Hi Mum, I’m home…


Now Sophie's back home it also means that all her university 'stuff' from the last two years is home too. It's amazing just how much stuff yiou can gather in two years, and I should know, as most of it is now lying on the floor of her bedroom waiting to be sorted out!

Before she made a start on that task I thought I'd take a picture of it for posterity, and that gave me the idea to have a little game with you. Do you remember those 'spot the difference games that some newspapers used to run? Well here's my version! I'm not going to give you any clues 'cos it's very easy. Answers via the comments box please, and sorry, no prizes for correct answers as it's just for fun! Click on each of the photos to get yourself a better view, then send me your answers!

                      Sophie's bedroom 1      Sophie's bedroom 2

Fun aside, there's some serious sorting out to do, and even Sophie agrees that she may have to go to a car boot sale because we simply don't have enough room to store everything. Which reminds me, do you ever watch 'Trash for Cash' on BBC1 in the mornings? I don't normally, but a week or so ago I caught it as Claire Simonsen and her family were on it and she's emailed me to let me know.

Do you remember Claire from our 'Search for a Presenter' competition? She was one of our finalists and we've kept in touch ever since. She's a lovely girl and does a lot for charity, so I'm really pleased she reached her target on the show.

Can you believe that the 'Search for a Presenter' live shows were two years ago? Which means Craig has been with us that long – and it just seems like yesterday!

Good luck with your guesses,
Julia. xx.


  1. Marg August 28, 2009 at 9:58 pm -  Reply

    My son was away at university for four years, did very well,but some of his things are still like Sophies,too many years ago to admit to.Each time I ask him to clear them out he starts,then gets side tracked by seeing something he had forgotten about and starts to go through his photographs,he ends up leaving a bigger mess than when he started.Oh well he is my son. Kind regards, Marg.

  2. jay August 29, 2009 at 6:56 am -  Reply

    Julia, Watch out for wasps at car boot sales at the moment,loads about. I’ve now been stung three times this year.At home I don’t like using sprays so its back to the reliable rolled newspaper, does QVC sell anything for controlling these pesks.

  3. m mackenzie August 30, 2009 at 3:46 am -  Reply

    i think its a cuddley toy of some sort.

  4. dorothy young August 30, 2009 at 6:50 pm -  Reply

    hi julia
    its great when they come back but not all the MESS, it looks like when laura came back a bomb has dropped i dont think sophie wants to get rid of her teddy at least she put that away take care love to you all
    love dorothy x x

  5. Steven August 31, 2009 at 3:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    You never told us how many differences there were in your spot the difference! I think judging by the pics you’ll be hoping she gets her own place soon ha ha! Having said that I am 25 and still with my Mum n Dad at home. Cheapest rent in town lol
    PS Whats the point in search for a presenter. Just put you and Claire S on more often and thats the answer!

  6. lucy August 31, 2009 at 4:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia i think its the little sheep thats missing in picture 2! We just moved house and thats good compared to my garage at the mo, car boot sales lookout , i’m on me way!!!!! Love Lucy

  7. Julie August 31, 2009 at 5:40 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Bet your pleased to have sophie home with you again. My son is starting college tomorrow and he is so nervous about it all.
    Was the answer the two sheep?

  8. Linda Jordan August 31, 2009 at 7:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Its got to be the lovely wee sheep peeping out from the centre of one of the piccies. Try not to give in and help Sophie with the sorting – i bet you do(its a mum thing eh!!). Best Wishes Linda, Glasgow

  9. Joan Fraser September 1, 2009 at 1:06 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I remember both of my daughters’ returns to the home in 2003 & 2008. They both attended the same university – Aston in Birmingham and packing the car on both occasions was something to remember. I’m glad I didn’t have twins.
    Oh! by the way, two cuddly toys seem to have disappeared from your picture on the right.
    Best wishes
    Joan xx

  10. Susan September 3, 2009 at 12:25 am -  Reply

    Has Sophie left Uni already, thought most courses were at least 3 years. What is she doing now?
    It is the cuddly sheep that is missing. :)

  11. Hannah September 3, 2009 at 3:16 am -  Reply

    Hello Julia,
    There are 3 missing cuddly sheep in the second photo.

  12. Jayne Knight September 3, 2009 at 7:51 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Despite the mess I bet you are pleased to have your flock home again.
    I have counted 3 sheep missing, the 1 in the centre of the picture and 2 of Shaun the Sheep, 1 on the floor and the other next to the candles by the TV.
    Take care and keep up the good work.
    Jayne x

  13. rebecca September 3, 2009 at 8:41 am -  Reply

    There seems to be a few sheep missing in the after photo!

