Monday, 24 July 2017

Surprise surprise...

...a cockney wide-boy with a dodgy haircut won Love Island. Not at all like last year, then?



Well, it's over now, and we should probably all get back to the real world. And what is there?

The Warehouse Project has released their 2017 lineup: There's a good handful of decent names, so there's a possibility that some of these nights may end up on Meetup. You'll have to check as the weeks go on. Quite keen on seeing Route 94 myself.

New club History launches on Saturday, in the Longworth St unit that previously housed Suede and Ampersand. I'm tied that night, but expect a night out there to appear on Manchester Cool Bars soon. Be ready to join!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Grit and Glamour launch in Neighbourhood

A new season started in Neighbourhood this week with Thursday night's Grit and Glamour launch. The Spinningfields bar's new touches include a vibrant graffiti-style mural and some blazing neon signage. I went with Manchester Cool Bars to take a look. Great house music, friendly people including many promoters from other nights, and a very drunk Adam Jukes from Love Island season 2, who insisted on telling me I was 'a nice guy.' His words, not mine. HE was the nice guy. I was the celebrity-pesterer.










Tom DaLips and Kami C livened up the house music with awesome sax and bongo accompaniment.


It's well worth popping back in to see the new fit.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Goin' Loco Down in, Um, Manchester.



God, my head is pounding. I eat way too late on Mondays. Anyway. The main event this week is on a Friday. Manchester Cool Bars are headed to Loco, Club LIV's Friday night party. All the class of a Saturday without the huge prices. I've not been on a Friday in ages, but the pictures from previous events- and the drinks deals- are tempting me in. How about you?

Sunday, 16 July 2017

STOP PRESS: I met Dom and Jess from Love Island.

I will allow you a moment to come to terms with that. Uber-famous stars of groundbreaking high-art docu-drama Love Island S3, Dom Lever and Jess Shears dropped into Voodoo  Birdcage Manchester, on Wednesday Night. It was a bit of a rushed meet with a large queue, but they seemed cool. I didn't have time to ask them who they think would win in a fight between a baboon and a badger, as gossip E-mag Popbitch so frequently wants to know.


I downloaded this pic fast as photos from clubs sometimes seem to disappear for some reason.

After I'd been up to meet them I got talking to some young bloke who'd been in the queue ahead of me.

I just said to her," he said, "'I tear the head off over you.'” He made the international wanking sign. She'd apparently responded by flexing her little finger in a 'small cock' gesture.

Great night, although the club could do with a bit of air con.

Minor subject change here, but doesn't home secretary Amber Rudd look like Francine from American Dad?



Saturday, 15 July 2017

Well- I've done it. I've told O2 to do one.



I've told extortionists O2 that I've got a phone and I'm ending my contract. It's not exactly true.

My contract will end on the 28th, and I STILL have no replacement phone, but I've at least homed in on a few handsets- the Xperia XA Ultra, the Xperia C4 and the Samsung Galaxy J7.

The cameras are hugely important when you have memory difficulties. Pictures hold memories that you otherwise wouldn't have, and when a lot of your life's most interesting moments happen in darkened clubs, it's necessary to have a decent light on front and back cameras. It turns out that the light I've seen pour out of Android and iPhone screens are actually downloadable apps that light up the display in white. This changes everything.

Generally speaking, most advisers with knowledge of memory difficulties (i.e. NHS neuropsychology and head injury charity Headway) will tell you to stick with what you know. Before I got this ridiculous Windows phone, I'd been on Android for four and a half years. Making that change was an impulsive mistake, and I believe that it's now vitally important to go back to Android, where I had comparatively few problems.

It's taking way too long to choose. I'm reminded of Arnold Schwarzenegger's autobiography Total Recall, where he advises acting impulsively to move forward in your life.

Don’t overthink. If you think all the time, the mind cannot relax. The key thing is to let both the mind and the body float. And then when you need to make a decision or hit a problem hard, you’re ready with all of your energy.

By not analyzing everything, you get rid of all the garbage that loads you up and bogs you down. Turning off your mind is an art. It’s a form of meditation.

That said, I acted impulsively 2 years ago and ended up with a phone and contract that I was locked into that was completely inappropriate, and cost me a friendship with the person who worked at Carphone Warehouse. So, nothing's black and white.

However, the Ultra was a handset I picked out some weeks ago. After deliberation and looking at loads of other phones, it's still one of the best options. And considering I've been advised to stick to what I know, I may as well go for the Ultra.

