Spring is in the air and in my step…

Well, here I am, another week down the road to recovery after my ankle surgery and it feels as though some real progress has been made, although you wouldn’t have said that if you’d seen me last Saturday!

I’d had one bath since my operation, but that was before I broke my arm and we managed quite well. I was desperate for another relaxing soak rather than perching on a stool in a shower cubicle, which is only just big enough, particularly as we had the fab Molton Brown Today’s Special Value and I wanted to feel part of it. I managed to get up the stairs without too much difficulty, encouraged by the gorgeous scent of Heavenly Gingerlily, but on arriving in the bathroom, I realised the enormity of the task ahead with no left side. Chris was all for abandoning the mission, but I think you all know me better than that… no way! I managed to get in okay by sitting on the edge of the bath, swinging my right leg over and kneeling on it before wriggling it underneath me to sit down in the warm foamy water before undoing my airboot on the left leg. However, getting out was another matter – even I was wondering if I could manage it. Eventually, after draining all the water out and placing towels in the bottom of the bath for traction, I managed to lean on the elbow of my broken arm sufficiently to push up through my right thigh. Thank goodness for all those hours spent on my Aeropilates machine! The ordeal didn’t end there either; I hadn’t realised that I had no left hand to take my weight on the bannister on the way down, so I had to resort to coming down unceremoniously on my bottom. I’ve stuck to showers with the gorgeous Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Body since, although I am tempted to try a bath later this evening as a reward for all my effort with my physiotherapy exercises, which have delivered really good results this week. I can now walk for a continuous twenty minutes on my two crutches, putting about 75% of my body weight through the foot in the airboot, followed my a further five minutes with just one crutch. Ideally, the crutch should be in the opposite hand to the broken ankle but I can’t do that with a gutter crutch so it’s a bit more difficult.

Monday is my X-ray day when I find out if I will be allowed to leave the airboot off and move on to the next stage of recovery – please send positive vibes my way. In readiness for that, I have been shopping for hi-top trainers and flat ankle boots. They don’t seem to be very popular at the moment, but I’ve managed to get some Reebok trainers for walking on my treadmill wearing my ankle brace and also two pairs of footwear from QVC.

These Skechers boots are nice and wide so will be ideal while I still have a bit of swelling as the tendons and ligaments settle down. They’ll also be warm while we’re still experiencing cold weather.

And then, for a bit of glam when I’m eventually able to come back to work, I’ve ordered these from Geox. They’re not dissimilar to the Geox trainer style I have which have been much admired but will give me more support around the ankle.

I’ve also managed to get back into my usual wardrobe of leggings and tops this week after being restricted to wearing dresses, which is much more practical for doing my exercises in. Mind you, I’ve enjoyed wearing dresses, especially as it’s now completely acceptable to wear them with trainers or flat boots. We have a first Today’s Special Value from Perceptions coming up next Thursday, which would have been ideal for me as it’s a midi length. It’s not on pre-order, but here is the item number, 183099, to watch out for. It comes in five different colours and prints and, wait for it, is under £35 – I have a feeling it may be rather popular.

Sunday was St David’s Day and we decided to have a bit of Welsh cuisine for lunch. I make my own version of leek and potato soup which is very easy to do, but I don’t think I’ve attempted Welsh rarebit since I was at school and I’m pretty sure we used milk as the liquid rather than beer. The toast did get a little burnt around the edges as you can see, but it didn’t spoil the yummy taste.

We were going to make Glamorgan sausages for dinner as well, but I was too tired so we did them on Tuesday instead and they were delicious served with a red onion and chilli chutney.

Speaking of Tuesday, I had my first crutches-only trip out when I went to the hairdressers to have my colour done and a bit of a trim. It was so lovely to feel my hair being washed with two hands instead of one – it felt and looked great when I left the salon. Unfortunately, I have to tie my hair up for my exercises and, as I mentioned last week, it’s the one thing Chris hasn’t really got to grips with. This is one of his better attempts!!!

