Oliver Phillips

A new hair-do can work wonders for women. It can also work for dogs as well.

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:50pm Friday 24th April 2015

Anyone who has had a dog, particularly for a number of years, will know the hole it leaves when you have to part with him. But do dog feel a similar loss?

Stacy Hart

Runnin On Empty-England My England

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:16am Friday 24th April 2015

Have you been enjoying the heat? We Brits never seem to be satisfied do we? It’s too hot, too cold, the heat gives us a headache & the cold plays havoc with our bladder? Talking of which, were you getting bladdered & slaying dragons yesterday in honour of St Georges Day?....Did you even remember or care?.......

Oliver Phillips

For once I did not buy one of the first two puppies to come to us when we looked at the litter

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:50pm Friday 17th April 2015

Do dogs have a similar outlook on the essentials of life as do humans? What do they do when we are out? What do they dream about and what causes when to semi-bark and whine in their sleep? As a dog owner you have theories but they cannot be any more than that.

Stacy Hart

Runnin On Empty-SuperDooper

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 7:34am Friday 17th April 2015

Its been a week Of Super, Super NOT, Super Brilliant and Super Ouch!....oh and not forgetting Super Sunny. There’s nothing like exposing your bits in the prospect of some Vitamin D …….However there are those that shouldn’t expose the amount of bits that they do, puts me right off my lunch…..Milk of magnesia anyone?.......

Oliver Phillips

I ate myself to a brief moment of fame in a corner of Valencia

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:00pm Friday 10th April 2015

Why did we feel rested and relaxed after a two-week break in Spain? After all, we are retired, so where is the strain? However, our trip did not get off to the bets of starts.

Stacy Hart

Runnin On Empty-Er, Erm?

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:06am Friday 10th April 2015

If you’re sat comfy with your coffee and cornflakes I’ll begin?...although please try to crunch quietly. So, it’s been an eventful week, well, for someone with ME that is. Having uploaded my latest track TEARS to the BBC I had an email a few days later from producer Ollie Bayliss inviting me as music artist Mama Chill on to Nesta McGregors Sunday night show…

Adam Parsons

Comment: News consumption is changing

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:00pm Sunday 5th April 2015

But what I passed on to them probably wasn’t nearly as interesting as what they passed on to me.

Adam Parsons

Comment: Can One Direction star Zayn Malik trust Watford's Naughty Boy?

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:00am Sunday 5th April 2015

Why did he go? Who caused the rift? Can Harry Styles and the rest continue without him? Will Perrie go through with the marriage? And what will Zayn do next?

Oliver Phillips

Please NatWest, can I spend my own money? After all I had told you twice before that I intended to do so.

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:00pm Friday 3rd April 2015

We know security is vital when dealing with banks but when, you inform them of your intentions to transfer a few thousand pounds in order to pay for a car, and tell two departments twice, you do not expect the transfer to be halted 24 hours later because of fears over fraud.

Stacy Hart

Runnin On Empty- It's OK Easter Friday

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:19am Friday 3rd April 2015

Due to the pain & stiffness of my earth vehicle ie: body, it takes a while to get everything moving in the morning before I’m able to get out of bed, so while I lie there doing my best Frankenstein impression I often amuse myself with random life questions like, while people tuck into their chocolate eggs I wonder how many know Why Good Friday was called Good Friday & not Ruuuuubish Friday Or Mediocre Friday? ..........

Kathy Miller

Comment: Inclusive performing arts company Theatre Shed needs our help

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 7:00am Sunday 29th March 2015

I had a call last week from a Mrs Jo Beale, mum to Grace, four, and Emma, ten, who has special needs

Kathy Miller

Comment: Swept off my feet by Cornish saga

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 7:00am Saturday 28th March 2015

Forget tripping the light fantastic - staying in on a Sunday night to watch telly with a boiled egg and soldiers on a tray is where it’s at

Oliver Phillips

A weekend reminder that away from the frantic, everyday life, you can escape and relax in the Cotswolds

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:50pm Friday 27th March 2015

We flew back to England for a friend's birthday celebration. She chose to enjoy a weekend in the Cotswolds, hired a seen-bedroom house and we chewed the cud, drank a lot of wine. We also walked across country for lunch and a few pints of real ale and sampled the leisurely life UK-style.

Stacy Hart

Runnin On Empty -It's All Japanese to me?

