Keep Calm and Carry On Shopping


Keep calm and carry on shoppingThis was the message on a 20th birthday card sent in by Dale, one of our viewers, and as I have only just got around to sending thank you cards (apologies, it's been a heck of a few weeks) it has come back to my attention.

I thought it was particularly appropriate with Christmas fast approaching as the last thing any of us want to do is make mistakes by buying in haste or worse still 'last minute', which I'm afraid I have a tendency to do. So stay calm and shop with confidence from the comfort of your own sofa.

Speaking of shopping with confidence, a big thank you to all those polled for a Daily Mail article which voted us 2nd (behind only John Lewis) for being a trusted place to shop …. what an accolade in our 20th anniversary year!

Julia withAmongst the other thank you letters I've finally managed to get round to this week I found this photo that was sent in by Ramila and Pinky Shah from the birthday event in Liverpool, which I mentioned in a previous blog.

The bag Ramila is holding was one she made herself but Pinky's bag is a Butler & Wilson, as is her necklace; and as we have the first B&W World Couture show with myself and Simon Friday night at 7pm I thought it fitted in nicely.

The show is part of the Get Gorgeous Event, which I am launching tonight at midnight with a fab TSV from Trinny and Susannah. I have recently added three of their dresses to my wardrobe and I really like the fit. In fact I was wearing one for the Fashion on Friday promo, which I linked to on last week's blog.

Trinny and Susannah TSVI really enjoyed the first one with Wain Douglas, representing Peter Kaiser shoes, and tomorrow we will be celebrating 16 years of Kim & Co with everything on 3 Easy Pays, including the denim leggings that so many of you love on 3pay for the first time!

I have had a very busy few days off when ideally I should have been relaxing. On Saturday I kitten-sat for Sophie's kitten, Milo, Wilfy's brother. We had hoped that they would get on well and be able to sleep in the same room but their play fighting was a bit 'lively' so I had to separate them.

Just one problem, I hadn't brought Milo's litter tray so I had to improvise by cutting the sides down on a cardboard box and filling it with litter. Milo did use it but more importantly it is Wilfy's new favourite toy since I emptied the grit out of it. I was exhausted by the time Sophie and Gilly came to fetch Milo on Sunday night … must be getting old.

WilfyWilfy's latest trick is climbing the yucca plant I have in the lounge. This does not bode well for the Christmas tree when we put it up in a month's time. Oskar was very good last year with just the occasional swipe at a bauble but somehow I think Wilfy won't stop at that. He is a bit groggy this afternoon as he has just had his first vaccination but I'm pleased to say he has more than doubled his weight since we first had him, weighing in at exactly 1kg.

The rest of my days off have been taken up with a bit of novel-writing (it's coming along nicely) but mostly house-hunting! Will know more for next week's blog but it looks like we have to move again as the house we are renting is under offer…eek!!!

Have a super weekend and do join myself and Fiona for Decleor featuring the TSV (if it hasn't sold out) at 11pm Saturday.

Much love,
Julia xx


  1. karen November 8, 2013 at 9:47 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia after reading your last few blogs I had to tell you about a cat I had, so many similarities to your stories about Wilfy. When my Husband and I bought our first home together we got ourselves a little white kitten (Sooty). On one of our first visits to the vet we were told he was deaf. Apparently most pure white male cats are. I was too scared to let him out so he was going to be a house cat. We decided to get him a little play mate, so 3 months later we ended up with a tiny black kitten from the same Mum. The owners were going on holiday and wanted the kitten housed quickly. We were told he was 7 weeks, but after taking him to the vet were told he was only about 5 weeks old (sound familiar!). The first few weeks we kept them apart when we were not in the house. Our little black kitten (Sweepy) slept in the kitchen in a shoe box, and also had a cat litter tray made from another shoe box. I came home from work one day and he wasn’t in the kitchen. I was frantic as I had left the kitchen window open, but locked if you know what I mean, and thought this 5 week old tiny kitten had somehow got on the worktop and squeezed himself out the window. I was out in the garden looking for him and was very upset that I couldn’t find him. I then went back into the kitchen where little Sweepy was sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor and squeeked up at me (he was so tiny his meow hadn’t developed yet). I just didn’t know where he appeared from. A few months later we were having to replace our fridge, and when my Husband pulled out the old one there were little pieces of cat litter and fluff behind the fridge. Sweepy must have slept there, and that must have been where he was the day I lost him! Seeing Wilfy in the Yukka plant also brought back memories of Sweepy in a similar situation. I had an indoor cane plant holder, it held about 4 plant pots. One of them was empty, and Sweepy took to sleeping in that. My husband entered a photograph of this in a competition, unfortunately he didn’t win, but it was a brilliant photo. If I come across the photo some time I must send it to you Julia. In the end Sooty was allowed outside, and his little Brother seemed to look after him. We had Sooty for about 10 years and he just disappeared. We never ever found out what happened to him. Sweepy lived to 16 years old, and he never seemed to get out the kitten stage. Have fun with Wilfy and thank you for bringing back happy memories to me.
    Kind ragards
    Karen x

