Mum, Chez Huntley and our feline contingent


Hi everyone! Long time no blog, but I hope you’ll forgive as I’ve been busier than ever before in my life.

First things first: my mum. She has been making leaps and bounds in her progress. Not literally leaping and bounding but almost. She’s gone from her walker back to using a walking stick for short distances. She’s managing to do a lot more for herself now. I’m so glad we have had the time together over the past couple of months, as although many of the times were very scary and sad, we have had some wonderful times. Fun times. Silly times. Reminiscing times, too. I was looking through some of mum’s old photos. This is a pic of her when she was in her early twenties – I think she looks so sweet!

Young mum

I also found this one of my mum, my dad and me. Amazing how time just slips away so fast.

Mum Dad Me

It was good to slow down for a bit whilst caring for mum – taking time to just sit and talk, cook, watch films. Mum introduced me to the cutest programme called ’50 Ways to Kill your Mammy’. It’s worth a look! The basic premise is that Baz, the show’s creator, takes his pension-age Mum all over the world and challenges her to the most extreme activities such as skydiving, off road desert driving and being massaged by huge snakes, to name just a few! They are very close and it’s extremely touching at times, as well as funny.

Annie and meBack when mum was still in the hospital and things were very touch-and-go, my sister Annie came over from the States. We just didn’t know which way things would go at that point so she felt she needed to come. As a kind of byproduct of her coming for mum it also gave us the chance to feel closer.

We both stayed at mum’s house in mum’s bed and even donned her nighties. Appropriately or not it gave us something to giggle about on our first night together at mum’s. Goodness knows we needed it. Well, mum and I both miss Annie very much now she has gone home again. Here we are wearing the said nighties with Annie’s empty one between us. Hurry up and come back, Annie!

Mum Me Annie's Nightie

So, with mum being a miraculous minion and making such a great recovery, my two wonderful children and I are now, finally, all together in our not-yet-finished house. On squeaky blow up beds but at least we are together. The cats of Chez Huntley, Pixie and Popsie, are back home again too. They had been staying at a cat hotel whilst the screed (a type of cement, sort of) was laid over the underfloor heating, but their stay was extended considerably after mum’s ill health issues came up. We may not have a sink, internal doors, kitchen appliances installed (I could go on) but we are happy all the same… and we are nearly there! Mind you, I have been saying that for months and months but, at the very least, we will enjoy our very first Christmas in our new finished home. Well, the inside anyway…

Blood Sweat and Broken Nails

I am very much looking forward to getting my fingernails back! Laying the flooring took lots of blood, sweat and tears but I got the hang of it fairly quickly thanks to Steve, who has taught me so much throughout the project. Chris, another amazing professional, has installed the family bathroom and my en suite shower room is almost finished. He let me and my son Tom lay a tile or two. My best friend Mandy and her lovely other half, Gary, have been in helping me with garden bits and decorating. The children have been great; Chrissie is a dab hand with a paint roller and Tom is fabulously strong and helpful in moving the heavy stuff from place to place.

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This has been the most testing, stressful, expensive, time-stealing year ever for me but, finally, it feels as though everything is falling into place!

Next week I am off to Portugal for Christianne Wolff’s Body Rescue Retreat. I still feel guilty and indulgent for going but I know it’s important to recharge. I have house sitters plus the kids and final bits of work being done whilst I’m away, and the kids are on hand if mum needs them, so I hope I can stop worrying about how it’s all going. There may even be space left on the retreat so if you’re interested do look Christianne and her Body Rescue Plan up on Twitter, Facebook and on her website for more information.

Keep well and happy. See you soon!

Catherine xx


  1. Joan Scott September 25, 2015 at 3:22 pm -  Reply

    So pleased to hear your Mum is on the mend Catherine. What a worrying time for you. It sounds as though the retreat is just what you need to steal some time just for you. You certainly deserve it! X

  2. Kim September 27, 2015 at 3:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine! Thanks for another great blog; so glad your mum is doing so very well. You kindly asked me to let you know about my own mums’ progress with her knee replacement surgery. I’m happy to report that the surgery was moved forward from 16th October to last Saturday, and she is now home again and steadily doing well. Fingers crossed she will make as speedy a recovery as your mum! Hope your little break away has done you good; you so deserve it after your recent traumatic few months. Take care of yourself, love Kim x

  3. Linda September 29, 2015 at 8:48 pm -  Reply

    Dear Catherine,
    I am so glad that your Mother is getting better every day. I am also glad to hear that all your hard work is coming to an end and that you and your family have all moved back in together. You have worked so hard you should be very proud of yourselves. Have a good rest when your away. Love Lyn xx

  4. KK October 7, 2015 at 2:40 am -  Reply

    Catherine I love looking around other people’s houses. I am so nosey!! It gives ideas. Can you please do a tour of your new home when it is finished? Have a fab retreat on your hols to Portugal.


  5. Kathleen Stevenson October 8, 2015 at 11:39 am -  Reply

    Hi Catherine, so glad your mum is recovering so well. i will never be able to look at a minion again without thinking of that picture. Also just to say thank you for the time you took to text me after my comment on body rescue feed. You are very kind and quite right. Negative thinking is so destructive and life limiting. Its an internal dialogue that benefits nobody and one I seem to play and replay. I have reread your comment and it is helpful, true and again, very kind of you to offer that advice. Many thanks, xxx

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