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:28am Friday 27th March 2015

It’s Friday already, grab the chocolate digestives, and pull up a chair. There seems to be an enormous amount of doom and gloom around at the moment so with that in mind, I thought I would concentrate this weeks main feature on something light hearted that will hopefully raise a few smiles and lift spirits if only for a short while.....

Adam Parsons

Comment: The future of Aldenham Reservoir

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:20am Wednesday 25th March 2015

I’ll confess a personal link to this.

Adam Parsons

Comment: 'What happened to Mr Cruwys was one of those unpredictable, freakish acts of horror'

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:37am Wednesday 25th March 2015

This was a horrible attack, but there are those who are seeking to turn this into something else - into a sign football has sunk back into its violent old ways.

Oliver Phillips

Please monsieur will you insure our car? Peut-etre was about as good as we got: just a casual almost reluctant maybe.

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:00pm Friday 20th March 2015

French bureaucracy is unwieldy at best and if your put business their way, they love it if it straightforward. Any complication and really, they would rather not bother. It took 12 or more phone calls to insure a car and most of them involved chasing them up because they had not bothered to phone back.

Stacy Hart

Runnin On Empty- Hard Hats & Tiaras

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:08am Friday 20th March 2015

Good Morning, grab your hard hat and I’ll begin. As some of you will know, when it comes to the council and their choice of contractors, competence is something that’s often missing. From past experience lack of training, lack of understanding English, lack of a brain or all three have resulted in floods, walls knocked down, damaged property to name but a few, so it will come as no surprise that the news they want to come & fit a new boiler is filling me with trepidation.........

Oliver Phillips

Look what they've done to The Pond, Ma: they've messed it up and it's turned out all wrong, Ma.

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:00pm Friday 13th March 2015

The vista looking across The Pond towards Monmouth House was one of the few things to savour from yesteryear. However, Town Hall planners, having spoilt it back in the early 70s, have gone a step further and at what cost. Soon they will achieve what is presumably the ultimate ideal: make Watford look anonymous.

Stacy Hart

Runnin On Empty- Getting Lippy

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 7:56am Friday 13th March 2015

So after last weeks flippant comment that I just had a simple cold…..karma waved it’s magic wand and turned it into flu , anyone would think I had shares in kitchen towel, it shouldn’t be possible for a nose to run THAT much. Unfortunately being the caring sharing daughter I am, my mother has also joined me in the world of flu-dom..... .

Adam Parsons

Comment: Time to hang up on using a phone while driving

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:00am Saturday 7th March 2015

If you drive a car, the chances are pretty much certain you've broken the law at some point

Oliver Phillips

I love old photographs, particularly of south west Herts in days gone by but last week we unearthed a couple of personal gems

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:30am Friday 6th March 2015

Our house was derelict for 40 years but a builder from Banbury bought it, stating he did not watch TV, read books or use a computer. Instead he just worked on another room, day and evening, converting the old shell into a modern house. Then we found photographs of the house in days gone by.

Stacy Hart

Runnin On Empty-Mallows To The Rescue

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 7:52am Friday 6th March 2015

This week both me and my mother have been laid low with a cold…and while its absolutely awful because we’re coughing as though we’re auditioning for an anti-smoking advert and have legs as wobbly as jelly, it’s still just a cold. But have you noticed how due to the dramas of social media nobody seems to suffer colds anymore? It’s flu, pneumonia or bubonic plague........

Kathy Miller

Comment: Funerals are a celebration of people's lives

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 7:00pm Tuesday 3rd March 2015

I say privilege, because when the dead person was old and had a good life, such occasions are actually a time to celebrate their achievements and qualities.

Are the kids of today still getting the same lift out of listening to 'The Devil's Music'?

Posted on 1:00pm Friday 27th February 2015

A local journalist left the West Herts Post and launched a concept that would catch on and become the bible of rock and pop. His name was Maurice Kinn; he purchased the new Musical Express and introduced this list called The Top Twenty.

