Well this is my last blog before the big day! And it's peppered with pictures to help you feel festive. And if you're reading this after Christmas, do make sure you tell me the three highlights of your Christmas this year! And if any QVC products were stars!
Also this week…
– Almost there! So Santa once again comes to the QVC backstage area!
- Miceal and Craig make like a mannequin at the presenters' Christmas lunch!
- Debbie does debuts – my homemade Christmas cake!
– Flash-mobbed at mine – 30 for dinner at Debbie's!
- The true spirit of Christmas – snippets for the feel good factor
– And some final film recommendations for the festive season!
The ideas get better and better! It's a 'Twelve days of Christmas' theme this year – where the gang, spearheaded by Vanessa and Jilly and co, have hung icons for each 'day' around the backstage prep room – a cut above, that lot!
And when you went 'through the wardrobe' to Narnia, via a row of Dennis Basso coats (!), Santa was awaiting – with a little message and a tiny pressie to take away!
Makes us all feel like kids again – so well done all!
Debbie does cookin'! My best ever Christmas cake!
Well, OK, my ONLY ever Christmas cake! Anyway, if you saw last week's blog, you'll know that I was about to attempt something very special – for the first time ever. If you watched last week's video, I was nearly ready to begin. So how did it go?
Well, there's something I realised. That when they say you need an 18cm cake tin it actually means you need a, funnily enough, 18cm cake tin. The thing is, I had a nice silicon one that looked perfect, and because my brain still really only works in 'old money' – ie. inches – I overlooked the now obvious fact that… well, you can guess. Too big – therefore too shallow a cake, therefore not quite how it was supposed to turn out! And I'm supposed to be intelligent… Still I had a little volunteer to be the first to try it out for me!
I'm tempted to go out and buy another pack, to see if I can make it better! BUT having already wrapped up a couple of pieces in goodie bags as little Christmas offerings to go with cards, it's maybe too late. Next time tho', I'd definitely remember to use a smaller tin!
A gaggle of presenters
It's not a gaggle? That's geese? Oh ok, then, what do you think it is? What's the collective name for us? Keep it clean! Think of the best one you can and leave a comment below. I'll send a little gift out to the one I think it funniest or cleverest!
Anyway, there was a mini-gaggle last week when half of us gathered for our annual Christmas presenter lunch! Paul Slater – our new manager joined us – good timing Paul! And my lovely pal Jilly, who's been there 18 years on February 1st – she started same day as I did!
It was lovely to see several of our in front of camera team there, in the 'QVC local', The Mason's Arms in Battersea. Craig and Miceal thought it would be a good idea to practise their modelling poses – just in case times are hard and they need to go find catalogue work! Hehe! Very funny it was too.
The present I brought along was a 'banana shield' which raised a few smiles before THAT one was opened I can tell you! And I did like Julia's pressie – see below! Another fab Christmas get-together with my pals from QVC.
Fun with the family
My lovely son Brad and I went to our annual Christmas shopping night last week too – including getting a fabulous sitting massage from some experts in the middle of Westfield Shepherds Bush.
Brad knows me well by now, and he is very patient and has learned to humour me over the years! How many mothers would do what I did in a fairly posh furniture shop? And how many sons would film it?!
I couldn't help it – it's the 'Eddie' in me (as in Absolutely Fabulous!)
Mums and cousins do
But we had a great time on our own, just the two of us. It was a brief respite though, in advance of my annual 'mums and cousins' get together at mine. Thirty – yes thirty – people descended upon my little cottage, and this year it was about six too many!
Mind you, next year, I think it'll have to be in the village hall next door! I'd just about used every fork in the house and every chair, sofa, stool and condiment! This get-together is where we do our swapping of presents, and my kids get to see all of the cousins on my side – 15 of them! There are 11 nieces alone! Here are most of them, minus the little ones!
I'd sorted their pressies out well-early this year – and it was a resounding success! They all loved the Entice crystal bracelets that I got them in different colours – I had to let the girls open them a bit early just so I could see their reactions!
We had a Christmas jumper competition, swapped Secret Santas (which weren't so secret!) and watched a tiny bit of me and my dad on a game show from the early 80's which someone had found on YouTube! My super Samsung telly and cameras come into their own at times like this!
– Am REALLY behind with Facebook requests – massive apologies if you've been waiting long! It's one of the things that doesn't get fitted in quite so often I'm afraid, 'cos I'm so, so busy! Lol. Will try to do some more over Christmas!
– Thanks a million to all of you lovely kind people who've been sending us presenters Christmas cards. This little Bichon Frise is called Pipa! I just sent off a load of replies with cards for those that put their addresses in – well done for remembering! And a happy Christmas to those of you who didn't remember!
– The true meaning of Christmas – are you like me and always think of others at Christmas time, usually I do a couple of little donations. Well on Tuesday this week it was our annual QVC Cares day – and I kicked it all off with Richard Ward's new Today's Special Value! It really was special, and included the root booster – one of the best to achieve that famous 'Chelsea Blow Dry'!
Of course, it's usually only about the products, but every so often we get the chance to banter with guests about their background. I loved hearing Richard talk about how this year was one of his most intense to date! Lovely guy, and an excellent hair care range – find out more online! Sold out really early in the day – I do hope he comes back on soon!
– And specially with Richard in mind, here's the latest 'funny' doing the rounds via email – it made me smile!
"I don't know WHY I didn't figure this out sooner.
It's the shampoo we use in the shower.
When I wash my hair, the shampoo runs down my whole body, and printed very clearly on the shampoo label is this warning, FOR EXTRA VOLUME AND BODY.
No wonder I've been gaini ng weight.
I'm getting rid of the shampoo and am going to use dishwashing liquid instead.
It's label reads DISSOLVES FAT THAT IS OTHERWISE DIFFICULT TO REMOVE.
P.S. don't tell Alison Young!! lol
EAT: Presenters' Christmas lunch at The Mason's Arms in Battersea, opposite Battersea Park train station, was a tasty affair – we had the choice of traditional turkey dinner or something a bit more exotic. I chose trad (pictured on left) and Craig chose home made burger 'n' salad! But don't worry, we got to share!
WATCH: Such a lovely time of year! By the time this goes out I will have been to see the new Sherlock Holmes film – really enjoyed the first one, which had a buff Robert Downey Jr to keep us ladies amused! More about film next week.
So here we are at Yuletide, nearly, so I have to mention a couple of my all time favourite Christmas movies, don't I?!
'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' is one of the funniest slap-stick-filled, relationship-driven, stress-inducing family Christmasses you could possibly hope to see! If you've been to see that, or new one 'New Year's Eve' – do let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!
PLUS: another classic – which do you prefer? Are you a fan of the original 'Holiday Inn' or the later version, 'White Christmas', which also featured the legendary song from Bing? I like them both for different reasons, but it's amazing to see the difference a few short years in ground-breaking film-making can make – if you've seen both, do you agree?
The first film is black and white, features Bing trying to run a hotel that's only open for big holidays, ploughing a field by hand with a horse-drawn plough (pipe in hand – natch!), and is all about the singing and the dancing, starring Fred Astaire.
The classic 'White Christmas' was made just 12 years later in 1954 but seems much fresher and more modern – Danny Kaye playing the funny man also helping Bing along as he sings, rescues their old army pal and of course, gets the girl! If you haven't seen either of them please do! For me, the latter has the edge, mainly due to Danny Kaye and the 'Sister's' song (me and my sister's anthem during our childhood!), Vera Ellen's ridiculously small waist, and fab dancing, plus Rosemary Clooney – George's aunty. 'Holiday Inn' gets 7 out of ten and 'White Christmas' gets 8 from me.
Well that's it from me, I'm back on air with the Great Winter Sale on Tuesday 27th December – do check our TV guide to make sure you don't miss your favourite shows' bargains!
Have a woooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnderful Christmas! And thanks so much to you all for making this blog the third most read, amongst all the presenters – just behind Ali K then Julia R! Am very proud! Happy Christmas and a merry New Year! Lol. Am off to be with sister and family for the big day. You?
And any messages from you to me or the team? Now's the best time of year to leave your wishes!
Here's to a wonderful 2012!
P.S. This week I are mostly been using – the stoneline cookware! OMG so good! And so easy to clear up – specially handy after making chilli con carne for 30 this week! Cook so well, keep it hot, and very very durable! Great replacement for cast iron, I can tell you!