Saturday, 15 April 2017


"Why do you watch this?" asked my husband. "They don't live in the real world. All they do is argue."

This is not the first time my husband has caught me watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I watched him do a U turn out of the room, leaving me to indulge in the American reality show. Despite his protest, he knows to leave me to it. Compromise is the secret to our 31 year old marriage and it is a valuable lesson we have both learnt over the years. However, he had a point. Why do I enjoy watching mega rich, beautiful women, falling out all the time? It is a waste of my precious time and it teaches me nothing ... yet I am hooked.

I know why. While I am watching the Housewives of Wherever Land betraying each other, I am escaping the stresses of the day job, my edits and my attempts to fill in the plot holes of my current project. I am having a rest from the promotional wheel and from worrying about the numerous conflicts in the world. I am not proud of my choice in television programs, but it is a guilty pleasure I enjoy.

A guilty pleasure is something that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard. Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), says "Indulging in some of your guilty pleasures can add years to your life. Whether it’s a “mental health day” off from work, a long bubble bath, nap, massage, chocolate croissant, or serving of tiramisu, treating yourself can bestow numerous health benefits -- especially if you strip away the guilt."

I sometimes think women's lives are ruled by guilt, either trying to avoid it or experiencing it. However, take heart as indulging in your guilty pleasure is thought to be beneficial and something to be encouraged. It allows one to take time out and put distance between oneself and the demands of the day. It helps to recharge those batteries and spreads a feeling of well-being without being too taxing. It might just be what you need to motivate or kick start that creative gene inside you.

So my advice is to give yourself permission to indulge in something that may not appear to have a direct benefit to your day job, or your chores, or your latest creative project, because in the long term it may just have more benefits than you can foresee.

I asked some fellow authors what their guilty pleasures were. I banned chocolate as I had a sneaking suspicion that 95% would choose the coco bean confectionery, besides I had a feeling there were more interesting guilty pleasures lurking in their lives. Below is what they confessed:-

Jennifer Bohnet Looking at expensive houses on the internet - that I can't possibly afford.
Jennifer Young A glass or two of red wine -- in bed -- with a good book, when my husband is away.
Gill Steward Lying on the bed for half an hour after lunch, reading.
Linda Michelmore Expensive lingerie
Rae Cowie Watching Gogglebox while eating Doritos
Morton S.Gray Shower Gels - I love to have a selection and get lots of my book ideas in the shower!
Janet Gover Say Yes to The Dress
Clare Chase Indulging in Youtube spirals (ie top of the pops The story of 1981...)
Chris Stovell Spotify Listenathons (music)
Sheryl Browne Binge watching Kiefer Sutherland and Game of Thrones ... and eating cupcakes.
Kathryn Freeman TV series Arrow on Sky 1
Angela Britnell Say Yes to the Dress
Georgia Hill Doctors on the TV and The Archers and standing in front of the bathroom mirror, holding a shampoo bottle and giving my Oscar acceptance speech
Lisa Hill Doc Martin
Bernie Stevens Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Lynda Stacey Watching the Gilmour Girls
Henriette Gyland Strong liquorice
Jan Brigden Made in Chelsea/Real Housewives of Cheshire and searching out and singing along to old skool/cheesy tunes via YouTube
Kirsty Ferry Celebrity gossip magazines
Christina Courtenay Reading until the early hours of the morning and Thor movies as often as I can
Rhoda Baxter Lego Friends sets
Anne Marie Brear American TV show, The Amazing Race
Amanda James Playing phone app games (songpop, words with friends, begewelled, blitz and cookie jam on Facebook
Jane Cable Shoulder massages
Liz Fenwick Playing Solitaire on my phone

Thank you to all those who were brave enough (and had the sense of humour), to share their guilty pleasures with us. Our guilty pleasures may vary, but at least we are all united in the idea that it is okay to take time out and do something which appears useless, but may have long term health and creative benefits ... or at least that is my excuse and I am sticking to it!

As I climbed the stairs to go to bed, I listened to my husband flicking through the channels.
He stopped and settled himself deeper into the sofa cushions and started  to laugh quietly to himself. Curious, I retraced my steps to see what he was watching. It was Family Guy. Hhhmmm, a family that does not live in the real world and fall out all the time. Perhaps our guilty pleasures are not so very different after all!

Victoria Cornwall


  1. Three cheers for guilty pleasures... and reading about other peoples. Great post!

    1. Thanks for taking part Chris. I loved discovering everyone's guilty pleasures as it made me feel less guilty about indulging in my own. :)

  2. Brillian idea for a blogpost, Victoria. Time to get dressed now .... hmmm, which lacy items shall I choose today?

    1. I loved yours, Linda, you little minx. :)

  3. There's no hiding the shameful truth now :) Angela Britnell

    1. It is all out in the open. ;) Thank you for taking part. x

  4. Nice one, Victoria. Interesting that the majority of the guilty pleasures among authors was watching rather than reading, not even a trashy magazine. Does that reflect the different levels of effort required?

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Tony. I think it is more to do with the fact that we probably have more than one guilty pleasure, but I limited them all to sharing just one. :)

  5. Enjoyed the topic! Great post!

    1. Thank you Liz. I enjoyed writing it ... it gave me the excuse to let go of the guilt. :)

  6. Great post, Victoria. Ooh, yes - The Archers!

    1. Thanks, Margaret. I bet a lot of people would say The Archers too. :)

  7. Wonderful post, Victoria and I love the theory that having a guilty pleasure is actually 'good' for you. After reading that fun list, I'm tempted to develop a few more!

    1. Develop away, Rae! I recommend lots. ;)

  8. Thank you Victoria! Now I can indulge and not even feel guilty :)