There’s always next year…


Julia's text messageHow was your Valentine's Day? I hope it was a bit better than mine. I was looking forward to it, even though my partner Chris and I were both working. I had treated Chris to a new coat as a joint Anniversary and Valentine's present and he had treated me to a Moschino handbag I had spotted in the sales. I'm not normally a 'designer handbag' type of a girl, but I really liked this one as it had hearts and the word 'LOVE' written all over it.

My day didn't start well as I had developed a dreadful cough the night before which meant I had about an hour's sleep. As the day wore on it became apparent that I would not be able to go into QVC for my 9pm Butler & Wilson show as I couldn't string three words together without coughing. Chris went off to work, I cooked a light dinner of omelette and vegetables and then went to bed.

And there I stayed for two days!!! This is most unlike me but the flu bug had got me good and proper and I just couldn't say awake for more than an hour. Chris is a very attentive 'nurse' but I am an awful patient. I felt so bad I didn't want to talk, much less eat… wasn't it Marlene Dietrich who famously said, "I just vant to be alone". Well I was doing a good impression of Marlene!

By Sunday I had rallied a bit but Chris' constant popping his head round the bedroom door to ask 'how I was' was starting to niggle me, so I very politely asked him if he would mind leaving me alone. He looked a little hurt but disappeared off downstairs and didn't reappear… at all. I had a bath, and by this time it was nearly lunchtime and I hadn't even had any breakfast. I was starting to feel really hungry but still no sign of Chris.

I couldn't call down the stairs because I had a sore throat and no voice, so I sent him a text message (see pic above),"Toast please upstairs"! Fortunately he had his phone on and fortunately he saw the funny side of it as 5 minutes later he arrived with a tray laden with orange juice and buttered toast… I am a lucky girl.

Julia blogSo I have had an enforced absence from QVC including the two day Spring Fashion event which I was most upset about.

Fortunately I will get another bite of the cherry, as will you if you also missed it, as we have a two hour Fashion on Friday this week looking back on the event with Lesley Ebbetts.

I also have Pilates this Sunday, if I have the strength to get on the machine! I love Pilates so much that it is a chapter in my book, and it is certainly the form of exercise that has kept me as supple and strong as when I was a dancer.

I was toying with the idea of giving you an excerpt from that chapter but decided instead to opt for a piece from chapter 74, the number of Butler & Wilson pieces of jewellery I own. I thought you might find this amusing: 

Julia with Simon Wilson"We had established our friendship before QVC asked Simon if he would fly out to the Bahamas for a live broadcast we were doing from the ‘Atlantis Resort’ on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. He arrived with his assistant, Anna, who still works for him, looking very bronzed. I remarked on his fabulous tan and he simply said, 

“ St. Tropez darling.”

I assumed he had been on his holiday before coming out to do the show. I did start to think it was a little odd that Simon had such a great tan and yet I never saw him sitting in the sun, he was always in the shade.

Even stranger was while the rest of us were developing a bronzed glow, Simon seemed to be getting paler and paler. That would be the St. Tropez fake tan gradually fading. He hadn’t been on a holiday to St. Tropez at all!!!!!"

You can still find the book on Advanced Order online before I go on air with it on March 4th. But now time to announce the winner of last week's competition… it's Christine from Hampshire – congrats! I will be sending you your prize at the beginning of March. For everyone else, here's your third chance to win a personally signed copy. 

Simply answer the following question: There is an exercise in Pilates which is a number, which chapter in my book does it correspond with?

To enter, email your answer with your full name and address to before next Thursday (28th). We won't be able to publish any answers that get posted here or they will give the answer away! I will reveal the winner next Friday in my blog and the winning prizes will all be sent out at the beginning of March when the stock is delivered to our warehouse. Good luck!

