Guest Posts

Getting To Know Beautiful Carol

Carol, you are a sweet positive minded soul that I’ve been fortunate to connect with in this place. I would like to thank you for all your support, for your beautiful posts infused with wisdom and love. It’s been a pleasure relating with you.

A Bit About Me

Blogger, Interview, Getting to know you

My name is Carol and I am the eldest of seven children. My parents came from the West Indies but I am a UK citizen. Now I’m grateful to God that I live in a democratic country with a stable economy. I appreciate the blessing of being able to worship Him freely, without fear of persecution. I do however wish I lived somewhere more exciting, somewhere exotic, with palm trees, blue skies, balmy seas, and some sunshine. Lots of sunshine! Alas, I must settle instead for the boring gray skies of London.

Now if you saw me with my family and loved ones, particularly at celebrations, you’d probably find me at my most bubbly and jocular. My default nature, however, is quite shy and introverted. I do love to play practical jokes. Many times, I’ve left a non-food item in a biscuit packet, to be discovered by my peckish husband. I smile as I write this because there was a recent incident when I went to help myself to what I thought was the last piece of cake, only to discover that the box held a small onion. Yep! He played me at my own game!

I suppose I’m really a loner and enjoy solitary pastimes such as reading, writing, gardening and brain-training. I also love to travel (sunny climes only) and have enjoyed some wonderful holidays abroad.


Looking back at my life, the achievements of which I’m most proud are:

Blogger Interview, Getting to know you

  • Attending university as a mature student and obtaining my Honours degree in English (literature).
  • Spending approximately 5-6 years as a volunteer editor for a Christian Women’s magazine and overseeing the production of some rather wonderful issues. In fact, the very first one I’d produced as lead editor was said to have been one of the very best in the magazine’s history!
  • Faithfully serving my dearly beloved mother before she passed away in September last year.

Now, this last achievement would perhaps not be meaningful to anyone else but I am proud to have been there for my mother. I loved Mum to bits and miss her so much (Father God, give her a hug for me please).

I am quite handy with a sewing machine, having been taught dressmaking (exceedingly well), by my mother.  When I became unemployed, I started making clothes to order, as well as a few bridesmaids and wedding dresses. This was fine when I lived at home but when I moved out, I couldn’t survive on the income (or lack of it!). And this reminds me of yet another achievement I’m very proud of—I made my own wedding dress.

Work Life

I work for a Human Rights charity that provides support and holistic services to victims of torture. I am an administrator within a team that produces forensic reports for lawyers. These reports assist the victims with their asylum claims.

The statements of torture survivors and the medico-legal reports our doctors prepare, documenting evidence of torture, make for distressing reading. I’ve never really had the stomach for boxing, wrestling, and gratuitously violent films but since working for this charity, I absolutely cannot bear watching these types of entertainment.

After a day at the office, I usually need a dose of comedy to end my evenings. My DVD box set of Friends (a present from my dear hubby), supplies this fix. I have to admit that I’ve become hopelessly addicted!

Why Blog?

Would you believe, I had absolutely no intention of becoming a blogger, or jumping on the social media bandwagon? Negative media coverage about trolls etc convinced me to stay away from all that jazz. Besides, the idea of making virtual friends seemed laughable to me. The only nod I’d made to this was to sign up at LinkedIn.  After all, it was a professional site, so that’s ok, right? I set up my profile but that was basically it. I didn’t join any groups. Didn’t really try to grow my network. Boy, was I foolish!

And if anyone had told me approx 15 months ago that I’d become a blogger, I’d never have believed.  And yet here I am.  The owner of not just one blog but two!

So what caused this change of heart? It was a need to do something for myself. For years and years and years, I’d cherished a dream of becoming a writer. I loved to write and felt I had a gift. And for quite some time, I’d begun to feel like the character in the Bible, who instead of using his talent had buried it.

