Blogmas Day 2 – Christmas Traditions

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Happy Lazy Christmas Sunday Guys. I hope you are well.

Today’s post we are talking about Christmas Traditions.


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I love Christmas and the whole festive season. One tradition I love to do, but sadly isn’t an annual thing anymore is the following – Visiting my dads house back in Lincolnshire, I’d drive up on Christmas eve and with my Sister and Old Man we would have a takeaway – I do too much cooking on Christmas Day. No need to do any on Christmas Eve right.

Then I head out into the sleepy market town to meet up with old school friends where we would go to the pub and spend the night, drinking, sharing stories, catching up and singing badly to Christmas songs. Normally taking control of the Jukebox in the pub and spamming it with Christmas hits, 80’s power ballads, screamo and pure cheese. We cover all bases.


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I have always had the vision of when I’m older having a big family Christmas. Like what you see in the American Christmas films, all generations sitting around a big table with bowls of food and festive table decorations. This is a Tradition I’d like to put together and work towards when I am older. Enjoying Christmas with family.


Another tradition that I have revolves around Christmas films, it’s like a challenge to watch as many Christmas films in the month as possible. Which means lots of lazy weekends with festive snacks and movies. Wrapping presents while watching Elf, having a beer with Die Hard or just a lazy Sunday morning with Miracle of 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life. These moments are what make Christmas Christmas to me.

Another tradition that I usually do a couple of times a year is visit the German Christmas Markets. They are just magical places filled with cute huts, beer, christmas decorations and tasty treats. Sadly they cancelled Northampton’s a few years back and now we have to go somewhere else but that makes for a cute weekend. Nottingham, Birmingham, London.

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Oh and how can I forgot Bixby! My Elf on a Shelf. Yes I am fully aware this is VERY America and aimed at the children. But nevertheless I wanted to start now in preparation for the future. The problem I might find as I hide him and move him every couple of days is the fact my GF HATES him. Not sure why – look at his lovely face, he is a little gem.

I also like the Naughty Elf snaps that people post – proper Sex Drugs and Rock n Roll style. Google them if you are not sure what I mean. Not the Child Friendly option though.


And now as we have just moved into a house I think this is the perfect time to start new traditions. But what? I would really like to know your Christmas Traditions, what is a must over this festive season? I’d love to know.

Happy Holidays!

Blogmas Day 1 – Welcome To Christmas.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls. It is finally CHRISTMAS!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and I love it. I am talking, the music, the decorations, the chill in the air and the magic twinkling in the night sky. It’s all amazing and I get so excited this time of year.

This is our first Christmas in our new house which is a magical feeling. Also it has meant more space to decorate and cover in festive cheer. We even spoke about getting TWO trees – which I think I am winning on.

First thing I did this morning, as soon as I woke up I put Fairytale of New York on and sung my lungs out. That is a Christmas Tradition for me, then I spent the rest of the day buying decorations, seeing family, friends, enjoying the first of December and walking with an extra skip in my step. I am literally like a Who from Whoville when it comes to Christmas.

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Right, down to business. The reason we are here. Today is the first, which marks the start of the festive season and for the blogging world this means “Blogmas”, 12 Glorious Days of Christmas, filled with fun, laughter and some sassy ramblings for yours truly.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next few nights (11 to be exact) I will be posting treats and gems to enjoy over the season.

I can’t wait to share all this with you.

Merry Christmas!

Lest We Forget.

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Lest We Forget

Today marks the 100th year anniversary of when the shooting stopped and the guns were laid down to mark the end of the First World War.


Remembrance Sunday is always a landmark day in my calendar – because in my eyes it shows great respect, honour and tribute to a generation that gave everything they had to give us our future. At heart I am a Royalist and Patriot – but sadly saying such things like thatImage result for first world war colour film gif now days open up connotations of racism and narrow-mindedness and that is something I don’t stand for and I can imagine the Men and Women that gave their lives 100 years ago wouldn’t stand for it either.

