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Debbie Flint

Last week I had a most wonderful welcome from the ladies at the Halwill W.I. near me in North Devon. Lovely Anne Goodspeed asked me in the Spring if I would come do a talk - and decided the theme would be - appropriately - split lives. It was a very interesting talk because as I began speaking, little snippets came out that I hadn't necessarily planned to reveal, but it felt right, in that intimate atmosphere to go into details eg about my short period of depression in 2006 when my importing business folded. It was very rewarding afterwards when one of the ladies came up to me to ask about that time, as she too was just beginning a period of treatment. We compared notes and I hope to be keeping in touch with her.

I told them stuff I'd never really discussed in any great detail - that citalopram - the drug I was on a tiny dose of - gave me the most amazing 'adventure' dreams, and how normally most of my dreams are about me battling conflict. I used to go to sleep and wonder what drama I'd be in tonight! I also found it adjusted my waking times - I became an earlier riser and got sleepy earlier at night. I was doing office hours at the time so it seemed appropriate. But whilst it helped me cope with bad things, it also muted any good feelings. I called it 'citalopram neutral' and it was a very weird time. Coming off it afterwards, gradually, led to a period of at least two years before I truly felt it was out of my system. But it helped me cope with redundancies, unfair dismissal, all sorts of accusations about my business that were untrue and finishing an abusive relationship. Hey looking back it was a bit of a crap time! But I told the ladies at the WI that I have a motto - 'what can I learn from this' - so everything became a lesson. I talk a little about this concept and its effect on my life, with its connection with food firmly in the frame, in my books 'Till the Fat Lady Slims' - including some of the toughest times in my life, and have had some super responses. (When I'm asked which one to get, as there are several, I say start with the latest one, from 2017, with a black silhouette. The others are numbered so are easier to understand which comes where. Go here to see them all. And the 2017 one is able to be ordered from bookshops as it was published by UK independent Choc Lit.) I actually thank goodness for Freedom Eating, the system of breaking free from food prison mentioned in the book, otherwise I'd be a very unhappy person at the moment having got stuck on the 'wayside' as we call it. Thankfully I recognise  a temporary sugar addiction and some sub-optimal choices that have become a habit in a retreat full of temptations, and I know normal service will be resumed, rather than losing my mind over it and beating myself up over and over again like I did in the old days when the weight wasn't what I wanted.

The overall topic of the talk however, was split lives and once I'd given them the background about being a geek on the one hand and 'laaaaaah!' on the other, I filled them in on the other stuff I do - singing for charity, being a Medical Detection Dogs ambassador, being an author, and of course my new 2018 role of grandmother (it's still weird!) - but I'm happier with ME now than I've ever been, so my London / Devon split lifestyle is truly making me content.

As is seeing how my children's children are growing before my eyes.

I babysat little Blakey on Monday and she was overjoyed to be standing up on her own, including in the bath, where she splashed and had a lovely time. Then Lauren brought beautiful Phoebe - now one month old - to Devon for a few days and we had some smashing times together including a trip to Ikea whilst Nick did some work in my house. Nanny, mother, daughter, sister, friend - I've got many roles and whilst my life's never been so split, I love them all.

And I still get time on all those journeys, to read...

Book of the Week  - I've been looking forward to this one for absolutely ages. Another Jack Reacher - number 23 in fact. Well done Lee Child, you never disappoint. Free sample info and full details and full blog - here.

Over on my QVC Blog  this week, click here,  lots more sneaky peeks of the next seven day's deals - AND the new Elemis massive Xmas #TSV  bundle which looks like being the biggest ever. Go here to see my latest blog and definitely click on the Elemis link which is here is you want to go straight to it! (My next blog will be out on Friday here.)

On Facebook on my main page there have been some fabulous little vlogs of late - and a funny behind the scenes with the lovely Laura Geller and gang here. As you know all you need to do is follow my social media - see below -  in order to be the first to see stuff including top deals that may sell out early, pics of upcoming deals not on my blog, limited offers, and updates on the doggies and life in Devon.

