Another birdie?!?


No, I'm not talking about golf – those of you who read my blog regularly will know that football is my sport and there is only just over a week to wait for the new season to start! No, I'm actually talking about the feathered variety and their apparent love of coming into my house.

Not long after we moved in, in fact the day after Sophie's birthday, we had a big black bird (a crow I think) fly down the chimney in the lounge. It decided to do an encore the morning that I was flying out to LA for the 'Oscars' filming.

Twice was definitely enough so we had a metal 'hat' put on the top of the chimney, and then everything had been fine… until Monday evening. We were sat having our dinner when Dan suddenly shouted out, "There's a bird in the conservatory!!!"

I jumped up and closed the door from the dining area to the conservatory, and then went out of the lounge doors and in from the outside.

This time it wasn't a big black crow but a sweet little robin and it was scared to death. It kept flying into the windows, I was really worried that it was going to hurt itself.

Dan and Sophie were outside tapping on the windows trying to shoo it in the direction of the open doors, but to no avail. Eventually I got a long cane that Dan had just been using to prod the barbecue ashes around, and reached it out for the robin to step onto.

On the first attempt it took one step on to the cane and then flapped away again. But second time lucky, it managed to step onto the cane and I was able to gently transport it out into the garden and although a little dazed, it was able to fly off into the trees.

I was just thankful that Poppy was in her usual hiding place underneath Dan's bed or that could have complicated things!

Apologies for the husky voice this week – I even had to take a day off sick on Sunday which is almost unheard of for me as I couldn't speak without coughing. I do, however, want to make the point that this had nothing to do with my karaoke performances at my Pink Party!

Seems to be easing up a bit now and this is my weekend off so a few days to rest it.

Hope the weather continues to improve and if not keep watching QVC!

Speak soon,

Julia xx


  1. Annette Roberts July 29, 2011 at 3:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Aaaaw, what a lovely story about the Robin and very inventive, getting him to step onto a cane…he lives to fly another day, unlike one of our birdies!
    We have a pesky sparrow hawk here at the moment and yesterday he swooped around the big bush and all the little birds flew off, then a few moments later he was back on the lawn with one…I got upset, but Chris said there was nothing we could do and it would have been quick for the little bird…still upsetting though! He has been before and perched on top of the bird station, so I’ve decided to keep the back door open and if I see him, I’ll shoo him off…he’s not having one of my little birdies again!
    Musn’t forget to tell you about the old pheasant we have visiting, he’s quite bedraggled and arrives every night at around 6 for his tea, once he’s had his fill he trots off again, that is unless Chris sees him heading towards the road, then he runs outside, arms waving like a madman, trying to head him off in the other direction!
    Hope the throat feels better soon.
    Annette x

  2. bev shields July 29, 2011 at 4:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I am just watching you n B&W sale and you have just mentioned the swarm of ladybirds incident – well- quite a few yrs ago – when my children were small, so it may have been around the same time, we were in weston-super-mare. The same thing happened! We had to walk in the sea to get back to the car, the children were crying because the ladybirds were covering them, in their hair, everywhere. I can still feel them crunching under my feet yuk!! The cars were coverd too, very scary actually. So Julia, you tell them ITS TRUE!!!!!
    Bev xx

  3. Steven July 29, 2011 at 7:36 pm -  Reply

    Not being able to speak must be a nightmare for any woman Julia!!!!! Youw on’t be able to shout at Palace at this rate! Hope you guys have a better start to the season than we have. We drew our opening League game at Ibrox and then lost To Malmo also at Ibrox. Uphill struggle to turn it around in Sweden. We also have a tricky – the way we are playing – looking fixture at St Johnstone tomorrow. Fingers crossed Coisty turns it around and Im not one for kneee jerk reactions , but its not been to good a start!
    Hope you feel better soon and get shot of the birds – woops maybe thats the wrong phrase!!!!!!!
    Take care xxx

  4. Mrs Lynne Hambleton July 29, 2011 at 9:16 pm -  Reply

    Dear Julia,
    Just wanting to know if you recieved the earrings I sent you on the 9th June, the threadthrough and crystals ones. we went on holiday for two weeks on the 15th and since then my daughter has been in hospital. She is out for now and still to have some more unplesant tests to try and sort her problem out. So whilst I have a minute I thought I would get in touch. An e mail will surfice, I did send them to London via recorded mail. Hope you got them. Love Lynne X

  5. Marian Bolton July 30, 2011 at 6:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Glad your robin story had a happy ending. Judging from comments on your previous blog, I bet the firemen needed no apology for your husky voice. Let’s hope there were no emergencies they should have been attending to, lol (not)!!!!! Did you get the recipes I sent you?
    Marian x

