Hmmm Wait a Moment

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About a year ago I said I’d do a guest post for SarahDanne over on Unexplored Boundaries – but I struggled to think of a topic, life got in the way and I never did it. Sarah came knocking like a year later to see what happened and as I didn’t want to let her down (again) I sat down to pen a post. It dropped at the start of May and here is the link

Being as it’s Mental Health Awareness Week and i’ve been overwhelmed with support and appreciation I felt it was a good time to share this myself.


This post is somewhat long overdue but I am here to share some wisdom.

This is dedicated to something I’ve learnt recently. Something that made me stop and go “Hmmm wait a moment”, something that has changed my outlook on life and on the way the world works.

This is regarding Mental Health.

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For the longest time, I have always thought to myself – Mentally I am strong, very strong. While I hear and see people complain and suffer from bouts of Mental Illnesses, I’d never given it much thought. For the regards of the person, the situation and the condition. Don’t get me wrong, I have always been a supportive person who would do anything for anyone – If I can help I will always strive to do so. But my grasp on the concept of Mental Illness was always lacking in knowledge and I would put an unsympathetic mindset down to that lack of knowledge.

This was until this year. 2019 set in and I stumbled across several things that in turn would help me better my understand, increase my compassion and also motivate me to help.

Image result for ant middleton quoteAs I’ve mentioned before in other posts I really got hit with the S.A.S: Who Dares Wins bug. The show grabbed me by the scruff of the neck, shook me about and threw me in the corner of the room to witness and watch life from a different perspective. This started my obsession with Ant Middleton, his motivational speaking and way of thinking which I took onboard as a lesson in growth and way to growth mental strength. Along with this new found respect and understanding, I also took a step back and truly looked at my Twitter, the people I follow, the people I support and the people who follow me.

It’s really struck a chord with me, the idea of Mental Health – especially for men and how it is poorly represented in society, in the media and in life. There is a stigma regarding it and even once upon a time, I would have used the term “Man Up” without truly thinking of the meaning or situation that the person I am saying it to is in. With the inspiration from Ant Middleton, Jason Fox, the S.A.S team and the amazing people on twitter that I follow I’ve come to realise that more should be done – it needs to be done. So I’ve decided to try and lay the foundations for something bigger, a movement or safe space as it were. For a way to give back, to help people, to give an outlet, support and the guidance that is needed – while striving to remove the stigma completely.

This is my next mission, my next chapter, my chance to do something rewarding, meaningful and helpful.

 

This is me.

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Who is Mental Health?

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I follow a large number of bloggers and Mental Health Advocates who talk so strongly and openly about their own MH, MH as a whole and ways to raise awareness. With this in mind I wanted to showcase and share those people with you. I took to twitter to ask for help and for people’s posts to share. The response I got was MASSIVE and I am so thankful and appreciative of everyone wanting to get involved.

Everyone that has commented will get a mention in some form or another.


MWBM


ODP


PWVS

  • Erica over on The Prepping Wife
  • Her Twitter Page is: The Prepping Wife
  • MH Post – Veteran Suicide
    • This post is a great look a MH in the Armed Forces, be it in the States, UK or anywhere I imagine it’s the same regardless. This post is insightful and eye opening as Erica details the little things the Vet has to deal with when returning that we take for granted and don’t think about. Also I never realised the Suicide number was this high. It’s such a shame these people give so much for their country and for peace, but are rewarded with mentally challenging situations.

hj

  • Helen over on Helen’s Journey
  • Her Twitter Page is: Helen’s Journey
  • MH Post – How to Give Yourself a Break. . . . .
    • This is a great pick me up, remember you are amazing, look after yourself style post. It’s a reminder and that is so important for everyone to hear. Even if you don’t think it, you are important and you need a dose of positivity every so often.

Tiam

  • Tiffany over on Love Always Tiffany
  • Her Twitter Page is: Love Always Tiff
  • MH Post – I Am More Than Sad
    • This post is short but sweet and to the point. Highlighting the difference between Sadness and Depression, and being ok with admitting the problem, seeking help and looking to get better. Tiff as always you are a gem!

