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Author: Kathryn Smith

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Truthbook goes behind the scenes of family life, with open and honest conversations about the best and the worst parenting moments, the sadness and the joy and the successes and the failures. You will let out a sigh of relief knowing it's not just you, be empowered by other peoples stories and laugh at the funnier side of family life. Truthbook will help us be more connected and less isolated, more compassionate and less envious of each other.
23 Episodes
My guest is ultra runner, Jamie Aarons. On 26th June, 2023, Jamie became the fastest person to self propel herself round all 282 Munros (mountains over 3, 000 feet in Scotland) cycling and kayaking between them. She did it in 31 days, 10 hours and 27 minutes (12 hours faster than the previous record holder, Donnie Campbell). But her achievement has become so much more than the world record that she now holds.Back at work as a Social Work advisor for the Scottish Government, I talk to Jamie today about the community spirit created around this event, the challenges she faced and the legacy she has created. I also speak to her friend Jenny and partner Andy who played key roles in the success of this challenge.Read all about the challenge and sponsors at Jamie's Munro Challenge And here: Fiona OutdoorsFollow Jamie on Instagram FacebookYoutubeDonate to World Bike Relief on her Just Giving PageCover photo courtesy of  Stark Images
I asked Maria Leijerstam Edy to come on because, as someone I met many years ago through Adventure Racing (pre-kids), I look up to – she has taken on extreme challenges (first person to cycle to the South Pole and fastest human powered coast to South Pole traverse in 10 days, 14hrs and 56 minutes being the craziest, as well as cycled the length of NZ, run the marathon de sable, and been the first woman to compete in the Siberian Black Ice Race, cycling across Lake Baikal)! She is also mum to two girls, 5 & 7years old.  I was keen to hear behind the scenes of that image of a polar explorer with her frozen hair and red nose and how the challenges she has put herself through have equipped her for being a parent. After our chat I felt even more connected and inspired, as Maria shared the challenges of just getting from 7am to 7pm with kids and we shared a giggle at our incontinence issues, post giving  birth to two kids…Maria's book- Cycling to the South Poll: A World FirstMaria's business- Burns Series Family Adventure RacingBook recommendation- The Accidental Adventurer by Nahla Summers
Elsie MacDonald is a client, who got in touch to continue therapeutic work after being involved in a peri-natal clinical psychology service for support with depression when she was pregnant and then for the first year of her daughter’s life. On listening to Truthbook, Elsie said she’d like to come on to share her behind the scenes. Elise has a one year old daughter Orla, and lives in in Strathblane,  about 12 miles north of Glasgow, just beneath the Campsie Fells.  She has just returned to work as a teaching assistant  in a school for children with additional support needs after maternity leave. Outside of work she is a keen cook and  enjoys the outdoorsElsie wanted to come on Truthbook because despite having a straightforward pregnancy in terms of physical health, she struggled with her mental health especially in the second half of the pregnancy.  She was referred to the NHS peri-natal mental health service and the help she received from them made it possible for her to get through the pregnancy and survive that first year as a mum.  When she was discharged from that service she was keen to continue with some kind of therapy to keep the conversation going, even though she was feeling very well.Elsie hopes that somebody somewhere might listen to this and gain some hope that things can get better, however dark you might be feeling. And that there is support out there. 
Rosie Gilderthorp is a mum to three kids (aged 6, 4.5 and 14 months), a Clinical Psychologist and Podcaster.  She is the founder of The Psychology Business School and the Do More Than Therapy, which aim to help private psychologists grow their business so they can be as effective as possible in helping  others. She also specialises in mental health support for pregnancy, birth and parenthood, having had her own experience of a crushing 9 months of pregnancy sickness! She does this whilst predominantly solo parenting as her husband is in the military and often away.We chat the ups and downs of not being able to multi-task (being extremely focused vs forgetting to pick your kids up), her experience of severe pregnancy sickness and impact on mental health, how we can break down barriers to seeking therapy and have a giggle at the image Rosie has of herself in one of the parent moments when you were glad no one was watching…
Delighted to have Nathan on Truthbook, 32 year old son of Robyn (Episode 17 - If you've not already listened, then head back to it as this will make a lot more sense).Nathan has many strings to his chatty and creative bow: Producer and announcer at SeaFM (in Tasmania!), a composer, producer, event manager and MC with his own brand called Belief Machine based out of his home recording studio (I had a tour-it's very cool) and an entry level motorsport driver. The boy who talked too much in class and just wanted to be famous has found his niche! Nathan was more than happy to shove on a pair of headphones and chat to me about his time at school, his perspective on teachers looking back, moving to England and share his wise advice for parents…
There has been a long pause in getting this episode out as the last 5 months have been all about shifting life from Tasmania back to Scotland- packing, unpacking, re-acquainting with family and friends and Scotland. Finally feeling settled back home, I was able to bring myself to listen back to this interview with Robyn Gay whose softly spoken Australian accent and talk of Penguin in Tasmania where we lived brought back what are now life long memories.  Robyn is another Yoga friend of the third age, who talks about the power of realising you can chose who and what you want to be, how being a parent is amazing and challenging, how having a kid with a kind nature does count and how the quandary of how to talk to her son about sex backfired...
