A surprise birthday present


Julia at the Nora Morrison School of Dancing Well my birthday is over for another year but before I leave the subject completely, I just wanted to tell you about one of the pressies my family got for me.

I had already chosen my present, they like me to do this as apparently I am difficult to buy for, a new green purse in patent with a shocking pink lining, and yes they had remembered to put a coin in it. I absolutely love it and was thrilled to finally get my hands on it on my birthday.

As far as I was concerned this was my present but no, they had a suprise pressie for me too – lucky girl. I opened a silver envelope to find tickets to a race evening, followed by a Westlife concert. What a lovely idea and such a suprise too! I've always liked Westlife and have several of their albums on CD which are now on my iTouch.

On the plane back from holiday, I re-aquainted myself with some of my favourite tracks of theirs, including 'Unbreakable' and 'Fool Again' to name just a couple (this could have been a very long list!!) just to get me in the mood. I'm very excited and can hardly wait for August to come around!

Talking of birthdays, it would have been my Dad's 90th birthday last Saturday, so I baked him a cake and we drove up to Nottingham to visit Mum and the Memorial Garden where we planted a shrub in his memory – what a shame the weather couldn't have been kinder, still at least it wasn't raining!

When we got to Mum's, she had a newspaper open on the kitchen table with a picture of my old dancing teacher in it. Apparently she was awarded the MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for her services to dancing and raising money for charity. If any of you went to the Nora Morrison School of Dancing at the same time as me I would love to hear from you. If you did, do you remember the routine I used to do with my Dad called 'Thank Heaven for Little Girls'? I was 11 at the time so it would have been in 1967.

I'm back on TV on Friday this week, raring to go after my holiday and looking forward to the Elemis Mini Series to celebrate their anniversary. There are some special things to look out for, including Milk Bath in a gorgeous limited edition glass decanter and the full size of the perfume that was sampled in the last TSV. Plus, lots more besides so hope to see you there…

Much love, Julia x


  1. Steven June 22, 2010 at 4:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Glad you had a good birthday. I like surprises too! My auntie is a massive fan of westlife too. I think you pair would get on great!
    Have you been watching the World Cup. England have been poor so far haven’t they. I am going to the pub tomorrow with my mates to watch the Slovenia game. I reckon England will win though and will need to step up a few gears in the next stages. A lot of the big nations are struggling. France are out – as I type this! and Spain Germany Italy ahve all suffered surprise results.
    From your point of view fingers crossed tomorrow. Look forward to seeing you on Friday on qvc maybe
    Cheers xxxxx

  2. Annette Roberts June 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Hope you have a fantastic time at your Westlife concert and the races… lucky you! I bet you’ll be counting down the days until you get to boogie in the aisles! If the Wii Fit dance game was anything to go by, you go girl (you weren’t even out of breath when you did that)!
    Chris surprised me over a month ago, so you could say it was an early pressie… I thought we were going to Manchester shopping, but when we got off the train we got in a taxi to the MEN Arena to see ‘Torvill and Dean’s Dancing on Ice’. It was a dream come true for me, as you know I love dance (although never got to do it) and that is any form, ballet, ballroom, ice…. I was in total awe of it all and to see them live, well…. I have nothing but admiration for Jayne Torvill, still being so agile at 53, puts me to shame! Really hope you enjoy you pressies as much as I enjoyed mine.
    That was really nice for you to make a cake for your Dad’s birthday, lots of memories. On Mum and Dad’s birthdays, as soon as I sit up in bed, I wish them a Happy Birthday out loud!
    Take care
    Annette x

  3. Una June 23, 2010 at 9:38 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia.
    My Butler & Wilson has just arrived, and I LOVE IT. Its just so beautiful, very delicate. I just realised that I have SO many outfits I can wear it with.
    Forgot to say, I did make the jellies. How lovely. Very refreshing.
    Glad that Sophie is going to be in the calendar. How could she not be??!!!!
    I have been watching QVC A LOT, but I find it more entertaining that most of the other stuff thats on right now, Maybe apart from The GOod Wife and Brothers & Sisters.
    I was laughing at Annettes husband buying the Leighton Denny Crystal file. Hes a good husband to at least give her one of them! I was just saying yesterday how my husband has hidden talents in the nail department.
    Since I had this spinal injury, I cant paint my toenails, so with some instruction, he now does a very good pedicure. I am so impressed. Im going to make sure he watches the next Leighton shows, and maybe just hint that it would make it easier for HIM, and he should invest in one too!!!!!!!!
    P.s. Shame about the red wine, I love Faustino 1. I cant drink vodka, or I have the same reaction. Ive always been like that though, Im not using age as an excuse for that one!!!!

