13 March 2018

Tuesday Talk with Helen Hollick :the Return of Escaping to the Country

Back in 2012 we had a bit of a windfall - one of the winning numbers for the London Olympics Lottery Raffle Prize turned out to be our number. The outcome was that we finally had a chance to buy our own property and to get out of Walthamstow, N.E. London, in exchange for a prospective new home in Devon.

Problem: Finding said home.
Solution: Apply to go on Escape to the Country and let someone else do the leg-work!

The result was a couple of days with a BBC TV film crew in North Devon, and we bought the first house they showed us.

This one, in fact.

We moved in on the day it snowed heavily on 18th January 2013, and absolutely love it here.

Quite a few things have changed in the years between. Kathy married Adam, for instance, and we built an extension apartment for them.

We moved in with two cats, a dog and two horses. We now still have two cats (although Sybil has gone semi-feral) ...

Our old boy Rum
 sadly left us in March 2013
... two dogs

hens, ducks and geese (and Ron still has his racing pigeons)

Christmas Goose
a donkey called Wonky Donk and four Exmoor ponies

 three big show jumpers

Lexie (Shinglehall Casino)

Wexford Pippa
Saffie - La Rafaelle
with one more one the way, Saffie is in foal, due to be born in late March, early April

With all this additional excitement through the years, I invited the BBC TV Escape to the Country team back for their spin-off series I Escaped to the Country.

So on the 27th February 2018  we played host to the lovely Alistair Appleton  and crew for the day.

Baz wasn't very impressed
Although he adored Alistair

Mr Mischief, of course,
wanted to know if anything was edible...

Then it was time for lunch, which we provided
The cheese was from the Cheese Larder in South Molton

Donkey, however did not want to join in

... until Alistair walked away

I think he was scared because the boom-microphone
 looked a bit like donkey fur

Phew, it's hard work this being on TV lark!
No idea, yet, when the show will be broadcast ... but watch this space (or better still, sign up for my newsletter HERE and you'll get the date as soon as I know!)

< My Previous article Game of Thrones 


  1. Replies
    1. we had a lovely day. Alistair is such a nice man!

  2. Curiously, I had just become hooked on the old Escape series (watching it through Roku/YouTube). The English country-side is just so beautiful - if only it were warmer there. I will definitely watch out for your grand debut - and I won't even have to sigh "I knew her when..." because you, dear Author Helen, are already famous!

    1. at the moment the cold is fine... if only it were DRY! Thanks Inge!

  3. I love Alistair! Look forward to yet another instance when Johan says, "come, come quick! Helen's on TV!"

    1. Alistair is such a nice quiet and gentle man and so patient!

  4. You look so contented and the house and countryside are as beautiful as ever.

    1. We have our ups and downs of course, but we are far more 'at ease' with life than we were in London.


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