The key to the door…


Or should that be cat flap? Having celebrated a milestone birthday myself a fortnight ago, there is another birthday celebration in our house today. My lovely cat, Poppy, is twenty-one, which, in cat years, is a massive 105!

This is all the more incredible as we almost lost her two years ago. She doesn’t move quite as freely as she did and she is totally deaf but she still responds to stroking and brushing with lots of purring. As for her appetite, although choosy with what she eats, she will devour three whole tins of cat food a day – in fact, we affectionately refer to her as ‘pig cat’ when she asks for more than three tins.

21 candles

We don’t allow her to go outside unless we are with her because of her deafness, she wouldn’t be able to hear us call her if she got lost, but she seems happy enough in herself. Our previous black and white moggy, Dylan, reached twenty-three and we’re all hopeful that Poppy will match that.

Talking of birthdays, it would have been my dad’s ninety-sixth birthday last Sunday. As often happened when he was alive, his birthday coincided with Father’s Day so it was particularly poignant this year. I thought I would share this drawing that he did for me when I was about five years old – I carry it in my filofax (how ‘old school’ am I?).


My dad traveled away from home for work and would often draw little pictures for my sister, brother and me. Great drawing but it’s the sentiment that made me laugh… ‘I won’! My dad was very competitive – we had to keep him away from the Monopoly board!! I hope all dads were spoiled rotten on ‘their’ day – my other half, Chris was treated to three bottles of good red wine, some coffee pods and I made him lasagne followed by luscious lemon cake for his dinner.


Last Saturday I went to my first ever Romantic Novelists Association chapter meeting. As writing novels is such a new venture for me, I must confess to feeling a little nervous being in the company of so many authors, but my nervousness was unnecessary – everyone was kind and helpful, and I even won a copy of ‘The Woolworths Girls’ in the raffle – I got it signed to my mum by the author, Elaine Everest, and I know she will love it, but I might have a sneaky read first. As always, for information about my books and how to order signed copies, head over to my website



I had to leave the meeting slightly early as my daughter, Sophie, and I were going to the theatre in Windsor that evening. Debs Flint had alerted me to the fact that my pal (and former QVC colleague), Paul Lavers, was in a play in Windsor, which I hadn’t spotted as I’d been away on holiday. We had a lovely dinner in the Thai restaurant next door to the Theatre Royal and had a very entertaining evening watching Paul and the rest of the cast. I believe they are in Sidmouth this and next week if you live anywhere close.

Focus on Fashion will be back properly next Friday, but I wanted to draw your attention to some great fashion on QVC over the coming week. Today is Antthony’s TSV – it’s a pair of tunic tops in a shape we have done before but this time with short sleeves for the summer.

Tomorrow I will be part of the Skecher’s 6th anniversary at 4pm. I now have a new pair of my favourites, 132332, this time in natural. I’ve worn my pink (coral) ones so much. They also come in teal and there are a few available in navy.

Sunday we have a Kipling TSV – I’ll be with Marie-Francoise at 11am – and on Monday I have an hour of Butler & Wilson World at 3pm, which I’m really looking forward to.

Speaking of Monday, I will be doing another blog revealing a few of my beauty secrets as we draw to the end of Beauty Month. I will also be launching a competition to win a 60-piece beauty hamper, worth around £1,000, to celebrate my recent birthday – you’ll need to be quick though as the competition will only run until midnight on Thursday June 30th.

Have a great weekend – it’s good to be back.


