Everything is looking Christmassy…

This year, we put our Christmas decorations up a bit earlier than usual, as we didn’t want to be rushing around doing too much after my second cataract operation. I’ll tell you more about the two Christmas trees in a moment, but first, thank you so much for all your kind wishes for my surgery last Tuesday. The good news is that the procedure itself went very well and early recovery signs are really positive. Obviously, I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve had the follow-up appointment with my eye surgeon next week, after what happened in May, but fingers crossed things will continue to improve and I’ll start the new year with much clearer vision… in more ways than one!

So, to the Christmas trees. Pictured above is the seven-foot faux tree that is in our family room. I opted for this one from Julien Macdonald because of all the lights and the fact that with the ‘snow-tipped’ branches it is clearly a fake tree. It’s the perfect size and shape for the corner of our family room while still allowing us to see out into the garden and watch all the birds feeding on ‘you know what’ – I’m not naming them again, as you must be fed up with me going on about the Grumpy Gardener fat balls…. Oops!!!

The tree has various different light patterns. So far, I have kept them on steady but alternated between the white lights and the coloured lights. It looks really good in the daylight too without the lights on. My husband, Chris, got involved in the tree decorating for the first time in years and to be honest, I wasn’t too sure about the tinsel at first but now I really think it works.

He also helped with the rooted real tree, which we’ve put up in the lounge. We’re planning on planting it out in the garden when Christmas is over and then bringing it in annually. I wonder if any of you do or have done that?

I still have some present wrapping to do, but my boxes of gifts that needed to be sent to Scotland for my sister’s family was posted off yesterday. Thank goodness for some great offers from QVC this Christmas as I haven’t been able to get out to the shops after my brain surgery in early October – to be honest, I haven’t really wanted to risk it while my body has been recovering. I think almost everyone in my family has Molton Brown in some capacity after my multiple Today’s Special Value purchases, but there is also Hotel Chocolat, Elemis, Emu, L’Occitane and Butler & Wilson flying around.

Actually, that leads me into some rather sad news. You may not have heard that beautiful Nikki lost her brave fight with cancer two weeks ago. It was the reason that Simon was unable to guest his final Butler & Wilson show of the year. Nikki had worked with Simon since she was in her mid-teens and it would have been her 50th birthday today. It was truly devastating news for all of us who knew her, but especially for Simon and of course her family. If 2021 has taught me anything, it is to never take our health for granted and never be afraid to check something out health-wise if something doesn’t feel quite right.

This photo of Nikki was taken in 2015 when she and Simon came to the launch party for my first novel. She was so kind and thoughtful and will be terribly missed.

So, just a short blog this week as I don’t want to overtax my eye (I’ll do a year end round-up in my next blog in a fortnight’s time). But just to say, if you haven’t completed your Christmas shopping yet, we still have a few more ideas for you to shop at QVC prior to the delivery date in time for Christmas cut-off on December 20th.

Launching on-air tonight at 9pm is the Liz Earle collection, pictured in the Relaxing option, although it is also available in Original. It is a four-piece collection of the basic cleanse, tone and moisturise with the addition of Eyebright, so soothing for the eyes at this time of year when we’re all burning the candle at both ends! Both options come with a gift box, which doesn’t say on it what is in it – always a winner if you wanted to keep something back for yourself.

Also available to purchase from today is the Philip Kingsley Today’s Special Value. It’s a great value collection with half a litre of Body Building Weightless Shampoo, half a litre of Moisture Balancing Combination Conditioner and 150ml Elasticizer treatment, all in a gorgeous Mayan Vanilla & Orange Blossom fragrance. Bought individually, directly from Philip Kingsley, it would be £123 so our TSV price of £39.98 plus P&P is a huge saving. Maybe you’ve finished shopping for other people… make this a gift to yourself!

Well, I’ll stop there. Enjoy whatever you are doing over the festive period and thank you so much for shopping with us this year. And, on a personal note, I really appreciate all your support and love with my various health issues.

Much love,
Julia xx

22 Responses

  1. Oh Julia, I hadn’t heard about Nikki. So, so sad. She always came over as such a lovely person, so vibrant and full of life. She was so beautiful too. Devastating for her family – my heart goes out to them.

    I’m glad your surgery went well and send good wishes for a full recovery very soon. Your Christmas trees look wonderful! Enjoy the final run-up to the big day. Lots of love xxx

    1. Hi Cherry
      So very sad.
      My recovery is still going really well – follow-up appointment with eye surgeon was yesterday and he’s massively relieved after what happened in May.
      Have a lovely Christmas
      Julia x

  2. Julia, I’m so very saddened to hear about Nikki I didn’t know she was ill and my heart goes out to her family and friends all of whom will be in my prayers. She was indeed a beautiful person who I had the pleasure of meeting at the B&W 40 anniversary party at QVC which I’m reminded of every day by a fabulous picture I have on display.
    I am so very relieved to hear of your recovery and would like to send you my very best wishes for your continued improvement and of course for the happiest Christmas and New Year.
    Lots of love xx

    1. Hi Jill
      Those memories now become even more precious – a reminder to us all to treasure each day.
      Things are still going very well with my eye – so different from post surgery in May. Should be back on QVC on January 13th.
      Merry Christmas
      Julia x

      1. Hi Julia
        I hope you are well now, as was reading about your recent operation. You are an inspiration, as you are always such a happy lovely lady.
        It was very sad to read about Nikki, my mum and I used to love watching her on QVC, she was a lovely lady.

