No pyramids but plenty of relaxation, reading and ‘riting!


Debbie on holiday Well, where do I begin to tell you about my lovely week in warmer climes? No camels, no pyramids, but if you count a glimpse of a whale and a lesser-spotted tour guide, there was still a fair bit of wildlife to keep us amused!

If you didn’t know, we didn’t make it to Egypt – for obvious reasons. Talk about not meant to be. But what was?

So with the foreign office advice not to go to Luxor unless ‘essential’ (not even I could argue that one!), and a refund cheque promised, we found a last minute package deal to a lovely five star, all inclusive hotel on the southern tip of Gran Canaria. Even better, it was right on the beach, with some lovely bars overlooking the bay for us to while away the hours reading our Kindles and soaking up the atmosphere.

Kipling Kerena and I saved some suitcase kilo’s by making full use of our Kindles, packed with novels to read on the weeklong rest-fest. Never being bothered about the sun, and slathered in Ultrasun factor 30, I found my favourite place – Ciao Ciao’s down on Meloneras promenade.


You’ll note the hat and the white shirt. Due to my skin not being able to stand the sun in years gone by (you’ll know this if you’re a regular!), I’ve never got into the habit of baking my body by a pool for hours, but instead I’ve loved reading in a gentle breeze, slightly out of the sun, knowing I have all the time in the world to enjoy it and relax. So this place was perfect! Great latte machiatto too and so relaxing.

Didn’t mean I didn’t get a little bit brown though with the help of pre-tan accelerator and L-Tyrosine tablets, as well as the high once-a-day SPF – it was almost hitch-free as far as the sun’s concerned.

This, if you knew what I used to be like, is worlds apart as my dear old pal (and childhood sweetheart) Martin Doe reminded me, when he emailed recently. Thanks Martin – yes times have changed immensely eh? Glad you got back in touch with me via my blog! Special hi to you and family. Now I just need to locate a certain Mark Bannister and I’ve got the ‘set’ – lol!

Needless to say, as every writer will be aware of, much time is spent in ‘distraction’ when you’re supposed to be writing your 1000 words a day (see below), and writing a missive to Martin to bring him up to speed on the missing years was also on my agenda for my poolside sessions!

View from hotel lobby The pool area was very picturesque, and the views from some parts of the hotel were amazing. If you stayed out of the wind it was actually very hot, up to 25 degrees, so the weather didn’t disappoint.

Whiling the days and nights away…

Apart from one or two excursions, we spent the days and some nights around the pool, down in the café, on the veranda or in the spa centre. Had a couple of fabulous massages too – one back massage with hot stones was heavenly and highly recommended. Lovely! 

In the evenings after the pianist finished playing his stint, gently accompanying pre-dinner drinks, and the children’s disco torture (I mean disco-fun) was finished, there was always some sort of cabaret, albeit very basic.

Abbalike weren’t bad, neither was the flamenco dancing. But after the third night of very Phoenix Nights-style medleys – you know the kind, Quando Quando/O sole mio/Tie a Yellow Ribbon – I have to say that’s the one element I would have liked to be better. After all, there’s only so much Sudoku a girl can do! 

We did go out one night (see below) and the Friday night’s entertainment was particularly memorable, but to give you an idea of what we had most nights, here’s a sample.

This is the inside of the sophisticated H10 Meloneras Palace, along with a snippet of a typical cabaret – reminded me very much of Combe Haven, Hastings, circa 1978.  Or the London Borough of Merton Sports and Social Club my old dad used to run in Haydns Road, Wimbledon in the early 80’s. I can’t watch this now without feeling the urge for an Irish Coffee without the Irish, or a ‘menta poleo’ courtesy of Carlos or Alejandro (yes like the Gaga song) - I know how to live it up! Hehe.

The food was great – no complaints there. Someone else worrying about meals is one of the joys of all-inclusive. Plus bottled water and coffee on tap, so to speak! And there was lots to do if I wanted to, and no-one to mind if I didn’t. That basically sums up the holiday in fact!

