When Denise Van Outen packed up her life in London and announced she was moving to the Kent countryside four years ago, you’d have been forgiven for raising an eyebrow.
The original ’90s party girl swapping the bright lights and razzle-dazzle of the city for rural tranquillity, genteel tea rooms and grow-your-own asparagus? Really?
Mark Hayman Denise Van Outen says she became bored with country life
Sure enough, the novelty has well and truly worn off. Denise has upped sticks again and returned to the capital.
“I felt like I was losing my mind,” the mum of one admits today.
“At first, I thought it was great, just what I needed, so peaceful. But it gets… boring. Kids go to bed at 8pm and so I was sitting there thinking: ‘What is there to do?’ Just waiting for the next tractor.
“I was there for four years and to be honest, I was done after two.”
Mark Hayman She decided to move back to London after daughter Betsy complained about having nothing to do
It was when her daughter Betsy announced that she too was finding the country a bit humdrum that Denise, 43, decided to call it quits.
“When your seven year old is saying: ‘Mummy, this is boring’, I knew it was time.
“It was amazing when she was little and I feel lucky that I was able to do it. But, nah, not forever.
“There was the two of us living in the middle of nowhere, which was very bonding, but she needed to get back and be stimulated.
With ex Lee Mead and their daughter Betsy
“Walking round fields and talking to cows doesn’t really do that.
“I had really good friends there, but there were times I was lonely sitting on my own in the evening. That’s not really me.”
Well, quite! You don’t need to spend long in Denise’s company (or look any further than her ladette heyday) to realise she’s very much a people person, although she claims those hedonistic nights out were exaggerated and jokes that she probably drinks more now than she did then.
“But on the nights we did go out, we went large. The things we used to get up to… When I think back, we’d go to the [Metropolitan] hotel and have a whole floor with everyone there.
PA:Press Association Denise in her ’90s heyday
“All the Oasis lot, the Appletons, Robbie Williams, everyone was in all these rooms coming out and partying.
“There were no photographers, no one watching you. And it all went on. Wouldn’t happen now.
“All I’m really glad about is that I managed to have a lot of fun without getting caught.
“Anyone who was around in the ’90s would say: ‘Cor, we were lucky, weren’t we?’ Cos I wouldn’t have a career…”
There’s another very good reason Denise decided to come home.
Betsy has been diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia, a condition affecting physical coordination, and was starting to struggle in school.
Denise recently found a small specialist school in London where Betsy started in September and is, so far, thriving.
Mark Hayman Loving mum Denise found daughter Betsy a specialist school to help with her dyslexia and dyspraxia
Speaking for the first time about her daughter’s difficulties, Denise, who split from Betsy’s dad, Holby City star Lee Mead, in 2013, says: “We’ve known since she was quite little, but I had a bit of a battle at the school because she was having SEN [special educational needs] classes and being taken out of her group.
“I could see it was affecting her. The kids were all pushed to be the same and if you weren’t getting high grades you got forgotten about.
“She’s only seven, but I could see it could be an issue with her confidence, so [changing schools] was more pre-empting what could become a problem later.
PA:Press Association Denise is glad she got to enjoy partying in the ’90s, before social media was a concern
“There were situations where she was knocked by it. She was getting frustrated and when you’re little you don’t understand those emotions.
“The sensory teacher I used to take her to said I’d be surprised how many children go on to have eating disorders and self-harm because they’re so insecure.
“Being a kid should be the happiest time of your life.”
Having seen the difference in Betsy since moving, Denise is certain she’s made the right decision.
“She’s so much happier. She jumps up every morning wanting to go to school.
Mark Hayman The actress says she has also dealt with learning difficulties her whole life
“It’s all about visual learning and giving them the time to process everything.
“Betsy can’t retain information, she has to keep processing it and going over it because otherwise whatever she’s been taught is out of her head by the time she’s home.
“Those big schools, they just want grades and everything to look great on paper.
“Whereas this new school is more about nurturing and recognising if a child is creative and working with that.
“So I think she’s going to be fine. I’ve told her to let people know.
“If you’re slow at learning something just tell them, because as soon as you say it, people understand.
Mark Hayman The talented star co-wrote a movie which is based on the one-woman show Some Girl I Used To Know
“Her dad has dyslexia, so he explains to the director that he needs extra time to learn his lines and it’s fine.”
