Tuesday, 28 February 2017

In the bag!

I had a lovely evening out last night and met my long term friend Linc, who has decided to cycle everywhere, he turned up for dinner with his cycle helmet, his massive smile to light up any room and wait for it.....Trousers in a bag! Yup, that's now a thing! Put on your waterproof trousers, get off your bike and they fold back into a bag! This is why he is one of my closest friends, that and mud wrestling in LA, but that's another story sat in my book for another time!

We had dinner in our friends restaurant "Bar Remo" More showbiz deals and lunches have been conducted in this legendry Italian restaurant just off Oxford circus than probably any Italian in London, it's heart and passion is as big as showbiz in the 80's and a talent in dining to equal it!

Marco (Now the owner after his mum and dad) And his family are the definition of Italian and I love them very much, I could tell a hundred stories of trips to a place called Chertsey and waking up one Christmas morning at Marcos house and having a very funny conversation with his dad who is such a beautiful man, I mean picture the scene, it's 8am Christmas morning and the father of an extremely good looking Italian racing car driver sees another man leaving his only sons bedroom! Brilliant! If only Mr V had realised Marco wasn't even home yet!

I recently hooked back up with Marco and his family and took Roxy for Sunday lunch with his dad and his amazing mum, Elsa. After course three at lunch Roxy just looked at me with a face saying "Daddy when do we stop eating?" We left and my daughters first words "Can we see them again?" The institution of family and tradition lives on, both in Marco's family home and his restaurants...I'm very proud of him, a stone heavier but prouder all the same.

I got hammered on social media and TV following the Sir Philip Green/BHS story. After watching him on TV on the commons select committee coverage (And spilling his water, something I would so do) And hearing the words "I will make it right" I thought to myself I rekon he will. I tweeted about this and got "Slammed" Of course I did, as is so often in this world of social media, see a "something possibly negative" and go in for the attack. Way too easy in my book! I like to think outside the box and think "Just believe Ian that the right thing will be done!"

Actions always speak so much louder than words. Talk is so very very cheap!

Sir Philip is one of the most successful businessmen in my lifetime (And before you say anything I do not know him, I met him once for about 2 minutes!) He did not one illegal thing, but as we love to do in this country we seem to loath anyone successful!

I agree it probably isn't his finest hour but hang on a minute here he said that magical word "Sorry!" And put a load of cash back into the pension fund, let us remember one thing here, he did not have to do any of those two things! Nope neither! 

I may be putting my head on the PR chopping board here but I really hate anger at people at least trying to make a wrong right and I say again, by action not words!

Yes he's got a yacht, huge money, a lifestyle we all dream of but what's that got to do with anything - He's a successful business man, all power to him! He's paid back his mistake and more so made amends..Let's look at the beaviour of some of those MP'S going for his throat shall we?

Do I feel for the BHS workers God yes! Do I understand what it's like to be left with nothing, to lose everything?  Yes! Do I understand what it's like to be left with no hope? Yes! Let me explain where I'm coming from here. ..

I'd been evicted from my home, lost a business,  was standing outside Sainsburys at 8pm for the reduced food, I couldn't get a job for love nor money I had without question lost everything along with my spirit and drive ..I was at the lowest point of my life. Imagine not even being able to give your daughter spending money for her holiday?  Heartbreaking! Do I understand the empty feeling and lonely fear of worry and doubt? Do I understand loss? You've no idea!

Then this happened and it's just like the BHS story!

I got a call from my friend Simon Cowell. I had lost all direction and he sat me down in his office and gave me the map back to life. Did he need to? No! Did he have to? No! But he did and as I enter the third month of 2017 I'm now booking a holiday away with my daughter not scraping through my golf bag for a pound to buy something to eat. My friend Craig watched the tears fall down my face after the meeting, I had hope back...That's everything!

You see the haters will hate from a place of envy and jealously but two people reached out....Why oh why attack that? Why? I tell you why, because it's easy! I hate easy!

Sir Philip just did the same in my eyes and experience. They don't give those "Sir" things out for nothing and Roxy and I love "Topshop" trips, do I think "Oh the size of his yacht I'm paying for here?" No! I think "That smile on my kids face!" Oh and Beyoncé "Ivy park" stuff is actually pretty cool. In fact Rox made me chuckle the other day "Daddy if Beyonce has girl twins we could actually have a new "Destiny's child!"" That's my girl!

Sorry is a very easy word, sorry with action to make the wrong right is everything. Really it is!

To all those that "Slamned" me for trusting in the "Right thing will be done" Form an orderly que and ask yourself this "Did you just take a step out of the box and believe in someone's honour?"

