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I Nominate You!

WHINGE TIME!

Soooo I’m late to the party, but is it just me or is it that every time I log onto Facebook someone is nominating me to do something? The pour ice cubes on your head, the down a pint of utter nonsense, the I’m wearing no makeup but actually am wearing makeup selfie (don’t get me started on selfies)… AND now the latest being share your first profile picture

Whhhhhy do people keep trying to make me do things???

These impulsive group fads always make me think of a bizarre event that happened at school, many moons ago. The fad was called something like ‘100 scratches’, it was all the rage and if you didn’t do it you risked unpopularity of the highest accord! The basic premise was that you had to scratch the bridge of your nose 100 times… Okay so let me say straight away that I didn’t do it and yes I was considered a bit of a loser at the time. At the time the teacher dragged me (and my best matey who I saved from the heathens) to the front of the class and proclaimed that I was the only kid in the class with an ounce of sense. That didn’t help my popularity either, but did help me feel a little better as I was beginning to feel like the last sane person alive! Needless to say my whole class looked like utter numpties, but nevertheless wore there scarred noses with pride for a good few months.

Getting back to the point, I can think of so many reasons not to involve myself in these ridiculous Facebook nominations. Honestly I can’t think of any reasons why I would want to partake in these social media fads; Whatever happened to individuality? I don’t buy into the complete armour-plated argument winner; ‘but its for a good cause’… okaaay so what you’d jump off a cliff for charity? Poke your eyes out? I mean, wheres the line people?

The final word of warning is that this culture is in its nature a very very narcissistic act; read up on the greek myth of Narcissus, it didn’t end well… I guess the modern adaptation would be to walk into traffic whilst taking a selfie!

Right I’m off to cover myself in cellophane and margarine now… why you ask? Well all the cool kids are doing it! I’ll make sure everyone sees pics of what I’ve done, otherwise whats the point?

If a tree falls in the forest, but no-one is there to take a selfie next to it, does it make a sound?

Philly out

Do Opposites Attract?

When it comes to relationships with friends, family and partners, this is a discussion that comes up often I find.

Do opposites attract and does the opposite apply?

For example; I bicker a lot with my sister, (I’m 25 and really should know better)… my mum always says; “you’re too similar for your own good”. Are we? Is that why? Or have we just known each other for a really long time? Is it all just pseudoscience or is there some truth to it?

With friends, I can’t think of many who I would say are insanely similar to myself; about two… Possibly. However I think the similarity in those cases is what makes us click and is why we’re such good mateys.

In the realm of relationships the question that jumps to my mind is should you actively avoid them if the other person is too similar to you? I have always had the other thought in mind, but maybe I’m wrong.

What do we even mean when we say too similar?

Interests?

Someone with a different set of interests could introduce you to a whole world of things you didn’t even know existed. Buuut similar interests are how you get connected to and start conversing with someone in the first place.

Beliefs?

Beliefs is an interesting one. Again differences can be a good thing, introducing the other person to a whole new world (Aladdin is a great film). Bare in mind I don’t just mean solely religious, this category includes political, social, economical and so on…

Aspirations?

This is a big one in relationships in particular, I think your partner has to match you in terms of drive. For friends and family; drive and aspirations is not as important I don’t think.

Personality?

This is the big one, I’m not friends with my own bloody clone, but I bet he’s a proper laugh. Obviously I jest, I’ve actually had experiences that go both ways on this. I had one friend who was the polar opposite to me. I thought he was great and he dragged me out of my comfort zone to my own benefit. In time though it was actually the differences that made us drift apart.

What’s the answer then? Yes differences can be complimentary, but still I have no idea. I think that my pseudoscience shout might be spot on!

Is it just another silly myth like ‘can guys and girls be friends?’ or my ABSOLUTE least favourite ‘the friend zone’, which is just depressing that it exists as a thing. Where’s the evidence?

Anyway waffling over, if you have anything to say on the subject, I’d love to hear a more concise, considered argument.

Philly out

Bye Bye 2014

It’s rolled round quickly. I’ve had a nice Xmas themed break at home with the family and now I’m heading back saaaaarf to London. Naturally I’m in a reflective mood, the end of the year brings this about in all of us I’m sure.

