#PizzaMaMind

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Last night I hosted the first #PizzaMaMind twitter chat hour and it was amazing!

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The hour kicked off and I was worried there would be little interaction but the amazing world of Twitter proved me wrong and honestly that hour shot past. I was nonstop and I loved every minute of it. People started dropping in, saying hello and getting involved. There was a lot of people who showed up with the same mindset as myself – wanting to be able to offer a safe place to be open and talk about real things regarding Mental Health. That being said, I didn’t want to jump straight into the deep end and ask everyone to open up straight away. I wanted to create the environment, to give people a place of calm and fun. Just to be yourself. The MH talks will begin next time.

My GF said about the hour – “I was worried it was going to be a depressing hour but actually it sounds really positive and helpful. Sometimes it’s better to talk to a stranger through a screen than a real person”

And she is right. I’ve always thought this too – people are worried to open up to friends and family, but a supportive stranger on the internet rules out judgement. We don’t know each other, we can just vent and have people understand and be there for you.


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Support

Merchandise was spoken about and frankly, that topic exploded. With Gemma taking charge and suggesting some AWESOME suggestions; Pizza Cutters, Plates, Blankets and Plush Toys that smell of Pizza. I’ve got my work cut out for me now, haven’t I?

T-Shirts were a popular pick, as well as hoodies, badges and mugs. Which is awesome.

We also asked for people to set challenges to strive towards for next time. This was a beautiful moment where one person would say something and everyone else came in for support.

This right here (over on the right) is why we are here. Why I wanted to do this. For the caring support of everyone.


I have a lot of work to do now to prepare for next weeks instalment but it’s so worth it. I’ve taken to Twitter this morning to ask for feedback and I’ve got some ideas floating around for little changes across the panel. Stay tuned for more.


 

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May Round-Up

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Month Five is done, dusted and over. Is it too early to mention Christmas? I thought about it the other day – in another five months we will be ready to start embracing the festivities. If it goes as quick as the first five months did we will be sipping hot chocolate and eating Christmas snacks in no time at all.

Ross calm down. Back to the point in hand.

The May Round-Up.


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Between the 13th & 19th May was Mental Health Awareness week, which I posted five posts – one a night during the working week to help do my bit for awareness. The links can be found here:

Mental Health Awareness Week
Who is Mental Health?
What is Mental Health?
Mental Health Movement
Hmmm Wait a Moment

I had so such an amazing reaction to all of this, so many supportive comments, shares and a whole lot of love. Which is instantly rewarding, I never really thought I’d get into Mental Health Blogging but this week has really shifted my mindset on the topic and (as mentioned in Mental Health Movement) now I am looking at setting up a support function. Can’t wait!

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What else is new?

Buddy is settling in, still having a moment every now and then but he is becoming a great member of the family. Though the GF did have a moment the other day where she was worried he was peeing on the floor. Every so often she’d notice a wet patch on the floor by her side of the sofa (yes like every great couple, we have sides of sofa), I dismissed this, saying he’s a good boy and at worst case the wet patch is probably where he has a big drink and then sits down with dribbly chops. We thought nothing more of it.

Queue the beloved drama and fruitful woe of the Bathroom situation as it creeps back into our lives – so that wet patch that had Dog Based Blame was discovered again the other day, the GF stood of the rug in the living room to discover again it was wet. As Buddy’s name was about to leave her mouth she noticed it. The water droplet from the ceiling onto her nose. . . . The Bathroom is leaking.

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I was so angry, so annoyed, after all the drama and hiccups beforehand – after all that money spent on repairing it. It’s still not fixed. I took the side of the bath off to find the whole underneath soaked. So as we speak there “Should” be a plumber at our house fixing the shoddy job he first did. What angers me the most it people that don’t do their jobs. If you can’t successfully plumb and refit a bathroom, don’t be a plumber, don’t claim you can do it. There are many things I can do in theory, after research and help, but I don’t do them because I’ve never done them. There is a reason I didn’t refit and plumb the bathroom.

It’s just frustrating as it currently stands it’s still not fixed and they have “Been out 3 times” now, but always try and turn it back into our problem and not theirs. So I’ve had enough of the cowboys. I’m calling in the professionals.


Also had the final suit fitting for my friend’s wedding, that date creeps closer and the excitement is brewing. It’s going to be such a fun day.

FilmWise I caught John Wick 3: Parabellum at the cinema. It was fun but in my opinion the weakest of the three. I felt they tried to put too much story into this one. The first two worked on a basic simplicity but this one felt like they tried to add too much. I am psyched they announced a 4th in the works and a spin-off for The Continental. Which I love because Ian McShane and that whole idea of this Hotel for Assassins really interests me.
Caught Aladdin the other night too – wasn’t fussed beforehand but it was ok you know. Nothing special, very child-friendly and massive sensory overload. But if that’s your thing it’s worth a watch – personally, I am not a fan of these Disney live-action remakes. Also in a rare moment, the GF and I sat down on Sunday night and watched Now You See Me. This is rare because getting her to watch a film can be tough but it was a really nice night. I’d seen it before and really rate it as a twist you don’t see coming and watching her try to guess was so much fun – she really did not see it coming.

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I started this post thinking, I didn’t think this month’s post would be that fleshy, but turns out I have a lot to say. My stats are looking good too – always on the climb and constantly beating last years months. Which isn’t tough I guess but every cloud.
Next months post will be even wilder – life is about to get MEGA busy. I’m talking one stag do, two weddings, three birthdays and a concert. Bet you can’t wait to hear who I am seeing. But that is all for next month.

