Reading, writing and relaxing

When I last wrote on here, I wasn’t sure if we were going to manage to get a holiday booked as we had left it rather last minute. I finished work on the Friday, booked the holiday on the Saturday and we were on a flight to Mexico on the following Wednesday. We stayed in a place called Akumal, near Tulum on the Riviera Maya, thanks to a recommendation from Alison Keenan who visited last year.

It was our first time in Mexico and I don’t think it will be our last, but hopefully next time we will be able to get out and about and see the Mayan ruins. It wasn’t an option this time because my ankle has been increasingly troublesome and I can’t walk long distances, particularly on uneven surfaces. In fact, this holiday really did serve as a reminder, if I needed one, of just why I am putting myself through tomorrow’s surgery. One of my favourite things to do, for as long as I can remember, is to go for a long walk along the beach… any beach: Saltburn, Woolacombe, Barbados or circumnavigating a Maldivian island, I love them all. On this holiday, it was a good job our room opened up onto the beach, so at least I only had to negotiate a few steps on the soft sand before flopping down on my sun lounger and even those were seriously uncomfortable. I was also a little time poor, as I’ll elaborate on later.

I’m not usually one for getting up to watch the sunrise, but Mexico is five hours behind us so we experienced minor jet lag and were up before dawn most mornings. From the vantage point of the decked area outside our room, we were able to watch the sun rise over the horizon each morning before heading to breakfast and getting back to take up our position on the beach before 9 a.m., both suitably protected with Ultrasun Tan Activator SPF 30. I’m always sensible in the sun and don’t sit out in the midday sun but I can report that both Chris and I have come back with warm golden brown tans and no tinge of pink.

Although we couldn’t get out sightseeing, there was plenty to do and see in the resort, including visits from some of the native animals. This was a baby iguana which visited our decked area, but the room next door had an adult one and it was pretty big.

We also saw loads of pelicans and this guy. I’m not sure of the species, but apparently native to Mexico and it was good to see it allowed to roam free – obviously not a threat to humans. That stretch of coastline also attracts turtles when it’s time to lay their eggs.

We watched a couple of the evening entertainment shows, but my favourite entertainment was watching this guy create these beautiful pictures, painting with his fingers – how clever! I ended up buying three as I thought it was nice to support the local artisans.

While we were away, it was the 42nd anniversary of Chris and I living together, which we normally celebrate. As we now have a ‘wedding anniversary’ to look forward to, we both agreed we wouldn’t do cards. Someone went back on that decision! Not only did I get a card but a little tin of chocolate hearts too. I love the double entendre on the card… The Story Continues… the perfect card for a writer!

I’d posted a photo of it on Twitter, mentioning it was forty-two years since we moved in together and a comedian, Jeff Stevenson, who I’d recently reconnected with on social media, tweeted this photo saying he remembered when we first met while Jeff, who played Wishee Washee when he and I were working together in Aladdin at the Ashcroft Theatre in Croydon. In case you’re unsure, I’m the one in the checked shirt – I look a bit like Judy Garland! It’s hard to believe that was forty-two years ago.

Funnily enough, a couple of days after our anniversary, our ‘love’ story was covered in a two-page feature in Bella magazine. There was also a small photo of us on the cover, sandwiched between Meghan and Harry, and Nicole Kidman – not bad company to be in. My mum hasn’t read the piece yet (I’ve sent her a copy in the post) but I think she’ll really enjoy all the little mentions I gave her.

So there was plenty of relaxing in the warm sunshine, but I also had the structural edit deadline to make for my next book, which meant each day was divided between work and play. I’m glad to say I did make the deadline but only just – this was me at Cancun airport before the flight home having a read through and tweaking a few bits that seemed to make much more sense when I originally wrote them! I also now know the title (I absolutely LOVE it) and I’ve seen the cover but can’t show you yet until I get the go-ahead from Bookouture – itching to share!!!

So, we’re back and my operation day has finally come around. I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit nervous and it’s by no means a ‘quick fix’ as there will be many more months of physiotherapy to endure, but hopefully it will be the start of me returning to a more mobile lifestyle that will keep me walking on my own two feet. Thanks so much for all your kind good wishes on my previous blog. I’ll have a bit of time on my hands post-op to reply to you all, although I won’t be doing absolutely no work. I’ll keep up with my regular blog, giving you updates on my progress and also keeping you in the loop about some of our fab products. Like, for example, the Liz Earle Instant Brightening Eye Cream, which launches on QVC on the 6th February. Until I tried it, I thought it was only an eye cream, but it is actually slightly pigmented so great for those of us who suffer with dark circles (even when we’re not tired!) You can also use it on the mobile lid if you have ‘tea-bag’ staining as it will help neutralise and give your eye-shadow a truer colour. I will definitely be taking my Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer into hospital with me tomorrow.

So, no blog this Friday, but normal service will be resumed from next Friday.

