What a week! I was looking forward to getting away and using up some annual leave. The thing about living in Devon is that there is so much tourist stuff. So this week when I have been off on annual leave, the question was very simple – do I go the whole hog and visit lots of unusual touristy things? After all, things like ‘Barometer World’ is not too far away (!!) Knowing me I would have just got stuck in to yet more tasks – I was having some more work done in Retreats For You, anyway, but thought I could allow myself a couple of days sightseeing. Plus had a proper go on the electric bike I bought from QVC, what a brilliant way to handle the hills in Devon countryside roads.
But the beginning of the week was a bit of a blow to be honest because one of my family was taken ill, but knowing they would be okay (and they are on the road to recovery as I write) I took a trip to IKEA in Bristol on the way back home to Devon. I love that store 🙂 got some new cabinets for the utility room so that when guests go through it to the downstairs bathroom it will look a bit neater and tidy. It is the final room that has not been touched yet and there has been some sort of leak from the roof at some point meaning it has got into a bit of a state.
It is the final room that has not been touched yet and there has been some sort of leak from the roof at some point meaning it has got into a bit of a state. So, Mark, the able handyman finished painting the downstairs loo first, which now looks lovely, and Sian one of my lovely girls who help me out at the retreat/guest house, then helped me clear out the utility room of everything, ready for when Nick, my son in law to be, comes down at the weekend and does some more work for me. So considering all the shenanigans, my friend Sheena thought it is time to take me out to have a lovely lunch and we decided to go to nearby Rosemoor RHS gardens.
We went on Tuesday and it was bright sunshine as you can see from the pictures at Rosemoor. Sheena and I had a lovely lunch there walked around the gardens, including this beautiful rose garden with some absolutely fantastic smelling roses and unusual names. We also saw an unusual looking tree, and a bench with lichen looking very picturesque – very good for photographers.
Best bush for bees And if you wanted to ever choose some plants that will help the bees, as you know I am a fan of the Bee, not in the least part due to the fact that Deborah means ‘bee’ in ancient Hebrew, hence my necklace.
It was a very welcome brief respite, and little did I realise, I would be out with Sheena again just two days later – but not for the reason I’d have predicted… see below!
On your (electric) bike.
Then I went out on my electric bike, what a lovely experience this is. I thought it would be handy given all the steep gradients and the long, long rise to nearby Highhampton. It’s not called ‘high’ Hampton for no reason! Here is a little video of me on the bike going round the village square in Sheepwash.
The best thing about having an electric bike is that little bit of help you get when you turn the on button and the battery kicks in, you can choose low, medium or high, but you still have to cycle somewhat to make it work. So you still feel like you have been cycling, except that most of the route feels like it is on a flat or a shallow hill rather than grinding the pedals to get up all the steep hills that exist near me. Here’s a little route down a nearby country lane, to prove the point –
I will look forward to some lovely expeditions during the summer on this new vehicle. Weather allowing 🙂
More touristy stuff below…
Sun spot Look at this – how weird! At the bottom of our garden in Devon, there is a specific place where the sun remains right to the very last minute. So after my long Monday this week I went and had a welcome cup of tea and unwound whilst sitting in this spotlight at the bottom of the garden. I felt like one of those little fairies 🙂 basking in the last rays of sun. The weather was on and off this week so I was very lucky.
Chuffed How lovely is this?
What a nice review from one of our guests down in Devon last week. It makes me very happy when I know all the hard work in setting up and helping to run the guest house/writing retreat in Sheepwash is paying off, with people who say lovely things like this. Made my week 🙂 I’ve been really delighted at the response to the yoga week with lovely Jennie Dodd from NimbleLimbs.com, it’s completely full – so much so I may have to go and stay next door with neighbour Linda! We’ve just arranged another two in September and October. Plus two more tutored retreats for writers, next year. It’s all go! I managed to get along to the yoga class this week myself, too, amidst all the sight seeing and stuff. It’s so nice developing a new circle of friends down there now too. More about the retreats here.
TiFFT – Gong Therapy! So lucky lovely Jennie also took me with her and pals Sam and Lou (who is just back from LA so we had much to discuss since I love LA!) to a special ‘sound therapy’ session – gong bath relaxation. Lie on your back and listen to sounds like Tibetan bowls ringing – lovely and relaxing! So much so that I left my handbag behind! And had to go back for it the next day – Jennie took me home and Sheena went with me the next day! Good job they didn’t mind. I’ve never done that before in my life – both gong therapy nor forgetting my bag. So two TiFFTs out of one! (Try it for the First Time club).
Barnstaple Museum Whilst we were returning for the handbag, Sheena and I explored a bit, including having a lovely tea at a little cream tea rooms near Butchers’ Alley (which only now has one shop with a butcher) and going to the museum. It was interesting, as you know I’m a bit of a history geek – watch this video to see more around the inside of the museum itself. We then went to Homebase and bought some more plants – I’m such a glutton for all things green…
Guest Tweet of the Week Looking forward to Laura Geller’s next visit on Sunday week – it’s going to be great! Meanwhile, had a super Laura Geller hour this week with Sarah and co, and during the show Laura herself sent this on Twitter! Look at that view! What a lucky lady she is and what a fabulous place to live don’t you agree? Would love to visit one day. Never been to New York, so you never know!