 

Mental Health Awareness Week

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This is a massive challenge now. It’s Wednesday 8th and I’ve decided to do my tiny bit to help raise awareness for Mental Health. Deciding to generate 5 posts, one for each weekday of next week – Mental Health Awareness Week.

I am not a Mental Health blogger, to my knowledge I am not a suffer of a diagnosed Mental Illness. There are so many people that are one or both of these things and within that group, some of them have found their voice and are amazing influencers and advocates for Mental Health. But there are others out there that has not found that voice, that struggle to open up and come to terms with things. These are the people I am doing this for. The scarred, the lost for words and the vulnerable. The people who want to scream from the rooftops but are so broken, shy and worried to do so that they sit in silence and let the world eat them up.

No more! Not today! Not ever!


The official theme of this week is Body Image – This is what the Mental Health Organisation have said about this topic:

“Body image issues can affect all of us at any age. During the week we will be publishing new research, considering some of the reasons why our body image can impact the way that we feel, campaigning for change and publishing practical tools.”

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But I don’t want that to stop us, I don’t want you to read this and think – my concern isn’t with Body Image, this isn’t relevant. I promise you everything is relevant. No matter what you are going through. Sit tight, buckle up and get ready for a week of informative, fun and relief. If I can change one persons life for the better than I will be proud. But I am going to need your help to achieve this.

Also check out the Mental Health Foundation website for tips, guides and articles about MH and what they are hoping to achieve this week.

All support, comments and love will be welcomed.

First steps into Mental Health blogging – I am a rookie in a Pro’s game. But I want to help. Wish me luck.


 

March Round-Up

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Well that is March over and done with – a quarter of 2019 has gone and what have we done? It’s scary how within a couple of blinks we are in April. Like at the time the week drags, the weather is shite and the moods are low. But before we know it we are buying Easter Eggs and getting ready for some Bank Holidays.

BathroomSo what have I been up to? Well firstly that bathroom I mentioned in the last roundup is done – plastered, painted, looking fresh. I did spend a whole weekend painting the walls and ceilings and that was pretty tough because the night before I had done Arms at the gym and by the end of the painting they were on fire.

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Which rolls into my mention of Soph (who can be found over one Twitter and Instagram. She was looking for volunteers for her Fitness Challenge so I jumped at the chance to have a real work out routine and to help her out as she becomes the next PT Super Star. So I am a week in and this is my progress photos – not sure if you see a difference, but I can feel one, I’m really enjoying it and wish Soph all the best in all she does. My GF seems to notice a difference in my shoulders and arms and I bought a new jacket the other day and had to go down a size because my size was to baggy – so maybe it’s all coming up Milhouse.

 

 

 


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I was also invited back to the Theatre to review another play in a few weeks, which I am very grateful for the opportunity. I’ve also been complimented a lot this month from various people in and out of the blogging world for my support, writing style and general happy go-lucky outlook. Which is nice right. Though I felt mid March was a bit of a downer in regards to my life and my plan for the next steps. But hopefully a few irons that I have in the fires will spark up an opportunity soon enough. Stay tuned for that update.

March’s movie viewing consisted of Captain Marvel, US and Shazam. My review for Captain Marvel can be found here. Spoilers – I loved it. (Don’t worry the review is Spoiler free) US was as creepy and well made as you’d think it would be. In my eyes wasn’t as good or impacting as Get Out was but still worth a watch. But as for Shazam – the little I say the better in my opinion. It was a Shazambles!

Blog stats are on the up as well. I am now 3 for 3 on beating last years stats which is a given I guess as I grow and gain a bigger audience. But it’s still good to see it’s all going in the right direction. Now it’s time to tackle April – I have a busy month coming up so I bet the next round up will be stacked.

As always take care and all my love! Mwah!

What To Do Next?

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As you might be aware of recent I’ve been a bit quiet on the social media, blog front. Just because I’ve been left feeling very deflated and . . . . well like this.


Stuck in a lifestyle that I am not a great fan of anymore. Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to bad mouth these aspects of my life because they have served me well and I’ve learnt and grown from them. But it is now time to move on and take a bigger step forward. Though how realistic is that?

Not to moan about money but sadly this is what makes life tick over. I know I should live in the moment. Enjoy what I have. Can’t take it with you bullshit. But sadly Karen that isn’t the world we live in. The fact of the matter is if I don’t earn X amount a month I won’t be able to pay my bills, buy food or get by. So if I bring home less than that or I have a sick day and don’t get paid. I feel the pinch.

It’s horrible.

But what can I do? How can I make my life better? I’d love to go freelance. In photography or media or blogging. But taking that plunge is an unrealistic step for me. I’d love to get into charity work. Especially Male Mental Health based work. To help give a voice to people. To do something meaningful and to make a difference but sadly in the most none selfish way that won’t pay my mortgage. Not to begin with anyway.

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A very supportive and lovely friend said the following to me earlier – “You really could do it full-time I believe in you buddy! You’re written word is fantastic, I love your content and you are always one of the first people to boost people up in this community! I honestly couldn’t think of anyone who deserves it more than you.”

Which is crazy cute and mega supportive of her and it made me think – who else thinks this of me, maybe I could be this figurehead that people look up to, maybe I could help everyone.

I’m thinking about setting up a movement / brand / organisation that focuses on those goals of raising awareness and money for Male Mental Health charities. Which is where I will need your help.

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I just hope something like this can and will give me purpose and until I find my feet I will have to keep going with my current affairs but in time, maybe one day, I will be able to stand up tall and look back at what I have done with pride.


 

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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