  2. Jean November 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Yes the card is very appropriate for when we are all busy shopping. I have done most of mine now, and that is all thanks to QVC.
    Loved the Lola Rose Scarf, her scarves are so warm and the designs are beautiful just like the jewellery. Looking forward to the Decleor TSV.
    Trinny and Susannah do design some lovely clothes, they are really smart and not expensive. The TSV is nice.
    Sounds as if you had fun with the Kittens, they are time waster’s arent they, love the photograph of Wilfy climibing the yucca plant, yes I am sure he will love the Christmas Tree, I know our cat Guiness loves the baubles, you come down in the morning and they are all over the place. Another thing I have found cat’s love and that is the Spider plant, I guess it is like grass to them, I have to put mine somewhere where the cat’s cannot get at them.
    Looking forward to watching Simon’s show, it is always good to watch when you are on with him, you both have such a laugh together.
    It is a shame you have to house hunt again, hope this does mean you will be moving over Christmas. Good luck anyway.
    Take care.
    Love Jean XX

  3. Kathy. Tranter November 8, 2013 at 5:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi again,
    Sorry, i was at the Fulham match, i was sandwiched between a Fulham supporter (born and bread) and a Crystal Palace supporter. I watched the match as they shouted and swore at each other’s teams. lol.Good fun though and they bought the coffee’s.
    Kathy x

  4. susanne fitzpatrick November 10, 2013 at 2:56 pm -  Reply

    Forgive me for asking, but why don’t you and your partner just buy a house? You seem to be constantly on the move which must be stressful for all, and you can’t really put down any roots, can you? Wouldn’t this be something to consider so you are secure in the knowledge that the house is yours for as long as you want it?
    Just thinking of the stress this all places on you.
    All good wishes, whatever the outcome
    Susanne x

  5. Beth Morton November 12, 2013 at 2:40 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    I did have to chuckle when I saw Wilfy on your yucca plant! Methinks you may have fun with the Christmas tree! I can see from your Twitter post that he’s not too good at the mo, I hope he is on the mend soon and/or the vet can help.
    No doubt you’ll fill us all in on how the event went last night at the House of Lords, I’m not on Twitter so will await your next blog!
    Beth XX.

  6. Yvie G November 13, 2013 at 11:03 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia, love your little kitten, so sweet!!He reminds me of the cat that used to live next door who was jet black and HUGE!!His name was “Winston” alias ” the beast of bodmin, so funny!!Hope you find the house you are looking for but its not easy is it? I can’t see you leaving Surrey and moving to an area that is completely new must be very daunting for you.Good Luck. YvieX

  7. Marian Bolton November 13, 2013 at 11:48 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I hope you don’t mind me pointing out that you’ve missed my comment on your last blog. I wouldn’t normally bother as I can imagine how much you have on your mind only I think my ‘Goldilocks and the Three PAIRS (of shoes) might amuse you a little. And Lord knows we all need a little amusement in our lives. It looks like we were ‘blogging’ at the same time so I can easily see how you missed it.
    I think the ‘Keep Calm and Carry on Shopping’ is definitely apt for me too …. all the time! Shopping is not just for Christmas is it now!
    A big congratulations to QVC on being voted number 2 for a trusted place to shop. You’re number one in my book …… and that’s the truth.
    I love the photo of Wilfy in your yucca plant. It brings back fond (and not so fond!) memories of my ‘babies’ at that age. I think I previously told you that they regularly brought the Christmas tree crashing down and not only as kittens! Then there was the time Suki ran up my very expensive dining room bespoke curtains with swags and tails! (I sound a bit like Hyacinth Bucket (Bouquet!) telling the tale of her sister with the house with a swimming pool and room for a pony!) Suki only did it the once i can tell you! She wasn’t allowed in the dining room for a while after that!
    It’s that time of year when I get excited about what the postman might bring Julia! Have all the Beauty bash invites gone out yet?!! I hope they include my Relax Master bed on my Beauty Tab for this year …… ‘beauty sleep’ and all that! And, of course there’s the Elemis TSV on Sunday. Too much excitement Julia! Best get outside and tidy the garden up to calm me down, I was supposed to be out there for 9.30 this morning! Best laid plans eh!

