On reflection


100 Lengths of the Pool coverThis is just a very quick first blog of 2014 as I am up to my eyes in packing boxes for our imminent move…good job I 'Red Carpet Manicured' my nails first!! As 2013 drew to a close, and following the deaths of four of my friends and colleagues to different forms of cancer during the year, I was starting to look forward to seeing the end of what seemed to be a not very good year. Then I took a moment to reflect and realised that along with the sorrow there have been some real high points too.

Was it really only March 2013 that I became a published author with One Hundred Lengths of the Pool? Thanks so much to all of you who bought it and for your lovely comments about it, which meant so much to me.

It's no longer available through QVC but you can get it on Amazon in hard copy or ebook version or order it through Waterstones and other reputable book stores. Their copies are not signed but maybe I could sign at any events during the year that you are invited to – I am at the Beauty Bash on January 23rd. There was also the wonderful launch party that Simon Wilson threw for me at his Fulham road shop …. can't wait to see him when he is back in the UK at the end of this month.

Julia at Wembley supporting Crystal Palace FCMay was a wonderful month for my football team Crystal Palace. We had a fabulous day out at Wembley for the play-off finals that resulted in the Eagles being promoted back to the Premier League for the first time in eight years.

June saw me take an impromptu holiday in Dubai with Denise, my friend from my Price is Right days, and our respective partners. We had joked that we were going to gatecrash their holiday so you should have seen their faces when we actually turned up! I needed that holiday to get some swimming practice in for the charity gala in early July that I organised with the help of QVC.

Again thanks to so many of you for supporting me…between us we raised almost £6,000 for British Polio Fellowship and Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. Everyone who took part enjoyed it so much that we are hoping to organise another gala this year…watch this space.

I took another week's holiday in early September and managed to get a lot of writing done for my novel. Then, of course, there were all the celebrations around QVC's 20th birthday…it was lovely to meet those of you who attended the birthday tea parties.

WilfyLosing my friend Stretch at the beginning of October was my lowest moment of the year and my heart goes out to you if you have lost someone special this year. Fortunately kitten Wilfy arrived on the scene soon after and he has lifted my spirits enormously.

The last couple of months saw us frantically doubling our efforts to find a new house as the one we had been renting was sold. Our extra effort paid off and, hopefully, we should be completing and moving next Friday (so I will be missing Fashion on Friday again!) And, of course, most importantly for me, my CML results have continued on a positive path throughout this year…maybe in 2014 I will achieve remission.

And so we come to the new year. There was a new moon as we welcomed the new year in so any New Year's resolutions you made have a particularly good chance of coming to fruition.

Yankee Candle - 702790I got all the members of my family to write down five resolutions and hopefully they will come to pass. My first one is to finish and publish my first novel this year so, once we have settled in to our new home, I will have to be very disciplined with my writing.

I wonder if any of you made any resolutions this year? I am back on air tomorrow at midnight with the Yankee Candle TSV featuring new aromas for the new year…if you love Yankee I'll see you there.

Much love and wishing you what you wish for yourself in 2014,

Julia xx

Wreath on the doorPS: Not so quick after all, and almost forgot to congratulate the winner of my 'just for fun' Christmas lunch competition as picked randomly by my partner, Chris … Congratulations Kathy!!

PPS: …and here is a photo of the Bethlehem Lights Christmas wreath on my front door as requested by Carol xx


  1. beverley January 4, 2014 at 7:12 am -  Reply

    Just wanted to wish a VERY happy and healthy New Year to you ,and your family xxxxx
    My wonderful son Andre’ was killed in an accident 4 years ago, and our lives were devastated and torn apart for ever.A year later we also lost our old dog Wally ,who had been Andre’s dog from the minute they met as pup and toddler….And so it was with heavy hearts and much trepidation as to whether it was the right thing to do…..
    We took on two pups…. and for us it was the best thing we could have done in the circumstances.
    Animals have such an innate ability to know what to do at just the right time…they give such comfort and love,are the best listeners,always make you laugh- especially when you least feel like it,and make you go out ….walking in ALL weather’s!
    They are the best therapy ,and we like to think they were guided to us by Andre’and Wally ….
    So I totally understand Wilfy ,and long may he reign supreme x
    Xxx Much love
    Have a stress free move if there can be such a thing – and Don’t over do things X if there is box left unpacked for a few more days ,does it matter? ….NO-it can wait!
    P.P.S I now support Hounds for heroes because I know how much an animal can comfort- amazing charity x

  2. Jean January 4, 2014 at 10:04 am -  Reply

    Hi Julie,
    Good luck with your moving, it will be nice when you are all settled in.
    Yes it was really sad at the loss of your colleagues/friends at QVC, and it was good there were some high points for you.
    There have been some super times for you and all that you have achieved, your book,your holiday in Dubai with your friend, and the wonderful achievement with the British Polio.
    Wilfy is looking at cute as ever, very photogenic.
    New Years resolutions, I have not really made any, maybe less work in the business and more time with my dog’s.
    Anyway good luck with your move and hope your health continues to be okay. Keeping my fingers crossed for you to achieve remission in 2014.
    Love Jean XX

  3. Sue Parsons January 4, 2014 at 1:10 pm -  Reply

    Hello Julie i have been with QVC since the begining love love love it.just thought i would share this with you.couldent sleep last night can you please tell me what the name of one of your co presenters.the one who used to say zsuuse about Diamonuqe funny what comes into your mind when you cant sleep thank you a loyal follower.

  4. Beth January 4, 2014 at 5:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    I just wanted to wish you all the very best with the house move. I don’t know you but I feel I do as I have now finished your book and loved it! I am going to be organised and will send you a letter soon regarding the book (NOTHING at all to worry about!).
    You take care and I think of spite of the low moments, you have achieved a lot in 2013 and fingers crossed you will get your CML in remission as soon as poss.
    Good luck with the move and all the very best,
    Beth XXX.

  5. L A Clements January 4, 2014 at 8:17 pm -  Reply

    It states on the Crystal Palace website that Dan Maxwell is Assistant Coach to the under 15 football team and not the manager as you stated Julia.

  6. Magda Chetty January 5, 2014 at 6:58 pm -  Reply

    Happy new year Julia
    My first new year resolution is to start reading the presenter”s blog again and keep in touch with you all, so here I am and your blog is my start.
    I also hope that 2014 is a better year to us all when it comes to our health, my 2013 was full of hospital visits, so many doctor appointments and an operation, so I hope none of that this year. And to everyone who is fighting cancer I wish you win.
    Thanks to you Julia, I am now booked to go to Dubai in February, after your blog, I did think why I have not been there, so myself and 2 good girlfriends are flying there and taking a cruise for a week where we will also visit Abu Dhabi and Muscat.
    Hubby is going to Vietnam and Cambodia. He Just said to tell you, well done palace for the win in the FA Cup, Man United just lost, and his not very happy with the new manager!
    Wish you all the best for 2014 and hope you are happy in your new home, and I will try my best to come and see you in Chiswick sometimes this year.
    Much love.

  7. Kathryn Sheehan January 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Wow.!!! I take it it was me who got the competition right, blimey it was a quick guess.
    Seeing the photo of you on the cover of your book, you look so different now, i did see a copy in our local Hospice Charity shop, i was taking in some crockery,and it was on the book shelf didn’t see price but it all goes to the Charity doesn’t it.
    Hope your house move goes ok and the rain stop’s for Friday and you don’t have a river close to your house as we do across the road. I still have boxes in the loft from when we moved here 4 year’s ago in Feb. Perhaps you could go back to Dubai after you have settled in, as i recall you only went for 1 week. My sister in Law if off to Mexico end of Feb another place on my list. Let’s hope the house rental in Spain is as good as last year as Ian’s dad want’s us to go to New Zealand with him again in 2016 whether Ian can get 4/6 week’s of work i don’t know, we can but hope. Anyway all the best for Friday, and i hope your next result’s are good.
    Kathy x