Betsy’s diagnosis has helped Denise make sense of her own learning difficulties, which she’s wrestled with her whole life.
“Betsy’s been tested for everything and now I can see it in myself. I went to a theatre school so it was completely masked by singing and dancing.
“But I know I’m very dyslexic with maths and I know I have ADD [attention deficit disorder].
PA:Press Association The telly star once dated Jamiroquai frontman Jay Kay
“I’m really good at coming up with the ideas, but when it comes to sitting down and breaking down costs I can’t do it. It doesn’t make any sense to me, it’s gobbledegook.”
Being London-based again has had the added benefit of freeing Denise to take on jobs she would have otherwise had to turn down, like joining the panel of Loose Women in September.
Perfect timing, she says.
Denise Van Outen reveals she saving her engagement ring and wedding dress for daughter Betsy
“I’m in a good place at the moment because everything in my life is settled and calmed down.
“I’ve gone through a divorce and people know that I’m really good friends with Lee.
“There’s no drama in my life so I don’t really have anything to hide.”
The split with Lee, 36, came seven months after Denise finished as runner-up on Strictly Come Dancing in 2012. She says she can “totally” relate to Louise Redknapp, who separated from husband Jamie earlier this year following her own Strictly experience and the new lease of life and career opportunities it gave her.
Handout Denise finished as runner-up on Strictly Come Dancing in 2012
“I only know Louise from being out and about and back in the day. But as an outsider looking in and seeing the parallels, I know what that new confidence does when you’ve been a mum to young kids.
“Louise is very similar to me. We’ve danced, sung and acted since we were kids, and it doesn’t leave you.
I thought I would give it all up and just be a mum, but it’s in you.
“I think she’s been very dignified. Look, it takes a lot to do that [walk away]. I know that because I’ve walked in her shoes.
“But ultimately it’s better for everyone – if the relationship isn’t right, it’s not healthy to stay in it for you, your partner or your children.
Alamy Live News Denise says she’s glad she called it quits on her marriage rather than staying in an unhappy relationship
“My mum and dad will have been married for 50 years next year and I’d have loved to have had that.
“But I was never going to just stay there and pretend. Ever. And I still won’t going forward. If it’s not right I’d leave and move on and start again.”
Rather than there being a Strictly Curse per se, Denise thinks the show can shine a light on problems that are already festering.
“Strictly is the escape. People always think: ‘Ahh, they did the show and then it went wrong’, but actually with Louise, like me, probably the relationship had already deteriorated before.
“That’s just life. And the show makes you feel alive again.”
BBC Denise doesn’t blame a Strictly curse, claiming relationships are usually doomed before the show – not because of it
Happily, Denise has been with City trader Eddie Boxshall, 44, since 2014, and they plan to buy a place together next year.
He has two grown-up children, and Denise says being around Betsy has made him broody.
That feeling isn’t exactly mutual, although she could be convinced – but she’s also aware time isn’t on her side and knows she’ll have to make her mind up sharpish.
“I go in waves. When I was in the country I was swaying more towards yes, but that’s maybe cos I didn’t have a lot going on.
instagram The mum-of-one is a keen golfer, having taken up the sport to fill weekends when her daughter was with her dad
“And you’ve got to remember my age… I dunno.
“At the minute I’m going out a lot and you can’t do that with a newborn. And I play golf, which I took up because Lee was having Betsy every other weekend.
“I was suddenly single again and I did it to fill my Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
“And I’m not gonna lie, I went because it’s full of men and I thought I might meet someone!
Rex Features Denise has been with her beau Eddie Boxshall since 2014
“Eddie misses it [early fatherhood] though, and being around Betsy has made him miss it more.
“We’ve always said we’ve got kids and we’re so blessed for that.
“If it happened we’d be happy but if it doesn’t I’m not bothered.”
It’s hard to see where a baby would fit into Denise’s schedule.
She’s spent the last year turning the one-woman show Some Girl I Used To Know, which she co-wrote with Terry Ronald, into a film, and it’s due to start shooting in Ibiza early next year.
She’s already lined up a stellar, top-secret British cast, and in light of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, she’s keen to recruit all-female investors.
Denise Van Outen admits her boyfriend is broody and would love to have a child with her on Loose Women
“I do feel like that would send out a really positive message,” she says.
“Whether it does well or goes straight to DVD, I don’t mind. It’s a passion project and I had a story to tell.”
