Time for a catch up


Julia in CorsicaWow, is it really only three weeks since I was last on air with 'Fashion on Friday'? It feels like much longer, but maybe that's because so much has happened.

The first weekend Chris and I flew up to Scotland to visit my sister, Lynda, and her family. I hadn't seen my sister in a while so it was really good to catch up but the main purpose of the visit was to see Geoff, her husband, as he is in hospital after a second operation on his spine.

He has always been a fit outdoors person, working for the Forestry Commission, so it must be incredibly frustrating for him being cooped up in a hospital room. It was lovely to be able to give him a hug and to share some of our recent news in person. Thanks to my iPad I could also show him some photos of what I've been up to over the last few months, including the Charity Swimming Gala and the video of it on YouTube.

Great nephew, SamWe were totally spoilt by my nieces Rachel and Becky, who cooked home-made soup with home-made bread for lunch, followed by home-made carrot cake. There was also the opportunity for more cuddles with my great nephew, Sam, who seems to have grown unbelievably in the ten weeks since I last saw him. He has the most intense stare, straight into your eyes, that I have ever experienced from a baby.

Having enjoyed lunch so much we were very pleased to be invited back for Becky's home-made pizza for dinner which was delicious, my sister has certainly taught her girls well!



Birthday cakeTalking of my iPad, that was what we clubbed together and bought Chris for his birthday. I had suggested it for his birthday last year, and for Christmas, as I absolutely LOVE mine, but he hadn't showed much interest. He did a bit of research and discovered that there is now a song-writing app, called Cubasis, so he decided to give it a go.

I can't get him off the thing! It's a good job I've been busy writing my book or he wouldn't have been much company on holiday! We had a lovely meal out for his birthday on the 30th, followed by home-made coffee and walnut cake…I didn't put all 59 candles on as I didn't want to set the fire alarm off!!
The next day we went to watch Crystal Palace play Sunderland and they won 3-1 so that was a lovely belated birthday present!

ViewWe had also been busy during the week organising a last-minute holiday. I had been due to go to Las Vegas for my friend Jaynie Roberts' wedding but in the end I just couldn't face the flight or the Vegas partying. She looked amazing by the way and I hope she will be very happy with her hubbie,Tom.

So…where to go instead? We decided on another location from my wish list, Corsica. I went on the internet and discovered a Corsica specialist, Simpson Travel, and gave them a call. They were really helpful and efficient and three days later we were on an early-morning flight from Heathrow.

Corsican roadWe stayed at a place called Villa Tramizzi, which we had chosen because of the view overlooking the picturesque town of Bonifacio, with the sea and the coastline of Sardinia in the distance. You know how sometimes photos can be deceiving and you can be disappointed with the actuality? Well this was the exact opposite: it exceeded our expectations.

The villa itself was beautiful, in a tranquil location with a stunning view…perfect! The directions we had been given by Simpsons to get from the airport to the villa concerned me slightly. They talked about driving the last 200 metres VERY slowly. I was imagining a sheer drop to one side, but I needn't have worried they were just talking about it being a rocky, unmade road…I crossed my fingers that we wouldn't get a puncture every time we drove down it!

The poolWe did venture out to a couple of beaches and for dinner in Bonifacio, once in the old town and once by the harbour, but for the most part we stayed at the villa because it had what we were looking for: R & R. Swimming, writing, reading, catching a glimpse of a wild boar and a little bit of sitting in the sun (with my Ultrasun and Decleor factor 50 on of course)…just what the doctor ordered!!

Speaking of which, I am pleased to be able to tell you that I have had the latest bcr/abl test results, which measure how I'm responding to my targeted oral chemotherapy treatment, and it was very good news…we are talking very small levels now but it was a 70% improvement on my previous test three months ago – all in all a great way to end my holiday.

So yesterday I was filming the QVC Christmas promo…can't tell you more just yet, I'm afraid…and today it's afternoon tea in London with some of our longest-standing customers, but I'm back on air tomorrow at 4pm so hope to see you there.

Much love,
Julia xxx


  1. Diane gilbank September 14, 2013 at 9:51 am -  Reply

    What a wonderful 3 weeks you have had julia and managed to cram in so much,it’s lovely to read about your ltreatment working, long may that continue. You sound as if you have a wonderful family and all very handy in the kitchen a great plus point I think you will agree. Your cake looked lovely for chris…heart shaped by any chance? So pleased you got a beautiful break away abroad somewhere. It sounded quite perfect and enabled you both to have some down time doing what you enjoy best.
    Know what you mean re I pad!! Martyn bought me mine a year ago, with me saying what would I need one for? Couldn’t have been more wrong! I love mine and it has opened up my world considerably, like being able to send emails easily for me and keep in touch with people like you.
    It will be lovely to see you back on air as it seems a while even though it is only 3weeks.
    Much love and affection Diane xxx

  2. Sandra Gregory September 14, 2013 at 5:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia, sounds like you have ad a great three weeks off and a very well earned rest.
    So glad your results were positive.
    Take care
    Love. Sandra xxx

  3. martin forbes September 15, 2013 at 2:36 pm -  Reply

    glad you had agood holiday julia hopefully paul lavers to b e on 20th birthday 1st october

