Posts Tagged: Giovanna Fletcher

18 August
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What made you YOU?

Over the past few years I’ve become fascinated by childhood and how, in their sponge-like manner, our young brains absorb everything and mould us into the adults we become – I’d say it’s a fairly huge theme that runs through both of my novels actually. The people we grew up with, the toys we played with, the books we read, the films we watched – they all go a long way into making you YOU. As a mum, this is obviously something that plays on my mind when it comes to Buzz whose personality is developing rapidly along with his skills set (he’s sitting up this week – see, I told you he was a clever one). I observe him daily as he watches the world with interest and I wonder who my little boy will grow up to be.

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I can’t help but look back at my childhood and think of what I was like growing up – here’s a brief insight:
· I loved the camera and having my photo taken – in fact, I searched out that flashy little contraption and was ready with a cheesy smile whenever a photo was about to be snapped.
· I loved people and being liked. I had an overwhelming urge to be accepted, something I’m sure came from being badly bullied at a young age.
· I loved reading and would go off into my own world whenever possible.
· In addition to that, I wandered around the playground singing to myself and making up little scenes in my head – my imagination was my best friend back then.
· I dressed like a boy. Not for the whole of my childhood, but for a large chunk of it. High-waisted jeans, denim shirts, DM boots, suede waistcoats… I looked a total sight!

Did these little snippets of me as a child offer clues to the adult I’d become? Perhaps. I still love photographs – although now I’m the one taking them (it was time to stop stalking the camera), want people to like me (I’ll admit that this desire is something I’ve never been able to shake off), love reading (there’s no debating that I wouldn’t be so creative now if it weren’t for the days I spent with my nose in a book or talking to myself in the playground) and I still have a questionable fashion sense (you should see what I’m wearing while writing this). It’s no wonder I look back at those early days with fondness – that little girl is as much a part of who I am now as my adult self is. Her decisions created me. I owe her a lot.

It’s that little girl who lives inside of me who wept when she heard the news of Robin Williams’ death this week. He never failed to capture her attention or put a smile on her face. What a fascinatingly funny man he was. Even though that little girl never met him, they shared a bond – she was sure of it. How deeply saddening to hear that his own world was full of so much darkness that he longed to escape. I know there’s a tendency to put those who’ve passed on a pedestal unnecessarily, but in this instance I think it’s fully deserved – for my generation he was our Genie, he was our Scottish Nanny, he was our Peter Pan. He was the adult we all trusted with our imaginations and he never failed to take us off on epic adventures.

Following on from the original theme, this weekend we took a trip to sunny Victoria Park and then to the Museum of Childhood with my sister Giorgina and Lee. A lot of the toys dated back to way before my time, but there were gems in there that brought memories flooding back – plus it’s pretty amazing to see how toys have changed over the last century or so.
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I was a very proud sister-in-law this week after seeing Tom’s sister Carrie in Les Miserables in the west end – she’s been in it for over a year now (time flies) but being pregnant and having Buzz has meant that I’ve only managed to see her a few times in the role. She’s blooming fab, though – such a star!
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Me being out meant that Granddad Falcone and my brother Mario could have some fun with Buzz – something they both relished. I’m not sure what they do with him, but the mornings after he’s been with my dad Buzz is always extremely chatty – like he’s trying to tell me all about his adventures with granddad. It’s so cute… and LOUD!
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Big Love,

Gi. Xx

07 July
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The Wood Wedding and McBusted at Hyde Park…

This week brought with it two massive summer events – the wedding of Fearne Cotton and Jesse Wood and then McBusted headlining at Hyde Park… what an exciting week!

I had a little fashion dilemma before leaving the house for the wedding as the dress I was planning on wearing got stuck in the machine at the dry cleaners and badly ruined. I found out an hour before I was due to leave. Major buzzkill! Needless to say, I cried. Well, I have just had a baby – planning outfits isn’t as easy as chucking on something from a plethora of gorgeously fitting clothes and picking what you liked the most – no, instead it’s trying on pieces and seeing what hides the lingering lumps and bumps the best while still making you feel a little bit beautiful. A frantic search through my wardrobe ensued. Luckily I’d bought a cream and coral dress from ASOS a few weeks ago that I was thinking about wearing for my interview on Lorraine before opting for something else. It was perfect for a summer wedding… Thank goodness!!!

