Compound The Issue Why Don’t You?

A compound is a combination of elements mixed together much like life and the way in which this current ‘crisis’ is unfolding. As we watch it all unfold around us, trying to wade through the barrage of information we find ourselves confused. Trying to listen to the most knowledgeable to get the ‘right’ answer may not always be the simplist way of understanding how our future will be affected, but is its the easiest way in a complicated world.

Defining what constitutes a right answer in these turbulent times should relate to tangible facts but at the moment we are armed with a bunch of statistics and a model for how we would like it to be. Scientists are working hard with the information they have but what if the code they were given was simply a ruse to buy more time? Months spent working on something that may never come to fruition, we can but only hope that we will make some breakthroughs soon to boost our moral if nothing else.

As tensions run high people are showing their true colours in a crisis and its starting to get ugly. Who knows what will happen with the government now with Boris Johnson in hospital having contracted the very virus that he has placed us in lock down for, i’m sure the irony is not lost on some. It seems that a lesson is on its way for all of us and whether we like it or not we will be learning it, time will tell how long we will continue to be in this situation because people are still going out and flaunting themselves with no care for themselves or others, there are others taken by greed in a world that should be sharing when they can, we live in times not of shortages but of misplaced greed and laziness.

Most people filled their cupboards and bought all the loo roll because they knew they wouldn’t have to go out again for a while, fair enough its responsible to stay at home however, they could have just gone out less often a bit of mid term rather than short term planning is required, because at the moment we are only going for 3 weeks at a time and we are hurtling through at a rate of knots.

Its hard to think at all with all this noise going on around us but take a moment to consider what you would do if you have to be in this for longer than you had originally thought.

As I Hurtle Through Time & Space

As I hurtle through time and space I see my life passing me by, those moments I wish I had embraced now gone. In the distance I see new opportunities awaiting my arrival, everything seems to be moving so fast I can’t keep up, life waves as it hurtles in the opposite direction. After a while I see everything slowing down around me, yet I am still hurtling at a rate of knots towards the end of this wormhole in time and space.

Life is shouting slow down, its your time now focus on what is in front of you. I feel myself start to reduce speed, the lack of control remains but its at least slower, I start reaching for opportunity after opportunity, some fizzle and pop, some soar like birds lifting me to another level. Life waves again as it passes happy that at least some of the lessons thrown at me have stuck.

Missed opportunities (for whatever reason) are just that, you weren’t prepared, but that’s OK because you know better now. As we create our own opportunities you have to accept that the ones coming to you are the ones you are subconsciously desiring whether that be positive or negative.

So in order to create opportunities you want you need to find the thing you want the most and focus, the law of attraction has been proven true on a number of occasions, it does however rely on a positive mindset, if your mindset is anything but then be prepared to take a battering by your own hand.

Love yourself and stay happy & healthy guys, leave a comment below or join the conversation at Facebook.com or twitter.com/

The Unholy Truth

Life is as easy as you make it, whether we like it or not we are thrown into a life less ordinary or a path less trodden but it is our job to interpret it and make of it what we will. Positivity comes from self love and care within us not others and life will often challenge you when it has a lesson to learn, embrace the challenge do not fight it and remember the past is the past you cannot change it – you can only change the future.

Over time I have learnt that searching for reasons why is futile and whilst you continue to concentrate on the past you will never progress because you aren’t giving any attention to the future and your new goals. The last thing you want is to be stuck facing backwards when you should be going forwards.

