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Debbie Flint



Getting things in perspective...
4 January 2020

A walk in the DEVON countryside A walk in the DEVON countryside
New Year, new plan!
 
Very pleased to be turning the page on 2019 - a fabulous and somewhat challenging year for me personally (hence lack of blogs on this website!). More of that below. 
 
Now , many of us make new years resolutions, I’m betting that many of you have ones the same this year as they were last year - if you’re like most of us! I’m keeping mine simple this year. Sleep more, meditate every day, & do Bodyblade regularly. I walk a lot anyway, when I’m in Devon. So aiming to walk more when I’m in London. Hereks my latest long DEVON vlog!
 
 
Plus Drink lots of water. I got the ‘zero’ water filter for Christmas. It reminds me of Penta water, the purest water I have ever drunk, (which I used to import at one stage from America) so I’m very pleased to be using this and tasting the purity again. I’m encouraging my kids to use filters for their babies as well rather than give them chlorinated tapwater. In years to come maybe they will announce what chlorine (mild bleach) does to gut bacteria, especially in youngsters. After all, it’s there to kill bad bacteria, and isn’t picky. So not drinking it on a regular basis has got to be better than drinking it, I would’ve said. 
 
Safeguards
My poor brother Glenn was very poorly just before Christmas with a water infection and sepsis symptoms and spent four nights in hospital till he had had a normal temperature for long enough - 48 hours - before they would let him out. It was lovely to get him back just in time for Christmas Eve although it meant a change of plan - rather than everyone at Glenn’s for Boxing Day as normal. Thirty family would be a major stress overload. So we spread out all over the place in different houses instead and it was nice to have him home after a bit of a worrying time. He needs to drink more water as well, and noticed the difference when I gave him some of my green drink. Another one of my musts every day for 2020 for me. All stuff I used to do years ago when I was super healthy and never got ill. In fact I’ve been more I’ll in the last three years of running the retreat (and coincidentally eating more rubbish! – Tearooms/desserts etc) than ever in my life. And getting less sleep, see below. And even if it was brought on by me e.g. playing netball in Devon - for the first time in 37 years and twisting my knee - which then needed an operation, or writing too much and getting carpal tunnel syndrome, and needing an operation… You get the picture... 
 
But whatever our woes, when you read of the other people in far more difficult situations it puts it all in perspective. 
 
There’s nothing like helping others to make you feel better.
 
Bush Fires Perspective
Wouldn’t it be lovely to help those less fortunate than ourselves, to kick off the new year? There’s a lot of news on the Internet at the moment, but none can be much more scary than the bushfires happening in Australia. I read a heart wrenching piece about the poor burned wildlife - many being looked after by so many kind people, and really hard-working charities, so I decided to give a donation. I gave it to the rescue centres one, on the link below, covering people as well as animals. If you want to donate too, do feel free.
 
New Year New Decade
And, as we pass into the new one, what a decade it was. I was very happy to have a lot of first-time experiences (TiFFTs - try it for the first time club) and memorable moments, list is on my latest QVC blog, link at the bottom of this blog. Hope yours was super as well! From seeing both kids move out then get married, helping them set up home, and mybecoming a grandmother to 2 gorgeous granddaughters. Setting up a new business in Devon with a massive house move which I did not see coming, and which would not have been possible unless my daughter had decided to move to Wales. 
 
As you may know I bought a writing retreat in a picturesque sleepy North Devon village called Sheepwash. Retreats For You has now been running via me for 3 years and I love it. We have great plans this year including expanding the vintage tea room. I am doing a little more refurbishment - including two more ensuite rooms at some stage - but everything has been more or less brought up to date now and replaced and renovated. One of my highlights was looking at a tiny little shoe with nails in the soles for durability, haRd as rock now, and missing the laces. It’s small - probably only about a size 2 - so possibly that of a child. They put them in the thatch of a new building hundreds of years ago when it was being built, apparently. Fascinating.
 
It gives me great joy to welcome writers to their full board retreat with us, even down to my love for the little things, eg setting out the breakfast table for our guests, cooking the home-made bread (thank you Panasonic), and making easiyo yoghurt! Organising everything so it is wonderful for the writers to just shut themselves away and do their writing – topics of all sorts, not just novels. But I do need to make some decisions going forward. And due to the toll all the travelling has taken on me, barely having a proper day off, I am going to look at a rebalance. Maybe reducing my London time a bit - maybe a day or so a month from later in the year - we will see. 
 
The most important thing for each of us, and I know this as well as most, is to ensure that we each get a good life balance. Don’t you agree? And whilst the grandbabies have slid into an increasingly large chunk of my life, over the last 2 years, (and fortunately I don’t have any troublesome partner to worry about!), I must start putting me first. Those who know me well, will know how I will often make sure other people are okay first and foremost. But having had a weekend of exhaustion just before Christmas, I need to redress this.
 
Sleep
 
Sleep is the most important thing for me. If I can sleep then I sleep for England! The book Why We Sleep: the new science of Sleep and Dreams, sheds light on some fascinating facts and rhymes home the need for some good shuteye. So happy there is a good mattress in both of my bedrooms (London and Devon) and I highly recommend the Sealy ones to anybody who will listen :-) (in fact there is a new today special value coming up on QVC today, Saturday 4th).)
 
Found out in the last three years that I suffer from dry eye , (It’s a thing!), and had several bouts of treatment for with antibiotics drops last year. So trying to be mindful of the time my body tells me it needs to go to sleep, and drinking lots of water, using a heated eye compress, regular eyedrops et cetera, has become the daily thing. But sleep above all is the thing that makes me feel better. And a really good green drink, I use one from Barlean’s , which a friend gets specially for me, and it makes a massive difference to my feeling of well being and just feeling on top of rather than under the weather... so I aim to drink some every day I think. Plus my regular supplements, Fish Oils, probiotics et cetera.
 
White Peril
I promised my daughter for the new year I will give up sugar... it’s my nemesis. I don’t do much else, no smoking, drinking, or addictions of any kind. I don’t really ever drink actually. Apart from a little bit of almond milk Baileys for Christmas! lol. So when I see people talking about new years resolutions (like on our presenters video funny, see below) where my colleagues say they’ll drink less, it does not resonate with me. But bring up the topic of cake, and oh my goodness then we are talking. Yes three years of tearoom goodies and homemade retreat puddings and the occasional chocolate and popcorn hour on QVC, have led to a thicker waistline, and I’m a bit sick of it to be honest. Middle-aged apron-tum! You know that feeling? LOL But I know how much better I feel when I have not eaten sugar, especially the morning afterwards when my joints in my fingers do not ache. I always feel a bit down as well, when I’ve had too much sweet stuff. And much happier when I don’t. It’s that vagus nerve connecting the brain to the gut, again. The gut-brain axis, your body’s communication superhighway. Google it. The new frontier of modern medicine, just watch - see how it changes by the end of the next decade!
 
Thank you
So this is my January blog. I’ll report back in February and let you know how I’ve been getting on. And if you made it here from the newsletter , which will now be truncated, then congratulations and thank you. 
 
Thank you to those of you who follow my ramblings on social media, (listed below for those who haven’t yet checked the boxes!) And for your kindness In humouring me and maybe participating in some of the comments and likes Etc Too, it means a lot. (nb and for those of you who share my politics, a separate blog , post election, on my home page. I had huge proportion of people share my politics, judging from the very few posts I shared during the election. But I also know that you will understand if you don’t think the same as me, and ditto in reverse. Anyway I was very proud to be involved somewhat in a very niche way last year, it was another of my personal big achievements. Plus I will be helping out this year as well in a very limited way, helping with events in Devon. Like a countryside clean up etc.j
 
Hope you are enjoying my occasional Vlogs, more this weekend if you have a look on my Facebook page et cetera, as I am away at center parcs.  I’m very much enjoying the R word, relaxation! Note to self: must do more of that in 2020. 

Have a healthy and happy one. Will try to respond to you if you reply to the email of this blog, which goes out to subscribers, and apologies if I missed some last time x there was a big response after such a big gap. I promise here on this website, they will be at least monthly, this year. Don’t forget you can catch up with my weekly shenanigans on my regular Friday QVC blogs, where I also kept up my book of the week recommendations last year. Since most are on Audible, the audiobook app, it’s been easy to look back and see how many I’ve read, and there have been many! Including Lee Child’s new one, Blue Moon. And several from John Grisham. Plus Julie Cohen, my author of the year - her ‘Louis and LouiseK has been optioned for a Hollywood movie! Well done, so well deserved. Very proud to call her mentor. Just need to get my 5th novel finally finished now!
 
biggest ambition of all, that one!
 
best wishes and look after yourself.
 
debs
ps if Xmas was tough because of missing loved ones, do look at the Good Grief Trust. They are so helpful.
XX
 
 
Useful Links and extra info: 
 
 Highlights from the 2010s
– work in Beijing for QVC including a trip to the wall of China
– bathed in the blue lagoon thermal spa pool in Iceland with my lovely friend Gill even though we didn’t see the Northern Lights
– indoor skydiving In Milton Keynes. Loved it.
– Became a medical detection dogs ambassador and did lots of fundraising and had lots of puppy love including naming my lovely sponsor dog Derek x he became a diabetes detection dog.
- had some fabulous birthday celebrations including a surprise party from my sis, and a mega 50th including medieval banquet trips with family and friends – including Craig the Jester. Made my year!
- Got a mention on University challenge as part of a question! (which channel do these three presenters work on? (Jeremy Paxman named me, Simon Biagi and I think Dale Franklin!) cool!
and so many more! See them and photographs of some of the highlights on my main Qvc Blog.
 
Bushfire emergency
 
How about donating just eg AU$18 (about a tenner) to those suffering in the bushfires down under? Koalas & other wildlife, firefighters families’ charities, community pages or general rescue centres. There is a list on the link below. Each has a link to their Fundraising site. We need to help don’t we? Which of the charities listed, will you help, even if it’s just a fiver? 
 
They all desperately need help; my Devon friend Alix comes from Australia and she told me how devastating the raging bushfires have been to the communities there. My niece Chloe, working as a yoga instructor there, sent me a b4 & after picture of the campsite they had previously stayed at , which has now been razed to the ground. Scary stuff. One couple has set up a rescue centre for koalas inside their own home.
You can’t imagine how awful it is for them all at the moment, especially with the huge scale of the widespread fires.  Takes two minutes to donate especially if you have PayPal. Just click here.

 
my social media -
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instagram
@debbieflinttv
 
(nb I also have separate QVC ones)
 
DEVON WRITING RETREAT
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@retreatsforyou on all socials
 
 
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