Sunday, 26 April 2015

Who do I vote for?

How do?

As you may know it is less than two weeks until the UK's general election, and I have the arduous task of trying to decide who to vote for. It is a hard task as we have to endure many, many hours of ill fought debates, and needless mind games all for it to be wasted on promises that are hardly ever kept.

For a country that was once "Great" by name and status, I feel like we as residents of the UK, whether born in this country or not, have no pride in our national identity and feel almost embarrassed by our government. We have lost a lot of global respect and I feel we aren't taken as seriously anymore because of our political choices of late.

Now I don't know enough about the politics in the country to even begin to comment on what we could have done better to stop this, that or the other happening, but I do have some point to raise and questions to ask. My own main concerns are:
- The development of the educational system, to give equal opportunities to students whether they choose to go as far as GCSE's or on to Further Education. Even if they do require extra help to get them there.
- The investment into our own unique health system, so that the work of the doctors and nurses isn't stretched, and also that their long haul shifts doesn't go unnoticed.
- And finally, what will our leaders do to reduce the £1.56 TRILLION debt in this country? Even if the deficit has been reduced, the debt of the UK will still rise due to the interest that we have to pay, and who has to pay that? Of course, it's us, the tax payers.

(Just so you know - I do not intend to force any of my opinions. I am making my own decisions from my own research)

Reading through the different parties' manifestos, I can see many attractive qualities to them and why people would vote, however at the last election only c65% of eligible voters actually voted, meaning that roughly 15m people didn't vote. Why was this? Listening to a variety of different sources, it appears that the majority of the non-voters in 2010 didn't vote because they didn't believe it would make a difference. The fact the Conservative party received 10.7m votes shows that spread over the different jurisdictions, it could have changed the last 5 years in british politics.

Another reason behind the large numbers of non-voters was because they didn't feel that they could trust any of the party leaders, and if I'm honest, this is why I am reluctant to vote. I don't want to vote for David Cameron, or the conservatives, although he has reduced the deficit, I don't feel I can bring myself to vote or him or the party. The Green Party of England and Wales aren't particularly established in the Southwest so voting for them this year wouldn't really have that much impact. In 2010 I voted for the Liberal Democrats but this time what difference would it make when Nick Clegg only has 8% of voters backing him according to the opinion polls - I also think that he has lost a lot of respect from the UK from looking like David Cameron's lapdog also, promising to reduce students tuition fees if it went to hung parliament and not succeeding in doing so. Nigel Farage of UKIP is even doing better than him with 17% of opinion polls, but I will not vote for him. Finally Ed Miliband of the Labour party, I just cannot take him seriously, despite his party's manifesto being very effective. I was listening to him on Radio 1's newsbeat as part of their election coverage and he was invited to answer questions from a range of voters and in all honesty he just couldn't hack it. He was evasive, unprofessional and constantly repeated "Let me explain why…" when we already know why policies need to change, we just want to know how they will change, and what way will it affect us! I just don't know who to trust.

I am not really any closer to deciding which party to choose, but I'm sure that on the day, I will not be the only one questioning whether the decision made, was the correct one. I hope for the prosperity and credibility of Great Britain, that something happens now for the better.

- Ciao 

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Fastness and Fitness.

Be yon!

Rob and I have become members of a new gym that has opened up in the centre of town quite recently. This is really handy because
1. It is right around the corner from where we both work
2. It has staff there at all times to help you with anything that you want to do from spin class, to yoga, as well as resistance and weight training.
3. It is open 24 hrs a day so we can go whenever we like.

This has given us a massive boost and more determination to get that standard "summer body" ready for our holiday in 9 weeks time! We both work between 8 and 6 and by the time we've got home, sorted our dinner and prepared ourselves for the following day we barely have enough time to get to a gym that is still even open. This is where I'm now thinking about ways to reduce the amount of time that we spend cooking.

We do eat pretty healthily, we do our best to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, cooking the majority of our meals from scratch. We are, however, no angels and are complete suckers to quick, easy food. Dominos on a Tuesday - Guilty as charged. I want to be able to prepare our meals, or at least the majority in advance but I have no idea how or where I would even begin.

I have skim read about juicing and its benefits and I completely get how it would support the fast paced, busy lifestyle but there are so many questions. Is it all as good as it sounds? Do you really get all the nutrients you need, and if you do how will it affect your digestive system? If you juice all these fruits and vegetables, do you still get all the fibre with that, or is that left behind by the waste? SEE WHAT I MEAN!? There are too many questions.

One thing I did find interesting on this juicing journey was the Nutribullet. On the surface it looks fantastic. An appliance that allows you to get the best out of all of your ingredients, at literally a push and a twist. The outcome is, from what I can see, a juice/smoothie that has no bits, as the blade can spin at a minimum of 20000 rpm, which pulverises any skins/seeds that you would normally get in a blender. I'm really tempted to purchase one, however it seems a little too good to be true and the price is a little off-putting - the cheapest starting at £99. (If anyone uses one now - please let me know how you're getting on with it! I want to know if it's a worthwhile investment.)

The Nutribullet would be an excellent purchase for us we could also make breakfast in a couple of minutes, by chucking together a bunch of fruit, some oats/granola and maybe a dollop of fresh natural yoghurt. If it does what it says it's going to do then it should have all of the goodness from your ingredients in a smoothie - you could even add a scoop or two of whey protein powder if you're wanting to assist muscle development. Also we could make our own pasta sauces with fresh ingredients  in no time at all, and completely smooth - which is perfect for Rob as he is a little bit of a fusspot when it comes to the size of mushrooms in food!

Another time saver that I have seen is slow cookers. Now this I believe could be a lifesaver, as we could prepare the meal before we go to work, and have it cooking throughout the day. When we come home it's just a case of dishing it up and voila - A nice meal! The only problem I would have is that it would be just for me and Rob. Can they be used for meals for two? Or are they better for bigger family meals? Do they blow up if left for too long? Again there are questions that I would need to find out - I would love your input. How do you feel about them? If you use them, do you do larger meals or just for two etc?

If there is anything else that you could think of that could speed up preparation time etc during the day I would love to hear your thoughts

Till next time


Saturday, 4 April 2015

Nice to meet you.


So I've decided to start writing this blog. Mainly as a way to just to see how people think about regional, national, international topics, but sometimes about things I feel deeply for. I want people to say what they feel and let me know how certain aspects of their life have shaped their views and why they think in the way they do.

I enjoy hearing about different views. I want to know the passions of other people and maybe even experience them myself. I want to break away from the day to day convention and simply just learn about people. We spend our lives waiting for certain things to happen, but in that time, as it quietly passes, we may have missed something or someone who might enrich our lives.

For those who don't know me, let me introduce myself - My name is Ryan, I'm 23 and live in the Southwest of the United Kingdom. I live with my fiancĂ©, and his family. I help teach Martial Arts in my spare time and do all I can to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle. Interests of mine are number puzzles, astrology, music (making and listening to) and reading.

I hope that you will enjoy reading my blog - and feel free to comment! Let me know what you like or dislike, I would love to hear your views! It may be next weeks entry ;)

Ciao for now.

- Ryan