Claire Sutton

Sunshine, supplements and… time!


At what point will the sun notice that he has forgotten to go in? Will he tire of bathing us in his brilliance, or even, heaven forbid, use himself up… is that actually possible?!

Claire Sutton's garden

I, for one, am happy to see sunlight all around me; the ease of minimal clothes and minimal makeup is a joy, although Gus having to wait for walks till the ground has cooled and Dan going slowly crazy with the volume of work he is valiantly trying to complete is not quite so joyful. It is so very hard working in the heat as I realised when I donned the gardening gloves and tended my bed (the planted one remember- not the bedroom one). I actually gardened for over two hours, weeding, staking and tying up my lupins, hollyhocks and foxgloves who were desperately trying to stay upright in this weather. Crikey it’s a job and a half and that was in my bikini and sun hat, not something I envisage most landscapers or gardeners to be sporting! My reward however was a beautiful vase of delights I picked which made me most happy.

Claire Sutton

As ever there’s been much occurring and along with Tom’s early summer break from college, which caught me out, life here has been motoring on.

Dan and I had our little escape to Spain for his birthday. We stayed with my brother which turned out to be fortuitous as Mark’s building work had extended and we were at least able to assist with the sort out and tidy up afterwards.

Mark has MS and is incredible at managing the difficulties that it brings, but he has limitations (if only he would realise them..) and so a big strong extra pair of hands from Dan and little sis to help with the running around was much needed.

After all this, I really wanted to look into supplement programmes, both for myself, the family, and for Mark. I am taking all sorts now and I think it’s a godsend to have the finest choices and expert knowledge here at QVC regarding the supplements.


My daily intake is making me laugh though. I’ve gone from 0 – 60 in that I once took nothing, and now I have all this!

Your Zooki supplements

So, from the clever team at Your Zooki, the fish oil which truly does not repeat and is super tasty and Liposomal Vitamin C in a sachet. This will be the Today’s Special Value on Friday 6th, with some delicious new flavours that taste great. I have the Peach Mango at home but have loved trying the Red Apple, the Lime and Tropical which some kind soul popped into the presenters’ fridge at QVC.

I have thrown the Vitamin C sachets in my work bag and some in my handbag so I have them wherever. No day is the same for me and routine isn’t really a huge part of life as sometimes I’m up and off to QVC and other times it’s boring chores and all the extra bits ‘n bobs that prevents a 9 – 5 kind of lifestyle!

Philip Kingsley supplements landed on my desk to try so I thought, just because my hair is good, let’s not take any chances! I’m taking the Root Complex and the Tricho Complex to help to maintain my normal, healthy hair. I’m still loving my Tweak’d hair care by the way, soft and bouncy hair makes for happy hair and happy me!

Imedeen is also a new addition as I’m at the age for it! Talking of age, I have also noticed a complete change to my body, not from the supplements you understand but from the ageing/ hormones I guess. It’s a tough one as whilst I consider myself very fortunate indeed to be healthy, it is hard as an ex-dancer I think to see such massive differences, and I would be lying if I told you it didn’t affect my mindset sometimes. I’m working on reminding myself I am STRONG and HEALTHY and so I’m working out which form of exercise I’m missing to make that all important difference. If I can suss it, rest assured I will share it with you as it appears from conversations many of us are struggling a little with this next stage bit.

Talking of not having a routine… it was a moment of reflection and realisation that Tom, having broken up from College some weeks ago was struggling with his days and weeks of, well, endless nothingness. I had raced around and secured things and was feeling pretty pleased with myself with some days out, group activities and friends to see all booked in. I transferred the calendar to a massive white board as I did last year and sat back feeling most accomplished.

I was jolted into reality when Tom was ready with teeth cleaned and shoes on one morning “waiting” for his pick up at 11 am… the trouble was it was only 8 am… that’s a long old wait. Time is a very tricky concept for Tom and he cannot tell the time but is clearly so efficient at coping and with a regular daily routine he has managed super well to get by I guess. I just hadn’t really realised how much the “in an hour” or “at 10 am” etc etc that I throw around to tell him about his day has meant totally and utterly NOTHING to him. It’s not a tangible thing you see and people with Downs Syndrome are visual learners so it has to mean something.

So… after a period of utter despair, worry and berating myself for not properly having this lightbulb moment sooner I am now going to be on a mission to work out how to help him with this and if you have any ideas they would truly be gratefully considered.

Right, I must away and pop onto QVC Beauty with Prai, we have the superb large-sized neck and décolleté cream from the Neck-Xperts themselves, then I need to locate Joe who is somewhere beavering away on his work experience week with us. I said “just smile, pay attention and ask questions and all will be well!” A perfect motto for life I think.

Have a super lovely week all of you, stay hydrated in this heat and sensible in the sun, won’t you all.

