Exciting times ahead


KeysI remember the excitement and a certain degree of trepidation when Chris and I bought our first home back in 1985. It cost us a whopping £45,000 and I thought at the time how weird it was to be buying something that costs so much having only seen it for a total of about 30 minutes! It has been a similar situation with Daniel's flat and the sums involved are much larger, as you wouldn't be able to buy a garage in the suburbs of London for that sort of money these days.

We first viewed the flat in March, the day before Chris and I went on holiday, having seen only a couple of other properties that Daniel could afford, both of which were totally unsuitable. It had been difficult to organise a viewing as he works long hours at Crystal Palace and we had to fit it in with my work commitments too. We met the agent at 6.30pm and by 6.45pm we were back outside the front entrance.

"What do you think?" Daniel asked me.
"More importantly, what do you think?" I responded.
"I could see myself living there" was his response. It was being sold by tender, which meant he had to come up with a price that he thought was fair, put his bid in a sealed envelope and keep his fingers crossed. Six days later we had a mildly panicky phone call from Daniel saying his bid had been accepted!

St George's ParkIt hasn't all been plain sailing (when is it ever?) but yesterday his dad and I picked up the keys for him as he is away at St. George's Park this week doing the second half of his football coaching A licence. Chris hadn't seen the flat and I could barely remember what it looked like, having only viewed it for fifteen minutes, so what a relief when we unlocked the door and it was better than either of us were expecting.

Nothing needs doing so he will just be able to move his belongings in there and look forward to a bit more spare time as it will cut his journey time to work by three quarters, taking him just twenty minutes instead of an hour and twenty. The only thing we have ordered new (so far) is a Cook's Essentials saucepan set so at least he is not planning on living on takeaways!

So Daniel is moving out and Sophie is back with us for the time being. There was an issue with the flat she was supposed to have moved into so I think the plan is to move back home for a few months so that she can save more quickly for a deposit for a flat. It is like living in a furniture warehouse at the moment, there is 'stuff' everywhere, but at least I can escape to the garden or the gym if the clutter becomes too unbearable and we have to help our children when they need us don't we. It means we also have an additional feline in the form of Wilfie's brother Milo. Amazingly Poppy has been totally unperturbed by the new arrival, which was a bit of a concern, and Wilfie is enjoying having someone to play with.

Marla Wynne balloon dress - 118757I haven't had the time for any writing this week but I'm off for my usual five days from tomorrow so I'm hoping to get some 'me' time rather than rushing round after the children.

I hope you all enjoyed Beauty Day yesterday and I'll see you at 5pm today for Fashion on Friday. Today I'm with Marla Wynne, who features in the advert for the show, so I hope you can join us.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, I had my latest test results for my CML and although still not quite in remission I'm very very close – it really made my Tuesday after a very stressful week.

Have a lovely weekend but take care in this heat … sun protection, shade and lots of water.

Much love,
Julia xx


  1. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen watching via sky tv July 18, 2014 at 5:42 pm -  Reply

    hi julia hope daniel is happy in his own place and you and sophie and chris are well iam not bad

  2. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen watching via sky tv July 18, 2014 at 5:42 pm -  Reply

    julia will you be doing any of the christmas shows next thursday and friday

  3. Steven July 18, 2014 at 6:59 pm -  Reply

    Thats great news that you are almost in remission Julia. Hope you get 100% all clear soon. Hope you are enjoying your new gym too.
    Have a great weekend xx
    PS Noticed Palace won 13-1! Not much of a test that :D

  4. Pauline Johnson July 18, 2014 at 7:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia glad your results were good hope you are enjoying your own home at last,got one of the TSV bracelets today (the pink) it is lovely David not too bad but slowly getting more forgetful ,take each day as it comes at least I still have him at home with me that’s the main thing look after yourself and enjoy your few days off.
    Love Pauline xx

