Katie Forrest

Writing About Creativity, Special Needs Parenting, Time Management & Life Dispatches.

Friday Five: 06/12/19

In these (irregular) posts, I share five things.

Loves, hates, ideas I’m pondering, places I’m supporting, whatever.

Here we go:


I’m listening to lots of podcasts at the moment because I’m out walking the puppy a lot.

One of the most interesting episodes for me this week was Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations episode with Lady Gaga. They talked a whole lot about kindness, mental health and trauma recovery.

It was a really deep and beautiful conversation.

I have a lot of admiration for Lady Gaga. I think she’s a truly great artist and mind, and the way she preaches inclusivity and authenticity is so powerful and important in these divisive times.

I am, of course a huge fan of her in A Star Is Born. In fact, I recommend that film to writers all the time because of the dialogue. It’s truly excellent and creates the effect that it isn’t even a film, but real life that I’m somehow spying on. They talk over each other, misspeak, and it’s a real class in how unpolished dialogue can really draw you in.


I was delighted to discover the Happiness Lab podcast this week, with Dr Laurie Santos.

If you’re not a fan of the whole happy-clappy, positive thinking brigade, don’t panic. The title is misleading in a way as this podcast is very science based and focused on the tiny things that are proven to increase happiness.

The episode I listened to this week was about decision overload and how reducing the number of decisions we make increases our happiness. This is a subject I touch on in my book.


I’m working through the secret wardrobe books (maybe one day I’ll share a photo of the stash; it would be Uber-sexy) and have started reading Principles by Ray Dalio.

It’s a huge book, over 600 pages long, and summarises the principles that he has developed over the course of his life. Interestingly, this book is part of a mission he’s on to give back and pass on his knowledge to others.

I haven’t got far in yet, in fact I’m still in the beginning section that is more about his life, but it’s an interesting read and Dalio is certainly a mind worth tapping in to.


Politics, believe it or not.

The election will soon be upon us here in England and I’m considering how to vote.

I’m nowhere near a political expert, in fact I’m not sure I’d even qualify as having any level of knowledge on this subject. I find that interesting because by far I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed and confused by the options.

My stance is this: I don’t believe that any of the specific promises being offered by a party will materialise if they’re elected, and I don’t understand why there’s no accountability for those broken promises. Surely, promising everyone a clearly impossible mansion, a pony and a year’s supply of Chinese food [or is that just my own dream?] just to get the vote can’t be allowed?

I’ve come down to this thought process for my own vote.

I’m not at all interested in what each party is promising, as I don’t believe any of the promises. And I’m not too interested in which party would best look after my interests, as a business owner paying a fair amount of tax.

Instead, I’m asking myself which party I believe will most protect the needs of society’s most vulnerable; the people without a voice or the ability to speak up, the most reliant on the services that are the first to go when cuts are made, the ones who have least power over their lives and therefore most need a government who will protect them.

I’ll ask that question and vote based on the answer I come to.


It’s my office.

All I want for Christmas is a room with a view, and since I’m not likely to get one of those down the chimney this year, I’m thinking about how to make my current space work better for me.

The issue is entirely one of privilege, so I apologise. Please feel free to tell me to bore off if you’re working out of your car in 10 minute stretches of time.

I do have a dedicated office space at home [I did warn you!], and I have a corner desk in there.

The issue is that the windows in this house are so bloody small, and quite high. I can sit at the desk and see, a little, but I want to see more. Ideally, I want a sea view, but as I live in Nottinghamshire that’s not going to happen!

Instead, I’ve decided to get rid of the corner desk, which leaves me jammed into the corner away from the view. I’ve ordered a new computer chair that’s really high, and have asked my sweet husband to build me a rectangular desk that fits against the wall where the window is, at a higher height than a desk would be.

Now, whether this will work, who knows… but since I have this space and am not using it often, it seems time to change up the ergonomics and see what happens. I’ll share a photo when it’s done!



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