A stressful and tearful week!


Goodbye Wood LaneI’m at home in Birmingham these few days to oversee moving my Mum out of her 3 bedroomed semi to her new apartment in a somewhat luxurious retirement complex. On Thursday, Austen, Tony and I supervised the final clearance of all sorts of stuff from the house – the fridge/freezer, a 3-seater sofa and a dresser all went to the British Heart Foundation. They’re all in very good nick and it feels good knowing someone is going to get more use out of them.


View from my bedroom windowEarly doors on Friday morning the removal men arrived. Keith wrapped and packed like a dream. He told me he’d been doing the job a good 15 years, so everything was light work to him. When the van left, I took a quick scoot around all the rooms in the house one last time. I snapped the view from the front bedroom where I spent my early years. Much of the time I’d watch the world go by from the window, daydreaming of what I might do with my life, listening to my favourites bands: Pet Shop Boys and Go West, or trying to do my homework and being distracted by the radio. Then when I went back downstairs and looked back at the living room, all empty and full of echoes, the room seemed as vast as the day we arrived back in the late 70s, when I first rolled around on the new carpet in excitement. Weird.

Living room boxesI thought I’d cry as we drove away but when I saw Mum appear quite nonchalant to be leaving the house behind, I didn’t feel as mortified as I imagined I’d be. It’s crazy that in a matter of weeks we’ve gone from waiting and longing for the exchange to be agreed, to a mad dash to co-ordinate everything and get out. No wonder moving home is classed as one of the most stressful times of a person’s life! It almost feels as if there’s no time to take stock before you have to leave.

We arrived at the complex for 2pm, in time for a little Welcome Reception by the exceptional staff – they are all incredibly friendly, nothing is too much trouble. When the dust settled and the removal men had gone, she beckoned me into her bedroom, wrapped her arms around me and gave me the biggest, strongest hug I think I’ve ever had from her in my entire life! So Mum’s installed, she’s extremely happy – in her element in fact – and is about to embark on a new journey, making new friends and mingling with all the other residents and staff.

Unpacking the new apartmentMy Mum is my idol, my role model, my inspiration. Without my Mum I wouldn’t be the woman I am now. I wouldn’t have come as far as I have without her words of wisdom, her nurturing, her love and care, without the sacrifices she’s made for me and for my brothers. She worked and strived from the minute she came to Birmingham from Jamaica in the late 50s. She worked as a nurse in West Bromwich and Sutton Coldfield and then as a Home Carer to elderly people in South Birmingham. All of her work was to ensure we had the best education to move on in life. She encouraged Tony, Fitz and I to follow our dreams, to follow our hearts. She deserves everything she has.

Not content with one move in one week, next week it’s my turn. I’m moving from the small place I’ve been renting in London near the QVC studios to a larger, more practical studio. Somewhere I think I’ll be able to make more homely. I have to admit that where I’ve been these last 6 months hasn’t been the most enjoyable, and it’s made it being away from Austen and my home in Birmingham all the more difficult, because it was so very tiny, uncomfortable and not much fun to be in. I’ll fill you in on that later next week. Plus keep an eye out for a competition on my blog very soon!

Where you can find me this week and next…

Wednesday 26th February
8pm – Trinny & Susannah
11pm – Northern Nights bedding

Sat 1st March
6pm – EMU Australia Outlet
8pm – Practical Ideas

Fri 7th March
9am – The Morning Show (with Craig Rowe)
11am – Kim & Co

Sat 8th March
4pm – Kim & Co
5pm – Vitamix: More Than a Blender

Don't forget that when I'm not on-air at QVC, you can find me on Twitter or on my Facebook page. I always love to hear from you about the brands you like on QVC, what you've bought from us or anything you want to tell me, so come over and say HELLO anytime!!

Bye for now x


  1. Karen February 26, 2014 at 9:33 am -  Reply

    What a glorious tribute to your mum, she must be so proud of you. My mum still lives in the council house I grew up in and I dread the time when I won’t ever go back to my childhood home. I raise my 10 year old daughter alone as my husband died 6 years ago. I strive to give her everything your mum did for you and your siblings. You seem a lovely person and if my daughter grows up with the same values you have I will be happy.