Tomorrow is Jewellery Day on QVC and the brand chosen for the Today’s Special Value is Lola Rose. Belinda, as the style is called, is a pretty heart-shaped design necklace in a choice of six different semi-precious gemstones and is already available to pre-order. I think my favourite is the white mix, how about you? There is also a competition on the QVC Facebook page at the moment to win £245 of Lola Rose goodies. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is comment on the Facebook post with a picture of your favourite Lola Rose piece and it could be you.

The Lola Rose Today’s Special Value might make a nice Mother’s Day present, which is only a couple of weeks away, or a birthday gift. Unfortunately, it’s too late for my mother-in-law’s birthday, which is today. It’s the first birthday where I’ve officially been able to call her Mum in all the forty-two years that I’ve known her. This photo, with my daughter Sophie, was taken at Christmas four years ago when she was on the sherry! Chris’s sister is visiting from Australia at the moment, which has hopefully made her special day even better.

There is another special day on Sunday when it is International Women’s Day. I was watching one of the morning breakfast shows today and stayed watching because one of the guests was Jemma Forte, our Molton Brown guest. They were discussing a poll where viewers voted for their most inspirational woman in a film… Bridget Jones came out on top! Really? I loved the films and the scattiness of the character, but I’m not sure I would describe her as inspirational. I think second placed Erin Brockovich (who was a real person) would have got my vote. Who is your female inspiration? By the way chaps, before you feel left out, there is an International Men’s Day on November 19th.

There have been times this past week after an hour long physio session when I have just wanted to curl up like a cat.

Look at Wilfie, relaxing in the sunshine. You’re probably thinking what a chilled cat, butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth… Think again.

These are what is left of the dozen yellow tulips that one of my kind neighbours bought for me last week. Wilfie likes to tap them until they break, which is why I usually have Peony flowers around the house. He still taps them but they remain intact.

Well, that’s it from me for another week. Hopefully I’ll be back by the end of the month,

Much love,

Julia xx

35 Responses

  1. Lovely to hear from you Julia and how you are progressing the Q is not the same without you. I wish you a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing you back on air. Wilfie has a lovely glossy coat and obviously enjoying the sunshine like all gorgeous cats. Marie x

    1. Hi Marie
      Thanks for your message – hoping to return to the Q ASAP but not sure now as I might be classified ‘at risk’ because of my CML. My recovery is going well though.
      Wilfie has got a lovely coat – it’s soft as well as glossy!
      Julia x

    1. Hi Linda
      Improving all the time – my wrist splint is off now too thank goodness. Hoping to be back on QVC soon
      Julia x

  2. Hi Julie
    Glad to see you are looking and feeling brighter. I smiled when I read about your bath episode as it brought back memories of when I used a bath in a locked bathroom with no-one around on a walking holiday on the Isle of Wight. The bath was very narrow and getting in, and to have a soak was great. To get out though was a different matter! I could not raise myself up on my arms as my hands kept slipping and could not roll over onto my knees as the bath was so narrow. After my initial fright moment, I realized I had to let the water out and then reach for a towel and face cloth, wet them so they would not slip, line them on the rim of the bath, and then heave myself up! Not a pretty sight! I had an all over wash the rest of the week!
    Keep the progress going. You are very much missed on QVC. Fashion on Friday is still good, but not the same without you.

    1. Hello Hazel
      That brought a smile to my face as I’m sure I was equally ‘ungraceful’ getting in and out of the bath – but we did it so should congratulate ourselves on our resourcefulness.
      I miss Fashion on Friday too and am grateful to my colleagues for holding the fort.
      Julia x

  3. Great to read your blog Julia You have really had a tough time of it.I pre ordered your new book looking forward to it coming See you soon hopefully on our screens Takes Care

    1. Hi Linda,
      Thanks for pre-ordering Why She Died – those of us who like to read are going to need our books even more over the coming weeks.
      Hope to be back before too long
      Julia x

    1. Hi Heather
      Apologies for the delay replying – things went well that Monday with the air boot coming off, and Monday just gone I got rid of the wrist splint. So now I’m in an ankle brace & tubigrip bandage – all progress.
      Julia x

  4. Hi Julia – I know exactly how you feel about tackling your hair when in plaster – I broke my wrist 18 months ago, and hair washing/styling was a nightmare with my thick longish hair – my other half, despite trying his best, was baffled by it all and it never looked or felt right for the 8 weeks I was in plaster – lovely to escape to the hairdresser for a couple of hours and to feel human afterwards! Hope all goes well for your recovery and you are soon back to your old self.

