UK Blogger’s blood goes to The Royal Marsden Hospital

I gave blood in Kent a few weeks ago and recently I received a text from the NHS Blood Service, in the UK, saying where my blood donation went to.

The last time I gave blood, it went to the Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Kent, this time, it went somewhere else, The Royal Marsden Hospital, which is a famous hospital dedicated to cancer diagnosis, treatment, research and education. It was exciting to see where my blood travelled.

Today is also National Clean Air Day and many cancers are caused by air pollution and environmental hazards.

To celebrate National Clean Air Day, I will cycle to a local bicycle café and treat myself to a nice meal. We can all do our bit.

If you would like to give blood in the UK, make an appointment with the National Blood Service. You can call them on
0300 123 23 23 or make an appointment online on blood.co.uk – Tell me where your blood went too!

Visit to the Pigeon Poo infested ‘Super Slums’ of The Bishops Avenue in London

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I visited so-called Billionaires Row, in East Finchley, in London. It is reknowned for properties owned by the super rich, owned by royals, Russians, Arabs and wealthy business people. Some of these mansions are in the region of £70m. The owners are ‘hogging’ prime investment land and making parts of London soulless and sterile.

When I went up there at the weekend, numerous properties still remained empty and protected by security guards, some with guard dogs. Gardens were completely neglected with wildlife and rats taking over. Smart courtyards were boarded up. Some properties that were actually occupied had a gleaming Rolls Royce and a Bentley behind their gated property, they were not even garaged.

The road didn’t really seem to have much character, and I would say it was a pretty boring road. There were so many empty mansions, some had been partly demolished, it was an eyesore. I have been to Beirut, and even in bombed out properties, people were living here, but the only people there were security guards or builders and roofers. Instead of a family car in the entrance, there was a private security car. Hardly anyone walked there. It looked a dreary sight. Along other side roads, instead of residents, were strings of security cars and more empty mansions.

One vulgar (as most of them were) mansion , soon to have an Open Day Launch, promised a swimming pool and maid service (apparently the super rich want a kind of hotel service at home). Some are offering ‘super basements’ with several floors to maximise investment. The whole place is simple grotesque. it is like the middle class have ‘gone rogue’ when they win Euro Millions or something. It look all very sad and shallow, what a pointess existence these people live.

One British builder said to me, he was sad to see that his work would just be a property that would only be used for a few days a year, but at least ‘it would pay his bills’.

Even round the corner of the scruffy Bishops Avenue, I saw a virus of empty properties owned by property tycoons not far off from Kenwood House, and further along the road towards Highgate.

Here’s a selection of photos I took at the weekend:

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2017 My New Year’s Resolutions

Here goes, folks. I like to give myself realistic and positive goals.

  1. To declutter my house. I tend to keep stuff just in case I need it. However, I realise that I don’t use a lot of my clothes and craft stuff. It is taking up a lot of space and I want more space this year. Also because I store a lot of stuff, I buy stuff again because I can’t find things. I also want to get more coat hangers too and keeps things more tidy.
  2. Borrow a Doggy from Borrowmydoggy to help an owner walk their dog and for me to have more exercise and get more experience with dogs.
  3. Go on a floristry workshop and practice some new techniques.
  4. Ban chocolate,coca cola and porky scratchings from my house and get people who see it to remove them. These are my weaknesses!Imust only have them on special occasions.
  5. Take part in Dry January and raise awareness to others. This also means you could get free meals too and some sponsors give you benefits
  6. Take part in Bullyonline campaigns, Alcohol Concern, Domestic Violence issues, Personal Safety, Road Safety and anti drugs campaign charities.
  7. Make my own granola breakfasts and actually eat it
  8. Cook more and try new things
  9. Improve massage techniques to improve wellbeing
  10. Be more minimalistic – help the planet, save money, create more space, have more me time
  11. Lead a more hygge lifestyle
  12. Support Lush as they do some excellent products
  13. Continue to make my own beauty products without toxins and raise awareness
  14. Take up Nordic Walking (I have already bought some poles)
  15. Ramble more locally along the footpaths and do a lot more walking. Join walking groups
  16. Listen more. People like to be listened to.
  17. Have no technology days or evenings.
  18. Read a novel,  and make time for this. I have been struggling to make time for reading. Hopefully, having a more minimalistic lifestyle it will be easier.
  19. Go on free tours in London’s Museums and learn more about history
  20. Make more crafts to give away for Christmas
  21. Buy things over the year for Christmas to save money
  22. Mix with people who lead a positive lifestyle
  23. Do more art and crafts
  24. Continue to look after the wild birds
  25. Have a more healthier lifestyle and inspire others
  26. Eat more fish
  27. Read more poetry
  28. Read to other people
  29. Sometimes do nothing
  30. Improve my computer’s memory by clearing up old files
  31. Watch more ‘feel good’black and white or colour movies
  32. Go to the Buddhist centre more often and read more Buddhist literature

