Flowers in fireplace

Flower Power

15

Flowers

I hope Richard Jackson won’t mind me borrowing the name of his fabulous plant food for my blog this week but it seemed very appropriate particularly as spring seems to have sprung and the plants will need feeding.

White camelias

It is such a pleasure to see the primroses and daffodils brightening even the dullest days with their cheerful shades of yellow.

Flowers in the bush

There is already quite a lot in bloom in my garden. I love this row of white camellias under the olive trees, which have amazed me for a second year running by surviving our British winter.

White cherry bush

I was also surprised to see this little white cherry bush already in bloom. My mum bought it for us last summer so we hadn’t seen it in flower before and a couple of weeks ago I was worried that it might have died as it looked very twiggy… now look at it!

Skimmia

I also took a snap of my skimmia which Julie Bates and I were discussing the last time we had a Peony flowers show together – our next show together is on Easter Monday at 6pm.

But it is not just the flowers in my garden that gave me the title idea for my blog. That happened last Saturday when I was in Leicester for the British Polio Fellowship Indoor Games gala dinner. I was disappointed not to be able to attend the games on Friday due to my regular shows on QVC, Fashion on Friday (today featuring Susan Graver) and Spotlight on Jewellery (today with Bronzo Italia and Nour). Today is the final Spotlight on Jewellery for this season so do join me at 6pm if you can. I digress… back to last weekend.

Chris and I travelled to Leicester last Saturday after a last-minute viewing on a flat for Sophie, which was perfect but had sold before she managed to view fifteen minutes after us – she is still not having much luck in that department!

We had decided to go in my car, a two seater Audi TT Roadster – the reason I am telling you this will become clear shortly. Our second misfortune of the day was my oil light coming on halfway up the M1. This wouldn’t have been a problem IF I had remembered to replace the container of the special oil my car needs the last time I used it.

I figured it was better to put some oil in than not so we stopped at the services and ‘improvised’ with what was available. Just as an aside, why is petrol at the motorway services so astronomically expensive?

We arrived at the hotel without any further hitches and in time to see the football results – another win for Crystal Palace moving us up to 11th in the Premiership.

Julia and David Howells winner of darts

Julia and David Howells winner of darts

 

The gala evening started at 6.30 and it was lovely to meet so many people who had clearly had a great time socialising and competing in events such as darts, indoor curling, cribbage and scrabble… I might have to enter that next year as I like a game of scrabble. I had been asked to give a short speech before presenting the medals during which I asked if anyone watched QVC – a large cheer went up!

Many of the people at the dinner were in wheelchairs or on crutches so have been left much more disabled by polio than me, but we all have one thing in common. Having ‘beaten’ the original disease we all run the risk of being affected to some degree by post polio syndrome, known as PPS, and we are talking large numbers here, potentially 120,000 people.

It’s easy to forget how devastating and frightening polio was, particularly the epidemic years, but now there is a safe vaccine it has been wiped out in this country and most countries around the world. Unfortunately the paralysis and disability caused is something polio survivors have to live with on a daily basis.

Polio group photo

One of the ladies from the Northern Ireland contingent said my speech had resonated with her when I mentioned that, until a few years ago, I never admitted to anyone that I had had polio. It is almost like we were ashamed of something that we had no control over contracting when in fact which should feel very proud to have fought and survived it.

Another lady said she remembered as a teenager all her friends going shoe shopping in Dolcis on a Saturday. She felt so excluded from such a simple pleasure because, like me, she can’t walk in high or slender heels. It’s only a small thing but how good to be able to share with others in a similar situation.

Julia and Brian Rowley chairman of the BPF board of trustees

Julia and Brian Rowley chairman of the BPF board of trustees

So to the funny bit of my story. After the medal presentation I was thanked and presented with a HUGE basket of flowers. Chris and I looked at each other. How on earth were we going to get them home? We had visions of Chris sitting with them on his lap, his face peering out from the blooms, for the two hour journey home.

Fortunately we managed to bend the handle of the basket to one side so that we could squeeze them in the boot of the car and the only casualty was the two top flowers of a stunning orchid… phew! They have looked beautiful in my fireplace all week, a lovely reminder of an event I was delighted to be part of for the first time.

Well I really must dash now as I am on air earlier than usual at 3pm to celebrate the first anniversary of Tarte make-up on QVC – hope you can join me.

Remember to put your clocks forward tomorrow night and I’ll see you all over the Easter weekend.

Much love,

Julia xx

p.s: Does anyone recognise the dress I was wearing for the gala dinner?

