Category: Randomness (Page 1 of 2)

mental health

2017 in a nutshell

So here I sit on the 31st December 2017… as usual time has flown by and we’re about to hop into another new year. Usually at the end of this month I would have a long list of goals that I would be carefully narrowing down. I’d be pumped about how much I was planning to achieve and I’d probably be feeling pretty triumphant about the year that has passed us by. This time it’s a little different…

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radio show

Radio show and it’s mine!

So, since my last post about being less distracted it appears I have in fact been a little distracted, at least distracted away from my blog! A positive draw from this is that I have been trying my hardest to remain mindful and concentrate on only one thing at a time and in doing this I haven’t had the chance to get around to publishing a blog for a month.

A little lame all the same and I’ve still got some ground to cover to tell you all a bit more about the whole mindful concept, but don’t worry I promise I will get to this!

For now I thought I’d just quickly fill you in about one of the things that has been keeping me so busy… So, basically I have gone from helping out as a co-host on a Twitter networking (#NorwichHour) linked radio show on Future Radio a couple of Monday evening’s a month to having my own weekly show! I have managed to squeeze this into my already busy schedule because it’s important to me that I am doing my bit and Future Radio is a community station so volunteering my time for projects like this makes me feel a little bit warmer inside! Secondly I actually studied TV and Radio at Uni many moons ago and wanted to go off and specialise in radio then, but my life took a different path and it didn’t end up happening, so my foot is back in the door and I’m doing what I always dreamed of, so a busier bee than before I am, but an even happier one too!

If you want to catch me on the air you can tune in if you’re in most areas of Norfolk at 107.8fm and failing that we’re on DAB and online at  My solo show is on Wednesday lunchtimes from midday until 1pm and the #NorwichHour show is on Monday evenings from 8-9pm, where I’m on a couple of times a month.

For my show I’m actually looking for some input for the regular features, so if you would like to be involved then maybe you or someone you know would be interested in giving me live interviews or pre-recorded reviews of films, books, gigs, albums, TV series etc. The more current the better.

I will also be choosing a regular Charity of the Month where the representatives of each charity will come onto my show as guests and each week during that month I will update the listeners on everything I can about that charity. I invite you to nominate a local charity of your choice to take up this position during one month next year. I’ve already filled January but there are plenty more opportunities, so feel free to email me with your charity nomination.

I’m also open to any current topic ideas so again please tweet or email me about anything exciting that you know is going on or are involved in along with your contact details.

My email related to all things radio is and I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks lovely blog readers and look out for my next mindfulness update…


What exactly is mindfulness?

So, ‘mindfulness’ is the new ‘buzz word’ around and there are even people mindfully colouring in these days too, but do they know why they’re doing it and are they constantly interrupted by notifications popping up on their phones and demanding their attention, making the exercise somewhat less mindful?

Of course, I don’t know the answer to this and in all honesty I’m not about to do a mass of research to find out who’s mindfully colouring and who isn’t, all I know is that if the interest in mindfulness continues then there is some hope that more people will want to explore it a little further and maybe just maybe there will be a chance that our future won’t be one big race towards an end goal, whilst missing all the good bits in between!

You all know what I’m talking about, we’re busy all of the time, we’re rushing everyday and almost every moment we’re distracted by a million different things. Our hearts and heads are pounding trying to figure out how we’ll get everything on our ‘to do’ lists done and in time and which things we can do at the same time, you know multi-tasking, because that’s the only way in the World we’ll get through it all, isn’t it?

Hang about, wait one moment and consider what would happen if we just slowed down for a bit. Yes don’t shoot me, I actually said slow down! I’m not suggesting we all start getting out of bed two hours later than normal and mosey around in our PJ’s until midday, although if there’s a day when you can get away with it then why not! What I mean is, how about just thinking about one thing at a time methodically and taking on just one task without thinking about all of the others. Will it take ten times as long to get through our ‘to do’ lists if we do? No, quite the contrary in fact. If we focus on one task and put our minds to this and only this then actually not only will we get it done quicker we’re likely to take it in, enjoy it even and guess what… then you can neatly move onto the next thing and switch your mind onto this task in the same way as you did before. Sounds obvious when you think about it, doesn’t it? So why on earth do we insist on doing ten things at once and miss the fact that we’re not really getting anywhere? It’s become a habit, that’s why. There’s always been the saying that women are better at multi-tasking than men, this is false. Actually multi-tasking is a complete myth and I actually believed up until about six weeks ago that I was an expert at it. I wasn’t. You cannot communicate with someone on the phone and write an email at the same time, it’s not possible, the brain does not work like that and I guarantee that you will not have taken in what the person has said if you are trying to write an email whilst they are talking. You might want to double check that email before you press send too, as it’s likely it won’t make sense or be your best work!