UPDATES to follow

I love writing thank you letters

Writing thank you letters is an important part of my culture.
My aunts and parents have always written thank you letters and we always enjoyed receiving them in the mail.

This year is no exception; birthdays and Christmasses, I have always written them. It is a incrediblly hyggelig thing to do too.

I love choosing the type of stationery and cards and I like them to be really special, after all, they are a family keepsake. Throughout the year, I look out for nice stationery. I always avoid the lazy and tacky, ready-made printed cards; they look so boring.I come from a family of letter writers so we like to make a bit of effort. Lazyiness really shows up in letter writing. A letter can say so much about someone, and even their family. Not writing one comes across as thoughtlessness. selfishness and laziness (of course, if people are disabled etc, I can make exceptions).

People find it hard to afford presents these days and they are also very busy, so it makes things extra nice for them when they get a thank you letter of appreciation. Like me, they probably love the pretty stamp,the handwriting style, the choice of pen they used and the design of the letter and the choice of words.

I find it dreadful that many British people nowadays don’t bother to write thank you cards and some even send a naff, soulless text. It looks really bad on them. Your thank you letter, I think, is ‘your own PR’ which  can last generations.

We all need a little bit of thoughtfulness in our lives and it is so important to keep up such a warm tradition.

British Culture: People with Poor Lifestyles Choices are seen’National Treasures’

George Michael died at 53 on Christmas Day. Once again, another pop star has died far too young.

However, I was never really a fan of his ‘piped music’ or his lurid lifestyle but what really gets me is that he is regarded as a ‘national treasure’ for his music ignoring the fact that he chose to drug drive. He could have killed other people, including his friends and relatives in such an act. He just didn’t care.

As a straight edge person, I find the tributes annoying and bizarre. Sure he did some good things, but stepping into the driving seat whilst under the influence of drugs is one the worst things anyone can do.  There is no excuse for such a selfish act.

In Britain, we often glorify those who have lead toxic lifestyles. It even becomes one of their little ‘quirks’ after all, ‘none of us is perfect’ which Brits often say on the forums. You see this all the time, from adulterous footballers to ‘cheeky chappy’ actors, who get up to criminal activities, their talent for acting or football seems to override almost any bad behaviour, no matter how criminal. Henry VIII is a good example. He chopped off his wife’s heads yet royals are glorified. There are some exceptions like Rolf Harris, which some Brits are finding it hard to come to terms with, so I expect it depends on what kind of crime they get up to.

UK: I’m going ‘Straight edge’ XXX

Straight edge (sometimes abbreviated sXe or signified XXX or X) is a subculture of hardcore punk whose  refrain from using alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs, in reaction to the excesses of punk subculture.Some people put a large X on their hand or on tattoos to show that they follow this lifestyle.

For some, this  even extends to refraining from engaging in promiscuous sex, following a vegetarian or vegan diet, and/or not using caffeine  or prescription drugs. The term straight edge was adopted from the 1981 song “Straight Edge” hardcore punk band Minor Threat. Some straight hard core people have got into gangs in the US, but the majority  just want to just live a better life, without any violence.

