Saturday, January 31, 2015

Profiling and pigeon holing....

Its something we are all guilty of to an extent, just part of human nature, and  a sub concious part of our predator vs prey defence system. Regardless of if you are trying to make judgements or decision, or its just happening all on its own, your brain is constantly assessing people and things around you. Now, most of those results are very simple. Scanning for danger, threats, or warning signs around us. Its how we cross roads, drive cars, and even just walk down the street. They are quick, sub-concious decisions, made in less than the blink of an eye. Like the decision in a flow diagram, each response triggers an action and so on.

So all perfectly natural up until this point.

However, sometimes we allow our decision making process to become a very concious thing, and that's where it takes a turn, sometimes for the worst. When we profile a situation, say walking past a group outside a shop. The average person listens for raised voices, checking for anger and aggression, looks for body language, very visible arm and hand gestures, lots of jumping around, or calm... We make that decision very quickly and act accordingly. Some people however allow another influence in to their decision making process. Stereotypes and pigeon holing.

For these people, the answers to the first questions were all safe, calm, relaxed, no shouting... But hang on, what's their ethnic origin.. Once we know that then surely the decision rests on that and that alone. Are they from a nation stereotyped for thefts, violence, harassment? Well then clearly the situation is dangerous. Turn back before all hope is lost!

Statistics bare some of the blame for this, as well as negative reporting from all aspects of mainstream and social media. Each group claiming the other is to blame, each group stereotyped for certain behaviours.  Just like all Chelsea and Millwall fans are mindless violent thugs, all Romanians are deemed thieves, or Nigerians are scammers. Its this kind of pigeon holing of groups in society, both official and public that cause most of today's problems. This isn't to say of course that there is NO truth in the statistics, of course there is. But how it is reported, and how it is interpreted by society is what really makes the difference.

If a headline read "20 black men detained in street brawl" certain groups in society would role their eyes and draw conclusions about how violent they are, and it must be a gang. If the sub headline then read. "100 armed white men descended on a Jamaican club this evening, starting a racially motivated attack. Police detained the victims in a police carrier for their safety" then some clarity would appear. However the choice of headline is what gets the ball rolling on how we perceive a story, and from that point on, we have already drawn a preliminary conclusion to the matter. Its all about getting the whole story, and not relying on a single line or statement to make our decisions on.

Sadly this darker side of profiling is present in all walks of society. Hatred and anger towards the armed forces, politicians, and the police. Obviously I am going to focus on the police here.

Now, starting with me experience of the police, something I can describe accurately and openly.
In trouble with the police in 1990 for the first time in my life, having encountered them on many occasions as a kid, just from being a little scallywag. In 1990 I did something wrong, and was dealt with for it. I was dealt with quite firmly, but maintained my respect for the police officers I was in communication with. Needless to say it was a different force back then. Mainly because people respected them. And not because they behaved differently as such, not because they were nicer people and fairer or anything. But because encountering the police in an official capacity meant you were busted, and there were no political correctness groups, hate groups, human rights groups or other 'its not fair' lobbyists telling them what you deserved.

One thing that has become SO very apparent over recent years is grading. And by that I mean of offences. Why is it every time someone is stopped or arrested for something, the line "do some real work, go catch some "insert here whatever crime the arrestee considers worse than theirs".Its a funny old world, where the criminal of whatever degree now has a say in what's right and wrong. Well if their feelings on right and wrong are so strong now... What happened during the offence?

In later years of my life I have experienced the changes in how the force works. From the difference in stance needed when making a simple traffic stop, to the paper mountain that now consumes the police. Most of which is necessary because of the onslaught of do gooders and PC activists who think they know best.
Example. Years ago I was stopped in Epsom, late at night, driving a modified car. Friendly stop, and soon became apparent that the motive for the stop was to ask questions about the car, as one of the officers was about to buy one. After a long chat, the officer in question apologised and said he was going to have to issue me a producer as there was a record of the stop, so all the boxes needed ticking. As he wrote it he continued to apologise, and we joked about how things had changed and they were not even able to stop me for a chat without paperwork.

It fair to say that not all encounters are as smooth, and I recall another stop, in the same car in Victoria. Again late at night, a car on blues wove its way through the one way system, came in behind me, flashed once, I indicated and slowed looking for a safe place to stop. This was followed by frantic headlight flashing, so I stopped immediately, sadly on zig-zags. The officer raced from the car, greeted me as I exited my car, and opened with "well that's a stupid place to stop". I responded by questioning his decision to become over excited with his headlights at this exact point, and offered to move the car a little further to a safer location and was told "don't bother, you are stopped now!"
So, its not all positive I have to say.

So lets go back to the beginning, profiling, snap decisions, and our reactions.
Many believe that officers of all nationalities and races have issues with the black community, and have no tolerance towards them. Fairness goes out of the window, and all are met with aggression and harsh treatment.
Having worked on housing estates for many years in an official capacity, I have seen many such encounters start, around the Notting Hill area, it was not uncommon for the police to sweep into an estate in the evening and do stop and searches. ANY group not making a fuss was dealt with quickly, as informally as possible, and with a happy ending (unless of course anything was found). However other groups who displayed frustration or anger, were indeed met with hostility and a very different approach. From the EXACT same group of officers who had just stopped the last group.

