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The joys of spring

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There are moments when you suddenly realise what a commonly used expression really means, and why someone thought it up in the first place.

I’ve just had one of those lightbulb moments, while I’m driving in our motorhome with my husband Olley. Travelling through some stunning Somerset countryside between the beautiful city of Bath and the M5, with rolling hills, pretty stone churches and friendly looking villages bathed in glorious March sunshine, I really do feel ‘full of the joys of spring’!

We have planned a few days in Cornwall to celebrate my birthday and with the weather promising to be kind, I’m enjoying the anticipation of a few days off work and the feeling of being on the open road heading towards the seaside at St Ives.

We’ve always enjoyed hitting the road together – our honeymoon almost 29 years ago was three weeks driving around Italy – and as Olley likes to drive while I love to plan the journey with maps and guide books, we make a good team. The motorhome has opened up many more opportunities for us, as it is so much more affordable to travel when, tortoise-like, you carry your bed with you!

Roll on a few days and I’m picking up writing this again on our way home. It’s a good thing our bed came with us as I’ve spent most of the weekend in it! After enjoying our arrival afternoon exploring the gorgeous St Ives I was struck down with a nasty virus. What a waste of a holiday, poor Olley has spent most of it mopping my fevered brow and making me endless mugs of tea. Not what he had imagined! As we head home we have agreed that we will definitely return to the western end of Cornwall to complete unfinished business, namely to walk the coastal path and climb to the top of St Michael’s Mount. These photos give you an idea of how beautiful this part of the country is.

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When you’re feeling ill and a bit miserable, it’s easy to dwell on the negative but I really try not to do that. The first sentence of the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr is something I try to live by. It says:

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

I keep a little list of the simple things in life that make me feel happy and grateful. I’m not talking about the really important things like the health and happiness of those you love, but just little moments in life that it would be so easy to be too busy to notice but are there for us to enjoy on a daily basis. Taking a few seconds to acknowledge those moments on a regular basis can really help me feel lucky to be here. I wonder whether you have any similar parts of your daily life that you stop to appreciate? I’d love to hear about them! Here are some of the things on my list…

  • Stepping outside the back door to listen to the birdsong in our garden – sometimes I can hear woodpeckers drumming too
  • Taking time to consciously breathe in fresh air, filling my lungs
  • Walking in the countryside
  • Spotting the first signs of spring in the garden as the catkins and early flowers appear

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  • Tucking in to a bacon sandwich (for my full enjoyment that means white bread and butter – a rare indulgence – but no ketchup) with a cup of tea
  • Tulips on the kitchen table

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  • Collapsing into bed at the end of the day – especially with warm flannel sheets in winter and fresh clean bed linen at any time of year
  • Laughing with Olley
  • Feeling the water of a warm shower cascading over my head – and breathing in the fragrance of Liz Earle’s Orange Flower Botanical Body Wash
  • Sunday evenings with no work on Monday
  • Deep, blue sky…

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  • Watching my children talking and laughing together
  • Eating a hot cross bun, or a slice of carrot cake with lemony cream cheese topping
  • The feeling I have when I finish a yoga class
  • A moment to myself at home, with no one there to ask anything of me! Just breathe…
  • Sunshine
  • Silence…

Have a good Easter – I’m hoping to be back on air on Tuesday with the Morning Show and then celebrating the first anniversary of Logo by Lori Goldstein fashion at 11am. Hope to see you then!

Until then, take care

Kathy x

16 Comments

  1. shirley osborne March 29, 2016 at 5:11 pm -  Reply

    hi kathy nice to hear you were in cornwall but sorry to hear you were not well unfortately at the moment there is something going around.i live in padstow and if you would like a real treat you should visit seenen cove it,s just beautiful.anyway get better soon

  2. Denise March 30, 2016 at 10:29 am -  Reply

    Thank you for your wise words. Get better soon.

  3. gill graham March 30, 2016 at 10:59 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathy just watching Catherine presenting Morning Style she’s doing an excellent job as did Jackie last week. But missing your special touch . Please take care and get well soon xxxx

  4. jill rycroft April 1, 2016 at 1:47 pm -  Reply

    I so agree with you Kathy, at the moment between 6pm to 7.00pm a blackbird sings it’s heart out where I live so I just make a pot of tea and sit in the conservatory and listen, there’s no one around and I feel she’s singing just for me, such peace!

  5. Carole Bevan April 1, 2016 at 6:34 pm -  Reply

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again Kathy Taylor, you are a lovely lady and I wish there were more people like you.
    At a time when I have numerous problems with the failing health of my very elderly parents, with a different concern every day, and being separated from them by the Irish Sea, I read your blog and it just made me smile, cry a bit, but you are so right about what makes you happy, and I could not agree more with the tulips on the table, breathing in the air, looking for the signs of Spring and the birdsong.
    I would like to add the sight of my beautiful daughter with her stunning thoroughbred 17.1hh chestnut mare, riding at the yard where she keeps her, with a mountainous backdrop and green fields full of horses.
    Life is whatever you make it, but nature is always beautiful.
    Carole
    Xxxxxxx

  6. Christine Jones April 1, 2016 at 7:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy
    So sorry to hear you ve gone down with this awful virus. It So debilitating. Looking at your photos though it was so lovely and brought back memories for me and our visit there many years ago.

