Wine tasting with Goody, Renee’s capsule wardrobe and things to do before you’re 11!


Debbie and Goody at Denbies' cafeThis week…
– Goody and I went on a wine tasting – they should have been warned!
– Plus how many of the 'things to do before you're 11' list can you tick off?
– And as promised – Renee gives her tips for a top 'carry-on luggage only' holiday!

Goody and Debbie do Denbies
How fun it was last week to go with pal Goody, one of our lovely models and one of my best mates, to Denbies in Dorking for a wine tasting. First we watched a lovely little video about the history of Denbies, in 'surround vision'!

Tour guide with the Denbies wine mapThen it was a short hop on the little train that took us slowly down into the cellar to have the actual wine tasting. The very nice lady explained about the different types of grapes in the different areas of the Denbies estate, all represented very nicely on a colourful map – you pass this area on the normal train in to Dorking.

Then it was time to actually taste some of the homegrown wines – by now Goody and I had the devil in us tho' – feeling a little like school kids on a field trip! And whilst the 'grown ups' were gargling and spitting, we were getting up to mischief. Here's just a little example…

Goody and Debbie get stuck into tasting wineNot that it was boring, oh no! We both ended up buying the rose – which, did you know, is that colour 'cos of the skin on the grapes? I didn't.

Both Goody and I thoroughly enjoyed our little sample of what the adults do and we're already planning our next  adventure! A medieval night out with computer guest Lee Hohbein and presenter Craigy  – more next week! Any other suggestions as to what we should book up next?!

Fifty things to do before you're 11 – or is it 50?!
Things to do before you're 11You may have seen this week, this cute little list from the National Trust recommending some old-school activities for kids to do instead of computer games and the like (click on the pic left to see the list in a bigger window). Well how many of them have you done? Ever?

It seems quite an archaic list in many ways, but I expect those of us of the pre-iPads/digital watches/ computers and mobiles era will have ticked off quite a few! My total is 41 of them – what's yours? And how many more would you add, from your own childhood?

NB. The list is supposed to be things to do before you're 11 – but why not keep going now! It could be your TiFFT* each month from now on to choose one! Lol!

French & Saunders, part two!
Last week's clip from YouTube of French and Saunders 'doing' QVC was so popular I thought I'd include a second video I found – enjoy!

From the early days of QVC when the movers and shakers in television took great delight in extracting the Michael! Lol! This one, hot on the tails of last week's clip, was taken from their live tour! If you find any others, do let me know!
Debbie and Lauren breakfast in Bath– Had a lovely time with a brief trip down to see my girl in Bath – it was only a brief visit but we made sure we got some retail therapy in whilst we were there! And had a lovely brunch too!

– Yes I went for my first ever mammogram this week, as the big birthday approaches, I guess that and Saga are not too far away! Lol!

Debbie goes for her first mammogramAll good tho' – results come within two weeks. It all looked OK, but will update you when I'm told. Tell you what tho' – those machines blooming pinch!

The mammogram truck was in the Tesco car park in Guildford, and a few days later I was meeting my pal Rhys for a coffee in the Tesco's in new Malden, and I took this lovely pic of an amazing rainbow! Wonder what was at both ends! A rainbow over Tesco

– Seems rude not to! Lol! Peter Andre's abs – what do you think? They're asking whether we prefer his abs now, or in the early days! Now certainly gets my vote!

Peter Andre's abs– This week's 'science bit' – just had to include this link to some of the studies that were done on the superb bottled water called Penta which I used to drink and helped to distribute in the UK in the early 2000s.

If you're interested in all things health, it's been the top selling half-litre bottled water in USA health food stores and is loved by sports people and celebrities alike.

Why? Well this study done by Jo Bowtell at South Bank Uni, funded by Team Penta, helps show that it actually helps performance. Ahhh the Penta Watergood old days! If only the skeptics online could understand the science! If only we could! Even the scientists can't. Maybe one day all will be revealed.

