What a week off! No trip away but I did manage to go to Devon for two days, plus I was one of the ‘ladies who lunch’ on other days. I also had a go at belly dancing, and also I turned a corner on getting my next novel done. My week off was even more packed than a normal week and that’s saying something…
Niece-sitting Well I survived! This week I did my sisterly duty and looked after my brother’s two little girls Lara, 9 and Izzy, 6, whilst he and his wife were away. It just coincided with my week off so I’d said yes before I thought too hard about it! I was supposed to go on another writing break but too many things cropped up all in the same period, including niece-sitting. They’re a pleasure really. We went to dinner with ‘Nana’ and the kids came out with these little quotes below – they’re gems.
Lara’s quote of the day. talking about our huge family and her thirteen cousins. ‘I wish I could see all my family every day. I wish we were like that YanoMami tribe who live in one big house.’#WondersOfEducation And the tribe actually exists!
Izzy’s quote of the day, at dinner, having left most of the pudding:
Nana: See, your eyes are bigger than your belly.
Izzy (age 6): No nana, your eyes are not bigger than your belly, your belly is much bigger.
I stayed overnight at their house, got up at ‘stoopid-o’clock’ to take them to pre-school club and took them to piano afterwards, having helped them practice. They are good as gold really, lovely kids – my brother Glenn and his wife Bojana have done a super job! I helped ‘bring Glenn up’ as he always says, ‘cos I am 12 years older and was always looking after him (eldest of 5). One of his memories is of me reading him the Chronicles of Narnia and doing all the voices. That’s one of my top kids books ever. So it was nice to sit and enjoy the DVD of the most recent The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe movie with them all!
All in all, it was smashing. And I’ve done my bit. But I was glad to get back to my own place with just my woofas to worry about! Lol! Apart from that I was just gallivanting all over the place this week, including Devon for a couple of days, where it immediately poured down, even though Saturday and Sunday morning were lovely – weren’t they? Remember? I do hope they’re not a thing of the past, but I have to say I’m somewhat amazed that all of a sudden we’re in October! Where has this year gone, (as I say every year!)
Christmas is Coming! OK I know it’s now less than three months ’til yuletide, and this weekend it’s one of the first Countdown to Christmas events, but it doesn’t seem like we’ve had enough summer yet, does it? So my thoughts turn to preparing for seasonal events and when to do my Christmas cards. As I have mentioned before, I have bought a load of Medical Detection Dogs festive card packs.
If you’d like to do the same, do buy Medical Detection Dogs Xmas Card packs here from their website I’d be very happy if you do. They only have a limited amount by the way. Two designs – I went for the cartoon one.
Doggy Update If you get my website newsletter, you’ll know that Medical Detector Dogs are in need of freezers! My work as ambassador of this fabulous charity means that I try to be a useful resource for them – and they need freezers that can reach as low as minus 80 degrees in order to store the hospital urine samples they will be using in the three year prostate cancer studies, where the dogs sniff out who has the disease more accurately than machines. So Gill Gauntlett, Marie Francoise and Patrick Hoy (fab QVC guests) are going to help me and see how many we can procure, £5,500 each. It’s a tall order, on top of the £5000 I’ve already raised but there must be some way we can help contribute.
When I see the work they do, when I hear some of the amazing changes these clever dogs have made to owners’ lives, (go here for more) it makes me so want to help in any way I can. Watch this space. They’ve been on lots of TV shows since it came out that they’d got the go ahead for the three year study to one day help the NHS. This was one: Dr Clare Guest explains why the charity was founded and about the ground-breaking science they’re now doing.
Plus news of a ‘virtual pub quiz’ which we will be doing live on the last Monday in October in our web chat slot on my Back to You QVC Facebook group – are you up for it?! For anyone who wants to take part it’ll mean donating a small entry fee that goes to MDD and in return getting a list of questions so you can take part. You can do it alone to see how many you get (no cheating!) or you can hold a little get together yourselves and award your own prize to the one in your team who scores the most points. More news next week! And if you have any contacts or ideas, do let me know – email me email@example.com
This week’s newsletter was a belter – I send it out to anyone who subscribes, so they are first in line for some exclusive news and little video clips I put there before anywhere else. And then it becomes my home news! Go here to read it – it’s a round up of all the updates from the past week too – and for a cute doggy clip!
Top Ten I was very proud that my QVC blog took three of the top ten slots in September out of all the Q Community posts and other presenter blogs, so thank you everyone for helping to make it possible
Down in Devon Although I was supposed to be off this week, I didn’t end up going on the short-story writing break back at Chez Castillon near Bordeaux (more’s the pity but life got in the way.) So having accepted a couple of ‘musts’ I had a couple of days spare so I popped down to see my pal Alix in Devon for two nights. And took the rain with me. Shame! But did some great writing sessions, had nice pub supper and saw the Dartmoor ponies again – including a little one!
Dave the Kitten took an overdue visit to my older niece Bekky’s new flat in Banstead and met Dave the cat (yes really), her other one is called Luca. We had a rabbit called Brian once, but I think ‘Dave the Cat’ wins.
