Another year almost done!


Firstly, I hope you all had a good Christmas, were able to enjoy some time off from work, and appreciated what Santa brought you. I was a very lucky girl. My other half, Chris, is very supportive of my writing (maybe because it keeps me quiet and out of his way for hours on end!) and had themed my gifts.

Firstly, I opened up the present containing a new mug with the words, ‘Please do not annoy the writer – she may put you in a book & kill you!’ You have been warned! That was followed by a gift bag with an ‘It Works’ candle, and a Ted Baker notebook and pen with the message, ‘A way with words,’ on it. It then transpired that the huge box in the corner was also for me – the writing desk on which to put all the other smaller presents. I am looking forward to trying it out when the house has emptied of our Christmas guests as I have an April deadline to meet.


I had done quite a bit of my Christmas shopping with QVC but I knew Sophie was after a new pair of boots to replace the ones we bought her for Christmas three years ago. That meant a trip in to London on Christmas Eve eve and I can tell you now … never again.

We eventually found a pair of boots she liked, that fitted well and were available in her size, from a small independent shoe shop having drawn a complete blank at all the usual high street specialists. I’m just relieved that Clarks are such a good fit on me most of the time – I LOVE my Chelsea boots so much that I got them in two colours!

All that then remained was for us to find a sports watch for Dan. Two hours later, having tramped the length of Oxford Street, the only bag I was carrying was from a health food store containing my nut mix and some omega 3,6,9 tablets! The best thing about the trip was seeing the stunning Bond Street lights, although Sophie was not very impressed when I suggested she should stand in the middle of the road to get the best shot of them.


Christmas Eve was a bit different for us this year. Instead of icing the cake at quarter to midnight, I did it earlier in the day and then we went out for dinner to our favourite restaurant in nearby Sunningdale, The Tablespoon. Small, friendly, great food and highly recommended.

Christmas Day and Boxing Day it was just the five of us as we had Nana staying, but on the 27th we ventured out and were treated to this beautiful sunset en route as we headed to a friend of Sophie’s in the village of Woldingham, where our children grew up, for a games evening.


The moment we arrived we were handed a picture quiz by Nicola, Sophie’s friend, to complete … I hadn’t realised it was going to be quite so organised and competitive. There were three families, including ours, and it was great fun particularly Articulate (which we play a version of at home called the colander game) and Heads Up which we did on the iPad. There was even a prize, a bottle of Lanson,  for the person with the best score overall… all I am saying is that it came home with us!

Yesterday was a lazy day recovering from all the excitement of Christmas but today I am back at work and will be with you in the run up to the New Year so check the TV Guide on our website if you enjoy the shows I present.

I think it must be true that the older you get the faster the years seem to pass as this one has flown by! I’m not going to pretend it has been my best year ever, in fact at times it has been rather challenging, but looking back over my tweets and Facebook posts it has definitely had some ‘highs’ along with the ‘lows’.

My 60th birthday in June and my mum’s 90th in August, along with the publication of the final part of The Liberty Sands Trilogy (was that really only six months ago?) and a short story in September, and of course Sophie buying her first home. I won’t mention the lows but instead hope for fewer of them in 2017… for all of us!

Happy and Healthy New Year

Much love,

Julia xx


  1. Annette Bray December 29, 2016 at 5:21 pm -  Reply

    Dear Julia, You will never know how much your blog means to people,you are amazing, please keep up the good work.
    My best wishes to you and your family for 2017

    • Julia Roberts January 5, 2017 at 6:10 pm -  Reply

      Hi Annette
      What a lovely thing to say – I enjoy writing my blog and sharing things both about QVC and about my life outside QVC so I am pleased it brings you pleasure.
      Happy New Year
      Julia x

  2. Elizabeth Keenan December 29, 2016 at 6:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Lovely blog as usual, glad you and your family had a nice Christmas, we were at our daughters for dinner this year and had a great 4 days staying with them. Your presents were really apt this year with all of your writing. Christmas cake looks nice, that’s how mine usually looks, but this year for the first time put too much glycerine in the icing so my peaks just collapsed, my daughter said it looked like mice had run all over the top of it (charming) he he anyway Julia it tasted lovely just the same.
    Wishing you and your family all the best for 2017 and health and happiness.
    Much love
    Elizabeth X

    • Julia Roberts January 5, 2017 at 6:14 pm -  Reply

      Hi Elizabeth
      I’m pleased to hear you had a good time at your daughter’s nice for someone else to do the cooking! Sorry the icing for your Christmas cake went a little awry – I don’t bother with glycerine, just egg whites & icing sugar.
      I LOVE my new writing desk – it has already inspired me to write 4500 words this week… next book due April so I need to get a wiggle on.
      Happy New Year
      Julia x

  3. Joanna B December 30, 2016 at 9:49 am -  Reply

    Happy New Year Julia.

