Top Quotes & Thoughts on Couple Goals

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We all see the hashtag of the perfect couples chinking champagne flutes on the veranda overlooking the perfect sunset, #couplegoals. Surely there's more to life than trying to outdo our neighbours with staged aspiration? And since when did the zenith for couples become sharing a daiquiri in a beach hut somewhere off the Maldives?

I guess we all have our own couple couples. Our own enshrined image of unachievable perfection. I've put down some thoughts, researched other blogs, quotes and notes and where relevant have tried to cite the authors best I can. 

  • 'The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.' - Ernest Hemingway

  • 'The secret to a lasting relationship? Plenty of square footage and two Tivo's.' (Television recorders) - Adam Carolla 

  • 'What I want in a woman is protection. Loyalty. Companionship. Loyalty, friendship, companionship, ferociousness. I want her to protect me, and have my back to the bitter end. If I have a fight, I want her to jump in. Even if I'm winning; even if she's ninety pounds.' - Mike Tyson

  • 'Most relationship fail because of lot of assumptions, accusations, jumping into conclusions without confirmation.' ― De philosopher DJ Kyos

  • 'It’s a topsy-turvy world, Jane, and maybe the problems of two people don’t amount to a hill of beans, but this is OUR hill, and these are OUR beans.' - Frank Drebin 

  • 'Grab her by the waist, push her up against the wall, kiss her and tell her she's beautiful. It's all every girl wants. You just need to find the courage to do it.' - Pinterest

  • Leia - 'I love you.' Han - 'I know.' The Empire Strikes Back 

  • 'I'm getting stronger in my weakness because of you.'  - Rob Johnson 

  • 'I didn't need you to fix me, I needed you to love me while I fix someone else.' - Pinterest

  • Paulie - 'I don't get it, what's the attraction?' Rocky - 'Fills gaps I guess.' Paulie - 'What's gaps?' Rocky - 'I've got gaps, she's got gaps. Together we fill gaps.' Rocky 

  • 'I may not always love you, but as long as there are stars above you, you never to doubt it, I'll make you so sure about it. And God Only Knows what I'll be without you.' - Beach Boys

  • 'You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how.' Gone With the Wind 

  • 'You make me want to be a better man.' - As Good As It Gets

  • 'George has got a love in his life and she's sticking with him. Do you know why? He bought her chairs. That's pretty smart to me. Every woman has her chairs something she needs to put herself into.' Phenomenon 


Mens Fashion & Style Icons From the 1920’s – 1930’s

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Between hitting the pads, swinging idly in the hammocks on Whitsunday Island, I've had plenty of time to catch up on some fashion history. As many of you already know my style inspiration for Hawkins & Shepherd shirts is heavily themed around the pin collar shirts that were massively in vogue in the 1920's to 30's.

I've made a tonne of research notes and stumbled across some devilishly handsome gentlemen that were really stood out from that era. I wanted to share some of those notes with you today.

Robert Montgomery

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Robert Montgomery was an American film and television actor, director, and producer. I've included an MGM still and to quote sartorial writer James Sherwood; I 'Love a man who can wear white flannel and a cravat with conviction.'

According to IMDB, in 1935, he became President of the Screen Actors Guild. His stay with MGM lasted 16 years, and was only interrupted by WWII when he joined the navy. He saw action in both Europe and the Pacific.

You'll notice if you Google Robert Montgomery that he wore a lot of suits, with heavy cloth as was typical of the time. But immaculate fit, incredibly suave. He was clearly a man who dressed with the plenty of intent.

Marlene Dietrich 

They're not all going to be dudes in this article. It would be utterly remiss of me not to point out the fine splendour of Marlene Dietrich, regarded as the original Flapper. I've taken notes from the wonderful book by Christopher Laverty called Fashion in Film, a derivative from his excellent blog Clothes on Film.

He talks about the costumier Travis Banton who made the suit for Marlene Dietrich's first Hollywood film entitled, Morocco. 

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'Banton eschewed the era's (1920's - 30's) more obvious glamour to craft a controversial indelible image in the history of cinema. Dietrich plays a nightclub singer Amy Jolly, seen for only the second time wearing white-tie formal attire for men: black tailcoat, black trousers, white wing-collar shirt, white dress waistcoat  with white bow tie, white silk pocket square and black top hat.'

I strongly recommend you to all look as closely at the trends in women’s styles as well as men. When I write articles themed around menswear trends, I've always got half an eye on what the women are up to. Especially in this rejuvenated, androgynous-shapeless, gender fluid fashion era, it's a mistake to think that one does not reflect nor inspire the other.

FURTHER NOTES

Whilst trawling through the glorious 'A History of Fashion' by J.Anderson Black and Madge Garland I thought this was worthy of note.

'The most important item of the new style was the width of the grey flannel trousers, or 'Oxford bags' as these large garments were called since they had been launched by some under graduates of Oxford University'.

Clark Gable

Clark Gable was very much the George Clooney of his day. Just look at the supreme collar fit on his shirt, perfectly angular for his dimpled chin.

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According to an excellent article by Vintage Dancer 'Most collars were 3 or 3.25 inches long but could extend down 5 inches. Clark Gable wore the 4.5 to 5 inch California collar in a few of his movies.'

His most recognised films are Mutiny on the Bounty, It Happened one Night and of course Gone with the Wind.

Before the Second World War would eliminate an entire clientele of Savile Row customers, the three main houses Anderson & Shepherd, Huntsman and Kilgour, French & Stanbury would have more than likely provided the suits for Gable, much like they did for Valentino, Astaire, Chaplin and Grant.

Fred Astaire

King of the White Tie and just an incredible dancer. I love the quote that Gene Kelly gave about Fred Astaire as being "the only one of today's dancers who will be remembered."

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According to linear notes in Savile Row, by James Sherwood, the earliest record of Astaire on the Row is in Anderson & Sheppard's 1923 ledger. His style has been immortalised in modern day trail blazers such as the late Tommy Nutter and his former partner Edward Sexton. 

For further reading you can catch the wonderful article by Gentleman's Gazette on the life, times and style of Fred Astaire. They go into fantastic detail about his tailcoats and reference his style ambivalences in his autobiography Astaire, Steps in Time: “At the risk of disillusionment, I must admit that I don’t like top hats, white ties and tails.”

Gary Cooper

Remarkably the long read of Gary Cooper on Wikipedia mentions very little of his personal style. By all accounts he wasn't much of a conversationalist. But his style spoke volumes. Like many of his leading men contemporaries of the time, Cooper got his suits tailored at Anderson & Sheppard. 

Post war Cooper would change allegiance to fellow Savile Row tailor Norton & Sons. His films of not would be the aforementioned Morocco, A Farewell to Arms, (he was good friends with Hemingway) and The Wedding Night.

I've found a wonderful quote on the Gary Cooper website that characterises my thoughts on the man. 'No matter what costume he put on, he looked like he owned it. The camera loved him, and so did the box office.'

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Some Positive Quotes To Get You By

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Sometimes you just need a mantra. A saying that you repeat in your mind until it becomes fused to the walls of your cranium. We all tend to slap ourselves in front of the mirror from time to time and call ourselves champs. 'You can do it Bro!!'

But there must be more positive sayings out there other than 'you got this' or 'man up p*ssy'. I've done some research, pulled together some notes, quotes and funnies that you can take on and make your own. Enjoy.

  1. 'Think big, be big my man'. Freddie Bauer, Splash

  2. 'I walk into the room expecting the best.' Pinterest

  3. 'Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and f*ck the prom queen.' - Mason, The Rock.

  4. 'We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive!' - President, Independence Day. (Modified from Shakespeare Henry V).

  5. 'You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!' Rocky, Balboa

  6. 'Once you carry your own water, you'll learn the value of every drop.' Pinterest

  7. 'Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.'– Ray Kroc

  8. 'Let's make this the best show we've ever done.' Jerry Springer, ahead of every meeting for every show he recorded.