  6. yvonne gillman July 31, 2011 at 10:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi julia, I love feeding the birds in our garden,we give sunflower seeds to the small birds and I put out apples cut in half and raisins for the blackbirds,they love them!!I live in the chiltern hills and we get kites flying above, we even get wild green parrots fly over (they are very NOISY though!!).My husband was sat in the living room and called out to me to come downstairs, there in our fireplace was sat a very big pigeon, nest and all,dust,cement and soot!!! My husband said you”ll have to deal with this I”m not touching it!! I grabbed a towel put it over the bird and took it out into the garden,it recovered and flew off.I am glad to say hubby cleared up all the mess, he is useful SOMETIMES!!!Isuppose that means we won”t have to have the chimney swept this year!! best wishes YvieX

  7. Jean August 1, 2011 at 8:57 am -  Reply

    Hi Julie,
    Hope your throat is better, it did sound really sore when you were on the other day.
    You mention about the Robin, it is nice when you can save them isnt it. A while back I went into our lounge and noticed these patches of soot by the hearth, plus sooty cat foot prints, I guessed this was Guinness as he has tried to get up the chimney before if the guard was not there, I eventually followed the soot trail up the stairs and into our bedroom, there was a sparrow flying around with Guinness hot on his tail. The sparrow was completely black from falling down the chimney and this was what was leaving the soot trail. I did manage to get him out of the window in the end much to the disgust of the cat, I had a look as much as to say thanks for spoiling my fun.
    Have a good rest and hope you soon feel better.
    Love Jean X

  8. sylvia August 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I don’t know if this is true in your case,but I was always told if a bird flies in your house it is one of the dearly departed visiting! I hope I have not spooked you?I remember one of my old friends grandad passed away and before he went he said to the family “If there is an afterlife I will come back as a bird and sit on my armchair”.Well the day after his funeral my friends grandmother was in the house when a blackbird flew down the chimney and landed on his chair.And that is a true story.Make of it as you will—Makes you wonder eh!
    Take Care Julia and I hope you feel better x

  9. Susan August 1, 2011 at 9:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Just wanted to say sorry if I ‘peeved’ you off…didn’t actually mean to. Anyway, I hope your throat is getting a rest and you enjoy the weather as I see London has VERY hot temps for the next few days! You’ll maybe need to take a few dips in the pool!
    Take care

  10. Martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen August 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm -  Reply

    hi julia how are you iam not has the wather been your way in bucksburn aberdeen misersale and heavy rain we had our summer in april .good to see christams injuly backi on qvc once agin.
    Hope sophie and daniel are well pass on my regards.
    i was watching one of my old vhs video tapes on sunday watching suznne evett doing sterling silver rings in 1995 abo0ut 30 minutes worth. do you ever hear from suzanne kara baker kara tritton dave bradford katy john karat paul l if you see them give them my regards pass on my regards to alison keenan she is looking much better.

  11. Jan Laverick August 2, 2011 at 10:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Julia
    Hope you’re feeling better. Well done for saving that little robin – I’m sure he was very grateful to you! For the past five years or so swallows have nested in my ramshackle shed in the back yard – I have meant to knock the shed down for ages but can’t face the thought of them coming all the way from Africa and finding themselves homeless! I hope you remember I told you about losing my lovely cat Phoebe recently. I had planned to get another kitten eventually but as my house feels so empty I have decided to get two siamese kittens – I can’t wait for October/November when I will get to take them home!
    Take care of yourself and look forward to seeing you soon.
    Hope your family are well.
    Love Jan x
    P.S. I have found myself thinking of Amica recently and hope she is OK – will you pass on my best wishes please Julia?

  12. julia roberts August 4, 2011 at 12:42 am -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    Nature can be very cruel sometimes – we still have the magpies visiting the solar bird bath, but in this very hot weather they aren’t the only ones!
    Yes I was quite impressed the robin realised I was trying to help it – either that or it was just shell shocked. Mind you it flew straight off when i got it outside so i think it was a happy ending.
    Tonight I rescued a spider – a very big spider crawling across the lounge carpet. Sophie got a plastic glass from the kitchen and I entrapped it, slid a bit of paper under it and carried it outside …… it’ll probably come back in tomorrow night and i won’t be in to ‘save’ it!!
    speak soon
    Julia x

  13. julia roberts August 4, 2011 at 12:44 am -  Reply

    Hi Bev
    I must make sure I show this to Simon Wilson – I’m sure he has never believed me as to quite how bad it was!!!
    It was the way they kind of descended in a dark cloud – as you say really quite scary!
    Julia x

