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.


 

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Welcome to StrongMen

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StrongMen – What is it and what it is doing.


Just so you know this if not an AD, the Charity didn’t come to me. I asked them if I could write about them to help spread the word of who they are.

As many of you might know recently I discovered Channel 4’s S.A.S Who Dares Wins. Which pits a team of average joe recruits through a version of the selection progress for the Special Forces, lead by a tough team of Directing Staff which is made up of Ex Special Forces Operatives; Ant Middleton, Jason Fox, Matthew Ollerton and Mark Billingham.

Each season highlights the recruits back stories and reasons for taking on such a challenge, and each season for me has a couple of people who really stand out with some truly emotionally touching stories. Earlier seasons showed me Ehrem’s story and the season just gone showed me Mark and Milo’s stories. All dealing with grief, loss and a drive to prove themselves in honour of their lost family members.

Obviously as the world is very social media driven I jumped on the bandwagon to follow both Mark and Milo on Instagram. Only to find out their relationship has continued after the show and they are embarking on a Charity Climb of Mont Blanc in July with Ollie Ollerton. All in the name of “StrongMen”. Which got me thinking, who are they?


StrongMen

StrongMen is a non-profit organisation set up by several Ex-Recruits and a D.S. from the show. Their mission, to tackle Mental Health issues caused by bereavement and suffering in men. Offering weekend retreats for Men aged 18-55 who have suffered a bereavement of a family member.

With grief and loss being one of the main causes to depression, stress and other such mental health issues the team at StrongMen have set up retreats to focus on several aspects of life; from diet, to exercise, to leisure activities – all with the goal of helping men open up and talk about their emotions and problems. Even if you are not effected by such things I strongly urge you to check out, look into this group and support the team at StrongMen.


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Mental Health is an ever-growing concern in this modern world, as it becomes more widely recognised and accepted. There is still a stigma behind Men and their diagnoses but with the help of organisations like StrongMen we can move away from that stigma and make it socially acceptable to be worry free and open to discuss what is really going on in our mind.

Men can still be the strong characters they always have been, but there is also no shame or harm in being open about what is going on inside your head. Especially if it results in help.

 

 


With all of this new and fresh in my mind it’s really made me take a step back to evaluate my own personal mental health. The up’s, the downs and the vague patches in the middle. Evaluating my own thoughts and well-being has been on the forefront of a lot of discussions recently. Growing as a blogger I have had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with several Mental Health bloggers for both Men and Women and this has helped me dramatically change my opinion on the topic for the better.

IMG_20180121_224107_636I suffered a bereavement nearly four years ago now, where I lost my Mother. I was 24. It was the start of the summer and I was sat in a beer garden in Northampton with some friends. Just a standard evening of drinks after work to unwind. When I got a phone call. My sisters number, but it was my Dad on the phone. He broke the news to me that she had passed away. Regardless of my relationship with her it was still a shock and worse of all I couldn’t do anything to fix it. I couldn’t even drive the 70 mile trip home there and then because I was in a beer garden. Though I have always be a strong-minded character I think that deep down I have never properly grieved. I just took a deep breath and got on with making sure my sister was ok and putting my Mothers affairs in order as I organised a funeral. (My Parents were Divorced as this point, so power of the estate was in my hands).

I’d never thought about this as a contributing factor to my Mental Health before, but with life getting busier, Adulthood creeping in and responsibilities racking up that tower of Life begins to wobble and lean a bit from time to time. Maybe throwing “Money worries” “Frustration at work” and a dash of “Road Rage” into a pot on top of a ungrevied significant moment in my life isn’t a great move – but then on the flip side maybe I am at ease with it all and how I dealt with it was perfectly rational and understandable during that time in my life.


It is a serious discussion we should be having and with the help of organisations like StrongMen I truly believe that discussion will be taking place more frequently.

As much as I am no professional, I like to think I am a supportive guy who will help anyone, with that in mind – if you want to talk, open up or even just have the knowledge and thought that someone is there. Here I am. Don’t be shy.

I will always be there for you all.

Finding your Mojo.

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Like many other bloggers that I know, the New year, New me piece is good – everyone likes a fresh start but Christmas seems to have wiped the Mojo from us. We are lost in a world of writer’s block and no rhythm.

It’s only day 10 of the brand new year and I have put a few posts out but I feel they are lacking in hype, in true content, engagement and fun. I am not sure why – they were posts that I enjoyed writing and covered topics that I love. But still I feel they lacked something.

Even this post might fizzle out and be some lackluster ball on waffle, I mean who knows anymore. It’s not as if I can offer some groundbreaking words of wisdom to help people get out of the similar rut I am in. This is more of just a cry for help. What can I do to shake this feeling? To engage more? And continue this journey to become the very best . . that no one ever was . . . wait that’s the Pokémon theme song. Sorry.

I’m sure I will find my feet again and get back into the swing of things, I am going to focus on a lot of film stuff, reviews and such this year. With a couple of Life posts coming up, updates on the house and what I am up too. Maybe they will churn me back into the Blogging blender and help me out. Help me find that Mojo that have vanished. If anyone can offer some solid advice to help me get my mojo back I would be forever appreciative of you and your words.

