Forest Reporter Karen Bate writes about her life in Ringwood

Spending some quality time in the launderette

Posted on 10:15am Thursday 19th March 2015

Instead of selling her home KAREN BATE nips out to clean some bedding and decides upon a niche venture in the process

Karen Bate

Loved ones are always there

Posted on 8:00am Thursday 12th March 2015

As she says goodbye to her father KAREN BATE comes to the conclusion that the people we care for never truly leave us

The circle of life carries on

Posted on 8:00am Thursday 26th February 2015

In clearing out her father’s room KAREN BATE stumbles upon an old tale

Karen Bate

Looking on with a smile

Posted on 7:00am Friday 20th February 2015

As she prepares for her father’s funeral KAREN BATE receives a reassuring message from a passing balloon...

Karen Bate

Thankful for one last goodbye

Posted on 5:50pm Wednesday 11th February 2015

Her father’s sudden death has left KAREN BATE trying to come to terms with her loss

Karen Bate

Do it your... or perhaps not

Posted on 8:00am Friday 6th February 2015

In the midst of a domestic DIY disaster KAREN BATE finds out that some jobs are best left in the hands of the capable, in this case the Farmer.

Karen Bate

It’s a dog’s life down the pub

Posted on 2:00pm Thursday 29th January 2015

An evening out sees KAREN BATE’s four-legged friend treated like canine royalty

Karen Bate

All colours of the rainbow

Posted on 10:21am Thursday 22nd January 2015

A day spent exploring sees KAREN BATE getting up close and personal with some ‘specialist’ clothing

Karen Bate

Domestic bliss for the undomesticated

Posted on 7:00am Saturday 17th January 2015

As she strives to maintain an equal parental footing KAREN BATE takes some advice and passes responsibility onto her dog

Karen Bate

Boiling down 2015’s political campaigns

Posted on 10:41am Thursday 8th January 2015

With a general election around the corner KAREN BATE takes the time to provide a rundown of the four main parties’ policies.

Karen Bate

The joys of looking for last minute gifts

Posted on 4:07pm Monday 29th December 2014

Despite making some decent headway into her Christmas shopping KAREN BATE finds the list never comes to an end

Karen Bate

Festive goodwill is still kicking around

Posted on 10:32am Thursday 11th December 2014

THE Farmer and I fell out last week.

Karen Bate

Not quite getting away from it all

Posted on 7:00am Friday 5th December 2014

KAREN BATE finds her weekend getaway was more hassle than it was worth and that Lenny Henry wouldn’t have had these problems

Karen Bate

Public information films misshaped my life

Posted on 7:00am Saturday 29th November 2014

KAREN BATE relives those BBC warnings of the 1970s and comes to terms with their impact on her ‘cotton wool’ parenting...

Karen Bate

Worth the effort for a spot of high living

Posted on 1:03pm Thursday 20th November 2014

An invitation to dinner at a Michelin star restaurant is not passed up by KAREN BATE who finds she has developed a taste for fine dining and petit fours

Karen Bate

Not enough hours in the day

Posted on 11:18am Thursday 13th November 2014

With so many Things To Do eating up her time, KAREN BATE finds an answer to her domestic prayers in the shape of her ready, willing and able Mum

Karen Bate

An unexpected intervention

Posted on 11:12am Thursday 6th November 2014

A near miss for her dear pet dog leaves KAREN BATE profoundly grateful for the kindness of strangers

Karen Bate

In need of some elbow grease

Posted on 11:34am Thursday 30th October 2014

A spot of DIY gets in the way of KAREN BATE’s creative flow as she is confronted with Things To Do

Karen Bate

Seeking a domestic goddess

Posted on 10:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

A busy domestic life leaves KAREN BATE wondering how she can free up some time

Karen Bate

No dogs allowed in here

Posted on 10:24am Thursday 16th October 2014

Following a windswept amble with her poochy pal KAREN BATE is left pondering why our pets are so often left out in the cold.

Karen Bate

Cookery course catastrophe

Posted on 12:00pm Friday 10th October 2014

A day spent at River Cottage sees Karen Bate struggling to reach culinary perfection

Why baking is not to all tastes

Posted on 12:20pm Thursday 2nd October 2014

FOR days I had been looking at my Bramley apples and plums, which have been sitting on my three-tier cake stand.

Karen Bate

Heading out to the highway

Posted on 11:49am Thursday 25th September 2014

A two-seater gets KAREN BATE’S hopes up and then crushes them completely

Karen Bate

Reason to be superstitious

Posted on 11:10am Thursday 18th September 2014

Some fraternal baiting leaves KAREN BATE wondering if her childhood doll is in fact cursed

Karen Bate

It's a dog's life

Posted on 12:04pm Thursday 11th September 2014

It’s a dog’s life for KAREN BATE as her canine chum is overlooked again and again by unfair show judges

Karen Bate

Going back to another time

Posted on 9:00am Thursday 4th September 2014

MY friend went to the Great Dorset Steam Show at the weekend.

