I’m going to do my best to tell you about myself without it sounding like a Tinder profile or a CV! I’m Katie, I’m 42 years old. Mum to Hugo (10 - human) and Mavis (9 months - dog). I’m in a relationship with a wonderful man called Chris who I used to describe as being the male version of me. Turns out he’s not, he’s far too into spreadsheets for that to be true, but we do have a lot in common.
So what makes me an ordinary person?
Firstly, I don't think anybody is actually ordinary. But when you consider society as a whole, I guess I fit somewhere in the middle.
I’ve had quite a few different jobs in my time. I started earning a crust as a checkout girl at Morrisons at the same time as I was studying A Levels at school. Then while at uni in Lincoln, I worked as a cleaner for a double glazing company before managing to wangle a job at the university as a ‘Media Desk Assistant’. Basically, I booked out rooms and equipment for students and because I was doing a degree in media at the time, I managed to negotiate a whole 50p extra an hour. Baller!
After my undergraduate degree, I decided I hadn’t finished with being a student and went to Birmingham City University. I took on various part-time jobs to pay for, well, life. They included working for Securitas, sorting out cash for cash machines; I worked as a steward at Aston Villa and at the NEC for athletics events. But my favourite job was working at Cadbury’s World. (Apart from the uniform, that was dire)! Who doesn’t love the smell of chocolate as you walk into work? I also worked as a temp for Halifax as a mortgage assistant, but thankfully things eventually got more exciting.
I bagged myself some work experience on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Open Country’ programme, after which I landed a temporary researcher’s job. I loved it and learned loads from the people on the team. But after my initial contract came to an end they could only offer me two weeks at a time. I had rent to pay and I was more fearful of being homeless than I was of working in a job that I really didn’t enjoy. So back to the Halifax it was before I applied to do what I ultimately would love - teaching.
I spent 15 years as a teacher of English in Leicestershire and Lincolnshire and then as a school librarian in Derbyshire. Now, I'm technically unemployed, the reasons why are all in the blog. But in summary, until someone pays me to write, I don't have an official 'job'.
Why a blog? Why now?
I’ve started this blog so I can share what I’ve learned over the past five years after being in a freak accident, but choosing to use it to make every day extraordinary. Check it out, I was on the news and everything (although don’t trust quite everything you read there)!
I’ve learned a huge amount about life and myself, and I don’t think I should be keeping these nuggets of wisdom under wraps, I want to help you choose the best for your life, too.
Aside from writing and my brief stint as a media headline, I love exploring the Derbyshire countryside near where I live, on foot and in the full Lycra-get-up on a bike. I don’t really have the time or energy for lots of hobbies because of the fatigue I experience from overusing my noggin, but when I can, I love spending time with my friends and family, preferably at the pub for food and drink or with a good book, a cup of coffee and my dog curled up next to me.
Three 'fun facts' about me:
1. The famous strip club owner, Peter Stringfellow, is my dad’s cousin, so my second cousin.
2. I used to play keyboards and do vocals in a band called ‘Opus’. We thought the name was great because in music it means ‘a composition’. However, what we didn’t figure on was the fact that the word sounds like ‘hopeless’. And although we weren’t ground breaking, we were competent but it was just too much ammunition for those who we were introduced to. Needless to say, as we pursued A Levels, ‘Opus’ fizzled out.
3. I’m an extreme Christmas enthusiast and the thing I like to share most often about Christmas is the amazing Christmas drink I had on a trip to Copenhagen. It’s mulled wine, but not as you know it. Add some dark rum and some toasted fruit and nuts and it becomes the best cocktail you’ve ever tasted! In my opinion anyway.
What can you expect from me?
I'm aiming to release a new blog post every three weeks, but please bear with me if that doesn't happen all the time. It's a very fine balance between producing work and not being too fatigued to function as a human being. I'll do my utmost to keep the posts regular, but there are always things I can't predict, and sometimes, I need to sleep.
I'm so honoured to have you here, and I hope you enjoy the blog and get something useful from it. Please feel free to comment or send me a message about anything you've read, and if you like it, subscribe to the updates so you never miss a post!
Here's to making better choices to ensure we live the best lives we can, regardless of what is thrown our way. And also, here's to remembering that we are humans with emotions, and those emotions need to be acknowledged, not bottled up to the point of bursting.
Please take a read and try some of the techniques I recommend. Hopefully, more of us will see the extraordinary in our lives every day.