An emotional attachment…

It feels like forever since I wrote my last blog and in fact it is a whole month because I’ve been away on holiday to a very special place with which I have an emotional attachment, but more on that later.

I haven’t been completely absent from the website as last week the Inside QVC podcast I recorded with Will Gowing before I went away was uploaded. It’s the third time I’ve been asked to chat with Will on the podcast and this time it was as a part of QVC’s Inspirational Women’s month. If you haven’t listened to it yet and would like to, it’s still available along with all previous episodes and it will give you a small insight into some of the QVC guests who have inspired me over the years. By the way, thank you if you’ve left a comment, I’ll get around to replying once I’ve finished the endless holiday washing!!!

Speaking about the podcast, you may also want to listen to a previously recorded episode with Tova Borgnine who sadly passed away recently. I’m sure you will have read many tributes from QVC Presenters already, but I wanted to add a few thoughts of my own about this truly thoughtful and generous lady who I have known through QVC for over twenty-five years.

She was so kind to both me and my mum when mum was undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer. Tova sent mum some Cactine balm to help the skin better tolerate the treatment and mum swore that it had a beneficial effect. Mum never forgot her kindness and neither did I. Tova also had her husband, Ernest Borgnine sign a photo for my husband, Chris, as he was a big fan. Personally, I never forgave him for his treatment of Prewitt in the film From Here to Eternity… but that’s another story. And she was always interested and read my books from my first, Life’s a Beach and Then to my most recent, The Woman on the Beach. I will miss her, as will so many of us, but she is now re-united with her beloved Ernie.

Talking of Life’s a Beach and Then brings me neatly to one of the emotional attachments I have with Mauritius from where we have just returned. We’ve all had a pretty dreadful two years due to the pandemic, but the past two years has been fairly packed with health issues for me… my major ankle surgery in 2020, two cataract operations and the removal of the benign brain tumour that I didn’t know I had five months ago.

Our first visit to Mauritius was exactly nine years ago after I’d undergone a year of oral chemotherapy treatment for my Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia, and I felt drawn to go back to the place that had worked its miracle previously. We returned to the Sugarbeach resort for the first four days of our holiday. It was while sitting in the shade of the palm trees on that very beach that inspiration struck for my first novel and I’m currently working on my tenth, due for publication later this year, so it really was quite life-changing for me.

Obviously, there had been a few changes but this beautiful walk from the main restaurant to the beach is exactly how I remembered it. Recognise the dress anyone? It’s a recent Kim & Co purchase. In fact, I had several QVC brands with me as you can imagine… Frank Usher beach cover-ups, Skechers footwear, and of course Ultrasun!

I’m not going to lie, we weren’t blessed with wall-to-wall sunshine, in fact we had quite a few heavy downpours, but we still applied our Ultrasun religiously every morning. I’m a big fan of the factor 30 Tan Accelerator (both the face and the body one) and Chris loves the factor 50 spray. We did have a few people ask us what we were doing as we photographed our line-up of products on the beach of the Maritim Resort and Spa hotel where we moved on to for the remainder of our holiday. It’s the hotel where Chris and I were married in August 2019 so once again has a huge emotional connection for us both.

I did manage to do a couple of Instagram Live Chats from Mauritius which is pretty incredible when you think it is six thousand miles away, one of them in the pouring rain with people watching live saying how sunny it was back here!  If you want to watch them, you can follow me on Instagram at juliagroberts – one of the videos is still on my picture grid and the other is under the TV icon where all my Permission to Pry chats from last year are still available to watch. I really need to restart them as it was so good to find out the behind the scenes ‘goss’ on lots of our QVC guests!

Back to Ultrasun for a moment, there is a Today’s Special Value (TSV) from them coming up next Thursday and also the April Beauty Product of the Month (affectionately known to us as the Beauty POM) is from Ultrasun. Just to say that the temperatures in Mauritius were very hot and even with Ultrasun I was only ever in the sun for less than an hour in the morning, pre 11am and the same in the afternoon, post 4pm and I’ve come back with a good tan. In other words, you still need to be sensible in the sun particularly as most of us haven’t seen these types of extreme temperatures in over two years.