Take some time (Lord knows we have enough at the moment) and really think about your happiness, is there anything you can change or work towards? With all the free resources available at the moment there’s bound to be something suitable for you to learn, for those who need extra help you need to research David Goggins understand there is no need to match him (you will never do it) you need to understand and appreciate his determination and positive mindset.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation at Facebook.com or twitter.com/

5 Breakfasts to Kick Start Your Day

  1. Oatmeal/Porridge – This versatile dish is treated with caution by many but it should be embraced, there is always a dairy free mylk option for those who are so inclined. You can make it hot and top it with a load of toppings (your choice but my favourite is lots of fruit and nuts or even a swirl of peanut butter and some dark chocolate chips if you need a pick me up). You can make it cold again lots of toppings (get creative it doesn’t have to be boring), you will either need to make it the night before or make sure you have half an hour to put it in the fridge to let the oats ‘cook’ in the liquid. If you have mason jars or similar for the cold version they are perfect for batches or simply portion control as you can make a few in advance for you and the family – they last roughly 2 to 3 days in the fridge, if you feel like a treat try Panaceas Pantry’s Jaffa Overnight Oats for some chocolatey orange goodness.
    topped oatmeal
  2. Pancakes – Buttermilk or plant based, American fluffy pancakes with maple syrup, bacon, eggs, or dairy free yogurt, fruit and nuts. French crepes with Nutella, or even savoury with some cheese/bacon or for plant based – tomatoes and mushrooms. The possibilities are endless, make the batter the night before to save time in the morning just make sure you cover it in the fridge. Similar rules apply to waffles, if you have a waffle machine its pretty much the same recipe as an american pancake.
    stack of pancakes
  3. Granola bars – readily available in many shops – the one thing I will say is that they tend to be loaded with sugar so if you can make your own then all the better. Nigella has a couple of excellent recipes with dairy and the 2.0 recipe without dairy. Perfect for putting in the fridge to grab in the morning or for a post workout pick me up. Mixed dried fruit is fine to use as the candied orange offers a little twist – top with chocolate for extra indulgence.
  4. Crumpets and Frumpets – So one of my favourite accounts on Instagram has always been whatiateforbreakfast Emily is a goddess of invention, queen of poached eggs and as far as im concerned inventor of the Frumpet. What is a frumpet? Its a French Toast Crumpet of course! Use giant ones if you can for maximum effect, top with a selection of sweet or savoury toppings and admire your handiwork. In fact her work with crumpets doesnt stop there, behold the mighty giant crumpet, marvel at its beauty and indulge as soon as you can. Go follow her on Instagram for daily updates – you will not be disappointed.
    Giant Spinach Egg Crumpet - whatiateforbreakfast
  5. Toast – Not very inventive I hear you cry? Upping your toast game isnt difficult, discard that horrible batch baked bread you use for lunch boxes and opt for a better quality bread, be it sourdough, date and walnut, rye bread there are a host of different options, they are worth the investment. Toppings can be anything sweet or savoury or both, my favourite being banana and peanut butter on a wholemeal sourdough. There are literally no limits so go experiment. 
    Toast Ideas

Whats your favourite way to start the day? Leave a comment below or join the conversation at facebook.com/onlynomeswriting or twitter.com/onlynomesforyou

The Magic of People

Magic has picked up a number of different definitions over the years, relating to extraordinary circumstances right through to the occult. On this particular occasion I am referring to the former, the magic of extraordinary people. We live in a world where we take for granted a number of things we consider essential services like hot and cold running water, electricity, internet services. There are many parts of the world where these are considered luxury services because its not affordable or the infrastructure simply isn’t there.

There are plenty of charities willing to take our hard earned money and enable these third world countries to have access to these essential services, they’ve built community wells, schools and assisted with providing as much as they can but what they can’t change is political situations. With instability rife it has caused any number of problems, poverty stricken desperate people wanting the best for their family and being met with a Government too corrupt to care.

Despite all of these issues the charities keep going back and trying, Doctors Without Borders tireless work all over the world treating people in danger zones without a care for their own safety, to me that is magic. In times of extreme stress and difficult situations we are forced to see everyone’s true colours, its not something we ever want to show people, so if you don’t like that you see, you need to be the change you want to see.

