Kathy Miller

Comment: time to put gratitude into perspective

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 3:10pm Friday 25th July 2014

Have you ever noticed how people with really big things to contend with - a desperately sick child or bankruptcy - say very little about their misfortunes, while those with relatively few things to complain about are often the most grumpy and least grateful for what they do have? I know any parent of healthy, loved and well-fed teenagers will back me up here.

Mike Wright

Comment: legal review will shed light on what health campus entails

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 2:50pm Friday 25th July 2014

What is the likelihood of a new hospital being built in Watford? This will be one of the main questions being examined today as the Farm Terrace Allotment holders take their fight to the High Court.

Oliver Phillips

It is London Bridge but not as we know it, captain

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:32am Friday 25th July 2014

London Bridge is tumbling down the glib headline writers claim. In fact it would probably have lasted another 150 years had the USA not got their hands on it and carted it to Arizona.

Ann Janes

THE DREAM LIVES ON

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:37am Sunday 20th July 2014

To dream of summer and romance is to dream of roses

Adam Parsons

Comment: From park life to stoic life in Shetland

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 3:00pm Friday 18th July 2014

On A sunny day, Cassiobury Park really is gorgeous. We walked through it last weekend, watching the world go by, enjoying a Cha-Cha-Cha coffee and just about resisting the ice-cream temptation.

Mike Wright

Comment: Hospital bosses cannot get away with pretending it's not their fault

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:00pm Friday 18th July 2014

The NHS is a closed shop. We pay for it. We depend on it to save our lives. Yet when it fails, it’s apparently not a matter for our concern. The people who run the service can just carry on as normal – business as usual.

Kathy Miller

Comment: Feeling the pressure of party politics

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 2:50pm Friday 11th July 2014

How children’s parties have changed. When I was little, you put on your best frock, took a small gift (something eminently sensible like a book or an educational toy) and played musical chairs and pass the parcel in the birthday girl’s front room.

Oliver Phillips

Taking a well-deserved rest

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 5:38pm Monday 7th July 2014

In the unlikely event of anyone being distressed or even mildly disconcerted by the lack of a fresh column, I thought it best, if belatedly, to point out that I am taking a three-week holiday with my wife Ellie and our two dogs and will return in late July.

Adam Parsons

Comment: The plane truth about hidden Heathrow

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 3:30pm Friday 4th July 2014

Here's an interesting fact - when you’ve got the world's biggest passenger airplane coming straight at you, it looks huge.

Mike Wright

Comment: Police score own goal with offensive World Cup tweets

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:10pm Friday 4th July 2014

A few weeks back I lauded the West Herts hospital trust for the way it engages with patients on social media sites such as Twitter.

Kathy Miller

Comment: Why garden visits are growing on me

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:10pm Friday 27th June 2014

You know you’re getting old when your teenage children go out on a Saturday night and you stay in - but you don’t mind because you’ve got a garden visit to look forward to on Sunday and you want to be up early to pack the pork pies, hard boil the eggs and fill the Thermos.

Mike Wright

Comment: Expensive, certainly, but is Parade revamp a bad thing?

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:40pm Friday 27th June 2014

I have outed myself in the past as something of a bridge-sceptic. When it comes to Watford pond anyway. For the sake of clarity, I should state I have no objection to bridges in general; in fact I find them an efficient and inoffensive method of traversing aquatic obstacles.

Oliver Phillips

Off with his head; sack the manager! Why does Fleet Street continue to ignore the reality?

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:00am Saturday 21st June 2014

England are football also-rans and when two of the supposedly best strikers in the league put in powder-puff shots straight at the keeper, and central defenders leave one of the most dangerous strikers in the world with a free header and shot, it is the manager's fault. If you believe that, I have a bridge in Cassiobury Park you might want to buy.

Mike Wright

Comment: Ex-Tory’s rise to borough cabinet won’t please everyone

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:49pm Friday 20th June 2014

The Watford’s Liberal Democrats are a broad church. Among its ranks the ruling party can currently count three former Conservatives leaders and at least one ex-Labour councillor.

Adam Parsons

Comment: When you have a licence to print money

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:20pm Friday 20th June 2014

Every child will, at some point, ask their parent where money comes from. And every parent will think it comes from hard graft and there used to be a lot more of it until it got used up on nappies, massive supermarket shops and family holidays.

Kathy Miller

Comment: Dads get their day - but what about mum?

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:10pm Wednesday 18th June 2014

I only came because my wife made me, but it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done."

