Senior citizens!


I mentioned on last week’s blog that I was off to Nothern Ireland this week for Post Polio Syndrome day.

Having never been before, Chris and I decided to go a day early and visit the stunning north coast and, in particular, the Giant’s Causeway. At the back of my mind I’d heard of a place called Portrush and managed to find a fabulous place to stay, thanks to the internet.

If you’re planning to visit the area, try the Shola boutique B&B. It’s luxury accommodation with a very warm welcome, and the perfect base from which to explore some well-known tourist attractions.

As we pulled out of the driveway, after checking in, I had to stop and take a photo of this beautiful double rainbow. Mind you, I had to stop again a few minutes later as I was so enamoured by the rainbow that I had driven over a rather large branch which then got stuck under the car… oops!

rainbow-over-the-sea rainbow

After a cappuccino with a view, we had a walk around the harbour and town. It certainly blew the cobwebs away (although mercifully the rain held off) and we happened to spot Ochos, the tapas restaurant we had decided to have dinner with a few good veggie options on the menu.

giants-causewayThe next morning we set off for the Giant’s Causeway. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the stones themselves were not as huge as I had imagined – although the place was pretty magical and I loved the commentary provided by John, our guide. I hid a coin somewhere in between the basalt columns that stretched way above my head – don’t bother looking, you’ll never find it. We were also treated to another rainbow.

After lunch at a traditional little cafe in Ballantoy harbour, where they film sequences from ‘Game of Thrones’, we set off on our journey to Belfast.

I’d read about another filming location called the Dark Hedges, so imagine my surprise when the sat nav instructed a left turn and we were on the haunting avenue of serpentine beech trees that becomes the Kings Road (for the television production they cover the tarmac in soil and turf).

If you want to read more about my trip to Northern Ireland I’ll be writing a blog about it on my website, which will be up on Monday along with a new newsletter – if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, do it before the end of October to be in the draw to win signed copies of my Liberty Sands book trilogy.

Yesterday we took advantage of a free morning and headed off to the Titanic exhibition.

outside-the-titanic-exhibition titanic-exhibition

As we were paying to go in, Chris asked the cashier, ‘What age is classified as senior citizen?’ Sixty was the response.

I was a little shocked to realise that we both now qualify as senior citizens! It saved us £10, but I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Funny thing though, the man checking the tickets to enter the exhibition said: ‘You may have fooled the girl in the ticket office but you can’t fool me!’ He put Chris’s age at 48 and mine at 44 – now that’s what you call the ‘gift of the gab’!

Again more about the exhibition on my author website blog on Monday.

So, the purpose of the visit to Northern Ireland was PPS day. The tea was being held at Stormont, the home of the Northern Ireland Assembly, and what a truly magnificent building and setting it was.


As we walked towards the front entrance, a lady approached us as she recognised me from QVC – mind you, it was the first time I had worn any make-up on the visit.

To digress for a moment, have you noticed our on air make-up of late? We now get our hair and make-up done by June and her team of professionals. I particularly like the way she did my face and hair for the Butler & Wilson show on Monday although, strangely, Simon wasn’t so keen.

In my dressing room

Anyway, back to Stormont. Post Polio Syndrome is a little known condition which will affect the majority of paralytic polio survivors to some degree. There is no cure, as such, but once correctly diagnosed by a medical professional, advice can be followed to manage the condition.

Although polio is a distant memory in the UK, there are millions of polio survivors around the world who will be affected by PPS later in life. If research was conducted now into ways to prevent the condition developing, it would come a little late to help most of us polio survivors in the UK, but would help many millions in other parts of the world.

First though, doctors need to be trained to recognise the symptoms, which are many and varied in each individual, and if I can do my bit to raise awareness in my capacity as ambassador for British Polio, then I will.


As chance would have it, I am also giving a talk next week in association with Rotary International’s ‘End Polio Now’ campaign, at the Science Museum in London, about my own experience with the disease and also to raise awareness.

In my pictures you probably spotted me wearing a few of our QVC brands… my Slim ‘n’ Lift jeggings, Biba blouse, Emu Australia boots, Centigrade coat and Kim & Co scarf. I also travelled in Yong Kim and wore a favourite Michele Hope top out to dinner.

Speaking of Michele, she is one of my featured brands this week on Focus on Fashion. She has two days of shows next Wednesday noon and 7pm, and Thursday 10am and 9pm. Check online for some great designs, including this knit tunic – which had the seal of approval from my other half!

