MY WINTER WARMERS 4 items of clothing for keeping warm this winter

Guys we all need to keep warm, and for me I will do anything to do that. Damn when I was a builder I even wore women’s tights, really thick ones and I worked with a bunch of guys that did the same. There is no shame in it you got to do what you can, two guys walking down the road one is wearing a woman’s scarf the other is freezing his KAJOOLIES off. Which one is the stupid one? I know which one I would opt for.

SO….this is what I use to keep warm when I’m out and about either walking the dog or walking to shops. I was in the building trade for 24 years so I have had some practice in trying to keep warm and, I have built up a massive wardrobe of warm clothing. This is what I use most of the time.

 

 

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my treasure trove of warmth
  1. Now this is warm, really warm and I bought this the other day from CLAIRE’S ACCESSORIES. Yes it is a shop that is aimed at women and young girls BUT WHO CARES! It’s a snood thingy I guess you can call it, it is a fur-lined tube and it cost me £5. £5 for keeping me warm when I walk the dog and walk to the shop, in my view who cares if its sky blue pink. This one happens to be ‘male’ colours,  guys don’t be silly GET IT ON AND GET WARM.
  2. Hats I love hats and I love warm ones specifically bobble hats, this is just a small selection and yes they all get worn. I am even wearing one now, I do tend to wear them around the house ( I know crazy)  its like a cuddle for the head. And believe it or not it does actually help me relax.
  3. These are a must guys go and invest and spend you HAVE TO have these. They are WATERPROOF gloves and they are the warmest ones I have ever had. I bought these quite a few years ago from decathlon I can’t actually find this design, maybe because they were bought some years ago but they still have a great selection. Waterproof gear can not be recommended enough.
  4. And then we come to my most treasured possessions my WATERPROOF SOCKS, yes waterproof socks. These are a must and they DO work I have had my feet dipped in water and my feet were bone dry. Coupled with a pair of waterproof shoes and there is nothing that will get through. But, they are warm I have had the heatkeepers brand before but these are warmer. There is a company called SEALSKINZ that do these (mine are not these ones) which I had a pair from them some years ago and I lost them. I was gutted! The ones I have now are from Aldi and they are still bang on. Every now and again Aldi will do outdoor gear from time to time but you keep your eyes open.
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Application of the fur lined tube scarf

I hate being cold really hate it, so how do you keep warm? Guys what do you use to keep warm? ideas that are shared are good ideas. Share your ideas here and comment below, Let me know.

 

Tony Martin brainfood

 

 

 

 

Previous Blog post:    Which coffee chain is your favourite?

 

 

 

 

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STARBUCKS Vs COSTA: Who wins you decide.

What is there to say about STARBUCKS? What is there to say about Costa? Well, quite a lot I reckon and I like one of them SO much. Think now and decide which one YOU think I like, don’t cheat don’t scroll to the bottom. Read this post decide which one you like and see if we match. So…….here we go:
STARBUCKS (for me) is the pink little bunny sitting in the corner, doe eyed waiting for you to notice him. His holding a bouncy ball waiting for you to come and play. This is the coffee shop that is fun, it knows about adult stuff but it still likes sucking on chuppa chups. The coffee is good (really good) but again it is fun they are fun flavours, my favourite being the White chocolate mocha. This takes me back to when I was a kid, not that I touched coffee when I was a kid I would have been bouncing off the walls at that age. It reminds me of the cowboy with the glasses, the pure white innocence of THE MILKY BAR. Not so innocent if you look at the CALORIE COUNT, (just a little tip, ask it to be skinny and add sugar free syrup for a healthier option)  but all coffees from these kind of places are like that, it IS an indulgence it is a treat. Almost every STARBUCKS I have been in it’s hustle and bustle, and sometimes that isn’t a bad thing it wakes you up its vibrant, energetic and welcoming. Started in 1971 they have far exceeded themselves…. TAX, TAX, TAX, I can almost hear people shouting. MP’s expense scandal I shout back holding my placard with obscenities on it. Starbucks as I said is a fun place a place to take gran, you even have a lady grinning excitedly at you from every cup you look at.

