A quick update!

12

Billy panoramaLast weekend was of the quiet stay-at-home variety – I need one of those every now and again to recharge the batteries. Bex came home for the Saturday to practise running up the hill that we live on. Our home is on the edge of the Chilterns, more incline than Camden in London where Bex shares a house with four other medical students, but nothing to compare with the gradient of the hills she'll be racing up and down next month.

She has allowed her Uncle Pete (my mad mountain goat of a brother who lives in the Lake District and spends his spare time running in the mountains that surround him) to persuade her to take part in one of the fell runs that he so enjoys. The sadistic soul tempted our youngest sibling Andrew to risk it last year and he hasn't been the same ever since! Having said that, Andrew is repeating it this year, so having sworn 'never again' he is planning to finish in a better time and a slightly less exhausted state than 12 months ago. We'll see how Bex copes – she's certainly up for a challenge!

For me though, exercise is off the agenda as I try to shake off a couple of sports injuries – spending much of my youth in one athletic arena or another seems to have left me susceptible to dodgy joints – or maybe it's just old age….

Having felt rather frustrated at my lack of activity initially I have now relaxed into a state of sloth. Once Bex had exerted herself up the hill a few times we enjoyed ourselves in the kitchen making flapjacks and white chocolate and cranberry cookies, with half an eye on the TV to catch the best of the fabulous first weekend of six nations rugby. Although we are officially without children at home at the moment, it's lovely to see them when they return – even if just for a day.

In fact, even though Olley and I are enjoying having the house to ourselves rather more than we expected, it seems that we can't quite keep away from our offspring, one way or another. If they don't come to us, we go to them. But who can blame us when they are in places like the beautiful city of Bath. Charlie is studying Sport and Exercise Science at the university there, and we decided to pop down to watch him play hockey this weekend. Then Olley surfed the net, as you do, and found a lovely looking guesthouse offering special one night deals for the Friday night. Temptingly, it was just around the corner from where Charlie lives, and they welcomed dogs so Barney could join us! I was working later than usual on Friday doing some pre-recorded shows for our Spring Fashion special event next weekend, so we couldn't even leave home until about 7pm but we decided to book it as an early Valentine's treat. As we'd get there too late to go out to eat I packed a bag of cheese, pate, salad and fruit (Olley added a decent bottle of Rioja with a bar of chocolate for pudding!) and we planned to picnic in our room. How romantic!

 

Barney at DukesWhen we arrived we couldn't believe our luck – Dukes Of Bath is the most gorgeous grade1 listed Georgian home with huge but elegant proportions and an equally generous welcome. Our initial room had transformed into a splendidly spacious suite with a four-poster bed as it hadn't been booked and the discount made it a steal. Barney has decided he could get used to living in this sort of style! It's unusual to find somewhere like this allowing dogs, and it certainly means they (and Charlie) will be seeing us again.

Charlie and his girlfriend Hannah joined us for a tasty cooked breakfast before we enjoyed watching his hockey match (it didn't rain) and afterwards a stroll along the Kennet and Avon canal with Barney. We then wandered around the city – it is such a lovely place – well worth a visit if you've never been. As a child I went to visit my Granny who lived there – Mum was born there – but as a child you never really appreciate things in the way you do when you're an adult.  Much like our recent weekend in Paris, you can just walk and enjoy.

 

Billy boardingWhile we were in Bath we also had contact with Billy, our youngest, who is in Jasper in Canada at the moment taking a course to become a snowboard instructor. He rang to say he had passed the first stage, a three day exam. We then skyped him to have a longer conversation – it was good to see his face on my iPad screen as well as hear his voice. He has had a few issues to deal with – several pieces of faulty or broken equipment and, last week, a tumble that left him concussed and off the slopes for a few days.

He went off in January with high expectations of how brilliant it was going to be, and it certainly is but he has had to cope with the realities of life while thousands of miles away from home. He's even done his own laundry! He has managed really well and will return home much closer to a young man than a boy. He still has seven weeks to go and the pressure mounts as he will be training for the second level. But I have to say, I think he is having the time of his life!! You can probably tell from these photos – coming home may not be easy… 

I must say, on a completely different note, Billy being away has made me think of the Mums (and Dads and all other loved ones, of course) of our young soldiers who are posted abroad. Billy is seventeen, only seven months from his eighteenth birthday which would put him old enough to be a solider serving abroad. My heart goes out to anyone waving goodbye to a son – or daughter – in those circumstances. It's been hard enough to do it for a son following his dream to the snow. Behind the heart bursting with pride must always be the suppressed fear and knowledge that life doesn't always go to plan.

Earlier I mentioned the Spring Fashion event coming up this Friday and Saturday, 15th and 16th February. We'll be showcasing some of the exciting new styles and designs that make up our Spring Collection, with everything you see on-air available on three easy-pay. Before that, though, I'm delighted to be bringing you a dramatic preview – on Thursday at 11am we have our Spring Catwalk show – only the second time we have broadcast a catwalk special like this. 

Our gifted behind-the-scenes stylist Charlotte has selected outfits to illustrate some of the major trends for the coming season, and of course, at QVC, we show how 'real' people can wear them and look and feel fantastic. Talented model Cordelia has choreographed a compelling catwalk show with some of our other top models, putting the clothes in the spotlight and showing them off to their best. Prepare to be impressed – and tempted!  Fashion journalist Lesley Ebbetts will be with me to talk about the trends and help you decide which styles are ones that might suit you best – and of course you can join us by calling in or texting during the show. I hope you can make it – see you at 11 on Thursday!