Don't overthink!

Monday, 10 July 2017

Come Meet Love Island's Dom and Jess in The Birdcage


International life-long uber-couple Dom and Jess, from highbrow romantic entertainment show Love Island, make an appearance in the esteemed and high class venue of The Birdcage this Wednesday.

Also: Sarcasm. But they will be there the night after tomorrow, and Manchester Cool Bars are going to take a look at Voodoo, The Birdcage's midweek party. If you fancy a not-so-early midweek night out, come meet me and whoever else joins up.

Also, if you're feeling outrageous, why not do the double and come to Socialite at Club LIV the following night? Cool Bars are again heading there for the standard Thursday night. Aforementioned couple Dom and Jess were there last week. Who knows who'll be there this time around!

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Really Fucking Obvious Rules for Living

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on





I'm nearly 35, and in my time I've made some hideous mistakes. I've also seen plenty of other people make similar, and sometimes different, errors of judgement themselves. Sometimes I don't have the heart to tell people what it is they're doing wrong, so perhaps making a general blog post about this would point a few of my friends in the right direction. Hopefully it'll help a few others too. You might think that some of these points, as the title suggests, don't need to be written out, but you might be surprised how many people don't do what I've listed below. I have no qualification to dispense this advice other than, as Baz Luhrmann would say, 'my own meandering experience.'

  1. Listen. A conversation between two people should be 50% talking, 50% LISTENING. Don't waffle, but don't sit there in silence either.
  2. Treat people like you'd like to be treated. Don't be a dick. Having the banter is one thing, but don't go overboard and make enemies for yourself.
  3. Trust your instincts. If a person seems like an arsehole, they probably are. Steer clear of them. Don't wait for proof of this. Many of us may have spent a long time in education, university or what have you, where we're asked to back up our findings with examples. This can develop a pragmatic mindset, which isn't always helpful when you're dealing with people. Don't forget your gut. You don't need to explain why you're sacking someone off to the person you're ditching, any mutual friends, or yourself.
  4. Do what you're good at. Stick to your strengths. If you don't know what your strengths are, go for careers advice for testing. Remember: psychometric testing isn't really testing. It's just a questionnaire. A test requires working something out. But this will show a general breakdown of your skills, and areas you should probably steer clear of.
  5. Look after your mental health. If you have a problem: a learning difficulty, a physiological issue, an addiction etc.- see a doctor. Step on it now. Don't wait for the problem to build. If one GP doesn't help you, try another. Don't give up.
  6. Your leisure time is your own. If you don't want to do something, don't do it. Don't worry about people taking it personally. Embrace criticisms of snobbery. It's okay to say, “Sorry, that's not my kind of thing.”
  7. Don't look for arguments. That's not how to build friendships. Don't be inflammatory to start conversations. Remember, political discussion will cause more fallouts than bondings.
  8. Take that chip off your shoulder. Nobody cares how hard you think you are. There's no point trying to act like a bad man. It's the quiet ones you've got to watch out for, most people will tell you, and the majority of people I've seen get filled in- or get arrested for fighting- were the ones ballooning and looking for a fight in the first place. Looking for trouble gets you nothing but that.
  9. Have a plan for where you want to get to in life, and act on it today. Don't meander through your career and decades of your life. If you're unsure of how to start this plan, see point 4).
  10. Look after your body. You only get one. Look for other things to enjoy than junk food, and you won't miss it so much. Exercise should also be fun. Don't go to the gym unless you enjoy it. If you don't, take up something else.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

A month to 35



11 months ago I wrote this: A list of things to do before my 35th birthday. I've not looked at it in a while, so let's recap. How far have I got so far?

  1. Learn shorthand. I spent a month on this. Should probably go back to learning as it's HARD and I learned only a few basic strokes.
  2. Citizen journalism. Spent a month on this, found a few things, spoke to a journalist about a fight I filmed outside a club. Hardly revolutionised the blogosphere, but I did what I planned on.
  3. Get the blog to be more than what it is. Not sure I managed that. I'm enjoying blogging and attending the events that result in the blog posts, but I could do with moving things on further.
  4. I've not even looked at my screenplay. Whoops.
  5. I'm in a better position in work- a different office, with better work. Same employer and wage.
  6. I still have no visible abs and am heavier than ever. Shit. I will try again over the next month.
  7. I'm a little more confident. I'm on prescription medication for this, have found a confidence building group that is genuinely helping, and can feel myself getting to where I want to be. I'm absolutely buzzing.
  8. I'm still renting. Oh well.
  9. I travelled a little. Berlin had its ups and downs- mostly downs, if I'm to be honest- and aside from UK trips to Newcastle and Sheffield, there's been no excursions. No-one's got money to come with me, so I'm sticking to Manchester.
  10. Aside from Opus One, which is just for the hotel guests as far as I can tell, I've done all the bars and clubs on the list. It's been fun. Well, some of them were a bit turd, tbh. The restaurants I'll look into later, when they're on Groupon. I'm too tight otherwise, and so is everyone else.