Last year at this time I made a number resolutions, so many that some I can’t even remember. The only one I can think of that I actually kept was writing this blog semi-consistently over the course of the year (go me!).

Like last year though I have a few thoughts in my head of what I’d like to achieve in 2015, with one minor change to the execution; This time I’m not going to shout then from the rooftops for all to hear, I’m just gonna make a few quiet promises to myself. That way I don’t feel like a complete dufus when I only complete one!

2014 has been an odd year for me, it kinda feels like more of the same, every other year has had big milestones ingrained in them. I traveled to a few interesting places and I’m progressing well in work, but it would be nice to rock the boat in some way next year, I’m not really a ‘rock the boat’ kinda dude, but I’m determined to get myself slightly out of my comfort zone.

Finally, I read something on Facebook the other day that piqued my interest, it was posted by my uncle who has aspirations to be a vicar one day. It basically said, what are you thinking (dwelling on) about this holiday season? And are your thoughts serving you well?

I find at Xmas when the extended family gets together I struggle to relax. Everyone’s catching up and you have to answer those awkward repetitive questions (which frankly drive me mad) which have v always driven me mad.

After these get togethers I spend days dwelling on the aspects of my life that aren’t up to scratch. Are these thoughts serving me well? No, all they do is make me feel anxious and inferior. Soooo tonight I’m gonna forget my troubles, get reasonably drunk and play boardgames like an absolute boss.

Have a great evening and see you in 2015!

Introverted Misconceptions

Okaaaaaay I’m going against the grain here! So buckle up its about to get bumpy.

I firmly believe I’m introverted and I understand what that entails. It’s all about energy. Introverts need time alone to recharge after spending time with others; Whereas extroverts are the opposite, they feel recharged after spending time with people; for them, the more the merrier really. Here’s a really good post which nails it all: All the introverts put your hands up.

Like most I’ve been there. I’ve had friends perceive my introverted behaviour as me being grumpy, but that’s fine, it’s perfectly reasonable actually. This usually happens when I go quiet out of the blue. Everyone then thinks there’s something wrong and when asked am I okay, I force the worlds fakest smile. I now recognise why I’m behaving like this and I try not to think any less of either side involved.

Sooooo baaaack to my bugbear. Introverts are now for some reason portrayed in some circles as this super special group that’s sooo painfully misunderstood. Well that might be true, but that doesn’t give us a divine right to act like jackasses. The most recent example, another ‘introverted’ post by Buzzfeed riled me up no end: Faces every introvert will immediately recognise.

It just panders to the misconceptions held about introverts. We are not shy or reclusive, we are just wired slightly differently. I don’t hate going out to see my friends, I just understand that afterwards I will need time to alone to recharge. That doesn’t give me a divine right to pull ‘faces’ and be rude to my friends. Don’t get me wrong I understand that the article is intended to be light hearted and supposed to be just a bit of fun; Its job, obviously isn’t to educate or enlighten it’s too entertain.

However for me once you recognise you are an introvert, you shouldn’t wallow in self pity or use it as an excuse not to try. Use this new found understanding to your advantage. Knowledge is power after all. Analyse your behaviour accordingly, am I actually upset? Or am I just drained from spending the whole weekend with my friends whom I love to bits? 

Basically my point is being an introvert does not give you the right to be rude. We’re British after all, manners are important! If you are finding it really difficult and you truly feel misunderstood; why not try educating your extroverted family and friends? You could make an awesome powerpoint? Or a lazer show? Maybe not a mime show, but yeah, some kind of show.

Buuuuut anyway that is my rant over,

Phil out!

Musical Memories

I love music. I listen to it none stop all day, if I’m out with friends and I have a minute to myself, the headphones go in, I’m brutal. If I forget my headphones on my commute, I break out into a cold sweat. My poor Spotify account takes an absolute hammering.

This morning on my epic journey to Ipswich (long story) I’m listening to an old favourite, an old friend if you well. I’m listening to the Let It Be album by none other than the Beatles! (Yes I know they’re not on Spotify, I’m angry about it to).

I love this album, it got me through, what qualifies for me as a tough time (I’ve lived a very sheltered life). I was at the start of my second term of my first year at university and I was, to put it simply, home sick.

I was only 18 and Id been home for Easter for a long time and it just reminded me of everything I was  missing at university. When I returned I was miserable, deep in the funk. Id hurt my arm to in a bizarre trampoline accident which didn’t help!

When i got back to uni, i spent a lot of time just sat in my room listening to Let It Be. I listened to this album over and over. The first track ‘Two of Us’ and track 3 ‘Across the Universe’ particularly resonated with me. They are are so melancholy, it was perfect for blue philly. The lyrics about John and Paul hanging out in ‘Two of us’ made me think about myself and my little brother who was only 8. I loved him to bits and at the time we were inseparable. In ‘across the universe’ the line ‘nothing’s gonna change my world’ is repeated over and over again, when you feeling isolated, a mantra like this is always gonna speak to you.

I have other albums and artists that remind of certain times, good and bad. I’d be interested to know if you have any similar tales?

Anyhow that’s me done, my favourite song ever is playing! ‘Long and winding road’. Words can’t explain how much I love this song!

Philly out!

Raising Kids

Guten tag!

I haven’t blogged for a long time, so I thought I’d reopen my account with a convoluted account of things that have been ambling through my brain recently. Its a little all over the place, but I find it helpful to just chuck things out there every now and then… A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…

I recently read an article on a mothers fears about raising a young girl in the 21st century in western society. The article is all about her worries surrounding the way girls are currently exposed to such sexually charged material at such a young age. The author also goes into the ways she believes they are influenced by their surrounding elders ”ohh shes so cute, shes such a princess” and so on… it irks me and it probably irks you. From my experience ‘Family elders’ for want of a better term (think uncles and surrogates aunties etc…) have a knack for casting aspersions and opinions hastily, well there’s a difference between knowledge and wisdom. Alas sticks and stones…

Back to the point at hand, having a child and leading them into adulthood is very interesting and something I find myself thinking about a hell of a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see myself having kids any time soon, but naturally coming from a family home that has been fostering young children since I was 13 years old, raising kids is probably going to cross my mind every now and then. Personally (before all these shenanigans) I would want to be financially stable and be in a loving long term relationship, before I even start thinking about having kids (I must say that I appreciate that circumstances can get in the way of idealism).

Social conditioning and gender bias is something I find equally as fascinating and as it is irritating. The term ‘princess’ in particular really gets on my nerves (I know I’m not alone on this one). I must state that I don’t consider myself to be a ‘feminist’, but that’s only because I consider the term to be ridiculous. To me it simply says I believe in equal rights for everyone, soooooooo why do we need this label to convey a simple (and frankly obvious) message? What a ridiculous state of affairs we find ourselves in. Anywaaaaayyyyy…

Once I have kids (and hopefully that will be the case), I naturally want to give them the best start possible. Regardless of gender I’m going to aim to treat them like blank canvasses and see how they develop, whatever interests they have, I will try my best to encourage. When I was younger I used to get really upset that I didn’t play football (like a proper LAD should), my dad talked about football all the time (and still does haha), but I was in scouts and played tuba in a flipping brass band (not the coolest cockerel on the block). Scouts and music were the things that I wanted to do (and enjoyed!), but I fell in to the trap of feeling like I didn’t fit the bill (the MAN was on my back in a big way). I don’t think kids should ever feel this way, my parents didn’t cause this problem, this was down to a number of factors that ultimately attributed to me feeling upset and small. Once I raised it with my mum and dad, we had a huge chat about it all and I felt infinitely better afterwards. Individuality has to be encouraged in a child, who cares if we don’t fit the bill (f*** the bill I say, terrible TV programme). We should teach them to make their own decisions and to understand why they did.

I’m afraid this, as I warned at the start, has been a wafflely post, its such a huge topic and its really hard to nail down. There isn’t a manual on this sort of thing (that works). If there’s one thing I have learnt from watching my parents (and attempting to help, not hinder) over the years is that parenting is in reality a lot about the moment, best intentions can go awry when you’re exhausted, you just have to do your best and hope it’s good enough. Basically try not to mess them up too much and handle the problems as they arise with a view to a positive overall picture.

