THE LOST WORLD

Now let me begin by saying, I’m not fully versed in the complete history of the human race. I cannot comment a true and informed opinion to what has gone before. I do not know the repression of slavery nor the fear of ethic cleansing or any other walk of life that has endured horrific and unspeakable torment in their history.

I can only speak as an relatively well educated forty something year old man that is watching the planet he lives on self implode.

In recent weeks (in media terms) a ‘revolution’ has started. Or so we are told. Yes, it sadly does take the death of another human to cause this to fully rise to the surface. What I fear is the reality is that the actual meaning, the purpose of all of this has already been lost and overtaken by and let’s be honest here, the wanting to plain and simple cause trouble and rifts.

This is not intended to dilute the progress and awareness being made but sadly, humans are toxic by nature. The focus always falls to the negative, the media showing us the bad, the evil. Instead of not gracing those offenders with air time and headlines but promoting positive change, actually backing a movement for global equality. This age we can have multiple sources of information in our hands instantly, how and why this is never used to actually benefit the people is something I will never understand. Well in fact I do understand it, not many papers are sold with headlines like ‘peaceful protest makes great progress against inequality’ or ‘together we can achieve anything’.

As I recently discussed this subject with my friend, we are on the cusp of actual change, of actual new thinking. Generationally speaking, there is only one racist tier left, that being the one above mine and it’s not a malicious or proactive generation. More an ill informed generation. Maybe I am blinkered, maybe I can’t understand another’s history. Maybe I live looking forwards because I was always taught that what has gone before is done, it cannot be changed. Yes you can make changes from now but history is history. Of course elements of it shouldn’t be glorified but you can’t hide it. It is what has got us to this point today.

Scale it down to relationships, each bad relationship you have had, each one that has ended has formed who you are and how you think today. You don’t carry all of those bad elements through with you, you hold them as lessons and reminders not to accept those aspects anymore. It scales back up to this. We have to learn and evolve. Not harbour and regress.

The more baggage you carry the slower you move. Nothing will ever be forgotten, that is why it is history.

This piece is written with Britain in mind, I cannot relate my thoughts to any other country than my own, but one thing is clear. If America do not change their police force from operating way above the law to working for the law and for communities then situations like this will always arise. The British police force are nothing short of amazing humans, all of the emergency services are. They put themselves between us and harms way, they’re not armed to the teeth, they just stand there as people, protecting other people. They do not get the credit they deserve.

We have to ability to achieve such great change. We can realistically move into the genuine prospect of a new world. You hear so many people announce they are going on a social media break. Firstly, I’m not too sure why you have to announce that to something you’re leaving but maybe we as a culture need to have a break from the over saturation of information we absorb on social media. Maybe news as a whole needs to be rebranded and restructured to actually promote hope and positivity and not drown us in version after version of negativity of the same pieces of information.

Maybe instead trying to change history we should accept the scars the human race has given itself and start afresh.

SD

MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY BUSY

Edging towards 9 weeks of personal lockdown certain things have been made very clear throughout this time. In fact they are probably things that were always very evident but, this extended period of away time from each other certainly brings a lot of thought processing to the forefront.

That is not a claim to over-thinking, it is one if realistic thinking. I returned from my winter break with a very clear vision in my mind to how the rest of my life was to be. A defined clarity that I had never experienced before. Always one for ideas and ventures, this time everything was refined. A direction set out in 4K crystal clear realisation.

Obviously the current environment we are all as a planet are experiencing has some what jarred momentum but the goal remains the same nonetheless. Meetings of creative minds and the desire to leave a mark on this world are more at the forefront of my world than ever. In these eight plus weeks I have spoken to people that are scattered across the globe, the creative future is incredibly bright.

We are currently in a place where all that can be moved to one side, this is a time for basic communication. A time to make sure those important to us are ok. It’s here where I have been touched the most. People from different pockets of my life making personal efforts to check on my well being, my mindset and health. The fact that these are the people that I wouldn’t have expected to step into the light makes it all the more special, pair that to those expected to do the same have fallen by the wayside. Life is nothing short of surprises. Still, doors remain open. I just don’t feel obliged to go knocking anymore.

So be it new roots in Italy, Australia or Singapore. I know that a creative future is the pathway before me. I’m glad all those close to me appear to be ok and dealing with things well, in their own way. So if you’re dreaming of horse riding, visiting loved ones or just once more feeling that skin on skin interaction then I hope those missing elements return to you all safely and swiftly.