She also has plans to write a sitcom and is one of the judges on the all-new Ireland’s Got Talent alongside Louis Walsh, Michelle Visage and Jason Byrne.
And there will be another of her now-annual charity challenges – she’s recently returned from a 52-mile trek across the Himalayas in aid of Brain Tumour Research, her seventh challenge since climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief back in 2009.
“I do a challenge every year because it’s just a given to me that I give something back. I think: ‘How can you live in this weird world without doing that?’
Denise Van Outen reveals her deceased pal Nicki Waterman inspired her to battle through the pain on charity trek
“I had one celebrity who’s really well-known and I asked about doing this latest trek and she asked if it was being filmed for TV. I said no and she said: ‘Well I’m not interested.’ Honestly, sod off.
“I had another who asked me what the fee was. It amazes me.
“There are people I’ve WhatsApped and I see the two blue ticks so I know they’ve read it and they don’t bother getting back to even say good luck – people I’ve known for years.”
Naming no names?
instagram Denise is a keen Instagram user
“I will one day,” she fires back.
“But there’s a core little group who always say yes, and even if they can’t do it they respond with a really lovely message.
“Like Alesha Dixon and Caroline Flack – I don’t even know Caroline that well, but I messaged her agent and she personally messaged me back.”
The boobs Denise famously flashed at Prince Charles back in 1999 look bigger today than they did back then, but Denise denies having had surgery, blaming a combination of time of the month and weight gain from indulging in too much rosé, bread and garlic oil on a recent Spanish holiday.
Denise’s boobs look bigger than ever, but she denies having had any plastic surgery
“I’ve always had big boobs, but when I put on weight I put it on round there. That’s where it goes.
“If you look at old pictures of me you’ll see I always had a big bust.
“The only time I’ve been really tiny was when I was in Chicago in 2001-2002, and I went down to a size 6. I hated being that thin.
“I was the most miserable I’ve ever been [Denise had just split from Jamiroquai frontman Jay Kay], but it’s the one time in my life when everyone was saying how fantastic I looked. Which is a shame.”
Prince William may go to FA Cup final after royal wedding as Palace insists they ‘will not clash’
BRITS are set for a busy day on May 19 next year, with the FA Cup Final being held just hours after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed. But no one is set for a busier double whammy than Prince Will…
BRITS are set for a busy day on May 19 next year, with the FA Cup Final being held just hours after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed.
But no one is set for a busier double whammy than Prince William, who could be Harry’s best man AND also carry out his duties as President of the Football Association, which each year sees him dish our the trophy to the eventual winners.
Britain is set for one long party after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their wedding will be on the same day as the FA Cup Final
The royals are tipped to kick off their nuptials at noon with footie’s showpiece starting from 5.30pm.
This means that in theory Prince William could attend both.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “We have not gone into the timing of the the wedding but made it clear that the wedding and the FA cup final will not clash.”
And The Telegraph has reported that palace aides are working with the FA to see if the future king could attend both events.
AFP Wills is set to have a busy old day
The UK will benefit from the two events being broadcast to an estimated 2.5billion global TV audience.
Expert David Haigh, of Brand Finance, said: “You are looking at it being worth between £500million to £1billion.
“Meghan and Harry are exceptionally popular.
“We had 350,000 tourists for the last royal wedding, and 800,000 for the Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
AFP The royals are tipped to start their nuptials at midday at Windsor Castle’s St George’s chapel Getty – Contributor The cup final is then expected to follow at 17.30 – with celebrations lasting long into the night
“Up to £150million could be spent on champagne, food and drink alone.
“It will also provide £100million worth of global advertising for Britain.”
Retail sales leapt 17 per cent in the week of William and Kate’s wedding in April 2011.
The date lands between the May 7 and 28 bank holidays.
Insiders said the royal couple may opt for a noon start.
May 19 timetable
TIMES for the big day have not been announced, but the wedding is likely to be late morning and the Cup Final late afternoon.
Here’s how you could enjoy it:
9am: Line your stomach with a king-sized Full English breakfast — or American-style pancakes.
11am: Put on the TV and watch wedding guests arrive at Windsor.
2pm: The happy couple and guests are en route to the reception. Time for fizz — or a beer?
3pm: Down the boozer to secure a seat for the footie.
7.40pm: Winners lift Cup and dancing is under way at Windsor.
Don your glad rags and hit the town. The night is still young.
A palace source said: “They were looking for a date that would work for as many friends and family as possible.
