Am I a ‘gatecrasher’?


Julia and DeniseOn last week's blog I wrote about going to dinner on my birthday with one of my best friends, Denise, from my Price is Right days. We don't really see each other that often but that doesn't matter at all as when we do we just pick up where we left off last time.

Over dinner on June 10th we were talking about holidays. Denise had her holiday in Dubai booked for the Thursday and Chris and I were planning to go to Cornwall for a week, although we hadn't booked anything. There was one slight issue with Cornwall. I needed to get in plenty of swimming practice for my charity swim on July 7th and the weather forecast was not looking very promising.

Out of the blue Denise said, "Why don't you come to Dubai with us?" She proceeded to tell us about the hotel they were staying at and was encouraging us to go. I wasn't really sure I wanted to sit on a plane for six and a half hours each way for a six-night holiday but it was quite tempting and Chris was very keen.

Dubai beachThe next morning we had to make a decision one way or another. The weather forecast for Cornwall was still pretty poor so I rang the travel agent and booked Dubai(!!!)…without telling Denise and Steve as we wanted to surprise them on their first morning in the resort. We were on different flights as we flew from Gatwick and they from Heathrow, which actually meant we arrived at Le Royal Meridian Beach Resort and Spa a couple of hours before they did.

The first person we saw as we sat in reception checking in to the hotel was footballer Peter Crouch. I did ask him about a move to Crystal Palace but he seemed pretty non-committal!

Camels in DubaiNext morning, at breakfast, we wondered if we had made the right decision not to tell Denise and Steve that we were going as the size of the resort became more apparent. How on Earth were we going to find them? I know what you are thinking, just ask at reception but there was a slight problem. In the over thirty years that I have known Denise I have only known her by her 'stage' name and I didn't know Steve's surname either.

We went out for a walk in the extensive gardens and were wondering if we would encounter them at all when who should we see walking down the same path…I wish I had had my camera to hand as their faces were a picture!

It was definitely the right decision to go to Dubai as I managed to do plenty of swimming - at least 50 lengths of a 25 metre pool each day, culminating in 90 lengths on our last day there. It has made me feel more confident about the 100 lengths I need to swim at the charity gala. If you want to know more about it, or want to sponsor 'Team Splash', here is the link –

Team SplashI loved being on holiday with Denise and Steve, even though it was a bit on the hot side for me: around 40 degrees most days. I was very thankful for Ultrasun factor 50 and Decleor 50 for my face, or I wouldn't have dared come out of the shade at all, which would have been a shame as I would have missed out on splashing through the waves in the turquoise seas that were as warm as a bath.

Apart from swimming and playing a bit of table tennis I didn't really do too much, I didn't even visit the spa, which was a shame really as it was an Elemis one.

Speaking of Elemis, I am really looking forward to seeing Keeley for our show together tomorrow afternoon at 4pm as part of their 18th anniversary. I've also got a couple of Yong Kim shows this weekend, a fashion brand I really enjoy wearing, and I get the chance to have my very long nails painted in Leighton Denny colours on Sunday at 3pm.

I'm looking forward to my weekend and hope you'll spend some of yours with me.

Much love,

Julia xx


  1. Pauline Johnson June 21, 2013 at 5:33 pm -  Reply

    Holiday sounds good ,but don’t think I would cope very well with the heat Spain was to hot for me in August, but so good to catch up with old friends.was amazed to learn that Butler&Wilson started in Portobello Rd that is where David was born and bred,(you are now his new best friend since he met you at the B&W book signing and you spoke to him ) it meant a lot to him as people now tend to ignore him once they know he has alzeimers .as I posted on twitter your nails look fantastic,will be thinking of you on your swim,make loads of money lol

  2. SJ June 21, 2013 at 10:34 pm -  Reply

    OH MY GOODNESS! I am totally envious of Dubai, its on my bucket list… but I’m concerned as people I know that have been have said its quite strict out there with regards with what you can wear, what you can and cannot show etc… So it put me off a little bit, is it really like that, or it is like any other holiday destination? I am so glad you had a great time, sometimes the best holidays are those last minutes/spur of the moment ones….
    I have a few days in NYC planned for later this year, but my major holiday isn’t until September of NEXT year, I will be touring the USA and Canada to strike off as many destinations off my list as possible (who said doing the lottery would never pay off)… it seems so far away, which i know it is, but we’re going as a family and thats when all exams are over and everyone is free… as we’re going to be gone for almost 6 weeks! (I’ll be having QVC withdrawal symptoms, thank goodness for i know it will just be here before we know it though…
    Oh by the way, thank you ever so much for asking Simon about the cross ring, I did see the show but was sneakily watching from work unfortunately, so couldn’t text in or tweet – not that i have twitter yet… did i hear correctly that Simon said he has done a cross ring?
    I just adored those two hours, I ordered quite a few pieces to add to my ever growing collection, i got the purple dancing couple, the concord clip in blue and the wrap ring in all 3 colours. Although the highlight was Ali Young ‘stealing’ your bracelet from around your wrist, only Ali could get away with that I’m sure haha… Oh and her shoes!! WOW!
    I will be spending the entire weekend watching, especially elemis.