  5. Jenny Cockayne July 19, 2014 at 9:42 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I am currently reading your book and it is very enjoyable.
    I can relate to many things from your early years as I am very close to you in age (born September 1957).
    I was surprised and pleased to see that you had spent time working in Guernsey and that you enjoyed your time here and how much you loved Herm. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that Herm has changed very little since your time there and is still free of cars.
    So if you are ever in this part of the world I am sure you would still enjoy a another visit.
    By the way I am a bit of a QVC addict.
    Best wishes for your continued good health .
    Jenny in Guernsey

  6. TINA S July 19, 2014 at 11:02 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    So glad your latest results are good and I’m sure they will get to the level where they say you are in remission. I’m sure there are many people fighting your corner and wishing you well.
    My physio did indeed say about not doing breast stroke because of it putting strain on the back. I know when I went swimming before it did “pull” on my back so I stopped going. But now is the time to start again.
    Daniel must be so excited moving into his own flat.I hope he has better luck with his flat than I’ve had with my house!!
    After sorting out the flooring, leaking roof etc. we found a wet patch on my passage wall!!! It turned out that where my neighbour has had their chimney taken down they have’nt got a “cowl” covering the vent on the roof. Luckily my neighbours father is a gas fitter and can sort it out (hopefully) today. We had heavy rain during the night and the rain had gone down the cavity of our adjoining wall. What else can go wrong???
    We recently finnished paying off our morgage and it reminded me of the “Only Fools and Horses” episode where he’d bought their flat and he says “we now own this” in that funny way he does so well. We got home and I turned to my hubby and said the same way that Del -boy says, “we now own THIS..!!!”.
    Well I must dash, enjoy your days off.
    Best wishes, Tina (S. Wales)
    (where I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that nothing else happens in my des. res./ this week anyway.

  7. Jean Pugh July 19, 2014 at 8:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Yes you are right about the prices of property in London, I sometimes watch Location Location and you would not believe the price of some of the flats , and some are so small. Glad Daniel got the flat he wanted, it sounds as if it is going to be saving him a lot of time on his journey to work.
    I expect it is nice to have Sophie back home for a while, good idea to save up for her own flat. I’m sure the Cats are having great fun.
    Are you enjoying your gym?
    Great news on your results, let’s hope it continues that way for you.
    Enjoy your days off, busy writing and working out I guess.
    I have something I am going to send you at QVC I don’t know if you will have read it before, if not I am sure it will you make you laugh, as you have a great sense of humour.
    Take care.
    Love Jean X

  8. Diane gilbank July 20, 2014 at 11:19 am -  Reply

    Hi julia, gosh what fate has in store, one child moves out….and another moves in!! A lot of movement for you all though and a change of playmate for poppy too. It all sound as if you have had a very hectic week and working as well! So no wonder you haven’t had chance to write any of your book!!
    I hope chris is very happy in his new flat and as you said his travel time will help with his long days.
    You looked fabulous in the Marla W dress on Friday and if finances allow I would buy it for yourself.
    I’ve had a good week resulting in getting out of my albeit, lovely prison for an hour and a half. I wore my new nina L spotty dress and felt fabulous in it!! I went to see my mum who has been ill recently. Only hard bit was back in bed less than 2 hours after having left, in pain and wondering if it had ever happened!!
    Very pleased with your results though julia, all in the right direction for remission.
    Enjoy your time off, much love diane xxxx

  9. Paula Price July 20, 2014 at 9:38 pm -  Reply

    Lovely to hear that you are so nearly in remission.
    Rest as much as you can when you get the chance.
    God bless xx

  10. Carole cooper July 23, 2014 at 7:39 am -  Reply

    Your garden looks really nice I like the lights on your tree on your twitter picture. The weather is lovely hope it keeps up my hols in aug. I am comming to london in sept comming to radio 2 hyde park cause my husband loves e l o and Jeff lyn is on so my husband is so excited, we are in hyde park were could we spend the day on the sat were is nice and close by. My buys for this week is the l’occitaine hand and foot cream 3for 2 as Alex said and the opi set think it was called mustang take care care wigan

