"Don't part with your dreams - when they are gone you may still exist but you will have ceased to live" - Mark Twain

"Do you know that this blog wouldn't exist if it wasn't for you being here to read it!?" - Bobby Gill

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Are you Special?

Have you ever thought you had super powers and can save the world?
Special is a hilariously serious film starring Michael Rapaport. He's not your ordinary superhero.

The film is about a parking warden (meter maid in America) that trials a new drug called, Special (Specioprin Hydrochloride) that removes self-doubt. He soon realises he has special powers, including levitation, telepathy, teleportation, and the ability to walk through walls. Overnight he becomes somebody who now has a purpose to live. Although he realises being a superhero isn't as easy or fun as he thought.

The downside is that he is really having adverse side effects and what he believes is only true only to him; not to anyone else. It is a study of mental illness and how the individual's map of the world IS their reality. He only has one friend who is prepared to believe him, everyone else wants him to stop taking the magic pills. Is he willing to go back to the way things were before having super powers or risk losing his mind and his life?

It goes from comedy to quite a dark drama. The way the characters interact is brilliantly scripted, each staying true to themselves in a mixed up world. Sometimes it is tough deciding who's reality you want to believe as you watch the story unfold.

Imagine having to live in a world where you have to believe everything other people tell you - now that really does sounds crazy, doesn't it!?

Special didn't get a mainstream release and isn't your usual Hollywood A-list blockbuster, so you may not even watch it. Should you take the opportunity to watch a copy, it is a film that will make you think - and that is what cinema and life should be about. Giving you something new and challenging to let you make a decision about, than be spoon fed the morals of a formulaic movie.

Check it out! Special is currently on re-release in the US cinemas again and available on DVD worldwide. Buy the DVD here from Amazon
"LES FRANKEN (Michael Rapaport) leads a painfully unremarkable life as a metermaid until he enrolls in a drug study for an experimental anti-depressant. An unexpected side effect of the drug convinces Les he is developing special powers and must quit his job to answer his new calling in life... Superhero.

A very select group of people in life are truly gifted. Special is a movie about everyone else."


Saturday, 22 November 2008

Auctions and upcoming events

Just a quick property update for you on auctions. I went to a local auction in Huddersfield last week to watch the auctioneer cringe. They've been quite 'cocky' in the last couple of years, with a lack of respect and time for investors, inflating prices and playing silly games to increase their commissions - how times change.

Of about 33 lots:
3 had been sold prior
66% were unsold on the night by not reaching reserve
Couple of properties went for what looked like 20-25% BMV
Couple of houses were a fair price
One new build apartment - no bids or interest at all!
Was surprised to see a building plots being in demand, as bank finance is tight for investors and the new build market stagnant. Probably for self-build or a builder with time and money on his hands.

I recommend you watch your local auctions and contact the estate agents about any unsold lots. They have bargains waiting to be picked up for those of you still buying.

Let your friends in property, personal development know about this blog - and those that want to expand their lives. Sign up for updates by entering your name and email at the top right -->

Upcoming Events

25th Nov, Manchester (& 27th Nov, Darlington) - Cash Flow Nights,
Rent to Own Options with David Lee, How to Buy a House for £1!

28th Nov, Birmingham - The Property Investors Xmas dinner,
with Simon Zutshi and the PIN Team

29th Nov, London - YES Group 15th Anniversary Party,
See you at THE Party of the Year!

1st Dec, Manchester - Female Entrepreneurs from Australia,
Two amazing ladies, Getrude Matshe & Samantha Backman

3rd Dec, Leeds - Northern Property Network Meet with two amazing guys ;-)

Others speakers details removed as requested.
Bobby Gill – Student HMO Landlord

Bobby will share with you how you can put together a deal in this economy by being creative. Why Student HMO's are a great way to invest for yield and what to watch out for.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Are you for-getting to be for-giving?