  8. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen watching via sky tv January 6, 2014 at 7:07 pm -  Reply

    happy new year julia
    and to sophie daniel and your chris

  9. Carole cooper January 7, 2014 at 7:26 am -  Reply

    All the best with your house move it’s gonna be a busy time for you, how do you think your older cat will go on again all the talk of kittens had made me think about getting one I agree with one of the ladies comments obove saying animals are a big part of your life and they bring you a lot of love . Happy new year Julia and all the best in your new home Carole Wigan xx

  10. Rose January 7, 2014 at 6:40 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Hope you and your family have a fabulous,happy and more importantley healthy new year!
    Hope your move goes well and don’t get over doing it!
    Yes it has been a strange 2013,i have lost a very dear collegue at work and another who is very poorly,but also staying possitive!!
    My husband has had a tough time with his health too!
    But all we can do is look forward and keep possitive!
    Bought the yankee tsv even though i told myself i reall don’t need anymore ha ha!!!dosn’t work though!
    Take care
    lots of love
    Rose xxxxx

  11. Julia roberts January 7, 2014 at 10:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Beverley
    I’m so sorry to hear of your devastating loss – unthinkable for any parent – but pleased to hear that the puppies have brought you such comfort. I’m not sure if we will keep Wilfy as he is supposed to be Daniel’s cat but he has certainly ‘done his job’ over the last couple of months.
    I’m not too fussed about the unpacking of the boxes but getting everything packed for the removal lorry on Friday is feeling quite pressured … hopefully it will all be worth it in the end!
    Julia x

  12. Annette Roberts January 8, 2014 at 10:38 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Hope all goes well for your move on Friday and the weather is more favourable than of late. One thing about packing your own boxes, you will be able to find everything you’ve packed yourself at the other end.
    Whilst it was very nice having the guys pack eveything up, unpacking was quite a different matter, because you didn’t know exactly what was in which box, so it became quite frustrating at times.
    One good thing though, I have now got a gym with my AeroPilates machine, on its stand at long last, which has made all the difference and much easier to use, together with my Total Gym and Kettlebells, plus all my craft and jewellery making goodies are now neatly stored away…brilliant!
    Bobby, still gets a little bit lost and confused with the rooms because of his eyesight, but he is a far more ‘chilled out’ doggy and loves looking out of the french doors…he used to sleep alot at the old cottage.
    Hope your new home brings you lots of happiness for many years to come, that’s if you don’t get itchy feet again lol!!
    Annette x

  13. Marian Bolton January 8, 2014 at 8:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Good luck with your house move on Friday ……remembering ours 11 years ago …… you’ll need it lol!!
    We’re just waiting the outcome of a planning application to extend our bedroom. I’m dreading the upheaval if it happens but, as they say, it’ll be worth it in the end.
    I’m currently on day 12 of the Elemis ’30 day Super Lift Effect System’. Have you tried it? The serum is awesome ….. and what about that night cream!! I’m sticking with the Lift Effect night cream for the 30 days but then intend to mix with Oxy night cream as you advised.
    Still feeling very blue about no Beauty Bash invite to be honest. It’s really helped banish the January blues for the last few years but I guess I’ll get over it. I did enter one of Ali’s Twitter competitions but never won. I’m not sure my entry was actually valid as one of the conditions was to include hashtag QVC in the reply but I have a MAC and there’s no hashtag on the keyboard! I know there’s a way to do it with other keys but not sure which ones. Let me know please if you know! Anyhow, enjoy the bash on 24th and give Keeley a hug for me won’t you. I bet you’ll all miss my buns really!!

  14. Carol Maguire January 9, 2014 at 2:47 pm -  Reply

    All the best with the move on Friday. The weather looks promising. Let the removal men take the strain.
    May 2014 be kind to you and yours.