Work as hard as you can for the things you want, but don’t be a fool to how you use your time. It won’t happen tomorrow, it won’t happen the day after but each step taken towards whatever you want will never be a day wasted.

SD

1ST DAY OF SUMMER

The first day of summer is here and it’s probably a little different to how we were expecting it to be.


Still, making these simple sacrifices in the short term to help and protect those around you is not a big ask in the grand scheme of things. Personally, aside from early morning runs, I haven’t stepped outside my house for two weeks. Im not saying that as a ‘look at me and my efforts’ but more highlighting that just your own individual efforts can make huge differences to the numbers of people that this pandemic will effect dramatically. Removing myself from the daily grind has taken a fair slice of interactions off the board. Four trains a day, all the stations and platforms of people, no meetings or inspections, no gym visits and shopping trips to a bare minimum. Just these changes will help everyone and the better we do it the quicker this will all be over for us all.

As an individual it hasn’t overly impacted me and my lifestyle. It’s more adaption to the circumstances, for example there’s no gym facility so I train indoors, yes with limited equipment but this is how it is so adjust your nutrition accordingly. Although I do have some additional timber to shift now.

I am noting that time has become very linear. Weekdays and weekends are starting to blur and because I’m working solely at home I’m working for longer with fewer breaks (none actually). I’m mindful of this so I make sure the weekend days I do things very different to work hours.

Don’t allow this time on your hands to become your enemy, utilise it. Read books, enrol in some online course, learn new skills. You have to keep your mind focused and active, this will be the key to surviving this lockdown period as best we can. Keep a diary of what you’re thinking and feeling and make sure you stay in contact with those important to you as t he y may not be doing so well. Communication is key here, key to our own and our loved ones well being. That’s not to say if you’re having a tough day you can’t scream out your frustrations at the top of your lungs. That’s equally as healthy.

So, enjoy our current unique summer arrangements and remember, it won’t be long until we’re packing our cases again for some more traditional well earned space and down time.

Stay safe, stay busy. SD

TIMES OF CORONA

We all think we’re bulletproof, we all think that if we should contract this virus then we will more than likely just get over it in a few days. To all intents and purposes that is probably accurate, we will get over it.
The thing is, this isn’t about us. This is about those around us. The people in our lives that this particular period of time could have a profound impact on.
We are being asked to take personal measures to help others. That to date, is currently where we are letting ourselves down.
No one will starve, no one will lose there homes. You should not need additional reasons to stay in your home to help your fellow man.

The irony is those acting selfishly and queuing outside supermarkets to strip the shelves bare, are the ones putting themselves most at risk.

I’m not a politician, nor am I a preacher but I have always had a set of values.
Take what you need, and leave some for the next man.

I hope common sense and a moral responsibility beds itself in soon as current actions will not only make this far worse, but also a greatly increased timeline.

Please be safe, and please be considerate.

CORONA VIRUS 101

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A world gone mad. How many times have we heard that phrase? It has turned into a little bit of a ‘boy cries wolf’ situation hasn’t it. Yet here we go again, a new virus meandering through the world making headlines by the hour. Note I say meandering and not something like tearing or racing. This is a slow burn, the early figures in itself indicate that.

I get that the government have to be over cautious. If they down play something and it turns out be a lot worse there will be lynchings. I for one actually think the world as a whole has got a good grip on this. Solid advice, practical advice, common sense advice.

But what does this actually all mean? What is the reality for us day-to-dayers? Image result for empty shelves

As I write this it is day one of working form home. Work has to be done, doesn’t matter where you are or what the situation is. What I don’t understand is the panic buying, the frenzied shopping. What does this achieve? How and where does it start? Why toilet roll and pasta? How long do you think you will be at home for? Are you planning to eat poorly prepared pasta meals every day that give you explosive diarrhoea? Where is the logic and what are the thought processes? I think the problem lies in what we hear will happen to us should we contract this particular strain of the flu (because that is all it is when you analyse it) or what we actually think will happen to us. We know the symptoms, we know those at risk and we know that most of us will get over the infection with no real disruption. So why the paranoia? It started out as a low probability entity that we would be unlikely to come in contact with. To now being pitched that we will get it, there is nothing you can do now to escape it’s wrath! Yes there is. Wash your hands regularly as you should be doing anyway, don’t cough or sneeze out into the air, something you shouldn’t be doing anyway and don’t go round licking other peoples eyeballs. Not that tricky is it. Yet you walk the train and underground platforms of London and people are either launching cough and sneeze plumes into the air or dressed as if they’re returning from an acid house rave.Image result for coronavirus

We adopt a survival mentality that shows the ugly side of humanity. It’s not a survival mentality of solidarity but one of every man for himself. Which is just plain sad.

