Ballydehob – A Pub, A Castle and A Movie Star

Ballydehob – A Pub, A Castle and A Movie Star

Reading Time: 5 minutes


Ballydehob – A Pub, A Castle and A Movie Star by Dee Anderson

As the whole world is speculating where Harry and Meghan will go for their MiniMoon, Ireland has been whispered, as has Botswana.

Although Botswana is a favourite of the newlyweds, they could not go wrong by visiting Ireland, which is much nearer and gives the guarantee that they will be greeted with a true Irish welcome.

It reminds me of when I was on my way to a friend’s birthday bash in Dublin a few years ago. Gary Whelan was then starring in a TV series called Ballykissangel, and his lovely wife Gabe had thrown a surprise party for him in Dublin, inviting the entire cast and close friends.

We all had to be careful that he didn’t spot us in the town of Dublin, so I decided to drive over with another guest, and he suggested we stop off to see a writer friend en route in a little town called Ballydehob.

I went with the flow on this occasion, and we ended up arriving as dusk was setting in. My friend Sam suggested we meet up with his friend in the little town itself, as he knew the area, and so we stopped off at a bar in the centre of town, to the cheers of the locals – not at our arrival, but for the local violinist and his magical musical abilities.

It was an amazing night, and it was a fight to stay sober as the drinks were lined up on the bar as a welcome to the new girl in town, namely me.

But we eventually left the pub to be ferried by the local driver, who then ventured to drop off all the locals who lived in farms and houses dotted around the outskirts of the area.

The next couple of days were filled with joyous adventure as we explored the town and found two sisters, both in their nineties. They were unmarried and had opened their family house as a shop and a bar, and were still humping beer barrels from the cellar. They had letters from the Kennedys and Clinton on the wall, and I was speechless with reverence for their charismatic charm as they cracked jokes and sent one another up with skilful Irish banter.

We then drove out to Kilcoe Castle a mile or so away, which is owned by Jeremy Irons and his wife Sinead Cusack, and to the little fishing village nearby which is idyllic.

The home cooking in the local cafes and restaurants were second to none, and the very raison d’etre of the locals was to feed us up as much as possible with the local produce and exquisite cuisine, which left the UK in the shade food-wise, as far as I was concerned.

I was sorry to leave Ballydehob and go to Dublin, although the birthday party there was amazing and was full of fabulous food, celebrity guests and brilliant musicians, and we all partied into the early hours of the morning.

It certainly was a party fest like no other, and if Harry and Meghan are going to Ireland for their MiniMoon, they will love every minute, as it holds a magic like no other place on Earth.

Why not visit the Ballydehob website and plan your trip

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Reading Time: 5 minutes



If I had written the script it couldn’t seem more imagined, giving the illusion of a far stretched soap opera.

Prince meets young female aristocrat over thirty years ago, they have a fantasy Wedding which ends in disaster with her untimely death due to the incessant pursuit of the Paparazzi and the philandering of her husband who is still in love with his ex-lover.

Cut to present day, and the offspring heir of the Prince and young Princess meets the girl of his dreams who is a beautiful Hollywood screen Actress, and happens to be the same age as his mother when she died.

You really couldn’t write it as they say, but we have and it is a reality –  but closer to a reality TV show.  Perhaps this is why the World have gone Harry and Meghan crazy and why even luke-warm Royalists like myself are mesmerised by the couple and have hung on their every word since their engagement six months ago.

They certainly appear like a couple who have fallen deeply in love and so far Meghan has not put a foot wrong, in spite of the wicked half Brother and Sister who have tried to scupper her happiness at every turn.

See how the story is playing out, with echoes of Cinderella or any other ancient fable or fairytale.  It is all in there – and dare I say Doria, even echoing aspects of the Fairy Godmother (even though Meghan’s real Mother) who seemed to emerge to save the day at the end of a hellish week for poor Meghan, with her estranged family and friends trying to relegate her back into oblivion by denouncing her credibility.

The Father of the Prince, in the form of Prince Charles was even pardoned for his earlier in discrepancies as he escorted his new daughter-in-law down the aisle in place of her Father, who had been unfortunately ill advised (probably by the rival siblings) to sell his story to the media, and was recovering from heart surgery

Harry has certainly been the Prince is shining ‘amour’ gazing adoringly at her throughout the reading of their vows at their Wedding in the Chapel in Windsor, and we all wept and cheered as they were finally pronounced Man and Wife.

