The truth behind the UK’s biggest recycling myths

recycle symbol

Wired magazine have a piece about the myths of recycling in the UK. Quite a interesting reading, as a lot of the truths behind the myths are quite surprising.

Receipts are recyclable – False

The UK still hands out 11 billion receipts every year, and around 50 per cent of these – printed on shiny, thermal paper – are not recyclable. This is because they’re composed of more than one material and contain a combination of potentially harmful BPA and BPS chemicals. If they were recycled, these chemicals would be released into the environment. So, always put these in regular waste.

This one surprised me a lot because I’ve been known to shred all my receipts and then throw the lot in paper recycling. Won’t be doing that any more!

Petiquette in coffee shops

Petiquette at Ezra & Gil

As you likely guessed from previous posts, I’m not a dog person at all. I’ve been bitten too many times and are generally nervous around them. But I get there are people who love their dog like its their family members (ok I do find that odd).

But I find dogs in cafes questionable.

I have seen dogs on seats, chairs and table tops. Witnessed and left as they have barked the place down, attacked each other, seen them walking around loose with no lead. Its seriously not a place where I feel comfortable and I’m sure others feel the same; even the dog lovers.

This is why I was impressed to see Ezra & Gil’s #Ezrapetiquette (even if it looks like Ez-rape?).

  1. Ensure your dog is housetrained.
  2. Your dog is well behaved & can sit, stay & come on command.
  3. Your dog is kept on a lead at all times.
  4. Make sure your dog doesn’t disturb other customers.
  5. Your dog is kept on a floor & away from food.
  6. Your dog is not anxious & uncomfortable around people.
  7. Pack waste bags incase of any accidents,
  8. Dog Lovers – please ensure you ask owners permission before petting their dogs.

This might seem very obvious, but like many conferences include a code of conduct. Some people need a little reminder and theres got to be a clear expression of whats accepted and not. Dogs on tables and chairs wouldn’t be accepted if I was writing one.

Following my partners dog bite in the hotel, I re-read the dangerous dogs act again, and found this part very interesting.

Under the Act, it’s illegal for a dog to be ‘out of control’ or to bite or attack someone. The legislation also makes it an offence if a person is worried or afraid (the term is ‘reasonable apprehension’) that a dog may bite them. So it’s important to ensure that your dog is kept under control at all times and in all places.

Something to remind dog owners of as I head for the door next time.

Son of Hibachi portable BBQ is 5 stars

2019-07-15 19.52.40

Its hot and there’s nothing better than some time outside cooking away. I usually use those portable disposable BBQs when away from home but thats about to change…

I bought the Son of Hibachi portable BBQ a while ago but never actually used it till last week. I was impressed before and after using it even more so.

2019-07-15 19.52.36

Easy to clean, sensible way to start the BBQ. Excellent size and just a amazing portable BBQ. Can’t wait to get it on the scooter and on to a beach. Maybe while playing some Volleyball or something.

2019-07-15 19.45.49

New diabolo tricks with J-sliding

I’m still working out how to do a vertex as I wrote in my new years resolutions. But while looking for videos to help explain where I might be going wrong, I found a new category of tricks called j-sliding?

J-SLIDING is a new style of juggling with diabolo, 
that enables you to do more tricks.

Its not quite the shift of the vertex before this, or the suicide before that and the grind before that. But interesting move forward regardless.

Everyone needs a little self-care time

IMG_20190625_161128-EFFECTS
Nothing better than a little self-care, by indudging my love of rollercoasters

Its a lesson I’ve learned after many mistakes from a previous life (before my brush with death). Taking some time for myself to chill out a little, especially after one of those busy weeks that I sometimes post.

A while ago during my sabbatical after my brush with death, I did read (listen) to a lot of things, this is also when I decided to get hypnotherapy for my fear of needles. Another thing I picked up was the idea of self-care.

Selfcare is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Good selfcare is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety.

I tie it directly to the conscious living lifestyle which is simple in concept again but being mindful is more tricky that it first seems. For example one of the things I do is plan in self-care time in my calendar, especially when I identify a potentially stressful period coming up. It could be a great time away for work but flights are always full of stressful moments and finding hotels etc. For example last week, I flew to Madrid to talk at the xR fest. It was great but the weather temperature hit a maximum of 41c and my flights were via Brussels. I knew the connection was tight with 55mins between landing and the connecting flight leaving.