Within the next month, I'll change a few of these.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Touch typing record breaker



How fast can I type? Well, I can tell you. 43 words per minute, according to Mavis Bacon Typing Tutor. My employer allowed me to download this and give it a shot as part of my training.

A couple of years ago, outside of work, I spent a couple of months learning touch typing using Klavaro, another free package. At that time, my PB was 40.9, so before this project even started, I smashed it. Now my intention is to go back to Klavaro and just to beat 43.0. How long will it take just to nudge this up? Maybe only a day. We will see.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Cocktails in the Alchemist! UFC! Get Involved!


I felt like crap last night. Stomach and head all over the place. So, after eating a third of a plated up dinner, I went to bed.

A long sleep sorted me out. I'm now back on form and ready to tell you about the upcoming week, a day late. But before I do, did you hear Classic FM's Tim Lihoreau  read out my text message last Thursday? What do you mean, no?!

He asked us what alternative Apple products may be in existence- the i-screme van, the i-socoles triangle, etc. I sent in, 'Apple invented a mountain goat apparently. Can't wait for the new ibex to come out.' I'm funny enough to get on national radio before I've even got out of bed!

I've got a couple of awesome nightlife events for you. Friday night: Manchester Cool Bars heads to Spinningfields Alchemist for a night of crazy cocktails, concocted with Bunsen burners and a whole range of juices, alcohol and spices. The queues might not be so bad on a Friday, so join us from 10 and try out their range. Also: hot people and house music.

Saturday night I don't have much on until the wee hours, but from 3am onwards I'll be in Genting Casino watching the champion, the Lionheart Amanda Nunes take on The Bullet Valentina Schevchenko at UFC 213. If you fancy extending your night out for a few hours of explosive MMA action, come meet me in the Portland St venue. The Meetup is here, so RSVP if you're up for staying out late. It'll be worth it.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Point Omega


The Omega Point is a spiritual belief and a scientific speculation that everything in the universe is fated to spiral towards a final point of "divine" unification. The term was coined by the French Jesuit Catholic priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955).
-Wikipedia

Goddamn. Don DeLillo does it again. His shortest novel, featuring a filmmaker and a secret war adviser basically musing over the state of the world, starts slow, but ends tragically. I'm hella jealous of DeLillo's ability to carve the perfect phrasing to create just the atmosphere needed, even when nothing much is happening in the story. Read this book.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Flirt Friday This Week


My phone contract expires tomorrow and I haven't got my next phone...FUCCKKK. After two years of pissing and moaning, now that I need to get organised and move on from this ridiculous handset and contract I haven't done. Anyway.

Come out on Friday night! Yes, I know you'll be tired but you'll wake up when you get out to Mambos. It's a good chilled out start place with good music, and the perfect launch pad before Flirt at nearby Birdcage. It's a bit of a random shout- a little different to Spinningfields or the likes of LIV or Panacea- but the last time we went it was a good fun night. Nine of us in Cool Bars are going. Join us!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

I finished for Annual Leave last week on Wednesday.

The previous posts have any notable info on the start of the week, so I'm going to dive in with the Thursday just gone.

I read Star Wars: Rebel Heist, a four-part comic I bought at Oldham Comic Con back in May. Each part signed by the author Matt Kindt, the story tells of a rebel fighter coming face-to-face with the legendary Han Solo, some time between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. It's darker, grittier and more evocative than the films- the story hints at the smells and gut feelings of the characters, with less cartoonish characters and more storm troopers chasing the familiar main characters down darkened city alleys. Each part focusses on a different main Star Wars character: Solo in the first, then Leia, then Chewbacca and finally Skywalker. Star Wars nerds would lap up the intermediary story that enriches, but never treads on, the original movies.

