Mental Health Awareness Week

Can you believe it…it’s Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK again. I mean how is it possible that a whole year has flown by since the last one, so much has happened!?!

This year’s theme for MHAW is physical activity and exercise and the effect that can have on mental health. For me in particular, I find this a challenging theme because whilst I understand the concept and the science behind it, I just don’t understand how you get started with the whole exercise thing. Some of us aren’t good at any sports and we hate running and gyms, so what do we do to start ourselves off from a point of sub zero motivation?

Well, I’ve spoken to many people about this now and they’ve all said it’s just about getting into it and once you are into it, it becomes like an addiction and you do notice that your mood drops when you stop. So it really is about getting over the first hurdle and making it part of your life. Here are some things you could do and then I’ll let you in on what I am going to do:

  • Walk to work / the supermarket / town – anywhere you would normally go in the car that it’s feasible to walk to. This way you are just building the exercise into your life and it has a point
  • Start on holiday; who doesn’t love a swim on holiday? Or what about a beach walk every day?
  • Make the dog walk a bit longer or up the pace
  • Get the kids involved so that when they play, you play – you’ll be surprised at how much exercise is involved
  • Start small and commit yourself to just a few star jumps or squats everyday and build them up over time
  • Join a class for an active skill you want to learn, e.g. tap dancing or yoga

Obviously those are just a few of many suggestions but I think they are all do-able and you should start to feel some benefit after a couple of weeks.

I have been feeling super poorly the last couple of months and have mainly felt like a zombie. A change in diet seems to have shifted the zombie feeling at least temporarily but I still have the full body of aching joints and muscles. This is not fun but I suspect that exercise might be the thing to help me out of it and help my body fight whatever this evil inhabitant is! So, my choice is the “start on holiday” option. I wouldn’t normally delay starting something for 3 weeks but I have a combination of late work nights and a theatre production to perform in which means the next couple of weeks are rammed. I’ll provide a full update post holiday, along with a plan to maintain the increased activity levels moving forward.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has used exercise to improve their mood or anyone who has a plan to do so – show us how it’s done!!! x

A Real Person’s Review of the BlackBerry Z10

My Z10

My Z10

As previously mentioned in a blog post about smartphones annoying me, I’m not interested in phone reviews by techie people because they just don’t mean that much to me. On that basis, I’ve decided to review my new BlackBerry Z10 in a way that I hope helps real people decide whether or not they want one. I’ve been using it a week or so now so I’m still learning but here are my initial thoughts; any comments and additions are greatly appreciated!


This is one good looking phone. I’ve gone for the white option and I like it. When you open it up as well, the UI (user interface) feels much fresher and more modern than BB7 was. BlackBerry have brought their phones into the league of the competition with this handset in my opinion. The only thing is that like my previous BB and my Nokia before it, the screen scratches pretty easily which is a bit of a pain if you’re like me and hate covers and are clumsy!

Battery Life

This seems about normal for any touchscreen smartphone, I’m certainly not having to charge it any more than I was my previous BB and it seems to drain less power than my iPhone 4S does when it’s just sat idle.


OK, so the applications bit has me puzzled. Clearly I did not pick a BB because I am an app. fiend, that would have been a very stupid move. What I don’t get though is why some of the apps I enjoyed most on my BB7 aren’t available for BB10. For example:

O2 Priority Moments – WTF??? That’s pretty much all I can say on that. Why has it disappeared? Surely this is a critical app. for O2 customers???

FML – I LOVE FML. It brightens my day and whilst the iPhone app is easier to use than the BB7 app is, I had no issue with the BB7 app. What I have an issue with is the complete lack of app. for BB10.

Multi-Alarm Plus – everyone with a BB will know that they stubbornly refuse to allow you to set more than one alarm via the clock. I’ve had so many instances of accidentally hitting “off” rather than “snooze” that I always set 2 alarms. I used to have a great app on my Torch called Multi-Alarm Plus which fixed this perfectly and for free. BB10 has forced me into paying for a substandard app. that I am not loving so far.

Then there’s the Kindle app. It’s great that it’s available for BB10 and has solved my problem of taking too many books on holiday with me in a few weeks but why doesn’t it work the same as for other OS’? In the UK, the BB app. only lets you read what you have purchased online via a computer, you can’t actually purchase through the app. itself. Not a huge issue for someone who spends all day at a PC but still annoying. That said, I wouldn’t want to read a book on a tiny iPhone screen so you win some, you lose some!


The red flashing light remains. One thing I hate about my iPhone is not knowing instantly by looking at it whether anything needs my attention. I also hate the way text messages show up on your screen, where’s the privacy??? I much prefer the subtle red light of my BB 🙂

I also love choosing what pops up and what doesn’t. I like that Twitter notifications, etc. just appear in my hub without the flashing light and they don’t flash up on my screen. I’m not sure if this is customisable on the iPhone but it sure is on the BB!

Predictive Words

Previously with the BB it would suggest words and you could tap them to use them if you wanted but now, it proactively corrects obvious mistakes and tailors its suggestions to your own writing style. This is amazing! Takes a while to get the flicking motion right but saves loads of time if you use quite a few long words as I have a tendency to do and day by day it’s getting more used to what and how I write so it has stopped correcting some of the words I often use that actually aren’t words. LOVE!

The Hub

So the Hub is the real driver behind BB10 and BB flow. Basically it means you can check all messages, notifications, etc. in one place by just swiping the screen so you don’t have to leave the app. you are in. At first I was a bit overwhelmed by all my Twitter, FB, texts, etc. in one place but you can also choose to filter it to e.g. just texts. I text a lot so being able to check texts without having to close whatever else I am doing is a winner.

I also didn’t really get the BB flow idea, in principle it seemed good but in practice it was a bit weird. After about 3 days though, I suddenly found my iPhone feeling clunky with its stupid button pushing to exit an app. This is a huge change from BB7 which made the iPhone feel slick. Good work BB, you’ve definitely overtaken the competition here and I am not somebody who acclimatises to technological change easily!

Switching OS

I’m not sure how easy it would be to switch your data from a non BB OS to BB10 but I’m sure they’ve thought of that and made it as easy as possible. For me moving from BB7 to BB10, it couldn’t have been easier. I literally downloaded the BB Link software onto my PC and it guided me through step-by-step of what to click and which device I needed connected. The next thing I knew, I had all my photos, contacts, music, etc. on my new phone. Even my calendar reminders…Fantastic!

Other Stuff

Techie reviews seem to bang on about the screen colours and cameras, etc. So…the screen is colourful as they are on all other smartphones. It has a camera, as do all other smartphones but this one allows me to correct my blinking eyes in photos and format the pictures without Instagram though! (But I never use Instagram anyway…so maybe more useful for you creative bods.)


I’m very impressed with my Z10 and that comes from the point of view of someone who also uses an iPhone 4S daily. Most people I know who have the iPhone 5 say it’s almost the same as the 4S so I think it’s a reasonably fair comparison.

It’s easy to use and feels like a modern, well thought-out device with all of its components working well together. You may notice I haven’t tested it out for email and I haven’t mentioned the dual profile capability but this isn’t a work device and I don’t use it for email. Being a BB though, I’ve no doubt its email capabilities are brilliant – let’s face it, if everyone just used mobiles to send emails, we’d all have BBs because that’s where they excel.

Yes, it could be stronger in terms of apps but I tend to use FB and Twitter the most and they are obviously on there and following those, I’m usually just browsing and the browsing experience is lovely. The screen is a perfect size in my opinion and the device feels much less flimsy than the plasticy Samsungs whilst having a larger screen than the iPhones so for me, it’s an ideal match!

Friday Lust


It’s been a while since I did a Friday lust so it’s about time I got back on it. Recently I have been obsessed with Ted Baker and I mean obsessed, I literally want to own their whole collection but sadly my bank balance won’t permit such extravagant behaviour!

I’ve most recently been loving two things; their Wallpaper Print design and their collection of shorts, check out the Wallpaper Print:

Wallpaper Print Floral Print Top, £69

Wallpaper Print Floral Print Top, £69

Then yesterday, I was flicking through this week’s Look magazine when I spotted something amazing – a pair of shorts that combine a very similar print with the fact that they are shorts. My two current faves! Perfect!!!

Lavish Alice, Tropical Print Multicoloured Tailored Shorts, £32

Lavish Alice, Tropical Print Multicoloured Tailored Shorts, £32

Just look at the similarity and £32 for these shorts! It’s like all my dreams came true! So whilst I still love the Ted Baker stuff, I’m plenty happy to save my pennies and get exactly what I want for a fraction of the cost. This is my first Lavish Alice order so fingers crossed they impress me 🙂

Happy Friday shoppers! x