Read the full terms and conditions here


  1. Lisa February 22, 2013 at 12:35 am -  Reply

    Poor you Julia, hope you are on the mend now. It wasn’t Marlene Deitrich but Greta Garbo who said “I want to be alone”, but we get the gist! I was watching a medical show on Channel 4 recently, ‘Embarassing Bodies’, and one of the doctors on there is a dead ringer for you – Dr Dawn Harper – honestly, you could be twins! Has anyone else told you this? Wishing you better, Lisa. X

  2. Joy padley February 22, 2013 at 7:48 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Glad you are feeling better and also thank you for the info on the Emjoi app yes it was me!
    Since I have been back to Pilates I can feel a real difference and my hip is better. I had been having Physio on and off for my shoulder and neck. My Beautician friend told me about a chiropractor who she has seen due to her back problem bending as you do giving massages and treatments. What a revelation! I was apprehensive as I expected to be twisted and turned into knots no such thing. She told me my arm problem was over compensation for my hip and that with the exercises she gave me and the Pilates would help.
    I am so addicted again to Pilates that I work my life around my class so as not to miss it.
    And yes I will be entering this weeks completion.
    I remember your shows from the Bahamas and in particular Butler and Wilson, those were the days.
    Looking forward to next weeks extract.
    Love Joy x

  3. Annette Roberts February 22, 2013 at 9:29 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Almost missed you on air last night, got the times mixed up and thought you were on an hour earlier, so when I saw Jill I thought the cough had got the better of you, then caught you later on. Must say you did very well for 2 hours!!
    My Chris is certainly different from yours…he was very good when I broke my leg, but then he did say he felt sorry for me! Funny because I was sleeping downstairs at that time and he was upstairs and everytime I needed the loo I had to ring his mobile, where would we be without them?
    However, when I went to my bed for the afternoon last week with the pesky cold he’d given me, he never popped up once to see if I was ok, even to the point that he made himself some lunch and didn’t even ask if I wanted anything!! When I went downstairs later he said he’d popped up a few times to see me…he didn’t because I had been awake, boy did I get the hump for a bit, especially having nursed him a couple of days earlier!
    Off to enter the comp again, hope your voice survived the 2 hours last night!
    Annette x

  4. BabsQ February 22, 2013 at 9:29 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia Good to hear you are feeling better and back on scene. These bugs are getting us all down. I’ve never known you be poorly, so if you have i must have missed it. I’ve always thought it must be because you are veggy. You are lucky having Chris, he sounds a lovely careing person. This horrible cold wet weather does’nt help. Keep warm, stay well. Love BabsQ xx

  5. Debi Stubbs February 22, 2013 at 3:46 pm -  Reply

    Julia, I was like you I was in bed with flu a couple of weeks ago, and it was no fun, a couple of nights I had to sleep upright because my nose was so blocked and the to make matters worse I developed Sinusitus, which was no fun painful teeth and nose, I read your tweets and somebody said about putting vic on your feet, I thought you could only put it on your chest, I will have to try that next time. Oh I when I had the flu, football did not even cheer me up, I am an Arsenal fan, the less said about that the better. Glad you are feeling better, and really looking forward to your book. Debi x

  6. Diane gilbank February 23, 2013 at 10:50 am -  Reply

    So pleased you are better Julia and back onscreen, really enjoyed your fashion 2 hours last night, loved the dress you were wearing, you looked fab in it! I am enjoying the pieces from your book and looking forward to reading the whole book! You must be excited about the launch but have put all the hard work in to get it to press, I admire you greatly. Your chris sounds like a lovely attentive husband, taking care of you while so poorly. I too have a wonderful carer in my husband and feel very lucky. Keep well and sending you lots of love Diane xxx

  7. JANE WHITE February 23, 2013 at 2:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, This is the first time l’ve posted a comment to a tv presenter. Just wanted to say how much l enjoy qvc and think the presenters are really lovely. you are one of my favourites and l am so looking forward to reading your book.
    Could you answer a question for me that has always had me puzzled, please? Who is the Butler of the Butler and Wilson brand?
    Very best wishes, Jane xx

  8. Pauline Johnson February 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia glad you are feeling better better get the flu jab next

  9. Denise February 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm -  Reply

    Glad that you are feeling better Julia and lovely to see you back on air. I caught you last night on the Spring fashion day catch up looking good in that dress. I bought a couple of items from Kipling on the day and also some Birkies – roll on warmer weather! Loved the dresses that were on the show last night but sadly had to sit very tightly on my hands! Too many family Birthdays etc being a drain on the purse strings right now.
    Your handbag sounds lovely you are a lucky lady! I got a lovely tulip arrangement and hubby had arranged a trip to Amsterdam – we go next week. The Fashion Day came at the right time which is why I got the Kipling items – they arrived in the week and can’t wait to use them. I’m really pleased with the bag I got I think its called the Hip hip hooray bag – cross between a shopper and a back pack I know I will get lots of use from it. Was tempted to use it today when I went for a chill at the spa where I go to the gym but am keeping it for our trip away. Hope the weather gets warmer its freezing here in Yorkshire.
    Take care and keep warm
    Denise xx