Confusing title? Good. Have you ever hear the term 'charity starts at home?'
With the current economic climate (I 'm not going to mention the credit crunch cereal) a lot of people have been cutting back on expenditure. I have been one of them as income has reduced, expenses increased and no more lending of money for businesses from the banks.

I virtually cancelled all my payments except my phone bill, internet and car insurance! I'd also heard that charity started at home, so gave the contributions I was making a knock on the head as well.

Today I was walking through town, after 2 hours debating court summons with an incompetent council, why do all muppets work for the government - but hey, that's another rant...
It was 5pm and getting cold, when a girl representing Shelter stopped me in the street. She told me about the families, especially children, living in sub-standard accommodation and the work they are doing to bring them better housing. Then she asked me the question, would £1.50 per week make a big difference in my life?
Actually, ask yourself, would £1.50 per week make a big difference in YOUR life?

Now everything is relative, yes it would but wouldn't it make a much bigger difference to someone else who didn't even have that much?

I realise that I always have enough to get by and have never been short of meeting my needs, wants being another matter completely. That to take away the little that I used to give is not really benefiting me as much as it would help provide for someone else. If anything it will make me think twice about wasting it at the nearest fast food place, just because it is more convenient than eating properly. Is a 1.50 coffee
really going to make my life better!?

So, as you sit there with the warm glow from your computer screen, drinking your favourite carbonated drink or premium tea / coffee, spare a thought for people that WILL be affected by the current economy. Are you one of those who, like me, had decided not to donate money because they were told that times are hard.

You know what I mean, it's cold on a morning, the water takes a while to heat, fuel is expensive and then you have to go to work to make ends meet (which ends are they specifically?) Life may seem tough but it is a lot easier than for those that really struggle.

Also did you know that if you give, the universe has to provide more to fill any void so that you can continue giving!? Yes, it's true. Isn't that a nice thought.

Take a moment to think about those sleeping without a roof over their heads, on the streets without blankets, without clean water, empty stomachs and little hope of getting ahead in life - and that's just in the UK! It's going to be a cold winter for them, lets hope they're around for the recovery! They need the help now, more than ever.

Your heating has just switched off and all you have to do is turn the light off and go to bed, take a moment to say a prayer and make a commitment to make a difference. I'm taking back the decision made to even foolishly think that times were hard, life has never been better. Things aren't going to get any better because they actually already are! I'd just forgotten to give and now I know why I need to remember.
Give a little and you will reap as well. It's a small world and you are one of the lucky ones, who is able to make a difference in someone else's life! You just have to choose to, grow by giving a little this winter... and you will receive.

What is charity, where is home? It's only a small planet and we are just a small family. Look after one another.


Shelter - The housing and homelessness charity

Sponsor a child with plan-uk.org
Sponsor A Child

Water Aid
Water Aid

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Gratitude - Life changing moments and souls

Have you ever met someone that you felt such a connection to that you can't describe it in words? With friends or strangers, who are real kindred spirits. Like meeting others that you just click with and get along with instantly or finding the friends / family you thought you never had.

It is like explaining that which can't be explained and you don't have the vocabulary or understanding of; or to put into words that which cannot be consciously understood or make sense. It might happen only a few times in your life, yet you will never forget, you know what I mean. If not, imagine time just seeming to stop and infinity folding back onto itself, there is only 'now' and the moment you are in. Do you get the picture and hear what I'm saying?

Things in life happen for a reason, there are no real random events. You meet the people you need to and chose to realise that things just had to be that way.
Have you ever been in the wrong place at the wrong time!? No - because it's not possible, there is only the right place at the right time... ALWAYS, else you wouldn't be here, right now!

I met a couple of people like that, especially one. Someone who you 'know' for the true person that they are to their soul and they see and 'know' the real you as well. You touch each others lives and feel it to the core.

There is no need for the false facades and masks that people wear everyday, as they are just thin veils hiding you from the world. The only thing that truly matters is who you are. Fortunately there is nowhere to hide sometimes, after all, why would you want to!?