There were certainly similarities of Diana in the outpouring of emotion from the crowds outside the Chapel and how the Nation tuned in and lined the Streets to catch a glimpse of the romantic pair.  In spite of the former disappointment and the sins of their fathers, as a Nation we forgave and forgot and hope that the future will hold more happiness for the magical pair.

It certainly seems that the Prince and Meghan are well matched, with their maturity, interests and powerful love for each other as beautifully announced by the charismatic American Preacher, Michael Curry.  Harry and Meghan want to change the world, and we all feel that they are capable of doing just that.

So does the story end here in the Happily Ever After, I certainly hope not, and I for one will be waiting with bated breath to be glued to the next spellbinding Series.


relive the whole event here

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Reading Time: 6 minutes


by Dee Anderson – Editor in Chief

When my daughter and son-in-law suggested I join them for a camping holiday, with my three grandchildren, I did question my ability to survive such an ordeal.  I know my limitations and am up for a challenge in so many ways, but have always been more of a five star girl myself.

However, this was a special circumstance in that my eldest granddaughter of 7 was coming to the end of her treatment for a condition she had endured for some time, and was especially looking forward to carrying out activities like a normal kid again, that had been put on hold for the past two years.

So I readily agreed, and was instructed to look at a camping site, already familiar to the family called Nethergong Camping, in Kent.

I decided to book a ‘Romany Caravan’ which looked cosy on the website, and covered my initial fears of insects and night time chills, and the rest of the family would pitch their well-equipped tent alongside to keep me company.  I also decided to bring along Milly my golden Labrador, who is approaching two and just loves long walks and lots of attention.

I drove down separately from the rest of the family, and on arrival spotted a very helpful young man on a tractor, who readily directed me to our camping location.  From his accent I realised that he was not a local, and he told me that he had come from the US after marrying his wife, who I gleaned was one of the ‘Nethergong’ family.

We were fortunate to catch the weather as it had warmed up and managed to swerve the floods that had besieged Kent the week before.

Our section of the camping site was next to a huge field, and so we were constantly on the go with the kids and the dog who insisted on clambering up and down the small but steep embankment so a work out was not needed, as this was sufficient for me to maintain my fitness regime.  It was also more than adequate to wear out the two-year-old twin boys who have more energy and are faster than Mo Farah on a good day!

The camp fire at night was particularly idyllic as Ray, my favourite (and only) son-in-law is great at building a fire and making a mean barbeque, and we shared stories and a few glasses of wine as the flames flickered in the darkness.

Some of the wildlife we saw too was unbelievable, with frogs in the fishing friendly pond which the kids adored, a resident swan family, rare dragonflies and damselflies, coots, moorhens and ducks of all varieties, newts, lizards and bats, rare vising Turtle Doves, Cuckoos and Nightingales you can hear at night, Owls and Marsh Harriers and Buzzards.

The facilities are particularly good, especially the showers which are powerful and refreshing, and the loos are maintained to a high standard of cleanliness.

I bumped into Jed, the owner, on one of my solo walks, who explained that the camping site had been in the family for over twenty-five years, and it was now run by his entire family.

He also offered to open their little shop and make us all hot drinks should we need good coffee or more provisions, and on discovering why we were there, sent his lovely daughter Hannah over to see if we needed anything extra.  She also has twin girls of 9 and so was completely au fait with all the basics of having young kids.

The children were all sad when the tent came down, and we packed up, but it is a place where we will return and make an annual family holiday for them all to remember.

I personally am still not a complete camping convert, but have to admit to enjoying so many aspects of the few days at Nethergong, and for the record, would readily return, especially for the sake of the grandkids, wildlife and the barbeques, and having learnt a few invaluable camping tips on the way.

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Reading Time: 4 minutes


As we are hearing more and more about the resurgence of Street parties and Community gatherings, I felt compelled to tell our viewers about an extraordinary event hosted by a local firm of Solicitors, BP Collins of Gerrards Cross, last week.

It was entitled The Wellbeing Evening, and no-one was more surprised than I to find representation from a vast array of local and national companies present to support this unique ‘get together’ at the Solicitor’s premises in town.

Before I give you more detail on the companies and their activities, I have to share the amazing ‘kick-off’ from one of their Senior Partners,  Simon Deans, who skilfully put the audience at their ease as he spoke of his own ‘flaws’ in representing a ‘Wellbeing’ event, which was met with familiar nods and noises of agreement, as well as huge peals of laughter.

The sampling of healthy food and beverages was second to none, with a special commendation for Johanne O’Dowd who had flown in from Southern Ireland the day before to display her own healthy food range.

Johanne is a recover from Breast Cancer, and has proactively transformed her life through a healthy diet and lifestyle.  Johanne’s presentation and food sampling was outstanding, and it did remind us all revisit our diet and rethink our daily regime.

There were recognised companies like Guinot performing facials, Neal’s Yard Remedies and more ‘touchy feely’ organisations like and The Bodhi Tree Spa.

Many were unusual and all were inspiring, and I was particularly taken by a Music therapy session in drumming from Mike Watson.  Contact:  I have actually been inspired to invest in a pair of Bongos, having patted out a mean beat at the session, which I found to be hugely satisfying.

It also felt incredibly heart-warming to sample the sumptuous food and take time out to learn a little more about what is available both locally and further afield, but all hugely accessible depending on the requirements of the individual.

It was also a palatable experience – not just in the quality of the catering, but in the richness of the ideas and the inspiration and attention to detail, at such a well-structured event.

I also came away with what I felt to be a couple of life changing notions, which I hope to put into practise within my demanding schedule, but even so am now convinced of one thing. BP Collins, who have the nous to put into action an experience to actually ‘give something back’ to the community are unchallenged as a Law Firm of integrity and understanding, both of their clients’ needs and those of the local businesses.

I would like to urge other organisations both large and small across the UK to endeavour to do the same, on whatever scale, because the result can only be positive and the outcome a win win for all concerned.

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No 1 Rosemary Water and the Secret of Anti-aging

No 1 Rosemary Water and the Secret of Anti-aging

Reading Time: 6 minutes


As we visit the tranquil coastal hamlet of Acciaroli in Southern Italy, we find that the residents have one thing in common – one in ten live to their hundredth birthday, and beyond.

You may say that it is the Mediterranean food or lifestyle, but a rather canny entrepreneur, David Spencer-Percival, looked into the story of Acciaroli, which had been reported by the BBC, The Telegraph and the New York Times, to discover that all of the inhabitants consume the herb Rosemary every day of their life.

In addition to this consumption, they are not at all health-conscious, and indulge in all the pleasures of life that come with a health warning, including wine and tobacco, as well as good food.

It is also a fact that this longevity of life and Rosemary go hand in hand, as we look into surrounding villages and similar coastal regions who do not have Rosemary as part of their staple diet, and as a result do not have such a great life expectancy.

I am gleaning much more from David Spencer-Percival’s discovery as Rosemary holds high esteem even in Greek mythology, the New Testament and Shakespearean drama.

There are even scientific references as a memory-boosting restorative, and it is seen to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties, which would confirm the longevity in the village of Acciaroli, where Rosemary is the central ingredient.

David has pushed the boundaries in his research to provide confirmation of his findings, and is in talks with Professor Moss, from Northumbria University, whose knowledge of the herb is extensive; he has been investigating Rosemary as a memory aid, and is embarking on trials of No 1 Rosemary Water to test its potency as a memory-enhancing product.

When I met David in my Pinewood Studios offices recently, it was a pleasure to spend time with this clever entrepreneur who explained to me the arduous process of discovery he had endured, with months of exploration into ways of extracting the essence of the herb to produce a pure health-giving drink.  He has succeeded in achieving this without using additives – containing just water blended with Rosemary in a bottle.  He admits it has been a longer process than he originally thought, but his passion for the concept has enabled him to produce the only pure Rosemary Water drink to exist so far.

So is it possible to reverse the ageing process with Rosemary?  Whenever we make life changes we can see them reflected inside and out, with our digestive system and then our skin, so this is definitely possible.

It is not rocket science to see that Rosemary, which contains so many healing properties should prolong life, or even reverse the effects of ageing, and so I would like to agree with David and say that this health drink No 1 Rosemary Water, holds the secret it in its waters.

I have recently passed some bottles to celebrity friends and lesser known mortals, who are all feeding back in a positive way.  Anthea Turner is already a fan and has referred to it in her monthly blog.  All are enjoying what is a tasteful and refreshing drink.  It comes in still or sparkling, and I personally like both, whereas one colleague prefers the sparkling variety.  Another design-oriented friend commented on the beauty of the bottle, which is in lustrous white – and I have recently placed one on my kitchen dresser as I agree it looks stunning.

It is no surprise therefore that the product No 1 Rosemary Water is in Harrods, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and other high end outlets to be announced shortly.  It is now being seen as a Global Brand, which is power to its founder and the belief in the integrity of his discovery.

Perhaps this is why Rosemary is also regarded to be associated to Love – or in this case, the Love of Life, which is the most powerful symbol of all.


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