Another Big family Christmas for me this year! Spent Christmas Eve at son Brad’s when we opened all the presents, trying to spread the joy this Yuletide! They loved their Lego and Duplo!
Little Kaleb made everyone laugh, when he handed some pretty boring presents, boring to a one year-old usually, jumpers and tops, and started draping them all over himself and around his head! So we gave him a helping hand. How funny! What a little character he is.
Christmas Day was at sister’s including 15 family, (if you subscribe to my newsletter you will see this week’s exclusive is a photo of everybody seated at the table! And if you don’t, just press subscribe on the newsletter button below!) Lin my sis could not quite work out what one of her presents is… Can you guess? She laughed her head off when she realised what you really do with it…* (See below to find out more).
A flying visit to Devon then followed to deal with a leak (see disaster of the year in the review below!). Then it was off to Wales. A horrendous journey, but I was kept company by an excellent audiobook, this week’s book of the week – it’s called ‘Geneva’ and it is a thriller read by Nicola Walker and Richard Armitage (the latter also co-wrote it). It has got to be made into a TV series I’m sure! Highly recommended.
The trip was to see my lovely Lauren in Wales on 27 & 28th. The kids loved their presents, this is Phoebe under the gorgeous, enormous tree.
Then had lots of fun with the baby as well, chasing him around. Jasper’s not quite walking yet but he’s not far away, and he burbles delightedly and understands more and more all the time. Some lovely blustery countryside walks, fab meals, and good chats.
Made a camp with her as well, which she loved.
Also had a great adults board games session in the evening including one called Qwirkle – bit like scrabble but with shapes and colours.
A great couple of days once again with my gorgeous family and a Merry Christmas was had by all. Hope you had a great one too.
Then I took time out to write this for you…
Review of 2022
What a weird old year, in many ways. Wonderful in others! And since July, most of it documented on my new regular weekly blogs here on my website! Lots of highs, a couple of lows, some really memorable moments.
Momentous event of the year – my great reset, & health retreat in the summer.
The biggest life changing moment/event of the year for me was clear. Juice fasting, yoga, walking, swimming every single day, it turned my life around and I lost a stone and then another half, got superfit compared to before, carried on swimming regularly and began to feel like the old me again. A bit like when I went on HRT last year! LOL. I’m now aiming to do the same continuing through 2023. For those who don’t know it, my 60th was in May!! And that’s why I treated myself to a long holiday away to focus on me, in Somerset at Amchara.
Plus in May I had an absolutely amazing holiday in Center Parcs with my kids , their kids and other family. Very happy there, one of my favourite moments this year was listening to the two 4-year-olds singing TararaBoomdiyay, in the back of the trailer behind my bike as we cycled through the woodland! Lots of other special moments during that holiday as well. And thanks to my sister Linda and siblings and mum for organising a separate surprise 60th get-together in Surrey as well. So nice and so memorable.
Other pivotal moments are below, but they don’t get much bigger than a 60th birthday! What a year it’s been…
Impact/fact of the year
Goodness me, what extremes of weather we have had this year! But what about that heatwave! Apparently 2022 was the hottest one on record in the UK! I’m not surprised, with those temperatures we had during the summer when I was on the health retreat. My goodness, swimming every day in the pool was just bliss. It was also boiling hot when I went to see Buckingham Palace with bezzie pal Gill, ironically just a short while before our lovely Queen died.
Now that was a tumultuous event in 2022 wasn’t it. Was very disappointed in Prince Harry and what’s happened with him, but William and Kate are outstanding, I think. Onwards and upwards with the new King, Charles 3rd.
Another fun fact of the year, did you know vinyl sales overtook CD sales for the first time in 35 years (vinyl sold £116m to cd’s £98m). Top sellers? Something old-fashioned and classic? ELO? Beatles? Beach Boys? Nope. Taylor Swift and Harry Styles. Who knew!
Free of Covid, life just starts getting back to normal and along comes war, inflation and goodness knows what else. And I had my own special disaster. See below.
Best dream-fulfilling trip of 2022 – Lyme Regis
Had some super times with my friends again, though, and one in particular made my heart sing, which was the fossil hunting trip in Lyme Regis with my mate Gill, absolutely loved every minute. (Made me very happy, almost as happy as when I went mudlarking for the very first time and found a passion deep within that I didn’t know I had)! Lyme Regis was so good, we are going back again in May next year hopefully!
Best product of 2022
Gatineau neck gel? Neom reed diffuser? No, an electric blanket, a silent night one like the one we sold earlier in the year. Oh my goodness it’s changed my every sleeping hour! I just love being warm in bed now! And if most-used product is one of the key deciding factors, the list would also include Meaco dehumidifier, sketchers gilet, the new Dyson air wrap that goes both ways, the ‘it’s a miracle 10’ hair stuff, Philip Kingsley elasticiser booster, and on the same theme the new Halo hand warmer. And so many more I’m sure I’ve forgotten!