As already mentioned, I was a part-time carer for my mother and a full-time employee.  I felt my life was slipping by, my time being largely taken up with meeting the needs or demands of others. I was desperate to do something for myself. The only slightly redeeming factor in this scenario, was that over many years I’d been working little by little on a writing project and was close to completing it.

I’d always had a desire to reach out to and encourage women, and believed God’s purpose for my life lay in this direction.  Yet I’d done practically nothing about this. A series of incidents made me realize I had to begin doing something now, or else I could find myself standing before my Maker feeling thoroughly ashamed for wasting the gift I’d been given, for failing to pursue my purpose. I couldn’t afford to waste any more time waiting for circumstances to be ideal.

So, having finally completed my draft manuscript and researched how to self-publish, I discovered that I needed a market. The horror of horrors, experts advised blogging and social media—the very things at which I’d turned up my nose!

I began thinking. How many times have I agonized over the fact that I wasn’t writing regularly? And how many times was I beating myself up for not moving in the direction of my purpose? Instead of waiting for opportunities to come to me, why not make my own opportunities?  Why not start blogging and use this medium as a way to address my two issues of concern? Why not sow this small seed and see how the Lord uses it and watch where it takes me? So here I am!

Now if you are interested in reading how I came to choose the names for my two blogs, you may do so here:

Blogging – takes hard work and commitment!

What motivates me to continue with blogging? Several things. A desire to improve as a writer. Not wanting to let down my followers and visitors. My need to build a platform.  Then of course, there are my reasons for starting to blog in the first place.

Would I recommend blogging? Absolutely! However, make sure your motive for starting one is not just about numbers and popularity, else you may not last. Make sure you have a passion that drives you otherwise you will not only run out of ideas but also out of steam. And pace yourself. Work out what schedule you can comfortably maintain and don’t feel you need to copy the posting frequency of others. Try to strike a balance between your blogging duties and your personal life.  Blogging is addictive and if you let it, can take over your entire life.

Because of my perfectionist leanings and because life sometimes gets in the way, I don’t post as regularly, as I would like. That’s why I appreciate all readers who honour me with their visits. I particularly appreciate those who leave their comments and likes, since I do work hard and spend a lot of time preparing my posts and these are the only form of feedback I receive.

As previously mentioned, I have two blogs: A Purpose-driven achiever and Women of Warfare! It’s difficult to pick out my favourite posts. The two which I feel will appeal most to creative writers/readers of Jacqueline’s blog are:


 For encouragement during difficult times try reading this inspirational post:

Or, if you are looking for motivation to pursue your dreams then the following post may be of interest:

I hope you have enjoyed reading this interview and trust the above posts will whet your appetite to explore my blogs further.

Thank you for honouring me with your precious time and thank you dear Jacqueline, for including me amongst your blogger associates and for granting me the opportunity of this guest interview. My first one! Yay!



Everyday People

Excellence! I am proud – Everyday People 94

“Excellence is not a skill. It’s an attitude.” Ralph Marston

“Excellence is not being the best, it’s doing your best.” Anon

“Every job that you do is a reflection of you, therefore, you need to make your job a self-portrait of who you are and affix your autograph of excellence, which can only be achieved by doing your best.” Jacqueline


When your Main Bloke, Sweetheart, Heart-throb, Darling, Better-Half, Best-Friend, Husband and Life Partner wins an Award for Excellence, you can’t help but feel proud of his achievements.

So allow me to preen a little bit. After all, there’s a saying that states that “behind a great man stands a great woman.”

Congratulations my dearest. I celebrate you. Many more deserving awards will come your way. Unfortunately, I can’t be there physically (someone has to look out for the children), but I am fully there in spirit 🙂

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Jacqueline writes from her heart on passion, pain, suffering, loss and LIFE. I have been incredibly moved by her poetry and I know I will return to “Out of the Silent Breath” again and again.

Out of the silent breath

If you enjoy my works and would like to do so, you can fuel my creativity with a slice of cake or coffee😉


The speed of time…


We draw to the close of May so fast that I’m left gasping to catch my breath.