 

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The McFamily were out in force to join Fearne and Jesse’s beautiful celebrations and party the night away. I’m sure you’ve all seen the photos from the wedding online so I really don’t need to tell you how stunning Fearne looked. We were trying to guess what sort of dress she’d be in before she arrived. We were all wrong. Elegant, feminine and floaty – she looked like an enchanting princess. The evening was filled with romance and LOVE! It’s wonderful to see two people so engrossed with one another declaring their love so unabashedly. Weddings are awesome.

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McBusted playing Hyde Park was always going to be a spectacular event. It was a flipping huge gig for them! Seeing as it was so important we decided to make it Buzz’s first ever show. I’m not going to lie, I was blooming nervous at how he’d react to the whole thing, but he was extremely chilled thanks to his Banz ear protectors and me carrying him around in our BabyBjörn carrier. He barely slept during the whole thing, preferring instead to giggle and smile at my best friend Katy, but he was content and happy, so I couldn’t really ask for more. The boys were all kinds of epic! I was a very proud wife.

 

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Also this week, I continued to juice for a further five days. Can’t tell you how great I felt at the end of it – although it feels weird to be eating again. I sort of liked the ease of taking my juices out the freezer and knowing my nutrition was sorted for the day! Now I need to think about what I’m putting into my body. I’ve continued to watch food documentaries – including Food Inc, Vegucated and Earthlings. Well… They were enough to make me never want to eat meat ever again. And that’s coming from someone whose favourite meal is steak and chips! As a result I’m going to try life as a vegetarian for a while… Possibly even a vegan as I can’t see myself wanting milk for a little while either. The upshot to this is that it’s got me back in the kitchen surrounded by cookbooks and experimenting with different recipes. Also, on the milk front – I’ve started making us homemade almond milk… It’s flipping amazing!

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Big love to you all this week!

Gi. Xx

23 June
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A Little Touch of Disney Magic…

We’d always planned for Buzz’s first Disney trip to be when he was old enough to take it all in and really enjoy the magic. However, when team Disneyland Paris got in touch and invited us along to experience their newest attraction (the same weekend Tom was in Paris with McBusted as One Direction’s special guests) we could hardly refuse.

As Tom was travelling up with the McBusted boys the day before, me and Buzz kicked off our adventure with a trip for two on the Eurostar. I’ll be honest, I was a little worried how I’d cope, but thankfully we managed to pack fairly light as Tom took the main bulk of our stuff with him. All I was left with was the car seat, pram frame (handy adaptors meant Buzz could be transported around the parks in this too), and a changing bag. Easy!

 

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The staff on the Eurostar were incredibly helpful and helped me get on and off – not as easy as it sounds with a three-month-old. And, on the whole, Buzz was a delight and slept the majority of the way. He did have a meltdown at the beginning when he decided he was no longer willing to be fed from a bottle (he actually blew a massive raspberry and spat a mouthful over my face. Lovely!). Instead he wanted milk from the source. Wonderful. So…along came my first public breastfeeding experience. Something I’ve always dreaded. To be honest, if I was on my own I’d have persevered with the bottle, but I figured a loose boob in the carriage was better than a wailing baby! To my surprise, I felt fine doing it and no-one batted an eyelid. That being said, I would like Buzz to get friendly with the bottle once again… I know breastfeeding is natural and something to be proud of, but I’m just uncomfortable doing it out and about. Sad, I know. I’ll ramble more about my thoughts on boobies in a few weeks time.

Anyway, shall we talk about magically wonderful and enchanting Disney? You probably are aware that we fricking love all things Disney (must repeat here though that we did NOT name Buzz after Buzz Lightyear) – it’s brilliant. I could walk down Main Street soaking up the atmosphere all day long. There’s just something dreamlike about the place with an underlying feeling of endless possibilities.