“We can’t confirm timings yet but are mindful it is cup final day.”
The FA hinted at a 5.30pm kick-off, saying: “May 19 promises to be a wonderful day with such a special royal occasion being followed by English football’s showpiece.”
Danielle Lloyd reveals struggles with Twitter trolls, family dramas and making sure baby no.5 is a girl
Danielle Lloyd only gave birth 14 weeks ago, is surviving on broken sleep and feels permanently exhausted. And yet she’s already planning baby number five. At this rate, she jokes, she’s going to e…
Danielle Lloyd only gave birth 14 weeks ago, is surviving on broken sleep and feels permanently exhausted.
And yet she’s already planning baby number five. At this rate, she jokes, she’s going to end up with 20 (“I’m just a baby machine!”).
Mum of four Danielle Lloyd is already planning baby number five, and she’s determined to make it a girl
However, after four boys, she’s going to do things a little differently next time.
Rather than letting nature take its course, she’s found a clinic in Cyprus that specialises in gender selection, and she’s hoping to use the ethically questionable technique – which is illegal in the UK – to get the daughter she longs for.
“I think we’ll end up doing it,” she says. “I’m thankful for the children I’ve got… I just would quite like to have a girl cos I feel quite lonely in my house. I need someone on my side!
“One of my friends wants to do it as well, so maybe next year we’ll do it together. I don’t want to sound ungrateful cos I know that some people can’t have children and I don’t want to upset people. But I just really want to do this.”
The former glamour girl says she needs some girl company in her family
And then she shrugs her shoulders and declares herself officially “not bothered” about what people say.
Quite the turnaround for someone who has in the past been preoccupied with what others think of her, but it’s not hard to see why she might have reached a tipping point.
“People are always going to have their opinions, but as with a lot of things lately, stuff what they think! I’m fed up worrying and I’ve got to a place where I can’t be arsed with it. I’m happy in my own little world.”
She’s referring to the social media trolls who have hounded her since she split with footballer husband Jamie O’Hara, 31, father to her three eldest, Archie, seven, Harry, six, and four-year-old George.
Getty – Contributor With ex-husband Jamie O’Hara in 2011
There have been several occasions when Jamie – who used to play for Spurs and is currently plying his trade with Billericay Town in the dizzy heights of the Isthmian League Premier Division – has taken to Twitter to rant about Danielle and their post-divorce finances.
The latest string of angry posts came when new baby Ronnie with fiancé Michael O’Neill was just a few days old, and former glamour model turned reality star Danielle, 33, was recovering at home.
“Can you please let me see my boys, why are you doing this to them?” he tweeted.
“Just a dad who wants to see his children try and deal with this on a daily basis and see how it feels. I don’t have a bottomless pit of money.”
Danielle is understandably very reluctant to discuss the details publicly, but does want to set a couple of things straight.
Despite the goading, she never publishes anything relating to the access situation online and so feels somewhat forced to defend herself today.
Danielle is reluctant to discuss her family issues in public
While it’s true that there was a period where Jamie didn’t see the boys, she insists there were very good reasons for this.
“I’ve never ever wanted my kids not to have a relationship with their dad – it’s something they should have, and they should be able to see him.
“I hope people understand that I’ve got their best interests at heart and their welfare is always my priority. They’re only babies and they need looking after properly.”
Read between the lines on that one.
She hopes that things can be resolved in the future “for the children’s sake” and absolutely refutes the accusation that she’s preventing Jamie from seeing them through spite.
With fiancé Micheal and her boys Archie, Harry and George
“Why would I use them as a weapon? That’s only going to harm my kids. They are my world and they’re what I live for. Their dad will always have a relationship with them.
“It shouldn’t be like this, it should be civil on both sides. I need consistency and my kids need consistency. I’ve moved on with my life and I’m happy, I’ve got a baby, a new house and I’m settled.”
Far from being the gold-digger Jamie and his supporters have portrayed her as, Danielle says she’s not received a penny from him for well over a year, and it’s now in the hands of the Child Maintenance Service.
She and Michael, 31, have recently bought their own place in Birmingham, so Jamie can’t counter-claim to be covering the mortgage as he did with the previous house.
Getty – Contributor She says she’s ‘moved on’ with her life after splitting with ex Jamie
“People think I get all this money every month from my ex, but I know I don’t, my family know I don’t and that’s all that matters,” Danielle says.