Express connection ticketOf course we didn’t actually get into the air for 45mins from Manchester, giving me no time to run across the airport through passport control with the express connection ticket and luckily catch my flight as it was also delayed and they couldn’t quite close the gate with people arriving from previous flights. Trust me it was a close call!

This is all the stuff I thought about while resting in the hot tub at the Hilton Hotel Manchester Monday July 1st. I had planned in a day off and took advantage of a treatment some kind friend had bought me for my 40th birthday.

While listening to The Nod recently I was impressed with the discussion about Self-Care. There were two aspects I liked quite a lot (wish I could transcribe it). In summary the conversation was about getting men (especially black men, being a black culture podcast) to consider self-care as part of being masculine. The discussion reminded me of a discussion I had a long while ago about the game being a self-help book for men who usually avoided self-help books.

Self-care is clearly important but its equally important to find what works for you. The example of a yoga retreat just doesn’t work for me although it might work for others. My kind of self-care is certainly spas and rollercoaster parks

Maybe your more a sleep in long hours type person or rearrange and clean the house hygge person. What ever it truly is (and I mean truly deeep down) then a little self-care when things get tough is really a life savor!

Where would you ride this in the UK?

IMG_20190630_120737

I really enjoyed riding around these around in Bucharest 3 years ago. Its also something I was thinking about when I went to the future of transport futurists a while back.

It was surprising to see it and other things on sale in El Corte Ingles department store (Spanish department store like Debenhams type), in the same place where you might see laptops or something like that.

I was also surprised about the price to be honest. I always assumed they would be closer to 1000 pounds/euros. There was also a electric skateboard which when I lifted it, was better than what I tried before. I have to say these electric roller skates are insane.

Electric skates?

The question still remains about where are you allowed to actually ride these in the UK? I know the UK government set out their strategy for the future of mobility, and a bit more about the last mile transport. But still no clear ruling. I certainly would like to see our streets a bit more like the European cities.

The height issue and self-confidence

I was reading a piece about short kings a new coined term for short men.

The whole thing is about how men under 6ft tall are always the brunt of jokes and bullying. There’s also some critical points about the way society,  masculinity and our culture thinks about short men.

Sizeism is hard to avoid on dating apps such as Grindr and Tinder, where users commonly forbid men under 6ft from contacting them. Tinder even made a 2019 April Fool’s joke about launching a “height verification” update that would prevent guys from exaggerating their stature.

Yet short-shaming isn’t harmless. “There’s a host of studies that show short men are stigmatized in many ways, not only in people’s perception, but in actual real world outcomes as well,” says Joseph Vandello, a social psychologist at the University of Southern Florida. “People perceive shorter men as having fewer leadership qualities,” he says, citing findings that majority of American CEOs are over 6ft in and voters prefer tall presidential candidates (including, at 6ft 2in, Trump).

All this starts early – even in kindergarten, studies have found, teachers perceive the shortest boys in their class as less academically capable than their peers.

Height is also perceived to correlate directly with masculinity. As Vandello explains: “Because of [the correlation between height and perceived masculinity], a lot of men feel kind of a chronic sense of anxiety and uncertainty about their manhood status.” Insecurity generally manifests in oversensitivity to insult (which may contribute to the stereotype of short men as angry, resentful, over-compensating Napoleons.)

I’m almost 6ft tall at 5ft 11 so rarely gotten much of the criticism of others much shorter than myself.

It got me thinking about a few things related to height in the past. Okcupids the big lies people tell in online dating and also the discussion we had on BBC Radio Merseyside about height. Even then, I was thinking there’s got to be a connection with self confidence here, for example a lot of the women I spoke to who couldn’t imagine dating someone shorter than them was shocking. Likewise men who wouldn’t dare date someone taller was equally shocking. This is where I started keeping a rough tally on how self-confident they appeared, and it seemed my rough theory might have something about it?

Like many short men, Steven recalls an adolescence spent believing masculinity was defined by a set of immutable characteristics – like being tall and imposing – and that by not fitting that ideal he was “kind of cursed.”

