Garden collage

The click of a button


I think we would all agree it has been a pretty momentous week for the country as a whole but for me personally I have achieved another dream, which I shall talk about later in this blog. Funnily enough, I think the weather on Tuesday certainly reflected the turbulent nature of the last few weeks.

We had gone up to Nottingham to see my mum on my only day off this week as she had been feeling really poorly and didn’t seem to be getting much help or advice from the professionals. ‘Make yourself a cup of tea and watch some television,’ didn’t seem very caring to me!

Chris and I arrived armed with Lucozade to get some much needed simple glucose into her body but more importantly we were able to give her lots of hugs – possibly the best medicine. The drive up had been mostly sunny but very windy, the drive back, however, was peppered with squally showers. We arrived home to find our apple tree lying prone across the garden and a branch of next door’s white lilac in a similar position!

We managed to salvage the apple tree and support it with an iron stake, sadly nothing could be done for the lilac. The funny thing is I had been commenting to Chris over the weekend about the mass of blossom on both the apple and cherry trees and was really looking forward to a larger crop than the solitary apple we had last year… oh well, there is always next year!

The garden really is starting to flourish. I’m really pleased with the Ceanothus we planted last year and the rhododendrons, which were already a fixture when we moved in.

The majority of my week though has been focused on the final preparations for the release of my first novel. Up until last weekend Sophie had not read my book at all but as the deadline drew nearer she offered to spend her weekend giving it a final proof read. My daughter is not easy to impress so the text I received on Sunday when I got off air at QVC meant the world to me.

‘Finished the book old! (that’s her nickname for me) Have to say I am genuinely impressed! It really is like a proper book!’

Daniel was also home last weekend as his young Swans were involved in a football tournament and, in front of me, asked, ‘Is it any good?’ and once again she confirmed that is is, in her opinion – praise indeed.

As those of you who watch technology shows on QVC will know, I am not very computer savvy and the thought of being responsible for pressing the upload to Amazon button on Wednesday night filled me with terror. Sophie was on hand but I still rang Debbie Flint at 10.30pm just to make sure I had done everything properly.

She has been so helpful to me throughout this whole self-publishing journey in a way only a true friend would be – thanks Debs! So the big moment arrived and in the end it was Sophie who pressed the button. It was actually really emotional because I’ve worked so hard on it for two years.

So it is now available to pre-order as an ebook over on Amazon.

As promised here is an excerpt – I thought you might like this one as it has a reference to Butler & Wilson in it:-

At that moment Rosemary saw her, said something to the two men and they turned and watched as she walked the final few steps towards them.

‘Holly you look beautiful,’ Rosemary said as she pulled her into a warm embrace. ‘There are so few people who can wear yellow, but it really suits you.’

Holly had dressed for the occasion in her favourite shift dress and twisted her dark curls into the bejewelled Butler & Wilson hair clip that Harry had bought her for Christmas. It was the name which had attracted him to it, a little private joke for the two of them to share, but Holly had fallen in love with the clip the moment she opened the shocking pink box and wore it whenever she needed an extra boost of confidence. A light application of make-up completed her look.

‘Thank you,’ she said, blushing slightly. ‘So do you.’

Rosemary wore a full-length floral dress in pink, which fell away from her body beneath the bust disguising her thinness. Her golden wavy hair gathered softly on her shoulders and her smile lit up her startlingly blue eyes.

‘This is Philippe,’ said Rosemary, gesturing to the man in the linen suit.

Philippe took Holly’s hand and raised it briefly to his lips. ‘Enchanté,’ he murmured.

Holly hardly noticed what he said. This was the horseman from the beach the previous morning, the one who had reminded her of Brad Pitt.

To give you more of an overview as to what the story is about here is a piece I recorded with two of my colleagues (and friends) at QVC, Mark Cain and Natalie Gray:

I will be with you this afternoon at 4pm for some amazing silver jewellery, then Fashion on Friday at 5pm is Kim & Co followed by Beauty at 7pm. I then have the weekend off, which is just as well as I have hurt my back so plenty of rest, Nurofen and the Back Magic will be the order of my next few days.

Have a great weekend.