I also wanted to mention that it is the Susan Graver 11th anniversary on Tuesday 25th at 10am and 2pm.

This paisley and feather print high neck top has a brushed feel to it making it soft against the skin – there’s no photo online yet, but come back in a few days and it will be added. It would team up nicely this faux shearling waistcoat, available in camel or light smoke.

Today at 5pm I have Andrew Yu and I hope you checked out some of the item numbers I gave you on last week’s blog. I have just noticed that my favourite orange blouse is now on last clicks price of £18.19! – only available in 2X and 3X though but also in royal blue.

So it is my weekend off, but I couldn’t sign off without steering you in the direction of two amazing Today’s  Special Values. Tomorrow is Skechers, a great winter boot, and Sunday is the Liz Earle seven-piece collection. Both are already available to order on our website.


Hope you have a great weekend and that this glorious autumn weather lasts a bit longer,


Julia xx


  1. Sally October 21, 2016 at 6:21 pm -  Reply

    Hello Julia.
    What lovely pictures from your trip to Northern Island. It is also a place I’ve not been to, but would like to go. Great work supporting PPS day, fantastic surrounding to do it in! Very grand!
    Yes, I have noticed the make – up! Everyone looks so nice. Good job June!
    Just wanted to ask about that beautiful sparkly tunic you are wearing on the Nails Inc show today. Is it one of the Michelle Hope tops you mentioned? Looks fab!
    Best Wishes,
    Sally – Anne X❤

    • Julia Roberts October 31, 2016 at 1:15 pm -  Reply

      Hi Sally
      Glad you have noticed and approve of the make-up June and her team are doing for us.
      I genuinely enjoyed Northern Ireland and hope to be able return – maybe for a bit longer next time!
      The sparkly top I was wearing in the Nails Inc show was by Andrew Yu but I’m pretty sure it sold out during the previous hour – although always worth checking our website.
      Julia x

  2. Susanne October 21, 2016 at 8:05 pm -  Reply

    Hello Julia – as a fellow ‘soon-to-be-60-year-old’ (cripes, how did that happen?), I too have been getting compliment after compliment about the fact that I don’t look a day older than ‘early forties’ which I put down to having joined QVC and gotten some sound advice from the wonderful Alison Young.

    At an event for ‘seniors’ recently, one tradeswoman thought I’d come as someone’s carer (!!) and on another occasion as a few of us older people were getting on a bus and I cracked a joke about ‘beauty before age’ to the bus driver, he WOULD NOT have it that I was nearly 60 and there followed an hilarious debate on the bus as to how I was “kidding them all”, when all I was doing is telling the truth.

    Long may it last, eh?

    All good wishes,

    • Julia Roberts October 31, 2016 at 1:18 pm -  Reply

      Hi Susanne
      It puts a real spring in your step to receive such lovely comments doesn’t it … my other half was pretty chuffed too. Ali Young really knows her stuff when it comes to skin care and beauty products and I thank my lucky stars that she joined QVC 23 years ago!
      As you say, long may our youthful looks last!
      Julia x

  3. Mary Rottier October 21, 2016 at 11:45 pm -  Reply

    I am glad you injoyed IRELAND IT IS A VERY PRETTY PLACE I WENT TO THE GIANTS CAUSEWAY WITH MY MOTHER YEARS AGO MY MOTHER CAME FROM BELAST LEFT IT IN THE 1930s .I do like going back but so much has happened in my life I have be able to go.
    I looked after my husband for ten years with alzemiers but unfortunately he died a couple of years ago on Christmas Day so maybe I might get back next year to see all of the changed Beladt and surrounding area and of course see my nieces and nephews and the Mourne Mountains teake care Julia see you on qvc. Maryxxx
    How do I join your ather blog please let me no.

