My 2015 highlights


January started with my QVC friend and colleague, Natalie, appearing on my favourite quiz show, ‘The Chase’. Lots of us gathered in one of the meeting rooms at the Q to watch as Nat proceeded through to the final chase although, unfortunately, she left empty-handed.

I was delighted to be asked to co-host the Julian Speroni Testimonial evening at the Ashcroft Theatre in Croydon. Jules has been Crystal Palace’s number 1 goalkeeper for the past ten years and thoroughly deserved the reception he received. Two days later I was at the annual QVC Beauty Bash – wait a minute… isn’t that my Centigrade coat?? This year I will be going on the afternoon of Tuesday 19th so hopefully I will meet some of you there

I had booked time off in January, hoping to book a holiday, but instead used my free time to help our son, Dan, find somewhere to live in Swansea before starting his new job there as Head of Foundation Phase for Swansea City FC.

In February we started a series of shows on QVC called ‘Spotlight on Jewellery’. The series ran for a number of weeks directly after Fashion on Friday. It was so popular that it returned for a shorter run in the summer and is back again at the end of January.

In March I was invited to give a short speech and present prizes at the British Polio Fellowship’s Indoor Games in Leicester, in my role as ambassador. I was pleased to meet so many QVC viewers among the fellowship members.

Julia Speech

April started with some fantastic news health-wise. The dosage of my oral chemotherapy drugs had been increased in January resulting in me reaching complete remission, although since that result minimal trace levels of CML have shown up in my blood tests which was slightly disappointing. I am still on the higher dose of medication and that is the reason that I am not doing evening shifts at the moment at QVC.

Towards the end of April I had a week booked off from QVC so we decided to go to Cyprus and visit Keeley, from Elemis, while we were there. She really did look after us and my Chris enjoyed drawing dinosaurs for her son, Kaya, to colour in.

Keleey and Julia

May was a very exciting month for me. My long-held dream of writing a novel was realised with the publication of the Kindle version of ‘Life’s a Beach and Then..’. on 18th May. Thanks so much to everyone who has bought and read it, and also for the fabulous feedback with more than a hundred positive reviews on Amazon. I also joined Facebook in May so have made lots of new ‘friends’ – still getting the hang of it though!

May lifes a beach

May also saw my team Crystal Palace finish in the top half of the Premier League for the first time ever, which really put a smile on my face and I continued to smile on a night out with my daughter, Sophie, a bunch of QVC friends when we went to watch Lulu in concert – she was amazing!!

At the beginning of June we finally had some wardrobes fitted in our bedroom having hung our clothes on temporary racks for the previous eleven months. We also bought a Victorian fireplace on eBay which Chris had to go and fetch from Newport in Wales … we really have had a Welsh connection this year!


We also had a lovely family holiday in a villa in Portugal, where I enjoyed my birthday before returning to the UK for the paperback publication of ‘Life’s a Beach and Then…’ and a celebratory party. It was lovely to have Simon Wilson and Liz Earle there and some friends from QVC and Crystal Palace, and a big thank you goes to ‘Villa Di Geggiano’ in Chiswick for hosting it for me. I also went on Debbie Flint’s ‘Back To You’ Facebook chat – was that really six months ago? I must do it again soon.


In July my plan to get on with writing book two in the Liberty Sands trilogy was somewhat scuppered because my other half had to have a minor operation. He couldn’t do anything at all for two weeks – it really made me appreciate how much he normally does for me and how wonderful long-term carer’s are. It was also the month where I learned that my Professor, who had helped me through my journey with CML, was retiring – I was really upset and have to admit to shedding a tear or two.

It was a relief to get into August. My book became available to purchase on the QVC website as a percentage of my profit is going to one of our internal charities, Bloodwise. They help raise money for research into new treatments for the 137 different types of blood cancer. Will Gowing shot a lovely video which you can still watch if you search item number 705211. August was also the month we celebrated Butler & Wilson‘s 20th Anniversary, which kicked off on Simon’s birthday. I was originally scheduled to present two of the four shows but in the end did three due to presenter sickness.



The summer seemed to go very quickly, probably due to the rotten weather. I think we only dined al fresco once this year! I wanted to do something special to mark World CML Day which is the 22nd of September. I decided to increase the donation from each book sold on the day (kindle or paperback) to £1. Thanks if you purchased on the day – so far we’ve raised over £1,000 from book sales and it is ongoing.

At the end of the month I helped organise a photo shoot for my other charity British Polio at the Crystal Palace training ground. Goalkeeper, Julian Speroni, and First Team Coach, John Salako, posed with myself and paralympian, Anne Wafula Strike in a fashion collection featuring football studs and football pump needles to raise awareness of Post Polio Syndrome. In October we also went on the pitch at Selhurst Park in the half time of the Palace v West Ham game. Thanks to my fellow Palace fans for their attention and applause.

October 1st was QVC’s 22nd birthday and shortly after that I took a week away in a small UAE called Ajman which is next to Dubai but much quieter. It was a lovely holiday and I even met someone reading my book on the beach!! The month was rounded off with a trip to Cardiff for the BPF Post Polio Syndrome Day.



In November I really enjoyed being part of the Liz Earle mini-series and of course our biggest Today’s Special Value offer of the year from Elemis. Which team were you Sweet Orchid or Frangipani? Wilfie and Milo had no hesitation in choosing their colours.

Nov1 nov2

Just prior to my main event of the month, the publication of my second novel, ‘If He Really Loved Me’… on the 25th, my other half spent many hours working on a webpage for people to be able to find out more about my books. You can take a look at it here Again, I’ve been blown away by your response to the new book – 21 five star reviews on Amazon within the first month. I’m so pleased that you seem to love my characters as much as I do. I have started the final part of the trilogy but I’m giving myself a much needed break from writing over Christmas.

Nov3 Nov4

And so into December… I had managed to dodge the bug that has been flying around QVC until ten days ago but it got me in the end! Unfortunately it meant I missed the QVC Presenter lunch but there’s always next year…

2015 has been a truly amazing year for me – thanks so much to all of you for being part of it.
Much love and Merry Christmas

Julia's Christmas Tree
Julia xx


  1. Joanna Downey December 24, 2015 at 10:53 am -  Reply

    Merry Christmas Julia, What a blog, what a year! I can hardly believe that it has been six months since you fitted your bedroom fireplace and I looked at it and wanted one of my own. Our 2015 highlight happened two days ago when Ellie and Dave got married. It was perfect and our girls’ wedding days have been the two best days of my life. The venue was wonderful, the food was delicious and the customer service and care shown to us was outstanding. Ellie is a very artistic girl and she and Dave created the most fabulous invitations, table confetti, seating plan and favours. She also made a kissing ball intertwined with fairy lights to be above them during the ceremony. They hired a van to take everything to the venue including their initials in life size letters and an ampersand, an old school desk (they both work in schools) and huge speakers plus headphones for their silent disco. Being part of a large group, some of us dancing to Ellie’s tracks and the others to Dave’s was hysterical, especially when it was “Dancing Queen” and “Baggy Trousers”… Finally, our younger daughter looked beautiful with that glow of happiness that all brides hope to have. A lovely girl did her make-up and it looked as good after twelve hours as when it went on, her hair was glorious and her dress was sublime; very simple with a deep v back, full skirt that had a chapel train and the material made her look lit by moonlight. Sorry that was such a long post, I think I must still be on a high and you had kindly shown interest in previous replies. When they get the discs from the photographer I’ll send some copies to you. We always celebrate on Christmas Eve with a dress up dinner so I’m off to make dessert. Merry Christmas, love from Jo x

    • Julia Roberts December 30, 2015 at 11:30 pm -  Reply

      Hello Jo
      It sounds like Ellie’s wedding was the perfect day for all of you – love the sound of her dress!
      I hope it was followed by a wonderful Christmas and that 2016 will continue in the same vein
      Julia x

  2. Annette Roberts December 24, 2015 at 12:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    It most certainly has been one heck of a year for you, publishing both books, you’ve done very well and for raising awareness for both CML and Post Polio Syndrome, not to mention the donations too!

    Hope you are feeling much better following that dreadful lurgy you’ve had, nothing worse to knock you off your feet, so to speak, but at least you’ve had it before Christmas Day arrived, there is nothing that spoils your Christmas more than feeling dreadful and not enjoying the day.

    Thoughts go out to all the families hit with the awful flooding of late, my heart goes out to them.

    Thank you for your Christmas card, so glad you have received mine, it’s the only one I have actually made this year. I will send you some more pics of the little tinker that is ‘Bailey!’ He got past the baby gate the other day and I didn’t know where he was, so called him, and there was this little waggy tail reversing out from under the Christmas Tree followed by the rest of him, tugging a piece of tinsel!! Luckily, he didn’t manage to pull the tree over. Loved the photos of Poppy and the gang, glad she’s still doing well.

    For my sins at the moment I have had my foot and ankle play up like mad, so painful I had to hobble back to the car whilst Chris finished the shopping. There’s a really bad sharp pain that shoots right inside my foot as I walk, hoping it will go with arnica baths and to top it all I’ve got neck and shoulder pains which I woke up with this morning, so plastering that with arnica too…hopefully it will be better by tomorrow, at least I don’t need to worry about the cooking, we’re going to Chris’ parents.