As I| write I'm sitting in a downpour - well, not technically IN the downpour but you know what I mean. The rain is blasting the window high up in the vaulted roof in my kitchen and sounds like a symphony serenading my creativity. And I have yet to finish my novel but I'm getting there. It is, after all, NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) and it seem there's something in the air...

I may actually have time to do some writing when I'm laid up having a knee op. It's only a little one - an endoscopy (is that right?) - cleaning out the debris from a torn meniscus on my left knee. It's one of the reasons I've been less mobile for the last 18 months and that and lifestyle stresses have meant my food choices haven't been my usual ones, and it's showing. So I'll be glad to get back in shape afterwards. I'll have to get more help down here in Devon and face six weeks of rehab and physio but hopefully it'll be worth it.

anyway hope you are well and have a lovely week!

Best wishes

debs

x

Heard about our guest house down in Devon?

Retreats announced

Do go see the latest Retreats for You newsletter which sums up what's happening next year, if you'd like to pop down to a writing retreat at some point. Also there are going to be a couple of non- writers retreats too - check them out here

 

Plus - if you're able to make it down for two nights - December 10-12, why not come to a Xmas special? a wreath making afternoon class on the Tuesday, followed by the Xmas concert which I will be singing at with my super pal, county councillor Barry Parsons, on Tuesday evening, with mulled wine and mince pies in the interval. AND a final 2018 opening day for our tearooms on the Wednesday, with a Christmas theme. email us for the prices and availability - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Do it fast tho!

find out more here on the post and also on the facebook events page, more to follow soon. Tix on sale from Nov 1st.

ps My guest house in North Devon has spaces for non-writers too. We are mainly a writing retreat but that doesn't mean we don't occasionally have non-writers.i (£95pppn inc full board and wine at dinner!) Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to enquire about non-writing dates for 2019, and have a little look here -

- stay in touch with me via my social media - go here to see it all

- find out about all my novels and my own books, some in bookshops, some on amazon - check out all my paperbacks together! Very proud. More about my writing is here

 

Published in Debbie's News

to come - 

last week's QVC blog -= Ingrid Tarrant and her three pigs!

This Monday - if you are near Sheepwash in North Devon on Bank Holiday Monday - do come to our vintage tea rooms event for Medical Detection Dogs fundraising, 11-4pm (EX21 5 NE - in the square opposite the Half Moon Inn). This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details. 

pic

 Margaret dabs deal AND brilliant pics of days gone by

Book of the week - a superb book - here's my review on the latest blog on RiWiSi page on my website - go here - it's called Where the Light Gets In and it's one in a long line of dramas and romances set in the fictional town of Longhampton. I love that many of her books feature regular characters yet brings something new to the table every single time. If you need a new author to read, she has written tons so you will love her!

Baby Udates - pic of Blake and lolly's scan... to come

Link to this Friday's blog from QVC including info about next week's deals.

Finally - follow me on Facebook - details

NExt week - my birthday week, and a vintage bank holiday teas event - I'll be cooking up a storm this weekend in readiness! THeh women's institute would be proud of me!

x

Published in Debbie's News

Had an interesting experience this week, when I got a wake up call. Not literally - I was already awake. Well, almost - see below for more on THAT one! But I was delighted to attend the book launch of a lovely writing pal of mine - AJ Pearce. Her first novel - Dear Mrs Bird - has just launched and you may well read about her or hear her on the radio over the next few weeks. 

Dear Mrs Bird is all about the friendships and danger during the Blitz when an aspiring war correspondent takes a job as a fake agony aunt in a woman's magazine publishers, and all sorts of mayhem ensues. Amidst the bombings and craters, loyalty and love win through. It's very funny, as is AJ and she thoroughly deserves all the success in the world.

It was my book of the week on RiWiSi here - and I'm delighted to say it'll be next week's as well! I'm about to listen to the audiobook version - click here to read a sample -  and I cannot wait!

