Cooking (and car parking) under pressure


Well, I hope you all had a good Easter despite the weather!

There I was on Easter Sunday, paintbrush in hand about to paint a cupboard, when Sophie rang and in a moment of madness I invited her and her boyfriend to have a late lunch with us.

Actually I was really pleased she said yes, and even more pleased that she arrived with some 'nest cakes' she had made from Shredded Wheat and chocolate – we haven't had those for years, since the children were young teenagers. They were delicious! Unlike my gravy!

Gravy crisis averted!

I'm normally not too bad at making gravy – a veggie stock cube and a bit of Bisto gravy powder - but because I had used a bigger saucepan to steam the broccoli I must have got the proportions wrong and ended up with LUMPY gravy!

Quick thinking and a sieve averted a disaster and it didn't taste too bad, but it's typical that things go wrong when you're trying to impress – it's only the second time I've cooked for Sophie's boyfriend!

Car parking in front of a crowd

The cooking episode reminded me of the time a few years ago when I had gone to fetch Daniel from school. There were cars all over the place and just one very small parking place.

As I pulled up at the side of it apparently all Daniel's friends were doubtful that I would be able to successfully park, but as I can normally park on a postage stamp Dan was confidently and vociferously 'backing' me!!!

OOPS – the pressure must have got to me – I think I hit the curb 4 or 5 times – he's never let me forget it!

Sound familiar?

Take care,

Julia xx


  1. Jean Ellison April 19, 2009 at 1:02 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia!
    About your gravy! I think I am correct when I say you are a vegetarian? To give your gravy an even better flavour, try adding a teaspoonful of Marmite – I also add it to bolognese sauce etc.
    Best Wishes

  2. julia roberts April 20, 2009 at 11:56 pm -  Reply

    Thanks for this suggestion Jean – actually my Mum does this and her gravy is always good! I love marmite, especially on hot buttered toast. Shall we start the Marmite debate? Do you love it or hate it? – I look forward to hearing from you
    Julia x

  3. Kathryn sheehan April 21, 2009 at 9:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, love watching you and simon wilson do the jewelery show, very entertaining. By the way loved the purple top you were wearing its just the thing i am looking for to go with my new trousers, may i ask were you got it from.?.Keep up the good work.

  4. julia roberts April 25, 2009 at 12:18 am -  Reply

    Hello Kathy, glad you enjoyed the Butler and Wilson show. The top was a bit of a ‘find’ in Dorothy Perkins! Hope you manage to get one.
    love Julia x

  5. Linda Noble April 26, 2009 at 8:33 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia … nice to see that ‘celebs’ do ordinary things too – decorating, gravy making etc. Have watched you (whilst ironing usually) for over 20 years. When my Mum had the early stages of Alzheimers we used to watch you together … it seemed to calm her down. She’s still here – bless her – although bedridden now. I lost my Dad too in 2006 – sorry to hear about your loss – and the pain is still as fresh today as it was then. It was very sudden for an extremely fit 76 year old. There’s just me and Mum now – and my hubby of course – and I still watch you whilst ironing 🙂 Great to see that there are still wonderfully elegant and beautiful ladies at 50. x

  6. julia roberts April 28, 2009 at 1:37 pm -  Reply

    Hello Linda … me a ‘celeb’?? I don’t think so – I really am a homemaker who just happens to have a career on TV. You say you’ve been watching for over 20 years – does that include ‘The Price is Right’ – my first big break – or are we talking Croydon Cable here? I’m so sorry about your Dad – you know it is the shock when it is so sudden. My dad was a decade older but very active until the fall 2 days before he died – sometimes I cope better than others – I know you know what I mean. Please give your mum a HUGE hug from me. The ironing??? – what’s that?? Thanks for your lovely compliments
    Speak soon
    Julia xx

  7. Kathleen Donnelly April 28, 2009 at 9:14 pm -  Reply

    Hello Julia,
    Love the Liz Earle bathroom colour, its such a clean colour. Your lounge red wall is lovely also, Ive always loved reminded me – going back a very long time – our honeymoon..we travelled all they way back to Newcastle upon Tyne from Devon on the train with a massive tin of Paint.. poppy red.. we just had to buy it for our new flat, thinking we would never find the same shade at home – it was for our hallway.. looked impressive I may say. There is a bit of a hippy in you I think Julia!!
    You are my favourite presenter – keep up the good work..
    Very best wishes
    Kathleen xx

  8. julia roberts May 5, 2009 at 12:35 am -  Reply

    Hello Kathleen, loved the story about the tin of paint. Was just trying to imagine how long that journey took, it’s bad enough these days. I don’t know about a hippy, but apparently I have some Romany blood from several generations back – I’ve never owned a caravan though!
    Thanks for your kind comments too
    much love
    Julia x

  9. sue thompson July 26, 2009 at 5:32 pm -  Reply

    hi Julia..Love the show and you!..I have just purchased the butler and wilson book and bejewled case!!!!Its breathtaking and even more so as i bought it in Mary Portas charity shop for £80!!!! i love it..Best wishes you to and yours. sue x

  10. julia roberts August 2, 2009 at 3:51 pm -  Reply

    Hello Sue, OMG!!!! Don’t tell Simon! Isn’t the bejewelled case gorgeous – it could probably be used as a jewellery box if the book was out on the coffee table? Don’t miss the Anniversary shows on the 12th and 13th August
    keep watching
    Julia x

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