Burns Night ceilidh, wine tasting experience and a ‘moving’ day


Debbie in her Tiana B dressThis week – Kung Hei Fat Choi – Happy New Chinese Year of the Dragon! Last year it was my year – the Tiger – so best wishes to everybody for whom the new year celebrations are relevant!

– A Burns Night ceilidh in Dulwich!
– Four-dog formation – an ingenious solution to loose-leash labradevils!
– Moving day – so proud of my boy!
– And a wine tasting experience – and what an experience it was!
– Plus 'Margin Call' and 'The Descendants' – two more amazing films, including clips!

Tiana B alert! 
First just a quick reminder not to miss the amazing – and 'very temporary' (get my meaning, nudge nudge wink wink! lol) Tiana B dress offer – join me 8pm sharp on Friday night!

Burns Night ceilidh in Dulwich
Burns Night ceilidhWell there I was, seeing my lovely writing pal Litty on Saturday night, who lives in Dulwich, when I remembered one of our sound engineers had invited me to his Burns night bash – also in Dulwich! Coincidence? If it's nearby, I thought, I'll pop in!

Turns out, the hall where they were performing was literally at the end of the road and turn left, so I dropped by on the way home for another TiFFT – and this was the sight that greeted me! Bit like a barn dance only more Celtic!

Not only were we able to learn the dances step by step – sloooowly (my kind of learning!) – but the music was actually rather good! Chas is the bass player and his missus Shaz played a mean fiddle/violin. I did a little bit of foot tapping myself, and it made me want to do a bit of dancing. Now it's a little known fact that I can't jive. Not for the life of me. I may be able to do a lot of things, to varying degrees of ability, but jiving isn't one of them I'm afraid! And god help any guy who's convinced he can teach me – bruised tootsies all the way!

But it didn't stop me feeling the need to order the Xbox Today's Special when I got back on Saturday night – old Craigy did a job on me, with his hip-swaying and boogeying to the dance and keep fit discs, so maybe this'll help me get moving – I'll keep you informed! If not, I'll have to go to more events like this –


Four-dog formation - taming the labradevils!

OK, so this one doesn't take much explaining – it's all in the video. Suffice it to say that Daisy's still dragging me along, up hill and down dale, along the road and through the woods. Until I hit upon this novel way of – slowing her down - shall we say!

I have to say though, it's probably time to take her along to doggy obedience classes. I give up trying to make her toe the line along with the others – she needs some sterner treatment! Maybe doggy discipline will curb her ways! Anyone got any recommendations? It doesn't have to be local – have dog will travel…!

A 'moving' day! Brad's new pad!
Kari and BradAlso not far away – Putney to be precise – my lad's new home! It was a cold day, but a good day! On Saturday, my amazing boy Brad and his lovely fiancée Kari moved into their first place together – definitely a room with a view! The rooftop terrace is amazing as is the little flat itself – very nice! A far cry from my first place up in Wincham in Cheshire when I worked in Manchester!

The family resting after the big moveMost of the gang pulled their weight. This is where having a big family comes in handy! Four family members and a van, and it was all done in one day! One quick trip to Ikea and the young couple had moved their whole world from a little flat in Fulham to their new one in Putney Hill – three floors up but with a lift thank goodness! (Funny plaque on the elevator wall – 'Schindler' – you can guess the one-liner everyone came out with when they got in for the first time!*). Still we were all in need of a sit down once they'd finished the flat pack sofa!

Good luck to them both. Now they can focus on their wedding arrangements for next year! He's 25 in March too – I know some of you remember him coming on QVC in the early days with me, like on New Year's Eves – gosh how time flies! He's quite close tho', and where they are now is actually even closer to my route to work! He makes me very proud tho', am very proud mummy 🙂 And a quick word to say thank you to Tanya their previous flat mate for making them so happy in their Fulham place. Lovely girl!

A wine tasting experience – and what an experience it was!
Wine tastingWhat a laugh! It was my brother Glenn's 37th birthday on Monday, and I'd organised (daily voucher deal again!) a 'wine tasting experience' at his house, for us and a dozen or so others. The guy duly came along, set up his two curious suitcases and started filling us in on the delights of Merlot as opposed to Cabernet, and why Chardonnay has gone out of fashion slightly.

I was a little concerned at the level of 'education' we could glean from the chap hosting it at first. 'Specially when I asked about Chateau Neuf du Pape. I'd bought a case of it several years ago for staff incentives when I was running my business in my years away from QVC, more 'cos I'd heard it was supposed to be good rather than any specific reason why. He said it's a region, like Chablis.

