Do you remember your first car?


Julia's first car Petal It's official, QVC is 17 today which set me thinking about my 17th birthday. I was in Guernsey working as a dancer in Summer Season with funny men Cannon and Ball. It was a bit weird actually because the venue where I was working had been told I was turning 18 not 17 and unknown to me, they had organised an 18th birthday party for me.

I had to play along with the whole 'key to the door ' thing, big cake with 18 all over it… very surreal. What was even weirder was the following June when I actually turned 18, it was a bit of an anti-climax!!

Anyway, back to my 'not' 17th birthday. I had been waiting for the day in great anticipation as I couldn't wait to learn to drive. I had my first driving lesson on my actual birthday and absolutely loved it. I was in a fortunate position as a friend of mine's mother owned a hire car company so I was able to have lots of practise in a variety of different cars. With all the practise it meant I only had to have 6 actual lessons before my driving test.

On the day of my test, I had organised to have an hour lesson prior to the actual test BUT unfortunately I overslept. I woke up to the sound of hammering on the front door. It was my driving instructor. I just had time to clean my teeth, throw on a T shirt and a pair of shorts and flip flops and get to the test site for 10am (don't they know I don't do mornings!!). I'm not sure if the Examiner was distracted by the sight of my 17-year-old legs but I managed to pass.

I was living with 2 other girls in Guernsey and we shared a car called 'Bessie' that the venue had bought for us, but my first car that I paid money for was the following summer in Jersey, where I was doing another Summer Season. I bought her with one of the other girls, Debbie, for £50 each. Her name was Petal and she was a two-tone Mini, but not how you may have imagined (see photo above).

The majority of her was a normal red colour, but the rear wing and boot was a kind of matte pinky/ purple. To make her look prettier, we decorated her with a Minnie Mouse sticker on one door and a Dylan (the rabbit from the Magic Roundabout) sticker on the other – very distinctive LOL!!! Do you remember your first car?

I thought this all tied in nicely with our first ever product on QVC – the VW Beetle alarm clock that so many of you correctly remembered in last week's blog. Which reminds me, if you know the colour of the VW you can enter our online competition to win a driving experience.

Enjoy the rest of our Birthday Weekend and do text or phone in!

Love Julia


  1. Jennifer Beresford October 1, 2010 at 11:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi julia, It’s a while since I made contact with you, but I have to congratulate you and QVC on your 17th birthday.You must have lots of energy and enthusiasm to stay in the same job for so long. You always come across as enthusiastic,knowledgeable and committed.
    Like you, my first car was a mini. Mine was a 1966 Mini Traveller, you know the one with the wood around the windows.It was a real old banger and red. I was travelling back from work one day and the gear stick [which was the old long metal pole and ball type],came off in my hand.I had to push it a quarter of a mile home.There was no knight in shining armour to help me.However the rest of the way was on the flat and I was young and strong at the time.Anyway I had her fixed and kept her for two years more.Oh the good old day’s hey. Love Jen

  2. Annette Roberts October 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I remember it all too well… like yourself, I couldn’t wait to start driving, so my first lesson was on my 17th birthday in a Triump Dolomite or was it a Torledo… it was brown anyway. No height adjustments on the seats back then, so it was 2 cushions underneath and 1 behind and we had to drive in flat shoes, my choice were a pair of Starsky and Hutch (Paul Michael Glaser) turquoise leather and white stripe trainers, with a blue and white bomber jacket, flared jeans and the hairstyle was exactly the same as Alison Keenan’s picture when she was 17!!
    I can remember that the driving instructor used to have a 12″ ruler and if you did something wrong used to give you a little rap on top of your knuckles, luckily I never got to find out, but my sister did!!!
    My first car was my Dad’s old bright orange Austin Allegro, when the very first ones had the square steering wheel! It was a brilliant car and never ever let me down, even in deep snow and I used to polish the chrome wheel hubs and bumpers until they sparkled. I even used to change the spark plugs and air filter, but wouldn’t know where to start on the cars these days!
    I see the purple and orange theme again!
    Annette x

  3. debbie baldwin October 3, 2010 at 6:38 pm -  Reply

    hi julia loved the story i did not receive my first car until i was 30 i took a few goes to pass my test. please could you let me know if qvc are going to do your watch anymore i have one in yellow gold but would love one in white gold. if not could you tell me where i could try i absolutely love mine thankyou debbie

