Quite a year

I hope you have all been able to enjoy Christmas to some degree. It’s been a strange one for me as for the first time in twenty-nine years, I haven’t been on either the Christmas or the New Year shift on QVC. The good news is that my second cataract operation of 2021 went really well and that if things continue to improve as they are, I will be back on screen on 13th January. I’m hoping for a year less interrupted by periods of sickness absence… I’ve attended no fewer than seventy-six medical appointments and nine video consultations in the past year. There will still be medical appointments, in fact my first is a brain scan on January 5th, the first since my surgery in October, but I’m hoping it will all be about returning to optimum health in 2022.

But back to Christmas for a few moments. We were very fortunate to have both our mums to stay for the festive period. It was actually their second stay this year as they both came down in August for a few days, which kind of made up for them not being able to visit last Christmas. We got them to make themselves useful by decorating the Christmas cake on Christmas Eve, something the children always did when they were younger. The decision making of what to put where took a while, but the end result was good, and it tasted yummy (even though I say so myself!)

I had some lovely presents, including an Apple watch from Chris, so that I can keep an eye on my fitness now that my ankle is in better shape. I’m back on my treadmill (up to 2.5 kilometres walking per session now) and of course I can’t do without my Aeropilates machine. Even in the early days of recovery following my major ankle surgery, I was able to perform a few exercises and it continues to be my favourite piece of exercise equipment both for my physical wellbeing and my mental wellbeing. If you haven’t tried it yet, watch out for the upcoming Today’s Special Value on January 10th – I’m not overstating when I say it could end up being a life-changing decision for you, as it was for me over twenty years ago.

The hour where I escape to my gym at the bottom of the garden sets me up for whatever lies ahead for the remainder of the day and I end my ‘session’ by singing along to a song called Clown, by Emili Sande. Those of you who read my blogs regularly know that I’m fortunate to have a very thoughtful husband, but he excelled himself this Christmas. I’m not going to lie, I cried when I opened my first present from him and discovered this beautiful cushion that he’d had made for me. I cried again at another present, which I’ll tell you about later.

We also had our daughter Sophie and her family at ours for Christmas Day after we’d all done lateral flow tests, of course – we weren’t taking any chances around the mums even though they’ve both had their boosters. We were particularly mindful as our son Dan and his girlfriend Katie had both tested positive just before Christmas, so we weren’t able to have them for Boxing Day as had been the plan. I’m so hoping that we will be free of the restrictions of this global pandemic by the time next Christmas comes around!

So, before the year is out I thought I’d take a look back over what has been at times a challenging twelve months for me – I’m sure I’m not alone in that, and I hope things improve for you if you’ve been struggling, as they have for me recently.

January – The first ‘eye’ appointment with a local optician who discovered I had cataracts in both eyes so not the greatest start to the year, but it was also the month that My Mother’s Secret was published so it ended on a high!

February – Our daughter Sophie and her partner bought their first home together. More eye appointments for me and the seed of an idea for Instagram Live.

March – Permission to Pry was born. If you haven’t watched it, it is an hour-long chat with a QVC guest aimed at finding out more about the ‘person’ rather than the product they represent.

Glen Campbell was my first ever guest and for some reason his is the only video chat missing from my Instagram page (you can find the other thirty by tapping the middle button at the top of my photo grid – and yes, I did thirty-one, the last on QVC’s 28th birthday prior to my brain surgery). Do check them out, you’ll find out stuff you could never have imagined about some of our best-loved QVC guests. I’m planning on restarting Permission to Pry early in 2022.

April – A sunny Easter followed by snow a week later!

May – Our son and his girlfriend bought their first home together after living with us for the previous seven months. They also acquired a Dachsund/Jack Russell puppy who they called Quin. My first cataract operation of the year.

June – Lots of visits to eye specialists who couldn’t decide why I was unable to see properly! Sophie and her family acquired a Labradoodle and called him Baxter. I can’t believe he was ever this small as he’s quite a size now!

July – Wilfie came to stay for two weeks while Dan and Katie were on their holiday. I love this little face!

August – Our mums came to stay as mentioned previously and my second novel of the year, The Woman on the Beach, was published on the 19th – it has actually been my bestselling book so far, hitting the number one spot in various category charts and number seventeen in the main ebook chart – a real high spot of my year! Publication day was also when I found out about the brain tumour, or to give it its proper name, ‘macro adenoma of the pituitary gland’. It was quite a size and was pressing on my optic nerve hence the distortion to my vision. I feel incredibly fortunate that it was discovered before any permanent damage was done to my eyesight.

September – We managed to get to the seaside for the first time in 2021 – only for the day but it was worth it. I was the woman on the beach in West Wittering (along with hundreds of others).

October – It was QVC’s twenty-eighth birthday on the 1st, which was my last day on air before my pituitary gland surgery on the 7th. I would like to thank all of you who sent me messages (apologies that I’ve still not managed to answer them all, but they have all been read and appreciated). I also want to thank those colleagues whose messages really helped me through a very anxious time… you know who you are. I also posted this photo from thirty years ago as a throwback Thursday on Instagram, which Chris then had cleaned up and made into this picture – my second lot of tears on Christmas Day!

November – I returned to QVC briefly. At this point a mention for our presenter stylist, Stine, who takes some lovely photos of a very reluctant model (me – so I use the word model lightly) to post on Instagram. I had loads of nice comments about this MarlaWynne outfit, including from my mum.

December – My eye doctor managed to squeeze in my second cataract operation of the year so that I could have a fresh start ‘eye wise’ in 2022.

So, 2021 was a mixed year for me but one that has certainly made me appreciate how important good health is. With that in mind, I’ve determined that in 2022 I will make more time for relaxing and watching the birds feed on The Grumpy Gardener fat balls, which has brought me enormous joy this year. If your birds haven’t tried them yet, give them a treat, especially as they are going to be at a reduced price this January.