  10. Marian Bolton February 24, 2013 at 6:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    We had a nice Valentine’s Day at home, off work all that week. Chris cooked me a gorgeous bit of fillet steak (sorry!).
    Sorry (again) to hear you’ve not been well. I’ve had a stinker of a cold myself this week though clearly not as bad as you as I’ve managed to keep going …….. and eating!. It’s on its way out now thank goodness.
    Indulged in a bit of Laura Gellar yesterday, though not the TSV but only cos I’ve got so much blusher and eye shadow, etc! I got the five piece studio classics which has an eye shadow in I’ve had before and loved (and don’t currently have). I just love Laura, she’s such fun. Here’s another one of my silly poems:
    Laura Gellar make-up is simply the best
    If you haven’t yet tried it, put it to the test
    It really is goof-proof, difficult it ain’t
    But as much as I love it, I have one complaint
    Although I keep ordering it, time after time
    It never arrives with pizza and wine!
    Right then, competition time again! Looking forward to lots of Elemischief on March 3rd! Everything on 3 easy pays. SOMEBODY STOP ME!!
    Marian xx

  11. Jean Pugh February 24, 2013 at 7:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julie,
    I am glad you are feeling better, you must have felt poorly if you took to your bed. I know what you mean about the cough it just does not want to go away, and you always get that tickle in the throat just as you settle down to go to sleep.
    Chris was keeping an eye on you because he cares, but when you feel poorly you just want to be alone· Good idea using a text to get your toast and juice
    I guess that is you on the right in the photograph from your dancing days what a lovely photo
    Glad to see you back on QVC and hope you are feeling better·
    Take care
    Love Jean x

  12. steve February 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Looking forward to reading your long awaited auto biography! its not your typical male read but from the excerpts you have posted looks so intreguing! They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but your cover is pretty amazing!… and what a brilliant title too!! 😉
    Have a great week! Steve x

  13. Julia roberts February 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Lisa
    Yes of course it was Greta Garbo – I put it down to flu brain!
    I have occasionally watched Embarrassing Bodies and I must confess I don’t really see the resemblance between myself and Dr. Dawn Harper nor has anyone else ever mentioned it – maybe it’s the hair?
    I’m still struggling with the tail end of this flu but I’m much better than I was thanks.
    Julia x

  14. Julia roberts February 25, 2013 at 4:18 pm -  Reply

    Hello Joy
    Did you watch the Pilates show with myself and Marjolein yesterday. I really liked the number of questions we had tweeted in ….. it was so good that Marjolein could give the answers to viewers straight away.
    I think once you get hooked on Pilates you ever really look back – I haven’t been able to do any since I’ve had this stupid flu and I can’t wait to get back on it.
    Good luck with this weeks competition ….. told you you would know the answer!
    Julia x

  15. Julia roberts February 25, 2013 at 4:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    Hope your Chris is well and truly forgiven now? I can never stay mad at mine for long!
    My voice has held up ok over the past few days but I’m still struggling a bit, feeling blocked and wanting to clear my throat – exasperating!
    Good luck in the competition – you definitely know the answer so it’s down to Lady Luck now.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  16. Julia roberts February 25, 2013 at 4:28 pm -  Reply

    Hello Babs
    You are right I don’t normally get the annual round of colds/flu …… my resistance is a bit low at the moment.
    Maybe I should start taking Echinacea again as I’ve always believed that helps to ward off the winter bugs.
    Hope you have managed to avoid it?
    You are right I am lucky to have Chris to look after me
    Julia x

  17. Julia roberts February 25, 2013 at 4:34 pm -  Reply

    Hello Debi
    So many people have been struck down with the flu this year and everyone I’ve spoken to says it lingers for about three weeks. Oh well, just one more week to go. Poor you getting sinusitis. A friend of my son’s had that and had to go to hospital because it was so painful
    Arsenal are having a bit of a torrid time at the moment – do you think Arsene’s days are numbered??
    I really hope you enjoy the book
    Julia x