Sending much love,
Claire xx


  1. Diane July 4, 2018 at 7:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire, great blog as always we are being spoilt with the ?
    The concept of time is a tough one, I personally explain before & after to our Daughter so rather than understanding time itself she will be doing what she is expecting after she/we has completed all the things that must come first, we still use ‘pecs’ occasionally, her routine is very important for her.
    Take care X

  2. David July 4, 2018 at 7:53 pm -  Reply

    You’re stunning Claire x

  3. Linda July 4, 2018 at 8:39 pm -  Reply

    Tom looks a lot like you what is he going to do after college

  4. Christine July 4, 2018 at 8:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire the weather is wonderful my husband and I love sitting in the garden we got two Ruby Wedding roses which was in March they are blooming now just lovely. Hope weather keeps up.
    Take Care X

  5. Gillian July 5, 2018 at 10:03 am -  Reply

    Hi Claire you can get hourly egg timers my daughter ihas exactly the same problem x

  6. Claire sutton July 5, 2018 at 11:24 am -  Reply

    Hi Linda
    We have the dream to send Tom to Foxes – an independent specialist college which specialises in the hospitality trade – possible at 20. It’s a superb place and would provide a brilliant launch into the world.
    College locally till then and we reassess all the time –
    Thank you for asking Linda,
    Love Claire

  7. Claire Sutton July 5, 2018 at 11:26 am -  Reply

    Oh Christine how lovely – I do love a pretty Rose ?
    Let’s hope we keep sunny , tho I feel I can’t do all my indoor jobs !!
    Live Claire x

  8. Claire Sutton July 5, 2018 at 11:27 am -  Reply

    Most kind David!!! Thankyou
    Claire x

  9. Emma July 5, 2018 at 7:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire My son has high functioning Autism and no concept of time at all, he can’t tell the time on any kind of clock – we’ve tried so many strategies but nothing has stuck. Time for some reason is a really hard concept for children who live in the moment (and living in the moment is such a hard concept for the rest of us!).
    We use a visual timetable where I write things in the order they are coming that day. I also set a timer for specific times – so ‘in an hour’ becomes – ‘when the kitchen timer has counted down and beeped’. It’s handy because it counts down from the time you set so he can see the numbers getting smaller and understand it’s getting closer to the beeping which is the time he’s going to do x y or z. You could try an egg timer/kitchen timer that’s not a clock too they’re great for visual learners and some tick down from an hour so he could see it moving round the circle and they’re usually bright and fun colours or animal shapes to add interest. The holidays are tough for children who love routine, and hard work for mums having to structure everything to give children with SEN a sense of calm whilst dealing with any meltdowns or worries the children have (and trying to get the laundry done too!). I totally understand. Don’t have guilt about not having your lightbulb moment sooner (although I always do too!!) – be proud you realised and put the effort in to working on a solution. Keep going you’re doing a fantastic job 🙂 and your garden is beautiful! I always enjoy watching your shows – you radiate so much joy! It sounds mad but switching on QVC makes me feel so much better on the bad days – instant distraction with familiar faces – and I don’t have to go out to shop! Very best wishes.

  10. Clare July 5, 2018 at 7:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire my son has special needs but is younger than your son. You will probably have seen it but the time timer is excellent. I have one similar (a copy) from Amazon that is magnetic. You would have to set it but would be great for timing an hour. Also learning resources do a great one that times up to 115 minutes and has a colour coded light red, orange, green for letting the, know when the times nearly up. Sorry I’m sure you know all this but thought worth mentioning x

  11. Danuta Miklewska July 6, 2018 at 3:51 pm -  Reply

    Time is an abstract concept making it difficult to grasp. As Tom is a visual learner why not make him a visual timetable eg pictures/photos of activities to complete before a particular time. It might be useful also to take a photo of the time, say the 11o’clock pick up time, on a clock Tom can check easily until the position of the hands matches. Hope you find these suggestions helpful. Always enjoy your lively blogs

  12. Anita July 7, 2018 at 11:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    I’m wondering if this will help after working in Education and SEN for most of my working life I found with one young person who continually watched the same dvd and we were able to mark time by saying ‘that’s 5x the Frozen dvd’ although they couldn’t tell the time they understood the concept of having to watch the dvd repeatedly for however many times equalled the event we were waiting for! Not an exact science but certainly an easier market – anything is worth a try?? When my own son who doesn’t have any special needs was small and needed to mark time until Father Christmas came. Well I said when all the leaves are off the trees except the ones that stay green! He looked and in his cute way said “mummy he’s getting ready isn’t he?” Pointing at a tree that had had all its leaves blown off. An odd method but it worked for him. And that’s the key it’s what is meaningful to Tom. I do hope my waffle is meaningful to you. I’m sure you will see where I’m coming from. I’m due for my first grandchild in the near future and I shall be doing the tree thing with her for sure. Please let me know if you have any joy.
    Enjoy your garden. Much love
    Anita x

  13. Steven July 8, 2018 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

    Wow looking amazing Claire. Hope you are having a lovely summer xx

  14. Josephine Lynne Jennings July 9, 2018 at 11:42 am -  Reply

    Hello Claire , thinking of Tom and time how about a pictorial clock. With images he is familiar with , or his favourites where the numbers would usually be?

  15. Gee July 10, 2018 at 12:21 am -  Reply

    Hello Claire,
    Loved reading your blog as always, what a gorgeous garden you have, and you and your handsome boy are looking lovely! 🙂 Not sure if you have heard of a thing called an Unforgettable Calendar Day Clock, it’s basically a digital screen where you can set visual and audible reminders with text and pictures, all in different colours. I thought it would be great at setting timers with pictures for your Tom, especially to break up long waits with alarms for different activities in between maybe! They have great reviews online so thought might be worth a go! 🙂
    Best wishes,

  16. Anita July 10, 2018 at 3:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Claire
    Added to my above I too have used the egg timer system which as above works for some! To see the timer ticking down and being ‘in charge’ of time as a visual aid can help too. Again let me know if anything helps.
    Anita x

  17. Claire Sutton July 13, 2018 at 9:41 am -  Reply

    You are all amazing, and I shall reply to each of you, busily researching some of these great ideas…you are the BEST xxxx

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