Summer has been and gone

Posted on 11:58am Thursday 28th August 2014

IT’S freezing, it’s dark and it’s raining. It is August. Is someone having a laugh?

Karen Bate

Learning is stressful work

Posted on 11:24am Thursday 21st August 2014

In the search for a new desk and chair KAREN BATE has a taxing time in the local branch of IKEA

Karen Bate

Look back at days gone by

Posted on 10:34am Thursday 14th August 2014

A summer’s day spent in a beach hut leaves KAREN BATE with a pang of nostalgia for the summers of her youth

Karen Bate

The key, not to a combine harvester, but a hangover

Posted on 9:53am Monday 11th August 2014

KAREN BATE finds out that drinking overseas and in a English beer garden can have drastically different outcomes

Conquering the fear of motorways

Posted on 10:00am Friday 1st August 2014

IT was on Tuesday morning, as I faced a 200-mile journey on a Spanish motorway without a sat nav and just the Teen and an out-of-date map for assistance, that I longed for a husband.

Karen Bate

I am a little scared of my naked ambition

Posted on 3:27pm Wednesday 16th July 2014

I AM sitting on the terrace. It's 8.22am and it's already 29C.

Karen Bate

Excitement of my Spanish hols is getting too much

Posted on 3:28pm Wednesday 9th July 2014

IN less than 48 hours the Teen and I will be in Spain and while I am SO excited I am also dangerously overwhelmed.

Karen Bate

Unrealistic charity shop pricing makes me CROSS

Posted on 4:09pm Wednesday 2nd July 2014

BECAUSE I am a meagre, part-time writer, my salary is not exactly up there.

Karen Bate

Things are heating up for Bate

Posted on 12:47pm Tuesday 24th June 2014

I DON’T know what’s wrong with me – I keep burning myself.

Karen Bate

Handsome, intelligent suncream applicant needed

Posted on 2:30pm Friday 13th June 2014

I HAVE a vacant position that needs filling as soon as possible.

Karen Bate

For the record, I think Tracey's emin-ent

Posted on 2:56pm Wednesday 4th June 2014

OVER the last few weeks, I have had several conversations about modern art - none of which I have started, I might add.

Dogs get our tails wagging

Posted on 10:22am Friday 30th May 2014

I AM really in love. Passionately in love.

Bate's in love with a .... Bulldog

Posted on 1:07pm Tuesday 27th May 2014

I AM really in love. Passionately in love.

I love my brother's squidgy pig of a dog. But it's like having a toddler

Posted on 8:00pm Friday 23rd May 2014

I HAVE a stress headache and it’s only 7.02am.

Karen Bate

OK, I'm shallow. Shallow fried.

Posted on 3:00pm Friday 16th May 2014

I HAVE been told no less than three times this week that I am “shallow” by so-called “friends”.

Karen Bate

Roll up, roll up... for your chance to buy painting of Bin Laden...

Posted on 2:00pm Saturday 10th May 2014

I AM the proud owner of a tiny pitch in a giant vintage warehouse.

Karen Bate

New hobby is taking years off me

Posted on 2:36pm Wednesday 30th April 2014

IT’S suddenly hit home that I am middle-aged. I have acquired a hobby.

Karen Bate

I love my new sofa. But my bottom doesn't

Posted on 4:31pm Wednesday 23rd April 2014

HURRAH! I am picking up my new sofa tonight.

No fun for arachnophobes

Posted on 12:48pm Wednesday 16th April 2014

As I may have previously mentioned, I used to have a fear of flying.

Karen Bate

My date with Elvis... I was conned

Posted on 3:52pm Wednesday 9th April 2014

I HAVE been duped.

Karen Bate

My killer kitty's pressie does not fill me with joy

Posted on 3:36pm Wednesday 2nd April 2014

APPARENTLY we have several cases of cats passing on deadly tuberculosis to their owners.

Karen Bate

My brain is trying to trick me into smoking

Posted on 4:24pm Wednesday 26th March 2014

SINCE my heart attack scare after strolling up a small hill last week, I have stopped smoking.

Karen Bate

Lent? Pah, I'm no quitter

Posted on 3:45pm Wednesday 19th March 2014

ON Ash Wednesday I had the bright idea of announcing to the newsroom that we should all give something up for Lent.

Karen Bate

Lack of sofa space providing me with free decorator

Posted on 12:51pm Wednesday 5th March 2014

SINCE my Antiversary Party last week, we have a problem in my house.

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