The writing on the wall


Writing on the wallI think we are all familiar with the saying 'the writing's on the wall' but I am talking about something else entirely. When we moved into our house on January 10th (can't believe it's almost six months) I met the former owner for the first and only time.

We walked up our lane as she told me various things about the house and walks in the vicinity and before she left she said "Make sure you carve your name on the wall of fame." Apparently it's a tradition with the owners of the cottage to leave a mark in the brickwork. The earliest carving I can see is 1939 but a box housing the electric meter may well be covering earlier inscriptions. I think it is a lovely tradition and definitely one I will continue when we move on …. no plans to in the foreseeable future!!

Treadmill in the gymIt's funny, we spent such a long time searching for somewhere that felt like 'home' and this house really does, even though there are things we want to change eventually. And the garden, although not big, is an absolute pleasure to be in. The rustle of the leaves of the silver birch trees has a wonderful calming effect and I'm am so pleased that we haven't spoiled it by the addition of the gym.

Speaking of which, Chris has been hard at work this week laying the wooden flooring and it looks fab. It's my weekend off so I will be having my first workout in there tomorrow. The first thing that went up on the wall is the dancer's clock, a house-warming present from my friend, Nat!

Dancer's clock Stone faceAnyone who has ever had anything to do with dancing will know that a choreographer always counts you in "… and 5, 6, 7, 8!" I think it's brilliant! Although it's not completely set up I thought I'd give you a first look inside as promised.

The garden, although beautifully stocked, had got a little bit overgrown, so we have been gradually bringing it back into shape – still a way to go but we're getting there. When Chris was clearing the space for the gym he unearthed this beautiful stone plant holder. After cleaning it up I planted it with nemesia and lobelia and I think it looks like a colourful hat, or even her hair! I wonder what she is thinking?

Wilfie's girlfriend Crystal Palace Under 10sWilfie is also a big fan of the garden particularly since he met his 'girlfriend', our next door neighbour's cat, Jenny. She has a lovely nature and isn't afraid to bop Wilfie if he is getting too boisterous! Chris and I are alone in the house this week as Daniel has taken his Crystal Palace U9's and U10's to Slovakia for a tournament. The last I heard they had played four games and won them all – infinitely better results than the England team in the World Cup!!

Pretty soon the norm will be for Chris and I to have the house to ourselves as Daniel should be moving out into his first home later this month … more on that once the contracts are signed. Well, I guess I should stop now and get ready for work.

Have you seen the Eyeko Today's Special Value yet? I've been using Revitalsh for the last four months (on a maintenance programme now) so my eyelashes are really long and my favourite mascara to show them off is Eyeko Skinny, which is in the TSV. I hadn't tried the brow gel before but that could also be a favourite for me. Great value too, over a £57 saving compared with buying direct from Eyeko.

Must dash, have a lovely weekend.

Julia xx


  1. Sandra Gregory July 4, 2014 at 8:36 pm -  Reply

    Lovely blog Julia, I did not realise you moved I to your new home on my birthday and we were born in the same year !
    Your gym is looking great, and Wilfie is such a cutie.
    Take care.
    Sandra x

  2. Diane gilbank July 5, 2014 at 11:05 am -  Reply

    Hi julia, so lovely to read of your joy in life, and yes the lovely garden you are enjoying. So glad you have found a ” home” at last. You did spend a long time looking. Your gym looks amazing, and I love the clock!! It’s so true and unusual, wish I had a dancer friend to give it too.
    You will miss dan I am sure but maybe nice to have some you and chris time. Will Wilfy be leaving you then? That will be hard. I make it sound as if you will miss Wilfy more than dan!!! But I know you know what I mean. Especially as he has found a friend at last.
    Thank you for your card, it is so good of you to do that and means a lot to me xx
    I’ve had a better week and got out for the first time since beg of April! Went to my daughters to be with our two grandchildren after school. Just for an hour, but to have the change of scene was so therapeutic, and to get dressed and my make up on felt great too. Won’t comment on the pay-back and recovery but it was so worth it. Lovely to see you looking so tanned and gorgeous on screen this week. Hope your tests have come back that you are still making or at least maintaining your health status.
    Much love and hugs diane xxx

