The end of primary school, chocolate trees and a new fashion brand


Oh my gosh…it’s the eve of August and I haven’t caught up with you! Well, I have been off air for the past nine days filling my time with family and catching up with wonderful, old friends, so I hope you will allow me this delayed chatter. Would you believe the sun has decided to reemerge now I shall be back at QVC… outrageous! The rain has been a trifle (understatement) dull, but let’s hope it all perks up – onward and upward. Onward and… all change is certainly the current feel in my house.

I guess this feeling is compounded by the celebrations as Maddie has completed primary school, the last of my three, and whilst I didn’t think I would feel too emotional I was knocked sideways by the reminiscing of the staff, in particular the wonderful school secretary who was my very first friendly face I met when I anxiously looked around all those years ago. Now the boys are at secondary school I realise how much Carol and Nancy and all the staff supported and cared about my children individually and us as a family – I shall really miss them.

Maddie on the other hand has sailed so happily through her wonderful heady last weeks of school, loving the confidence that year six brings, let alone the new found freedom. I’ve just said goodbye to her as she’s trotted off to meet her ‘gang’, gaily calling out  “Love you, I’ll be back whenever… keep in touch!” as she swung out of the door. Hmmmmmmm, cheeky minx!

I thought you may like to share in a few of her lovely pictures with me. The first came about the other week as she was due to have braces fitted and I suddenly thought I would like to capture her just as she is, totally natural and unspoilt (as these days the layer of mascara and a tinted lip balm seem all too frequently secretly applied). So, after a super quick hair wash (she is a total Wen girl as has very similar hair to mine and loves how it feels when she has cleansed with Wen) we drove to my super talented friend Lindsey’s house, letting her hair dry naturally in the breeze. The resulting pictures are just what I wanted.

maddie field collage edit

Lindsey and I remarked that she was easy to photograph as all too soon the pouty poses will come into play that the children all do on their Instagram accounts, so we had captured her just in time.

Lindsey and I used to dance together and she is now a super successful wedding photographer and I am lucky enough to have her shots of the children dotted around the house, which is pay back for the shoots I assist her on!

The second of the pictures is Maddie on her party night, the leavers disco (or as they all had been calling it the ‘prom’). The turnaround was speedy as the tradition is to have a water fight on the field after school, the ice cream van arrives in the playground and then the ‘get ready’ has to be done at speed, which is easier said than done, however the trusty Babyliss perfect curl was indeed my secret weapon and I even wove my treasured Honora Pearl floating necklace (that I wore on my wedding day) through the plait she had requested. Get me, hairdresser extraordinaire, not to mention kind Mummy.

maddie prom editShe looked super and as we all congregated and photographed them all en masse, I remembered how grown up I thought Tom was when he was leaving, yet how quickly he grew and changed. Joe still looks as he did last year really, taller but still as slender. I wonder how quickly my baby girl will change again.31st July 5 edit

These next couple of pictures were taken a day apart, the first as she played the role of young Cossette in Les Miserables and as she sang her solo ‘Castle on a Cloud’ I felt a hand reach out and hold mine. Mummy had come to see her and Joe in the show and I think was as surprised as me that she was as good as she was (that sounds awful but she wouldn’t practice at home so to hear her voice was the most beautiful surprise) yes, I had a tear or two!

The next was taken the following day as she played Dorothy in her end of term school production, a very witty adaptation of ‘The Wizard of Oz’, she is waiting for her cue, looking like a true professional.


Both performances were truly fantastic and very emotional and left me wondering what she will do next. 31st July 6 editThe answer came quickly as she successfully auditioned that weekend for Pantomime, so that’s our Christmas well and truly sorted (oh no it isn’t…oh yes it is….). Oh my goodness I cannot believe I just wrote that – sorry!

So as we have indulged in some Mummy and children time we have enjoyed the lack of time restraints and just chilled together and taken this opportunity to see friends who live too far to see regularly. I have just waved off our last house guests and realised this life of chatter, food and drink is super lovely and aren’t I lucky that my working life is really rather similar. I chatter, eat and drink all in the name of work most days!

My garden is looking truly inviting – my visitors are full of praise for Dan’s work, as you know I can claim none of that. His busyness continues at work, so aside from the transference of the pizza oven from one side of the garden to the new outside kitchen (still in process of being built) the platform of the tree house still remains a platform (I have high hopes that he will work his magic and the children dreams will come true). In the meantime the children are going to enjoy their chocolate trees sent to them by a client of Dan’s with this beautiful note…

31st July 7 edit

“Thank you for loaning your Daddy to us to build our tree house, we hope you enjoy these sweet trees whilst you are waiting for yours.”

How gorgeous and thoughtful.

I must on that lovely note say bye bye for now so this can be posted up for you, I shall be seeing you over these next few days and looking forward to some lovely shows including Richard Jackson’s 2 hour special on the 1st at 9am and the premier show of Coco Bianco which I shall be presenting on Sunday 2nd which looks full of gorgeous prints and lovely handle, super fabrics, which I always appreciate.

So, look forward to seeing you all then and keeping up with you all here,


Much love,

Claire xxx


  1. Davina Morris July 31, 2015 at 5:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire,

    A wonderful catch up blog. Great family catch up time & Maddie enjoying herself performing!! Obviously gorgeous & talented like her mother. Doesn’t somehow look as if she needs braces but then i’m no dentist. the summer will fly by, (if it hasn’t already!! lol) and children will be back at school. Missed you cheeriness these past days but may catch you Saturday or if not on Monday’s morning show.

    Take care.