Scary Face Mask Go to my latest blog on my website here, to see the bottom half of this photograph, and be warned you will need a strong stomach… Ha ha ! It was using the Gatineau pick of the month (insert link if still available) – and very good it is too – very lifting and firming – and not at all frightening once it’s off! Lol.
Also on this week’s newsletter on my website, Book of the Week is Camino island, from John Grisham, and if you’d like an entertaining, free audiobook, there’s one currently available from Ben Aaronovitch, read outstandingly well by my fave narrator on Audible, Kobna Holdbrook Smith. More here. Don’t forget to subscribe on the pop-up box too, to get the regular email updates!
MDD update Mega Draw – on my charity blog, you can find out all about the new mega draw via just Giving, for Medical Detection Dogs. Have you seen them on the news this week? They have been on the Anglia news, BBC breakfast, Three Counties radio (with former QVC guest and my old colleague Nana Akua) and more. It’s so exciting that these clever canines can help with human disease detection, including Parkinson’s, it seems. More here – including the link to get your £5 raffle ticket to win huge hampers of donated beauty products – thanks also to Alison Young who is offering a phone consultation as one of the prizes. Do enter if you can?
Plus don’t forget if you can come to the concert I’m giving in Devon on September 16th at the Plough in Torrington, it’s also in aid of MDD , and the Plough arts centre. More here.
Hercules the Car Park Cat QVC has a resident cat! Well to be more accurate QVC’s carpark has a resident cat! The name on his collar says Hercules, and he likes to sit on people’s cars, or even ride pillion on this parked motorbike – as in this photo I snapped this week! He has got quite a few friends amongst the 400 odd people working at QVC Chiswick, I can tell you! He lives somewhere local bulovesve to come over for the attention… wouldn’t you?!
Heather’s Baby Shower There are three new babies happening within the next 6 to 7 months in our extended family. So at the weekend I went along to my niece Heather’s very well-organised baby shower. It was a lovely affair, she is very excited to be expecting in the next six weeks or so, just before Lauren’s wedding actually! Hugs to all the family that came.
Lily of the Valley OMG, I received this this week and it is absolutely beautiful! It is a new Molten Brown fragrance and I just want to spray myself with it all over! I got the one with the hand cream but am going straight back to treat myself to the one with the fragrance too EDT! If you like Liz Earle number 15 you may love this one too, as much as I do!
Blooper –This one is going great guns on our social media so I just had to include my lovely Charley Farley playing silly goose on a pie show last week!
Facebook funny – is a video this week – something tickled me this week in the car park at Torrington, so I popped this little video up online – very funny! Go here to see it! And don’t forget to ‘like’ the official Debbie Flint Author QVC Facebook page in order to get all the updates, including Early bird order links (or go visit the updated Early Bird link Fbk post here, where I post them first when they come out – like the Laura Geller one happening on Sunday week, it should be out around Thursday.
Watch – Dunkirk – what a powerful film. And scary too. Over 330,000 men were rescued, but over 70,000 died, in one of the most heroic events of WW2, commemorated in this movie. Watch out for the role of Alex, played well by Harry Styles of One Direction, too. Strong stuff, so be prepared, but well worth a watch.
This week on QVC –
Friday (28th) – here is your link for the Mr Max slim ankle trousers, and Saturday sees the return of an amazing Liz Earle five piece set which also has an auto delivery option.
Sunday it’s Yankee candles this time the total home fragrance bundle for summer.
Next week Monday has a travel set of 3 RFID card holders with gift boxes, brilliant gifts. Then on Tuesday Kim is back with a textured knit tunic and cardigan set. Wednesday big brand Morphy Richards steam generator iron. Thursday the lovely Kelly Hoppen range returns with Kelly herself appearing on some of the shows, the TSV is the Halfmoon glaze vase. And Friday is the Sony digital compact camera with case, join me at midnight for its launch including goodies from Lee Hohbein.
Also I am looking forward to the teeth whitening system at the end of next week, which I have been given to trial and have taken a before picture for!
Finally my early bird order links will appear on this page – and on my website so do go look especially if you love Laura Geller at the end of the week 🙂
Next week – if weather allows, a trip to the Devon Show, and maybe a meet up at Charlie Bears with lovely Charlie and Will Morris, in nearby Cornwall. Plus possibly this 1940s vintage fete nearby in Devon too:
And more from my week off playing at being a tourist! Plus hopefully some befores and afters of the latest bit of work at the Retreat. We’re getting there! Have a great week.
Sometimes the girls add interesting motivational pictures like this on our online group! Thanks to Sue Stewart for this one 🙂 funny!
MY NOVELS, SHORT STORIES AND WEIGHT LOSS BOOKS – just go to my website for all the info on my writer page – it’s here.
My paperbacks – all online –
Don’t forget that my new TTFLs book is now out– go here to see it! And stand by for lots of inspirational messages on my Facebook groups too!