There are many of us round the world who don’t like ‘poison’ like alcohol, tobacco and  drugs (unless some prescription drugs).Straight edge can be far more simplified. That’s me. We are more educated now.

Already since ‘coming out’ as straight edge, if you can call it that, one of my friends said ‘isn’t that rather ‘extreme’?’ He also said, knowing that I am also Ace (Asexual), ‘why do you want to be in another minority?’

There is pressure to follow a toxic lifestyle  which will always be there, so we all have to be strong in ourselves to deal with this and get support from others. I am looking at finding people who also have this better lifestyle just to feel we aren’t alone, and I know I am not.

For as long as I can remember I didn’t like the boozy, toxic lifestyle that some of my friends had. When I was eighteen I had friends from Sevenoaks in Kent who thought it  would be cool to go out every weekend and just get p*ssed.  We did pub crawls and were encouraged to drink as much as we liked. I had a go ,just to see what it was like, even though it was very pointless. I think it only happened a few times, as I knew it was wrong. I didn’t like the hangovers, and being sick for hours.  I never was stupid enough to be so drunk not know what I was doing. Above all, I wanted to do something more interesting on my weekends.

I couldn’t see myself benefiting from being with these so-called friends and took the decision to leave them. I don’t have any regrets. I don’t get their lifestyle. They wouldn’t respect my views, so what was the point?  Generally I don’t mix with any heavy drinkers, smokers or people who take recreational drugs. I am lucky in that it hasn’t been too much of a problem, but in the workplace it can be, so many people would rather booze to have a good time. I find it really boring being with them. It is very difficult for me, but having a label like being ‘straight edge’ does help. Nowadays with so many recreational drugs around, we need this lifestyle more than ever. As a Millwall supporter, you can imagine just what a challenge it is to be straight edge with a crowd of boozers who hang round pubs all the time. I would rather hang out in a coffee shop before I go to a match, and drink decaffeinated coffee, and you get a seat as well! I can’t understand it why boozers like to stand up all the time.

When I was 12,  I found some cigarettes my parents had left for guests, and just smoked a few puffs.  Having seen university programmes of cancer caused by smoking when I was skiving off school, this made up my mind. My parents never talked about smoking with me, even though they gave up earlier on more for financial reasons.

I have seen what booze does to people, often turns them into monsters, idiots, getting into financial debt etc. Smokers look sick, seem to be lazy and it just plain stupid to smoke such junk.

I think there ought to be a lot more levels of straight edge, for example, not eating junk food.  However, the three XXXs (no booze, smoking and recreational drugs) is enough for me.

I had not come across this word until recently and it is a relief there is a lifestyle out there, and not just for those who are religious. It is not a boring lifestyle, far from it!

As one straight edge person said, spending your money on booze, fags and drugs is completely  a waste of money. When I was twenty, I didn’t do any of this and saved up hard to round the world, visiting Vancouver, Australia, Scandinanvia and Hong Kong. If I blew it on stupid stuff, I would not have seen and done, or experienced such joys. I get a high on adventure,  a great meal, doing positive and constructive things where I get great results.   i don’t want to get high on stupid, pointless stuff, and get my mind all f_cked up.

Even as someone who is middle aged, we get rammed with pressure to drink Prosecco, craft beer and all that crap.  It is bad enough having supermarkets, beer cafes, off licences everywhere. I just think it is so stupid, but it is their choice. Who wants to spend hours in a bar anyway? They are so boring and there’s  bu**er all  to do!

The London Ambulance has received  100 callouts related to alcohol-related incidents recently and which doubles over the weekend. What is wrong with society? The Ambulance and Police have a lot better things to do, why are people wanting to waste their value resources?

I really don’t want to be part of that culture, and nor do a lot of people. They are rejecting toxic lifestyles and going straight edge. This is happening right round the world.

You don’t have to have much of an interest in straight edge punk music, you can just simply lead a clean life.  It is not boring, I seem to have much more fun without all this toxic stuff.  Let’s be the change!.

National Edge Day is 17th October, 2016

Some straight edge Youtubers: