Katie Johnson's January diary
PUBLISHED: 09:58 06 January 2011 | UPDATED: 20:39 20 February 2013
Writer, broadcaster, public speaker and compÃ¨re Katie Johnson lives on a smallholding on the north Herefordshire border with her husband and a collection of birds, beasts and Marks & Spencer bras
Writer, broadcaster, public speaker and compre Katie Johnson lives on a smallholding on the north Herefordshire border with her husband and a collection of birds, beasts and Marks & Spencer bras.
So here we are then, having a go at another year. I wont mention resolutions as Ive never made them, but no doubt we all know at least one person with a brand new pair of trainers! Mind you, if we have a January like we did last year, youd be better off with crampons. Heres hoping we dont have a repeat of three weeks of the white stuff on the ground and headlines declaring the worst winter for 30 years, if so, I vote for hibernation.
One thing I am looking forward to is getting back onto the WI circuit having been invited to join their list of speakers. Its been a few years since I last travelled the county chatting about one thing and another, but I remember the warm welcomes and good cup of tea. A topic that may crop up occurred to me on a recent trip to Marks & Sparks: why do they make us ladies with a larger bosom have to root about on the floor whilst those with, maybe not quite as much, get to stay vertical? And this is before gravity takes over!
Its that time of year when not only are we asked to watch the birds in our garden for the RSPB (where our county tends to be the only one with pheasant listed in the Top 10), but also discover who makes the tastiest sausages in the West Midlands, with a sizzle off in Ledbury to find the Herefordshire representatives. Its all to do with Heart of England Fine Foods who kindly invited me to be a judge last year, although it was touch and go whether it would take place as most of the 20 entries were stuck on an icy hill just outside of Bromyard. It was great fun though, and I can now remove sausage judging from my list of things to do.
I was listening to Womans Hour and an interview with Maureen Lipman about her latest book with a list of things shes never done, including shaving her legs and visiting IKEA! Always good to try new things, a pal of mine has taken up knitting and another one kick-boxing, both a bit extreme for me, so I chose a day learning all about ancient trees and recording them. We have some fine examples in the county, thinking of those at Croft Castle for one, but there must be many more undiscovered. Its a wonderful thing to do, especially with youngsters, and Im proud to say Ive already found an interesting specimen at home.
Staying with Hedgebottom Home, there is now the daily competition of getting the hay in the rack before the cows and sheep spot me leading to a downhill race with me at the finishing line, and then the ritual breaking of ice on their water trough, trying to avoid getting wet in the process. The pigs weve borrowed are still with us and have come in handy keeping the buzzard away from the hens. This time last year the only deterrent was me waving my arms about and shouting which did nothing for the bird but did manage to upset a couple of walkers in matching cagoules.
Thinking about fashion accessories, I was going to treat myself to a new handbag as my current one is a bit of an embarrassment. Handy shopping hint, if they hide the tag it probably means expensive. Picture the scene, a cold and wet day and I was probably looking a bit rough due to an early start. A nice leather over-the- shoulder number had caught my eye and I was trying hard to avoid dripping on it. To my right, the waft of perfume told of her imminent arrival, tall, blonde and glamorous (you can imagine how I felt) and with hair that didnt move. She informed me that the item I was looking at was priced 425! I can tell you, my hair moved even if hers didnt. I had the same feeling you get when people drop in when you've not had the vacuum out, the kitchen is a tip and youve got undies drying on the radiator. Thats when wed all like