Brighton Rocks


He ain't heavy ( oh yes he is ! )Well it looks like summer may finally be on the way after a week of sunshine and quite warm temperatures here in the South East. It's a shame it didn't arrive a couple of days earlier in time for my day trip to Brighton last Friday, then I could have worn my TSV Birkenstock sandals – they are selling fast, so I hope you got yours. I shouldn't complain as it wasn't too cold and anyway the weather certainly didn't spoil our fun.

We've always enjoyed trips to Brighton as a family but last week we took Sophie's flatmate Gilly, who is American, with us and it was fun showing her around as she had never been before.

First stop was the pier where we went on the dodgems, which I really enjoyed, and the ghost train, which was not very scary although I did let out a small squeal when one of the 'ghosts' sneezed on us … ugh!

Then we had a go at kicking footballs through holes which were a bit on the snug side. Needless to say we were as unsuccessful as my team Crystal Palace have been in front of goal lately – if we make the play-offs we'll have to hope for a return to striking form for Glenn Murray. 

All the toys we won!Having failed at that we tried our hand at throwing bean bags at a stack of tin cans. Daniel and Sophie were both pretty close to knocking all the cans down however I had the attendant climbing all over the place to retrieve the missiles I had launched, much to the amusement of the people watching.

Everywhere we went a crowd seemed to gather but that could have been because there were five of us so we were already a small crowd. We were trying to win a stuffed toy for the girls' cat, Oskar, so we opted for hooking the ducks next because you were guaranteed a prize… we ended up with quite a few for him to choose from!

A pod with a viewAfter a quick break for a hot doughnut, or two, we went inside the arcade to play. The best value for money had to be the air hockey game. We played it in rotation so that when a goal was scored that person was out and the next player took over. It was very energetic, as was whacking the Batman characters with a mallet, so I was glad to sit down for a rest to play Deal or No Deal.

We must have spent several pounds in 2ps on the slot machines but the most frustrating game was trying to grab a cuddly toy. We were close several times before Daniel managed to ensnare Eeyore… another treat for Oskar. As we made our way off the pier we couldn't resist having our photos taken with the cardboard cut-outs, particularly this one (top photo) which is very reminiscent of my role in Citizen Smith years ago!

The remains of the Old West PierAfter a tasty Italian meal we headed back to the sea front and somehow Sophie managed to persuade her dad and brother, neither of whom are fond of heights, to go on the Brighton Wheel. It's like a smaller version of the London Eye with commentary by the comic actor Steve Coogan. It certainly gave a panoramic view of the pier with the ghostly remains of the old West Pier further along the beach.

I think Gilly enjoyed her first outing to Brighton and it was lovely to do something we hadn't done for a while. I wonder what your favourite day trip is??

Well I had better head in to work. I have a show full of summer sandals in my Fashion on Friday today… Birkenstock, Holster and Lotus will be featured so I hope you can join me. I'll also be popping in tomorrow as a guest during Simon's QVC Selection show at 2pm as my book is in the line-up and I'll be mentioning a sponsored swim I'll be doing in July for British Polio Fellowship and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Enjoy your weekend, and if you are a footie fan I hope your team does you proud,
Much love, Julia xx


  1. Jean Pugh May 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Yes it is great to have such nice weather, let’s hope it lasts.
    It sounds as if you had a really great time at Brighton, I can’t remember the last time I visited it. I guess it has changed. You certainly found plenty to do. Love the cardboard cut out.
    Lucky Oskar and the toys, if he is anything like our cats, they get hold of them and then start kicking at them, they are funny arent they.
    Yes the Birkenstock TSV looks really good, did not get tempted as I already have a lot of their sandals which I must wear more. Have started reading your book, enjoying it so far.
    Your sponsored swim is for a very good cause.
    Have a great weekend, enjoy the sun.
    Love Jean X