    • Julia Roberts October 31, 2016 at 1:25 pm -  Reply

      Hi Mary
      I’m so sorry to hear about you losing your husband, particularly on Christmas Day. None of us know what life is storing up for us just around the corner so my motto is try to make the best of each day.
      I hope you will get back to your roots one day, it really is a beautiful place.
      If you go to my website a sign-up box will appear on screen. Click on it and that’s it! Simples! If you do it before midnight tonight (October 31st) you will be entered into the draw to win signed copies of my Liberty Sands trilogy – there will be other exclusive offers too. Once signed up, hit the drop-down menu button and click on blog. Hope you will enjoy
      Julia x

  4. Sharon October 22, 2016 at 9:51 am -  Reply

    It was lovely that you had such a great visit to this wee part of the UK our welcome is for all and all are welcome love sharon

    • Julia Roberts October 31, 2016 at 1:26 pm -  Reply

      Hi Sharon
      It was lovely and we really were made to feel very welcome
      Julia x

  5. Sandra Boyle October 22, 2016 at 12:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, it’s lovely to read your blog and to know that you’re wearing QVC items of clothing. I have bought lots of tops from QVC, but am desperate for some skirts. All that seems to be available on QVC are trousers or short skirts.
    Please would you use your influence to request suppliers to offer lovely maxi skirts. Some of the wide legged trousers and jumpsuits are in beautiful materials. I get really excited when I see them on the screen, only to be disappointed when I realise that there are not skirts. Not all of us ladies want to wear trousers and it is so frustrating to be able to buy such gorgeous tops and then have to shop elsewhere for skirts.
    Maybe I’m getting old, but I much prefer to wear maxi skirts or maxi dresses with lovely feminine underwear. I think I’m turning into a ‘girly girl’!

    • Julia Roberts October 31, 2016 at 1:29 pm -  Reply

      Hi Sandra
      I’m pleased you enjoy reading my blog.
      I will pass your request re maxi skirts on to our buyers and the various brands when I am working with them. I agree, we offer lots if trousers and maxi dresses but very few maxi skirts.
      Julia x

  6. martin forbes October 22, 2016 at 3:49 pm -  Reply

    hope you enjoyed your visit to northern ireland

    • Julia Roberts October 31, 2016 at 3:06 pm -  Reply

      Hi Martin
      I really did and it was great that Chris was able to come too
      Julia x

  7. Annette Roberts October 24, 2016 at 12:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia

    Thank you for your recovery wishes, this left handed typing and everything else is a real nuisance, to put it politely! Surgery went well and had stitches out last Friday. Currently exercising and massaging, although still badly bruised yellow and purple…here we go again ‘thank goodness for Arnica’, brought all the bruising out.
    How’s your toe BTW, much better I hope?

    Always wanted to go to the Giants Causeway myself, good you were able to go whilst there for PPS Day, really don’t know where you get the energy from…looks a beautiful place going by your pictures. Did your Mum enjoy her stay with you recently and what did she think of Chris handy work with the extra tall door he made.

    Love Annette x

    • Julia Roberts October 31, 2016 at 3:13 pm -  Reply

      Hi Annette
      Glad to hear you are on the mend. I also was so grateful for arnica gel with my poorly toe which is much better than it was but still not right – the nail never came off completely so I have a kind of weird half and half nail that catches on things and doesn’t really like me encasing it in shoes!
      If you do get over to Northern Ireland definitely do the Giant’s Causeway but also Ballantoy Harbourwhich was quite magical, as was the Dark Hedges.
      Mum liked all the work Chris and I have done since her last visit including the ‘tall’ door!
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  8. Nicola Murdock October 24, 2016 at 1:55 pm -  Reply

    Hey Julia,
    I am so sorry I missed you on your trip to Portrush. Hopefully next time and if we are really lucky the sun will be shining :))
    Nicola x

    • Julia Roberts October 31, 2016 at 3:14 pm -  Reply

      Hi Nicola
      Not to worry, I just hope you are feeling a bit better.
      The sun did put in an appearance and if we hadn’t had any rain, there wouldn’t have been any rainbows!
      Julia x

  9. Sandra Maxwell October 24, 2016 at 3:26 pm -  Reply

    Julia glad you had a good trip to Northern Ireland. Next time you come you must go to The Bushmills Inn in Bushmills, their food is the tops. It is just a few miles from The Giants Causeway and of course when in Bushmills you could visit The Distillery where they make the famous Bushmills Whiskey and maybe have a little taster when there! Glad you are keeping so well. I have talked to you up close at the beauty bash and you look absolutely amazing. You and Ali Keenan are a true inspiration to us all.