  4. Emily Winter October 3, 2010 at 11:48 pm -  Reply

    We were very lucky as ,my to be father in law ,bought us a car for an engagement present ,it was a pale lemon mini like yours.The reason for them buying the car, was that my husband had a scooter and his parents worried about his safety on it and mine too.The car wasn’t in the best condition either it leaked ! and had a sour smell because of that.I learned to drive in it .
    We loved that car that was in 1967 , we got married the next year at 18 & 19 years old and we celebrate our 42 wedding anniversary in December.Ihave enjoyed the birthday weekend ,especially Simon as I am know as mrs Butler and wilson.

  5. Marie Ellis October 4, 2010 at 1:42 pm -  Reply

    I know that you of course have to have time off! You work so hard anyway but why are you not scheduled to present any of the shows with Simon Wilson on Saturday? Apart from you brilliant presenting skills, when the two of you are on the show it is also like watching an entertainment programme and I know that lots more of B & W is sold as a result. It is just not the same without you and Simon as a double act, surely QVC can see this?
    Other presenters try with him but he is guarded and not relaxed.
    Marie xxx

  6. julia roberts October 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jen
    Thanks for the birthday wishes – I genuinely love my job and know how lucky I am to have it!
    My 2nd car was a red mini traveller with the wood trim – the gear knob never came off in my hand BUT the first time I filled it up with petrol it leaked out all over the road! It had rusted along a weld line so I could only ever put about 3 gallons ( that shows my age ) in it!!! Her name was ratbag! I had names for all my cars!
    Don’t leave it so long
    Julia x

  7. julia roberts October 4, 2010 at 2:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    Your driving instructor could have had a job at QVC if he was that handy with a ruler!!!!
    We never had an Allegro, but Chris did have a Maxi for a while which I always thought was very similar! Did you name your cars??
    speak soon
    Julia x

  8. julia roberts October 4, 2010 at 2:33 pm -  Reply

    Hi Emily
    Firstly congratulations on your 42 years together, that is amazing! So pleased you enjoyed the birthday weekend – I think a good time was had by all ( even though Simon gave me a terrible hard time for not doing his show! )
    Isn’t it funny how so many of us had Minis as our first car and now they are right back in fashion again – wouldn’t say no to one myself!!!
    Julia x

  9. Marie Jerromes October 4, 2010 at 6:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Really enjoyed the 17th birtday weekend & looked like you all did too.
    The reason I’m contacting you is that on friday morning I saw you present a ‘coat’ show.You tried a red feather & down, rain resistant coat. It looked like it was 3/4 legnth & was around the £50 mark. I am having trouble finding the details & hope you can help! Was it comfy & warm?

  10. Steven October 4, 2010 at 9:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia. Interesting blog. Being younger – thats not a dig at any of the rest of the guys/gals or you Julia! – I can remember my first car quite easily mind you it is about 9 years ago now. Bomber was a wee white Metro. I got it from my Uncle as he is a car mechanic. My Dad has always had some names for his cars. Some of them are before my time but a couple always remind me of good times when I was young. Hope you had a lovely weekend and that team of yours are not giving you too many headaches! xx
    Love Steven

  11. julia roberts October 5, 2010 at 12:57 am -  Reply

    Hello Debbie
    I popped up to see the buyers today to ask about the popcorn watch in white gold. They retired it in order to keep a certain level of exclusivity and unfortunately it is not available elsewhere as it was made specially for us. So sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but pleased to hear you love the one you have.
    Julia x

  12. julia roberts October 5, 2010 at 1:02 am -  Reply

    Hello Marie
    Thankyou for your lovely compliments and trust me I wish I was on with Simon as I love doing his shows. Unfortunately it is just the way the schedule has fallen this coming weekend. GOOD NEWS though I am on with him for 2 hours on both the 15th and 16th October, so not too long to wait.
    I am seeing him tomorrow so will pass on your comments
    Julia x

