Bloggers are fake

Can you remember when I told you about an article I believe I triggered back home in the UK? It was on a popular Middlesbrough delicacy that is selling very well at a certain chain of pubs here in Brisbane.

No? Well, here it is if you fancy taking a look. It’s like a 30 second read.

I was in this exact same spot yesterday to try the parmo that is advertised, I had been craving it for a long time and decided to check it out. As it arrived to the table, I was about to take a picture to blog my thoughts before being distracted by a young couple in front of me. He was taking a photo of her pretending to dip a chip into some ketchup, it was funny to see it outside of an Instagram shot, a bit like going behind the scenes of a movie. In the end I don’t think she ate the chip.

It reminded me of this post that I typed up about guys being cameramen for their girlfriends and the new trend of looking away from the camera.

I refrained from taking my photo, as I didn’t want to be just another millennial taking a photo of food before I started to eat it. I did just that this morning instead as I logged onto WordPress. This was a very nice breakfast by the way.

I am not sure if the couple were huge food bloggers or not. But it reminded me that social media paints a completely different picture to the reality of the occasion. We act in our pictures and spend more time trying to make the occasion look good instead of actually making the occasion a good one. I actually started to feel a little bitter.

Then I thought to myself, who the hell am I to judge? This could be their job. They may have enjoyed the food but they get paid to review it and of course, this means documenting it. They could have millions of followers and obviously need to keep up to date with whats happening on their page as much as possible, working via their phones in their free time. This might be a one off post and for all I know they usually never have their phone at the dinner table. I made a quick sweeping judgement of millennial culture without knowing the individuals, and failed to look at myself in the process. It was two people having fun. That’s it really.

So I am in two minds about social media. It’s a weird phenomenon. It is full of people pretending to look into the distance at something, when the actual thought is how many likes it will get. We therefore know that this is what everyone else is doing, but we just keep the cycle going. But I shouldn’t use it as an excuse to breed negativity, it is just a sign of the times. And I am pretty confident that if people back in the industrial revolution would have been able to take part, they damn sure would have. Think of all the selfies that would have been taken on the Titanic, lets not pretend that people then would have refrained! Maybe something in our society has triggered our desire for followers and attention, but its only this era that is doing it because we are the only era in history that were able to.

Lets cherish it and the funny things it makes us do. If its harmless, I should be happy with that.


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Sometimes being offended is our problem

This is the State Library of New South Wales. It is the oldest library in Australia, opened in December 1827. The same year that Beethoven died and long before the Super Nintendo.

I am currently right here typing this post, I particularly like coming here whilst my WiFi at home is still in the process of being fixed. It is certainly cheaper than finding a coffee shop for WiFi, I don’t need to buy anything and this has helped me out a lot. The problem for me with libraries is that they are too quiet, this makes it very hard for me to focus. How can I work when I am terrified that typing on my keyboard is causing a distraction? Every sneeze, every pen hitting a table, every scrunch of paper is intensified by a factor of a thousand. If I owned a library, I would probably have a policy in place making people refrain from being overly quiet.

‘Hey, you! You are being too quiet, it is distracting people. Make some more noise like your considerate neighbours or you’re out.’

Maybe not as strict as this, but you get the idea.

But back to the point of my post. Jokes aside, this kind of behavior leads well into what I am about to say. My laptop was on half battery. The only seat I could find was one next to a guy on his laptop and he wasn’t using the socket. The tables are roughly 12 feet in length and there were numerous seats empty away from him, but they were useless as they did not have a power source. As I sat down, he took a good second to look at me and rearrange his phone and notepad. I could see for whatever reason he was distracted by my presence, this would be understandable if I was a celebrity or if I rode in on a horse. My rather anticlimactic entrance meant that his reaction was a little strange. As I started to unzip my laptop bag he looked at me again. He took his earphones out and so did I, wondering what he was going to ask.

‘Excuse me, there isn’t anyone sitting on the chairs opposite.’

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a random fact. Although this one sounded more like a hint than anything else. His observational skills were on point, but it came across a little rude.