 

Inspiration

So AJ has inspired me. So has lovely mentor, Julie Cohen, who was also there last night. Her book 'Together' - reivewed here - has just been announced as a Richard and Judy pick! And now having chatted to lots of other author pals of AJ's at the book launch last night, I'm all geared up to get cracking on my fifth novel - French or Dutch. It's in final stages now, and I'm heading towards finalising draft one. Wish me luck! It's been a packed three years or so since I first started it , however, and in that time there have been house moves, weddings, disastrous potential relationships (well I say plural, but really it's just one!) and a whole new life and business down in Devon, as well as being an ambassador for Medical Detection Dogs. Plus becoming a grandmother! whoohoo! All of which mean I only wrote prolifically when away on a ... writing retreat! lol. Last March I wrote 14,000 words in a single weekend (with Julie) in Bristol, and another twenty thousand when away in France in May. A few thousand in June when in Cyprus for a family wedding - it was more wedding stuff than writing, that one. But apart from that, I have found that running a writing retreat (see below) has not been conducive to... writing. So a kick up the proverbial was needed - and AJ's launch, and some sterling words from Julie, has done just that. I hand in version one next week, with more to follow. Watch this space...

Squiffy eye.

Meanwhile, my poor red eye was conjunctivitis. Blimey it's been a year of it, that's for sure! Not enough sleep, and over working, under relaxing - you know the usual. I got so tired recently I found myself able to close my eyes and just drift off to dreamland, mid afternoon! So enough is enough. I have booked a WellWoman 360 health check (basically every orifice plus bloods and all the usual health measurements) in June. The end of June. After my next summer hol, so by hook or by crook, I will be Freedom Eating and Bodyblading my way to a healthier place by then and I swear this year is going to be a well one...

 

Book of the Week - Let me Lie by Sunday Times bestseller Clare Macintosh. The ex-cop does it again, with another tense psychological thriller that will keep you guessing - go here to read my book of the week blog.

 

WANT TO GET AWAY FROM IT ALL?

Retreat for Three nights on a rare weekend offer We don't have that many weekend openings, at our guest house down in Devon, but this month we have two! at Retreats for You in Sheepwash -

- Photography Weekend - £275 if you book soon, dinner Friday till Lunch Sunday with a trip out to Dartmoor on Saturday and fab instructional workshops with local expert Lee Orchard click here to read more and ask him more about it - book soon! Bring a partner, they can go photograph things, you can chill? How does that sound? Take pics like this one maybe -

 

 

- Writing Weekend - weekend, note! - (2 or 3 nights, final chance to get 2017 pricing at £90pppn full board inc wine at dinner) rest and relaxation in front of a roaring fire, nice walks, doggy therapy if required (if they're not out sunbathing!) And great beds! April - 27-29 - rare opportunity as I don't open for many weekends.

- Yoga Weeks 9th -13th April (next week) - one place left if you're quick - two sessions of stretching a day for writers wanting to get loads done but not feel stiff at the end of the week! £395 special offer, usually £420 - email soon. Other dates - July 2nd, August 13th (already taking bookings for these) and October 22nd.

To book - email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - we deal with it all that way but do check out the events page on our website for more info about all the themed events coming up. 

Am back on over the weekend - do click here to read my latest QVC blog and find out - where you'll also see info about how alcohol might be affecting your sleep. Plus sneaky peeks of some of the upcoming next week's deals.

Have a fab week!

luv 

Debs

x

ps

- stay in touch with me via my social media - go here to see it all

- find out about all my novels and my own books, some in bookshops, some on amazon - check out all my paperbacks together! Very proud. More about my writing is here

ps - if you're reading this via newsletter direct to your inbox, here's a pic of my lovely granddaughter - but if not, do sign up for my newsletters via the home page on my website (pops up) and you will be amongst the few to see the new ones each time I send out a newsletter update! Email me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you can't see how to do it! xx

 

 

Published in Debbie's News

here you go! 

It's beginning to look a lot like Xmas - tour of hall way at Retreats for You in Devon! Is it where you are? Done your decs yet? Or waiting for a special date each year?

