As many of you will know if you read my book or have seen me on air with Aeropilates or Bodyblade, I contracted polio as a fourteen-month old baby in August 1957. Fortunately more me, and thanks to my mum – who knew there was something more seriously wrong with me than ‘teething’ – I was diagnosed and began treatment before the crippling disease reached my lungs, which would have killed me. Although I have been left with a severely weakened left leg, I know it could have been so much worse.
The reason I am mentioning all this is because on Wednesday I was invited to tea at the House of Commons by the MP Andy Love, along with seventy-five other survivors of this insidious disease, to mark Post Polio Syndrome day. Many of my fellow survivors are in wheelchairs and most are older than me. It was a great pleasure to catch up with Paralympic swimmer James Crisp and his wife Katy, both of whom kindly took part in my swimming gala last year, and also sixteen-year-old Hamish.
Both James and Hamish were unlucky to have caught the virus from the polio vaccine they received. Naturally-occurring cases of polio have long been wiped out in this country thankfully but what was not realised until fairly recently is that the medical condition Post Polio Syndrome will affect, in varying degrees, 80-100% of people who thought they had beaten the disease by surviving the original infection. It is a condition that is often overlooked by GPs and there is no ‘cure’, but just knowing what is causing unpleasant symptoms relieves the worry of wondering what is causing them.
Also at the tea was QVC fan Sandy and her husband, who I have met at other events. It is very humbling to be in the company of Hamish and Sandy and others who have things so much worse than me, but it strengthens my resolve to do all I can to help raise awareness and money for this small unfashionable charity… watch this space.
Well I have had a busy few days on air as well. I hope you all enjoyed the Saturday Night Show last week? Miceal and I are both presenting again this week, a slight adjustment to the plan as we are featuring some Green Seasons products and I am a vegetarian. Miceal also doesn’t eat meat so it’s a good job Will is on hand to do a bit of tasting!! Remember there is also the chance to win QVC credit in our competition ‘Will He Do It?’… last week’s winner won £60 to spend on QVC goodies of their choice.
We will also be featuring the final Liz Earle TSV of the year (assuming we have any stock left) and it’s a good one. Once again the team have come up with a ‘daily essentials’ element (double-size Cleanse & Polish, and full-size Instant Boost Skin Tonic, Skin Repair Moisturiser and Eyebright) and a separately gift wrapped full-size Orange Flower Body Wash and Botanical Body Cream, and handbag-size Hand Repair… all for under £50 and on EasyPay! Check out Will’s blog to see what else is featuring.
Today on QVC is all about Christmas preparations. I have a premiere show at 5pm (in place of Fashion on Friday) with well-known home expert Alison Cork who has appeared on the TV shows ‘Don’t Move, Improve!’ and ‘Homes and Property’, so hope to see you there.
A couple of you have been asking after Wilfie as I don’t talk about him so much since he went to live with Daniel. Apparently he is doing well although he did manage to trap his paws in the door yesterday – he was sitting on the top of it and it swung closed. Daniel said he let out a real yelp, poor thing.
Thinking of him reminded me of his favourite plant, a cyclamen, that for some reason he used to play ‘pat a cake’ with. He had battered it around so much that all that was left was one tiny leaf and the root ball. I re-potted it, watered it with a bit of Richard Jackson’s Flower Power and put it outside… just look at it now – green fingers or what?
Enjoy your weekend