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Worthily Films and Mental Health of Men: Creating Conversations

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A report from the Mental Health Foundation, in the UK, 10 in 30 men deal with suicidal thoughts due to feeling stressed. In comparison to Women, Men deaths ratio is probably high due to suicides as claimed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The studies of the Mental Health Foundation revealed that in minority communities such as men from BAME and gay men, the rates of suicides are much greater.

The short film by the Independent Film Production Company, Worthily Films, Chelsea Leigh Macleod and Steve Dodsworth is “Waiting for Time”. The story of this film is written by Paul Chronnell and is directed by The Bashford Twins. After lockdown in the UK, it is likely to be the first film production. The theme of this film is to highlight the Mental Health of Men, with subject resonating with many and more specifically to those who live in isolation for several months.

David Sessions Discussion:

David Sessions, a behind the scenes photographer, discussed below the factors that attracted him towards the “Waiting for Time” film.

I sense very well for stories that concern in mental health. I consider myself to be underlying because I was grown up in a culture of South Africa that used to be traditional. As I am a gay man, so in a society that is has dated insights of a modern world in a few ways, I felt difficult while living in there. The theme of the film based on mental health surely is powerful. The leading character, performed by Ariyon Bakare as Heath, is unable to show himself completely and same is the feeling that was related to me before.

He further added that “the story possesses a powerful message and it is the reason I participated in the project. It presents the compulsion to express your sincerity and feelings as denied to pour them up inside”.

Reasons for Direction by Bashford Twins:

Several reasons forced The Bashford Twins to direct this short film, but the essential reason is that it is related to the Mental Health of Men.

Bashford Twins said that “We read the film’s script some years before and the concept was lovable. The film was dealing with the mental health of men and the efforts Heath works over, which was the prominent reason that we direct the story. The media has several stories in which the suicide ratio of men has grown dramatically and to help the needy; it necessitates to be spoken about more frequently.

Some other important issues, related to men’s mental health during the lockdown, were also the emotional themes of the story, “Waiting for Time.” The story more specifically includes the mental health of black men. The directors, Bashford Twins, stated that everyone in the industry should be given a chance, irrespective of the race and gender.

Worthily Films desired to produce something with several themes and complications, along with creating important conversations. Our motive was not to produce a film regarding suicide. We were trying to deliver a message of hope and let everyone know of life’s importance.

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Worthily Films are moving into a positive festival run

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After being probably one of the first short films in production in the UK post lockdown.

It’s a weekend before filming, Friday the 12th/ June/ 2020 and  Worthily Films, founded by Steve Dodsworth and Chelsea Leigh Macleod, hosted a Zoom crew call with the team. Each square on our computer, each person on the call, a carefully selected team member, creative minds that we knew had the same goal: to make something remarkable, despite the challenges.

In this article we discuss 5 points that could help you with your post lockdown film:

  1. Research.

Worthily Films spent a lot of time researching, keeping current with all the government regulations. During these unprecedented times we knew that circumstances could change from one day to the next. We gathered a large variety of guidelines, materials and reports. The British Film Commission guidelines were the most comprehensive, so we agreed to use them as the basis for our Waiting For Time filming protocols.

  1. Preparation.

Worthily Films invested in an enormous amount of PPE for example facemasks, hand sanitizers, antiviral sprays and wipes, disposable cups, face shields, gloves et cetera .  This allowed us to adhere to the social-distancing guidelines outlined by the British Film Commission. Worthily Films took all precautions necessary to safeguard the cast and crew.

‘But everything was so well organised (PPE, hand-wash, friendly social distancing) that very soon I forgot we were filming in the middle of a pandemic.’ Paul Chronnell

  1. Communication

 A crew call prior to filming was mandatory, Worthily Films shared a presentation where we outlined all the safety protocols that we had implemented. Comfortability and caution were vital components on set. We wanted people to feel relaxed enough to work effectively whilst still enforcing all the guidelines and asking everyone to comply with the protocols.

  1. On-set etiquette.

Locations were scouted with social distancing in mind. Worthily Films secured locations that had good air flow and enough space to have designated areas for each department.  Depending on your set, aim to have a larger location with multiple rooms as this will help you to respect the social distancing  protocols.  Ventilation is crucial- open windows and doors if feasible.  Stagger breaks as it will create minimal contact and reduce risk of infection.