A few of us met in Be Impossible Manchester, the new bar occupying the unit on Peter St that formerly housed Bar 38 and, briefly, Purity. No Twitter yet.


A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on


A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on


A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on


A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on



Trendy upbeat bar on the ground floor, alpine lodge with fur-draped couches on the upper. Unique and slightly weird, but appreciatively so. A new outfit for the unit, which has been empty for around half a decade, has been long overdue, so to see it finally open is a great improvement to the street. Existing outfits like Sakana will see some competition, and nights out in The Albert Hall and LIV have a new starting place. I bumped into the Socialite staff before I headed over there, so I'm not the only one with that idea. I wasn't drinking but Impossible seemed to have a decent cocktail menu and back bar. Keep your eyes peeled on Meetup for a trip there in the near future.

Saturday: I dropped in on Heart for Art in Sale and got my first tattoo at their fundraiser. The Manchester Tattoo Appeal is still going strong, raising money for the families of those who died in the recent Manchester terror attack.

I got there early and beat the majority of the queue, and chatted to an Australian girl while a live band played outside. We were given a colour and number, and before long my number was called and I got this straight on the shin:


Not as painful as I expected, although years of Muay Thai deadening my nerves may have been a factor. I still nearly bit through the wooden spoon I brought with me though. Great work for a brilliant cause. I'm really happy with it. Advice from the staff: let it breathe, but keep it out of the sun for a week.

Back at work tomorrow. Oh well!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Titus text / film review; 2000AD review



Second hand bookstores are full of surprises
Like the Arden Shakespeare's version of Titus
Andronicus, which I found near the Printworks,
As far as shops go, believe me, I've seen worse,
But I've seen much better when it comes to guide books,
I was pretty let down whilst reading Titus
I had a flip through, and I thought, wait, what's this?
All this description but no synopsis?!
No character profiles to set the scene,
No chapters investigating the play's main themes?
Even the scenes are void of summaries
Leaving me feeling annoyed at what's in front of me
Most of the meaning would have been lost on me,
Were each page not with a comprehensive glossary
To Arden's credit, the level of detail
Gone into explaining Shakespeare's most feared tale
May do more than just raise an eyebrow,
To some of the meanings I was just like, wow!
And all of the footnotes were on the same page,
So I didn't have to page-flip, which would take days
Shakespeare did more than just penning the verse
It seems he also invented the words!
Before the play's official composure,
There was no record of the word 'closure,'
At least in the sense, if you can comprehend,
Of a problem that now has come to an end.
If you really want to understand
A Shakespeare play, without it getting out of hand
Skip the Arden text, believe me you'd best know
You're better off sticking with York or Letts Notes.

To figure the play out, I thought I'd drop in
On the '99 film starring Anthony Hopkins
As if the play wasn't weird enough,
It starts with a modern-day kid in a huff,
Out of control, smashing up his kitchen
When- SMASH- a horde of ancient Romans blitz in,
They travel back in time to a Roman amphitheatre,
And there, the film begins to adhere to
The original structure of the Shakespeare play
But at the same time, and in a weird way
Partly nineteen-fifties décor
With Cadillacs and jazz and a Roman emperor
And hectic violence that's harsh and disturbin'
The set design makes me think of Baz Luhrmann
The time period gives a metafiction feel
And the whole attempt is messily surreal
What was the point of the kid from modern day?
What was the director trying to say?
And who can deny that Shakespeare's shittest play
would inspire, and I'm sorry, for this I've got to say,
The worst film on Anthony Hopkins' CV?
I'm surprised I didn't turn off the TV!
Despite the murders, you no what's most distressin'?
The kid doesn't even get back to the present!
I don't care if it's based on Shakespeare,
'The film is shite' is the message you can take here.

Still on lit but with a change of direction:
Please refresh with a little inspection,
Oldham Comic Con took place in May,
And I decided to show my face on the day
I found a free comic almost straight away
Placed near the entrance of Oldham Library.
I thought I might make a purchase maybe,
But I didn't have to with this 2000AD!
I was a fan of the Judge Dredd movie
(The '95 version, so go ahead, sue me)
But I've never actually read the comic
So this week in the sun I sat out and got on it
I'm not a huge fan of the comic book form
But what surprised me, what was different to the norm
Is that comic stories are faster paced
And can be told succinctly in the frames that have been placed
So rather than a written tale taking ages,
A whole narrative unfolds in 6 pages.
2000AD can celebrate 40
Years of blending fine artwork and story.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

No More Chocolate Take 3: Results!