I resisted the temptation to go join in the singing and dancing – Kerena was pleased about that. What we did do on one of the days though, was go out on a dolphin hunt. ‘Dolphin Hunt’ as opposed to ‘See the Dolphins’ since they remained rather elusive on our trip. Probably the wind had blown them half way across to Africa, considering how windy it was out on the SeaCat. But nice to have gone out for a couple of hours, even if our ears were ringing by the time we returned. Needed a hot bath after that one I can tell you! We did get to see a whale though – well, a glimpse of one but a whale nonetheless.

Garbos - waiting staff entertain The same day we went to a great evening out at a place called Garbo’s, where the waiter and waitresses suddenly jump up on the stage and become the entertainment, singing and dancing their hearts out. I was gobsmacked at how good they were, doing a 50s – 70s act. Some of them could be in the West End they were that good. Part of it was Grease-inspired and some of the arrangements and choreography was sheer genius and very, very entertaining.

But when they’d finished each act, unbelievably, having sung their hearts out, they’d be back bringing us the next course! Anyway if you go there, it’s highly recommended.

More excursions…
The other excursion we chose was what they called a ‘blanket trip’ – a curiosity I couldn’t possibly ignore. It was a freebie – a coach picks you up for an afternoon visit to a quaint part of the island including a look at some ‘cave homes’, and all you needed to do was sit and listen to a talk about lambs wool and sleep systems for an hour.

Other couples were on their third or fourth repeat visit so it obviously wasn’t scary. And anyway, you know me, I wondered what sort of thing they’d say – maybe pick up some facts for Northern Nights hours! Anyway the talk was fine, quite bearable and yes I did find out some things about lanolin and bed sores I never knew before (yes really) but it was only for an hour. Then the afternoon excursion began. The next stop was Guayadeque cave-houses and a tapas lunch in the cave café.

The tour inside a cave house sounded intriguing, but if you closed the door, you could be anywhere – they had furniture, whitewashed walls, tiled floors and an LCD TV with satellite telly! But step outside and it was like going back in time.

Well worth going for, as was the detour to the pretty town of Aquimes with its unusual statues – including a bronze camel. Ok so I didn’t get to Egypt but this was the nearest thing I could find in Gran Canaria!

But what made the trip most memorable was the tour guide on the coach. I think I know now where Alan Partridge got his inspiration from. Here’s a snippet – stick it out till the end and you’ll see what I mean!


Anyway the main focus of the holiday was of course to relax. And read. And write. Mission accomplished. Hot book recommendation? David Nicholl’s ‘One Day’ – so well written and very funny. Plus I got back into the swing of writing my own novel – I’m up to 30000 words now!

Thing is, it’s only supposed to be 50000-70000 in total for a Mills and Boon, but they’re not even in Hawaii yet. Bit of a problem since it’s called ‘The Playboy Billionaire’s Hawaiian Affair’. Guess I’ll either have an epic on my hands, or a lot of editing to do once I’ve finished the draft. But the aim right now is to get to those magical words – ‘the end’.

Talking of which, that’s it from my holiday update. Back to work on Friday evening, (11th) then back on for Beauty Day (13th) with a fantastic Laura Geller TSV! Nice to be back…

Best wishes


P.S. If you’re also a singleton, join me for a Valentine’s free zone on Monday night – I’m on for most of it! Finally, I have a sneaky suspicion I’ll have a very unexpected update about Daisy the Disappearing Dog soon so don’t miss it!


  1. Susan February 11, 2011 at 11:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs,
    Great to have you back! Missed ya! Sounds and looks like a lovely sunny relaxing hol. Very glad. I’ve never been on a blanket trip but know many who have and loved it lol! Still shocked and saddened to hear about the lovely Ali so please look after her. Glad to have you back.
    Susan x

  2. Sarah Wise February 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie
    I do enjoy you’re blogs and it sounds like great trip. Hopefully with recent developements you’ll be able to visit Egypt before too long. I’ve been and loved everything about it! I agree about David Nicholls – all his books are fantastic. I will be joining you on Monday evening, with my cat Boris. We are both single, and quite bored with all the Valentine’s Day hype…
    Lots of love
    Sarah x

  3. Michelle Roberts February 12, 2011 at 1:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie, Glad you had a nice holiday, caught a little bit of you on air last night thought you looked really well and relaxed how long will that last with your busy work load!
    My Yorkshire terrier Dennis has been asking about Daisy he hopes she has been well behaved while her mum was away!
    My Yoga is going great i suffer from Rheumotiod Arthritis and this feels really good for my joints so thanks to you to try something new this is really helping me.
    Take care
    Michelle N Wales

  4. barbara scott February 12, 2011 at 6:36 pm -  Reply

    Missed you Debbie, you make me laugh but glad you had a good hol.Been to the H10 Melonares,and your favourite cafe. . . best places in Gran Canaria. Keep up the good work. bar. xxx

  5. Mrs Jane Smith February 12, 2011 at 8:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi Glad you had a great time Have been looking for a good hotel on Gran Canaria Will give the one you recommend a try. Jane Smith

  6. Jean February 13, 2011 at 8:33 am -  Reply

    Hi Debbie,
    You sounded if you had a super holiday, nice and relaxing, I expect it did you good. Interesting excursions, and plenty of time to do your novel. It was a shame you did not go to Egypt, but save that for next time.
    Look forward to your next update on Houdini, I did write a bit on your last update.
    Enjoy Beauty Day, I certainly will.
    Love Jean XX

  7. Caroline Jones February 13, 2011 at 9:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie it looks and sounds like you had a fantastic holiday! So pleased you enjoyed it, but it’s lovely to have you back. I’ll look forward to seeing any pics you put on Facebook. You looked stunning on the Laura Geller show… I missed a bit of it and was too late to get the TSV, but never mind. I’ll be tuning in to watch you on Valentines night as I won’t be seeing my other half (he’s been with me all weekend though and we’ve had a really special time)and might even treat myself to a glass or two of wine. Much love, Caz J xxxx

  8. Linda February 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs – What a brilliant(and informative) blog. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us. I’ve throughly enjoyed reading about your break – i love my Kindle too(its so handy). I watched your Laura Gellar(love Laura) show last night(i had a spend up earlier in the day on Nails inc products) and just wanted to say you looked fantastic(love your hair up) and i now know why you looked so refreshed!! Glad your back at QVC and from hols(i’ve watched you since 1995). Much Love and keep healthyxxx Linda

  9. alison stewart February 14, 2011 at 10:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi debbie, you are looking fantastic and so refreshed from your holiday I saw you on beauty day also looking slimmer so well done to youm debbie can you tell me where the theme tune was from for beauty day my mum just loved it
    Love alison x

  10. Susanne Fitzpatrick February 15, 2011 at 7:57 am -  Reply

    Hi – Debbie referred to her blog about Kipling bags’ monkeys and their names etc, but I can’t find it. Can any other bloggers direct me please?

  11. debs flint February 18, 2011 at 1:59 am -  Reply

    thanks for all your comments people! Will leave responses soon! d x ps susanne, kipling section is on main blog – go to ‘main’ and it’s the first comments bit below the summary of my biog. click on that, dont click on ‘read more of biog’#
    hope that works!

  12. debs flint February 21, 2011 at 4:20 am -  Reply

    Hey Susan, we’re all visiting Ali and texting her and Debbie Greenwood who’s being a darling and acting as ‘social secretary’ and I know Ali will be reading everyone’s comments on her blog. My hol was very relaxing – missing the sunshine now tho!

  13. debs flint February 21, 2011 at 4:21 am -  Reply

    Sarah – I hope so too! It’d be nice to go this year but it’ll probably be this time next year now. I’ve got too many writing courses planned for this year!
    All with pals, not men! lol

  14. debs flint February 21, 2011 at 4:28 am -  Reply

    Michelle – so glad the yoga is helping! When you hear from people whose aches and so on are aided so much by things like pilates, it makes sense! Jill FRanks was talking about hydrotherapy for Gracie actually.
    say hi to Dennis! lol

  15. debs flint February 21, 2011 at 4:30 am -  Reply

    Bar, Jane, Jean, Caz, Linda, thanks so much ladies!

  16. debs flint February 21, 2011 at 4:32 am -  Reply

    Alison – I’ll ask the promo team, but I’d love you to get the answer fast, so maybe also put a comment on the QVC UK facebook page as a team there are able to attend to questions, whereas this takes longer! Thanks so much for your kind comments hon!

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