You may have noticed that I haven’t been on air at QVC much over the past few weeks (or, of course, you may not have missed me at all!). I’ll let you know why in just a few moments, but first of all let me sound a fanfare for a Today’s Special Value coming up this week.
Starting at midnight Wednesday and then all through the day (if our stock lasts) we’ll be featuring one of my favourite designers with my favourite style of trouser – yes! – MarlaWynne’s Flatter Fit, of course.
These stylish denim trousers will feature a flattering, straight slim leg fit, ankle vents and a side zip fastening. Fashionable, comfortable and easy to wear, these versatile jeans come in five gorgeous shades and I know will be my wardrobe staple season after season. I hope yours too!
Even though these trousers are in denim they are not regular western style jeans so I would urge you to have a look even if you don’t usually like jeans… and it you love jeans, you HAVE to see them, as they are so flattering for most body shapes, and you can style them in many different ways. I wear Flatter Fits of one sort or another almost every day, and as they come in sizes 8 to 22 and in Regular (29″) and Petite (27″) lengths, you’ll find a fit just for you.
They are a mix of 43% cotton, polyester and a generous 13% elastane to give stretch and rebound so they will fit you well for seasons to come, even with machine washing.
We’ll have them in a great choice of five easy-to-wear shades that will look fabulous as part of your autumn/winter wardrobe: two denim tones – Indigo and Antique Denim, classic dark Onyx and then two neutrals, Dark Stone and Olive Grey. Olive Grey is the colour I’m wearing in the photo, teamed with a stunning four pocket jacket from our newest designer (another fanfare please!) Paul Costelloe. This amazingly clever and successful man has designed a stylish range of knitwear and outerwear especially for QVC and I was lucky enough to launch the range on Sunday. It’s all on advanced order for dispatch on 16th October and it’s worth checking out on our website right now!! (I’m also wearing MarlaWynne’s white shirt and boots by Marc Fisher).
Now, back to the beginning, and why I haven’t been on air much lately.
The reason is that Olley and I reached the milestone of thirty years of marriage on the 5th of September – our pearl anniversary – and we’ve been celebrating! We love to travel together and often choose to tour around by car or in our motorhome. We decided to change our style a little this time when we saw a fantastic deal on a cruise that would take us to some places we’ve always fancied visiting.
Although neither of us were sure if we are the cruising type, it felt like the right occasion to try something completely different to anything we’ve done before. The promise of Iceland, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia in Canada and then sailing into New York was too much to resist!
We had a fabulous time, spending luxury time on the beautiful cruise ship enjoying never ending amounts of delicious food and lots of relaxation. But it was the visits to land that really made the trip for us. We stopped to explore for a full day in each of three different places in Iceland, a land of achingly beautiful and dramatic scenery.
We saw dramatic waterfalls, bubbling mud pools and explosive geysers. We walked between the slowly separating continental plates of America and Eurasia in the Pingvellir National Park.
I soaked in the healing, hot waters of Myvatn Naturebath which are drawn up from around 2500 metres deep in the earth. The geothermal waters contain minerals, silicates and micro organisms which are soothing for your skin while the spectacular volcanic landscape soothes the soul. An holistic experience for mind and body!
Iceland is a young country in terms of its geological formation, which is why there is still so much activity going on. Volcanoes still threaten to erupt and the pools of boiling water and mud are quite amazing – they are literally a link to the core of the earth. All the natural thermal energy is put to good use – the hot water from the ground is channelled through pipes under the pavements of the capital Reykjavik to keep them clear of snow and ice through the long, cold winter months. Clever!
When we left Iceland it was to cross the North Atlantic, next stop Newfoundland, Canada. Four days at sea gave us plenty of time to enjoy the voyage, with a highlight being the Captain’s talk. He gave an interview about his life at sea and how he runs the ship, then answered questions. Two interesting queries were ‘how long does it take to stop the ship?’ Answer: one mile. And ‘how much does it cost to full the fuel tank?’ Answer: around £4.2 million, the tanks have a capacity of 3,580,700 litres! This allows the ship to sail for around 18 days at full speed (22knots) or closer to 30 days at the speed we were going, about 15 knots.
The weather was rather wet and misty in St John’s Newfoundland, but we braved the elements at Cape Spear, the most easterly point of the American continent (next stop, the west coast of Ireland) and visited a quaint fishing village called Quidi Vidi – I rather liked the sign for the local fish and chip stall – QVFC!
We also visited Signal Hill which is where the first transatlantic wireless telegraph signal was received. Sent from Poldhu in Cornwall, 3468 km away, three clicks representing the three dots that stand for the letter S in morse code were heard by Guglielmo Marconi on December 12th, 1901. And that was the beginning of what enables us at QVC to broadcast our live programmes to you for sixteen hours every day!
Being the first land west of Ireland means that Newfoundland has a large Irish community. Our taxi driver Don had a wonderful Irish accent, with very little trace of Canadian, even though the last members of his family who lived on the Emerald Isle were his great grandparents and he has never been to Ireland. After our tour of the area he dropped us off at the liveliest street in town for lunch. It is packed with Irish pubs serving local style food – cod tongues, moose stew and clam chowder – but in every other way could be in Dublin. With traditional music playing in the background, I thoroughly enjoyed my half of Murphy’s!
Halifax in Nova Scotia was a delight. We rented a car with a couple of lovely friends we’d made on board the ship and headed off to the picturesque Peggy’s Cove fishing village and lighthouse and then on to explore the pretty coastline which is full of inlets and coves and lined with coloured wooden houses among the trees. Eventually, we were forced to indulge in a splendid lobster lunch!
Before boarding the ship again we were moved by the peace amongst the gravestones in the Titantic Cemetery, where many who lost their lives in the cruise ship disaster are buried, and then took a stroll along the city boardwalk, to enjoy the buskers’ music in the sunshine. We had a strong feeling that this wouldn’t be the last time we visit Nova Scotia.
And it wasn’t the first time we’ve visited New York but it was certainly the most spectacular arrival. Even though it was still dark at 6am as we slowly sailed past the Statue of Liberty, you could feel the anticipation and expectation of the many thousands of intrepid people who made that same journey many years before us, having left behind all they knew to start a new, hopefully better, life in America. For us, the excitement was for the 36 hours we had before our flight home, the final part of our adventure together. Simply walking around Manhattan is the best way to find its many hidden treasures alongside the well-known landmarks. And that’s exactly what we did – a fitting finale to a wonderful voyage to mark thirty years of wedding bliss to my fabulous husband Olley. Roll on the next 30!