    I can relate to your list of things that bring you joy. So wonderful simple but lasting and enduring treasures. I too have jugs of tulips dotted around the house over Easter. They were my late mum s favourites and so they are a lovely memory.. My grandsons bright me them and my granddaughter drew me a picture of What my Grandma means to me… I cried when I read it. … And they know the true meaning of Easter not just about the chocolate, so that blesses my heart…

    Well Kathy, do take care and get plenty rest listening to the birdsong… Keeping you in my prayers always!! Blessed to hear Olley looking after you as my David does me.. Missed seeing you on air but know you need to get stronger.

    Hope you can soon resume your travels… We off to Cornwall for holidays in June so can t wait!!! Beautiful place….

    Sending love and hugs to you and your family, hope Bex and Dan are settling into married life..

    Christine xxxxxxx

  7. Susan April 4, 2016 at 1:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, how are you now? Hope you’re better? Lovely photos above! You look great. And I love your kitchen table!!x

  8. Kathy April 6, 2016 at 8:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Shirley. Padstow must be a wonderful place to live, I’ve visited and loved it and also remember Sennen Cove for its beauty. Didn’t get there this time as I was asleep in the motorhome! Did you see the Sunday evening drama Undercover – they filmed the family at their holiday home in St Just!
    Thanks for your best wishes, I’m slowly improving and will be back at work next week.
    Best wishes to you!
    Kathy x

  9. Kathy April 6, 2016 at 8:41 pm -  Reply

    Thanks Denise – I’m on the mend!
    Kathy x

  10. Kathy April 6, 2016 at 8:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Gill
    I agree, Morning Style is in safe hands when I’m not at work – both Jackie and Catherine do a grand job!
    I’m much better now, though, and fully expect to be there next week. I hope you can make it too!
    Best wishes
    Kathy x

  11. Kathy April 6, 2016 at 8:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill, how wonderful! I’m sure she is singing just for you!
    I’ve spent a lot of time in the last week dozing in our garden room trying to recover from flu. The sun has shone through the windows and the birds are singing – very relaxing and healing! Such a pleasure.
    Best wishes
    Kathy x

  12. Kathy April 6, 2016 at 8:54 pm -  Reply

    Oh my word, Carole, you paint such a wonderful picture of your daughter riding her horse. My daughter Bex used to ride – she loved to event – but we had to sell her horse when she went to medical school. Although I used to have terrible nerves when she was doing the cross country (such huge jumps!) she was never more alive after an exhilarating clear round. To see such beauty in stunning surroundings is a wonderful thing!
    Take care
    Kathy x

  13. Kathy April 6, 2016 at 9:03 pm -  Reply

    Hello Christine, how wonderful to have such thoughtful grandchildren – I’m looking forward to when the time comes for Olley and me, but I think Bex will have to keep on working for a couple of years, at least. She is blissfully happy with Dan, who is a real strength to her. She has had a tough last few months at work with insufficient support at the hospital. Very long (some unpaid) hours and having to step up above her grade. But she still has a smile on her face and told me today that she has learnt so much and was very proud of herself over a couple of incidents this week – she has certainly gained lots of confidence.
    Thank you for keeping me in your prayers – and have a wonderful holiday in Cornwall. I’m on the mend and will be back at work next week.
    Best wishes
    Kathy x

  14. Kathy April 6, 2016 at 9:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Susan
    I’m finally feeling much better, thanks, but it’s been a long drag!
    I’m glad you like our table, it’s big enough to fit 12 for a meal and it has seen many a sociable event! If it could only tell the stories! On second thoughts, probably better that it can’t…
    Best wishes
    Kathy x

  15. Patsy Balvin April 9, 2016 at 1:55 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, a very happy birthday to you and thank-you for sharing your thoughts of enjoying the moment, and that even when ill, we can appreciate simple beauties and the thoughtfulness of others. We live in beautiful Devon near the sea, and also my husband is a very hard working doctor, so I understand your worries about your daughter. I recently stopped work in the NHS as a psychologist to care for our adopted daughter, and if you ask what may be a simple pleasure, it would be to see her face dimple with a cheeky smile and then normally to correct me about something! Any time you want an earl grey in Devon you are so welcome, we all adore you down here. Get well soon. xxPATSY

  16. Kathy April 20, 2016 at 10:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Patsy.
    What a lovely message, thank you.
    Bex is settling into the third rotation of her first year and it is much better supported and she is loving it.
    I agree with you about children, they surely give us the greatest pleasures, although probably also the worst headaches at times! And it is the simplest things like a smile or a hug that can have the most impact – a good thing to remember as we go about our day – we can change how someone is feeling with just a smile in their direction.
    I love the West Country having spent most of my childhood holidays in Devon and Cornwall (and Wales) so when I’m passing I’ll stop for that cup of tea (especially if a scone with jam and clotted cream is included…!)
    Best wishes
    Kathy x

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