The Big Apple, and a very cute dog…


Hi all,

I’ve had a flying visit to New York since my last blog. We headed over to the Big Apple for three nights for a catch up with friends, a cycling event hubby had entered, and a little shopping (of course!). New York is my favourite city in the world – I fell in love with it when I used to travel there a lot for work in my news reporter days, and it’s also where I chose to spend my 50th birthday last year. It’s always so good to be back, and we crammed a lot in to our short trip – I feel like I need another break now to recover!

Hubby spent Sunday morning doing the “Five Boro Bike Tour”, an annual event when Manhattan is closed to traffic and 32,000 cyclists do a 40 mile ride on empty roads. He’s a keen cyclist and absolutely loved it! We also met up with my lovely friend, ex-QVC producer Clare and her wife, at an Irish pub called The Dead Rabbit which was recently listed in the Telegraph’s ‘top 50 bars to drink in before you die’ (it was great – good traditional music and amazing truffle fries!). I’ve done most of the touristy things in New York at this stage but always try to fit something new in – this time it was walking Brooklyn Bridge, which was stunning and certainly blew the cobwebs away after the night in The Dead Rabbit!

And of course, we went shopping. I went to Sephora and stocked up on some Tarte make-up products (we sell a small selection of the range here and I adore it!). I’m wearing my new Ruby Rocks sunglasses and Susan Graver bomber jacket in the photo (I thought I matched the Sephora bag rather well…!)

On a completely different note, I have always wanted a dog or cat, or ideally both, but have decided that, certainly at the moment, I can’t have one. My lifestyle is too erratic, with long work days away from home, and it just wouldn’t be fair on the animal. So I’ve got myself a virtual pet instead – I’ve sponsored a guide dog! I’ve always admired the work of the Guide Dogs organisation and the difference these highly trained animals make to the blind and partially sighted, but it costs over £32,000 to train one dog and team it up with somebody who needs it. It’s a lot of money, but so worth it!

There’s a choice of pups currently needing sponsorship – ‘mine’ is called Hattie and she’s totally adorable! It’s great because once you sign up you get regular photos and updates about the dog and how she’s doing, so you really feel involved. So Hattie is now my virtual pet, and I have a photo of her pinned to my corkboard in front of my desk at home. Ahhh!

Now, another back update. I was utterly delighted when I wrote my last blog because my spinal injections had kicked in and I was pain free for the first time in many months. Sadly, that only lasted for two weeks (well, 13 days to be precise!). Just before I flew to New York I felt the pain starting to creep back….nooooooo! It’s not terrible, yet, and I saw my consultant yesterday who said we will just monitor it for a couple of months and see how it goes.

There is another procedure I can have if it gets really bad, although it sounds a bit scary… we will see, fingers, toes and everything crossed. As I’ve said before, it’s just a bad back and could be so much worse so I’m trying to ignore it as much as possible and distract myself with nice things. I know so many of you have the same sort of problem so thank you for all the advice and messages… it’s good to know I’m not the only one!

Much love for now,

Jackie x


  1. Susan May 12, 2017 at 6:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jackie, what a great few days! You are so fashionable and trendy you know! You look great in the photos. So sorry the injections only lasted 2 weeks though. You say it’s only back pain but as I said to you it can really drag you down and impact on your whole life if you’re in a lot of pain. So consider the other procedure if you think it might help. You’ve a lot of years left to live!! Enjoy your weekend x

    • Jackie Kabler May 15, 2017 at 10:27 am -  Reply

      Hi Susan,
      Thank you! I’m going to see how the pain goes…I’m trying not to dwell on it and think positively and hopefully that will help! Have a lovely week.

  2. steph eddleston May 12, 2017 at 7:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jackie just read your blog have you thought about I was going to join but didn’t get round to it. You register with them and others who also reg . Once registered the other person can borrow your dog . its usually people who join who want a dog but cant get one due to work etc so they register and lend out Fido the dog to satisfy the cravings of someone desperate to spend time with a furry friend. Or dog owners join who love their mutt to pieces and feel soooo guilty for not keeping Fido happy 100% of the time. Those owners who feel really bad when Fido looks at his dog lead and starts to whine. And those who might be a bit poorly or exhausted at the very thought of a long walk. Owners who cannot manage the walks and struggle to fit everything into their hectic day and also people who want to make sure Fido has proper socialisation. A lot of students were joined up when I looked as they liked exercise and missed their dog back home but weren’t able to go out and adopt a dog. I’m no way connected to them .I just wanted to share my bit of interesting knowledge.

    • Jackie Kabler May 15, 2017 at 10:29 am -  Reply

      Hi Steph,
      Wow, I’ve never heard of that! It sounds FANTASTIC and I am definitely going to look into it. Thank you so much!

  3. Tania E May 12, 2017 at 8:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jackie thank you for sponsoring a guide dog. I sponsor one called Una who is doing so well in her training. I was born with a degenerative eye disorder so will more than likely need a guide dog myself one day. I think they are truly AMAZING!!!