Hiontb

  • Hollie over on Life with my Trio
  • Her Twitter Page is: Hollie Cagney
  • MH Post – It’s Ok Not To Be Ok
    • Hollies post is one of the most relatable, real posts I’ve ever read. The idea of trying to portray a normal persona to save face but really on the inside being torn and broken. This reminds of me of the below line from Scrubs.


Honourable Mentions

As I said above I was overwhelmed by comments and people wanting to share stories, articles and posts in the name of MH. I’d have loved to have done the above for all of them but then this post would have gone on for days. So the ones I’ve missed but still deserve some recognition are as followed:

Sophie – TwitterBlog
Roberta – TwitterBook
Chloe – TwitterBlog
Joan – TwitterBlog
Nell – TwitterBlog
Jordyn – TwitterBlog
Marlena – TwitterBlog
Kat – TwitterBlog
Natasha – TwitterBlog
Nikki – TwitterBlog
Meditative Owl (Can’t find her name, sorry) – TwitterBlog
Koral – TwitterBlog
Stephen – TwitterBlog
Nykole – TwitterBlog
Jackie – TwitterBlog
Anneka – TwitterBlog
Maureen – TwitterBlog
Jade Marie – Twitter Blog
Catey – Twitter Blog
Sarah – Twitter Blog
Elizabeth – Twitter Blog
Christina – Twitter Blog

 

April Round-Up

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I’m a touch late with this post. Usually, I’m fully ahead of the game and ready to drop these round-ups at the end of the month. But last month really ran away with me and now I am frantically tapping out a post to share my life with you.


Lots happened in April.

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We had a much deserved Bank Holiday weekend and my god the weather was amazing. Four days out in the sun, loving life and enjoying the moment – forgetting work and the troubles of the world, just sipping on shandies and painting the fence. We spent two days doing the garden, putting lights up, planting seeds, moving bushes and painting EVERYTHING, only stopping to top up the ice cold shandy and have another Hot Cross Bun. Then on Easter Sunday, we went to Cromer in Norfolk to see the GF’s family who were there for the long weekend in the caravan. This was really nice, an excuse to crack the shorts and sunglasses. It was an amazing weekend that I just didn’t want to end. Life felt so good.


Edmond de BergeracBlog-wise I’ve been up to lots of fun things, I got a chance to go to the Royal and Derngate Theatre to review another play – this time it was Edmond de Bergerac, which can be found HERE. It was a real surprise and such a good show – I absolutely love going to the theatre to review these plays, I feel so cultured with my glass of wine and a pot of olives for the GF.

This month also saw my first paid opportunity blog post as I was asked to promote Panasonic’s new line of shavers and razors – that post can be found HERE. This was a big stepping stone for me and I was so overwhelmed and happy when that came in and I can’t wait to build on this.

I also smashed all my goals for interactions and likes across social media. Hitting targets on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


There was also A LOT of wedding themed antics this month (not for me), I am a groomsman for my best friend in July so we had a suit fitting up in Nottingham followed by a few beers.

Then for another friend who is getting married in June, we threw a second Stag Do for him because a bunch of us from work couldn’t make it to his real one. This was a fun day of activities, drinking and laughing. We went to a place called Top Jump in Milton Keynes – a huge inflatable assault course that broke all of us in some way. Then a World Buffet Lunch, Mini Golf, Beers and Casino. Everyone was a bit busted up the next day for one reason or another but overall it was an awesome weekend.


Avengers Assemble!

Film-wise this month was obviously a big one for one reason which we will get to in a moment. Firstly let me mention Pet Sematary. The remake we didn’t ask for and didn’t need. I was not a fan at all and felt it was such a letdown. Then there was Hellboy which I reviewed HERE. This was a bit of fun, nothing serious, nothing special – just pure escapism which is needed at times.

Then there was the big boy – Avengers Endgame. We went to the Cineworld Double Bill – where we watched Infinity War and Endgame back to back which had a buzz and an electric atmosphere all night long. Now if you are in the slim minority that hasn’t seen it yet I urge you to go. My non-spoiler review should egg you on. It’s a masterpiece of huge epic proportion, 11 years in the making and it paid off so so well. I can’t wait to go watch it again.

 

 


The final big piece of news that you must have seen floating about.