  18. Julia roberts February 25, 2013 at 5:05 pm -  Reply

    Hello Diane
    I really liked that dress too but then I am a big fan of Ronni Nicole generally!
    I am looking forward to your feedback on my book, particularly as we shared the summer of 1976 in Barcelona – seems a million years ago doesn’t it?
    We are very lucky to have caring partners – none of us ever know what life is going to throw at us
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  19. Julia roberts February 25, 2013 at 5:13 pm -  Reply

    Hello Jane
    Thanks for choosing me for your first post on the blog and thanks also for your lovely compliment. I really hope you will enjoy my book.
    Your question about Butler and Wilson is answered in my book, Chapter 74, but I can tell you here anyway. Simon’s partner in the business in the early days was a chap called Nicky Butler. They have long since gone their separate ways – Nicky Butler lives in America now.
    Do post again
    Julia x

  20. Julia roberts February 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pauline
    Not quite right yet but getting there. The flu jab sounds a sensible idea!
    Julia x

  21. Julia roberts February 25, 2013 at 5:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Denise
    What a lovely idea from your hubby – hope you enjoy your trip to Amsterdam and make good use of your Kipling purchase.
    I haven’t moved into my new bag yet …… I might even just keep it for best!
    Did you get the Burma Birkenstocks? They are my absolute favourite style as they really suit my unusually shaped feet …….. years of dancing taking its toll.
    Still very cold here in Surrey and today was miserable and grey too. Roll on summer I say.
    Julia x

  22. Magda Chetty February 25, 2013 at 7:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Sorry did not write for a while, as this year has not been kind to me, first I hurt my arm and could not do much for 3 weeks, and when it got better, I hurt my back. Like you on Valentine day I stayed in bed with my bad back and till today is not good yet. The only good thing is I watched QVC all day for the last few weeks and ordered lots to cheer me up.
    After reading your blog, I said to myself get up and do something, so I started to see how many Butler and Wilson pieces I have, and found out that they are only 73. More shopping needed I think. By the way can I get your book on Kindle?
    Much love.

  23. GINNY PAARZ February 25, 2013 at 7:41 pm -  Reply

    HI JULIA, I am SOO sorry you had such an awful time with your nasty cough. Lots of us YSNKS have had something or other on this side of the pond. I never get the flu shot but maybe I should!! Hope by now you are feeling much better.
    I am sorry to tell you the next bit but this is why I have not been here talking with you sooner. My Jeff was poorly over XMAS and was told to to get checked out by the NAPLES HOSPITAl ASAP. He had Prostate Cancer last year and went through treatment and was cleared!!! Then we got married moved to Naples, FL!!!! Found our beautiful home. You know the whole story. NOW he has stage 4 COLON CANCER and is in his lungs and liver. I thought we would pass out BUT I am a very strong YANKEE half BIRTHDAY GIRL and I will help him along the way all that I am able to do and MORE!!! The treatment has begun but we have a very long road ahead of us. PLEASE PRAY FOR JEFF and me for STRENGHTH that I am can do MORE than NECESSARY!! Thanks xxxxx

  24. Julia roberts February 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marion
    Don’t apologise to me for mentioning steak ……. you eat what you like, I know I do.
    Laura is fab isn’t she, a truly lovely lady and I don’t know if you knew but very generous when it comes to charity. I thought your poem was sweet but nothing beats your reference to ‘Elemischief’ – cracks me up every time. Looking forward to seeing Keeley although sadly I don’t have a whole hour with her this visit.
    Enjoy Sunday
    Julia x

  25. Julia roberts February 25, 2013 at 9:23 pm -  Reply

    Hello Jean
    I’m definitely over the worst but it has been pretty awful and my son Dan has had it too, so Chris had to nursemaid us both! I’m looking forward to sleeping lying down again rather than propped up on pillows.
    Yes that’s me on the right – I wish I still had a figure like that, although Karen, the other girl in the photo, had much better legs than me!
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  26. Julia roberts February 25, 2013 at 9:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Steve
    Glad to hear that some of my male fans are going to be reading my book and thanks for the compliment about the book cover.
    Glad you like the title too …… it just came to me!!!
    Julia x

