A very happy birthday


Birthday cardsLast Monday was my birthday and can I say thank you to those of you who sent me cards straightaway in case I forget as I have so much to tell you about. I normally put the cards up in my dressing room at QVC but since moving to Chiswick Park I have shared a dressing room with Anna Cookson so, rather than taking up most of our dressing table, I took them home to grace the mantlepiece in our dining room.

I also had cards from my friends and family including, of course, those from Daniel and Sophie. Since they were old enough to choose their own cards Sophie has always bought me the type of card that makes me cry and Daniel has always chosen a humorous card. It was the same this year but Sophie went one step further than usual and included the tissue to wipe my eyes with!

Once I had finished opening my cards I started on my pressies. Chris always treats me to some funny little gifts. This year it was a solar-powered meerkat light and a drinking 'bobble' in Crystal Palace colours, along with flowers and a little present from the cats (Poppy and Oskar).

Daniel bought me some new trainers, they're purple, and he and Sophie got me some Neom room fragrancing reeds. I wasn't allowed to open my other present from Sophie until I had opened the one from Chris. Imagine my surprise and delight to find a Kindle Paperwhite inside the wrapping paper. I turned it on and there, ready downloaded for me, was my book, which had only been released four days before.

I had been driving the family crazy asking how I could download it onto my iPad and even went as far as to get Debbie Flint to show me how to download the Kindle App as they were all being unusually unhelpful. My gift from Sophie was a leather Kindle holder in bright pink…of course I cried!

Ask me about my T-Rex Julia's T-RexOne other pressie of note was from Gilly, Sophie's flatmate. It is a T-shirt with the slogan 'Ask me about my T-Rex' on it.

The whole T-Rex thing began while Sophie was working at QVC. I was on air doing a fashion show and a garment was described as having three-quarter-length sleeves but they came down to my wrist.

I remarked that maybe it should say full length unless I had particularly short arms. The director, who should probably remain nameless, found a picture of a T-Rex, which have very short arms, and put it up on my 'preview monitor' with my name underneath it. It was all I could do not to burst out laughing. It has been a running joke ever since.

Baby SamNormally after present opening I have a lazy day and we go out in the evening but on Monday I was meeting my great-nephew, Sam – the one I knitted the jacket for - for the very first time. My niece and her husband were visiting friends in London from their home in Scotland so we invited them over for lunch. I quickly threw together a mushroom quiche and iced the chocolate birthday cake I had made the day before and then Rachel and Rob arrived with baby Sam, and more pretty flowers.

What a lovely baby. He smiled happily as he was passed around and we even got some chuckles from him as we introduced him to Zeberdee, the toy zebra. They left around 4.30pm and by 5pm we were in the car heading for our dinner date.

The river view at Boulters Lock restaurantI had organised to meet up with my friend from my 'Price is Right' days, Denise, and her partner Steve. She often talks about her favourite restaurant, Boulter's Lock, in Maidenhead, so we drove over there with our son Daniel, and Sophie joined us straight from work.

It was only two days after her Tough Mudder event so she was a bit sore and bruised. I texted her to tell her we were upstairs and she texted back and said "Do they have a lift?"

We arrived first and asked if they could push two tables together for us as we were going to be a party of six. No problem.

Sophie and DeniseWhen Denise and Steve arrived they wanted us to sit nearer the front window so we could enjoy the stunning river view, so we pushed two other tables together further forward, and then one right at the front became free so we moved again! Apologies to the other diners – hope we didn't disturb you too much.

We had a lovely evening, delicious food and great company in a picturesque setting, what more can you ask for?

I'm on holiday from QVC at the moment, tell you that tale in next week's blog, but really looking forward to my first show back next Thursday at 2pm – two hours of Butler & Wilson

Hope to see you then.

Much love,

Julia xx


  1. alana June 14, 2013 at 7:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Glad to hear you had a lovely birthday, it is also a tradition in our house to put the cards on the mantlepiece.
    In reply to your last blog, it would be good to have the charity swim you’re organising in different parts of the country.
    Enjoy your holiday, looking forward to seeing you back on air with B&W.

  2. Jean Pugh June 15, 2013 at 4:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Happy belated birthday wishes, I did not realise it was your birthday. It sounds as if you had a super time, lots of lovely presents. The Kindle Paperwhite with your book on was a lovely present. It is lovely to have presents like that, something you do want but did not know you were going to get.
    What a lovely baby, he looks so content, lovely smile.
    Sounds like you had a lovely time at the restaurant and so nice to meet up with your friend. Looking forward to seeing you on the Butler and Wilson show, you two together really make a great show.
    Glad Sophie got through her event I did send you through something last week and wished her well, it did not come up must have been eaten by a gremlin on the way to you.
    Have a great time off from work.
    Love Jean X

  3. Pauline June 16, 2013 at 8:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, So glad you enjoyed your birthday and your meal. You look amazing as always so I hope you are keeping well.
    Love Pauline xx

  4. SJ June 16, 2013 at 9:31 pm -  Reply

    Dear Julia, Happy belated birthday, i am so glad you had a lovely and special birthday, no one deserves it more! I got a kindle for christmas, and i too cried (about 4 days later when i realised i had to ask for help on how to use it haha), they are brilliant.
    Thanks for the reply in your previous blog, i must admit I did guess there would be nothing you could do about bringing aveda back to air, I have pestered the poor people in the email office for years, and they always tell me the same thing “there is no current plan to bring back this brand, thank you for your message” its a little sad that i know if off by heart right… I cannot wait to see the show with you and Simon, although I’ll be at work during that time, i will set it with sky + (where would be without that right!!)
    Your little baby great-nephew is adorable! I just love them at that age (especially when they are not your own, so when they cry you can hand them back to their mum – been there and not sorry its over haha).
    I kind of feel guilty that I was unable to send you a card for your birthday (mainly due to having a semi-senior moment and not knowing what month is which), so I thought I’d share with you a little birthday poem, apologies that its a little late…
    Today must be your birthday because the sun is shinning bright
    The clouds that are usually hiding it are now nowhere in sight
    The birds are singing joyfully as they go happily on their way
    It’s as if Mother Nature herself knew this was a very special day
    The day before was gloomy and the weather was pretty bad
    But on this day it all went away and now I donโ€™t feel so sad
    My sadness was replaced with happiness that wasn’t there before
    Your birthday does this every year so I hope you’ll have many more…
    Much Love,
    P.S. Enjoy the holiday, hope you are somewhere hot and sunny, rather than the cold and rainy UK!

  5. martin forbes June 17, 2013 at 4:09 pm -  Reply

    hi Julia hope you enjoyed your 21st you don’t look your age back to work tomorrow Tuesday after 2 weeks doing nothing never mind more holidays in October will you be wearing your blue jacket from day 1in October for qvcs 20th bday jope qvc get you abig bday cake for your 20 years on air

  6. Julia roberts June 17, 2013 at 4:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alana
    If this gala event is a success we may try and organise to have event run up and down the country on the same date next year – it was just a bit too late to arrange for this year!
    Been getting in some swimming practise on holiday but still nowhere close to 100 lengths of a 25 metre pool and just under three weeks to go!
    Wish me luck
    Julia x

  7. Julia roberts June 17, 2013 at 4:35 pm -  Reply

    Hello Jean
    Thanks for the birthday wishes … I wasn’t going to make to much of a fuss but the family had other ideas and I really did have a lovely day even if I was totally pooped at the end of it!
    Sophie was really pleased with herself and her friends for finishing and very appreciative of the help certain members of the team offered including our lovely Will Gowing and one of our senior executives at QVC, Steve Bridgeman …..it really was a team effort!
    Having a good time on hols but VERY hot ….. 42 degrees! Still at least I am getting some swimming practise in.
    See you for B&W on Thursday
    Julia x

  8. Julia roberts June 17, 2013 at 4:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pauline
    I really did have a lovely birthday. Thanks for your kind compliment – I’m feeling pretty good at the moment too.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  9. Julia roberts June 17, 2013 at 4:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi SJ
    Thanks so much for the birthday poem it was really lovely of you and just as nice as receiving a card.
    I adore babies but I must confess it is nice to be and to hand them back when they cry – he was very good though and only cried when he got tired.
    I was going to spend my days off in Cornwall but the weather forecast was not good so I changed my plans and booked something hot and sunny on Tuesday morning … Tell you more on this week’s blog.
    My friend has been downloading free books for me onto my Kindle but I will start to buy a few when I get the hang of it
    Julia x

  10. Rose June 17, 2013 at 9:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    so pleased you had a great birthday,you deserve too!hope you are keeping well all the very best wishes to you and your family
    lots of love and best wishes
    Rose xxxxxx

  11. Yvie G June 18, 2013 at 12:16 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia, happy belated birthday, looks like you had a good day! I haven’t been to Boulters Lock for a long time, we used to go there when it was more of a pub, I seem to remember an open balcony outside and if the river water was high and fast running, you could feel seasick!! ( or should that be ‘riversick’?)its not far from where we live, just a couple of miles down river.I’m glad you are well, just had some blood tests myself and the doctor want’s to see me, ooh er, what now? At least the weather is supposed to be getting warmer ‘hooray’ well thats according to the weatherman, let’s hope he is right!! Take Care, Love Yviexx

  12. Julia roberts June 18, 2013 at 7:31 am -  Reply

    Hi Martin
    I like your little joke …. my 21st was a LONG time ago!
    Not sure about wearing THE blue jacket – maybe we should have a vote on it?
    I am back to work on Thursday – hope your first day back is ok.
    Hope we do have a big cake to celebrate the 20th birthday
    Julia x

  13. Julia roberts June 19, 2013 at 6:01 am -  Reply

    Hello Rose
    Thank you – at my age I should probably stop celebrating birthdays but I love seeing the anticipation on the family’s faces when I’m unwrapping the gifts they have bought me – particularly as they tell me I am quite hard to buy for!
    Julia x