Then, 'cos other wines had come with his description about the grapes, I said 'but what actually IS Chateau Neuf du Pape?' and he replied it's the area – 'like Wandworth is an area, or Birmingham' (!!!!!!). I felt a bit like I used to feel when I was blonde and spoke with a very south London accent in my early twenties, working in a newsroom as an assistant, and surrounded by people who talked to me like they had no idea about my fifteen GCSE's or Mensa membership! Haha! Anyway, I smiled sweetly, explained what I meant, and got the reply 'it's mainly Grenache, but it could be up to 9 different types of grape – they fiercely guard the recipe'. So now I know. Sort of!

Blue cheeseI ended up buying a… nope it's already gone out of my head! Cuvee de something or other! hehe! will have to tell you next time, when the delivery arrives! But anyway it was a rather sweeter wine – a bit like a watered down port – and went very well with the blue cheese I had a little later! Which also deserves a mention actually – it was sooooo delicious - Colston Bassett - ever come across it?

Needless to say, there was more 'swallowing' than 'spitting' (ahem! YOU know what I mean!), and a couple of the gang got a little sozzled by the end of the evening! lol. But a good time was had by all. In fact, I got an invite out of two of the guys there – Glenn's pals Rob and David – for their fancy dress party on Saturday night! (More of that next week if you want to see what I went as!)

I think I need to go on another course tho' – to learn a bit more, so I've got at least SOME idea when the sommelier comes to a restaurant table and passes me a wine list! I'll have to stop going for the house rosé one day, eh!

Dorking's new libraryNew library – as you know I love reading (no updates yet about my novel from publishers, but it did go off to a second publisher this week – will keep you informed!). Well of course we can all dream of the day when our book will grace the shelves of WH Smiths et al, but also perhaps the new Dorking Library – well placed in St Martin's Way in the middle of Dorking. Looks pretty snazzy eh!

I can't wait to go explore, and get the smell of new books – so many new ones – I know 'cos I looked through the windows! My love of books was first nurtured at the old Morden library, near Morden Hall Park, where at 8 I used to take out books about Tutankhamun – see, I was a bit geeky even back then! lol. So I've always got a soft spot for a nice library! What was your first library book that you loved – do you remember?

What's thisSnippets from the garden – what are these holes? Seriously – what are they? Any suggestions? Moles? (but where's the molehill?) Saw them in a row in the garden, with yellowed earth around them at ground level. Let me know what you think! (P.S. – silly bird update – no sign – maybe it finally realised the reflection in the stainless steel bin wasn't an intruder! lol)

Facebook – do ping me a request if you'd like to hook up as one of my friends and I'll do my best to reply as soon as poss (or daughter Lauren will! Apart from the couple she screens out! lol). Sorry if any of you (usually guys) just private message (PM) me to no avail – usually just things like 'hi' – please take this as a general thank you and hi back.

It's hard to keep up with everybody so I do what I can to at least try to reply to posts on my wall, even if I don't reply to all PM's. I definitely do like comments about our brands or shows, though, 'specially from my lovely regular bunch of ladies, some of whom also comment on my blogs – always lovely to have your opinions about our products – good or 'constructive' – lol!

And here's the address for those of you who have asked for it of late – eg. the lovely lady Beading Buddy who sent one of the presenters a little brooch after asking me for the address – very kind of you so thought you deserved a mention!

We're at:-
QVC The Shopping Channel,
Marco Polo House,
346, Queenstown Road,
SW8 4NQ (till the summer, when we move to Chiswick!)

Timmy tweetTwitter – tweet of the week – from my old colleague Timmy Mallet – who's now a great painter I believe! Long before 'Mallet's mallet', I was 'daring Debbie' on his evening show on Piccadilly Radio in Manchester, going out in the radio car and doing live broadcasts in and around the local area – including Dave's Chippy and the like! Fun days! Also worked with Mike Sweeney, Susie Mathis, Dave Ward, Mark Radcliffe, Tim Grundy, Andy Crane, Mike Shaft, and Steve Penk – those were the days! Big up to Timmy – follow him on Twitter too, if you like!

Daisy funny – I might love Celebrity Big Brother, but Daisy dog's having none of it!