So, this Sunday is Mother’s Day but last Sunday I was sitting on a beach listening to the BBC commentary of the FA Cup quarter final between my team, Crystal Palace and Everton. One remark from the commentary team after the final whistle blew made me laugh out loud, “The game kicked off at 12.30pm and Crystal Palace kicked off at 12.45pm!” Apparently, we were pretty poor in the first fifteen minutes or so, but we certainly made up for it as we ran out 4 – 0 winners and earned ourselves a place in the semi-finals.

I’m sure some of the other hotel guests thought I was crazy as I walked around the swimming pool singing, “Que sera sera, whatever will be will be, we’re going to Wem-ber-ley, que sera sera”… if you know, you know! I’m so proud of what my team have achieved so far this season and particularly for the three Palace players who have been selected to join the England squad for the International Friendly games – who’d have thought I’d ever see the day!

Back to this Sunday though, I won’t be able to see my mum or mum-in-law as I’m working but I’ll be giving them a mention. Feel free to tweet in and ask me to say ‘hi’ to your mum during my shows. And if you were wondering about a gift, you could always go for the Gatineau TSV on Saturday. Although it won’t arrive in time, you could photograph your order and pop the printout inside your card giving your mum something to look forward to.

It features some products new to me from the DefiLift range, so I’m looking forward to my shows with Andrew Bagley tomorrow at 2pm and 5pm to learn more about them. I’ve recently been using a DefiLift eye product at night-time and am very happy with the results.

I know Sunday won’t be an easy day for some of you, but I hope you will be able to reflect on happier times.

Remember to adjust your clocks.

Much love,

Julia xx

22 Responses

  1. You look great Julia. Any tips on losing weight, I’m struggling a bit, thanks. Hugs from Ireland 💚🇮🇪☘️

    1. Hi Mary,
      Thanks for noticing 😊 Just boring old calorie counting (1200 – 1500 a day) and exercise between 30 & 60 minutes a day. I’m almost at target weight, then I just have to keep it off!
      Good luck
      Julia xx

  2. Good evening Julia.
    Lovely to hear that you enjoyed your holiday.
    I just had to say that as we were flicking through the channels both my husband and I committed on your weight loss and how well you are looking.
    Well done!

    1. Hi Pam
      Thanks for noticing and messaging. I feel so much happier being back to a better weight for me now that I can exercise again. Almost at target weight
      Julia xx

  3. Hi Julia,
    I have been qvc from pretty much the beginning and have obviously been seeing you all these years and following though not on social media. Had no idea you have been through so much health wise however, I am glad see you as your cherry self on screen again. I had wondered where you were when you were missing from the screens and thought may be had covid as that’s all we were thinking the last two years. I wish good health and hope to keep seeing cheery you on screen for years to come if I am around as at 70+ every day is a bonus though I don’t think or feel that. Having said that I am also due to have my cataract ops which were cancelled due to obvious reasons. Also very sad to hear Tova passing away. May her soul RIP. One glamorous lady my kind of women. I don’t normally write comments but just felt compelled to. Take care xx

    1. Hello Kiran
      Thanks so much for leaving a comment for me. Yes, it has been a pretty tough couple of years but hopefully I might get a respite until the next ‘issue’ comes along!
      Good luck with your cataract operations – so pleased I had mine done as I’m writing this without glasses and I have good distance vision too.
      Julia xx

  4. Hi Julia ,glad you had a wonderful time we are going to Sicily in May and Tuscany in September all being well. So sorry to hear about Tova seemed such a nice person albeit she looked tired I thought on her last few visits to qvc. Nice to see you back although I bet you wish you were still there, we have never been to mauritius but have been to St Lucia and various other countries including Australia,twice and several visits to America and Canada, so definately not complaining. Hope you continue to stay well best wishes to you and your family love Loraine xxx😃

    1. Hi Loraine
      We hadn’t realised how much we needed that holiday – we’re playing catch up this year on the hols we missed for the past two years!
      Have a great time in Sicily and Tuscany when you go
      Julia xx