  4. Una June 23, 2010 at 4:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi again Julia.
    Forgot to mention my sex and the city girls night in. Its not gone ahead as yet. One of my girlies was in a car accident, and not up to going out and about yet, so we are waiting till shes better, so we can all go together. Every time someone starts to talk about it. I have to stick my fingers in my ears and have a lalala moment !!!!!
    I have seen Westlife twice in Glasgow SECC, and they are so fantastic. I did take my daughter to see them when they released their very first single. They had been support at a Boyzone concert she had been at. We had to trail across to Edinburgh at 4 in the morning, as they were doing a signing at Woolies. We were still only half way down the queue!! Was it worth the 5 hour wait?! Hmm, maybe not for her auld Mum, but my daughter got a kiss from Nicky, so he has always been her favourite!!
    They do know how to put on a great show, you will have a blast.

  5. Susan June 23, 2010 at 6:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Glad you enjoyed your holiday. I’m hoping we have a good summer because we won’t get away again unfortunately! Same as a lot of people though I know. Anyway I was wondering if you had any news on the lovely Claudia and bump?? Hope all is well for her. She is just great. I asked Ali K but she is away on her holiday now too.
    Take care,

  6. Jean Ellison June 24, 2010 at 10:33 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia!
    Glad you had a lovely birthday! Mine was on the 18th June and I also had a day of surprises! (I am a LOT older than you, Julia, but am still young at heart!!) The bracelet of my beautiful Diamonique silver watch (a TSV last year)has come apart and my jeweller says he cant mend it and that I should send it back. However, I have had a letter telling me that ‘as over one year (just!) has past’ since I bought my watch, QVC are not prepared to mend the bracelet for me, so I am left with a beautiful watch which keeps perfect time which I cannot wear! Am a bit disappointed, as I have always had the best of service since I joined QVC over 10 years ago. Look forward to the Elemis shows – am a huge fan!
    Best wishes Julia.
    Jeannie x

  7. Annette Roberts June 24, 2010 at 12:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    How lucky is Una to have trained her hubby to paint her toenails…. there’s no way I could trust Chris to do that for me, he’s far too heavy handed, I’d end up with more on my feet than the nails!! I used to have a friend called Una when I was younger, but she moved away and we lost touch….
    I’m so glad that there isn’t more that Chris could purchase from QVC, otherwise we’d be bankrupt!! It’s bad enough with all his guitars…. he keeps telling me that he has all the guitars he wants now and everytime he says it, I see little pigs flying above his head. The last one was on his birthday in April, taking the total up to 6!!!
    Although, I do love the classical tunes he plays and my favourite is ‘Andante in C’ or better known as the theme from ‘Tales of the Riverbank’, which he recorded on one of his little gizmos and is now the ringtone on my mobile.
    I actually bought him 3 hours in a recording studio for his 40th birthday a few years ago, although I have never seen anybody so mortified when he opened the card…. it did take him nearly a year to get into the studio, he practiced and practiced until he got the music right!
    Speak soon
    Annette x

  8. julia roberts June 24, 2010 at 1:33 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    I have deliberately avoided mentioning the World Cup as we have been SO POOR!! At least we got out of the group satges and yesterday showed a bit of passion!! I thought Milner had a great 60 minutes but looked dead on his feet towards the end! Did you see the John Terry ‘seal’ impression ……… he is England’s Leader, no doubt about it! Germany on Sunday – can you believe I’m on air for the second half …….. should have checked my schedule more carefully! Still at least I’m with Keeley from Elemis!
    Really looking forward to seeing Westlife
    speak soon
    Julia x

  9. julia roberts June 24, 2010 at 1:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    Now there is something I would love to see, perhaps I’ll start dropping large hints for next birthday! Dancing on Ice is my FAVOURITE reality show – some of them are just unbelevably good! I can’t even stand up on ice skates!
    Roll on August
    Julia x

  10. julia roberts June 24, 2010 at 1:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Una
    so pleased you liked the Butler and Wilson necklace and earring set and that it arrived so promptly – I knew you would succomb eventually!!
    I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s accident – I hope she is well on the road to recovery now? I know exactly what you mean about the fingers in ears la la la la moment – I still do it too!
    I’m on with OPI tomorrow – maybe hubby should watch that for some tips – how fantastic is he to do your nails for you!
    Didn’t realise how many closet Westlife fans there are!
    Julia x