  3. Jean Pugh July 6, 2014 at 9:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    I expect you are pleased with your new gym. No excuse for not doing your workouts now. It sounds great.
    Love the stone plant holder, yes it does look like her hat.
    Oh so Wilfie is in love, bless him.
    You will miss Daniel when he moves out.
    Take care.
    Love Jean xx

  4. Beth July 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    I think it’s lovely that you met the former owner on moving-in day. It’s like you’ve taken over the “care” of the lovely property. So often things can just be a transaction and you’re probably like me, I think, in that you get attached to things. We love where we are living now and the neighbours couldn’t be better but if and when we did move, it’s almost like it would have to be sold to people who will love it as much as we do.
    It’s lovely to hear that your new place is a home and somewhere you and Chris intend to stay and enjoy it for a long while. Good to hear too that Wilfie has a special friend and she’s keeping him in check!! The gym looks fab and how wonderful to have the sound of rustling trees, love the clock and glad you gave an explanation of the numbers!
    I hope you’re keeping well and glad to hear that Daniel’s doing well with his job.
    Lots of love,
    Beth XXX

  5. Hefina Mitchell July 8, 2014 at 11:31 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    you’r gym looks lovely,alsow the garden,it fitted in nice around the trees,must say you look well,love it when you wear bright flowery clothes they suit you .
    take care.
    Hefina xx

  6. Morag Winchester July 8, 2014 at 2:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia. just sending this to your new blog in case it didnt get through on the last one. Wonder if you can help with an obscure query ! Some weeks ago the lovely lady Tiffany who models on QVC was on a Ronni Nicole show and was wearing a beautiful silver cuff bracelet which looked like bands of silver going upmand down the bracelet joined together. It may be her own one but i wondered if it was possible to find out where it came from and whether it was a QVC one. You are always so kind helping out with these things so hope you dont mind me asking. You are looking fantastic after your holiday. Love Morag x
    Posted by: Morag Winchester | July 04, 2014 at 02:31 PM

  7. Annette Roberts July 9, 2014 at 7:54 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Must say your Chris has made a lovely job of the gym floor and it looks so nice and bright in there. The clock is brilliant and just for your info, the ballet bar for the Aero Pilates machine is available on the Bodi-Tek website, which is where I got my cream stand from in the sale, hopefully QVC may do it before too long, easy pays always help!
    Our old cottage had a brick chimney stack on the outside, the fireplace was a baxi and there was a little cast iron door at the base of the stack which you opened to empty the ashes out, outside, which meant no mess inside, although you didn’t want to empty it when it was windy! About a third of the way up there was a brick with 1883 stamped in it! Unfortunately the previous owner re-pointed some of the stack with cement, we took as much as we dare out and had lime mortar put in, but were advised to leave the base, it was too solid and would cause more damage than good…shame!
    Can’t believe Daniel is moving out, but I expect there could be a few washing trips and Mum’s home cooking?? Although, I should imagine his Mum has trained him well! Will Wilfie be going with Daniel too?
    Sorry, but typically I missed your show with Simon because I decided to strip the Oreck down and wash the outer case in the bath (won’t fit in the washer because of the plastic support is stitched in)…looks as good as new again now, so job well done!
    Enjoy your lovely gym, soo jealous!
    Annette x