  5. Hi Julia
    Your holiday looked spectacular and I hope you feel as refreshed as you look.
    It’s my first Mothers Day without my precious mum, she had a catastrophic stroke last May and she passed 24 hours later. She was a fit , healthy and active 82year old , still driving and a much loved member at her WI who took a car full of ladies to county meetings.
    She admired and always enjoyed your QVC presenting, she said you were grounded and down to earth and when we talked about the TSV she often said “well Julia says”.
    You can perhaps tell she was my champion and bible of life , the most wonderful accomplished baker , everyone’s star baker!
    I’m enjoying your books very much , keep them going !
    Best wishes Julia, stay healthy and don’t stop what you do best – bringing some joy to a difficult world xx

    1. Dear Helen
      I’m so sorry to hear about your mum. I hope Mother’s Day was not too difficult for you. I feel honoured by her comment 💖 Chris and I are so privileged to still have our mums and both in reasonable health.
      I’m so pleased you enjoy my books – the first draft of book 10 is almost there but not out until October.
      Thanks for your kind words
      Julia xx

  6. Hi Julia what a super place. I’m glad you had such a wonderful break with Chris after all the health problems. The tan looks superb you certainly go a beautiful colour. This is the first year without my mum it’s going to be hard but I talk to her every day and if I have problems I talk them through with her as I always did. I’m glad Patrick is working well at the Palace. My son is an Arsenal fan (sorry) and has always rated him as he was part of the Invincibles with Henri and Wrighty those were the days. Look forward to seeing you on tv at weekend Sue xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    1. Hello Susan
      I hope Mother’s Day wasn’t too difficult for you – it’s good that you still ‘talk’ to your mum.
      Patrick Vieira is AMAZING! I’m going to Wembley next Sunday – can’t wait!
      Julia xx

  7. Glad you had a nice holiday and it’s great to see you back doing Fashion on Friday. It really is not the same without you presenting it. I record the 2 fashion on Fridays in case I miss anything what with getting tea ready and walking my dog. I am going green now, had my all electric car last Friday. Would recommend though weird to begin with! Take care

  8. Saw you day Julia with Andrew and thought you looked really well. Was that a QVC dress you were wearing. It looks like a Kim & Co but would love it if you could email me and please let me know. Hope you stay well in the future.

  9. Hi Julia

    Just wanted to say it’s lovely to have you back. We missed you, but I’m sure that you benefitted from your wonderful holiday.

    I have been a QVC viewer for approx 16 years now and have admired the way that you have coped with more than your fair share of poor health. You always seem so optimistic and I think that mindset has helped you enormously.

    Take care and welcome back : )

    Big hugs Joanna xx

    Ps very sad to hear Tova is no longer with us. RIP lovely lady x

  10. Hiya Julia, you look so well after your time away. You have lost so much weight. How have you done it please. I need to loose quite alot and need all the help I can get. I’m very much like you in shape. Sorry to hear about your health issues. Glad you are doing well now. Best wishes Julia. x from Karen. x

  11. Hi Julia, the SBR is our fave hotel too, we have been almost yearly since our daughter was 2, now almost 20! Obvs not during covid and refurb years, but will be returning later in the year, cannot wait! Do they have a new General Manager there now?
    I didn’t know yr first book was inspired by the SBR, and as I am now an avid reader, having read over 100 novels since lockdown began, I will be sure to buy it for our hols!
    We have much in common re illnesses, I too had a benign brain tumour (15 years ago), joint replacement, and cancer ( of the breast variety) and psoriatic arthritis. What has all this taught me? Seize the day! And never give up!
    Best wishes to you, Vx

  12. Dear Julia you are a strong lady. I am so sorry to read about Tova passing away. Keep smiling.
    Love and best wishes

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  14. Hi Julia
    Just to let you know on your recommend from this blog we have just returned from Sugar Beach, Mauritius. Wow, we loved it from beginning to end. As you say this time of year, a few showers on and off but on the whole it was glorious. The people o Mauritius truly work so hard to make your holiday special.
    Like yourself my husband has had a few health issues and we just felt we needed some much needed relaxation away from UK life. So so pleased we went. Perhaps if we return we will certainly consider the resort where you married.
    Oh and by the way I saw your book advertised in the boutique shop on site. I thought I know that face haha.
    Thanks Julia once again. Love and hugs Tina xx

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