  14. julia roberts August 4, 2011 at 12:48 am -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    Hopefully I’ll have my voice back properly in time for our first game of the season on Saturday – still a bit fragile if I’m honest!
    Did you guys win tonight? Dan told me you were a goal up but had a player sent off? – what was the final score?
    speak soon
    Julia x

  15. julia roberts August 4, 2011 at 12:52 am -  Reply

    Hello Lynne
    Yes I did get them and have been meaning to write to say thankyou – in fact I brought a whole load of letters home last week as I never seem to have time at work. Apologies I didn’t get round to writing to you yet.
    I wore ‘my’ earrings in to work the other day and forgot to take them off so had them on on air ….. naughty girl!
    I hope you daughter gets sorted out ….. not knowing what a problem is can be the worst bit – give her my love
    Julia x

  16. julia roberts August 4, 2011 at 12:55 am -  Reply

    Hi Marian
    Yes I got the recipes when I was in on Friday – I meant to bring them home to try but I forgot! I am in at work tomorrow ( or should that be later today ) so I will put them in my bag. I have my mum coming down next week so I might try themon her.
    Julia x

  17. julia roberts August 4, 2011 at 12:59 am -  Reply

    Hi Yvie
    You are brave dealing with the pigeon like that – I’m much better with the smaller birds – I didn’t like the crows in the lounges at all!!
    Hubbies are useful sometimes, my Chris ‘cleared up’ the crow’s mess ….. fortunately the robin only had one little accident!
    We get any more birds here than we did at our old house but it sounds like the ones you see are much more exotic!
    Julia x

  18. julia roberts August 4, 2011 at 1:03 am -  Reply

    Hello Jean
    My throat is much better thanks – almost back to normal, I think it has benefitted from a rest!
    I was pleased to hear you managed to save your sooty sparrow.
    Poppy has never been on for the birds particularly, mind you she doesn’t really go out much. She loves her toy ‘mousey’ though and regularly ‘kills’ it after breakfast in the morning and prior to supper at night – and at her age too!!!
    Julia x

  19. julia roberts August 4, 2011 at 1:07 am -  Reply

    Hello Sylvia
    I do believe in things like that. Funny enough I always associate robins with my dad – maybe because he was a keen gardener? – and saw quite a few for months after he died. I don’t know if he was trying to communicate but it certainly kept him at the forefront of my mind.
    Julia x

  20. julia roberts August 4, 2011 at 1:11 am -  Reply

    Hello Susan
    You are right the temperatures have been very hot in the south east for the last few days – today was about 30 degrees! It would have been nice to have a swim but the closest thing I have in the garden is the bird bath ………… I did think about it!
    Rain is forecast for tomorrow and a drop of 10 degrees in temperature – this is a very weird summer!
    Julia x

  21. julia roberts August 4, 2011 at 1:15 am -  Reply

    Hi Martin
    As I just mentioned to Susan the temperature has been very high the last few days – up to 30 today! Down to earth tomorrow though with heavy rain forecast.
    Dan and Sophie are well thanks.
    I haven’t really kept in touch with many of the Presenters from the early days except Paul Lavers, who lives quite close to me, and Jon Briggs who was my agent for a while!
    I will give your love to Ali
    Julia x

  22. julia roberts August 4, 2011 at 1:21 am -  Reply

    Hi Jan
    I am so pleased to hear about your expected arrivals – they will be company for you and for each other. I think my mum is finally going to get a kitten – she has been thinking about it since my dad died nearly four years ago and has decided that the time is right.
    You are funny keeping a ‘home’ for the swallows – I hope they appreciate it!
    I had a text from Amica the other day – I will pass on your good wishes next time I text her
    Julia x

  23. Annette Roberts August 4, 2011 at 11:57 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    OMG, don’t get me on spiders, you and Sophie are soooo brave, I hate them with vengence and shudder at the thought…it’s the whole thing, the way they move, slow in some cases and very fast in others, plus they have toooo many legs for my liking!
    A couple of weeks ago, I had just finished on the pilates machine, got up, walked round the end of the bed to get my trainers and as I bent down there was this gigantic spider against the skirting staring at me, eeeeek! I screamed a few expletives and literally dived onto the bed without thinking about my leg and shouted Chris at the top of my voice.
    Although I have caught a few diddy spiders in a glass, this one was way too big, so much so, that Chris normally scoops them up in his hand and takes them outside, but even this one was too big for him and he ended up using a big plastic jug…it didn’t half get my heart racing, talk about cardiovascular workout, I didn’t need the pilates for that…just a spider LOL!
    Bobby has taken a shine to the pheasant that visits, well not him really, but his poop! For some reason he has taken to lying on the lawn and rubbing his chin and neck in it, little devil. He’s had 2 baths and Chris is currently going round with the hosepipe washing it away!
    Annette x

  24. yvonne gillman August 4, 2011 at 1:13 pm -  Reply

    Dear Julia, thought I should explain about the ‘exotic’ birds around here.About fifteen years ago some green parrots ‘escaped’ from somewhere near Windsor and much to everyones suprise they have been breeding!!!Even our cold winters haven’t killed them off.When they fly over they ‘screech,loudly. I’m not frightened of any animal BUT……… I HATE SPIDERS!!!!!!!!