Fuck it. Let's get back on it.


A month ago I started a THIRD attempt to give up chocolate. Well, I managed. No chocolate bars, no hot chocolate drink, no chocolate-covered food or cake, and very little of any other junk food. I started the project at 76.6kg.

Guess what? I put weight on. After skipping in the sun all day yesterday, then ending with a gym session, I was 80kg (12'8). I've been exactly this weight a couple of times before, but never above 80.1kg I think. I've not binged on fruit, I've eaten more nuts, more veg and only 2 takeaways all month, that I can remember. I've done numerous skipping sessions outside (resulting in shocking sunburn despite lotion), I've done an endurance project at the gym which took 7+1/2 hours, and yet I'm STILL a fat bastard. This makes no sense.

To my credit, I did get down to 76.2kg, and I beat a few PBs here and there.

20/5-20/6

Dips- 65 (5 more)
Leg press- 170kg (10kg more)
10 min row- 2263m (74m more)

I may as well go back to eating chocolate again, or try fasting.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Has Anyone Seen Senator Angus King and Bruce Forsyth in the Same Room?

One is an American politician and attorney from Maine, currently sitting on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and at present sitting on the ongoing Sessions Hearing. The other is a British TV entertainer with decades of media work under his belt. But which?!



Saturday, 17 June 2017

A Few Resources on Psychology

I've been making a list of ideas for #psychologysaturday blog posts, something I'm committing to doing every week. One idea is to share with you a few resources that may help if you're looking into learning more in that area. Here are seven examples of information and advice relating to psychology. Share others in the comments!


The lastest psychology findings with reports on experiments happening across the globe. Fascinating stuff. Has a search function and categories for the different areas of psychology study. Has recently removed their comment function, so I removed it from my blog's blogroll.


A similar outlet with more of an assistive slant. The site has links to help you find a therapist (in America) and to help you get help (see their top bar). Has a comment function but does not allow you to link back to another website.


If you've read Neil Strauss' bestseller The Game, you'll have heard of David DeAngelo, the Robert DeNiro lookalike who was somewhat of an antagonist in the book. His techniques were the first that I found when I started researching advice on women in 2007. I subscribed to his emails, and a lot of his advice related to psychology- how we can change our mentalities and behaviours to develop ourselves. It took a few months but it certainly pushed me on a few steps. Dare I say it: I was a virgin until I read his info.

The Psychology Book

A Dorling Kindersley book which traces the major psychological findings throughout history. Will probably answer a few questions about your own mind that you've been wondering for a while.

Teach Yourself Psychology

A much smaller but still highly revealing book about the science of the mind, and how it affects the major areas of our lives (psychology in the workplace, child psychology, etc.). My mum has had my copy for many years. Keep meaning to get it back!

Men's Sexual Health

Metz and McCarthy's short guide is more than a description of STIs- it's about being healthy, both physically and mentally, in order to have a good sex life. Fascinating and reassuring.

The New Male Sexuality

Bernie Zibergeld's guide to sex, for men, is a must-read for all adult males. A bold statement, perhaps, but the detail that goes into the book revealing the major problems men have with sex and how to combat them- mostly by deciding on a change in mentality- is incredibly detailed and simple to understand. Again, hugely reassuring.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Socialite on Thursday Night! Taboo Moves from Tiger Tiger!

Club LIV has outdone Alchemist with their crazy unique cocktails.

Book off Friday immediately! Manchester Cool Bars are headed to Socialite, Club LIV's Thursday night party. Hot young people, hip hop and the odd reality TV star, probably. Drinks deals and cheap entry. Very popular. It's also the only decent night I've found on a Thursday, so we might as well.

Join us in Sakana from 10pm.

ALSO: I've just received this Facebook message for party organisers Taboo:

PLEASE READ

Taboo will no longer running at Tiger Tiger on Tuesday's (sic) as we've found a new home.

Stay tuned for more announcements

They're keeping schtump for the moment. Is it too early to be at History? Probably, considering the venue isn't even built yet. As soon as I know, you will too.

Gossip? Hints? Tweet me.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

I'm homing in on a new phone and contract...


My contract expires on the 27th! Goodbye O2 and goodbye Windows handsets. So. What's next? I'm keen to get back to Xperias, for their usability, their Android system and the fond memories I have of the P. There are a lot of options, though, for the Xperia's current-day counterparts. It's time to think price and features. Which of these do I go for?