  15. Carole cooper January 10, 2014 at 5:11 pm -  Reply

    All the best Julia with your house move x Carole wigan

  16. Patricia Cooper January 10, 2014 at 6:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia;
    just wanted to say I too have polio and like you used to make excuses for my limp (mine is right side ) but after hearing your tale I too stopped making excuses for my self. All my life (im a young 60 something )I didn’t ask for polio it picked me. I was one of the lucky ones I am still here.I am now having a few problems but nothing I can’t cope with, as you know we polio victims are tough.I hope you continue to be in good health in the future.

  17. Diane gilbank January 13, 2014 at 8:28 am -  Reply

    Lovely to read your blog julia and here your great achievements of last year, you should be very proud! To loose 4 friends was massive and I can understand how it must have been such a struggle sometimes. But you start 2014 as busy as ever, moving house again. Hope this one is a bit more permanent for you and chris and it’s a good route to qvc for you. Really pleased you had such a good Xmas and new year, and did so well with 3 cats and no tree damage!!
    I was very very touched to get your Xmas card and voucher, out of all the people you have in your life to think of me really made my day xx
    Elsa is continuing to bring me such fun and pleasure, I am so glad she came into my life when she did, and like she did. Hope Wilfy copes with the house move ok and settles in well.
    Your trip to the Albert hall for Sophie’s birthday looked amazing hear it is a fab show.
    I wish you a continued happy and healthy lifefor 2014 and look forward so much to keeping in touch.much love and hugs Diane xx

  18. Julia roberts January 15, 2014 at 9:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jean
    Sorry not to have replied before but it has been a busy busy week! We were very lucky with the weather it stayed fine both Friday and Monday morning when the lorries were loading and unloading.
    Next hospital visit is in 10 days but just blood tests this time.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  19. Julia roberts January 15, 2014 at 9:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Sue
    Thanks for being so loyal to QVC and good to hear you love it.
    The presenter you were thinking of was Steve Whatley – he left to go to Ideal World with Paul Lavers and Debbie Flint.
    Keep watching
    Julia x

  20. Julia roberts January 15, 2014 at 9:55 pm -  Reply

    Hello Beth
    Well the move went very well but I must admit I’m pretty shattered and we still have a lot of boxes to sort out – no rush though I guess.
    So pleased to hear you finished my book and enjoyed it … I will look out for your letter, intrigued!
    Julia x

  21. Julia roberts January 15, 2014 at 10:04 pm -  Reply

    Dear L A Clements (sorry to be so formal but you didn’t give your first name)
    Thanks for pointing out that Crystal Palace haven’t updated their website – I’ve told Dan so hopefully it will be amended. His job title is Lead Foundation Phase Coach and he is also Under 10’s Head Coach …. very proud mum!
    Julia x

  22. Julia roberts January 15, 2014 at 10:17 pm -  Reply

    Hello Magda
    Glad to hear that you are going to be writing on our blogs more often this year. Hoping you have a much better year health wise.
    Chuffed that I’ve inspired you to visit Dubai – great idea tagging Abu Dhabi & Muscat on particularly as a cruise, sounds good.
    Palace did well in the FA Cup 3rd round – Wigan to face in 10 days so wish us luck again.
    Let me know if you are going to come to London
    Speak soon (your resolution)
    Julia x

  23. Julia roberts January 15, 2014 at 10:26 pm -  Reply

    Hello Kathy
    Yes it was you – as I said Chris randomly chose from the correct answers.
    Good to hear that someone has recycled my book so even more money for charity.
    We were only in Dubai for five days – probably long enough for me if I’m honest although the company was amazing.
    Enjoy your next holiday wherever it takes you
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  24. Julia roberts January 15, 2014 at 10:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Rose
    Thanks for all your kind good wishes. I feel like this is the beginning of a new phase of my life.
    The move went really well but they had to do it over 2 days as we didn’t complete in time for the removal company to unload both lorries ……. I really need to de clutter even more.
    I wish your hubbie and work colleague better health in 2014
    Enjoy your new Yankee candles
    Julia x