Non-QVC products? A heated eye mask I got on Amazon and use every day!
Scary moment of the year – mum rushed to hospital in November, also my brother at the start of the year, both okay now hopefully. Had a cataract operation in April but now all the scary health stuff this year is – hopefully – over!
Tea party of the year
The medical detection dogs’ fundraiser at Dottie’s tearoom in Carshalton. Thanks to everybody who came! So lovely to see my friend Denise from school who came by with her neighbour on the day.
Other get-togethers of the year
Dawn and Sharon my trusty school friends, so glad we are now back in touch a couple of times a year; Alison Cork at Conference, and an assoc Patrons’ get together in bright May sunshine. Plus countless writing friends’ meet ups – smashing. And my lovely friends in Devon during the year, including when we all chatted for so long I needed to bring out the slankets in the courtyard in Devon!
And so much more! Busy bee this year… As usual!
Frustration of the year
Politics, in so many ways but definitely the obvious ones.
My association in Devon has been a dream, though, but elsewhere, more of a challenge. Decided in the early part of the year to draw back and only do what I really really wanted to do, what made me happy. It did include organising assoc events again this year, and this guy featured in several of the ones I went to or organised, Lord David Frost, an excellent politician and a really nice bloke to boot. I’ve got one more event in March and then there won’t be that many for the rest of the year. I’ve extended my commitment to Devon for a couple of years till after the next election so we’ll see what happens.
But my future priorities lie elsewhere I think! Put my place on the market in Devon and things are ever changing so we will see what happens, but if the right person comes along I would definitely consider letting them take it over and carry on the good work, running retreats for writers, it’s a smashing little business and if only I could clone myself! But I need to spend more time with my daughter in Wales. I love running the retreats and meeting people and having that alternative identity that’s nothing to do with what I do in London, lovely friends who I meet on a regular basis and have other adventures with and a smashing Association chairman called John Gray who is a rock and hopefully will be a wonderful MP one day. If only everyone was like him. Anyway if you’re interested in finding out more about my Devon decision, go here to my Retreats website. And thank you again to Phil, my wonderful IT helper, for making the tech stuff so possible for me. And to Chris and Jayne and Sian, my Retreat helpers, I couldn’t do it without you.
Disaster of the year for me – massive flood in Devon!
OMG what can I say. I know the weird weather this year had some massive impacts, whether hot or cold, but the cold snap before Christmas produced this little beauty. This is what I was dealing with just before Christmas, and even on Boxing Day night, I went down to help guys clear it up. Fortunately it was all made good (at least so we could shut the door and section that part of the back of the house off), in time for the uncancellable holiday let on 27th. Thank goodness for such an amazing team down in Devon. Hope it’s ready for my next retreats happening from the 24th of January onwards. One a month again, just how it suits me, some just for writers to tuck themselves away to write their own books, and be looked after by me! and some with tutors & writing workshops included. I’ve scheduled through till the summer, let’s see what happens :-).
Watch – best film of the year – ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ from Tom Cruise. Well it had to be didn’t it? I’m sure there were others as well which I really enjoyed but this one is particularly memorable as it is such a good sequel! Loved it! Will definitely watch it again at some stage.
Best TV of the year – has to be ‘The Traitors’. One of the best things I’ve seen in ages, see previous recent blogs for lots of waxing lyrical! Available for quite a while on BBC One iPlayer/catch up! Make sure you sit through the first two shows because then it really gets into its stride and becomes unmissable in my opinion! Love the twists and turns and brilliant concept. Hope there will be a second one next year!
Theatre Show of the Year – ‘The Drifters Girl‘, was very good in May. But I think the winner has to be ‘Come From Away’, so good I saw it twice! Absolutely loved it :-), in one act, has an innovative score, funny in parts, emotional in others – I learned a lot too. Set in Newfoundland on 9/11, around how people post together in a small community and 38 planeloads of emergency landings descended upon them, really uplifting and based on a true story. Loved it.
Blooper – Well, when the blogs stopped going on QVC’s website every week, we lost access to the Web team who used to help me find QVC bloopers. But here’s one I’ve rescued from the archives! It was played out on Christmas Eve on ‘It’ll Be Alright on the Night’… Again! Bottle stack falling extravaganza, courtesy of yours truly 🙂
Podcast of the year – it’s got to be the one from Catherine Huntley and Will Gowing. Such an emotional listen, and one of the top from 2022. QVC presenters’ episodes often feature highly, and this is no exception.
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!