I. GOT. A. DOG.

This is huge, I have wanted a dog for the longest time and I am so happy I’ve finally got one. He is still settling in and getting used to his new life but hopefully, he’ll feel right at home soon. I love the support and love you’ve all shown for him. He’s a cheeky little podge of a dog that means well, it’s clear he had neglect and lack of authority in his old house but he’s such a quick learner and I am sure in time he will truly be man’s best friend. Please welcome Buddy!

 

Sunshine Blogger Award

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Now it’s been some time since I’ve done one of these beautiful posts. I really like them as I think they are a great way of getting to know bloggers and I am always honoured and humbled that I’ve been nominated.

I was nominated by Ashli over on You Me and Benny – which if you don’t follow I highly urge you too. You can expect Movies, Marvel, Witty Banter and Dogs – what more can you ask for.

Also due to great minds thinking alike – Sophie over on The Smurfy Gamers Blog tagged me in this post too – which I had to laugh about because originally this post was going to go out on Friday, but I bumped it for the Hellboy Review and guess who was tagged in my post as a nominee – Yep, that’s right – Sophie. So now I am sat here after mowing the lawn on this sunny Sunday lunch time editing and adding more questions. Whoop.


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So let’s get down to the T’s and C’s:

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging sites.
  • Answer the questions
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your site or your own post.

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The Questions – You, Me and Benny Version

  • If you had a genie and 3 questions what would your questions be?#
    • I’d ask for money to help fulfill my dreams.
    • I’d ask for the truth behind the JFK assassination.
    • I’d ask for the cure to common cold.
  • Are you an only child or do you have siblings?
    • I have one younger sister.
  • What’s your favorite book/book series?
    • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Series – so good.
  • Do you have pets? If so, explain!
    • We have a cat which is lovely, but my god she is a pain in the bum sometimes. I can’t wait to get a dog!
  • What’s your favorite place to go in the Summer?
    • The beer garden, nothing better than lounging about with an ice-cold beer, talking for hours and just living in the moment
  • If you would have dinner with any celebrity – dead or alive – who would it be?
    • My answer to this used to always be Hunter S Thompson, but now days maybe Johnny Depp.
  • What’s your favorite food?
    • Pizza – hands down, every meal,
  • If you would only wear one thing forever what would it be?
    • I have follow-up questions about this question, but let’s say a white shirt and jeans.
  • What’s your all time favorite animal?
    • Monkey
  • Are you a scary movie fan?
    • Scary Movie Fan as in the films? Or the Genre – The films I like the first two, they were genius, then the rest of the series fell apart. The genre – yes, but I don’t think there are many genuinely great Scary Movies anymore.
  • If you could travel anywhere where would it be?
    • The USA. The times I’ve been, I’ve loved it and would love to see more.

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The Questions – The Smurfy Gamers Blog Version

  • What game are you most looking forward to this year?
    • Well hands down this has to be The Last of Us 2.
  • If you could play a game for the first time again, what game would you choose?
    • Well now I just have The Last of Us in my head – I’d love to play that again. Or the Modern Warfare series, like if you put all 3 into one massive game, that story line is deep.
  • If you could be part of a game series, which series would you chose and what role do you see yourself in?
    • I’d love to be a Cowboy in the Red Dead Redemption series – I’d play a Gunslinger called “Preacher” where I exact revenge on the unjustified and rob from the unworthy.
  • If you could visit any in-game world where would you most like to visit?
    • Probably something like Fallout 3 – just to try out the Wasteland life for a bit
  • What is your favourite thing to do in spring?
    • Not to worry about remembering my scarf and gloves
  • Who is your favourite character from any game?
    • John ‘Soap’ MacTavish from the Call of Duty Modern Warfare series. 
  • If you could visit any place in the world where would you go?
    • I’d love to visit Casablanca
  • What was the last film you watched and would you recommend it?
    • Last night I watched Mission Impossible . . . Rouge Nation – well I think it was that one. I think the newer ones are great fun and would recommend them. Just easy-going films.
  • What blog post of your are you most proud of?
  • What is your favourite soundtrack (Game, Film, TV Show)?
    • I go through phases because I love so many. But this minute the best favourite I can think of is . . . Grease!
  • If you were to learn something new (skill, hobby, subject) what would you want to learn?
    • I’d love to be able to do Parkour. Or maybe just be able to play guitar.