        I hope you had a lovely Christmas and wish you a very Happy New Year.
        Toni X

  3. Oh Julia, I am so glad you are recovering well from your eye surgery, my goodness you have a lot going on with your health in the last 12 months or so also your blood condition I do hope that is stable & behaving it’s self, but with everything that has happened over the past almost 2 years, you are so very right life is precious so leave big footprints. So sad to hear about Nikki, Simon must be devastated, she was a beautiful, vivacious lady in the prime of her life & Nikki & Simon came as a twosome, like you & Chris or my husband & I. She will be sadly missed by lots of QVC viewers, words seem so inadequate. We always remember meeting you for QVC’s 20th birthday celebration in London, I don’t know if you remember me I was the lady in the wheelchair with no legs?? I still remember that day & meeting you was absolutely lovely, what a wonderful day we had. Lots of love Sue & Gary, Merry Christmas to you & your loved one’s, Let’s hope 2022 is different from the last 2 that’s for sure xxx

    1. Hi Sue
      Yes, I do remember meeting you at the 20th birthday party – hard to believe that was over eight years ago!
      Devastating news about Nikki – very hard to process.
      Funnily enough, my CML levels had risen (probably all the stress of the various health issues in the past two years) but my latest test results from last week showed it is back down to January 2020 levels, so my professor will continue to monitor every two months.
      Merry Christmas to you & Gary and hoping 2022 is happier and healthier for us all.
      Julia x

  4. Julia Enjoy reading your blogs. Yes absolutely your right about living life to the full. Can’t believe Nikki has passed. I lost a brother to Covid in May and so Xmas is tinged with sadness. Your very inspiring to talk about your health issues you’ve had a testing couple of years (broken bones) and now these other problems. Enjoy your Xmas with family.
    Patricia Daly

    1. Hi Patricia,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your loss- there is no doubt that the ‘firsts’ without our loved ones are always the hardest.
      I don’t know about inspiring, but if I can help one person recognise symptoms which would get them treatment early then I believe it is the right thing to do.
      I hope you can still enjoy Christmas and look forward to 2022.
      Julia x

  5. Merry Christmas and a happy healthy new year to you all Julia
    Glad your operation went well
    Lots of love Rose

    1. Hi Rose
      Thanks – it was such a relief to be able to see so well and so different from May.
      Merry Christmas to you and Happy & Healthy 2022
      Julia x

  6. Hi Julia what sad news about Nikki such a lovely lady. On a happier note your trees look lovely, we have downsized recently so had to rethink the tree size but its all worked out better than we thought so thats good.Hope your eye continues to improve my sister in law has been having the same operations as you and is very happy with the outcome. Hope you have kept clear of the colds and stomach bugs going around we unfortunately caught it from the grandchildren.

    Hope you have great Xmas with your family let’s hope it all goes ahead as planned. We are not bothering with presents for each other this year We can’t think of anything we need so decided to put the money towards a new sofa in the sales . Best wishes and healthy 2022, love Loraine xxx

    1. Hi Loraine
      We’re really pleased with both the trees – they work perfectly in the space we have available.
      I think I’ve managed to avoid most of the bugs doing the rounds because I’ve been out of circulation with the various surgeries. Really hoping that 2022 will be surgery free and that we can finally shake off this pandemic which has such a negative effect on our mental health. Glad to hear that your sister in law is doing well – did she have the pituitary gland tumour operation too, or did you mean the cataracts?
      Have a lovely Christmas and I hope you find yourselves a lovely new sofa
      Julia x

  7. Hello Julia,

    I have just read your latest Blog, and have been moved to tears with the news about Nikki, such a shock, and how very sad for Simon and her family, she was a very sweet and lovely lady.

    I was also wondering about Jane and Catherine the mother and daughter Models, we have’nt seen them for a long time and I always enjoyed it when they were showing us Fashion, but it is good to see Catherine Huntley back on our screens.

    Your home looks lovely, have a lovely Christmas and enjoy every moment.


    1. Hi Gwen
      I’m sorry to have broken the news to you about Nikki – as I mentioned, Simon had told his followers on Facebook and I think it allows us to pay our respects in our own way.
      Jane and Catherine are fine and agreed, good to see Catherine Huntley back although she is now off again with Covid… what a year!
      Merry Christmas and Happy & Healthy 2022
      Julia x

  8. Hi Julia so sad to hear about Nikki . I can’t take it in. She was so lovely . Please pass on my condolences to Simon and her family. I met her in the shop a few years ago , she was just the same as on qvc and was kind enough to find Simon who was behind the scenes and asked him to come and say hello. We will miss her , butler and Wilson programmes won’t be quite the same again.
    Hoping 2022 will bring better times for all of us again. Best wishes luv jill T xx

    1. Hi Jill
      I know, I feel the same way. Simon did hold a small gathering to celebrate her life but sadly I was unable to attend as it was just after my cataract surgery.
      Merry Christmas and Happy & Healthy 2022
      Julia x

  9. Hi julia merry xmas and happy new year to you chiris dan sophie my xmas card arrived yesterday thursday 23rd december glad you got my card

  10. Hi Julia, so sorry to hear the very sad news about Nikki. I do hope you recover real soon with everything you have been thro. I have cataracts in both eyes too and can’t wait for clear vision to return when I eventually have surgery in the New Year! You have been missed on Qvc!! Take care of yourself Julia! Look forward to seeing you back next Year. xx

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