 ‘… the teamwork was evident.’ Kevin Glynn

  1. Subsequent actions.

 

Worthily Films checked in on the crew post shooting. Follow up with your team to make sure that no symptoms developed after your shoot. Share information on testing,  in the case that anyone started to show symptoms. Be sure to continue checking in with everyone until the incubation stage is complete (est. 14 days at most)

 

‘… even after wrapping, making sure to check in and let us know how we can get checked in case any of us started experiencing symptoms.’   Katie Lynch

 

Worthily Films are dedicated to providing safe working environments for cast and crew. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact us via our website or social media sites and we’d be happy to help.

 

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https://www.instagram.com/worthilyfilms/

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Mobile Betting Apps for Travellers

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For travellers, when they go away from home for a period, taking home comforts is something they love to do.

Many people love to watch sport and place bets, and thanks to mobile betting apps you can take your sports betting with you and find sporting events to watch locally as you tour cities around the UK.

Depending on the country you are from, you may need to download an app and use it when you get there, or you may already have one.

Sports betting is a very popular pastime for many people and with year-round sporting action taking place, a betting app will ensure you don’t miss a thing.

If you are looking to use a mobile betting app while you are travelling, then here are some key features you should be looking out for.

Full Account Control

If you are going to be away from home for a long period of time then you will need your betting app to offer full control of your account, so you need nothing other than your phone and the app.

This means having the ability to deposit funds, withdraw if you win and also contact the customer service team if you need any help and advice. The best mobile apps will offer you this but not all, so make sure you look at these while you are at home to see what your current app offers.

Armed with one of these apps, you will be able to use betting sign up offers from this list to get you started in the best possible way.

If you have an app that offers you the ability to do everything listed above, then you are good to go on your travels with it.

Results Service

While you are away from home, you may not be able to get any sporting results in the same way as you normally would.

This is where a results service from your bookmaker will become very valuable to you. This may be something you already have, but you have no need to use it at home. While away, things are completely different and this type of service can be a real help.

Look at your betting app and see what you have available, some can show the latest score at the side of your current bets so you can track how they are doing.

Others will have a results page for everything and you can just select the sport and league you want to see the results for.

From football to the latest action from the PGA Golf Tour, you should be able to get results via your bookmaker.

Simple & Easy to Use

When you are looking for a betting app to use in any situation, you want them to be simple and easy to use. However, this has added importance when you are travelling.

If you are exploring then you don’t want to spend too long placing any bets, so the speed of an app will help you get out and about quickly, rather than spending your time placing bets.

Secondly, you are likely to be in situations where you don’t have much time more so than when you are at home. If you only have a few minutes, a fast app could be the difference between placing a bet and not having time to.

We would all love a betting app that offered a simple layout that was easy to use and one that was also very fast. This is even more important for those travelling, so look out for this when you are choosing which app to use for your betting.

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How to be a Successful Football Gambler

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Each day around the world, gamblers place bets on football in the hope of landing a big win. Football is the largest betting sport we have, and the starting point for many newcomers to gambling.

But how do you turn yourself from being a rookie into a successful football gambler? That is not easy, but there are simple rules to abide by which will set you apart from many other punters.

You don’t have to be a professional punter to use these rules either. Many people bet for fun and as a hobby, but even if you fall into this category, you are still hoping to win money and not lose all the time.

Here are three simple rules to follow which will give you more chance of winning when you place your football bets.

Take Advantage of Everything the Bookmakers Give You

With so many bookmakers available to use, almost every one of them has to put offers in place to tempt people to sign up and bet with them.

Some of these may seem a little too good to be true, but they aren’t and they can be used while placing football bets.

The key thing to remember here is that every time you place a bet that is a free bet or with bonus funds, you are giving yourself a free chance to win some money.

Other offers to look out for include money back offers, again these offer you a free chance to win money and build your profit. When you use betting reviews websites like the bookies offers, you can find all types of bonuses and choose the best one for you.

From big sign up offers to regular acca offers and enhanced odds, there is always something out there for football punters to use to their advantage.

Play the Long Game

Betting is not something you should view each day or week you bet. It is a long game and you should look at your profit and loss over the course of a season or maybe even more.

This will prevent you from making poor decisions and placing bets to try and make your weekend a winning one.

For example, if you have lost on Saturday and you see a lot of Serie A games on Sunday, you don’t want to be betting on them to try and win back Saturday’s losses.

With many new companies becoming involved in broadcasting football, there will always be more games for you to bet on and watch.