“I don’t have to sit here and tell everyone the truth or feel like I’ve got to write it all over social media.
“I’m just going to let people think and write what they want. I’m content with myself because I know the truth. When my kids get older, I want them to be able to look at me and think: ‘God, my mum held her own and stayed dignified and got on with it.’
“I’ve forked out for those kids for years on my own – I’m not what people think I am. I’ve actually stopped asking him for help because I don’t want to lower myself. The government will sort it out now and so we’ll see what happens.”
The reality star insists that she pays for her kids out of her ‘own pocket’
It’s not just Jamie who has made Danielle feel under attack – the footballer’s friends, such as his fellow Celebrity Big Brother housemate Nicola McLean, have also waded in.
“That’s her forte,” says Danielle shaking her head.
“She obviously feels like she’s got to bully people to get in the press. I just think it’s so sad. She’s a mum. Would you want your kids to act like that?
“It’s been upsetting, especially this year. I’ve had a good old cry about it. Michael gets really frustrated by it: ‘Why are you crying over these people? Don’t let them get to you, they’re irrelevant!’
Fame Flynet Danielle has accused former CBB housemate Nicola McLean of bullying her in the press
“I think a lot of it is to do with jealousy. I don’t want to sound like a bitch, but Nicola went back to her cheating husband. I’ve got too much respect for myself to do that.
“I saw her at an event and she didn’t even so much as look in my direction, deliberately avoiding eye contact. How cowardly. She can say it on social media, but to my face she won’t say anything.”
There’s also the mysterious “Bev” on Twitter, whose sole purpose seems to be to attack Danielle online.
Danielle Lloyd hits back at Celebrity Big Brother’s Nicola McLean’s comments
“She says she’s a supporter of parental rights on her profile and her whole thing is abusing me.
“We don’t know who she is, although we’ve got an idea. She’s clearly someone connected to the situation because she knows details – I’ve said to her before: ‘Ooh, you seem to know a lot of information, Bev!’
“She’s been reported. I can’t believe people have the time to make up an account just to abuse me, a mum of four who barely gets enough sleep.
Rex Features Dani was trolled by a Twitter bully called ‘Bev’
“She – or he – is vile. Obsessed. It’s died down a bit because Jamie’s girlfriend [Elizabeth-Jayne Tierney, 25] asked Bev to stop and all of a sudden, not one more tweet. Very strange.”
Danielle’s relationship with Elizabeth-Jayne has also been strained, but she says diplomatically: “I’ve always tried to be civil with everyone and I have no reason to dislike the girl.
“I just wish them well. I hope they’re happy. And as long as Liz is good to my kids, that’s all I care about.”
Danielle Lloyd posts video of fiancé playing with her sons
Thankfully, Danielle’s relationship with electrician Michael is far more stable, and she’s been relieved to see the arrival of Ronnie hasn’t affected how he is with Archie, Harry and George.
“I was worried about that, but now he’s here and I’ve seen the way Michael is, it’s fine. He’s not treating the boys any differently to before.
“We never want the other three to feel left out just because Michael isn’t their dad.
“He’s an amazing stepdad to them, but obviously it’s going to be different, and it’d be wrong to say it’s not. It’s not the same.
Danielle says she is relieved to see the arrival of Ronnie hasn’t affected how Micheal is with her other sons
“Ronnie is his first-born, and he’s never experienced that before, that crazy kind of love. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to him in his life.”
Nevertheless, the critics started sniping again when Danielle and Michael had a night away together when Ronnie was just two weeks old.
“I know, how terrible!” she jokes. “You know what, Michael’s mum had the baby and my mum had the other boys and we went to the hotel to get ready, and I said: ‘Shall we just stay in and go to sleep?’ I could have quite easily just stayed in.
“It was a good night, but the next day I wished we hadn’t done it.”
Because she missed Ronnie too much?
Rex Features Michael has been a particularly big support to Danielle through the ongoing difficulties with son Harry
“Well, yeah, I missed them all! But also cos I was even more tired. I’m not a big party girl any more. My life has totally changed.”
Michael has been a particularly big support to Danielle through the ongoing difficulties with Harry, which she outlined on a recent appearance on ITV’s This Morning.
Danielle Lloyd opens up about her son Harry’s behaviour on This Morning
Harry has recently been referred to an autism specialist and Danielle hopes to have him diagnosed soon.