  8. Annette Roberts November 15, 2013 at 8:25 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    ‘Keep Calm and Carry on Shopping’! I just need to keep calm at the moment, shopping has gone right out the window, not a Christmas card or pessie in sight yet!
    We have exchanged on our house, it’s only taken 3yrs and no, Chris most certainly has not run down the road ‘naked’ in celebration as he said he would, he’s had ‘man flu’ and passed it on to me, on top of everything else.
    Have you found your new home yet? We have until 20 December to find somewhere…eek and double eek! Can’t believe we’re moving so near to Christmas, we’ll be in a tent if we’re not careful lol!
    I’m being referred to see the consultant re: cholesterol, my sister saw him 6yrs ago. I also saw the Dr about this pesky neck and throat problem I’ve had since earlier this year and he upped my acid tabs, which in turn and I can’t say they are the culprit, gave me the most excruciating stomach pains, to the point of tears. He was very good and put me back on the lower dose, but I’m still getting twinges. I also had more bloods, which I rang for the results yesterday and was told I have to see the Dr, so hopefully will know more then.
    I really enjoyed seeing you with Renee and totally relate to the tropical moment you had, had one last night, but think it was more to do with Chris not turning the heating off when we went to bed. Speaking of night time, I bought the Bethlehem Lights Water Flame Candle for the bedroom. I need some background noise to get me to sleep and it’s brilliant, does exactly what it says with the timer, switches itself on and then off after 5hrs…thought I’d try the batteries first and they are still going strong, very impressed and there is no noise whatsoever from the motor.
    The picture of Wilfy is brilliant, dread to think what he will make of your Christmas tree and baubles!!
    Annette x

  9. Julia roberts November 17, 2013 at 5:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi Karen
    I loved your story about Sooty and Sweepy and the irony of Sweepy’s name was not lost on me! We are still keeping the cas apart at night but Poppy is starting to get used to having him around I think. I will give regular updates on my blog
    Julia x

  10. Julia roberts November 17, 2013 at 5:16 pm -  Reply

    Hello Jean
    I know what you mean about Wilfy being a time-waster in the nicest possible way!! He had a bit of a problem with his first vaccine … it’s on this week’s blog.
    Really enjoyed the B & W World couture show with Simon – hope you did too?
    We have to move before the 12th January so at least we will be able to enjoy Christmas here first. Really stepped up the house hunt but without much success yet.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  11. Julia roberts November 17, 2013 at 5:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy
    So you witnessed the two wonder goals that ended Ian Holloway’s tenure at Selhurst Park! We weren’t too bad for the first 35 minutes then it fell apart! We did quite well against Everton in our last home game before the international break
    Julia x

  12. Julia roberts November 17, 2013 at 6:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Suzanne
    That is the plan! We sold our house over 3 years ago and only went into rented so that we didn’t lose the sale. Then I got sick so wasn’t really in the right frame of mind to look for a new home. We have been actively looking for somewhere to buy for a year or so but we are quite choosy. Ideally we will buy if we can find the right property in time … That would be nice!
    Julia x

  13. Julia roberts November 17, 2013 at 6:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Beth
    You have a full run down on Wilfy’s state of health and the House of Lords do on my latest blog. I think I may avoid putting my best baubles on the Christmas tree this year …. too risky!
    You should go on twitter – it’s quite good fun really
    Enjoy this week’s epistle
    Julia x

  14. Julia roberts November 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi Yvie
    Wilfy is gorgeous – he has already grown so much since we had him butbI hope he is not going to grow into the ‘beast of Epsom’ or wherever else we may settle. As you know we have been looking for somewhere to buy for a long time – we have looked at Berkshire but I think it will probably e Surrey again!
    Keep in touch
    Julia x

  15. Julia roberts November 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm -  Reply

    Hello Hyacinth ….. I mean Marion!!
    Yes I did read your last post – I missed it initially and then it has just been a crazy busy week so I haven’t had time to do any replies.
    I have to keep Wilfy off the curtains as they are not mine!! Actually he is a really good kitten – he keeps his scratching to his scratching post ….. he is sat on my knee as I write this!
    Thanks for your tweets about the Elemis TSV – no point saying enjoy it as I know you will!
    No idea about the Beauty Bash invitations but fingers crossed for you
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  16. Julia roberts November 19, 2013 at 9:47 am -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    Well firstly congratulations on selling your house, it’s been a long time coming! Secondly have you any idea where you are going to live? On my reckoning you have less than five weeks to find somewhere so I guess you will be renting. I am sick and tired of renting ( three and a bit years of it) but really don’t want to buy somewhere I don’t love. I just have to keep believing that ‘the’ house is around the corner – at least we have a home for Christmas!
    You will have had your blood test results by now and I hope they were ok? That’s the problem when you are taking medication, sometimes it helps one condition and leads to another – please let me know how everything is going.
    I bought the Bethlehem Lights pepper berry wreath for the front door … I love the idea that it’s battery operated and of course the timer. I’ve heard good things about the quality too. I won’t be putting my favourite baubles on the tree this year as it’s parquet flooring so nothing to soften the fall when they are knocked off!
    Much love
    Julia x

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