  14. Julia roberts June 19, 2013 at 6:05 am -  Reply

    Hello Yvie
    It is still more of a pub restaurant upstairs, which is where we ate as the main restaurant is closed on a Monday, with an outside terrace. Maybe you should treat yourself to another visit – my friends, Denise and Steve love it.
    I hope that the results of your blood test are ok …. but it is better to know that not know as if they catch things early they are easier to deal with.
    Julia x

  15. Annette Roberts June 20, 2013 at 4:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Only just realised you are back from your hols and afraid I missed the first B&W hour, busy making, cranberry, almond and cocoa nib flapjacks…gorge! Was that a hint again, telling Simon not to mention weddings?
    Glad to hear you had a great birthday, love the T-Rex t-shirt, but you must remember to wear something underneath before pulling it up though! You had some brill pressies by the sounds of it too!
    Although I have waited in anticipation for the ‘pull-up’ bar, it’s not back in stock yet and even though I dropped a few hints at a new ‘Radley’ purse, Chris bought me a ‘practical’ watch, as I call it. It’s a Mondaine, Swiss Railway watch on a leather strap with black face, white hands and a red second hand. Apparently it is designed to the same style as the Swiss Railway Station clocks and the second hand does a minute in 58 seconds then pauses for 2 seconds whilst the minute hand moves into place…it’s different! Not sure at first, but it has grown on me.
    The last couple of weeks has been manic…I have had problems with my mouth and throat, antibiotics, then two lots of drops, but not cleared up and my neck feels very swollen round the glands, so off to the Dr again tomorrow, because it just doesn’t feel right!
    On top of all that, we have accepted an offer on the house, been trying to find a rental which accepts pets and the cherry on the cake is that back in January my Dr had to re-refer me for my ankle surgery and the op is possibly in 3 weeks…eeek!
    Talk about everything happening at once…these things come to try us as they say and they certainly do!
    Glad to see you back
    Annette x

  16. SJ June 20, 2013 at 5:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, thanks for asking Simon about the ring… I don’t have twitter yet (i shall get it one day though), but was at work anyway when you were on, sneakily watching QVC when you said about it I shouted out so loud, the entire office looked at me!
    It was worth it, Thank You Julia,

  17. Sue Glass June 20, 2013 at 6:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I have just finished reading your book,while it is not Jane Austen it made me laugh,cry and smile in equal measure . I can sympathise with you over the loss your father mine was wonderful too and I still miss him 13 years on . You have been so lucky in your life to travel and work in some many places . I hope your mess are doing the job and that you will soon be well and fit again soon.
    I always look forward to seeing you on QVC you are always enthusiastic about your products .
    Sue Glass

  18. martin forbes June 21, 2013 at 4:47 pm -  Reply

    hi think you should wearb the old jacket what about bring ing back for the katy john paul lavers kara triton dave Bradford that weould be good m

  19. Julia roberts June 25, 2013 at 10:13 am -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    Hoorah!! You’ve had an offer on the house – that’s brilliant news. We still haven’t found anywhere to buy but I don’t feel pressured, something will come along.
    Hope your throat thing s starting to get better? I was just saying this morning that I seem to have had a cold for most of the summer so far!
    Pilates is back on 28th July so I should imagine they will ave stock of the pull up bar before too long. I really like mine – don’t do too many reps as I don’t want big arms just firm ones.
    If we don’t speak before good luck with your ankle op
    Julia x

  20. Julia roberts June 25, 2013 at 10:15 am -  Reply

    Hi SJ
    Simon sad they have done a ring but it wasn’t on this visit. He s back in August …. which you probably already knew!
    Julia x

  21. Julia roberts June 25, 2013 at 10:20 am -  Reply

    Hi Sue
    Thanks so much for your honest appraisal of my book – perhaps you would like to leave a review on the website. It was never meant to be a great work of literature just the story of parts of my life told in an original way and I am so gratified that it produced the emotions you talked about – that is a true accolade.
    The meds are doing their job at the moment and I am feeling quite well
    I am pleased you enjoy watching me on QVC
    Julia x

  22. Julia roberts June 25, 2013 at 10:22 am -  Reply

    Hi Martin
    There has been some talk about bringing back the original Presenters for our 20th birthday ….. I spoke to Paul Lavers yesterday and he would be up for it!
    Julia x

  23. Steve West August 28, 2013 at 5:35 am -  Reply

    Shame to miss your birthday, only just found this blog ๐Ÿ™‚
    But a very belated happy birthday to you…
    p.s. I used to run a yahoo fan group on you, but I think its long gone (we corresponded a couple of times). U gave up yahoo for facebook and joined Jane D’Arcy’s fan page of you on there and let that old one go, Yahoo is so passe lol

  24. Steve West August 28, 2013 at 5:38 am -  Reply

    That was an ‘I’ not a ‘U’, the hazzards of typing after a good club night :)))

  25. Kieran September 8, 2013 at 1:08 am -  Reply

    Hey Julia do you know of any fan groups/appreciation societies still going for you? What do you think the biggest draw for these groups is? Would be good to join some as mentioned above. Thanks !

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