What a hectic time I had over the last week, this Christmas was no exception! A little summary of the festive fun is at the bottom. But as usual at this time of year, here is my regular look back at the last 12 months…
Holidays and high days
Going to Gozo! I LOVED my first ever yoga holiday in ‘Amchara’ in Gozo – and meeting up with Cordelia for some illicit steamed asparagus during my week long juice fast! Must go again.
Coming to Castillon Then in June it was off to Chez Castillon near Bordeaux again for another superb week with lovely Julie Cohen my writing mentor. Had a superb time including walking by the Dordogne and having lovely lunches. It was very memorable being up all night during the most horrendous thunderstorm on the night of the Brexit vote too!
Chilling in Iceland
Had a superb time with my lovely pal of 35 years Gill, who came with me to experience some of the delights in Iceland including the Blue Lagoon thermal spa day trip plus this smashing video I took of a geyser erupting right on cue!
Book of the Year – the Trouble with Goats and Sheep I have to choose this one from my writing pal, Joanna Cannon since it made such a splash at the start of the year – out recently in paperback it hit the bestseller lists and TV rights have been bought too! Well done Jo! More here.
Writing Retreat with a Difference – me! The biggest change in my life this year has to be another house move – unexpected but welcome – with a long term move to Devon, getting back on the property ladder and helping out nearby at Retreats for You – where my Labradors now reside in luxury being looked after by lovely Wendy who has them when I’m in London working weekends at QVC. Next year is going to be a big year with all the plans we have including a Vintage Tea Rooms! Check out the info about retreats here and do come sometime!
Patchy plays with pups Talking of the doggies it was farewell to my lovely Patchy dog in the autumn when she went across the rainbow bridge aged 15 and a half after a rotten time where eventually she couldn’t even get up. So here’s my top vid of my lovely pooch and I’m comforted to know she had a good life, was a lovely dog and is now romping in meadows in the sky with her mum Holly who preceded her two years ago. Hugs to anyone who has lost pets and people this year. This is from 2010 when she was welcoming tiny Gracie and Daisy to our home and playing with the new puppies just like the gentle soul she was.
Medical Detection Dogs highlights were many – including naming another little puppy after my parent – little Lesley met my mummy Lesley in the Spring and has given everyone almost as much pleasure as little Derek who is nearly qualified now! If you’d like to name a pup, info is on their website here, it’s so worthwhile.
Here’s my mum meeting little Lesley the day she arrived at MDD ready to go off and begin her training. Ahhh!
In the Spring I had the delight of being invited to attend the House of Commons Speaker’s House fundraiser as well as going for an evening event at the rolling country residence in Cheshire of the Duchess of Westminster to help raise awareness and funding for these clever canine companions who detect diabetic issues in their owners, or who help with the ongoing cancer detection research at the HQ near Milton Keynes and so much more.
My fundraising continued in the summer with the Vintage Tea Rooms and Fete in Wotton and Ali Keenan and my sis Linda and I led a singalong in the evening to help buy another industrial freezer so they can continue their work using carefully preserved hospital urine samples in early cancer detection.
A great night was had by all and what with the online auction another £8000 was raised. Am proud to be one of their ambassadors. Also this year I became a patron for the new charity being set up by my vintage-tea-rooms-expert-pal Linda Magistris – watch out for more about the Good Grief Trust in 2017 as it becomes official!
Singing with a Jazz band One of the moments I was most proud of myself this year was also including singing, namely the Chiswick Love Music festival which I took part in mid-November. I sang and Adele number then had the absolute joy of singing with a proper full jazz band behind me for two more numbers – I love this type of music – can you tell?! Maybe some more of this in 2017…
Fitness highlights there are honestly always so many on air highlights but being on with Bruce from Bodyblade has to be one of the best. Had a super session with the bodybladers in the summer too – Bruce took part via a live video link up! More here. The online support group is great – just search bodyblade on Facebook to get up to speed ready for when Bruce is back. It will be in January around 19th with a new colour fitness device which will help to get you toned and strong in the core – such a great choice for new year’s resolutions and not long to wait now!
