The calm before the storm


Trinity School PoolOn Wednesday I went to have a 'dress rehearsal' at the Trinity School pool where my charity swim/gala is taking place on Sunday. It was the first time I had swum there and I completed 80 lengths in an hour so I am fairly confident that I will be able to manage the extra 20 on Sunday, particularly with the help of the crowd…in football terms, the 'twelfth man'.

It was a lovely pool to swim in and I just want to thank Trinity School again for allowing us the use of the pool free of charge so that all the money we raise will be going to the two charities.

I will post some pictures on next week's blog and also an update on the money raised. We have already beaten our original target of £2000 so we upped the bar to £3000 and we are almost at that so will maybe have to raise it again. Thanks so much to those of you who have already donated and, for those of you who would like to, here is the link for the final time –

I got home from my swim to find that Andy Murray had clawed himself back from the edge of defeat at Wimbledon to make it into the semi final. Good luck to him for the semi this afternoon and, if he wins that, for the final on Sunday. One of the fun races in the gala is 'bat and ball' in recognition of it being held on the same day as the Wimbledon Men's Final…hoping for a double celebration!

Orange blossomThis Sunday is also a biggie at QVC, as I briefly mentioned in last week's blog. It is a day full of TSV's from some of your favourite big brands. For beauty lovers there is Elemis, Leighton Denny, Ultrasun, ybf and more. There are some great electrical's - a Samsung TV and Canon camera, to name just two, and fragrant Yankee Candles. Everything on air on Sunday is a TSV so it's all at prices reduced for one day only, that's why we call it Super Sunday!

Talking of beauty TSVs, we have a lovely one tomorrow from L'Occitane with useful small sizes of shower gels and matching body lotions, shampoo and conditioner, and a selection of hand creams in handbag size as well as my favourite footcream – very handy for taking on hols. It even has a small size of the Almond Oil, which I always take on holiday with me – a lovely fragrant collection.

Peony plantMy garden is fragrant at the moment too with all the roses and this beautiful orange blossom (above left) - I think all the rain has literally helped the garden grow this year. One thing that doesn't need watering though is the Peony TSV (left) that I am launching midnight Tuesday into Wednesday. I brought my sample home last night and put it on the hall table. This morning Chris asked me who the plant was from, it's very realistic.

Have a lovely weekend and let's hope it is a Super Sunday in more ways than one!

Julia xx


  1. Jean Pugh July 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Wow you did really well swimming all those lengths in just an hour. Wishing you lots of luck for Sunday, hope everything goes to plan. You have certainly raised a lot money for such a great cause.
    Yes let’s hope Andy Murray plays well, I was on the edge of my seat the other afternoon when he played. They must be really fit to keep going in that heat.
    Your Orange blossom looks beautiful. I am looking forward to watching QVC on Sunday, it sounds as if there are some great brands on.
    Am slowly reading your book, when I get a chance, really enjoying it so far, I took it with me on Thursday as I was having my hair coloured, and I get so bored having to sit still. I was well away into the book as it was lovely and quiet, and then they had a delivery and the receptionist who unpacked it decided to pop the plastic packaging that was inside, it really got on my nerves and I could not concentrate on the book so had to close it up.
    Loved the picture of Oskar on the table, my he has grown.
    Anyway Julia have a great weekend, and all the best for your swim.
    Love Jean XX

  2. Sandra Gregory July 5, 2013 at 5:20 pm -  Reply

    Wishing you and the Team all they very best for Sunday, look forward to the photos. Have fun on Sunday. Will be thinking of you all
    Love Sandra xxx

  3. liz power July 5, 2013 at 5:25 pm -  Reply

    Just to wish you luck on Sunday Julia…I really admire your guts and determination to do this swim. Without the money for research these charities really struggle. I have Lupus and a lot of us are able to lead fairly normal lives apart from a few blips along the way!
    Will be thinking of you on Sunday and I hope that ALL of the other presenters put their hands in their pockets to sponsor you especially one who is always bragging about how much she spends on dresses and shoes!!!!
    Lots of love
    Liz x