 


Puberty Challenge

 

Also for your entertainment I took part in the Puberty Challenge. You might have seen this on my Instagram. Let’s be honest I’ve glowed up haven’t I.

Though I do miss a time when I had hair. Look at that mullet mop top thing. Just wow.

 

 

Take it easy you beautiful people, if anyone can help me with my rut please leave a comment below. Mwah.

Golden Globes – The Review.

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Award season has truly got under way and last night Beverly Hills hosted the Golden Globes, an award set to praise and recognise talent in both Film & Television. With this in mind it means the Oscars are about 6 weeks away. The only difference really is who decides the winners. The Globes are chosen by the Press office and the Oscars picked by the Academy of Motion Picture, Art and Science.

The Golden Globes don’t have as many categories compared to the Oscars but it hosts the major ones such as; Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Actor & Actress in both Drama and Musical / Comedy, Best Screenplay, Original Song, Director and many more.


I am going to breakdown a handful of categories and give some feedback on what I think about the selection and the outcome. Please note as much as I am a film buff / geek. There are films mentioned that I have not seen. Which I will try not to let affect my feedback.


Best Motion Picture – Drama. 

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Great start to this, having only seen 3 of the 5 nominated films. I have not seen BlacKKKlansman or If Beale Street Could Talk. Which is a shame. I really wanted to catch BlacKKKlansman and felt it might have been a hidden gem. Which I guess it was. Beale Street I have never heard of so best go find a copy of that. Now the ones I know, As much as I am a BIG MCU fan (What me? Who knew?), I didn’t rate Black Panther as highly as the critics or other fans. It’s a good film but in the running with these I feel like it’s out of its depth.

Now to the big two; A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody. I loved them both. Even reviewing BoRap which can be found HERE – shamefully I never reviewed A Star is Born which I regret now. Both of these were amazing films and I am happy to see either or win. Though I think deep down A Star is Born deserved the win a tiny bit more, I am not mad at the choice.

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Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. 

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Across the board I rate all of these Actresses bar Melissa McCarthy. Her brand of comedy and style really annoys me. But that aside the film she is Nominated for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” looks good. Being a true story drama piece it might change my mind of her.

In honesty I have only seen Lady Gaga’s performance, which was breathtaking, so I am slightly disheartened that she did not win. But knowing how talented the competition was I can imagine Close’s performance must have been off the chain and I bet this award is well deserved.

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Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. 

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I wanted to controversially mention this category as an excuse to air some feelings I have. Which I KNOW will be met with some heat, anger and disapproval. But here we go.

Lin-Manuel Miranda. I don’t know what it is but I don’t like how hyped he is, how you are expected to like and appreciate this man out of nowhere. Don’t get me wrong the Moana music was good and I really want to watch Hamilton, but I just feel like he is overrated and I am almost forced to like him for some unknown reason. It might be me subconsciously wanting to not like him because he is the next big thing all of a sudden. Who knows I can’t put my finger one it – Sorry. Rant over.

The category – I am very excited to see both Stan & Ollie and Vice. But all four of the remaining men are brilliant performers in their own right. So I can imagine this one was a tough call. Also I thought Redford was retiring? Maybe I missed something.


  Other Awards.

Rami Malek took the Best Actor (Drama) from Bradley Cooper with his Freddie Mercury portrayal. Which well done – but Cooper was phenomenal. Though the Oscars are on their way Bradders. The same goes for Best Director – as a debut film Cooper nailed it in my eyes but lost it to Alfonso Cuaron who I had to google to see what else he had done . . . not sure I can agree after looking at this IMDB page but what do I know compared to the LA Press.

Olivia Colman took Best Actresses in Musical or Comedy (not sure about this title) for The Favourite which must be well deserved, I have always rated for as an actress.

Richard Madden won for the Bodyguard in Best TV Drama Actor and Sandra Oh won the Actress version for Killing Eve (which I keep meaning to start). Rachel Brosnahan grabbed Best Comedy Actress for The Marvelous Mrs Maisel – which if you have not seen I beg you to go home tonight and start. I love it.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse swung into the top spot for Best Animated Motion Picture (seeing it tomorrow night). Everyone I know that has seen it has urged me to go – saying it’s the best thing ever. The Americans picked up Best TV Drama and The Kominsky Method took Best TV Comedy.

Lastly I want to mention Best Original Song – Shallow from A Star is Born, which won this hands down. And too bloody right. It was the 22nd most downloaded single of 2018 – which to say it only came out in October shows how much it took the world by storm. I can’t not listen to it when it’s on. It’s beautiful.

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Next stop BAFTA’s and then the big boys, the Oscars! The nominations are released at the end of the month where I will do a post placing my bets . . . while maybe placing a bet or two.

What do you think to the Golden Globe results? Do you think someone missed out or was robbed? Like I said I am in mixed emotions, feeling bad for A Star is Born but happy for Bohemian Rhapsody. But let’s see what happens next.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Ok!

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As the hands of time tick on. Closer to it’s destination I am left wondering . . . is this it? What have I done with my life? I have nothing to show for it.

But then I stumbled upon Gemma’s latest post about time (Find it HERE), it never being too late and the idea that there is no need to rush.

I spoke to me. Soothed me. There is so much I want to do with my life. I am not ready. I am not settled. I have so much time ahead of me. In the upcoming months a few things are changing which you’ll soon be allowed to know about. Then after that it’s the next step. What that is I don’t know. I couldn’t say. But it’ll be awesome anyway.

I’d love to visit Vienna. Finish writing a book. Spend more time smelling the roses and watching the sun rise.

Here is to life. It’s not over till it’s over and until that time. Make it your bitch. There is no rush or hurry to do anything. The sun will still rise tomorrow. If today you want to eat pizza and binge watch Sitcoms. Do it. Go for it. (Have a slice on me)

Just remember to be happy. Not to judge your life against anyone else’s and to dance like the whole world isn’t looking. No regrets.


Now for a smile – Here is my first ever Facebook Profile Picture – Circa 2007.

I know what you are thinking – but what was I thinking!


 

The Unique Blogger Award

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TheUniqueBloggerAWARD


Rules

  • Display the award
  • Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog
  • Answer the questions they have written for you
  • Nominate other bloggers and give them three questions to answer, all in the name of sharing unity within the blogging community.

I love doing these kind of posts and I have to thank Leighann from WithLoveLeighann who I’ve only just recently found in the Blogger Community, not sure how or why it took me so long, she is a lovely, friendly girl with passion and comedy to spare. Check out her blog and twitter @LeighannLeAnn


My Answers

  • What is the best comment, you have received about your blog/blogging, since you started. – I try to save all the comments I get so I had a couple to pick from. (Sadly I forgot to record who said what . . . )

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  • If you could write about one thing ( that you haven’t yet) what would it be? Tough one because if I feel strongly about something I will write about it. I guess Parenting – Being a Daddy. That is the reason this blog started. I haven’t done it yet because I don’t have no child. But one day.

 

  • Where do you get your creative inspiration from? I struggle at times, I struggle to juggle work, spare time, blog time and life. So when I want to make something like this really big I need to big down deep to find something to push and make me focus. Creative just flows, I have always been a creative person – it’s just finding the drive to put those creative juices into action.

My Questions

  1. In the past 6 months what is one thing that has surprised you about yourself?
  2. What is the best life hack you have ever seen?
  3. If you could wake up tomorrow with the skills to play any sport or instrument what would it be and why?

My Nominations

Firstly who ever reads this, you are nominated. Doesn’t matter if your name is on the list or not, you are more picked. Feel free to take this and run with it.

@ImperfectMz – @whathannahwrote – @tottzilla – @NicoleCorbett94


 

 

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.

Robin Williams

Perfectly Clear – #AlwaysSpring

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With the summer rolling in and the hot streak still going strong across the country you are instantly open to more invites to BBQ’s, garden parties and all those other generic summer style social events.

And so with the help of Perfectly Clear water I am going to share some snazzy recipes for some cocktails and mocktails that are both refreshing and healthier than the usual options – and also SUPER easy to make, I knocked these up in minutes.

Unknown to me, Perfectly Clear is one of the UK’s first flavoured water lines on the market being launched over twenty years ago. With their main goal to provide a healthy alternative to the sugary drinks – priding themselves on being ZERO SUGAR and also they aim to make their water as affordable as possible (39p in Home Bargains) – which is better than paying big bucks for standard water.

After going through a rebranding recently they have a whole new range of bottles, flavours and styles. Offering the standard 500ml bottle which is perfect for personal use, an amazing 1.5litre bottle for sharing and also producing a range for kids in a cute little 330ml bottles. Because the kids are the future and keeping them healthy and refreshed is the goal.

They come in a tasty range of flavours in either Sparkling or Still; Strawberry, Lemon & Lime, Elderflower, Orange, Red Apple, Cherry and Summer Fruits.

Let’s go.


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Cocktail Numero Uno! 

I wanted to make a kind of  “Gin ‘n’ Juice” style drink but instead of loading it with sugar and lemonade I went for a fresh still version. Crushing some ice in a blender, then pour a shot of Gin (or two if you are feeling extra snazzy) then half a of Grapefruit juice and half a cup of Perfectly Clear Lemon & Lime Water.

Quick Stir and Enjoy.


Cocktail Numero Duo! 

Super easy one again – crushed ice, couple of shots of Sour Cherry Vodka topped up with Perfectly Clear Mixed Berries Water and stir. This one was a surprising treat for the GF on a hot Saturday afternoon and that is the point. Just simple but refreshing drinks to enjoy anytime.


Cocktail Numero Tres! 

I thought best to do one for the kids and T-Totalers. So again start with some ice, then super simply, 1/3 Perfectly Clear Strawberry Water, 1/3 Cranberry Juice and 1/3 Sugar Free Soda Water. Stir and pow.


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So the next time you are throwing a party or a BBQ give these cheeky little recipes a go. Enjoy the refreshing taste of a Perfectly Clear water based drink. Stay hydrated and just enjoy the sun.

Check them out on their WebsiteTwitter and Instagram and head out to try the taste of sugar-free refreshing flavoured water.