“Now cate if you are in this much pain you can call us and come in earlier”. The thing is despite all my tears I was completely in denial and really did think I would wake up and this one would be all sorted…

Oops another stumble – lying on the examination bed at Outpatients the good news comes. Your bloods look good, joints are good. You look healthy – however we all pointed out Riwai had pushed me in the chair as really walking was not on today’s agenda. ” Yes yes yes… Could be your back again. Let’s have a look.”

Stripped down and sheet covering the appropriate places, Riwai and I giggled and even the usually very serious rheumatologist offered a wry smile. “Let’s just give you all the belts and braces with this one”. We all looked down at what should resemble a knee that looked more like soccer ball and had a bend in it resembling the Golden Gate Bridge. Thank you back as if on cue it throbs sending shooting pains down to my toes. Realising it has been like this for a few weeks sends me into another fit of giggles. How on earth did I miss that ridiculous knee. No wonder I couldn’t weight bare. As I am about to ask what happens next, Peter has turned me around propped up my soccer ball with a double pillow and numbed me with a local anaesthetic. Quick and precise hands and a bit of multitasking sees me given a cortisone injection into the joint… Holy smoke more tears, Riwais hands nearly squeezed blue but it is all for a good cause… Keep me out of that fricken wheel chair!!! The belts and braces included a new prescription, X-ray’s referral, new bloods, a quick dash for a new set of crutches to avoid weight bearing on one leg and twisting my back and a medical day appointment for a round of ritixamab … Oh joy says Riwai – another month of texture eating. More giggles and then a serious face comes from Peter. Now once we get this knee sorted back surgery maybe a possibility as this nerve pain is not subsiding. Let’s talk about this next time. I doubt we would do it in the next three months however it is an option. We will need a new MRI for that one…. I feel my HR rise … Anxiety setting in…I just don’t like MRI’s … Bank those thoughts … We can worry about that another day. For today lets get the knee straightening, get the pain (I was in denial about) under control and have a few days rest… Although he knows his idea and mine about what constitutes rest are slightly different. The good thing is I will get plenty of down time at infusion time. Off Riwai takes me outside for a race in the sunshine to pick up my new legs… Molly is fab and I have two crutches. Oh golly gee if only EQR and EQC woes were sorted that easily … But that’s a blog for a different day 🙂


The best things in life are not things

True friendship isn’t about being insperable. It’s about beng separated and nothing changes. Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest. Its about who walks into your life and says I’m here for you and proves it.

Today was all about friendship, about two wonderful people in our lives giving us the most wonderful gift of their time and treating us to a day trip of fairytale proportions. Foxhills was simply equisite and while the boys played a round of golf with a cart so Riwais foot wouldn’t be a bother, Anne and I had a spa treatment then headed to the Manor house for a true English High Tea. And the magic didn’t finish there….. after a quick ride home we went to dinner at Emilles. A fabulous night of laughter, amazing company and food and wine to match our good moods. It certainly was worth changing our Eurostar for and a day of magical friendship memories, mmmmmm yes and a plan brewing to meet in Asia next year to keep us all focused over the next few months. Loving the Arrghhfeckit! Tour and its only Day three.


Hugs were invented to let people know you love them without having to say anything

As we check out of the Sopwell my excitement builds again, just as I know I will see Kim again, my next hug will be for someone I met while on my OE in 1997. It has been a friendship from afar for over 16 years. Anne calls me Little Sis and I call her Big Sis. She opened her doors to me when I travelled and I often used her address as a base when I travelled back and forth from London. We only have a couple of days in London and despite having many offers of beds we know my body needs a break and Anne and Kevin, with their furry babies Molly and Terry are the perfect retreat to soak it all in. As they pull up it is just like the movies, squells of delight, true smiles from ear to ear and the long hug that says everything without uttering a single word.

The boys sit back and smile too, Anne jumps in the back and we non stop yabble yabble all the way to a country pub for lunch. I am so impressed to see salad and salmon on the menu and we sit back and catch up all afternoon in the most idylic setting – the pub is called the Cricketers and is dog friendly so we feel quite at home seeing all sorts of furry friends coming in after their walk in the common.

We are feeling nice and relaxed and my body is holding up well. Riwai decided to put a call out to everyone in the UK to meet tomorrow at a pub for a Sunday afternoon catch up. We are only in London for the weekend and we know it will be a big ask but it was the only way we could do it. We have a few yes’s so that is Sunday all planned.

As we are driving home, Kevin asks what our preference is for dinner. Riwai has been an amazing support crew not just here but over the last few years so the least I can do is let him pick dinner – knowing full well it will be his favourite and my least favourite Indian! Apparently no London trip is complete without a Curry and a Pint!

We have a great dinner and I must say the food was pretty damn good. An early night and a big sleep in the next day was just what we both needed. Ready to go again.

Another round of those perfect long hugs where you don’t have to say anything. We are so blessed to catch up with everyone, we were sad we didn’t have more time for those we missed, but all the same it is a great day.