15 Comments

  1. Pauline Johnson March 27, 2015 at 7:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia glad you had a good time at your do.had a busy week David had cataract op on Tuesday he is a different person he can now see properly and is so much more aware of things,also went to see our new Great Grandson he is lovely and a good baby sleeps most of the time,love to you and family speak soon xxx

    • Julia roberts April 1, 2015 at 10:16 pm -  Reply

      Hello Pauline
      I’m pleased to hear that David’s eye operation went well. And how lovely that he was able to see your new great grandson properly. It must give you a real lift too having a new baby to take your mind off other things.
      Give Dave my love as always and to you too of course.
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  2. AMANDA PORTER March 29, 2015 at 12:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, how lovely to be able to spend time, with such courageous people. Sounds like you had a lovely evening. You are absolutely right to be proud that you managed to beat such an awful disease. As you know, my husband had it at 6 weeks old and still suffers with pain now. He has to have insoles made to measure and a raised heel on his left shoe, very difficult getting shoes. also weakness down his left side, which seems to get worse with age. Oh well, things could be worse. I will read up on PPS as I suspect that is heading his way.
    Keep well and have a lovely weekend.
    Love Amanda x

    • Julia roberts April 1, 2015 at 11:03 pm -  Reply

      Hello Amanda
      I think you should read up on PPS. There isn’t a cure for it but at least if you know what you’re dealing with it can be better managed. I haven’t had a diagnosis yet but I think that my left leg is looking noticeably thinner than my right now, it feels weaker and I have less mobility in my ankle. It’s one of the reasons that unfortunately I won’t be able to join some of my colleagues from QVC on the Moonwalk next month.
      Maybe you two could attend the games next year?
      Love to you both
      Julia x

  3. Jean March 29, 2015 at 6:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    I am sure Richard Jackson won’t mind you using the Flower Power name.
    You have some lovely shrubs in your garden, and yes the primroses and daffodils are beautiful to see. Talking of daffodils I had to have one of my gorgeous labradors put to sleep last week, it all happened so sudden, I knew things were not right, took him into vets and they x rayed and did a scan and he had a massive tumour in his stomach, cancer which is not noticeable until it is too late, and apparently it develops at a greater rate than in humans. It broke my heart. Anyway that is where the daffodils come into it, I picked two and put on his kennel gate. He was called ZaZu.

    What a shame about the flat for Sophie, she is not having much luck is she, hope something comes up soon.

    Sounds as if you had a great time at the Gala evening, yes you don’t realise how many people have been affected by Polio and yes it must have been a frightening disease. and it is good to know they now have a safe vaccine for it.

    Your basket of flowers look beautiful, flowers give you so much pleasure don’t they.

    Yes remembered to alter the clocks, I think my dogs forgot.

    Have a great Easter.

    Love Jean XX

    • Julia roberts April 1, 2015 at 11:12 pm -  Reply

      Hello Jean
      I’m so sorry to hear of your sad news about Zazu. It is so sad to lose a pet we have become close to. I didn’t know that cancer develops more quickly in animals than in us. I am so thankful everyday that they found my blood cancer early and were able to treat it – just waiting on some results at the moment.
      I remembered the clocks. I’m down with Daniel in Swansea at the moment and was supposed to go and watch his young swans play Cardiff so I was up at 8am (really 7am). Fifteen minutes later I had a text to say the game was off because of the high winds and rain. Shame for the lads as it is their local derby.
      I think my flower basket will have died off by the time I get home tomorrow.
      Happy Easter to you too
      Love
      Julia x

  4. TINA S March 30, 2015 at 12:16 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    What lovely photo’s of the flowers coming into bloom in your garden. It is still hard to believe that it is now British Summer Time as it is still keeping quite cold. We did have some nice sunny day’s last week though. Let’s hope we have a bit of sunshine this week to.
    It was interesting reading about your experiences with Polio and the struggles you went through overcoming it. I know I haven’t gone through anything like you have but I also find it problematic when it comes to footwear.I have had problems with Planta Faschiitus which means I cannot wear very high shoes. As I also have a back problem it is very hard sometimes to find nice modern feminine shoes. It causes real problems with my back if I wear shoes that are too high. In my opinion the trend for wearing such high heels is just storing up problems for the future when people will be having so many problems by wearing such shoes. It is one of my “bug-bears”.
    Congrat’s on your football team’s success. Unfortunately however I will not be converting over to football!! LOL.
    Well I’m off to search through the property guides to see what is available if I could drop the price!
    Take care , Tina S. x
    PS . I can’t believe you watched the rugby, LOL !!