So, I could go on for hours on this subject but this is just a little taster to whet you’re appetite and to find out from you all what your thoughts are on mindfulness, multi-tasking and our incredibly busy lives…

I’ve just completed a six week mindfulness course and have learned so much, so my plan for my blog over the coming month is to write several posts centred around a different thing that I have learned each time, to share with you what I have taken out of it, in the hope that you can take some of the same and enrich your own lives like I feel I have mine in just the space of a few weeks. Of course, now is the hard part as I need to continue to practice being mindful without the prompt of the lectures and course notes, but I know how much myself and those I spend most time with could reap the rewards if this becomes part of my life indefinitely, so I will be doing everything in my power to keep a check on it. So by all means, if you see my trying to multi-task or looking at my phone when someone is trying to talk to me then please feel free to give me a firm kick up the bum!

Desperate times!

So after a bit more sleep last week on our hols it seems I was lured into a false sense of hope as since I’ve been home the restless legs and no sleeping has reared it’s ugly head again with a vengeance! I also have it in my arms and hands and it’s not just at night anymore so I haven’t even been able to snatch a snooze during the day. I find it so hard to believe that there is nothing the midwife / doctor can do about this and if I’m honest the thought of going another 8 weeks with little more than an hour or two sleep every 24 hours makes me feel sick. Even as I am writing this blog (at 5am Sunday morning) my legs, arms and hands are fidgeting like crazy and yesterday all I wanted to do was watch a film in the afternoon and relax whilst it was chucking it down with rain but no sooner had I got comfortable (which is a challenge in itself at the moment) the urge to move and thrash my legs about began, so I saw no more than five minutes of the film before I was pacing the house in tears at this hopeless situation. Wow, it all sounds quite dramatic doesn’t it and believe me when I tell you I hate moaning more than anyone, especially when despite this I still consider myself exceptionally lucky to be having a baby. However, what is the point in me writing a blog about my journey through pregnancy if I’m not honest . . . hopefully my whinging will not put you off reading! 😉

I have got an appointment with the midwife tomorrow so am going to have to stress a little more about needing help. I have suggested a few times that perhaps low iron levels may be causing this but each time she has said it has nothing to do with it. I have got to have some more blood tests after seeing the Doctor before we went on holiday but stupidly put this off this week as knew I had this appointment tomorrow and don’t like making too much of a fuss so every day this week kept thinking ‘it can wait’ – looking back that was probably stupid. I’m just hoping they put me on iron supplements and agree to me trying magnesium (suggested by a herbalist I spoke to) in an attempt to make the next few weeks a little easier. I can’t see that taking these supplements will do the baby or me anymore harm than me simply not sleeping, plus at this rate I’ll be a zombie before she is even born – which I thought was supposed to come afterwards! The thought of sleepless nights with her once she is here doesn’t phase me at all, which some of you are probably sniggering about to yourselves, but the likelihood is that she will sleep at some point during 24 hour periods and without RLS I’ll actually be able to lay down and do the same – that thought alone is one of the things keeping me going at the moment as being able to do that will be like the best gift I could ever have (aside form the baby herself of course). I told my midwife this last time I saw her and her response was ‘well the thing is you’ll be so tired then that you won’t know what you’re doing and you won’t be thinking that then!’ – just the positive attitude I need! She clearly isn’t listening when I tell her I’ve been sleep and rest deprived for the last two months . . . if someone hasn’t suffered personally with RLS I don’t think they’ll ever understand the extent of it and she is obviously one them – lucky thing!

So, let’s put a positive swing on this blog so I don’t put a cloud over your head today . . . erm, well, erm, oh crikey something good must have happened this week! Oh yes on Monday! I had a lovely lunch out with my Mum, Sister and our lovely friend Sarah – I went for a ploughman’s (in the hope that I’d get some celery) followed by a chocolate cupcake with pistachio and amaretto ice cream, which was lovely but not quite as enjoyed as the celery and radishes I bought afterwards. My craving has continued for these and I’ve gone through nearly four bags of radishes since Monday so far this week! Now whilst I type I want them again and it was only about 3 hours ago that I was downstairs munching on some and probably 3 hours before that too! I didn’t really believe in cravings before I was pregnant but it really does take a hold of you and once you’ve thought of the thing you want, that’s it, there’s no going back – you just have to have it! To give you an example of how much I love these things at the moment, on Friday night we were at my Mums to watch the first part of the last Harry Potter film (which, you guessed it, with my annoying restless legs I didn’t end up being able to watch it, neither did poor Mum who gave me some treatments in an attempt to help) and James and Yaz had come back from the shop armed with a bag full of popcorn, chocolate, biscuits etc etc but I just wasn’t interested – all I wanted was a crunchy juicy radish! 😉

