Together with my enthusiastic travel companion through life & travel for over 30 years, I had the unique opportunity to enjoy a VIP Tour of the Mercedes Sprinter Factory in Düsseldorf just before they closed for their six week summer break. Our expert guide, Lothar Reimann, kindly spent the whole afternoon on a hot July day to show just the two of us around the vast production site – patiently answering all our questions. After all, we're on the threshold of starting an exciting new chapter of life.
A real overland adventure awaits us!
London High Flyers!
Over the years my friend Martin James has bought many of my end-of-lines (and returns) - often literally for “peanuts” - he always tried to drive a hard bargain (he’d be smiling reading this!).
Here I am at his jewellery stand in Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport - where many of my trips begin. Usually I have a look what’s on display and recognise the odd ring or pair of earrings. I think I’ll always love trendy jewellery – not only from my own collections like THE LONDON COLLECTION or DiGBY Bijoux.
When we had to close and clear our offices in Marylebone, I had more than 10,000 samples! Even I was surprised at how much had accumulated over almost two decades in business plus I had been working on other fashion jewellery collections as well like DESIRE Designer Fashion Jewellery with the latest fancy crystals from Swarovski and PRiMA Pearls.
No wonder that I have a separate cupboard just for my jewellery at home…
As a former home shopping Jewellery Girl I simply couldn’t resist this photo opportunity.
As they say: No lady without pearls. And the bold necklace caught my eye as much as the impressive face with big, deep, dark eyes.
We had ventured into the East End for the BALANCE health and fitness exhibition and en route walking via Spitalfields market we stopped at a lovely café offering organic novelty coffees, teas and fancy hot chocolates plus amazing types of chocolate and pralines. I just had to try the delicious dark chocolate truffles with chilli. And try again. And again… They are my favourites! Not easy to resist the hot chocolate with cinnamon - some are served with salted caramel. It is a paradise for chocolate lovers! So I am certain we will return to this very attractive place fairly soon…
The lively mural brought back memories of our trips to Latin America. Or Las Americas as the locals would say. My partner and I had a great time visiting Argentina (time was too short) and we felt very relaxed and at home in Uruguay. Good reason to go back! Many “Urus” have European roots or ancestors and it seems easy to make friends. The architecture is very pleasing, too - especially the modern condos which are much more affordable than our houses in London (no surprise, I guess…).
Uruguay might be a small country compared to its neighbours but it has great impact. We also spent some time in Panama and drove from the hot-all-year-round capital to the famous coffee province Chiriqui which is much cooler due to its mountain location and also more relaxed than buzzing Panama City. Funnily, I wouldn’t rave about the Panamanian coffee though - with the exception of The Garden Inn in Boquete where we stayed over New Year. A little gem!
Writing has long been a passion of mine.
Be it witty pretty cards, travel stories or my funny “scenarios” - meaning entertaining short stories which I started working on over a year ago. Until breast cancer forced me to take a break from them but they have not been forgotten. The quirky title “Zoff im Medaillon” can be loosely translated as “Life and Strife in the Locket” - although it does not quite have the punch of the original - and is reminiscent of my long TV career as a fashion jewellery designer and presenter on TV. And yes, one of my short stories is based on my time in homeshopping with THE LONDON COLLECTION which was the longest fashion jewellery line on German TV - we had shows on QVC , HSE24 and M6 Boutique as well as in other countries on Shop!, Le Grand Magazin, Thuis Winkelen and The Shopping Channel in Canada.
It all started with articles for my local school newspaper which I contributed to on my mother’s little red travel typewriter. So maybe it doesn’t come as a surprise that once upon a time - at the end of my school days - I wanted to become a journalist; history and travel always having interested and fascinated me.
Later on I tended to write scripts for each of my designs that went on-air. I felt that every piece had to have a name, an identity and hence a little story and some of my customers really appreciated the love and attention that went into my fashion jewellery stories .
This exotic contraption was too good to walk past during one of our many strolls through Paris - here at the famous Palais Royal.
Paris is one of my favourite European cities and ideal for exploring on foot (and metro). This fancy piece of art reminds me of a mixture of Indian fun-fair and futuristic space craft! I was thrilled.
It was at the end of August which is when my wonderful partner and I got to know each other (many many years ago) and we tend to celebrate this romantic anniversary with trips abroad. In the morning we had presented THE LONDON COLLECTION to the dynamic and charming jewellery buying team at M6 Boutique near Orly airport who were excited to work with us in future.
As they say: Summer loves DO last (great news!) and the M6 Boutique customers certainly fell in love with my designs too which meant that I had to brush up my rusty French pretty quickly as I did the shows in French.
As the shows are all live, we enjoyed many amusing moments especially when I had to improvise and my tongue was faster than my brain… The presenters and I shared many laughs and my partner is convinced that these lively TV shows were by far the most entertaining!
Click here to view this video:
Laughter will always be the best medicine!
I am a big fan of Oliver Kalkofe’s Mattscheibe and found it marvellous being portrayed or “lampooned” myself in one of his lively shows during my homeshopping time at HSE24. And not just once - but twice! Double whammy. Or perhaps a cacophony of Kalkofe…
We thought his “Fataaaal” sketch was brilliant - and so did our fans. Within a very short time this entertaining video had over 550,000 views!
I was on air with my fashion jewellery ranges THE LONDON COLLECTION and DiGBY Bijoux for 18 years and have always said if you take yourself too seriously and cannot laugh at yourself you better not be on TV.
In my opinion Oliver made a fun-tastic Martine Digby with his inspired impersonation and it still amuses me today.
So a big thank you, Oliver & Team! Carry on the good work otherwise life becomes boring and that would be simply “fataaaaaaal”!
This jolly photo is from our last holiday before my cancer diagnosis.
We spent a fun week over Christmas and New Year in Dubrovnik and by sheer chance I ended up on Croatian TV on New Year’s Eve. It was to be (or it turned out to be?) my last TV appearance!
Since spending our very first Christmas and New Year here together in 1985, Filzmoos - 70km south of Salzburg - has become a regular travel destination for us. The proximity to the Dachstein Glacier provides a reliable snow guarantee but Filzmoos is a truly wonderful place for all nature fans all year round.
Fancy a trip to the mountains with me? Okay, off we go!
Together with France, Italy is one of my favourite European countries.
As a jewellery designer and former "TV Bling Babe" I often visited the jewellery fair in Vicenza which is located between the pretty towns of Verona (Romeo & Juliet) and Venice.
By this way I got to know and love Northern Italy. Follow in my footsteps... I’ll show you around!
Fascinating Far East! Ni hao!
Several years ago a customer got in touch with me as she loved my chic fashion jewellery and suggested I design a collection for her for China.
My assistant Ursula was ecstatic! After the collection had been completed my travel-happy partner and I accepted her invitation and flew to Beijing for the launch.
THE LONDON COLLECTION had its glittering premiere in Chinese retail. On our launch day…
…we were greeted by many photographers and a Chinese TV film crew. I gave some interviews for the popular magazines LADY and Cosmopolitan. It was quite an event!