What a lovely week I've just had with the very very talented author Julie Cohen and my lovely writing pal Sue Bassett joining me and new guest Hazel for the week. It poured and it poured, see here on Facebook! But we were cosy inside - they were writing and I was looking after them, and wrapping presents - when the dogs let me! That's them in the pic getting in the way!

Here's Julie's post showing some of the christmassy scenes at our place - such a lovely time of year - in fact, the 'most wonderful time, of the yeeeeear'

 

PS YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS FUNNY VID of spaniel Loony Luna too - so funny bless her! On facebook here - and do 'like' the page. Watch out also for a new page coming soon with QVC Chat and me!

 

BOOK OF THE WEEK

Seems a sensible one, given this weekend is the final of the Apprentice 2017 series. 'Apprentice' the Audible original audiobook however, is fictional - set in the 1300s and follows a rags to riches story of a self made Merchant way back when. 50 different voices across the three tales - this is the first.  Looking forward to reading it after I finish 'Column of Fire' by Ken Follett. Book of the Week here.

 

 

SING FOR MY SUPPER

Had a lovely time at last weekend's Good Grief Trust winter gala dinner at Wimbledon FC clubhouse in Kingston, where I sang - again. Only karaoke this time but it was fine in the end! Was very nervous again about it - turns out it's much easier when I'm not petrified of forgetting the words! Go here to see me sing a bit! And well done to Linda Magistris for arranging it all! Superstar event organiser...!

this week's QVC blog includes a new format with links to all the upcoming deals I mention, which will go live once they are available! Plus a funny blooper with Nikki from Lola Rose! Go to this link to see it on Friday once it's posted!

Hope you have a great week!

 

debs

xx

 

New QVC Blog - with lots of sneaky peeks! Go here to the latest one: read my new QVC blog which will be here 

And don't forget to 'like' the Facebook page here for instant access to all my 'vlogs' during my weeks off in Devon whilst my hand heals, and other sneaky peeks and early bird links!

ps stay in touch with me via my social media - go here to see it all

- find out about all my novels and my own books, some in bookshops, some on amazon - check out all my paperbacks together! Very proud. More about my writing is here

best wishes

debs

 

..

Published in Debbie's News

Super days out this week - another lovely restful week down in Devon and the dogs loved the sea - twice! 

See below for videos of how they got on in the waves - so funny seeing what Gracie did! 

It's been a great week for relaxing and it kicked off with a special acupuncture session with my lovely pal Goody. She told me I have to focus on getting more quality sleep so I agreed. That's why on Wednesday morning, I ended up snoozing the alarm at 8.30. I'll get another half an hour, I thought. I don't have to leave till ten past ten. Next thing I know, I'm waking up and it's ten o'clock! But sleepcycle, the app I use to monitor my sleep, is confirming it's working and the average this week is over 8 hours. How much do you get? Have you a routine that helps you nod off?

One of the best things I've had recently has been the This Works spray at bedtime, and a comfy mattress topper. Also I find now it's cold I'm loving a hot water bottle on  me tootsies! What about you?

Devon Beach Days

 

So many gorgeous sunny Autumn days recently. Lots of places to go to give my poggies a treat. Daisy and Gracie are funny - very sociable and want to say hello to as many people as they can when we are out. Not all the dogs want to say hello back however! 

This was on Widemouth beach on Monday afternoon, when Gracie saw the sea and decided it was bath time! click here to watch it on my vlog. Plus, also on my official Facebook page, a post with another dozen pics of the pogs at the beach and some beautiful sunset shots - click here. (Don't forget to 'like' the page whilst you're there to avoid missing updates!)

Then on Wednesday Sheena and I visited Northcott bay, on the other side of Bude in Cornwall, just over the border with Devon. It was very pebbly, with some amazing geology, and the dogs had fun in the surf. These waves were crashing to the shore in typical Cornish coastal fashion, and it wasn't long before Gracie was in again - even though she wasn't quite ready for the bigger ones!

click here to Gracie in the crashing waves on youtube video.