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My Questions

  • If you had to pick an actor to play you in a film who would you pick?
  • If you could do anything as a career what would you do?
  • Is Pineapple allowed on Pizza?
  • When was the last time you cried?
  • Would you rather have all your bills wiped for life, or a Million Pounds right now?
  • In the garden do you prefer Decking or Patio?
  • In the nuclear wasteland do you think you’d survive and how long for?
  • It’s been a long day at work, you are chilling on the sofa with no energy and motivation. What is your go to meal?
  • Amazon Echo or Google Home?
  • If you could see ANY band or artist – dead or alive, perform who would it be?
  • If you could have ANY superpower what would it be and why?

Now for the hard part . . .

The Nominations


Thank you for everyone that took the time to have a wee little read about me and keeps coming back for more. You guys are my mews.

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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!

Get Out – Review

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Man, I told you not to go in that house.

[I stumbled across this post – an old review that I wrote about 2017’s masterpiece ‘Get Out’. I have not edited any of text, I have just added the gif’s to break up the text with some visuals.]

Get Out is Jordan Peele’s feature film debut and let’s start by saying what a way to debut. This is a film about Chris a black photographer who is taking the plunge and meeting his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time. Which on a normal day would still be a nervous situation but in this case things just turn scary.

Reflecting social constructs right from the off, this film tackles Racism and Social Class in a brutal hyper real way, but still mirroring real life events and situations.

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The tone of the film is set from the opening sequence. A black man is walking through a suburban neighbourhood when a white sports car pulls up blaring the song “Run Rabbit Run Rabbit” – he tries to ignore it but as the car stalks him he turns to confront the driver and is jumped, knocked out and put in the boot of the car by a masked figure.

Powerful stuff in the opening five minutes and it doesn’t let up there. The whole time I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen next, wondering if it was real or not.

So in true film fashion the white family live in a very white upper middle class neighbourhood – the kind you see hosting dinner parties on the lawn by the lake. Chris turns up and instantly feels worried, like the social norm would predict. Are her parents old-fashioned, will they accept a black boyfriend. But then again in true Hollywood fashion the parents try to be cool – the dad greeting Chris with “My Man” and voicing his opinions on how much he liked Obama as President. Again these can be seen as normal things that happen. We’ve all said something like that before to try to relate or show we accept and understand.

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Then we introduce hypnotism – the mother is a private therapist who obviously has her own office in the house. To begin with it’s just excused and laughed off. She tries to offer to help Chris quit smoking with her method, but he polity denies the offer. She finally gets a chance to do it after cornering him one night and subtlety doing it to him. From then on, Chris is put into a struggle. To work out if that was real, if everything is what it should be and then paranoia sets it and he starts to question and look at everything differently.

That is where I am going to stop with the plot. All I will say is things get dark, things get tense and things get violent. Keep an eye out for the Deer Head as well. Good luck.

Peele does something really clever and manages to get a dose of humour into this film in the form of Chris’ best friend Rod played by Lil Rel Howery. He is the typical black comic relief that helps bring the film back towards the realms of reality. It’s done almost like Rod is watching this film following Chris the character rather than Chris his friend. Until the end where the worlds collide and like I said makes things even more realistic.

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I am not sure how Jordan Peele did it and I really hope he doesn’t go the same was as M Night Shyamalan – starting on a high and slowly burning out but everything Peele put into this film works, the acting from all the cast is brilliant. Questionable, strange and nervous. Everyone portrays what they need to in such a convincing way that at the end you are with Chris, scarred and afraid of everything going on. The score and music choices are equalling as tense and frightening. Bringing you closer to the edge of your seat with every key change and obviously the theme – such a hot topic and social taboo to talk about is taken and ran with in a brutal honest display of real life culture and social constructs.

Overall I left the cinema very happy and proud of the film. Which I found I hadn’t really done in a while. It was brilliant, so good, I genuinely can’t stop thinking or talking about this film. There is a few jumps that you just don’t see coming, a bit of blood, gore and just an overall spine tingling feeling of nerves.

GET OUT! GO AND SEE THIS FILM.

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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.