Sunday, 14 August 2016

A change in community part 1

Times really have changed for me since I last posted on here and it seems minus the odd facebook status, I have forgotten how to type too... but this is all actually for a good reason.

On 11/11/2011 I signed on the line and received the keys for my first ever home. It was to be on a road called Beechtrees. If, like many not from the area, you begin to think that sounds nice, don't get your hopes up. The truth is, Beechtrees is in an area called Digmoor, which since the late 80's has struggled to wipe its reputation of being a very rough area with high crime rates and vile people, and yes, over its years it has played home to some very not nice people, but when signing for the keys I was very excited to be starting the next part of my life. It was to be my first home away from my mothers where I would be living by myself.

I moved in and at the time didn't have much to call my own. My uncle visited from Canada and was left a little bit bored being sat in the flat on a rickety chair watching a tv from the 90's while inside I was dying a little, wishing it was already the home I wanted it to be.

Over time I began to turn it into the home I wanted, more furniture came my way from donations or from people who were selling items cheap, and I was made up with how my home was beginning to take shape, it was what I wanted it to be.

In 2014 towards the end of the year I received a letter, hand posted, stating that the area I was going to be living in, well, Beechtrees, had been chosen to receive a multi-million pound investment from local government. The houses and flats would be given a brand new look, new kitchens, new bathrooms, new windows... everything! I was really happy at this news! It was to be short lived though as in 2015 I received the plans for what the area I was to be living in, but my flat, my home, was not on the plans. As the main letter confirmed to me, indeed, my home, the building was to be pulled down and I would have to move. This would of course turn up on the day I had bought some wallpaper ready for going up in the living room and of course, it never made it up there.

My home was coming to the end of it's life.

I was a little bit on the sad side, I won't lie, but how could you not be excited at the prospect of a new home? I had no idea when I would move, but I knew that it couldn't be too far away, so all idea's of decorating were put on hold, time to begin to think about how you want your new place to look... I thought.

Over the time, since I got the news, I began to grow bored of where I was living. It seemed as if I gave up, it wasn't tidy, cleaning was the last thing to get done often and I had grown tired of it's location and increasing number of empty properties around it. I had lived there since 2011, it was time for a change of scene, in truth, the flat was starting to do me mental damage because I was growing so bored of the environment there, but what could I do? I was to be leaving soon anyway.

In the May of 2016 I arrived back off a family holiday to the letter off the council saying "We need you to begin to look for a new place to live, the flats will be coming down" followed by a short visit off a man from the local government who was very informative, telling me they were aiming to have the flats down in September of 2016, something which I think has now been delayed, but you never know!

I began packing little bits and looking for where I could move to. It turns out the council had already been working on fixing up an old estate near to where my mother lives and a lot of people messaged me to say about these brand new flats that had been built and how I should apply for one of them, all the time i'm remembering that it is a bidding system when it comes to council housing, I could bid, but with them being new and a massive shortage of housing in the area, I wasn't likely to ever step foot in one, let alone own one.

After a few weeks I received the information that I had been set up on the council's housing website and that I could begin to look for a new place to call home, and, it just turns out that there was 2 of these new flats available. No pictures, very little information, but hey, they were new and I could always say no if I didn't like it.

What happened?

See you in part 2....

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Trey's Post - The big booms.

Hello, my name is Trey and on behalf of my human i'll be posting this story, please read it until the end and then share it, it's kind of important to me... oh and here is my picture.

The Big Booms, by Trey.

It began a few weeks ago when me and my human were just sat on the couch at home and he was flicking through the channels. Thing's outside hadn't been right for some time and I could sense that human was worried about something, but i'd learned to just lean into him and give him cuddles whenever I could, which seemed to calm him down.

Life had been pretty much the same for me recently as I had still been going out on my walks and meeting new friends sometimes to go for big runs along the field and one time I even got took to the beach! Ha! It was brilliant!

On this particular night though while human had been going through the different channels on the TV, he froze on one of them and he became really still as he listened to what was being said on the TV. Some woman was saying something, I don't know what, I wasn't paying too much attention if I was honest, but I sensed something wasn't right.