    • Julia roberts April 1, 2015 at 11:22 pm -  Reply

      Hi Tina
      Just to clarify that I didn’t actually watch much of the rugby I just kept an eye on the scores! I think maybe the Ospreys were playing the other day at the Liberty – are they your local team?
      The weather has been a bit disappointing on this visit to Swansea, VERY windy and a bit rainy. Still it’s been good to send time with Daniel and get some more writing done.
      I think I have heard Marjolein talk about planta faschiitus – have you tried Pilates?
      Good luck with the house – if you accept less perhaps someone else will accept a lower offer from you.
      Too windy for Porthcawl this visit – maybe next time.
      Love
      Julia x

  5. Annette Roberts March 30, 2015 at 12:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    What a lovely blog and very humbling, thank you for talking about your experiences and also other peoples too…we all have our little moans and whinges at times, but very often don’t realise how lucky we are. I know I whinge about my leg and ankle, not pretty to look at, but its much better since having the plate and pins out, although heels are out of the equation now.
    Funny though to read about your dilemma in getting your basket of flowers in your car and glad they survived the journey with just one casualty.

    Thank you for the hint previously about Chia seeds for cholesterol, I already use them in my drinks and in my homemade flapjacks together with some Psyllium Husks for my tummy…those awful fibre drinks the Dr gave me rendered me with terrible acid, because of the orange flavouring, so decided to buy the husks and add them to my drinks instead, far tastier.

    I really feel for Sophie missing out on that property, its so typical at the moment, no matter how quick you think you are, they go, something will turn up.
    Must admit its very draining, every weekend taken up with viewings, we had a bidding war last weekend, so walked away having already bid £10,000 over the valuation on a property that didn’t need anything doing to it…wasn’t to be, we had our limit and we stuck to it.

    I think your dress was either Ronni Nicole or maybe Tiana B, whichever it looked lovely in the photos.
    love
    Annette x
    BTW, Chris has started using the Bodyblade after I showed it to him, its in the home office and every so often he gets up and uses it…never thought I’d see the day!

    • Julia roberts April 1, 2015 at 11:30 pm -  Reply

      Hi Annette
      I think you’re allowed to ‘whinge’ as you put it after all you’ve been through the last couple of years. I’m so glad things are a bit more comfortable for you now. It was humbling for me to see the great spirit amongst the polio survivors who have so much more to deal with than me.
      You sound like Sophie stoking to your guns over the property prices. I think if something came along that she really fell head over heels for she might be more inclined to stretch her budget a bit. I hope you find something soon but at least you have nothing to sell which makes the whole process much easier.
      Thumbs up to your Chris for giving the Bodyblade a go.
      Love
      Julia x
      PS the dress was Trinny and Susanna

  6. Anne OSullivan March 31, 2015 at 3:25 pm -  Reply

    hi julia, your garden is beautiful. love watching you on qvc. anne.

    • Julia roberts April 1, 2015 at 11:33 pm -  Reply

      Hello Anne
      I can’t take all the credit for our garden as a lot of the planting had already been done by the previous owners but we are starting to put our stamp on it now.
      Thank you for your kind comment and glad you enjoy my shows
      Love
      Julia x

  7. martin forbes March 31, 2015 at 6:57 pm -  Reply

    hi julia hope you and chris are well
    i am not bad.hopefully sophie will find aplace to say soon hope daniel is settling in his new job at swansea and is settling in to his new place

  8. Julia roberts April 1, 2015 at 11:37 pm -  Reply

    Hello Martin
    I have been staying with Daniel in Swansea since last Saturday – Chris didn’t come down this time at all and I must admit I’ve missed him! Dan is working hard in his new job so is very lucky that the training ground is less than a five minute drive away.
    Something will turn up for Sophie soon I’m sure.
    Glad to hear you are keeping well
    Love
    Julia x

  9. Jim Strachan June 3, 2015 at 2:34 pm -  Reply

    My wife, also called Julia has suffered for years from psoriatic arthritis which was mainly on her body but it is now appearing on her face. She has used loads of creams etc suggested by the doctors at the dermatology clinic with little or no effect. Like most women she has tried to take care of her skin ,especially her face and has bought beauty items from QVC – Liz Earle and others. She was watching QVC one day fairly recently when you were presenting and heard you say that you have suffered from psoriasis and my request to you is can you tell my wife what medical or beauty products you have used, especially on the face which may have helped you. She had six different applications from the clinic some weeks back none of which are doing any good. We would be most grateful for any advice you could offer.

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