 

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Not only were me, Tom and Buzz there to experience the magic, but so were the Willis gang and Danny and Georgia. It turned into a mini group holiday! As a massive treat, we were kindly given time with Mickey in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Well, he’s a sweetheart. He kept kissing my hand like a true gent… On reflection I think he was flirting with me. Ha! We did try and get him to do a McBusted jump to form the ultimate, ULTIMATE supergroup – MickBusted – but I think Minnie may have warned him against being silly with those naughty boys, let’s not forget he is a role model to millions…of mice.

On to the reason we were there and Ratatouille L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Remy – a brand new area of the park dedicated to a rather special little rat with exceptionally good culinary skills. This ride is so different to any other ride I’ve been on in a Disney Park, so I’m not surprised there’s such a big fuss being made of its opening. I’ve been trying to think up a way of describing it… all I can say is that I’ve no idea how it actually works, but with the use of some Disney magic you become a rat, running around Gusteau’s kitchen. It’s brilliant. A huge thanks to the Disney team for the great weekend!

 

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This week I’m juicing! Yep, being a new mummy has led me to eat far too much cake – it’s time for a detox! I’ll let you know how I get on next week. In fact, I’ll write a little diary each day and put it all together for the next blog post. Should be an interesting read!

Love to all!

Gi. Xx

16 June
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Buzz Goes Swimming…

You may remember that whilst pregnant I loved swimming. Well, now that our little Crumb has arrived in the shape of Buzz, it was time to go back to our local Virgin Active for a little more time in the pool – only this time it was the baby pool, and Buzz, not me, going for a splash.

We’ve always known that we’d want to take Buzz swimming as soon as it was possible to do so. I had problems with my ears as a child and therefore couldn’t put my head under water until I was around ten years old – as a result I was a fairly poor swimmer (still am) and until recently panicked if I got too much water splashed in my face. I want Buzz to be comfortable in the water like his dad, so what better way to start than at three months old with his daddy by his side.

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Buzz loves bath time – he floats around and visibly relaxes once he feels the hot liquid surrounding him (after panic crosses his face for the first two seconds as he works the situation out), so I couldn’t wait to see what he’d be like in the (in his mind) vast and never-ending water of the pool. It was a lot for him to take in, but he seemed to enjoy his first swimming experience. Only towards the end of the session did he start getting tearful, but two minutes later he was fast asleep… in Tom’s arms in the pool. Cute.

We also started Baby Sign classes this week, which will hopefully calm the frustrations Buzz could feel before he’s able to talk. Baby sign gives babies another form of communication. Rather impressively another baby in the class had already picked up TEN different signs – a baby in the older group knew over a hundred! Wow!

Buzz totally loved the class. He was engrossed with the teacher Louisa, and his eyes were glued to her for the majority of the hour – the rest of the time his attention swayed towards his fellow baby peers. I’m sure a huge part of his development will come from watching other babies in the classes we’ve been attending. He’s like a little sponge at the moment – his eyes wide, absorbing as much of the world as he can. I often wonder what he’s thinking as he looks around at his surrounding. He always looks so deep in thought.

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Also this week…

· Tom won the Marvel Celebrity Dad of the year award! Hurrah! I think he is blooming awesome (as does Buzz), so it’s rather nice to know that others think highly of him too.

· Buzz had his 12week immunisation jabs… They weren’t as bad as I feared they were going to be – he’s a little tough nut.

· We’ve had THREE BBQs – talk about making the most of the weather while it’s here. Let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like a burnt sausage and a nice juicy burger. Ha! BBQs are the nicest way to relax with family and friends – luckily I got to see all my family and a few of my lovely friends this week. It’s been a sociable one… for once.

I’d like to wish a belated Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. My dad is the wisest man I know – he’s always there to lend an ear and to offer support, whether I ask for it or not. I’m a very lucky daughter. Obviously, it was also Tom’s first Father’s Day as a dad. I’ve no doubt that Buzz knows just how lucky he is too to have such a fun, silly, caring, talented and loving daddy.

Right, have a fantabulous week you wonderful lot!