  3. Jean Pugh June 23, 2013 at 9:34 am -  Reply

    Wow Julia,
    It sounds as if you had a fantastic holiday. It must have been a great surprise to both of you when you met in the gardens.
    You certainly did some swimming, I expect it was lovely the water looks lovely, so clear. That is the only trouble when you get heat like that you just want to sit in the shade, mind you I expect there are a lot of people who really love that kind of heat, it would not be for me as I always get a bad headache if it is to hot over here, mind you our heat is totally different to abroad isnt it, our’s is always a heavy sticky heat.
    Yes did watch the Yong Kim show, love her clothes, did not buy anything on Saturday but will be watching hopefully on Sunday, I do have several of her pieces and I love them, such lovely styles and the material is so soft, and I love the colours. Also my favourite Elemis is on, hope to watch that.
    Anyway glad you had a great holiday, that worked out well with your friend inviting you to go to Dubai, as you would have been shivering down in Cornwall.
    Take care.
    Love Jean XX

  4. Elenor Francis June 23, 2013 at 11:01 pm -  Reply

    Glad you had a great holiday in Dubai. I visited there several years ago and had a great time,although I found it a little too hot.
    Where did you get your bikini from? It’s look great on you. I am a little heavy up top, probably bigger than yourself, as I am an E cup and find it hard to find supportive swimwear.
    All the best for your charity event!!

  5. Kathryn Sheehan June 24, 2013 at 2:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Glad you enjoyed your holiday to Dubai 6 days though bet it flew by. No i don’t think you gate crashed at all you were discussing it before hand, think it was a good idea,good job you sold your house in Javea to be able to go on these more exotic holiday’s.
    My brother in law and wife spent 2 weeks in Dubai on Honeymoon, they love the heat as i do so it wasn’t a problem for them.Think it was in July 5yrs ago.
    You have a nice tan, but your arms seemed a bit darker on the Saturday Yong Kim show than on the Friday show, for some reason, but your hands seemed paler.
    Good Luck with your swim next month we will be away some where hot and Sunny with my Elimis and Decleor, so will read about it on our return, i’m sure it will be good fun and of course raising money for charity. I wondered did you ever think about doing anything for a Polio Charity before or have you just decided to do it now and combine it with your Leukemia Charity, hope you don’t mind me asking.
    Speak soon
    Kathy x

  6. Jo June 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm -  Reply

    I was in Dubai the same time as you , 6 th visit for us , bet you go back , it’s a very addictive place to go
    I love the heat and thought the weather was perfect this year. ,

  7. Marian Bolton June 24, 2013 at 7:08 pm -  Reply

    Mmmmmmnnnnnn Cornwall or Dubai??!! That must’ve been a real tough’y Julia!! Judging by the photos, the choice was right …. pardon the pun!!
    Been up to lots of Elemischief over the weekend! What about that ‘Must Haves’ collection, t’would have been rude not to! Thank you for the mention …. and yes I was watching. I also indulged in the Eyeko TSV this morning x 2. Love their mascara and I’m looking forward to trying the eyeliner and brow gel. Ali was giving you some stick though, have you heard?

  8. Magda Chetty June 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm -  Reply

    Wow Julia
    I always wanted to go to Dubai, but some how never got round to it. Husband been going to the far east too much, no time.
    God 40 degree is just too much, when it gets to 35 here in Mallorca I can not deal with it. Thank God this year the weather is so cool, the last few days been like England, dark, wet and lots of wind.
    Good luck on July 7th Iam sure you will do great. I am trying to plan a trip to London maybe early July if not early September, it would be great to see you, I would love to get to see the Chiswick QVC. I will let you know when booked.
    Thank you and Keeley for the advice on what to use the other day.
    Much love.