Occasionally, if you are lucky and have been really good, you meet those rare people that see right through and accept you for your true self, no matter how you or others may have judged you in the past. After all, it is not what you left behind you long ago but the choices you make today that shape your future.

Even the random guy who took our picture on the last night felt it and was nearly in tears, yet no-one really knew or could explain why. It was difficult to leave but there was comfort in knowing it is just an endless moment in time - and we will meet again.

Those fellow voyagers in life, new acquaintances and lifelong friends; I am so grateful for all these people I have been fortunate enough to have be given the opportunity to meet and share a part of my life with. They gave my life a whole new meaning and direction. And I sometimes wonder about those who I met along the way, on this simple journey of life, that may be thankful for having met me too.

You should cherish all those people and moments too, they are few and far between but that is exactly why they are so special.

I'd come back with something so much better than I'd expected or hoped to find on a ship in the Caribbean.

Some people thought it was the end of the cruise and a wonderful time, little did they realise, it is just the beginning!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Bob Proctor Cruise

Bob Proctor Cruise - Caribbean October 2008

Have you ever found yourself going somewhere for one thing and coming back with something completely different yet so much better?

The cruise was brilliant. The cabin was plush with a balcony and the restaurants and free food on board was tasty and bountiful. I was taking time off being vegetarian and tee-total, just for the week! The staff and crew were awesome. The Holland America, Eurodam was like a 5 star hotel on water.

There were seminars every day for those people that wanted to attend, with speakers such as Bob Proctor, Paul Martinelli, Vic Johnson, Mark Victor Hansen, Peggy McColl and Rev. Michael Beckwith to name a few. I was just there to hang out and unwind after a testing year. I deserved a holiday and was going to have one. Also met Stefanie who was from Quebec and she really was on holiday and only attended one talk. Now that's what I'm talking about...holiday!!!

The atmosphere on the ship was electric. There were around 1800 people from all round the world. Four of us had flown into Miami and Anita had flown into Orlando with another 10 people. The London (UK) crew were strong and we just ran into more and more, like Trudy, Mitul and Dimple and we also adopted a few Americans as well (they needed looking after!) including Joe, Stacey and April. Some of the other fab people were Debi, Tobie, Lito, Willard, Ron, Cathy, Becky, Carol (mom) and the list could go on...
Sometimes it may seem that meetings are just chance, when they are really serendipitous.

One night we'd booked tables, for dinner, for 20 people and ended up with over 30!!

We stopped off to go Bananas in the Bahamas with everyone and Michelle, Dimple, Alex and myself ended up on the beach.

When we stopped in Jamaica I went to the beach again with Joe, Cassandra and Maria. When Alex, Anita and Nicky showed up, Joe and myself decided to Jam in Jamaica with some Wray and Nephew. It was stronger than we though but it was all good. We laughed our way back to the ship to set sail.

Being at sea and a night owl, the only place to go was the local dance club on board, the Northern Lights. Every night, till close most nights, it was the place to be. One girl came and politely asked if she could dance with me, I was a little stunned and hastily replied, 'sure, as long as you don't fight with the other girls'. At the time, to me, it sounded really funny and people that knew me would have thought the same. She didn't and turned and walked away, hmmm... really need to work on my communicating with women skills and bottling that humour when necessary. We literally rocked that ship all night, every night and people joked about the harem of women around all the time. What can I say, people that know how to have fun, party and enjoy life know where it's happening! Lito asked me "Everyone knows your true self comes out at 3am on a cruise ship! Share." So I shared, "Your true self is always there! The more fun you're having and being surrounded by wonderful people, the more you will shine... 3am is just incidental! Dancing like a chicken and not caring what others think also helps ;-)"
Maybe I'll do a 3am motivational seminar on the next cruise in The Northern Lights.

I really enjoyed the meal times and socialising. It was great sitting with and meeting new people from all around the world and backgrounds. One night we'd stayed up till 4am then couldn't sleep. So after getting my foot back from April (you had to be there to understand), Anita, Stacey and myself went on deck for late night/early morning talks. Waking up in time to go to breakfast and Mary Morrisey's talk. Then I had breakfast again with some other friends and back to bed! I actually slept whilst people visited the Cayman Islands, but I can't have missed anything as I wasn't there.