Socially, I haven’t seen anyone else this week unfortunately, apart from the people at our first ante-natal class that we went to yesterday. There was one girl I knew from school, so it was nice to catch up with her and the class itself was quite interesting actually. It was all about pain relief and we got to try gas and air, which was worth going for alone! The midwife holding the class also took a tens machine around for everyone to try and after about 2 seconds each person was wriggling and saying how much they could feel it, me however . . . nothing! She had to turn it right up before I felt anything and it wasn’t until I noticed my wrist and hand twisting up towards me that I realised it was in fact doing something, I just couldn’t feel the tingling sensation everyone else was talking about. I’m not sure what that says about me? Perhaps it’s due to my whole body being numb through lack of sleep 😉 One thing I took away from the session was an overwhelming feeling of relaxation when thinking about the birth – something I definitely didn’t think I’d feel like! I definitely want to have a water birth if I can and if possible to go without too much pain relief – I feel like relaxation is the key and will be pursuing my research on hypno-birthing and other similar relaxation techniques so that I can try and remain as calm as I can throughout – perhaps easier said than done but that’s my intention. I’m sure many of you experienced mothers out there are once again laughing to yourselves and imagining me begging for an epidural at the earliest opportunity, which perhaps I will and I’m certainly not writing it off but I will be trying to do it without if I can use other methods of relaxation that I know have worked for others. Watch this space to see how I get on!

 Growth wise, I’m not sure whether I’ve grown much since last week really. The bump is rock hard still and plenty of regular moving from the little one to show me she’s doing ok in there. Last night James and I were playing her our favourite music with my big headphone cans on my tummy and we’re going to make a playlist to play to her between now and the birth that will hopefully be something she’ll relate to once she’s with us so we can play it to her to get her off to sleep (worth a shot!). Talking of playlists I’m also going to create a playlist for me during labour and would love some input from you, my lovely friends and readers. I want a playlist of songs that are both relaxing and positive, something that is harder to find that you think as it turns out most of the chilled music I listen to has really depressing lyrics! Therefore, your mission, should you choose to accept, is to recommend a track to me to add to my playlist – this way I can think of you during labour when your song choice is making me smile instead of wince with pain! I know a lot of you are into music as much as me so I’m expecting heaps of great suggestions from you – now is not a time to be shy, comment  on this blog with songs to your hearts content please – the more tracks the better, labour can go on for a while you know!! 😉

Entering the World of WORK & getting together with James . . .

So having left university with plans to get a temporary job to save and go travelling I joined some agencies in Norwich and soon found myself with an admin job at The Money Centre, a Buy-to-Let and Commercial Brokers based in Norwich. It wasn’t a career I was after but having always been keen on numbers it was definitely of interest to me, so working here for a few months to save some money to go away again looked to be fine. I started the same day as another girl, Hanna, who I am still really good friends with today. Hanna had an Estate Agency background so during the training knew a lot more than I did about property etc. but I got through it ok and was keen to learn. The small team that was then The Money Centre were a friendly bunch and I liked it. I was still a little unsettled at this point in my life and coming home had brought my memories of what happened in Australia to the forefront of my mind so I was definitely having up and down days with a diet of sleeping pills and about 6 cans of red-bull a day to get me through work! After several sick days I was pulled aside by one of the Directors and my line-manager and told that I needed to up my game to stay working for them. One thing you will learn about me is that I hate letting people down and I can’t stand failing, so this was enough for me to turn things around. I suppose I felt like I had something to prove to them and myself and it’s safe to say I did it.

