- Seeing Christmas through children's eyes, despite the storms!
- I've finally sent off my story to Mills & Boon – now fingers crossed!
- And making Flint history – Debbie does Christmas cakes!
Dickens in Dorking
Don't you just love it when you get exactly the Christmas pressies that you want?! One way to guarantee it is to be there when it's being bought for you! Last week, I spent a lovely evening in Dorking at the annual Gala Christmas shopping night, with my brother Glenn and the two rugrats Lara and Izzy.
Amongst other things, I bought a couple of pressies for them, and they bought me this soft-as-bunny's-ears hat from Fat Face (see the pic at the top of this post). No more cold ears for me when I'm walking the dogs! Will look forward to wearing it – although I know it's not exactly flattering!
Thing is, it's not like I'll be doing a Davina McCall anytime soon – she met her hubby on a dog walk apparently! I rarely see anyone (just as well, but at least my head will be toasty warm!) lol.
It would have been a lovely night but for the blooming awful weather! Stormy or what! Bit dodgy when you're stilt-walking! The gale force winds didn't stop the entertainers coming out in force, and the kids loved it! Lara was particularly impressed with her snack in Costa Coffee – she luuuuurve de cake!
And – drum roll, fanfare – my novel story has finally been submitted to Mills & Boon! My lovely editor lady Anna whom I met at the Romantic Novelists' Association conference in the summer is now the recipient of my final draft for chapters 1,2 and 3 (the raunchy one! Lol) plus synopsis and covering letter.
It's only taken me two years or so to get there! And the reply process is not a speedy one either. It often takes aaaaages!! Four months at least, according to a writer friend of mine. Wish me luck and fingers crossed! To give you a flavour of the book, this is an image I photographed when I went away with my good mate Goody (the QVC model) recently, mimicking the scene where my heroine Sadie is looking out over the quay in Monaco, waiting for her important business meeting, just before she meets up with the hero, billionaire playboy Mac!
Making baking history
Big developments in the Flint kitchen this week! As it happens, I made history by making my first ever Christmas cake! If you only knew how big a deal it is for me to actually cook from scratch! I always used to say I was a good 'compiler' – packet of this, can of that! Lol.
Next week I'll bring you the update on the cake – suffice it to say that I was so keen to get it right I took aaages! I'd listened to the whole of a Michael Buble CD before I'd even turned on my cook's essentials duck egg blue stand mixer (till now it's been a nice fruit bowl! Hehe!). Too much messing around making sure I made the perfect zest – not much pith apparently – news to me! Lol.
And why I stopped to wipe clean the fridge and clear out a cupboard during the actual making of it I'm not quite sure! Procrastination again – I'm getting very good at that! Putting off the moment I end up burning it. Or did I?!! Come back next blog to see the finished article!
- Thanks to viewer and Facebook friend Debbie Molloy, who posted this pic – she'd used Laura Geller and looked so nice I asked her if I could post it on here! If anyone else is particularly happy with the results of one of our make-up or hair products, let me know!
Anyone us e the Babyliss Big Hair styler, and love it as much as I do?! Tell me on here, and if you have pics you can email them to email@example.com and hopefully the kind team will pass them on for my blog!
- Thanks to you all for the lovely cards that have been arriving! I'll have my work cut out for sure! This is one of the shots on the card QVC produced to send to suppliers – it's the end product of that shoot we did a few months ago – remember my blog about the fake snow getting everywhere!?
Anyway, I'll be sending back one of my own cards to everyone who puts their address inside the one you send me! (Hah more procrastination when I should be finishing my final draft of the rest of the chapters of my novel! Told you I was getting good at it!)
- Oh and while you're here on our website, take a little look at the chat about men's skincare between my lovely pal Craig and our Will Gowing – especially if you're a guy – do you do what they do? Let me know by leaving a comment below! And watch out for Craig's regular features on skincare on his blog and on the QVC Beauty channel – very interesting!
- BTW, if you're stuck for something to buy a guy or couple, I'd really recommend the Greg Davies DVD of his stand up show, 'Throwing Cheeseballs at a Dog'. Went to see it live at the weekend, in Dorking, with pal Rocker Nige, and a lovely lady I met on Facebook, called Sally Harrison.
Talk about last minute bacon-saving, as I had two unexpected spare tickets and she could come! We had a good old chat about Greg – whom she'd worked with once at the BBC, and also about her performing herself earlier this year in Dorking Halls - Sally's an opera singer! Never let it be said I don't have some cultured friends!
