Guest Posts · Interviews

Meet Beautiful Lady Carly Sygrove

I remember the first time I read Carly’s post on her sudden loss of hearing, what caught my attention was not just her detailed writing, but her positive, humourous approach and outlook. I must say that I was intrigued. Many people when befallen with any form of hardship tend to drown themselves in the waters of woe is me, instead of seeking how to turn their situation into an experience that empowers them and inspires others.

I can’t begin to lay claims on the imagination of how such an experience would be, but through Carly’s words, I try to understand her World.

I enjoy interacting with her and I leave her corner with a lesson or the other.

Carly, Blogger, Interview

A little bit about me…

Hello. My name is Carly. I am 34 years old and I am currently living in Madrid, Spain. I am originally from a small, seaside town in Yorkshire, England called Bridlington. Bridlington is well known for fish and chips, which are usually served in gigantic portions! My parents still live there, and my mum enjoys walking on the beach and cliff tops every day.

I am an Early Years primary school teacher, and specialise in teaching 3-7-year-olds, and have been teaching for nearly 12 years. As well as England and Spain, I have also taught and lived in China and Thailand. I lived in Bangkok, Thailand for 3 years. Thailand will always have a special place in my heart.

It is where I gained self-confidence; where I met some of my favourite people; where I was able to travel to beautiful islands and other countries in South East Asia; where I discovered my love for Thai food and massage; and most importantly, where I met my wonderful boyfriend.

I love spending time with my sister and her boyfriend who live in England and visit them whenever I have the opportunity. Their home feels like my second home, and we always have lots of lovely times together; eating, drinking and exploring the city where they live. I also love travelling, walking in the countryside, getting lost in Madrid, my friends, my family, going out for breakfast, taking photos, listening to music, storytelling podcasts, baking, running, drinking wine, and eating spicy food. I don’t like people who are unkind, rude or selfish; anchovies; hard boiled eggs; loud sirens; having my photo taken; wasps; and cockroaches. I am trying to be more mindful in everyday life and to take the time to enjoy moments of happiness.

Bits About My Blog

Seven months ago I experienced sudden sensorineural hearing loss in my left ear. There was no accident or known infection or virus that caused my hearing loss. There was nothing inside my ear blocking the sound. It was not a gradual deterioration. My hearing just disappeared. I began writing my blog nearly 4 months after I lost my hearing. I initially hoped it would be a way of informing my friends and family about my progress in dealing with my hearing loss.

However, it has turned into much more than I had hoped or expected.  Blogging has become a way of documenting my experiences and a tool to help me make sense of my feelings. I have met so many people in the blogging world, all with different stories to tell. I have also been able to connect with others who have experienced different types of hearing loss.

It is so comforting to connect with others who are facing similar issues and difficulties to me and to read about how they deal with these challenges. Although I originally wanted my blog to be a way of informing friends and family of my situation, I actually haven’t yet told my friends on Facebook about my blog; although some of them are aware of my hearing loss. I want to be a bit more up to date with things. I am still a few months behind on documenting my story. Also, it’s quite nice having this secret WordPress community/life that is separate from my real life. My most viewed posts seem to be the ones where I move away from my story and talk about how the hearing loss affects my life, and also when I talk about the new challenges I am facing. Here are a few of my most viewed posts:   

Silly Deaf Moments

Who would have thought that losing your hearing could be so noisy?

The first time… Part 2: being brave and feeling proud

Warning signs?

Keeping Motivated

There is still so much of my story to write. I am still very much motivated to write my story, as I am enjoying writing and I also find it therapeutic. Every time I write a post about part of my journey, I feel like I can almost let that part go from my immediate thoughts; knowing that I will never forget it as it is documented forever. I have lots of notes for upcoming posts.

After consultations with specialists and also after having different experiences with unilateral hearing, I come home and scribble down lots of ideas for future posts. When I am feeling in a writing mood, I look at my notes and write the next instalment of my blog. The most challenging thing for me is getting readers to follow me. I am aware that writing about hearing loss isn’t the most glamourous subject. If I had chosen to write a blog about baking, travel or fashion, perhaps I’d find it much easier to get followers. But hearing loss is what I am passionate about. I not only want to be able to connect with others in similar situations, but also with people with other stories to tell. My readers and the blogs that I follow keep me going.

I am amazed at how much support I have been given from fellow bloggers and every comment and ‘like’ means so much to me. I have fallen in love with the blogging world, and think that it is wonderful to be able to share my story. My blog will be something that I have created, that will always be available for other to see.