  13. Una October 5, 2010 at 11:49 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Really enjoyed all the birthday weekend shows. Some lovely products as always.
    I have never learned to drive. I did take lessons, but got SOOO bored, and wouldnt change gears!! I figured what was the point in going up the gears, as I was coming to a roundabout, and would have to go all the way back down them again!!!
    My husband took me out in the car a few times. I stalled at traffic lights, a couple of times and had a bit of a queue behind me. I started to panic, and said a few choice words! I glanced at my husband, and saw the teeniest smirk on his face. He was looking out the window as he thought i couldnt see him. So, I very quietly got out the car, went across the road and got on a bus that was sitting there. All the while, he was still looking out the window, and didnt even realise I wasnt in the car. He only realised when the lights changed, and everyone started beeping at him. Apparently, hes never moved so fast in his life getting over into the driving seat. He drove round the corner, as he thought i had just crossed the road, and all the drivers were waving and beeping as they passed him. Very funny, as he just couldnt figure out where I was. We didnt have mobiles at that time, so he just had to go home, and wait till I got in. Needless to say, he thinks twice about smirking now!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We call our little Punto, Snoozy Suzi as the last digits in the reg plate are ZZZ!!!
    Lots of love
    Una x

  14. Annette Roberts October 5, 2010 at 2:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I can’t really remember having named my cars, although there were times when the odd car did get called something….. unmentionable!
    Although, the last two runabouts that Chris had to get him to and from the station had names, they were both Micras and old bangers, which was good because one actually got broken in to whilst on the station car park.
    The white one was called ‘White Lightening’, because for a small engine it had plenty of poke! Unfortunately that one was written off by a young un-insured driver and was replaced with a red one called ‘The Red Devil’, not because it had plenty of poke, but because it was a devil to start!!!
    Watched you on the UGG show and the red dress really suited you, didn’t buy anything though, because I had already bought a pair of Bearpaw Boots in black (150250) which happen to be the snuggliest boots ever.
    Hope you come across your dress in the attic trunk someday… what a find that will be. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be able to fit into anything from when I was 17 as I had a 21″ waist back then!
    Take care and speak soon
    Annette x

  15. Annette Roberts October 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, sorry, I said ‘UGG’ instead of ‘EMU’ in my reply. Chris had been watching the show with me and kept on and on about the other branded name for sheepskin boots and I couldn’t remember, so went on the internet just before typing my reply to you and had UGG on the brain…. ooops!
    Annette x

  16. Rachel Hunter October 6, 2010 at 4:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia – really enjoyed the birthday weekend – and am patiently waiting for my emu tsv boots to arrive – ordered them in the charcoal and chestnut and I am looking forward to cosy comfort during the winter months !!!
    My first car was an old white Hillman Imp – and I loved it to bits even although it had seen better days !!!- I was forever cleaning and polishing it and I filled it with cushions and my collection of Snoopy soft toys – those were the days
    Congratulations and birthday wishes to you and all at QVC,
    Rachel x

  17. mandy October 7, 2010 at 12:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, My first car was also a mini,brown.
    It was seeing the stickers on your mini that reminded me of my mums car,when I statred school I would cling too my mum’s hair crying and saying “But I takes a long time for you to come and get me”. My mum went into town and had all her hair cut short, then went and brought some stickers and stuck them on her car a little Riley Elf.
    I went too school every day as good as gold,until two horrible boys stole mum’s car.I broke my heart cyring over that car because Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse got set on fire.

  18. Angela Daly October 8, 2010 at 6:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Absolutely loved that plum/aubergine coloured ruffle top you wore whilst presenting Kathy Van Zealand bags on 30th September at 10pm. Any chance of any details, would be very grateful :-).

  19. julia roberts October 11, 2010 at 11:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Angela
    I think it was my top from Per Una at M&S – unfortunately it is a couple of years old so I doubt they still have it.
    Sorry I couldn’t be of more help
    Julia x

  20. julia roberts October 11, 2010 at 11:43 pm -  Reply

    Hello Marie
    I think the coat was from Centigrade ………… was I on with Glen Campbell??
    If it is the one I think it is, it was very lightweight but I would say it would be warm – can’t really tell in the studio, but you could take advantage of your 30 day moneyback guarantee and give it a go
    Julia x

  21. julia roberts October 11, 2010 at 11:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    I’m afraid my team are giving me a few headaches at the moment – was quite relieved that last weekend there were no matches due to the Internationals – not that we have much involvement as you can imagine!!!
    Bomber egh??? I had a white MG Metro when Daniel was a small baby, so that would have been 23 years ago! I only bought her because she had red carpets and seatbelts …… very girly!
    speak soon
    Julia x

