A new year, a new blog


BarneyI'm starting this blog on the last day of January, in an attempt to kid myself that I haven't completely failed to keep one of my New Year's resolutions. That was the one that read ‘I will blog’. So here I am, just not quite as early in January as I had hoped!

In fact, I don’t really do New Year resolutions, as they just seem to be another reason to beat myself up when things don’t go to plan. But I do have various strategies that I try to incorporate into my life to help everything tick along smoothly.

One of the most important things for me is not to get too wound up when I’m trying to fit 25 hours worth of stuff into each day. One of my best friends says that the main difference between her and me is that, given ten minutes spare, she will sit down with a cup of tea whereas I will try to squeeze 15 minutes of something into the time.

Church on the Thames

Swans from our walk

Barney in the woods

Barney on our walks






Things are a little easier now that two of our three children are at university – certainly in the laundry and ‘stocking the fridge’ departments – but I still seem to be overly optimistic about what I can achieve in a day. I find that one great antidote to having set life’s treadmill a little too fast is to take our gorgeous hairy dog Barney for a walk. Not only does it mean I get some much needed exercise, but I’m lucky enough to live in a beautiful part of the world – between the River Thames and the Buckinghamshire Chilterns. Just getting out under the sky, whatever its colour, makes me feel better, and I find that it gives me time and space to think. Or not think, if that’s what I need at that moment.

Also, I’ve discovered that Olley isn’t the only photographer in the family, although I prefer landscapes to his speciality of photographing people. Since I upgraded my ‘mobile phone that just made calls’ to one of the new smart phones that does everything except make toast, I’ve enjoyed using its camera to record some of the lovely places that Barney and I get to. I’ve included a selection here for you to have a look at – hope you like them.

And I wonder, do you have a way of releasing the pressure that can build with normal everyday life? We all need a quick fix to relieve stress from time to time, whether it’s doing the housework to music at full volume, or heading out to the children’s trampoline in the garden for a quick bounce! I wonder what your secret is?!! I’d love to hear it.


Best wishes for now.

Kathy x


  1. Susan February 3, 2012 at 6:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy,
    Barney is adorable! I so completely know what you mean about getting out under the sky whatever colour it is – as that’s something so important to me and my stress/anxiety. I love my dog to bits and just love getting out and chatting to whoever comes along. Dog walkers are so friendly on the whole – sweeping generalisation yes! I have to say you’re looking so glowing and I wondered if you’d had you hair cut? It’s lovely – longer or shorter.
    Chat soon
    Susan x

  2. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen February 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm -  Reply

    nice to hear you again kathy happy new year. iremember you on blankety blank in the 80’s on bbc1 with the late les dawson .how did you get on with him .i thought he was brilliant especially with the win bblank cheque book and pen.

  3. Lyndsey February 4, 2012 at 3:14 pm -  Reply

    Kathy these photos are beautiful, they look really professional. Makes you wonder if we really need proper cameras anymore! As for stress busting I find good old Radio 2 really helps me, and if they happen to play an old Wham track well I’m sorted for the day!

  4. Rosie February 5, 2012 at 8:59 pm -  Reply

    hi Kathy – like you I’m a busy working mum,although my children are slightly younger than yours,I have two teenage boys.
    My top tip is to do 3 things a day (other than normal mum duties,ie dinner, etc) and then I refuse to feel guilty.Somedays that can mean literally getting into work,emptying the dishwasher when I get back and sorting some washing.Others days,it may mean changing all the beds,doing the weekly food shop and then some ironing.
    Anything over 3 jobs is an absolute bonus!!!

  5. Morag February 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm -  Reply

    Kathy one of the things I do to relax and give myself some me time is to indulge in a relaxing bath, exfoliate, face pack, the works (with the help of all the wonderful products I buy from QVC) and do so without feeling guilty in any way whatsoever. This followed by a nice cuppa usually does the trick love from Morag x

  6. janet groves February 7, 2012 at 8:33 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathy
    like you I am fortunate to live in the same area as you and love it too. It probably doesn’t sound quite everbody’s thing but I enjoy driving plus walking my dog, does the relaxing trick for me.