Julia xx


  1. Hilary Patterson June 24, 2016 at 4:26 pm -  Reply

    hi Julia Just watching the Liz Earle show whch I use they’re products and love them but struggle with make up to get something natural looking your make up looks really nice and not ver powering what do you use for your makeup I am 65 and also your skincare

    • Julia Roberts July 1, 2016 at 4:19 pm -  Reply

      Hi Hilary
      Hopefully you read my extra blog this week and entered the competition for the beauty products giveaway – I gave an insight into the products I am currently using. Since I’ve been back from holiday I have been using Bare Minerals medium tan foundation with Becca skin perfector underneath it. The Becca foundation also gives a nice natural coverage but choose your shade carefully as they come up quite dark
      Julia x

  2. Jean Pugh June 24, 2016 at 7:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Wow dear Poppy, great age, my Cat Guinness is 19, and he is like Poppy, deaf, so outside is off limits, rather fussy about food and a bit arthritic as well. Fast asleep on the bed at the moment.

    How lovely to still have a drawing that your Dad did for you. Glad you enjoyed the theatre.

    I did go for Anthony’s TSV, lovely colours. Also got the waistcoat as well. There are some great shows coming up, sitting on hands time again.

    I finished your final book last week, all I can say is Wow did I enjoy that. Will put up a review on Amazon.

    Take care.

    Love Jean. XX

    • Julia Roberts July 1, 2016 at 4:23 pm -  Reply

      Hi Jean
      (And Poppy says hi to Guinness)… how lucky are we to have had them so long in our lives.
      What colour Antthony TSV did you go for? I have the red & grey. As mentioned on my latest blog there are lots of fashion outlet shows coming up next week on QVC so maybe some bargains to be had.
      I’m so please you enjoyed the final book of the Liberty Sands trilogy – an Amazon review would be fab. Have just decided what I am writing next ssshhh!
      Julia x

  3. Cassie OBrien June 25, 2016 at 12:41 pm -  Reply

    I cannot believe your cat is 21 years old and looking so good! We had one till he was 20 and I thought that was good going although by then he looked a bit bedraggled. You must tell me your secret.

    • Julia Roberts July 1, 2016 at 4:24 pm -  Reply

      Hi Cassie
      Poppy is really good for her age but it is definitely peaks and troughs with her health. So long as she is eating and not exhibiting signs of pain I’m happy to lavish affection on her.
      Julia x

  4. jenny stanford June 25, 2016 at 2:57 pm -  Reply

    Dear Julia, I was pleased to read about your cat Poppy reaching her 21st birthday I do remember you saying that she was not very well a little while ago and I had wondered if she was ok, I recently lost my own cat Angel who was 15 and It brought to mind your tales of your cats which I always enjoy reading, they are such a big part of our lives and they amuse and comfort us so it was good to hear that Poppy is still going strong. well done to you as well on your writing I don’t know where you find the time to do it all but it is something you can be proud of. Jenny Stanford,

    • Julia Roberts July 1, 2016 at 4:27 pm -  Reply

      Hi Jenny
      Thanks for your kind comments about my writing!
      You are right about Poppy – two years ago we almost lost her. She stopped eating and went down to 2kg in weight – it was almost as though she had had enough of living. I became a cat whisperer, telling her I wasn’t ready to say goodbye and after a torrid week (and some drugs from the vet) she finally responded – we’re very lucky to still have her.
      Julia x

  5. Annette Roberts June 25, 2016 at 3:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Happy 21st to Poppy, she’s doing really well for her age and has a very good appetite, here’s to many more Kitty Kat years to come.

    Nice to see you back looking really healthy following your holiday/birthday celebrations and my what a birthday you’ve had, very adventurous on a ski jet and nice to have your close friends there too.

    You’re not the only one who had a scrummy cake, although nowhere near as big as the one Debbie brought in for you. Chris had a gorgeous chocolate cake made, with handmade chocolates on top, very naughty, but very nice, especially warmed up with ice cream, yum!

    I had some new straighteners after my trusty old ones decided to go bang, right next to my ear, literally! Frightened me half to death, funny thing was that I screamed when it happened. Chris was on the phone in the next room…he didn’t even come to see if I was OK and when I said I could have been lying in a ruck on the floor, his reply was ‘Well, I could still hear you talking and the trip had kicked in…at least it works!’ What is it they say about elephants??

