Over too soon


I hope you all enjoyed Christmas. For me it was all over too soon as I was working until the 23rd and then back in on Boxing Day, but I do volunteer to work alternate Christmas and New Year as I think that is the fairest way for everyone. I might not have had much time off but we certainly made the most off it.

Nana with a glass and a Christmas penguin jumper

Chris’s mum, Nana, arrived on the 23rd while I was at work and stayed until the 27th. She’s a good sport, as this picture of her at 11am, glass of sherry in hand shows – we all had Christmas jumpers for the day, provided by Sophie, although I must confess I didn’t keep mine on for long as I was too hot.

Julia and her daughter

After Christmas lunch we went on our post-lunch walk down to the end of our road and onto the nearby golf course – fortunately for us it was only spitting with rain and my heart goes out to those of you whose Christmas has been spoiled by the weather. I was watching the news last night and they showed the high street of Newton Stewart, my sister’s local town, totally awash.

When we got back, we sat down to Christmas pudding with brandy sauce and a game of Crystal Palace Monopoly! I always buy a new family board game at Christmas – some purchases have been better than others! This was great fun as between us we personally know about a third of the players on the board. Texts were flying to some of those players when we bought them and texts were returned from John Salako and Clinton Morrison saying they hoped we were winning!

Another tradition is for Nana to treat us to a poinsettia. Normally the leaves are already starting to drop by Boxing Day but this one is a beauty. We got it from the same place as our Christmas tree, which, we are all agreed, is one of the best-shaped trees we have ever had.

Nana was complimenting me on the other beautiful plants dotted around the house, the Christmas cactus, the cyclamen and the various phalaenopsis orchids – little did she realise that only two of them were real, the rest are ‘Peony‘!

Christmas cake

Nana went home on the 27th, the day I took Christmas cake number two in for the backstage teams, and the next day the four of us went to watch the Palace v Swansea game. In some respects a draw was the best result in our household. Afterwards, we went for dinner at goalkeeper Julian Speroni’s restaurant in Purley. If you live in the area, you should give it a try, the food really was delicious and a bit different from the chains of restaurants.

Julia's books

So, having worked over Christmas, I am now off for the whole of New Year – I’m not back in until the 7th so it will give me a chance to get some writing done on the final book in the Liberty Sands trilogy – again, thank you to all of you who have given me wonderful feedback on ‘If He Really Loved Me’ and, if you do get a moment, a review on Amazon would really be appreciated.

Just like the previous few years I won’t be making New Year’s Resolutions as such. Instead I make a secret list of things I would like to achieve. That way there is much less pressure and no feeling of failure if you break a resolution early on in the year.

I wish all of you a Happy and Healthy 2016 – may your hopes and dreams be realised.

Much love,
Julia xx

P.S. As a New Year treat I will be running a competition on here next week to win a Lulu Guinness handbag worth £325


  1. Helen Murphy December 31, 2015 at 1:31 pm -  Reply

    Wishing you and all your family a very Happy and healthy 2016. Hopefully see you in Swansea sometime! X

    • Julia Roberts January 7, 2016 at 10:41 am -  Reply

      Hi Helen
      Happy New Year to you too. I will certainly be spending some time in Swansea in the next couple of months as I have a lot of writing to do and in Swansea there are fewer distractions!
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  2. Edna December 31, 2015 at 5:53 pm -  Reply

    Dear Julia just read your lovely Christmas e,mail I so enjoy watching QVC I do get a bit carry away though I started watching in 2007 about a month after my husband died I could not sleep for months so watched tv going through the channels and found lots of friends who I watch and feel part of things when I am really low I have just got over Bronchitis so just sat and watch must say Nana looks in good form HAPPY NEW YEAR EDNA

    • Julia Roberts January 7, 2016 at 10:45 am -  Reply

      Hi Edna
      Happy New Year to you too. I’m glad we provided you with company when you most needed it – there is no pressure to buy so I hope you don’t feel that there is. We are just there to show you the products & keep you updated on stock levels.
      Hope you are much better now after your bout of bronchitis.
      Julia x

  3. Di Brown December 31, 2015 at 9:21 pm -  Reply

    happy new year to you and your family have a good one, all the best Di xx

    • Julia Roberts January 7, 2016 at 10:45 am -  Reply

      Thanks so much Di and the same to you and yours
      Julia x

  4. Jean Pugh January 1, 2016 at 9:48 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Glad you enjoyed what time you had at home with your family. Chris’s Mum looked like she was enjoying herself.