  14. gill graham September 3, 2009 at 8:56 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia, Two cuddly toys and some woolies!!!! my younger daughter was the biggest mess magnate in the world, then….. she got a home of her own and well wow she out does Aggie! So there’s hope for Sophie.
    Keep looking fab

  15. Susan McIntosh September 3, 2009 at 9:37 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    I’m sure you’re loving having Sophie back and are spoiling her rotten!!!
    There are 3 little lambs missing in pic 2, one on the tv desk, one in the bag at the front and one next to the chair…..!!!
    Hope they are safe and have come to no harm!!!
    Lots of Love

  16. Janet Rogers September 3, 2009 at 10:36 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia, I have triplet boys who are just off to universities all over the country!! What fun we are going to have, problem is they all go on the same weekend.HELP!!
    Best wishes,
    Janet xx

  17. Pamela Boddy September 3, 2009 at 10:41 am -  Reply

    its the cuddly toy looks like a lamb

  18. katy powell September 3, 2009 at 10:45 am -  Reply

    how lovely to have her home though , my sons only just starting collage i cant imagine him going away to uni !! i can see 3 sheep. 2 peeping out from bags and a third between the candles on the side .

  19. Susan Winn September 3, 2009 at 1:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, My two are 28 and 26 and they both still have loads of stuff here, despite having their own places!

  20. Bernadette Currie September 3, 2009 at 2:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,hope all is well with you and yours? You must be delighted to have your daughter back home.
    Ithink there is a wee lamb missing from the top of one of the bags.
    Take care
    Bernadette x

  21. julia roberts September 3, 2009 at 4:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi Folks
    Thanks for such a fantastic response ……….. I can tell you that there are some right answers now……. I will reply to you all in the next couple of days
    Julia x

  22. Pauline Lowe September 3, 2009 at 4:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, looks like you have a big clearing job ahead!!! Good luck! What’s missing in photo 2 is the small black furry toy inside the black and tan bag on the bottom right side. Hope he had found a good home!!!

  23. Helen Gibson September 3, 2009 at 7:06 pm -  Reply

    It looks like a cuddly toy lamb that is missing.

  24. Pamela Bassett September 3, 2009 at 8:18 pm -  Reply

    Looks like an elopement with Shaun and little lambkins!!!!! What happened? Did they get to Gretna Green?

  25. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 12:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marg
    I know what you mean about the reminiscing … in order for Sophie to start the put away, we had to have a clear out of existing cupboards which inevitably included coming across old photos ……….. 2 hours later……. ! I don’t know who was moved more by the baby pics, but I suspect it was me! All cleared away now though – not that the tidyness will last!
    Julia x

  26. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 12:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jay
    We didn’t do a car boot sale in the end but instead opted for the clothes bin at our local Sainsburys. The wasps have been a problem in general this year. Daniel ( our son ) is a dab hand with a rolled up magazine but we also have one of those ‘zapper’ things – a bit like a mini tennis racket with an electric charge.
    Julia x

  27. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 12:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Dorothy
    Sophie enlisted the help of her best friend Nicola to tidy the mess. You were right in part – but there was more than one cuddly toy!!
    Julia x

  28. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 1:00 pm -  Reply

    Hello M Mckenzie ( very formal )
    You were nearly right, but there was more than one!!
    Julia x

  29. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 1:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    Didn’t want to make it too easy by telling you how many differences there were!
    Sophie and Daniel are both living at home now but I suspect they would both like to spread their wings soon – it’s just so difficult with the rent prices so high here in the south-east.
    You are funny ……… Clare and I already work quite hard enough ( that’s for the benefit of our boss!! )
    speak soon
    Julia x

  30. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 1:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Lucy
    Close but no cigar! – There was more than 1 sheep. Hope you’re settling in in your new home? And as Jay mentioned in her post watch out for the wasps
    Good luck with the tidy up
    Julia x

  31. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 1:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julie
    Getting warmer, but not quite right. I hope you’re sons 1st day at college went well – he’ll soon settle in and will wonder what the nerves were about. It reminds me of leaving Daniel at playgroup for the 1st time – I stood outside snivelling for half an hour, but he had a great time!!!!
    Julia x

  32. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 1:17 pm -  Reply

    Hello Linda
    Of course I gave in and helped, but only getting the drawers etc. ready for the big put away – that was left to Sophie and her friend Nicola.
    Sophie and I loved your description of Shaun ( the lovely wee sheep ) but there was more than 1!
    Julia x

  33. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 1:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Joan
    Like you I have had 2 return from Uni but Daniel is a much tidier person generally and I don’t recall that level of MESS!
    Good spot of the 2 sheep BUT there was more!
    Julia x

  34. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 1:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Susan
    Doesn’t time fly? Sophie was at Uni for 3 years!! You may have heard Stacey Schiefflen ( YBF ) mention on air that Sophie is now in an R&B girl group called 4FLAVA managed by our model Joy. They have done a few gigs, including the Notting Hill Carnival, and they are pretty good – and that’s not just motherly pride!
    By the way, there was more than 1 sheep
    Julia x