This post is not about today’s politics, today’s situation or location in the world. But about respecting and honour the biggest sacrifice for the greatest good.


As found on the Royal British Legion website it tells us the Poppy is; A Symbol of Remembrance and Hope worn by millions of people. The story of the Poppy comes from Flanders fields in Belgium. The Poppy was the first flower to grow in the freshly churned ground of soldiers graves and inspired the poem “In Flanders Fields” by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae after visiting the site and grave of his friend and fallen soldier.

Image result for ww1This day is such a big part of our history, not just nationally for our country but also internationally for world history, which deserves the utmost respect and honour. Each year I go to town and watch the parade. Seeing the different factions of the forces come together to march for the service is always overwhelming and beautiful.

So please take this moment to pause and think of the people who gave for us. To show respect and give a two-minute silence in their name.

 


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One final note I would like to add – Blackadder Goes Forth, the final season of this show was set on the Western Front during the WW1 and even though it’s a comedy the final episode pulled out the stops and become a beautiful homage to the war, the lost and the fallen. Every time I watch the final scene where they are preparing to go over the top I get choked up. Because the script, the acting and the tone of that whole episode is perfect. The ending see the cast in slow motion filter into black and white image of the battlefield and then filters into a shot of a Poppy field in vibrant red.

If you are not sure on what I am talking about give this a watch.


Thank you for sharing this moment with me, no matter what your thoughts or feelings are on today, I am glad you stopped to take in mine, have a moment of reflection and just absorb the true magnitude of the day.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

The Haunting of Hill House – The Review.

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I am home, I am home, she thought; now to climb.

 

Recently I have been watching “The Haunting of Hill House”, or commonly known as, the Haunted House on the Hill, The Hill Haunting House, or that show that makes you poo your pants! For some reason everyone I have spoken to struggle to put the name together properly . . . maybe it’s the show that has scarred them too much.

Firstly I want to begin by saying this review will be a SPOILER FREE review. One because I don’t like being THAT guy and Two, because the show needs to be watched rather that told. I won’t be able to do it justice if I try to explain the ending, the twists and the resolution.

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I went into the show, hearing so many people rave about it, sing its praises but also claim the nervous wrecks they became from it. Now horror films aren’t really my thing, I don’t think they are made these days with fear and horror in mind, but more to show special effect and a bucket full of fake blood. But I pushed on and jumped into this and wow I am so glad I did – I loved it! It is so much more than a horror show.

The premise of the show is about a family being haunted by mysterious supernatural forces within a house. The narrative jumps across about 30 years, from the family as kids moving into the house, to present day where they have all grown up in different ways after the ordeal of the house.


The main story revolves around 5 siblings who have all taken different paths in life after several traumatic experiences from their childhood. Showing different coping mechanisms from Drug Abuse, to Denial, to Over Compensation. I’ve read and agree with that each sibling in the show is a symbolic version of a step of Kubler-Ross “Five Stages of Grief” process. Which thinking back to how all the characters act and process their surroundings it becomes very obvious that theory could be spot on.

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Another aspect of this show that I loved is the cinematography and the style of shots. Most memorably Episode Six which included an 17 minute long shot. Which is beautiful. Giving the desired impression that the single shot is happening in real-time. While choreographing swift and solid movement with the cast and set to not interrupt the shot. You will know the scene when you see it and afterwards just think “Wow” – I did.

Overall the show, the feel of it and the story is superb, gripping and captivating. Even with the scares involved. The true horror I think comes more from the depiction of Human Nature and how it reacts to unreasonable events, or events you logically can not make sense of.

Please go and watch it. I can not stress enough how much I enjoyed this show and how I want everyone to witness it. True horror making at it’s best.

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Side note – after I had finished it, which I had started while moving into a new house (I know right), I had a small dose of paranoia set it, I found myself standing in the empty spare bedroom in the dark one morning getting ready for work, thinking about the end of the show and what it all meant. But the more I thought about it, the more my mind began to play tricks on me with sounds and imaginations of what could be behind me. Silly I know but I put this down to how good the show was, the idea and story stuck with me and played on my mind so much that I felt it could be real.