Till then at least you will be able to say you heard about it here first. Hehe. Can't sell it here any more but I'll write a book about the experience one day. When I finish the actual book I'm currently writing of course! Lol.

-  And finally, 'Solo Cougar's Survival Kit' item #18 of 20 – Yankee Candles! Of course – perfect for that flattering dinner party lighting, and ambient atmosphere creating for a bit of canoodling afterwards if you're lucky! Hehe! Or more realistically, just making the room smell nice for curling up on the sofa and enjoying the film alone!

Anyway, as Gill Roberts kindly reminded me on last week's blog comments, here is a suggestion for correcting the tunnelling you sometimes get. Now this is not official advice, and you have to watch the candle, but if you surround the glass jar with silver foil, and keep out of the cold and draughts, you may find that it actually makes the wax molten enough to reach the sides and thereafter it burns OK again! Yay! It's not foolproof and of course like I say, you must watch it so it doesn't get TOO hot, but maybe try it to rescue some full ones you blew out too early! Let me know if you have any other tips!

Yankee Candle Bluebirds Shade, Tray & Medium Jar CandleAnd if you search 'Yankee clearance' or 'Yankee last clicks', you might find some bargains on our website! Like this one (click on the pic!).

Facebook fun and Tweet talk
OK, so here's a fabulous selection of moon photos doing the rounds on Pinterest – a new site where you can use it like a Post-it notes/pinboard-type storage place to stick stuff you like! I'm going to start putting all these little sayings and pics there! Lauren showed me it whilst I was up with her in Bath – and my fave was these clever moon pics – what are yours?

                                  Moon pics          More moon pics

Another 'text from the dog'And – couldn't resist it – another 'if your dog could text' post from that fab site I mentioned last week. There are new ones all the time so do revisit – this one made me properly LOL (laugh out loud!)

WATCH – no films this week, been too busy!

LISTEN – bit of a country theme this week! Have been getting into Lady Antebellum 'Own The Night'the highly successful US group Lady Antebellum – bought three of their albums and one has been played non-stop in my car on all my long journeys of late! It's called 'Own The Night', and includes some lovely harmonies! One of my faves is this one – what's yours?

Tasty coffee in BathEAT – when I was with Lauren in Bath we had the most looooovely coffee in cafe called Jika Jika – but it'll be my last for now 'cos it's macrobiotic week away next week! Eek!

QVC – I'm away this week, but do look out for our Birkenstock TSV on Monday, and a lovely selection of gems on Tuesday's Gem Day!

Also, here's what our lovely designer Renee said straight after our show together last week – I'd promised on-air that we'd go off and concoct a list of 'carry-on-luggage-items' which mean minimal packing! 'Cos everything folds down so small, with the non-crease fabric, it could even fit into a sizeable carry on case, but would definitely keep your clothes packing to a minimum.

Here are the items along with some suggestions for combining them to keep it all fresh for a week's holiday away!

               Attitudes by Renee Straight Leg Elasticated Waist Jersey Trousers       Attitudes by Renee Jersey Sleeveless Top       Attitudes by Renee Printed Kimono Jacket

               Attitudes by Renee Lace Dress with Cami       Attitudes by Renee Sleeveless Shift Dress       Attitudes by Renee Waterfall Jacket

Trousers – two pairs in black and chocolate – for smart, for sport and for walking – even for sleeping! Easy to wash and wear again next day – as is everything.
Sleeveless top – four in black, pink, coral and chocolate – apart from the obvious uses, layer them (two at once), wear smart with same colour trousers as trouser suit, wear under a lace dress with trousers, and under waterfall jacket or kimono jacket.
Kimono jacket loose or tied at the front – floral or animal print.
Lace dress – so useful as it has two completely separate pieces, including the underslip (long cami) which can be worn in bed!
Shift dress in black – a little black dress – need we say more! Under so much! Including kimono jacket and lace dress, as a beach cover up as well.
Waterfall jacket in black – one smart jacket which will look great colour blocked with the bright sleeveless tops or lace dress combo underneath.