Nika had 'picked' fellow passengers for breakfast that really did have strong opposing view points. We had fun with it and carried on with our day instead of feeling challenged. The following day we found ourselves attracting and sat with more gracious and friendly people, that 'picked' us, of one which was Scott who gave us some gratitude coins that he has designed and is producing.

Funnily enough the only souvenir I bought was a wristband in Jamaica, that I forgot on the ship. Even immigration asked if I'd bought anything when I disembarked to which I replied 'no, but I ate a lot!'

So thank you Scott for that physical reminder of a wonderful time and fantastic memories with some awesome people and new found friends!

So much happened that writing about it all on here would only do it an injustice... see you on the next cruise!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

On my way to the USA

Watched Swing Vote with Kevin Costner on the flight, about a father and a daughter and how every single person is important, even you! How a decision you make can change the future of everyone around you. (P.S. Congratulations to the Americans for getting a new president this week - things can only improve!)

Better still was The Son of Rambow, a brilliant film for anyone that ever has had a dream. Be it big or small, believe in it and everyone else will want to be a part of it too. Also, remember the people in your life that are important to you. This is well worth watching should you need reminding what it was like to be a kid.

It took over an hour to get through immigration in Florida, boy do the americans take their shit seriously, metaphorically speaking and not in the rubber glove inspection sense. My suitcase finally turned up, zip broken and clothes hanging out. It had been taped up and credit to American Airlines, nothing had been stolen! They replaced the bag with a new case and I got a shuttle bus to the Clay Hotel, only to be told my credit card had been declined and had to pay for my room again. Oh well, at least it can only get better from here!

I don't even know why I was going on a cruise, I don't like deep water and sea food disagrees with me. I prefer to eat my food as opposed to the food eat (through) me! Not to worry, I was sure they'd have steak, chips, ice cream and other delights on the ship. The deep water? Hmmm... well at least I won't be alone out there in the big blue...

Whilst some friends were over in Orlando, I was in Miami chilled out with the ocean on my doorstep, every morning. This is the life!

Chris, Michelle and Nicky turned up the following day and Nicky's friend drove us to Fort Lauderdale. Ready for the cruise of a lifetime with Bob Proctor and co.

P.S. Thanks for the pic Chris, bet you never thought I'd use it!

Are Flight Attendants to blame for your comfort?

As a passenger I have to say that flight staff always do a good job and I have to put up with fellow passengers that don't appreciate what they do get versus what they don't get. Be grateful you get the chance to fly and can afford to!

Remember to smile and say thanks next time they get you somewhere safely. You can bitch should they ever leave you stranded in the ocean!

Then again reading this, no wonder some people are scared to fly as they're already busy imagining the worst!

Easy option if you don't like a particular airline or flying; use another airline next time - or simply don't fly and take the train, drive or just stay at home! If you want to complain, tell somebody that cares ;-)

Here’s a letter from an unknown flight attendant that touches on almost every part of the flight experience that frequent and no-so- frequent fliers know all too well.
It is a reminder in this day of flight crews being booed and sued, and more and more cancelled flights that the front line of pilots and flight attendants are as much victims of bad management as we, the passengers, are.
As this flight attendant so aptly says, “direct your hostility and frustrations in the direction where they will be most effective: The customer service department. They are the ones equipped to handle your complaint and implement procedures for change.”
When you do interact with your flight attendant, a smile, a kind word and a thank you go a long way — further than many of us know.

