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Early Christmas presents


I know it is still almost five weeks to Christmas but I couldn’t resist giving Wilfie and Milo their Christmas presents a bit early. I have been saying for months that I was going to get them a new scratching post each. Wilfie left his kitten one here as it is far too small for him now and even Milo knocks it over every time he tries to claw it.

scratching post portraitSo on Wednesday I had just popped into the pet shop for some cat litter and I spied the perfect posts. They’re much taller, with a square base for stability and with holes cut in the side with mice dangling enticingly.

Milo took to his straight away, particularly the playing with the mice bit, and apparently Wilfie started clawing his the moment Chris dropped it off at Daniel’s yesterday… hoping to see it for myself on Sunday as this is my weekend off so we might go and watch his Crystal Palace u10’s play Charlton before the first team take on Liverpool. Not sure if the international break will have done us any good but I have my fingers crossed.

Before I move off the subject of cats here is the clip of Milo ‘fetching’ a stick that I promised you last week.

The sticks are actually spare reeds from reed diffusers (if you use slightly fewer the oil lasts longer – money saving tip!) and he just loves bringing them for us to move around so that he can chase them. He really is a very entertaining cat and we’ll miss him when Sophie moves out. No news on that yet but we keep looking.

So we’ve had a bit of a lack of progress with the house spruce up this week. We decided to paint the conservatory walls, which were also constructed of unattractive red brick, and after much deliberating over the colour chart we chose a pale stone shade to complement the green paintwork of the window frames. In the tin it looked the perfect colour but as we applied it to the wall it just looked like a dingy white.

It’s a laborious process applying paint to brick with a small brush so you don’t miss any bits so we only managed to get the main wall done and although we kept hoping it would dry darker it didn’t, so we knew we would have to go over it again in a darker colour.

spot the difference portraitThe next day, while I was out at the pet shop, Chris said he would finish the first coat so we would be ready to apply a second in a darker hue. He couldn’t understand why the paint didn’t seem to be covering so well until I pointed out that he had actually been using a different white paint …. just goes to show how pale the pebbly colour was though.

We still haven’t found the perfect stony/taupe shade – maybe I should ask Kelly Hoppen! I wonder if any of you bought the TSV yesterday? I was very tempted but I need to rein myself in a bit with all the expenditure on the house and still most of my Christmas presents to buy, not to mention Daniel’s 28th birthday next Thursday – wow, where does the time go? I can’t believe that it’s seven years ago today that we lost my darling dad. I still think about him so much, especially when I need guidance, and I still miss him terribly.

As I mentioned earlier, I am off this weekend but I hope you will still join Miceal for the Saturday Night Show tomorrow at 8pm. Marv is standing in for Will who gets married tomorrow.

I’ll see you this afternoon at 4pm (although you may not recognise me) and then for two hours of fashion, at 5pm and 7pm both with Marla Wynne.

Have a good weekend.


Julia xx


  1. Kitty cantwell November 21, 2014 at 4:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    What a clever cat …wish mine fetched sticks instead of mice, which he brings in and then gets bored of. So both my cats are in asleep and suddenly my daughter screams, I thought it was a big spider , cos at 33 she is still scared of those but ,no ,she was just staring at a mouse that was sitting on a chair in living room, luckily it jumped into a vase so we could get it out easily for once. Normally I have to chase the things around for two hours before I can corner them and take them out.
    Love kitty xx

    • Julia roberts November 28, 2014 at 10:22 am -  Reply

      Hi Kitty
      Your story puts me in mind of our cat Daisy, a tabby, who was an avid mouser. She would catch them and sit crunching them on the roof garden of our old house, underneath Sophie’s bedroom window. She only brought them into the house a couple of times but on one of those occasions she dropped it when I shouted at her and a mouse hunt ensued. We didn’t find it until a couple of hours later when we discovered Poppy sat in the games room simply looking at the poor terrified creature. We put it outside and although stunned it scooted off after a couple of minutes.
      I don’t think we ever truly get over the loss of our parents even though there is an inevitability to it. I guess it makes us appreciate what we had.
      Julia x

  2. loraine November 21, 2014 at 5:26 pm -  Reply

    Hello Julia the wig did look good what a great idea I know what you mean about paint we have had the same problems before with paint its never quite what you think we are deciding on a wallpaper for a main wall think the decision is made now but it’s been a tad long winded trying to imagine things on a very long wall . Hope you enjoy your weekend we are having a family meal tomorrow night at a nice restaurant sons 26th and son in laws 30th birthdays .take care love Loraine xxx

    • Julia roberts November 28, 2014 at 10:26 am -  Reply

      Hello Loraine
      Well we finally settled on a paint colour, Egyptian Cotton. It still dried nothing like the colour on the chart but we are happy with it and it looks so much nicer than the bare brick in my opinion – makes the conservatory feel like part of the house rather than outside.
      Hope you enjoyed your family birthday celebrations and that you’ve now decided on your wallpaper?
      Julia x

  3. Kittycantwell November 21, 2014 at 5:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi again Julia,
    Forgot to say I lost both my parents in 2008 and my only sister in 2011. I still miss them all so much especially at this time of year.
    Even though I have a daughter of 33, a son of 27 , and a gorgeous granddaughter of 2 , and I don’t think I will ever get over loss, so I
    have empathy with how you feel about your Dad.xx

  4. elsa November 21, 2014 at 9:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi julia hows poppy doing x

    • Julia roberts November 28, 2014 at 10:28 am -  Reply

      Hi Elsa
      Poppy is doing really well at the moment. She has odd days where she is finicky with her food but we persevere with different ones until we find something she likes and demolishes. For an old girl of nineteen and a half she is doing remarkably well.
      Thanks for asking
      Julia x

  5. martin forbes November 22, 2014 at 3:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi julia can you if possible give me qvcs new postal address so i can send your christmas card

    • Julia roberts November 28, 2014 at 10:36 am -  Reply

      Hi Martin
      Our address is:
      Building 8
      Chiswick Park
      566 Chiswick High Road
      London W4 5XU

      Please see reply below.
      Hope you are well
      Julia x

  6. martin forbes November 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm -  Reply

    hi julia if possible can you send me qvcs new postal address so i can send you your xmas card.hard to believe daniel is 28 you being only 21 of course.ican remember daniel and sophie in their younger years when they were on qvc in the early days t i think when you did the cooking shows

    • Julia roberts November 28, 2014 at 10:33 am -  Reply

      Hi Martin
      I have some VHS’s of Daniel and Sophie on QVC and also when they shot a commercial for the Cable TV channel I worked for when they were only four and three respectively …. sooo cute! I wonder if I could get that uploaded onto YouTube

  7. Sue Smith November 23, 2014 at 6:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, you probably don’t remember me, we met at QVC 20th celebration at the posh hotel!! My Husband bought up your favourite subject footie!! He was the gunners fan, bet you are happy today after beating Liverpool!!

    • Julia roberts November 28, 2014 at 10:41 am -  Reply

      Hi Sue
      I always remember people who chat to me about football!! It was a really fabulous afternoon tea wasn’t it
      We were thrilled that Palace beat Liverpool. Daniel’s u11’s game had been called off due to a waterlogged pitch but we still went over to his flat to watch the game together – I think the neighbours must have wondered what was going on as we shrieked at all three goals. Brilliant result! What is going on with Arsenal though?
      Hope you are well
      Julia x

  8. Jean Pugh November 23, 2014 at 9:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Is that Milo sat on top of the scratching post, he likes his photo being taken. It looks nice and strong, I need to get a new one for our Cat’s as the old one had to be thrown out as they had wrecked it. I have noticed some ends pulled on two of my nice chairs, trouble is you never seem to catch them doing it. Like the video of Milo with the stick, clever Cat.I received a shrub from QVC in the week and it was a long narrow box, of course one of the Cat’s had to get in it but of course he was unable to turn round so had to back out it was so funny especially when the box was moving around the kitchen floor.
    Sounds like you have been busy painting, always something to do isn’t there. But it will be nice when you have
    it all finished.
    Yes I think about my Mum a lot and really miss her. As for my Dad I was five years old when he was killed by a drunk driver, so I cannot really remember him only from photos Mum gave us.
    Anyway you take care and don’t work to hard.
    Love Jean X

    • Julia roberts November 28, 2014 at 10:48 am -  Reply

      Hi Jean
      Yes it is Milo, I couldn’t really get a decent shot as the light was behind him. Wilfie also loves his and it stops him clawing other things. Milo was very funny the other day. I had bought Daniel some ‘Banksy’ prints for his birthday and had taken them out of the cardboard box to gift wrap them. Of course Milo jumped straight in the box but when Chris picked it up the bottom fell out of it. Although he scared himself within moments he was back inside the same box!
      We have finished painting the conservatory but still a few more things to do before Christmas. Today the electrician is here putting in a new (safer) fuse box and fitting an extractor fan in the bathroom. As you say, there is always something.
      Hope you’re well
      Julia x

  9. TINA S November 24, 2014 at 12:06 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    The video clip of Milo made me smile. Cats are so funny. I always watch” You’ve Been Framed” just to see the clips with the cats. It’s a shame that we have’nt any footage of our cat. The quality of the flim for recording that we had then was very poor so we lost the recording .
    At last the electric’s have been sorted. I noticed a window needs replacing now as it has condensation in between the panes!! Also the seals around some of the units have shrunk so will have to be sorted out. Will this never end?!! The trouble is that we have never lived somewhere this long to see these problems arising.
    I know what you mean when you talk about the loss of your Dad. I lost mine 29 years ago, just a year after I got married. I miss him so much on times especially his wisdom. I know what he’d be saying about me moaning on about the house. He’d be saying ” count your blessing’s”. I was always a “Daddy’s girl” and according to my older sister, spoilt rotten! Well I was the youngest! My mum died when I was only 12. It would have been her birthday Saturday (22nd). They will always be with us, if not in body, in our hearts ands minds. I remember my father saying that no matter how old I was to him I would always be his little girl. Yes, we will miss them for their guidance and when things go wrong, no matter how old we are.
    Hope you enjoyed your days off. I watched the rugby of course Saturday. We played the All Blacks. We were winning until the final 10 minutes, just when we thought we had a chance of winning it went wrong yet again. We have’nt beat the All Blacks since 1953!! Never mind, we play against the Spring Bok next Saturday!!!!
    All the best, Tina (S.Wales, where there would have been quite a few sore heads on Saturday.)

    • Julia roberts November 28, 2014 at 10:56 am -  Reply

      Hi Tina
      I was also the youngest in our family …. I don’t think I was spoiled but maybe my brother and sister would disagree!
      Glad to hear you have got the electrics sorted out – our electrician is here now fitting the new fuse box so all the power is off … eerily quiet and a tad cold!
      I had a busy five days off as usual – sometimes it really is a relief to be back in at work! I thought about you when I heard the report about the Wales game – so close but no cigar! I on the other hand was a very happy bunny after Palace’s victory over Liverpool on Sunday. I’m just hoping it will create a bit of momentum for us now and move us up the table a bit.
      Good luck this weekend
      Julia x

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