As mentioned in last week's #psychologysaturday post, the XA1 Ultra has the 16MP low-light front camera, great for club selfies with celebs. It's a good a reason as any. It's the only handset in the range advertised as having this feature. The Ultra, on sale in the Sony Store at £329, is available a little cheaper if you shop around. Eglobal Central UK has it at £205, a suspiciously low price from an obscure outlet, but trusty Argos offers the Ultra at £278-284. I'd need advice on how to handle this. Having memory difficulties, there will always be some aspect of the phone-buying or contract-buying procedure that I won't register, and the last thing I need is another 2 years roped into a contract and handset that don't suit me (cough cough, Carphone Warehouse).

The next issue: I need a contract. A SIM-only contract that's cheap and gives me a plentiful amount of data. I was hoping for unlimited, but the cost of such contracts have gone through the roof in recent years. In 2012 I got a 24-month unlimited data deal with Three, for £27pm, something Carphone Warehouse told me I couldn't get. On Three's site, it's still listed. This is, however, SIM-only now.

A few friends have suggested Giffgaff,  the contract-free network provider. The £20 goody bag, with unlimited data, is tempting. Their customer service has a bad rap, though, although many say they've never had to use it.

A problem for people with memory difficulties: The people who are experts in mobile phones are the people who sell them. The people who are experts in memory difficulties are either NHS psychologists (some of them, a least) and charity workers like the great people at Headway and Ways to Work. I haven't found anyone with the combined knowledge of the two. The closest person to that... might be me.

Shit.

Or, it might be you. Tweet me if you can help me, otherwise the only person advising me will be the technological rock and lifeline in my life, my amazing dad.

Friday, 9 June 2017

I Just Spent Seven and a Half Hours at the Gym.

Oldham Sports Centre, where I spent pretty much the whole of Wednesday


No, I am not on the juice, before you ask. I was making a vain attempt to get my body weight under 70kgs for the first time since 2010.

I started at 1.30pm by weighing myself. On entering the gym I was 76.8kgs, 12'1. I followed this with a 10-min warm-up on the cross trainer, and an hour of heavy weights. Fairly early on I set a new PB on leg press, 170kgs. I'm confident that if I focussed on this movement I could make serious gains quite quickly. I then upped my dips record to 65, another movement that I could improve on if I dedicated myself to it.

I ran through pretty much every machine in the gym, including resistance machines, free-weights and cardio machines- in that order. I wanted to keep my strength for the bigger weights, then rep out with kettlebell swings and the punch bag, followed by battle ropes. These movements are muscular but used more for endurance than strength building. After this I moved onto a series of ten-minute cardio movements, and ended with a long slog on the cross trainer.

Throughout the day I ate nothing, putting only water into my body. Adrenaline will keep you going once the food in your stomach is used up, and fat burning I understand takes place normally after 90 minutes of working out.

I decided against using the pulley row from now on. After a conversation with another gym-goer it seems there's too much inclination to move my back, putting most of my body into the rowing action. This will result in damage eventually. It's too hard to keep your back still when you get to the heavier weights

Although this project was about fat burning, I still, as mentioned, wanted to improve strength. During the day I still tried to beat some PBs, something I've not really focussed on in the last few months. Here are the results:

170kg leg press, extra 10kg
65 dips, extra 5
10-min row 2263, extra 74 metres

I was impressed that I still had the strength to do anything notable on the cardio machines as I'd pretty much worn myself out on weights, or so I thought. But I slogged on half dead 'til I was kicked out at 9pm. I walked out at 76.2kgs, 11'14. 600g (1.3lbs) down.

There were a couple of movements that I didn't try yesterday- box jumps I didn't have space for, and 60-minute cross trainer I didn't have time for, for instance. If I'd have got there earlier I could have fitted them in, but realistically I wouldn't have beaten PBs on them and I would have gassed earlier. For the last couple of hours I was in a daze trying to make anything happen. I was running on empty.

It as also my plan to make use of the sauna and steam room facilities, and even the swimming pool, but I typically forgot to bring swimwear. I'd probably have sank like a goddamn stone anyway after the gym.

It was perhaps not the most successful gym session. I've lost more than that in the cardiotone classes that OCL run every Thursday, which lasts an hour. It might be worth trying to pencil in a few more classes to my routine throughout the week. (It also helps if you don't reward yourself with a massive portion of chicken and chips at the end.)