Julia xx


  1. Kathy May 8, 2015 at 4:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    First i’m so pleased your results are good, lets hope they stay there. !
    I’m a bit behind with reading blogs as we have been decorating the kitchen a very soft lemon.. looks nice and bright now. And of course lots of walks with Lulu. Thing is once you start painting you start looking at other bits, so the spare bedroom has a new lick of paint and curtains, i’m sure Kelly Hopen would be pleased.. Hope you had a nice break in Cyprus, we havn’t been to the North, maybe one day.. but i am going to the South in a couple of weeks for a few days, to follow up an email from the Hotel we stayed at last year, it’s being completely refurbished at the moment with extra buildings (Lrg Private Apartments) in the grounds. So going to have a look. ! We do have a buyer for our house in Spain even though we are not for sale. lol . Your book cover looks nice, similar to one i read and left in Cyprus, but the cover was in sunshine, not sun set.! Quite a few presenters are writing books i think Ali K is writing one now, i’m sure it will do well. Rest your back over the weekend.
    Speak soon.
    Kathy. x

    • Julia roberts May 14, 2015 at 10:39 am -  Reply

      Hi Kathy
      Nice to hear from you, it’s been ages! Sounds like you’ve been busy with your house – still stacks to do on ours but at least the gym is seeing plenty of use from Sophie and I so it was worth getting that finished first. Even with my sore back I have been able to do my Aeropilates pure Pilates workout – apparently best to keep backs moving or they stiffen up.
      Glad you like the book cover – I had originally envisaged blue skies and white sand but I don’t think that portrayed the emotional depth of my book accurately – sunset seemed more appropriate. You are welcome to leave my book in Cyprus (if you read it) – spread the word! Had a lovely email from Ali K earlier this week – she has just started reading my book and is really liking it, in fact I’ll put her quote on this week’s blog.
      Keep in touch
      Julia x

  2. edie May 8, 2015 at 7:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia hope you feel better soon i am not cleaver at Emails and not been able to learn tweets I was wondering whot make of shoes you were wearing on Kim co today hope your mum is feeling better also hope your back soon will be better wish you well Edie

    • Julia roberts May 14, 2015 at 10:42 am -  Reply

      Hello Edie
      Thanks for writing to me on here. My mum is much better thanks – recovery takes so much longer at 87 but she is getting there. My back is still sore but I am keeping it moving with gentle exercise.
      I think the shoes I was wearing are Clarks from a couple of seasons ago – Clarks seem to suit my difficult feet!
      Julia x

  3. Janice bleek May 9, 2015 at 9:28 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia hope your back is better, I bet your really excited about your book, I have pre ordered mine and will be reading in on the 18th. Love Jan

    • Julia roberts May 14, 2015 at 10:44 am -  Reply

      Hello Jan
      Thanks so much for pre-ordering my book, I really hope you will enjoy both the story and the way I write. I warn you now it is quite emotional in places.
      Please let me know what you think on here and maybe even be one of the first to write a review on Amazon
      Julia x

  4. Parimal barot May 9, 2015 at 5:23 pm -  Reply

    I have always wanted to write a book , and you recording this inspires me !

    I have ordered my copy – Will keep you posted when I have finish reading the book. Had it been out earlier I could have read it whilst on holiday – I am going to Greece on Monday and Life’s a Beach does not come until when I get back.

    All my Love.


    • Julia roberts May 14, 2015 at 10:47 am -  Reply

      Hello Parimal
      I hope you are enjoying your holiday in Greece – I thought summer had arrived here yesterday as it was hot and sunny, but today we are back to rain!
      Please let me know on here what you think of my book and maybe even do a review on Amazon.
      I hope I will inspire you to get on and write your own book
      Julia x

  5. Jan May 9, 2015 at 6:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia have pre ordered your book looking forward to reading it. Hope your back is feeling a lot better. Jan x

    • Julia roberts May 14, 2015 at 10:49 am -  Reply

      Hi Jan
      Thanks so much for pre-ordering my book – I hope it lives up to your expectation. Ali Keenan is the latest person to give it her seal of approval – very gratifying.
      My back is still a it sore – may have to visit an osteopath I think.
      Julia x

