Ready for Christmas? Erm, not exactly!


I am pretty well known for being a ‘last minute Lulu’, but this year I have truly surpassed myself. The picture is the current state of my dining room and, yes, that is a sofa propped up at a weird angle.

With only three days to go until the carpet fitters arrive to fit the lounge carpet (the very last thing we are attempting pre-Christmas), there is still a bit to do. Yesterday before work, I was staining a door and today I have undercoated two door frames and the skirting board, and also painted two walls! Now it’s just the second coat for the walls, the top coat for the doors, and all the glossing.

I can honestly say: Never again!

Mind you, we’re quite lucky to be having the carpet fitted at all. On my way home from the Romantic Novelist’s Association Christmas lunch on Tuesday – where a good time was had by all, I must say…

… – I had a phone call to say the carpet I had ordered would not be ready until January 4th.


We had already stripped out the old wood laminate floor in readiness and disposed of it at the local tip. The thought of Christmas with the draughty old floorboards (paint spattered, might I add) did not appeal.

I stopped off on the way home to chat to Joe, the carpet man, and I’m pleased to say we came up with a solution. I’d been in two minds about which carpet to order in the first place, and had originally gone for the more affordable one as all this building lark is turning out to be jolly expensive!

That needed to come from Belgium, whereas the more expensive one is made in the UK and would be available to fit on Monday.

Joe was able to offer me a generous discount because of the inconvenience, so I’m happy; particularly as I’m buying British. Wilfie, the cat, is happy too, as that was his preference – although we have gone for the lighter shade as we would be forever tripping over him on the dark one!

It’s a lovely thick carpet, which will be nice and warm if we get any more weather like last weekend. We didn’t have a massive amount of snow, unlike a few of my colleagues who were unable to get in to QVC, but it did settle.

It always makes me extra careful when driving, especially on motorways. I hope it wasn’t too bad where you are. That’s the thing about snow, it’s lovely to look at from inside somewhere toasty and warm, or read stories about, or play in if you’ve got children – but it’s such a pain to try to get to work.

So, I’m off this weekend, although I am back in on Monday as our Christmas roster begins. As it is our last shopping weekend before Christmas, I thought I’d give you a heads up on a couple of brilliant Today’s Special Values.

If you love Gatineau, you won’t want to miss their Today’s Special Value on Sunday, it could make a perfect present if you know someone who loves the brand. Before that though, it’s the fabulous Dyson V8, that I featured on my blog last week. Honestly, this could be the moment when you get rid of your upright permanently, particularly if you have a mix of carpets and hard floors. It’s also brilliant for dusting, and cleaning the interior of your car.

Just one final Today’s Special Value mention: Kipling!

Technically it launches on Tuesday, but it is already available to pre-order on our website.

Because of all the decorating, I haven’t written a single Christmas card or wrapped any presents yet; something else to add to my ‘to do’ list over the next few days.

Have a great weekend,
Much love,
Julia xx


  1. Diane December 15, 2017 at 5:23 pm -  Reply

    Had been looking forward to seeing photo’s of your new front door ? We had ours fitted on Wednesday 🙂 has made such a difference and our house is so much warmer in the hallway.

    • Julia Roberts December 20, 2017 at 10:15 pm -  Reply

      Hi Diane,
      So sorry, I forgot with everything that is going on! Will put it on this week’s blog.
      Our hallway too is so much warmer with the new door.
      Julia x

  2. Linda Finch,, December 15, 2017 at 7:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, it’s such hard work when you are doing alterations to the house ,decorating and working at the same time, but iam sure it will be truly stunning when it is all finished and you can relax in your lovely home,as for Christmas you will get everything done on time iam sure. For the first time in ages I can say iam ready for Christmas, presents wrapped cards delivered, we are spending Christmas day with our son Simon & daughter in law Michelle and our grandchildren Harry who is 14 and Ellie who is 11,we all muck in together we only live 5 minutes away in the car, so I cook half the dinner and put it in casserole dishes then go straight down and pop in their oven to keep warm while the other dinner is cooking ,that way no one gets stressed. Well Julia I wish you and Chris a very majical christmas and happy new year ,love to all Linda F xx????

    • Julia Roberts December 20, 2017 at 10:19 pm -  Reply

      Hi Linda
      You sound sooooo organised! We have now bought & decorated the tree and put all the decks up. Some pressies are wrapped & most cards are written. Still haven’t made a single mince pie yet this Christmas! Maybe deciding to finish & publish the Christmas novella wasn’t such a great idea in the midst of all this decorating, but I’m glad I did.
      Have a lovely Christmas with your family
      Julia x

  3. Karen Theedom December 15, 2017 at 7:22 pm -  Reply

    Haha…your house looks the same as ours…we decided to redecorate our lounge as well,skirting all replaced and hopefully wallpapering will be completed tomorrow in readiness for the new carpet which is being fitted on Monday. Like you we can then perhaps get on with putting up the Christmas tree, glad we aren’t the only mad ones! Have a great Christmas Julia x

    • Julia Roberts December 20, 2017 at 10:21 pm -  Reply

      Hi Karen,
      Did you get your carpet done on Monday? Ours is down & really cosy and warm.
      It’s good to know we’re not the only crazy ones doing all this so close to Christmas.
      Have a good one
      Julia x

  4. Carole December 15, 2017 at 7:55 pm -  Reply

    Julia your house will look lovely when its all finished! that’s what I keep telling myself as we have just last month started a big extension-a big new lounge with the old lounge becoming the dining room a kitchen add on then new staircases and bedroom 5 and 2nd lounge/gym in the loft! I think its great you are doing some of the work yourself to it will bring great satisfaction when its all looking beautiful, cant wait till ours is finished as my husband who retired last year says he has never worked so hard! Have a lovely relaxing Christmas and all the best to you and yours for the New Year. p.s will have to read your ebook as I am a Carole!