  9. 'My style motto is pretty classic: you give off a positive energy when you wear what you're most comfortable in.' Petra Collins

  10. 'One of the most important keys to success is having the discipline to do what you know you should do, even when you don't feel like doing it.' – Unknown

  11. 'I will not apologise for who I am. I will not apologise for what I need. I will not apologise for what I WANT!' - Frank T.J Mackey - Magnolia

  12. 'Every passing minute is another opportunity to turn it all around'. - Sophia, Vanilla Sky

  13. 'Fake It Until You Make It! Act As If You Had All The Confidence You Require Until It Becomes Your Reality.' – Brian Tracy

  14. 'Act as if you are the president of this firm. Act as if you have a nine inch c*ck'. Jim Young, Boiler Room.

  15. 'Don't let the bast*rds get you down'. Kris Kristofferson

  16. 'Don't let the bad days make you think you have a bad life.' Pinterest.

  17. 'You got the prospects comin' in; you think they came in to get out of the rain? Guy doesn't walk on the lot unless he wants to buy. Sitting out there waiting to give you their money! Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it?' - Blake, Glengarry Glen Ross.

  18. 'The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.' Pinterest

  19. 'I am a very positive thinker, and I think that is what helps me the most in difficult moments.' Roger Federer

  20.  'Take a deep breath and remember who the f*ck you are.' Pinterest

 

Top Quotes About Coffee

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Have you ever tried giving up caffeine for week? It's just hell on earth. I can quit drinking. I can quit the Vienetta buffet size packs. But God damn the last thing I'll give up is caffeine. When I visited The Farm in San Benito last month I managed to kick the caffeine to the curb for a few days.

That was easy. I was horizontal for 90% of the time. Now I'm having to engage my brain, get early flights, write on the go, the caffeine is a crucial ingredient to me functioning. I've since picked up some interesting notes and funnies on coffee that I wanted to share with you all today. 

  1. 'As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?' ― Cassandra Clare

  2. 'I take it black, like my men.' - Young girl. Airplane

  3. 'I like my women like I like my coffee, in a plastic cup.' - Eddie Izzard. 

  4. 'If you like decaf then you don't like coffee.' - Adam Carolla

  5. May your coffee be strong and your Monday be short. – Unknown

  6. 'If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.' - Abraham Lincoln. 

  7. ‘I don't drink coffee at work, I don't need to be stimulated for that job.’ - Anon. 

  8. ‘I KNOW I'm a team player because I always ask if anyone else wants coffee.’ - Anon.

  9. ‘The only people that think coffee is overrated are cocaine addicts.’ - Anon.

  10. 'Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all.' — David Lynch

  11. 'Way too much coffee. But if it weren't for the coffee, I'd have no identifiable personality whatsoever.'David Letterman

  12. 'I'm the best at making coffee. If only I could make love like I make coffee I'd have them queueing round the block.' - Anon. 

  13. 'I don't drink coffee to wake up, I wake up to drink coffee.' - Pinterest. 

  14. 'She reeked of coffee. And I respected that.' - Anon.

  15. 'The guy who tells he can't have coffee after 2pm because he won't sleep at night. I can't hang with that guy.' - Anon 

  16. 'Last night I wanted to drink coffee. This morning I am drinking coffee. Follow your dreams people.' - Pinterest. 

  17. 'Two things I want to know on a first date. Does she want kids, does she drink coffee. The rest can be worked on.' - Anon. 

  18. 'Keep your friends close, your enemies closer and your coffee cup glued to your right hand.' - Anon. 

  19. 'The fact they always provide an equal amount of coffee and decaf in hotel rooms and breakfast bars, is just a sign of how much we still have to learn as a society.' - Anon. 

  20. 'You can't technically call this first class if you're out of coffee.' - Anon. 

  21. 'I've made it from the bed to the coffee maker. There's no stopping me now.' - Pinterest

  22. 'All geniuses like coffee. Beethoven even counted his coffee beans for every cup for Christ's sake.' - Anon. 

  23. 'I make coffee disappear, what's your super power?' - Pinterest. 

The Things I've Learnt From Russell Brand

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Whilst on my travels I've been watching a few Russell Brand YouTube videos recommended by a friend. Russell has got deeply bearded and philosophical about life, like we all do when we encroach on middle age. 

I thought I'd share with you some of the things I've picked up from listening to his podcast, Under the Skin, and his counselling sessions on YouTube. 

ON ATTACHMENT 

From Russell..

"People forming attachments to people. We only notice the negative ones. Negative attachment suggests that you're drawn to people that don't make you feel good about yourself. 

We then get involved in a cycle of relationships that you're unable to break often through fear. 'If I leave this relationship I won’t survive'. You need support from your need mentors that have been there and have overcome it. You need to help cultivate your sense that you have the resources in you to overcome it. A bit of self-belief, a bit of intestinal fortitude." 

What I did

It was an eye opener for me. I've been drawn to the wrong flame for a while. Constantly going back for more hurt, like I know it awaits. Like it has a welcome mat laid out for me alone. 

So I took Russell's advice. I called on some people I knew that had been through this. Asked them what kind of resources did they call upon to get over such mental hurdles. One friend said he forced himself to write down 100 things about himself that made him unique. 

He then made a list every day of ten positive things he had done. Even if they were little things like 10 press ups. Or called an old friend. It filling out that list it would make him look for positive and productive actions. 

That's what you need to turn things around. Change your mental landscape. 

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HOLDING A GRUDGE 

What Russell says.. 

"Holding a grudge. It's a resentment, its serious thing. If you have a grudge, loads of people in my past, the relationships I had, didn't end it the way I wanted it to. 

People live in a world with instincts, people have collisions. 

We forgive them. It's our job to forgive them. We forgive them. Don't say it to them, say it to yourself. 

Got a grudge you used to be in a relationship with, did I do anything to them, was I negligent? If you're willing to make amends, then you'll find you move forward in your ability to forgive." 

What I did.. 

I have been thinking recently of people that have done me a 'disservice'. People have come after me this year, I've spoken about that in previous blogs. I have to forgive them. I can't waste any more energy on bitter thoughts. 

I am capable of forgiveness so I've employed that facet of my nature. Conversely I've also talked openly about my misgivings. My flaws and the things I've done wrong that might have invite this level of hatred. I feel like I've forgiven myself in the process. Time to move on. I'm a shark baby, need to keep moving forward. 

LAZYNESS

What Russell says.. 

"What about the Rock and Mark Wahlberg getting up at 3am to do push ups in cryo chambers. 

It’s hard to get up at 7am. I'd like to stay in bed. I love to be cosy and snug. Don't we all. But then those feelings are always followed by anxiety and depression that you should be doing something else. 

There's moral attachment to actions and objects. The work ethic is intrinsically linked to morality, the dream of individualism from inner self you manifest these great lives, the apex of human achievements. It's very American isn't it. 

But then you look at cats and dogs doing nothing bugger all. And they're doing as good as you.

Laziness a nihilism. A personal nihilism. What's the point in doing anything. It's ok to rest, relax, important to have discipline. Find your own standards, abide by them. 

Laziness is only relevant if you feel you're not fulfilling your potential."

What I Did.. 

I've learned to accept that I can't get around to doing everything. I've made my peace with that. I wanted to release a podcast last year. Bought all the gear, did all the research. even interviewed my first guest. But there are only a certain amount of hours in the day. I couldn't allocate any time to it. 

This isn't because I'm lazy. I didn't do it because I couldn't be arsed. Similarly I'm not on holiday to avoid work. I'm working believe me. I just post the idyllic Instagram posts to throw you all off the scent. 

What I learned from Russell Brand was to abide by my own rules. Implement my own disciplines. I won't ever be lazy, but I need to learn that it's ok to sleep in once in a while. Not all of us want to get up at 3am. Screw that. 

 

How to Completely Renovate Your London Home in 6 Weeks

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I've now finished my Asian tour and now back home in London as I'm missed my dog Charlie, family and home. Talking of home, I recently saw a 3D property scan by my friend and guest editor Pete Brooker from 3D Property Scanning.

