Our daughter Sophie has lots of pet names for her ginger cat, Milo – gingey, shmoo moo, mimu… the list goes on – and Chris has a few choice names for him too when he has been naughty, which I can’t repeat here, however neither of them have ever called him ‘Red’.
That, apparently, is the name that the lady who stops outside our house on a regular basis to wave to Milo when he is sitting on the window sill, calls him. We have never spoken to her before but Chris happened to be outside the other day while she was talking to our neighbour and they got chatting about the cats. She waves to Wilfie too but she is particularly enamoured with ‘Red’.
It is quite welcoming when you are the first one home and they are sat on the window sill to greet you. Chris shared with her that we have a nickname for her too, Cat Woman, but, before you start visualising, she doesn’t wear a tight leather jumpsuit and a hat with pointy ears a la Batman!
Funnily enough, we had another ‘neighbour’ incident this week. I had been in my gym at the bottom of the garden on Sunday trying to gently ease my painful back with an Aeropilates workout. I came back into the house and there was no sign of Chris or Sophie. They were both outside the front of the house talking to our neighbours from three doors up who I’ve never met before.
Apparently Chris had spotted their car parked in a rather odd position outside our house. On closer inspection, it had actually come to rest in the hedge of the house opposite us. It transpires that the handbrake hadn’t engaged and the car had gone for a little ride on its own ending up in the hedge! Chris helped extricate the car and offered some gaffer tape to temporarily replace the bumper that had been torn off in the process.
Two hours later there was a knock on the front door and there was our neighbour with a bottle of wine for us – totally unnecessary but she insisted. We got chatting and somehow the subject turned to books and Ellie said she had written one but that it was as yet unpublished. I mentioned that my novel was about to be published on Amazon and that I could maybe show her the ropes with self-publication, at which point she said she worked in PR and would help me put together a press release for the book! All of this following a chance accident when we had not previously spoken – the Universe works in mysterious ways!
It gets stranger. Ellie asked me to send a biog about myself, which of course included my recent health issues, and her return email said that her husband’s mum also has chronic myeloid leukaemia – that is a coincidence as there are only around 600 new cases a year in the UK. It even turned out that she went to the same university as my brother-in-law – clearly our paths were meant to cross!
Speaking of the book, thanks to those of you who have pre-ordered the Kindle version – you will be sent it on publication day, which is this coming Monday. This week we have been making the final tweaks to the back cover for the paperback, which I think I may release on what would have been my dad’s birthday, June 19th.
Many times during the writing of this book I have felt my dad’s presence driving me on so it seems appropriate and is only a month away for those of you who prefer to read an actual book. This week’s excerpt gives you a taste of the emotional side of ‘Life’s a Beach and Then…’
Holly was becoming hysterical now, ‘So you see it was my fault. I’m responsible for my dad’s death. My mum is right to hate me.’
‘No, no, no,’ said Rosemary, once again cradling Holly in her arms and rocking her back and forth. ‘If anyone should carry the guilt for your dad’s death it’s your mother for putting him in such an impossible position in the first place. It’s not your fault, Holly,’ she reassured her. ‘It’s not your fault.’
Finally Rosemary was beginning to understand why Holly had spent so many years on her own, afraid of becoming too close to anyone in case they left her.
And the tragedy is, thought Rosemary, she has opened up her heart to me and put her trust in me and I am going to leave her too.
Earlier in the week I sent Alison Keenan a PDF of the book so that she could begin to read it pre-release. I had already had a very positive response from Kathy Tayler back in October. I thought I would share their opinions with you:
I’m about 100 pages into it and really enjoying it! I’ll tell you more when I see you but I like the way you hint at something without telling the whole story straight away, and all four main characters are believable and I identify with and like them. I want to read more!
Jules I have just literally finished the first five chapters and had to write to tell you I think it’s brilliant, seriously, so well written, readable, engaging and enchanting. You have everything there – marvellous characterisations, hooks to keep us reading, fabulous descriptive powers, and a fluid way of moving backwards and forwards in time
I know these are personal opinions from two of my friends and colleagues at QVC but maybe they have tempted you to give it a read? Whilst on the subject of Kathy and Ali, they, along with Debs Flint, Jackie Kabler, my friend Natalie (who helped make last week’s video) and former producer, Danielle, are all doing the Moonwalk this Saturday night raising funds for breast cancer charities. Here is the link if you would like to sponsor them.
So from book stuff to my ‘day job’! Before I tempt you with the Liz Earle TSV launching tonight at midnight, I wanted to tell you about a product that I have been trying out at home that is BRILLIANT! It launched on air yesterday and is called Poo Pourri … yes, you have read that correctly!
You spray it onto the water in the toilet bowl before you ‘go’ and it gets rid of any nasty whiffs – it really does! We have a slightly warped, ill-fitting door to our downstairs loo and this has been a perfect solution to odour issues without the need to buy an expensive new door. Well done, Poo Pourri!
A brand you already know and love is Liz Earle and their TSV launches tonight – I am on with Caroline tomorrow at 2pm and 5pm. Here is a little look at what is in it. As well as all your favourites there is a new ‘flavour’ of Cleanse & Polish – Rose and Lavender – which I am really looking forward to trying.
I would normally be working this Sunday but I have taken the day off to go and watch Lulu in concert – more of that next week.
Have a great weekend.
PS: I almost forgot to mention I now have a Facebook page called Julia Roberts TV where you can get more news about my book and a direct buy button. I will put the link on here every week from now on xx