  2. martin forbes May 3, 2013 at 7:59 pm -  Reply

    hi Julia I like the photos of your brighton day out

  3. Sue Mc Namara May 3, 2013 at 10:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia can you get QVC to request Birkenstocks in size 9 they are available in Germany and a very few shops here in that size! Thanks in anticipation! Sue. QVC customer of 13 years

  4. GINNY PAARZ May 4, 2013 at 2:26 am -  Reply

    JULIA, Have been busy at this end with Jeff and trying to help him through his second round of CYMO treatments and this round is really starting to bother him as he is having FIVE F U or ??? Anyway we are going along every two weeks on a Monday for several hours of three IV’S in his port then comes home with a pump bag fill Wednesday and free till the next visit . Then he really has difficulty with eating and so on!! But we are managing!!! Met a couple with our SAME names Ginny and Jeff at our treatment center and they live on the beach too!! Her Jeff has had Cancer all over his body starting from Smoking in his mouth!! SIX months to live and he is cancer free now after THREE YEARS and is on Maintenance for NOW!! I tell you it is AWESOME what can be done!!
    Sounds like you had a great time at Brighton and what fun for GILLY!! Hope she and Sophie are friends forever!! HOW NICE!! Another USA connection!, Had some lovely mail and phone calls form my dear friends in North WALES where I lived for most of my adult life!! MISS THEM but maybe one day when things get better we will all connect again!!! Most of the SNOW BIRDS from up North in the USA have gone and it is so much easier to get about on the roads and BEACH!!! LUV IT!! The weather is awesome and I sure wish you guys will come this way one day!! TILL another day, I am thinking of you and hope you are doing well!! XXX

  5. Magda Chetty May 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Wow what a great day out, I love Brighton, my husband took me there for a day out just a week after we met (30 years ago this October)from then on Brighton has a special place in my heart.
    My husband still think that your Palace will win the play off, he is keeping his fingers crosed for you, His Man United won the title and he is a very happy man that they won it early, as he is going to Vietnam in 5 days and will miss the last 2 games.
    The weather here is much better today, we can say summer is here at last, so there will be good days out walking in the mountains.
    I am off on the 16th of May with 4 girlfriends on a Costa cruise around the med, got my B&W necklace and looking forward to show it off. Have a great week.
    Much love.

  6. Rosemary Thompson May 7, 2013 at 6:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I have never posted a comment before but when I read about your time in my home town I felt somehow I needed to write something. Its funny you can live in a place all your life and not really appreciate it. Life just gets in the way and the beautiful and funny things you should appreciate are sometimes only reminded to us all by looking at it through the eyes of others. Your photos look stunning and fun. Brighton is an amazing town with sea to the south and lovely country side a small bus ride away. Close enough to London but far enough away as well.
    Thanks for sharing your time with us and hope that you are felling well. I really enjoy watching you and Simon Wilson when you are together and he really seems a genuinely lovely person. Take care of yourself.Rosie

  7. Yvie G May 7, 2013 at 8:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia , haven’t been to Brighton for years but it looks like you had a fun day!!Our favourite place is cornwall but we don’t have many holidays or days out too often, but we like to have long weekends away when my husbands work allows.Lasy year we went touring around Norfolk and Suffolk, as we had’nt been before, and stopped off at Southwold on the coast. As we got to the car park we could’nt get out of the car as there were thousands of ladybirds, EVERYWHERE!!!! all over the people and cars.Perhaps this happens a lot in that part of th country?? I hope you are feeling OK ? Love Yviexx

  8. Denise May 7, 2013 at 10:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, Your day out in Brighton sounds a lot of fun and yes its so good to do things like that as a family.I haven’t been to Brighton but would like to one day. I grew up in Derby and our days out as a child were often to Weston Super Mare – we spent such wonderful times there. Now that I live in Yorkshire where my son was born and grew up our days out were often to Bridlington and also Cleethorpes both places have some of the best fish and chips I’ve ever tasted!
    As for the football well yes our team did very well. Hull City got automatic promotion after a nail biting last game. We watched it in the bar where I go the gym. The atmosphere was fantastic. Don’t you just love days like that?
    Denise x