Love Gi. Xx

19 May
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Learning That Children Cry… and that’s okay!

As a new mum I used to find myself going out in fear that Buzz would have an almighty meltdown in public and annoy the surrounding humans trying to enjoy their day… in the event that this occurred I used to hang my head in shame at my inability to keep the little man continuously happy 24/7. Firstly I’d sheepishly grab for his dummy. Yes. That’s right – in my moment of need I’d reach for that devilish little object designed to pacify upset babies that has attracted snobbery from those really-good-mums-who-know-exactly-how-to-read-their-offspring… needless to say, they’re far superior to mums like me who use it as a plug to stop the flowing wails – all the while frantically trying to work out what could possibly be the root of the problem. I imagine it’s a similar feeling to trying to dismantle a ticking bomb – my fingers would become clumsy as I faffed with his clothes (checking he wasn’t too hot or cold), sniffed his nappy (he could’ve done an almighty poop) and rubbed his back to check he hadn’t got wind (gas hurts). All the while I’d be spotting people watching me in my peripheral vision and would be sure I could hear tuts of annoyance… My cheeks would redden and I’d start getting all hot and sweaty. Although, thanks to my hormones and breastfeeding, this seems to be a regular state of being anyway – so nothing new on that score.

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Well, this occurred when we went for our anniversary meal in Manchester’s Rosso restaurant this week (Yes, even after Buzz’s meltdown in the same restaurant last week, we decided to go back – the food was that good!). Luckily, during this mini meltdown, we knew Buzz wanted feeding, but we still had to calm the hungry boy while we heated up his milk – let’s face it, five minutes is just too long to wait when you’re starving, so no wonder he wasn’t happy with the service Tom and I were providing!

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As expected, people were looking over and I was sure the lady behind me was annoyed… cue the attractive reddening and the sweaty pits (seriously, even my knee pits have started leaking). Fast forward half an hour and the lady kindly turned in her seat to tell me how gorgeous Buzz was. This led me to guiltily say sorry for his crying. She laughed and simply said with a shrug, ‘Children cry’, before continuing to tell me never to feel like I have to apologise for it. Not only did her words fill me with relief but the fact that I’d thought she was irritated by Buzz when she was actually admiring him left me puzzled. I know there are still people out there who get annoyed with the screams of a baby (who has no other form of communication to express his wants and desires) – but there are other people out there who understand. It’s the notion that these people exist that led me to laugh and smile with Buzz when he had a similar meltdown (again, over being fed) a few days later at a service station. Instead of hanging my head in shame and embarrassment I looked around me and into the eyes of the people glancing at me. It surprised me to see kindness. Yes, kindness and the knowing looks of people who’ve also battled with their own demanding mini humans. I can’t express how though looks lifted my heart. I vow to spread that kindness whenever I see another in such a predicament.

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Screaming babies aside (Buzz is actually very good, he just choses great times to go into panic mode), this week has been full of loveliness. Not only did I have a wonderful time celebrating two years of marriage with my gorgeous husband, but I also spent a lot of time with our families. I’d love to say that they missed me while I was in Manchester for two weeks, but, let’s face it – it was Buzz they wanted to squeeze. Nonetheless, it’s been great to be surrounded by them all and watch Buzz flash them his smiles – melting their hearts even further.

The week ahead promises more excitement as Thursday is the official publication day for ‘You’re the One That I Want’. I’ll be full of nerves thinking of people reading my creation and delving into my imagination… Aaah! Fingers crossed it goes well.

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Hope you’ve made the most of the weather this week – there’s nothing like being out in the sunshine!

Have a good one!

Gi. Xx

12 May
10

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Tackling restaurants with a baby…

This week brought Buzz and I some more time to enjoy Manchester while we stayed with Tom on tour. I know a few people were worried over how I’d get on staying in a hotel for two weeks with a baby, but it’s been fab… my only concern (now we’re going home) is how I’m going to get through all the washing we’ve accumulated. Anyone want to come round to our house and do it for me? Anyone?