One final tidbit that I learnt when I was on about episode nine was from an article I read about the show and the missing ghosts. Take a read over HERE – I can’t promise it is spoiler free, but I can promise shock, this article goes into explaining how the show has ghosts all through it but you just don’t notice them because you don’t know where to look. The sheer amount of detail the show runners put into this is amazing. They knocked it out of the park and I for one love that.

Anyway enough of my ramblings, it’s Friday night. Pop Netflix on and start this show. You will not be disappointed.


Have a great weekend boys and girls  . . . . if you survive that long.

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Black Leopard Products Review

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At the start of October excitement hit my inbox. What’s this? An invite to a PR event in Soho, London. I have made it guys, this is it – the big leagues . . . until . . oh, I can’t make the date, because as you know I have been super busy of late – buying a house!

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Luckily the lovely Natalia from Fuel PR was understanding and appreciated me having to turn her down, so much so that she sent me the products and range that would be launching at the event. Excitement is back. What a surprise.

This post is the true story about those products and my honest reactions to them.


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Black Leopard Skincare – Who Are They?

From their website blurbs, pages and FAQ’s you can tell they are just a bunch of down to earth blokes from down under who just want to give men an awesome skin care product. Their website is scattered with cool quips and quotes for men. “Holding doors open and hanging up the bath mat. You’re already doing real good. Keep it up.” is my favourite.

They pride themselves on their use of naturally derived ingredients that are active and also won’t harm your skin – which is always a plus, no one wants to cake harmful chemicals on their skin let’s be honest. And what a combo they have made because, and no doubt I will say it again later – all the products smell amazing!


The Products.

In my pack I received the following:

  • Moisturiser
  • Eye Cream
  • 2 in 1 Shave Gel
  • Face Scrub
  • Hair Styling Cream
  • Antiperspirant Roll On

 The Review.

Firstly they all came in lovely matte black boxes, then when removed they are all in a range of sleek black bottles, giving the look of a cool stylish product which would take pride on the bathroom shelf.

Secondly the products smell AMAZING! (I said it again) I mean I know guys like to be seen as MEN – Grrr. But I am not afraid to admit these products feel and smell amazing. After using all of the products I love them. I’ve noticed a change instantly, the eye cream and moisturiser are a great combo, even though there are times I forgot to use them (I’m still not in a real routine of using products, but that is changing) but when I do I love it.

Overall the entire line is great, the only product I was unsure of was the Hair Styling Cream, but that is because I don’t like change – I know the product I use and I have used it for years. But that didn’t stop me from trying this one out and on occasion I can see myself using it. The product itself works, it’s just down to a personal preference isn’t it. But other than that little bit I can’t get enough of the whole line of products and hopefully they will be able to help this old mug look and feel better.

Keep an eye out for their range and treat the man in your life with these beauties.

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Bohemian Rhapsody – The Review.

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I am struggling to find a way to start this post. Does that happen to you guys? Do you get lost in a sea of “Hey Guys”, “Morning” and “Welcome back” – well that is me this morning. So I am going to just jump into this post.

Because last night I went to the cinema to watch Bohemian Rhapsody and I was blown away.


For the longest time I have been a Queen fan, their music, talent and story has always been a part of my life. Top three favourite bands of all time and annoyingly it took me a good week and a bit to go see the movie when it came out. But I made a point to go this weekend, we’ve been very busy as you might know with house stuff but it was time to take a break.

So me and the GF went out for dinner, then popped over to the Cinema for some overpriced ice cream and a cute impromptu date night. With Bohemian Rhapsody on the cards we were set to go.


Let’s begin. Get on your bikes and ride!

