Everyday Small Things


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Everyday Small Things: kindness & smiles

I write from Melbourne’s tullamarine airport as I’m about to fly back to the UK.  This morning as I was running around like a mad woman finishing last minute errands I was struck by everyone’s kindness!

I realised that almost whatever shops I went into or the workman on the roads I exchanged a few words with, or the people riding to work on their bikes that I past…. Everyone had a smile on their face. Everyone looked me in the eye. Everyone felt comfortable and interested enough to exchange a few words with me!

How did this make me feel? Like the world is full if kindness and how much a simple thing like smiling for yourself and others really brightens the world (and my mood).

As I head back to the UK, it scares me a little at the thought of loosing such exchanges. But they do exist.. So I need to remember how much others smiling at me cheers me up, so that u can smile at others and brighten their day with a smile too!

I challenge you all to smile at others today, take a brief interest in the exchange, and watch to see their faces brighten up too!

Let me know how this action makes you feel!

I’ll be out for a few days flying.. So next time I write it’ll be from England 🙂 xx

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Leave a comment

Everyday Small Thing: kindness & smiles

I write from Melbourne’s tullamarine airport as I’m about to fly back to the UK.  This morning as I was running around like a mad woman finishing last minute errands I was struck by everyone’s kindness!

I realised that almost whatever shops I went into or the workman on the roads I exchanged a few words with, or the people riding to work on their bikes that I past…. Everyone had a smile on their face. Everyone looked me in the eye. Everyone felt comfortable and interested enough to exchange a few words with me!

How did this make me feel? Like the world is full if kindness and how much a simple thing like smiling for yourself and others really brightens the world (and my mood).

As I head back to the UK, it scares me a little at the thought of loosing such exchanges. But they do exist.. So I need to remember how much others smiling at me cheers me up, so that u can smile at others and brighten their day with a smile too!

I challenge you all to smile at others today, take a brief interest in the exchange, and watch to see their faces brighten up too!

Let me know how this action makes you feel!

I’ll be out for a few days flying.. So next time I write it’ll be from England 🙂 xx


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Happy, Healthy, Strong – Foodelicious

Cafe culture – great tasting grub!

Melbourne CoffeeMelbourne Coffee really is superb folks – it has bought my Coffee Diva back out.

Melbourne is known for being full of coffee (and sometimes food) snobs.  But geez the food really is good!  Don’t get me wrong, in the UK you can get great food, but it can be harder to come by.  And just because it has the word ‘organic’ on it doesn’t seem to ensure the food is actually of a quality as it does in Melbourne.  I actually saw on the news here a report about Aussies who’ve set up a cafe in Paris, making Australian-style coffee which is really taking off.  I’m off to Paris in a few weeks for the French Open (gee I know life is tough), so I might go check it out.  I’m generally a caffeine-free-zone (again related to headaches/migraines), but couldn’t help myself recently.  My first Melbourne coffee stopped me in my tracks walking across the busy Flinders Street in Central Melbourne.  Aargh the Coffee Diva was back!

There is a few new cafes here in Brunswick that I’ve visited.  One is called Milkwood and one is Eastern Elevation.

One of my key goals in terms of getting Happy, Healthy & Strong is improving my relationship with food.  It has become my Foodemy (that did seem to work better in my head when I combined food and enemy.. maybe that’s just me?!)  I’m in a food rut.  Sick of cooking it.  Sick of buying it.  Sick of sharing it.  Why is that I wonder?  [Possibly something to do with the window that won’t shut and the long winter we’ve had?…).

Eggs & smash

Poached Eggs on Broadbean and Mint Smash at new cafe Milkwood – so good I went back today for lunch!

Anyway, it has been really nice to share some meals out that feel really nutritious and nurturing rather than heavy and greasy!

I’ve also been thinking about having a crack at Paleo when I get home.  I already know that I’m really not a carbs girl (well I love bread.. but I need a 30 minute nap after eating it).  So when I’ve been out for a meal here I’ve been a little nervous because sometimes all there is on offer is a meal based around carbs that I know will send me to sleep – not what I want to be happening at the end of my meal when I want to catch up with my friend who I haven’t seen in years.  So I’ve been really greatful that many meals offered have been based more around pulses, protein & freshness which suits me much better.

What’s the nicest thing about food where you live?


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Everyday Small Things: Wisdoms

Today I watched episode 1 series 3 of Adam Hills tonight and father Bob was on. For those if you overseas he us an outspoken, Catholic (don’t run away.. This iS no religious preach), who also very very funny. He uses this to help get his message across about helping those less fortunate and u can choose to ask more re religion if you choose.

Anyway my wisdom and EST (Everyday Small Things) for today us a quote if his:

WE ARE THE ONES WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR!

Damn straight. I’m going to keep this with me as inspiration to be more generous on my mission to be Healthy, Happy & Strong!

What does this statement say to you?


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Healthy, Happy, Strong: Fitness Freak

Today I am resetting some Fitness goals.  Getting my Fitness Freak back on!

Where am I now?  A year ago I was Cross Fitting everyday at a great box (that’s a Cross Fit gym folks) called Hertford CrossFitCrossfit Hope July 3Prior to that my headaches/migraines were so severe that I couldn’t even walk around the block without making them worse (I’ll go into that story another day).  So I’d worked really hard to get to a reasonable level of fitness and probably the strongest I’d ever been.  Then I got a new teaching job in inner London which was really difficult.  Not so much because the teaching or students were difficult, but because I had just been without my support network for too many years in the UK.  And all the great friends I had made were up north in the midlands.  Getting to the gym was just adding additional stress and guilt (when I wouldn’t get there after work as had work to do or was just so physically exhausted).  I was cracking pretty badly and it was really affecting my work.  In fact for the first time in my life I was having quite a bit of time off.  So I made the executive decision to just not stress about exercise and stop going.

Then my knee cracked it.  It said (if you speak knee (that’s primarily grinding and crunching) as I have learned to do since I hit puberty), “Katrina, you’ve worked so bloody hard to get me strong again, and now this… you just stop strengthening me?!  Well I quit!”  The physio listened to my knee, went white and told me to stop running and squatting.  Great!  Slowly I lost interest in my physio exercises…

…so here I am.  Not quite the most unfit I’ve ever been, but just really slobbish and unmotivated.  Every time I decide to do some form of fitness, if I don’t get straight to it that moment, my mind kicks in builds this wall of worry and excuses.  I think I am worried that I’ll fail again at realising my goals.  Yet I love sport and fitness.  I’ve won rowing races and represented my state playing soccer for goodness sake.  I am at heart a Fitness Freak – just dying to get back on it!

Shoes runners 130516 Merri CreekBrunswick velodrome 2 Merri Creek view Merri Creek graffiti Merri Creek Grevilea Run clouds Merri creek path Merri Creek Shadow

I’ve lost a lot of sleep feeling guilty over failing at lots of attempts to get my Fitness Freak back on – but in reality having not coped with isolation, loneliness and hating my job in the UK for the past couple of years it is not surprising I’ve failed so much.

But that’s fine.  I have the time now and the opportunity to…

…just get off the couch!

Where do I want to be? 

  • I will be able to do triathlons.
  • I will be able to join a hockey club.
  • I will be able to become a Pilates instructor.
  • I will be able to do crazy yoga poses.
  • I will be able to get back to Cross Fit.

What are the goals I am setting today?

  1. Set realistic goals – I haven’t done this in the past if I really take into account living a busy lifestyle and not being one of those people with boundless ends of energy.
  2. Be kind to my body – take it slow.
  3. Do 10 minutes of Physio everyday because it does actually work!  I know because when I stop all my problems (e.g. talkative knees) come flooding back.
  4. Run a mile a day Challenge.  I like the idea of short little challenges as a way of focusing myself.  I’m not able to run far on my knees, so I’m not interested in time or distance.  I’m interested in getting out there and keeping my form.  Short strides to protect my knees and listen to them.  Bless them they are weak because I have not listened to them for ages.  So knees… I’m listening now!

So that’s it for now.  I was going to write down about three more challenges… but then I referred back to point one!

I just went for my first Mile a Day Challenge – and the Melbourne weather was just great!  I got back on my old running track here in Melbourne along the Merri Creek.  And I must make a big shout out to the Friends of Merri Creek gang… gosh it’s come along!  Just a beautiful 45 mins.

I’ve popped in some of the sights from today!  And the smells:  Snags on the BBQ at Ceres, Stringy bark (eucalyptus trees), Ironing, and fresh clean air!

Brunswick VelodromeBrunswick Velodrome

What are your fitness goals?  How do you get your Fitness Freak on?  How have you overcome getting in a fitness rut?


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Everyday Small Things: Rainy days

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Today the weather is miserable outside.  The first of the winter cold is setting in here in Melbourne.  I’ve come back to Australia wpid-DSC_0436.jpgfor a short holiday to see friends and family – just what the doctor ordered!  So it has been a very emotional but nourishing trip for me right now.  And somehow the rain today feels right.  Like it is washing away the dust… ready for a fresh, new beginning.  I have a rare day to myself and it is so nice to be snuggly by the window that I can peer out of reflecting!

I went out for breakfast with a new friend and as soon as I stepped outside I was hit with the comforting smell of Australia after the rain.  I smelt:

  • seaweed – argh yes I am close to the ocean again (a place you’ll hear me talk a lot about…) as I’ve always lived inland in the UK and seriously miss  it
  • Gum tree (Eucalyptus) – yep.. I must be back in Oz!
  • I didn’t smell car fumes 🙂
  • I didn’t smell ‘city’ – the earth must be being cleaned.

We walked to a new cafe around the corner.  It is so nice to see new cafes popping up here in Brunswick, but the oldies are still being supported and have hung around!  Today we went to East Elevation and sat in the window getting to know each other and contemplating the world.  They make chocolate there and we saw a girl meticulously sorting through cocoa beans – so of course I had to buy some of their chocolate (we’re going to see if you really can taste the difference between chocolates from different countries tonight… so I’ll keep you posted!).  The coffee was perfect too!  Yum!  Once our tummies were full, out we went.. and the rain had started to bucket down!

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Luckily I had bought my trusty umbrella.  I’ve often wondered what he’d say if he could say anything at all.. as I got him back in 2008 when I first arrived in the UK – so he’s travelled all over with me.  I paid to much for him (£12 from Marks and Spencer), but I needed the colour he bought in my life.  He’s getting to the end of his life now.. rusting.. not 100% waterproof any more… saggy… but he’s not down and out yet.

We then had a look in a new shop nearby which supports local designers.  I couldn’t help myself.  I have been looking for a cute new little purse for ages… and this little purse by Utopia Goods has an Australian print so it had to be mine.  I also have a real affection for olive oil soaps as I find normal soap too harsh for my skin and travelling with liquid soap just annoying.  And these Soaps by Jules have real Aussie flavours which just seemed so fitting today with the rainy, earth, aussie smells!  My justification for getting them:  they’ll provide a little moment each UK morning in the shower to remember home AND if you keep them in your clothes draws your clothes will smell amazing!

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Another bonus of rainy days is that I don’t feel guilty for not going for a run.  But as I write this the scene outside has turned from torrential rain to gorgeous Autumnal afternoon glow.  Hmmm…  Nope it is bucketing down and the sun is shining… ?!  yes yes it is :S

What do you love about rainy days?