  4. Sue Wright September 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia. Great to have a catch up on all your news especially your brilliant test results! Saw Palace on the tv yesterday – I thought you were very unlucky and deserved a point! Looking forward to seeing you back on air – we’ve missed you but pleased you have had a lovely break. Take care Sue xx

  5. Maria Royle September 15, 2013 at 7:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Great blog with some fab news re the results of your latest tests – so happy for you.
    Love and hugs, Maria xxx

  6. Julie Thorogood September 16, 2013 at 12:23 am -  Reply

    Great news about your tests Julia. Hope the improvement continues.
    By the way you LOOK amazing. My hubby was born the same day as you and I am always telling him that you look years younger than him -which does not go down well!!
    It will be great to have you back on screen -we have missed you.

  7. Jean September 16, 2013 at 8:41 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    It is good to see you back on QVC. It sounds as if you have a great time, sounds lovely where you stayed, nice and peaceful I guess.
    I expect it was nice to see your sister and family, I hope her husband’s operation was successful, not a nice op to have to have. Yes your Great Nephew does have great eyes, he looks a very happy little chap.
    Chris’s cake looks good, that is my husband’s favourite coffee and walnut. The only cake I like is a really nice fruit cake. That reminds me soon be time to make the old Christmas Cake.
    I am so pleased to hear you are responding to your Chemotherapy treatment and that there has been an improvement. You must be pleased. You certainly looked well when you were back on at the weekend. Must have been all the pampering you got while you were away.
    Anyway take care.
    Love Jean XX

  8. Annette Roberts September 16, 2013 at 10:41 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Nice to see you back again, you’ve had quite a busy 3 weeks away. So pleased to hear your results are positive, like Ali K also, we need some good news.
    Unfortunately, I have lost an Auntie on Dad’s side of the family and an Uncle on Mum’s side and it would have been Mum’s birthday last Friday, 13th, a real time for reflection. As one of my friends put it, as you get older you always end up sitting nearer the front of the church…very dry, but so right, made me smile!
    We’ve been watching the cycling, Tour de France, La Vuelta and now Tour of Britain. Glad to see Wiggo back and Mark Cavendish riding too. It’s in our neck of the woods on Wednesday, so hopefully we are going to pop out and see it live, although a bit of a blur as they whiz past…Chris said he was going to wear a ‘mankini’ and run up the road with them and I said please don’t…thankfully he hasn’t got one and was joking, there’s only so much a girl can take and it’s bad enough watching it on TV!
    Loved the black lace top or was it a dress you were wearing, very smart…looking for something similar myself.
    Annette x

  9. Gail September 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm -  Reply

    Dear Julia, very glad that all seems to be going well for you at the moment. Long may it continue xx

  10. Tania September 16, 2013 at 6:36 pm -  Reply

    Glad you had a nice holiday.
    Any chance you can tell us what genre your novel is in? I know you dont want to reveal too much at mo. If you have said in a previous blog I’m sorry as I must’ve missed it.
    Im soooooo happy you are doing so well. Thats is awesome news!!!
    Stay strong.

  11. Marian Bolton September 17, 2013 at 5:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Sounds like you’ve had a lovely break. You’ve been missed. QVC really doesn’t seem the same without you … and that’s the truth! I’ve been a very naughty girl whilst you’ve been away! I bought a Relax Master bed …. with the massage mattress …… awesome!! Seriously, the bed is the most comfortable I have EVER slept it. I spent well over half the cost of the complete bed on a Tempur mattress a couple of years ago. it doesn’t compare … truly. I have terrible trouble sleeping soundly and have done for the past few years since I hit THAT stage in my life! It’s early days but I’ve just had the best couple of nights sleep in ages on my new bed. Another ‘salvation’ purchase from my favourite place to shop!!
    I see that your coffee and walnut cake has made it on your blog again. A gentle reminder that I’d love the recipe please!
    Wonderful news about your test results .. as my lovely friend Gail says, long may it continue.

  12. Julia roberts September 18, 2013 at 12:08 pm -  Reply

    Hello Diane
    Lovely to hear from you as always. I think the break away from work did me good although it does seem a bit of a distant memory now. I didn’t get quite as much relaxing as I had hoped for but I really have got the bit between my teeth with my new book and when the words are flowing I don’t want to stop!
    I hope all is well with you and your family
    Keep in touch
    Julia s

  13. Julia roberts September 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Sandra
    Getting my results was a great way to end my time off from work – I always have a slightly anxious feeling until I know everything is still going in the right direction. I am eternally grateful for all the research that has gone into the new treatments for blood cancers …. my life would be very different without, which is why I will be doing more things to help raise money for LLR
    Julia x

  14. Julia roberts September 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Martin
    I had a lovely break thanks. Unfortunately QVC have changed their plans for celebrating our 20th birthday so Paul Lavers won’t be on air after all ….. sorry
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  15. Julia roberts September 18, 2013 at 12:24 pm -  Reply