Soon after I’d decided to give it a go at The Money Centre my plans for travelling were postponed and I planned to stay at The Money Centre long-term. I’d started dating James in April 2002 which was going really well and then in the August of that year a friend and I bought a house together to get on the property ladder. I was 21 at this point so really pleased to be making an investment for my future already. My life had changed, with my days of being a drunken reckless student behind me, and I was pleased. Don’t for one second imagine I was T-total now though! Come on I was 21 and in my partying prime, I just did it two nights a week instead of six and held down a job that I was prospering at as well as a boyfriend that it was safe to say I had fallen for (HUGE thing for me in itself!!). I’d switched from administration to sales at The Money Centre by the end of the first year I worked there, where I did pretty well if I do say so myself. I absolutely loved the thrill of selling and the commission structure was so exciting for me, before I knew it my hard work had paid off and I was earning near to a six figure wage at the age of 22!! This was like a dream come true for me and really helped me to be able to set-up my life well. With my student paid off quicker than I ever imagined I had more money than I knew what to do with, so we lived very well whilst this lasted and why not indeed!

Unfortunately my friend decided a few months after we’d bought the house together that it wasn’t for her and she didn’t in fact want the commitment at that point in her life, which was totally fair enough. This was sad though and a bit of a headache as we were tied into the mortgage for a while yet but out of a bad situation came good and James kindly offered to move in and pay for her half, even though his name was not put on the Deeds until we were no longer tied into the initial mortgage – a big risk on his part and could have ended in tears for our relationship as we’d only been together for about 7 months. Luckily though it brought us closer rather than drove us apart and we soon outgrew that little house and found a dream project of a barn conversion in a village between Norwich and the North Norfolk Coast. Having been living and breathing Buy-to-Let investments we decided to keep the initial house as a rental property and buy this new project to convert and live in.

We turned the two-bed cottage into a five bed house and we’re still here today enjoying all of James’ hard work! The Buy-to-Let bug had well and truly got us hooked and by 2006 we had three rental properties of which we were looking at as long-term investments.

Our wedding day

Between 2002 and 2006 some very exciting things happened as well as the work and property investing, so don’t worry it wasn’t all work no play! In February 2003, James and I went to Amsterdam for valentines weekend and after only 10 months of us being together James proposed!! Me married, this was a strange prospect for me as I had said I’d probably never get married (a bit like I’ll never have kids! ;-)) but with James everything just felt right and I loved him with all my heart. He was the rock I needed in my life after losing Debs and I couldn’t imagine life without him, plus it has to be said that he’s pretty easy on the eye (don’t tell him I said that as he’ll get a big head!) so why would I NOT marry this man!! We had quite a long engagement and got married in August 2005 – a fantastic day that I will never forget so thank you to all who were there to share it with us and for those that weren’t we can promise you that you were missed. Before we got married we got ourselves a new addition to the family – a chocolate labrador puppy who we named Woody and is with us today and the grand age of 6 and a half and get soppier by the day and unfortunately more poorly but I won’t go into that now.


Although I’d put the travelling thing on hold we certainly got about a lot with various weekend breaks in Europe and plenty of holidays. Some of the places that we visited in those four years were Amsterdam, Rhodes, Lanzarote, Seville, Egypt, Venice, Paris, New York, Tanzania for a fabulous safari and then Zanzibar for some R&R at the beach for our honeymoon, Dubai and Australia. I also went back to Australia without James in 2005 as my friend Jody had just moved there and her sister Lou was heading over in the February . . . Lou made that fatal mistake of asking me if I wanted to go? Never put seeds like that in my head, it’s dangerous! So anyway, I wanted to go to put some things emotionally to bed before we got married and James was more than happy for me to do it, so I went over for about a week (although 8 nights away from the UK with travelling) to get it out of my system. Great to catch up with Jody and her new friends and I went back to Coogee where we’d lived in Sydney, which was strange. I don’t think I particularly liked being back there – I had the first night on my own and just sat on the beach thinking for a few hours. It had changed, of course – no backpacking friends, no sand-fly infested flat and mainly no Debs. I don’t know what I thought it would be like but to this day I can’t really explain whether it did me any good or not. I suppose it was good to go back on my own before taking James back so I was prepared when we went together the next year and it was a much better trip then.

Me & James at Coogee Beach – 2006

Plus we went with a load of the girls I’d met in Australia originally so it was great to share the memories together and for James to be part of it. One of my goals from 2003 or 2004 was to visit at least three countries a year, so although I hadn’t been on one specific travelling journey I made sure I was getting plenty of tasters. Poor James, he’s petrified of flying and there’s me dragging him around the World! I think he realised early on this was a big dream of mine and now I’m pleased to say he shares that dream with me and are always chatting about the next trip we’ll take. There will be plenty more trips I’ll cover from 2007 to date on the next blog if you’re interested . . .

So what’s been happening since last week in the life of Kaori . . .