Solo cougar's survival kit continued…
Carrying on from last week's three recommendations for making your life easier if you're living alone most of the time, loving the freedom, but in need of a couple of little problem solvers…

Prestige Fine Tea Machine– No.4. A teasmade! lol ! I bought myself a teasmade. You know – a teasmade. Yes really. No catch – it's a teasmade 🙂 And I blinking LOVE it! One thing I missed about not having anyone in the house is my morning cuppa in bed, and whilst I still have to get up to see to the dogs, going back to bed with a steaming hot mug of tea that was just ready to be poured, has made my day! Highly recommended if you love your morning brew! (we don't do a teasmade as such, but the nearest thing is Prestige Fine Tea Machine - £33 off on clearance!)

TomTom sat nav– No.5. A sat nav. OK, so it's a bit of a stereotype, but for those women that really don't 'read maps' (as the book claims) – no more feeling lost – or literally getting lost – just turn on your sat nav, and there you are, at your destination before you know it without even needing to consult a map or stop and ask a policeman! (We've got a really good TomTom sat nav coming up soon – on Thursday 16th Feb, if you know what I mean!)

Cougar's kit - Talk Me Through It service– No.6. TMTI - OK, so it's not a product, but it's a great service! If you usually have to rely on someone else to do the techy-type stuff, 'Talk Me Through It' is our wonderful helpline (5p per minute from a landline, office hours – 0844 477 2996) where you can ask the experts to help you through ANY problem you may have with an electrical product you bought from us! Another good reason to buy from QVC! And another great addition to your Solo Cougars' Survival Kit!

More next week – and I need some inspiration from you guys/girls – what can I feature next?

WATCH – Debbie the film fanatic's been at it again this week!

'Margin Call' – Had a nice evening with Kipling Kerena watching 'Margin Call', very tense and well made – big names too – in this fictional dramatisation of what kicked off the credit crisis in '08. But does anybody know which firm's 'true story' it was based on? Fascinating – 'specially 'cos I was in sub-prime finance at the time it was all taking place!

Hmmmm – apparently the director amalgamated a lot of different inspirations, and there's a very interesting interview which reveals more (Google 'what is margin call based on'). Clever director J.C. Chandor managed to shoot it in 17 days, and that's how he managed to attract some of Hollywood's great and good – including Demi Moore, Jeremy Irons, Kevin Spacey (OMG!), Stanley Tucci (he's great!) and Zachary Quinto ('Sylar' from 'Heroes').

Even though you know what the outcome was likely to be, how they got there kept me on the edge of my seat. Good film – probably 8 and half out of ten.

'The Descendants' – But this one's really the film to watch if you have to choose one! George Clooney is outstanding. No wonder the film already has Golden Globes – including for best actor! He's unpredictably gritty, soooo funny, and absolutely pulls you in to his unusual situation – with his wife in a coma and having to come to terms with some unexpected news – on more than one level.

Fantastic, enthralling story, outstanding performances from all involved, incl the kids. Laughed – a lot, cried – a fair bit. Tragic, comic, slick. Feel privileged to have seen it a day early with pal Kevin. ( And well done composer Kev Sargent whose music you'll hear on the BBC's 'The Hour' series too!).

I just love some of the comedy moments in this film, and found that it kept me guessing all the way till the end, so gets a good almost nine out of ten from me! (8.75). I'd happily see it again soon, and if you need a little lift, do catch it if you can – 'specially 'cos of the very 'warm 'n' fuzzy' it leaves you with at the end. If you see it let me know what you think too!

On DVD/SKY – if you're after a great film for an evening in, on the other hand, a final recommendation is 'Limitless', with Bradley Cooper. Really original script and story – definitely worth a watch if you like an intelligent plot!

QVC – apart from the Tiana B dress on Friday at 8pm, and of course free P&P on Home Day all day today, Thursday (26th), do remember to go read the QGossip blog I did about the new ecoegg TSV and also the brilliant Betty Ball bra protector for your washing machine!

Perricone 4 Piece Advanced Anti Ageing CollectionThen watch out for a Perricone Today's Special Value on Beauty Day on Saturday (28th)! There's a lot we're restricted from saying about such products on air, but if you Google Dr Perricone and his amazing research, credentials and technologies, it's no wonder we're hearing such fabulous testimonials and reviews for his skincare – good chance to get them at more affordable prices on Saturday.

Kim MendelsonPlus – in case next week's blog isn't in time, I'm looking forward to my midnight show on Tuesday 31st, with Kim Mendelson from Kim & Co – another fantastic clothing range and another bargain price for one of her items.

