Well, that’s it then…

15

The Christmas decorations are down, the rush hour traffic has returned and things are returning to normal. Except for an extra inch around my tummy (hopefully temporary!) and, perhaps, a renewed intention to create a balance in my life.

First things first, of course, Happy New Year to you all, if I’m not too late. I wish you good health and as much happiness as possible in 2019.

2018 was a very mixed year for me, with the wonderful highlight of the birth of my first grandchild but also the massive sadness of losing my Mum, not long after Dad had died. Neither deaths were expected and both knocked me totally sideways.

Baby Zoe seems to have healing powers, whenever I hold her I feel calm inside, but overall the past year has been pretty tumultuous for me. So this year I resolve to spend more time doing the things that bring me peace and pleasure. I’ve decided to reduce my days at QVC and will be on air a couple of days fewer each month. I plan to devote more time to travelling to Peterborough where Bex and Dan live with Zoe. She is loving being able to crawl now and has started cruising around the furniture – she seems to change every week and I don’t want to miss a thing!

But I find small things can help to create peace in my mind too. One essential thing for me is to spend some time outside every day. It could just be taking a cup of tea into the garden for a few minutes, to listen to the birdsong and simply breathe.

If I have time I love to walk in the countryside and I managed some of that over New Year in the Lake District where Olley and I were staying with my brother Pete and his wife. I love it there, and took myself off into the hills behind their house in Ulverston as soon as we arrived.


If you’re familiar with the area you’ll probably recognise the Hoad monument, built to commemorate Sir John Barrow who was born in Ulverston in 1764. Sir John was a founder member of the Royal Geographical, and held various government posts in the 19th century becoming the Second Secretary to the Admiralty. It was designed to resemble a lighthouse but has never had a functional light – indeed it is a couple miles from the coast – but it has fabulous views over Morecambe Bay.


The sense of freedom and joy I feel when I’ve climbed to the top of a hill and stand with the wind in my face is wonderful – my heart soars! I have a selfie photo on my desk as a reminder of how good life can be.

The photo of Pete and me together is at one of my favourite places overlooking Wast Water, the deepest lake in England which in turn is overlooked by the England’s highest mountain, Scafell.


The cloud was too low for us to see the peak, but it was still beautiful. It always is. It’s easy to see the beauty in mountain landscapes like this one, but how about the shapes and colours in a dry stone wall – such craftsmanship!


Sometimes it’s just a tree that can make me stop and stare. Take a look at this beautiful specimen – perfect in its winter nakedness.


I’ve learned how much there is to gain from slowing down enough to take a few seconds to notice and appreciate such things.

As I said earlier, I enjoy spending time in the fresh air of my garden. I’m looking forward to seeing how the many tulip bulbs I’ve planted look when spring arrives, but there’s also great pleasure in simply looking and watching from a window indoors.

We are launching our new season of gardening at QVC this weekend (5/6th January) and on Tuesday 8th we’ll have the first Gardening TSV of the year – it’s really clever as it’s something for your plants and the birds.

From Bernini, you can fill it with flowers, bird food and water as it’s a garden planter, bird feeder and a fountain all at the same time! The fountain runs on batteries so doesn’t need sunshine or wires to work. You can hang it from a bracket, post or tree or just place it on the ground or a table so it will be perfect for most gardens, however small.

Put it by a window you look through from your favourite chair, or while you’re washing up, and watch the birds as you are help them through the winter. There are plenty of other items that you might like to look at if you like the idea of increasing your contact with nature. I’ve just ordered a couple of nesters for robins but there are also ideas for helping the bees, butterflies and even hedgehogs too!

I suppose the message I’m trying to give with this blog is how important it is for us all to find what it is that helps us cope with the pressures and sadnesses that are inevitable as we trundle through our lives. Whatever it is, perhaps doing something creative, maybe listening to music, or, like me, getting outside, it’s really worth making the effort to do it as frequently as possible. I find the more I look after myself the nicer I am to the people around me. And that can’t be a bad thing.

Take care and all good wishes for 2019. Good luck and good health to you.

Kathy x

15 Comments

  1. Eileen Mahoney January 3, 2019 at 3:15 pm -  Reply

    The Christmas decorations are down already, Kathy?!? Too soon!!! Wishing you the happiest of new years…..may we all be living the dream in 2019! Sounds like you are off to a good start.

  2. Antoinette Browne January 3, 2019 at 3:58 pm -  Reply

    Hello Kathy, a very happy new year to you and your family.
    What a great blog. That’s exactly how I want to spend 2019.
    Best wishes Antoinette. X

  3. Joyce Latham January 3, 2019 at 4:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, what beautiful pictures of you enjoying yourself in the Lake District, I’m quite envious. I live in London now, but was born and brought up near the Yorkshire Dales where my sister still lives. Like you, going to visit her is a double pleasure because I also get the beautiful countryside. On this dark January day your posting has reminded me of the joy of the countryside. Hope you are coping well with the loss of your parents, it’s a terrible blow I know, being kind to yourself helps and the pain does ease with time.
    Regards Joyce.