Much love,
Julia xx

38 Responses

  1. Love to read your blog Julia every week.
    Wishing you well with the op tomorrow. Hope goes smoothly and your recovery is not too uncomfortable. Look after yourself, and if there are offers of help, say ‘yes please’ !
    Good luck x

    1. Hi Judy
      Thanks for your good wishes – the operation seems to have gone well and physio has started. Unusually for me I have been accepting offers of help
      Julia x

  2. Great blog as ever Julia. Good luck tomorrow. Great idea taking your skin tonic spritzer in with you – will really pep you up. I love it and thanks for the heads up about the LE new eye cream. I cant resist anything new from LE! Thinking of you. All the best xx

    1. Hi Karen
      I’m glad you enjoy my blog. The op seems to have gone well. Pleased you’re going to be trying the new LE eye product. I’ve been using the body balm on my dry flaky skin now the cast is off – really rich and nourishing
      Julia x

    1. Thanks Angela. I’m in an aircast boot now and lots of physio ahead but at least I’ve taken the first steps to recovery
      Julia x

  3. Hi Julia I was sitting across from you on the British Airways plane on our way home from Mexico. It was only when we were coming into Gatwick and they put the lights back on that I thought is it Julia Roberts or not so I have been waiting on your blog to clarify. I am a big fan of QVC and now wish I had said Hello Hope your operation goes OK Janis Arthur

  4. Glad you enjoyed your holiday. Very best wishes for tomorrow, Julia. I will miss you on QVC but rest up and take care of yourself xxx

  5. Love reading your blogs Julia. Hope all goes well with your operation, I am sure the cats will be company for you during your recovery and hope to see you back at QVC soon. Take care. x

  6. Hi julia glad you had good holiday looks lovely good luck for your operation hope all goes well take care pauline x

  7. Good luck for your surgery Julia..I enjoy reading your blogs & enjoy watching you & shopping with QVC so I’ll definitely miss you whilst you recover..wishing you a speedy recovery xx

    1. Hiya Julia, wishing you all the best with your surgery. Take care and loved your blog as usual. Glad you enjoyed your Mexican holiday.
      Much love
      Elizabeth 💕

  8. Hi Julia, your blogs are always so interesting and i’m pleased that you managed a holiday before your operation and of course the book deadline too.
    Love and very best wishes for your recovery after the op,
    Kind regards

  9. Good Luck for tomorrow Julia. Although the road may seem long I am sure that you will not regret going through the operation. It will be so good to get your full mobility back.
    Very much looking forward to your next book.

  10. Hope everything goes well today.I will definitely miss you on QVC.Really looking forward to your next book,brilliant crime writer.

  11. Hi Julia, thank you for your lovely blog. Such a lovely photo of you and Chris. Your love story reminds me so much. My husband was my first love. We will be celebrating 52 years of marriage in March. Good luck with your operation. I am so happy for all you and Chris have achieved in your lives. May God continues to bless you both. All my love Antoinette x

  12. Wishing you all the very best Julia with your operation. I am sure it will be worth all the stress. Loving your stories….both fictional and real! And I absolutely agree about the beach walks. I live by a beach called Shell Island in beautiful Wales. It’s the perfect way to relax xx

  13. Hi Julia,
    Hope your op goes well for you. I have arthritis it first flared up in my left ankle about 5 years ago my god did it make me realise never to take things for granted unable to put any pressure on it at all at home not to be hindered i scooted about on a small office chair one with wheels and arm rests we used for our computer desk its amazing what you can do I was even hoovering on it lol but seriously I thought I would never walk again it was very painful managed to get to work and hobble about with a walking stick which I did bling up a bit, thank god I had a sit down job doing wages for a large supermarket, after a while it slowly eased and I can walk about now I still have arthritis not massively painful but I am mobile. Good luck with all you do look forward to seeing you back at Q. Best wishes xx

  14. Thinking of you today Julia, and hoping all goes well. Thank you for the blogs, and keep them coming please. Glad you got a sunny holiday in before the op. You must have nerves of steel to book so last minute. Mind you I can remember when I booked one day and went the next to Cyprus. It was in the days of teletext holidays and I waited with my case packed for the price to come down – and it did! Like the sunhat!

  15. Hi Julia
    Fingers crossed everything went well for you today with your operation, been thinking of you. Hope you don’t feel too woozy from the anaesthetic
    Spoke to a lady yesterday, who had the identical operation to me but on the other leg and we were comparing notes, even down to not being able to wear heels anymore.
    She’s thinking of having the metalwork out like I did at some point, it was really nice to talk to someone else, as not everyone understands what you’ve been or are going through!
    Card is in the post Julia, hope you like my sense of humour!
    Take care
    love Annette x

  16. Hope your op went well and you are not feeling too awful this morning. Many,
    like me, are already missing your shows and are looking forward to your return.
    Hope you enjoy the game on Saturday ON TV, good luck against Sheffield U.

  17. Hi Julia , hope all has gone well with your operation, look forward to hearing how it all went . I’m sure you’ll be well looked after whilst you recuperate and Wilfie will enjoy having you at home for a while ! Will miss you on QVC ! Love & Best Wishes , Samantha x

  18. Hi Julia, what a difference
    this operation will make to your life, and how blessed are we to have the medical advances which change and improve lives so much.
    Wishing you a comfortable and positive recovery.
    Anita X

  19. Hi Julia. I hope that the op was a great success and your recovery will be sure and steady. I’m sure that you will feel much more like your old self when you get cracking with the physiotherapy. Your holiday looked wonderful and a great way to give yourself a boost before surgery. Lots of love, Gill, from Nottingham. X

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