Over these two weeks I’ve done something I didn’t think I’d be able to do for a few years… go out for dinner! I thought Buzz would be screaming the place down and annoying all the other diners, but he continuously surprised me by nodding off before we’d even arrive at the restaurants and then staying asleep for the whole of the meals. We were out for Matt Willis’ birthday last Thursday and we didn’t hear a peep from him at all (although I do think people think I’m crazy as they watch me continuously popping my head in his pram and checking he’s still breathing – unable to fathom his ability to sleep with the surrounding loud noise). Well, so far, he’s acted in this angelic way four times. However, we have had one near disaster…

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For a treat, my brother Mario took me to Rosso one night when Tom was staying away in Cardiff. I’ve heard so much about the Italian restaurant (and walked passed it so much in the last couple of weeks) that I was really looking forward to it. It started well. Buzz was asleep upon arrival – allowing me to take in the gorgeous building, eat a few olives and enjoy being entertained by some Rat Pack classics from a male singer. Yep. It was delightful… so delightful that Buzz felt he wanted to join in the fun. He woke up and wailed. And wailed… and wailed. Ha! Mario even had to chop up my dinner for me so that I could juggle eating with just a fork and bouncing Buzz in my other arm. The only blessing was that the music was loud enough to drown out his cries – so I don’t think we ruined anyone’s dinner. The staff there were fantastic too and didn’t make me feel like I was a nuisance – I’ll put it down to most of them being Italian. I’ve always felt children have a little more freedom over in Italy. There certainly isn’t a feeling that children should be ‘seen and not heard’. Luckily it’s not scared me off going out again – if anything it’s given me the confidence to get out with him more.

Buzz has grown so much during our Manchester trip – he’s finally wearing 0-3months clothing. He’s also become so much more alert and aware. Our families are really going to notice a difference when they see him this week.

The day that this post goes live is actually Tom and I’s second wedding anniversary. So, happy anniversary Tom! Thank you for making me the happiest lady ever on a regular basis and filling my days with love and laughter. Above all, thank you for being my bestest friend.

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Right, I’d better go celebrate with the hubby!

Love to you all!

Gi. Xx

28 April
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Waiting for that first smile…

This week Buzz reached the six week mark and with that came the promise of his first smile. Hours have been spent cooing at him and pulling silly faces – trying to tease the corners of those cute little lips upwards, but all we’d received in return was a look of confusion and bewilderment. There were even times when those looks boarded on disgust – bemused at how weird his parents were behaving.

There had previously been hopeful moments when he’d looked as though he was the happiest baby in the world, however, they were usually when he was looking at my boobies (never fails to put a sparkle in his eye), had wind or was drifting off to sleep (the light sleep causing millions of expressions to comically cross his face) – so not in reaction to our efforts at all. Although, I’ll admit, even though they might’ve been the result of him being hungry or needing to burp or fart, the look never failed to melt my heart. It felt like a glimpse of what was to come.

We weren’t taking it too personally that he was failing to find us funny or pleasing… Perhaps we just weren’t entertaining enough and he wanted us to raise our standards. He was a tough nut to crack – but we eventually did it. The three of us were chilling in bed, on a lazy Sunday morning, when Buzz granted us with his first delightfully gummy expression – seemingly happy with whatever his daddy had been talking about. I didn’t manage to capture the smile, but this pirate impression came shortly afterwards. What a cutie!

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And what an exciting week it’s been for little Buzz! He got his first glimpse of tour life by joining Daddy at the O2. He slept for almost the entirety of his first day there, but the next visit he was fully alert and fascinated by everything and everyone. I could tell Tom was excited to have Buzz there with him and eager to show him off to friends and family backstage. It was lovely to witness.

Thanks to my in-laws looking after the little dude, I managed to watch the McBusted show… Wow, wow, wow. It’s so surreal to see the six of them up on stage together giving such an epic performance. As always, I was a very proud wife! Anyone going to this tour will not be disappointed – it’s full of fun, spunk and hilarity. Not that I’m biased. Hopefully I’ll be able to watch again at some point.

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Hope you all have a fab week!

Love,

Gi. Xx

30 December
25

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Our favourite time of year came with a touch of sadness…

Christmas is always a magical time in our house – my husband starts playing carols immediately after the bonfires of Guy Fawkes night have been extinguished, and the tree is up pretty quickly after that. Both of our families come to ours – and this year they were all looking forward to there being a bump to rub and talk to all day long.

