Monday, 30 September 2013


I am fifty next year. OK, it's a number and means nothing and it's to do with health, and state of mind more than meaning anything. It's the new forty, so thirty was just a hiccup ago, although I'm happier now than I was than at 30 so probably had the crisis then rather than now.  Actually thinking about it, I did.

A few years back I was asked to interview a skin scientist. I didn't know there was such a thing but there is, and a cosmetic company had hired him to rid everyone (women) of wrinkles around the eyes.   So hot off a plane from India, I walked into this white cube of a room off Soho, full of twenty something beauty editors who had all been invited to the launch of this latest £100 teeny pot of dewrinkle cream, who all smelt of spa flowers and fruit therapy scrubs and rubs or exfoliating, botoxing, cellulite stimulating, skin peeling, acid thingies that left their skin as white and flawless as the white walls.   So in I walked with my face looking like a map of the world, freckled with the main points of interest, and loads of lines denoting I know not what.  These women looked at me as though I was a 'before' on their beauty pages they could no matter what they tried, do nothing with.    But did I care? Oh no, I thought, hey I have a face that is interesting, that shows I can laugh, have laughed and had a life rather than a lot of botox, and I can smile without looking as though if I do, it will smash into a thousand pieces.  And I heard of how women would irritate their partners by slopping loads of creams, lotions and potions onto the skin just before bedtime so they slithered off the pillows they were so slimy.   In contrast, I was considered relaxed and natural and one even called me 'continental' (not sure what that meant) because I usually just collapsed into bed, happy that my teeth had seen a toothbrush, and that on very special occasions I would take off my eye make up.   But things have changed.  Well, are changing.    This year I have tried a range of products because although I've published the books, travelled the world (although want to travel more world and publish more books) and achieve more stuff on my action lists of life, I want to look less.....well travelled.  I know it's inner beauty that matters, yeah but....      So I have been trying out different products, potions, therapies and supplements and finding out which ones work and which don't. Watch this space.  Or this face...

Sunday, 29 September 2013


I love Autumn and what Keats said about it.  The smell of it, the walks, the leaves underneath the shoes, the colours so bright and vibrant.  It's the most romantic of seasons.    Im trying to avoid the Strictly Downton X Factor Saturdays and get work done. Yoga helps so much, and I've found a studio locally, and dropped the flyers to the local businesses and homes, finding out so many interesting people are on my doorstep. I feel like the character played by Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors when she reinvents her life and starts her own business - sandwiches or PR anyone?   I just hope I'm the one that doesn't die.  
I recently drove all the way over to South Woodham Ferrers for a WI talk.  What a wonderful group of wise women.  It was a pleasure to speak to them although it seemed like the other side of the world getting there.   I enjoy those talks.  It teaches me things that I don't realise until I say them out loud.   Like I'm a hopeful romantic.   Like all my books are romances.   I'm hoping to make France into a retreat because every time I visit I feel that it's healing and believe others will feel the same.     I'm like a free spirit at the moment that wants to fly but needs more energy as I needed more petrol in France or diesel as I did in the RV in the Yukon earlier this year.    I'm finishing my work of fiction and starting my second year psychology degree and voicing some of my audio books, which I know will be fun.  And I'm hoping 2014 will be good to us all. x

Thursday, 5 September 2013


I am looking after a new dog which I'm very excited about. My heart belongs to Beethoven but he is with his mistress so I will just wait until his next Bach (small joke there) and I'm sure he'll come running.

In the meantime I'm looking after a beautiful little dog, who has quirks. I read them and laughed. This is a bloke. This is a bloke I know.   I knew it. He's a dog!


He likes to sit on your lap with his back to you, that means he would like his back massaged, usually
he will have a little sleep after this. He might run around like a demented greyhound, this could mean he needs a poo (or he is just being crazy), he also gets very excited when you come home and will run around. If you take him in the car please use the harness as it has a seat belt attachment, also he sometimes gets car sick and will usually cry in the car (thankfully he is getting better). He loves children (I think he believes he is one), is timid around other dogs, loves to play and sleep. He loves to be praised and have belly rubs. 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


I went to an event at St Paul's last night. Following the wonderful trip to the Yukon, the Yukon province (or their PR) organised an event to bring together some of the partners they would like to work with in the UK.   The Yukon is a phenomenal place. As the world seems to be going through it's own mid life crisis - not just the 40 somethings - it's a needed tonic to get people grounded and back to what is really important.  And sorry, who's in the next series of Strictly Come Dancing ain't it.

