Mothers and daughters

Thirty-three years ago today, at exactly the time I’m sitting writing my blog, my daughter, Sophie was born to complete our two plus two family. It was only thirteen months after our son, Daniel was born and to be honest she was a bit of an ‘accident’, but one we have never regretted. The photo above of the two of us was taken at a QVC Christmas party when she used to work for the company as a production assistant following her degree in Media Arts. Funnily enough, one of our current freelance floor assistants, Mike, was at Royal Holloway university with her – I’ve never asked him for any stories though, which is probably for the best!

I love looking through old baby photos of both my children, which is why I’m running late this morning as I got totally engrossed flicking through albums for photos of Sophie to put on Instagram – hopefully none of them are too embarrassing! I love her smile in this photo – she adored being pushed on the swings in our local park!

She’s always been an animal lover, as you can see from this photo of her with a Shetland pony on a day out in Littlehampton when she was three or four years old. It was around the time she started having riding lessons, which she continued into her early teenage years. She also had dancing lessons – there are a couple more pictures on my Instagram, juliagroberts, if you’re interested.

Sophie and I have always had a wonderful mother and daughter relationship (unlike Danni and Diana in my latest book), but as an adult she has been an incredibly supportive friend, particularly after my CML diagnosis and subsequent treatment. I was so pleased to have her at my side as our bridesmaid on our wedding day sixteen months ago… even though she did leave styling my hair until twenty minutes before the wedding was due to start!!!

Happy Birthday Sophie… always my daughter, forever my friend. I feel truly blessed to have such loving and caring children.

I mentioned above that Sophie is an animal lover, but you may not know that it is thanks to her that Wilfie came into our lives! She ‘rescued’ him, along with his six siblings from a flat close to where she used to live after one of her friends had bought a kitten at the tender age of five weeks, who unsurprisingly was not very healthy – aren’t they supposed to stay with their mums until eight weeks? Anyway, I’m so glad she did because he has brought so much joy into our lives. This is his latest box (he loves cardboard boxes) and quite appropriate, really, if you look at the name on the lid! Wilfie was interested in ripping pieces off the box, something he loves to do for some unknown reason, but I was more interested in the contents.

I’d been sent a sample of each of the three vegetarian pies in the upcoming Today’s Special Value from Wilfred’s Pies. There are two ‘meaty’ options and one ‘veggie’ and whichever you choose you will get twelve pies. The veggie option is: Spicy Cauliflower Balti Pie, Sweet Potato, Spinach and Goat’s Cheese Pie, and Creamy Mushroom Pie. The pies are really quite big (very deep and packed with filling) and the three pies were enough for the four along with homemade chips and brussel sprouts ‘a la Chris’!

I’m not a mushroom fan so can’t personally comment on that pie, but the other two were DELICIOUS… seriously, very very tasty! I’m not in on Today’s Special Value day, but you might want to give them a go – I think children could easily share a pie between them.

Talking of Wilfred and Wilfie, this may make you laugh. I follow Mally on Instagram and she posted this picture of ‘your Mantra for 2021’ – the first four words you see on the grid are your mantra.

Mine were; gratitude, health, family and strength and to be honest, that’s a pretty accurate assessment of the foremost things in my life every year. I had to laugh when Chris said the first words he saw were ‘mud’ and ‘flam’ (apparently a drumming term!) I’d sent the grid over to Sophie and family and after she sent back her first four words, I told her her dad had seen ‘mud’ first and she replied admitting that had also been the first word she’d seen! Here’s the really funny bit though, we’d all missed noticing ‘Wilf’ as spotted by Sophie’s partner, Reece!

I wonder which words you noticed first? And on a similar subject, did you make any New Year Resolutions? I don’t do them ‘per se’, but I do have things I would like to achieve this year. I’m doing dry January (not that I drink much anyway) and also concentrating on healthy eating with minimal bread and sweet treats – I haven’t had any of the latter yet and I won’t have to break it for a piece of Sophie’s birthday cake as I would normally!

I’ve also hung a new motivational plaque on my downstairs bathroom wall to remind us all to ‘never give up’!

Before I go, I just want to draw your attention to the ‘Great QVC Giveaway’, which you’ve probably heard us mention on air this week. With every QVC purchase, you will have an order number, which will enable you to ‘spin to win’ one of over a thousand instant prizes. There have been 30,000 entries so far and over 170 prizes have been won in the first four days. It doesn’t cost you anything, and you can enter with individual order numbers up to three times per day. And the good thing is, even if you don’t win an instant prize, you’ll be entered into the prize draw to win £10,000 in cash. The draw takes place on the 27th January, which has a familiar ring for me… it’s publication day for My Mother’s Secret! How did that come around so quickly?!?

Must dash now – I hope 2021 will eventually turn into a better year for all of us than 2020.
Much love,
Julia xx

20 Responses

  1. Love your blogs and Sophie looks so much like her mummy. Hope shes enjoyed her special day. Take care and be safe xx

    1. Hi Karen
      Glad you enjoy my blogs, although for QVC operational reasons they will be reducing to fortnightly rather than weekly from now on – not my choice.
      Sophie was in good spirits when I Facetimed her after I got home from work
      Julia x

  2. What a lovely blog. I too was an accident. My mum’s speech at my 21st was perfect: “we couldn’t have done better if we’d tried harder”. Sounds like you feel the same! Happy New Year to you and yours. And happy birthday to Sophie! Best, SheMag

    1. Hi SheMag
      Thank you – as mentioned above they will only be fortnightly from now on though but I hope you will continue to read them. You and Sophie are both happy accidents by the sound of things! Happy New Year
      Julia x

  3. Thanks Julia, skimmed past “ your mantra for 2021. Don’t really do those kind of things but decided to and got strength, gratitude, power & self care. This got me thinking about what I had planned for my self/what where I want to be. Strength to start sorting out my home, gratitude for God’s grace, power to have a more positive mindset & self care(ing) for a healthier me. Hoping you and your family a great new year.

    1. Hi Yolanda,
      I’m glad the grid got you thinking about your plans this year – interesting that we both saw strength and gratitude. I like that you attributed what you saw to different aspects of your life.
      Thanks for the good wishes for my family – all okay so far 😉
      Julia x

  4. Hi I just wanted to say how wonderful you look and you always look so glamorous
    I love watching all the beauty presentations and investing in such great skin care like elimis and gatineu at such great prices
    Especially during lockdown which is so hard
    Best wishes to you and your family

    1. Hi Tracey,
      What lovely comments- really kind of you. I’m glad you enjoy watching the beauty presentations – I enjoy those shows too and as you probably know I’m a big Elemis fan.
      Best wishes to you and yours too
      Julia x

  5. Hi julia hope you and chris sophie had agood xmas and new year i had aquiet tim edid you get my xmas card in the post i did not receive yours all the best in 2021

    1. Hi Martin
      We had a good Christmas with Dan and his girlfriend, Katie as they’re currently living with us. We did a FaceTime call with Sophie and her family too. Thanks for your Christmas card – I did apologise on a previous blog about not sending cards to viewers this year
      Julia x

  6. Hi Julia hope you and your family are all keeping well.Look forward to reading your blog every week wondered why there was not one this week when I looked for it . I have watched you from day one when qvc first started on tv and you have always been my favourite presenter will miss your blog this week will have to wait for your next one. Take care and look after yourself .Love Pauline .

    1. Hi Pauline
      I’m so pleased you enjoy reading my blog as I enjoy writing them and I’m sorry that due to QVC operational changes they will be reducing to fortnightly – I’ll do my best to keep them as interesting and entertaining as possible though. Thanks for your kind comment too 😊
      We’re all keeping well at the moment thanks and hope you are too
      Julia x

  7. Was so looking forward to your blog.. What a, wonderful picture of the three of you… 16months already and they said it wouldn’t last… 40odd years later and you’re still going strong… Hope you had a lovely Christmas and keeping well and safe.. Our Christmas was very nice… Quiet.. I lost my dad in March so a bit of a downer.. Then over Christmas his sister got this terrible virus and she passed on 17th Jan… So your blog brightened up this evening.. Wishing all of your family a happy 2021…xxx

    1. Hello Sandra
      You’ve had a pretty rough time of it – the first Christmas without a loved one is always the hardest & then to lose your aunt as well – sending hugs. I’m glad my blog brightened your day a bit.
      Love that you still have your sense of humour re our wedding ‘ they said it wouldn’t last’! Hoping it lasts a lot longer
      Much love
      Julia x

  8. Hi julia, always love you blogs, they are so interesting! Could you please tell me where you got the bathroom plaque, such a lovely message. What a shame your blogs will be fortnightly in future, why is that happening? Keep safe. Amanda xx

    1. Hi Amanda
      It’s good to hear you enjoy my blogs – it’s to do with shift patterns unfortunately and the need for the copy writer (who sets our blogs live) to have it 48 hours in advance – previously I’ve always submitted mine on Friday morning to go live that afternoon. I only work alternate Wednesdays, hence reducing to fortnightly 😕
      My bathroom plaques are just from Amazon- they have some really good ones
      Julia x

  9. I’m reading your blog on 22nd January, my eldest Son’s 23rd Birthday. I feel very privileged to have two wonderful Sons, Connor, now 23 and Leo who will be 20 on 22nd July. It always makes me smile when you tell us about Wilfie and his antics, maybe it’s a thing with black cats. Elvira is a black cat that is complicated and beautiful and we love her more than anything. Stay safe and well xxx

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