It goes back to pigeon holes and profiling. Groups of society learn from others, from past generations, we are taught what each group is, and somehow allow ourselves to be drawn into the mind of the hive. Reacting towards our first encounter with a group, with the lessons we were taught about them. If you grow up in a group or area with bad experiences, or just bad feeling towards another, it is going to be hard to shake those teachings. When the real encounter is made, we revert to instinct and behave accordingly.

When groups of people with historic bad experiences meet, a chain reaction begins. And as it continues, it snowballs, creating more memories and generating more bad blood. Somewhere along the line someone , somehow needs to stop the perpetuation of this. But the end is nowhere in sight.

So, to add to our pigeon holing exercise, all police are mindless thugs! A statement some would happily endorse. The media happily gloats at the continuation of bad feeling between social groups and the police, but like the headline, only tells you the information which will insight bad feeling, perpetuate the story, and give them a great story.

For the record I do NOT believe, nor endorse the above statements of pigeon holes. I feel that each member of society is an individual and starts out deserving respect and consideration of others. I do however believe also that our actions have consequences. Sometimes severe ones, and ones some find unfair and harsh. In this day and age I consider myself law abiding, and a decent member of society. I don't walk by on the other side, nor turn a blind eye. I expect all encounters with the police to be civil, unless I have behaved otherwise.
My final example, Sydenham High Street a few months back. Following a large brawl which I was not aware of at the time, the high street was shut. This had followed a big road traffic accident. Being nosey I made my way up the road to see, on crossing the road I was beeped by a bus who had decided to move off. Angered by his sudden action, and shocked due to being unable to move fast at the time due to ill health, I shouted at the driver. He stopped a few yards later and I made my way to the door to express my anger and frustration. I was greeted very quickly by two pumped up officers, telling me to back up, leave it, and giving me a good talking to. Now further angered and frustrated, I bowed my way from the situation and took to Twitter with some strong words.
Later than night I became aware of the mass brawl earlier, and realised that my actions followed those of the others, and in behaving in the same unruly manner, I had provoked, what I considered at the time, an over board reaction. Realising I was thoroughly in the wrong to have given the officers a hard time, I wrote a formal apology to Lewisham Police. Had I NOT toned down my anger at the time of the incident, I would have expected to have been strong armed to the ground, cuffed and led away. Thankfully having some respect for the officers, and indeed having been greeted in such a high energy manner, the situation calmed very quickly.

Sometimes the strong armed approach is the right approach, other times the gentle approach works better. What you have to consider here is, its training, drilled into the officers, self preservation kicks in and they will react to what they are confronted with. Batoning an 11 year old shoplifter would be excessive. But then believing you have a right to punch, kick, and bite an officer while they try and cuff you, is also very wrong.

Not all officers get it right, a tiny minority allow society to form negative opinions about them. The same way as the minorities in all walks of society create bad statistics and bad feelings about the majority of their groups. Two wrongs don't make a right, but put two groups together which are immediately defensive, and its a recipe for disaster, over and over again.
Then hype these encounters enough, make it seem like its the right thing, and society will believe you and the hatred and anger perpetuates.

This blog was written based on a sweeping statement made by someone, in this case towards and about the police. Using language which would be deemed offensive and inappropriate towards ANY minority group in society. Written media is a powerful and dangerous force. Just as this blog can be too. The written word is only as good as the choices the word-smith makes, and indeed the perception and interpretation of the reader. With no form of immediate discussion, its as simple as the black and white its written in.

There is no one group in society, official or public responsible for the world we live in, we have all played a part somewhere. Anyone who thinks otherwise, I simply disagree.

I could go on forever with this entry, but will end with the following.

Never judge a book by its cover. Colour , nationality, and background tell you nothing about what is inside. Take a second look, take a moment to think rationally, and give EVERYONE an equal chance. Everyone deserves one.

In a minute...

We have all done it.  Woken on a lazy day,  routine slightly broken but one or two pressing things to do. As the morning wears on,  the number of times you think about it multiplies,  but the motivation to actually get up and do it wains.
For me it's rainy mornings. The usual routine is up and straight out with the dogs,  get an hour of life under my belt before coming home and getting on with what's left.  Training is next, (after feeding the dogs of course),  and once I have got my sweat on and worn myself out a bit,  the chores around the house take next place.

Of course today being Saturday and raining  meant no rush to get up,  and even less to get going as the dogs don't usually go out in the rain. By 10am my morning is almost usually complete but today I was not even out of bed. In my defence a long day of walking yesterday meant my achillies were long over due a break,  so they got one.  Finally at about 10.30am I finally trained,  and I'm glad I did. It's out of the way now,  and no training tomorrow means just today's PM to do now. Then a new week means new routine.

Hopefully it will dry up a bit outside and I can get out with the dogs a bit later,  to make up for slacking. And of course keep my week average of steps up.

Til then though,  it's sin day today,  so treats are in store.  Slight weight loss again today,  couldn't resist checking again after yesterday.

Right better get on,  I have absolutely nothing to do today,  but open to invites lol

Have a good weekend all.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Its Friday and I'm bummed!

Almost at the end of week 4 of training now, and like every Friday its weigh in day for me. Not a normal morning for me, slightly ahead of schedule in all aspects of the day, but weigh in done all the same. For the first time in the 4 weeks of training my weight has INCREASED!  Now that's not a terrible thing as its only half a pound, back to 247.4, but as far as motivation goes, that really has bummed me out for a bit.

Now, first up some read 247 and think, wow, hey fatty boom boom, and all that. Think what you may, at my most stripped down ever I was a notch under 200, and in fighting fit form I was 220. Reality is 220-230 is a happy place for me. Im hardly a small frame, and with 26-27" thighs, I'm never gonna be my BMI goal weight lol. But thats OK I can live with that just fine.

Truth be told, to get down to 230 in the coming couple of months would be nice, to be 220 and a fair bit leaner by summer would be lovely. So lets see how that works out shall we.

Training wise, in the past 4 weeks I have not missed a single session, however have missed one or two of the dog walks because of heavy rain. This morning I just bit the bullet and went for it, the floors have paid the ultimate price. Covering approx 60 miles a week at the moment with dog walks, so getting the heart working regularly. Home gym sessions I have varied a bit, but am sticking with a few core muscle groups, and seeing nice changes. I would love to be cocky and say the half pound weight gain could be down to that, but I fear I might be getting a little bit ahead of myself there. We shall see.

Diet wise, stripped down, pretty balanced without getting too fussy about it. Fruit and veg in abundance, complimented by noodles and rice, and a healthy heap of protein from chicken and fish. No cheats, unless you count breakfast cereal in the morning. Tomorrow however IS cheat day, and I will be celebrating big with some chips and maybe some chocolate! Wooooo !

Right, fresh in from the dog walks, changed and ready to go, I just wrote this to cheer myself up a bit about the gain before getting stuck into the morning session... So here I go. 

Happy Friday all!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Week 4 in the big boys house

Well, I am into week 4 of the new training regime now, and have to say 'I'm Loving it'. That's not to say that I'm spending every day in McDonalds, unlike some people I could mention. *tut tut*

There is something satisfying about being in control of your own destiny, something empowering, and a strange sense of motivation. Seeing as you set the plan for yourself, it would be wrong to then whimp out on following through with it. From the adjusted food intake, to the steadily increasing exercise regime. Being in control is something I love.

From Day 1 of this new self inflicted program I have tried to stay on track to my actual goals. The goals being fitness, firmness, and health. I'm trying to not get sucked in by the whole thing, and become the usual runaway train with weight. Pushing harder and harder til I cause myself an injury. That's always been my problem, and probably always will be.

Once the bug bites, I commit, fully, sometimes a little too fully. Concentrating on certain body parts, and neglecting others. Chest, biceps and triceps get all the attention usually, with stomach, legs, and back all being left out. But this time is different, this time I am trying routines to cover all the bases, and get an over all pump on a daily basis.

Each week for the past few weeks, I have logged my activities and times. Keeping a record of what is pushing it too far, and what could be worked harder. Needless to say, the above primary groups are really taking a beating as you would expect, with the weight increasing quite rapidly. But this time I am also making sure that I don't go easy on the others.

This week, looking back over the past few weeks, and taking into account the notes of where I have struggled, I have mixed my routine up just a little. Following a 6 day a week AM and PM routine until now, complimented by 3 times a day dog walks. For this week I have gone for an alternating PM routine, hitting different muscle groups on alternating days. There is a lot more fine tuning to do, but I had noticed that towards the end of the week I was flailing a little with arms, and neglecting my shoulders almost entirely.

Mornings consist of varied styles push-ups, sit-up again in varied styles, weighted squats with a synergistic movement to keep it interesting (I hate legs), and my old nemesis, dips. All increasing in set count each week. While I say I hate legs, I hardly struggle with strength or definition in them. My thighs and calves are pretty huge for a muscle group that I never train. 27-28" thighs last time I measured, the waist of a petite girl and then some. Not much in the way of excess on them either. Calves around 16-17", again no excess. I know I should still train them, but its such a boring routine for me, and I try hard not to tweak my ageing knees too, as that would end everything.
Remembering of course achillies tendonapathy still messes with me too, the 8-10 miles a day I walk with the dogs leaves my legs close to the edge.

So at this point, a day into Week 4 I can honestly say I'm pumped. Feeling great about the plan, feeling great from the effects of it. Loving my new food intake, and starting slowly to see the changes occurring. I forgot how rewarding the feeling of the post training pump was. Feeling all swollen and with tense muscles, showing a little definition, and putting on a t-shirt which stretches over all the bulging bits. The bits that bulge for the right reason, not the other bits.

I am already planning Week 5, excited mix it up a bit, and see where I can find myself by Week 10. However keen not to push myself too much. With the two workouts a day giving a nice split in the day, and making sure there are no excuses to say 'I don't have time today'. 30-40 mins, twice a day, and I am in my zone. So while I want to push a little harder, I want to make sure the time frames don't shift too much. I'm sure I will work it out somehow.

Now to add some spice and interest into it, to keep the drive alive.

Motivated by outside parties, I guess I rely on that a little when trying to dig that little bit deeper, strangely driven to impress others who I don't even see. How the hell does that work? I don't know, but it does, so its all good. And of course Spotify, my access to thousands of tracks which inspire and drive my mind when stamina is low.