  22. julia roberts October 11, 2010 at 11:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Una
    Lovely story ………….. I think the answer to your problems is buy an automatic!!! I never thought I would cos I really enjoy driving, BUT I bought an automatic about 10 years ago and my 2 cars since have both been automatic …. it’s a doddle particularly if you do a lot of driving in traffic like I do.
    Love the name of your little Punto
    Julia x

  23. julia roberts October 12, 2010 at 12:00 am -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    I knew what you meant when you said UGG – haven’t tried Bearpaw but I really love my Emu’s so have a few pairs to keep me going now!! Thanks for the compliment about the red dress – do you mean the Cashmasoft one?? It was flattering wasn’t it.
    I haven’t had a 21 inch waist since I was about 10!!!!
    Julia x

  24. julia roberts October 12, 2010 at 12:05 am -  Reply

    Hi Rachel
    I’m sure you will have had your Emu boots by now – hope you love them ……….. Ali K got a pair in the grey and they look great on her. There may be something coming up this weekend by Dennis Basso that would go rather well with them!!!
    Isn’t it funny how much love and attention you lavish on your first car ……….. now it’s just a chore!!
    Julia x

  25. julia roberts October 12, 2010 at 12:09 am -  Reply

    Oh Mandy, that’s quite a sad tale. I don’t suppose Dylan and Minnie lasted too much longer after we sold Petal at the end of our summer season!
    Julia x

  26. Steven October 12, 2010 at 6:58 pm -  Reply

    Scotland play Spain tonight Julia so not looking forward to that too much. Here I meant to tell you I was speaking to someone about you the other day there and they said you have rally small feet. Is that true? My Mum has really small feet too and my wee cousins swap shoes with her! Im sworn to secrecy on my source too! xx

  27. julia roberts October 14, 2010 at 10:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    What was the score?? I fell asleep during the England game – it was so boring!!
    Who have you been talking to? I don’t have REALLY small feet but I do only take a size 4.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  28. Debbie Smith October 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Can I ask us where you by most of your shoes from. You always seem to have a lovely pair on when I see you on QVC.

  29. Steven October 15, 2010 at 5:00 pm -  Reply

    Scotland got beat 3-2 Julia. Much better performance though. Restored a bit of pride after the czech game. we got back to 2-2 at one point. England were dreadful apparently but you guys are still on course to go through. Massive week for Rangers ahead, we have Motherwell tomorrow at Ibrox. Valencia at Ibrox in the Champions Lweague on Wednesday and then a wee game at Parkhead against Celtic next Sunday and I think I could have a ticket for all of the games. Who do Palce play?
    My Mother is a size 3. I was speaking to Claire on Facebook and happened to mention I spoke to you on this a lot so she said I should wind you up about it!!!
    Steven x

  30. julia roberts October 18, 2010 at 11:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie
    I’m not really a shoe person as I have problems balancing on high heels. I have a few pairs of Clarks, lots of Emu and Birkenstock ( nice flat heels ) and I also go into Aldo sometimes.
    I love Ali K’s and Claire’s high heels but no good for me I’m afraid!
    Julia x

  31. julia roberts October 18, 2010 at 11:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    Well at least they played well and Spain are soooooooooooooo good!
    My son dan tells me Rangers are doing really well – 8 wins out of 8 and top of the league, but apparently only top on goal difference?? Good luck in the Champions League – Valencia are not the team they were a couple of seasons ago without David Vila.
    Unfortunately Palace are pants at the moment – we lost to arch rivals Millwall at home on Saturday and are only just off the bottom of the table. We have Norwich away Tuesday night – we seem to play better away so here’s hoping for 3 points! Not sure about Burley yet, but it’s early days so I guess we have to give him a chance.
    Very impressed that Claire has the time to do facebook – it’s not for me I’m afraid, blogging is about my limit on the computer!
    speak soon
    Julia x