Something else to think about is your stakes and how adventurous your bets are. You shouldn’t be looking for one big win to pay for the season. Aim for smaller wins and build up a betting bank.

This means smaller stakes, less risk on your bets and a steady curve in your profit rather than one big win to pay for everything you bet on during the season.

Know Your Strength

Football betting is the same regardless of the league you bet on. However, the size of the football betting section on a bookmaker’s website is so big that no one can be an expert on everything.

This is where you should follow your knowledge and stick to betting on the leagues that you have the best knowledge of.

If you watch the English Premier League each week then bet on that league, don’t take wild punts in Portugal when you have very limited knowledge.

By resisting the temptation to bet elsewhere and stick to what you know, you greatly improve your chances of winning.

We all have our favourite leagues that we know intimately, and it is this kind of knowledge you need to be a successful football gambler. Use that to your advantage and bet on those leagues only.

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5 things you need to know about TAG Heuer

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Swiss watches are some of the most sought-after brands in the world, no other country has a reputation for manufacturing luxury watches. And true to its reputation, TAG Heuer doesn’t disappoint. TAG Heuer is a Switzerland based company that specializes in watches and fashion accessories, eyewear, and mobile phones. All these are, however, produced under license by other companies, but sell using the TAG Heuer brand name. If you are looking to buy one, have a look at watches by TAG Heuer at Chronext.

With exceptional watchmaking, TAG Heuer is a brand you can never go wrong with. Here are a few things you need to know about them:

  1. The history of TAG Heuer;
  • The company was founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer as Uhrenmanufaktur Heuer AG. This was later merged with TAG Group and it retained the majority shares in the company, hence forming TAG Heuer which is the brand name ever since.
  • The brand name TAG Heuer came to be as a result of the combination of the initials TAG (Techniques dÁvant Garde) and the founder Heuer’s name. The company started specializing in designing watches for the 21st century and they have never looked back ever since.
  • The company has a slogan ‘Don’t Crack Under Pressure’; this slogan epitomes the determination the company has put in what they do; produce quality watches.
  1. TAG Heuer Sponsorships;
  • TAG Heuer was the official timekeeper of the three Summer Olympic games that were held in the 1920’s, the Skiing World Championships and the Formula One World Championships.
  • TAG Heuer is also the official timekeeper aka sponsor of La Liga, Bundesliga, and Premier League among other major soccer leagues.
  • TAG Heuer has built a special relationship in the motorsport and as a result, the best drivers, teams and championships get to have TAG Heuer as their official timekeeper and watch sponsors.
  • Among other organizations, TAG Heuer is a sponsor of Manchester United football club, as their official timekeeper and global watch partner.
  • TAG Heuer is also a partner in the French Professional Football League (LFP) as the official timekeeper; this partnership is bound to continue until the year 2021.
  • This brand also has sponsorship duties and official timekeeping in the Indy 500, Red Bull racing and the Chicago and New York City marathons.
  • TAG Heuer also sponsored the Porsche’s Formula E Electric Racing Team in the 2019/2020 ABB FIA Formula E championship, while also being a major sponsor of the championship.
  1. The Brand Collections;
  • TAG Heuer Carrera

This collection of the TAG Heuer is a sports watch that was inspired by the famous Carrera Pan-American auto race. Its chronograph was designed with professional drivers of motor racing sport in mind. This collection comes in both automatic and quartz models.

  • TAG Heuer Autavia

This is the oldest TAG Heuer collection and is also the most high-performing innovation; the models are available with an automatic movement.

  • TAG Heuer Aquaracer

The Aquaracer is water resistant up to 300 meters, it’s available in automatic and quartz and is a durable sports watch that fits for all lifestyles.

  • TAG Heuer Formula 1

This is an everyday watch which is made possible by its beautiful and wearable materials. It is equipped with more advanced technology and an elegant look to fit any lifestyle.

  • TAG Heuer Monaco

This model was launched in 1969 and changed the face of Heuer watches with its beautiful features like the scratch resistant sapphire and its right-angled cut edges and corners. It comes with both quartz and automatic chronograph model.

  • TAG Heuer Link

This design started as a bracelet and has a very feminine edge made possible by the shimmering diamond bezel and the pearly look. It comes in both quartz and automatic models.