We are due to leave on the Eurostar tomorrow…. but Kevin and Anne think this should be our – Arrghfeckit Tour – They both have tomorrow off and have concocted a plan they think we don’t want to miss…… and before we know it we have rebooked the train for Wednesday.

Yesterday I met the most extraordinary woman. It was our first ever meeting and as we chatted away I realised how easy the conversation came, how many things we had in common while also celebrating our uniqueness and individualism. It was an amazing conversation for me to have. We finished with a hug, that little reaffirming moment, that hugging is appropriate for because you have made such a wonderful connection with someone.

After this weeks life is a puzzle post, the meeting was like finding one of those pieces you have been stuck on for too long. That small piece in the puzzle that allows you to see an important part of your picture and the flow on of being able to link many other pieces that before made no sense at all.

It was the first time in a long time I remember being completely and 100% me on a first meeting. It was inspiring being totally comfortable with who I am am and who I have become.

Most of all I noticed our genuine laughter, smiles, love for life and hug. Thank you J – it was a life changing moment. :).


Today is 1000 days since my world changed for ever. It has been a roller coaster ride and it is so so super exciting that my new world has really only just begun. May 31st 2013 marks a tonne of reasons why I shouldn’t be in business, a tonne of reasons why I shouldn’t be in Christchurch and a tonne of reasons why I should really be in both. Mother Nature dished us a cruel blow and followed it up with thousands of aftershocks. I have been blessed to continually open up the gifts of opportunity that present and make the best of what I have been given.

Today I decided to celebrate by doing a random act of kindness for every hour I was awake today. What a most magnificent day it turned out to be :

6am – Despite enormous pain I did not cancel any clients, had a dose of Vitamin P (pet cuddles) and thanked my husband for being awesome.
7am – Sent a text to Thank a LeapStar for all she has done for me
8am – Offered to do a special plan for a special lady
9am – Lent out my phone so a stressed lady could find hers
10am – Yelled across the car park and told someone that they looked fabulous in purple
11am – Hugged someone and told them they were amazing
12pm – reminded someone what a great job they do and what the mean to me then shouted lunch
1pm – thanked two local businesses for their great service
2pm – opened a gate for a lady lifting a heavy gear bag
2:30 – delivered flowers randomly to someone who just made a big life decision
3pm – visited a classroom of young children and told them how cool their teacher was
3:30 – let a grandad cross the street not at the crossing because he and the kids looked super stressed – even though I held up traffic!
4pm – delivered someone’s overdue study for marking because they were at work and weren’t going to make the deadline
4:30 – shopped for party items for a 4yro because her daddy is in hospital and her mummy is under alot of pressure
5:00 – wished a random man in the a street a happy birthday (after overhearing him say it at the bank) and then rang up and thanked the bank for its great service today and always!
5:30 – delivered some flowers and a card early for someone’s birthday to help cheer them up.
6pm – wished the team at the chemist and the doctors a magnificent weekend
7pm – thanked medical team for staying back late for me
8pm – rang the after hours duty manager to thank the afterhours nurse for all her help
9pm – thanked the on call GP for his patience and honesty
10pm – arranged for my hubbie to take some of our friends kids to the rugby tonight.
11pm – promoted a local business via Facebook
12am – posted my blog to inspire others to do many small things often and have many blessons throughout life 🙂

It was a very humbling day. in amongst all the giving i was also balancing my own trapeeze as my medical team worked with me to avoid a hospital visit. Kindess and patience won the day and this one tonne post eqc milestone that will forever carry beautiful memories. It reinforced that please and thank you are still Magic words do make a difference in someone’s day. I also have an amazing brooch and bundles of special memories now attached to it. It is made from an old map of chch so was a perfect match for me today. It will always be a reminder that smiles, hugs and random acts of kindness really do make us count our blessons :).



Many of my LeapStars have been sharing their unique and interesting hobbies and interests. Some of them are searching for a 30 day challenge to complement a 20 Week Challenge they are taking part in. For some of my very busy LeapStars thinking of something to do that resonates with them has been a challenge. Heret is a few ideas that to help you find what makes your heart sing

How I find my interest area in myself there are lot of ways find you interest area? I am going to tell you somethings I tried and have worked for me.
Think of it like research about your self.
•What are the 50 things in life you most enjoy doing? (Don’t stop until you have at least 50 things listed).
• What do people say that you’re naturally good at? That is, what do people tend to give you compliments on without you even expecting it?
• What things do you normally excel in without it seeming to be much effort at all?
• What things, when you do them, you totally lose track of time, and before
you know it, a few hours have gone past without you even realizing it?
• What topics can you talk to someone else about for hours on end without getting tired or bored of it?
• What kind of topics do you like researching or finding out about more,
without being forced to do it?
• What do you think your natural talents are?
• What topic do you think you could write about every day, knowing that there
will be no reward?