  8. TINA S July 9, 2014 at 11:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Your gym is looking really fab now along with lovely flooring.So glad Wilfie has settled in to your new home. I remember when we moved previously, I was afraid to leave our cat out for ages.I would take her out the garden to get used to her new home, but I was terrified to leave her out on her own!
    Talking of flooring, the carpenter started work today replacing the joists in my front room. What a mess! There is a 3 or 4 feet
    void underneath my floorboards along with gas pipes! But I must say he has been the only tradesman to turn up dead on time!!!
    I had to leave it up to hubby to clear up as my back is “playing-up”. What a time for it to go. So tomorrow I’m off for more physio and acupuncture.The physiotherapist I found is really good and has given me excercises and helpful tips in coping with my back problem.I hate it when my back is bad and I can’t do even the little every day things.
    Anyway- I’d better hit the hay as its another early start tomorrow with the carpenter.
    Best wishes, Tina (S. Wales)

  9. Julia roberts July 15, 2014 at 1:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi Diane
    How fantastic that you were able to get out to see your grandchildren … I know you paid for it afterwards but as you say, so worth it! Yes Wilfie will be moving out with Dan. I will miss them both dreadfully but I’m sure we will still see them at least once a week! Don’t know about the Chris and me time though. Sophie’s flat fell through so she (and her cat Milo) are currently back with us …. very tight squeeze in terms of furniture until Dan moves into his new home!
    Have just had my results today …. a much bigger improvement this time so there is still a chance I will go into remission – keep your fingers crossed.
    Julia x

  10. Julia roberts July 15, 2014 at 1:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Sandra
    So you are technically 58 and a half, and a bit …. exactly five months older than me!
    The picture is of Jenny, Wilfie’s girlfriend from next door …. he is jet black!
    Really loving the new gym
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  11. Julia roberts July 15, 2014 at 1:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jean
    I don’t know about Wilfie being in love but he certainly follows Jenny around! I’ve been in the gym 5 times in 10 days … Loving having a dedicated area again! Dan has been in too and now Sophie is back with us temporarily I expect she will use it – it will save on her gym membership!
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  12. Julia roberts July 15, 2014 at 1:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Beth
    I’m glad it is not just me that gets sentimental about things! You like to think that people will look after things just as much as you did. I’ve even shed tears in the past when parting with certain cars!
    I’m really enjoying the gym and trying some new Pilates workouts as well as my treadmill and In Stride Walker. I feel better already and someone asked me on Friday if I have lost weight! Can’t be bad
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  13. Julia roberts July 15, 2014 at 1:34 pm -  Reply

    Hello Hefina
    Yes the gym has fitted in well – so well that I can barely remember what it looked like before! I am so pleased we were able to keep both the silver birches.
    I like bright colours and flowers so good to hear that you think they suit me – thanks.
    Julia x

  14. Julia roberts July 15, 2014 at 1:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi Morag
    Sorry I haven’t seen Tiffany to ask her about the bracelet yet but I’ll try and remember to when I do.
    Thanks for the compliment – feeling pretty good too
    Julia x

  15. Julia roberts July 15, 2014 at 1:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    I will pass your compliment on to Chris although in truth he has probably read it as he is nosy about my blog replies ( that was for his benefit as no doubt he will read this too)! The flooring is a nice quality and we got it half price in the Homebase sale so I was well chuffed! I fancy having the ballet barre – I’ll have to look into it.
    You know I don’t think Daniel will be bringing his washing home as I have offered to buy him a nice washer/dryer combi as a moving in present. He won’t have time to pop home that often as it’s a forty five minute drive from where we now live but so much closer to Crystal Palace for his work. Wilfie will be going with Dan but I’m glad really as it will be company for him while he gets used to not having other people constantly around.
    Going to try and fit another workout in this afternoon before getting ready for QVC.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  16. Julia roberts July 15, 2014 at 1:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Tina
    Yes my Chris has done a good job on the floor and it feels nice underfoot too.
    Sorry to hear your back is playing up. Have you mentioned Pilates to your physiotherapist? There are some really gentle exercises that could maybe help … That is my next mission, to get Chris to actually use the gym. He also has a bad back that ‘goes’ at the most Inopportune moments and I feel sure Pilates could improve it.
    Wilfie doesn’t like us to close the kitchen door when he is outside – it must be a security thing, he needs to know he can get back inside.
    Hope your back is improving
    Julia x

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