  25. Julia roberts January 16, 2014 at 11:12 am -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    We were very fortunate with the weather for our move. The removal company packed one lorry last Thursday and it was lovely and sunny, and the second lorry Friday, again sunny (we had to have 2 smaller lorries cos of access). By the time we arrived at the other end it was spitting with rain but not the torrential downpours of late. They unloaded the second lorry Monday and it was a beautiful morning ….. Very very lucky!
    Sounds like you ( and Bobbie) are enjoying your new house, hope Chris is too? At the moment we don’t have room for a gym in the house but we are going to put one at the bottom of the garden as a matter of priority!
    Not planning on moving again anytime soon!
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  26. Julia roberts January 16, 2014 at 11:17 am -  Reply

    Hi Marian
    Sorry you’ve still had no joy with Beauty Bash tickets … I’m actually there on the Thursday 23rd so I’ll give everyone your love. I haven’t tried the serum yet – didn’t want to start it before the move so perhaps will start next week.
    Speaking of the move it all went off smoothly although downsizing means we still have loads of boxes with ‘stuff’ in that doesn’t have a home!
    Made me laugh you asking me about something to do with computers!!! You were joking right?
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  27. Julia roberts January 16, 2014 at 11:20 am -  Reply

    Hi Carol
    Thanks for the good wishes for my move – you were right about the weather it was surprisingly good – and I definitely let the removal men take the strain, although I am absolutely shattered!
    Hope 2014 is god for you too
    Julia x

  28. Julia roberts January 16, 2014 at 11:24 am -  Reply

    Hello Patricia
    I’m so pleased I’ve inspired you to ‘come out’ about your polio too … as you say we didn’t choose it, it chose us and we survived it. I’ve noticed a bit of weakness creeping back into my left side but I’ll keep up with my swimming and Pilates and hopefully stay as well as I can.
    All the best … do stay in touch
    Julia x

  29. Julia roberts January 16, 2014 at 1:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Diane
    Apologies for the delay in replying but it really has been a hectic start to 2014 … funny thing is I don’t feel particularly stressed just really shattered! I guess as we have bought this house it is a more permanent move than the two recent rentals …. It feels right (if you know what I mean) and Chris LOVES it.
    It was four cats over Christmas although Poppy was asleep upstairs most of the time! They both seemed to have settled really well at the new house – did you see the picture of them on twitter? I’ll put it on my new blog.
    Cirque du Soleil was excellent …. I would highly recommend it – sadly no pictures as it’s not allowed.
    I always love to hear from you on here
    Julia x

  30. Janet Owen January 26, 2014 at 10:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Really enjoyed reading your book. Have a signed copy, but read my Kindle copy on holiday in Lanzarote.
    Love Janet

  31. Rosemary Prentice January 28, 2014 at 3:17 pm -  Reply

    Dear Julia – pleased to meet you at Beauty Bash last week.
    I have now posted a copy of my letter and enclosed photograph of flower which got lost somewhere around your birthday last year!
    You will see mention of “Water Splash” in the letter.
    Trust you are settling down nicely in your new home – you are a very seasoned home-mover! Interested to know how “Rosemary” blossoms in your latest novel.
    Rosemary X

  32. Julia roberts January 29, 2014 at 11:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Janet
    I’m so pleased you enjoyed my book …. I really can’t believe that this time last year it wasn’t even published – a LOT has happened in the last year.
    Julia x

  33. Julia roberts January 29, 2014 at 11:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Rosemary
    It was good to meet you too at the Beauty Bash and I will watch out for your letter.
    Hopefully I will be able to get back to my writing next week …. Rosemary’s story is quite sad I’m afraid.
    Julia x

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