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Perplexed – PPF3 Mask Shortage

According to the BMJ – “medical masks serve as a physical barrier to prevent the spraying and inhalation of infective respiratory droplets. It acts as a deterrent, a reminder not to touch our faces. While masks may not offer absolute protection against coronavirus, it is better than no respiratory protection at all. Undeniably, masks do not replace frequent hand hygiene. It cannot, also substitute for higher levels of PPE. In the hospital environment, every attendee should be considered a potential carrier. That is where the role of medical masks lie. Similarly, condoms do not guarantee prevention of unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases but using them correctly will greatly minimise the risk.”

In troubling times such as these confusion is rife and ignorance is contagious, the media are taking every opportunity to maximise their profit margins by playing on those who don’t understand but don’t wish to be enlightened either. Governments around the world are reaching out to try to ‘flatten the curve’ but there are some who just don’t seem to see past the end of their nose. Supermarket shopping this morning was an interesting exercise, we were kept at a 2 metre distance before we entered the supermarket then people went into their usual fugues with literally no concern for others, I was mowed down twice by people simply looking at their lists, so really its fair to say that although social distancing by staying home is working but the problem is when they are allowed out. I saw people with bandannas around their face, construction dust masks, what they don’t realise is that its a pointless effort, those who have bought PPF3 all you have done is take them from medical staff who need them far more than you do.

So the laboured point I am trying to make (and I cannot believe I am having to repeat myself) is do as your told, stay at home, wash your hands and be mindful of others when you are out and about. Its not hard, yes its boring being stuck at home but when 80% of the world has the internet there are a plethora of things you can do to entertain yourself or even more shocking improve yourself. We are all in this together, we can contain it if we actually apply ourselves.

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The Sound of Silence

Silence can be many things it can blissful in a calm moment, deafening in a tense situation. If there is a sound of silence its an absence of noise which in itself feels almost dead, it is rare to have complete silence (i.e. no noise at all) because there is so much going on in the world.

As I listen out of my window to the silence of the street it is broken by birds singing and the odd child bouncing on a trampoline. Silence can be sinister and comforting in equal measures its dependant on both mindset and situation, if you are worried then your mind may play tricks on you, if you are calm then it will wash over you like a wave of reassurance.

However you feel about silence its important not to be intimidated by it, embrace it, let it empower you, awkward silences in conversation do not have to be filled, more often than not its better just to enjoy it rather than try to fill it, no one will thank you for it. I am guilty of trying to fill silences unnecessarily but I am also working hard to change that, my nervousness has a tendency to go one of two ways – panicked verbal diarrhoea or completely mute. One of these days I will manage to strike a balance and im sure you will too.

What do you think silence sounds like? Leave a comment below or join the conversation at facebook.com/onlynomeswriting or twitter.com/onlynomesforyou

Will It Kill You?

When I read today’s prompt (kill) it made me think, how to write a piece that doesn’t bring up the obvious? The news is rife with updates, body counts and people speaking out – some even say they are sick of hearing it.

There are plenty of things out there that will kill you death is one of life’s certainties, at some point you will shuffle off this mortal coil. The key is to focus on living not dying otherwise you will only end up further and further down a rabbit hole you don’t want to be navigating.

There are of course things you can do to help and maintain your body, a healthy lifestyle is apparently good for longevity just ask any 100+ year old Chinese or Mediterranean. They will tell you a good life and minimal stress got them to the age they are. Stress however is something we seem to be picking up left, right and centre and its important to at least attempt to minimise it, it might not be easy but once you do you will reap the benefits.

A stress free life means waking up feeling rested and no impending dread of the day, a level of happiness that most of us hope but never manage to achieve because we havent found what makes us truly happy. Learning to love ourselves is the beginning of this journey as we find out what makes us tick and what makes us passionate, once you know you can find your way to your best life. Believe me when I say its in all of us, it might not be obvious straight away but you can find it if you are prepared to look.

Lets face it stress has been proven to kill in many different ways, whether it be loneliness, work/life balance, money it will find a way to push you over the edge if you let it. The important thing is not to let it and find a way to bolster yourself, deal with the issues which have arisen, life is trying to get you to fix it every time it throws it at you, so if it keeps coming back you can be sure its not sorted and it will keep coming until you cant take anymore.