  9. Gail May 9, 2013 at 7:21 am -  Reply

    Dear Julia,
    Your day out sounded like a real tonic for you all; love the photo of you and Chris. Haven’t been to Brighton for years, but me thinks a day trip there soon is on the cards. Had to write to you Julia because I read some comments re your book which upset me actually. Cannot believe how insensitive some people can be. There is definitely a time when saying nothing and keeping ones opinions to oneself is the RIGHT thing to do. I know how vulnerable you will be at this time, so I know these comments would have hurt. There is a Cherokee saying which says:
    Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today. I have watched you for many years on QVC and you’ve always come across as a very strong, positive woman so I hope this will help you in your journey ahead. I too have an incurable disease so I know how hard it can be, even to come to terms with it. It has the power to totally consume you both mentally and physically so I really hope you manage to keep strong and positive. I wish you all the best Julia, I really do x Stay strong and enjoy your wonderful family. I haven’t read your book yet Julia, but I will. Lots of love,
    Gail xxxxxxxx

  10. Sandra Gregory May 9, 2013 at 3:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    It certainly was a lovely weekend – makes a change !
    I have just ordered your K & C Floral Burst maxi dress – I am so happy as it is on easy pay yeah! Can’t wait for it to arrive.
    Hope you are keeping ok
    Love Sandra xxx

  11. Julia roberts May 9, 2013 at 4:25 pm -  Reply

    Hello Jean
    I know exactly what you mean about the cats kicking out at the toys – we have a toy zebra (Zeberdee ) that Oskar absolutely loves to go into battle with!
    The weather has turned a bit today …… really windy and dodging the rain showers, hard to think I was in the garden soaking up the sun two days ago. I think we might have a good summer this year though – nothing to back that statement up, just a feeling I have!
    I’m pleased you have made a start on my book and are enjoying it so far.
    I will put more details about the swimming event on my blog next week ….. this week I will be trying to drum up support for Sophie. She is doing ‘Tough Mudder’ in June to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research …… I’ll put the link on my blog
    Julia x

  12. Julia roberts May 9, 2013 at 4:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Martin
    I’m glad you liked the photos ….. I took a couple and Sophie took the others. I love her picture of the old pier which she took on her iPhone!
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  13. Julia roberts May 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm -  Reply

    Hello Sue
    I will ask for you – maybe it is something they could do in selective styles.
    Thanks for being such a loyal customer
    Julia x

  14. Julia roberts May 9, 2013 at 5:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ginny
    Hope the treatment for Jeff is still going ok? …… not pleasant but if he were to have the same success as the ‘other’ Jeff it would all be worth it.
    I’m doing fine – a waiting game for me now for a couple of weeks while I wait for the results of the test I had today …. I’ll keep you posted on here.
    I think Gilly is now a Brighton fan in the sense of the place not the football who Crystal Palace have to face in the play-offs tomorrow and on Monday …… wish us luck!
    The weather has been lovely here this week but today it turned windy, showery and much cooler ….. sure could do with some Florida sunshine.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  15. Julia roberts May 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Magda
    I wonder if your hubbie heard the news about Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement before he went off to Vietnam – very big boots to fill. Starting to feel quite nervous for Palace in the play-offs but all we need to do is win our next three games and we will be playing Premiership football next season ….. cross everything please!
    Hope you have a fabulous cruise and show off your B & W jewels
    Julia x

  16. Julia roberts May 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm -  Reply

    Hello Rosie
    Brighton has always had a place in my heart BUT it won’t be there from tomorrow until Tuesday – my boys (Crystal Palace) are playing the Seagulls in the play-offs and there is quite a lot of animosity between the two teams!
    You forgot to mention the lovely architecture in and around Brighton and I don’t just mean the Royal Pavilion.
    Glad you enjoy watching Simon and I together – he really is a lovely person with a heart of gold.
    May the better team win the football
    Julia x