Anyway that’s my waffling over for now.

Peace out ya’ll,

Phil

Sorry

The word ‘sorry’; I must use it over a hundred times a day, in what I percieve to be a polite manner.

Manners are bloody important, I can’t stand rude people and I pride myself in being polite and approachable. That’s why I think I brandish the sorry word so regularly. Its self deprecating (in a good way) and makes you more open to overs. Yet now I’m starting to think that people use us ‘sorriers’ as a bloody doormat. I’m fed up mateys!

Why am I ranting about this you ask? Well, firstly thank you asking, secondly some arrogant git really upset me on the tube this evening.

I was sat minding my own business on the district line at high Street Kensington station, when on jumps this young man dressed in what will I add, rather posh attire. He was maybe a year or two younger than me as well. As I said on he jumps, then he storms straight over to me and starts talking at me. I have my headphones in so I didn’t have any chance at all of hearing what he said. So I take politely them out, he can see this and is mid sentence yet continues his bombardment. He finishes, so I say politely ”oh I’m sorry I didn’t catch that?”

He says quite aggressively, possibly annoyed that he has to ask a second time, ‘Does the Piccadilly line stop at earls court?’
I pause, to his annoyance and then say, ”Erm… Yes it does, sorry”.

He then immediately slumps down a couple of seats away.

No thank you. No nothing.

Why did I apologise so many times? Why was I so desperate to be polite and turn it into a nice exchange?

What I should have said is; ”There’s a map there behind you on the train. You can check there.”

Or even better; ”Why are you raising your voice towards me, why don’t you fuck off mate?”

I would never say that… It would be fun though.

The really rubbish thing is this encounter feels very typically ‘London’. People in such a rush, so in their own world that they have no consideration for anyone else.

Should I abandon the ‘sorry’ and become more like him???

I think not, I don’t care if people think I’m a soft touch. At least I’ll be morally in the right. I’ll soldier on, to what avail, who knows?

Divine Madness

Divine Madness!

I listen to music non-stop, all day every flipping day. This is where it all started. Divine Madness is a compilation album (I know its not cool to like comp albums, but I got into it when I was like six and coolness was concept I wasn’t 100% familiar with) but oh boy what a compilation album!

I got this album for Christmas (from saint Nick of course… It’s not weird that he slides down your chimney every year), it was in my sweet sweet stocking, I can still see it rectangularly streching said stocking. I thought to myself ‘oh boy who knew Saint Nick knew about ska’. Well I went mental when I saw it, I was already obsessed with the track ‘Our House’ which was on a compilation album my dad owned.

Once in my sweet possession the album didn’t stand a chance, I listened to it an obscene amount of times sat on my little bed, in my space themed bedroom (I seriously had a space themed bedroom. For those who enjoy detail it actually was possible to find the Millennium Falcon and a Borg Cube on the walls in the distance, it was a work of art).

Getting back to THE album. It seems to have magical ways of jumping back into my present timeline. A few moments jump to mind immediately; When I was waiting to hear back from York University on whether or not I was actually going to get in (my A levels could’ve been better really) I cracked this album on, My family had all fled to buy either champagne or tissues. Luckily those gullible fools took me on and I got in… sweet champers was consumed by all! Do I owe it all to the album? Who knows…

Another little landmark moment was that the first girl that I reallllly liked was a mega madness fan as well (It’s not what you’re like but what you are like that’s important). It felt like fate when she told me she was a fan… It didn’t go well. After my first real lady crush, this album had took on another layer and it took me a while to even be able to listen to it again. Do I owe that early heart break to the album? Who knows…

I don’t know why, but today I had an urge to dust it off and fire it up. I have no idea why, but hey ho it’s a damn Philly classic! ‘It must be love’, ‘Embarrassment’, ‘House of Fun’, are my current favourites!

Enjoy!

Philly Out

Down with the Norm

I don’t mention this often, but I Philip, did not enjoy school!

However I must hasten to say that I love learning in general and still do! Did you know that in Utah, it is illegal to swear in front of a dead person? Also due to precipitation, for a few weeks, K2 is actually taller than Mt. Everest? They don’t teach that in schools… and probably with good reason. Moving on…

Getting back to ME, the thing I didn’t like about school was the company of my class mates (I’m a terrible person I know). Looking back it probably wasn’t one hundred percent their fault (it was), I just always felt like the odd one out. I went out of my way to reinforce the point externally as well (think long hair and an active interest in maths & science and you won’t be far wrong).

It would be easy to put my alienation down to hormones, growing up etc, but I’m 25 and I still get in this muddle sometimes. To an extent I ended up dehumanising them, reducing my empathy to zero just to get through the week. If I didn’t treat them like human beings, the disconnection felt bearable. 

It wasn’t until university that I finally felt like I made some real legit friends. It turns out I’m an anxious introvert of sorts, I’ve accepted that now and sorta made my peace with it. Although I wish I had had some means of connecting with likewise individuals at school when I was younger, I’m sure I would have enjoyed it infinitely more if I’d had someone to discuss horrible histories with. I could have used some kind of wierdo-radar system to detect them (it still bemuses me that the government still refuses to invest in my genius ideas… Think of the children)!

The round about point I’m trying to make is that the norm isn’t for everyone (or anyone really)! Peer pressure and social norms are powerful influences on behaviour, and they are classic uses for excuses. How would boys and girls actually develop mentally without the pressure of culturally formed views being imposed on them? I feel lucky in someways that my mum was the main provider in our household. It forced me to view things differently and means ultimately that I probably don’t view the opposite sex the same way the majority do. 

I’m not sure why exactly I’m writing this (well thought out) post, I just felt like ranting and writing. I guess its better to write it out than to fade away! 

Years later I’m now living London (currently watching Highlander for the 20th time). I have my fantastical select group of weirdo friends (all three of them), my loving family back North whom I visit as often as pos (and call virtually everyday). I have my amazing job and tasty little flat in Wimbledon. Things are going well for middle Philly (I think of my life like a musicians discography, I reckon I’m up to about Help! Rubber Soul and Revolver just around the corner… Nice!)

Anyway that’s my textual rant over, well done you if you got to the end!

Philly out

Featured image taken from: http://www.mezzacotta.net/

Questions from Suzie81!

Okay firstly if you haven’t been to Suzie81’s blog, then what are you doing with your life, get over there now! 

This little post is in response to her latest blog post: Questions Questions Questions

Basically she has written some questions and I’m gonna answer them, its not rocket science guys! HERE WE GOOOOOOO!

1. How did you create the title for your blog?

Weeeellll mine was just a random title I thought of on the spot. It was xmas day and poor Philly was miles from home and at bloody work. Romantic I know! It was there and then that he thought of…. One man’s adventures in the big wide world!

2. What’s the one bit of blogging advice you would give to new bloggers?

Try not to get obssesed with stats! They’re pretty to look at I know, when they’re going well that is, but in the long run writing shouldn’t be about instant gratification. Write what you need to write, if anyone reads it that’s a massive bonus.

3. What is the strangest experience you’ve ever had?

I stayed in an actual real life haunted house, it scared the ba-Jeeezus out of me. I actually documented my horrifying expierience in my post: An American Horror Story

4. What is the best thing that anybody has ever said to you?

Well my mum gave birth to me, that’s pretty awesome I think! Just realised it says ‘said’… I’m sticking with my answer regardless! Arrogance all the way.

5. When presented with a time machine, which one place and time would you visit?

I’d travel into the future to see if we ever terraform Mars. Then start quoting Total Recall; ”Are you crazy? I don’t even know anything about Mars!”

6. If you had to pick a new first name, what would you choose?

Elwood, as in Elwood Blues from the Blues Brothers. My most favouritist film ever!

7. If you were a B Movie, what would it be called?

Phil-nado 2; Return of the Phil-nado

A bit like Sharknado except instead of tornados and sharks, it would be tornados and loads of mes! I don’t know why its a sequel, I assume the original did quite poorly. Why did they commission a sequel?

Philly out!