  11. julia roberts June 24, 2010 at 1:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Susan
    It’s supposed to be up in the 30’s this weekend so long may that continue for a fabulous UK summer.
    Claudia has had her baby, about 10 days ago I think, and it is a little boy – could tell it was by the shape of the bump! She is over the moon and I’m sur will blog soon
    Julia x

  12. Lynn Hind June 25, 2010 at 1:59 am -  Reply

    hi julia its lynn from hull…again glad you had a good hols and have to say you look really well,not that you didnt before! your ok as you are dont lose anymore weight ok
    great to see you back take care
    Lynn xx

  13. Lynn Hind June 25, 2010 at 2:09 am -  Reply

    p.s at least you know what i look like now lol blonde and blue eyed would love to be dark windsept an exotic but alas no! im on chemo just now for systemic sclerosis not fun but you all give me a boost to treat myself, i may even go for a dark wig for a laugh my hubby will think hes got a new wife lol lol am looking forward to liz earles tsv in july its fab for my battered skin hope its a good un (sure it will be!)x

  14. Linda Thorpe June 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, you lucky thing going to see Westlife, they are fantastic,I saw them in May and the show is one of their best, you will really enjoy it, I’m so jealous, enjoy it.
    Love Linda xxxx

  15. steve adcock June 25, 2010 at 3:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Just checking my emails here in Playa Blanca, just thought i drop you a quick line. i’am looking forward to the game on sunday so many germans staying here in the hotel should be intersting….
    I must confess to listening to westlife and boyzone have of late! you deserve nice prezzies for you birthday x
    Ok back into the sun, going to try and beat 64 lenths lol
    Take Care steve X

  16. Steven June 25, 2010 at 4:12 pm -  Reply

    Good luck on Sunday Julia. Will you be able to keep yourself in check on air! I’m sure you will be a true pro as always. It’s looking like a tough run for England now but to win it you have to beat the best. The Germans look a young energetic team in this tournament but have also been beaten. It should be an exciting affair. The pub awaits for me. Any excuse as if I need one! I’ll have to go to the gym 3 times next week to make up! Thats still going really well I think. Im actually enjoying it. Hows your fitness regime coming along?
    Fingers crossed for Sunday. Good to see you back too xx

  17. Sharron Underwood June 27, 2010 at 12:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    What a fantastic birthday surprises, i love westlife too, and i listen to them most of the time.
    I am in the UK at the moment visiting my mum as she has not been well,she is in hospital hopeful out tomorrow, fingers crossed. While i have been here i have been watching QVC, and may i say, you look great, good for you on your weight loss and doing it for yourself too, i have started my weight loss/healthy programme, and doing it for me too, my problem was portion control, i am doing ok, slowly slowly, i exercise and swim, feel great too.
    I am only here until the 12th July then i go back to Thailand where i live, i shall be back again later in the year. Plus i shall be seeing my husband as he will be heading home as he is in Afganistan at present.
    Glad to see you back on the air from your hols, looking wonderful.
    p.s shall be at the hospital when England is playing so fingers crossed for them.

  18. mags June 27, 2010 at 4:28 pm -  Reply

    hi julia just switch on qvc not been on for a while. While I think you should not loose any more weight or you will take your good looks away, I would like to know how you have done it as i keep trying to no avail. all he best mags

  19. Annette Roberts June 28, 2010 at 9:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Firstly, thank you for your letter, it arrived this morning. It was very kind of you to write, as I can appreciate what a busy lady you must be…. so thank you very much!
    Dancing on Ice is my favourite show too! I’ve only ever been once and managed to stand up and get on the ice, but was frightened to let go. My Mum’s cousin, fell down, put his hand out and somebody skated over it…. lucky it just needed stitches, but it was enough to put me off!
    Saw the OPI show, with the ears… very fetching, what a good sport you are! I’ve got one OPI nail polish that comes out every summer and it’s got to be at least 3 or more years old called ‘changing of the garnet’, it lasts ages and has never chipped!
    Thank you again, speak soon
    Annette x

