Charity Beer

We are living in unprecedented times. The Coronavirus is touching everyones lives. Of all the people that we need to support right now, those working in the NHS must be near the top of the list. So I would like to propose Charity Beer.

Like me, the idea is very simple.

I like a beer or 2. Infact, probably more. Yet I am now being told to avoid the pub. The consequence of this, is that I am not spending as much money on beer as I normally would.

I also work for 2 charities –

  • The Friends of QMC, Nottingham
  • Nottingham Hospitals Radio.

It is probably true to say that right now, the work these two charities do in Nottingham is great and perhaps never more important. Friends of QMC supports the patients, carers and staff of Nottingham’s QMC hospital. Nottingham hospitals radio entertains those in Nottinghams’s QMC and City hospitals.

Charities will be under pressure also

However, I believe most charities will also be struggling. People are not on the streets to shop in charity stores. People are worried about income and loved ones so do not think about charities. Fundraising event could be considered mass gatherings so have been cancelled.

The Idea I am going to follow

So what I have decided to do, is to donate the money I would spend on beer equally between these two charities for the next 3 months.

I recognise that I am relatively lucky. My job is secure and I have savings that I can fall back on. Not everyone is in this lucky place. So I plan to make it really count.

If you are fortunate enough to be in the same position as me, I implore you to consider donating your beer money to charity whilst we are in social distancing measures (and perhaps beyond.

As I am based in Nottingham, my three recommended charities are –

Obviously, I would love you to support these charities at this time, however, the main aim is for you to donate your beer money to a charity whilst you can’t go to the pub. The choice of charity can be yours.

It’s just a thought, but hopefully a nice one.


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Sheep like people

The Coronavirus is making sheep like people. This is sad but true.

I find it very difficult to understand this behaviour. Even more mysterious is why toilet paper is so very popular!

Panic buying

Despite all the advice presented by both experts and government, people ARE panic buying. Yet all this does is make the problems worse.

Is the reason for this behaviour selfishness, ignorance, insecurity or something else?

Keep it in proportion

For me, the coronavirus is being blown out of proportion. It maybe the sensational journalism or perhaps the simple unknown. Whatever the reason, we need to calm it down. Now is not the time for panic. The time is now right to be sensible and look out for each other.

I truly believe there is sufficient evidence from different countries to suggest no one has died due to lack of food or toilet roles due to this virus! So why is this happening? Why are we not looking out for the high risk people? Have we offered to go shopping for those who may suffer a more serious impact from the illness?

Do the right thing – consider those in the high risk category

I have previously written about volunteering for a registered charity. In this blog, I talked about the fact that this need not be time consuming. Doing shopping for a vulnerable or elderly person whilst doing your own is no great effort. As a result, I believe it would be more beneficial to look out for each other. This would surely be better than being selfish and panic buying for oneself.

In this modern day an age, when we are dealing with a global virus, we need to remember our traditional values. Work as a community. Look after those elderly and at risk neighbours. Be sensible.

Poor behaviour causes others misery

Unfortunately, these caring attitudes are not what the sheep like people do. I do understand that they may think they are doing the right thing. Perhaps looking after their family. As a result of this behaviour, other people suffer.

If you take nothing else away from this blog, please take this one thing. Take away the thought of common sense and community. Doing so will help. Help the community. As a result we will all be better off in so many different ways.


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Mobile Phones

Phones in pubs

I have written in the past about being present and being in the moment. One of the obstacles are mobile phones. For me, mobile phones in pubs can destroy the reason for being there.


Not so long ago, whilst sitting in the pub, I witnessed a sight that really depressed me.

The sight was a scene that should be joyful. A family spending time together. A family out for Sunday lunch. All should be good.

Sadly, not one of the four family members was in the room. Why? Because each and everyone of them was tapping away on their mobile phones.

This can only be considered as a missed opportunity. An opportunity for the family to spend quality time together. To be a unit. Time to talk and bond. A couple of hours where the priority is the family.

Is it right?

I consider this to be such a waste. More than a waste. It is also a sad reflection on todays society.

I could almost excuse the children. They perhaps know nothing better. The children learn what is acceptable from their parents.

The age of the parents and of mobile phones would suggest to me that they would know better. They would have lived before the scourge of the mobile phone arrived.

Whilst it is totally true that the mobile phone is revolutionary and brings many positives. Misuse is becoming so prevalent.


The problem is so much more widespread and this is not an isolated occurrence. Only yesterday, whilst drinking with two friends, it happened again. One of my friends was consistently on his phone. He may as well not have been there. There were only two people in the conversation. Shame.

This problem can be seen in so many places. I consider it rude. I consider it disingenuous to those who have elected to spend time with the individual.

As a society, I think the the mobile phone is becoming toxic. We need to act. Why do we elect to be with one set of people whilst talking to others? Let us all be present in the room. Show respect to the people we are with.

Surely this is just good manners.


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What is a friend?

This may seem like a strange question. However, I urge you to think about your answer. Really think about it.

In todays online age, you often hear people brag about how many Facebook friends they have. The bigger the number, the more popular they are. Indeed, the number of Facebook friends perhaps does indicate popularity. But are these people friends?

What is a friend?

I believe it is necessary to define what a friend is.

For me, a friend is not an acquaintance. Nor is it those members of the group that you go for a drink with. The people you play sport with, are they friends? I suspect not.

