Away from your TV screens, Lynn Jinks and her husband Rod have been on a long, emotional but truly inspiring journey over the last decade, culminating with the birth of their daughter in March 2017. We spoke to Lynn in early 2018, just before she returned to our screens, about family, love and of course their beautiful little miracle Ava Rose.
Lynn, let’s start with the really big question! Just how amazing has it been becoming a mother?
Being a mummy is the most wonderful feeling in the world. I still pinch myself every day. It is one of the most generous, kind and thoughtful gifts I could have ever received and I will be forever grateful. Jennifer Quinn once wrote, "Until one becomes a mother, no one can ever tell you what it will feel like to love someone else so deeply and profoundly that you will rejoice when they rejoice, ache when they ache, feel what they feel, even without ever speaking a word." This sums up how I feel when I wake up each morning. It has expanded the parameters of what love looks like to me, I feel like I have opened up a part of my heart that I didn’t even know existed.
And how is daddy Rod getting on?
I think anyone who has ever met Rod would tell you how amazing he is as a person. Fun, caring, honest, loyal, dependable, patient and above all else full of love. He is a really hands on daddy even with the “messy” jobs, which does make me chuckle. There is a very special bond between Ava Rose and her daddy and I hope to nurture and encourage this as she grows. How lucky she is to have such a positive role model in her daddy. He has strong broad shoulders and I know he will lift Ava up onto them should she ever need help reaching for the stars. I really didn’t think I could love him more but when I see him cuddling, playing and cradling our daughter my heart just bursts.
Beautifully said Lynn, and I know everybody here is just happy beyond words for all three of you. So, what have your days been full of, and where have you been taking her?
I was lucky to meet a lovely group of ladies and their partners when Rod and I attended NCT (National Childbirth Trust) classes just before Ava Rose was born. These ladies have been instrumental to the fabulous experiences I have had since becoming a mum. Since our children have arrived we have all been very supportive of one another, from 3am WhatsApp chats to meeting and offering cuddles and chats when the nights have been long. We have been to so many fabulous classes including baby sensory, baby sing and sign, swimming classes, walks in the park and to each other's homes... we even had a Halloween party and a Christmas night out, although this didn’t include the children! At the moment Ava is enjoying her food, which has been such a lovely experience and so terrific to watch. She explores textures and tastes and it is so cute to see her little face light up when she tries something she really likes for the first time. Ava Rose and I are so lucky that Rod has been able to be with us in between his working days. We have been to many National Trust places where we have introduced Ava to the wild outdoors. She loves listening to the wind in the trees and watching them sway. But most of all she loves being pushed on the swings.
It must be wonderful watching her grow. Which milestones has she hit recently and what do you think is coming next?
Ava has a favourite toy which happens to be a little plastic strawberry from a picnic basket toy. She loves it and we still can’t work out what it is about it that she likes so much. She speed crawls for it when she sees it and she can get from one end of the room to the other in a matter of moments. She began by slowly crawling across the floor on her elbows but now, boy can she move! We need eyes in the back of our heads and I think very soon we will be seeing her begin to pull herself up and start to take some little steps. Every milestone is so lovely and so wonderful and we have been documenting them in a lovely keepsake book we were bought when she was born. We are so delighted to see her growing and learning and discovering and each milestone brings another adventure for us as a family.
And the adventure started a long time ago, with the emotional journey you and Rod have been on to get to this point?
We are 10 years married this year and as you say it has been an emotional and eventful journey and one which has made us stronger, closer and more united. We found strength when we thought we had none and belief when the hope was fading. We were supported by friends, family, Tommy's charity, doctors, midwives and many more, including random acts of kindness. We even had total strangers help us when it was a very sad and distressing time. A beautiful bright rainbow always follows a storm and we feel delighted to have our rainbow baby.
What would you say to anybody going through the same experience?
There are no words of wisdom as every couple will handle situations differently. All we can say is we held each other tight, we looked after each other’s hearts and we kept loving each other. Concentrate on the things you can control and not on the things you can’t, and above all else, remember it is not your fault.
Your family must be just over the moon?
Ahhhh they are just delighted. We are such a close family and they have been on this emotional journey with us, so to see their faces when they are with their little niece, cousin and granddaughter is priceless. We have Rod's mum and his brother Barry and sister-in-law Dawn, and they have two daughters Charlotte and Laura. Charlotte has two sons, so we have great-nephews too, which I still can’t get my head around. Ava has met all of them, including my mum and dad, sister Toni, brother-in-law Dave and cousins Max and Tess. She just beams when she is around them as she is such a sociable little girl. Family is so important to us, it always has been, and we often spend time away together with weeks in the country, weekends on adventures or simply catching up at one another's houses.
It sounds like you’ve been very busy! Where have you taken her on holiday so far and which ones stand out the most?