Top Tip of the year – from our resident beauty expert Alison Young, during the show I did with her just before Christmas, talking about tips when you’re into your menopause years – change your habits like something as simple as taking your necklaces off when you do your skin because your neck may be missing out, et cetera. Also from me, magnesium tablets at bedtime: do your own research, that along with my indispensable Neom magnesium body butter and my Sealy mattress, I have never got a better night sleep 🙂
Top QVC moment of the year – we have done some smashing on air shows, met lots of super people, and had some laughs. But one of my favourite QVC moments was doing this Facebook live with Miceal and having a real laugh, playing a game and answering each other’s Xmas questions… watch it again here 🙂
Fave Pic of the year – this one from my annual writing holiday in France in September, back in Chez Castillon, my happy place nr Bordeaux. I took this across the pool on a balmy evening. Gorgeous place!
Top Vlog – I could obviously say one of my #thursdaybantz live Facebook posts each week, but in my heart it has to be this one. Sledging with my granddaughter Blake, who absolutely loved it. The rarity of the scene and the joy I felt in the moment fills me with happiness! (See it here).
Book of the year – a lot to choose from this year. Would it be Cormoran Strike’s latest outing? The new Jack Reacher novel? No, it has to be one of the most enjoyable novels based on true events – and from earlier in the year as well. ‘Lessons in Chemistry’, and 1950s female scientist proving herself in a man’s world by becoming a TV star and fighting back, just loved it. I will definitely listen to it again. Highly rated, one of the best books I’ve read in a long long long while 🙂 So why not try it!
Oh by the way, don’t forget to check my couple of recent blogs on qvcuk.com, after the summer/autumn hiatus I was the person they asked to do the first one, once they restarted occasional blogs from presenters (they won’t be weekly anymore – they stopped those in the summer intending to begin again in the autumn, but now they will just be sporadic.) However, the great news is, that’s when I began this one on my website! These are going to continue, don’t worry. NB QVC Web team will at some stage archive the old ones on qvcuk.com, stories, so make sure you check out some of the older blogs from before the summer, soonish, if you can.
Hopefully that was a nice little look back at a year which also included lots of wonderful times with my two gorgeous children, Brad and Lauren – like this pic taken at my niece Chloe’s wedding in July when Lauren was a bridesmaid. Such lovely kids, that’s what life is all about. Lovely times with both them and their little families this year. It’s what memories should be made of.
Fingers crossed you made some lovely ones too in 2022.
Now back to business…
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 collagen Zooki beauty and health supplements four weeks apply on auto delivery. I must admit I have been taking these almost every day for a year, and find it really easy to do. I do think my skin notices a difference!
Saturday – yeah it’s New Year’s Eve, and on Friday night at midnight I will bring you the new Shark wand vac 2 in 1 lightweight vacuum cleaner, at a very low price.! And I’m here with a cosy home one at 9 pm and 10 pm is Shark and QVC end of year sale, giving way to my lovely colleague Charlie Brook and a brand-new year…
Sunday – Cozee Home I’ve never had a better year, obviously everyone wants to keep warm in different ways, and this is the super soft by cozee home set of two embossed micro fresh pillows.
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! Click on this link to see them –
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:
– JML multiview mirror on beauty channel
– Prime 50 fighting fatigue 120 day supply on main channel
– denim and co marl knit zip front hooded cardigan on style channel
– and Lock and Lock set of two glass Metro mugs on QVC extra
Now back to the today’s special values for the rest of the week –
Monday – a big gardening day and the grumpy gardener brings us 12.55 kg of deluxe mix bird food fat balls. Such a good way to stock up. The birds on AJ, my neighbour’s, patio in Surrey, absolutely adored it! Stand by for more super videos from AJ on QVC during the today’s special value!
Tuesday – K by Kelly Hoppen Geo jacquard hundred percent cotton six piece duvet set
Wednesday – Kim and Co Brazil Jersey contrast piped trousers
Thursday – Centigrade reversible padded gilet – really warm and absolutely lovely, watch out for me using it on air.
Friday – the Revitive essential leg massager is back. I must say I use this every single day. I will do a bigger write up about it next week but please look out for it because I don’t know if it will last. On that day hopefully it will stay in the 8 pm show, and stocks will last as I have a menopause your way hour.
Friday 9 pm – Jackie will launch the new Ruth Langsford V-neck cable top, and watch out for the new Sealy mattress/ mattress & divan today’s special value, going live online in the middle of the week, Sunday’s special deal!
Next week – where will the new year take us all? And me? Standby to find out, plus trips to see more really good friends, and another visit from daughter and the babies, staying with me for a few days. Looking forward to getting back into a routine for the New Year.
I will be on air up until 11 pm on New Year’s Eve so do join me if you can. Much love to everybody. And a happy and successful 2023.
*(Did you guess what this is really for? Yes it was a frost guard! You put it on your car windscreen! We laughed…!)