Chainsaw melody


Birthday partyForget 'Unchained Melody', this morning I am writing my blog to the accompaniment of a chain-saw or two! The tree men are here trimming back trees that have become overgrown in our new garden and removing others that are simply too big for the space that we have.

Looking out it all looks a bit drastic but I know it's the right thing to do and at the right time of year before everything is fully in leaf. Once I can see how much available space we have for new plants I will be able to take advantage of the great offers in Richard Jackson's Garden…we are launching the TSV together next Thursday midnight!

So the main subject of my blog is the surprise I mentioned in last week's blog for Chris's mum, Audrey, who was eighty yesterday. She had said she didn't want any fuss but we thought it was a pretty big deal especially as five years ago we feared this day would never come after complications following heart surgery.

Nana and the familyAs I told you last week, the Australian contingent arrived on Saturday and gave her a lovely surprise and we had told her that we were going up to Spalding to have lunch with them all yesterday. It was almost true except that it wasn't a quiet little family lunch, it was an Afternoon Tea Dance which Chris and I had been organising secretly over the past few months, aided and abetted by Audrey's friend Jane, without whom it wouldn't have been impossible to contact all her friends from the bowls club and dancing club. 


Sophie and AmeliaWe had to fib a little and tell her that we had been delayed in traffic on the A1 so we would be able to go straight to the venue to check everything was as we had planned before she arrived. Well done to all her friends who had managed to keep the 'secret' for weeks…it was worth it to see the look on her face as my two, Daniel and Sophie, led her into the room to be greeted by a chorus of 'Happy Birthday'.



Aliana Audrey's birthday cakeIt was lovely to see so many happy smiley faces and let me tell you eighty-somethings definitely know how to have a good time. The dance floor was never empty and I thought they all did very well not to trample on three-and-a-half-year-old Aliana who simply couldn't get enough of the music. Her little sister Amelia, at just fifteen months, also joined in, swaying in her high chair and being waltzed around the room at every opportunity. Daniel and Sophie were really good with the little ones … maybe it won't be too long before they have little ones of their own?!?!

It was also lovely to catch up with Chris's Auntie Joyce and Uncle Dave, both in their eighties too. Dave is a very talented painter and insisted we dropped in to their house on our way home so that he could give us a painting he had just had framed for our new home. I'll take a picture of it once it's on the wall. We were all shattered by the time we got back home last night but all the effort had truly been worth it.

Simon WilsonThere are a couple of other BIG birthdays in my circle this year. My Chris is sixty in August, and Simon Wilson, of Butler & Wilson, is…??? I couldn't possibly say but he looks great on it. I popped in to see Simon at his South Molton Street shop on Wednesday on my way from a visit to the fabulous Elemis Day Spa in Mayfair.

The Elemis mini-series starts tomorrow night at 9pm with Debs Flint, and I am with Keeley on Sunday and then again for a two-hour show on Tuesday, also at 9pm. They had invited me to experience the Pro Intense Lifting Treatment, which was excellent and can be almost replicated at home by buying the box set of Pro Intense. I really enjoyed it although the therapist very kindly said that my skin doesn't really need it yet except as an occasional boost – what a nice compliment from a skin expert.

So finally I get round to giving some really good news to one person, the winner of the Decleor competition that I set on here last Friday. We were blown away by the number of responses, almost 1,200 of you, and almost all of you correctly said that Decleor are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year … (lots of birthdays with a zero on the end – just saying, Simon!!) Sadly there can only be one winner and it is Susan Kennedy (check your emails and let us know your address so we can send you your winnings)!

Big congratulations and I'm sure you will enjoy the products. I'll have to think what the next competition will be!! By the way, if you left me a comment as well as your answer I will get round to replying this week…sorry, it's all been a bit hectic with Nana's party!

I'll see you later today and also bright and early tomorrow morning at 11am for the Vitamix TSV…if you have never seen it demonstrated tune in, it's so much more than a blender!

Hope the weekend lives up to the weathermen's promise where you are.

Much love,

Julia xx


  1. Susan Kennedy March 7, 2014 at 1:22 pm -  Reply

    Thank you so much Julia. I have been shopping with QVC since the beginning and love Decleor. You are always bright and cheery and I love to watch your shows. I never thought for a minute that I would win this and I think that I might have to pinch myself several times today xxxxx

  2. Jean Pugh March 7, 2014 at 2:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    It sounds as if Chris’s Mum had a great birthday, a lot of work went into arranging all that for her. The cake looks lovely. I am sure she had a lovely time with her friends and family all there to celebrate it with her. Yes we are waiting to have a large tree chopped a bit now that the winds have died down. It was starting to lean and move in the wind, cant wait for it to be done so that I know it is safe. Yes gardening time is approaching, looking forward to Richad’s shows, already have some plants on advanced orders. I think we all want to get out in the garden as it has been such a long wet winter. It is lovely to see all the bulbs popping through and the shrubs beginning to bud. You have a great birthday to celebrate for Chris. And then there is Simon’s birthday, are you making him a cake, will it be a ladybird one. Will watch the Elemis shows, but my stock of that and Decleor is pretty good at the moment.
    Anyway you have a great weekend, enjoy the sun if it appears.
    Love Jean XX