We have been on many little trips away including a static caravan holiday to see Blackpool Illuminations which Ava adored as she loves twinkly sparkly lights. It was a real moment for me as my family and I have been every year since I was little, so it was marvellous for me to be able to carry on the tradition in true Jinks style, which included fish and chips on the pier, plus candy floss and rock. One highlight was a week in Portugal which we spent with Steve and Sarah Bennett and their family. We are very close friends and we have watched all their children grow into such incredible young adults so it was a pleasure to spend time with them. We are godparents to their youngest daughter Lili and she calls Ava her godsister and Tom, their second youngest son, nicknamed her Ava Quaver. It was wonderful, and she loved the warm swimming pool, the sunshine and the soft warm sand.
Unbelievably, you’re fast approaching Ava’s first birthday. What have been your absolute highlights so far?
The moment we got to see her and know she was safe and sound and that our little girl had made it safely into the world. Relief, happiness and overwhelming love all came rushing at us both and we had such an exceptional experience in the delivery theatre. I can still close my eyes and remember the nerves, happiness and excitement we felt, and I’ll never forget the time she was born, it was 11:37am. Her christening was also a very emotional and special day for us. To have the opportunity to ask close friends to be her godparents, friends who we know will offer Ava kindness when she may feel sadness, advice should she ask for it, confidence should she waver and strength should she feel weakness. These role models that have promised to guide her through the adventure of her life are a blessing to our family. Oh my, and Christmas! Magic, excitement and fun... need I say more? Just by having Ava Rose in our lives it makes our
hearts sing. Me and Rod cast that knowing glance between us and we just know that we are blessed.
Have you made any plans for her birthday yet?
We’re planning a day that’s based on the things Ava enjoys to do, and we want to try and give her a day full of excitement and fun and to surround her with people and items she adores, so we can see her smile all day. It’s not about the presents because she doesn’t understand yet, but she does understand happiness and sadness so for her first birthday we would like to give her the gift of happiness.
Of course, all of this means you’ve also been away from our TV screens for almost a year. How are you feeling about getting back on-air?
Ridiculously excited. Although I haven’t been on screen I have been heavily involved with Gemporia behind the scenes and there are lots of exciting things planned. The wonderful treat about being a Gemporia presenter on maternity is that you can still be involved. I’ve watched during Ava’s feeding times, I’ve had Gems TV on in the background when I’ve been playing with her and also when she has napped. It has been lovely to have the time to peruse all the Gemology magazines too, and to have time to watch all the shows on the fantastic new gemstones we have discovered and launched.
When you’re sat at the desk in the studio for your first show back, and the countdown gets to ten seconds, what will be going through your mind?
“Have I got lipstick on my teeth?” Genuinely, it will be something vain, I am sure! Sitting at the desk in the studio is like slipping into a pair of comfy slippers, it’s my safe place. I have the most lovely, loyal viewers who over the years have watched and bought many pieces from me and I feel like they are my extended family.
You’ve had the most beautiful year, but what have you missed most about your job?
Without question the viewers. I have been lucky to have had contact via my Facebook and Twitter pages over my maternity leave, but it hasn’t been the same. The messages and comments I always get during my live shows are overwhelming. After every show, I could come off-air and spend hours reading and replying to all the messages and emails that were sent into the studio or to my email address.
Over what we calculate to be around 9,000 hours of live TV, which highlights, mishaps and funny moments have stuck with you?
Gosh, that’s some presenting! Has it really been that many hours? Oh, so many funny moments, like when Rod tripped over the set after I made him do an elaborate introduction to one of my Emerald showcases. A special highlight would be when Angeline and I were hosting a show together, celebrating 10 years of being on screen. From nowhere, Steve and Sarah Bennett came on set and presented us with a gorgeous award and huge bouquet of flowers each. For the first time ever we were both speechless.
You’ve been able to keep in touch on social media whilst you’ve been off. Have you had lots of nice comments?
Oh, isn’t social media brilliant? It has been my life-line to all my viewers. We’ve shared messages, stories, pictures and I have been able to keep everyone up to date with pictures of Ava and also snippets of information about when I am back on screen and so forth. It is a wonderful platform, and very direct as I manage my own pages. Come and say hi if you are on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Just search my name.
Have your style choices changed over the years, in jewellery and fashion?
Yes. When I began I would buy lots of different designs at a slightly lower price point, but as my knowledge expanded, my understanding advanced and my passion grew, I stopped buying lots of little pieces and started to invest in beautiful, elite gemstones and those whose story interested me. Since becoming a gemologist I find my interest goes deeper than the superficial face value and although it still has to look beautiful, I search for the beauty of the story and the history of that gem, both inside and out.
On that note, do you have any ambitions to use this knowledge to create and design your own collection?
There have been some simply stunning collections from my fellow presenters haven’t there? You can see the effort, time and dedication that they have spent perfecting their designs. You can’t work in the jewellery business for nearly 14 years and not have had an idea of what you would love your collection to be… so perhaps I will. Watch this space!
It’s been a joy to catch up with you. What’s next for the Jinks family?
Adventures. We love the mottos ‘life is for living’ and ‘it is what it is’, so with our family, extended family and all our friends we will have fun, make memories, live life to the full, laugh lots, smile more and have the best adventures we can.
You can see Lynn on Gemporia TV between 7pm and 11pm most nights - click here to watch.
You can watch Rod on Gemporia Outlet between 11am and 3pm most days - click here to watch.