After doing star jumps in St Pauls so I sort of looked like a lop sided fuzzy angel, (see pix)   I sat next to the Honorable Darrell Pasloski, the Province Premier and Jonas Smith , his Executive Assistant.   It could have been a very serious evening, but Yukoners are story tellers.  I told them about how when I was first told about Dall sheep (indigenous to Kluane National Park, long curly horns, stick to vertical slopes as though they are stuck with super glue) I thought they were called Dull sheep - as in boring.  This seemed logical to me, as the Yukoners weren't averse to calling mountains and lakes disappointing or disenchanted, so I felt it just flowed with the general malaise of the place.     I wondered if we could have the same in the UK, it would make things so much more entertaining.   Like 'bling crescent',  'wannabe gardens', 'philanderers walk', 'slut street' and 'emotional fuckwit avenue'.  Everywhere knows where they live, it would just be nice to make sure others did as well.  Anyway, after telling my stories (which I have many in the Yukon) Jonas told me one about a helicopter pilot called Doug. Doug was a man of few words but he is the best in the Yukon if not the world. There is nothing he can't do with his helicopter.    He has saved lives and made people's days with his acrobatics and fifteen years ago our film crew flew with him in a canyon to meet a group who were kayaking along the Alsek River.   Our American director who was very can do, asked him to 'show us what he'd got'.   Doug glanced at him and did precisely that. The sound man nearly threw up, the cameraman, although had never been in Vietnam said he knew those who had and it wasn't dissimilar and I screamed that I was pregnant (which I was).  Doug calmly placed us down on dry land and we didn't speak to the director for the next few hours.

Jonas told me a story about Doug.  He was asked to take Hilary Clinton for a ride.   There were security guards all over the place.    He had been nigh on strip searched as had his helicopter.   So satisfied he and Hilary and as many security guards they could pack in the helicopter took off.   All was going smoothly. Everyone was happy. Doug turned to security guard.   "You know you checked my bag for ammunition?"   The security guard said 'yes'.   And in here (pointing to all the nooks and crannies in the cabin) for guns and explosives?"    The security guard replied 'yes'.    "Well, you see here this stick. What happens I point this in this direction and we go crashing into the mountain. What you gonna do then huh?"  It was funny at the time.

Oh, yes and my tyre burst and it costs a fortune to replace those go flat tyres..for whoever wants to know.....

Sunday, 1 September 2013


I was lucky enough to interview Sir David Frost. He was one of the interviewees on a show I devised for Sky called WHO'S BEEN SLEEPING IN MY BED? at the onset of our fascination with the world of celebrity and the ordinary things that extraordinary people do.   Sir David chose Chewton Glen as his favourite hotel as this is where his children boarded near and he would fly down in helicopter and stay there, beautifully looked after by the staff there and a wonderfully characterful hotel manager who reminded me a Basil Fawlty but a good one - if you know what I mean.   I wasn't really interested in why he chose the hotel, I wanted to ask about his interview with Nixon as unlike most on the planet I thought Nixon was a very good president. He disliked PR and was lousy at it, and he probably had a lot of contempt for those he 'served' (as do many prime ministers and presidents only they are much better at hiding it...perhaps with the exception of Gordon Brown).  Nixon's lies found him out, but only because unlike past and present presidents and prime ministers he probably didn't have as much on other people as they have on him.     Nixon's demise in front of camera saved Sir Frost and he knew it and told me as much.  WBSIMB was a slight series talking about favourite hotels, but several turned into something much deeper because those I interviewed felt at home in the places they had chosen.  I interviewed the late Lord Yehudi Menuhin in Brussels and the late Anita Roddick, both working but choosing ironically the same hotel at the same time. What a contrast they were.   Menuhin whimsical and funny. Roddick on a race with herself and her mind always on the move even when her body wasn't.   Sir David Frost was a professional asking as much about me as I did about him.  Unlike Nixon,  I didn't crack.