Book of the week

Well it was Hallowe'en this week and I went to an interesting talk, see below. BUT my book of the week is Hubble Bubble, a fun rom com by one of my fave authors, Jane Lovering. Its not a Hallowe'en story, so ok to read when you like! Good fun read and really witty turn of phrase as ever from Jane. More here.

And the winner of last week's competition is to be announced shortly

Super days out this week - another lovely restful week down in Devon and the dogs loved the sea - twice! 

See below for videos of how they got on in the waves - so funny seeing what Gracie did! 

It's been a great week for relaxing and it kicked off with a special acupuncture session with my lovely pal Goody. She told me I have to focus on getting more quality sleep so I agreed. That's why on Wednesday morning, I ended up snoozing the alarm at 8.30. I'll get another half an hour, I thought. I don't have to leave till ten past ten. Next thing I know, I'm waking up and it's ten o'clock! But sleepcycle, the app I use to monitor my sleep, is confirming it's working and the average this week is over 8 hours. How much do you get? Have you a routine that helps you nod off?

One of the best things I've had recently has been the This Works spray at bedtime, and a comfy mattress topper. Also I find now it's cold I'm loving a hot water bottle on  me tootsies! What about you?

Devon Beach Days

 

So many gorgeous sunny Autumn days recently. Lots of places to go to give my poggies a treat. Daisy and Gracie are funny - very sociable and want to say hello to as many people as they can when we are out. Not all the dogs want to say hello back however! 

This was on Widemouth beach on Monday afternoon, when Gracie saw the sea and decided it was bath time! click here to watch it on my vlog. Plus, also on my official Facebook page, a post with another dozen pics of the pogs at the beach and some beautiful sunset shots - click here. (Don't forget to 'like' the page whilst you're there to avoid missing updates!)

Then on Wednesday Sheena and I visited Northcott bay, on the other side of Bude in Cornwall, just over the border with Devon. It was very pebbly, with some amazing geology, and the dogs had fun in the surf. These waves were crashing to the shore in typical Cornish coastal fashion, and it wasn't long before Gracie was in again - even though she wasn't quite ready for the bigger ones!

click here to Gracie in the crashing waves on youtube video.

Book of the week

Well it was Hallowe'en this week and I went to an interesting talk, see below. BUT my book of the week is Hubble Bubble, a fun rom com by one of my fave authors, Jane Lovering. Its not a Hallowe'en story, so ok to read when you like! Good fun read and really witty turn of phrase as ever from Jane. More here.

And the winner of last week's competition is to be announced shortly.

Join me on QVC midnight Thursday (tomorrow/tonight!) for a lovely duo of Peony hydrangea flowers inc a little fragrance spray that's delightful. And read my new QVC blog which will be here on Friday for more early bird links for the weekend's deals including IT cosmetics 5 pc heroes set!

Near Kingston in Surrey on December 9th? A fun night is in store - go here to find out more!! Including me singing again - a couple of songs is all, at the request of lovely pal Linda Magistris... would love your company, why not come along? 

Have a great week!

luv

debs

x

ps stay in touch with me via my social media - go here to see it all

- find out about all my novels and my own books, some in bookshops, some on amazon - check out all my paperbacks together! Very proud. More about my writing is here

best wishes

debs

x

 

 

best wishes

debs

x

 

 

Published in Debbie's News

It's finally here - Easter is around the corner and we have another super vintage tea rooms event for you at Retreats For You in Sheepwash Devon - are you near? Can you come? We are open 11-4pm, with delicious sausage rolls (did they have them in the 50s?!) and pasties and clotted cream devon teas plus bone china crockery with refreshing tea and coffees... come to EX215NE and you'll find us in The Court opposite the pub in the village square - can't miss it! Here's the event on Facebook so you can click that you're coming and see more.

My cousin Christina is coming - haven't seen her for years, so am looking forward to it. But isn't Facebook wonderful for keeping in touch with friends and family even though you haven't been face to face for yonks? It's a bit like christmas cards used to be - only now it's all year round - every so often there's a message and it makes you feel like you've kept in touch at least a little, right? Well Christina is an excellent cook and is bringing some of her own homemade cakes - all in aid of my charity for which I''m an ambassador, Medical Detection Dogs. More about them here.