Mike Wright

Comment: Hospital complaint may prove to be the first of many

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:40pm Wednesday 18th June 2014

Anyone with the wherewithal to set up a Twitter or Facebook account has the capacity to broadcast their views. This makes the individual a far more powerful figure than previously.

Ann Janes

SLUGS, SLUGS AND EVEN MORE SLUGS

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:11am Tuesday 17th June 2014

After the wettest winter since records began we have been left to deal with a surfeit of slugs and snails.

Oliver Phillips

Dog in a manger at the local council tip

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:30pm Friday 13th June 2014

If you see someone throwing away something you would not mind having, when you visit the council tip, do you expect to have to pay him to prevent it being thrown into the large bin.

Mike Wright

Comment: Throwing cash at fixing something that ain’t broken

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 2:40pm Tuesday 10th June 2014

It’s comforting to know Hertfordshire’s roads are in such rude health that highways bosses can now turn their attention to problems that don’t exist.

Oliver Phillips

Shocked of St Amans-Soult - most of our neighbours support Marine Le Pen

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:30pm Friday 6th June 2014

We live in a rural conurbation of two villages, with an aggregate population of 2,400, perched in a valley either side of a river. Each of the villages has returned Marine Le Pen candidates in the Europe vote.

Kathy Miller

Comment: We must remember each vote matters

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 4:30pm Friday 30th May 2014

I hope all you women out there made it to the polling station last week. Even if you found the number of names on the ballot papers bewildering (for parish council, district council and European parliamentary candidates), what matters is you voted.

Mike Wright

Comment: One way or another, the next MP may be down to Dorothy

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:40pm Friday 30th May 2014

Watford Labour emerged from last week’s election count in a triumphant mood.

Oliver Phillips

It is fashionable to brand those, who exercise observation and preference, as racists

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:30pm Friday 30th May 2014

Voting for UKIP is not a protest against the policies of Tory, Labour or Liberal politicians. It is because in certain respects they do not have policies, whereas UKIP does.

Mike Wright

Police chief too busy to answer questions for himself

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 3:40pm Friday 23rd May 2014

It is perhaps understandable why Hertfordshire’s police commissioner, who once relished in the extra press coverage his new job brought, has become more media shy of late.

Kathy Miller

Why my faith in human nature’s been reaffirmed

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 3:30pm Friday 23rd May 2014

This past week, three things have reinforced my faith in the fundamental goodness of human nature.

Adam Parsons

Keep trouble at bay over disabled spaces

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 3:20pm Friday 23rd May 2014

IT is not often a street sign really turns my head. Less still when it’s written in another language, but in France there’s a beauty we should be copying.

Oliver Phillips

Cold comfort as I find myself up to my waist in the garden pond

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:30pm Monday 19th May 2014

A chill reminder not only to be careful when around the garden pond but also that, as I grow older, the short-term memory is not what it used to be.

Mike Wright

Comment: The only way is... to have absolutely nothing to do with it

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 4:00pm Friday 16th May 2014

I should confess before I start, I am not a regular viewer of scripted reality shows (clearly an oxymoron?) such as The Only Way is Essex and Made in Chelsea. So I approached the news this week that Watford may become the setting for a new such programme from a position of ignorance.

Ann Janes

WHY BOTHER TO GROW YOUR OWN?

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 2:42pm Sunday 11th May 2014

This seems to be a timeless question - ‘why go to all the trouble and effort of growing your own tomatoes?’ 

Oliver Phillips

Are they still working on The Pond in central Watford?

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:46am Friday 9th May 2014

THE Pond and the surrounding area has been face-lifted at least three times since the 1960s. Will this latest incarnation be pleasing and sufficiently sound not only to last the test of time but enable future funds to be spent elsewhere.

Oliver Phillips

Former Hornet Ross Jenkins joins me in surprise at the joy of writing our own books

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:30pm Friday 2nd May 2014

A visit from friends, former Watford cult hero Ross Jenkins and his wife Eve, has triggered a spate of literary discussion as we wrestle with the books we are in the process of writing and finishing.

Kathy Miller

Comment: I’m hungry to remove this indignity

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:30pm Friday 2nd May 2014

After an extremely self-indulgent Easter break, a week of which I spent entertaining French friends, trying to prove to them that English cooking is every bit as good as theirs, I am now back to taking skimmed milk in my tea and walking to the supermarket with my tartan shopping trolley.