  11. Joanna Downey July 23, 2014 at 9:29 am -  Reply

    Hello Julia, I’m delighted that your latest test results were positive and moving in the right direction. Your photos on Twitter were lovely and your garden looked very much likes ours; candles, cats and fairy lights, the only difference being that my candles are called Joy and came from Cornwall, they are sublime. I love al fresco food, probably because our weather doesn’t allow it to be a regular feature of English life, it can be breakfast on the terrace, a pub lunch, tea in the garden or a picnic. My favourite, however, is a Summer supper in a softly lit garden when the flowers release their evening fragrance – perfection. I understand your mixed emotions regarding Daniel moving into his own home, when our girls were tiny I found a quote that said the two most important things to give a child are roots and wings and I held on to those words when they went to university and then moved into their own homes. I know you’ll keep us up to date with news about him and Wilfie. Love from Jo x

  12. Beth Morton July 24, 2014 at 1:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    A bit of a belated reply from me but fantastic news on your CML test results. Great to hear you’re heading in the right direction.
    Well I hope you have had some ‘me’ time this week. You’re a fantastic Mum and I know that from your book and all your blogs. Delighted to hear that Daniel’s purchase has gone through and phew, the flat IS better than you both remembered! I think from my own experience, your first place is extra special and I hope he’ll be very happy there.
    I think lots of us have moved out and back in again at home. As you say, if you can help your children, why not. Great to hear that all the cats are ok too!
    Take care and hope you’ve had a good rest,
    Beth XXX

  13. Julia roberts July 25, 2014 at 10:38 am -  Reply

    Hi Martin
    Daniel moves into his new home on Tuesday – very exciting for him. I hope you are enjoying Christmas in July? I was on yesterday with Festive Christmas lighting & Gifts and today I have Santa’s Toy Shop at 4, Bethlehem Lights at 5 and Price’s Candles at 7
    See you later
    Julia x

  14. Julia roberts July 25, 2014 at 10:46 am -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    Yes a big win for Palace but of course there won’t be any 13 – 1 ‘s in the Premiership!
    Still making progress towards remission – it’s very slow at this stage because of the drug dosage my body will tolerate but it’s a bit ‘tortoise & hare’ …. it may be slow but hopefully when I get to remission I’ll stay clear.
    Can’t believe footie kicks off again in 3 weeks!
    Good luck to Rangers (don’t tell my sister I said that!)
    Julia x

  15. Julia roberts July 25, 2014 at 10:52 am -  Reply

    Hi Pauline
    So pleased you got the Lola Rose pink TSV before it sold out – really pretty wasn’t it?
    Home is chaos with both Dan’s and Sophie’s furniture stacked up everywhere, but Dan moves on Tuesday so that will give us breathing space. Very happy about my results …. I am a very lucky girl that these drugs are working with relatively few side effects.
    Give Dave a BIG hug from me
    Julia x

  16. Julia roberts July 25, 2014 at 10:59 am -  Reply

    Hello Jenny
    So pleased to hear you are enjoying One Hundred Lengths of the Pool – did you get a signed copy from QVC or are you reading it on Kindle?
    I loved my time in Guernsey … so many beautiful beaches, Cobo, Vazon & what was the name of the one in the North (I think it starts with A?) but my favourite day out was definitely Herm and I will go back one day.
    Glad that you enjoy QVC
    Julia x

  17. Julia roberts July 25, 2014 at 11:06 am -  Reply

    Hi Tina
    One of the first things we did when we moved in here was to have a cowl put on the chimney – not only does it help prevent damp if you have a blocked up fireplace but also stops birds flying down as we had twice in a previous house! I hope nothing else goes wrong and great that you have paid off your mortgage!
    In my particular blood cancer I have to have a row of zeros to be considered in remission – I am very very close!
    Try backstroke it gives the best support for your back – my favourite stroke – great for your arms too
    Julia x

