Be Kind In Troubling Times: An Empty Fridge

Not a problem I am currently suffering from – an empty fridge but there are many suffering at the moment. There are not food shortages simply people being greedy and not letting the supermarkets refill their shelves in time, the lack of thought and respect for others is sad and spreading like wildfire. Life is the same for all of us, with the exception that some remain privileged enough to remain working and paid, those who work in a supermarket risk themselves as much as front line staff, no PPE at all, the difference being they rely on the public to be honest and stay away if they have symptoms, signs at every entrance remind you if you have symptoms please do not enter.

The NHS front line is the first port of call for those with symptoms and we rely on them to support us through this troubling time, medical staff have now started dying like in Italy leaving bereaved family, friends and colleagues. Yet people still think its ok to go out and do as they please, the government has now written to every household strongly advising us to stay home, this is a sign of enforcement, much like in a job with a three strike policy you have received multiple verbal warnings, we how have a written one, please do not continue to push your luck you will be punished and you will tar everyone with your filthy brush! Why should we have to be punished because others feel they are above the law, as the government raise the stakes, in the USA you will be arrested and charged with terrorism and biological warfare.

UK terrorism offences have no limit on how long they can detain you for and is it really worth the quarantine and prison charge whether you think it doesnt apply to you or not they will find a way of enforcing it, I draw your attention to the Coronavirus Act as passed by the UK Government, they have powers to charge a fixed penalty for breaching the rules. At the moment it hasnt reached the stage where we are charged with terrorism but dont think that it wont have crossed the Governments minds if we continue to flaunt their what are frankly reasonable requests. Yes it sucks the weather is beautiful and we can’t go outside but given the fact we dont know exactly how it spreads do you not think its better to try and make the best of a shitty situation and stay at home? or would you prefer to be like France and only be allowed out once a day and have to show papers getting fined 150 euros if you breach the rules? I know which id rather.

Its a shame to keep having to rant about this every other day but it seems that we are stuck in a school yard situation where the only thing that might work is peer pressure. To the people sunbathing in the park – expect to have your white privilege taken from you and the wrath of people who have been doing as their told. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below join the conversation at Facebook.com or twitter.com/

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/

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

Adios: Onward and Upwards

Adios amigos Trina shouted to the world before she stepped onto the train, it was time to get some space from all the drama going on in her world. Life had been forceful, she knew she had been pushing her luck up until now, and now the law was laid down she had no choice but to do as she was told. The drama she was avoiding was self-made by the people around her, she decided that fixing everyone else was less of a priority than fixing herself, she had been ignoring her sub-conscious who was desperately trying to warn her. It was not that she didn’t want to listen but she knew it would be easy and all she had ever wanted was an easyish life she knew there would have to be some challenges but these were too much. Once she got some space she could reassess everything but right now she was number one priority.

As she found her seat on the his it began to fill lots of people going the same way as her, up to the mountains to get some fresh air and mental space. Life would be difficult for a while but digital detoxes were never easy especially when you had using technology for as long as she had, but it was the right thing to do and she knew it. A mobile phone had been the permanent extension of her arm for several years and her relationship with social media was taking over her life even with the access timers. The mountains was a black spot for technology with only a small GPS tracking network functioning reliably there was no need for a phone you just had a tracker with an emergency button on it in case of distress.

As the bus moved off she watched the town she had lived in most of her life slip away, a few people knew she had gone and the rest would have to just deal with it. In the future she might go back but that really depended on her journey and how much she managed to reconcile. There had been a lot of negative influences she hadn’t been fighting and the fact she didn’t have to be near them anymore just fuelled her conviction that going away was the right thing to do. She wasn’t running from her problems because she had brought them with her, most of the town had been able to upset her rhythm on a daily basis, self control was a skill she needed to learn properly without getting distracted then she could go back and regain control of her world back at home. The countryside was so flat you could see all the way to the mountains even though they were some 150 miles away, the clarity of the air was incredible not like the hazy air of home where the smog was thicker than soup. The heat of the sun beat down on the window despite it being February and a balmy -20 the snow was glistening in the morning sunshine. It looked a bit like a fantasy land with the seemingly untouched blanket of snow. She thought more about what was to come, it would be a strange road but she was ready.