I mentioned on last week’s blog that I was off to Nothern Ireland this week for Post Polio Syndrome day.
Having never been before, Chris and I decided to go a day early and visit the stunning north coast and, in particular, the Giant’s Causeway. At the back of my mind I’d heard of a place called Portrush and managed to find a fabulous place to stay, thanks to the internet.
If you’re planning to visit the area, try the Shola boutique B&B. It’s luxury accommodation with a very warm welcome, and the perfect base from which to explore some well-known tourist attractions.
As we pulled out of the driveway, after checking in, I had to stop and take a photo of this beautiful double rainbow. Mind you, I had to stop again a few minutes later as I was so enamoured by the rainbow that I had driven over a rather large branch which then got stuck under the car… oops!
After a cappuccino with a view, we had a walk around the harbour and town. It certainly blew the cobwebs away (although mercifully the rain held off) and we happened to spot Ochos, the tapas restaurant we had decided to have dinner with a few good veggie options on the menu.
The next morning we set off for the Giant’s Causeway. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the stones themselves were not as huge as I had imagined – although the place was pretty magical and I loved the commentary provided by John, our guide. I hid a coin somewhere in between the basalt columns that stretched way above my head – don’t bother looking, you’ll never find it. We were also treated to another rainbow.
After lunch at a traditional little cafe in Ballantoy harbour, where they film sequences from ‘Game of Thrones’, we set off on our journey to Belfast.
I’d read about another filming location called the Dark Hedges, so imagine my surprise when the sat nav instructed a left turn and we were on the haunting avenue of serpentine beech trees that becomes the Kings Road (for the television production they cover the tarmac in soil and turf).
If you want to read more about my trip to Northern Ireland I’ll be writing a blog about it on my website, which will be up on Monday along with a new newsletter – if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, do it before the end of October to be in the draw to win signed copies of my Liberty Sands book trilogy.
Yesterday we took advantage of a free morning and headed off to the Titanic exhibition.
As we were paying to go in, Chris asked the cashier, ‘What age is classified as senior citizen?’ Sixty was the response.
I was a little shocked to realise that we both now qualify as senior citizens! It saved us £10, but I’m not sure how I feel about it.
Funny thing though, the man checking the tickets to enter the exhibition said: ‘You may have fooled the girl in the ticket office but you can’t fool me!’ He put Chris’s age at 48 and mine at 44 – now that’s what you call the ‘gift of the gab’!
Again more about the exhibition on my author website blog on Monday.
So, the purpose of the visit to Northern Ireland was PPS day. The tea was being held at Stormont, the home of the Northern Ireland Assembly, and what a truly magnificent building and setting it was.
As we walked towards the front entrance, a lady approached us as she recognised me from QVC – mind you, it was the first time I had worn any make-up on the visit.
To digress for a moment, have you noticed our on air make-up of late? We now get our hair and make-up done by June and her team of professionals. I particularly like the way she did my face and hair for the Butler & Wilson show on Monday although, strangely, Simon wasn’t so keen.
Anyway, back to Stormont. Post Polio Syndrome is a little known condition which will affect the majority of paralytic polio survivors to some degree. There is no cure, as such, but once correctly diagnosed by a medical professional, advice can be followed to manage the condition.
Although polio is a distant memory in the UK, there are millions of polio survivors around the world who will be affected by PPS later in life. If research was conducted now into ways to prevent the condition developing, it would come a little late to help most of us polio survivors in the UK, but would help many millions in other parts of the world.
First though, doctors need to be trained to recognise the symptoms, which are many and varied in each individual, and if I can do my bit to raise awareness in my capacity as ambassador for British Polio, then I will.
As chance would have it, I am also giving a talk next week in association with Rotary International’s ‘End Polio Now’ campaign, at the Science Museum in London, about my own experience with the disease and also to raise awareness.
In my pictures you probably spotted me wearing a few of our QVC brands… my Slim ‘n’ Lift jeggings, Biba blouse, Emu Australia boots, Centigrade coat and Kim & Co scarf. I also travelled in Yong Kim and wore a favourite Michele Hope top out to dinner.
Speaking of Michele, she is one of my featured brands this week on Focus on Fashion. She has two days of shows next Wednesday noon and 7pm, and Thursday 10am and 9pm. Check online for some great designs, including this knit tunic – which had the seal of approval from my other half!
I also wanted to mention that it is the Susan Graver 11th anniversary on Tuesday 25th at 10am and 2pm.
This paisley and feather print high neck top has a brushed feel to it making it soft against the skin – there’s no photo online yet, but come back in a few days and it will be added. It would team up nicely this faux shearling waistcoat, available in camel or light smoke.
Today at 5pm I have Andrew Yu and I hope you checked out some of the item numbers I gave you on last week’s blog. I have just noticed that my favourite orange blouse is now on last clicks price of £18.19! – only available in 2X and 3X though but also in royal blue.
So it is my weekend off, but I couldn’t sign off without steering you in the direction of two amazing Today’s Special Values. Tomorrow is Skechers, a great winter boot, and Sunday is the Liz Earle seven-piece collection. Both are already available to order on our website.
Hope you have a great weekend and that this glorious autumn weather lasts a bit longer,