‘Thanks, but I need to charge my laptop.’ I said. ‘Oh okay’, he replied and in went his earphones.

Now this wasn’t exactly a heated exchange, but it made me think. Why would anyone say that? Was he suffering from claustrophobia? Was he someone that dislikes other guys sitting next to him? Regardless of what it was, this isn’t my problem. If he liked the space he could see in front of him, he shouldn’t be persuading anyone to move but himself. This would be different of course if the library was empty apart from him. If I was to then choose out of the hundreds of seats to get a little close, this would understandably set alarm bells ringing. But my point is that if you have a problem, sometimes this is your problem.

There are a few exceptions, we all have a role to play. If I hadn’t washed in a week, I would be more open to being told to move. If I started to stroke his face, the same. Sometimes, we are the ones that need to address our own insecurities and make sure we are not projecting the blame onto others.

This is very much needed today, with so many conflicts of interest. From triggered social justice warriors causing riots at universities and those that are easily offended by simple discussions and debates. It seems like even the most ‘compassionate’ sectors of society are becoming increasingly intolerant, and I do feel this is the case trying to have debates with certain people from time to time. It is worrying how conversation will become affected by the ease in which offence is caused. Not being offended should be a personal responsibility, something we process internally before jumping to the conclusion of being a victim.

Not that this occurred in the library, but it is how my thoughts evolved after upsetting someone when I sat next to them. But it is something I have experienced recently. Have you had similar thoughts? If we live our lives with the aim of not offending anyone, we wouldn’t be able to leave the house. That is pretty scary.

Witnessing discrimination first hand

Okay my beloved readers, my blog in recent months has transformed into less of a one set up for conversation and debate, instead it has been one that I have used to motivate both myself and my followers. I have needed it greatly, especially in the crazy world we live in.

This doesn’t mean that I won’t post the odd topic that will get us all talking and sharing different viewpoints, as I feel this is equally important if I want to keep learning. I was speaking to a blogger yesterday here on WordPress about some of the difficulties of being a female in her country of residence, and it reminded me of a blog post I was thinking of re-uploading. In a world where there are an increasing number of campaigns such as the Women’s March and the #metoo hashtag, it is probably an appropriate time to reflect on this post.

So this is the blog post from an experience I had back in 2014. It was one of the reasons I started blogging as it hit me hard, and will probably be in a chapter of my book. Let me know what you think and I hope it isn’t too much of a contrast from the recent Christmas and New Years Eve celebration posts, I will have plenty of upbeat posts to come.

Originally posted Mar 19th, 2014.

We don’t have to look very deep into the past to see how faith and discrimination can go hand in hand. Nor do we have to travel very far. It was a big shock for me to hear the terrible murder of Lee Rigby in 2013 by extremists, music to the ears of others. Although extremist terror groups are more present in the UK in recent years, hearing news of a human being beheaded on British streets is hard to comprehend. In the same year, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head in Pakistan for daring to speak out for her right to an education. Religious ideology had almost stripped her of this right for being female, but for an incredible and remarkable recovery. The Westboro Baptist Church in the United States continually protest against supposed ‘issues’ such as gay marriage because of Bible scripture.


From personal experience, discrimination is plain to see. Maybe not on the same scale, but discrimination nevertheless. From our personal perspective we see the grassroots level of irrational thinking and delusion in many situations. My main concern is what I see as discrimination- a percentage of society see as normality. A delusion in itself, or sheer reluctance to change? Neither are healthy.

Although it is unfortunately the norm in so many regions of the world it is important to see the differential between the two. We are very compliant at accepting life as it is, rather than addressing where we could improve. This stark reality became apparent to me first hand when working a shift in a recent hotel job.

One late shift, the assistant general manager was called due to complaints from neighbouring rooms of crying and possible violence. There was brief conversation in Arabic, but those around weren’t speakers of the language. After going upstairs to knock on the door he was greeted by a couple, a Middle Eastern couple however the nationality I cannot recall. It was the response received by the manager that really appalled me.

When asked if he was being abusive to his partner his response was “But she is my wife!?”. From the way the conversation was brought to our attention the male was confused as to why the situation was even addressed by staff. A rhetorical question to answer for his perfectly reasonable abuse.


But that is what it was in his eyes. She was a woman who had deserved physical abuse for whatever reason and being stopped in his tracks was a shock. One regret I have from this was not questioning why we did not take the matter further. I was young and didn’t want to question someone who had dealt with many situations similar to this after more than a decade in the industry. An incident management hear regularly and therefore address but not necessarily prevent. What does make it difficult is that the female did not want to take it any further when asked. The difficulty of the situation grows here. Is leaving it causing less harm? What are the repercussions in the long term for a victim of domestic violence? Regardless, it takes more thought than a five minute conversation. Lesson learned; if someone is reported to be visibly shaken, this person needs attention.

But since then I’ve always wondered the poor ladies fate. A recurring nightmare she may have to deal with on a day to day basis for the rest of her life. Another domestic abuse statistic. Another suicide to escape the inescapable.

Whatever that may be, it’s enough to stick with me and drive me to ensure this doesn’t get ignored again, and one of the main drives I have for starting this blog. Has anyone else been in a similar situation, or been shocked as to how a similar case had not been addressed properly due to it being a common occurrence or a matter of ‘cultural difference’?

I wish that lady all the best.

Reposted Jan 3rd, 2018.

Photo by Paola Chaaya on Unsplash

Changing the meaning

I posted an image yesterday with street art from (seemingly) two different artists. Since then I have discovered another example of this from Newcastle, NSW. Basically, it is a spray painted message that was edited by someone else to say something else.

Now, this one needs very little explanation compared to yesterday’s. The first spray painted message read ‘VOTE NO’, inspired by the recent vote for same sex marriage here in Australia. Many of you will already know that the yes vote won, although it is clear there was a campaign to prevent it from doing so. I even found protests looking up into the Sydney skies, I posted about it in The sky told me how to vote today.


I feel sorry for these people. I have been watching debates from those opposing same sex marriage such as Ben Shapiro, and although he can give a coherent, educated rebuttal from faith, I just cannot find sympathy. One of the reasons is that it is heavily inspired by faith and religion, a reason why I left it behind. I cannot think of another reason why anyone would be opposed to same sex relations, other than the reason I provided in this post.

Being religious just isn’t a good enough excuse for me. I found that leaving it behind meant I had less reason for telling people how to live, or be offended by how they choose to live. Plus, the rainbow flag looks great painted onto a concrete floor. If I am not being harmed by a same sex partnership and guys are free to date guys instead of the girl I could be talking to, I am happy. What could be worse for traditional marriage than two people of the opposite sex not wanting to be with each other anyway?!

I got attacked by an agnostic feminist

First of all, I am not one to throw the term ‘feminazi’ around like a frisbee. I have never used it before nor do I intend to. I want equality for both genders and I don’t think the feminist movement is a bad one, although of course like so many movements you get a few bad eggs. One of these eggs hit me in the face last night. It caught me off guard that I really wanted to post about it.

I was sitting in a bar after work. I was with a colleague and she had to leave, I stayed and finished my drink whilst tapping words into my iPhone. It is a bar that generously gives me discount for working in a business nearby. I was sitting at a table when a young couple sat down next to me. It didn’t take long before we got chatting.

The girl leaned over to me a few minutes into them being there. She asked if I had been stood up by someone. Fair enough, I could well have been. Thankfully, this hasn’t happened to me before. I have had girls tell me they didn’t want a date with me, absolutely. But being stood up is something I haven’t had to endure and I don’t know how happy I would have been to admit it if I was indeed left waiting for a date that didn’t turn up. I told her I hadn’t been stood up. I could see she wasn’t entirely convinced, I asked why she assumed I had been.

She responded with, ‘Why did you mention being stood up? Are you ashamed because it affects your masculinity?!

Very confused, I could only respond with ‘What?!’.

I do have to say at this point that I could tell from her eyes that she was very drunk. The guy she was with put his head in his hands in embarrassment, he seemed a lot more sober. Despite her being drunk, she still wrongly assumed I was a male that was out on a date that didn’t want to meet me and that I was precious about my masculinity when confronted on the rejection I experienced. The trouble with this is, I just came here for a cheap beer after work. Judging someone after sitting next to them for five minutes is a pretty bad move. Not just judging internally, but to turn to that person and tell them who they are is not very nice, especially when the radar is so off track.


Hey, she was drunk. I am not proud of who I am when drunk, and I thank anyone who has dealt with my drunken ramblings when I am in such a state. Being the sober one in the situation only reminds me that I have probably been as stupid when drunk and that I have a new found respect for bar security that have to take trash talk on a nightly basis. Speaking to the guy she was with after she went outside on the phone to a friend, I found out they were on a Tinder date. I don’t know if their date was a successful one, only they can answer that. I personally would have ran a mile after her accusation. She did come back and the next thing I know is that she still involved me in their conversation, and that she opened up about losing religion. I could only assume that she caught the title of my blog whilst I was on my phone as it was strange that she opened up to me, withing about ten minutes of knowing me, on a topic I am so interested in. The topic change was out of the blue. She suddenly got tearful and told me and her date- I did not know who was on a date with who at this point- that she was losing religion and that she doesn’t know if this was a bad thing. It was something that she had all her life and that she was suddenly relearning everything.

It was actually at this point that the conversation got interesting and that I was more willing to chat to this seemingly judgmental person. Her dutch courage turned to vulnerability and both Tinder guy and myself tried to encourage her that there is a lot of beauty in leaving religion. It has, in our case at least, made this life one we really want to cherish. It doesn’t mean the final credits will definitely roll as we say our last breath, there could be some kind of afterlife, whether it be a God or an advanced alien setup. We could be in the matrix. The multiverse may well contain the most awesome and infinitely wonderful opportunities once our atoms disperse and head to the stars that we are built from. To be saddened by an absence of religion does take a dose of pessimism, enhanced by alcohol of course.


So yes, I had an interesting chat with an ‘agnostic feminazi’. I hope there aren’t too many of them around, thankfully it doesn’t seem that way. It also doesn’t really alter my opinion on feminists or agnostics, if one person could change such opinions we would have some awful opinions on pretty much everyone.

I finished my beer, thought about the conversation and was grateful that interesting conversations can sometimes pop out of nowhere, even if I am seen as a overly masculine, emotional date reject in the process. Cheers!

Featured Image by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

This is such a 2017 thing to do 

A gingerbread man with breasts, or a gingerbread woman with a shaved head? I will have to settle with gingerbread person with this one. 

I was given this as a present from someone at work yesterday. He/she/it tasted delicious. It was interesting as I was watching some debates on YouTube on transgenderism and I think there are good arguments on both sides of the debate. The debate being should a male be able to label himself female and be officially recognised as one. I really don’t know. I’m happy to call a man a ‘she’ if he wants to, however to be recognised as one on passports etc could cause problems. For one, he is biologically a male. So that would throw a spanner into the works. Secondly, if Trump decides tomorrow that he is a woman, would he then be the first female president? I doubt many people would be okay with that! 

It also reminded me of a person I met earlier this year. A businessman I interacted with often in a previous job that recognised himself as female. We all called him ‘her’ and she was quite pleasant. She had a girlfriend. And one day when this girlfriend wasn’t with her, she asked us where we think she should go to find straight males that she wanted to flirt with. This person also threatened to phone the police when a colleague labeled her as ‘sir’. If all instincts are that a person is a male, the facial structure, the deep voice, it can be pretty hard to not instinctively go with ‘sir’. What if a blind person interacts with the transgender person? And are the police really necessary?

This to me is a very 2017 dilemma. A man that labels himself as a woman that has a girlfriend likes to hit in straight guys in bars. Does this make her girlfriend straight or gay? If she picks up a straight guy, is the guy homosexual? 

I think 2017 is too much for me to take in.

It has certainly made me think of my stance. I would say I’m left leaning, however I try my best to not get sucked in entirely to all leftists movements. Some of them I don’t like the idea of. 
So those are my thoughts after eating this gingerbread person. I’ll give it my name, Sam, as it is gender neutral. Not like me, I’m a guy.

For now.

They don’t make ’em like they used to

It is true that we sometimes don’t give something the true respect it deserves until it is gone… Maybe we did give it the right amount and just miss having it around today. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve reflected on this as I get older. 

One thing I hear regularly when looking back is how we ‘don’t make ’em like that anymore’. As if the engineers, soldiers, artists and ways of life of yesterday were light years ahead of today’s equivalents. Today’s thoughts are inspired by an old picture that was shared on social media today of Grey Street in the 1950’s, a Georgian Street that looks as pretty in the centre of Newcastle today as it did back then. As I am from this city, the majority of posts I see daily are about the region, full of snow at this moment in time.

This was taken in 2017, but hasn’t changed much since 1950

Firstly, I want to give praise to social media for allowing so many fascinating articles to be shared daily, in amongst all those food shots and click baits. To think how difficult it has been for past generations to keep in contact at all, I’m am sure they would have snapped up Facebook in a heartbeat.

Secondly, despite history gracing us with some incredible architecture, we would have to completely ignore today’s innovation and developments to suggest that great designs are victims to time. They didn’t leave us behind, they are rising up as we speak. 

I mean, I only have to look at my recent shots in Singapore to remind myself of this. 

Then, who could forget this building in Dubai?!

It would be pointless to even compare the monument on Grey Street to the Burj Khalifa in a side by side shot, the monument would be almost unrecognisable. Then we have the Jeddah Tower. Upon completion in 2020 will be well over twice the height of the Empire State Building. Insane.

Yes these buildings focus heavily on height. No these buildings aren’t as commonplace as the detailed architecture that line the streets of Georgian or Victorian England. But wouldn’t our great grandparents marvel at the sight of a building that pierces the clouds at the heights we see today? 

And with that, can we really say with confidence that they don’t make ’em like they used to?

Burj Khalifa photo credits: 

Clay Banks- Unsplash

Denis Harsch- Unsplash

Community spirit

Sports bring communities together. There aren’t many sounds in the world that can compare to the roar of a stadium as their idolised team walks onto the pitch. This isn’t to say sports will always bring two differing communities together, often the opposite. Soon, I’m heading out to find a bar that will hopefully show the Australia vs England game in the Rugby League World Cup. The below pictures were taken just before the NRL Grand Final between Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys earlier this month in Sydney. I enjoy this kind of buzz.


I am unsure if I have posted the picture below of a distant plane advertising the above Grand Final, but when I browse through my photos I cannot help but imagine how incredibly freaky and life changing it would be for a historical figure to witness this in their time period. To look up and see a technology not just unseen but incomprehensible, a person that was in my very spot a thousand years ago looking toward the oceans horizon and having no idea that one day an aircraft would soar faster than a bird. What a WTF moment this would be and what a life changing experience. I do wish we had a time machine to carry out such an experiment, however flying over an isolated and uncontacted tribe cannot be too different. How would it change the course of history? Would it lead to a religion? I do wish to have a similar experience however as I cannot comprehend a technology that is incomprehensible I have no idea what effect it would have on me, and it doesn’t take much to freak me out.



Melting pot

Buildings vary as much as people. Probably more so in fact. As diverse as a city population may be, each building also has its own look and character. At least buildings don’t have a problem standing side by side, as a species we could learn from this…


I love that the heights and structures vary so much. Some old, some new. Some being ripped down and some rising from the foundations. I sometimes think of what a futuristic society will look like- will all buildings look much more alike to reflect the globalization of Earth and an ever more increasingly connected world? Maybe our great, great grandchildren will follow the same trends as we do and opt for buildings that vary as much as they do today. In the present, the varied styles reflect humanities ever changing beliefs, opinions, tastes and ambitions. They remind me how different each and every person is and the benefits and challenges this brings.