  18. Julia roberts July 25, 2014 at 11:15 am -  Reply

    Hi Jean
    I will watch the post … Could do with a good laugh!
    It has been fabulous working out in the gym with air conditioning – I’m so glad I invested in having it installed as It had been soooooo hot I wouldn’t have been able to go in there. I even went in there to do some writing the other day as it was more comfortable than the temperature in the house!
    So so close to remission but so long as I’m improving I can be patient.
    Tuesday is Dan’s big move day so hope it stays dry but isn’t quite so warm.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  19. Julia roberts July 25, 2014 at 11:29 am -  Reply

    Hi Diane
    I’m glad you managed to visit your mum …. I know you ‘paid’ for it afterwards but it will have meant a lot to her I’m sure and I hope she will feel better for it.
    Thanks for the compliment on the Marla Wynne dress, not a colour I would normally wear but I loved it. I even had an email from our senior fashion buyer complimenting me … Wow!
    Another busy week but I have managed to write a couple of chapters – just two away from insisting now’ then the read through begins.
    Dan moves in on Tuesday, his and my only day off next week, and then we plan to have a celebration dinner when Sophie arrives after work at his new ‘local’ … an ancient inn that does really good grub.
    My results were important – it’s the light a the end of the tunnel that keeps me positive that one day I will be able to stop taking the drugs. I think of you often and how brave you are coping with your illness – I hope things may improve for you too.
    Much love
    Julia x

  20. Julia roberts July 25, 2014 at 11:31 am -  Reply

    Hi Paula
    Thanks. Rest is not on the agenda for the next week but after that I’ll try I promise.
    Julia x

  21. Julia roberts July 25, 2014 at 11:37 am -  Reply

    Hi Carole
    We have eaten outside in the garden every evening this week – just too hot inside! Sophie and her dad put the sola fairy lights on the tree – reminds me of lights around palm trees in foreign climes.
    I did my feet the other night and massaged the gorgeous L’Occitane foot cream in afterwards … sooo smooth.
    Hope the weather stays nice for your holiday in August – it’s turning out to be a very warm summer.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  22. Julia roberts July 25, 2014 at 11:49 am -  Reply

    Hi Jo
    I love that quote …. roots and wings and I guess we have done our job! We will still see plenty of Dan and Wilfie as they are only 45 minutes away but it will feel strange not having them at home to start with. I will of course keep you all updated on here.
    I love sitting in the garden in the evening as the temperature starts to cool – means I haven’t watched much TV this week though. I haven’t heard of Joy candles – I’ll look them up on the Internet … who knows maybe a new brand for QVC!
    Julia x

  23. Julia roberts July 25, 2014 at 12:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Beth
    Not much time to rest this week I’m afraid – sometimes it’s more of a rest going into QVC!
    Lots of organising to do for Daniel’s imminent move, two solid days of writing, gardening, cooking, cleaning and using the new gym (thankfully air conditioned)……phew, I feel tired just thinking about it. Plus this heat is overwhelming at night so not sleeping well even with the fan blowing – not that I’m complaining as it makes such a change to have a lovely summer.
    Very good news on my CML … slow but steady progress and thankfully few side effects … I have been lucky.
    Meal times are interesting with the cats as Poppy eats really slowly and Milo wolfs his food down so we have to keep them separated, but apart from that they are getting on well. I think Milo will miss having Wilfie to play with though.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  24. Steven July 26, 2014 at 11:56 am -  Reply

    Lol thanks for your good wishes and good luck with the recovery too. Obviously I hope Palace stay up again too
    Look after yourself xx

  25. norma July 27, 2014 at 5:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia so happy to hear your test results are looking good, nearly there, keep positive and take care. I’ve just been ” down south ” looking after my granddaughter for my son and his wife I, like you try to help as much as I can, my mam helped me and I don’t know how I would of managed without her and I always say it’s nice to be wanted because I see a lot of older people who hardly ever see or hear from there children and it’s so sad, love your garden by the way xxx

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