  3. sandra catherwood March 7, 2014 at 3:41 pm -  Reply

    What a lovely cake and how important it is to take time out for family best wishes to you all xx

  4. Diane gilbank March 8, 2014 at 8:51 am -  Reply

    Hi julia, what a wonderful party you had for nana! She is one lucky lady to have such a caring thoughtful family. The photos are lovely too, and the cake awork of art.
    Yes there are lots of birthdays that end in 0 in our house. Martyn is 60 in April, Becky our middle girl is 30(and just found out expecting our 5th grandchild!!) and mum is 90 in November. So lots to plan for those. It does take a lot of thought I appreciate now!!
    Am trying to get a hotel stay for Martyn and I, as it is our 35th wedding anniversary on Monday, which is proving scary but exciting in equal measure as it is 14 years since I was able to do anything like that. So has to be wheelchair friendly and have a very comfy bed with great room service! In case I can’t get to the dinning room for our evening meal! I think I have found somewhere so my sister and parents are going to go and have a look for me! Phew.
    You looked so fab in the black and white Kim and co outfit yesterday julia. I sent Kim a photo of my mum in one of her dresses at qvc and asked her to show you when you were next together. You are great to watch together,just like you and simon. Can’t believe he is going to be….??
    Hope Wilfy is doing ok post op. Elsa is allowed out now but surprisingly doesn’t want to go out as much as I expected her to.
    Much love to you diane xx

  5. Beth Morton March 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    How thoughtful of you and Chris to arrange such a lovely surprise for his Mum – delighted to hear everyone had such a great time after all your hard work. I’ve mentioned it before but your family has a wonderful closeness and great to see the pictures of all of you.
    I’m looking forward to your new book! My brother lives in France so I have to be on my toes with the lingo – although my his two sons’ level of spoken English puts me to shame!
    I am not surprised the Elemis clinic made the comment about your skin – you have a lovely bloom and freshness to your skin which I’d love to have and I’m in my 40s!!
    You take care and I’m looking forward to seeing the painting which Chris’ Uncle kindly did for you.
    Lots of love,
    Beth XXX.

  6. Julia roberts March 13, 2014 at 11:04 am -  Reply

    Hi Susan
    You are most welcome, hope you enjoy the products. Thanks for the compliment.
    I hope you didn’t pinch yourself too hard or you will be needing Arnica Gel
    Julia x

  7. Julia roberts March 13, 2014 at 11:12 am -  Reply

    Hi Jean
    You are right Audrey had a great time especially with her family from Australia able to come too. I didn’t make the cake ….. she kept asking where her homemade chocolate cake was but that would have been a stretch for 50 people. Love the idea for a ladybird cake for Simon sshhhhh!
    Hope you are going to be watching Richard Jackson and I at midnight tonight? It’s not a plant TSV but something to prevent your plants from suffering pests. Our garden looks so much bigger now the overgrown trees have gone and starting to get pretty with the primroses and daffodils out.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  8. Julia roberts March 13, 2014 at 11:14 am -  Reply

    Hi Sandra
    It was a very pretty cake and tasty too – I can highly recommend Adele cakes who made it for us
    Julia x

  9. Julia roberts March 13, 2014 at 11:25 am -  Reply

    Hello Diane
    Congratulations on your 35th wedding anniversary and I hope the hotel stay worked out well? Even if Chris and I got married tomorrow I doubt that either of us has another 35years …. still we’ve been together 36 and my mum always sends us an anniversary card bless her.
    Does Martin want a party for his 60th? Chris definitely doesn’t, he would rather spend the money on a week away somewhere ….. I’m up for that!
    Kim didn’t show me the photo you sent her unfortunately as I would have shown it. Did you see her talking about being fired from her first job – made me laugh!
    Just on the train to go to the hospital …. it’s the big one this time in terms of checking on the progress (or hopefully lack of it) of the CML so keep your fingers crossed for me. Should have the results in a couple of weeks.
    Wilfy is fine – we are still not allowing him out as he is Dan’s cat and we are not sure if he will have outside space when he moves into a home of his own.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  10. Julia roberts March 13, 2014 at 11:31 am -  Reply

    Hi Beth
    Audrey really did enjoy her ‘do’ and she sent a lovely basket of flowers through to thank us ….. although she really didn’t need to.
    I am off work after this Friday for almost three weeks so I am hoping to get a lot of writing done on the new book – I’m still hoping to have it out by the end of May.
    Thanks for the compliment about my skin, I think good genes and good skincare really have helped.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

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