    Hi Sue
    I think the most disappointing thing about the Man U v Palace game was the referee. There was no doubt that Man U were the better team and we were having to defend BUT until his mistake awarding the penalty and sending KG off the scoreline was 0 – 0. We didn’t expect to beat Man U but it’s a shame that in the end it wasn’t a fair contest ……. still, that’s football.
    I think we signed one of your players didn’t we?
    Good luck with your season
    Julia x

  16. Julia roberts September 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm -  Reply

    Thanks Maria and glad you enjoyed reading my blog
    Julia x

  17. Julia roberts September 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julie
    I can’t believe you tell your hubbie that ….. but thanks for the compliment, much appreciated.
    It was lovely to have a break and catch up on loads of stuff but it’s also good to be back doing a job I enjoy.
    Julia x

  18. Julia roberts September 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm -  Reply

    Hello Jean
    It really was lovely to see my sister and her family – one of the worst things about our family not having stayed around the Nottingham area is that we don’t get to see each other very often. It was a horrible operation and it’s the second one he has had and his recovery is going quite slowly BUT at least he is making progress.
    My great nephew Sam is adorable – he has really strong legs and loves ‘jumping’. I think he will be a walker not a crawler just like my Daniel.
    You know me Jean, I won’t be asking my Christmas cake until the beginning of December …… I LOVE Christmas cake yum!
    Speak soon
    Julia x

  19. Julia roberts September 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Annette
    You talking about the cycling made me laugh …… especially the thought of your Chris in a mankini ….. Just no!
    There was a charity bike ride in the London and Surrey area sat Sunday and I was worried about driving in to work as the route was between where I live and Chiswick. As it happened there were no hold-ups and I was delighted to see that lots of the cyclists were riding for LLR’s Beat Blood Cancer. I was very tempted to give them a toot of thanks as I drove past but I didn’t want to cause an accident! My friend and former Palace player, Geoff Thomas, did the 52 mile race. After I persuaded him to do my swimming gala he keeps threatening to get me on a bike!!
    The dress you liked was one from the Lesley Ebbutts ‘With Sleeves’ range – I had loads of comments about it.
    Hope your recovery is still going well
    Julia x

  20. Julia roberts September 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm -  Reply

    Hello Gail
    Thanks – so long as I keep moving in the right direction I’m happy. I’m very lucky it was found early and that I have a great Prof to look after me!
    Julia x

  21. Julia roberts September 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Tania
    I’m not being secretive about my novel it’s just difficult to compartmentalise …… I guess it is about relationships with a bit of romance thrown in …… it’s a bit of a tearjerker in parts too. That’s not very helpful is it but hopefully I’ll have it finished in a couple of months and then it will be a case of getting it into print.
    Very pleased with my results ….. I need the drugs to keep working cos there’s still so much I want to do with my life
    Julia x

  22. Julia roberts September 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marion
    It’s not that naughty really – sleep is such an essential part of us being happy so if it is finally giving you a restful night then it’s money well spent. I have thought about one myself – maybe if/when we ever find a house!
    Sorry I haven’t put the coffee & walnut cake recipe up (slapped wrists) – will put it on this week’s blog.
    It’s nice to be missed and good to be back. I just wish there were more hours in a day so that I could spend a bit more time writing when I’m working at QVC – it usually as to be either or with me as I get so involved with my characters and their stories.
    I missed Keeley’s last visit but looking forward to seeing her on the 2nd October
    Hope the bed is still ‘working it’s magic’
    Julia x

  23. martin forbes September 18, 2013 at 6:15 pm -  Reply

    sorry to hear paul wont be on the 20th bday show on ist october thanks julia

  24. Diane gilbank September 19, 2013 at 9:13 am -  Reply

    Hi julia, thanks for your reply, looking forward to the new book! You are so prolific, I admire you.
    Just wanted to say how much I like your lighter hair colour, and to sy how beautiful you looked in that purple top on your Madison ave diamonique show last night. Take care luv Diane xx

  25. martin forbes September 21, 2013 at 10:32 am -  Reply

    by the way julia do you still speak to paul give him my regards do you think maybe one day he will return to qvc in the future.
    i see xmas 2days next week 25th and 26th i see sara griffits is back.do you hear from fion afarell rob locke or kara baker or kara tritton if kara t givr her my regards

  26. Julia roberts September 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Diane
    I don’t know about prolific ….. although this novel will be part of a trilogy! Quite excited today actually as I just sent the synopsis off to a publisher. The great thing about writing these days is that if a publisher doesn’t pick it up you can always self publish like my friend Debbie Flint has done.
    I haven’t lightened my hair but my colourist hasn’t pulled the colour through to the ends the last couple of times I’ve been as he says he likes the sun lightened look ….. glad you do too!
    You know me and purple, although I really must buy some new clothes as I’ve had that top for about ten years.
    Hope you are keeping well
    Julia x

  27. Julia roberts September 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Martin
    I don’t think Paul will ever return to QVC as he is quite involved with his acting career again. Unfortunately I have lost touch with most of the other former QVC Presenters …. easy to do when we all lead such busy lives.
    It’s good to have Sara Griffiths back, even though it is probably only temporary ….. I will miss Christmas this month as I am not on air either day. Oh well …. there’s always next month
    Julia x

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