But as he grew up, he began thinking about manhood as something he could develop by embodying his values, rather than a blunt appraisal of his physical self. “I think to be masculine, to be manly, whatever that word means, is about doing good in the world. It’s about contributing. It’s about finding a way to serve other people, to be kind, to be strong in defense of those who need strength in their corner. The more masculinity is an idea of service the more I think it is helpful.

Now happily committed to a taller woman, Brendan hardly thinks about his height at all. “Once you get into that sense of self-confidence the height issue kind of melts away,” he says.

In agreement on how to taste chocolate

Join about the way to taste chocolate

So a while ago I wrote about Zotter chocolate’s tasting tips.

Savouring chocolate?

I shared it out as usual via Twitter and Mastodon. But didn’t really think much more about it, till yesterday during TVX 2019 when a Austrian man offered me a bar of  Zotter chocolate from Zotter, who happens to be just around the corner from where he lives..

Zotter schilcher-kurbisnougat chocolate Amazing gift and completely out of the blue, I forget people actually read my posts. I was dumbfounded when he offered me the chocolate and explained everything, so shocked I forgot to take his name while taking the selfie. Hopefully he  will see this post and add a comment.

The chocolate is tricky one, as I’m not totally sure whats in it.

Using Google translate, it says

Schilcher + pumpkin nougat

Two Styrian specialties mix with unique dark milk chocolate with 60% cocoa content. A ganache with sparkling Schilcher rosé wine combined with a tenderly melting layer of pumpkin seed nougat. 

The ingredients translate to

Extra dark milk chocolate ° filled with Schilcher ganache ° (30%) and pumpkin seed

nougat ° (16%) – containing alcohol Ingredients: raw cane sugar °, cocoa butter °, cocoa mass °, pumpkin seeds °, whole milk powder °, butter °, glucose inverted syrup °, grappa °, Schilcher ° (contains sulfites), raisins °, skimmed milk powder °, sweet whey powder °, rock salt 
Emulsifier: soya lecithin °, whole cane sugar °, vanilla 
bean powder °, cinnamon ° Cocoa (cocoa mass and cocoa butter): 60% at least in extra dark milk chocolate ° Tradeed

May contain traces of nuts, peanuts, eggs and sesame.

So nothing I don’t think there is anything I can’t eat in it, except I wonder about Nougat.

Wonderful present and massive thank you…

 

32 times for the love of Shambhala

Shambhala is a steel roller coaster located at PortAventura World, in Salou Spain. The ride opened to the public as Europe’s tallest roller coaster, taking guests up 76m (249ft) high before allowing them to plummet back towards the ground below. In this video we’ll explore the type of ride experience Shambhala offers, as well as its many statistics and developed theme.

Its certainly one of my favourite rides. With 32 rides in one day.

Savouring chocolate?

Attention do not eat chocolate but savour it
Attention do not eat chocolate but savour it. If you would like to be a chocolate connoisseur, you should not munch the chocolate, savour it by letting it melt

Little reminder of how to really eat chocolate.

Place the chocolate on your tongue and press it to the roof of your mouth. Within thirty seconds, the chocolate should slowly begin to melt around your tongue. Take a deep breath, aerating your palate as you stimulate your sense of smell through the back of your throat.

Try doing this with bog standard mass produced chocolate and you will get a very different taste.

Bitten by a dog in a hotel!

Dog

My partner was bitten by a dog in a hotel (the dark horse pub) when we rented a room in Bristol.

It sounds nuts or like there more to the story but its pretty much that.

Here’s my review on Googlemaps and here’s my partners review on tripadvisor

We stayed in the hotel part of the pub, which is upstairs overnight. While climbing the stairs trying to get into the hotel part with a member of staff. A white dog aggressively barked at us from a fenced area. The fencing wasn’t strong enough and on exiting the hotel room chased us out of the pub on the first night. We came back later that night with no problem except dog poo everywhere! Really hard to see in the midnight light.

In the morning the dog went straight for my partners ankle, when she woke up early and decided to get some fresh air. It was not tentative and both fangs went in. I seen the bite mark and shes got multiple photos.

I personally didn’t feel safe before and when I found out wanted out straight away. My partner knowing I was terrified of dogs, choose not to tell me till we were clear of the whole place.

The response from the hotel/pub owner was a joke and its been horrible trying to get hold of them, They took the full money and only offering 25% off our next stay! Thats it for being bitten!

Next stay?!

I say never and they are bloody lucky I wasn’t bitten because I would have called the police and the dog would be put down. The dog poo irresponsible, being chased by a dog is irresponsible but being bitten is totally unacceptable and dangerous!

The thing you have to remember is this was a hotel, we paid money for and we were guests. I don’t care if the pub is dog friendly, you can’t have dangerous dogs running around lose biting guests. I say guests because although my partner was first to be bitten, the same dog a few weeks before had attempted to bite someone else. Here’s a review from Susan from bookings.com

Very noisy, steep stairs to sleeping areas, ear plugs supplied by Pub because of noise. Noisy main road. Small dog tried to bite my Husband on the leg when we went to leave. Dog poo on wooden veranda.

Its a matter of time. Avoid the dark horse pub hotel!

3 parties in a week, and all for 40

40th Birthday

My parents asked me what I want to do for my birthday late last year. They were thinking I could do a big party in Bristol. But I suggested why not have three of them instead?

Each party/bash representing a section of my life so far.

  • Bristol (0-19)
  • London (19-28)
  • Manchester (28-40)

40 years of opioninated conversation and living life to the maximum

Of course my parents thought it was too much, but I was certain it was a good idea and I could do it.

Happy to say I was right. I had planned to put in sometime at the theme parks of England (Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Blackpool) but due to half-term decided I’d better not because I would end up in queues (Love the European theme parks for this). Plus I decided I could fit everything around work (or work around everything). I won’t lie, I would have been absolutely exhausted if I did!

Manchester party

So it happened and I was blown away by the friends and family who attended but also helped make the whole thing happen. Couldn’t have done it all without them! Thanks to everyone who came, gave their time, cards (I got so many cards I had to shift them around the flat) and even gifts. Also thanks for all the people who wanted to be there but couldn’t make it for different reasons.

Thank you to everyone again! 40 started with a bang, look out for 50 – ha!

On turning 40…

40 years of opinionated conversation and living life to the maximum

Soon I will turn 40. Most people fear or can’t imagine ever getting to 40 but I’m much less worried about that. I kind of feel young and although there are noticeable changes like grey hair in my facial hair, creaky knees and a noticeable lack of excess energy.

Regardless I’m still playing Volleyball regularly and trying a few other things including trying Basketball again (that was hard work!). My eye sight is incredible and off the charts for my age, I have been told.

Its funny how the things you do when you are young persist into older age. For example I can still be found with my diabolo on warm days or during the Manchester firejam. Still riding my skateboard when going short distances and considered getting rollerblades again. Convinced this is the future of transport and feel lucky to learned this when young.

My routine is still organised chaos but…  I like it that way and to be fair an ordinary life doesn’t interest me but its tricky as unconventional life isn’t always easy. Especially with a partner, but we manage by sharing calendars.

The only strange thing for me is being at the BBC for coming up to 15 years! I joined just after my birthday. I still feel quite young even with all the younger people I work with.

The 40th is usually a big one and as usual I decided to do something different for it. I decided to do 3 party’s, each one representing the three different cities/eras of my life so far.

  • Bristol (0-19)
  • London (19-28)
  • Manchester (29-40)

I had planned to fit theme park trips to Thorpe Park, Alton Towers and Blackpool pleasure beach too. But frankly it was too much and with the Easter holidays it meant the parks would likely be packed with kids also trying to get on the rides.

Without a doubt, 40 is going to be fun!

Scooter break in again…

My Honda Silvering

Its been a difficult time recently. My scooter was damaged once again in a break in on the car park where I park. I say again because in April 2018 exactly the same thing happened. Less that a year!

In April 2018, the motorbikes were targetted but none were taken, if I remember some other things were broken and taken. However between the chains and locks broken, it was clear they tried to break my steering lock by forcing the handle bars. They slightly twisted but not at the fork level lucky, this still costed about £150 to fix.

This time the motorbikes were targetted and looking at the CCTV images from the different cameras across the site its clear they were only after the motorbikes nothing else.

CCTV in the April 2018 break-in
CCTV cover up in 2018

CCTV in the Jan 2019 break-in
CCTV cover up in 2019


There was some other similarities between the break-ins. The CCTV over looking the motorbikes was covered up in both cases.

They also broke into the car park from the building site next door

Unlike last time however, I spotted 4 men acting very weirdly on the canal side on Monday 14th night/Tuesday 15th morning. They were dressed in black with hoods and scarfs across their mouths and noses. They seemed to be breaking into Islington Wharf Mews by jumping over a wall with a sleeping bag to protect themselves from the spikes on top.

23:49 – Calling the non-emergency number (101) I was put on hold for ages but finally by the time they picked up. The men jumped back over the wall to the canal side, they disappeared from my view.

00:09 – The police took some details and asked where they were now. I happened to catch them breaking into the building site from the road side. Telling the police, they originally said they were going to send someone out. However as I found out later they looked at the public CCTV, which obviously doesn’t point on to the building site plus they were dressed in complete black. Once they looked and saw nothing they closed the logged case

00:45 – Meanwhile I hadn’t noticed but saw later on the garage CCTV a 5th man dressed totally in Black was trying to get into the garage by sneaking in while the roller shutter was coming down after some left or entered the garage. He failed and even got shouted at by residents in a car.

00:48 – I get a short phone call from the police asking if I seen anything else new? I said no.

01:08 – Not long after my original call and 20mins after my call back, some men gain access to the car park via the ground floor car park by breaking the wood slats. I know this for sure because the CCTV confirms the moment they broke through and climbed through.

How they got into the carpark

They headed straight for the motorbikes ignoring all the cars and bicycles. Broke two locks of 2 motorbikes, and damaging my scooter. They are in the car park for 35mins (01:08 – 01:43), All their movements around the carpark are captured on our own CCTV, except the one right above the bikes

01:43 – Finally they leave heading out the car park pedestrian door with 2 motorbikes

Damage to my scooter

0941 – I only found out the next day when I was going to work and saw the damage and the missing motorbikes. This time to tried to get at the scooter ignition instead of trying to break the steering lock. As you can see the damage is pretty bad but the steering is actually fine. I checked all the other locks and chains and they are good.

However 2 other motorbikes are gone and I got lucky. I’ve beefed up my locks and now using my alarm more often now (not just the immobiliser). I also got a crime reference and asked about my early morning call. I’m told the case is on going but police were sent out.

1953 – Later in the evening when I call up again,  I’m told the cases are not connected was closed and the police were not sent out because there was nothing on a CCTV (no idea which one they are referring to)

My problem I see is…

  • The police are not connecting the two cases. Now I understand there is a chance the 4 men dressed head to toe in black on a building site may not be the same 5 people who broke into the garage from the same building site stealing the bikes? Yes it happened with 60 mins of my call but who knows – right? What I don’t understand is why no one was sent out? Even a visit could have prevented a crime. They also lied to me on the phone
  • I don’t get how the building site isn’t partly to blame for it lack of security not just once but twice now. There is a good chance the men stole tools from the building site to break the locks. I certainly didn’t see them carrying anything when getting into Islington Wharf Mews.
  • The police still haven’t looked or requested the CCTV from Islington Wharf, The Mews or the building site next door. Yes they are dressed in black but it could be useful to see where they came from and got to with the stolen motorbikes?
  • Why was I told they will send out a police offer but later told they didn’t? I feel like I was lied to….

I’m doing what I can but its slow going and not being able to get actual CCTV (for good reasons) its kinda impossible to convince the police to follow up. This is partly why I decided to share my frustrations without too much details.

Updated – Evening of Tuesday 29th Jan 2019

I’ve had an update from a few sources and the timeline includes this..

Tuesday 15 January 2019

00:19 – While I see 4 men getting into Islington Wharf Mews, another man also dressed in black from head to toe is trying to gain entry to the Islington wharf car park by trying to sneak in when someone leaves or enters. Unsuccessfully he returns to his hiding position each time. This also explains why 1 of the 4 men I saw kept looking out from their 1st floor position.