Stacy Hart

Runnin On Empty- StayIng Abreast Of Charites

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:05am Friday 27th February 2015

Are we all gathered? Malted milk biscuits ready for dunking? And so I’ll begin…….. Way back when I was a child….yeah ok, way way waaaaaay back, charities appeared very different from what they do today, better or worse? I’ll leave that up to you. But from personal experience I find the hard sell “Gis ya money” a turn off. We can’t seem to switch on the telly without someone trying to daily guilt trip us with an advert. There seems to be an endless menagerie, child, donkey, puppy, all looking sadly up at the camera while quivering their bottom lip, Just £3 a month just £6 a month just….just….just

Kathy Miller

Comment: I have long wondered what makes men tick and now I think I have the answer

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 7:00am Sunday 22nd February 2015

My 86-year old father has just spent several days in hospital, initially in Watford General, before being transferred to the Lister Hospital in Stevenage

Kathy Miller

Comment: I did my utmost not to be outdone by the kings of cuisine

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:00am Saturday 21st February 2015

I was hosting friends from Lyons, reputed to be the culinary capital of France, and I found all my latent passive-aggression, not to say sheer bloody minded competitiveness, came to the fore, as I did my utmost not to be outdone by the kings of cuisine

Kathy Miller

Comment: Accent on impressing French guests

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 7:10am Friday 20th February 2015

During half-term week we entertained a family of five from Chorleywood’s twin town of Dardilly just outside Lyons, and it has been a wonderful way to get to visit places we didn’t know ourselves

Oliver Phillips

An epiphany listening to Elvis Presley during a record-playing evening at boarding school

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:00pm Friday 20th February 2015

Do the kids of today get the same thrill when it is served on a plate, compared to back in those far-off days when you had to work hard to hear "The Devil's Music"

Stacy Hart

Runnin On Empty-FaceBookEnders

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:14am Friday 20th February 2015

I don’t know about you but I have a love /loathe relationship with social media? It’s like a soap opera with all its riddles, twists, and attention seeking turns, and boy did it kick off yesterday with what a let-down the Eastenders conclusion was, did anyone else notice the similarities between Bobby and Damien from the Omen?. Social media is like the Jeremy Kyle show, and there’s us sat at our screens either the guests or addicted spectators……just one more look eh? ......

Kathy Miller

Comment: The real wizards work behind the scenes at Harry Potter studios

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 6:30am Saturday 14th February 2015

It is half term holiday, which must mean a trip to the Harry Potter studios at Leavesden, pictured, which now include a recreation of Platform 9 ¾ and the original Hogwarts Express steam engine

Oliver Phillips

Discussing the Nutella impasse with our Anglo-Polish friends over a glass of Malinowka

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:00pm Friday 13th February 2015

I was unaware that the restriction in the choice of names is pretty well worldwide although when you look at some of the American choices, perhaps that is just as well.

Stacy Hart

Runnin On Empty- Crooks, Cold & Cupid

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:20am Friday 13th February 2015

Turning into my road on the way back from the Osteopaths last week I froze at the police presence. As someone who suffers with Policeophobia (fear of clowns) I broke out in a sweat, there was even one on my doorstep. Thinking that maybe one of you sneaky readers had phoned them in a bid to help my mother break out from her under floorboard dwelling I approached cautiously.......

Kathy Miller

Taken for a ride over our teens' phone bill

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:34am Tuesday 10th February 2015

One of my favourite sayings is the Spanish one about your children being so sweet when they’re little, you feel you could eat them – and when they’re teenagers, you wish you had.

Oliver Phillips

I wanna call my daughter Nutella! Non Monsieur: il n'est pas possible.

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:00pm Friday 6th February 2015

The Nanny State is nothing new. The French have been limited in the number of first names they can choose, for many, many years and there are still limitations as some couples found out.

Adam Parsons

Providing some signposts for the web generation

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:15am Tuesday 10th February 2015

How often have you checked your phone today? How many times have you looked at your emails, or looked at the news, or maybe checked your Facebook page?

Stacy Hart

Runnin On Empty- Fifty Shades Of Red

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:08am Friday 6th February 2015

“Growing old is Compulsory, growing up is Optional” so said comedian Bob Monkhouse and I’m so glad to have grown up in the generation that I did. There was no benefit system, no washing machines or dish washers and owning a car was a luxury, and from the media to the street there was discipline and boundaries that gave daily life some order & some goodness. There were no weapons when it came to fighting, you just fought with your fists and the worst anyone walked away with was dented pride at a bleeding lip or the impending black eye, If someone went down the fight stopped til they were back on their feet, anyone that continued was seen as a coward and all respect was lost......