Until then, take care.

Kathy x

12 Comments

  1. Gina February 14, 2013 at 11:31 am -  Reply

    Kathy, I havent watched QVC for a while, too busy with work. But today I tuned in for the catwalk show, and I didnt recognise you, you look fantastic. You always looked nice, real and naturally attractive, but youre in a whole different league now, and you’ve got legs! Its very inspiring, I’ve been feeling a little old and boring lately , but you’ve given me a boost. I’m only 46, I should be living and looking good. Thankyou kathy! x

  2. Sarah February 14, 2013 at 11:56 am -  Reply

    Kathy
    Bath is truly a delightful city and retains many different independents, so isnt just the same as everywhere else but in a different place. Just s
    Watching u on catwalk preview and love the hair. Keep us posted with your travels and family achievements such fun.

  3. Susanne Fitzpatrick February 15, 2013 at 10:09 pm -  Reply

    Kathy
    What news of your dear cat? Hope all is well. xx

  4. Jan Burnley February 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy! I fondly remember your sporting prowess and I think you have every reason to blame the aches and pains on those days!! (stick with me and I’ll find some more excuses too)! Haven’t been to Bath but I have been to Jasper.It was on my first visit to Canada and I loved every minute of it. The last time was to Whistler and I don’t even ski,sled or any winter sports, just love the mountains etc.
    Your children have obviiusly inherited the family genes; good luck to them. Jan Burnley

  5. PAULA JOY WILLIAMS February 21, 2013 at 4:31 am -  Reply

    wow it’s amazing how time flies and the children grow up into adults making their own way in life. I’ve had chest infection so have had a week of just walking, doing, yoga and ballet. I would love to go to Bath it looks beautiful. ~~ Paula Joy Williams

  6. kathy February 21, 2013 at 8:31 pm -  Reply

    Hello Gina – and thank you! what lovely things to say! i am slowly managing to lose weight, and my hair is going ok at the moment – it sort of decides itself how good it is going to look at any given moment! But i think the main thing is that I’m being a bit more adventurous with the clothes I wear – since names like Tiana B and Ronni Nicloe arrived at QVC I have realised that I can wear dresses! (Until then, I don’t think I wore one since my school uniform – all my friends used to exclaim that I had legs if I ever wore a skirt as a teenager – it was such a rare event.) QVC fashion has helped me find a style that seems to suit me, and i’m delighted to say that I will be hosting a regular new show in March to help viewers do the same by mixing and matching the different fashion brands that we have. Look out for it at 10am on 6th March!
    Best wishes
    Kathy x

  7. kathy February 21, 2013 at 8:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Sarah.
    You’re right. walking around Bath is not the same as walking down any other British High Street. We had a lovely time.
    I’m glad you enjoyed our Spring Catwalk Collection – didn’t our models look fabulous?! I’m hoping to bring a similar feel to my new fashion show Morning Style with Kathy which starts at 10am on March 6. I hope you can join me then!
    Take care.
    Kathy x

  8. kathy February 21, 2013 at 8:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Susanne
    Thanks for asking about Buddy. He’s doing really well and finds his way around the house ok. We have to be careful not to let him out when we open the door, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He is using his litter trays fairly reliably now, and takes his tablets every evening wrapped in a little piece of smoked salmon or parma ham which he loves! The only thing is that he yowls horribly, which upsets Barney the dog, but he stops if we stroke him. I think sometimes he just isn’t sure where he is, or even how loud he is shouting, as he doesn’t seem to be in any pain – I think it’s just his way of making sure we don’t forget about him! I’ll post another picture of him soon.
    Best wishes
    Kathy x

  9. kathy February 21, 2013 at 8:48 pm -  Reply

    Hello Jan.
    All excuses gratefully received, although i do have plenty of my own!
    I have been to Jasper as well – it was in June about 14 years ago – we took the children and rented a motorhome and drove from Vancouver and Vancouver Island to Banff and Jasper and back. I, too, love the mountains. It was a fabulous holiday but Billy was only 3 and has always been cross that we went when he was too young to remember much about it. I think that’s partly why he chose to do his course in the Canadian Rockies rather than the Alps. I’d love to go back but having paid for him to go we can’t stretch to a trip for us as well! Maybe if we goes back to work next year we could try then.
    We’re planning a weekend visiting one of my brothers, who lives in the Lake District, so that will have to do…
    Take care
    Kathy x

  10. Susan February 25, 2013 at 6:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy,
    I didn’t get to read your lovely blog until now sorry! I just love the photos of Billy on the slopes! Snowboarding is risky stuff..as my brother knows too! I hope Billy loves his next couple of months. I am so pleased you made mention of the soldiers and families. So kind of you. I’m really glad you had such a great time in Bath. It is so pretty isn’t it. You didn’t see Debs F or Lauren? I’ll take that guesthouse up perhaps too!
    Have a lovely week,
    Susan x

  11. Susan February 25, 2013 at 6:29 pm -  Reply

    PS Jan I’m so jealous of you going to Whistler!!! Hehe x

  12. Susan February 25, 2013 at 6:31 pm -  Reply

    PPS Kathy I’ve just read you’re doing a new fashion show! Cannot wait for that! I think you’re great on fashion!!x

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