A change is as good as a rest


I don’t know about you but seasonal holidays like Easter and Christmas can often be quite a stormy, tumultuous time for many people. This Easter was no exception, but this time the storm clouds weren’t caused by family bickering, they were the real kind, courtesy of Storm Katie! I had an estate agents sign come crashing into my living room window (remarkably there was no damage done), but I did wonder at what point I was going to wake up with the Wicked Witch trapped under my house and flying monkeys everywhere!! As I look out the window at the bright blue skies and sunshine it hardly seems possible that I got soaked every time I went outside over the weekend.

I recently had a very quick break away in Morocco and just got back the weekend before Easter. It was 26-28 degrees while I was away, with barely a whisper of a breeze so you can imagine that coming back to Storm Katie was a bit of shock to the system! Does anyone know where the names for these storms come from?? I am not holding out hope of there ever being a Storm Miceal – mostly because I don’t think people would know how to say it, hah!

2 editMy break in Morocco was so perfectly timed. I booked it last minute, and even though I got a bit of a deal I still wasn’t really sure whether or not I wanted to go, because I still have lots of work that needs doing to my little place – new kitchen, new bathroom, etc. I was apprehensive about going and spending my renovation fund on something as frivolous as a holiday. However, as someone who hasn’t taken many holidays for a number of years, I had forgotten that time honoured adage – ‘a change is as good as a rest’, and honestly it truly is!

A change of scenery, weather, food, and routine can make a massive impact on your mental wellbeing, even if it is only for a short time. As I arrived at my hotel and was greeted by a Berber in full traditional dress and served a glass of hot Moroccan tea – mint tea with a LOT of sugar, I immediately started to relax.



1 editIt was very late in the evening when I arrived so I checked in, unpacked my suitcase and hung everything up (not something I ever normally do on holiday but the wardrobes were massive so I thought, why not?). You know hanging all your clothes up when you arrive is my top tip now for anyone travelling as it makes figuring out what to wear really quick – it has only taken me 45 years to learn that little pearl of wisdom! No more rifling through a suitcase doing a quick sniff test to figure out whether something has been worn already or not! After unpacking I went back down to the lobby, had a wonder around to get my bearings, ordered a cheeky glass of vino (which I drank al fresco watching the stars) and then I headed off to bed.

Each morning I got up early, between 7:00 and 7:30 (again, not something I normally do on holidays – I’m usually a late sleeper when I am away), got myself dressed, grabbed a book to read and headed down for breakfast. It was buffet style and there was everything you could imagine.

Breakfast is, without question, my favourite meal of the day! I always wake up hungry and I always like to set myself up for the day ahead, I have been that way since I was a child. Amongst my friends and family I am kind of legendary for it, so it will not surprise anyone who knows me that I spent a leisurely hour or more over breakfast eating an average of about five courses every morning, all washed down with fresh squeezed orange juice and strong Moroccan coffee – I haven’t drank coffee for many years but for some reason started again.

After breakfast it was time to take my rather swollen stomach back to my room for an hour of lying on the sofa with some good music and a few chapters of my book. It was cool until about mid-morning so there was no hurry to get to the pool.

Once breakfast settled it was off to the gym for me for a good hour and half workout (breakfast alone used up my entire daily calorie allowance!). By the time I was finished the sun was fully blazing and the pool was calling me. Back in my room, and after a hot shower, I took my time prepping for the sun as I am very pale (some have joked that I am actually a shade of blue!) so out came my always reliable Ultrasun. I just left it for 15mins before getting dressed to make sure it was properly soaked in, then gave it another few minutes to make sure it was really activated. Then I knew I could get out there without worrying about burning (I did remember to take regular shade breaks – if you are off on holidays soon, please remember to do this).

Speaking of which, we have an Ultrasun TSV coming up on Tuesday 5th April which has an Auto Delivery option available too! It’s perfect to see you right through the coming months. I did see Ultrasun on sale at the airport but my QVC Ultrasun was much better value, so don’t miss out!

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I booked myself some activities whilst I was there too. I went to see Jardin Marjorelle, otherwise known as Yves St Laurent’s garden, which was stunning; I watched the sunset as I trekked on camelback in the desert; and made time to visit La Mamounia, voted Best Hotel in The World 2015 and one of my favourites (it was Winston Churchill’s favourite too – one of the cocktail bars is named after him). It is the most stunningly beautiful hotel and gardens and if you are ever in Marrakesh do yourself a favour and go along for a look! Maybe even treat yourself to a cocktail, as I did.

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The Italian Bar (also award-winning) is elegant and classical in its style and you can feel the history as you walk in. It’s no wonder it is a favourite haunt of the richest and most famous people in the world. I must confess I am a fan of a well-made Vodka Martini so that’s what I had (it was nice to imagine I was James Bond for about 30 seconds). I had to have a second one, but that was it – the bar prices were on the luxurious side, to put it delicately! Between the outstanding cocktails and the world class jazz band playing in the corner (I am a big jazz fan) it was an hour or so well spent, and I recommended it to almost every other holidaymaker I met whilst I was there.

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The highlight though has to have been watching the sunrise over the desert from 1,000 feet in the air in a hot air balloon. It was a cold and early 4am start when we drove out into the middle of the desert but with my trusty Gale Hayman Lip Lift in my pocket there were no chapped lips for me (I carry one everywhere I go and even use it when I am under the hot lights in the studio to stop dry lips in their tracks!). Believe it or not I even took my Josie Maran Argan Oil with me to Morocco, the land of Argan Oil, because again, it is something I use daily alongside my Elemis Skin Bliss Capsules. By the time my trip was over my skin was in tip top condition and so was my mood!

Holidays are never long enough but as long as you remember to use them to take a break from your regular life they really can work wonders for you!

I feel very blessed and lucky to be in a position to take even a short holiday, there are many who cannot so I am so thankful. It was a wonderful treat and despite all of my reservations it was money well spent. I had such a lovely time and have some really fond memories to treasure, but more than all of that I feel renewed and re-energised and that ultimately is what I am most thankful for!

Until next time,

Miceal. x


  1. marie March 30, 2016 at 4:59 pm -  Reply

    Lovely blog your holiday sounds wonderful money well spent I would have thought. Your bathroom and kitchen can wait life is short so enjoy.

  2. Denise March 31, 2016 at 2:54 pm -  Reply

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time in Morocco there. I’m very envious as its on my list of places I’d lie to visit. I wonder if you got any inspiration whilst you were there for the things you want to do in your house? I often find that I do on my travels and take pleasure from looking at any items I’ve bought.

  3. jill rycroft April 1, 2016 at 12:59 pm -  Reply

    Wow! Miceal I’m green with envy, your holiday sounded amazing and you look really tanned and relaxed, worth every penny!

  4. Liz Scott April 2, 2016 at 10:31 pm -  Reply

    I was in Morocco at the end of Feb. We had rain, fog, snow and wind. We all looked like refugees as we had to wear all our clothes to keep warm. I did all the things you did whilst shivering (except the ballooning as we missed the sunset and did the sunrise in the desert on camels) I go on 3 or 4 holidays a year and it is ALWAYS money well spent.

  5. Julie Ward April 4, 2016 at 10:02 am -  Reply

    What a fab Blog Miceal! You should consider writing a book, because even without the great pictures, you have taken me to a place I have never been, with truly vivid ideas of what it was like – you are a great writer. So glad you decided to have your holiday as you clearly needed a break. I’ve not had a holiday for about 10 years now and have never been on a plane, (probably won’t get the chance in the future either), but it all sounds fascinating – so brave going alone too. Thanks for a fantastic insight into your holiday x

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