Well this week the health retreat in Somerset finally came to an end after nearly 4 weeks 🙂 Having gone back to Devon for a few days this week before I went to my daughter’s in Wales, I was very happy to go on another walk down the country lanes. In fact I did a little vlog about it go here to see it if you missed it.
I ended up doing loads of jobs in Devon, as it turned out there was tons of stuff I had to catch up on and I wrote much more of my book. Really turned a corner on writing French go Dutch with some extra scenes I am really happy about, and although I did not get to the end, I’m nearly there :-). One of the jobs was sorting out my sky package. Boy, was I surprised to be out of contract. (Please make sure if you have had it – or insurance or anything – for a long time, that you ring them up and make sure you are on the best deal. I cut out one service and brokered a new contract that means I’m paying nearly half of what I was before!)
But I had not bargained with how long it would take me to put a new router in because of changing the password and Wi-Fi. Made me realise how many Alexa‘s, security devices, TVs, extenders, and smart devices I have got! Did it in the end though and was proud of myself :-). Also revamped and cleaned a couple of vacuum cleaners. Did some sorting out of cupboards, and did a fair bit in the garden. Thankfully the courtyard is quite cool when the sun goes over in the early evening so I was okay. Said hello to lovely new neighbours Barry and Tony down in Devon as well.
One thing I was quite surprised to see was what was happening to my neighbour Linda‘s old house. The new owners have taken off all the outside plaster and have started to re-render it all. Check out what was underneath it on the vlog below, a video I did in the square.
I was also surprised at how much work has been done on the derelict chicken farm. Regulars with a long memory will remember some of my very early blogs after I moved to Devon, walks down the particular lane, talking about the fact that they wanted to build 26 houses like a carbuncle on the edge of the village. Of course if I had continued with the tearooms and opened permanently (if I could clone myself), then of course I would have been pleased! Still, housing is definitely needed, it’s just a shame the village will suddenly be expanded by 25%.
Mind you I may not be there by the time they are finished, because of course I have my Devon writing retreat up for sale. If you have not signed up for my regular newsletter, which is emailed to you each week with the link direct to this page – when a new blog comes out, Please do. On this week’s newsletter I talk briefly about selling the place with lots more pictures. (If you’re keen go look at Retreats For You blog page).
All in all I’m glad I booked the most unusual summer break I have ever had!
What do I miss?
The beautiful grounds, which grew all sorts of beautiful flowers they used in an assortment of floral arrangements around Amchara; the swimming pool, some wonderful people, fab yoga; having some delicious healthy juices made for me, and some of the evening meals. Mind you I was pleased to cook my own after so long, See below! And I had taken to driving out to find a nice coffee shop or comfortable cool pub to write in each afternoon. Amchara was an utterly enchanting place to be. And probably next time I would go back for a maximum of 2 1/2 weeks. I guess I’m such an active person I just wanted to get on with the rest of my life, so I was pleased finally to carry forward a few days to next year in the end. And to go see friends and family 🙂 but more than anything I will miss the swimming pool. Very pleased with my progress, my new fitness levels, feeling more alert and balanced, and of course I’ve dropped nearly a stone. One day when I’m a grown-up I will live somewhere where there is a swimming pool or there is one right next door! Looking forward to going back to this beautiful little haven in the midst of the Somerset Hills next year though :-).
Cravings for Greens
One of the first things I did when I got back to my place in Devon after my Somerset holiday, was to create one of my favourite dishes. Lots of spring greens, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, cashew nuts, and sauce. Had it two days running! Absolutely delicious. Have kept up the walking, and been swimming again, and of course was very active when I went to Wales with the kids, so I was delighted when I found out I have lost another few pounds since the last weigh-in, so that’s a good thing! I’m not completely transformed by any means but I feel so much better in myself – probably pushing a stone off now :-). Dishes like this will help going forward and I intend to pack my fridge with this stuff.
Catching up with chums
Always a pleasure to see my mates in Devon which I crammed into my short visit. Jennie and Sheila came round first. It was on one of the hot days and we were so delighted to be inside my big old 1600s house. The walls are so thick that the front rooms never really get hot. In fact after two hours sitting in the dining room, I needed to put a cardigan on! Lovely Barbara joined us after a while. And I met Sheena for lunch one day and Caitlynne for a coffee in Okehampton, plus popped in to see Alex on the way back to Wales. Packed itinerary but it was lovely to socialise after being on my own away from people I know for so long 🙂
Watch – The Gray Man – Ryan Gosling film on Netflix. Loved it. Really did. I don’t normally go for action movies but just love this one. Chris Evans, the guy who was captain America and who mostly plays clean cut good guys and heroes, plays an absolute piece of work, in a ‘trash-tash’ in this hitman gone bad tale. I’m not surprised it’s one of the top films in the UK at the moment. Lots of humour, typical trademark Ryan Gosling touches, and was never boring even during some of the normally predictable action sequences :-). Would probably see it again. 8.25 out of 10 🙂
Vlog – here’s one from Devon, look what’s happening to my next door neighbour’s place, how interesting! See it here.
