Oops! I Got Sidetracked!


Okay, I need to hold my hands up straight away and say the next segment of the QVC trip down memory lane (1995/96) won’t be on today’s blog, but I will do an extra blog on Monday dedicated to only that. The reason is because I was looking through old storage boxes, searching for photos, and got carried away time-wise. Trust me, it was worth it, as there are some real ‘peaches’ to come in later instalments!

Of course, mixed in with all the old QVC stuff, I came across loads of old photos and programmes from my dancing days and I had to share this one with you. Did any of you watch the recent ITV programme, ‘Last Laugh in Vegas’? It was a whole host of entertainers from my era put together to perform in a Vegas show for the first time in their careers. Me and my ‘fiance’ (it feels so weird to write that) were watching it and one or other of us kept saying, ‘I worked with them’ to almost all of the personalities. Many of you will remember Anita Harris’ appearances on QVC selling Slendertone, I’m sure, and I worked with Su Pollard in ‘Hi-de-Hi!’ when she was ‘Peggy’ the chalet maid.

But right back at the very beginning of my career in show business, my first summer season was at The Carlton Hotel in Guernsey in ‘Champagne Showtime!’ and also on the bill were comedy duo, Cannon & Ball. Miraculously, I had kept the show programme (so much of my stuff got thrown away with the various house moves) and I’m sure you will recognise a much younger Tommy and Bobby and a positively child-like me as one of The Sally Ashworth Dancers! I almost didn’t recognise myself! I did look a bit more glamorous with my stage make-up on and dressed in sparkles and feathers.

I am going to keep one promise I made to you on my blog on Wednesday and that is to put up a recipe. It is the turn of ‘sweet’ this month and as several of you have asked for it, here is the recipe for Luscious Lemon Cake:

4 oz self raising flour
4 oz margarine
5 oz golden caster sugar
1 medium size egg
1 lemon

  • Finely grate the rind of the lemon. Add to the margarine and 4 oz sugar in a small saucepan and melt together over a low heat. Allow to cool slightly.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the egg (I use a balloon whisk) then add the melted mixture gradually, all the time whisking. Fold in the flour and pour the batter into a 7 inch square greased and lined tin and bake for 25 minutes at 180 degrees.
  • When cooked, prick the sponge with a fork and spoon over the syrup made by boiling together the juice of the lemon and the remaining 1 oz of sugar.

That’s it – very simple. It’s lovely eaten straight away but if you can leave it for a day it is even scrummier!

I haven’t been eating a lot of sweet stuff lately and it showed on the scales when I had my 360 health check earlier in the week. I hadn’t realised it is four years since I had my last one, but I’m pleased to report that all the tests were the same or better than they were four years ago and I’ve lost a stone in weight since then, along with several inches from my waist and hips. I haven’t particularly noticed to be honest, but Julien Macdonald remarked about it when I was working with him yesterday – mind you, that was after he called me ‘an old pro’, referring to my length of time at QVC – at least that’s what he told me as we both dissolved into laughter.

I have a busy QVC weekend with a fabulous Gtech TSV on Saturday. We have the Gtech upright machine at home and ‘im indoors (old habits die hard) says it is his favourite vacuum cleaner to use. He likes the lights, the efficiency and the fact that it is easy to charge. This is not the same model – this one’s convertible from an upright to a handheld! It’s under £200 and it’s on maximum easy payments. Seriously, if you haven’t tried Gtech before, use your 30-day money back guarantee to give it a go.

And then on Sunday, I’ll be with you bright and early for our Skechers TSV.

I’ll leave this blog here or I’ll never make it in to work for Butler & Wilson World at 3pm with Nikky, not Simon as I mentioned on my previous blog – he’ll have to wait to see ‘the ring’!

Much love,
Julia xx


  1. Eileen ORourke April 27, 2018 at 4:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, I haven’t baked a cake for a long time, but I’m going to have a go at the Lucscious Lemon cake, sound delicious.

    • Julia Roberts May 9, 2018 at 10:20 pm -  Reply

      Hi Eileen,
      I baked it on Bank Holiday Monday for my family… not a crumb left! I hope you will like it
      Julia x

  2. Josephine Jennings April 27, 2018 at 6:57 pm -  Reply

    I remember the younger Cannon and Ball, brings back many memories. Your cake looks lovely. Can’t wait to try your recipe Julia.

    • Julia Roberts May 9, 2018 at 10:22 pm -  Reply

      Hello Josephine,
      They were so funny weren’t they! Hope you enjoy the lemon cake if you try it
      Julia x

  3. Annette Roberts April 30, 2018 at 2:21 pm -  Reply

    Gorgeous ring Julia with a lovely sentiment behind it, makes it much more special and constant reminder whilst wearing it…one very lucky girl indeed!

    Absolutely loved ‘Last Laugh in Vegas’ especially the bit where Anita Harris’ knickknacks flew off her balcony and Su Pollard was fishing them off the patio below with the help of Bernie Clifton, it was hysterical!! Lots of old faces from my childhood…Bobby Crush on Opportunity Knocks, all us young girls fell in love with him and his David Cassidy hairstyle. Mick Miller, they were the days when everything was tongue in cheek…we all need a good old belly laugh now and again. Memory Lane eh? BTW who’s the young girl with Cannon and Ball, she doesn’t look old enough to be there ha ha!
    Brilliant blog as usual

    love Annette xx

    • Annette Roberts May 1, 2018 at 1:16 pm -  Reply

      Must try your Luscious Lemon Cake recipe Julia, we’ve just finished eating a batch of Lemon Curd and Poppy Seed Muffins with a dollop of lemon curd in the middle of each one. I use oil and honey instead of butter and sugar in them and cut the honey quantity by half, Chris has a sweet tooth and needs to cut down his intake…easier said than done! x

      • Julia Roberts May 9, 2018 at 10:30 pm -  Reply

        Ooh, I like the sound of your muffins – send me the recipe using oil & honey would you. My dad absolutely loved lemon curd.
        Speak soon
        Julia x

    • Julia Roberts May 9, 2018 at 10:28 pm -  Reply

      Hi Annette,
      It is a pretty ring isn’t it – worth the wait definitely ?
      Last Laugh in Vegas was entertaining – I thought Mick Miller was particularly good & Kenny Lynch, bless him.
      Goodness knows why they used that photo in the programme – not very glam!
      Pleased your enjoying my blogs
      Julia x

  4. Denise April 30, 2018 at 6:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, first of all can I say a big Congratulations on your engagement what wonderful news and something wonderful to look forward to. There must be something in the air as I have a friend – a lady of mature years and she and her partner (25 years together) are also tieing the knot this month.
    I’ve really enjoyed the programme about Vegas it’s been a gem of a show. As I’m a big Strictly fan I’m sure Anita Harris would be fab as a contestant don’t you think?
    Thanks for sharing the lemon cake. I think you’ve shared it on the blog before as I seem to remember making it. I especially remember it as I used plain flour in error. It turned out flat as a pancake but very tasty and lemony! Won’t make that mistake again and will definitely be making it.

    Best wishes Denise x

    • Julia Roberts May 9, 2018 at 10:38 pm -  Reply

      Hi Denise
      Thanks for the congratulations – no wedding date planned yet although it won’t be a long engagement.
      Good suggestion about Anita Harris for ‘Strictly’.
      I think I have shared this recipe previously but I was asked for it again – do remember to use self raising flour this time ?? As mentioned above, I made it on Bank Holiday Monday – threw it together in ten minutes, but was still yummy.
      Julia x

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