00:45 – They tried to gain entry again but a resident closes the shutter too quickly. 3mins later I get my call from the police, but still no one shows up.
On the building site they break a padlock on a tool box, giving them access to stronger tools

01:08 – They break into the car park via the ground floor through the fence using the builders tool.

01:18 – They send 2 of them for an initial scope out of the carpark and then after all 5 of them go into the car park. Breaking two locks of 2 motorbikes, and damaging my scooter. They are in the car park for 35mins

01:43 – One of the Residents tried to drive in to the car park and when the roller shutter goes up they run away pushing the motorcycles.

Updated – Morning of Wednesday 30th Jan 2019

At 8:30am I received a phone call from the special operations police. They had read my email and were slight shocked at how I’d be treated through this investigation. He massively apologized and agreed based on the research I had done, the cases are linked. Then finally at 1300 they did go and review the footage from the flats and are using it in their ongoing investigation along with other CCTV footage.

Case not closed!

My New Years Resolutions 2019

Ian PORTRAIT at work

Its been 11 years since I’ve been blogging my new years resolutions and I’m still going.

Following my review of last year… here’s my New Years Resolutions for 2019; which follows on from 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010.2009, 2008 ones.

  1. Head further a field with the scooter
    Missed this last year, so its time for a ride into Europe hopefully before the UK leaves Europe! I have plans to stay with a friend in Rotterdam then drive around and maybe into Belgium & Germany for some coasting.
  2. Ride a roller coaster in yet another country
    Very fitting with the previous one but if not, I like the idea of checking out more theme parks in Europe especially after the huge success of 2018.
  3. Look after myself better
    I generally look after myself but its time to be thoughtful and conscious about this all. I’m getting older and should really spend more time thinking about myself with an eye on the future.
  4. Spend more time in the UK
    Ok the last year I spent a lot of time outside the UK. On rough count I hit about 12 weeks this year outside the North of England alone (but I do go to Bristol and London quite a bit). I can’t believe I took almost 30 different flights this year! Although I love it and take care of myself, I have to admit thats a lot. So I’m going to try staying closer to home for this year.
  5. Enter the bake off at work
    My work place does regular bake off’s and the theme sometimes is something interesting which I could do bake/cook around. So I’ve challenged myself to join one of the bake offs this year
  6. Explore more about the brain using neuroscience
    I do want to explore around this but now I binned off Funzing recently, so need to look a little wider. Maybe setup some search filters, keep an eye on eventbrite and meetups.
  7. Do more with my Estonian e-residency
    As said in my review of last year, I have a task to extend my e-residency card to 5 years which I need to do ASAP, likely in the next few weeks. After that I also have a task to look into self-signing using my Estonian e-residency.
  8. Explore the future of decentralised and distributed systems
    This one is a combination of 2 of my  previous resolutions. Exploring the future of online dating with decentralise more. So more mastodon and more exploring Indie web technologies like Bridgy and Kinds. I’ve been really interested in these things for a long while.
  9. Make some changes to the flat
    Its been a while and although I made some great changes to the living room, its time to focus on the bedrooms. I can’t believe I got a configurable IKEA desk from over 18 years ago, which needs to be replaced as it’s too big and I hardly use it now. I’d like to get the server in a better position and remove some tired furniture.
  10. Host film nights and more dinner parties at mine
    I have a task to sort out my current projector or get a new one (this is looking more likely, any hints on cheap long throw projectors is welcomed). I already have a 130inch projector screen but it needs to go back to IKEA as the mechanism is broken. Once this is all done, then it makes total sense to host film nights.
    On top of this, its been a while since I had a party at mine, so maybe I’m moving from party to dinner parties?
  11. Work on the dating book
    I have been working on a book around my dating experience for a long time and its about time I just got it written. Especially since Hannah offered her copy editing skills to help make it a real book. So far its been great I need to write more
  12. Be a stronger advocate for Team Human
    This is a follow-up to previous years. The podcast I listen to Team Human is a celebration of ourselves as people (messy, diverse, etc) not robots (perfect, tireless, etc). This has importance for the problems we are all facing around diversity and inclusion. It also ties into the mental health epidemic we are seeing too. My recent addition to the inclusive top 100; is perfect timing?