Then all you need is your underwear and coat! Lol! Great tips – now it's time to actually try it! How would you combine the above? Anything we've missed out?

Stoneline 32x20cm Square Roaster with Glass LidFinally – This Week I Are Been Mostly Using – my Stoneline bakeware! The roaster we have currently in stock is the nearest thing to my own double-sided one, which I've been using non-stop since I got into eating more veg – did roast sweet potatoes and Mediterranean vegetables in it recently! Had a nice dinner for two (say no more! Lol) of that and some chicken with herbs – fab! And very healthy – so non-stick you hardly need any oil! Highly recommended!

Well, as I've been saying for some time, I'm off on my week's hol to Scotland (near Prestwick) on a macrobiotic workshop – so I'll come back with newfound enthusiasm for eating nuts and seeds! Or else I'll be heading for the nearest Thorntons! Lol!

Have a fab week and see you next time! Am back on air on Saturday 28th!

Next week's blog – a medieval night out with computer guest Lee Hohbein and presenter Craigy and pal Goody – more next week!


*TiFFT – Try it for the First Time – this week I even got to help with a treatment for a Hollywood movie pitch – fab fun! But April's has to be the lambing – see Easter's blog for the cool video!


  1. Alexandra O’Donovan April 20, 2012 at 6:29 am -  Reply

    As always a thoroughly entertaining blog, which I enjoy reading. Thanks and heres to the next one!

  2. Debs f April 20, 2012 at 4:21 pm -  Reply

    Why thank you Alexandra! Which bits do you like best, out of interest?

  3. Debs f April 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm -  Reply

    Ps – my ‘watch this week’ was going to be the viral video currently doing the rounds, about the little baby who does pull ups on a computer desk! It’s soooo sweet! Just search ‘baby doing pull ups’ on YouTube and you’ll see why people are sharing it around the net! Lol

  4. tracy April 20, 2012 at 9:18 pm -  Reply

    hi debs great post about love the staples for your wardrobe section great info, can u help me with a kipling bag issue i know there is a monkey called natasha (a pink colour) and 1 called alex (a grey colour) but not sure which i am not bothered what style of bag i just want 1 of each as they are my daughters names, i`m starting looking now so i find em in time for christmas, any help would be amazing plz x
    thanks tracy

  5. Carole Ayre April 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm -  Reply

    Another amazing blog Debbie, I don’t know where you find the time to write so much, and as ever, amusing, informative and just a really good read. I have just received your reply to my message on you last blog. I can’t believe you reply to everyone who leaves a comment………..I was so surprised! Such a lovely thing to do, so thankyou. As to your question asking why I don’t move out to Australia to be near my family, It is a definite possibility in the next couple of years. Once I have had both hip replacements done, it will depend on whether I then pass the medical.It is also a huge decision, as once I go, there will be no coming back if I don’t like it out there.I would probably end up being housed in a pokey flat in a tower block somewhere if I came back! Going out there on holiday is vastly different to going out to live. I am not sure I could cope with the really high temperatures for six months of the year…….40-42 degrees………….anything above 30 degrees has me dashing to put my head in the freezer lol I wish I could go for say six months just to try it, but unfortunately I would then lose my lovely house as I only rent from a HA. The other thing is that I have to support myself financially for TEN years before I can claim disability benefits over there which I now receive, so would lose a big chunk of my income. Anyway it is all pie in the sky until I have had my ops.
    My sweet peas are not doing too well at the moment due to torrential rain this week which started right after I had planted them….typical lol Hopefully they will pick up soon.
    I had never heard of Lady Antebellum until I listened to the tracks on your blogs……………I absolutely love them. They definitely have a “country” style to them and I am a huge country music fan.
    Loved the latest F&S clip…….so funny.
    Think I had better stop wriing now as this is nearly as long as your blog lol
    Oh by the way two things I would add to the “things to do” list are……..playing hopscotch and early morning mushroom picking.
    Have a brilliant week away and look forward to hearing all about it when you get back.
    Luv Carole.