    I love New York too and would like to go back some day.

    I truly hope you find something that can help your spine, it must be so horrible.

    You seem like such a lovely person and I wish you all the best.

    Take care sweet 🙂

    • Jackie Kabler May 15, 2017 at 10:30 am -  Reply

      Hi Tania
      Yes guide dogs are quite extraordinary and I’m so happy to be involved. I’m looking forward to getting updates and see her progress! It’s a great scheme. Thanks so much for your kind words and have a lovely week!

  4. Sharon May 13, 2017 at 1:43 pm -  Reply

    Lovely post, Jackie. I was in New York in October and your pictures brought it back. It is such a fun place. Also, love Hattie – she is gorgeous. I agree that you have to be sure you have the lifestyle to get a dog – my teenage son would love one but I am not convinced it wouldn’t all fall to me (I already have 5 bunnies to look after) – and so he is now dog walking for people as practice… So sorry to hear about your back. Hope you find a way through it! xxx

    • Jackie Kabler May 15, 2017 at 10:32 am -  Reply

      Hi Sharon
      Five bunnies must be a lot of work, yes…my sister has one (he’s a lionhead, and a house rabbit) and that takes up a lot of her time. She adores him though! I’m thinking of dog walking for others too, it’s a great idea. Have a fab week!

  5. Jean Pugh May 15, 2017 at 8:45 am -  Reply

    Hi Jackie,
    Sounds like you had a super time away. I guess it is a super place for shopping.
    Glad hubby got on okay with cycle ride, noticed you did not join in ?.
    Hope you pain in back gets better, I know what is like, I suffer everyday with neck and pain in my spine. I have treatment with my oesteopath once a fortnight to help with the pain, as it gives me awful tight head aches. But I always think there are lots of people worse off than me. Got damage to neck and spine, all goes back to the falls from my horse riding days.
    I see you are sponsoring a puppy, brilliant. The dogs trained for the blind etc are marvellous, they give so many people back their independence.
    I have seven black Labradors and they are adorable.
    Hope your back improves, and keep us updated on Hattie. Love your hair as you have it now.
    Love Jean X

    • Jackie Kabler May 15, 2017 at 10:34 am -  Reply

      Hi Jean,
      So sorry to hear about your neck and back, seems to affect so many of us! And wow, seven dogs! That must keep you very busy. Thanks for your kind comments as always and have a great week.

  6. Pebbles May 15, 2017 at 4:39 pm -  Reply

    Jackie my love, you do not have a bad back. You have a spinal condition. People are often dismissed, when they say they have a bad back, as someone who is just moaning over a twinge. We know your problem is much more unique and, more importantly, more painful than a bad back. Take care my lovely xxxx

    • Jackie Kabler May 16, 2017 at 4:12 pm -  Reply

      Hi Pebbles,
      I know you’re right, I’m just not very good at admitting that there’s something wrong…if I don’t say it, it won’t be true! Thank you for your kindness both here and on Twitter lovely lady.

  7. Sheila Caldwell May 17, 2017 at 9:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jackie, I also have just started to sponsor a Guide Dog. I was in Homebase a couple of weeks and the Guide Dog stand and 2 dogs were there and I mentioned that I was a sponsor, they asked me the name of the dog and I told them Zac and joy of joys he was due in store within the hour so I was able to meet him. He is a huge German Shepherd/ Lab cross. It was so nice to actually me my sponsor dog. Maybe you will get the chance to meet your dog at sometime, I really hope so. Take care Sheila Caldwell.

    • Jackie Kabler May 22, 2017 at 4:06 pm -  Reply

      Hi Sheila
      Oh that’s so lovely, what a treat for you! I would absolutely love to meet mine, maybe one day!

  8. Pauline Harrison June 1, 2017 at 9:35 pm -  Reply

    Sorry to hear you are having such pain in your back you are very brave I do hope the injections work I too sponsor a puppy she is called Ava a golden retriever, I enjoy receiving updates on her progress it’s lovely to think that she will be helping someone get about safely from day to day I am watching Ruth and yourself at the moment I just love your show My favourite designer is Marla Wayne

    • Jackie Kabler June 9, 2017 at 10:05 am -  Reply

      Hi Pauline,
      Ava sounds lovely! Glad you’re enjoying the Ruth shows. I love Marla Wynne too!
      Love Jx

  9. Ani June 3, 2017 at 1:18 am -  Reply

    Jackie, I’ve just returned from NYC having visited for the first time to celebrate my 50th birthday as well. I just loved the city, the shops, night life, people, just everything. I intend to go back next year as I only went for 4 days and did not get enough time to experience the museums, especially 9/11 and Ellis Island.

    • Jackie Kabler June 9, 2017 at 10:06 am -  Reply

      Hi Ani
      Happy belated birthday and welcome to the 50 club! I did the 9/11 museum on a previous visit and it is incredibly well done and very moving, definitely worth a visit. Glad you enjoyed your trip!
      Love Jx

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