  1. TAG Heuer quality definitions
  • The TAG Heuer watch brand is made in Switzerland and is both classy and luxurious. This is made possible by the innovations and quality aspects affiliated to this brand.
  • The slogan ‘Don’t break under pressure’ makes the manufacturers keen to detail to ensure that customers are not disappointed. They do this by running quality testing measures to ensure the end product is a reliable, high quality watch.
  • TAG Heuer uses a combination of manual techniques and cutting-edge technology in their production and has a watch making training school. This makes their products very unique masterpieces by their own right.
  • The company also invests a lot on their brand promoters by using high profile celebrities who have used the brands on their day to day activities. These personalities promote a product they are conversant with in their day to day livelihoods which provides assurance about the quality of the product leaving little room for doubt.
  • TAG Heuer has operations in over fifty countries worldwide; a good reminder that this is indeed a global brand.
  1. TAG Heuer and Sports
  • TAG Heuer specializes on watches but also goes the extra mile to oversee the manufacture of protective eyeglasses ideal for water sports and other outdoor sporting activities.
  • For the records, TAG Heuer has undergone major achievements on sports and has sponsored the world’s greatest sporting events. They have also gone a step further in supporting future sporting personalities.
  • TAG Heuer watchhes have been made to support any sport with its impact and water resistance characteristics not forgetting the scratch resistance characteristics.
  • The slogan ‘don’t crack under pressure” can be taken as a form of motivation as it’s telling you to keep going despite how hard something may get. Additionally, it’s also true in a literal sense since they produce such sturdy watches.

We hope you enjoyed this quick analysis about TAG Heuer.

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The Top UK Drive-through Hotspots

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Over the past hundred years, our eating habits have changed to a degree that would have astonished our ancestors. Among the major areas of improvement has been convenience. Nowadays, we’re able to pick up food whenever the fancy takes us, without ever leaving the comfort of our vehicles; moreover, we’re able to choose from a whole slew of fast food chains. Whether you’re driving your own car, or a leased one from ZenAuto, drive-through remains one of the most convenient ways to pick up lunch.

In some areas of the country, you’ll have an easy time finding drive-through food.

Where did Drive-Throughs come from?

The first drive through in the UK came courtesy of McDonalds, in 1986. The company had, by that point, opened more than a hundred restaurants in the UK, and just recently launched the ubiquitous ‘happy meal’. The first drive-through service was in Fallowfield, Manchester – but the service quickly spread across the country. At the time, eating in the car wasn’t part of the British culture. But, much like our modern habit of eating in the cinema, clever food marketers had other ideas. It is a mark of the brand’s success that so many of its rivals picked up on the idea, and that every car on the market today comes with a built-in place to hold a cup.

Where are the most drive throughs?

According to a survey published in the Daily Mail, Manchester and Glasgow enjoy the top spot when it comes to drive-through restaurants, with a grand total of forty-eight restaurants apiece. Given that the latter encompasses some 175 square kilometres, while the former covers just 115.6, it’s fair to assume that Manchester is the reigning champion when it comes to drive-through-density. A little further behind are Liverpool and Birmingham, which contain respectively 37 and 41 restaurants.

Of course, with the demand for fast-food being as insatiable as it is, it’s easy to see all of these figures growing considerably in the coming months, and the crown changing hands again and again.

What’s next for Drive-Throughs?

The world of food is changing, and so is the technology we use to order and receive that food. Touch-screens have already come into force in restaurants, with largely positive results. It’s likely that technology will also find its way into the drive through system, with multiple customers placing orders via a voice-recognition system.

Further changes comes on the menu itself. Vegan options have been introduced at several different fast-food restaurants, including KFC, Burger King, and Greggs. As we become more ethical in our eating habits, it’s likely that restaurants will face a race to cater to those habits.

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How One Glasgow Neighbourhood is the City’s Low-Key Foodie Haven

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Chances are that if you’ve never been to Glasgow before, you won’t have a clue where Dennistoun is. There are even higher chances that you’ll have been in Glasgow before and still won’t know where Dennistoun is.

While the thriving Merchant City dominates the nightlife of the city centre, and the effervescent West End tries its best to mix student lifestyle with trendy eateries, Dennistoun occupies a humble slice in the East End of Glasgow. For years it’s been sitting under the radar as somewhere to go for dinner and a night out, but as with all good things in Glasgow, when word gets about how good things are, everyone wants to check it out.

Dennistoun is becoming a foodie haven and needs to be the area you check out the next time you’re in Glasgow.