And finally, 'this week I are mostly been using'…
My Dyson Animal vacuum cleaner! Tying in nicely with Home Day, a quick Dyson DC24 Animal Ball Technology Multi-Floor Vacuumreminder that we also do some fabulous big brands in cleaning, including none other than Dyson itself, with excellent bundles to make the pricing very, very competitive – coupled with your 30-day try-out period, it makes for some goo d reasons to buy from QVC.

There's a new mini ball vac coming up from Dyson soon – Saturday 4th February in fact, at midnight – don't miss it! Or catch the Miele show tonight at 7pm. Anyway – this Animal ball vac goes round edges of furniture very easily, and there's a cool dog hair brush attachment I also bought – so with four labradors in the kitchen, it's a handy little gadget! Recommended for those tricky jobs and more!

That's it for another week guys! Would love to have your suggestions to the above questions – specially 'what on earth is that row of holes in my lawn!' lol. Also next week – probably – a review of the new Madonna film about Wallis and Edward, 'W.E'.

Chat soon…

*Schindler's LIFT of course! haha!


  1. Nigel January 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm -  Reply

    Debs – Bet its voles(also known as meadow or field mice). You’ll just have to get a cat – the pogs would love that !lol! Talking of which, maybe Daisy was a husky in a previous life – perhaps Marcus Bentley does obedience classes as she seems well impressed by him!
    Liked the intellectual post this week – so long I had to stop for lunch halfway through ! Great stuff, Nige 🙂

  2. Susan January 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs,
    I absolutely LOVE the view from the gorgeous couple’s pad!! Soo beautiful! Lucky lucky! Lovely to come home to I imagine! I also loved the dancing video snippet. How fun! You lead the busiest social life EVER! I can’t wait to hear about your fancy dress party too!
    ENjoy your weekend,
    Susan x

  3. Anita Anderson January 28, 2012 at 10:05 pm -  Reply

    Debs, sorry about the late reply; not been well.
    It was Cinderella from the panto competition in Richmond; I thoroughly enjoyed it. I took another friend who hadn’t been to a panto before either and she had a laugh too.Thank you QVC.
    Need to think about February’s TIFFT now. Anita.x

  4. Michelle Roberts January 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs- Definitely voles according to the hubby, when he cuts the grass in the summer he has to be careful not to mow them down as they are blind and don’t move to fast, no wonder the Barn owl spends a lot of his nights at the front just waiting for his supper.
    Love the clips of the dogs, if I tried that with Yorkshire terrier’s it would end up in one massive fight!!! oh Daisy is so cute Debs I would love her.
    I must admit I had to read the blog about three times to fully register what you have been up to this week.
    Guess what I have a teas made it was bought as a wedding present many years ago but it is still going strong after all these years, loads of times I forget the milk so end up with a strong brew but at least it wakes me up in the morning.
    Finally your boys pad looks great what a fantastic view I hope they will be very happy in there new home.
    Have a good week Debs
    Big hug to you and the pogs
    Michelle x

  5. Cheryl Williams January 30, 2012 at 9:13 am -  Reply

    Hi Debs
    Great blog again! Brad and Kari’s roof terrace looks great -just think of the summer barbies they can have up there!!! Of course with your new knowledge on wines you will be able to advise them on the best ones to go with it!!
    I went and saw Descendants yesterday – loved it. Felt on a high when I came out of the cinema. One of those films you will definitely watch again. But what was with the funny running when he went round to his friends house?
    Give the pogs a cuddle for me
    Love Cheryl in sunny but cold Manchester

  6. Debs f January 30, 2012 at 11:38 am -  Reply

    Nige – haha! I’m trying to make them a bit shorter from now on – have to focus more on writing novels instead of writing blog! Guess I’ll just hav to put up with the voles huh- joys of the countryside!

  7. Debs f January 30, 2012 at 11:39 am -  Reply

    Susan – oh it was a good one! As you’ll know if ur a Facebook friend! Wait till u see the pic! X

  8. Debs f January 30, 2012 at 11:42 am -  Reply

    Anita – one of my favourites, is cinderella, in whatever form! Sister is just asking me about booking up for family to see this years panto in December (she’s efficient like that!) but I really would like to see Barry Humphries again. Dont know where he’d be on tho. Anyone know how to find out when they decide things like that – or whom to ask? X

  9. Debs f January 30, 2012 at 11:44 am -  Reply

    Michelle – hope my teasmade keeps going for as long! It’s really making a difference to making me wanna get out of bed in the mornings! Lol!

