The birth of a son


Daniel approx 10 mins oldCongratulations to William and Kate on the birth of their son earlier this week. It is quite amazing what a huge event this has been worldwide, particularly in America where they cannot get enough of 'our' Royal family.

I did feel for her having to face the press and public only a day after giving birth, but at least she had her hairdresser and make-up artist on hand to 'do the business'!

It inspired me to go in search of pictures of me and my firstborn, Daniel. As you can see, I am not looking quite as polished as Kate, but this photo was taken ten minutes after Daniel was born, with not a wrinkle in sight…I am talking about Daniel not me! He weighed in at an eye-watering 9lbs 1oz and was 22 inches long…no wonder he is a strapping 6ft 4 inches now!

1st day home from hospital with Mum & Dad Daniel 4 days oldThe second photo is with my mum and dad, when Daniel was four days old, on our first day home from hospital. The slightly quizzical expression on my mum's face made me laugh – it's almost like she is thinking, 'What is this?', although she must have known as she already had five grandchildren, courtesy of my sister.

I hope the royal parents are allowed time to get to know their new baby…the first few months are so precious.

All that was a long time ago for me, Daniel will be twenty seven in November, but I have had worries over a different baby this week…my cat Poppy.

Poppy CatShe's hardly a baby at eighteen years old but I think we always treat our pets as our babies. She stopped eating a week ago Wednesday and after two days she became very lethargic so we had to take her to the vet on Friday.

The vet said she was very dehydrated and that she would have to be put on a drip and kept in overnight. I've mentioned on here before that Poppy is a very timid cat so I hated the idea of her being alone in a strange place even for one night.

On the Saturday morning Chris and I went to fetch her. She still hadn't eaten anything but they had done blood tests and could find nothing wrong…the vet put her lack of appetite down to her age and the heat. The drip had done the job of rehydrating her but she still wasn't interested in eating despite the offerings that we put before her. White fish, scrambled egg, and various tinned foods – nothing could tempt her.

The breakthrough came on Sunday lunchtime when she came downstairs for a drink of water, something we rarely see her do. After that we managed to persuade her to try the special food the vet had supplied us with and gradually as the week has gone on she has been more like her usual self.

It has been a really stressful time as I'm sure you will know if you are the 'mum' of an older pet!
Even with all that drama going on with Poppy I managed to make a proper start on my novel. I had already got the story and characters mapped out back in March but it was just a case of sitting down at the computer and making a start. It's flowing nicely and I'm already on chapter 7…don't worry there won't be a hundred and one chapters like my autobiography!

It's been a busy time at work and I need to head in for Fashion on Friday shortly. Today it is Susan Graver although the lady herself will not be with me, I will be joined by independent fashion expert, Lesley Ebbetts. Although this is normally my weekend off I will be in this Sunday as it is a Pilates TSV…maybe see you there!

Much love,

Julia xx


  1. Hilary Keeling July 26, 2013 at 8:17 pm -  Reply

    I’m sure lots of people have said that Enid Blyton’s Kirren Island is based on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour.
    Also I was intrigued by the name Toogie!

  2. Jean July 27, 2013 at 9:39 am -  Reply

    |Hi Julia,
    Yes it must have been a strain having to face everyone with the baby, but she is very relaxed and takes it in her stride. They are a lovely couple arent they and I am sure William will be very protective of Kate and the baby.
    Wow Daniel was a good weight, and now 6!4″, he would be alright for the men’s netball team.
    Your Mum and Dad look very proud grandparents in the photograph. It is lovely to look back at the old photographs isnt it.
    Lovely photograph of Poppy, so glad she is getting better, I dont expect the hot weather did her any favours, some of my dogs have not wanted to eat, and the young Golden Retriever had to go to the Vets as she would not eat and was being sick, she had a jab and two days of tablets and seems to be better now. I hate to see them not well.
    You mentioned you are now writing a novel, you certainly dont sit around do you. I admire all you do.
    Anyway you take care, and a big hug and a kiss for Poppy.
    Love Jean XX

  3. Norma Smithson July 29, 2013 at 5:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I can sympathise so much with how you feel about Poppy, we had two West Highland Whites, (mother & Son ), they both lived till they were sixteen and a half, which is a good age, but it felt like a bereavment to my husband and I, we were always looking round as if they would be there, it was worse because we had to take the decision to take them for the final time to the vets. One thing my father used to say to me was, give your pets a good life but make sure you give them a good end. I’m delighted that Poppy is perking up again, she was probably like me totally overwhelmed by the hot weather. Love the pic of you and your firstborn.
    Have a good week and stay well Norma x

  4. martin forbes July 29, 2013 at 7:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi julia daniel now 27 does that mean sophie is 25 also looking through old 70s and 80s photos about 1982 when ther living room had ornage curtains now just blinds .when my brother an di shared a bedroom his sidw was purple mind was ornage and ny room just plain white walls also my departed late photos of grandmom and grandad as well lotsd of photos and awhite tv .do you have one of sophie.ienjoyed a bit of christmas in july did it used to be one day now 2 days will there be xmas on august 25th dont think qvc have done one in august yestprobably september 25th with the much m oney did you raise for your sponsored swim

  5. Julia roberts July 30, 2013 at 3:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Hilary
    I take it you are reading One Hundred Lengths of the Pool – I do hope you are enjoying it?
    No-one else has mentioned to me about Kirren Island being based on Brownsea Island so thanks for that.
    Toogie is a nick name. My niece’s real name is Tinuviel ( an elfin princess from The Lord of the Rings I believe) but she has been called Toogie almost from birth.
    Let me know your thoughts on my book
    Julia x