    Have a brilliant Christmas and New Year with your family and regards to your lovely Mum too!

    Annette x

    • Julia Roberts December 30, 2015 at 11:39 pm -  Reply

      Hi Annette
      I feel very honoured to receive your only hand made card this year – thank you.
      You’ll be pleased to hear our Christmas tree is still standing despite Wilfie ‘tapping’ it & Milo removing strands of tinsel several times.
      I’m wondering if maybe you have plantar fasciitis? My mum has it & it sounds similar.
      I hope your Christmas at Chris’s parents was enjoyable.
      Happy New Year
      Julia x

  3. mary howarth December 25, 2015 at 10:40 pm -  Reply

    Congrats Julia – your books have not only been well received but the monetary contributions to your charity will help others.
    Glad to hear your news health-wise – good on you girl keep battling. Your BIG birthday coming up in June – planning anything special?
    It’s 10 years since my cancer diagnosis and, thank God. I seem to be OK. I’ve got to fight on because at 80 I want to reach my late Mum’s 92 year total.
    Good luck, much love and happiness to you and yours
    for 2016 and onwards.

    • Julia Roberts December 30, 2015 at 11:43 pm -  Reply

      Hello Mary
      I’m pleased to hear that you are doing so well ten years on from your cancer diagnosis – long may it continue.
      I have been really overwhelmed by the reception I’ve had for my books – can’t wait to get on with book 3 once the festivities are over.
      Happy New Year
      Julia x

  4. Gail December 27, 2015 at 10:25 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia

    It’s lovely to hear that 2015 was a truly amazing year for you; it was definitely a busy one, phew. I do confess to not having read any of your books, yet. I go through what I call ‘reading phases’ and the last couple of years I don’t think I’ve read any books.

    Although the slight setback re your health must have been disappointing, you managed to rise above it and carry on. I’m sure complete remission isn’t far away, if it hasn’t been reached again already.

    Wishing you and the family a very happy, healthy New Year and hope 2016 is another truly amazing year for you. Take care and look forward to hearing that you are in complete remission again xx

    Lol Gail xxx

    • Julia Roberts December 30, 2015 at 11:51 pm -  Reply

      Hi Gail
      I’m hoping that maybe you’ll be tempted to read my books in 2016 and that if you do you’ll enjoy them.
      Even if I can’t reach full remission again I’m very grateful for the drugs that keep my condition under control.
      Happy New Year to you
      Julia x

  5. TINA S December 29, 2015 at 5:39 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and have recovered from the lurgy. Despite dosing myself up I still fell foul to the dreaded lurgy! I’ve been coughing for days now.
    Did you get any nice present ‘s? Hubby bought me this Tablet which I’m trying to get the hang of. So far so good.I must say it’s a lot faster than my laptop.
    The people who viewed our home are coming for a second viewing after the New year, so fingers crossed.
    I tried writing last night but the inter nett went down. After all the things I wrote and getting used to this Tablet!
    Well, I just want to wish you and your family a Very Happy and more importantly, a Healthy 2016.
    Looking forward to many more blogs.
    All the best, Tina x

  6. Jean Pugh December 30, 2015 at 10:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    You have had an amazing busy year, where does all that energy come from.

    Hope you are fully recovered as you went down with the bug recently didn’t you, hope you were better to enjoy Christmas.

    Just on finished your second book, wow am I enjoying that, have not forgotten review for your first one.

    I see a final series of Mr Selfridge is back in the New Year.

    Anyway Julia wishing you and your family a very Happy and Healthy New Year. Thank you for your card.

    Love Jean XX

  7. Julia Roberts December 30, 2015 at 11:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Tina
    The lurgy is still hanging around unfortunately but better than it was – hope you feel better soon.
    Fingers crossed that the people who want a second viewing on your house will put in an offer.
    Happy New Year
    Julia x

  8. martin forbes December 31, 2015 at 10:12 am -  Reply

    thanks for my xmas card i hope you got mine did you have daniel and sophie for xmas day dinner i had anice quiet xmas day iam now off for 5 days from work time off back on tuesday nice quiet new year happy 2016 to your family and yourself when it comes

    • Julia Roberts January 7, 2016 at 1:34 pm -  Reply

      Hi Martin
      Yes I did get your card thanks and glad you received mine.
      Sophie is still living with us at the moment and Daniel was back from the 21st to the 3rd of January.
      Hope you enjoyed your time off? I’m back at QVC today after a 7 day break over new year!
      Happy & Healthy New Year
      Julia x

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