It’s so cute – so is the other one – look:
Watch – the most amazing drama – Doctor Foster on BBC iplayer (IF YOU’RE QUICK) – five eps, and the finale was on Wednesday. Do catch it before it disappears off iPlayer – be fast! The talented Suranne Jones, one of our ex-soap actresses, is on Bafta-winning form in my opinion. And the award winning writer, Mike Bartlett, truly keeps us hanging on a thread till the very end, in a tale of love and betrayal in suburbia. Honestly, if you ever take my recommendations, this is one not to miss. 9.5 out of ten – one of the highest I’ve ever given, so you can tell how much I loved it. I blame my mate Alix! here’s the trailer to give you a taster …
Winner – Congrats to Jessica Hutton for being randomly picked to win the bundle of beauty products. The web team will be in contact with you and they’ll be on their way to you soon!
70th Birthday Do – did a little belly dancing (well it usually dances on its own…!) when I went to my uncle David’s 70th birthday bash in Cheam at the weekend – a nice way to kick off my week of annual leave (apart from an extra day I worked, on Tuesday!) Little Izzy and Lara liked the dancing too!
Back to You update –
Had another amazingly successful visit from my old mate Bruce! He and I went off to have a bite to eat but I missed the shows cos I’d already booked the week off. Nice to have a catch up though. He was well impressed with people like Tracie who has been doing Bodyblade regularly and seeing great results. His Monday 8pm webchat on his Facebook group Bodyblade QVC (just search that term and ping a request to join) is always mentioned on my Back To You blog – this week’s also includes webchats with Lee Hohbein and Darren from Stop and Wow. Click here.
Also – this got posted this week – I know it’s tongue in cheek, but just look at a certain recognisable face from years gone by – can you guess who?!
This Monday’s webchat – 12th – it’s Corinne from Philosophy telling more about next weekend’s Today’s Special Value and a peek at the Judith Williams one next week too.
30 Success Habits Thought this was interesting – 30 CEOs reveal their top tips for daily habits for success. I’m always sending my son links to books and articles about entrepreneurship etc – it’s a bond we have – and I’m very happy he’s doing so well. We love similar reading material. Read this and see if you do too. And happy 2nd anniversary to him and my lovely daughter in law Kari! Click here to read more about the tips
Dinner at Lauren’s popped over for a lovely catch up with my girl on Saturday in the sunshine – before I headed off to Devon and took rain with me on the Sunday! So nice to see her pooches too! Love those pogs.
Book of the week – Lost Souls – well what can I say? One of the best sequels I’ve read, not just this year but ever. Book one was brilliant enough! Go here to read more about this original concept – about a police squad who have an unusual way of getting to the bottom of murder… click here to read my Read it Write it Sell it blog on my website, featuring Lost Souls.
My own writing you’ll also read about my book with publisher Choc Lit – I met with lovely Lyn Vernham last week and she said it looks like WHSmiths travel will be taking it amongst other bookshops, just before Christmas! Will keep you informed. Also – news! – I will be publishing extracts from one of my books here – ‘Diary of a Wannabe Shopping Channel Presenter’ in November – ‘NaNoWrimo’ month (write a novel in November). I’m going to attempt to finish French or Dutch in that time to publish it before Christmas! More here.
My guys! This week when I popped in to QVC to have dinner with Bruce, I also said hi to Antthony – it was strange not being on with them! But nice to see them even though I’m on annual leave this week.
Blooper – Antthony and Chloe having fun as usual – couldn’t resist sharing this with you!
RCMR Also saw my sis same night – she’d just been on with the new Red Carpet Manicure Ready range – paint on like normal varnish just dry under LED light – the full demo is now online here
This week on QVC –
- The Saturday Night Show – it’s back! The Saturday night show is back in a slightly different format. It’s now one presenter not two so do join Miceal for the first one on Saturday (10th) 8pm. Different hosts each week and fun with the guests!
- Sunday 11th – Molton Brown Todays Special Value – last year’s sold out way early so snap yours up fast! Here’s Will’s QCam video about it.
- Monday midnight – Mayfair Manor plush duvet set and cushions Look at this! How elegant and organised it looks. How about transforming your guest room if you have people coming to stay? Or just to make yourself feel better about it every time you pass the room? Do join me. This was in mummy’s bedroom – she liked it so much she’s going to get one!
- Wednesday sees a fab pressie – Ego Trip brights Edition Hairdryer and Straightener set
- Friday’s TSV is the Skechers Bobs slipper with memory foam get them for warm tootsies now the colder weather is closing in!
- Sneaky peek – and finally teaser of the Philosophy Today’s Special Value from 17th – a fab In Love with Grace collection.
Next week – Gracie has her stem cells op for arthritis bless her, and Richard Jackson’s Garden comes to mine! Plus off to the theatre with Craigy and Patrick Quacker to see Amy Anzel’s latest production – yay!
Have a great week.
PS – *TiFFT – Try it For the First Time Club!
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