A shining example to us all…

Amongst all the dreadful news we are witnessing on a daily basis throughout this global crisis, there are those moments that truly lift our spirits and restore our faith in our ability to cope in the face of adversity. The biggest example of that this week has, of course, been Captain Tom Moore and his amazing fundraising walk – it’s captured the nation and given many of us the feeling that ‘if Tom can stay positive with what’s going on around him, then so can I’ – well done, Captain Tom, not only for the millions of pounds raised, but also for the feel good factor you have given us. And it goes without saying, Happy 100th Birthday.

Lots of us are trying to do our bit, albeit on a smaller scale than Tom, to raise money for a variety of different charities who are specifically targeting the most vulnerable during these unprecedented times. With your help, QVC’s ‘Together we can make a difference’ campaign is not far off reaching its target, and remember, for every pound you donate, QVC will donate two. Our original aim was to be able to give £125,000 to the National Emergencies Trust appeal and we are are around £110,000 after just one week of the campaign. Thank you if you have felt able to donate – no matter the size of your contribution, it is much appreciated.

On a more personal fundraising note, I was nominated by my son’s girlfriend, Katie, for the ‘Run for Heroes’ campaign to raise money for our NHS. Obviously, in light of my recent ankle surgery, Katie knew I wouldn’t be able to actually do the run so Dan ‘volunteered’ to do it for me.

The idea is to Run 5k, Donate £5 and Nominate 5 people, so I was able to get involved in the latter two elements – a double whammy really, as Dan donated too. The ‘running’ total so far (pun intended) is £3 million!!! Amazing! Amongst my nominees were Jackie Kabler (who loves to run and had already been nominated twice) and Alison Keenan, along with two of Dan’s friends and Sophie’s step daughter… Katie had already nominated Sophie. Although Dan is a fitness fan, he’s not really a keen runner so his time of under twenty-five minutes was pretty impressive I thought.

To put it in perspective, while giving you an update on my ankle, it takes me thirty-two minutes to cover 2.5K at a steady walk. I don’t do this every day as I don’t want to over-tax my ankle but I do spend at least an hour a day doing my physiotherapy and pilates. I’ve been able to increase the weight I lift when doing my leg raises to 1.5kg by strapping a dumbbell to my leg using the velcro fastener from my airboot – it was Chris’s ingenious idea and it works.

I hope you were able to get some enjoyment out of the Easter weekend? I know lots of you were busy buying plants from QVC, as at the moment online is the only way to get hold of them. It would be such a shame for all the growers if the plants they have nurtured didn’t find a home, so I’m really pleased that we have been able to take some of the extra plants originally destined for garden centres. That was the case with the Thompson & Morgan plants that I ordered both for myself and my mum.

Just a reminder that you can have your QVC purchases sent to a different address if you add a new one online, as I did with Mum’s. Our fabulous display of de Jager bulbs has almost finished now but I was able to cut some of the gorgeous peony tulips for our Easter dinner table.

Speaking of which, Katie and Dan made dinner as I was working and it was delicious. Katie did vegetarian toad-in-the-hole, using the Secret Sausages I ordered from QVC, served with Dauphinois potatoes, and Dan did the broccoli and toasted pine nuts.

It was finished off with Eton Mess I had made before leaving for work. Thanks to my friend Denise’s partner, Steve I have an extra ingredient which really makes a difference to the taste. I soak the strawberries, which have been cut into small pieces, in two tablespoons of ruby port for an hour or two before draining and folding into the crushed meringue and whipped double cream mixture. I only make it occasionally but it is always well received.

Easter Monday was my only day off over Easter so after finishing and pressing send on the proofread edit of my next book, Why She Died, we decided to play a board game. Monopoly would have been too long, and we didn’t want any falling out, and Sorry is better when there are children involved so we opted for Articulate. I really enjoyed it, particularly when I was describing a Japanese lady’s garment and Chris guessed at commode instead of kimono!!!!! I couldn’t describe anything further in that round as I was laughing so much. Mind you, he has made a few valuable contributions to our Thursday night online pub quiz – last night’s little gem was Airwolf, when the rest of us thought that the TV programme with a helicopter performing tricks in the opening credits was The A Team.

I mentioned Jackie Kabler earlier in my blog and if you are finding that reading is helping you to get through lockdown, her new book, The Perfect Couple, is published today. Funnily enough, the colour of the cover is similar to Alice in Theatreland, which is my free to download Kindle from tomorrow for the following five days. If you’re missing the smell of the greasepaint with all our theatres being closed, this might be one for you, although you should bear in mind it’s a thriller, not a romance.

Look out for more fabulous Today’s Special Values on QVC this weekend, including one from Decleor launching at 9 p.m. tonight and a fabulous duo of Amazon Fire tablets with docking station and additional 32GB SD card, which is Sunday’s Today’s Special Value.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t capture any video of Wilfie playing football, but here he is posing for the camera instead.