After a quick chat we agreed it would make for an interesting feature on the blog. Rather than regurgitate everything that Pete and I spoke about, I wanted Pete to tell his own story on how he managed to completely revamp his 2 bed apartment in Chiswick.

Hi all. The flat was primarily sold to us on ideal location, close to where my girlfriend works in Chiswick. You can see in the before 3D scan, that there was a lot of work to be done.

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KITCHEN

We had a great team of contractors in and they noticed immediately that the Gas Boiler was buried in a cupboard, barely accessible in the kitchen. We had to raise that out of the floor and rehouse it directly above.

The kitchen had some hideous blue tiling, fit for a bathroom not a kitchen. We completely retiled the kitchen, added a breakfast bar and installed a dimmable helicopter.

(If you’d like to purchase any of these products you can find the links in the 3D property scan. For transparency I’m not affiliated with any of the brands and all the products were paid for, not gifted).

Yes it was a bit of a crazy idea, but we wanted the kitchen to be a fun place to be. The faux brick wall wallpaper was added, a slight homage to the last act in Skyfall. 

TOP TIP

Don't throw anything out. We bought the wood for the breakfast bar and used the offcuts to make the shelfs above the sink. When we asked the builders if this was possible they had to go back to the skip and dig out the offcuts. Ask your builders and contractors to not throw any offcuts away without asking you first.

BEDROOM 

We got some bespoke mirrors made with concave framing to bring the illusion of space. The bed is an Ottoman from Dreams and I can't recommend these type of beds enough.

Perfect for storage and very accessible. We haven't had a chance to fit the blinds at the time of writing this, but have discovered that John Lewis are very competitively priced.

TOP TIP

If you're mounting a TV in your bedroom, always check the bracket compatibility. If in doubt contact the manufacturer, we did. Also plastic boxes from Muji are perfect for storage in cupboards. They do multiple sizes.

BATHROOM 

We completely gutted the bath and installed a bespoke fitted shower. We put a mirror on the back wall again to offer the illusion of space. Also if there are two of you, extra mirrors and dual sinks are a must.

We also installed under-tile heating which will be perfect in Winter and for any household pets to lounge on. A heated towel rail is also very convenient, no more arguments over damp towels.

TOP TIP

Get a shower douche. We didn't have no space for a bidet but a shower douche is the next best thing. The amount of time and toilet paper I now save is just unbelievable. Plus it's a nice feeling, down there.

STUDY

We got a corner desk and married the wood close (but not exact) to the shelfs. You'll notice throughout the flat there is a running theme of dark wood, walnut or black trims. Such as on the dining lights or myriad mirror.

The myriad mirror by the way is fantastic. A real wow factor for the room and I can't recommend the customer service at Habitat enough. Ask for Dawn at Habitat on Tottenham Court Rd, she is fantastic.

The sofa bed is also convenient for guests that come to stay.

TOP TIP

Don't be too precious in having all the wood matching. It was a big fear that the room would look naff with different wood themes. As long as they're closely matching in colour, it's not imperative to get matching wood.

ATTIC  

This was the biggest challenge in many respects. We have a lot of storage space in the eaves so wanted to house a chest of drawers and have them accessible from the outside. The contractors were indifferent at first.

We went and secured the drawers cheaply and had them framed and put some good handles on them. Rather than hide them discretely, we made a massive feature and it works really well I think.

The dining furniture we sourced from Barker and Stonehouse. We really mix and matched all the furniture. I recommend you visit their store in Guildford and spend an hour or so in there. Don't be afraid to rearrange the furniture in the showroom. We did.

MASSIVE TIP

When shopping for furniture ensure that the delivery men are insured to deliver to a second floor flat. (If you're no on the ground floor that is). We had great issues with this from another buyer and it got quite ugly at one point.

The couch we sourced from DFS. We do love the couch but have had some issues with the customer service team. That aside, be sure to put the L of the couch in the best possible position so it can add flow to the room, rather than corner of any space that will see a lot of traffic.

The fireplace also made for a great feature. Be sure to do your research and read all the terms and conditions before buying. Warranty, delivery, installation etc.

Lastly the TV, or as I call it 'the anti-gym' is a curved Samsung Tele 65" from Amazon. We shopped around for the best price versus quality and thought this the best. It does reflect quite a bit of light, but we only view in the evening with the blinds closed.

TOP TIP 

If you're having SKY TV installed, get friendly with the engineers and ask for what engineer discounts are currently on offer. We got the sports package the same day of installation much cheaper than if we paid for the package before or after.

Be sure to check out the video of the before and after renovation and if you need any advice or wish to discuss anything 3D property related I’m available on peter@brookerpublishing.co.uk

Thinking of Getting a Motorbike/Scooter in Bali: Read this before you do

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Bali certainly doesn't have the heightened chaos of Ha Noi, but it can still fairly intimidating if you've never been on a scooter before. Even if you have, it's best you acquaint yourself with a couple of do's and don'ts before you saddle up. 

Scooters are a great way to get around the island and in particular, short journeys around each location you're visiting, like Canggu. You can of course use Taxi's and they have GoJek app for rides, similar to Uber. Which is cheap. Although I've heard it can take a long time to get one booked.

You'll find most cafes, bars, gyms and restaurants all have decent WiFi so you shouldn't have any trouble getting online. 

Prices for scooter rental in Bali will range from 40,000-70,000 IDR per day. (2- 5 GBP). If you're looking to rent a single scooter for a longer period you can often negotiate a better rate. 

SAFETY TIP

Always wear a helmet and never accept a poor conditioned one. It has to be immaculately presented and well fitted. If they do not have one, do not hire the bike. Move on to find a better place.

DO's 

  • When over taking you must use your horn. Otherwise you run the risk of over riders veering into you. 

  • Keep a look out for wildlife. You'll share the road with more dogs, cows and wildfowl than you thought possible. 

  • Take your driver’s licence with you. You can get a temporary Balinese driving license (tourist driver's license) from the police station in Denpasar within a day (although this is not technically required to hire a scooter). Check with your hotel or ask any of the locals, they will know how you can get there. The cost is usually 22-23 GBP. Bring I.D and your sober face. 

If you have had no experience with riding, you can take a 2 hour training course. (Drop me a comment in the box below if you need any help). Alternatively you can always get your friend or someone from your group to assist you.

GOING FAST

Going fast (although don't) is easy. It's the going slow that is hard and that’s when most accidents happen. So train doing tight corners slowly in a car park until you feel ready to hit the road. 

The main traffic flow is rarely faster than 40km/h. However, 40km/h on a scooter is a different beast to doing 40km/h in the safety of your Ford Fiesta. The main roads are fun and you can (and should) get up to speeds around 60-70km/h. 

You'll find there is a cacophony of horns on the streets. Don't mistake this for London traffic sounds. These horns are to let people know of your presence. If you get beeped it's not out of aggression. 

LASTLY

If you're thinking of upping your fitness levels you can always hire a push bike. The heat is quite something out here so this might not be for you. It's always an option and many people cycle around in Bali due to lack of training/confidence on a motorbike. 

 

The Best London-Centric Content Creators on Instagram

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Instagram is still a wonderful place to hang out. Despite the negativity and influencer backlash that was doing the round earlier this year. I've really tried to turn my account into a place for positivity. It also gives me a chance to keep abreast of people’s lives that I would otherwise struggle to keep in touch with.

I'm going to be in Bali for a couple more days then it's back to blighty. Which I have missed. London has everything. It's home and I can't wait to see Charlie and the folks again. I've made a list of some London centric Instagram accounts that act as cosy reminders. Almost like love notes in my lunch box.

Here are some of the Best London-Centric Content Creators on Instagram.

ALEX COCKWILL

(Images above) Alex is an occasional engineer and has international imagery from New York, Sweden and soon Hong Kong and Sydney. You can check out his Instagram grid here.