Anyway, I'm off to book a holiday with my Roxy I hope you now can too BHS workers .

Sent from a pedlo in Croydon!

Thank you for reading. X

Monday, 27 February 2017

And the winner is....

I'm sat writing this overhearing a conversation between an elderly couple which started with......

"I don't go to London, all those gays give you aids, they're  everywhere, that's why I stay in Croydon!"

I was honestly gobsmacked and I really though we had all moved on however if you are gay you might want to avoid Croydon, I mean, you're never going to get a date their!

Maybe it's a generation thing - to be honest my family swore for years Larry Grayson was straight and I'm pretty sure my cousin still believes George Michael is straight! (I say "Is" as "Was" just doesn't seem right to wright!)

Talking of our older generation I did my "Meals on wheels" round today and was gutted to find out two of my favorites were in hospital and three beautiful souls had died. One month I'm having a lovely conversation with a kind Italian lady who would always greet you with "Hello my darling" or having a fab bit of banter with the Irish lady, I'd always take her breakfat bowl to the kitchen and get her meal ready. She had no TV and would just do crosswords, the last was a gorgeous soul who'd never eat her piece of fruit but we would always have a good flirt. I will miss their smiles so much as I walked in to their rooms, there one month then gone!

Time is so precious, it really is.

My heart goes out to the Oscars envolope guy it really does, when I've made mistakes in the past I was 99% of the time mortified by my own stupidity, I've made so many as well but I think they call it life! The problem I have is that I'm very hard on myself, too hard sometimes but I guess that's just me! So can you imagine passing the wrong envolope to a watching millions at the showbiz highlight of the year? He must be mortified, how do you even sleep that night after that? 

The problem is with "Mistakes" they can last a lifetime and I fear this poor guy is going to get the "Oh you're the guy from the Oscars!?" Like forever!

If I was him I'd laugh at my own mistake, the truth is if you can laugh at yourself and own it, it's simply takes all the power out of it! That's my experience anyway. Let's be honest, the wrong movie got called out and although in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood i'm sure that it was  devastating! But is it really? It's an envolope and a night which has now passed, not great for the makers of La La Land but nobody died here apart from the guys heart who made the error!

The problem is nobody can make a mistake now, pictures have to perfect and edited to perfection, one wrong step in life and you seem to be doomed but and here is the but, guess what? Nobody is perfect, EVERYONE makes mistakes! In my experience it's the only time I've learned anything and to be fair I've had to make the same few ones a few goes just to make sure!

Here is the thing! What would the families do of the ladies on my meals on wheels round (Who lost their battle with life) Give to see them make a mistake, just even one more!

Have a great day and thank you for reading.

Sunday, 26 February 2017


I think I'm a cool dad, up-to-date on fashion, (Im a religious reader of Glamour Mag!), Social media and life in general, I have great conversations with my Roxy and like to think I'm not in any way shape or form embarrassing. This week I realised I am deluded on all the above!

Last weekend myself and my everything went to a trip to London, we had the usual Sunday morning conversation;

"So dad what are you up to this week?"

I went to my phone calender as I've found as I get older the memory is not what it was to be fair I don't think I'm alone in this as I spoke to a friend the other day who had to check their phone to see what they did the day before!

Anyway I ran off my list of "Things dad is doing!" One on the list was hosting the annual Norwood charity "YN property awards" I've done this now for the past three years but this year they decided to go with no comedian and that laughing bit was put fully on my shoulders, and I loved it! Was I nervous? Hell yes! I was following the likes of Omid Dijali and Katherine Ryan who had done this gig in years gone by. The problem is I don't do jokes, my comedy is simply walk out and go with what's in front of me, the problem with this is? You just hope you are going to have something in front of you! as is always mostly the case I found the things to build off and found myself in full flow (The evening raised over £170k for a brilliant charity.  Well done team "Norwood!")

This has not always been the case! I've had to climb out of a window in Hull, got booed off so badly in Midlesbourgh (Dormans athletic club) that anytime I hear the word "Midlesbourgh" my anxiety rises and I go into a cold sweat! Trust me, when James Arthur (Who's from Midlesbourgh) Went all the way in The x factor I almost had to do meditation before each show! I died a comedic death so bad on the QE2 in New York they asked me to get off the ship, it was horrific but everytime I heard the silence I learnt! I think this is the problem with today's "Celebrity" in a way, they show up and suddenly they are a star without any of the life experiences to stand them in good stead. I don't resent them, not at all, good luck to them, it's just a new world from when I first started out in the business called "Show!"

Anyway I digress!

"So Roxy what's your week looking like?"

