32 days and counting to Christmas!


Wilfy and the bearI am feeling very pleased with myself as, for once, I have started my Christmas shopping before my son's birthday on the 27th. The other day my mum rang asking me to order her some Kelly Hoppen cushions as she has just had her suite re-covered.

Whilst I was ordering I also bought her the Tiffany-style night light, which I know she will love and, with a few bits of Liz Earle, that is my mum sorted…simples!!! I also ordered the Bethlehem Lights pepperberry wreath for our front door, whilst we still have one!

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the house we are currently renting has been sold and we now have our move-out date, which is January 12th…we have to move in seven weeks and we still have nowhere to move to.

I admit I dragged my heels a bit last year after my diagnosis, but we have been actively looking for our next home to buy for the past nine months without success. If it's the right house it's in the wrong place, or it doesn't have parking, or it's on a busy main road or it's too far for me to drive home from work at silly 'o' clock or it doesn't have a garden or…ad infinitum!

I know I need to compromise but so far nothing has been special enough for me to make an offer and now we are almost out of time so I guess we will probably have to rent again unless a miracle happens. I do believe in fate so maybe THE house is just waiting to be found.

Fox in the gardenTalking of gardens, we had a rather large visitor in ours the other day. You may recall me telling you about the fox that lives around here being chased by two crows. Maybe you imagined a little baby fox? Well no, this is him … he's huge and was marking out his territory by 'sprinkling' on the bushes and the garden furniture. Wilfy hasn't been outside yet (we probably won't let him before we move) but I do wonder what would have happened if they had come face to face.

He has been very lively this week and playful. One of his favourite toys is the QVC teddy that the marketing girls gave me a while ago (check out the picture at the top of this post)…oh yes, Wilfy loves QVC! He also loves chasing sweetie wrappers – shame there won't be any on the Thorntons chocolate TSV that I ordered this week…there's some more Christmas presents ticked off my list!

If you haven't started your Christmas shopping yet, this weekend is the Big Christmas Shopping Weekend on QVC. We have some of our most popular brands including Kipling, EMU and Diamonique AND we have the Butler & Wilson Couture show for two hours from 5pm Sunday.


If you watch Strictly (isn't Natalie a gorgeous dancer) the stunning jewellery Darcy Bussell wears is B & W so you would be in very good company. And, talking Christmas present ideas, the hard copy of my book, One Hundred Lengths of the Pool, is now available to buy on Amazon if you know someone who missed getting it before it sold out on QVC…also available on Kindle.

Must dash now as I am on a bit earlier than expected today. Dale is not well (get better soon, Silver Fox) so we are covering his hours. It means I get a double dose of cosy Carole Hochman sleepwear, including the TSV, if it's still around, at 3pm and 7pm, and sandwiched in the middle is Fashion on Friday, this week featuring Ileana by Ronit Zilka – hope you can join me.

Happy shopping,


Julia xx


  1. Beth Morton November 23, 2013 at 2:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    I did start an earlier reply but not sure where it went! Here goes again!, I’ve purchased your book via Amazon but won’t get a chance to read it until after Christmas. My partner is buying it for me as part of my Christmas present but I will let you know what I thought. I know I’ll enjoy it but you had mentioned that you’d be happy to hear my comments.
    I do hope you can find a nice house soon – even if it will be another rental for now. The garden you’ve got at the moment is lovely. Re the fox, a few years ago I watched my cat Molly just lying on the grass whilst a fox circled her before moving on. It appeared to be a mutual respect going on but I wouldn’t recommend Foxy and Wilfy meeting up at this early stage in his life! Good luck with the house hunting – I suppose a lot of it is finding the area you really like and then keeping tabs on every “For Sale” going through in that location. Or getting to know the estate agents in that area really well – with this last move, we moved area and our house was found through an agent who we’d built up a good rapport with, phoning us immediately.
    Last but not least, I also want to say your hair is looking great! I’ve always liked it but at this slightly shorter length, it really suits you.
    You take care and well done on being so organised with your Christmas shopping!
    Beth XXX.

  2. Diane gilbank November 24, 2013 at 7:41 am -  Reply

    Hi julia, just left you an email on your previous blog about the new addition to my family, and was delighted to hear you mention Wilfy chewing your dressing gown on your Carole h show in Friday. Was very tempted to ring to speak to you on air, but feared the conversation would have been all about kittens and not the clothes! I bought the lovely fleece pjs and nodded in agreement when you said Wilfy would be on you all the time with the tsv as it was so soft. Elsa is laying on my feet as we speak, a lot warmer than slippers!! Have really enjoyed your shows this week and look forward to Simon and you tonight! Always guaranteed a giggle or two.
    Hope to send you a pic of Elsa when I get the hang of twitter, take care, much love Diane xx

  3. Jean November 24, 2013 at 9:35 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    If someone said to me what do you want for Christmas it is going to have to be your gorgeous little Wilfy. He seems to be enjoying his Teddy.
    Yes I have done just about all my shopping now, thanks to QVC, there is so much choice and such good brands. I cannot put up with busy shops, even the supermarket drives me mad, I went into our local Tesco’s the other day, the car park was overflowing, I drove in the car park and straight out and went home, that is not for me I like to go and get my shopping and out again.
    I wish you good luck with your house search, I know what you mean when you find the right house there is always something else on the list which does not match up. You want it to be right dont you. It is a bit like that programme Location Location, they find the right house, not the right area, garden too small. Hopefully soon the right one will come along.
    With regard the fox in your garden, something I do not like to see, we live in the country, (dont get me wrong I like foxes), but most of them we see have mange, and if the dog’s rub against the undergrowth where they have been, they can pick it up and it can be quite serious if a dog get’s it.
    Take care and happy and successful house hunting.
    Love Jean XX