  27. Julia roberts February 26, 2013 at 3:19 pm -  Reply

    Hello Magda
    I’m sorry to hear that you have been in the wars again – I hope your back is starting to improve now? Crikey I’m impressed that you have 73 pieces of Butler & Wilson and I’m not sure that your hubby would agree that you need to do more shopping although he probably likes to spoil you.
    Initially my book will only be available as a hardback and exclusive to QVC but later in the year the publisher, Random House, will be bringing it out as an e book.
    Get well soon
    Julia x

  28. Julia roberts February 26, 2013 at 3:34 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ginny
    I am so sad to hear your news about Jeff but as you say you are made of strong stuff and you will need to be for what lies ahead for both of you. Incredible advances have been made in the treatment for all cancers and I will pray that these advances will help the two of you spend as much time together as possible. Sometimes it does seem that some people get more than their fair share of bad things happen to them, but I firmly believe that these things are only given to the people most able to cope.
    All my love to you both
    Be strong for each other
    Julia x

  29. Annette Roberts February 27, 2013 at 8:20 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Yes, Chris has been well and truly forgiven. We were watching you and Marjolein the other day, but the picture and sound were playing up and at times you both sounded like that guy from years ago, who did the comedy thing with a microphone…Norman Collier, was it?
    Well, I got so fed up I said to Chris, you watch the Rugby and I’ll try the TV upstairs, which was OK, but then I thought right, I’m going to get on my pilates machine now. I was watching you both and exercising with you. So there you go, you inspired me to get on my machine, there and then and I felt so much better for it.
    I’m hoping to get the pull up bar for my birthday in June (if it’s in stock), but on looking at Marjolein’s website I noticed that they have done a ‘Ballet Barre’ attachement. It looks quite good, but no doubt expensive…have you seen it?
    Anyway, it’s getting closer and closer to your launch show, will your Mum be watching and what about Chris, Sophie and Daniel, will they be in the studio supporting their Mum? They must be so proud of you.
    Enough of the questions already!
    Annette x
    P.S. Ginny, so sorry, sending you lots of love and positive thoughts x

  30. Julia roberts February 28, 2013 at 11:28 am -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    Glad that Marjolein and I inspired you to get on your Pilates machine – I know what you mean, I always feel better when I’ve been on mine! No I haven’t seen the ‘ballet barre’ attachment …… I will definitely have to have one of those!
    I will have to remind Mum to watch the Morning Show on Monday as she normally expects to see me on QVC later in the day. Sophie will be working Monday morning but with me in spirit ….. not sure about ‘the boys’.
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  31. GINNY PAARZ February 28, 2013 at 12:14 pm -  Reply

    JULIA, Back again!! Your self has been so sick and I hope by now it has passed. My good friend Angela in NH has been like you and she says people look at her like she TB!!! OMG!! We have a some RED TIDE here on the GULF Coast and along with a few dead fish here and there coughing has gone on as well. Naples and our beaches have a small amt while up the coast it has been worse. It comes and goes! Captiva has it SOO bad along with Sanibel they have suggested not swimming! NO one listens!!!
    Your Blog cheers me up so much with all this going on with JEFF!! Thanks for all Your good cheer! You always fill me up!! LUV UR PICS!! XXXXXXX

  32. Kiran February 28, 2013 at 10:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Just wanted to say all the lads at Weston college love watching you! Who needs valentines when your on tv! Do you know you have quite a cult following? Keep up the top work 🙂
    Lads at Weston college

  33. Julia roberts March 1, 2013 at 9:10 am -  Reply

    Hi Ginny
    By now you will have read my latest blog and I’m sorry that on this occasion I have had to deliver bad news of my own. I’m doing OK so please don’t worry about me and I’ll try to cheer you up next time.
    Love to you and Jeff
    Julia x

  34. Anita Belding March 18, 2013 at 5:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I hope you have had a lovely holiday, and you are feeling better there are so many things going around
    I am halfway through your book , and must say I am really enjoying reading it, you have had an exciting life !!!!!
    Looking forward to you coming back on the T.V you are my favorite presenter you always cheer me up with you excellent sense of humour !!! Take care and keep well
    love Anita xxxxxx

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