Oliver Phillips

At 73, I have reached the stage where I can be penalised for being old

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:00pm Friday 30th January 2015

Hiring a car is becoming more complicated. Many hire-car firms add extra fees when you pass 70 and, while I have found one that accepts me because I am under 75, they forgot to charge the extra when I presented myself to the desk at the airport.

Stacy Hart

Runnin On Empty- Virgin On Overload

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 7:46am Friday 30th January 2015

ME? Talk about doing what it says on the can, I am literally runnin on empty at the moment, it feels like all the stuffing has been knocked out of me & I can’t think straight. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to produce the column this week or even if I wanted to. I thrive on humour & positivity not some sad jumbled ramble that it could turn out to be, but then life isn't always chocolate cheesecake, I've always been honest with readers in the past so it felt like a cop out not go ahead this week just because life has served me up another huge dollop of spotted dick.....

Kathy Miller

Columns: Guilty pleasures of mail order buying

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

There was no mistaking it; the words "sex" and "tape" were written in large red capitals all over it and naturally my immediate concern was how I was going to explain this to my teenage children and what would the postie think?

Oliver Phillips

Back in the days when the White Men really did speak with forked tongues. Is it any different today?

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:00pm Friday 23rd January 2015

After a month in the USA you become familiar with the differences but really those moments of pure Americana help to spice up the day. They are invariably trivial, but are worthwhile. And just to add to the ambience I asked my wife what was the connection between Lennox Lewis and Wyatt Earp, and perhaps even ultimately, Anthony Joshua?

Stacy Hart

Runnin On Empty-Three Fingers, No Thumb?

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 7:57am Friday 23rd January 2015

It’s nothing short of a miracle that I've arrived this Friday with all my bits intact. It’s all down to Cognitive problems causing memory loss, confusion, inability to concentrate & something that’s often referred to in M.E circles as brain fog or as I prefer to call it Marshmallow head, either way it means we need Ninja skills to get through the week unscathed......

Oliver Phillips

Worth visiting: Jerome, once the wickedest town in the West

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:00pm Friday 16th January 2015

They say you should never go back but we have been thinking in terms of going back and visiting some old as well as new vistas in the USA. However, since having ruled out including Arizona as being a journey too far, we have been haunted by our happy memories of our previous visits there.

Stacy Hart

Runnin On Empty-Exorcising M.E Myths

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 7:53am Friday 16th January 2015

Imagine a Disney style grizzly bear standing on its hind legs, snout to the sky, jaw opening wide bellowing a thunderous roar, huge furry stumps raised in the air poised to slam down upon the villainous teller of untruths.....

Oliver Phillips

"There's a situation here, mam. Keep your doors locked and your eyes peeled," said the officer in Apache Pass

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:50pm Friday 9th January 2015

Travelling to the famed Ap[ache Pass where so many travellers were ambushed, we found ourselves in a "situation". with a number of official police a border patrol vehicles taking a keen interest in us as we just sat there picnicking.

Stacy Hart

Runnin On Empty-Are You B.A.P.P.Y

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 7:56am Friday 9th January 2015

Given the choice of expensive perfume or a bag of Pick N Mix, the confectionary gets my vote every time, It doesn’t take much to have me beaming like a ten year old & whoever shouted “Geeeez that’s a long way back to remember?” No Custard cream for you this morning…..

Oliver Phillips

Not very many seem to care either way and that includes the Apaches, we discovered visiting their Cultural Centre.

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:50pm Friday 2nd January 2015

This was a real 'old-timer' with guitar and amplifier, folding up such as Poor Little Fool and ~teenager In Love. We congratulated him when we left the bar/restaurant and I discovered this old-timer was two years younger than I am. "Time to go, Old Timer," my wife reminded me.

Stacy Hart

Runnin On Empty-Goodbye/Hallo

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:26am Friday 2nd January 2015

So it’s goodbye 2014 and hallo 2015, for those who got to partaaaaaay I hope you’re well on the way to recovering from your hang-overs? & if not, tough. As someone with M.E it’s like living with the mother of all hang-overs every single day without any liquid nectar or even leaving the house, so at least you got a dose of pleasure before being hit with the pain & other consequences......

Oliver Phillips

They inserted a red-hot poker, cut off his head, boiled it and mutilated the body.

Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:00am Friday 26th December 2014

While on the road, visiting relatives over Christmas, I will not have time to write columns so I have put together a three-article reflection of being on the road in Arizona, USA.

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.

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