Everyone’s experiencing a large amount of stress at the moment in lots of different ways, some will take it better than others, if you need to reach out there is an abundance of people ready to lend an ear and talk or help in anyway they can, there are lots of support groups across social media so if you need help ask for it and take it.

A light routine whilst you are in isolation or at least on lock down is important, your body needs a certain amount of routine and whilst it doesn’t have to be Sheldon from Big Bang level at least do things roughly the same time each day. Now is the time for self-improvement if there is something you’ve always wanted to do chances are there’s a free access course out there right now for you to start. Keep up to date with current affairs don’t hide away as tempting as it is, try not to listen to social media too much, there is so much misinformation its beyond confusing for even the most intelligent of people.

Let me know what you think in the comments below or join the conversation at facebook.com/onlynomeswriting or twitter.com/onlynomesforyou

Its Not A Purse – Its A Handbag!

So I don’t often wade in on fashion faux-pas and the like, mainly because I am a fine one to speak at times. As they say those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones but when its a matter of language its something quite different. I appreciate that English now takes many forms we have 100s of colloquial dialects in the UK some of which are like nails on a blackboard, America has its own dictionary which is fair considering, but please don’t go on thinking that a purse is a handbag its simply not a purse is what you put money in, your handbag is the equivalent of your life you need right now not just some place to stash your money.

The potential to get prissy about all these colloquialisms is endless, some of them acceptable others like a scratchy pen on cheap paper. I’m sure there are reciprocal feelings from the other side, some of the things we say don’t make sense to anyone else and it can be a minefield when you are learning English, even if you are English! It reminds me of when I was learning French as a child endless tenses, verbs, adverbs so many to remember, lord knows how I could tell the difference and it dawned on me, English has all of these things I just don’t think about it because that’s not how we are taught, we are taught about the three main tenses past, present and future at school yet we can use future pluperfect without thinking? e.g. ‘How long will it have been since we were together?’ Unless you are an English Masters or PHD it is most likely you will learn your more advanced English through conversation and practice, there is no amount of writing lines that will teach you how to use a sentence in a conversation.

Let me know in the comments below or join the conversation at facebook.com/onlynomeswriting or twitter.com/onlynomesforyou

Constrained – Life Indoors

Its funny how a quiet life can suddenly get so busy….before the ‘lock down’ I would normally have no qualms in staying home indefinitely milling around the flat, sleeping watching netflix, and yet now I have been told to stay at home, the desire to get out of the house is insatiable, especially with all the beautiful weather happening. I am starting to appreciate my time outside as I know that at some point it will probably get more serious and we will be forced into a similar position as Italy and France.

I have been taking the time to build routines for both work and play, and the response of Fitness App companies has been tremendous, with some offering all kids of extended free trials and of course YouTube has an ever growing community of fitness videos for all ages. Joe Wicks is donating the revenue from his children’s PE videos to the NHS, and a perfect example of paying it forward. Many yoga instructors have taken this opportunity to go online and stream their classes for their regular customers which if this were 30 years ago would not be possible, with the closure of many public places we have all had to come to a compromise in this unprecedented situation, some restaurants have changed to delivery services others have unfortunately had to take a break.

Life is no longer the same and it will be some time before we return to normal so its important to maintain a routine whether you are working or not. Get up at the same time, it might be time to change your eating routine as you may now not be as physically active going to work but you will still need to feed your brain and as my friend found out hiding the banana bread in the freezer does not discourage you from eating it like a cake-sicle so treats need to be controlled as best you can, the 8 multi-packs of crisps you are hoarding do not need to be eaten in the first week, if you are stuck for nutritional advice there are a host of different options for you to try but id suggest that you try something that works with a sedentary lifestyle (unless you are super fit and can maintain your workouts in which case carry on as you were).