Stay home and stay safe.
Much love,
Julia xx

13 Responses

  1. Hi julia how are gettin on with what we have at the moment i will be glad to get back to work i meantime i hav ebeen watching a lot of my old vhs videro tapes as my vhs recordrer stil works i still have lots of tapes i was reqtching thne other day i think qvd frm 1998 in the salon with alison and once with kara triiton qvc 3 rd birthday and all my old prisoner cell bloc h episodes recorded from tv way 40 years on still watchable i wish foir the days of only 4 channels teestail as sky it the same programme over and over again i hardly wach live tv now njust recoreded shows from smu sky plus.
    hope chris sophie daniel and you are well

    1. Hi Martin
      How amazing that your old VHS tapes are still playable – we stored ours outside in storage bins, hundreds of them from all the shows I did from cable television, and most of them have white stuff all over them so are unplayable. Hopefully some semblance of normality to our everyday lives will return soon.
      Stay safe
      Julia x

  2. Julia ,
    just wanted to say thanks ,,,,,,I read the samples of The short story & Lifes a Beach on your website. I enjoyed your style of writing sooo much I Am now half way through Life’s a Beach & have just had the following 2 books delivered. I don’t normally have time to read but with life on hold in lockdown these books have taken me of to Mauritius. Totally ingrossed . Glad your recovery is going well. Keep it going!!!, lovely your back on our screens.
    Stay safe
    Love Julie.xxx⛱

    1. Hi Julie
      What a lovely message to receive especially as I am just starting to plot my next book and with all that is going on in the world I’m finding it hard to concentrate. You have given me inspiration to carry on writing – thank you and so pleased you are enjoying being transported to happier times and places.
      Getting there with my physio exercises, but it is so good to be back and doing my bit!
      Enjoy Mauritius
      Julia x

    1. Hi Pam
      He is sitting opposite me now as I’m writing my replies and I must say I agree – I could be biased!
      Julia x

  3. Hi Julia it’s really lovely to see you back hosting shows again and I am glad you are able to sit down! Well done to Dan for doing the run for you even if he doesn’t fancy repeating it! Your meal looked delicious with the photos! Should see things like that when you are hungry! Like the tip for the strawberries too. I hope you are coping ok with the restrictions we have, other than being able to come to work. It’s a very strange time. My daily life has not altered one bit, I had the isolation and lack of social life, and initially I felt ok about the changes. But it’s amazing how the outside world can still have a massive impact. Obviously the benefits have been more people being in touch than have been for a long time, and great offers of kindness from friends and neighbours. FaceTime has produced some good laughs, and we are in touch as a family every day now,which I love. We have seen our two granddaughters from the front of the house,but it’s torture not being able to hug them or touch them at all. We FaceTime our 2year old grandson regularly to make sure he doesn’t forget us!
    Sadly we had a large dent in our lockdown story on Friday as my mum died… she was 95 and had been in a home for 2years with dementia, but was doing well overall. My dad hasn’t been able to see her for 34days and that had hit him hard. He went every day for 5-6 hours just to hold her hand. It was a shock in the end as she was taken to hospital at 1am Friday morning and we didn’t find out till 9ish. She died at teatime suddenly, but it was peaceful and that’s what matters. The hardest part was talking to my dad after the hospital had rung, he was heartbroken. Also both my sisters are abroad and I am no use physically. But my husband and daughters quickly went to check on my dad.
    Of course the funeral etc is all up in the air, if we can have one at all really. So it’s taking a while to sink in. I must admit.
    The upside of the last few days is my together crinkle blouse, which you said you wanted, the pale green floral one, came on Friday. It’s really lovely and will be very useful I can tell. If I hadn’t tuned into your show I wouldn’t have got it, so it’s your fault, joking of course.
    I hope you continue to make progress with your strict daily routine for your ankle.
    Keep safe and well and sending you much love Diane xxx

    1. Hello Diane
      I am so sorry to hear your awful news. It’s heartbreaking at any time to lose someone close but devastating at this time when contact hasn’t been possible. It’s awful for all of you but my heart goes out to your dad… sending you all the biggest virtual hugs.
      I had a taste of the sort of life you lead after my operation – I didn’t go anywhere for weeks and only had one friend call around as everyone is so busy with their own lives, which I totally understand. Now people have more time on their hands they are reconnecting- I had a phonecall from one of my friends from dancing school last night who currently lives in France. The funny thing is, now I am back at QVC and I’m starting writing my next book while finishing the edits on the one out next month, plus all the physiotherapy, I’m as busy as ever so haven’t had time to ‘binge watch’ boxsets… I’m not complaining, I like being busy!
      I loved that blouse and am kicking myself for not ordering before I went on air.
      Please drop me a line, you have the address – I’m here if you need to talk
      Much love
      Julia xx

    2. Diane how are you and your family doing? Your comment perfectly expressed what we are feeling here and our thoughts are with your dad – such difficult times when he should be held and comforted by all his family. I will be thinking of you every day, and so will others who read this.

  4. Hi Julia, i have read your trilogy of Life’s A Beach while on lockdown and loved them. Really like your style of writing, the characters really came to life and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened in the end. Can’t wait to read your next one! I used to read a lot but had got out of it and yours were the first books I downloaded. I will be looking for more to read now. Its good to see you back on QVC, always enjoy your shows. Stay safe, take care X

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