  6. Tina S May 10, 2015 at 5:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Many congratulations on your book. Hope your back is better. I have every sympathy with you as I have suffered from back problems for many years.( I don’ t know if you remember about me saying that I had to give up my nursing career because of having degenerative discs?) I have to be so careful in everything I do. I know the advice is to keep active when you’re back is bad but sometimes its easier said than done don’t you think?
    Anyway take it easy. All the best , Tina S. X

    • Julia roberts May 14, 2015 at 10:53 am -  Reply

      Hi Tina
      I do remember you saying about your bad back causing you to give up nursing. I’ve never really had any issues before so I am in new territory. It has not caused me additional pain do my Pilates workout – the worst thing is getting out of a chair – particularly low ones!
      Thanks for the congratulations for my book, it seems to have been a long time coming but I only started writing it two years ago and apparently that is pretty speedy for a first time novelist!
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  7. Jean Pugh May 12, 2015 at 12:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Sorry to hear your Mum has not been well, and hope she is on the mend. I am sure your visit made her feel a lot better, I hope so.

    Well done you getting your Novel finished, it sounds like it is going to be good reading, looking forward to it. You must feel proud and Sophie thinks it is good so there you are approved.

    What a shame about your Apple Tree, yes there is a lot of blossom this year which hopefully means more than a couple of Apples like we had on our Tree last year, and the dogs got there first and eat them. They will stand on their back legs and pick them, the same with blackberries they love them.

    Sorry to hear you have a bad back, I no the feeling, I have had problems for years with mine, all the falls of my Horse. Have lots of pain in my neck as well, in fact the last two mornings I have woken up early and your pillow instead of a good Northern Nights pillow feels like a concrete block. Have my Osteopath appointment this week, she works wonders and yes the Nurofen. SBC Arnica and the Camphor and Menthol mixed together is just great.

    I hope your back will soon be better, and hope Mum will be okay.

    Take care.
    Love Jean XX

    • Julia roberts May 14, 2015 at 11:01 am -  Reply

      Hi Jean
      Mum is a lot better than she was thanks and I agree that having a hug from Chris and I probably did her the world of good.
      I think we may have salvaged the apple tree although whether we will have any apples after the trauma will remain to be seen.
      After reading your post I got Chris to massage my sore back with SBC Camphor and Menthol …. You didn’t warn me about the blue hands – and it seems to have soothed it a bit so thanks for the tip.
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  8. Jackie C May 12, 2015 at 12:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia….many congratulations on your book. I have ordered it on Amazon and looking forward to a good read by the sounds of it. Hope it is a great success for you Hope you are feeling better. Jackie C xxx

    • Julia roberts May 14, 2015 at 10:56 am -  Reply

      Hello Jackie
      Thanks so much for pre-ordering my book, I hope you will enjoy the read. Please let me know on here and as I mentioned to Parimal and Janice maybe even do a review on Amazon if you have time.
      My back is still a bit sore but trying to keep moving
      Julia x

  9. martin forbes May 12, 2015 at 6:38 pm -  Reply

    tyat was agood video julia hope the book sells well
    hope you are well i am not bad

  10. Julia Roberts May 15, 2015 at 11:59 am -  Reply

    Hi Martin
    I’m glad you enjoyed the video and thanks for the good wishes for my book.
    My back is still playing up but otherwise I’m okay. Glad to hear you’re okay too
    Julia x

  11. Beverley Klymkiw June 19, 2015 at 10:23 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia, I was wondering why you hadn’t been on so much recently. Hope your Mum gets better soon. I am intrigued to read your novel when it is available. I must admit I usually read Biogs on my hols. Although I read the Hilary Mantel books (Bring up the Bodies and Wolf Hall) when we were away in March which were superb. I was also sorry to hear that you were suffering with your back. I have had back pain since a teenager which has recently got much worse. I was prescribed ibruprofen by my G.P. whilst I wait to get some x-rays done. I was interested to read that you take Nurofen and I wondered what the difference was to ibruprofen. I googled the difference and found that they both contain exactly the same active ingredient at the same dose level. The only difference seems to be the price. Just wondered if you had been told anything different or had found one better than the other. It was interesting reading anyway. I agree about keep moving about and not sitting too long. My worst time seems to be when I try to sleep at night. Anyway, I’m going to keep on using my Pilates machine with my G.P.’s blessing. Hope to see you on the Q again soon. Take care. Regards, Beverley.

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