Is It Just Me Or Are Fad Diets a Waste of Time and Money?

I had lunch with a friend the other day. While I tucked into a substantial salad she sipped a sad black tea and boasted that she had lost 9lbs on the Cambridge Diet,sticking to protein drinks - it sounded as though she was eating less than my small dog.

A fifth of British women are permanently dieting and many resort to ‘Fad’ diets, which work well in the short term, but when they finish most people regain the weight within six months.

I stopped fad dieting about two years ago, but I still am fascinated by the number of diets out there, including theCotton Ball Diet– the trick is to survive on cotton wool dipped in juice to make you feel full. Extreme or what? All these diets work in the short term, but the downfall is that they can ruin your natural metabolism. The body will get used to the extremely low caloric intake and eventually the speed of the metabolism slows down.

Unbelievably I was on the low carbDukan Dietfor 12 months and survived on expensive slithers of steak and p…


I have been a novelist and journalist all my working life, with some success –columns in The Times, Tatler and Easy Living, and three novels published – but with my children now at secondary school and more time to spare, I need another hook to add to my monthly earnings. During the last few years I have grown  my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook platforms and idly thought about managing platforms for others.
I offered my services to a local gift shop who were not going far on Instagram, but soon realised I had no clue how do manage platforms professionally. I kept hearing about Digital Mums, (they are very good at getting themselves in front of their target audience) and finally made the decision to bombard a kind woman in admissions with loads of questions.  I chose the programme partner course, which is open to people with a background in journalism or marketing, because I was drawn to the challenge of being set to work with a client straight away.

When I discovered who my programm…

Ava our Rescue Dog from Cyprus

It's been a while since I last wrote a blog post, and during that time, I have become a woman who lives and sleeps and walks with a dog. My daughter campaigned for several years (about six) to get a dog and we finally succumbed last August when we saw Ava's photo on the Instagram account of Cyprus Dogs, an arm of the #Wildatheartfoundation.  I had looked for a rescue dog, filled with the mantra, "Adopt Don't Shop" Belle was 12 at the time; she turns 13 this week - a teenager - wish me luck. Our 15-year-old son was adamant that he would never walk the dog and made that clear before we even got her. Ava was two months old when we first saw her cute little puppy face on the Rescue Dog Instagram Account, and four months when she came to us. We had to fight off the competition to be her owner, as lots of people fell for her charms.

As she grew older our daughter had become increasingly desperate about the business of owning a dog.There were weeks when she would ask for…

Going Grey Or Not? That Is The Question.

Marvellous Mary Beard is courageous for keeping her hair white particularly as she is in the public eye. I don't object to her full white head of hair, but if I was her stylist (not that she would ever agree to a stylist) I would ask her to cut it. I am obsessed with the white and grey hairs along my parting, which are gathering pace. I ignore it for a few days/weeks until the idea of it begins to loom larger than life. It gets to a point when I am talking to people and I'm wondering if they are noticing it; I become more and more conscious of the shadow of wiry white hair on the top of my head and wonder if that  is it all they can see when they look at me?  I say this knowing that most people won't notice too much, but there was a childish man at a party a few weeks ago, who mentioned "the white streak," on my head. (He also calls me "Keith" instead of Kate, going far back to some kind of in joke when he thought I looked like a man in a photograph - …


Inviting Guests Over:

When I’m feeling robust, having friends over for dinner seems like such a good plan, but sometimes even the idea of giving a dinner can make me feel weak.  Who to ask? What to eat? I love finding a dish I can prepare before (hate the stress of actually cooking while guests are milling around watching.) My husband is braver; he doesn’t mind sizzling some Red Snapper as the guests are sipping their cocktails. Often, to avoid the cooking anxiety, we find a recipe that works and use it for the next twelve months. We must have presented the same dish to our favourite friends at least two or three times, but hopefully they haven’t noticed or cared.

Once the decision has been made to actually have a dinner, it is time to invite the guests. It is virtually impossible to secure an unattached available man for a single girlfriend. We have one single man friend who has been rolled out several times a year for the last few years, but no match yet. The last time I invited fiv…

Escape the City - The Park Club

My local health Club, The Park Club in Acton has been open for 15 years. None of us who go there regularly with our children can imagine life without it.  If that sounds spoilt and reminiscent of FIRST WORLD problem in a first world country please stay with me. What  I am trying to say is that life would not be so colourful and manageable without it.  It's an oasis in the City, a break from the sirens, crowds, and pollution. I had been thinking about joining when the club first opened, but the crunch came when I took my toddler daugther (she's now 11) swimming in my local West London Park. She didn't have  a swimsuit to paddle in the shallow concrete pool so she stripped off to her pants and tee-shirt. Half an hour later, a park policeman arrived, ordered her to put her clothes on, and arrested a shady man who was hiding behind a tree.

From then on we went swimming at the Park Club, mostly in the outdoor pool. It's a saviour for those of us who have miniature outdoor s…