  17. Julia roberts May 9, 2013 at 5:55 pm -  Reply

    Hello Yvie
    I LOVE Cornwall but it’s a bit too far away for a day trip….. Particularly like the rugged north coast!
    How funny that you should mention Southwold it was one of my mum and day’s favourite places. You see I wasn’t telling ‘porky pies’ about the ladybird swarms! I think I heard that the come over to that coast from Holland but don’t quote me on it.
    I’m doing fine thanks
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  18. Julia roberts May 9, 2013 at 6:00 pm -  Reply

    Hi Denise
    Congratulations to your team Hull City on winning promotion – hopefully we will be joining you in the Premiership next season if the play-offs go our way.
    Crikey Derby to Weston Super Mare is quite a hike, although we sometimes used to do the day trip to Skegness from Nottingham when I was a little girl.
    I don’t know the north east coast very well but my mum and dad loved it, in fact my brother took my mum to Whitby for a holiday last year.
    Cheer us on in the play-offs please
    Julia x

  19. Julia roberts May 9, 2013 at 6:12 pm -  Reply

    Dear Gail
    Please don’t be upset on my behalf regarding some of the opinions expressed re my book. I am proud of the way the book has turned out and delighted at the pleasure it has given to many of the people who have read it. You can’t please all of the people all of the time and I guess you only have to turn on the news to understand how cruel human beings can be to other human beings ….. it’s not something I will dwell on and neither should you.
    I am sorry to hear you also have an incurable illness. I confess there are moments when everything just seems too much, as you will know, but we have to carry on because what is the alternative.
    I am very blessed to have my family – Sophie is going to be doing the ‘Tough Mudder’ challenge next month to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research – I will put the link on this weeks blog for anyone who might like to sponsor her.
    Look after yourself and if you do read the book I would be interested in your opinion
    Julia x

  20. Julia roberts May 10, 2013 at 11:40 am -  Reply

    Hi Sandra
    So pleased you ordered the floral burst maxi – I was saying to Kim last night that it is my favourite piece of hers ever. All we need now is a return to the lovely sunshine and warm temperatures of last weekend – a bit nippy out there at the moment!
    Julia x

  21. Rosemary Thompson May 10, 2013 at 7:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    OOOPPPSS forgot about the football. I actually worked for American Express for over 31 years so am linked to the Amex stadium as well through work and football. I am well aware of the animosity between the two teams but at the end of the day it is just a game. It is just a shame that sometimes people use this game as a means to cause problems as has happened in the past when our teams have played each other.I just hope that tonight there is no trouble which would spoil it for everyone.
    Next time you are down our way try going further along the coast to Shoreham, Lancing and Worthing. I lived in Brighton all my life and moved to Lancing 5 years ago. I now live 85 seconds away from the beach and love it (my son timed it). We do get lots of visitors near Lancing green (best kept secret for those that know about it.)You can park there for £1.50 for the day and its wonderful. Not so full on as Brighton but I guarantee after a day you will go home feeling like you have been away for a week. That’s presupposing that the traffic is not bad and the weather good. 1 out of 2 would be good).
    I hope that you realise how much affection is felt towards you and in turn makes you stronger when things look tough.
    Take care and above all be happy.
    Kind regards
    Rosie (Brighton 3 Crystal
    Palace 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  22. Julia roberts May 15, 2013 at 6:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Rosie
    Well you got the last bit of your prediction right – Palace did score two goals and I hope you’ll agree that on the night we deserved the win. Very excited for our trip to Wembley.
    We have visited Worthing many times in the past (and Littlehampton) but never Lancing so perhaps we’ll do that next time we hit the south coast!
    Hope we’re still friends after Monday ….
    Julia x

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