  4. Alison Keenan January 3, 2019 at 6:59 pm -  Reply

    I definitely need to take a leaf out of your book Kathy, although I know we both share that innate sense of freedom from being outside and in the fresh air. Zoe for you is like Honey to me… a chance to travel back in time, and to have again what we only thought was temporary. Your words are very prophetic, and I completely understand about the need to cope with the daily pressures. You should be proud of the way you have done just that this last year, and you are a shining example to many of us, and have ALWAYS been a lovely person to be around! 🙂 I know this year will be a better one for you, and hope to have more time to share some of those extra days off with you. Love Ali x

  5. Janet January 3, 2019 at 8:16 pm -  Reply

    Oh Kathy, such wonderful joy and awful sorrow. Wishing you and your family the very best for the new year x

  6. Lisa January 3, 2019 at 9:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading your blog.
    I lost my Dad in September, also unexpected, so have really appreciated hearing about your ways of coping.
    Adore the tree picture, so so beautiful. I too find being out in fresh air and nature a great help.
    A lovely read, Thankyou.
    Love and light, Lisa xx

  7. Susan Walker January 4, 2019 at 7:31 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, what a lovely read and beautiful photos. I heartily agree with your thoughts. I am very grateful to be living in Cumbria close to the lakes. They always give me a sense of peace. Wishing a Happy and Healthy 2019 to all at QVC and to anyone reading this x

  8. melanie marsh January 4, 2019 at 8:12 am -  Reply

    Dear Kathy, your blog really touched me. I too lost my lovely Dad the year before last. And this year my Mum became completely bedbound which resulted in her trying to cut me out of her life. I visit her regularly but the relationship is now strained. I feel so sad.
    On a brighter note Kathy, you look amazing. You look so happy and healthy. I hope you have many lovely times with your little grandaughter. wishing you a happy. healthy new year.

  9. Susan January 4, 2019 at 10:47 am -  Reply

    Happy new year Kathy! I’m hoping you will have a peaceful and happy 2019. You have been dealt the worst blows and in a double way last year. You are just right in your coping ways and as ali says you always seem a delight to be around. Take care and enjoy Zoe. I echo Melanie too..you look amazing! Love susan x

  10. Gill Graham January 4, 2019 at 1:22 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year Kathy. Yes life throws curve balls . Congratulations on becoming a Grandmother best job ever. Condolences on losing your beloved Mum I’m so sorry.
    Here’s to year of peace and gratitude .xxxxxxxxxxx

  11. Katherine January 5, 2019 at 7:53 pm -  Reply

    Happy new year Kathy loved reading your blog.You truly are a beautiful lady inside and outx

  12. Julia Heywood January 14, 2019 at 7:01 pm -  Reply

    A belated Happy New Year Kathy. Just catching up on all the presenters news. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your parents, I too lost my mother at the end of August, Christmas was hard to say the least. But that is the way life goes, and we who are left have to pick ourselves up and carry on and live. Like you , I have a very lovely family of my own and lots of lovely things to look forward to. My eldest is getting married in April . I know your grandchild will bring you joy and contentment as you move forward, and I am sure lots of references will be made of how your parents would have loved or thought of different events as they unfold.
    Wishing you all the best for 2019. Julia Heywood.

  13. Christine January 17, 2019 at 12:47 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year. Had bad year lost my brother and lost my cousin also. We live near Cumbria just beautiful. We have sold our house to be near family just because what happened last year. We can’t find a house yet. But I am sure find something.
    Christine

  14. worwood January 27, 2019 at 3:45 pm -  Reply

    Oh Kathy I have juat read your blog I am so sorry for the loss of your mom and dad.my heart goes out to you having lost both my parents and my only sibling my brother. I hope this year brings you joy and hapeness.

  15. Sophia Kupse February 28, 2019 at 11:54 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, You look amazing and such an inspiration. I lost my mother unexpectedly just before Christmas 2018, your wonderful blog made me cry, as you reinforce the need for self care. I spent almost 5 years caring for mum and in the process, I lost myself. Learning to find me again is hard, but I started with the simple thnings like you said, taking my cuppa coffee in the garden, listening to the birds, appreciating the little things we mostly take for granted. If your weigh los has been due to your grieving then, there are no tips you can share. I instead have gone the other way and comfort eat to fill the void, hence gaining weight. If however, you have some great health tips that have worked for you over the last 12 months, please share in a blog as you have truly inspired me with the way you look.
    Many thanks
    Sophia x

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