So that's me, all checked in, and happy with how things are.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Song to match moments

I'm sure everyone has a song, or 'their jam' that invokes strong emotional feeling, for others there is a whole catalogue of music which fits almost their whole life story. The song that was playing the first time you met, the first dance, or indeed a song which sums up a persons whole existence in one go.
There is music which I am very passionate about, and certain pieces can really touch my soul and take me to a place only I seem to know. Ludovico Einaudi wrote one such piece. Shortly after hearing it, and realising its power to me, it appeared in an advert, which ever so slightly diluted its power. But it still stays with me today as a truly passionate piece.

For others, me included in this, the moment is the important part. The song can be the cheesiest song ever, but the memory it relates to totally trumps the poor quality of the song, and it too becomes a powerful mental stimulant for people.

Then there are the other ones. Easy to understand why they provoke emotions, its the lyrics. From time to time, the release of a track, and the arrival of a moment or person in your life go hand in hand. Hard to comprehend how it happens, the moment is so profound that you ignore the fact the track was playing for 3 weeks before it happened, and suddenly it was fate which brought the two moments in sync with each other.

Powerful lyrics can make you feel empowered. The great feeling to know someone wrote a song relating to your exact situation, and somehow it seals the deal that this is for real. Doesn't have to be love, or sex. Can simply be a track describing freedom, a clean start or a fight against oppression. But somehow the connection is made, and the feeling gets stronger and stronger.

For me, I get almost obsessed with a track, and can listen to it over and over and over. My track of the moment out of interest is David Guetta, Dangerous. Without too much depth to the lyrics, but the message of not understanding a situation, yet plunging into it, is really quite profound and fitting. For me as a whole really, as its something I do far too easily, and far too often.

There are a few other tracks which strike a chord with me recently too, but without a doubt this one is THE one of the moment. I wouldn't go as far as to say its particularly emotional for me. More motivational and ironic. But I like it all the same. Listening to it somehow gives me energy, and usually I'm smiling listening to it.
Another favourite of mine is Butterfly by Crazy Town. Maybe a little more of a deep track for me, but for its style of music, a well written and profound song all the same. Many messages within it, some of which I relate to well.

I have to say that it has taken me tears to realise how powerful music is to me, but now I know, when I look back over younger years, the penny drops and I realise how much I have used music to strengthen or break moods, as well as reflect my feelings at a particular time.

So how about you.... What are your songs?

Sunday, January 25, 2015


OK I have gone on about this too many times in my life, but from time to time I need to revisit the thought to make sense of things, and even re-evaluate the validity of the whole belief, and tonight is one of those times. When you find yourself laying on the floor of a dark room, on the rug, with headphones on, playing a very select playlist, its time to see what the hell is going on in your head.

So, butterflies. Many years ago I referred to the butterfly effect, but in my own way. Not the generic well known way. Here are my thoughts on it. And so profound was the belief in the feeling, I even had it tattooed. One of my first pieces, and one I still hold dear to this day.

From time to time in life you have a moment, a point in time where things change. For a short spell of time everything else takes second place, thoughts go on hold, and life stops. For that moment, for however long it is, the most important thing of the moment is right there. Times like this you need to stop, take stock, and appreciate it. Like a butterfly in a garden, fluttering from plant to plant. Once in a while it settles for a rest. As you sit in the garden and watch this natural beauty dancing around, if you sit still enough, it will settle on you.
As it touches your skin, you freeze. Motionless you look on and appreciate how delicate it is, how fragile this and the rest of life is, and how quickly it can pass. No matter how long the event really lasts, the second it is over it feels like it was just the blink of an eye. Always to be remembered, a moment in your life that truly matters.

However this precious moment can be ruined in a heartbeat by the wrong action. The most simple of wrong moves can upset the balance, and take the whole moment away. Some who experience these moments try and capture them forever, but this is just a false hope. Touch a butterfly, try and capture it, or hold on longer that time allows and the balance it ruined. The life drains from the butterfly, and what was there for a second will never return.

The only way to really embrace a butterfly moment is to just let it happen. Hold your breath, look on in wonder, and enjoy what is happening. What will happen will happen, and when its over, let it go. Hold dear the moments that you had, and don't try to make it something it is not.

Life seems to throw quite a few of those at me, or at least my mind interprets it that way. I am yet to squash one, but struggle desperately to try and read the pattern and interpretations of them. Long after the butterfly has flown, the moment finally makes sense and I can get a read on it and appreciate it.

Sometimes things in life are just as they seem, as described, as advertised, as per the label. However to hope that there is more inside, shaking the now empty packet hoping more will fall from it, just a fools game. Blimey how many more metaphors can I use before just saying it like it is.

But back to the butterfly effect.

The simplicity of it is the beauty of it. Spend your whole life rushing around, never paying attention to your surroundings, and you will miss SO much in life. However take life at a slower pace, look around from time to time, soak up what is all around you, and take stock of the beauty that surrounds you each day. From time to time you will notice moments worth treasuring. Like a butterfly landing on your hand. Sit still, look on, and realise how blessed you are to have been touched by a thing of beauty. When it is rested, and has taken from the moment what it needs, it flies away leaving you with something profound, and a moment of time you will never be able to re-live, but will never forget.

That paragraph above is the one I have been sitting here for  20 mins trying to squeeze out of myself, and sums up my thoughts right now.
Now if only I can just sit still long enough and not make the wrong move, all will be well, and I will remember this moment for the rest of my living years.

I love butterfly moments.... But they can really mess with my head.

Thanks for reading, and for a select few, thank you even more for being a butterfly, and touching me profoundly.

Highs and lows

Without a doubt the most powerful drug know to humans it the mind. Yes Obviously the mind is affected by drugs, but the urges, sensations it creates all on its own are so damn powerful. Taking a perfectly good day into the pits, or a terrible day into the skies in a flash.
Some might say the heart plays a part in that, and maybe in a metaphorical way it can, in the same way we suffer heartbreak etc. But the truth is it is our thoughts and feelings which truly control our mood and state of mind.

Many years ago, before a night out, feeling down, a friend took a whole cocktail of drugs which would have most completely off their face, and high into the heavens. But seemingly over-riding the effects of the drugs, his mind kept him low as can be. Thought process and ability to function however was as affected as you would expect. Nothing but his own thought process was going to free him from this spiral.

As anyone who read the last few blogs will know, I have been on a bit of a whirlwind tour of my mind recently, dropping to basement level a few days ago, without warning, or indication that anything was wrong, my mind just bombed. Being quite familiar with lows like this, I prepared for the worst, and got myself ready for a long low period. Yet for some reason (part of which I understand) I bounced back, stronger and harder than I ever recall. By the next morning I was back to my old self +10% more. Strange for me.

For a long time now it has been clear to me that I am influenced by those around me, affected by their moods and state of mind. Am I a mood leech or something, or do I just get affected by trying to make others feel better at my own expense. Draining myself of mental energy for the sake of others? Strange, but I really don't know.

I had lunch with a good friend yesterday, speaking of lots of subjects including one very prominent at the moment to me. Speaking about it, I made perfect sense of the two conflicting sides of me which battle it out, trying to justify my behaviour towards certain others, and make sure that things are not totally one sided. But the truth is, its natural in today's life to give and not take, or vice versa. Sadly my tiny mind struggles with this concept at times, and for that, I pay the price.

Sometimes I wonder if I carry out apparently selfless acts for moral gratitude, from no other than myself. Like an arsonist who likes to watch their fire burn, gloat in the control of the situation and feed from its energy, I wonder if I am the same. Do I get some form of satisfaction from 'helping' others, or am I just getting close gloat on their misfortunes. Only to be drawn in, and feeling obligated to help. The two sides of my mind once again in conflict.

As ever, songs play a huge part in driving my moods, and there are certainly a few in my playlists recently provoking emotions for sure. But how.... Well simple.. My mind. Like I say, the most powerful drug known to humans. Taking the words of others used as lyrics for a song. Translating them in a way where they fit to my state of mind, thoughts or emotions, and turning them into powerful musical messages to myself. Stirring my emotions, and putting my mind into places of happiness and sadness. Sometimes in just minutes.
The drive to work can be torture, the wrong song at the wrong time and its all over for me, the day ruined in a flash. Or on the flip side the day is made in a second.

I have but a few influences on my mind recently, but powerful ones none the less. Conflicting, complex and confusing as hell, but the main thing is, im on a high, and I intend on staying here.

At times like this, my blog plays a key role, so my apologies for any weird ramblings like this that might appear over the coming days or weeks. But just know that getting it off my chest really halps with things, just like it did the other day. That simple Boom! entry changed a lot for me. So if you have things on your mind, trying to figure them out, get them onto paper or a screen. Better still if you can find anyone to listen, talk. Verbalising things can sometimes make so much sense. At times as I am saying something, I am understanding it at the same time.

The mind eh!

PS, I bought a new 'REAL' keyboard as I have a lot of writing planned over the coming weeks, so I am a happy man right now, loving typing once again.

Have a great day, and don't let that mind of yours mess about with you.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Normal ?

Simple question I was asked the other day, and one that has always sat well with me. Not normal, a phrase I often use to describe myself, and one which usually goes unchallenged. Except for yesterday of course. So I was told to put some thought to my statement, and here it is.

Normality to most is in fact routine. Not a set of values we use to assess others, but a set of rules which we follow in our day to day life. Habits, behaviours, and moral beliefs. For example, if you see two people kissing, do you look away a little embarrassed by being a witness to their actions, or do you look on and think 'how sweet'? Already we have a baseline for what I mean. A simple act of care and affection like a kiss can divide the masses, and provoke us to determine if its right or wrong, normal or not normal.

Others have a slightly more open minded to what normal is, and while accepting the everyday decisions and actions of individuals around them, tolerating difference in opinions of what is OK to do on a day to day basis. Choosing only to judge normal and not normal on much more powerful and thought provoking matters. Violence, sex offences, and 'extreme' views on religion and power.

So why do I use the phrase 'not normal' so freely? Well, over the years, as the blog no doubt shows, I have slowly but surely got to know myself, and my mind quite well. Seeming to be a little different to most people I know, in my opinion at least. Yes we are all pieces in the giant game of chess that life is. But what piece we believe ourselves to be determines who we are. For me, a mere pawn is where I see myself. The first to feel the force of the opposition, tiny in comparison to other pieces, and sometimes a little powerless. But when it comes to the crunch, this little pawn can be mighty and topple even the greatest.

OK, quite a strange analogy I know, and maybe not my best to date, but its a start.

The big thing for me is my interest in others. Constantly seeking to help somehow, involved on a much deeper level than most care to be in other peoples lives. An over-thinker, taking far too much time to try and understand something or someone, while sometimes missing the entire point. A knowledge sponge, constantly on the search for something new, something different, a new experience.

So back to the question, what is normal? Well in short, every person around you while sharing certain moral values, will have a different of what normal is. Tattoos, another amazing example of how easily we judge and decide if someone is normal or not. Colouring your skin in, with needles and inks, well its not natural, no of course its not. But by today's standards, given its popularity, its pretty normal now.

Ultimately it is all about opinions, beliefs, and values. Once you have your own baselines for those three categories, you are a little closer to being able to give your definition of YOUR normality.

As for if I am really normal or not, well that's for you and you only to decide if I conform. If a complex minded, considerate, over baring, sharp tongued, tattooed man who bares open his soul to the internet is 'normal' to you... Then I take it all back, I am 100% boring and normal.

If my blogs confuse you, tattoos disgust you, or personality irritates you, then I am in a sense happy, to be individual and different in your eyes.  Either way, I don't mind how people see me, judge me, or what they say about me. I am happy with who I am. It took years to perfect this careful balance of considerate arsehole, so I'm not changing, not for anyone.

Friday, January 23, 2015


Have you ever had one of those moments,  be it a penny dropping or a bulldozer smashing through the walls of your mind.  Suddenly something changes or just makes sense,  and boom! It's done.

Just had one of those right this very second.  Like a plane hitting an air pocket and dropping a thousand feet in a few seconds.

A void appears,  consuming you,  taking your thoughts both rational and fictional,  and tearing them into tiny pieces. Uncertainty looms,  confusion arrives,  and your mind works overtime to try and regain control.

Mental and emotional free fall sets in,  and you are along for the ride.  Simple thoughts now become complex and confusing,  the most mundane task seems like a chore.  How could this all happen so fast?

Sometimes references in life can trigger you to draw parallels to your own business,  be they fictional,  or factual. First hand or a tale told by another,  they are all relevant when your mind makes that connection. 

Helpless,  the fall is over,  you have survived it,  but are lost,  in  a strange place,  no idea where you are,  where to go to seek out the normality you crave so badly now. Searching  the deepest corners of your mind,  trying to find the reference you need to make sense of it all,  and to get back to your crazy life you call reality.

Strength,  lacking in it,  you dig deep,  a smile,  a thought,  just something to give you the strength you need right now,  right this second to take control again,  become the master of your own destiny once more,  and shake free from  the reigns which have guided you to this place.

Rise....  From the ground,  collecting yourself,  gathering your thoughts,  drawing up your battle plan to once again be that person.

Welcome to the inner workings of my mind.  Another epic mistake,  a misunderstanding or simply over reaching? The question need not be answered,  but the lesson must be learned.

Night night.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Playing the game.

We all do it right, because life is in reality just one big game. Goals, plans, and at the end of it all, winners and losers. How well you play each period of the game will of course determine if you have any silverware in the cabinet at the end of it all.

In all walks of life, regardless of which aspect, there is always something to gain. Some see the gains and rewards as trivial, others thrive to be the one coming out on top. But the truth is, those who want to win every time are in fact the biggest losers of the games.

Without the lows, there are no highs.  Without the loses, the pleasure of victory dwindles into normality, and what was once something to feel good about just feels like an ordinary day. And that is where it gets a little out of control. Like someone addicted to a high, each high has to be higher to maintain the feel good factor. Some people in life take the same approach to the game of life. As they tire of the normality of their victories over others, getting one over on people, or always being the one getting the cream, they up their game.

Unfortunately, all this means is, the losers they usually leave in their wake. Or should I say, those who were not victorious this time around, no on is a loser really, I digress..... Those not coming out on top each time just get trampled on more and more for the stampede of the selfish and glory grabbing, trying to reach higher and higher.

My personal take on all this is simple I guess (but I bet this turns long winded all the same!)
Victories are over rated. Thriving to achieve something which only makes you feel good is not only selfish, but also just a little bit lonely. Succeeding as a team, a group, a unit, makes any victory far greater. Everyone remembers it, everyone knows what the other did, and what was achieved. Rather than a quiet little hollow victory, with you woop wooping to yourself in your selfish little mind.
While I love a victory of any kind, given the hands I have been dealt in life over the years, I am happy for getting to the end of a day and waking the next morning.

My aim day to day in general is simple, live a full day, smile, make others smile, and end the day feeling ok about the day now behind me. If something amazing happens, fantastic. If not, hey ho, such is life, maybe tomorrow eh.

To all those with so many goals, wants and desires, who are willing to sacrifice the happiness of others around you. Take a long hard look at yourself, and ask yourself..... Is an entry in the hall of fame under "Biggest Wanker" really the legacy you thrive for? Or would you prefer to be the simple existence, but the one everyone cares about, respects, and misses whenever you are not there.

For me, I think quite selfishly I might actually achieve both. Two persona's calls for different goals in life, and im sure I already have the first of the two acolades. Now my goal is simple, be the real me, and be the latter of the two to the majority of people in my life.

Remember now... Dream BIG, tread carefully. You never know when you might need the help of those you consider below you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Feeling gooooooooood!

Its not often that I can say this, but at this moment in time I actually feel really good. Mentally and physically. Usually when my mind is good my body is goofing around or vice versa, but I'm pleased to report that with one small exception, all is well!

So whats changed. I know, it must be that new year thing that happened a couple of weeks ago. The giant reset button in the sky that wipes away all our woes and worries of the year gone by and starts us off with a clean slate..... Errm no!
Got it, new years resolutions, they are the key to success in life. Say something daft while drunk and on your knees on NYE and of course the stars align and life becomes super sweet.......Nope!

Its simple really, a lot of my troubles of years gone by are just that, left in years gone by. Of course I miss having mum around, and a small part of me misses the responsibility I finally found in caring for her. Purpose in life is important, and gives you a bit of drive to do at least something on a regular basis. Then there is routine. As boring as they seem, they are key in some peoples lives, and help us stay on track for what we want.  Talking this morning I was asked what I was up to today, and I replied joking that it was the same as previous. But honestly, that's not a bad thing, to me at least.

So that is actually the answer to the above question of what changed. Routine... I found mine again. For me life is like a perpetual motion machine, and as long as the motion and activity remains regular, the machine never stops. In fact sometimes its so in sync that it will pick up momentum and I will soon be flying along. That's where I love being.

When my mind is occupied, busy and challenged, I'm at my best. My thought process goes into overdrive, my creativity increases, and my want to get things done grows exponentially. All of a sudden for example, I have the desire to write, lots and lots. Get a couple of my blogs back up and running, and get back to that happy sharing place that I thrive.
The one thing missing from this equation is a little button covered device which once empowered me to write big long blogs on the spot, in the moment. My Blackberry!

A year ago, 75% of all my blogs came from my Blackberry's whichever I was using that day. The speed at which I can rattle off a stream of thoughts was incredible, and as much as I love Swiftkey on my Android phones, and tablets, I just cant seem to get my flow.
Same with modern keyboards, who decided that all new keyboards should be wafer thin with flat lifeless keys on them. The same way my aunt once commented that she could not use a standard PC keyboard and far preferred her typewriter, I am caught in the same bind, but a generation later. Flat keyboards are indeed sexy to look at, and for general use are fine. But for really hammering out a long blog, I find them useless. Each to their own of course, and I'm sure similar comparisons exist throughout the world of input options.

Anyway, I digress, this is about me me meeeeeeee, not keyboard and devices of days gone by. Although I should point out that I am currently using a REAL keyboard, a good old fashioned noisy DELL standard keyboard. Hardcore Old School !!

So back to me... The other part of the feel good factor is physical. Getting the get up and go to get back in shape again, buff for summer, pleasing on the eye for the ladies and all that lol. Seriously though, for me its more health than vanity, but cannot deny that I love seeing the definition start to show again, and the shirts pull tight in all the right places, for all the right reasons. Sadly with that comes the desire for more tattoos, which obviously isn't a bad thing, but it can get expensive to have good quality ink on large areas **and flex **

Over the last couple of weeks I have returned to normal dog walking routines. Avoiding my must reach #10MilesADay goal, and just doing what I can, when I can. At the moment that's about 6-8 miles a day, and slowly increasing as my body adjusts. Unlike previous times I'm not rushing in and setting myself stupid goals. This time its all about steady lifestyle changes, and getting into the groove. Along with the daily walks, there is adjusted food intake, but still plentiful, and two short training sessions a day. Once in the morning with some simple physical activities likes press ups, dips and sit ups. And a PM routine on the multi gym hitting back, chest, and arms.. Glamour, glamour!

All in all its feeling good, core tightened, body got that lovely ache to it constantly, and both sitting and standing taller and stronger.

Enough about physical training though, that's what the other blog is for, right!

I guess I just wanted to make this entry for my own sake really. Looking back over years gone by there have been some super low emotional times around this time of year for me, so I'm doing my best to break the loop, and stay on track for my own good. Early every year has historically been bad with the whole Xmas and Birthday dramas, sadness about my daughter, and in more recent years now with Feb being my aunt and mums birthdays, and with my aunt actually passing on my mums birthday, its still a bit of a weird time for me. But, that said, no sadness, just happiness and celebration these days, even managing to get a little bit excited about my own birthday, only took a few decades to care about it haha.

So here's to positivity, being who you are, showing your true colours, and being that little bit selfish and self centred. After all, if you are not firing on all cylinders, what use are you to anyone else, right?

Thank you to little Miss Sweetie Drawers for the inspiration for this entry lol.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Do you know what I mean?

How many times have you ended a sentence with that line. Be it a rant, an explanation, or just a simple on line statement. It comes out so easy, looking for confirmation that we are in some way right, or at least being clear about what we are trying to convey.

But the truth is, a lot of the time we have just wasted our breath, or at the very least were not understood at all. "You know what I mean" has become the new "How are you?". An open and usually empty comment made during human contact. No harm done there eh?

Well, that depends really, on what we hoped to achieve from the exchange. If its a simple moan, who cares, you will have forgotten about it in no time at all. You probably owe the poor soul who listened to you a hug or something for enduring you.
On the other hand, from time to time we all actually reach out, in hope of being understood, word for word, thought for thought. Sometimes its important to us that someone really does know what we mean. For sanity sake, our subconsciousness hunts for those physical and verbal cues which give confirmation we have made contact.