Don’t believe it? Here are some of the hotspots to visit:

Dennistoun BBQ

Proudly stating on their sign outside that they’re open 8 (yes eight) days a week, Dennistoun BBQ is serving up barbecue food in heaps and bounds (literally). Known for the extra-large burgers, portions of fries that would make a Five Guys employee blush, and a range of sodas imported directly from the U.S and Mexico, it’s the kind of place you’ll find yourself wolfing down a meal you never knew you could finish before feeling so full you don’t think you’ll be able to eat for the rest of the week.

What to get when there: Granny Boab’s, a double bacon & caramelised onion burger that you’ll need napkins for.

Redmonds

A tiny bar just as you get to the “main” part of Duke Street, Redmonds has the look of a trendy bar but the feel of a local, and you can tell going in that everyone popping in for a drink or bite to eat is from the area; especially if you see any dogs brought in that demand pets (always the best kind of bar).

It can get busy for brunch around Sunday midday, and is usually busy on weeknights when there’s a quiz on or Celtic are playing down the road, but their selection of craft beers blows other local joints out of the water.

What to get when you’re there: Even though there are almost a half dozen Chinese restaurants within walking distance, you have to order some of the Bao buns and share.

Tennent’s Brewery

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the big behemoth that sits on the intersection between the city centre and Dennistoun. Scotland’s biggest beer has been brewed at Tennent’s Brewery since the 1880s and to this day still calls this little of Dennistoun home.

It used to be that the brewery was a closed facility, but in recent years they’ve flipped the script by building a visitor centre, their own independent Drygate brewery on site (yes, that’s a brewery within a brewery) and offer guided tours that take you all around before getting to try the freshest pint of Tennent’s you’ll ever get your hands on.

What to get when you’re there: Book in for one of their craft beer tasting tours, where they give you the chance to try versions of Tennent’s that either isn’t sold in the UK or has never been made available to the public.

Celinos

While Duke Street is where people say all the action happens, a few streets up on Alexandra Parade are a few hidden gems. Celinos is an authentic Italian deli, trattoria and pizzeria that has been a hub of the neighbourhood since 1982.

Head in the evening and you’ll find families out for dinner and those on a date looking for an authentic Italian dining experience. Go on a weekend morning and you’ll find yourself fighting for a table to get breakfast. The restaurant is such an institution that they opened another location in the West End a few years ago to meet demand.

What to get when you’re there: You’ll have Italian food overload when you walk in and see the deli counter, so order a plethora of plates from the tapas menu and get sharing, making sure to get the mini deep-fried calzone and cozze bianco.

Scran

Just a few doors up from Celinos is Scran, a humble café that you’ll want to keep in your back pocket as the top spot to grab an informal breakfast or brunch. Every single plate they make has the kind of food that will have you look over people’s shoulders to have a snoop at.

Their menu is simple, but you’ll find yourself in an almost Sophie’s Choice situation trying to pick the perfect item. It’s run by a lovely gent called Chris who will make sure you’re looked after, just as long as you like incredibly delicious food that has been sourced as carefully as possible.

What to get when you’re there: Any of the poached egg dishes, or the Scran Roll with pea & chilli puree, tattie scone, sriracha & crispy onions.

Good Eatings!

There you have it, a brief guide to what is arguably Glasgow’s best food neighbourhood.

Honourable mentions also include:

  • Stan’s – best for coffee and vegan traybakes
  • Amore to Go – good a haggis supper or just a reliable bag of chips
  • No Mean Dogs – fantastic vegan hotdogs and doughnuts
  • Tapa Coffee & Bakehouse – get a sandwich on their organic bread made in-house
  • Baked pizza al taglio – arguably the best slice of pizza in Glasgow

Next time you’re in Glasgow, make the short walk east, and you’ll be met with some fantastic dishes from local eateries.

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How to embrace being single on Valentine’s Day…

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Shops start stocking up on heart-shaped chocolates and cheesy love cards, florists are busy making bouquets of roses and clothing stores start displaying Valentine’s Day outfits in the windows.

According to Brittanica, “the holiday has expanded to expressions of affection among relatives and friends. Many schoolchildren exchange valentines with one another on this day”.

With this in mind, it comes with no surprise that Valentine’s Day has become a holiday that carries a certain level of pressure, meaning romance and gifts for couples and a daunting feeling for some singletons.