“I’ve known for ages, but it’s getting worse. He bites his clothes, there are holes in all his stuff… it’s like a comfort thing. He’s not doing too badly in school, but he’s very immature. He’s hyperactive, and if he was sitting here now he’d be jumping up and climbing and head-butting the couch, and that’s not normal.
Rex Features With son Harry in a recent appearance on ITV’s This Morning
“Whatever you say to him, it doesn’t register, and he can’t sit still. If you’re watching the TV, he’ll be jumping from one side of the couch to the other.
“He gets upset about being naughty cos he doesn’t understand why he does the things he does. He says: ‘Why am I different?’
“No one can tell me there’s nothing wrong, because I know my child.”
Since going public, Danielle has taken on an ambassador role for autism charity Anna Kennedy Online, and she and Michael have met with a support worker who is helping them find strategies to manage Harry’s behaviour.
Danielle says she will definitely marry Michael in a quiet ceremony
“We need that because it can become really frustrating. You don’t want to shout at him because he’s not really being naughty – he can’t help what he’s doing.
“I think it stems from his difficult start [Harry was born 10 weeks early]. He had brain damage at birth and that’s affected him.
“But he’s the most loving little boy ever. He just wants cuddles all the time. I feel very protective over him. He’s a delicate little flower – the others are quite rough, but he’s very sensitive.
TV host Amanda Byram talks snacking, dieting and the reason she stopped drinking alcohol three years ago
A day in the life of television presenter Amanda Byram is made of emails, eating snacks and reading before sleep. Amanda, 44, also reveals to Fabulous why she gave up drinking alcohol three years a…
A day in the life of television presenter Amanda Byram is made of emails, eating snacks and reading before sleep.
Amanda, 44, also reveals to Fabulous why she gave up drinking alcohol three years ago.
The presenter has launched a new line of women’s activewear called Body By Byram
I try to get up at 7am.
This weather is so miserable I just want to cosy up under the duvet, so usually it’s more like 8am. Once I’m awake, the first thing I do is make a cup of hot water with a shot of apple cider vinegar.
I love that stuff – I could swig it from the bottle. It’s got loads of health benefits for your stomach and it’s brilliant for skin. I really notice a difference when I take it.
Mornings are all about emails.
I only eat during an eight-hour window because it helps keep my weight down, so I’ll survive on water until 11am. I try to power through all my emails in that time.
I have a standing desk at home, because before I was sitting so much my back was seizing up. My husband [TV producer Julian Okines] has one, too. We stand at the kitchen counter and work together.
Then breakfast will be some oatmeal with hot water, berries, seeds and nuts, with a couple of eggs on the side for some protein.
Amanda goes to the gym for an hour each day. She is currently promoting her new gym clothing range
I snack all day.
I’m always hungry once I start eating, so I’ll munch on apples, rice cakes with houmous or avocado throughout the day.
I try to get to the gym for an hour at 1pm. I mostly do weights, but every now and again I’ll throw in a spin class. Afterwards, I’ll have a bowl of brown rice with stir-fried prawns or home-made beetroot mash.
I cook a lot, and Julian is brilliant in the kitchen. He’ll often whip up a coconut curry or lentil dhal. Then I’ll work in the afternoon taking calls or organising photo shoots for my new gym clothing range.
Getty – Contributor Amanda spends her mornings answering emails then takes phone calls and organises photo shoots in the afternoon
Date night is always a laugh.
We live in Fulham, south-west London, so we’ll walk along the Thames before dinner at 6pm.
There’s a little Italian restaurant up the road where we go to eat regularly.
I’m definitely getting older because anything nearby is perfect for me. I can’t be dealing with travelling too far for dinner when it’s freezing!
Getty – Contributor Amanda keeps her figure slim by only eating during an eight hour period after 11am
I gave up alcohol three years ago.
At first it was just for dry January, then I ended up not really drinking for a year.
After that, I went to an engagement party where I got hammered and threw up everywhere. I felt rubbish and realised I didn’t enjoy drinking any more – it was more of a crutch to stop me feeling nervous in social situations.
Now I’ll have a glass of wine if I go to a big event, but most of the time I don’t drink.
Julian is the same, which does help. A few friends stopped inviting us to parties at first, but now we’ve got a sober social group.
Lying on the couch is the best part of my day.
I have a big velvet sofa in my living room, and after dinner I’ll flop on the couch at 8pm to relax for a few hours with a box set.
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