  20. julia roberts June 29, 2010 at 3:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jeannie
    Firstly I hope you had a happy birthday on June 18th and enjoyed the Elemis shows at the weekend?
    I have spoken to the ‘powers that be’ on your behalf regarding the broken watch bracelet. Hopefully by now someone will have contacted you via email. If not, and if they don’t within a week could you please drop me a line to QVC, Marco Polo House, London and I will chase it up for you.
    It’s exasperating when something is just out of it’s guarantee isn’t it, but I am sure we will be able to do something.
    Please let me know what happens
    Julia x

  21. julia roberts June 29, 2010 at 4:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Lyn
    I’m not really planning on losing more than a couple of pounds more – it’s more about exercise now and getting a slim waist again. You are clever putting a picture of yourself on the blog – I have NO idea how to do that, I have to rely on other people!
    I hope your treatment is going well? Iam launching the Liz Earle TSV Friday into Saturday, so hope you’ll be there?
    much love
    Julia x

  22. julia roberts June 29, 2010 at 4:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Linda
    I’ve never seen Westlife in concert before so good to hear it’s a great show. I love watching live music – Pink was my last concert and that was over a year ago, and before that it was ‘Blue’ who were also very good.
    Julia x

  23. julia roberts June 29, 2010 at 4:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steve
    hope the England result on Sunday hasn’t spoiled your holiday too much! Not showing off, but the last day I was in Spain I did 130 lengths – mind you the pool is only 12 metres but apparently it still works out at about 2 miles!
    I do miss swimming when I’m back home – not a fan of public swimming baths as my skin doesn’t like heavily chlorinated water. Actually my skin doesn’t like much at the moment, but that’s another story!
    Enjoy the rest of your holiday
    Julia x

  24. julia roberts June 29, 2010 at 4:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    Thanks for bucking the trend and supporting England on Sunday …….. and then they went and let us down! To be honest I don’t think the ‘disallowed’ goal helped but even if we had won I don’t think we could have beaten Argentina the way we were playing!
    Fitness regime is going well, I try to go in at least 3 times a week if I can spare an hour and my waist is finally making a re-appearance thank goodness.
    Julia x

  25. julia roberts June 29, 2010 at 4:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Sharron
    All the crossing of fingers in the world couldn’t have helped England in this tournament, overall we were just poor with a couple of notable exceptions.
    How is your Mum doing now?? It’s always difficult when you don’t live very close, even for me, and my mum is only in Nottingham!
    Keep up with your ‘diet’ and exercise programme – I think slowly slowly is much better as you are more likely to keep it off.
    Roll on the end of the year when you’ll see your hubbie again
    much love
    Julia x

  26. julia roberts June 29, 2010 at 4:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Mags
    Not planning on losing too much more as I am feeling so much better about myself now. How have I done it? No magic wand just sensible eating, helped along by Diet Chef, and plenty of exercise. I think the summer helps too with lots of salads and fewer ‘stodgy treats’!
    Julia x

  27. julia roberts June 29, 2010 at 4:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Annette,
    Not sure the ‘shrek ears’ are a look I’m keen to repeat! Hope you enjoyed the OPI show – I thought the try me was brilliant value – very tempted!!
    Julia x

  28. Noeleen Salter June 30, 2010 at 12:33 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    It is good to have you back from your holidays. You took my breath away when I saw you this evening you have lost so much weight. Don’t think you should lose anymore though. What’s your secret.
    Lots of Love

  29. Annette Roberts June 30, 2010 at 12:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I was also tempted by the OPI try me, but I’ve recently changed to Liz Earle and can’t believe the difference. Started with a try me package and within a couple of days ordered the full sizes. The cleanse and polish is my favourite, the smell really clears your head and I like to inhale it deeply before bedtime. I’ve written some positve reviews on QVC and sent Liz Earle an email too!
    Watched your show with Mally which was brilliant and I’ve been using her products for a couple of months now, my favourite is the concealer… the best concealer I’ve ever had for under eyes and especially my chin area, which normally makes an appearance throughout the day, but now it doesn’t and I believe its the combination of Liz Earle and Mally’s products which are working for me. Spent a fortune again today on Mally… thank goodness for easy pay!
    I think Chris’ Leighton Denny’s crystal files have arrived… he’ll be like a little boy at Christmas opening his presents when he gets home…ha ha ha!
    Annette x

  30. Steven June 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm -  Reply

    Germany Argentina should be a decent game. I think bucking the trend was a bad thing wasnt it! The tournament as a whole has been a little disappointing I think. Busy weekend ahead for me so I may miss some anyway.
    I think you look lovely but I always do!
    Take care xx