    Like you I have had ups and downs in 2016 – all part of the rich tapestries of life!

    I hope 2017 is good to you + I look forward to seeing lots of Julia’s picks over the coming months!

    With very best wishes Joanna xx

    • Julia Roberts January 5, 2017 at 6:16 pm -  Reply

      Hi Joanna
      Fingers crossed for a better year for all of us… in fact for the world in general! I know we end downs to appreciate the ups but 2016 was a bit naughty.
      Many more Julia’s Picks to come on Fashion on Friday
      Happy New Year
      Julia x

  4. Christine December 30, 2016 at 5:43 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year. I was luckily had lovely things. I had to change a present. Got credit note. What carry on I phoned about five times to find the right code to put on there web site never again.
    Have healthy New Year. I am starting my Pilates on Monday if back allows. X

    • Julia Roberts January 5, 2017 at 6:18 pm -  Reply

      Hi Christine
      I have been lucky with my gifts this year – loved them all.
      I got back on my Pilates today for the first time in a couple of months (life has been hectic) and thankfully not aching… yet!
      Happy New Year
      Julia x

  5. Linda Crowe December 30, 2016 at 8:45 pm -  Reply

    Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy New Year Julia. XX

    • Julia Roberts January 5, 2017 at 6:18 pm -  Reply

      Thanks very much Linda, and the same to you and yours
      Julia x

  6. Linda Finch,, December 30, 2016 at 11:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia so glad you had a good Christmas as did we ,we spent the day with my son Simon and grandchildren Harry and Ellie my daughter in law michelle,we had a really lovely day , lots of fun and laughter. We will be having a quiet New Year ,then hopefully a healthier time next year, although saying that my hubby is waiting for a new knee which should hopefully be soon into the new year ,we’ll hope you and your family have a happy and healthy 2017 lots of love Linda F xx

    • Julia Roberts January 5, 2017 at 6:21 pm -  Reply

      Hello Linda
      I’m pleased to hear you had a good Christmas with your son’s family. We also had a quiet new year – Chris always works, so quite often I’m on my own but I don’t mind.
      Hope your hubbie’s knee op goes ok
      Happy New Year
      Julia x

  7. TINA S December 31, 2016 at 12:11 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    So glad you had a great Christmas. As usual the time flew by and it seems an age away now! We had the usual quiet time but nice. I went to a Carol Service on Christmas Eve. Apart from that we’ve not been out over the hols. So by the middle of this week I was feeling “stir crazy”. We went to our usual haunt ,(Porthcawl) on Thursday. It was really busy! But it was lovely to be out. The weather wasn’t too bad so we were able to sit outside for coffee.
    I should however be cutting down on coffee as I have a raised blood pressure. I saw one of the G.P.’s in the week as I’ve been getting a lot of headaches waking me in the middle of the night. He checked my B.P. and it was quite high. So I’ve got to have a 24hour tape put on to see if I need anti-hypertensive medication. So I’m trying to cut down on my salt intake etc. and start eating more healthier. I’m also trying to do a bit more walking so have been using the car less. I know I should be taking better care so this is the wake up call I needed!
    Anyway, I hope you are feeling well and everything is OK with you.
    Wishing you and your family a wonderful New Year, and more importantly a healthy 2017.
    All the best , Tina S. X

    • Julia Roberts January 5, 2017 at 6:26 pm -  Reply

      Hi Tina
      Quiet is sometimes best although I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the games night we went to at Sophie’s friend Nicola’s – such fun!
      The weather has been so changeable, one minute sunny & warm’ish, then grey, then sunny & freezing and much more to come until we hit the spring.
      Do try and address the health niggles early before you need to start taking medication. Just a few small changes can make such a difference. I’m feeling sluggish because I haven’t been doing my Pilates – I was back in the gym today and it really energised me.
      Happy New Year to you
      Julia x

  8. Linda Watkins December 31, 2016 at 2:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, Happy new Year to you and family I hope 2017 will be better than 2016! I always love reading your blog and the fact that you take the time to respond to the comments, heres to more blogs and more purchases from QVC in the future. best wishes Linda xx

    • Julia Roberts January 5, 2017 at 6:29 pm -  Reply

      Hi Linda
      I’m so pleased you enjoy reading my blog – I try to respond to everyone as they’ve taken the trouble to write to me but occasionally (usually if I’ve had a competition and had lots of entries) I don’t quite manage it.
      Hope 2017 will be a good year for all of us
      Julia x

  9. Annette Roberts December 31, 2016 at 5:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Brill blog, you lucky girl and what about those Christmas lights…feathers! At least you managed to ice your cake, mine is a combination of thick and very thin marzipan, no icing in sight yet, definitely a New Year cake now!

