New Year Knees Up


Julia with Daniel, Sophie and Natalie on New Year's EveWell we are already 9 days into the New Year, but I thought I would share my New Year's Eve party pictures with you. It is only the second time in my life that I haven't been in the UK for New Year – the first was way back in 1975/76 when I was a dancer on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.

Being a musician, Chris is always working at New Year so if I'm not at work at QVC, I am often 'home alone'. This year, with Chris's blessing, we decided to do something a bit different and headed off to Spain. The four of us; Daniel, Sophie, our friend Natalie and I went to a restaurant with music and dancing for the evening, and really got into the spirit with our various headwear adornments!

Julia with Natalie and Sophie on New Year's EveWe were taught to line dance to 'Achy Breaky Heart' by a lovely lady called Gloria, and then proceeded to give a bit of a performance even though we had just learnt it ourselves.

A little later we persuaded my daughter Sophie to get up and sing and, even though I am her Mum, I can honestly say she did a cracking rendition of 'Valerie'. The audience wanted more, but it's always best to quit while you are ahead!!

After almost choking on the Spanish tradition of eating a grape for each of the twelve bongs, I only managed six by the way, we went down to the beach and released our balloons with a wish for the year ahead. It was about 2am when Dan and I got home, but the girls stayed out 'clubbing' until 6 am… what it is to be young!

Julia's Christmas tree and log fire in SpainWe had a lovely few days in Spain enjoying the sunshine during the day and then coming indoors to light the log fire and put the Christmas tree lights on. I had managed to keep the tree as a surprise for the children and you should have seen their faces when they walked in. It faired a lot better than our 'real' tree at home which Chris had to take down while we were away as it was drooping so badly.

I don't like taking the decorations down because the house always looks so bare, but this year Daniel and Sophie did it for me and actually I quite liked the feeling of being 'back to normal' if you know what I mean?

Yesterday was Sophie's 24th birthday which we celebrated quietly as she had had a night out on the Saturday, but tonight, as a birthday treat, we are going to the theatre to see 'Shrek the Musical'… I'll let you know about it on my next blog.

Much love, Julia x 


  1. Helen Magowan January 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm -  Reply

    Thanks for sharing your New Year’s Eve pics, Julia, they’re really lovely. The headgear is class – always helps to get you into the party mood! Oh & what an inviting log fire. This year I was invited to a house party which was absolutely fabulous, great food, great company, great craic & great karoke – oooh what fun!! I made it to bed just after 5am – not bad for a ‘monkey’ (if you get my drift)lol!! Sure it’s not ‘where you are but the company you’re with’ that makes it. ‘Happy belated birthday’ to Sophie. Looking forward to hearing about ‘Shrek the Musical’ as I just love, love, love the Shrek movies. Helenx

  2. martin forbes January 9, 2012 at 7:55 pm -  Reply

    glad you enjoyed your holiday in spain with daniel and sophie happy birthday to her .

  3. Carole cooper January 9, 2012 at 8:16 pm -  Reply

    Happy new year so glad you had a nice year in Spain it looks like you had a wonderful time with your photos, Sophie takes after you and also has beautiful hair, Do you just use striaghters to curl your hair it always look nice my hair is long but very fine but it will curl take care Carole Wigan xx

  4. Joy January 10, 2012 at 9:09 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Happy New Year although it now seems that Christmas passed in a blur but we have Spring to look forward to.
    Saying that I have just bought my first daffodils, the smell and cheery yellow brightens up the dreariest of days and I for one cannot wait until we put the clocks forward again even though I am a December baby.
    Found you on Twitter but I must admit I prefer the blogs, you can say more and they are far more interesting and friendly. Shame we cannot add a photo so you can see what we all look like or maybe one day you could organise a visit to QVC for your regulars?
    Glad you enjoyed Shrek, I saw it last year when Amanda Holden was still in it she was very good, but for me Nigel Harman as Lord Farquad stole the show. How very clever and uncomfortable it must have been for him. Will say no more as do not want to spoil it for any other ‘blogettes’ who may wish to go.
    Let’s hope Palace beat Cardiff tonight. I must admit I have not been so avid in following Chelsea this season, not sure why?
    Look forward to a full year as a regular.
    PS: Like the look of the Druzy TSV!
    Love Joy xx