I sat up and began to look at the TV, this man in a suit came out of a house looking thing and stood in front of this big tall box and began to speak, again, no idea what was being said, my focus drifted to my human was sat bolt upright and he had began to shake. The man on the TV didn't seem to say much, but I remember my human leaned over and snatched his mobile phone off the other side of the couch and frantically began to press the screen loads. "It's true Trey, It's true" he said. I didn't know what was true but I sensed that something wasn't right here, so I jumped off the couch and onto the floor, looking at my human in case he wanted me to do a task.

He called what seemed to be like a lot of other humans and he kept saying "I love you, we will do this, everything will be fine, just know I love you" which I thought was really nice of him and I kept wagging my tail to let him know that I loved him too.

A little while later there was this really and I mean REALLY noise outside, it was like one of those disco cars that go past really fast with the flashing lights on the top and the awful music playing loudly, it sounds like a siren, but I never know what it is... maybe it is a siren?

Next minute, my human hung up the phone and picked me up... GREAT I thought, we're off out! I took a look at my lead which was hanging by the door, but just before we got to it human turned and we went into the bedroom. He put me on the bed, closed the door and jumped on the bed next to me. He just said "Right Trey, come here, give me a cuddle, you need to be strong, but it will all be OK".

I walked over to him, confused by why he was doing this, because normally we don't cuddle up until it's bed time and I could tell that I wasn't tired and I knew my human wasn't either, but I lay down next to him and we shuffled into our normal position where I lay with my head on one arm of his and he puts his other arm over me and he moves me back so my back is on his chest. I could feel that his heart was beating really fast for some reason, maybe he was just happy to be going to bed, who knows!

He began to lightly stroke my head when we both heard this massive bang. It sounded like what human called thunder, which I was sometimes OK with, but this was really loud this time, so I didn't like it. I sat up to check my human was behind me, and he was, but I noticed tears had began to fall from his eyes. There wasn't enough time for me to wonder why because another loud bang happened and all the lights went off in the bedroom and it felt like the walls moved too. I let out a huge yelp and ran into my human's chest, he said loudly "It's going to be ok Trey, calm down, you're with me now".

I don't really know what happened next, I was being held by my human, but everything went really bright and really windy, then I felt a thud. My paws, all of them, began to hurt really badly and I wasn't being cuddled by my human anymore, I didn't know where he was because as quickly as everything had gone bright, it had gone dark again. I began to sniff the air and it was horrible, it was like nothing I had smelled before but I knew I wasn't where I had been.

"Trey?" I could hear my human shouting me, "Trey come here". It sounded like we were playing that game on the bed again, where he hides under the quilt and I have to find him and while I wanted to play this time, my paws and legs were really sore and I could have done with a cuddle more than anything!

After a few more calls of my name and commands, I began to smell my human, he was near, but I couldn't see him! It was like there was a lot of dust and I started to yelp until he came to me. After what felt like a life time, he did, my human was there. I tried to lift my paw to show him where it hurt, but I couldn't lift it up. "It's ok Trey, we will both be fine, but we have to move quickly". He scooped me up and seemed to run with me.

I knew something bad had happened, but with my human with me, I knew I would be OK.

This story is about a war starting, in case you didn't know. My human tells me that war is something which happens right now in many places around the world, please stop it.
It breaks my heart to think that other dog's in my position are without their humans tonight. We need our humans for love and cuddles, so please, do what you can stop war.
Me and my human are safe, this story never happened to us, luckily, and I never want to hear of it happening to anybody I know. When wars happen, human's suffer, but so do all pets.
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it.
Trey x

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Me and Anxitey... hint, we're not friends.

Anxiety is a mental disorder which I suffer with on quite a common basis. It is mentally changeable, but during the time of a persons suffering with this (and trust me, it is suffering) you'd think others would be more understanding and helpful, but apparently not, so i'm here to give you my insight in to what it is like to live with this problem on a day to day basis.

Anxiety can also show itself in the form of attacks, mental breakdowns, day to day living problems, nervous disorders and other more complex issues. My main form of dealing with anxiety is mentally, although it has been known to have an effect on my breathing and mood.

So when I wake up in the morning, I will look at my phone. While I swipe through the messages and emails and notifications in general, my mind will always look at who has contacted me and who hasn't. Who hasn't replied to a message I have sent them and why. Mental Anxiety will make me think first off that somebody hasn't replied to a message because they do not like me, that I must have done something wrong. If not controlled at this stage, my brain will go on to thinking about previous comments I have said, any past arguments, fallings out etc and this can be draining on you to be thinking all these thoughts first thing in the morning, and it really does slow you down.

Now at this stage, I will drop contact with people who haven't messaged me. This isn't because I dislike them for not messaging me or anything, but it is to stop me asking them what is wrong all the time and while my brain is thinking there is a situation, it is to stop that situation from getting any worse, a sort of protective measure for both sides, if you please.

I will explain to you about how my brain reacts when plans change, because this involves physical stuff and that can also have an impact.

So last week, me and a friend who haven't met up much recently made plans to meet up and go for a meal, maybe a walk around a local town and most of all, a good talk, I mean, friends are there for you to chew their ear off right? We had all the plans set into place. In the morning of that day I had other stuff to be getting on with, which causes me mental stress anyway, but in the afternoon I made contact and said basically "i'm ready, what's the plans" which were met with "I'm not in the mood for going... hope you find something else to do".

Now for me, that instantly sends the message of... I've done something wrong, so what is it, and it's hard to find an answer when I could be creating a situation in my head that doesn't exist in real life. Since then, there's been no contact between the two of us. My brain keeps thinking that I must have done something wrong, that maybe I didn't come across as excited enough for the other person to be happy about going etc. You do after a while begin to change thoughts, so mine went to thinking maybe she wasn't in the mood for going, maybe there's nothing wrong... but then social media plays it's part when you see that same friend going out with other people, where they could have been going out with you, you see status updates about phone calls they could of / used to have with you, and that just sends me mentally back to stage one.

It really does weigh you down eventually to where you don't feel like you can take much more and so you begin to cut ties with people after a while, to try and cut down on the mental stress you have to deal with on a daily basis, but sometimes that doesn't help. If anything, it can add to the amount of problems you have, because you wonder what sort of friendship you are missing out on and what could have been had you not cut ties with them in the first place.

Mental Anxiety is a very difficult thing to try and live with, like I said before, you would think others would be more understanding, but because mental health isn't spoken about openly by most people, nobody knows how to handle you.

I did hear not too long ago that there's set to be a million pound push on mental health services within the UK, bringing not only better treatment, but awareness to different mental health issues, I cannot wait for this to happen, because maybe then, more people will know what i'm going through and how to handle me.

Friday, 11 March 2016

I'm obsessed with a street artist...

Above is a video of the street performer I have come to know only as Mimo, although the artists real name I am unsure of. I have grown over a few weeks to love this artist and his wacky ways.

Being a street performer is hard work, it's something even I couldn't do and i'm known to go on a stage and perform for upto 400 people at a time which can be difficult, but with a basic plan in mind, it can be done. This sort of work though, actually being on the street and not knowing your audience or anything, is a scary prospect even for me. Here though you can see, this guy does it brilliantly, and can go anywhere in the world with this act.

Language is no barrier for this performer as you might have been able to guess, which means that anywhere in the world, he can be sure that people will understand what he means or even the songs that he sing's, which I have seen in the past include the james bond theme, funeral march, wedding march and many more.

I have still a lot to learn about this artist, but I am 100% a fan of his work. He is brilliantly entertaining and must be a thrill to see in real life, which I would love to see one day.

Friday, 19 February 2016

The Insider’s blog: Will NF man's conviction end months of harassment?

The Insider’s blog: Will NF man's conviction end months of harassment?

The above link will take you to a Hope not Hate page which will tell you all about the National Front's campaign in Wigan.

Wigan is a town near to where I live, so I happen to know many people who live within the area and their points of view, which true to the National Front, is not the same as the NF.

The NF is a group of mostly convicted men who have nothing better to do than commit violent acts against people, insight hatred against many communities of people including those who are black, female, gay, trans etc, basically anybody who isn't a white male.

If you wish to think of it as such, it's the UK's answer to the KKK, just this lot have never been in any form of political power and never will be.

It is time these men grew up, their current actions are the sort that they will come to regret later on in life. I simply refuse to take them seriously while they attend these marches, in numbers so low, you can often count them on one hand, and they often end with at least one person being arrested for a violent crime. I have a feeling I may well attend any future marches of their's in Wigan, just so I can add to the numbers of people who want to be seen to disagree with the members of the NF and what the group actually stands for.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Riley's account.

Ok, this is going to be a long one here, so keep reading if you're interested.

When it comes to content being reported here on Facebook, FB has a duty to inspect what has been reported. For example, you could report a picture of somebody naked, for the image containing nudity or pornography, which is fair enough. FB staff will look at the content and remove it from the site, sending a warning email to the account holder who posted the content which goes against the t&c's of this website.

From time to time however, content will be reported to FB staff which doesn't go against the website's t&c's, in which case, FB staff send an initial warning message to the person who's posted the content under question and once reviewed by staff, no further action is taken.

Then, we come to a case like Riley​.

Now the content which has seen Riley's account being blocked on here doesn't go against any of FB's t&c's, in any way at all, however...

Riley's account is under a protection measure because of the amount of content being reported which he has uploaded. None of which, I can hand on heart say, has been against any of FB's terms. However, because of the amount of content reported, his account is semi-closed, which FB staff are looking through all content posted, which is understandable, they want to protect other people from what could be harmful stuff.

This could easily be done within a day, however, FB blocks these accounts for upto (and including) 6 months, even if all reported content is found to still be allowed on this website.

Now, Riley is clearly being harassed by somebody. Riley is one of them guys who posts pictures of his dogs (which are adorable, so I don't think anybody minds them), food that he has cooked, or silly content designed to make the reader or viewer smile.

Facebook Engineering​ need to look at what process they put accounts through and work on a better time-scale for restoring account services fully. They should also have a think about a possible policy whereby if 1 person is reporting a lot of content which doesn't go against FB's terms, but could be judged as targeting a persons account, then they would be removed as a friend and possibly blocked.

Plenty for FB to do and think about. This IS a case of harassment and FB should be doing more. Please, share this video.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Pay your entertainers!

A little thing I saw the other week set a fire in me, which has caused me to be outraged at how the entertainment industry is being short changed at times, and people are falling for it.

The post was from a rather popular bar in the heart of Manchester City Centre, on canal street. Now, as I haven't approached them for comment, it's not fair to name and shame them, as the chances of them reading this are slim to none, but it is to do with their owner's post on Facebook looking for drag queens.

Now I get it, new drag queens are sometimes not up to the job fully. They are still learning their trade and could need some guidance when it comes to how to handle a crowd etc. This alone though isn't enough to be able to say that they don't deserve a fair pay for a fair amount of work. This bar in question was advertising and stating that on the job training was a part of the pay and as a result the pay "wasn't that good".

How is this acceptable? I know that in the entertainment industry hourly pay isn't a standard thing, it's usually x amount for the night or something and i'm not calling for this to be changed. I am however saying that a bar, shouldn't be taking advantage of people. I know that bar's can make a lot of money, even during the week when there's not a lot of customers which I why I find it's not acceptable to pay your entertainers less. Customers often come to a bar because of the entertainment being provided, without the entertainers, customers wouldn't turn up in many cases. Entertainment of all sorts can increase sales and help a venue to become well known.

So we must come together, as entertainers, and begin to set our own standards. Say that a good night's pay must help us to pay at least some of our bills. To say that no longer will "on the job training" become equal to a pay cheque. We can all learn our trade while making a good pay cheque and owners of venue's who wish to try and take advantage, can either join us and pay us properly, or they can allow their customers to drift off, while they struggle to find entertainers.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Depression and me - Part 2.