If you’re single, Valentine’s day is the best excuse to celebrate you and boost your self-worth. Being single on this day of romance is an opportunity to enjoy some quality time with your friends too.

Let’s look at what you can do to celebrate this Valentine’s Day on your own or with a group of friends with the help of fashion retailer, Zalando.

Organise a photoshoot

Since Valentine’s Day is all about love, you are legitimated to love yourself. A photoshoot could be a fun way and to celebrate your friendship. Choose bold accessories, bright colours and extravagant fabrics to express your personalities on this day. You can also keep the photos you took as a great memory of the day.

Explore a new city

Why not plan to spend this day away on a trip to a city you’ve never visited before? Enjoy serenity and scenic views in Kjeragbolten tucked away in Norway, or go diving in emerald-green waters at one of Europe’s most beautiful lakes in Green Lake, Austria. It doesn’t have to be a full-on expensive holiday, but is a great opportunity for you and a group of friends to get your maps out ready to explore new scenes and adventures.

Get creative with a brunch

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day and friendship than with food? There are many easy but delicious recipes you can enjoy making with your friends. Pull out a waffle iron and get creative making irresistible savoury or sweet waffles with delicious toppings. Why not prepare a colourful bowl of fresh fruit? Or make some home-made chocolate covered strawberries that your friends won’t resist.

There are many options available and don’t forget the most exciting part of this home-made brunch — Valentine’s Day Mimosas for a sweet touch.

Indulge in fancy dining

Valentine’s Day should not be a day to beat yourself up for being single. Take advantage of this day to spoil yourself. Buy that pair of heels you really wanted, put together a power outfit and hit the town with the girls. You and your friends can dine at a fancy restaurant you’ve never tried before and enjoy a meal together.

Get cultured at a museum

Another way to celebrate yourself and friends is to invest in meaningful activities. Valentine’s Day as singles can be a great opportunity to be cultured at a museum or an art gallery of your choice. This way you’ll enjoy spending time together and invest in yourselves too. Visiting a museum could also be a way to unplug and disconnect from social media for a day.

Whatever you decide to do on 14th February, and whether you spend the day alone or with company, the most important thing is that Valentine’s Day is all about love. So, loving yourself and your friends is the right attitude to celebrate this day.

Host a games night in

While it’s great to encourage single women to celebrate Valentine’s Day regardless of their relationship status, it is also important to remember that men can equally encourage each other on this day. If you and the boys are single and willing to celebrate Valentine’s day in style, why not organise a games night in?  All you’ll need is party games, some snacks and drinks and you’ve set the tone for a great night in.

Sources

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Valentines-Day)

https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-pressure-of-valentines-day/

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/valentines-day-ideas/g3077/valentines-day-gifts-for-him/

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/valentines-day-ideas/g30383699/single-on-valentines-day-activities/

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/valentines-day-ideas/g30459063/valentines-day-breakfast-ideas/

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/valentines-day-ideas/g30531374/where-to-buy-chocolate-covered-strawberries/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/510981/valentines-day-total-spending-great-britain/

https://getbybus.com/en/blog/top-10-most-unusual-places-in-europe/

 

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A foodie trip around Europe? Sign me up!

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The start of 2020 has seen a slew of culinary delights trending across the UK, from Gregg’s vegan steak bake to KFC’s vegan burger to Subway’s Meatless Marinara (we’re picking up a trend here). If you’re someone who loves their food and is currently thinking of where to go on their city breaks this year, prepare to get your taste buds tickled.

I’ve compiled a few locales around Europe you should definitely think about visiting this year, from the lofty height of Paris to the actual heights of the Scottish Highlands.

Paris

Baguettes in the morning. Champagne in the evening.

It’s not the ideal diet to swear by, but when you’re in Paris, you can’t not treat yourself to some of the most exquisite food going. Even better than that, Paris has a thriving street food scene that will see you hop around town without ever having set foot in a fancy restaurant.

Right now Parisians are going crazy for new takes on sandwiches (the Pastrami sandwich at Frenchie to Go is an Instagram favourite), California style tacos and Dosas. Hotspots to look up and save on your phone include CUT on Rue Saint-Bernard, Bep Viatnemese and Baranaan.

Travel Tip: hotels near the likes the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower can be stupidly dear, so look for hotels in La Defense or Saint-Denis where you can get in and out of town in around 20 minutes without paying too much on a room.