  31. julia roberts July 2, 2010 at 12:56 am -  Reply

    Hi Noeleen
    Thanks for the lovely compliment. As I mentioned to Mags, it’s been a combination of Diet Chef to kick start and again in May to boost, lots of exercise, Pilates and swimming on holiday, and willpower. I am generally eating much less than I was, limiting myself to no more than 2 slices of bread a day ( that was a bit of a weakness of mine ) and being ‘sensible’ around chocolate and ice-cream. I would just like to lose a little more, but I will know when to stop – I promise!
    Julia x

  32. julia roberts July 2, 2010 at 1:02 am -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    I enjoyed the show with Mally too – she’s such a character! I like the eyeliner and the shadow sticks, although I didn’t manage to get one in the plum before it sold out! Think I fancy trying the brow product – have you tried it?
    Liz Earle TSV tonight – you should ring in. My favourite Liz product? Difficult to choose, but I think it has to be Instant Boost Skin Tonic.
    Hope Chris is enjoying playing with his nail file!
    Julia x

  33. julia roberts July 2, 2010 at 1:12 am -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    We did a ‘names in the hat’ draw for the last sixteen just amongst the family, so 4 teams each. I ended up with Japan, Paraguay, Germany and Mexico – don’t think I’ll be winning!!!!Still think the Dutch have an outside chance although I’d like Spain to win as I like their style of play ……… Torres has been disappointing though and Fabregas has hardly featured.
    Sophie has Argentina, Dan has Nederlands and Ghana, and Chris has Spain, Brazil and Uruguay!!!!!
    Who is your money on?
    speak soon
    Julia x

  34. Annette Roberts July 3, 2010 at 9:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    One of my Mally packages arrived this morning, can’t wait to have a play…. been too busy today though, skipping everything, we’re having a good old clear out!
    Haven’t tried Mally’s brow product, but will need something soon as the odd white one is appearing…. most annoying!
    Chris has played with his nail file and hasn’t stopped raving about it…. guess who go the diddy one!
    I’ve not seen any of the Liz Earle shows, we’ve been at it all day…. clearing out, that is! The icing on the cake was Chris had a bump in the car…. he’s OK, but to boot isn’t, will need replacing. He’s not a happy bunny, so I’ve left him downstairs watching the football with a few cans!!!
    Hope Liz Earle’s shows went well and I’ll get to watch them later, as I’ve recorded them.
    Speak soon
    Annette x

  35. julia roberts July 5, 2010 at 11:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    Glad you got your Mally goodies so quickly – have you had a play yet?
    Is Chris OK? I had an accident on the way into work about six weeks ago. Someone pulled out of a parking space into my passenger door and dented the whole of the back wing too! Poor car – it was in the garage for the whole time I was on holiday and for 5 days after – a real nuisance. Thankfully neither of us ( the drivers ) was hurt but I was a bit shaken up.
    Give him a hug – hope his preferred team won the footie??
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  36. Lesley July 17, 2010 at 12:30 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Wonder if I’m going to the same race meet/Westlife concert as you in Aug ? Will possibly be really tacky & say hello even though you won’t know me from Adam (or Eve !) You & Allie Young are my favourites but probably because I’m such a beauty product junkie. Going with 2 other girlfriends who live near that course as a regular annual event. I however am from ‘oop North’ very near the Knowsley stock centre.
    Best wishes,

  37. julia roberts July 19, 2010 at 11:44 pm -  Reply

    Hello Lesley
    Are you going to the one at Sandown on the 5th? – if so do come up and say hello if you see me ………. not tacky at all! I’ll be with all the family – can’t believe how quickly it’s coming round, only a couple of weeks to wait now.
    Maybe see you there
    Julia x

  38. Lesley July 31, 2010 at 8:56 pm -  Reply

    Hello Again !
    Just enjoying the Final Day of beauty Month. No I’m a week later at Newbury so presume Westlife have a summer of racecourse concerts. Hope the sun shines for us both weeks.
    Lesley x

  39. julia roberts August 3, 2010 at 12:33 pm -  Reply

    Hi Lesley
    Oh that’s a shame – I can’t believe it has come round so quickly …………. day after tomorrow for me!!!! The weather forecast is not too promising – pretty summer dress and wellies????
    Hope you enjoy your concert – I’ll let you know about mine here!
    Julia x

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