Annette is my first Truthbook grandmother and wonderful yoga teacher. Annette’s words will warm your heart as she shares her experience of being ill as a child with an underactive thyroid, her passion for seeing the good in people and inclusivity and how this has been passed on through generations of her family, and her journey as a Grandmother.Annette was introduced to yoga when she lived in a remote village in Bali in 1975 and has been teaching yoga and Pilates in Australia since 1994. She specialises in yoga for people with physical disabilities such as MS, cancer, immune disorders and intellectual disabilities. Most recently she specialises is people with lymphatic and immune system disorders. She is passionate about enabling students to access Yoga whatever their condition. She is highly qualified and informed, having done a masters in medical sciences researching the effects of yoga on women with secondary arm lymphoedema from breast cancer. Having earned a well deserved reputation in the field of rehabilitation she is a sought after speaker nationally and internationally. Talking to Annette was so re-affirming and I was left feeling like I do after her yoga sessions- grounded, soothed and seeing the best in people. LinksPenguin Yoga Pilates
Dawn Meredith, author, teacher, counsellor, artist, mum…encompasses all things creative. She is driven by strong values that have seen her swap urban life for rural farm life and unplug the TV. We chat about the tornado in her mind, her escape to hoodie land when she has reached her limit and the ever-present guilt monster telling her that she should not be taking time out for herself. And a rare night off being mum leaves a taste of what life once kids have left home might just be like…Dawn and I chatted in her cosy studio on her farm in North West Tasmania. Dawn grew up in England, Norway and Australia. Despite spending most of her life in the Southern Hemisphere, she still finds celebrating Christmas in the summer ‘just wrong’.Dawn is driven with a passion to “excite kids to turn off the computer and delve into the extraordinary, imaginary world of books; expand their thinking, challenge their narrow view of the world, open their minds to discover new and exciting ideas”. She has written 12 books for children, including '12 Annoying Monsters: Self-talk for kids with anxiety,  and 'The Anything Shop" and one adult fiction book 'Letters From the Dead'.  She started out working as a secondary school art teacher, but realised it was not for her after 5 minutes. She spent the next 28years as a special education teacher, literacy specialist and children’s counsellor.  Three years ago she swapped teaching for farming and moved to Crumbleton Farm North West Tassie with her husband Al and their 15yr old daughter Rosie. They have around 300 sheep, all of whom have a name.Al is also a dog trainer and was involved in Home and Away as a dog wrangler and trainer!For Dawn, chronic pain since she was in a serious car accident in 1999, has made balancing life and creativity tricky some days. Dawn gives a very honest and thought provoking Truthbook.LinksDawn Meredith Author BlogCrumbleton Farm BlogInstagramLike this episode...Share with a friend 📢Write a review 💬Subscribe ✅Come on Truthbook 🎧Like 👍 Truthbook on Face bookGet in touch📧 Email me
My guest, Kate Reid, is a fellow Scot with a beautiful voice but she talks about having such low confidence that she struggles to accept compliments. Kate talks about her struggle with a binge eating disorder, how opening up and talking was the single most helpful thing, and we muse over whether we can ever truly understand how the mind works…I invited Kate onto Truthbook because I have loved her honesty and openness through poems, songs, and Facebook posts. In her own words, she has always had an insatiable appetite for wanting to understand why she feels the way she feels and has found solace in talking.Our paths crossed in the early 2000s, during her days in the Scottish band The Midden-where she was the lead singer and guitarist with her sisters, Meggan and Hazel. A measure of their success-playing in front of 25,000 at Glasgow’s Hogmany in 2004 with Snow Patrol! I remember a particularly vibrant and foot tapping night at the battle of the bands in the Scotia bar in Glasgow and celebrating their win with a pint of Guinness.Since then, Kate has continued to keep life interesting; she is a singer, songwriter, she has written a book of poems and has a novel in the making. She spent 9 years teaching French, German and Music and more recently she is a radio presenter with Dunoon Community Radio. She is a Top 200 UK chart singer (check out Kate’s newly released song Caroline below). At the age of 40, in 2019, she became a MUM to Alexander….Kate and Alexander live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world on the North Coast of Scotland.But behind the scenes of these positive images, Kate has battled with a binge eating disorder pretty much since puberty. I remember when she first spoke about it on FB and thinking wow, I had no idea…Get touch if you want to follow up anything from this episode-Kathryn- mrskathrynhsmith@gmail.comKate- Katereid@hotmail.comLinks Kate's website https://katereid.onlineKate's single Caroline Midden Devon Nutrition Binge Eating Therapist Headspace 
Elaine Kordys shares her Truthbook with honesty and humour. We hear Elaine's reflections on two lots of lock down homeschooling & managing her daughters new found autonomy; parenting with Rheumatoid Arthritis (Arthur as she calls it); the immense pride you can feel as a parent as well as those  Cruella Di Vil parenting moments.  And we finish off with some potty talk!Elaine is from Helensburgh in Scotland (my home town) and we became friends when Elaine's daughter Molly and my son Struan were  babies and shared the same childminder.  They were kindred spirits until school age and they went their separate ways. Elaine followed her passion in helping and working with people with Dementia by starting an MSc in dementia studies in 2019 and setting up and running a wonderful series of videos of creative movement for the aged and people with dementia,  called Spin Turn Movements. The videos have been a family affair involving her daughters Robyn (7yrs) and Molly (10yrs) and her husband Myles (seen strumming the banjo in the background).Her most recent video,  April 21, was a personal one, because it marked 10 years since Elaine was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.  Arthur as she calls it, has shifted, challenged and tested Elaine.  She has now found a way to live with it, after doing a course in Holistic Health Coaching. Please reach out to Elaine (via her spin turn movement FB page) if you are experiencing similar challenges with arthritis or other types of chronic pain. As well as a wealth of experience and empathy you can be sure she will bring a smile to your face. Spin Turn MovementDeeper Yoga Thrive CourseDeeper Yoga & Thrive on FacebookElaine's testimonial for Deeper Yoga Thrive CourseLike this episode...Share with a friend 📢Write a review 💬Subscribe ✅Come on Truthbook 🎧Like 👍 Truthbook on Face bookGet in touch📧 Email me
Rosie Butler shares her truthbook about what really went on behind the scenes of what looked like an idyllic family camping trip, being a third culture child, having a natural affinity with swans and the desire to be independent from her family, just for a week...Rosie is a fellow Brit in Penguin, Tasmania, hence we became instant friends. I asked Rosie to come on Truthbook after she shared a photo of a family camping trip, that looked awesome but later over a coffee, she told me what really happened...Rosie also has a lot going on behind the scenes. At the age of 16 after, she decided to leave her parent’s home in Dubai and go to boarding school in Durham, England, to repatriate her roots.  After some colourful boarding school and uni antics she passed Occupational Therapy with a 1st. At the age of 21, she decided she was going to live in Australia. Tasmania offered the best job & visa opportunities, so she found herself living in a wee town called Penguin, (that we both now call home). Shortly after arriving in Tassie, she met Andrew, her now husband, who she has two children with, aged 5 and 3. Having had enough of working for health services, and with her ability to make bold decisions, in 2018 she set up her own OT private practice; Penguin OT. And her physio husband has recently joined this business- Penguin Physio! ( folk from Penguin love their town name and name everything after it!).  Links; this episode...Share with a friend 📢Write a review 💬Subscribe ✅Come on Truthbook 🎧Like 👍 Truthbook on Face bookGet in touch📧 Email me
On this episode, we have a clinical psychologist interviewing a clinical psychologist both of whom are a little bit daunted by this prospect, hoping that our mutual feeling of ‘imposter syndrome’ is somewhat reassuring…Louise, brings her infectious passion and wisdom to talking about step parenting, the grief when a family is separated, the difficult emotions that come with facing climate change and how we help our kids take action and not become overly anxious. And we ponder what it would be like to swap roles and be a man for the day…until we got lost and neither of us wanted to ask for ‘directions”…Louise Shepherd is an experienced Clinical Psychologist and director of The Sydney ACT Centre (ACT-Acceptance and Commitment Therapy more info on below).  She is also a mum and step mum to three girls aged 16, 9 and 7. It is her girls that have driven her passion for improving support and knowledge about step families and an active interest in climate action, acutely aware of the world they are growing up in. When I was put in touch with Louise, through a psychologist in Brisbane, she was keen to come on Truthbook, to share her experience in the hope that it will resonate with and help others. It has been a pleasure getting to know Louise as we have prepared for this podcast.Links…The Sydney ACT CentrePodcast on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy- Psychologists Off The Clock Top Five Regrets of the Dying Blog by Bronnie WareOutrage + Optimism- How to Face the Mess we’re in without going Crazy with Joanna MacyProject Drawdown-The World’s Leading Resource for Climate Solutions2040 FilmLike this episode...Share with a friend 📢Write a review 💬Subscribe ✅Come on Truthbook 🎧Like 👍 Truthbook on Face bookGet in touch📧 Email me
My ‘Truthbook’ conversation with this episode’s guest, Peter, started over a few beers at our kids class get together at the local bowls club. I mentioned my podcast to Peter as we regaled how toxic social media had been during lock down. Peter was immediately engaged, eager to share his behind the scenes, in the hope that his ‘Truthbook’ would reach out and help others. Peter works in Risk Assessment- an asset when it came to preparing for a pandemic, a hinderance when it came to managing feelings he had no control over. Peter and his wife Miledy (which can also sound like he’s saying ‘My Lady’!) have three kids spanning 8 to 13 years. We launch straight into conversation about when he first realised all was not well emotionally and that he needed professional help…Peter got his confession in early so he was let off the hook at the end! If anything in this podcast has led you to think you may also benefit from help managing sad or depressed feelings or thoughts of not wanting to be here, reach out to friends and family or seek advice from your GP or a mental health trained professional. You may also find these apps helpful…HeadspaceSmiling mindEnjoyed this episode? Share it with a friend and subscribe for more. Made you think? If you have comments you’d like to share- pop them in a review, facebook or email. I love hearing from you. Or even better, come on Truthbook- your story of how you have navigated family life, will inspire and become part of someone else’s family survival guide.  
Tasmanian author, mother and all round country girl, Rachael Treasure, tells her story of being launched from a toxic patriarchal society into single parenting, how she deals with anxiety and maternal guilt and connects with mother nature. Heads up, Rachael doesn’t hold back with her truthbook confessionIf Rachael’s reference to numnuts confuses you, check out the first episode where my husband explains all…Check out the links from the show... BSc in Regenerative Agriculture Rachael Treasure Down the Dirt RoadThe Artists Way, Julie CameronMama Gena
Christmas Special

Christmas Special


Here we are, with Christmas only a few sleeps away only it looks a little bit different this year. Thank goodness Santa is an essential worker and is COVID safe to deliver presents!So, with many of us not spending Christmas how we normally would, with family & friends, I’d like to try & connect through shared stories.  Thank you so much for sharing your words on what Christmas means to you, Santa stories and the Elf on the Shelf antics, Christmas mishaps and what Christmas will be like for you this year…This podcast is accompanied by the wonderful Pippa Reid Foster, playing a Christmas Medley on harp. Pippa is an acclaimed musician and teacher based in my home town, Helensburgh, Scotland. She has embraced lock down teaching on line (I have been getting whistle lessons in Oz over facetime!) and writing music. Here's  Pippa’s website and links to where you can buy her music...http://pippareidfoster.comMerry Christmas and I look forward to bringing more Turthbook episodes in 2021...  
Here I am chatting to Suzy- a friend and fellow podcaster. Like my audio on this occasion, we talk about how you don’t get it right every time and life is about trial and error.  And I made a promise to Suzy, when we are back in our homeland….Suzy became a friend when we met on a ski holiday and threw ourselves straight into honest conversations about mental health, as well as down the ski slopes!.  Suzy is an acclaimed writer, speaker, performer, podcaster. She is the women behind Big Juicy Creative Podcast, author of Wondering Woman; a true story of one struggling mum’s search for her inner superhero and wrote her own play ‘Ecoanxiety”.  She is also mum to Torrin 9 and Toby 12, married to Phil (a Muay Thai fighter; not Suzy’s favourite sport to watch, but she’ll take the 6 pack that comes with it!). She is an everything outdoor lover and has the lochs and hills on her doorstep living in the Cairngorms in Scotland.  Meeting Suzy is like opening a big craft box; loads going on and you can’t help but feel excited and inspired.Suzy was full of fantastic tips, good reads and listens...Suzy'sPodcast: Big Juicy CreativeSuzy's Book: Wondering Woman: a true story of one struggling mum’s search for her inner superheroThat film! Dead Poet SocietyPoem: On Joy and Sorry by Kahil GibranSuzy's son's Podcast: Blood Thirsty Battles Podcast, Toby HaworthCreativity in Schools: Ken Robinson, Do Schools Kill CreativityMindfullness Bible: Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat ZinnMorning Pages: The Artists Way, Julia CameronAnd for those that want to read Wordsworth to their children, here we are…I wondered lonely as a Cloud, by William WordsworthI wandered lonely as a cloudThat floats on high o'er vales and hills,When all at once I saw a crowd,A host, of golden daffodils;Beside the lake, beneath the trees,Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.Continuous as the stars that shineAnd twinkle on the milky way,They stretched in never-ending lineAlong the margin of a bay:Ten thousand saw I at a glance,Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.The waves beside them danced; but theyOut-did the sparkling waves in glee:A poet could not but be gay,In such a jocund company:I gazed—and gazed—but little thoughtWhat wealth the show to me had brought: For oft, when on my couch I lieIn vacant or in pensive mood,They flash upon that inward eyeWhich is the bliss of solitude;And then my heart with pleasure fills,And dances with the daffodils.
I'm chatting to Kate who lived in Helensburgh in Scotland for two years back in 2017, the town I call my home. And now I live in Brisbane, the city Kate calls her home! Kate is a midwife, working with aboriginal families, mother to James (who is a proper grown up now and a semi-professional musician!), Zala her teenager and Xavier her rapidly growing up 8 year old. Her husband, Clint, had me in stitches as the first person to say ‘g’day mate’ whilst flipping a burger on the BBQ.We chat about moving your family to other side of the world, bouncing back from failure, working with aboriginal mothers and how being compassionate can help to restore us when we are feeling stretched. As well as a good dose of laughter…Although Kate, was a little worried that her dark sense of humour might not be everyone’s cup of tea! 
Susie Ranford, is multi-faceted; a PhD physicist who has naturally found herself in management roles in the engineering and renewable energy sectors. She is also passionate about running and adventure; she was the chief scientist with the British Exploring Society on expeditions to Svalbard, Greenland and Arctic Norway and has written a book ‘Scottish Trail Runs’ now in its second edition. We met ski touring, where a conversation about Susie needing some desk space led to her joining my husband’s design engineering team, 4c, and going on to manage it when we moved to Australia. She has since moved on from that role and is now a Business and Technology Development Consultant. Susie is also mum to Nina 4, and Eric 6, and married to Dougal, whose is one of the only people I know who does kite skiing, in Scotland! In my chat with Susie, we talk about her experience pf providing 24/7 care when her sone broke his femus (whilst he sat back and enjoyed hospital food, with no veggies), finding a new joy in getting outdoors with kids and the never ending disruptions that come wth parenting. You’ll also here passionate words about achieving equity rather than equality between men and women. And how Susie gets in touch with her inner child…Check out these links… Susie’s book: Scottish Trail RunningCompany she took over management of: 4c DesignWhat took Susie to amazing places in the world: British Exploring SocietyShare this episode with a friend and help me create a Truthbook community
Alana is mum to Clancy aged 8 and Genevieve 10. From early on Alana thought their development was normal, she had nothing to compare them to. After being increasingly told by well-meaning friends and then professionals in child development that they had concerns, they were diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Then later on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Alana receives support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme, introduced in Australia in 2013, that has been a life saver for her and her family.Alana is a professional public speaker and works as a wedding and funerals celebrant. She is also a professional party starter (a title I would love to claim!). She describes herself as a ‘tragic creative’. On todays episode,  Alana talks about the thrive and survive moments of home schooling,  screen time ‘cocaine’ and what it was like being told both her kids had autism. She talks openly about her own mental health, being the mum who picked her kids up in the same pyjamas she dropped them off in, how she swings between letting it go and connecting with friends for support. And she has a confession about cheesecake, their pet chicken…Links...Alana’s Wedding Celebrant business: Disability Insurance Scheme videos from Alana explaining autismKy's StoryThings HappenAutism Sesame Street
Welcome to Ruth's Truthbook. Ruth made New Zealand her home 12 years ago, but I know a bit of her heart will always be in Scotland where we became friends through adventure. She is mum to 4 year old Oliver who melted my heart when he came flying down the hill on his balance bike shouting “I’m going tremendously fast”, married to Neil whose lack of tolerance for being in 4 walls means they are off on an adventure every weekend.  She is a town planner and after recently returning to work after a year off can see both sides of the full time mum/part time fence. Her skills have seen her being involved in redeveloping Christchurch after the earthquakes.Ruth and I talk about the joy of slowing down during lockdown and trying to hold on to that calm as life gets busy again. The bold decision to take a year off to be with her son and how returning to work has been a positive thing. We get a sense of Ruth’s drive to seek adventure when she talks about cycling the length of NZ south island unsupported, and how exposing our kids to freezing ski fields and hail storms in pursuit of adventure will hopefully build resiliency. And Ruth has a naughty secret, but how long until Oliver finds out…LinksBlog on cycling the length of South Island Variety Bikes for Kids
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