  7. Kathy t February 7, 2012 at 8:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Susan
    Glad you like the look of Barney – we love him! You’re right about how friendly people walking their dogs are – a dog is as good as a baby if you want to stop and have a chat with someone you don’t know! What sort of dog do you have?
    And yes, I did have my hair trimmed a week or so ago. Although I’m happy with it long now, I am still a short haired person in my head and there’s a limit to how long I can let it grow!
    I hope you’ve managed to get out with your dog during the snowy weather – Barney loves the snow, he’s still a puppy at heart.
    Best wishes
    Kathy x

  8. Kathy t February 7, 2012 at 9:06 pm -  Reply

    Hello Martin.
    Wow! You have a good memory – it must be almost 25 years since I was on Blankety Blank. It was brilliant fun, and Les Dawson was wonderful – a really lovely, kind man and so funny – I used to laugh just looking at him. A bit of a coincidence…Mum and Dad came over for lunch on Sunday and Dad brought a book he thought we’d like – it was Les Dawson’s Secret Notebooks compiled by his widow Tracy. I haven’t had much time to look at it yet, but there are some of his thoughts about Blankety Blank. He doesn’t mention me, though!
    Hope things are good for you.
    Kathy x

  9. Kathy t February 7, 2012 at 9:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Lyndsey
    Glad you like the photos – but I think they look good because they’re only small. They probably wouldn’t cope with being enlarged.
    I listen to radio 2 as well. I think Chris Evans is brilliant – a fantastic broadcaster on radio or tv, but I get to work about 6.35 most days, so can only really enjoy his show on my day off on Monday. I don’t hear the beginning then, though! I usually catch Steve Wright in the car on my way home from QVC, with the oldies half hour at 3pm. I’ve never sent in my choices, but I really enjoy listening to other people’s selection. Haven’t heard him play Wham lately, though!
    Best wishes
    Kathy x

  10. Kathy t February 7, 2012 at 9:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Rosie.
    Thanks for your comments. You know, I think I do much the same as you, but I hadn’t really realised that it’s what I do. I don’t think I manage 3 things, but I always try to do something that is not just the normal running of the day, so that I feel I’ve ticked something off my ‘to do’ list. This evening I’m tired, so my achievement has been to reply to my blog comments on my iPad sitting with Olley in front of the TV! Meanwhile, the ironing is piling up and I refuse to feel guilty about it. It’s all my clothes anyway, so I’ll just wear jumpers and things that don’t need ironing…
    Take care
    Kathy x

  11. Kathy t February 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm -  Reply

    Morag, you have it absolutely right! I love having an indulgent bath, but rarely seem to get around to it. When I do manage it, the icing on the cake is if, when I get into bed, I have changed the bed linen and it’s freshly washed sheets that I’m sliding into!
    Kathy xx

  12. Susan February 9, 2012 at 9:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy
    We have a little king charles spaniel. Gorgeous! My baby! She’s only young. I had to laugh about your ironing – we all do that lol – wear things that don’t need ironed!
    Take care
    Susan x

  13. Kathy t February 15, 2012 at 9:49 pm -  Reply

    Hi susan.
    I bet she’s gorgeous – my son Charlie’s girlfrind’s dog is the same breed – he’s called Oscar and is about 6 months old and is SO sweet. Charlie comes home from Uni just to see him! (well, maybe Hannah has something to do with his journey as well, but I don’t think we do – except maybe the promise of a Sunday roast…!)
    Kathy x

  14. Amanda richards February 23, 2012 at 11:44 pm -  Reply

    Great to hear from you Kathy, I must say you are my favourite presenter on Qvc, I watch you on the morning show, you are so natural, I have 3 children 2 boys 25 & 17 and 1 girl aged 16. On their 16th birthday I buy them their own laundry basket, a bottle of washing liquid and softner and a copy of the instructions for the washing machine, so they all do their own washing and ironing, we have set days on who gets to use the washing machine, so it makes it easier for everyone, that’s one little chore out of the way for me !
    I normally relax in a hot bath in the evening, it may only be for 15 minutes, but if the door is shut, thank goodness my family know to leave me alone, I don’t know if it is just me, but I do most of my thinking and planning while in the bath. Walking the dog is good, getting fresh air and exercise at the same time.
    Take care Kathy, I look forward to seeing you on my screen in the morning.
    Mandy xx

  15. local dog walkers November 9, 2012 at 1:47 am -  Reply

    We did try socialising Bonnie with other dogs on a lead but it didn’t make any difference. It’s now just a case of managing the situation rather than trying to change it. Healthy dogs make healthy owners! That’s Fit As Fido!

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