Book of the Week
Summer People – by my mentor Julie Cohen. Well what a marvellous literary work of art this is. In the same vein, for me, as ‘The Great Circle’, and ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’. Set in a small island community, present day however, it has that feel. I love Julie’s writing and some of her observations – and this really does not disappoint. Still in the process of reading it, so more next week. I love the relationships that develop and the dynamics of the setting. The people that are featured are so well-defined and their voices so distinct, it feels very authentic. Highly recommended.
After my long holiday away I am back this Saturday night at 11 and midnight. Read the new shark today’s special value vacuum cleaner! And I’m straight back into a long run of days!
Podcast – celebrating her anniversary on QVC, you can hear Dannii Minogue’s latest soon. Full details coming up – go to our podcast page to see the latest from lovely mate Will Gowing.
TOP DEALS FOR THE NEXT SEVEN DAYS
Specials: ELEM3Z – three easy pays on all Elemis beauty items on our platforms, ends 16th of August at midnight.
Friday (today) – Go to our website and search today’s special values to see and buy what’s left of Rhonda Shear’s Ahh bra set of 3. (See today’s special values here).
Saturday – A deal I’m going to get myself because I just love the collagen shower cream – SBC’s 5 piece collagen ultimate face and body radiant collection, already online.
Sunday – Shark are back with yet another vacuum offer, this time the anti hair wrap upright, with duo clean and powered lift away, so it can become a handheld as well, well under what you would normally pay for a fabulous offer.
Big deals are available on air for usually a week, they may be longer online if stocks last. New ones every Sunday night!
These ones mostly finish on Sunday:
- an amazing new Molton Brown offer – four piece hand and body collection, can’t believe the price.
– Salon step deluxe comfort footrest
– Dannys perfection jumper continues
– and the new one – Link-to-home set of two wireless 10 W smart phone charging stations
See regular updates on all the big deals on our website.
And here are some new ones launching Sunday night, 14th of August:
QVC Extra: Dynamo cyclone walking cane
QVC main – fab centigrade checked coat again with patch pockets and hood, enormously popular last year, pleased to see it back. A massive £15 off as well.
QVC Style: the long sleeved tweed Shacket with chest and side pockets by Nina Leonard
Plus the salon step continues, a clever foot rest you can do your toenails on.
Now back to today’s special values for the rest of the week –
Monday – looking forward to bringing you the launch of the new Kuhn Rikon Pull Chop with locking lid, set of two with gift boxes. I love this mini chopper and use it all the time when I’m preparing food in Devon. Join me on Sunday night at 9 pm for the Launch. Only my second day back!
Tuesday – Prices Candles are bringing us something different – a set of three large jars! And this is a Christmas preview day so I will have lots of Christmas grotto offers.
Wednesday – Time for another Laura Geller collection, this time the five piece makeover set! I’m also looking forward to my 10 pm hour with the Vionic‘s brand, I use them all the time and cannot be without them #BuiltInOrthotic. I will also be on at midnight with…
Thursday – The Foreo bear mini facial toning device with serum. To step up your anti-aging campaign.
Friday – Today’s special value will be the centigrade reversible padded gilet. Hopefully we won’t still be in a heatwave by then!
It’s the big launch about autumn winter fashion, and with two big fashion days, I will be launching the Saturday TSV Ruth Langsford V-neck grid design jumper at midnight on Friday, but it goes on sale earlier in the week.
Also just wanted to alert you that at 7 pm on Friday night (the 19th) an old colleague, Cindy Humphrey will be guesting a new brand on QVC – it’s called Crystal Kobe – specialising in breathable fabrics. Just right for people suffering during the menopause. It will be lovely to see her again and explore this brand-new range.
I have my eye on this one: looks nice!
Next week – looking forward to getting back into the swing of things including getting home and seeing what my balcony looks like, my mum‘s been watering it, thank goodness for the mum next door 🙂 and another update from Wales 🙂