Monday, 5 June 2017

Book off Wednesday!


This week get using your annual leave. You'll need Wednesday off. Come party with Manchester Cool Bars in Tiger Tiger tomorrow night. Taboo draws to a close this month as the students are soon to go home, so the weekly Tuesday night doesn't have long left. Young hot people, no chavs, great décor, a busy three-floor club and, of course, drinks deals.

I realise Manchester is perhaps not people's first choice for nights out at the moment but I'll reiterate- don't be intimidated. We'll still enjoy ourselves. Hard Rock Cafe from 10pm!

Something is planned for next week too- have a look on Meetup...

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Avoid Grill on the Alley


Another blogger has told me that the staff at this Ridgefield St venue, just off Deansgate, don't wash their hands as often as they should. Just passing the info on. Regarding the restaurant, we follow each other on Twitter but I have no other affinity. Never been.

Also Manchester Cool Bars had a great meetup in Panacea last night. Will be back.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

What is the best smartphone for combatting memory difficulties?

I've so far had three smartphones, and my contract on the third is due to expire in a few weeks. I honestly can't wait to get off the Windows Lumia 640 as the handset and operating system has many drawbacks, particularly if you have memory difficulties but also for people of any ability.

The Windows mobile has an awkward operating system that makes it difficult to find information, its store it lacks key apps like Snapchat and ColorNotes, and also it's unlikely to have apps for local businesses. Health restaurant Kettlebell Kitchen, in Manchester, has an wards scheme that is run through the smartphone- provided, of course, you're either on Android or iPhone. There's no Windows app. Other apps, for instance mental health assistance tools (See Mind's list) are also lacking on Windows. The web radio apps aren't as good as Android's and Whatsapp has a sinister black background, in contrast to Android's grey.

But anyway, about memory. The advantage of a Windows phone is that OneNote, the notetaking system, allows for the incorporation of pictures with written notes, a huge benefit when you're- for instance- photographing DJs and you can't remember who's who. Or photographing anyone. Putting pictures into notes with text alongside it has been a benefit that, as far as I was aware, Android's Colornotes couldn't do. But Colornotes was easier to organise, simpler to find your latest notes, or most recently updated.

The Android system also didn't arbitrarily shut down apps as you're using them.

That said, I've found the Windows calendar easier to update and quicker to set reminders on. These two advantages are all I can offer for Windows phones, but then, it's been two years since I was on Android. For all I know, Android has closed that gap.

What was I on before? I started with an HTC Wildfire, a decent Android phone for its time with a 5mp camera and a 3.2' screen. It was light and compact, and did what I wanted. £20 a month for 1GB data. But HTCs fell by the wayside, smothered by iPhones and the like.


After this I stepped up and shelled out £27 a month for a Sony Xperia P, another Android device with an 8mp camera and a 4' screen. This also came with unlimited data, meaning, among other things, I could stream whatever radio station I wanted. The key advantage of this: if I needed information on something, no matter what time of the month it was and no matter how much I'd streamed radio or video, I could still go online. I never had to battle with dodgy TfGM public transport wifi, I could get on the Meetup app (which is rated an adult site, so transport companies wouldn't let you get on it) and I never had to tether to upload videos, meaning there was no accidental forgetting to do so and whacking out 3/4s of my data at the start of the month.

After this, cutting a long story short, I ballsed up and ended up on Windows. This is my final few weeks of this contract. I'm going back to Android, and to Sony Xperias, as soon as possible.

But which one? Look at the range. If all 21 are on Android they'll have a similar setup to the Xperia P. The only specific thing that strikes me as important is the low-light front camera, available on the XA Ultra. As someone who hounds Z-list celebs in dark, overpriced nightclubs, it's important that- if I can't get someone to take the pic, I can get a decent selfie without sending myself and said-famous-person temporarily blind. And I stress, important.


Other than this, as long as all the Android apps are still available, and as long as the camera is better than 8mp, It'll do for me. Question is, which of these is best for holding info? And which is most affordable? And where can I buy this outright and unlocked? And, finally, which is the best sim-only contract? These are just a handful of queries I have. I don't want to find myself, once again, roped into a 24-month contract where I'm paying through the nose and receiving very little in return.

I'll return to this subject for the next #psychologysaturday blog post, where hopefully I'll have made a decision.