Cakes, Cats and the International Space Station


Julia, mum and FishThanks for your suggestions for the flavour of birthday cake for my mum…in the end I played it safe with a chocolate cake, which was very well received. I am just hoping my mum did as she said she was going to and shared the remainder with her neighbours!

Mum absolutely loved her presents, all from QVC I might add. She had some Liz Earle goodies and some L'Occitane hand cream. She was so funny as everything she opened she kept saying, 'I'm almost out of this', and she was describing what she liked about all the different products almost as though she was a guest on QVC – I've trained her well! I also bought her a beautiful Peony Flowers arrangement of roses in a fishbowl, which I think she thought were real at first.

Talking of fish, her final present was the Charlie Bear called 'Fish'. If you don't know the story, Will and Charlie's first date was a fish and chip supper in the east coast resort of Whitby. In honour of it they created three bears, Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas. My mum and dad used to love going to Whitby so I got 'Fish' for Mum as a kind of reminder of those happy times.

CatShe loved the bear but didn't like his name so I hope Will and Charlie won't mind that we renamed him 'Whitby'. If you love Charlie Bears they are on QVC tomorrow night at 10pm as part of our Customer Favourites Day, where everything is on 3 Easy Payments. I'm not sure what my mum's cat, Tabby, will make of Whitby but I'm pretty sure it won't mean fewer cuddles for her as she is absolutely gorgeous.

We had a really lovely afternoon with my mum before taking our leave around 6pm so that we could get Chris's mum, Audrey, home before driving back to London. She had a great visit with us including being able to witness the International Space Station passing over our house not once but twice. I'm not really 'into' astronomy but it was very humbling to look up and see that bright light travelling across the dark night sky, knowing that it was two hundred miles up and that there were people on board.

BlackIt was Sophie who had alerted us that this was going to be visible from our house when she came round to have dinner on Sunday and Monday. We all stood in the front garden looking up, even our next door neighbour, who is also our landlady. She had come round to tell us that Sophie's car was 'smoking'.

Sophie had left it running as her battery needed charging and that was what the AA had suggested. Unfortunately the fan had broken and, as Sophie needed her car to get to the V Festival in Chelmsford this weekend, Chris and I had to drop it off at the garage to be fixed after our marathon journey to Nottingham and back via Spalding. How funny that we should see this warning sign on the M11, a road I very rarely travel on.

Motorway signSophie has never been camping before so I am hoping the weather stays kind for them. We will be babysitting her cat, Oskar, for the weekend…my cat, Poppy, will not be amused! I will have to pop in and feed him tonight on my way home from the final show of the Elemis mini series, two hours from 9pm tonight, and then tomorrow morning we will bring him over to our house to stay until the girls are back on Monday…there may bit a bit of hissing and growling going on, and that will just be my partner, Chris!

Simon Wilson and his cakeFinally, I hope you enjoyed the Butler & Wilson Anniversary shows this week? There was some debate as to which anniversary it actually was…Simon and I think it was the 19th, but officially it was the 18th. Our lovely kitchen assistant, Jo, who helps out with the preparations for the on air cooking shows, baked him this magnificent cake, which he proceeded to cut into and eat live on air.

The inside was layers of sponge in red, white and blue…doesn't Jo know that Crystal Palace's colours are just red and blue! Yes, my team start their first Premiership campaign in eight years on Sunday, at home to Spurs, and I am beyond excited. I'm not even that bothered about the result, it's just great to be back where I believe we belong…Chapter 38 of my book!

Crikey, this blog has almost turned into a book but must stop now as I'm on air with Skechers at 5pm for my regular Fashion on Friday show. Incidentally, if you love fashion, check out the new QVC Style channel launched this week on Sky and Freeview, and the QVC Extra channel. You can watch all of our channels now online.

Have a great weekend.




  1. sandra August 16, 2013 at 9:29 pm -  Reply

    Julia Your mum looks adorable look after and cherish her as i am sure you do xxxx

  2. Sandra Gregory August 17, 2013 at 12:23 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia, loved your show with Simon, you two are really great together and your friendship shows. Glad your Mum enjoyed her birthday. You have certainly had a very busy time. I co not know how you find the time to work!
    You have a good weekend too
    Take care
    Love Sandra xxx

  3. Jean August 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    What a lovely photograph of you and your Mum. It sounds as if she had a lovely birthday, it was nice that you were all there. Lots of lovely presents as well.
    Oh her cat Tabby is gorgeous, sitting there so proud. Sounds as if you are in for some fun when you have Sophie’s cat to stay. Made me laugh when you said about the growling and hissing and that would be Chris.
    I missed some of Simon’s shows and therefore missed his cake, it looks lovely. He is always on about having a cake.
    You said about the Space Station, yes we see that a lot over our way, wow what a speed it travels at as well, fascinating to watch.
    It is raining hard here at the moment, I will send it your way.
    Hope you are keeping well and have a great weekend.
    Love Jean XX

  4. Jan August 17, 2013 at 9:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Love your blog every week – now that I have seen your mum I know where you get your good looks from! Thank you for posting a picture of Poppy and the ‘visitor’ on your Twitter, it made me laugh.
    Jan x

  5. Marian Bolton August 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I enjoyed reading that Novel!
    It sounds like you spoiled your Mum …… rightly so too. Your mum looks really well for her age. Is she as mobile as she looks? My mum is struggling these days at 84. We’re just in the throws of organising for her bathroom to be turned into a wet room as she’s now finding it very difficult getting in and out of the bath. No pilates in mum’s days! I’m really hoping it will keep me mobile and flexible well into old age. Mum is adamant she wants to stay in the house we all grew up in and where she has her memories of Dad, etc. so, we have to do what we can.
    As you will have seen from my tweet, I too have the gorgeous Mr Fish. I got the auto delivery so have all three ‘Seaside Collection’ Charlie Bears. To be honest. it was Mushy Pea I really wanted and you had to have ‘Fish’ and ‘Chip’ first to get him. Mushy Pea arrived last Monday ……. and he is so worth the wait! Adorable ….. although I also love ‘mum and dad’ as well! Easy pay proved too tempting for me again last night and I found myself buying yet another! Appropriately named ‘Donnie’ …. as you know, I live in Doncaster! Any excuse eh!!
    Gorgeous picture of Tabby, she’s made a very beautiful girl.
    I saw Simon cutting that cake, it was well funny. I bet the gorgeous Ali never ate all that first slice though did she?! Mind you, where does Simon put it all, he always looks so slender.
    Loved the Elemis mini series. Surprisingly, I only bought one kit!! Only cos I’ve got so much in my ‘stash’ Julia!! I was very tempted by the new Pro Intense Lift system and I’m sure I’ll be purchasing that in September.
    Ta ta for now

  6. Annette Roberts August 19, 2013 at 11:40 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    What a lovely photograph of you and your Mum together, only wish I had more pictures with my Mum too, but never mind, lots of memories! Glad to hear she enjoyed all her pressies, lucky girl.
    Hasn’t Tabby turned into a lovely cat, possing for her photograph.
    Poor Bobby has been to the vets a few times, he has little shakes, then goes to fall over unless we snap him out of it and his back legs keep splaying out like ‘Bambi’, it’s really upsetting to see him like that, to look at him he still looks like a puppy, but when he moves you can tell he’s not, well he is 13 now, a grand old gentleman. He’s now on fish oil and evening primrose, so hopefully that will help with the arthritis in his hips, we would never let him suffer.
    Hope Oskar and Poppy are getting on with each other and keeping you and Chris amused with their antics.
    You are such a clever girl, because I’ve only been using my foot bar for the heels on my AeroPilates and never even crossed my mind to use the board to push me back to the pull up bar, well done you, I used it for the first time yesterday morning and boy can I feel my arms and shoulders today!
    So thank you Julia, you always come up with solutions.
    Annette x

  7. Julia roberts August 20, 2013 at 11:23 am -  Reply

    Hi Sandra
    We do try but it is so difficult long distance. The beauty of being on TV is that she can watch me and then she feels like I’m there with her. Fortunately she also has a good network of friends and my brother to lend a helping hand.
    Julia x

  8. Julia roberts August 20, 2013 at 11:27 am -  Reply

    Hello Sandra,
    It was a bit too busy last week really and I paid for it yesterday on my day off as I couldn’t motivate myself to do much. I think I am ready for the 2 weeks off I have booked from Saturday
    Julia x

  9. Julia roberts August 20, 2013 at 11:36 am -  Reply

    Hi Jean
    Yes Tabby has turned into a pretty adult cat but she has one problem – she’s a mouser!! Maybe it’s tabbies because my Daisy also loved to bring me presents of mice as anyone who has read my book will know.
    Oskar was pretty well behaved really, although we did keep him apart from Poppy. Pops is a very timid cat and I didn’t want to upset her. Oskar is not allowed outside without being on a lead as we are worried he would wander off and there are some quite busy roads around here but he is such a good boy having his harness and lead on.
    Not sure I appreciate you sending the rain although I think the garden was grateful
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  10. Julia roberts August 20, 2013 at 11:47 am -  Reply

    Hi Jan
    Thanks for the compliment to both myself and my mum, I’ll pass it on to her as she has been having a bit of a bad time with her health and that will cheer her up.
    Oskar was a good boy for his ‘holiday’ ….. I think he may come to stay again when Sophie goes to Cuba in September … but we did keep the two of them apart as Poppy is so timid and I don’t want to upset her.
    So pleased you enjoy my blog
    Julia x

  11. Julia roberts August 20, 2013 at 12:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marian
    Took me a minute to realise what you meant by ‘novel’, then I remembered what I had written!
    Sounds like your mum is similar to mine – Mum doesn’t want to leave her little bungalow where she has memories of Dad and she likes her independence. She isn’t quite as mobile as she was … the shingles really knocked her sideways …. but she is improving since she has been on steroids. She has an army of helpers, in particular Brenda who cleans and does the heavy work in the garden for her. Having Tabby has also stopped her feeling so lonely since we lost Dad.
    I don’t think I saw your tweet about Fish? Do you like Mum’s new name for him ‘Whitby ‘ – sounds quite posh!
    You are right about Ali not finishing that huge slab of cake ….. and Simon’s eyes were definitely bigger than his tummy, if you know what I mean!
    I’m away for the Elemis TSV in September unfortunately but I have to take my annual leave at some point. Didn’t Keeley look pretty with her hair down.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  12. Julia roberts August 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    Sorry to hear Bobby has not been so good. It’s horrible to see our pets suffer isn’t it …. hope the fish oils will help his joints.
    Speaking of joints, how is your ankle? So glad the suggestion of using the jump board worked for you. Hope you didn’t go too mad on the pull- up bar …. I only do 10 reps in each position on 2 chords and I can really feel it.
    We kept the 2 cats apart for Oskar’s stay …. he wants to ‘play’ and Poppy doesn’t! He was so funny coming over to ours in the car. Because there were 2 of us, I had him on my knee wearing his harness and lead. He started off just sitting but then stood up looking out of my passenger window, much to the amusement of passers-by.
    Julia x

  13. martin forbes August 23, 2013 at 7:53 pm -  Reply

    hi julia hope youy and your family are well iam not bad

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