Two years ago Channel Five did a docudrama about Freddie, his life, his troubles and his death – The Freddie Mercury Story: Who Wants To Live Forever. If you ever get a chance to watch this please do. It’s amazing. In my eyes this film and that Docudrama compliment each other so well they are almost like a double feature. Then when they announced they were making this movie I was hyped and psyched.

I loved this movie, the entire thing was amazing, breathtaking and emotional.

Following the life of Freddie Mercury a young Parsis man in 70’s London being discriminated for his heritage, his style and his teeth. We see Freddie meet May, Taylor and Deacon, form the a group called “Queen”, take some big gambles, record some unique styles and sounds, then just watching their music and career go from strength to strength.

But at the same time watching his lavish and promiscuous social life take its toll on his friends and real relationships as it spirals out of control into a drug binge.

The film hits all the emotional notes you’d expect, you take the journey with the band, feeling the highs and tingle of them writing; Another one Bites the Dust or Bohemian Rhapsody, to the lows and troubles of Freddie being played, relationships breaking down and then watching him realise and get diagnosed with AIDS. The last 40 minutes of the film I had a frog in my throat, it chokes you up big time. But that is his story, the magic behind the Great Pretender.

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And what a story it is – another thing that really helped this film was the incredible casting, because for me the entire cast were spot on.

Malek obviously goes without saying absolutely nailed his performance as Freddie. But saying that the whole band were amazing; Lee, Hardy and Mazzello playing May, Taylor and Deacon bounced off each other perfectly and it’s exactly what I would imagine the real band would have been like.

Even having Mike Myers as Ray Foster the EMI exec who tries to tell the band that Bohemian Rhapsody is too long and not what the people want, claiming that no one will ever rock out and head bang in their car to that song  . . . . (Yes they made that joke and I seemed to be the only person in the cinema that laughed) was amazing casting.

Overall the film was amazing, I am still in awe of it. This morning I woke up thinking about it on so many levels and I can not recommend it enough as it’s a story you need to know and see. I can see it making an impact next February when Award Season starts. You have heard it here first!

 


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Happy November.

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This is it guys, Halloween is over – time to pack the pumpkins back in the box, hang up your fangs and pop those sexy cat ears back in the draw for next year.

But don’t be sad – this is a good thing. Because now we are in NOVEMBER! And this means, Fireworks, Bonfires, Remembrance Day, GF’s Birthday, Christmas Markets and the countdown to Christmas itself!

I love this time of the year and I think this is also a great chance to start the season of with some festive loving and blog sharing.

I’ve hand selected three bloggers that I want to share with you all (it was hard to pick as if I could I would share and write about all my followers, as they are amazing people) but for this moment here are three that I strongly suggest you check out, follow and make friends with.


Nicole

 

Nicole – My Superhero Cousin with the Irish Blood. – What an absolute gem, kooky, crazy, funny and sweet. Sometimes she needs a wee boost of pick me up. But we all do every so often. Nicole is real, her photography on Insta are amazing and just all round swell gal. Go check her out and say hey. Twitter, Blog, Instagram.

 

 


Abbie 🐢🌱

 

Abbie – If I were King Arthur she’d be my Holy Grail, amazing, captivating but out of reach. Geographically we are miles apart. But that doesn’t stop me from loving everything about her – nailing Blogtober like a boss, rocking a new quirky hair style or sipping gin. The list goes on. She is incredibly supportive and well worth a good follow. Twitter. Blog. Instagram.

 

 


Matthew

Matt – My man! The lad. I don’t know about you dude, but I bet we’d be great drinking buddies in another life. If it’s not takeaways, his dogs or suits he is posting some stunning photography and my god I mean it’s something amazing. Well worth a follow if you ask me. Twitter. Blog. Instagram.

 

 

 


Also for any of my Insta / Twitter fans you will see I dressed up as POTUS Donald Trump. Which was awesome, so much fun and as we know I love dressing up. Didn’t I mention it [Yes, Here] – anyway here is me and then here is the results of the voting from the office competition.

I WON!

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Let me know what you love to do in November, I might try to take on some new traditions. Answers on a postcard please.