  35. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 1:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Hannah
    The first correct answer – there were indeed 3 sheep missing from the second photo
    well done
    Julia x

  36. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 1:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jayne
    Loved the play on words!!!! Thanks for your very specific answer – funny thing is, Sophie calls the cuddly sheep Shaun, and the others ( who are technically Shauns ) don’t really have a name!
    well spotted
    Julia x

  37. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 1:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Rebecca
    Yes there were a few sheep missing in the after photo – Sophie has a bit of a thing for sheep at the moment, she even has a body mop ( or Dougal as I call them ) that is Shaun the sheep!
    Julia x

  38. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 1:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi Gill
    So there is hope!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Actually Sophie is much tidier now than she has ever been in her life, I think it’s the influence of her Army boyfriend – she’s still no Aggie though!
    You were close with your guess but it was just the sheep that had gone, and there were three of them!
    Julia x

  39. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 1:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Sue
    It is good to have Sophie home, although in truth I’ve seen a lot of both Sophie and Daniel during Uni as they both chose London Uni’s ( Royal Holloway and Brunel respectively ). Spoil her ???? – I don’t think I do really.
    You were very precise about the sheep and I can assure you there is no need to ring the RSPCA they are all safe and well!!
    Julia x

  40. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 1:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi Janet
    It was bad enough getting them ready for Uni 1 at a time, I can’t imagine the mayhem it’s been at your house lately!
    As for all 3 coming back at the same time ……………. GOOD LUCK …….. you will certainly need it!
    hope they all settle in OK
    Julia x

  41. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 1:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pamela
    Shaun is a lamb and was missing from the 2nd photo, but he also had a couple of ‘friends’
    Julia x

  42. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 1:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Katy
    Absolutely right with number and location of sheep! I hope your son settles in at college – I’m sure he will
    Julia x

  43. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 2:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Susan
    The answer to that is what my parents did – move house! Then it either gets claimed or disposed of. My mum and dad moved from our family home in Nottingham to a remote crofter’s cottage on the Isle of Skye!! – do we think mid-life crisis?!?
    Julia x

  44. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 2:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Bernadette
    Yes it is good to have Sophie around – she has a very mature outlook on life ( despite being into cuddly sheep ) and is sometimes my shoulder to cry on, as I am hers.
    There was a shhep missing from the top of one of the bags BUT he also had 2 friends.
    Julia x

  45. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 2:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pauline
    Pleased to report that the whole lot has been put away and I didn’t do it – Sophie enlisted the help of her best friend Nicola and they had it cleared in an afternoon – at least half a dozen bin bags of clothes went to the clothes bin at our local Sainsbury.
    You spotted one of the sheep BUT there were 2 more
    Julia x

  46. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 2:12 pm -  Reply

    Hello Helen
    There were actually 3 little sheep missing from picture 2 – don’t ask!!
    Julia x

  47. julia roberts September 6, 2009 at 2:16 pm -  Reply

    Hello Pamela
    What are you suggesting??? 2 of the sheep are now safely relocated on the shelf above Sophie’s bed, but cuddly Shaun goes everywhere with Sophie ……… well almost, more of that in a future blog!
    Julia x

  48. Rachel Hunter September 15, 2009 at 5:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia – what is it with students and bags of “stuff” ?
    My son came home from his first year at Glasgow University at the start of the summer and it is not an exaggeration to say that all his clothing needed washed – t shirts, jeans, pants and socks, sweatshirts, jackets – were all presented to me (in bags!)
    I calculated that he must have stopped doing his laundry around March /April!!!
    Fortunately , a grand spell of ‘drying’ weather came to the rescue and within two days his wardrobe was full of freshly laundered clothing.
    My husband, who went down to collect him from the halls of residence said it was just as well that I didn’t see his room . To think I spent about a year training him about ‘all things domestic’ prior to him going .
    He has now returned to Glasgow to start his second year – with clean clothing, bedding and a pile of laundry products – so fingers crossed he uses them !!!
    Kind regards to you and all at QVC Julia

  49. julia roberts September 20, 2009 at 1:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi Rachel
    I’m just wondering how long it will take your son to work his way through all the clean clothing?? Do you think he’ll make it last until Christmas????? ( not a pleasant thought!) Isn’t it funny to think how adept our children are on their computers but are apparently unable to cope with the buttons on a washing machine!
    Hope he’s enjoying Uni
    Julia x

  50. carole brown November 19, 2009 at 12:55 am -  Reply

    Hi, julia, just looked at 4flavar on myspace, I really like the song and video of I think it was called (pose for the camera)? thats what the song is about anyway, I like that better than their new one, pose is really really good,and there performance I cant stop singing the chorus, its really catchy, I think if they got a record deal that could possible be in the top 5, they should go on x factor maybe, hope that dose’nt offend you, but I think theyre really good. regards carole

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