To the Flying Public: We’re sorry.
We’re sorry we have no pillows.
We’re sorry we’re out of blankets.
We’re sorry the airplane is too cold.
We’re sorry the airplane is too hot.
We’re sorry the overhead bins are full.
We’re sorry we have no closet space for your oversized bag.
We’re sorry that’s not the seat you wanted.
We’re sorry there’s a restless toddler/overweight/offensive smelling
passenger seated next to you.
We’re sorry the plane is full and there are no other seats available.
We’re sorry you didn’t get your upgrade.
We’re sorry that guy makes you uncomfortable because he “looks like a
We’re sorry there’s a thunderstorm and we can’t take off.
We’re sorry we don’t know when it will stop.
We’re sorry you’re crammed into a space so small that if you were an
animal PETA would protest.
We’re sorry a Super 80 has no music or video entertainment for your 3
hour flight.
We’re sorry we ran out of your favourite soda.
We’re sorry there are no more sandwiches.
We’re sorry that Budweiser costs $6.
We’re sorry we don’t have diapers for your baby.
We’re sorry we don’t have milk for same baby.
We’re sorry you can’t hang out by the cockpit door waiting to use the
bathroom. We’re sorry you can’t hang out at the back of the airplane.
We’re sorry you have to sit down and fasten your seatbelt.
We’re sorry you have to put your seat up for landing.
We’re sorry we don’t know when we’re going to land.
We’re sorry we don’t know whether your plane to (substitute any city in
the world) will be waiting for you when we land.
We’re sorry we’ve been diverted because we ran out of gas waiting to
We’re sorry for these and so many other things that we have absolutely no control over but which we are held accountable for EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Please understand. Flight attendants are not the enemy. We share your space. More than anyone - we want to have a nice, pleasant travel experience.
There is a reason behind everything we ask you to do. It may be a FAA directive. It may be security related. It may be a company procedure.
We don’t just make stuff up. We don’t spend 8 weeks at the flight academy learning how to pour a Coke. There are many things that flight attendants are watching for constantly on every flight FOR YOUR SAFETY.
It’s not because we’re bored or so controlling that we just enjoy telling people what to do. I, for one, would like to have one flight where I didn’t have to repeatedly tell people to put their seats up for landing. Seriously.
Can’t you just do what we ask sometimes? Without the glares, eye rolling and disdain? For the record - putting your seat up for landing may not seem that important to your personal safety. However, it is very important for the person sitting BEHIND YOU. If you have ever tried to get out of a row where someone has their seat back you know it can be a challenge. Try grabbing your ankles (emergency brace position) or getting out of that row quickly with smoke in the cabin.
Understand a little better now?
Many of the things we ask passengers to comply with are FAA directives.
Like carry-on bag stowage and exit row requirements. When we can serve drinks (in the air) and when we can’t (after the aircraft door is closed or on an active taxi-way). We are only allowed to move about the cabin during taxi out for safety related duties. We can’t get you blankets then, or hang coats, or get you drinks. It’s not because we don’t want to. It’s because we are held personally responsible if we fail to comply with FAA directives.
Meaning that the FAA can fine us personally up to $10,000 if we fail to comply or enforce an FAA Directive. Like no bags at the bulkhead. No children in the exit row. No one moving around the cabin during taxi.
Perhaps now you know why flight attendants get a little testy when people move about the cabin when they’re not supposed to. It’s not the company that gets in trouble for that. It’s us.
Personally, I wish the airlines would show worst case scenario safety videos. Like what happens if you walk through the cabin during turbulence.
There could be a guy who has just fallen and smacked his face on the metal armrest and now has a bloody, gushing broken nose. Or an elderly lady who now has a broken arm because someone walking to the bathroom fell on her.
Maybe a passenger with a broken neck because somebody opened an overhead bin during turbulence and a suitcase fell out and onto the person sitting beneath it. These things can easily happen in a fast moving, unstable air environment.
Please just trust that we are looking out for your best interest and stop fighting with us about everything we ask you to do. It is exhausting.
Finally, please, please direct your hostility and frustrations in the direction where they will be most effective: The customer service department. They are the ones equipped to handle your complaint and implement procedures for CHANGE.
Think about it. More than anybody, we are already aware of the lack of amenities, food, service and comfort on the aircraft. Please share your concerns with the people in the cubicles at corporate who need that information to make better decisions for the flying public.
It’s frustrating that so many people are in denial about what the travel industry is about now. The glory days of pillows, blankets, magazines and a hot meal for everyone are long gone. Our job is to get you from
point A to point B safely and at the cheapest possible cost to you and the company. So be prepared. If you are hungry - get a sandwich before you get on the plane.
If it’s a 3 hour flight, anticipate that you may get hungry and bring some snacks. If you are cold natured - bring a wrap. Think for yourself and think ahead. Otherwise, don’t complain when you have to pay $3 for a cookie and are left with a crusty blanket to keep you warm.
We hear often that the service just isn’t what is used to be. Well, the SERVICE we provide now isn’t what it used to be.
When I was hired, my job was to serve drinks, meals, ensure that safety requirements were met and tend to in-flight medical issues.
Since 9/11 my primary job is to ensure that my airplane will not be compromised by a terrorist.
9/11 may be a distant memory now to many, but be assured that EVERY DAY, when a flight attendant reports to work, he or she is constantly thinking about 9/11. We feel a personal responsibility to ensure that something like that never happens again. We can never relax. We can never not be suspicious about someone’s intentions.