    1. Hi Julie
      My wrist splint is off so I was able to wash my hair (very gently) with two hands on Wednesday – it felt so good. It really has made me realise how much we take for granted.
      Getting there on the recovery front
      Julia x

  5. Hi Julia you seem to getting there hope everything goes well. My eye operation went well, go to optician tomorrow. I had my 70th birthday party on Saturday night had few surprises was really spoiled.
    Take Care x

    1. Hi Christine
      Really pleased to hear your eye operation went well and that you managed to have your 70th birthday party before we’ve all been advised to social distance.
      Julia x

  6. You are doing extremely well Julia,congratulations😇.I have pre ordered your next book,cannot wait to read it.Carry on the good work and hope to see you back soon.

    1. Hi Joy
      Thanks for pre-ordering Why She Died – I’m really excited to share it with everyone. My wrist splint is off so progress is even faster now & hoping to be back on QVC soon
      Julia x

  7. Hi Julia great blog as ever. Ah bless you and your determination to manage a bath. I fully understand – you cant beat a lovely bath, especially with the gorgeous Heavenly Gingerlily. As for celebrating inspirational women – you are certainly one of them with your determination, despite your current position. Pass on a well done to Chris, bless him, in his attempt to put up your hair. As the pic shows he didnt do a bad job! Take care and keep up the progress on your recovery xx

    1. Hi Karen
      Chris was chuffed that you thought he didn’t do a bad job with my hair – fortunately my wrist splint is now off so that particular job is no longer required of him. Even though my wrist is getting stronger I’m still limiting my baths to once or twice a week as sooo difficult to get out!
      Thanks for your comment about me being inspirational- not sure about that, but we’re all having to exhibit determination to get through the current situation.
      Julia x

  8. So pleased you seem to be “getting there” as they say. It’s surprising the difference a few days of sunshine can make go how you feel. Due to various issues with our house and family plus the dreadful weather we’d been having I have to admit to having low mood and turning to food. Then last week when the calendar turned into March and a few days of sun appeared it’s like a switch had gone off in my head and am trying to get back into better habits.
    I was interested in your comments about the Leek and potato soup. I attempted it for the first time recently but the end result was quite tasteless. I didn’t measure it was just a throw it all in so I wonder if you would mind sharing your recipe please if possible?

    Best wishes

    1. Hello Dee
      I’m sorry to hear things have been a bit rough for you lately. To be honest, I don’t think a bit of comfort eating hurts us occasionally- I’m actually very glad I gave up, chocolate, cake & biscuits for lent with the exception of one piece of birthday cake my son made for his girlfriend – it was delicious.
      I’ll try to remember to put the soup recipe on next week’s blog – nudge me if I forget
      Julia x

  9. On the long road to recovery and the light at the end of the tunnel Julia great for you and I am sending you positive vibes that all goes well with the x-ray as you are so positive in yourself only good news awaits you for sure. Puss looks splendid all of them find the sunny spot ha-ha even tho I am a doggy person.

    1. Hi Pamela
      Those positive vibes must have worked because the X-ray was good and the air boot is history! As is the wrist splint now so looking forward to even greater progress.
      Wilfie really does find any puddle of sunshine
      Julia x

    1. Hi Ann
      Definitely feeling much better and much stronger too – the physio is paying off
      Julia x

  10. Hello Julia

    Good to hear from you and 10 out of 10 for all that perseverance!!

    Hope the coming week brings you more highs than lows and your recovery continues without any hitches.

    1. Hi Jane
      I think perseverance must be my middle name! I’ve definitely had more highs than lows since the air boot was consigned to history, although it’s not all plain sailing. Still a lot of physio ahead, but I’m up for it
      Julia x

  11. Hi Julia,
    Oh poor you what you had to go through to get your soak in the bath, and then downstairs on your bum. Hope X Ray results were good. Love the Sketchers and the Geox trainers you have chosen, you are going to need something with some support and comfort.
    Oh Leek and Potato Soup nice, and Welsh Rarebit, making me Hungary.
    🤣Chris’s attempt at your hair, don’t give up your day job just yet, but at least he had a go. And as for Wilfie, your lovely tulips, they are little monsters at times aren’t they. I have a two year old Maincoon cross Bengal called Tigger, she is gorgeous but also a little mischief.
    Anyway take care and look forward to seeing you back on QVC fit and well soon.
    Oh good idea about your book, will have to drop Heidi a hint.

    1. Hello Jean
      It was worth the struggle to have my soak in the bath – I am however restricting myself to two a week until my wrist is properly better as showers are so much easier.
      Now that I’m out of my wrist splint I can manage to do my hair myself – I can’t blow dry it yet though – so Chris is relieved of hair duty!
      We had leek & potato soup for lunch today – apparently leeks were the only vegetables in our supermarket today!
      Hoping to be back soon
      Julia x

  12. Hi Julia, So glad you’re making progress. Onwards and upwards as they say! It must be so awkward doing the day to day things we take so much for granted. I remember it so well even though I was only about 9 or 10 when I broke my arm.
    Well its the last weekend of the rugby but its been a bit of a damp squib with matches being called off etc. Lets hope and pray that the worse is over with and things get back to normal with this terrible virus!
    I managed to book that speed awareness course Monday. I’m starting to get neurotic now when I’m driving, constantly looking at the speedometer and looking for the speed signs. I know its my own fault but when I see other road users it makes me wonder how they get away with things!
    Anyway enough of my moaning. What’s done is done and we have to learn from it.( And believe me I have).
    Well here’s wishing you a continued speedy recovery and hope you are being pampered by the family.
    Take care, love Tina S. xx
    p.s. loved the photo of Wilfie. In my next life I’m coming back as a cat LOL.

    1. Hi Tina
      I just replied to your previous comment – glad you got booked in for the speed awareness course and hope it went okay.
      Sadly, I don’t think we are anywhere near the worst of this virus – London is really bad but I guess it’s because we have the largest population. Stay safe and I agree, coming back as a cat sounds like a great idea
      Julia x

  13. Hi. Hope you are on too your next stage, I too had to go up stairs on my knees and down on my bottom. One can only laugh or I think you would cry. I know you have to push a little but please do not over reach , like I did and then could not start the next stage. My five broken ankle bones have mended (with surgery) and I’m back at work (three and a half months) but still need a stick and physio . One day at time , you will do fine. Please don’t be as inpatient as. I was/can be, it not get you there any quicker 🤗 you will win through as it’s in your nature. Take care and let others care for. You. It helps them to help you 💐💐💐love. And Hugs 🐶🐶💖xx

    1. Hi Peggy
      Yes a I’m well and truly into the next phase of recovery now – you are right, there have been a couple of occasions where my body has said an emphatic NO! I’m sticking to my physio’s instructions mostly and progress is good. At the moment the wrist hurts more than the ankle during exercise!
      Glad you ‘got there in the end’ and hopefully it won’t be too long before you ditch the stick
      Julia x

  14. Hi Julia, you sound much happier with yourself this week and I’m delighted with the progress you are making, fingers crossed it will continue. I bought the same Skechers boots after my knee op and they are so comfy, I practically live in them!!! I look forward to your next update…take care xx

    1. Hi Joan
      Every week since my op has had its ups and downs but glad to say the downs are fewer now.
      I haven’t had the Skechers boots on much as they are a bit snug to get on with the swelling and the ankle brace but looking forward to wearing them when I can.
      Julia x

      1. Hi Julia I just checked your blog OMG you have been through the mill. I am glad you are better 💜 One thing why didn’t hubby help you in the bath? 🛀Take care 🌼🌻🏵🌺💜💜💜

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