I had been having quite a few issues with my Notes client. Whether I was writing an email, editing a document or typing in a Sametime message the client would intermittently stop doing anything visibly, then would go grey coloured, and the Title bar at the top would show "IBM Lotus Notes (Not Responding)". After half a minute or so Notes would start responding again and perform fine, however after a few minutes I would get a repeat performance.
Apparently this can be put down to operating on a poor or slow network, going into offline mode could fix it, however it had been working without any real issue for a few months.
After taking advice from David Fry, from the Lotus Staines office, I installed 'Fix Pack 1' for 8.5.2. and all appears to be well thankfully. it's nice to have things working well again.