There is something very gritty and urban about Alex's work. You can almost taste London through the photos. 

London Tip #1

You should definitely head over to the ArcelorMittal Orbit in East London. The area near Stratford has been rejuvenated since the London Olympics in 2012. A great place to shop, eat and abseil. 

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LONDON 

Simply @London. Wow there is a guy that got in there quick with the Instagram handles. With over 2.2 million followers it's going to be top of most searches. It's an Editorial Platform & Creative Agency and for your chance to be featured you can tag #ThisIsLondon.

London Tip #2

If you're coming to London and you so happen to be a James Bond fan. There are numerous James Bond locations in and around London. I've posted a blog about those here.

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UK SHOOTERS 

They shoot a lot around the UK, not exclusive to London but their London content is sublime. And through the prism of UK Shooters its highly distinguishable. With regular meet ups it's a great community spirit. Tag #uk_shooters and shop the merchandise here.

London Tip #3

If you're in town for a few days, maybe your hotel doesn't have a gym but you want to keep your fitness levels up, then check out KOBOX gym. I am an ambassador for the club, very proud of that. You can find them on Baker Street, The City and Kings Road, Chelsea. I've included them in my blog why I love London which you can check out here.

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BEN VISUALS

The shame of it is Ben hasn't posted for a while. Come back Ben!! However, there are 156 posts on his feed and they're all a mini slice of escapism. Shot through obscure frames, with art nouveau eye, disruptive picture plains. I like this guy, shot on a Canon, only 16 apparently.

London Tip #4

You might be looking to get some nice scenic shots along the canals. The Thames isn't the most picturesque of city rivers. This isn't Lucerne you know. But I've mapped out a few nice canal walks where I've taken Charlie before. You can check out that blog here.

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SHOTS DR

The infamous yet elusive Damien Rivoire. Specialises in London's streets and towers. With a penchant for the most gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. All taken with a Nikon D3200. 

London Tip #5

Coming to London and need a trim? I recommend Ruffians who have 3 barber stores in London. 

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HOLBROOK SHOTS

Luke Holbrook takes some of the most amazing photos of London. He uses a Sony A7iii and when he's on the move, a Galaxy S9+. I love the slow capture shots. Gives London a late night Bladerunner vibe.  

London Tip #6

Coming to London and want to know which hashtags to use? I always use #VisitLondon in my stories. Also tagging me will help as I will give you thumbs and buy you coffee! 

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TMNIKONIAN

You can buy his prints, contact details in his bio. Maybe I should start selling my prints. Leave a comment below if you think there is a market for me selling life sized cardboard cuts out of me without a shirt on. How about the Carl Thompson calendar, will surely fetch 50p on eBay right? 

London Tip #7

For an awesome place to shop and eat, where people might not find you, try out St Christopher's Place

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BASTAKE PICS

Basim (hope that's his name) is a London based Photographer (naturally) and a VFX artist. He has an eye for colour and architecture. But from unconventional vanguards. I love his innovations and the crispness of his delivery. 

London Tip #8

What about a Rooftop bar? London has some of the best in the world and I recommend the Santa Monica at Skylounge. I've made some notes over on the blog

 

Top Places for Brunch in Canggu, Bali

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Back in Bali people. That will be for sure, the name of my next coffee table book. It's my predictive text response for where people ask where I am currently. Admittedly it's been quite the tour. Hopefully my travel tips and Vlogs have been of use for anyone looking to travel to Sydney, Bali, Philippines, Singapore etc. 

Today I'm going to extend my travel advice in Bali, and give you all the best top places for brunch in Canggu. 

CRATE 

It's true what they say about Crate in Canggu, they really do have the fastest internet in town. An amenity not to be underestimated for a travelling blogger looking to upload his vlogs and insta stories. 

You'll look to pay 200k for 2 meals and 2 smoothies. (Just over 10 GBP which is more than digestible, pun intended).  

Great for INSTA photos, everything is presented like it was designed for a fitness magazine supplement. Extra bonus points for free refills (not sure if that was just for me) and for brewing your own brand of coffee. 

MOTION

The most amazing smoothie you'll find in all of Bali can be sourced at Motion cafe. Go for the Banana Gluten free smoothie and pancake and thank me later.

The food is fresh, full of flavour, healthy and always filling! Places for parking the scooter are available. Might sound obvious but not all cafes in Bali offer this. 

ORGANIC CAFE

The air conditioning inside is a God send. Especially for those just coming from a training session. (You may have seen me in boot camp a couple of times on my INSTA stories. I feel like I'm training to take on Drago out here). 

The prices are very reasonable and the location is just a stone's throw away from Batu Belig Beach.

NUDE

Seriously recommend the smashed avocado on toast and ricotta corn fritters. It's great for people watching as you can sit outside and watch the world and his dog go by. 

Healthy and delicious and I found NUDE had the best service of all the cafes in Canggu. Remember to smile people, it doesn't take much. 

OKA'S BAKERY 

I found Oka's Bakery to be the best place for value for money. Generally eating in Canggu is relatively cheap. But if you're traveling on a real budget then this place is the best. Great espresso machine coffee, big portions of food and very delicious sweets like the snow balls. 

Recommend the breakfast wrap. 

LOFT

Some of the best Vegan options in Canngu. Not exclusively Vegan however. I recommend the beetroot hummus, the best I had in Bali. 

It's a very popular spot and good for socialising if you're looking to share stories with fellow surfers, travellers etc. 

 

 

Jo Malone London: Fragrance Combining Palette

A new month and it's time to bring you the latest from the Jo Malone London news desk. As a proud Jo Malone London ambassador I'm fortunate to be privy to all the latest news and releases from Jo Malone London, which I’m delighted to reveal to you today. 

As many of you know I'm on the final leg of my Asia/Australia tour. At some point soon I expect to have that George Clooney moment from Up in the Air when the flight crew come out with a cake to celebrate my 10 million frequent flyer miles. 

However, it's been the perfect opportune time to road-test the new on-the-go perfumes from Jo Malone London. The sleek, travel-ready palette is designed to effortlessly encase two solid perfumes for scent on-the-go. Presented in a protective pouch and perfectly sized to slip into a pocket or small bag with room to spare. 

The beneficiaries of this are not just the end-user, but every other passenger on the flight whose senses can often be perturbed by aerosol perfumes. The new condensed balm application offered by Jo Malone London is certainly more discrete, practical for travel and socially acceptable. 

You can pick two of your favourite scents and apply them separately or layered. The small square case is great, it is like a zippo lighter.

Although I don't condone smoking and have never smoked, I appreciate the accoutrements of smoking and the trappings. For example, if you've ever held a Dunhill Rollagas Zippo in your hand you'll appreciate how some struggle to quit, aside from the additive chemicals of course. 

I digress. 

What I'm trying to get at, are these Jo Malone London casings are reminiscent of those same feelings of refined luxury. High quality, with a decent weight. I love it. I showed them to someone who came to visit me in the Philippines. She mooted that they would find a good home in her handbag. 

I told her like a true commercial, that these solid perfume refills can be purchased online at jomalone.co.uk or at Jo Malone London boutiques nationwide.

Customers can fill their palette with their choice of two Jo Malone London scents from a selection of ten of the brand’s most-loved, to create their own irresistible pair:

Lime Basil & Mandarin Basil & Neroli Pomegranate Noir English Pear & Freesia Blackberry & Bay Nectarine Blossom & Honey Peony & Blush Suede Mimosa & Cardamom Wood Sage & Sea Salt Oud & Bergamot

The new solid perfume formula has a light, smooth texture containing pure beeswax, and ensures a rich scent when applied to the skin.

How to use:

Swirl the smooth formula onto wrists, neck, décolletage, even the ends of hair.

Wear solo, or layer together to create a compelling combination. Jo Malone London recommends applying the richer scent of the two first. Mix, match and play.

When it’s time to try a new combination, simply use the enclosed pin to pop the two scents out of the palette.