Belfast

You don’t have to fly too far for a taste of Europe. Belfast is a foodie haven that not many people would think to consider, especially if you go on a weekend trip.

St. George’s Market attracts thousands of visitors every weekend who are looking for any and every kind of local delicacy under the sun. You can skip the hotel breakfast and go for the legendary Belfast Bap with bacon and potato bread or try local sweet treats like 15s. Oh, and make sure to leave room for a Cubano from the Cuban Sandwich Man. The tiny family stall became so popular that they’ve opened two locations in the city centre.

A pint of  Guinness andoysters is also on the cards if you book a place in the Belfast Oyster Experience; an intimate tasting session that takes place above Kelly’s Cellars, one of the city’s most legendary pubs. Obviously, Saturday in Belfast means all the pubs will be busy, so you’ll be able to have “good craic” no matter where you end up.

Travel Tip: While Saturdays are buzzing, Belfast trading hours are limited on Sundays, with most places not opening until 1 pm, so plan accordingly.

Moray

Another staycation foodie spot that you might have to take a few seconds to pinpoint on the map, Moray is home to something that kitchens across the country have tucked away in their cupboards; Baxter’s Soup.

Now suggesting someone goes to a soup factory might be one the weirdest thing you’ll read this week, but there’s a good reason to go. The company has turned the factory into a mini-village that is full of shops and little attractions. It is a bit odd to be standing in a thatched style shop selling nothing but soup, but it’s one of those unique things that you’d only find in the Highlands.

Also, you have to go there on a weekend morning. Locals flock to it for breakfast, and the restaurant there has a reputation for its pancakes. Weekend brunch usually involves a little stack of pancakes, but not here. They make giant pancakes (think the size of a pizza) and you only get one that covers the entire plate, along with a selection of the jams they make. It’s baffling why they do this way, but it’s oh so tasty and you’ll never think of pancakes the same way again.

Frankfurt

Love it when you have currywurst or a big bratwurst at the Christmas market? Then why not have one whenever you like in Frankfurt. Skip trendy Berlin and get a real taste of Germany from the city that has an area aptly named the Fressgass, which roughly translates to “munching alley”.

You’ll want to visit Oosten on a Saturday morning for brunch with a view, while Kleinmarkethalle is the best place to be in the afternoon to sample local food and try your luck at a seat on the wine terrace. Also, pretty much anytime you see Flammkuchen on a menu you have to get it. It’s a very thin pizza, usually rectangular, that has a cream-based instead of tomato and sauteed onion; think quiche pizza.

Travel Tip: When staying here, look for serviced accommodation in Frankfurt rather than hotels as they tend to be cheaper.

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How to Tackle the January Blues

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Christmas is behind us and we’re now into another year, another decade. January is known for being a long month; it’s a while until payday and the days are still too short.

But there are lots of ways to combat the January blues. If you want to find the silver lining, here are some ideas to help you.

Go outside

It can be easy to go into hibernation mode when the weather is cold and the days are dark but getting some fresh air can do the world of good. While we can’t all afford to hit the slopes, we can go for a walk around the office at lunchtime or head to the local park during the weekend, allowing the endorphins to kick in.

Plan a holiday

Now is the perfect time to plan your big summer getaway. Whether you just map out some ideas in your head or grab a bargain on your next mini break, knowing that you could be escaping to warmer climes is a great way to lift your spirits and give you something special to look forward to.

Dress up

You don’t have to splash out to feel good. Take a look in your wardrobe to find the outfits that make you happy. Sorting through what you have is not only a great way to give your wardrobe an early spring clean, it also gives you the opportunity to find forgotten gems that you can wear out over the weekend or even to work.

Treat yourself

There are plenty of offers to enjoy at this time of the year. Dig out your card holder and hit the sales to see if you can get a good deal on the things that you liked the look of before Christmas. Even if it’s only something small, a spot of retail therapy can be the ideal distraction.

Ditch the resolutions

Making resolutions can be a good idea, but if you feel like you’re making them out of habit only to feel bad when you break them, it could be time to leave them behind for good. Instead of beating yourself up for not sticking to the resolution, set aside some self-care goals that give you the chance to look after yourself.

For example, rather than trying to give up chocolate, why not run yourself a bath as a treat? Or, instead of joining the gym even though you don’t want to go, try something small that you enjoy, such as a walk to the shop or taking up a dance class.

 

Do you have any top tips for tackling the January blues? What will you try to take your mind off things?

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