    Bailey has really grown, he’s still a tinker and very strong willed, at the moment we have a battle with the cushions in the lounge. He is so quick, he doesn’t jump, he glides onto the sofa with very little effort and grabs a cushion then runs around the coffee table like lightening shaking it from side to side, we then have to get either side to catch him. You know when he’s thinking about doing something, he starts wagging his tail very slowly from side to side whilst scanning the room, before he pounces, very funny!

    Hope your card had arrived for when you got back, didn’t realise you were away otherwise would have posted it earlier.

    Speak soon
    Annette x

    • Julia Roberts July 1, 2016 at 4:41 pm -  Reply

      Hi Annette
      Thanks for my birthday card etc which was waiting for me when I got back from holiday. I hope you had a fab birthday too? Sounds like your cake was scrummy. I had a second one on the actual day that was also chocolate – starting back on my healthy eating in July ( oh, so that’s today then,)
      Sounds like you have your hands full with Bailey but they are such fun aren’t they?
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  6. Kay Snare June 25, 2016 at 8:23 pm -  Reply

    Happy belated birthday Julia. Your birthday celebrations sound fabulous ! I enjoy reading your blog each week and hopefully will read the remaining two of your books in the triology very soon. I enjoyed reading the first book very much.

    • Julia Roberts July 1, 2016 at 4:30 pm -  Reply

      Hi Kay
      Thanks for the belated birthday wishes – I really did have a wonderful time.
      I’m so pleased you enjoyed Life’s a Beach and Then… You don’t need to read the other two books as you can just decide on your own ending if you prefer but I have tried to keep the storylines very different so that they have their own ‘feel’.
      Julia x

  7. martin forbes June 26, 2016 at 12:12 pm -  Reply

    hi julia xmas in july is it one day or 2days glad sophie is settling in to her place hope you enjoyed paul lavers at the theatre pity he is not on qvc no more give him my regards heis funny and briliant how do get on with him

    • Julia Roberts July 1, 2016 at 4:32 pm -  Reply

      Hi Martin
      I haven’t been given any information on Christmas in July yet-I think it was two days last year?
      I have always got on really well with Paul Lavers – best pals when he was at QVC.
      Sophie is settling in well although she is in Poland at the moment for a music festival
      Julia x

  8. Gina June 26, 2016 at 2:14 pm -  Reply

    We have a cat who is now 26 and still going. I think having a cat living for so long is a testament to their owners!! Congratulations on your birthday celebrations too. I’m 54 and my hubby has a soft spot for you and your…well…big…cleavage. Do me a favour and start looking your age so I can get my hubby’s attention back haha.

    • Julia Roberts July 1, 2016 at 4:34 pm -  Reply

      Hi Gina
      Your final comments made me blush!!!
      26 is an incredible age for a cat – you might want to contact the Guinness Book of Records!
      Say to your hubby from me
      Julia x

  9. Marian Bolton June 27, 2016 at 5:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Bless darling Poppy, that’s amazing. Casper is 19 but doesn’t have a great appetite these days, unless it’s M&S wafer thin beef that is! I would happily feed him that all the time but it’s not really good for him just to have that.
    Have you seen me in the garden promo yet? Chris and I went to Richard’s garden event at Easton walled gardens a couple of weeks ago. We had a lovely day and Richard recognised us!, in fact during a Q&A session, he announced to the audience that they might recognise me as I was on QVC more than him!, A slight exaggeration!!
    Have you tried the Elemis Superfood OIl? It’s simply divine.

    • Julia Roberts July 1, 2016 at 4:37 pm -  Reply

      Hi Marian
      No I still haven’t seen you in the gardening promo although I did mention you on the Lunchtime Show yesterday when we were selling the Elemis superfood oil. Yes, I have tried it and I do really like it.
      At his advanced age I think you should just feed Casper what he fancies – I’d like to think my kids would do that for me if I was to reach 95!
      Julia x

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