And then you have COSTA! Costa is the big boy, wearing a pair of DM’s but with a suit to match. Costa wants to wake you up but he wants to wake you up with a shake, a shout in the ear and a word of motivation to get your ass out of bed. Costa wants to get things done he is the business man in a field full of clowns. The cups are almost regal in presentation no cheeky gimmicks……’your in Costa ya having a coffee and ere is one of our cups to prove it’. Their brand is what it says on the tin or in this case……what it says on the cup. The Costa joints that I have been in are reserved in comparison, no one talks loud it’s peaceful and you can get work done. I actually have a thermal cup from Costa and it goes everywhere with me. My favourite drink? Caramel latte and as the Barista told me the other day the milk has to be bang on 140 degrees, no more no less. My 2nd choice (as with Starbucks) is the CAFE MOCHA a slightly serious coffee, that stares across the table from under its brow mocking you with the sweetness of chocolate ‘ go on, go on I dare you to sprinkle!’
Say what you like about both these place….over priced, over rated just for a coffee. I don’t think so because you see, you’re not just paying for the coffee. Your paying for the ambience your paying for the welcome, the training that the person has put in to making you a ‘damn fine coffee’ (a scene reminiscent of ‘ Twin Peaks). In both places your paying for lounging about (if you can get one) on a big soft sofa whilst you take a break from the rushing around. Go ahead you deserve it and why not, afterwards you feel spoilt and don’t tell me you don’t.
Let’s not get into the whole tax evasion thing we could go on for days but, according to THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER :

Starbucks has made a small profit for the first time in the UK in 17 years with 791 outlets including franchised owned, the pre-tax profit was £1.05m.  Not a figure to be sniffed at and then we come to COSTA once again: Sales at Costa owned by Whitbread rose 17.2% in the first quarter of 2015 with profits estimated as early as April at £1.4bn.
These figures indicate who is the major player in the annihilation of a coffee bean placed in a grinder. Whichever way you look at it and despite the figures personally and almost privately we all have our favourite escape.
Yep you guessed it I FRICKING LOVE COSTA! Give me a Costa now…..give me a Costa at night, morning, now, now and then some more now………I could go on but you get the general idea.
Comment below with what is your favourite chain, and the 1st choice of drink. Give me some ideas and tastes to try. Happy caffine-ating people.

 

Tony Martin

12 Months To Christmas!

I have not posted for a while it has been Christmas after all! It’s the new year and I plan to take blogging and my new YOUTUBE CHANNEL a little bit more serious. With all the chocolates I have eaten I could have opened a sweet shop. We have been on a eating plan for the last 6-7 months and have lost about 3st 4lb, so I’m not too worried if I put a couple back on. Christmas is always good in our house and always exciting as we have two girls in our house and they are at an age when they can express the appreciation for what they get. This year, gone was the slaving away in the kitchen for hours on end we decided very early on this year that we were going to eat out.

cat and fid
We had to book early, just a short walk from our house

It was ok but as I said we were not really paying for the meal, look at it from a different angle and we were paying for QT with the kids. We were not stuck in the kitchen for god knows how long, arguing about how thick the gravy is. I always say jokingly after the girls have opened their present’s “That’s it got to wait another twelve months to open some more”. And whilst that is true it is always good to look forward to a new year. With a new year comes new goals and new ambitions, and the ones we have in store are plenty including a secret holiday for our girls. At the moment our house looks like a war-torn street in Beirut, I like a tidy stress free house. I like a house to look like it is lived in not quite clinical so for me the quicker the decorations now go away the better, but that involves doing some gymnastics against the hallway wall as some one else has our ladders.

 

not our house but very close!
not our house but very close!