  5. Jean Pugh January 10, 2012 at 12:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Glad you had a good time in Spain with Sophie and Daniel, love the headwear.It sounds as if there was plenty going on. Line dancing was very popular over here, but you dont hear so much about it now. Belated birthday wishes to Sophie. She obviously enjoys singing. Yes Christmas seems a long way away now doesnt it, there is such a build up to it, and then it is all over. How is your Mum’s gorgeous cat. My cat Guinness loved the tree, especially when the things fell off with his help and he was able to send them flying out of the room and down the hall. Don’t you just love them.
    Love Jean.XX

  6. Annette Roberts January 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Thanks for sharing your New Year with Daniel, Sophie and Natalie, sounds like you had a very good time together. Happy Birthday to Sophie, hope she enjoyed ‘Shrek’ with you…were you wearing shrek ears too, like you did on the OPI show?
    Spent yesterday at the hospital, having to explain everything all over again. Luckily, I had printed off a year calander and logged everything down…I will be getting an appointment for an MRI in the post. Maybe, if I had seen her first, 2 weeks wouldn’t have been wasted over Christmas and New Year and the scan would have been that much closer…the headaches and pressure are as bad as ever now.
    Changing the subject, you were right…Chris is hooked on the Tiffany lights. The old corner cabinet was put in the garage to make space for the christmas tree and as you have said, once the tree is down everything looks really bare. We thought of putting a console table in the empty space, then I happened to show Chris the Tiffany floor lamps on QVC and we both liked the butterfly and roses lamp, because of the width of the shade, but it was on waitlist.
    On a trip out to a nearby antiques and craft centre, the exact same lamp was there, all lit up…Chris took one look and said that’s the one! It now has pride if place in the corner of the living room and we are now looking for more Tiffany lamps. I daren’t tell you the price, other than it was a real steal LOL!
    Annette x

  7. Kathryn Sheehan January 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Back to drizzely old england in deed.We had a choice whether to go to spain or Sharm el Sheikh as my HTB had time off over new year,we new some friends would be in Sharm and the weather being much warmer than Spain, Sharm el Sheikh we went.Must be the fact it’s in the middle of a desert, and we went in the sea.Very interesting new,year so totaly different to the rest of Europe.Extremly noisey but great fun with fireworks dancing etc. Poor Chris working, do you feel a tinsy weensy bit plans nearly all done now just the guest numbers and seating plan to do. That’s probably the most difficult bit seating everyone in the right place, not looking forward to it one bit but better make a start. Also looking forward to the Druzy Jewelery.
    Speak soon
    Kathy x

  8. Hilary Keeling January 10, 2012 at 7:26 pm -  Reply

    Dear Julia, I have often wondered how London you have been a vegetarian.

  9. Denise January 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm -  Reply

    Thanks for sharing your Spanish New Year with us. You can tell from the photos that a good time was had by all. I loved the Spanish New Year celebrations when we were lucky enough to do that a few years back – I mentioned it on your previous blog entry. Do I detect the Christmas tree in your photos is decorated in Crystal Palace coloured tinsel?!!
    We are off to Spain ourselves at the weekend for a few days – I can’t wait.
    Happy Birthday to Sophie and I hope you enjoy Shrek.
    Love Denise

  10. Caz J January 11, 2012 at 10:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    A bit late, but Happy New Year! I just wanted to say what a delight it was to speak to you on the Oreck show at 10pm last night. I knew I was in with a chance but didn’t know it would be me until just after 10 when a lovely young man rang me. It all went so quickly I could hardly believe it, but I enjoyed it immensely. I love the Oreck hoover and hope you sold loads…I did hear you say just after we finished speaking that it had gone to limited stock while you were speaking to me! Hope to speak again soon. Lots of love…Caroline from Staffs x x x