Well firstly I’ve got to be honest and say that I’ve been feeling a little more emotional than normal – on the verge of tears on several occasions for situations that I would ordinarily not be phased by. I’m guessing this is my hormones as it’s pretty unlike me, particularly over the last couple of months when I’ve felt calm as a cucumber about everything. Whilst on the pregnancy subject I don’t suppose much else has changed apart from the continuing growth of my bump – it is now there for all to see with no hiding it if I tried! Aside from that the only weird thing was a worrying day and a half when I couldn’t feel her move. Now, this is something quite strange as going from never feeling her to feeling her everyday and then suddenly nothing again does make you concerned – perhaps I’m being paranoid? Anyway, it was probably because I had super busy days Monday and Tuesday and was pre-occupied or something, but thankfully when I was on the way to my second late shift in a row at the council Tuesday what started off feeling like a pain in my stomach turned out to be the little one wriggling around and before long she was moving about as energetically as she had been before – phew! The only other symptoms that I’m having is headaches in the morning and nose bleeds, nothing uncontrollable on the bleeding front and no idea why it happens but I’ve heard it’s common in pregnancy – nice!

It’s been a crazy week work-wise and because of that I haven’t caught up with any friends all week! I did however have a fabulous evening out with my Mum and Yazmin on Friday – we went for something to eat in Norwich at Pulse (a vegetarian restaurant that Yaz was particularly un-keen on going to as she is a meat fiend through and through, however they have a variety of gluten free meals on their menu so we wanted Mum to try it as she has problems with what she eats). Unfortunately, I can’t rave about the meal we had there which is a real shame as the place is lovely and I would have loved for it to be somewhere that we could take Mum for a regular gluten free fix. However, the company was great and on from there went to the theatre where we saw Derren Brown in action, which was as entertaining as I’d expected – brilliant show and amazing how he does what he does, even if it does frustrate the hell out of me not knowing the answers of how, why etc etc!! Amazingly I didn’t get involved in the show either, which I have a habit of doing at these kind of things – at Paul McKenna I ended up on stage then when James and I saw David Copperfield in Vegas I ended up getting us roped into being part of the show – we had to pretend to be late and to James’ disgust we had to walk in with these huge spotlights following us and a close up of us on the big screen on stage so that DC could make a joke about us missing much, when it was just after a massive entrance trick that he’d done! I love this kind of thing and we got to sit on DC’s favourite table adjoining the stage when we’d only paid for budget tickets at the back – result!
Anyway, I digress (as usual)! On the Saturday James and I both worked and then that evening had a BBQ at Mum and Bryan’s as my step-brother Daniel was staying for the weekend and Bryan’s Nephew and Sister-in-Law came over to join us too. It was lovely to get together as Bryan’s poor Brother Trevor is very ill with Cancer at the moment, so it’s an extremely tough time for everyone (particularly his wife and kids) at the moment. Another reason for us all to thank our lucky stars that we’ve got our health and we’re living! We must always make sure we don’t take it for-granted, as I always say ‘life is short, so make the most of it’. . . That just leaves Sunday of the weekend, where James was doing his best to finish our new bathroom, which looks fantastic by the way! Then we took Yaz out for a lovely late lunch in Norwich as a little ‘good luck’ for her revision and exams etc as she’s got her GCSE’s at the moment and she deserves a little TLC as she works hard bless her.

This week has just been eaten up with work – a couple of late shifts at the council and heaps of cramming to get my own business work done so that I can attempt to have a lovely four day weekend with James. I’ve worked harder than ever over the past four days but sadly all came to a grinding holt today as the platform I use to organise my Social Media hasn’t been working all day so it’s created heaps more work and means that I’ll definitely have to continue tomorrow (Good Friday) and perhaps some of the other days too. Fingers crossed all will be resolved in the morning though and I’ll try and get everything done by early afternoon as then my Auntie Jacqui and Stephen will be arriving to stay for the night, and I’ve got plans to take them to the World Village Market in Norwich as well as Holt and somewhere on the North Norfolk Coast for a look . . .

On the upside, my website is coming on leaps and bounds and I’ve got my company emails sorted along with a new phone and number for the business. Also my business cards are almost ready to order so I can crack on with some major networking in a few weeks time to start boosting business – I’m really excited about it all and have had some great feedback from the people that have had a look at my website so far, as well as some lovely morale boosting comments from my existing clients in the last few days – must be doing something right then! 😉

I hope you’ve all had a fab week and that you all have a tremendous Easter weekend, I’m sure you deserve it!

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