  4. Marian Bolton July 6, 2013 at 9:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Good luck with your swim tomorrow, I’m sure you’ll make it.
    I read your last blog but not sure why I didn’t leave a comment now, I think I must have got distracted! ‘Jilly’s Lilies indeed!! Not like you to sound defeatist and, in any case, I much prefer ‘Julilias’!
    I have really enjoyed Ali’s Anniversary shows. Well done you getting her to fess up on all her beauty secrets! I think, for her 20th anniversary, we should have a Super Sunday with multiple beauty TSV’s, don’t you?! Promise Ali another coffee and walnut cake and I bet she’ll agree to it! In the meantime, I’m looking forward to tomorrow, especially Elemis.
    I know what you mean about everything growing in the garden. I don’t know about you though but I’m wishing it would rain again already. All this garden watering is playing havoc with my Q viewing!!

  5. Rose July 7, 2013 at 8:46 am -  Reply

    Just wishing you good luck for your charity swim,donated myself today hope you raise lots of money,you are such an inspiration to us all.
    Lots of love to you and your family
    keep well

  6. Pauline Johnson July 8, 2013 at 10:42 am -  Reply

    Well you done it good on you,knew you would,you are a very confident person,now look after yourself ,hope the house hunting goes well are you really going to settle down at long last lol

  7. martin forbes July 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm -  Reply

    hope you got on with your swim okay

  8. Annette Roberts July 8, 2013 at 6:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Sounds like everything went ‘swimmingly’ on Sunday, pardon the pun! I didn’t realise you were on air afterwards, my you must have slept like a baby last night.
    Hope you have received the card I made you, wishing you good luck, although once made I realised I didn’t have an envelope to fit, so made that too! Hope it wasn’t too bright.
    You have done so well, organising and swimming and you should be sooo proud of yourself as no doubt Chris, Sophie and Daniel are…well done you!!!
    Spent over 3 hours today at the Hospital firstly for the pre-op and then to seen the Consultant. The Fracture Clinic was the worst I’ve ever seen and we were told it best to go for a coffee as they were running 90 minutes late. Crikey, everthing was covered going over what could happen when taking the metal out eeek! The nurse was able to confirm that the cholesterol had gone from 9.1 to 5.1, which was a relief, but they did take another ECG though.
    Am I right in tinking that some time ago you mentioned that Ali Y suggested Argan Oil? I can certainly relate to Chapter 53 of your book…I have a very sensitive skin and over the past few weeks, it’s felt a little sore and has a number of red lumps and bumps on my cheek, chin and neck area (not spots). Anyway, I ordered the Melvita Argan Oil and Rose Water spray, which arrived yesterday and I cannot get over the change. The Rose Water I have sprayed over my face, neck and chest area and it feels so smooth, followed by the Argan Oil, last night and this morning…WOW! what a difference already, the lumps have definitely subsided and hopefully with use, will improve more…highly recommeded and 5 stars too!
    Annette x

  9. Julia roberts July 10, 2013 at 11:54 pm -  Reply

    Hello Jean
    Well it really turned out to be a Super Sunday with the gala ad of course Andy Murray winning Wimbledon. I didn’t see the whole match as I had to leave to drive into work, but there was much air punching and car horn blasting from all the fellow motorists as we listened on our car radios.
    I will put up some pictures and a video of the gala on my blog this week …. we are over £4000 now …. people have been very generous.
    I’m so gad you are enjoying my book …. take your time as it’s one of those books you can pick up and put down as all the chapters are stories in their own right.
    Oskar is simply adorable
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  10. Julia roberts July 10, 2013 at 11:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Sandra
    The swim went really well – 101 lengths completed in an hour and 15 minutes. I will be blogging about it this week and I’m pleased to say there are lots of happy smiling faces from the volunteers who gave up their Sunday to make the gala so watchable
    Julia x

