International Cat Day and why I love my job

Not every job would let you go and pet cats at the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in Old Windsor on a Tuesday afternoon!

International Cat Day was the perfect opportunity to organise this – the day was trending on social media all day and we had incredible success earlier in the day asking people to send in photos of their cats on the Get Surrey Facebook page. I’m sure the fact I put a photo of my beautiful cat, Shanti, on the post made it all the more attractive to readers ūüėČ

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Sharing the love: Lessons in compliments from my cat

As anyone who’s met me in the past year-and-a-half is probably aware, I have a cat. She’s called Shanti and she’s very fluffy and cuddly.

On any given day, I’ll probably say most or all of these things to her:

“You’re lovely.” “You’re so pretty!” “You’re beeeautiful.” “You’re perfect.” “You’re my bestest friend!” and so on.

All normal things for a crazy cat lady to say to her feline friend.

But one day I got thinking – how come I, or indeed so many of us, don’t give these compliments to our real-life human friends with remotely the same regularity?

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2017 goals

A short list of 2017 resolutions/goals but I thought it would add some extra obligation if it’s written on the internet.

  • Do a 10k
  • Read 52 books
  • Blog once a week
  • Learn a challenging new piece on the piano, clarinet AND saxophone
  • Write some short stories
  • Go away somewhere new

And this is all the fun stuff already scheduled in that I can look forward to.

  • Live music: Busted, Caro Emerald, Electric Six, Frankie Valli, London Symphony Orchestra, Take That, Electric Light Orchestra, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe
  • Other live events: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Greg Davies
  • Two weddings of schoolfriends
  • Frazer’s return from New Zealand

Things to be grateful for

In today’s fast-paced world, surrounded by news of Trump and Brexit and celebrities dying, it’s easy to get caught up and forget what’s really important in your own life.

Even if you manage to ignore the cyclic nature of the news as driven by social media, repeating the same fears and worries and bad news over and over, most of us are still racing around to and from work with barely a second thought about the important things which are quickly passing us by.

So, inspired by this post on The Pool (which is always on point) I have decided to spend a week listing three good things I’m grateful for each day – because it’s important to pause, remember, and let these positive thoughts rise to the forefront of our priorities.

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Happy 6th anniversary Frazer

Dear Frazer,

You’ve been on the other side of the world for five months and I miss you so much! But that’s also my excuse for not sending you a present – I would have had to remember weeks ago, and I did not because I’m useless. I hope this is a nice replacement.

This is the card I saw and thought of you:

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It’s tough to speak properly sometimes between England and New Zealand, especially when the time zone keeps changing and I’m working odd¬†shifts. But it’s always a pleasure and a highlight of my day, even when we are too tired to speak about anything but Shanti. She enjoys being a key topic of conversation.

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My 5k challenge – part two

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After the Colour5k

Never one to renegade on a promise, I thought I’d better update you on my running progress.

I did the Colour5k. It was quite tough- it was on an uneven grass field which you went round five times and had a big hill in the middle. I only managed it in around 50 minutes; then again, I barely walked any of it which made me proud of myself.

More importantly, I’ve discovered the positive effects of running for myself as advocated in Alexandra Heminsley’s¬†Running Like A Girl.

Most strangely, I find myself actually looking forward to running now. Some days I obviously put it off ad infinitum, I’m not that amazing (yet!), but other days it feels like something I must do, that getting out in the fresh air and putting one foot in front of the other will help my body feel satisfied and healthy.

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Local elections 2016: as a Surrey reporter & London voter

Many people don’t think elections are interesting in the slightest but I was privileged to cover an unusual election count on Saturday – a Surrey council which now faces a no overall control situation after the Tories lost their actual majority.

Elmbridge is the wealthiest borough in England outside London, and it pays the most income tax in the UK. But it’s incredibly community-minded, and in the past Elmbridge Borough Council has¬†actually been controlled by the Residents’ Group in 2002-05 and has experienced periods of no overall control.

Now, after eight years of Conservative control, the residents are fighting back once more. I heard reports at the count of some¬†bizarre mixed voting going on – for example ballot papers with votes for one Tory, one Green and one Residents’ Association candidate with voters perhaps choosing¬†individuals they respect or just not wanting to put all their eggs in one basket.

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