  11. julia roberts January 12, 2012 at 3:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Helen
    You certainly made a night of it ….. 5 a.m.!!!!!! – makes me look like a lightweight. Sounds like you had a really good time – I would have liked a bit of karaoke I think!!
    The log fire is great but when we first had it I had forgotten how to light a real fire, and the children had never learnt because we never had one while they were growing up. I can remember as a small child one of my ‘jobs’ was making rolls to light the fire out of old newspapers ….. I hated getting the ink all over my hands. They both watched me do the fire a couple of times and then Dan took over – I still had to clear the ashes out though!
    Shrek was good – more in this weeks blog
    Julia x

  12. june cater January 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm -  Reply

    hi, julia, lovely photo’s, glad you all enjoyed yourselves. I have recently had a big (50) birthday and I am struggling to find a foundation/tinted moisturiser to suit my skin. Quite often my skin feels greasy if I use foundation but I feel I need more coverage. I think your skin and make up always seems to suit you and gives your skin good colour and looks smooth and natural. Would you mind me asking what skincare and make up you are using. I use gatineu moisturiser and elemis cleanser. Love your shows.

  13. Marian Bolton January 12, 2012 at 7:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Sounds like you had a much crazier NY Eve than me. I couldn’t even manage to stay up and watch Ali till 12 and, after just one glass of wine, went to bed at 10.30! All the prior merry-making had finally taken its toll! What a hoot on NY Day though with Dale doing some Zumba. Did you see it? T’was truly hilarious. It’s no wonder all the ladies adore him so.
    I managed to bag the Druzy TSV in platinum yesterday at 7.05am! I’m not doing too well with my NY resolution to spend a bit less. So far, I’ve bought some Lyla boots, Daniel Sandler eyeliners (I soooooooo don’t need any more eyeliners!), two Elemis TSV’s (well, it would have been rude not to!) and the Druzy pendant! I always laugh when I hear Debs Flint saying “the average customer buys about 12 things a year”. Chris doesn’t laugh though!!!

  14. Annette Roberts January 13, 2012 at 9:35 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Me again! Do you mean the really old fashioned fire lighters, where you get 2 sheets of newspaper, place one at an angle across the other, the roll them up from corner to corner, flatten them and then wind them around your hand, taking it off your hand and pushing one end through the loop, making a sort of knot?? If so, I used to do them as a child too for my Mum, and still do them now when lighting our fire…Chris gets the hump, because he just screws paper up when he lights the fire and it always goes out, but when I do my little knots it catches straight away…how weird is that?
    Annette x

  15. julia roberts January 13, 2012 at 11:04 am -  Reply

    Hello Martin
    I passed on your happy birthday wishes to Sophie – we had a quiet evening in with lasagne, birthday cake and Dancing on Ice but went out to see Shrek the Musical the following day
    Julia x

  16. julia roberts January 13, 2012 at 11:10 am -  Reply

    Hello Carole
    Thanks for the lovely compliment about Sophie and my hair. Funny thing is Sophie has quite fine hair but always manages to make it look full and shiny. I have the opposite problem as mine can tend to frizzy. Lately I have been using the Frederick Fekkai serum to smooth the cuticle, let it dry naturally and then put heated rollers in. We also had the ‘Big Hair’ dryer on yesterday which did a good job with my hair – Debbie Flint raves about it, so I think I may get one.
    Julia x

  17. julia roberts January 13, 2012 at 11:16 am -  Reply

    Hi Joy
    As you know I am a bit of a technophobe BUT I have a feeling there is a way of adding a photo as I’m sure one of my bloggettes, Geraldine from Wandsworth, managed to do it. I like your idea of inviting regular bloggettes to come for a studio tour and will mention it to the relevant department. No promises, but watch this space.
    My home is full of flowers at the moment – 2 bouquets in one week …… how lucky am I?? I also have hyacinths out on my window sill at the moment.
    More about Shrek in this weeks blog
    Julia x

  18. julia roberts January 13, 2012 at 11:20 am -  Reply

    Hi Jean
    I loved the headwear too – I think it breaks down barriers when a whole group of people who don’t know each other all look as daft as each other!! You know, I think Catherine Huntley used to teach line dancing a couple of years back. Maybe we should start a campaign to bring it back as it was great fun on the evening.
    Poppy has just been playing with her ‘mousie’ – yes I do love cats and their antics.
    Julia x

  19. julia roberts January 13, 2012 at 11:25 am -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    Sorry to hear the headaches are back – I hope the MRI scan appointment comes through quickly and that they get everything sorted for you.
    No, I didn’t wear my Shrek ears to the theatre, but the lady next to me had a Gingerbread Man hand puppet, so I wouldn’t have been out of place if I had!
    Tiffany Style lights ………. now you know how my addiction started!!
    Julia x

  20. julia roberts January 13, 2012 at 11:30 am -  Reply

    Hello Kathy
    I’m quite surprised your HTB had the night off at New Year – busiest night of the year in catering and entertainment. Didn’t feel guilty about taking the children out to Spain and leaving Chris with Poppy the cat. I have done that ocassionally since the children were six and seven respectively as it gives me quality time with the children and gives Chris a much deserved ‘break’ from us all LOL!!!
    Good luck with the rest of your wedding plans …… it’s come round quickly hasn’t it
    Julia x

  21. julia roberts January 13, 2012 at 11:33 am -  Reply

    Hi Hilary
    I have been a vegetarian since New Year 1986, so that’s 26 years – I am lacto-vegeterian so I do have milk products although I prefer my porridge made with soya milk. Are you a veggie or thinking of becoming one??
    Julia x

  22. julia roberts January 13, 2012 at 11:40 am -  Reply

    Hi Denise,
    Good spot – the Christmas tree was indeed decorated in Crystal Palace colours ……. of course!!
    It was a really good night if a little weird to be celebrating New Year an hour early, although we also raised a glass at the UK New Year time as well.
    Have a great time in Spain
    Julia x

  23. julia roberts January 13, 2012 at 11:44 am -  Reply

    Hello Caroline
    Great to speak to you to – I love my Oreck but I think it is so important when we have customers like yourself ‘rave’ about the products too. It sold out very soon after we spoke and unfortunately we didn’t have any advanced order stock so there were lots of disappointed people.
    Happy New Year to you too and enjoy your lovely clean, groomed carpets LOL
    Julia x

  24. julia roberts January 13, 2012 at 11:52 am -  Reply

    Hello June
    Firstly congratulations on your recent birthday – I hope you celebrated in style?!
    Thanks for the compliments about my skin. I do change things around a bit but predominantly use either Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream or Decleor Hydra Floral as my daytime moisturiser as I like the lighter texture and it doesn’t leave my skin feeling sticky.
    My biggest tip though for helping your foundation is to use a primer. We do several but I am currently using Amazing Cosmetics which my skin really seems to like. I also get on very well with the Smashbox primer. As always, if you are trying something new, please patch test on the inside of the wrist or behind the ear and leave for 24 – 48 hours before putting it all over your face as, particularly at our sort of age skin can be hypersensitive.
    Hope that helps
    Julia x

  25. julia roberts January 16, 2012 at 11:05 am -  Reply

    Hi Marion
    I can’t believe you didn’t stay up to see the New Year in – you light weight LOL! Maybe you were subconsciously already planning to break your resolutions?!?!
    No I didn’t see Dale zumba’ing. I am trying to remember if I have ever seen him dancing at a QVC party?
    You have probably received the Druzy pendant now – what did you think of it? I thought it looked much more sparkly in real life than it did on the TV.
    Was just wondering what you are planning to do with all that Elemis cleanser ….. swim in it??
    love to you ( and long suffering Chris )
    Julia x

  26. julia roberts January 16, 2012 at 11:13 am -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    I think your ‘rolls’ sound a little more professional than mine. I do use the two sheets of newspaper but I just roll them then tie a knot. I think it is more successful cos it takes the flames longer to burn through the knots by which time the wood has caught ……………. usually!
    Julia x

  27. Hilary Keeling January 27, 2012 at 8:04 pm -  Reply

    Dear Julia, I was curious because you are such a great advert for vegetarianism. You always look so healthy.
    PS We lived in Spain for many years and so always have the tiny grapes ready for New Year. It does get easier with practise.

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