Yesterday  was just December, and now we are done with the 1st quarter of the year, with some water gone under the bridge and quite some notable celebrities have crossed over to the other side.

Today, my thoughts have been on a reminiscent drift. It’s three years today that my dad passed on and I find myself replaying a lot of scenes of the past in my mind. Not in a bad way but in a bitter-sweet way.

I find myself filled with peace.  Peace for having known him as my father.

I’ve not achieved all that I set out for myself for this quarter. I’ve been slow, but I’m thankful for the much that I’ve done.

I’m grateful for the Grace and Favour received each day, to wake and see the rising Sun and pursue my dreams. To drink my warm cup of beverage and hope for tomorrow. I’m grateful.

There’s always something to be grateful for. You canYou can join Colline’s  or Maria Jansson gratitude challenge platforms.

P.S. You are invited to our monthly blog party this weekend. It’s fun and you get to meet fantastic folks 🙂

Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Out of the silent breath

When his face is sought with such fervent endeavour

huge burdens become less of a pressure

for he adorns us with unquantified favour

which takes us up to a higher measure.


Midnight motivation and musings · Self Help

Midnight Motivations and Musings # 42…


It should go without saying that the voice of the giant in us should be the one that makes the most noise.

Alas, it’s hardly ever so. For the fact that the voice is not often heeded to, it lies dormant in us, while the screeching empty voice of the coward that knows all the negative, pessimistic words takes pride of place.

It does take a whole lot of paradigm shift and practice to drown the voice of ‘I can’t’ and ‘impossible’ to ‘I will and I’m possible.’

It’s equally a very liberating experience when we let go of some of our unfounded inhibitions and just spread our wings.

Even if we do take a splat in the attempt, chances are we must have gained some worthwhile experience.

When we don’t seek or venture, we shall neither find nor gain.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Life · Midnight motivation and musings

Midnight Motivations and Musings 38…


It’s sad and amusing at the same time when people come across with the perception that good fortune comes from luck.

That is absolutely balderdash and misleading. Good fortune has to find you working on it.

Yes, indeed there are those who have been beneficiary’s of fortune that they’ve not necessarily worked for, by virtue of birth or winning a lottery, but the ratio is so insignificant for anyone to fold their hands and expect lady luck to come smiling with shiny teeth.

Remember the saying that ‘HEAVEN helps those who help themselves.

When you take those necessary steps each day, things align and the windows of possibilities keeps opening up.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Midnight motivation and musings · Self Help

Midnight Motivations and Musings #36


To grow we need to take ‘positive risks’ in our pursuits and keep pushing the bar up.

If we don’t push the bar, we stagnate and become redundant.

It’s definitely needful to think through our steps and not to jump into impulsive actions that would only negate our efforts, however, over-processing can equally be a buzz killer and source of procrastination.

You may experience bumpy take-offs, even sustaining the momentum could get very turbulent, but clearly defining and redefining your goals, concentrating, caring about what you are doing and holding yourself accountable will lead you to your desired post.

Keeping these things in the front of one’s mind helps keep you grounded and stable.

You’ve got to care enough to make it worthwhile.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha


Blog · Personal · Photographs · Uncategorized

Leaping Along…personal

My new skipping rope. The previous one was a killer rope in it's past life.
My new skipping rope. The previous one was a killer rope in it’s past life.

So here I am seated in-between Sugoi and Umami, two Far East Urban Cuisine/Japanese and trying to decide what to eat as well as checking my mails when I see Colette’s challenge sent to me to leap and the Daily post prompt to leap as well, so I will kill two birds with one stone.

Don’t think that I am a food addict. A girl has to eat to keep the brain cells functional and aside from a bowl of porridge and currants this morning, this is a late lunch of my decision, veggie rice and teriyaki prawns.

I enjoy the drone of voices. It’s amazing when you keep silent and just listen to the cacophonous buzz around you. My thoughts takes me back to the beginning of the year and how far I am leaping along.