    Wishing you, Chris, Daniel, Sophie, lovely Mums and all the putty cats, a very Happy Healthy New Year!!

    Take care and try not to get too tiddly!

    Annette x

    • Julia Roberts January 5, 2017 at 6:32 pm -  Reply

      Hi Annette
      So did you manage to get your cake iced for New Year or did you just eat it with marzipan?
      Weren’t those Bond Street lights spectacular – poor Sophie having to satnd in the road to get me a good pic!
      No chance of getting tiddly at New Year – I didn’t actually have a drink at all after a glass of wine with my dinner.
      Happy and Healthy New Year
      Julia x

  10. Denise December 31, 2016 at 10:29 pm -  Reply

    Hello Julia, pleased you had a lovely Christmas. How clever was Chris with your gifts and obviously they will be put to good use. Our Christmas was fairly quiet due to the imminent arrival of our 1st grandchild and also my OH having the horrid flu type thing that’s doing the rounds. I’m thrilled to report that baby arrived yesterday 30th a grandson called Joseph and we are over the moon. Couldn’t ask for a better start to 2017.
    Happy New Year.
    Best wishes Denise xx

    • Julia Roberts January 5, 2017 at 6:36 pm -  Reply

      Hi Denise
      Congratulations on the arrival of Joseph – I hope mother and baby are doing well – as you say a lovely start to 2017.
      I think most people I know have had the cold/flu lurgy this year, and it hangs around for weeks.
      My writing desk has already been put to good use with 4500 words of my next novel in the past two days.
      Happy New Year
      Julia x

  11. Wendy January 3, 2017 at 10:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia happy new year to you. Just wanted to say thank you for your recipe for Christmas cake. Have made it and am so pleased with the bake and it tastes delicious, will be using it instead of my usual recipe.

    Best wishes Wendy xx

    • Julia Roberts January 5, 2017 at 6:37 pm -  Reply

      Hello Wendy
      I’m so pleased to hear my Christmas cake recipe was a hit with you. Even though I left mine so late this year it was still really tasty and moist – my daughter, Sophie’s favourite Christmas food!
      Happy New Year
      Julia x

  12. Marian Bolton January 4, 2017 at 2:37 pm -  Reply

    Happy New year Julia xx
    Your Chris sounds very thoughtful. Mind you, I can’t complain as my presents included Bliss Capsules! He knows me so well.
    Speaking of boots, I have invested in my first pair of Emu boots today, got the TSV in black. I know you love yours and I’ll let you know how I get on with them.
    We’ve had a lovely Christmas catching up with all five of my brothers and sisters and their families and Chris’s family for lunch on Christmas day, delicious!! Sorry, I shouldn’t have mentioned that what with you being a vegetarian!!
    You asked about Casper’s appetite. He doesn’t eat anywhere near as much as he used to and only one main meal at bedtime now
    But, it’s usually all gone in the morning. He has raw meat (Purrform) and dried Royal Canin fibre response which helps with his little bowel issues. I won’t elaborate!
    Looking forward to the Elemis mini series.
    Marian xx

    • Julia Roberts January 5, 2017 at 6:43 pm -  Reply

      Hi Marion
      I’m glad you didn’t elaborate on the bowel issues – trust you to lower the tone!!!!
      It sounds like you had a great family time – just as it should be. I had to cook Turkey this year as Dan, Sophie and nana all eat it. I bought a turkey crown from Waitrose that you cook in the bag (better for us as less smell) and nana said it was lovely and moist- nobody had food poisoning so it must have been ok.
      I hope you will like your Emu’s – I’m sitting here in my purple Stinger Hi’s.
      Enjoy the Elemis mini series and your Bliss capsules – my desk has already been put to good use!
      Happy New Year
      Julia x

  13. Jens January 4, 2017 at 6:20 pm -  Reply

    A very happy and and healthy 2017 for you Julia! Hope to see your writing will keep being a big success and of course to see your smile on the screen ;-)! Would be nice to receive your healthy diet plan by e-mail (from the earlier blog post). Big hugs from the contintent. Jens

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