Isn’t it lovely when children grow up?!


Billy in the snowWow, what a month. Or rather, what a couple of months! My feet don't feel like they've touched the ground and it seems like I've barely had time to breathe. Work has been busy with our move to the new studios in Chiswick, West London, and life at home has been hectic too.

Olley has had a few trips away (including a visit to the Maldives with Lulu to photograph her for Hello magazine – she looks amazing in the photos) and he managed to be away for most of Billy's GCSE period.


Billy in his paradiseWe have certainly suffered exam fever in this house but I think I had the worst case of it. Billy seemed to have coped really well, maybe that's why I didn't. He and I had slightly different opinions about what revision means!

Many of you will have been treading on eggshells around touchy teenagers over the last few weeks- I hope things have settled for you now. All we have to worry about now are the results!! I think Billy was laid back about the exams because whatever the verdict on 23rd August, he knows what he'll be doing next year.

He has decided to leave school, so I have already attended my last parents' evening, read my last report card and ironed my last school shirt. (Not that I did much of that – M&S non-iron are exactly that!). Unlike his brother and sister, he has no ambition to head to university or even spend two years studying for A levels.His passion is snowboarding and his talents lie more in his lovely way with people than with any interest in books and the world of academia.

Billy enjoying the indoor snow centreSo we have supported his decision to head to Canada next winter, to become a snowboard teacher. He will only be 17 but he is independent and determined and he is already very excited. He gets so much pleasure when he helps someone achieve and improve when he's at the indoor snow slope he goes to in Hemel Hempstead – I think he'll be a very good teacher.

 I don't expect him to make a living from coaching snowboarding for ever but it will give him a start in a world he loves, It will be up to him to make his way. We can never really plan too far ahead, but at Billy's age, if you have a passion about something, following it has to give you a good chance of finding some happiness. After all, that's all we really want for our children, isn't it?


Bex is happy at the moment. She is fulfilling her passion for travel in her last long summer before starting the clinical years of her medical degree. She is backpacking around Cambodia and Vietnam with a couple of friends and managing to send updates to us occasionally. When she returns it will doubtless be with hundreds of photos, so I will choose a couple to share with you then.

Back home

So in the interests of fairness, I should mention Charlie! He has just finished his first year at Bath University and it's been lovely to have him at home again. Although, he eats so much that my grocery bill has rocketed.

I have to say, though, it isn't always me who has to cook the food. A few months away from home has resulted in Charlie putting his creative skills to good use in the kitchen and he's discovered that he really is a very good cook. A couple of Fridays ago I received a text when I came off air from one of my shows. It said 'Hi Mum'. 'Have you plans for tonight, or can I cook dinner?'

Wow! Music to my ears! Charlie cooked a lamb Rogan Josh curry with an aubergine and tomato side dish with mushroom and chick peas. Delicious!! And what's more, he even washed up the dishes.

Isn't it lovely when children grow up?!


  1. Denise Kerr July 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm -  Reply

    The growing-up years are very tentative and uncertain years, unsure of where they are going to ‘end up’. Your family sounds lovely Cathy and you can relax knowing they are heading in the direction they want to and are happy.
    ps. when you wore the spiky wig last week you looked amazing and if I may be a bit cheeky….. it knocked years off you 🙂
    Kind Regards

  2. jen July 6, 2012 at 10:41 pm -  Reply

    Dear Cathy, I spend many hours stressing about exam success for my children, drawing up time tables and lots of nagging. Thank you for your honest blog and reminding me that when our children get to a certain age that we may have to hand control of their lives and destiny over to them. I’m sure your son has a bright and exciting future ahead of him.

  3. maggie shankster July 8, 2012 at 6:39 pm -  Reply

    kids grow up so quickly,my baby is 44 on tuesday,she went to uni and done textiles and art,what did she do washed horse rugs,but theycome into there own eventually, she now has her own business making posh chocolates,so let billy follow his dreams while he is young,were a long time old.

  4. Juju July 15, 2012 at 11:28 pm -  Reply

    I can barely remember when my sons were teenagers, but they survived and so did hubby and I.
    Cathy …can’t remember which day, but recently you wore a wig for presenting. It was a spiky shorter style and looked absolutely fabulous on you…’ whispering it made you look younger too ‘…not that you don’t anyway.

  5. Susan July 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy,
    I wrote to you before but computer problems..yuck. Now I can’t remember what I wrote! I think your lovely Billy is the spitting image of you!! He’s just like a mini you in that photo! I am so glad he is happy and that you are happy in supporting him. May not always be a steady penny coming in but there are thousands of us out here with degrees, MSc’s, PhD’s and no-one is in a better position! Really sucks but you do what you do to get buy and pay the bills. Bonus is Billy is making some money and happy! Maybe his sis can lend him a few bob if he’s stuck when she’s earning the big bucks as a Dr!
    On a sports note I bet you can’t wait for the Olympics! Bring back your memories? Hope your friend does well.
    Chat soon,

  6. Lorraine McGill July 23, 2012 at 8:30 pm -  Reply

    Hello, kathy, my daughter went to university in Toronto Canada last September and just came home again in may. She was only 19 when she went and I was a nervous wreck, she was really excited. I have learnt something from this and that’s how much growing up she has done with having those few months away from home. I understand how much you will be worried, what kept me going was being able to Skype with her so I could talk and see that she was ok lol. No matter how old they get you still worry about them. Hope your son has a wonderful time and you don’t worry too much. X

  7. Sally July 30, 2012 at 9:41 pm -  Reply

    Wow what a wonderful understanding and supportive Mum you are.

  8. Jan McIntosh August 14, 2012 at 11:08 am -  Reply

    Brilliant to hear a Mum acknowledging that all her kids are individuals…..that’ll be why he’s growing up with a great sense of ‘self’. I’m sure he’ll do really well. I have a friend who had great hopes for her daughter but totally accepted it when she wanted to leave school to take up a job with a clothing company. Daughter has done really well and is working her way up from the bottom. She obviously has a real apptitude for it….and she’s HAPPY!! Win for daughter and win for Mum.

  9. Monica Mellows August 27, 2012 at 3:27 am -  Reply

    Hello Kathy
    I must say that I thoroughly enjoy your blogs all the way from Australia, I lived in London for a year and I do miss QVC, you were like my family when I was in the UK.
    We are in the middle of winter here in Australia and the weather is really cold…the wind feels like it is coming straight from the Arctic. I am really looking forward to Spring and Summer as this is my second winter in a year and I am so over cold weather.
    You must miss your children now that they have moved out but make sure you enjoy the calm and welcome them back for visits but ensure the visits are not for months at a time because once your children move out of home I find it is so hard to be the mum again when they are back because they have their independence and their own way of doing things.
    Good luck with the bake off I think your cake looks sensational.

  10. chris marshall January 3, 2013 at 11:19 am -  Reply

    hi Kathy.
    wow what a treat today up to 11am, my 2 fave presenters TOGETHER.
    Kathy and Cathy, fantastic. what a late Christmas treat.

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