Thinking about leaping made start looking at people’s feet as they passed by, for silly reasons. No one was leaping out-rightly, just a scurry, a flinch, a waddle and a slow trot.

Where have I leaped to between Jan and now?

I tried to leap high, but feared that I would break a precious bone, so I just hopped along.

  • I just bought a new skipping rope, a few minutes ago. Very apt for leaping out of a month. I will obviously leap a lot in March.
    The last one I had was used for drilling young recruits in its past life. It kept flogging the back of my legs *no jokes* when I didn’t skip high enough, that I had to ask myself if the punishment was worth the result?
  • So, I finally finished collating my poetry book and hopefully, by next week, I will seek professional assistance with editing and book cover. The plan is to have it out between March and April, so it’s right on track and I can tick the box for hopping along with my set target to have four of my published works out this year.

Yes, I know its a tall challenge, but I believe in setting a high bar for myself so that even if I fail to meet all, I fail forward by achieving a good percentage.

  • I hopped to a writer’s critic group and asides from parting with too many dirhams buying coffee and sandwich, watching people feel snazzy and writer-like with the interesting hair-dos and streaks of colours, and a huge dragon tattoo running from one shoulder into her bosom *I didn’t get to see the bosom* but the dragon did, and a lot of Shisha smoking all around, I really didn’t get much out of the experience, so I am quite doubtful that I will repeat the experience.
  • I dared to submit one of my stories for a competition. The results don’t come out till March, though in all honesty, I am not expecting anything, since the whole World, their wives, pet garter snakes, dogs and cats made an appearance. A cool cat is most likely going to win the prize. I did it to push myself out of my comfort zone and get over the jitters.
  • The weight hasn’t shifted downwards, but it hasn’t gone up thankfully.
  •  Blogging is coming along nicely 🙂

I am ruminating over my personal goals for March, so let me trundle along and get cracking.

So, who would like to leap off the board with me? A short note will do just fine

Colette, thank you for making me look and appreciate my steps.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

The Daily Post Prompt Leap.

P.S. A silly video of the drone of voices and the occasional feet.

Dubai · Success · Travel

We Have A Record…

GEMS largest human sentence

We may not be Emiratis, but we do live here and we feel proud to share in breaking the Guinness World Records along with our host country, especially as my daughter was among the almost 7,000 United Arab Emirates pupils who formed the World’s Largest Human Sentence.

We beat China, the previous record holder by several hundreds.

In the sea of whites, my daughter is a shiny white dot among the letter D.

Now, this has made my traipsing from shop to shop like a mall rat, while looking for a no-frills white shirt and the daunting feat of  engaging a selfish selfie taker in the restroom/washroom – that’s what we mainly call it here, worth all the trouble.

Remember, no selfies in the washrooms please. Thank you very much.

I am still smiling and feeling very magnanimous, I may just be a bit more forgiving to indiscreet toilet photographers if and when I catch them 🙂

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Image Credit: The National News

Blogging · Gratitude · Hope · Life · Personal story · Writing

Staying Alive, staying alive….


The year fast draws to a close and it has really been an eventful one with a few dashes of rainbow and a lot of World mishaps.

Let us be prayerful that the next few weeks will be calm, joyful and refreshing.

On a personal note, by the end of the year, I will be thankful for having survived a turbulent World.

In today’s World where even the mundane part of life seems fraught with danger, we should be grateful for each day that we spend successfully as we lay ourselves down to sleep.

By the end of the year, I would have been running my blog nonstop for 7 months and should have concluded the draft of one of my books.

It was my hope to finish two of them, but with blogging in the mix and other duties that beckon for my attention daily, without ceasing, I had to focus on one and take it easy so that I don’t break down whilst trying to hurtle at a full-on break-neck speed.

I am currently at 50,000 words + and may be closing in with 70 to 80k words or so. I am not sure.

Being alive these days is a major achievement and it is only when we are successfully alive at the end of the year that we can count how many eggs our chickens have laid.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

NaBloPoMo prompt – Friday, November 20

What do you hope happens by the end of this year?