To all the young parents out there who are embarking upon their children’s school careers and are coming across Inset days, my advice is to grab them with both hands, if at all possible. So many for mine have been a nothing day, wasted in that I have worked (not wasted) and they have either been with someone else looking after them or more recently doing just about nothing! Dan of course usually works too but we wanted to make the most of all three being off so… a trip to Center Parcs was discussed (tails wagged… Gus’s!), then discarded. Paris was spoken of, eyes lit up (Maddie’s!) then abandoned as so expensive and so close to Christmas, which I absolutely need to focus on. Amazingly my lovely friend Sammie offered her London pied à terre to us and the peachy gorgeous Kathy Tayler swooped her shift with me so BOOM we were a GO GO!
Do you know having reflected on our time together I realise the conversations we had were most interesting. It made me see my children’s strengths at this age and also exposed weaker areas that I can work on. Maddie picked up massively on the cost of everything, the meal we had, the train tickets, the drinks at the V&A, she was shocked at how expensive everything was. A conversation about working, paying taxes and job types resulted… with her declaring she’d like to be her own boss. Joe on the other hand has realised he wouldn’t!!! He will need the structure of being led, if not he would just wave it away for later…!! Most interesting, I loved hearing their laughs… Maddie in particular, for such a little girlie has a big old deep laugh! And she and Joe were for once enjoying one another as we had popped both their phones in for repair for the cracked screens.
Tom marched around London brilliantly, super focussed in the hustle and bustle, understanding the need to stay close. In fact one of my memories will be the feel of his hand securely in mine… at 17 we don’t hand hold much, but to be safe and to move Tom along at our speed let’s just say! We did hand hold BIG time…
The V&A, as always is a sheer delight and the sparkle and allure of Christmas with the lights as we walked up and down Regent Street was beautiful. We attempted to skate up on the roof terrace at John Lewis, made impossible by the faux ice (plastic squares) well that was my excuse anyway! That aside, being snuggled in blankets while taking photos of willing and unwilling family members, and with drinks in hands. it was a lovely place to pause.. Then onto Soho and a quick message to Miss Chloe Everton resulted in some fab suggestions to eat, we over indulged at a very trendy cool place she recommended. We loved the music and the food was fabulous.
The King’s Road is wonderful, I so enjoyed wandering up and down. It took me back to my youth and actually to QVC being close by in Battersea. I passed by Butler & Wilson but too late to pop in and see if Simon may be there… oh what a beautiful shop it is filled with treasures. The dresses in his window were incredible though something tells me they were somewhat smaller than my size!
Borough Market was wow wow wow. Dan and I need to go alone I think, though Tom is our foodie so we need to go back as a trio.
Liberty’s was on my wish list to visit and share with Maddie. I haven’t been since I collected my exquisite wedding dress 19 years ago. I love just looking and marvelling at the splendour of the beautiful building and the exquisite creations inside.
Topshop for Maddie, I want her to come with her friends and just spend hours mooching and trying on random, inappropriate fashions just to expose her to all the AMAzing things she could be wearing… London is simply brilliant for reminding us we are all individual. The sea of faces, all fashioned the same with the same collection of features yet all so different, I think on one day a year we should all wear a sign saying where we are going. It’s what I want to know as everyone rushes through the underground system… I’m so inquisitive.
My feet are blooming sore underneath, it’s been a joy to get the Vionics on this week and have my arch put back where it lives!
My outfits were oh so QVC from my Du Jour dress, Helene Berman coat, my trusty H by Halston faux leather trousers, Marc Fisher camel boots – though swiftly swopped to flatform trainers after the first hike down the King’s Road! I work out my outfit from the coat, then footwear, and then add the underneath bits… always hard when you need to be warm, able to walk miles, but will be eating somewhere possibly posh? We hadn’t planned anything but…Diana’s exhibition, the Igloos to dine in, Sketch so Maddie could appreciate the loos, the Shard… oh the to-do list is still so endless… the diary needs to make spaces for such delights! And if anyone has membership at Annabelles? I have a NEED to go, it looks truly exquisite.
I was delighted to read Chloe MacDonnell’s piece about QVC. She is the acting fashion editor for The Telegraph. You can read it here. I was the presenter for the guest auditions when she came in to experience what QVC was really all about, the resulting piece in Stella the Telegraph was lovely, she was very kind and her comments of “Bouncyblowdry megawattsmile” may well become my new hashtags, if I can get them out there!! Do follow me on Instagram if you can and Twitter, it’s rather good fun, tho I’m still a novice!
So as we ramp up for the Christmas Season we have some incredible offers at QVC, Today’s Special Value offers of course but watch out for Big Deals and all round great offers on air, online and on our alternate channels of Style and Christmas.
Opening the dressing room door is like Christmas each day! These gorgeous brushes from Rock & Ruddle were awaiting me, I swear they are modelled on me. M. Asam have a show on the 15th so I shall be trialling some things ahead of that, and Peony are looking fabulous with so many gorgeous arrangements to get your home ship shape for Christmas. I posted this picture Dan took the other weekend just playing with Joe’s camera and had lots of “are they real” comments about my Peony display I have on the island unit at home. I’ve had it more years than I can remember but there are some similar and equally fabulous displays on our website.
I’ve certainly been shopping for Christmas on our website… for others I hasten to add! My local delivery guy is keeping rather busy for sure, though it’s just too tempting as there are things that keep jumping out for me! Does that happen for you too?
If you’re looking for a super offer to gift then one of this week’s Big Deals, the Garmin Junior Activity Trackers could be BRILLIANT. 518248 Mine would have so loved these when they were younger, along with the brilliant Selfie tops that create a wearable masterpiece.I think they are fabulous and such lovely quality too.
There’s loads of goodies coming up on air of course. I shall be with Or Paz, it’s been an age since I was on air with Danny so I’m very much looking forward to that. My first Style Edit with the wonderful Caroline Macleod-Smith, her new show at 4pm is on the 5th of December and shows with Gatineau, Kim and Co, Bareminerals are all to look forward to. I’m hoping the amazing SJ Froom will take me and transform me with the fabulous Bareminerals TSV coming up in a couple of weeks… maybe I could ask her and video the doing and the end results to post up…?
Choir is still a joy for me. We are also singing at the local retirement home this week and the proper concert is looming! I’ve booked my lot tickets… well, I’ve sat through so many of their concerts I figured it was pay back. Mince pies will be a draw for Tom! The switch on of the lights had us on the stage carolling, I veritably skipped back to Dan and the kids on such a high from singing.
I had lovely replies to my last blog as always and in particular one from Jo, her comment and thoughts really resonated with me and as a result I am trying to look at things through different eyes. In my world I’ve always lived with high highs, wonderful exciting and fabulous moments and yes some lower times too. But the inbetweeny grey moments have never sat well for me, resulting in feeling uncomfortable and wrong.
Jo made me think I need to change how I look at that chunk of grey moments. Relook and perhaps rename the grey, maybe actually the grey is ok, maybe ok is more than ok and perhaps possibly, if I look more closely contentment could be found there. “Happiness” is wonderful but in the quest for it perhaps the potential of the slightly more ordinary “contentment” is not fully recognised. Thank you Jo, even if that’s not entirely what you meant, that’s what I have gained from your words. I’m grateful… thank you.
So a busy and contented weekend of life with Maddie winning the cup on Presentation Day for her Modern Dancing, socialising, and a little (a lot!) of gin drinking at Highcliffe Castle in Dorset with my SS (soul sister) has meant the decorations are still languishing in the loft… there’s always next Saturday!!
Lots of love for a happy and fun run up to Christmas, Claire xx