A Word For Others

If you have a subject that you are passionate about, and would like to meet more similar minded people, by all means, blogging is a great way to share your story and meet lots of great people along the way. There is so much inspiration to be found in the blogging world; stories of happiness, fun, drama, sadness, strength, creativity are all out there. Blogging does take time and a certain degree of dedication. You will need to invest time to write regular posts, and also to read others posts and share your comments.

Carly and Boyfriend, Interview
Me and My Boyfriend at Christmas Market in London.

A day in the life of me

Since losing my hearing, I have been signed off work; as I would find it difficult to work with a class of 4-year-olds at the moment. A usual working day would have involved getting up at 7 am. Then I used to travel on two metros, and then walk for 15 mins to get to work. Then I would have a busy day teaching, often followed by meetings or lesson and classroom preparation.

Usually, I would get home around 6 pm, sometimes later. Since I have been off work, life has slowed down. My boyfriend leaves the house to go to work, around 8.45am. Every morning we have a chat before he leaves, and then I get up and start my day. I do general house tasks such as emptying the dishwasher, washing clothes, tidying up etc.

I usually have morning TV shows playing in the background whilst I’m pottering around. Often during the day I will catch up on any blogs that I’ve been meaning to read or reply to any comments on my blog. I also have 2 or 3 appointments a week at the moment with various specialists regarding my hearing loss. I still feel guilty for being off work, even though I know it’s not my fault. But am also aware that I should appreciate the time I do have away from work. So I try to make time to do something I enjoy every day, such as going for a walk in Madrid or baking something. In the evenings my boyfriend cooks for us and then we enjoy watching a TV series together or a film.

Carly, Blogger, Interview
Me and My sister in Geneva during Summer

In The Near Future

I will eventually share my blog on Facebook with my wider circle of friends. I would like to have my blog featured on some ‘hearing loss’ websites. I have contacted quite a few websites, but haven’t yet been taken up on my offer,  but will continue trying. I also hope to continue to gain more followers, so that I can share my journey with others. I was a guest writer for MakeItUltraPsychology ( ) who were very kind to publish my post: Finding Strength Through Adversity:

I’d happily be a guest writer for other blogs. Maybe one day I could turn my experiences into a book!

Thank you some much Jacqueline for giving me space on your blog. I really appreciate it J.


Guest Posts · Interviews · Life

Have you met fabulous Raili?.. Guest Post.

Let me briefly introduce you to Raili of Soul Gifts and leave it to you to get to know her yourself.

We met during our photo 101 class and have interacted well ever since. I totally enjoy her witty sense of humour, the delivery of her vivid stories that can transport you from mirth, to wonder, to daydream and much more .

I feel honoured that she accepted to grant me an interview and responding very nicely to my nosey -pokey questions 😉

In her responses below, you will agree with me that I chose well.

Do sit back and have a read. Thank you and my regards.

  • Introduce yourself (a bit about you), background, your likes, dislikes and general outlook towards life.

Thank you, Jacquie, for so generously hosting this series of interviews with fellow bloggers. What a good way to meet and greet each other !

What a good way to meet and greet each other !

Us at home

I’m a happily married and retired woman of leisure with a 30-year career in mental health nursing behind me. Born in Finland, I migrated to Australia with my family as a 7-year-old.

My family moved around a lot while I was growing up, following Dad’s footsteps. He was a Minister of Religion to the Finnish Lutheran Community in Australia. Growing up in a Christian home gave me a strong foundation, values, and beliefs.

Married with two adult sons, I have pretty much-stayed put, moving house only once, and that was in the same city. We were DINKS (double income no kids) for the first 15 years.

Infertility imposed that on us. Eventually, after a long and arduous journey, we adopted our two boys from overseas – India and the Philippines. My husband has just recently retired too. He has his very own category in my blog – The Retired Husband. We look forward to many years of enjoying a leisurely life together. So far life has been pretty good. I wouldn’t change a thing.

This, my first post, is a tongue-in-cheek intro of myself to the world of blogging. It took a leap of faith and courage to press that ‘publish’ button the very first time!

  • Tell us about your blog and your purpose for starting it. Did you have any set goals in mind when you were setting up your blog? What do you think about the blogging phenomenon itself? Here, you can share some links of your top posts or blog posts that you particularly like with us.

I’ve always loved writing. Back in primary school one of my teachers gave me a 10 out of 10 for a descriptive essay I wrote, saying he wished he could give me more.