  6. Gill Roberts April 21, 2012 at 11:38 am -  Reply

    Thanks,Debbie,for the yankee tip.I will try it.Keep on with the blogs cos they are so entertaining and informative.
    Gill x

  7. Nigel April 22, 2012 at 12:53 am -  Reply

    Debs – As you like to ‘Work hard,Play hard’ on vacation, wonder if you’ll find time to have a go on Jeremy Deller’s ‘Stonehenge’ bouncy castle at Glasgow’s IFoVA and report back in your next blog!!(IMO ‘Sacrilege’ is a very apt name for it).
    Like the moon pics, sort of reminded me of some ‘magic’ gallery photos on this site :-
    Still don’t get how he does it!
    Isklar :- Always thought you were full of beans but now we know you’re full of H2O – guess its the same difference though !lol!
    Safe journey home,Nige:))
    Totally wrong answer btw – will enlighten soon.

  8. jan rigby April 22, 2012 at 11:27 am -  Reply

    as always Debs your contributions are a delight and love the french and saunders clip, lol take care and have a fab break xx

  9. Susan April 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs,
    Hope you’re ‘enjoying’ your week?! It’s a bit crazy but can’t wait to hear lol. I just had to say to you that the gorgeous model last night on Gem Day had a beautiful pale pink dress on with a lovely v-neck and wide straps. So elegant. If you have powers could you suss out where it is from at all!? Tall ask I know!
    Chat soon
    Susan x

  10. Debs f April 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm -  Reply

    Tracy – I would try but you know who is best? Marie Francoise on her facebookpage! Just search ‘Marie-Francoise tv presenter Wolff’ and it should come up and you can request a friend add, then message her there! Or search the ‘Kipling community’ on Facebook.
    Otherwise, if u don’t ‘do’ Facebook, do email to ask
    I do hope you find out! those channels are always better than waiting for slow old me.
    let me know!
    Best wishes

  11. debs f April 27, 2012 at 12:06 am -  Reply

    Carole A – ta for all the info – great update hon!
    Yes hopscotch and mushrooms! I went mushroom picking with my dad and siblings in Hastings once in the 70’s – didn’t get many, just a bit grumpy due to lack of sleep! hehe!
    big hugs

  12. debs f April 27, 2012 at 12:06 am -  Reply

    Gill – thank you so much! Glad you liked the tip – and the blogs! let me know how you get on with the candles! lol

  13. debs f April 27, 2012 at 12:12 am -  Reply

    Hi Nige – ta for your fab reply – you never let me down matey!
    I love the ‘campfire’ stonebalancing pic – fun stuff eh!
    No, didn’t get to see anything of Glasgow apart from the airport this trip – but hope you enjoy the new blog going up imminently, full info in there about what i got up to! Some predictable, and some you’d never have predicted in a million years! hehe!
    have a fab weekend
    ps if not a tennis coach then… a teacher?

  14. debs f April 27, 2012 at 12:14 am -  Reply

    Jan – how nice of you to leave me a comment! sounds like you’re a regular reader – fab when I hear from new people on here tho! Glad you enjoy the blogs! They take a lot of effort and i should really be writing my book! lol displacement or what!
    But how can I not , when so many people say they enjoy them!

  15. debs f April 27, 2012 at 12:16 am -  Reply

    Susan – it was probably a wardrobe/ stylist’s dress – I’ll see what I can find out – if it’s not, I’ll be sure and let you know! Otherwise it’s always a good idea to ask about things like this by emailing – far faster than me! Have been away for a week so didn’t get round to answering all the comments – just doing them now! Hope you’re well.

  16. David Warren June 2, 2012 at 9:00 am -  Reply

    Give you pal, Goody my love and best wishes.
    We were good friends a while back, but lost contact.
    David Warren

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