Yes, I have books to write and a full-time job at QVC, but Chris and I need ‘us’ time, which will hopefully include a proper holiday now that my eye issues are sorted – only another two weeks before I’m allowed to go swimming!!!!

Thank you for shopping with us this year, for reading my blogs (and books if you do) and for all the kindness you’ve shown me this year.

Happy and Healthy 2022!

Much love,
Julia xx

26 Responses

    1. Hi Anne
      2021 was highs & lows but I have a good feeling about 2022. I hope it’s good one for you too
      Love
      Julia x

    1. Hi Aly
      What a lovely thing to say 🥰 Happy New Year to you to & hopefully a healthier one for all of us
      Love
      Julia x

  1. So good to hear from you, Julia – and I’m so glad that you are feeling positive about the New Year. 2021 was horrendous for many of us. I’ve had a tricky Christmas as my dad is very, very poorly – but I will be eternally grateful that he’s being so well looked after by the wonderful team of carers at the nursing home.
    Wishing you and your family good health, peace and happy times in 2022. Lots of love xxx

    1. Hi Cherry
      I’m so sorry to hear about your dad – carers do a fantastic job and are sometimes under appreciated.
      There’s no doubt that 2021 had its health challenges, but I’m feeling positive about 2022.
      Much love to you and your family
      Julia x

    2. Julia darling so 💗 glad 😊 you are enjoying your life
      After the initial shock 😲 you have gotvyourvhead round it
      Famous mantra
      “Don’t want to trouble the Doctor ” comes to mind
      It is usally least troublesome who are in genuine need

      🙌 Julia from Julia

      1. Hi Julia,
        Sorry for the delayed reply.
        A former Crystal Palace manager came up with the word, ‘bouncebackability’ and I think I try to live by that. ‘I get knocked down, BUT I get up again’ is another one.
        Life is so much better when you feel well which makes me even more aware of the people who cope with long-term chronic illness ❤️
        Love
        Julia x

  2. Hi Julia I hope you are getting on well after your surgery. You recently said you bought a Dualit kettle and my mum would like one. Which model did you get? Would really appreciate if you could let me know – thanks.

    Wishing you a healthy and happy New year

    Best wishes

    Liz

    1. Hi Liz,
      So sorry for the late reply & sitting doing replies in the hairdresser so can’t even check the model of the Dualit kettle. I know it comes in 2 sizes, 1 litre or 1 & a half litre and in cream or black if that helps… the 1 litre might be big enough for your mum?
      It’s been a much healthier year so far thankfully.
      Love
      Julia x

  3. Hi Julia,
    As a very long standing customer of QVC watching you presting your shows I just want to wish you all the best for 2022.
    A new year – a new, healthy, happy, and generally much better year for you and yours than 2021 proved to be.
    My sincere good wishes Julia.

    Myra.

    1. Hi Myra,
      Thanks so much for your loyalty to QVC.
      I’m hoping 2022 will be a better year health wise – looking promising at the moment 🥰
      Love
      Julia x

  4. Hi Julia, So pleased to hear you are starting 2022 in better health. Do slow down but not stop.
    Sounds like you need to take time for you,a slower pace can mean you get more done.
    I am so sorry to hear Nicki enlist her battle. A lovely lady and I know she will be greatly missed.
    Thank You for your posts on QVC , they often make me smile. I enjoy reading your books.
    Enjoy 2022, Take care and Be safe
    Best wishes
    Peggy 💐

    1. Hi Peggy
      Sorry it has taken me so long to reply – I’ve taken your advice and am slowing down slightly 😉
      It has been a very difficult time for Simon Wilson as you can imagine losing Nikki.
      Thank you for reading my blogs and my books
      Love
      Julia x

  5. So pleased you are recovering well and best wishes for 2022. My son had a brain operation in April this year and

    thanks to a brilliant surgeon has recovered completely. I remanise when you mention West Wittering . this used to
    be a private beach when I lived in Hampshire in the 70,s. Again all the best.

  6. Hi Julia I’m so so sorry you haven’t been well , but on wards and upwards now for you my young lady . I like you have had my Pilates machine for a good few years now and I love it too from qvc . Take care Julia x

  7. Julia you have really had a rough 2021 so let us hope that 2022 will be much better. It is good that your second cataract op has gone well. I can empathise totally with you because I have had eye problems in 2021 and I am due to have laser surgery on my left eye next week. I had the other eye done last April. I hope that the result of the next op will be as good as the first one. I read a lot and it has been very frustrating not being able to see properly.
    I am so looking forward to seeing you back on TV. You are definitely the best of a very good bunch of presenters.
    Take care, stay safe and well and have a very happy 2022.
    Much love Julie xx

  8. Thanks for taking the time to update us all…Wow what a very mixed year, as Rod Stewart said a while ago 1972 “never a dull moment” I am so glad you are through it, and hope to see you soon..really miss your always honest presentations, and also your Friday “picks”

  9. I am sorry to hear about all your troubles in 2021and hope its all behind you now. You have been missed as you are an inspiration to so many. I have been there from the start of QVC and remember you back then. You have gone from strength to strength and nothing will stop you now.
    Much love and power to you. X

  10. Hi I had a prolactinoma in my pituitary gland removed through my mouth by Professor
    Teesdale at Southern General Glasgow…he is the pioneer for this operation….in 1985….I was completely sterile and could not have children, he removed it and I have two grownup children today. I am nearly 71 and have been a avivid customer with qvc for years….my name is Morag…and I have never looked back from having thus procedure all these years ago, second chance in life. ..!!!!

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