The best he could do, he said, was read it out to the class. Mortified as I was back then, I have never forgotten how thrilled I was deep down. Starting my own blog emerged as an itch that had to be scratched. So I plunged in the deep end back in August 2015 and got started.

Knowing nothing about blogging, it took me weeks to get it set up. And I have been tweaking it ever since! Better late than never I recently discovered WP Blogging University. It has skyrocketed my learning curve.

Why do I blog ? Because I love writing. About lots of things. From the deeply serious to the flippantly funny. Now, having spent the best part of the last 9 months blogging, there’s a whole host of other reasons too –

Meeting new people from all over the world
Armchair travelling through others eyes
Reading – fascinating words that I would not normally come across anywhere else
Making wonderful new friends
Reading the comments on blogs sometimes is so entertaining and informative
Keeps my brain alive and active with the never ending challenges and learning opportunities that seem to go hand in hand with the whole blogging experience

Here are a few links to my work –
I asked friends, readers and followers for 3 word prompt to write stories to. All in all, I wrote 19 of them –

I tell a tale about my colonoscopy experience in this one: Shat me pants

This is a two-part story in response to a prompt from the feathered sleep and a Sandbox Challenge
Voyage of Time – part 1
Voyage of Time – part 2

This is the all-time top post so far. It is about the building of our boat. There are many more boat stories in the Finally category – Boat in the Backyard

This poem was read out on the David Snape radio show recently. It is one that emerged from my Soul – Birth

This is a Dr-Seuss inspired tongue twister – Thinking puddle

The more serious side of me writes about :

Mind, Body, Soul newsletter about nurturing and growth – April 2016

Citizenship rights, equality, dignity and respect for all – Declared Insane

World free of fear – Prayer for Peace

Health and wellbeingGreen Therapy

  • Take us on a typical day spent with you. Show us a bit of your World and yes we love photos of your pets.

Sunset, view, dog

Being retired, my mornings are leisurely. We have no alarm clock in the bedroom to jar us awake. A usual morning for me starts with a glass of lemon water, reading the local paper and having a go at the crossword and scrambled letters puzzles. 

Followed by a leisurely breakfast and a bit of housework, I then head off to make the bed, have a shower and get dressed. Via my office to see what’s new in the Inbox. 

The afternoons may include more housework, perhaps a bit of time in the garden, shopping, meeting up with friends for a spot of lunch, more blog time. After the evening meal and a bit of television ( we are cooking show tragics…) I head off to the world of blogging. And bed anytime between 10pm and 1am. Throughout, I am shadowed by my faithful little four legged friend Tess. She is happiest when I’m home.

  • What’s the next pit-stop for your blog’s outreach? Are there any publishing plans in the offing?


I am in the final throes of drafting a Circle of Friends based theme for May. In it, I will invite fellow bloggers, readers, followers, visitors to share their stories, experiences, ideas etc about what friendship means to them… there will be more to come about this very soon. As for publishing – who knows what the future holds!

Thank you, Jacquie, for this opportunity to share a little about my world and my blog.

Would you like to guest post or an interview? Feel free to contact me through my contact page or on email:

Blog · Guest Posts · Interviews

This Might Interest You…BE MY GUEST.


When I started my blog eleven months ago, I decided to take it a day at a time and see where the path is leading to.

I didn’t want to jumpstart far too many things and it would become difficult to get a grip on what exactly it is that I am doing here.

As each blogging day goes by, my vision for my blog keeps becoming crystal clear and I want to raise the bar a notch higher. It’s all part of the evolving and change. We have to keep aiming for growth.

My blog is a primarily a lifestyle blog and not just self-centric focused blog. I am a very community minded person and in as much as my blog is my voice in this space, it’s a space for all of us.

I am introducing  a weekly GUEST POST (4 times a month) and Interview opportunities to other bloggers.

I am also available to write guest posts if you require that.

The guest posts that I seek are posts that will enhance and improve the lives of others. It would be on topics such as (but not limited):

Parenting, Family, Relationships, Finance, Exercise, Health, Wellness, Inspirational, Motivational, Security, Cooking, Lifes Lessons, Self-Help etc.

On the interview aspect, I am introducing bi-monthly interviews of fellow bloggers, which will involve short snippets about you and a feature of your blog.

Lastly, after due consideration and due to the success of parties that I hosted in the past, my theme blog party will take place once every month. I am contemplating the 3 or last weekend of the month.

So, tell me what you think. Please, and thank you.

If you are interested in the guest post or interview, you can send me an email or check my ‘getting in touch page’

I might also knock on your door, so don’t be surprised if you see me outside 🙂

 © Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha