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.

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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.

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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Me Too. The Blame Game.

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This post is going to be a bit of a zinger. I am fully prepared to lose followers, get some hate and even get slated for this. But it’s come up time and time again and every time I end up feeling the same way.

Abuse in Hollywood. Actor alleged crimes. Rumours and Stories.

In the wake of yet another ever so talented actor being accused of sexual harassment I find myself finally writing this post.

Morgan Freeman can now join the ranks of Kevin Spacey. Jeremey Piven, Johnny Depp and Dustin Hoffman. Men who have all been accused of sexual misconduct.

Firstly I would like to air my stance on misconduct. Out right. Plain and simple it is WRONG. It happens both ways. Men assault Women. Women assault Men. Its black and white. No means No. If they don’t consent it’s against their will and that is a crime.


But I am also of the same mind-set as “Innocent until proven Guilty in a court of law” – until a jury of my peers and a judge says. Yes Guilty! Or No Innocent! Then I am not interested in the stories.

Sadly that is the horror of social media today. So many people have a voice or an opinion that someone else will read. Form another opinion on the matter and use their voice to share a new story that has changed so much so that the original content get lost or embellished.

Leaving the damage to set in and destroy lives and careers.

I use actors as the example because I am a big film fan. We mention Spacey and we should automatically think about his amazing performance in The Usual Suspects or even House of Cards. But we don’t. We think of the allegations. Morgan Freeman we should think God in Bruce Almighty or Red in Shawshank. Not any more. Hoffman as Totsie or Hook not as the sexual predator people are suggesting.

I hate how these situations ruin careers and the name they spent so long trying to make.

Don’t get me wrong if Spacey or any of these men are convicted by a judge due to overwhelming evidence then fair enough, the proof is there and I will be in agreement that they have done wrong, they have a talent but it has been overshadowed by these crimes. But until then in my eyes they are talented award-winning men. Not crooks.

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Also not to take anything away from the real victims because yes they have gone through horrific ordeals. But in situations like this how can you be absolutely 100% positive that every account, story and allegation is truthful. How can we be that certain. Yes 8 people said it. But does that mean it happened 8 times. Or did it happen 4 times and the other 4 jumped on board. It is one of those things that no one can doubt or question. But says a lot about the person who is (if any) making it up. That is a whole new level of monster.

It is also still a simple case of one person’s word against another’s. Just multiple times. It’s not 8 allegations vs 1 person. Which is the bit I think most people forget. They see the story of Freeman assaulting eight women. But we don’t know that for sure. We don’t know if any are true. Sadly people are greedy and hungry for fame. They want the Kardashian life of luxury and wealth at no cost. What’s an embellishment between friends. He looks the type so lets say he did it. This mentality is also as wrong as the crime itself. Toying and manipulating people’s lives for your own goals is wrong.

To summarise my post I just wish people would be more open-minded and allowing. Remember an allegation is just that. There is no evidence of truth until that allegation is investigated and judged by a court of law. At the moment there is one mention or whisper of something and the mob is out with their torches and pitchforks trying to run someone out-of-town like a 1940’s horror movie.

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These actors have families. How would you like it if all you heard was how Mummy abused so and so, and Daddy did this to them. Until its proven it’s just slander.

I know this might be hard to read and if anyone has been affected by this please feel free to contact me or the appropriate help line. I support everyone, I love everyone, I just wanted to take a moment to try to widen people’s perspective, to stay open-minded and stay fair. I know it’s a horrible situation but I just don’t think we can instantly brand someone a sexual predator until it is proven.

I also hope you can understand my point and don’t hate me too much.

Peace 💞

Lost in Life.

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I’m not sure where this post is going or what its even called.

(I assume the title above is fitting. But as I write this I have nothing planned)

Over the past day or so ive realised something about my self and my personality. Which is always dangerous to self criticise and evaluate yourself but I went there – and what I found made sense. It made me think about every past exploit and choice I’ve made.

My findings – I have no drive.

Wait what does that even mean. Now you are wondering. Where does he park his car? Or not. Sorry for the dad joke.

I mean Drive / Dedication / Motivation. So many times I have had an idea. Something new to look into. Usually job related. I do research and plans and then never go anywhere with it because I never follow it through.

The biggest one in my past is film making. I love it so much. I wanted to set up a production company and go freelance. All planned. Named. Cards printed. But just getting that umph to start it never appeared. Another example was setting up an etsy shop to sell Groomsmen gift boxes. Working out the costs and the realistic demand for it. But again after all that work put in – I did nothing with it.

Same again when it comes to writing scripts and even a children’s story book. I begin full of life and positivity and then let it fizzle out when it comes to commitment.

I think it boils down to a fear of the unknown. Leaving my stable reliable old job to take that plunge and go it alone. Risk that stability and just go for it. Scary right.

My latest idea in the planning stages (which will remain a secret for the moment) is a similar thing. I don’t think it will take off or amount to anything.

I’m lost. Left wondering the world unsure as to what I want to do when I grow up. Does anyone else get this? A sense of being lost and unsure.

I think of recently the only thing I have kept going is this blog and I’m still in the baby steps of this. Ideally I would love to get to a point where I can make this self-sufficient and make this my work and job.

One day hey.

Sorry for the rant / over sharing. But you know what they say. I’ll work it all out one day and it will be good.

Until then. Lets just smile and get on with it.

Peace ✌