    • Julia Roberts October 31, 2016 at 3:21 pm -  Reply

      Hi Sandra
      You live in a beautiful part of the UK. We drove through Bushmills but we’re a bit pushed for time – not that I’m a whisky drinker anyway!
      Thanks for your very kind comments for both myself and Ali Keenan
      Julia x

  10. Elizabeth Keenan October 25, 2016 at 8:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, my husband Declan always kidding me on that when he goes upstairs for the loo the television seems to jump channels, so he has seen you quite a lot on QVC and when I told him you were the Ambassador for polio he asked me if I had told you about him having polio when he was a baby, quite surprised about him asking that as he is very private, so I said I would let you know. He took polio as a baby and had calipers to learn to walk, lots of hard work with help from hospital and his parents. The doctors told his Mum when he started to work he must have a sitting down job, well that never happened, he worked in a signalbox with the railway pulling levers, left there to work with cutting patterns co dealing with bandsaw cutters and having to work quickly as they all had to make a bonus, the co closed so out of work for a few years, and then got a job as a printer with Glasgow co which he had to pull reels about as well. After working there for 15 years one morning when he finished night shift he sat in the car and thought I cannot do this any longer, was in so much pain in his leg, so had eventually take early retirement. So yes Julia this nightmare does come back to haunt you, he is doing fine but has constant pain, the Doctor at work did not know how he had managed to work for so long. Sorry about the long saga Julia, but just wanted to let you know you are a star doing all this for polio as you have a busy work and family life as well.
    Much love
    Elizabeth & Dec XX

    • Julia Roberts October 31, 2016 at 3:36 pm -  Reply

      Hi Elizabeth ( and Dec)
      Thanks for sharing Dec’s story with me. I actually printed it off to take to the Science Museum talk I did last week – I was going to quote it but in the end ran out of time.
      I’m glad Dec, like me, has been able to lead a full and active life but one of the suggested ways of living with PPS is to limit and be specific about the amount of exercise we do – no more than an hour, three times a week seems to be the most common recommendation.
      I hope the doctors will be able to keep Dec’s pain under control.
      Do keep in touch
      Julia x

  11. Sarah Wright October 25, 2016 at 9:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, I can’t stop thinking about your comment on TV over last weekends show, (when you put that red muk luk scarf/hat over your head) and quickly took it off because it reminded you of “….that film set in venice, thats going to be on TV soon” I remember watching it many years ago and wondered if you could tell me when its on and on what channel? I think you were talking about “Don’t look now”?

    • Julia Roberts October 31, 2016 at 3:24 pm -  Reply

      Hi Sarah
      I was indeed talking about Don’t Look Now! What a shock I had the first time I watched it. I think my comment was, ‘it’s bound to be on TV soon’ as they show it quite a lot but I haven’t seen it scheduled anywhere.
      Julia x

  12. Jacqueline ewen October 25, 2016 at 11:50 pm -  Reply

    Dear Julia just read your blog. Amazing what you have been achieving and what a brills ambassador you are for QVC promoting the myriad of products you displayed. You are just soyou and so fab. God Bless. Jx

    • Julia Roberts October 31, 2016 at 3:27 pm -  Reply

      Hi Jacqueline
      I am going to take your comment of ‘just so you’ as a compliment! I must confess that I rarely wore QVC fashion in the early days of the channel but we have some really great brands now that I am happy to wear in ‘real life’.
      I feel fortunate to be asked to help with the charities I am involved with so will always try to find the time.
      Julia x

  13. Marian Bolton October 27, 2016 at 5:35 pm -  Reply

    Way to go Julia, passing for 44! Think you’ve just about beat me. A work colleague recently guessed my age at 38. Not too bad for 53!
    Glad you enjoyed your trip to Ireland. It’s on my bucket list being of Irish parentage.
    Your make up looks fab. Please say Hi to June for me. She did my make up for the gardening promo. Hopefully she will remember me as the one who said I wanted to do some beauty modelling for QVC. Now there’s a surprise!

  14. Julia Roberts October 31, 2016 at 3:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marian
    I only just answered your comment on last week’s blog – sorry!!! It has been a bit hectic but things calm down on the charity front now for a while.
    You do look a lot younger than your age – I know I don’t really look 44 (definitely don’t feel it) but I’ll accept the compliment.
    As the child of Irish parents you must visit your parent’s homeland – it’s beautiful
    Julia x

  15. Elizabeth Keenan November 4, 2016 at 2:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Thank you for answering on your blog, Dec chuffed you were going to tell his story at the Science Museum talk. Just have to add Julia, Dec also left with a curvature of the spine with polio, forgot to tell you that.
    Much Love
    Elizabeth X

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