  9. Pete June 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm -  Reply

    So sorry to hear about your illness but at the same time glad you are doing well and actively trying to spread the awareness for it.
    At last another picture of you in a bikini after all these years ;o) This will be the screensaver for the boys at the Fire station now, replacing your pink party picture!! Kelly Brook eat your heart out.
    Pete x

  10. Carole cooper June 26, 2013 at 10:07 am -  Reply

    Very nice holiday Julia I would love to go to Dubai I will get there one day, got your book on amazon Ilike the kindle type reading, like the chapter bout your cats couldent put it down nearly late for work lol take care Carole Wigan x

  11. Julia roberts June 26, 2013 at 10:34 am -  Reply

    Hi Pauline
    I must confess I was very glad to get into the air conditioning on more than one occasion – but most of the time the edge was taken off the heat by a lovely warm breeze …. not too humid either.
    I am going to have to file my nails down a bit now that I have done my Leighton Denny shows as they are almost too long for me to cope with!
    Say hello to David for me
    Julia x

  12. Julia roberts June 26, 2013 at 10:47 am -  Reply

    Hi SJ
    I think they are quite strict about what you wear in public in Dubai – nothing see-through, shoulders and knees covered etc. but it didn’t affect me as we didn’t leave the hotel ….. only there for 5 days and wanted to relax as much as possible.
    Sounds like you have the most fabulous holiday planned for next year – will you be visiting Niagara Falls? Go to Niagara on the Lake too … it’s really pretty. So nice that you will be able to go as a family!
    I loved the two hours with Simon and I’m glad you did too. Hoping I will get more than one of his anniversary shows in August. Ali Young is a hoot …. looking forward to doing her anniversary show with her on July 4th at 6pm, put it in your diary
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  13. Julia roberts June 26, 2013 at 10:55 am -  Reply

    Hello Jean
    It was the moment before Denise recognised me, as I called her name out that was absolutely priceless – wish I had it on camera!
    I didn’t swim in the sea – the current is quite strong and there are signs about riptides so I did all my swimming practise in the pool. There is only one problem swimming outdoors, when I swim backstroke there is nothing to spot on so sometimes I go a bit wiggly.
    I do like the Yong Kim fashion – I know it is not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ particularly the crinkly but it is so comfy to wear.
    Hope you enjoyed the Elemis shows too … something special coming up on July 7th ssshhhhh!
    Julia x

  14. Julia roberts June 26, 2013 at 11:06 am -  Reply

    Hi Eleanor
    My bikini is made by Freya ( the bra people ) and is under wired but not padded. I just checked and it is an e cup. The other good thing is that you can buy the tops and bottoms separately which works well for me as I am smaller on the bottom than the top.
    Thanks for the good wishes for the swim – I reckon it should tale e about an hour and a quarter so I will be a bit wrinkly by the end of it …. all for two good causes though
    Julia x

  15. Julia roberts June 26, 2013 at 11:19 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathy
    You’re right, I didn’t really gate crash, I was invited.
    Must have been the lighting with the difference of colour on my arms and hands … as I’ve said on air many times I don’t do fake tan.
    I am hoping the gala will be a fun event for all the other swimmers and spectators as I have just finished planning all the ‘races’ – it won’t be much fun for me though slogging up and down the pool for an hour and a quarter, worth it though.
    I had always intended to do more charitable work once my own children had finished in full time education but then of course I started to feel debilitatingly fatigued, which of course turned out to be the chronic myeloid leukaemia. I feel I owe so much to charities like LLR for the research they have funded that has kept me alive that I wanted to ‘give’ something back even though I’m not feeling 100 per cent yet. The British Polio Fellowship approached me so I was happy to swim the event for both … and no I don’t mind you asking.
    Have a lovely holiday wherever you decide to go
    Julia x

  16. Julia roberts June 26, 2013 at 11:22 am -  Reply

    Hi Jo
    I think we will probably go back at some point as it is not too far to fly for guaranteed sunshine.
    I was worried that it might ave been more humid but there was a lovely breeze wasn’t there.
    Maybe see you there at some time in the future
    Julia x

  17. martin forbes June 26, 2013 at 6:42 pm -  Reply

    hope you enjoyed your hols Julia it would be good to see paullavers on qvcs 20th maybe dave Bradford jon briggs as well I remember someone called Hilary osbourne but she did not last longmaybe katy john as well

  18. Julia roberts June 27, 2013 at 11:32 am -  Reply

    Hi Marian
    It would definitely have been Cornwall if the weather forecast had been better ….. love Devon and Cornwall.
    Which Eyeko mascara do you like best? I’m using skinny at the moment and loving it. So what has that cheeky minx Ali Young been saying about me now? … do tell.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  19. Julia roberts June 27, 2013 at 11:37 am -  Reply