Whether you know it or not, we all seek some kind of connection. Not the general friendships and relationships that we thrive, but the deeper kind of connection. Not all sloppy and messy, but the sort that keeps us sane. It can be with anyone, a complete stranger, or someone you have known for years, and trust implicitly. Either way, whoever the person is, you need to be able to just unload on them. Let it all out, take a deep breath and say everything. Not be interrupted in your flow. And at the end of it, KNOW that if you were to say "you know what I mean", their response will be unfaltering when they say,"yes, I really do".

The problem with this of course is self esteem and pride. Because to be able to just let loose with emotions and thoughts, first you have to drop your guard and let that person close enough to hear as your mind whispers is deepest thoughts to you. In today's society we are all suckers for reputation, and think that its what people think about us that counts. Well, that's kinda true, but at the end of the day, anyone close enough to truly matter can see right through it all. What really matters is who we actually are. How we interact with others, and how true to our inner feelings our outer persona really is.

Year on year, famous, rich, happy people shock us. Dying from a cry for help suicide, coming out with shocking revelations about their private lives or childhoods. People who for the cameras look fine and dandy, but when it comes to it are miserable as sin. Fame and fortune, global stardom does not equate to a happy life. Quite the opposite in fact in some cases. Happiness is found within a circle of trust. Not quite like a Meet the Parents kinda way, but being able to allow a friend to comb through the memories in the back of our mind. To make sense of the things that bother us after many years, and most of all, not judge us.

Do you have a muse? A confidant? We all need one at some point in our lives. For me I would say I have had a few over the years. I guess in a way I'm blessed to communicate in such a way, that people understand what I am trying to get at. Also being able to speak with the confidence that whatever I am saying, I am not ashamed or embarrassed by it, and certainly don't regret it. For others, I know this is not so easy. Having been that person for many over the years, I never grow tired of spending time with someone until the doors are wide open and words are flowing freely.

Whatever our personality, however we cope with emotions and feelings, from time to time we all spill over and need to make sure that the sensitive overspill (not sure that's a very nice mental picture) ends up somewhere safe.

I know I do, and I look forwards to my next session, whenever that is, of speaking freely, and having a good old clean out.

Thanks for reading.

To write, or not to write, that is the question.

As some of you may recall, a few years back I lost my mum to cancer after a long battle. In the wake of that, I started writing another blog called The Diaries of a Cancer Carer. The aim of this blog was mixed. Self help for myself, as an outlet of all the emotions and experiences , but also some kind of reference to others going through the same.

A short while into the writing, I kind of lost my way for a bit, so the writing ground to a halt. But recently I have been inspired to maybe give it another shot.
I did buy a nice shiny new PC  while back so I could carry on writing another old project, but I don't seem to have found my way back to it yet. Who knows, maybe this is what I need.

One thing I DO need is a proper keyboard. The one on the Dell, this one on my Chromebook, and the one on the laptop just are not up to the job of a proper keyboard pounding session.

SO...... Shall I knuckle down and get back on with it?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Steven Emerson...WTF !

First off, Fox News, where the hell did you find this idiot? And secondly, why the hell would you allow a man who clearly makes stupid uneducated statements a TV platform to do it from?

Shamefully I have to share his idiotic comments to make this make sense to anyone who has not seen it.

I have only seen just a short clip of the idiot on YouTube, and have to say I am shocked. In an open and free world, where travel and news between our countries is free flowing, where in the hell does a grown man get information like this from. And wherever it is, doesn't it even cross his tiny empty mind to double check it?

To go on television in front of however many viewers you had for the show, then to be seen by the growing masses as the #FoxNewsFacts hashtag begins to trend, and make statements suggesting Birmingham is 'Muslim ONLY' and that London somehow has some form of policing purely based on a single religion is offensive.

As someone from the UK, a country who apparently has a 'special relationship' with the USA, I am offended by this mans comments. The reason for my anger is a simple one, which is probably a good thing as you seem quite simple Mr Emerson.

While you parade yourself as some kind of expert, there are gullible people out there who will actually believe you. While to the educated among us scoff at your stupidity and ignorance, sadly there is a minority out there who will believe the UK is a segregated and hateful country. Somehow intolerant of the Muslim faith, and one which divides itself city by city.

Your ignorance feeds the anger which in turn causes the violence and hatred we see on a growing basis now. The media seems to thrive on spreading only the negative stories about such events, and brings religion, especially Islam, into every negative story it can. Then when the violence subsides for a while, the media switches to reporting on how religion and hatred for Muslims is causing unsettled societies.

So putting such a stupid man on screen, spouting such utter rubbish, just goes to show the true source of the hatred in society. No SOCIAL media..... NEWS media.. Drip feeding people daily on stories of fear and anger. Building walls, not bridges between the different races and religions in society. Black, unemployed, Muslim, broken home..... Where are the positive stories?

I don't need to say much more, the world of social media looks on with shock, shame and disappointment at both Fox News, and their supposed 'expert'. I have heard more believable stories from a naughty five year old trying to explain who broke the vase. Stop day dreaming, stop making stuff up and tell the truth.

In the light of recent events, and in the knowledge that this is far from over, I beg you news channels... Please please please stop insighting hatred  among people. Build bridges not walls, and stop thriving from the violence and suffering the misleading stories generate.

Lots of love...

Angry Londo