  25. jay August 4, 2011 at 7:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    I prefer birds coming down the chimney than the wasps that came down our’s. We were getting five or six daily in the house,they seemed everywhere not much fun and very scary. Then we relised they were coming down the chimney. DH lit a fire last night so hopefully that will fix the problem.
    Hope your vice is back to normal.

  26. Steven August 4, 2011 at 7:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia. No we lost a late goal so are now out of the Champions League. Massive blow. Pretty gutted today if I’m honest. We ended up with 9 men. Still had chances to win and the 9 guys that were left did us proud. The two that got sent off – well I can’t really write how I feel about them on your page! Glad to hear you were taking an intrest in us. I’m the same with Palace now after speaking to you a lot!
    Who do Palace play on the opening day?
    Speak soon
    Take care xx

  27. Annette Roberts August 5, 2011 at 10:41 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I have just been reading Ali Keenan’s blog to see how she’s doing and have seen a post by a friend of Una, whom I know has written on your blog many times.
    I thought that I hadn’t seen anything from Una for a while on here, but apparently she has had an operation on her back and unfortunately suffered a stroke at the same time. It hasn’t affected her speech and she is getting mobility back in her arm, but has some double vision.
    Just wanted to let you know and wish Una all the best in her recovery and my thoughts are with her as no doubt she will have a few frustrating moments, something I can relate to. Take care Una x
    Annette x

  28. Julia Roberts August 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    I am OK with the spiders in this country, although the bigger and hairier they get the less I like them! Not sure how I would cope somewhere like Australia where they can actually kill you!! I don’t like the spider webs – I hate it when they brush against your face UGH!
    I hope Bobbie gets over his current fad – not very pleasant for you and Chris!
    have a good weekend
    Julia x

  29. Julia Roberts August 5, 2011 at 2:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Yvie
    You know I think that I have heard that before. It’s amazing that they can survive such cold temperatures when you consider their natural habitat!
    Spiders won’t hurt you – at least not our native ones
    Julia x

  30. Julia Roberts August 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jay
    I’m with you – I really don’t like wasps. We kept getting wasps around the window on our upstairs landing. There was a gap between the window sill and the window and I think they were getting in there, so we sealed it with clear tape – problem solved!
    Loved your typo!!!!!!!!!!! – which ‘vice’ are we talking about??
    Julia x

  31. jay August 6, 2011 at 9:05 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Sorry about the typo, I meant your voice (not vice) but after seeing yesterday’s show it was back to normal.
    Wasps still not gone (I can’t use a glass and piece of paper with wasps as you did with the spider) so i will call the local pest controller firm to resolve.

  32. julia roberts August 8, 2011 at 11:31 am -  Reply

    Hello Annette
    Thanks for letting me know about Una – I also was thinking I hadn’t heard from her for a while and was presuming she must be on holiday.
    speak soon
    Julia x

  33. julia roberts August 8, 2011 at 11:35 am -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    Palace played Peterboro away on the opening day – unfortunately we lost after going ahead. Not a disaster but it’s always nice to start the season with a win.
    I’m with you about players who get themselves needlessly sent off, particulalry if it’s just for being ‘lippy’!
    Let’s hope we fair better at home!
    Julia x

  34. julia roberts August 11, 2011 at 3:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jay
    I Hope the pest controller has sorted your wasp problem out now?? Apparently it’s been a bad year for wasps – maybe the glorious April had something to do with it??
    Yes my voice is OK now but my throat is still a bit sore – I obviously talk too much …… no comment!!
    Julia x

  35. Anna August 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm -  Reply

    Lovely to hear you rescued that little robin and set him/her free in the great outdoors – the cane was a very resourceful idea, I’m not sure I’d have had the common sense to utilise such a tool!
    I’ve never had any birds fly into the house, but they quite often hit the windows and stun themselves, so I always pick them up before any prowling moggies pounce, and let them recover indoors until they are ready to be set free again.
    Best wishes,
    Anna 🙂

  36. julia roberts August 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Anna
    My little robin flew into the glass a few times – maybe it was the blows to the head that subdued it sufficiently to manoevre it onto the cane for ultimate freedom!
    I’ve never had one fly into the windows outside though – that could be a bit scary late at night!!
    Julia x

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