For me, a friend is a person that will be there for you no matter what. Someone that you trust implicitly. With a true friend, you can be yourself. There are no secrets, no acting or being the person you think they want you to be. Expectations are non existent. Perhaps your friend lives a distance away, but when you meet it is like you have never been apart. When together, you are not afraid of silence. It may not always be easy, but the friendship will endure.

So How many friends do you have?

Using the definition above, and being truthful to yourself, how many friends do you have?

I feel immensely fortunate to say that I have 2. Friendship wise, I feel rich indeed. I neither want nor need more.

If you have such friends, cherish them. Take time to realise what you have. Make sure you continue to invest the time and effort when needed in that friendship.

Mates and Acquaintances

It is important to remember, that like so many things in life, a person needs variety, they need resilience. As such, I am not suggesting for one moment that you go and ditch your mates. Just recognise the difference between a mate and a friend. Set you expectations appropriately. Respect boundaries.


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Helping a registered Charity

They do say that charity starts at home. In many ways it does. But helping a registered charity is such a wonderful endeavour.

I decided just over 1 year ago that I wanted to give something back to the society that has given me so much. I decided helping a registered charity was a good thing to try. It would be true to say that I have not looked back.

Make a difference

Volunteering your time is a selfless act. Giving your time can make such a difference to those people that you help. People that are probably going through tough times.

There is a saying that goes along the lines of, ‘The joy is in the giving’. I have discovered that this is very true. However, by giving, you can also receive. You will receive the gratitude of those that you help. Just seeing that gratitude is totally priceless.

Everyone wins. The people that benefit from your time get the help and support that they need. That much should be obvious. The person giving also wins. How? Very often the work undertaken will be very different to your normal day to day activity. Experience, friendship, and satisfaction will all be received in abundance.

No excuses

I do understand that people can be busy. Life is a busy place to be. This should not be used as an excuse. There are many volunteering opportunities out there. Some require regular hours, some require you to attend. Many however, can be done on your own terms from home. A 10 minute phone call to an elderly or vulnerable person is such a small amount of time, the benefits will be immense. Or how about getting a disabled persons shopping when you do yours. Minutes can make a massive difference.


I have gained so much. New life experiences have been had. Lessons have been learnt. Comfort zones very much stretched.

Your community is a wonderful place. If everyone volunteered just a few minutes of their time, it could be an awesome place.

Go do it!

You will be amazed how easy it is to find something to do. Try looking at the community boards in your local coffee shop or supermarket. If that does not find you an opportunity, you could register on


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Mental Health

Mental Health

The most important person in your life must be yourself and your mental health.

On the face of it, this may seem a strange statement, even a selfish statement. However, there can be no denying its validity.

One of the most important things to remember in life is that you cannot look after others if you are not fit and healthy yourself. When you think of it like this, you are truly the most important person in your life.

The Hidden illness

In my opinion, of all the ailments that can afflict the human race, mental health is one of the most dangerous. It is dangerous because people don’t always realise when it strikes. They don’t realise how bad it can be. Most importantly, however, people can be unprepared to talk about it or seek help.


Without doubt, there remains a stigma that robustly attaches itself to the condition. Why?

Despite a real focus on mental health over the last few years, I believe that it will take many more years for the Stigma to release itself. This is just human nature.

Asking for help

Like many conditions, seeking help is so desperately important. Making that step however does seem like climbing a mountain. If you take nothing away from this blog, please remember this –

‘Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness’

There are people out there that will help. Be it family, friends or medical professionals. Whoever you chose to speak to, be open and honest. Tell them how you feel. Open up. That sounds like such a tall order, but it is so very important.

Setting expectations

Don’t expect miracles. It will take time, but you will get there. You will be supported by the medical profession, friends and family.

When you recover, you will be a better person. Lessons will have been learnt that will equip you to better cope with life. I liken it to a path with a gate. You know when you get to the gate to turn around and come back. Never go through it again. It’s called strength.


You may have guessed that I have experienced mental health issues. You would be right. I really feel stronger for the experience.

Just Remember

  • Asking for help is a strength and not a weakness
  • You may not know it, but you are surrounded by people who care
  • You will come through it a stronger and better person.


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Just stop for a moment

The world is a busy place. Many say it is overly so.

I regularly commute by train and as I look around, what I see scares me more than a little. If you are reading this on a train, just stop a moment. Look around. How many people do you see on their phones?

It seems to me, that not occupying 100% of your time is fast become socially unacceptable. But why?

The brain is much like a human muscle. Sure, it needs exercise, but it also needs rest. When you think of it in these terms, do you see a sport professional working out every waking moment? Of course you don’t. Human body parts need a rest!

It may seem like an odd thing to say, but by just stopping for a short period each day will likely give you so much more benefit than reading that last email or responding to that text. Let them wait. No one needs an instant response by these communications methods. Instead spend that time reflecting on life, on yourself. Look out the window, look at the world. Just take it all in and give your brain that much needed break.

You may be surprised at the outcome. It is often so wonderful just to observe and not over think. Let your subconscious brain look after you and relax.

I am on a train writing this blog and I have taken my own advice! I spent a luxurious 10 minutes just letting the countryside wiz by. Staring at the magnificence of mother natures clouds and enjoying the warmth of the sun on my face. It made me feel alive. It made me feel refreshed. It made me want to write this blog.

So my advise to you, is for just a few short minutes every day, Stop and give your brain a rest.

Go on, give it a try.