It seems over the past few months that my battle with depression is taking me on some really strange patterns of thoughts, which is making me look at myself in a different light.

Over the past year or so, I've lost friends, gained friends, got back in touch with friends and all in all, it's been a pretty mixed up time. You have to wonder at times if it is you who makes your standards, or the depression. Is it possible that if depression is charge of your emotions and thoughts, that you can set your standards so high, that people can't help but fail to meet them, and thus, you close your life to them?

My first real battle with depression came when I had not long left school. I had moved away from home, been living with friends and the long story short is, those relationships turned sour and I moved back home with my mum. Not too long after all this had taken place I wanted some space. I felt low in the fact that I had moved back home with my mother. A 20 something year old guy isn't going to be too happy living back with his mother, once he has tasted freedom in the way that I had.

3, maybe even 4 days at a time would pass when I would have the world closed away, avoiding everybody in my mothers house if possible and quickly making an exit if I had to interact with people. My mother I should point out was never rude to me and always made it clear that if I wanted to talk then she was there for me and I knew that all along, I just didn't want to reach out for help, since I didn't know what was wrong with me.

Over time though, my depression seemed to go away, like it had in my past, where in high school I had been told to go and see my doctor after feeling not too good about myself and talking with the school councillor. I went to see him and he prescribed me some anti depressants, which my mother refused me to be allowed to take, instead giving me a herbal alternative. I still claim that they did nothing to improve my mood, yet, others seemed to think so.

I guess the main thing that broke my depression was the fact I managed to get my own place to live. For once I felt better because here was a place I could call home. If I wanted to go and be depressed in the living room with nobody around me, I could do it. I could stay in bed all I wanted, I could have whoever I wanted around, at whatever time I wanted and for a long time, this life style was doing me fine and over a year or so, I was able to create my home.

That was all fine and dandy until I got into a relationship.

Now, i'm not going to delve too hard into my partners issues, but he has had to battle the same sort of demons in a relationship that I have. My demons came to light really, once we had started our couples counciling. He had been to see a councillor several times in the past and I had been sat in the room, she suggested that as his problems were to do with the relationship, maybe some couples therapy was in order and so off we went.

A few weeks into the counciling and we were doing good, but that's when my mind started playing tricks on me. My mind would hear about how some of his friends in the past had used places of... well lets say, you leave with a smile and a thinner wallet, if you catch my drift. These same friends are who he would go out drinking with and I wouldn't hear from all night. Little things like that where you as a partner should be able to sit back and just go "oh what is he like" were playing on my mind all the time, thinking, has he met somebody else, when will I find out, if I went and drove and sat outside his house, would I catch somebody in there with him etc.

These thoughts once in your head are very hard to clear. I know the good side to my boyfriend I really do. I know that 24/7 if I need him, he will be there. Like the night I had a few beers, and walked down a step awkwardly and my knee clicked, only when I got home and the drink was wearing off did it start to hurt and it was swollen, so he arrived at mine at about 3am and off to a&e we went. There's the time when I had been out drinking and come home on the phone to him, talked him into coming to mine so he could cuddle me, only I had fallen asleep and by the time I woke up, he had been sat outside for about 3 hours.

All these things mean a lot to me and he does tonnes more for me that I can't list on here because theres too many to mention, but still, my innermost thoughts lead me with the same feelings of "he's too good for you, he will find somebody better and move on" etc.

While all this is going on, 99.9% of the time, he is there to reassure me and say i'm talking nonsense etc, the other part of the time is him saying that I should seek my own help, away from the couples therapy, because I clearly have demons to battle and the way I am dealing with them right now isn't doing anything.

Yet, back to square one.

How can I seek help for something which I don't know about. I don't know why I have the typical jealousy thoughts that I do suffer with, I mean, I can try and pin them back to my first relationship, where my boyfriend at the time, tried to cheat on me with my brother, but is that the actual cause. The truth is, any help I did seek would require me to dig deep into my mind and frankly, that's a place even I am afraid to visit.