What can I say except what a fantastic time I had! Lots of lovely friends who I knew from previous retreats, lots of time to sleep, plus swimming, walking, laughing, and being fed amazing meals by the lovely Janie and Mickey at Chez Castillon near Bordeaux, my happy place.
I worked out it was the ninth time I had been back! And it won’t be the last. The reason I love it so much is because it’s a home from home, people are amazing, the fellow writers are people I regularly see when I go there, and of course the pièce de résistance was my mentor Julie Cohen, tutor extraordinaire, helping me with my book.
We all love Rory dog, including Julie, but he is an old boy now. Regulars will remember my long walks down by the Dordogne with him every morning in years gone by, starting on my first trip in 2015. He mostly sleeps all day now but wags his tail when he gets attention, bless him. So I took the walks on my own, got bitten by Mozzies, listened to amazing audiobooks like the latest Robert Galbraith (which I’ve now finished, see below), and laughed, and relaxed.
Ahhhh the R word!!
The scenery is spectacular, compared to suburbia. And I loved my daily routine, including too much French stick (I won’t repeat the joke! LOL). I did manage to do quite well with my book, tho – I’ve basically rewritten the start of my fifth novel that I’ve been writing for years, by basically jumping straight into the action, losing several of the scenes I had before. Rookie error!
I had a different bedroom to write in as well, in, what they call the gite, just round the corner from the pool, which had a lovely cool temperature from all the thick walls, its own kitchen, and a pretty outlook.
Looking forward to getting back into it once my routine settles down again. Thing is that’s not yet. I’m running a retreat in Devon myself next week, then I’m back for one week, then I return to Devon again for the biggest retreat of the year with lots of people and a top tutor. No rest for the wicked!
Me by pool
I have to say though, one of my favourite bits was the swimming, regulars will know how much I love swimming, and this was a real cold shock to the system bearing in mind it’s October so the water was much cooler than earlier in the year when I went in June! Absolutely loved it. I thought I’d show you a picture of me actually in the pool this time but this was such a pretty shot! It was 30° on some of the days, my goodness me! And we came back to warm weather as well, didn’t we?! Fingers crossed it’s getting a bit cooler now though.?
Found this little photo from when I stayed with my daughter, and little Phoebe decided she would purloin my rechargeable portable fan! So sweet. One of the things I always do when I go down to Wales is read to her at bedtime, just like I did with her mother. Ahhh the memories! Could have done with this in 30° heat in France last week though!!
Big Ninja Offer!
I must say I have been so impressed with how all the guests have been using their Dual Zone ninja air-cookers, and doing posts about their masterpieces! Check out the social media for Glen Campbell and Melissa the Marla Wynne guest, amongst others and of course our presenters! I don’t have that, but I must say, I swear by my ninja. It’s on sale right now so if you can, get in touch and get yours!
So instead of a Vlog from me this week (you can see several of my social media from France though if you like), here are a couple from our guests talking about their dishes!
And check out one of the best I’ve seen with some inspirational ideas, from my lovely colleague Eilidh! (See it here).
Our winter wardrobe fashion event is on this Monday and Tuesday, and our fabulous new stylist, Inez, asked some of us what we thought! Have a look at this (here).
PLUS – LIZ EARLE COMPETITION ON MY INSTA!
See below for details of this weekend’s massive Liz Earle today’s special value offer!
Meanwhile, here’s the big news about a fabulous competition, to win a separate different set and find out what I smell like LOL. Well, kind of…. This wonderful set of Liz Earle products can be bought on QVC, (250485) or purchased separately at the cost direct from Liz Earle of:
Body Wash £18
Body Cream £22
Plus gift box
The perfume comes cellophane wrapped & obvs in its own perfume box.
Choice of perfume: 1,15,20,100
The winner will be chosen at random from the comments left on this Instagram post (you’ll have to leave it on the post itself so click here and go to Instagram).
It will be announced on Sunday at the end of my 8 pm show, so I don’t miss the big today’s special value launch – one of the biggest of the year!
Charlie the cat is a regular favourite in Chez Castillon, and last week I took this photo. Just thought I’d lend him my phone for this shot! Even funnier when you read what’s on the board behind. Or can you think of a caption?
Go here to get the latest Inside QVC podcast from Will, and the current one if you haven’t listened yet :-). Don’t forget there’s a massive back list to catch up on, too!
This week it’s the turn of our latest jewellery guest, Ruth Linett, a familiar expert from other shopping jewellery channels, who is now establishing herself on QVC shows!
Book of the Week – I mentioned last week that I would be listening to the authors who just had new books out and I waded through over 34 hours (!!!) of the wonderful private detective Cormoran Strike 7th novel, ‘The Running Grave’ by JK Rowling’s alter ego, Robert Galbraith. It’s one of the most intense yet as Robyn goes undercover onto Chapman farm occupied by a cult, to investigate suspicious activities. What I love most is the interweaving of relationship twists and turns, amidst fabulous plot lines. I laughed out loud at some of the scenes, punched my hand in the air at others, and was gripped by even more. A true master craftsman in novel writing and inspirational too. I’m now onto the next Jeffrey Archer, ‘Traitors Gate’! Being spoilt! I love these audiobooks they are brilliant.
QVC TOP DEALS FOR THE NEXT SEVEN DAYS
Friday (today) – go to qvcuk.com and search ‘today’s special value’ to see and buy what’s left of the Nokia phone! There’s a chance I may not be there for the 7 pm if my cold symptoms don’t dissipate, I wouldn’t want to be snotty all over the screen LOL. But otherwise I will see you for one of the final airings.
Saturday – what can I say, it’s the ninja dual zone! See above.
Sunday – Go here to see my video for the new Liz Earle today’s special value, which I will be launching Saturday at 9 pm, and hopefully showing you in the 7 pm show on Sunday. If it’s still available! It’s such good value, over £90 saving, and it’s under £57! Online now though, so don’t miss it.
Big deals ending Sunday night
Go to this section of our website each week to discover the current ones which often end on Sunday nights if there are any stocks left!
Big deals are available on air for usually a week, they may be longer online if stocks last. Occasionally they last a couple of weeks but there are new ones every Sunday night so come back again and see them on the link above.
Next week should include:
style – apricot foil print pin tuck blouse
– extra – more fashion, Brenda Edwards sequin waistcoat
– beauty – Beekman 1802, 6pc assorted Bath and body Christmas collection, great price!
– main – a new laser hair removal, called Mandy Skin IPL
Now back to the today’s special values for the rest of the week –
Monday – as Monday and Tuesday are a fashion event, we have a Helene Berman wool mix long coat
Tuesday – cozee home bring us a half zii lounger for a really low price
Wednesday – Percy and Reed are back with a five piece ‘we wish you a wonderful hair day’ set
Thursday – home reflections have an indoor outdoor pre-lit hangable tree… It’s low priced and it’s in different sizes, one to watch!
Friday – K by Kelly Hoppen luxury faux fur throw and set of two cushions
Friday 9 pm – Tarte return with a Amazonian clay range and a nine piece gift collection of party pallets. We also kickoff the Saturday night gift show slot at 8 pm which I’m looking forward to bringing you.
Next week, if all goes well, a Sunday lunch soirée with some friends of mine in the local Association in Surrey, with Gyles Brandreth speaking! Assuming I make it 🙂 then down in Devon to run another retreat!
PS want to subscribe to my newsletter? Click on the newsletter button at the bottom of this blog. If you are AOL, sky or Yahoo, you may have to add me to your contacts in order for it to come through, and sometimes even then it doesn’t. So if you can subscribe with a different email if you don’t get it between Friday night and Sunday night each week, that might help. One lady told me she didn’t get the first one but she did get the next ones. Exclusive content just for my newsletter posse! Thank you all 🙂
Meanwhile if you cannot do that, maybe follow me on my social media where each week I will post with my new blog goes up –