It is amazing to me how many people spend a fortune on wrapping paper for it only to be ripped, torn and thrown away. “Well it makes the present look better”. Really! I mean really! We are always told to never judge a book by its cover so, behold the looks when the wrapping is sometimes worth more than the present inside. This exact thing happened to me the present was celebrated, held aloft in all its glory for months but the details of its contents were never divulged. Then it was given to me! I am a very lucky guy in my life and I am grateful everyday, my gratitude journal will tell you so. But I think you can kind of tell the rest for yourself, I once got a musical tie from someone I bought perfume for every year £60+ then one year they returned the gesture. Where is the tie now? I have not a clue. Today is a day off to try to treat our house to some TLC, we have a new vacuum which today will get a good battering. I have one question, why when you take your decorations down the room always instantly looks bare? No doubt for years you have always admired the look of the living room, even more so if you have just decorated. But once the tree is down it doesn’t look the same, and it takes some getting used to.

We have other things to do!

  1. Our patio doors are broke
  2. Our toilet does not flush properly
  3. And we need to remove a sofa from the living room

These have happened in a very short space of time, very short so we have our hands full with all the other goals we have put in place. Am I looking forward to it? Yeah why not, why wouldn’t I there is much to do. Am I watching the Christmas clock in anticipation for the next one? ERM….. no is the answer we have much to do first!

 

Is there anything you have set down in the new year? Are there any jobs around the house that need doing? Have you bought presents already in the any sales? Let me know, you may even have tips on how to fix patio doors!

Tony (1)

6 Tips for female safety on taxi travel.

New year, Christmas eve to be honest they are all the same. Its a night out full of merriment and forgotten memories of the night before, and embarrassment the morning after whilst your looking at the crazy photos. But when it comes to going out we can sometime feel a little insecure especially if our friends inadvertently leave us on our own to get home. As a taxi driver myself I often see females walking home on their own and it disturbs me, on a few occasions I have picked them up and taken them home for free as they have not had any cash on them. You wont find this a regular occurrence as we all have to make money and have an income.

After being a taxi driver now for a few years my female customers have told me many stories of what has happened to them, below are a few tips for THE FEMALES among you of how to be careful when getting a taxi home at this time of year.

  1. Never sit in the front of the taxi if you are traveling alone: If you are travelling in two’s sit in the back, and if one does have to sit in the front this lady should (if convenient) be dropped off first. It isn’t due to the fact that the driver may not be trusted, on the contrary it saves any misinterpretation of gestures and comments by both parties. Especially if the female is heavily intoxicated, which in fact if this is YOUR friend you shouldn’t send them home alone anyway. (unless you know and trust the driver beforehand)
  2. Never ever get in a taxi/cab if it doesn’t have a company name and number on the side or a TAXI top light: Black ‘London’ taxis quite often have the emblem COMPUCAB or DATA CAB. And to be honest these type of cabs are checked, then checked again and then checked just to be sure. Know the company that is taking you home.
  3. Take a business card from the driver:  ALWAYS ask the driver for a card  even if you decide not to use the driver or company again, IF something does happen that you are not happy with or if you think you have dropped something in the taxi you have a number to start at.
  4. Fake phone calls instil confidence: If you are feeling a bit weary of your driver once you are on your way, make that phone call to someone you know. Even if you cant get no one IMPROVISE pretend you are talking to someone. This may sound a little crazy but it works especially if you commentate ‘to the person on the line’ about where you are.
  5. Always, always, always, make sure you have money to pay:  Take a minimum of £20 and place it in a hidden pocket either on you or in a bag. There are drivers out there that wouldn’t leave a female stranded but they/we do need to make a living so there is a small percentage that wouldn’t give a free ride and they are justified in doing so.
  6. All taxis have a council number: Make a mental number of the taxi council plate either on the rear or from of the taxi, make a note of it on your phone once you are in the taxi. FRIENDS: make a note of this as well as you send your mate on her way.

It is despite common belief fraud, to hire a taxi and then refuse to pay or do a RUNNER and if the company or driver persue it you WILL HAVE TO PAY and police can be called.

LADIES……NEVER EVER WALK HOME ON YOUR OWN EVEN IF YOU HAVE NO MONEY,QUITE OFTEN IF YOU TALK TO A DRIVER THEY WILL UNDERSTAND AND AN AGGREEMENT CAN BE MET WITH REAGRDS TO LEAVING SOMETHING AS SECURITY UNTIL YOU ARE ABLE TO PAY. eg. mobile phone, item of jewellery  etc.

These tips were given to me through talking to customers over a long period of time, how ever you get home over the festive period make sure you are safe in doing so. Not all taxi drivers are dodgy if any are actually at all. But it can be intimidating trying to get home late at night.

Tony (1)

 

TIME WAITS FOR NO MAN!…….oh and woman.

I have taken time out from this blog recently and have not posted as much as I used to or indeed as much as I should I guess. I have had other things personally to contend with, and other media platforms that I have been concentrating on. I always feel that people who have blogs, ‘vlog’ channels or otherwise always feel forced to do something interesting that they wouldn’t normally do, just so they have something to say. I don’t! I will only blog and ‘vlog’ if what is on my mind dictates me to, that said I am now gearing towards the feeling that I want to do it everyday. But is there enough time in the day to do that? Creativity comes in many forms and just as other things can, being creative can tire you out. Is my life really that exciting that I blog and ‘vlog’ everyday?  Does it become a factor of quantity rather than quality?

Earl nightingale once stated that ‘he doesn’t manage time he manages tasks’. You create a list of things you need to do during the day and slowly but surely you work through them until they are all crossed off. Time in itself, as we know it is man made it is a way to explain away the period of the day the change of light into dark. It is something of a programme that we use to enable our body and soul to rest.

AND IT DOESNT WAIT!!!!

It doesn’t say to you, I’ll wait just until you have done that because that is really important you MUST get that done as soon as. I do sometimes have to force myself to get things done, as there are distractions that come along on a daily basis. THERE ARE 86,400 seconds in a day, and we should be making everyone of these count. Or should we? What is regarded as a waste of time by others may well be deemed as a lifetime achievement by the one taking part in the process. I was once told ‘ it is never a waste of time if you love what you are doing’. We are always seeing nowadays these ‘amazing’ people fitting so much into their day that some of us wish we had a life like that and go out purposefully to fit in amazing things. Things we don’t ordinarily do, even if we like them or not we do them because someone else might find it interesting to watch. Our lifetime can sometimes pass in the blink of an eye, have you heard people or even yourself say “blimey this week has gone so quick”. You look round and realise in your own opinion, you really haven’t got much done in the way of tasks. Again time isn’t going to wait for you the voice of time will speak up and rear its head sometimes “I’m on my way mate you better get yourself sorted”. We all live life to the best that we think it is and no one should be making judgments as to what we should and shouldn’t be doing. Time gone by can quite often be apparent on the visual effects of someone’s face, but each line and wrinkle is a story. Most things have a deadline and quite often these deadlines bring stress in the form of illness when they cannot always be met, and we beat ourselves up over it. And this shouldn’t be the case, I’m not saying it doesn’t happen and deadlines are not important. What I am saying is time is simply a motion that we can’t control, so why not control what we do in the time that we have. Planning is a great weapon for that, a lot can be said for pre-planning your day.

I have experimented with this, I recently started to write out a list of what I had to do the next day and every time I managed to get everything done. I have to say they were days that were completely  full, I was focused on the task in hand rather than FOCUSING on the fact that time was my enemy. Having now said that I really need to take up this practice and run with it. Don’t focus on time with regards to loved ones, quite often you will see close friends and family together doing this. When holidays ar days out are in full swing often you will hear the comment “come one we have only got a couple of hours”. The quality of what you are doing sometimes then gets blurred and you miss things out. Breathe deeply, sigh and feel blessed by the ones that you are in company with. Sometime when things are done in a relaxed pace you may well find that you get more done.

TIME WAITS FOR NO MAN!

But in the race of life there isn’t no way I’m  going to come second.

XxX

WE ARE MADE OF STAR STUFF. (A quick ‘mini post’ I HAD to share)

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I just had to share this video that came across my path today, this a short quick post just to air the video and remind you.

As you watch it as you see the animals, the mountains, the water, and even the air remind yourself we are all made of the stuff the shapes our environment. When I was watching it, it made me realise exactly how special ALL OF US really are.

 

Thank you

BE AMAZING

XxX

My first half marathon…………..

I have not posted for a few weeks my attention and focus has been on other things, namely I did the IKANO Nottingham half marathon. It is something I have wanted to do for ages and at last I applied for one a while back. My slimming world consultant (yes you just read that) asked if I wanted to do one so I took the plunge!

What a great day, I mean a really great day the commradery amongst runners was astounding people coming past you or even matching your pace to offer you words of encouragement. It was even coming from spectators at the side lines people I have never met before encouraging me by name (your name is placed on your race number). It was a total feeling of people coming together forgetting all their differences, dividing opinions and beliefs for just this one day. People of all shapes and sizes and of all ages testing their metal and achieving something they can look back on.

A well organised event and the weather was fabulous, foggy in the morning and then finally the sun reared its head at about 10.30. Water and lucozade was being copiously dished out along the way, however some of it was also being brought back up by the few that felt ill. I did feel for a young girl by the roadside surrounded by St. John’s ambulance as she was sat on the kerb head bowed with the contents of her stomach being emptied onto the tarmac, her friend responding to a first aider’s question of what she has had to eat “oh she only had a small pie this morning”.

It a sense of achievement and the adrenaline still pumps for a short time after, but the feeling of knowing that you are fit enough to do something like this does give you a sense of comfortability (if there is such a word). I was never-at least not until now-fit when I was younger and I was a big boy when I was at school and it has taken me till I am 43 to be at the fitness that I am at now it has taken some time but it can be done. Seeing some of the people do the race it shows that any one of us can do what we focus on what we believe we can do. I have said many times before we are all amazing people and we are capable of so much more that we think we are.

If there is something you want to achieve…………DO IT, really do it. Convince yourself through blind faith that you can do what you set out to do. What’s the worse that can happen? Goals are achieved merely through not giving up on what you want.
DO IT………DO IT NOW.

SUPERMARKETS: A new breed of human farms?

It occurred to me today when I was shopping in Tescos-which does not happen very often-that I realise what we actually might be. I know we are humans and I know each and every one of us are amazing in our own right, we are a mass of energy that we can, with some practice learn to control to put ourself in a positive attitude. But what I mean is and what I am referring to are the aisles that are placed in uniform order for us to walk along to pick our produce almost in a state of ‘grazing’. Which brings me to the point I am trying to make, take a look at the picture below I mean really look at it.


Now I know it’s not an identical match to the supermarkets, but it made me think as I was sitting there waiting for my daughter to put some pocket money treats through. Are we like cattle, like sheep going up and down feeding from the straw laden cages taking a bit from the food that is most on show or the ‘nubbing’ that catches our eye. We are then met by the farmer (cashier) to be ushered through the gateway and out of the exit. As humans at least we get to go away feed our stomachs at our own pace, but like cattle (they get to feed from the off) we then have to work for our pay. Cows in field chewing the cud, us slogging away at our jobs bringing in the profits for the person above us. The cattle produce milk and meat we produce hard work and results and then the cycle begins again. Once a week we (and cattle) go to the barn (supermarket) to feed fill our stomachs so we have the sustenance to repeat the process. So how do we break away from this? is a good question.

With 1000’s spent on marketing everyday and experts desperately trying to catch our eye we are hypnotised almost into buying produce subconsciously. The best way we have dealt with this view in our house is both me and my partner are self-employed we don’t if we don’t want to at least work the 9 to 5. Some of our food we get from local shops, it always seems like the large cooperate giants that own the supermarkets almost want us to be in the state of mind that we are stuck in conformity. Is this the reason for branded produce at higher rates of costs? In truth a majority of foods does actually taste the same.

I’ll give you an example, we tend to shop at Morrisons after a short stint at Tescos. Our shopping bill tends to come to £120+ now we don’t really go without. So me and my partner had a chat and we went to shop at Aldi and…….with the same amount of shopping it came to £62. Ok the choice was limited but we were happy with what we got. Which begs another question why are people ‘struggling’ but still choose to shop at the higher end supermarkets?

So I go back to the feeding pens of the farms, is that what this place is. Are we being monouvered on a daily basis for the purpose of the top 1 %? As I have said before, in our house we don’t buy into all this ‘propaganda ‘. I can almost feel the feel of rolling eyes and raised eyebrows, but that’s what it is. This form of news can be used for either good or bad, to benefit or control. Negative habits can be used to control, I myself use habits of my own to keep myself in a POSITIVE mindset. And mindlessly walking up and down a supermarket aisle while not being conscious of what you are doing or your surroundings in my view is dangerous

Question everything……..this may come as a slight insight to how I think. Because I do just that……….everyday, every time.

Much love.  X

DON’T BLAME THE REFUGEES

I don’t disagree with the influx of ‘immigrants’ as such we all need help, if we want to create another and better lives for ourselves who can blame us. If you want abundance for your children you would do anything wouldn’t you? The thing I actually disagree with is the practise that we are being kept in the dark I believe we are not being told the full story.

I posted here yesterday that a video I shared on FB had been removed and it did slightly trouble me as to why information like this is being discarded. Well it has appeared again, half way through the process of me putting together some verses that I had going round in my head so, rightly or wrongly I included it in my latest concoction of pictures and muses. Now whether or not I will get blown apart for this I don’t know or whether or not it will be taken down I don’t have a clue. I like to think I can’t be reprimanded for merely having opinions, opinions I like to share.

None the less here it is for you to mull over, digress on what is contained therein I do apologise if you don’t agree but as I have said they are merely opinions of mine. Some of us have the same but unfortunately some of us care not to share them through the fear of repercussions. In for a penny in for pound my mum always taught me.

 

Above is my latest video…….feel free to comment, subscribe and share. I thank you for watching and send love and thanks to all the people who have followed me so far.  Xx

9/11: REMEMBER THE DEAD NOT THE CONSPIRACY THEORIES!

Well it’s come round again, another a year where we pay tribute to a horrid act that took place in New York the place where dreams are made………or at least they should be.

2977 innocent, yes innocent people lost their lives simply by waking up going to work going about their day and doing what they love. There are plenty of theories out there and we all know about them and what they say, I’m not going to sit here today and bark on about them out of sheer respect for the fallen. But I will say this, I have my own theories and I have read extensively on what went on witness accounts and interviews of the American government. I used to be in the construction industry and know a good deal about buildings, purely what I have learnt from other people……….I think you know what I am trying to say.

 I went to ground zero a short time after it happened and the atmosphere and feeling you get in your soul and your heart just by standing outside the fence is almost unbearable…….it upset me. You have to hold a torch up-not to the government-but to the American people, they are resilient they are strong and most of all they have dealt with an atrocity that I can’t even begin to get my head around. When I was there we spoke in detail to a yellow cab driver and even as an American citizen he was not convinced and many of the residents were the same at least the ones we spoke to.

One of our visits was in the wax works on TIMES SQUARE now that is a good visit, until you get to the end. You are forced around a corridor (there is no other way to exit) into a vast room and placed in the middle is a statue of the fireman pushing the flag up to be placed in the ground. Placed around the room are people crying they are staying in the room to accept the misery of what happened, and the emotional upset is almost over powering. I had to get out I could feel myself welling up and I said to the friends I was with “I’m out of here I can’t stay here”. And that made me realise that’s it it’s always there it hangs in the air certainly while I was there, it’s almost like you go about your day but you are constantly looking out of the corner of your eye. 

I lost some one when I was 21 and they went in a horrific way I have come to terms slightly with it and I am ready to share what I have learnt from it, that will come soon! But what I’m trying to say is nothing will EVER prepare you for losing someone in the way that these people were lost, nothing. Look all over the Internet,books,media videos and you can make up your own mind of what you think happened…….I mean really happened. My views are private, certainly too private to be discussed here it’s not my right to plant your mind with what I think. Some people have said to me it’s time to move on enough is enough do we have to remember the fallen every year. And I think we do we really do, it shows us that we are fragile we can be hurt from any means possible and that there is always someone out there with an ulterior motive.

If there is one thing you got to do……………………..just don’t let it stop you enjoying life, holding you back from achieving your dreams.

I didn’t 

9/11 victims my thoughts are with you.         Xx