  10. Debs f January 30, 2012 at 11:46 am -  Reply

    Cheryl – oh I wanna go see the Descendants again now!, and I only saw it last week! Lol.
    Ps yes I think gorgeous George was trying to portray a 52 yr old man running – or his shoes were a bit floppy! Still loved him in it tho – I prefer the ‘not so suave’ version!

  11. Susan January 31, 2012 at 3:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs,
    Not a FB friend but post more on here if you can!! Bet you had a laugh! I saw your mate Craigy doing Zumba and by jove he can move!! I have to ask how on earth do you see all the films the do?!
    Chat soon
    Susan x

  12. Alison January 31, 2012 at 5:29 pm -  Reply

    Heading out shortly to go to the pictures to see the Dependants-and looking forward to watching Gorgeous George!!
    Super blog as ever-as are the responses from all your followers!
    Best wishes,

  13. Iris Gibson January 31, 2012 at 6:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie, Great blog,loved your show with Shiseido, the lip
    treatment amazing and the cleansing foam I love it! Love Kim&Co
    will watch the shows but don’t think I can fit another of her
    tops in my wardrobe! Not great on wines stick to my Fav. M&S
    California Rosa. Don’t get to cinema but keep a note of your
    tips & will get on DVD when out. Live on my own now as two
    daughters left the nest and yes I agree find the Kuhn Rikon
    opener so helpful.
    Have a great week,
    Luv Iris.

  14. Debs f February 1, 2012 at 1:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi suze! (my first doll was called Susie!) Ta for posting – I had a run of films I just HAD to see at the cinema so I used every spare evening or afternoon to do so. Ironically this week hardly any left to see! Or on local. Can’t find WE so mite wait till next week or DVD for that. J Edgar possibly ? We’ll see! Just luv films – it’s my passion! And books too – I should do a review of another book soon really!

  15. Debs f February 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm -  Reply

    Alison – u must let me know what u think of the Descendants! Want to know if u loved gorgeous George’s performance as much as I did! Definitely more one to be taken seriously that’s for sure!

  16. Debs f February 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm -  Reply

    Iris – thank u for posting – what a nice summary! Have to say I’m loving the space here so when ‘The Man’ finally shows up (!) it’d have to be someone who understands I need my space. In fact, I saw a lovely graphic on Facebook last week which sums me up perfectly – might see if I can post it for u on next blog!
    What ‘s California rosa then? Might have to try it! Do come back and post regularly hon!

  17. Alison February 1, 2012 at 9:43 pm -  Reply

    I loved The Descendants last night! I hadn’t been sure what to expect but it was funny, moving-and it had George! He wasn’t looking his smooth best-but still, what a honey. The cinema was packed for both the early show which my friend and I went to (7.10pm) and the later show-roll on Crazy Tuesdays when the tickets cost £3.50 in our brand new multiplex!

  18. martin forbes February 2, 2012 at 9:08 am -  Reply

    hi debs still enjoying your blog .hows your brad settled in to his new home

  19. Eirian Lewis February 2, 2012 at 7:40 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie
    I really liked the chain you were wearing on QVC on Thursday night at 7pm with Kim and Co, is available on QVC?xx

  20. Debs f February 3, 2012 at 1:42 am -  Reply

    Loo lucky you Alison! No wonder it was packed! Where is your cinema? X

  21. Debs f February 3, 2012 at 1:43 am -  Reply

    Martin – all good thanks! He’s loving having a place of his own . Another ikea trip beckons soon!

  22. Debs f February 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm -  Reply

    Eirlan, The clog au harp? Yes it’s coming up soon! Their 15th Anniversary shows are on Friday 10th Feb at 11am, 3pm and 7pm.

  23. Karin Whittaker (Beading Buddy) February 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm -  Reply

    Hello Debbie,
    You can tell that I am not keeping up very much with all these blogs lol and a friend on facebook told me today that you mentioned me in one of your blogs, so I was hunting for it. Thank you.
    Both Alison and Claudia got the brooch ok now, so I am very happy.
    Kindest Regards

  24. debs f February 19, 2012 at 3:00 am -  Reply

    Hello Karin – no problem! I was scrolling back through old blogs and saw your comment – thanks so much. You are a very kind person! big hugs, facebook friend!

  25. Donald August 22, 2012 at 10:43 am -  Reply

    Hi Debbie
    Just wanted to say Love you Paris T-shirt the other night On QVC my girlfriend who is you height would like one can i still order. And I love your eyes.

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