Alpacas, Devon’s female thatcher, plus Gatineau tan!


How lovely it is to learn something new, don’t you think? My thatched roof down in Sheepwash was in need of a little repair inside the loft, near where an old window used to be, so along came ‘Pete Thatch’ – one of our local experts who’s been doing this house for years and years. He uses the same traditions that date way back, here’s the next-door house showing how the window in the roof would have looked in the late 1800s.

And along with him came… Anna the apprentice Thatcher! She said she needed a profession and wanted to learn something, and along came Pete and the rest is history. It’s so refreshing to see someone so young getting involved and why not a woman? It’s great to meet someone doing an age-old job – and find they’re completely enamoured of their work too. Anna says she loves being up on the roofs, then driving-by afterwards and knowing she was part of the transformation – blimmin marvellous.

My own roof is part water reed and part wheat reed, which will have to be done earlier as it doesn’t last as long. But water reed can last up to 20 years – amazing!

I’d always wanted to live in a thatched house and it was the icing on the cake when I took over the writing retreat down in Devon which just so happened to be in a 1600s grade II listed house. Tell you what, though, it’s a never-ending task to get it all up to scratch as you can imagine! But at least it’ll be 20 years till it all has to be done completely – good job, since knowing me if it was sooner I’d be up for giving it a go myself! Lol. Well, try it for the first time club and all that! See below for an alpaca first!

This Weekend’s Offers

Friday – Dr Max is back with his Prime Fifty Beauty From Inner Health supplements – targeted at over 50s – with a super pack for great skin, hair and nails – lots of extra ingredients compared to other similar brands and a brilliant three month bundle along with a three month money back guarantee during which time you should see results! Unless you eat a perfect diet you might find it’s worth giving these a go – go here to see and buy them now, including an Auto Delivery option.

Saturday – a pretty set of four glass ornaments from Solithia – and a wonderful choice of garden shows including between 9am and 3pm – green heaven!

Sunday – our huge Great Beauty Event is here with EVERYTHING available in four interest-free instalments! Including a massive Gatineau launch! Very excited to be presenting several airings of the new Gatineau Today’s Special Value set #TSV – including the new Golden Glow Gradual Tanning Milk. I love it as it’s so easy to sink in and leaves no tacky residue – still works though, so must wash hands after, obvs. Watch out for their new transforming cleanser too. Big day for one of my top brands. Go here to see and buy it now.

Unusually I will be on air at 9am! Eek! Was requested for the morning shows so happy to oblige – but if I look like my mother you’ll know why… 🙂

Big Deals old and New

This week’s Big Deals – ending Sunday

Ultrasun three-piece Sports Sun Protection available on Auto Delivery

JPE Fitover Trendi Sunglasses

Alton Grey printed maxi dress

Go here to see and buy them all now.

Next week’s Big Deals – starting Sunday/Monday at midnight

BarePro Powder Foundation Kit available in four interest-free instalments

Lulu Guinness Large Nylon Weekend Holdall available in two interest-free instalments

Ecozone Ecoball 1000 Washes laundry kit


A pack of alpacas

Had a lovely trip to Wales whilst I was off over Easter and saw some alpacas – no pics of me with them. OMG they have such funny faces, and look like a cartoon character. There are some really funny pics online of where people have sheared them into funny shapes, like giving them a mullet, or a lion mane or even some dinosaur spines…! Hilarious! The ones I saw had very long hair. To touch their wool is quite an experience – so, so soft – much less wiry than sheep. No wonder they make jumpers and things out of the shorn coats! Hoping to see them again another time, but it was a very enjoyable first for sure!

Seeing Lolly and baby Pheobe for Easter

Had a lovely trip to stay with Lauren and co in Wales as ever – including a lovely long walk in beautiful Welsh countryside. Baby Phoebe was enormous fun – getting so aware now she’s six months old and is now rolling herself over! She gets herself a bit stuck sometimes but seems quite pleased with herself! She’ll be crawling in no time! It’s never long enough and I always feel sad to leave them especially after such a short visit – I had to leave for work at 9am Sunday morning.

Policy exchanges and meeting Alison Cork

Went to a talk this week ‘up London’ near Parliament Square to the Policy Exchange – where they have lots of dignitaries visit to give talks, like some on this wall. The Women 2 Win organisation encourage women in politics and they had some interesting speakers, one of whom runs ‘Origin’, a company who make technology to extract CO2 from the atmosphere – cool! And topical. Another helps teach kids ‘coding’, all the rage and on the curriculum apparently – who knew? It was nice to meet up with Alison Cork too, who attended and we had a little catch up and a gossip about politics. Go here to see Alison’s fab range of home décor – it’s very distinctive.