Last time we raised quite a bit of money so I''m hoping the presence of Claire and Pal will do the same job - come see them and have a chat - you may see Pal alert Claire, his owner, to her high or low blood sugars and thereby saving her life and saving call outs to the NHS if she gets dangerously low or high. Such a good cause. and the little dog in the pic is Bones, available on QVC (last of the stock, assuming some left!) from Charlie Bears, also in aid of MDD.

Come to a sing song in Devon on September 16th Yes, we're doing it again! If you are near Torrington or fancy making a weekend of it, we will have a charity evening sing song full of fabulous 40s and 50s type songs, in the super 'the Plough' arts centre theatre and cafe on Saturday 16th September - do put it in your diary. More soon. Tickets will go on sale via their new brochure too, and there will be local kids singing, a mums choir singing accapella and a super band that have appeared at the royal albert hall. hope you can come!

past two weeks newsletters - were delayed - sorry you didn't get one! I had a few issues with logging on, but if you'd like to read them, go here to see new horizons no more shadows and see the back garden of Retreats for you without the trees; and go here to read about the funny chicken video in belstone and see the lovely feature on me in Surrey Life magazine! click here to read it. 

Book of the Week is something different this week - Benefit's lovely Lisa Potter Dixon's 'Makeup Manual' - just out - go here to find out more.

Getting the Message... it's a funny thing, but you know how sometimes topics keep cropping up in your life and it's like someone's trying to give you a message? Well the same issue has kept appearing in my life for a while now. and then I saw the awful situation Mel B found herself in with her abusive controlling husband, only now the truth is out. But so many people suffer in silence don't they. Well here's my take on being with an emotional abuser and you won't believe some of the stories - and if you know anyone you think might be in that situation, or you are someone - go here to read it on my website.

QVC blog  will go live here on Friday afternoon, with a couple of early bird order links, sneaky peeks of the TSvs for the week ahead, and a really funny blooper involving my bust! lol! Click when it's live.

Have a lovely week

#debs

x

Ps check out the new pic of all my paperbacks together! More about how to get your copy is here.

Ps my new Till the Fat Lady Slims book is now out on Amazon here, and there’s such an amazing support system on Facebook on theTTFLS group here - do come join us!

New QVC - featuring sneaky peeks and pics of deals from the next seven days so do go look! NB any Early Bird order links will appear first on my blog page here - do go look on a regular basis!

for info about my paperbacks and ebooks for sale now, go here 

for all my social media and to keep in touch go here

x

 

 

Published in Debbie's News
2 December 2016

Retreats for You

lgo here to the website - retreatsforyou.co.uk

and here to see the reviews on the Facebook page Retreats for You

So many people have been asking about Retreats for You, here's the latest newsletter to find out more about it.

Also check out the website www.retreatsforyou.co.uk

You can also call us on 01409 231252 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

maybe I'll see you down there one day!

Christmas and Boxing Day was lovely - here's a little sample of what it's like inside the house, all done up for Xmas - check out the roaring fire! And a look at the new bathroom here! The heating system has also had a little revamp so it's a bit warmer, and there's all new bedding and mattresses.

There are several new exciting plans underway for Spring and Summer. If you fancy full board incl afternoon tea, coffee, cake, and wine with evening meal, for only £80 per person per night own room shared bathroom, in a 1600s thatched house in a sleepy Devon village, with nothing to do except relax by the roaring open fire and read or write, or just stare into space, or you'd like to give a £30 deposit for a four night stay to someone who needs it, just email us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , details on website retreatsforyou.co.uk/practicalities. It'd be lovely to book some of you in - do bring a pal. Sometimes dogs can come too, with conditions, so do ask. Home cooked meals and no housework - it's not allowed - plus hot water bottles at bedtime. Talk about pampered! And - surprise surprise - I'm really enjoying helping out with the pampering myself. 

Get in touch - you'll love Retreats for You!

best wishes

debs

x

 

Published in Debbie's News