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Living the life of Riley in the Lake District


Whenever Olley and I go anywhere, even for just a day or two, I get him to take photos of me so that I can share them with you on my blog. So often, though, the photos stay on the memory card or in my phone and never see the light of day. This is partly because I don’t get around to writing to you often enough, and also because I don’t want to make it look like I have the life of Riley, gadding about the country having fun whenever I’m not at QVC (although of course that is the truth – I DO have the life of Riley, and I’m very grateful for it!).

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A couple of weeks ago we headed up to the Lake District to visit my brother Pete and his wife Hazel, who live in Ulverston. We always love it there whatever the weather. It was a relief to get there after a seven and a half hour journey troubled by endless motorway queues and roadworks, but the stresses just lift away as soon as I see the mountains. The weather was cold and windy but generally dry, so we managed to get out to see a fair bit, although the high passes were closed due to ice and snow.

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This time of year there are blissfully few people out and about and you can really recharge depleted batteries by walking in the hills and drinking in the beautiful (and sometimes bleak) landscapes. And, also, by drinking in the cosy log fire-warmed pubs at the bottoms of the mountains! Pete and Hazel are fell runners (a mad group of people who gain pleasure from running up and down mountains as fast as possible) and they know their way around the footpaths and trails almost as well as they know the local hostelries, so all we have to do is follow them – albeit at a slightly slower pace!

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On the day we left they were running a race from the church at Whicham, near the west coast, to the top of Blackcombe 600 metres above and back. I decided to walk it as I’d heard that you can see Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man from the top. When I got there I could barely see my outstretched hand to take a ‘selfie’ photo as it was so foggy – good thing there was a path to follow or I could have ended up walking in endless circles!

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I didn’t take Barney the dog up there as he’s getting on a bit – he’ll be sixteen in July – so he doesn’t go too far nowadays, but he enjoyed some gentle walks around tarns and in woodland. I took off on my own several times for a longer walk as I’m starting to train for the Moonwalk – a charity walking marathon in aid of breast cancer. I’m part of Team QVC which includes Jackie Kabler, Ali Keenan and Debbie Flint, plus Abi Cleve our Ultrasun guest.

I ran the London marathon over 30 years ago but I was young and fit then. Walking the same distance during the night may prove to be a little harder, so I need to get some decent miles into my legs before May 16th. Jackie has set up our sponsorship page so if you feel you’d like to support us – every pound helps in the fight against breast cancer – feel free to take a look here!

No doubt there will be many photos taken while we stride the streets of London and I promise I will put some of them up on this blog. But I’m aware that I have so many photos that I only ever enjoy on a screen and wondered whether QVC have any little printers to help me make some old fashioned photos of them. I spotted this little printer on our website, which has good reviews. I might just treat myself; I’ll let you know how I get on with it – and I might just get around to showing you a few more memories of some of my days out!

In the meantime, I’d better get on with my life of Riley!

Hope you are all well and enjoying life,

Kathy x


  1. Susan March 23, 2015 at 8:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, you do make me smile and laugh! Life of Riley. Of course you have ups and downs like us all but you’re great. Lovely photos of somewhere I’ve never been so thank you. I’m glad you didn’t get stuck at the top in the fog BTW! How are your brood all doing these days? Look forward to your marathon stories. Good for you all trying it! X

  2. Eileen Mahoney March 27, 2015 at 1:44 pm -  Reply

    You should work for the Tourist Board for the Lake District, Kathy – I just LOVE your photos and they make me want to go see for myself! Fab

  3. Georgina March 27, 2015 at 3:08 pm -  Reply

    Lovely photos. What breed of dog is Barney?

  4. Susan Jones March 27, 2015 at 8:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy. Was watching you on a Decleor show with Fiona presenting item no 208180. Prolagene Lift & Brightening Eye Cream Duo. The necklace you were wearing Kathy is stunning. What range is it please. I’ve looked everywhere on QVC website for it. The video is showing you wearing it. Could you please email me with the name & item no. Would be so so grateful. Thank you. Love Susan. Xxx

  5. Patricia Mellor March 31, 2015 at 11:54 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, was lovely to see you had a brill time in Cumbria. We have a static caravan not too far away from Wastwater where you had a brilliant photo taken. We have just had a couple of weeks up there and the weather was brilliant a little warmer than when you were there by the looks of it!!! We are off up again for another couple of weeks later this week and I get my QVC parcels sent to me there!!!!
    Hope you managed a journey on the l’all ratty as its known to locals. The journey from Ravenglass up the Eskdale valley to Boot, which is at the foot of Hardknott Pass, is so picturesque and there’s a few nice pubs for a well deserved lovely lunch!!! I know as we frequent that journey most weekends!!!
    Well lets hope you return and maybe I might just spot you there!!!

  6. Kathy March 31, 2015 at 8:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Susan. Glad you like the photos – I love the Lake District whatever the weather, as you can probably tell from the pictures! All three children are doing well, in fact I’m about to write my next blog about Bex, so you can read more very soon. Best wishes to you, Kathy x

  7. Nicky March 31, 2015 at 8:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy,
    I’m loving your Lake District adventure. The photos show the beautiful scenery, isn’t it lovely that you can take Barney along with you too?
    I think I like the log fires in the cosy pubs the best

  8. Kathy March 31, 2015 at 8:16 pm -  Reply

    Hello Eileen. I would say, if you can find the chance to go to the Lakes, take it! I love travelling and going abroad, but we have some beautiful parts of our own country and the Lake District is certainly one of them. I’m lucky to have a brother who lives there which means I go more often than I would otherwise. I hope you get there sometime soon.
    Best wishes, Kathy x

  9. Kathy March 31, 2015 at 8:26 pm -  Reply

    Hi Georgina. Barney is a Bearded Collie, the same as Dale Franklin’s two lovely dogs, but he looks a little different because we have him clipped in the summer as he gets hot and also likes to go in the river which mats his coat. He looks more like a teddy bear! He will be 16 in July so he is a pretty good age for a dog his size. I think he has stayed so healthy because he loves to run, and we have always taken him for good walks, and also because he isn’t motivated by food and only eats what he needs (unlike the rest of the family, including me…!) His weight hasn’t altered more than a kilo in the last 12 years. I don’t know how much longer we’ll have him, but we’re certainly enjoying his company while we can.
    Best wishes, Kathy x

  10. Kathy March 31, 2015 at 8:51 pm -  Reply

    Hello Susan. The Decleor video has been replaced by one with Alison but I’ve looked at a video from WEN Haircare that was on the same day as the Decleor show and so realise which necklace you’re meaning. It is actually from one of our fashion ranges – Latte – who also make some gorgeous jewellery that I am trying to persuade our fashion buyers to bring to QVC. Whenever I wear it I get calls, tweets and emails asking what it is, so you are not alone in liking it! We don’t have it for sale yet, but hopefully soon. In the meantime, I will email Adele from Latte to see whether it’s available anywhere else and let you know via this blog. If you do twitter, you can contact her on @LatteClothing
    Sorry I can’t be more helpful
    Best wishes, Kathy x

  11. Susan Jones April 4, 2015 at 9:55 am -  Reply

    Thank you Kathy. So very kind of you to find out for me. I will watch this space & hopefully I’ll be able to purchase it very soon. Thank you lovely. Xxx

  12. martin forbes April 7, 2015 at 2:42 pm -  Reply

    hi kathy how are you and your family iam well

  13. Susan Jones April 7, 2015 at 7:40 pm -  Reply

    Thank you Kathy. It’s so very kind of you to find out for me. I’ll keep checking your blog Kathy. Xxxx

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