We were sat on a train opposite each other and she began her busy schedule list!"

Drama show.
Duke of Edinburgh award charity shop work.
Friend coming over.

"Oh, on Friday daddy, I'm walking home from school with a boy!"

Inside my head three words screamed "What the fuck?"

Silence. ...

"Daddy why are you staring in a funny way out of the train window?"

"No reason love!" I was actually planning a surveillance team, hiring a helicopter and wanting to meet this boys parents!

This is my little girl! This is the little button  I held for the first time when she was born, hugged when she fell over, dropped at her first day at school, baked with, went on holiday with, read stories too, got up in the middle of the night for, consoled when she had butterflies in her tummy before her first school play, taught to ride a bike, checked under bed for monsters, I was my daughters ONLY man!  A boy! I said again WTF!

Roxy kinda started having a bit of banter "Don't worry dad he wants to be a brain surgeon!"

"That's fantastic love!" I replied, but what I was actually thinking was "If he hurts you  or tries ANYTHING inappropriate he will be seeing the inside of a hospital quicker than he imagined!"

I dropped her off to her Mums with a huge pain in my heart.....It was like losing something you are never going to get back!

Now I know this may sound a little dramatic (Me, dramatic? Never!) But it honestly hit me like a ton of bricks! My little girl was little anymore and I was no longer the apple of her eye!

Friday came and 30 minutes after school finished I called her mum having a mini worry storm, my ex wife handled me beautifully and no she hadn't heard from her! You may want to note that this dad once called the police because Roxy was 20 minutes late from meeting me after school and I started a full scale search! I know ...embarrassing dad but we've not even started yet, I know they do a"Dad of the year award" Maybe they should do an "Embarrassing dad of the year award?" I mean Roxy once brought 8 of her school friends to watch The X factor, you can imagine the pride she felt with all her friends as the next thing they all watched was her Dad walking out on stage naked  other than my boxer shorts shoved up my arse! The price of being the daughter of the warmup guy I guess!

I phoned my mate Dave on the train and explained the situation of the Dad/Daughter silence, (He's a dad to a daughter also) He chuckled and said "That's why my daughter does karate!" "What the hell Dave, Roxy only does Beyonce!" I was doomed!

We put a date in to meet up and I hung up, I was going from mild worry to panic, as we pulled into the next station three ladies got off the train and smiled at me with comments such as "Good luck" "She'll be fine" and the one that rocked me to my core" "Don't worry, snogging only normally starts on date four!" I was a wreck!

A while later two texts arrived, one from my ex wife "She's home" and one from Roxy saying "I'm home!" I could almost see her rolling her eyes as she sent it! I had a strong urge to try and find the people who had given me such sympathies on their departure to share such wonderful news!

Today's meeting with Roxy was coffee and a whole conversation about The BRITs and it was properly "Lit" It would seem local Croydon lad Stormzy is the new really cool man of moment! She showed me his reply to Adel on "Insta" although I had to have a lesson in the words used! Legit! 

Once Stormzy put on his social media "Box park in Croydon in one hour, see you there" (Roxys face was alight with excitment! This has made him a legend, to be fair from my point of view, made Croydon cool again....Who knew!

I was lost to be honest, I'm a huge fan of Wretch 32 - (Who Roxy always has to tell me it's "Three two" not "Thirty two!") Example, Jay Z, and Professor Green so I thought I was a step ahead. I'm not, I'm just trying to catch up!

The morale of this story....I'm a Dad and that's just not cool in the eyes of my daughter or any daughter but that's also a brilliant thing. On the plus side, a brain surgeon? Let's be honest I think I probably may need one!

Have a great day my "Mandem" I'm off to find some more work, I've got a helicopter, two surveillance teams and 5 satiate tracking devices to pay for!


Saturday, 25 February 2017


I watched an interview on ITV's "This morning" programme in the week which upset me to my core and not just because I'm a parent, but I'm also a grown man living in a society where it seems wholly acceptable to be abusive. A very brave mother came on the show to talk about her daughter, Megan, who after a tirade of online abuse took her own life.

Devastating, shocking and so very sad!

The story really moved me and I spent the whole day turning it around in my head just heartbroken for Megan and her family  but also the realisation that we live in a social media world where resentment, anger, abuse, criticism and hatred is a daily if not hourly thing and more so seems totally acceptable and part of today's normal life! How very sad!

A normal day in life is hard enough as it is right? Now let's just throw in Trump, Brexit , Murders, sackings, twitter and Facebook rants, traffic delays, strikes, the refugee crisis, syria, the weather and normal day to day brick walls  that are a part of everyday life, it's a serious never ending stream of negativity, now imagine being a young person, imagine all that and then being personally attacked in ways that beg belief.