Fragrance Combining TM Palette RRP £24 / €27 Solid Perfume - Cologne RRP £14 / €16 Solid Perfume - Cologne Intense RRP £16 / €18

American Crew Launch Fiber Grooming Foam

American Crew have just launched NEW Fiber Grooming Foam, an expansion of the brand's Fiber Line that caters to the popularity of longer length hairstyle for men. 

Formulated with unique Fiber technology (ps - yes it does pain me to spell 'Fiber' the American way, but it's their product, their rules) Fiber Grooming foam takes the diverse product to new lengths. 

Is it any good Carl? 

I've taken the product out here with me and road tested it in the hot climates. Where most hair products fall down is that the application is greasy, the finish is wet-unnatural look as opposed to a nice clean shine and the damn thing doesn't last longer than an hour. 

This American Crew Fiber Grooming foam is designed specifically from medium to longer length hair. Although mine is on the shorter end, I still wanted to test the hold and the finish and I was pleased with both. It's high performing and leaves a natural shine and soft feel. 

"Grooming foam has a strong hold that adds thickness to fine hair with its fibrous properties, without leaving any residue in the hair. When working with thick hair it comes into its own with a malleable Fiber that grips the hair to give support and help lock in their style whilst adding volume." Ian Harrold American Crew - All-Star

The Application

It's water based, its similar to what you see in mousse and aerosol products with a citrus smell. It is unlike any other product due to the Fibers. The hair feels like it has volume and movement, has bounce. Not rigid or crispy. All the good stuff of a mousse. 

Perfect For

Obviously if you have long hair but you want to it to dance to your tune, then give this a try. But if you have hair like mine that's short-medium but coarse and curly, this can also play some neat tricks. I've enjoyed using it. I like the texture it has that by-the-beach feel to it. Also as it adds texture and weight, maybe if you're thinning out this could also be the product for you. 

*This paid post was created in collaboration with American Crew UK.

48 Hours in Sydney: Best places to visit

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Sydney was amazing. I wish I had more time (and money) to stay longer. However, I ticked somethings off the list, not everything I got to try but got some great tips and advice from the locals and people on Instagram. 

Here for you is a list of amazing things to do in Sydney.

The Rocks

The Russell Boutique Hotel is nice and a good base for your stay, slightly off the beaten track (albeit in a tourist destination) - it will be relatively quiet during the week but very noisy/boozy area on Friday& Saturday nights.

If you need to grab a quick French breakfast/brunch close to your hotel there’s the local la Renaissance.

If you’re after a kangaroo, crocodile or Emu pizza try the Australian Heritage Hotel

Close by you is the Museum of Contemporary Art (entrance on George St, and backs on to harbour/Circular Quay). MCA has exhibitions which honour and reflect the Aboriginal indigenous people of Australia which gives a different historical perspective to the European settlement. Cafe on rooftop has nice outlook, and another on ground floor to people watch on Circular Quay. Good gift shop.

Also handy is the Sydney Harbour Bridge so how about doing the bridge climb, guys?!

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Circular Quay Area

A stroll from The Rocks is the bustling hub of Circular Quay:

Opera House. Legendary Opera House and a signature landmark. If you are there after May 24 you’ll be able to see it spectacularly lit up during Sydney Vivid Festival.

The Royal Botanic Gardens are lovely to stroll through, just next to Opera House. Once upon a time there used to be tribes of Flying Foxes/bat like creatures living in the trees - quite creepy little things but at dusk each night they’d fly en masse past the window of my hotel (beside Hyde Park/Darlinghurst). Authorities tried to get rid of them because they were destroying the trees, so not sure if you'll still find them in the Gardens.

Top restaurants with dress circle views of Circular Quay are Quay, Aria and Bennelong - expensive but world class.

For more casual, buzzy evening dining by the water but without the big views perhaps go to Cowper Wharf, Woolloomooloo - There are a line-up of eateries, some of the better ones are China Girl, Otto.

There are lots of awesome cheaper, cheerful restaurants in inner city suburbs of Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Chippendale so worth researching yourself to find your favourite kind of cuisine and vibe.

Definitely explore Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Redfern if you're into your street photography. Old worker cottages, classic pubs etc. 

Circular Quay is home to the city's Ferry transport hub and you must go somewhere on a ferry as it gives a unique perspective and a good look at the beautiful harbourside properties.

Some of the trips you could do by ferry are:

Taronga Zoo Ferry - they have some native animals there at the zoo and it's a quick trip by water with nice views back to the city from the northern side of the city.

Rose Bay Ferry - go for lunch at Catalina, Rose Bay. (Ask for seat with view) You’ll go past some of Sydney's most expensive real estate on the way there in the Eastern suburbs of Double Bay, Elizabeth Bay, Darling Point, Point Piper. [This is the ferry Favourite Hooman took to go to his school, Cranbrook in Bellevue Hill]. 

Rose Bay wharf is where the seaplanes land and take-off, so if you really want to cover some ground and maybe fly up to Palm Beach where the rich and famous have their weekend houses, then maybe consider a sea-plane tour! (There seem to be two companies that do tours to the same restaurants/destinations that accommodate the seaplane)

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Bondi Area

Bondi Beach - Yes, it's a cliche destination, and yes, you might be underwhelmed in terms of the beach but don’t not go as it epitomises the Aussie beach lifestyle. 

If you have an Opal prepaid public transport card you can get a 333 bus from city to the beach cheaply and reasonably quickly. 

Bondi Beach is very busy at weekends. Visit iconic restaurant Icebergs which I really like…the views are highly instagramable but book seat with view.

Another good place to eat is Seans Panorama.

While you’re at Bondi Beach and feel like some fresh sea air/exercise then the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk is spectacular. 

Or have a swim in the saltwater pool below Icebergs!

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Paddington suburb

If you want to get out of the city and have a wander in a pleasant local suburb then there’s a strip of Paddington you could look at:

Start at the little pocket of fashion shops around Glenmore Rd, then you can walk up Oxford Street taking in the quirky little William St shopping area which runs the length of the street, ending with coffee in Alimentari. An awesome design store you should check out is Dinosaur Designs where you should buy a little vase or platter to take home as a souvenir.

Beautifully merchandised tiny showroom. Paddo Inn is an upmarket pub for local upwardly mobile, Parlour X a fashion store, international labels in interesting historic building. If you need an emergency blow-wave my old hairdresser is Valonz. Smart modern bistro for dinner in the area is Centennial Hotel.

So that is but a few recommendations around the city for a first or second time visitor!

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The Whitsundays & How to Get There | One Off the Bucket List

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I hope you all enjoyed my latest YouTube video about Whitsundays. This article will just be a quick debrief on how to get there, where to stay and also a chance for me to share some more photos I took on my trip. Which was awesome by the way, thanks for asking. 

The easiest way I found to get to Whitsundays was flying in from Sydney or Brisbane to Hamilton Island. Virgin Australia do a flight out there and it will take you about an hour from Brisbane (longer from Sydney).

From there, Cruise Whitsundays operate a transfer to Hamilton Island to Airlie Beach. This takes about an hour and will set you back 60 USD. 

Airlie Beach harbour is buzzing. A vibrant beach, very much the hub for people either heading off to Whitsunday Island, The Great Barrier Reef or Fraser Island. I stayed there for 4 days and didn't see the same face twice. 

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I booked ahead for the tour through Red Cat Adventures (not affiliated) although if you have time it might be an idea for you to rock up on Airlie Beach and ask around the various travel agents. Ask for the best price, also if you're staying on a boat or hotel. I've heard the boats are more community focused if you're wanting a more social experience. 

There's many tours. You can book in advance, but you can also rock up on the day and choose a tour that’s right for you. I opted for the Ride to Paradise tour. Which is now the new name I give to my little gentleman. Replacing his previous alias, Big Wednesday

As you'll see in my video I got to enjoy many splendours. Including relaxing in a hammock with a gorgeous cup of tea overlooking the stretched greens and unspoilt beaches. The dorms were plush; fit for a James Bond film. The food was inclusive and included BBQ grilled fish put on by the crew. 

Included in the package is snorkelling, canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding. Sure the weather wasn't the best. Rained at times and the clouds looked murderous on some days. Still, made for some great photos that I'll include here.

Overall one off the bucket list and a very well put together tour. If you have any questions about Whitsundays then drop me a comment and I'll help out where I can. 

 

 

Celebs Bring Their A-Game to the Avengers Endgame Purple Carpet

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When you have ten hours at an airport to kill you can't help but fall down a few rabbit holes on the internet. With the Avengers And Game premiering in LA this week I got to see the whole thing unravel on Twitter, Instagram etc. I've developed a rather obscure fascination with celebrity style and red carpets these days. I've made some notes and might require some of your help to identify the tailors and brands. 

Anthony Mackie - Falcon

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Falcon! Anthony did his research alright. Look how cool he looks on the purple carpet with his purple knitted tie and purple check shirt. His 3 piece suit looks to have a dusting of purple in it, although the light and the carpet could be playing tricks on me. 

This is could be a Calvin Klein suit. He has been known to endorse Calvin Klein before for a shoot for Sharp Magazine. Although if I was a gambling man I'd guess this is a Brooks Brother suit. Similar to the BrooksCloud fit, deconstructed. 5 button waistcoat, bruschetta pocket and peak lapels. The fit is so good around the shoulders. Brooks Brothers also did the wardrobe for The Adjustment Bureau in which Anthony starred. 

Chris Evans - Captain America

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Cap is a big lover of Salvatore Ferragamo. He wore Ferragamo to the Oscars and arrived in China as part of the press tour for Avengers Endgame wearing an all red Ferragamo suit. 

For the premiere in Los Angeles Chris arrived dressed in a custom royal blue two-button notch suit with a slim-fit mint shirt and tie by Ferragamo. 

Chris Hemsworth 

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A real ballsy number this and not afraid to show off some silver jewellery also. Hemsworth wore a full paisley suit by Etro. The shirt is also just-off navy and his silk tie is a heavy midnight blue with still a touch of paisley print to it. 

This look required no pocket square as it would interrupt the flow of the pattern. Instead Chris has accessorised with some silver rings, a black bead bracelet and gold bezel watch. Probably by TAG Heuer as he is an ambassador. Thanks to GQ magazine for highlighting the brand. 

Robert Downey Jr - Iron Man 

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Jesus Christ talk about rabbit holes. Trying to find out who does Robert Downey Jr's suits is like swimming through custard. I gave up in the end so if anyone can help me out with that I'd love you for it. 

Robert wore a black and silver embellished 1 in 4 double breasted suit that screamed Gucci. I'm tempted to say Savile Row tailor Richard Anderson could have been the mind behind this as he's known for odd quirks in detail. Check out the jetted pocket on the right skirt, unmatched to the flap pocket on the right. 

The peak grosgrain lapels are wide enough for Sexton to raise an eyebrow, and the gold collar matches evenly with his signature eyewear. For my money he is trying too hard to stay hip with his suede ankle top biker boots. But what do I know. Bradley Cooper (right) shows him how it should be done. 

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Some Uplifting Quotes for Lost Love

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Today I want to share notes and quotes on lost love. Yes unrequited love. The achy break stuff that Billy Ray Cyrus would talk about. We've all been there. And if there are any kids reading this, don't be fooled with what people say, it doesn't get easier as you grow older.

Ironically, you're better off getting all the heart break out of the way when you're younger, although you're not emotionally equipped to handle it. You're like an open wound. Your skin will granulate when you get your heart broken again and again.

My best advice if you're going through hell. Get down the gym. Punch some heavy bags. Lay off the booze. Lay off the junk food. Get back in the saddle as quick as you can. By the way here are those quotes and sayings that might resonate with a few of you. I've tried where I can to cite the author.

  1. 'It's painful to think you will never be mine but it is even more painful to realise I knew all the time.' - anon

  2. (Coming home to find his partner has cheated on him and the guy is still in the house watching tv). 'You do not get to watch my f*cking television set!' - Vincent - Heat

  3. 'You can love someone so much...But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.' ― John Green

  4. (The end scene, Woody Harrelson says this to Demi Moore before signing the divorce papers). 'Now I know the things that people in love do to each other they remember. And if they stay together it’s not because they forget, it's because they forgive'. David Murphy - Indecent Proposal

  5. 'Love needs too much help, hate takes care of itself.' - Charles Bukowski

  6. 'I hate it when relationships peter out. Every relationship should end with crockery thrown or a door being pulled from its hinges.' - anon.

  7. 'The way to love anything is to realise that it may be lost.' - G. K. Chesterton

  8. 'True love waits.' - Thom Yorke 

  9. 'From day to day I'm not sure what I lost, but I always know what you lost.' Kristina Mahr

  10. (When his partner has walked out on him, he can't believe that she is leaving him he screams..). 'I'm the alpha baby. I'm the omega baby.' Bruce Nolan, Bruce Almighty

  11. 'I'm not in love, so don't forget it. It's just a silly phase I'm going through. I hang your picture on a wall. It hides a nasty stain that's lying there.' - 10cc

  12. (Tom Cruise in the role of his life, an entrance to a workshop where he encourages men to be men. His mantra is..) 'Respect the c*ck, and tame the c*nt'.' - TJ Mackey, Magnolia

  13. 'One day you're going to notice you should have tried. I was worth the fight.' Pinterest

  14. 'Nothing is lost, only misplaced.' anon.

  15. 'I'll always be a chipped cup because of you.' anon.

  16. (On reflecting his top 5 break ups. Realising the current one is not even on the list. She is incapable of hurting him like the others have in the past. He screams this out the window to his partner who is leaving him..) 'If you really wanted to mess me up you should have gotten to me earlier'. Rob Gordon, High Fidelity

  17. 'They leave and act like it never happened, they come back and act like they never left.' Pinterest.

  18. 'You and I will always be unfinished business.' Pinterest

  19. (Finding out that his partner has been having an affair, she tells him all the graphic details) 'Good thank you. Thank you for honesty. Now f*ck off and die, you f*cked up slag.' - Clive Owen. Closer.

 

The Christian Bale Look: Where to shop

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Christian Bale is a very interesting Style Icon. For my money he is at the apex of A-list actors and his canon of films will already leave a greater legacy than most of his contemporaries. American Psycho is one of the ballsiest art house films, now a cult classic, but could have completely derailed his career as an actor. The subject matter was too risqué for Leonardo Di Caprio who reportedly turned the role down. 

But let’s focus on Christian Bales style. Of late I've seen him adopt a very black-on-black look when it comes to the red carpet. Bespoke Brioni, black shirt, black tie and black suit. In keeping really with the aura of the man which is still something of an enigma. How perfect for The Dark Knight, to have such an illusory appeal. For my money he'd make a great James Bond, still. But The James Bond producers typically opt for a calibre of actor who is still a relative up and comer. Bale is too established to cut the figure of Bond now. 

Sorry I was talking about his wardrobe. In this article I'm going to give you some alternatives to the Christian Bale look, I'm not affiliated with the brands in any way. 

Bale has a very casual, almost schlubby look when off screen. This Navy Harrington over navy tee and straight denim is very much an incognito look for Bale. He is not looking to stand out or grab attention. I've picked this outfit out because the fit is still fantastic. Not every outfit has to scream 'look at me'. 

I've pulled a close alternative Navy Bomber jacket from RRD that has a very fitted silhouette.

Continuing along with the Christian Bale casual look you'll notice that even his casual style has little time for ostentatious logos or designs. This black denim shirt has been worn in. The collars are slightly dog-earred and the colour has drained. 

However, I know from experience that you should be reluctant to ever wash your denim shirts. The Lee Western denim shirt might have a dual patch pocket instead of Bale's singular breast pocket, but you'll still achieve a similar look. 

The Cargo pants, or cargo trousers as we call them feel very American on Bale. He probably feels more at home in his casual attire. I get the feeling if he didn't have to scrub up for roles that demanded a shave, he would be living night and day in cargo pants. 

You can find dirt cheap cargo trousers online. H&M, Mountain Warehouse all do them for £20 ish. I quite like the cut of the Jack Jones Cargo pants and you can shop for those here

I doubt Bale feels comfortable modelling clothes for modelling sake. I'm sure he'd much rather be doing push ups somewhere. But he's wearing a very deluxe black Salvatore Ferragamo Knit jumper for this shoot. 

I'm going to recommend something else other than a £10 knit from H&M. By the way, if we really want to do something about fast fashion maybe search engines can do something else other than throw up H&M or ASOS stuff that you can buy for less than a Soya Cappuccino. 

Anyway, check out my friends down at King & Tuckfield. They have some knits that are sustainable and deluxe. One is currently half price. 

The American Psycho raincoat jacket. Yes, one of the most famous coats in the history of cinema. I know for a fact that Rains in Coal Drops Yard near Kings Cross had a limited edition run of these. 

They do a metallic, silver equivalent on their site so I'm presuming the transparent jacket may have sold out. Perhaps it was never listed and was in-store only. I'd certainly give them a call and ask if this is the exact jacket you want. 

How To Manage Stress: Dealing With Stress

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How to handle stress. Whilst out here on my travels I've been deliberating on this question a lot. Part of the reason why I've taken time out to go traveling is because I was feeling the physical effects of stress in my life.

I've asked many people the same question, what are their coping strategies for stress and have never gotten the same answer twice.

In this article, I'm going deep in the weeds. I want you to grab a mint tea and put that Bladerunner rain meditation track on YouTube. (Not the Hans Zimmer one). I'm going to give you all the information I have on how to reduce stress in your life.

What are you really worried about?

After reading The Art of the Good Life by Rolf Dobeli, I've adopted one practice that I really want you to try. It's called the worry bucket. You take ten minutes out of your day. Do it on your commute to work. And write down what's on your mind. The things that are causing you anxiety.

Is it your job?
Is it a reunion?
Is it a relationship?
Moving house?
Not being able to afford rent?

What's the worst case scenario?

I was given this advice when I was in my teens. What's the worst that could happen? I had real trouble asking girls out. Before the days of Tinder and Facebook, talking to a girl was a massive deal.

Without knowing it, I was already displaying symptoms of anxiety. The pressure of chatting to girls was building like an inferno in my guts. What if I run out of things to say? What if she says no to me asking her out. Hell, what if she says yes?

I was too young to implement the worst case scenario strategy. I didn't have the clarity of mind to initiate logic as a means to resolving anxiety.

However, now if I use this following algorithm into a thought experiment:


FEELINGS: (Start at the beginning, what are your immediate thoughts on how you're presently feeling).

Anxious, worried, restless, scared.

BECAUSE OF THIS PROBLEM: (Isolate one problem at a time).

Relationship issues.

WORST CASE SCENARIO: 

Isolation. Will be left alone. Will have to start all over again. Will lose a best friend.

STRESS PROGNOSIS: (How is this problem going to affect you if the worst happens).

Rejection, heartache, insecure, lack of confidence.


Right away you've identified your immediate problems and compartmentalised some actualities. Did you notice that in the worst case scenario that no one died? Did you notice that there was nothing in the stress prognosis that can't resolved time or without some intestinal fortitude?

If you imagine the worst case scenario for all the things that are causing you stress and anxiety, you might find they fall woefully short of the obstacles you've overcome in the past.

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How you can manage stress on a physical level? 

There's something cool that humans can do when it comes to dealing with stress and anxiety. It's what differentiates us from the animal kingdom. Well, and the fact we use cutlery.

As humans we can control our breathing in the way animals can't. Sure dogs open their mouths to cool from the heat. However, when we control our breathing we can control our fear.

There's a reason why Yoga and meditation focus on the breathing. Breathing can override the reptilian side of the brain that is reminding your subconscious-self of all the nasty things that are happening in the world.

Breathing slowly and deeply harnesses that fear. It's going deeper into the side of the brain that has the brain stem, this defuses the reptilian side of the brain, almost making it obsolete.

Life coach Martha Beck, Ph.D. also advises us to first focus on our body and take the attention off the situation that’s stressing you by getting physical distance.

Imagine you're in a hostile situation, a board meeting, an inquisition. Simply ask to take a nature break and spend a minute in the rest room.

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Observe the stories you're telling yourself

Most glib listicles such as 10 ways to manage stress, will all have this common denominator; observe your own thinking.

If there is no physical threat in the room, if you're not all of a sudden face to face with an escaped big cat from London Zoo, then your stress is an illusory fixation. You're telling yourself you need to be worried about such and such.

Perhaps the stress is genuine, like. 'How am I going to deliver this speech?' Or 'How will I be able to tell my partner that I've deleted the entire contents of her hard drive?’

These are all stories that we tell ourselves. This is the narrative that our mental health is governed by. If you are constantly the barer of bad news and pessimism to your conscious self, then you're going to exude all the classic symptoms of stress. 

What are the causes of stress on your body?

I've dug deep here and looked into scientific studies on stress. In a nutshell your body will react in many different ways when it's under mental or physical duress.

You might be prone to bouts of acne. Headaches, lack of sleep, the urge to consume more alcohol.

Does any of that sound familiar? Also does any of that sound like a recipe for success?

You could also incumber back pains due to an increase level of cortisol. Inevitable depletions in energy. Libido.

Jesus, not the libido, please!

Digestive disorders become more frequent in people that are experiencing high levels of anxiety. Heart fluctuation and good old fashioned depression which as we know, can be like a whirlpool into a plughole of mental sludge and general crap.

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What can I do?

You can start by talking about it to people. Sharing your thoughts with loved ones. Calling people up on the phone you've not spoken to in a long time.

Do your own research. Spend 20 minutes on Google, YouTube, chat forums. See how stress is effecting other people and ask questions of how they overcome their life adversities.

Always seek counsel from your local GP.

Lastly, give me a call brother. Or leave a message or comment in the box below. Drop me a line on my social channels. I'm Mr Responsive when it comes to this and am genuinely wanting to start making my own platform a place for people to come and start feeling better about themselves.

 

The Tom Hardy Lookbook & Where to Shop: Get the Tom Hardy look

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The Tom Hardy style is a real bar-setter for anyone aspiring to build their wardrobe. I've been spending a lot time scrapbooking, assembling mood boards for various designs and projects and thought I'd put together some of the Tom Hardy highlights.

The comparison clothing are just suggestions. They are not replicas or screen accurate. I'm also not affiliated or sponsored by any of the brands.

Tom Hardy Dunkirk Farrier Shearling Bomber Leather Jacket

Remember seeing this beauty in the iMax but getting wildly distracted. I kept thinking I need to track this jacket down the minute I get home. I think sadly, so did every other man because it became such a saturated trend after that I gave it a trend-miss.

However, a few years on it could be the time to revive the shearling bomber leather Jacket. If you're not in the market to wear real shearling then a company called American Leather Jacket has modelled a replica which is now reduced.

Tom Hardy Elusive Brown Jacket

I'm struggling to find this cool brown jacket anywhere. It looks like something that Belstaff might do but the fabrics not leather. I've put an interesting comparison of a jacket by Feather Skin.

I know the design is way off but I like the vibe. The jacket Tom is wearing could be Dunhill as I know Tom likes a bit of Dunhill. I have located the tee shirt though. Check out Dead Legacy they have some playful designs.

Tom Hardy Check Shirts

The Check shirt, lumber jack look is a signature look of the casual Tom Hardy. He'll wear these kind of shirts in films and in his free time. I've struggled to get a close one on this purple/grey casual shirt.

I used to own one similar by Scotch & Soda. Whilst this looks like Scotch & Soda it's not available on their site. I've cast a broad net and found some close-ish comparisons on ASOS. Brands like Jack Jones, River Island and Original Penguin will offer close alternatives for check shirts.