I also kept fit occasionally with lovely Fiona pictured here also, with me and Bruce and Derek the dog, as she took me horseriding several times. Still learning but loved being in the outdoors in 2016.
Fave Blooper Charlie Farley is my great mate and this video of him with his sleeves cut off underneath his jumpers, as if no one would ever know and so they were more comfortable to wear, was one of my top from 2016. Watch out for Charlie and Will and Charlotte from Charlie Bears bringing you the final hour of 2016 at 11pm New Year’s Eve!
Plus this blooper of Charlie’s famous encounter with a moth outside in our garden set has to be one of the best!
Best ‘Watch’ – Outlander on Amazon Prime – corrrrr! Jamie Fraser is my fave male lead in any TV or film from 2016. If you love Game of Thrones type series, there are two series of Outlander, based on the famous books by Diana Gabaldon, to indulge in – series two hit our screens this year too – do watch them if you can. Series three is out next year – yay! Here’s a taster…
Christmas at family Flints And of course this weekend it was yuletide once more, with the first festive fayre to be served up at my sister’s new place in Banstead, the first time we have also ALL sat round one massive table (borrowed from a local Bowls club!) All 16 of us all at dinner at once and the chef-guys did a brilliant job. Boxing day has been brilliant too as my brother and family came down to Devon for the first time and they all came to stay at Retreat’s for You.
I am loving my new life splitting it between Surrey and QVC, then half the week down in Devon running a completely different life. So I must say my favourite part of the 2016 has to be now! I feel that next year is going to be the stuff dreams are made of, what with my new book till the fat lady slims coming out, and the vintage tea rooms setting up by the summer in Devon. I am working on New Year’s Eve, do join us, and have a fabulous new year!
To see more pics of my family Christmas, go here to my Facebook page, don’t forget to ‘like’ the page to see future posts from me including all my vlogs from Devon!
Friday, Cook’s Essentials, three piece pan set, here is the early bird order link.
Saturday eco-egg are bringing our fabulous dual pack of their famous hard surface cleaners, to tackle those spring cleaning jobs!
Sunday time to sort out your sorry state of an oven if it let you down over Christmas with a brilliant Panasonic four-in-one oven.
Tuesday sees Imedeen back with a brilliant offer on Imedeen’s 120 Days Prime Renewal & 60 Days Hair & Nail Supplements, don’t miss it and stock up if you can!
Later in the week there will be Emus water resistant Hakea boots, a super Join edge to edge kimono and a cosy home pack of two prima lush throws.
Sneaky Peek, Richard Jackson’s new formula high energy bird food is here on Saturday.
Next week– another new year and some special shows coming up including a pet one on Sunday 8th! I’m excited and so were my pooches when they tried this dog food just watch this, here is a little watch for you in this weeks blog, even though it’s only a short one of the dogs eating their lovely new dog food brand that we are launching on Sunday week. And find out my newest ‘resolution’ for 2017…
Winner of the SBC comp last week is Sarah Morrell! Congratulations Sarah, the QVC team will be in contact with you.
Best wishes and a happy new year!
PS if you’d like to start the New Year as you mean to go on, do check out my blog, on my website featuring the latest info about my Till the Fat Lady Slims books and how you can join the support groups and take part in an amazingly successful system that doesn’t involve dieting, just listening to your body and going back to basics. The new version, fully updated and revamped, is out end January but on pre-order now – go here.
PPS TTFLS – more fabulous testimonials in the new year, and here’s where to see the latest about my new version with much more autobiographical content, coming out end January – click here.
MY NOVELS, SHORT STORIES AND WEIGHT LOSS BOOKS – just go to my website for all the info on my writer page – it’s here.
My paperbacks – all online –
Don’t forget the cover reveal of my new TTFLs book is on my current website newsletter blog – go here to see it! And stand by for lots of inspirational messages on my Facebook groups too!