Film fest – had another film fest day this week and went to see two fab movies in one day! As follows:

Wild Rose – definitely worth seeing. An unusual tale featuring a Scottish country and western – sorry ‘country’ – singer called Rose whose relationships with her kids and her mum is at the centre of this ‘growing up’ movie – and since Julie Walters plays the mum, it’s no wonder I loved it! Love everything she does! Got the tissues out at certain points too. Very well directed, great plot and funny script. Jessie Buckley was also spectacular (she was one of the finalists in the ‘I’d do anything’ Andrew Lloyd Webber show on TV, finding a ‘Nancy’) and made the film for me. 8.75/10.

Red Joan with Judi Dench – set partly in the 1940s and partly in the 1990s, based partially on the true story of the ‘granny spy’ – a lady who spied during WWII but was not discovered till 50 years later… lovely period piece and although the script was a bit clunky in places, enjoyable. 7.5/10.

Book of the Week

First, I have to admit something. I can’t recommend the latest audiobook release from one of my top authors. Sad but true. I have begun listening to another Samantha Shannon book, The Priory of the Orange Tree, but the narrator makes it quite hard to keep engrossed in the book. She does pretty good accents, don’t get me wrong, but – and it’s a big but for me with audiobooks – she keeps making mistakes. ‘Draught’ was pronounced ‘drought’ for instance. ‘His conversion’ became ‘his conversation’ – and too many other regular mis-pronunciations or mis-emphasis to let me enjoy the plot. It’s full of unusual names and I bet some of those will be different to how she says them, so I’m ploughing on with gritted teeth. But do have a look at the actual kindle version or the book book – as I bet you’d get more out of that than the audiobook! But as they say ‘I’ve started so I’ll finish’… probably.

Facebook Vlog of the week

Over on my Facebook page this week I did a live video blog! A live one! Click here to see this post. Check out the others from last week as well, since there have not been many in the last few days, because it’s my London week. Thank you everybody who says how much you are enjoying these little glimpses of life in Devon 🙂 PS social media links are all below


Monday – Mr Max Soft Touch Modern Stretch ankle length slim fit trousers in petite, regular and tall

Tuesday – Radley London Grosvenor multi-way shoulder bag

Wednesday – Home Reflections Medina indoor and outdoor rug

Thursday – The Real Pie Company 10 traditional pasties

Friday – MarlaWynne sleeveless printed maxi dress in petite and regular

Next week on the blog

Off to the mall with Jilly! And more super deals…

Best wishes

SOCIAL MEDIA – keep in touch on TwitterFacebook or Instagram




  1. SheMag April 26, 2019 at 4:51 pm -  Reply

    Thanks for the film recommendations! I love how specific your scores always are! I know what you mean re the audio books; I am obsessive about the paper equivalent. If a book has been badly proof read it drives me crazy; typos were the reason why I didn’t finish and threw away the only book I have ever not finished…if you see what I mean!

    Did you see At Eternity’s Gate? Almost got me to understand what impressionists are seeing when they paint…and that’s one heck of an achievement!

  2. Beverley Klymkiw April 26, 2019 at 5:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie, my goodness you pack a lot in your week. I don’t know where you get the energy from. Love all of your stories. Interested to read your opinions on those two films as they also caught my eye. Always, grateful for the heads up on upcoming tvs etc., but you left me high and dry with the last one. Marla Wynne! I hadn’t noticed that there was going to be a MW TSV. Big squeal! No photo, no price. The anticipation…..

  3. martin forbes April 27, 2019 at 1:34 pm -  Reply

    hi debbie hope you and your family are well iam not bad .hope you dont mind me asking how old is your grand children now

  4. Ruth April 30, 2019 at 10:52 am -  Reply

    Hi Debbie hope you don’t mind me asking this here but what is the lovely pink lipstick you always wear on air?

  5. Debs f May 1, 2019 at 1:06 am -  Reply

    Hi Martin. 16 months and 6 months!

    Beverly – last minute change! It’s a sleeveless dress!

    She Mag, not seen it, no. Will look out for it! Ta for nice comments. I do love my films! X

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