Tom Hardy Suit & Shirt Style

Despite my reservations about this film you can't ignore that Tom Hardy was fantastic in it. The costume design by Caroline Harris was also quite ravishing in places. I listened to an interview with Soho Tailor Mark Powell on the From Tailors With Love podcast who was quite indifferent to it, but I'm a fan.

Sartorially the two Kray brothers, (both played by Tom Hardy are distinguished with Ronnie wearing Double breasted and Reggie wearing single breasted suit jackets. Simple and effective.

The suits were made from wool sourced from northern mills. Christopher Ecclestone, played the character 'Leonard 'Nipper' Read' and wore an old 50's original suit from Hardy Amies. 

The tab collar shirts shirts I imagine were tailored and can be found via Hawkins & Shepherd. Those crisp white shirts have been a source of inspiration for me when designing my own shirts. Check out my range of formal white shirts that are a homage to the classic styles of 50's and 60's tailoring. 

Tom Hardy White Henley T-Shirt

So this one we know is from Dunhill. I'm more in love with the ensemble than I am with just one piece of clothing. The beaded necklaces is certainly the sort of thing I've been paying closely recently with the impending launch of my own brand. 

But the beard, the style, it all comes together for me here. Also notice the henley is textured so it lifts up. There is something palpable about this top. Or maybe it's just because there is a body of tepid steel lurking beneath. 

Of course you can pick these Henley White tee's up for under £10 at H&M. 

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Alpas Hostel in Siargao: Hostel Review

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Another day another hostel. Today I'm going to review the Alpas Hostel in Siargao. The quaint retreat is located in General Luna, within 1.4 miles of Guyam Island and 1.4 miles of Cloud 9 Surfing Area.

I am starting to feel like Ed Norton in Fight Club. Letting go of all material possessions. I'm not missing TV. Not missing the meetings, the photoshoots, the constant chase for payments from brands. 

I am missing my family, a certain someone and of course, twinkle toes himself, Charlie the Frenchie. When we are reunited I imagine it will look like the end credits of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Timely reference. 

The Alpas Siargao offers a garden, a shared lounge a bar and most importantly a hammock. The property is 4.3 miles from Daku Island and 7.5 miles from Naked Island. (Not as kinky as it sounds). 

So let’s start with the bad and work our way to the good. 

TRUE - there are mosquito nets to use although I survived the night just fine with anti-pest repellent spray. 

TRUE - in some reviews I've read there is apparently an, 'unwater-like' smell to the supply. It was something I came across but wasn’t bad at all.

TRUE - There is WiFi, although quite slow. But there are many local bars and cafes where you'll be able to post those precious photos. 

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The best things about Alpas Hostel 

The ambience is really is what you'd expect. Relaxed, serene, picturesque. The staff are helpful and the owner was very good to me. Helping me hire a motorbike and giving me an itinerary of things to see and do around the islands. 

It can't be underestimated finding non-objective local advice. So many places are dependent on sending you to certain bars, shops and restaurants to earn commission. You only have to visit Hoi An to figure that out. 

The property is a hut style accommodation and whilst it doesn't come with a beach view, it is walking distance to the beach. Also you'll find a laundry shop, very important finding these conveniences when on the road.

It's a relatively new place so I'm hoping next time I'm back they'll make some modifications. But I'll definitely come back here. It's very chilled. It's very quiet. It's a bit of me. 

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40 Inspirational Quotes About Travel and Adventure

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Today I'm going to give you some of my top Travel Inspiration Quotes to use on Instagram. As you can expect I've been reading a few of these whilst on my travels. I hope you like them, where possible I've cited the author.

  1. ‘If I were living in Roman times I'd want to live in Rome, where else. Today America is the Roman empire and New York is Rome itself.’ John Lennon 

  2. ‘It's not the years honey, it's the mileage.’ Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark

  3. 'Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon 

  4. 'Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.' – Jack Kerouac

  5. 'Because it's there.' George Mallory when asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest.

  6. 'I think that I shall never see: A poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed: Against the sweet earth's flowing breast.' - Joyce Kilmer

  7. 'We must reach far beyond our own lifespans. We must think not as individuals but as a species. We must confront the reality of interstellar travel.' Dr Brand, Interstellar

  8. 'There’s an awful lot you can tell about a person by their shoes. Where they’re going, where they’ve been.' Forrest Gump 

  9. ‘Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.’ – Bob Bitchin

  10. ‘Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop to look around once in a while, you'll miss it.’ - Ferris Bueller

  11. ‘I don't ever remember feeling this awake.’ Thelma - Thelma and Louise

  12. ‘If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it's lethal.’ - Unknown 

  13. ‘They came up with the idea that I should make a round-trip of the most exciting cities of the world and describe them in beautiful, beautiful prose. This could be accomplished, they said, within a month.’ Ian Fleming - Thrilling Cities

  14. ‘The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.’ – Sir Richard Burton

  15. ‘You develop a sympathy for all human beings when you travel a lot.’  – Shakuntala Devi

  16. ‘You should try it some time. Get away from it all. It really lends perspective.’ - Bond, Skyfall 

  17. ‘When one is in Egypt, one should delve deeply into its treasures.’ - Bond, The Spy who Loved Me

  18. ‘Stop Searching. Start Traveling.’

  19. ‘Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.’

  20. ‘Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one. And where we're going, we don't need, roads.’ Doc Brown Back to the Future

  21. ‘Just tell them I'm coming.’ - Wilson, The Limey 

  22. ‘The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.’ - Michael Althsuler

  23. ‘Carpe diem, seize the day boys. Make your lives extraordinary.’ Keats - Dead Poets Society. 

  24. ‘Travel like Gandhi, with simple clothes, open eyes and an uncluttered mind.’ – Rick Steve

  25. ‘How do the geese know when to fly to the sun? Who tells them the seasons? How do we, humans, know when it is time to move on? As with the migrant birds, so surely with us, there is a voice within, if only we would listen to it, that tells us so certainly when to go forth into the unknown.’ – Elizabeth Kübler-Ross

  26. ‘Take the wheel and steer
    It’s driven me before
    And it seems to have a vague, haunting mass appeal
    But lately I am beginning to find
    That I should be the one behind the wheel’ - Incubus Drive

  27.  ‘And here I go again on my own
    Goin' down the only road I've ever known,
    Like a drifter I was born to walk alone
    And I've made up my mind
    I ain't wasting no more time.’ - Whitesnake

  28. ‘Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.’ 

  29. ‘When was the last time you did something for the first time?’

  30. ‘Did you ever notice the first piece of luggage on the carousel, never belongs to anyone?’ 

  31. ‘It doesn't matter what the others say, you can go your own way.’ - Fleetwood Mac

  32. ‘Every direction is the right direction.’ 

  33. ‘Apparently there is a collection of travel sick bags on at the V&A. It doesn't say if they've been used or not.’ 

  34. ‘We've gone on holiday by mistake.’ - Withnail, Withnail & I. 

  35. ‘We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!’ Dr Venkman Ghostbusters 

  36. ‘So if you want to join me for a while. Just grab your hat, come travel light. That's hobo style.’ Littlest Hobo theme

  37. ‘I’ve known adventures, seen places you people will never see, I’ve been Off-world and back… frontiers! I’ve stood on the back deck of a blinker bound for the Plutition Camps with sweat in my eyes watching stars fight on the shoulder of Orion… I’ve felt wind in my hair, riding test boats off the black galaxies and seen an attack fleet burn like a match and disappear. I’ve seen it, felt it…!’  - Original Peoples' script for Bladerunner

  38. ‘I was born under a wanderin’ star Wheels are made for rollin’ Mules are made to pack I never seen a sight that didn’t look better looking back.’ - Lee Marvin 

  39. ‘Moving just keep moving 'til I don't know what I’m saying I’ve been moving so long the days all feel the same.’ - Supergrass

  40. ‘There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.’ - Jack Kerouac