    Hi Magda
    I don’t know why but I am quite surprised that you haven’t been to Dubai – I guess because you are a well travelled lady!
    Yes do let me know if you are coming to London and I will try and organise for you to have a tour of Chiswick Park …. I’m not around the first two weeks of September.
    Only ten days to go to the swim … am going to the pool this weekend for a trial run – eek!
    Julia x

  20. Julia roberts June 27, 2013 at 11:43 am -  Reply

    Hi Pete
    Erm I don’t think Kelly Brook has anything to worry about but thanks for the flattery!
    It’s funny, when you live quite a healthy lifestyle you don’t think that things like cancer will affect you until they do ….. it’s a shock, but the most important thing is making other people aware of the early signs of these insidious cancers, in my case extreme fatigue, so that they can be treated more successfully.
    I loved that pink party picture ….. but for different reasons!
    Julia x

  21. Julia roberts June 27, 2013 at 11:48 am -  Reply

    Hi Carole
    I’m so pleased you like my book – I know quite a few people were waiting for it to be available as an ebook, so I’m glad it’s on Amazon in time for a bit of holiday reading for anyone who is interested.
    Let me know what you think when you’ve finished it – maybe even leave e a review on Amazon?
    Julia x

  22. Julia roberts June 27, 2013 at 11:50 am -  Reply

    Hi Martin
    Crikey you have a very good memory as Hilary wasn’t with us for very long …. do you also remember Maria Rice Mundy?
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  23. Kathryn Sheehan June 27, 2013 at 4:52 pm -  Reply

    Just reading my post again and the way i wrote it, it’s like i meant you didn’t do any charity work untill you were diagnosed with your illness, i didn’t mean it to sound as it read, i hope i didn’t offend in any way.Sorry if i did.
    I am off to Cyprus for a week with a friend in July Ian is working, but work have given him 2 weeks extra in September yay!!!! for all the hard work and long hours he has been doing lately. Any more exotic holiday’s booked. lol.
    Kathy x

  24. Steve June 27, 2013 at 7:40 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    How are you?….a week in Cornwall or a week in Dubai?…..i would say you definitely made the right decision there! however Cornwall is such a beautiful place to visit….so maybe after the swimming gala to revover you need to get paking again 🙂
    We are looking forward to being there and cheering you on! you will do great 😉
    Enjoy the weekend, Steve X

  25. Marian Bolton June 27, 2013 at 9:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I love Devon and Cornwall too, beautiful part of the country.
    I mostly use the Eyeko Fat mascara but am looking forward to trying the Skinny again. I first bought the trio about a year ago that had the Skinny in. I remember liking it, but so did my friend, and so I gave it to her!
    Happy to blab on Ali …. just don’t tell her whatever you do! They showed a photo of you with one eye made up with the Eyeko kit. Ali commented how unusual it was to see you with your mouth shut! It was well funny!! Sorry Julia but it was!! Ali did say that you would probably say the same about her.

  26. martin forbes June 29, 2013 at 7:49 pm -  Reply

    I do Julia she did not last long either

  27. Julia roberts July 1, 2013 at 9:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy
    No I wasn’t offended. I think we all try to do our bit for charity but it now has extra meaning for me.
    No other holidays booked at present but a friend of mine is getting married in Las Vegas in August so we are thinking about it.
    Hope you have a good time in Cyprus
    Julia x

  28. Julia roberts July 1, 2013 at 9:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steve
    Believe it or not I am working the evening of the gala ….. it’s Super Sunday on QVC so I couldn’t take the night off. Will definitely pay Devon or Cornwall a visit this year – been far too long since we went.
    Just one more big swim before the gala – Wednesday evening and then resting up until Sunday.
    See you there
    Julia x

  29. Julia roberts July 1, 2013 at 9:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marian
    I saw Ali the other day and asked her what she said and she owned up so you don’t need to feel bad for dropping her in it.
    I haven’t tried the Eyeko fat so will give it a go when my current skinny is finished.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  30. Julia roberts July 1, 2013 at 9:33 pm -  Reply

    Hi Martin
    I think it was only a few months – do you remember Sally-Ann and Jumoke too
    Julia x

  31. Eleanor July 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm -  Reply

    Thanks Julia I will look at their range now. Always an issue buying clothes when you are bigger on the top, an issue I know we both share. Hopefully will be able to get a nice one before my summer holiday to Mexico.
    Take care,

  32. martin forbes July 4, 2013 at 7:00 pm -  Reply

    I remember sally anne did she not present collectable dolls on Monday when kara triton had her child I dod not remember jumoke

  33. Julia roberts July 4, 2013 at 11:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Eleanor
    Hope you are able to get a nice bikini – they do that one in white too. You could also try Fig Leaves web site.
    Enjoy your holiday in Mexico
    Julia x

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