    Davina xx

  2. Christine Cairns July 31, 2015 at 9:39 pm -  Reply

    What beautiful photos of your daughter – her smile is exactly like yours!

  3. Rosemary Thompson August 1, 2015 at 9:25 am -  Reply

    Have just read your blog Claire as its sent to my email first. Yourchildren are truly stunning and Maddie is a real “chip of the old block”. She is a beauty already and looks like she has inherited Mums talent. Model or show business I think awaits. And of course Dan will keep her under lock and key until she is at least 50 !!!!!!
    Its a Dad thing with their daughters. She seems to have a very natural beauty which hopefully with all your knowledge etc from QVC and cleanse and polish she will not spoil with all the not so nice make up out there. My daughter celebrated her 40th at the start of July. No 1 grandson is now in second year of juniors, no 2 is now 1st year and proudly told me he is no longer in reception and my little pickle (grand-daughter after two boys) continues to twist everyone round her little finger and generally rule the roost like girls do. I do not feel any older. Am still working at 67, love Bon jovi and all music but its with your own children and their children that you realise how quickly time flies. There are no rehearsals for life so I am enjoying seeing them grow and change. It can be a frightening world out there but as your children show and indeed you do, enjoy everything at the time. The photos are testament to all that is lovely to remember and I am sure when Maddie comes to have her big “birthdays” and her own children they will bring back wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing them with us.
    Look after yourself and keep writing the lovely blogs.

  4. Christina Hiron August 1, 2015 at 12:14 pm -  Reply

    Claire your Maddy is just beautiful,what a good idea to have such gorgeous photo’s taken while she is still so natural and a very talented young lady.You should be a very proud Mum.x

  5. jennifer cann August 1, 2015 at 2:30 pm -  Reply

    Oh Claire your daughter looks so pretty especialy in the first 2 photos, so natural

  6. Gwen August 2, 2015 at 11:56 am -  Reply

    Hello Claire,

    How very lovely to read your beautiful blog and to see the pictures of your equally
    beautiful Maddie, gosh how proud you and Dan must be and of course her lovely brothers. I am sure she gets her looks and talent from her Mummy, and what fun you will be having as she grows, with your love of fashion and make up two cheeky girls together!!

    Thank you once again, have a happy summer with your brilliant family and enjoy your lovely home and garden it all sounds really amazing.

    Take care Claire,

    Love Gwen.

  7. Susan August 4, 2015 at 11:31 am -  Reply

    Hi Claire, you’re just a wonder! Super mum and super lovely person. You are a lovely writer. So natural and true. It’s a pleasure to read your blogs. I love how you let us know your struggles just like the rest of us and how you are just a very normal loving family. I hope Dan enjoys some family time too and the kids devoured the choc trees!!? Maddie looks so beautiful in the first pictures. I agree totally. You got her just in time before the annoying pouts creep in! Why oh why!? Enjoy August! Susan x

  8. Sarah S August 16, 2015 at 7:43 pm -  Reply

    What lovely photos of your daughter. Talented as her mum! Best of luck to her as she starts a new school adventure in September.

  9. Claire sutton August 19, 2015 at 9:29 am -  Reply

    I know, my friends were surprised she’s brace ready!! But on one side it’s needed, so I’m just happy that it’s dealt with when braces are considered cool…not like in my day!! Belatedly replying due to escape to Croatia! X

  10. Claire sutton August 19, 2015 at 9:31 am -  Reply

    Rosie, you sound amazing! A great young philosophy! I was the girl after the 2 boys , as is Maddie and so was Dan..perhaps it’s a family tradition!!
    Hope your summer has been a lovely one so far, Thankyou for writing and so sorry I’m super late with my reply but the next blog explains my absence ! X

  11. Claire sutton August 19, 2015 at 9:32 am -  Reply

    Christina, Thankyou I am indeed a proud mum…bursting !! X

  12. Claire sutton August 19, 2015 at 9:33 am -  Reply

    Jennifer, Thankyou I was so thrilled, just looking for a bit of wall space to be able to enlarge them!! X

  13. Claire sutton August 19, 2015 at 9:35 am -  Reply

    Hi Gwen, Thankyou for your lovely message, I arrived home to lovely lush circles (Dan did concentric circles as he cut the grass!) tho I wonder if it represented our day as we had just arrived home from contented calm holiday into work madness and catch up!! Hope you’re enjoying summer too.with love Claire x

  14. Claire sutton August 19, 2015 at 9:36 am -  Reply

    Yes Susan, we had a few pouty selfies ! I tried and failed…much more practise required..or not!!! Lovely to hear from you and hope August has been lovely for you too.

  15. Claire sutton August 19, 2015 at 9:39 am -  Reply

    New school shoes( need wearing in as decent brogue style…she lol be walking to and from trains so needs a decent covered pencil case and filled and all but the astro boots and blouses to go!!! I think September will be a shock( for us all!!) I have taken the first week off to settle all back into routine..last year I recall was a nightmare to sort and so I’m trying to be aware and prepare as Tom starts back to a new routine too…happy days !! X

  16. Jane December 18, 2015 at 5:35 pm -  Reply

    You have a beautiful daughter Claire….she’s just like you. I love reading the stories of your lovely family…I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Cast your vote!

Never miss a post!

Sign up to our QGossip feed to get the latest posts in your mailbox.

QVC uses first and third party cookies to enhance your use of this website and provide you with a personalised browsing experience. We do so in accordance with our Privacy Statement and our Cookie Policy. To learn more and change your preferences click here. By actively continuing to use this website, closing this banner or clicking the OK button below, you consent to our use of cookies.

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.