  6. Julia roberts July 30, 2013 at 3:50 pm -  Reply

    Hello Jean
    Poppy is much better now – I think you are right that the weather played a part in her not feeling well but because of her age two days was long enough to let her go without food or drink. I hated leaving her overnight at the vet – I probably found it more stressful than she did!
    Glad your Golden Retriever is also feeling better.
    I had the idea for my novel when I was on holiday in March but I wasn’t really happy with the start I had made. I was suddenly inspired last weekend and I’m now on Chapter 11 ….. very happy with how it s now coming together.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  7. martin forbes July 30, 2013 at 6:13 pm -  Reply

    daniel now 27 julia doesnt time fly sophie must be 25 .i was also looking through some old family photos from abou1982 when my brother and i shared abedroom his side was painted purple mines orange now mown bedroom and the living room curtains wer orange now just blinds plenty of old photos for the memories hope sophie and daniel are well.and you how much money did you raise for your swim

  8. Julia roberts August 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Norma
    Poppy has been much better this week although I think we are due for some more very hot temperatures. What made it worse when we went to collect her was that there was a lady with her dog, also v old and not eating …. she was dreadfully upset. We pet owners do put ourselves through it!
    I’m doing ok thanks
    Julia x

  9. Julia roberts August 1, 2013 at 12:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Martin
    I will try and find a baby picture of Sophie for this week’s blog. My bedroom was orange and purple when I was a little girl – not my choice, I shared with my older sister!
    So far we have raised over four and a half thousand pounds + gift aid ….. I am hoping to make it to £5000 before the page comes down at the end of his month
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  10. Hilary Keeling August 1, 2013 at 1:56 pm -  Reply

    Dear Julia, I thought Toogie was unusual but her real name is even more so!
    I’ve just finished your book and thoroughly enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure about the format to begin with, to be honest, but it was an interesting way to present the different themes. Of course coming from Nottinghamshire and having lived in Spain I could relate to quite a lot of your experinences.
    Love Hilary xxx

  11. martin forbes August 1, 2013 at 5:20 pm -  Reply

    a good figure raised julia for the charity

  12. Julia roberts August 6, 2013 at 10:06 am -  Reply

    Hi Hilary
    Thanks for your honest appraisal of my book. There have been a few comments about the format of it with some people not liking it at all and others enjoying something a bit different in an autobiography ….. thanks for persevering and finishing it, and I am so pleased you enjoyed it.
    Whereabouts in Spain did you live?
    Julia x

  13. Julia roberts August 6, 2013 at 10:09 am -  Reply

    And the total is still creeping up. It means such a lot to smaller charities like BPF.
    Have you seen my new blog? There is a lovely picture of Sophie as a two month old baby
    Julia x

  14. Hilary Keeling August 6, 2013 at 8:36 pm -  Reply

    Dear Julia,
    We lived in Madrid for six years and loved it. In the summers we used to stay in Denia. We really enjoyed a visit to Javea though. There was a shop there which sold English food which my children liked and also a good second hand English bookshop near the sea front called Polly’s ( I think).
    My husband and I are both from Sutton-in Ashfield and when I met you several years ago at a jewellery day at Harrods you told me that you went to Queen Elizabeth’s school in Mansfield to play netball.
    Love Hilary xxx

  15. Julia roberts August 9, 2013 at 10:57 am -  Reply

    Hi Hilary
    I think lots of the Madrilenas ( not sure if I’ve spelt that right) go to Denia for their holidays and funnily enough people from Valencia too despite it being on the coast.
    Denia has a very Spanish feel – my solicitor is based there – but I loved the part of Javea we were in, near Granadella. I think it was the right time to sell though.
    I do remember the conversation with you about Queen Elizabeth’s in Mansfied …. it was tennis though!
    Julia x

  16. Hilary Keeling August 10, 2013 at 11:27 am -  Reply

    Dear Julia,
    Got my sports muddled up there! Madrilenos do love that part of Spain. We also like the area around Moraira.
    I keep thinking about the ‘devastating’ event which gave you the impetus to start writing your book. You are very frank about lots of areas in your life but don’t say anything about what went wrong except that you ‘won’t go into detail’ so whatever it was it has worked out for best hasn’t it?
    When we lived in Madrid, for six years, and recently when we lived in Provence I also swam 100 lengths of the pool each day. Now I spend two weeks in Holland and two weeks in Norfolk on a regular basis and I certainly miss my swimming. By the way have you been to the headquarters of L’Occitaine? It is a lovely building with a well stocked shop but is on a small industrial estate and nothing like I imagined! Iw was only a few miles from where we lived so I often shopped there.
    Love Hilary.

  17. Julia roberts August 14, 2013 at 11:02 am -  Reply

    Hi Hilary
    Gosh you travel around a lot …. you have me interested in what you or your hubby do for a living?
    Maybe one day I will talk about ‘it’ but as you said it had the desired effect of mobilising me so maybe out of the ‘bad’ came a whole lot of good ….. not only did I get the inspiration for the book, I also had the health check that discovered my leukaemia. Someone was looking out for me and I like to think it was my dad.
    I like Moraira itself but not so keen on the Urbanisations there.
    I’ve never visited the L’Occitane headquarters …. you’ve spoiled the romance a bit!!
    Julia x

  18. Hilary Keeling August 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm -  Reply

    We spent over 30 years in the RAF and since then my husband has worked on various helicopter design projects.
    We’ve lived in Germany twice, Spain., Holland twice, Scotland, France and also England occasionally.
    Our son and daughter-in-law live in Kuala Lumpur so we have been there several times as well!
    The place I love the most though is New Zealand?

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