  32. Steven October 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Is Dan a Palace fan too? Rangers are playing really well at the moment. Valencia are a good team and apparently outplayed Barcelona in the Nou Camp at the weekend. A draw would be fantastic for us. I think Ive said to you before that 3rd place in the group would be a success and I think a point would more or less secure that with Bursaspor having to play Man U twice although man u have not got their troubles to seek at the minute.
    I noticed Palace lost at the weekend. Thats a sore one. Mr Burley was a strange appointment I thought. Has Davids not hit it off yet then? Norwich have Paul Lambert in charge so fingers crossed you guys beat them. Are you going? I am genuinely excited for our game at Ibrox tomorrow night and then its Celtic at Parkhead on Sunday(they have won 8out of 8 too!) so should be a cracker and I might be getting a ticket for that too!
    Claire actually deleted me on facebook and has literally just re added me. Not too sure what that was all about. Kinda disappointed me when she deleted me because I had been chatting to her and yourself and Claire are probably my fave two presenters. Hopefully get the chance to ask her soon. Hope you didnt slap her too hard for telling me about your feet – thats maybe why she deleted me lol
    Your blogs are great so keep them coming!
    Steven xx

  33. julia roberts October 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steven,
    Poor Daniel ………. i took him to his first Palace game when he was just 6 and you have to support your first team, so it’s all my fault!
    Fantastic win for us last night at Norwich. I think Davids is probably just a different class ( albeit a bit slower than he was ) and sometimes that doesn’t help a team to gel. We have some great youngsters – watch out for Wilfred Zaha, definitely a name for the future.
    By the time this gets posted you will have played Valencia so I hope things went your way and good luck for the weekend.
    We have Preston away so it would be great to get another 3 points and climb out of the bottom 3.
    Julia x

  34. Steven October 21, 2010 at 8:54 pm -  Reply

    Gosh Poor Danial indeed :D Only joking Julia. Great and much needed result for you guys on Tuesday. Shooting up the table now?
    We were fantastic last night and deserved to win the game. I was proud to be a Rangers fan last night. Fantstic atmosphere and the team were brilliant. We created so many chances. Just unlucky at times and poor finishing. I was over the moon with how we played. If we play like that in the remaining games progression to the next stage is not beyond us. Before the game I would have taken the draw but the overwhelming feeling coming out was one of disappointment. It was really 2 points dropped. I actually cant believe Im saying that after we have played Valencia but its true. Bring on the Celtic on Sunday. We have nothing to fear if we play like how we played last night.
    I’ll look out for Wilfred Zaha – what nationality is he? Preston have been struggling too I think. By the time you reply we will both have played I would imagine. Unless you are on tomorrow. Fingers crossed we are both smiling. Away for a bath now – was at the gym again today. Hows your fitness going? Looks like its going well from what I saw the other day there xxxxxxxx

  35. julia roberts November 4, 2010 at 8:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steven
    Sorry I haven’t posted for a while but I have been moving house and only just got the internet installed at the new place today!
    Since we last spoke Palace have lost both their games and are now rock bottom of the Championship! Danny and I went to the home game last Saturday against Swansea and I must report that we were really quite poor. We have had a couple of injury problems but no excuses we just weren’t good enough to win.
    Not sure if Burley will keep his job much longer if we can’t put a run together.
    How did you fair against Celtic? ( I haven’t had chance to speak to my sister with the move and all)
    Haven’t done any fitness for a couple of weeks but will set my Pilates machine up over the weekend and USE it.
    speak soon
    Julia x

  36. Steven November 5, 2010 at 4:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    No problem as you said in your other thread it seems a really strssful job! You dont need fitness when you have been doing all that! I am lucky I have lived in my parents house all my life. 26 now and should really be looking at getting out but it’s the cheapest rent by a mile!!
    Maybe I should avoid talking about football. I noticed Palace had lost again at the weekend. Even Middlesboro aka Strachan’s scottish rejects! – re above Palace. Fingers crossed Mr Burley pulls something out the hat. At least you are not too far off teams above you.
    We beat Celtic 3-1 :-) Unfortunately we dropped points at home to Inverness in a 1-1 draw last week but we are a point ahead still. We also lost heavily to valencia in the Champions League in midweek although we were a bit unlucky hitting the post twice. If I am being honest we were well beaten.
    Fingers crossed things improve for both our teams this weekend. The pilates machine looks a great machine and it has certainly done the trick for you s you look fab! Have a great wekend and speak soon xx

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