00:00:04 I am Karen K. I do have many different jobs. I’m a communication consultant, a coach, a trainer, a hypnotherapist, which is the one thing that people tend to remember, but I do a number of different things. I also work as a mentor for the Prince’s Trust, so I volunteer to help young disadvantaged people to improve their lives. They don’t have family relationships that they can rely on like most people in my experience have, so you’re just there to be a friend, and to support them, and to guide them the right way in life.
00:00:42 My father was a chief draftsman, an engineer, and my mother worked for the Civil Service, and they wanted a really good education for me so they really pushed me to go to a better school because they realised how important education was. I went to a very strict all girls’ school, a grammar school. I got a free place, so I wasn’t particularly wealthy. I didn’t come from a very wealthy family, and everybody else at school did, and there was quite a difference there, so there was quite a change. It made you work hard, and it got results, and I got good exam results, I suppose. I did A levels and it was expected that you went to university if you went to that school, and I didn’t particularly want to go. I’m glad I did go because it was the best time of my life, so it was a really useful thing to have done and a fun thing to have done.
00:01:38 A turning point, I’m not sure that there’s a real turning point, or a choice, or a significant moment that I can point to because actually some of the things that lead onto the biggest changes in your life are actually quite small, and insignificant, and you don’t always notice that they’re even happening. For instance, winning the Winston Churchill Fellowship, which came via the Prince’s Trust, was a totally unexpected avenue, and I simply dashed off an application form in about ten minutes and didn’t give it a lot of thought, and the next thing I knew I was on a plane to Sydney, the next thing I know I might be living in Australia. All that came from a very light-hearted and quick spur of the moment decision, the same as when I actually applied to join the Prince’s Trust. I just saw an advert in the paper and I just thought ‘Let’s do it.’ So it’s not necessarily a long thought out strategy for me. Opportunities come along and I take them, or I usually look at how do I develop my skills or how do I develop myself, and then use those skills and experiences to find new opportunities. So, as I say, I don’t really have a plan. I’ll just see what happens, so who knows where I’ll be.
00:02:55 I suppose the thing that’s had the biggest impact on my life is the death of my mother because it has changed or really forged my attitude to life, which is live for the moment. When something like that happens quite young, you realise that life is short and you’ve got to take every opportunity and grasp it. And I suppose that’s why I would say that that has had the most impact because something that shapes your view of life itself is obviously a big thing.
00:03:30 I do lots of other things like yoga, and trying to keep fit, and skiing, a lot of cycling. I ride a tandem with my partner, so I travel abroad to France and various places. I go to the theatre, read, you know, the usual kind of stuff. So I’m kind of a fairly busy person.