It is difficult to be vigilant and gregarious at the same time.
Especially when most of us are working 12 hour days after layovers that only allow 5-6 hours of sleep. Not because we were out partying and having a grand time on the layover - but because the delays that you experience as a passenger also affect us as a crew, so that what was a 10 hour layover is now 8 hours which doesn’t leave a lot of time to recover from what has become an increasingly stressful occupation.
Despite everything, I still enjoy being a flight attendant.
I am writing this letter because I do still care about my profession and about the public perception of flight attendants. In the increasingly challenging travel world it is becoming more imperative than ever for people to just be decent to each other. I can go through an entire day without one person saying anything remotely civil. I will stand at the aircraft door and say hello to everyone who enters and maybe 50% will even look at me and even less will say hello back.
I will try to serve someone a meal who can’t be bothered to take their headsets off long enough for me to ask them what they want. Most of the time the only conversation a passenger has with me is when they are complaining.
Is it any wonder why flight attendants have shut down a bit? After suffering the disdain of hundreds of passengers a day it’s difficult sometimes to even smile, much less interact. We are human. We appreciate the same respect and courtesy that passengers do.
The next time you fly, try treating the flight attendants the way you would like to be treated. You may be surprised how friendly your flight crew is when they are treated like people.

~ Author unknown

Plane crashes and sinking ships

I'd set my alarm and woke up late from Dan's couch. Rushing to the airport I got my flight on good time and ended up sitting next to Tracy and Andy and their two daughters, also off for a cruise from Miami. Tracy had been to see a hypnotist about fear of flying. Well after 20 minutes chatting I'd blasted through that phobia and put her mind to rest and she forgot to panic, how awful that must feel to have relaxed a take-off!! I'm not a hypnotist, people are, they hypnotise themselves and I just put the record straight or put them in a nicer more resourceful trance. Reminds me about watching the Poseidon Adventure prior to a cruise, how nuts is that. Think I'll do a pleasant cruise first before planning for a disaster!

Another friend is also afraid of flying and when someone told her that flying was the safest form of transport, she replied 'the more times I fly the more likely I'm going to die in a crash'! You can't argue with logic like that, why do some people make some things so difficult? So I let her know that the longer you live, the more likely you are to die of something. So the choice is yours, to live your life without being afraid of what might happen or call it quits and be one of the living dead now by not doing anything. Did you know that worry is like paying interest on a debt you might never own!?

Am I against flying, not at all. I wrote most of this sat at an airport and if you're reading it, I survived 'again' and had time to upload it to this blog. I just wonder how many decisions we made in the past that prevented us from doing things we really wanted to - and the planning you did in case things went wrong instead of planning for the wonderful journey you were about to take. Maybe now is good a time as any to change your mind on these limiting decisions, what do you think?

P.S. The majority of accidents happen in the home anyway ;-) So get out more!