    Yes the Peony flowers and plants are so real looking. Lovely display you have. Real or not it is so nice to have them, they brighten up your day, and with all this wet dull weather, my we need it. I feel for the poor people that have been flooded, could not come at a worse time, when they should be enjoying themselves,not seeing all their belongings and homes destroyed.

    Gosh you and Sophie are so alike. I expect your Christmas Cake was appreciated, where do you find the time.

    Have put a review up on Amazon on Life’s a Beach and then. Will do one on If He Really Loved Me soon, only a few more pages to read, love it.

    Make sure you have some time to yourself why you are off.

    A very Happy and Healthy New Year to you and your family.

    Love Jean XX

    • Julia Roberts January 7, 2016 at 10:52 am -  Reply

      Hello Jean
      Nana certainly did seem to enjoy herself joining in with Crystal Palace monopoly and the word game. She says she always sleeps better when she is at ours – probably because we tire her out!
      Thanks so much for your review of Life’s a Beach and Then… And delighted to hear you are enjoying the sequel. I’m afraid I didn’t heed your instruction to have some time to myself during my break – once we had the house to ourselves, I set about book 3 in the trilogy. I’ve done about 6000 words – only another 74,000 to go! A review for If He Really Loved Me… would be brilliant when you get a moment.
      Happy and Healthy New Year to you too Jean
      Julia x

  5. TINA S January 1, 2016 at 6:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    I’m still trying to get used to my new tablet! I wrote this once and had to start again as it’s harder to correct than on my laptop.
    I can’t believe Christmas has been and gone so quickly. It was a quiet time for us. I seem to be over the worse with my cold. It lasted ages this time.
    I always used to volunteer work are Christmas when I was single. We used to have quite a happy time on the ward’s back then. I like’d it when we went carol singing around the hospital. We’d turn our capes inside out so that the red lining was on show. I t was very moving, especially when we went to the children’s ward. We try and make things as happy for our patients any families if they weren’t allowed home for Christmas.
    Well I wish you and your family a very happy new year and of course most importantly, continued health.
    All the very best, Tina x

    • Julia Roberts January 7, 2016 at 10:58 am -  Reply

      Hi Tina
      When you get the hang of it I think you will find the tablet is much easier – it just takes a bit of getting used to.
      I can relate to what you are saying about Christmas in hospital. When I worked for a cable TV channel a few years ago we used to film the Crystal Palace players visiting Mayday hospital in Croydon – it really cheered the patients up and I think was a grounding experience for the footballers.
      I was one of the lucky ones who was allowed home on Christmas Eve back in 1957 after a five month stay in hospital.
      Any news on your house?
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  6. Marian Bolton January 7, 2016 at 1:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    It certainly was over too soon. I can’t believe my lonnnnngggggggg break is nearly over! At least I have a week’s leave left to take between now and end of March though and, of course, there’s the Beauty Bash to look forward too!! Which reminds me, I need to get rid of some excess “Christmas indulgence’ weight over the next couple of weeks!!
    We had Chris’s family here on Christmas Day and my Mum and two of my sisters on Boxing Day so a nice ‘family’ Christmas. It’s been fairly quiet since but that’s how I like it these days to be honest. We were in bed for 10am on NY Eve!! Gaw’d, I’m getting old :-(((!!
    We’ve been watching more ‘Game of Thrones’ episodes. I know you’re not a fan but, for me, it’s the best thing on TV (after QVC of course)!! Don’t worry, I’ve managed to watch quite a bit of that too – as my Bank Manager will attest to!!
    You’ve posted some lovely photo’s but I especially love the one with you and Sophie.
    I’ve just got round to writing a review on Amazon for ‘If He Really Loved me’.
    Finally just to wish you all the very best again for 2016. May even more of your dreams come true :-)))))!!
    Marian xx

  7. Margaret Kelso January 8, 2016 at 6:52 pm -  Reply

    Lula Guiness bag would be extra special having been used by you.
    Answer 2006

  8. Carole Palmer January 9, 2016 at 12:56 am -  Reply

    Dear Julia,
    I am so glad that you enjoyed Christmas with your family.
    Could you please pass on a complaint to ‘the powers that be’.Can we have the TV guide showing who will be presenting like we used to. We have our favourite presenters and have no way of knowing when they will be on.
    Many thanks Julia. Hope you have a happy and healthy 2016.

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