  11. Julia roberts July 11, 2013 at 12:04 am -  Reply

    Hi Liz
    Thanks for your good wishes for the swim which went very smoothly. My friends and colleagues have been very supportive of my efforts for the two charities who will be benefitting ….. we are over £4000 now.
    I wish you well with coping with your Lupus
    Julia x

  12. Julia roberts July 11, 2013 at 12:12 am -  Reply

    Hi Marian
    Hope you enjoyed Super Sunday – did you get the Elemis TSV or is that a stupid question? I thought Keeley was very funny with her ‘Murray Mix’ just because the products were in red, white and blue!
    The gala went well …. evidence on this week’s blog on Friday, although there is already a blog on Q Gossip with photos and quotes from some of the QVC team who took part.
    I haven’t given up on the lily growing challenge – mine are in bud but I guess everyone else’s will be too … que sera sera!
    An all beauty Super Sunday, now there’s an idea!
    Don’t you dare do a rain dace
    Julia x

  13. Julia roberts July 11, 2013 at 12:17 am -  Reply

    Hello Rose
    Thanks for your donation we are doing very well at over £4000 raised …. the original target was only £2000 so I’m delighted. I don’t know about being an inspiration, I’m just trying to give a little back as I feel I owe both these charities so much
    Julia x

  14. Julia roberts July 11, 2013 at 12:20 am -  Reply

    Hi Pauline
    All done ….. for this year anyway! We have been to see 2 houses this week but neither suitable I’m afraid. I really hope ‘the one’ comes along soon
    Julia x

  15. Julia roberts July 11, 2013 at 12:23 am -  Reply

    Hi Martin
    It all went swimmingly and I think all the other members of Team Splash seemed to enjoy themselves – they are all talking about doing it again next year!
    Julia x

  16. Julia roberts July 11, 2013 at 12:34 am -  Reply

    Hello Annette
    Thanks so much for my card – brilliant. I can’t lie it was a relief to get into bed on Sunday night, tired but happy. I did ‘hit the wall’ a bit on Monday but feeling better today and anyway it was all worth it.
    So do you have a date for your operation? It’s almost worse the more they tell you, particularly if you have a while to wait until they do the procedure.
    You are right about Ali Young recommending Argan Oil for me. My eyes had flared up – not sure if it was product related or possibly even too much chlorine. She put me on Argan Oil and it was almost instantly calmed … not making any claims of course, just relating personal experience.
    Try not to worry too much
    Julia x

  17. Annette Roberts July 11, 2013 at 9:49 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I think you did ever so well and I’m so glad the card arrived, because Chris forgot to post it for me and I was hoping it would get there before the event.
    The Consultant wasn’t the original one, because of how the NHS are stretched at the moment. She is very nice and said she would make it pretty for me…booked in for next Thursday! She also told me that I do have a little bit of arthritis in the ankle, but then you’d get that anyway I think?
    Although trying not to worry, I am having sleepless nights again.
    I really wish that I had taken before and after photos of my lumps and bumps, they have completely gone…I could have sent them through, although as you say, you can’t make any claims, everybodys results would be different.
    Hope you’re out there enjoying this beautiful sunshine, I on the other hand am more like Ali Young, in the shade. I got very badly sunburnt as a child, so my skin is ultra sensitive. I did try Ultrsun’s face cream, but it brought me out in spots, however I did used to use Elemis SPF30 for the face, which was ok…they don’t do that anymore, do they?
    Annette x

  18. Marian Bolton July 11, 2013 at 9:15 pm -  Reply

    LOL Julia!! “Did I get the Elemis TSV”?!! Is the Pope Catholic??!! I love the new Skin Nourishing Body Scrub. Glad you’re on board with my ‘multiple beauty TSV ‘s day’, let’s call it ‘Beauty-Full Sunday”! I’ll start saving now!! xx

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