never done it before, believe it or not!). Check out my previous blog for the full story – enormous fun and what a challenge! But suffice it to say, after the first time, it took me a week to be able to walk properly again!
Resolutions – what are yours?
Ahhhh, January, January… Those resolutions, then. It's an easy list – similar to most of the last few years to be honest! No surprises that it'll be to continue doing my fitness routine and getting trimmer – back to the grindstone in 2012!
Plus finish the final draft of the remainder of my first novel, having submitted the first three chapters already to Mills & Boon (fingers crossed); also, as mentioned previously, to go on 50 first dates in 50 weeks (!); and, here's a new one – considering the karaoke fever we've had this year – to create an album of songs for myself, to mark my 50th in May; and of course to keep doing a TiFFT every month!
Thanks so much for leaving a comment on here – it's fabulous to hear from you guys too! Let me know what yours are, and best wishes for the new year! Normal format back next week, featuring a review of the new Daniel Craig movie, 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo', and a look ahead to some on air highlights for the weeks ahead!
June 26, 2017 By Jill Franks