Anyway, Greg himself used to be a teacher for 13 years, so his routine is clever observation and sheer slapstick, all about some of the kids and his crazy parents, as well as wry comment about life. Loved it – such a laugh! So did everyone I went with. This is me with Sally at the show. A good night was had by all!
WATCH: this week it has to be 'Hugo', on at the cinema now. It's a big budget family epic, set in 1931 in France, and focuses on the story of a young boy and his fight to get a message from his late father from a clockwork robot, whilst hiding from the authorities and the scary 'Papa Georges' (Ben Kingsley).
I have to say I was a little disappointed but once I got used to the pace, I found it mesmerising. It's slow, and somewhat ponderous at times, but verges on being intense, so Scorsese gets away with it. Yes I said Scorsese. It's his first family film – more family than a kids' film tho' 'cos it's not very action-packed most of the time – so I wouldn't rely on it for entertaining small children – (go see 'Puss in Boots II' instead)!
Martin Scorsese found 3D more interesting 'because the actors were more upfront emotionally. Their slightest move, their slightest intention is picked up precisely.' Fascinating! Albeit you have to wear those blinking glasses! Find out more about it on their fabbo looking website.
'Hugo' already comes highly recommended – amongst many accolades it was named Best Film by the National Board of Review in the US (no, me neither!). So being the film buff that I am, I had to see it, of course! Ben Kingsley is excellent and so is Sacha Baron Cohen – a good funny turn in his role as the station master whose nemesis is the little orphan who winds the clocks.
Watch out also for some other big names – maybe even a cameo from a certain Johnny Depp? What's so fascinating and clever is that it focuses on several early famous silent movies, and you get a glimpse of what it would have been like on set in the early days of film. Worth seeing, on DVD especially, if anything just because it's a Scorsese. It got a 7 and a bit out of ten from me. Not sure how big a 'bit' – still thinking about it! What do you think, if you've seen it?
Funnily enough have just finished watching 'The Holiday' also starring Jude Law (my favourite role of his actually) – one of my annual Christmas movies! See it if you feel like a bit of romance, especially if like me, you're a Jack Black fan!
EAT: another week, another daily deal voucher! And this time, very close to home – The Power Station authentic Greek restaurant with my lovely mate, computer guest Lee Hohbein. I'd never realised it was even there, despite the fact that it's just a few doors down from the QVC 'local', the Masons Arms.
I had the most amazing kleftiko, and Lee had moussaka. YUM! Service fab, food EXCELLENT, and menu prices not too dear – again, a good place to go to if you're ever in the area. Have you tried any daily deal vouchers yet by the way? Let me know below. Incidentally, the coat I'm wearing was the incredible Dennis Basso Today's Special Value last week – OMG it's soooo soft! Like a Charlie Bear! Lol.
P.S. I also wanted to mention my favourite supermarket takeaway as a dish I had last week was so mouthwatering, it deserves a recommendation all on its own! Have you ever had the Marks & Spencer Sweet and Sour Chicken Fillets in Batter? OMG – 10 out of 10!! Lol. The chap I was sharing the meal with chose crispy duck too so we shared – I was in heaven!
QVC: It's last-minute shopping all the way till the 20th – and weather permitting, QVC will deliver in time for Christmas! Watch out for Jill Franks and me with a two hour Last Minute Gifts special on Saturday night (17th) – lots of pressie fodder!
Then on Tuesday 20th, QVC Cares is back. It's our special event where our suppliers choose their favourite charities and they and QVC help raise funds via on-air sales. Royalty-and-celebrity hairdresser Richard Ward will be back with a new bundle of products, and he'll be bringing you a special TSV – join me at midnight on Monday 19th to see what he does to my hair – he's styling it around 9pm!
His chosen charity is the Teenage Cancer Trust. There's a link to the QVC Cares page on our website, too – it's nice to get involved in things like this at any time of year, but specially at Christmas.
Anyway have a lovely week ahead – big family thing coming up on Sunday! Glad I got the tree up already! And the decs! Just got a ton of cards to write now! Hope you're coping with the countdown to Christmas! Till next time…
P.S. This week I are been mostly using – that lovely, lovely coat from Dennis Basso as above! It's just like the softest cutest bears that Will and Charlie make in our Charlie Bears range! When I was on last week they were so lovely I just had to buy the Santa's Helper ones and they've just arrived! I should really find an excuse to buy them for myself, like a birthday, but hey, they're collectables, and for life, not just for Christmas…! Hehe!