I have done my shopping, just my usual shopping buying the things I buy weekly and seeing the state of the shelves is just bizarre. You see more on the shelves in an episode of The Walking Dead than in supermarkets lately. Maybe that is where this is heading? I jokingly said a couple of weeks ago that people are assuming that if you contract the virus that we will immediately go into a Total Recall-esque seizure. Could it be I was close?Image result for total recall eyes

How the situation has evolved in such a short time frame is quite staggering. Facts about annual influenza are pretty solid. Every year the world suffers a great loss in life and no one really pays too much attention. The problem is when things are given names, it makes it real, beyond real. Like a superhero. You can’t defeat a superhero. You therefore can’t defeat SwineFlu, Corona, Uncle Albert virus or whatever else you want to call something. Give it an identity and you grant it power over us. We have gone from practical steps that help manage a situation to borderline chaos, all when nothing has actually changed. I think it’s because we fill in the blanks ourselves. The things we don’t know we create and accept as fact. If you fart, burp, sneeze and cough in under a minute you will die from Corona. It happened to my friend. And so urban legend and hysteria are born.

Let’s just remain calm, follow the solid and practical advice and keep ourselves informed. Do that and you never know, we might just live to tell the tale.

 

Or, could this be a man made virus sanctioned by the world powers to control the human population……

EDITORS WEEK

It has finally arrived, Christmas week is officially here and I am now starting the wind down ahead of picking the baton back up in January and seeing what we can do with the good ship MANPEDIA.

I’ve been learning that keeping your head down and cracking on is without question the most effective way to make progress. No Bells or whistles, screaming for attention or setting up platforms of ill conceived notions (yes historically massively guilty on that front). I find now that it simplifies things, you remove the expectations and premature opinions and judgements from others. Not that either of those things should ever be on your radar anyway. Do things for you and how you want them done.

The ground I have made up applying this logic is staggering and it’s only here that I’ll mention it otherwise this whole piece is pointless!

So, Christmas. A place for me and my tiny and regrouping family to enjoy each other’s company, eat some delicious foods and have a good laugh. Enjoy the down time and keep watering the seeds that have been sewn for 2020.

Merry Christmas to one and all. Yes, even you..

SD

EDITORS WEEK

I posted earlier in the week on my Facebook to how some recent events have really affected me and that is still very much the case today.

Seeing something you always knew but never had resounding undeniable evidence of was, at that moment both glorious and heart breaking. It’s all very well knowing in the back of your mind that you were made an absolute fool of but when it’s presented to you in images? Well, it doesn’t make you feel that good about yourself. I know that even to this day there would be denial, lies and kitchen cleaning. It’s just been a thought and feeling I haven’t been able to shake since I saw it.

I have been someone that has turned round and faced my demons and issues and all of the things that prevented me from having that happy and regular day to day existence. As anyone working through things will tell you, it’s a battle that is never won. Think of it as an engine. Without oil, fuel, water it will seize. It’s efficiency will be hindered. All of this has knocked me back, massively so. To levels of emotion I thought were long dead. But maybe it’s because these are emotions and feelings that I knew were real but never actually had to deal with them as real until now. If I could describe it, it has made me feel quiet ghostly, quite vacant in day to day life. Now don’t get me wrong everything is getting done but I feel a bit like a bystander to it all. It will pass, I will come to terms with it, process it and move on but until then I understand that this is a necessary pathway that needs to be walked in order to grow past it.

So, weddings and babies aside. My happiness remains mine to create and mine to protect.

SD

EDITORS WEEK

This week I got a parenting 101. For whatever reason I am very quiet by nature, certainly on the outside but internally I have a very relentless monologue. My mind never stops chattering away, ideas, revisions, thoughts, plans, daydreaming. It’s all there in a constant whirlpool.