Every action has a reaction. I'm no saint, I've had spats, rants, outbursts and falling outs, I've said things I have very much regretted and have let myself down and no doubt hurt people along my journey, it's called being human but I honestly can say with my hand on my heart I have never once gone out of my way to hurt someone or intentionally wanted to upset someone, it honestly isn't in my make up,  the actual thought of hurting someone to make myself feel better is alien to me and knowing I had would probably upset me more than the person I had hurt, but as I said I'm not perfect!

Watching Megan's mum really got me thinking about "Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me!" In a new world of social media this really is out of date!

There is a great saying "When you point the finger look at where the other three are pointing!?" Yup, right back at the finger pointer. In life we tend to put others down and attack because we have the real issue I guess it's a way of covering our own insecurities and flaws but why take it out on someone else? Does it change anything? Well yes it does and the harsh truth of Megan's suicide is the proof!

Surely it's easier to be kind, to pay a compliment, to ask are you OK?  Surely it's more in step with the universe to support others rather than destroy them? To care than to criticize, To embrace rather than kick someone down? Surely?

Let's take Donald Trump as an example. Now I don't agree with 90% of what he stands for but does he effect me? No? Reading twitter, the hysteria is at an epidemic level, seriously it's almost as mad as his wall! Here is the thing, not one thing I've done this week has been changed by POTUS. Not one thing but, and here is the key, if I buy into the drama, anger, resentment and negativity it's suddenly part of my day and I have to carry that round with me! Screw that!

Change begins with one person, now I'm not deluded enough to think we are all about to become saints but even if we just took a second to think."Would I say this to that's persons face?" "Would I say this to a person I'm sat watching with a rope around there neck or 100 sleeping pills next to there bed?" Would you? Would I? Never!

Kindness is a really simple act. Saying something positive is a really simple act.Thinking of others is a really simple act. Today's society is lucky, you only have to type it, in my day you had to do "Bob a job week" with the cubs and scouts, now it's just a few seconds on a keyboard and you could possibly change the course of someone's day and in a brilliant way.

I only hope the interview with Megan's mum is sent to every single school and shown to every single pupil. It's that powerful.

Let's start the change, why? Because we can!

Thank you for reading and have a great day and good luck with my grammar!

Friday, 24 February 2017

That bloody storm!

Yesterday was #DorisDay

The wind blew, things got destroyed,  life was lost, landscapes changed, barriers were realigned, boundaries of our sacred homes moved and fun things such as trampolines moved to different areas!

Today I've woken up with the sun shining, a blue sky, no wind and "Stuff" in different places.

Ladies and gentleman welcome to life!

I've not put my finger to a keypad in a long time because my storm was blowing all over the place last year, if I'm honest I couldn't even find the bloody keyboard my life was so dark, lost and misaligned but guess what, the storm passed!

Life is going to be shit sometimes that's just life, I guess the problem is when we are in the shit bit there seems no way out, we are sat in the middle of Doris and her whirlwind trying to find the bouncy trampoline, except it's in someone else's garden! My experience is that everyone else's garden looked so much better than mine as I sat in the storm. Why couldn't I bounce on the trampoline? Why did I have to sit in this dark mess? Why did my storm seem worse than anyone else's? Just why? The storm got bigger, the drama of the mess more highlighted and the trampoline so very far away!

Read twitter from yesterday and everyone had there own experience of Doris! That's the same with life!

It's the Why of life!

What you may find easy to accept and walk past will never be the same as anyone else. My storm will be always different to yours! My flying weelybin will never be your nightmare, my mess and my black bag full of my life thrown all down the street in utter chaos will never look the same as yours To you it may just be something to step over, clear up and move on. To me it may be hell on earth.

But here is the thing, I woke up today (That's a real gift in my life) And the storm had past and all I had to do was clear up the mess! But I got to do it with a clear blue sky, no wind and no dramatic Doris! 

I've been through hell but today I get to sit and clear up the aftermath of my Doris in my own time and so can you!

It's a calm day today, as calm as you want to make it!

Go slowly, pick up the pieces from your wheelybin, fix the fence, move your trampoline back and start to bounce again, sit back and know you've got this.

It maybe broken and a mess all around you but as the sunshines on your back know you are more than capable of starting the clear up and it doesn't all have to be today.

Fix it well, strap down your trampoline and prepare from this experience as Doris will one day return but you've got it covered....

Remember you've been here before, cleared it up, learnt the lessons and grown.

In other words ...this too will pass and you are not ever alone, ever! Remember I sat through #DorisDay too and guess what, it was just a day!