    • Julia Roberts December 20, 2017 at 10:27 pm -  Reply

      Hi Carole
      Sounds like you are going to be busy with your house for quite some time! We’re not starting our extension until the weather gets a bit warmer – also need a bit of a break from it as we’ve been hard at work on it most of this year.
      I hope you will enjoy Christmas at Carol’s if you do decide to read it. Have a Merry Christmas
      Julia x

  5. Sarah Wise December 16, 2017 at 9:10 am -  Reply

    Dear Julia
    This so rings a bell with me! We took up a laminate floor a couple of weeks ago to make way for a carpet, and found that it had been glued together… It took 3 hours to rip (literally) up. The carpet was due a few days later and I was told that the fitter would arrive around midday. He eventually turned up at 6.30! We ended up with a takeaway – the carpet does look lovely though. Good luck with yours, and a very happy Christmas. Lots of love, Sarah x

    • Julia Roberts December 20, 2017 at 10:30 pm -  Reply

      Hi Sarah
      Your laminate floor sounds like a bit of a nightmare! Glad your carpet looks good – delighted with ours.
      Happy Christmas
      Julia x

  6. Rosie Dean December 17, 2017 at 9:32 am -  Reply

    Lovely chatting with you at the Christmas lunch. No wonder you enjoyed it, with all the chaos at home!!

    I see you have an invisible cat… ;o) (If that’s not a contradiction.) I have an equally invisible dog.

    Hope all gets sorted for the festive weekend and you have a super time. xx

    • Julia Roberts December 20, 2017 at 10:33 pm -  Reply

      Hiya Rosie,
      Yes, my secret is out! We managed to get it all done in time for the carpet to be laid on Monday & it’s all looking fab now.
      Wilfie is my son’s cat but love him to bits.
      Lovely to chat to you too & hopefully will make some RNA meetings during 2018.
      Happy Christmas
      Julia x

  7. Josephine Jennings December 17, 2017 at 2:50 pm -  Reply

    Take a deep breath Julia, and relax. Slow and steady will get all the jobs done. You can reach out and someone will always come to help. Happy Christmas.

    • Julia Roberts December 20, 2017 at 10:35 pm -  Reply

      Hi Josephine
      Not so sure about slow and steady but the jobs are getting done – feel much more relaxed now.
      Happy Christmas
      Julia x

  8. Christine December 18, 2017 at 5:46 pm -  Reply

    I think we just rush about then Christmas is one day.
    Still love it.
    Like to wish you and family Merry Christmas. X

    • Julia Roberts December 20, 2017 at 10:37 pm -  Reply

      You’re so right Christine, but we just want everything to be the best it can be, don’t we.
      Merry Christmas to you and yours
      Julia x

  9. Joanna B December 19, 2017 at 10:21 am -  Reply

    Merry Christmas Julia

    I’m sure everything will look lovely on the day!

    Wishing you and your loved ones a happy + healthy 2018
    : )

    Big hugs Joanna xx

    • Julia Roberts December 20, 2017 at 10:40 pm -  Reply

      Thanks for the positivity Joanna – more or less done now. We decorated the tree this morning – so pretty!
      Merry Christmas to you & yours
      Julia x

  10. Elizabeth keenan December 20, 2017 at 6:30 pm -  Reply

    Hiya Julia
    House looking beautiful.
    Happy Christmas to you Chris & family.
    All the best for 2018.
    Much love
    Elizabeth ???

    • Julia Roberts January 4, 2018 at 4:53 pm -  Reply

      Hi Elizabeth
      I just replied to you on my next blog but in case you don’t see it wishing you a happy and healthy 2018
      Julia x

  11. Lynne December 20, 2017 at 7:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia. I got “Christmas at Carol’s” on Monday intending to read only part of it before going to bed. I couldn’t put it down and had to finish it before lights out. It’s a great read and a lovely wee story. Can’t wait for the sequel. Have a Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year! Lynne x

    • Julia Roberts January 4, 2018 at 4:58 pm -  Reply

      Hi Lynne
      Apologies for not replying sooner – everything got very manic as Christmas approached and then I was back on air on Boxing Day!
      Anyway, so pleased you enjoyed Christmas at Carol’s – would you consider maybe leaving a review on Amazon if you get a moment? I really want to get then next installment written but there are couple of other projects I need to get on with first.
      Wishing you a happy and healthy 2018
      Julia x

  12. Eileen December 21, 2017 at 9:10 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia would like to wish you and your family a happy Christmas and new year hope your home gets sorted Godbless xx

    • Julia Roberts January 4, 2018 at 4:59 pm -  Reply

      Hi Eileen
      Thanks for your good wishes. We managed to get everything finished in time and the mums were both very impressed with what we had done.
      Wishing you a happy and healthy 2018
      Julia x

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