It is however very easy for me to assume that everyone else is privy to this information tsunami and therefore my actual vocal communication abilities in the real world can be at fault, quite often.

None more so than this week with everything going on, Christmas, funerals, care homes, work, deadlines, projects. I failed miserably at the single most important thing. I forgot to communicate properly with my daughter and it has broken my heart to think she was there needing me, unsure to what was happening, what arrangements were in place and for that I have let her down.

That is not a nice admittance.

I took it on the chin and apologised with the promise to rectify my failings and be that much of an open vocaliser. This year has been tough, really tough mentally. From my former boss and my ex partner shafting me with finances to the barrage of family and loved one issues it has been a grind to say the least. Now I’m not one to mope and not one to feel sorry for myself or have anyone feel sorry for me I just try to soldier on as best as I can with the tools I have at my disposal.

So now I have to realign my sights and remember what is the most important thing out there, and that is family and the family I have brought into the world. A few plans haven’t come off this year and I hate being a person of false promises so next year I am going to drag everything I have set out to do into realisation, kicking and screaming if necessary.

So life check complete, settings adjusted and ground to be made up established and besides a little self improvement won’t go a miss will it..

SD

EDITORS WEEK

The emotional whirlpool continues to be on its full spin cycle. Although I have soldiered on with the Manpedia preparations it has had to take a back seat to more pressing issues. Those being real life.

I guess what’s really been made apparent to me of late is the illness of dementia and how it takes the life and identity away from people. It is such a haunting illness. Now please forgive me if I offend anyone that has prolonged experience in dealing with this as I can only refer to my own personal and very limited experience and understanding.

What has really presented itself to my world is the other side of the coin and that being those that care for their family members that are suffering at the hands of this illness. We all feel useless at times, when a loved one passes away we can’t do anything and just wish we could find something that would have prevented it. But their ending is just that, an ending. There is a definitive line in the sand. There is nothing more to do but grieve then remember.

Dementia doesn’t grace us with this, certainly not at first. I have seen my partner leave her mothers side completely broken, time after time. Pouring love into her mum but in the knowing that each and every time a little more of her has fallen away. It is a situation so heartbreaking on so many levels, a situation that renders you absolutely hopeless and without the ability to do anything to alter the course of things. It is like a cruel game, a cruel test to try and break us until we give up, but love does truly conquer all in that respect. The end may already be determined and the path there a torturous and sad one but love will all always remain stronger. To my partner, to all of those that continue to care and love those that we are losing piece by piece; you are not only angels but you are the strongest and kindest people gracing us with your presence. The love you unconsciously give is immeasurable in value to those receiving it.

SD

Should anyone wish to donate to those raising awareness and funds for dementia:

dementiauk

EDITORS WEEK

I spent a little time this week over at the MI5 building in Vauxhall. I gazed at it’s colossal presence with awe and wonder. It made me consider the workload here at Manpedia and how at some point that building was under construction, frail and exposed to the elements, but once the work went in to it and it was finished it stands proud, dominating the nearby landscape. So as the year end draws ever closer the planned remodelling of Manpedia continues to take place behind the scenes. The hoisting it up from shared articles and memes to original content in different mediums is for me very exciting. Those joining the cause in this first phase are very much appreciated, forming the foundations to the follower base that will come after you.

It has been a little of a chicken or the egg scenario, waiting for a predetermined number of viewers before elevating the game. Elevating the service provided. This period has allowed the trial and error of ideas and ventures. Some disappointingly didn’t grow legs, some very much ill conceived and welcomely abandoned.

It’s a learning curve though and ideas can seem fantastic, real statement makers but when you step back and think about it, they could go horribly wrong. So it will be a staple solid bodied content of written pieces, a regular podcast with a vidcast to accompany it. Reviews, guides and fitness challenges.

A lot goes on behind the scenes to bring ideas to reality and smooth talking companies into collaborations but I know it’s going to be a fantastic channel for people to enjoy. I’m sure there will still be memes and such like sprinkled throughout but the vision is clear, the vision is now defined.

There is going to be an official launch party in the summer of 2020 and in the future Manpedia will host an annual ball. All pipe dream stuff that I cannot wait to make a reality.

The workload may be huge and ever expanding but there’s no point whining, it’s time to tackle it.

SD