  4. Marian Bolton November 24, 2013 at 12:45 pm -  Reply

    Come and live near me Julia …. I’d love to Wilfy sit! OMG he’s soooooooooo adorable with that teddy!
    I keep thinking I need to get started with my Christmas shopping but I just can’t stop buying things for me! I’m on a right roll again!! Bought the Vitamix yesterday! Can’t see anyone else getting much of anything at this rate! So, much as I’d love to watch the B&W Couture show …….. I daren’t!
    I’ve also recently bought some Bethlehem lights goodies, a table centrepiece and a hanging basket …. both lovely.
    Sorry to hear Dale’s not too well. As you can imagine I wish him a very speedy recovery back to The Q!!
    PS. How exciting is it that next year is the 10th anniversary of Bliss Capsules!! I’ve told Keeley she knows where I am if she needs someone to showcase what those little pods of magic can do!! Never give up Julia ……. that’s my motto! And I know it’s yours too!! xx

  5. Annette Roberts November 25, 2013 at 8:40 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Sounds like you’ll have to get your skates on too, finding a new home for the New Year…eeek!
    We are renting for the time being, found one house, took Bobby with us so they could see what a good boy he is and filled in all the paperwork, then on the way out a massive hound, bull mastiff type dog, came running at us snarling…Bob’s and I got in the car, followed quickly by Chris. Now Chris loves animals, but this put the wind up him! The owner had no control whatsoever and the Agent drove off, needless to say the following morning I told them they’d lost the rental…he would have had Bob’s for dinner! As you say, things happen for a reason and had that not happened we could have moved in!
    We have found somewhere else and have a cross over period, so it’s not all done in one day, plus I want to go and put the tree up first, big softy that I am.
    How spooky, I ordered the exact same wreath last year, but unfortunately sent mine back…it is absolutely gorgeous, but for me the frosting let it down, it was a chalky substance which rubbed off the leaves and I got covered in the stuff when getting it out of box, my concern was having it as a table display (as suggested also) and knowing what kids are like touching the leaves, then putting fingers in mouths etc…hopefully the frosting has been sorted out, you’ll love it. Although, I did like the sound of the Lavender one you had last year.
    At the Drs again last Friday night, stomach pains, and feeling sick after food, struggling to eat my porridge and I think I’m associating food with the pains, bloods were OK, but I’ve got more tomorrow and he’s given me some anti-sickness tablets, which have helped a little…getting really fed up now, lost count of the times I’ve been up at the surgery! Hopefully we’ll get to the bottom of it, trouble is once you’ve hit the tropical moments a lot of the symptoms mimic others.
    Hope you find your dream home soon, be it the one or a rental for the time being.
    Annette x

  6. Julia roberts November 28, 2013 at 1:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Beth,
    Thanks for getting my book from Amazon …. actually Chris checked the other day to make sure it was available and apparently there are only 15 in stock although they do say some more are on the way. I would be really interested to hear your thoughts once you have read it.
    Well we have offered on a house this week although at the moment the offer has not been accepted – I haven’t got time to play the waiting game so if we haven’t heard by tomorrow we will rent again.
    I’m glad you like my hair a bit shorter – I like the cut with a few layers through it.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  7. Julia roberts November 28, 2013 at 4:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Diane
    I look forward to seeing a picture of Elsa on twitter …. Wilfy is sitting on my lap as I type. He normally chases my fingers as I tap my iPad but he is being well-behaved today ….. Must know I’m replying to you!
    Hope you enjoyed the B & W couture show on Sunday? Simon’s last show of the year is with me, this Sunday at 2pm – hope you’ll be watching all snuggled up in your Carole Hochman pj’s
    Julia x

  8. Julia roberts November 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jean,
    I’m chuffed that you would like Wilfy for Christmas BUT you can’t have him ….. he’s mine!
    I didn’t realise fixes had such a problem with mange – what a shame they are so lovely to look at.
    We have put an offer in on a house that we both like – waiting to see if it will be accepted and then a race against time to get conveyancing done enforce January 12th … que sera sera.
    Thankfully Chris does most of the supermarket shopping – lucky me!
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  9. Julia roberts November 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marian
    There could e a slight issue travelling in to QVC from your neck of the woods, besides if you got your hands on Wilfy I don’t think I’d get him back!
    I was also very tempted to get the Vitamix but Sophie came over for dinner on Saturday night and didn’t leave until gone midnight, so I missed it. Probably for the best – I’ve been ordering quite a lot lately too. Maybe you should watch the last B & W show on Sunday if you want a little treat as there will be some more affordable pieces than the couture show.
    Love Elemis bliss capsules but also LOVE the new pro-intense night cream which Keeley tipped me off to mix with oxygenating night cream – fab. Using that at night and the Decleor prolagene serum in the morning …. even Ali Young complimented me on my skin!!!
    Hope you get to the Beauty Bash
    Julia x

  10. Julia roberts November 28, 2013 at 4:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    That was a lucky escape! I’m glad you have found somewhere else and I think it is a great idea to have a few days overlap for the move-in/move-out ….. that is what we have done on the last two moves – not sure if we will have that time luxury this time round. We have put an offer in on a place we both like but don’t know if it’s been accepted yet.
    I’m planning to put the wreath on the front door so it won’t be an issue but I must say the sample in the studio didn’t have that problem.
    Have been to the hospital myself today … WBC fine but have to wait 7 – 10 days for other result …. always a nervous wait. Hope they sort you out soon, you’ve had a lot to cope with.
    Julia x

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