 

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Although, sadly, our Christmas plans didn’t quite start the way we’d hoped. On Christmas Eve our much loved ginger cat Marvin passed away. It was the strangest thing ever, and if I’m honest it still doesn’t feel real. He was sat in his favourite spot in the lounge, and simply looked like he was in the middle of a peaceful sleep. Marv was very ill last year, and we almost lost him then, so we’re very grateful to have had that extra year and a half with him. There was no sign that he was poorly – he was eating, playing and giving us kisses as normal that morning. If anything he was being more affectionate than ever. Because of that, we don’t believe he was in any pain.

 

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I know a lot of people think highly of their pets (something non-pet owners probably don’t understand) but Marv really was special – he was one of a kind with the most awesomely loving personality. We’re so saddened that our little dude is no longer with us, but are grateful that he was a part of our family.

With 12 guests to feed and a whopping big turkey in the fridge, Christmas Day still came with all its madness – a nice distraction from the previous day’s events.

This year it was Tom who took over as chef on the big day (as I’m six months pregnant I was banned from any responsibility), and my oh my he did a wonderful job! He took the task very seriously and practised his potatoes, stuffing, carrots, parsnips and Brussels beforehand. All were superb. It was a real feast and, as is tradition in our house, everyone had to roll away from the dinner table once it was all gone.

 

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The evening was spent stuffing our faces further with chocolate (mostly me) and cheese and wine (everyone else), whilst watching Doctor Who and playing games of Pucket (the best game ever invented – my sister is the champion) and Heads Up (ridiculously funny).

Boxing day was a lot calmer, with us going for a walk to feed a donkey and horse before curling up to eat even more chocolate.

 

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Unfortunately after that my body decided to stop fighting the cold/cough I’d been struggling to hold off– meaning we had to cancel tickets to see the wonderful Tom Hiddleston at The Donmar in Coriolanus. Gutted, but I didn’t want to be the annoying lady in the audience who coughed and spluttered throughout!

 

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I’m still full of snot (lovely), but looking forward to welcoming 2014 – I just know it’s going to be a magical year for so many people!

Happy New Year!

Love Gi. Xx

16 December
8

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My First Hello on my HELLO! Online Blog

Hello and welcome to my brand spanking new blog for HELLO! Online. I’m thrilled to have been asked to share my musings on here on a weekly basis. Before we all get too giddy and excited though, I feel I should warn you that I’m extremely boring. My ideal night is one spent in an animal onesie on the sofa, with a cuppa and a few biscuits (preferably chocolate hobnobs). If you were hoping for celeb gossip of great nights out then this might not be the place for you… BUT, if you love cake, cats, pajamas and happy things – WELCOME!

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To kick start my weekly ramblings – here’s a list of things you should know about me…

  •  I tweet far too much – usually about my three cats (Aurora, Leia and Marvin), or detailing what cake I’ve naughtily eaten that day.
  •  I’m an actress and have a big love of the theatre, although I’ve not trod the boards for a couple of years because…
  •  I’ve somehow (after a lot of hard work) become an author (my debut novel Billy and Me is out now, and book two will be available from May 2014).
  •  I’m married to Tom from McFly/McBusted (the cute one with the glasses and dimple).
  •  I could be referred to as the bride in THAT YouTube video in THAT wedding speech… my husband is ever so romantic.
  •  I’m currently growing a human in my tummy and am about to become a mum for the first time. Yes, I’m the preggers lady in THAT baby announcement video with THOSE pumpkins. How else do people share such news?

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With a little bubba due in March, I’ve no idea what the next few months will bring, but I’ll be sharing whatever does happen on this blog. No doubt there’ll be silliness with Tom, family and friends, progress reports on book two (like a title and cover) and lots and lots of bump updates – it’s all up for grabs!

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This week my husband and I are in Hello! magazine. I always find it funny doing photoshoots with my husband (they aren’t something I’m used to doing), but this one was particularly relaxed. The highlight for me was being able to eat whatever I fancied at lunch and not worrying that I’d be bloated in the pictures taken that afternoon… I even had cake! So yes, grab a copy of that and have a read (think of it as homework – but more fun), and I’ll see you here next week – after I’ve overdosed on the festive chocolates. ;-)

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Merry Christmas!

Love

Giovanna. Xx

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