  2. louise donnelly (@2911louise) February 28, 2014 at 8:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marv.
    Once the Sindy phase passed, and realism set in, I knew I didn’t want children. Not the two legged variety, anyway, I am mum to a dad and son; I used to breed boxers, and my two big guys are my life. Mum says I spoil them rotten (she should talk!) but why bring them in to your family otherwise?
    Which brings me to the point of my message. I have been epileptic since birth, and my mum (and dad, when he was living) makes every sacrifice possible for me, and my brother. She has always put me first, disregarding what is best for her. Even today, several decades later, at the age of over 70 (she says, tactfully), she will do anything for me. It makes me so happy, to know she is enjoying life, going out for lunches with friends, days out, etc. Like you, I wouldn’t be the person I am, with the staunch principles I have, without the influence of mum and dad.
    My brother died five years ago, so it is just mum and I. And our babies. I sometimes feel she doesn’t realise just how much I do love her. Sometimes, just thinking about her, makes me smile. You know what I mean?
    When my fiancé of 13 years (telling, isn’t it?) separated and I ended up in hospital, mum brought me home with the dogs, and I’ve been there since. That was in 2007! Yes, it is nice to have your own space, but we don’t know how long we have with our parents, so we should make the most of it.
    It was mum’s birthday on Wednesday, so happy birthday, mum. We love you. xxxx.
    You take care, Marv. The time has flown since you joined the Q. Hope you are still enjoying your time there. One question; I am a size 2-4 and, as you may know, if your dress size veers towards either of the extremes, it can be difficult to buy clothes. The market for much more petite clothes is growing. Just like a couple of decades ago, larger ladies weren’t caterd for, neither are we tiny ladies. Could you perhaps ask the buyers if they would consider stocking a more petite line?

  3. Marverine Cole March 2, 2014 at 11:17 am -  Reply

    Hello Karen, thanks for your comment. I am swelled with pride about my Mum. In fact she had her sofas and bed delivered yesterday and when I spoke to her on the phone she was ecstatic. She is so mega happy and it’s made me want to turn cartwheels. Not that she was unhappy before in the house, but I think the newness of it’s all, the possibilities of making new friends in the village and also the security of the staff around her, has already given her massive confidence. Karen, you might find like me that leaving the family home isn’t as bad as you anticipate. But don’t worry about it until the time comes. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your husband, hats off to you for the superb job it sounds like you’re doing raising your daughter. I’m sure she will reward you in return by continuing to grow up to be a remarkable young lady. So lovely to hear from you and do stay in touchxxx
    Thanks for your message. It sounds like we’re from the same stock so to speak as we’re both so appreciative of everything our parents have strived to give us, in terms of knowledge, and love. One thing we do now more as a family is hug each other, and sometimes just a bear hug or a little cuddle to family members says more than words can ever say. I think your Mum knows how much you love her. If you can look her in the eyes and say the words to her, she might just feel it all the more? Ooh my Mum’s birthday was 6th Feb – does that make them both Aquarius then?
    And on the last point about clothes sizes, I often speak to the clothing buyers so I’ll ask what the current situation is over petite options in our fashion brands.
    Until then, best wishes

  4. Jan Simmons March 4, 2014 at 12:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marv
    I replied to you in the blog from This Morning Beer Taste………….I’m never sure whether to reply on current blog or original post………. What am I like!
    Your mum sounds so happy and content now, what an absolute relief for you all, that’s wonderful!
    Lotsa Love
    Jan (Streetly) xxxxxxx

  5. Beth Morton March 5, 2014 at 1:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marverine,
    I did reply to you last week but I can’t find it posted on here..
    Just wanted you to know that I have been thinking of you and your Mum. I know we haven’t met but I think you’re a great person and it’s nice to stay in touch on here!
    Coming back on here today, it’s been fascinating reading the other replies too. I am sorry this is brief but I do hope all is well and delighted to hear your Mum is ok,
    Beth XXX.

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