These are but a few questions to help you get started. And that’s all you should see them as…a starting point.
Finding out what you’re truly interest about could sometimes take a few weeks, months or even years. What I’ve found so far with myself, is that it’s an ongoing process, and as time goes by, I try to tweak mine further and further into the things that I’m naturally good at and enjoy doing.

It is an evolving work in progress but taking time to work on me has helped me rediscover my love of nature, travel, positivity breakaways, Vitamin P (pets), clean sheet night, citrus based smells, flowers, warm bubble baths, sunrise, sunset, camping, different cultures, quiet meditation, candles and soft lighting, custard, exotic fruits, butterflies, Africa, Unsual and endagered animals, native trees, birds, rain, sunshine, insects, bees, pigs, cats, cooking, wine, cheese, chocolate, NZ scenery, water fights, fun and laughter, hugs, smiles, quotes, inspirational women, wild weather, mother nature, technology free days, photography, small things, reading, writing, eccletic art, kiwiana, the roaring 20’s, vintage NZ, classical music, jazz music, singing, NZ produce, movies, cooking reality tv shows, date nights, board games, movie days, fresh air, swimming, helping others, public speaking, blogging, facebook and sharing positivity!
WOW what a wonderful list………………………

I look forward to hearing all about what makes you – YOU 🙂

ps you totally don’t need such a big list. This one took me years to create x

Audrey Hepburn Beautiful

Tonight apparantly is a solar eclipse…… there is certainly something in the air as many I am meeting with seem to be having struggles at the moment. If you want bad news, sad news, tragic news, upsetting news then it is pretty easy to find in the world. Everyone can find something that is not going so well in their lives. It can quickly become pretty energy sapping if you are always faced with the grumpy planet people. I am not saying that life on my “Happy Planet” is always positive and perfect, I am just very humbled to have people in my life who taught me to take challenges on board, deal with them, learn from them, then let them go.

I was blessed to have two influential female grandparents who were always reminding me to find the good in others. My Dads mum (grandma) was an eccletic but talented teacher who spent many hours philosophying with us over a card game or three. She would remind me “there is not that much difference between the cleaner and the CEO. In fact the cleaner can become the CEO and the CEO can become the cleaner in the blink of an eye. The only real difference is belief” With that advice in mind as I travelled the world I was always treated people as equally as I could, never knowing who they were or what them might offer.

My Mum’s mum (Nana) was a humble and beautiful soul. She loved people and as we shared marmalade toast and scenarioed out her kitchen window she reminded me “there was good in everyone you meet. The trick is to take the time to find that good.” She shared that when things weren’t going so well the fastest way to pick yourself up was to find the lesson in the challenge, keep things simple and always smile.

In my 39 years I have taken all these great pieces of advice, including the words of the great Audrey Hepburn and Dr Suess and the beautifulness of two more inspirations in my life Mother Teresa and Anne Frank and have come up with my own five Rules of Life to cope with my challenging days.
1. Look for the good in others, speak words of kindness and believe it is worth inspiring others to find their good news.
2. When life throws you lemons work out how to make your own version of lemondade and use these lessons
3. Anyone can be a cleaner and anyone can be a CEO – the difference is all about what you believe in
4. If you are truely happy with where YOU are at then then where you live, what you do, how you do it and when you do it shouldn’t matter to anyone but you. – Those who mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind!
5. A smile costs nothing and a hug is free.

So if you are finding yourself heading to the grumpy planet or are in a world full of negativity or woefullness, stop, breath, find the lesson, smile and help people find their good news. You never know it might rub off on you and help you find some more good news about yourself 🙂

Smiles and Hugs

Cate x

Drop of Kindness

I was reminded yesterday of the power of a smile and a hug.

These wise words from one of my inspirations Les Brown

There are three types of people who you meet each day ~ those who build you up; those who tear you down; and those who don’t care anything about you.  Which one of those people are you? 

Become aware of how others experience you today.  Think about your interactions yesterday ~  your conversations, attitudes, behaviors, and mindset expressed with those closest to you, as well as with others you interacted with.  Which of these people would they say you were?

You have the power to influence someone’s life for the better today and cause them to be grateful for life…just because they encountered you.   Decide to use your life to encourage, inspire, uplift, and brighten those who encounter you.  You can bring a smile to someone’s face; provide a surprise; share a hug; express love, hope, joy;  bring laughter and playfulness into another’s life; do an unexpected favor; and become their favorite memory of the day.  Start with those closest to you, and make it your business to be a builder, encourager, and blessing.  You have something special…express the GREATNESS within you! ~ Les Brown

Random Act of Kindness.    So you have been focussing on your life mission for 25 Days!  I hope you will be patting yourself on the back and giving out a couple of high fives for all you are achieving!   Nothing is more satisfying that achieving something wonderful!    Today make sure you complete an act of kindness for yourself and I challenge you too also offer a random act to someone else.   Buy someone a coffee, call an old friend,  send a thank you card or nominate someone for awesome service.    Smile at a stranger or hug someone you love 🙂  What ever you do,  have a most magnificent day 🙂