Mike Wright

Comment: Cameron should tell his Bilderberg chums to pay up

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:10pm Friday 2nd May 2014

The Prime Minister and Chancellor were unconvincing last week. When pressed over why Hertfordshire’s taxpayers were being saddled with a £500,000 bill for policing the exclusive Bilderberg Conference last year, their response was essentially "lump it".

Ann Janes

THE WONDER OF BLUEBELLS

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:45am Monday 28th April 2014

With winter behind us we look forward to seeing snowdrops closely followed by spring flowers but I think the special magic is kept for the appearance of the first bluebells. 

Oliver Phillips

The irony of finding another way to relax when you don't need it

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:30pm Friday 25th April 2014

A three-legged dog taught me how to gain the maximum from a 12-metre pond with Koi carp

Oliver Phillips

I keep writing for the sequel rather than face the reality of a publisher saying yes or no to my novel

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:10am Saturday 19th April 2014

After years of writing thousands of words for newspapers, I have written a book. Only one person has read it and she thoroughly enjoyed it. So it is a success... one hundred per cent so. I may have to settle for that.

Ann Janes

COPING WITH AN AFRICAN VIOLET

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:19am Tuesday 15th April 2014

Over the years I have noticed that by and large people interested in gardening are generous to a fault in passing on plants and cuttings.

Mike Wright

What will it take to get people interested in democracy?

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:30pm Friday 11th April 2014

There are a few tedious rituals journalists brace themselves for whenever local election season comes around. First off are the habitual accusations of bias from various parties allegedly towards their rivals as the electoral battle ratchets up.

Oliver Phillips

The French love their paperwork but in our case it obscured their ability to get a simple job done

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:20pm Friday 11th April 2014

The French are mired in bureaucracy. We try to avoid it whenever possible. However, when we tried to change our account from branch of Credit Agricole to another just 200 miles south, we found ouselves flooded with paperwork.

Adam Parsons

Why white is now all right for cars

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:09pm Friday 11th April 2014

A decade ago, hardly anybody bought a white car. They weren’t popular, seen, I guess, as impersonal and prone to grubbiness.

Ann Janes

TELEVISION - AT LAST A TREAT FOR GARDENERS

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:48am Sunday 6th April 2014

Speaking as a gardener I often feel that horticulture and gardening are a poor relation when it comes to television coverage.

Oliver Phillips

Beware of insurance men bearing gifts

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:30pm Friday 4th April 2014

It is one thing to try and get an insurance company to repair your car but it is quite another thing to get them to repair it completely, as we found out with AXA in France.

Kathy Miller

Food tech isn’t what it used to be

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:50pm Friday 4th April 2014

There are many advantages to being a freelance journalist, but getting out of the house isn’t one of them.

Mike Wright

Is Watford’s Green party heading for dose of the blues?

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:20pm Friday 4th April 2014

For the last decade, part of Watford has been in the grip of a political insurgency. Since the early noughties, the Green Party has defied political gravity and turned the Callowland area into a solid electoral enclave. It is an eye-catching phenomenon for any town in a country dominated by an electoral system weighted in favour of the larger parties.

Ann Janes

OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNING!

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:20am Saturday 29th March 2014

It was warm, it was sunny and everywhere there was colour.

Oliver Phillips

Not another tragedy in the White Tower of London?

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:30pm Friday 28th March 2014

It is amazing how many people have never been to the Tower of London and equally amazing how many foreigners take it on their tourist trip. Are they more interested in our history?

Mike Wright

Comment: With no choice but to use cars, we need parking spaces

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:00pm Friday 28th March 2014

The danger for any broadly-accepted political concept is that it can, over time, lapse into dogma. One such trend has been emerging in the way motorists are getting a raw deal under a planning system skewed in favour of developers under the guise of green initiatives.

Oliver Phillips

Avoiding EastEnders is compulsive: it should be an Olympic event

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:30pm Friday 21st March 2014

I go to great lengths to avoid the TV soap EastEnders. When it comes on, I feel like asking if they have a spare rope and an exposed beam

Mike Wright

Column: ‘Chuggers’ – only the charities, it seems, will miss them

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:25pm Friday 21st March 2014

Rarely to do you see a political initiative so in tune with the public mood. But Watford Borough Council’s recent crackdown on town centre “chuggers” seems to have uncorked a boiling geyser of public frustration.

Readers who submit articles must agree to our terms of use. The content is the sole responsibility of the contributor and is unmoderated. But we will react if anything that breaks the rules comes to our attention. If you wish to complain aboutthis article, contact us here.

Recent Blog Entries

July 2014
S M T W T F S
29 30 01 02 03 04 05
06 07 08 09 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

RSS





About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree