My dad’s favourites

This coming Sunday might be a tricky one for those of us who no longer have our Dads on this earth. I lost mine in November 2007 and although I still miss him and wish he could have stayed for longer, I have learned to appreciate that we were very lucky to have him for as long as we did. It would have been his 101st birthday this Saturday too.

With perfect timing, my first few sweet peas bloomed earlier this week, the relevance being that they were my dad’s favourites. He grew them most years from seed and I have enduring memories of the rows of canes to support them and the runner beans, which he was also a dab hand at growing, at the bottom of the garden of my childhood home on Musters Road in West Bridgford, Nottingham. I have tried to grow sweet peas from seed a few times over the years but without much success, so this year I ordered the Richard Jackson plants and they have gone ‘bonkers’! Not only are they a delight to look at, sweet peas also have a beautiful fragrance, again bringing back childhood memories. I will be cutting some to bring indoors at some point, but my house is currently awash with flowers – more on that in a moment. I have actually ordered some runner bean plants from Plants2Gardens, which should be arriving any day… I hope they will be as successful as the sweet peas!

Apparently, according to my husband, Chris, mine are doing a lot better than our next-door neighbours and he would know as he was asked to water their garden for them while they were away for a few days. He willingly obliged (odd really, as I’m always the one that waters our garden) and for his trouble was given some home-grown rhubarb and a couple of bottles of Pinot Noir.

The wine is unopened as yet, but the rhubarb has been stewed and frozen for some delicious crumbles with custard when the weather turns cooler. I know rhubarb is an acquired taste, a bit like Marmite really, but I love both the taste and the smell of it. The Philip Kingsley Elasticizer in Rhubarb & Elderflower was a real favourite of mine – mind you, I’ve loved most of their fragranced ones as they leave my hair smelling gorgeous as well as looking shiny and feeling silky soft.

Mentioning beauty products, I’m really sad not to be on with Caroline Archer for this weekend’s Liz Earle shows. The good news is that I won’t be completely missing her as she is the subject on this morning’s Permission to Pry on my @juliagroberts Instagram if you fancy watching live at 11am. I do always put the video up afterwards if you won’t be able to watch live. I have a snoop on my ‘subject’s’ Instagram grid before our chat and I have to say there is a lot on there about Caroline that you may not realise just from watching her on QVC. She also no longer has her dad, although her loss was much more recent than mine. In a way, it’s a good job that she will be busy presenting the Today’s Special Value on QVC this Sunday.

That said, it is already available to pre-order and by all accounts is proving to be very popular. The collection has 200ml sizes of the iconic Cleanse & Polish and Instant Boost Skin Tonic, your choice of Superskin Moisturiser in either Original or Natural Neroli, and new to us, the Superskin Alt Retinol Paste, an overnight treatment which everyone is raving about that leaves skin looking plumped and with a youthful glow. It’s a smidge under £50 and is on five interest-free Easy Pay instalments, so you could get it home to try using your 60-day money back guarantee for an initial £9.99 plus P&P. I’m looking forward to trying my sample when I eventually pick it up from my dressing room, which looks as though it will be Wednesday 23rd.

I really wasn’t expecting to be off this long following my cataract operation, but after initial issues with the chemical preservatives in the eye drops you have to use many times a day, it took a while for my eye to ‘recover’. Then, of course, there has been the problem with my vision not improving as it should have done. Yesterday, I went to Moorfields eye hospital for a third opinion on why this might be and was relieved to hear that I’m not going mad with the symptoms I’m describing. There are a couple of possible causes, and both have solutions eventually, but for the time being I will have to rely on my other eye with a contact lens in to be able to see what I’m doing.

I hadn’t realised quite how blurry my vision was without glasses or a lens until my train journey into London yesterday. It was the first time I’ve travelled by train since January 2020 and was actually slightly busier than I expected on the journey into town. On the way back though, it was pretty quiet as you can see from the photo, but it was a good job I had Chris with me or I might have got on the wrong train, particularly after having the pupils in both eyes dilated so that the consultant could thoroughly check my eyes!

So, back to my house being full of flowers. It was my birthday last Thursday and knowing my love of flowers, my family all sent me beautiful bouquets. The first ones were from Chris and were on the breakfast table, along with some thoughtful gifts, which included a fab pair of trainers that unfortunately weren’t very comfortable so had to be returned. I think I’m best sticking with Skechers, which seem to be perfect on my feet.

The second lot of flowers, from my son and his girlfriend, arrived as a delivery. They had a small box of chocolates that amazingly I haven’t sampled yet. They also got me a beautiful silver ‘family tree’ necklace following a post that I’d put up on Instagram about families spreading their branches but the roots always being there.

And then in the evening, prior to dinner out with Sophie and Reece, another first in over eighteen months to eat dinner ‘out out’ in a restaurant, my third beautiful selection of summer flowers. My treat from them is Afternoon Tea for Two at Pennyhill Park in Surrey, where the England football team stayed as their base for some of their recent international games.

Speaking of which, great start for both England and Wales in the Euros – long may it continue… wouldn’t it be great if one of the home nations could bring the trophy home this time…

Well, that’s it from me for now and hopefully I’ll see you back on air on Wednesday.
Much love,
Julia xx

14 Responses

  1. Belated birthday greetings, Julia – lovely flowers. So sorry you are not having an easy time after your cataract op, hope the problems are resolved very soon. Looking forward to seeing you back on QVC. Lots of love xxx

    1. Hi Cherry
      Sorry for the slow reply – I was thoroughly spoilt with my beautiful birthday flowers and now picking fresh sweet peas a couple of times a week 😊 The less said about my eye the better!
      Julia x

  2. Eyes are very complicated, I recently had a cancerous growth removed from my right eye and now wonder why I actually bothered since it’s so difficult to deal with, however, like you, it’s always good to get these things sorted although it takes longer to become “normal” than we expected. I do hope you are better soon, we. need an honest presenter and you fit the bill, some of the rest are less than that. Take care, xx

    1. Hi Lily
      I hope your eye has settled down now – the trouble is, we have no choice but to get these things done and it’s so disappointing when they don’t go as well as we hope they will.
      Thank you for your kind words – honesty is always the best approach I believe
      Julia x

  3. Hi Julia
    I lost my dad 4 months ago very suddenly one minute he is talking next he fell asleep. I’m really dreading Sunday and you only truly realise pain of others in this situation when you are going through it yourself.
    I’m sure they will be looking down at us x

    1. Hi Ghazala,
      I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and hope you managed to get through Father’s Day okay – the first one is always the worst.
      Like you, my dad left us suddenly – I have tried to reconcile not being able to say goodbye with the thought that at least he didn’t suffer a long and painful end to his life through illness.
      I’m sure they were and will continue to look down on us
      Much love
      Julia x

  4. All the very best with your eyes Julia. Sight is so precious, and having been acutely short sighted with an astigmatism since I was 3, l’m starting with cataracts in my run up to being 60 in October. I also have a hole in my retina so there’s some clouding and I’m having to put drops in both eyes for dry eye.. Isn’t getting older just great 😊

    1. Hi Linda,
      You’ve made me realise just how fortunate I’ve been with my eyes up until now! It sounds as though you’ve already had it pretty tough. I’ve seen three specialists and all are satisfied that the ‘back’ of the eye looks good and that the ‘front’ of the eye can be sorted – I’ll get there eventually and hope things can be sorted for you.
      Getting older is better than the alternative 😉
      Julia x

  5. Aaah a memory you gave me reading your post. I went to Musters Road Secondary Modern back in the 60’s, live in Bucks now, mum now 94 still lives in West Bridgford, just behind the Co-op on the Avenue. watched you since the beginning and always read your interesting blogs. Had my cataract op 15 years ago, brilliant result, take care.

    1. Hi Christine,
      Small world, particularly as my mum is also 94, turning 95 next month. She ran a dancing school on the lower end of Musters Road in the Methodist Church annexe – was the Secondary Modern school near there?
      I’m glad you enjoy reading my blogs and delighted that your cataract op was such a success – gives me hope that mine can get sorted
      Julia x

  6. Hi Julia. Beautiful glitter masks are available from Love Lemonade London. I got one for going to a wedding last month. Theyre gorgeous. Enjoy the wedding. X

    1. Hi Una
      Thanks for the suggestion re sparkly face masks – I managed to get one online but in the end wore a different mask with non-sparkly stars on it. I need another event now to wear my sparkles to 😉
      Julia x

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