Category Archives: Other

2021

It has been a while since my last entry but finally, I am here and here is my first post of the new year. I start by wishing you a ‘Happy New Year’ despite these troubling times. I hope you were all about to have a nice Christmas and New Year regardless. I would love for you to tell me in the comments what you did, or what presents you got. Or maybe you just really enjoyed the time off if you were able to rest.

For me, my studies have been consuming a lot of my time and energy. More energy than I have got half the time. I have not been able to do the things I love or some days even the bare necessities due to a lack of energy. The things that have kept me going are the hopes of a better 2021, with less stress and more adventures. I know that this is months away though, which is the most difficult part for me. It is really hard to get yourself motivated every day and balance everything when you feel like this. But the main thing is to have an end goal that you keep chipping away at in little chunks, so that the mammoth task feels more manageable.

Regardless of the summer or lack of a ‘true summer’ we might have this summer, I will look forward to the sunny days, the rest and the peace. I thinking studying is difficult enough as it is, but in the middle of a pandemic too is nigh on impossible. Especially as students and those in education in England have been treated so poorly. Maybe it is similar in your country too? It is bizarre to think as our country goes into a third lockdown, that we are expected to produce the same quality and quantity of work. I can’t get my head around it in all honesty.

How do you feel about 2021 and what are you looking forward to?

Five things you probably didn’t know about me

Here on my personal blog I am very open and I share my life experiences. You all know I lived and study abroad for over 7 months, and that I love sport and music. But there are some other things you did not know about me… Here I shall list five things.

I cannot ride a bike!

Black Fixed-gear Bike Beside Wall

Yes, I am 23 now and I still can’t ride a bike! I am not ashamed, I just feel sad that I miss out on bike trips. I was on a tandem bike in my trip to Taiwan (how great it was not having to pedal by the way!) but I haven’t been on a bike properly since. I tried to in Sweden once but with my fear of falling and hindered by disability, I just couldn’t improve!

I am programmed!

Photo of Sleeping Man

It seems that most nights, I am programmed to wake up at a certain time, which appears to be 8 hours from whenever I go to sleep! I.E. if I didn’t sleep till 2 am, you can count your chickens that I will be up at 10 regardless of how tired I am. Perhaps my brain and body are not co-operating to realise the latter is still very tired! Because of this, I try not to sleep before midnight otherwise I will be awake far too early!

I am really indecisive!
I hate taking the lead as I want others to feel comfortable and confident with things – such as if we are going somewhere. I am not afraid to say no if it would make me unhappy though, so I prefer a 50/50 amount of effort, where two people can mutually agree on something that they both enjoy.

I am very philosophical!

Maybe those on my social media know this by now as I share a lot of philosophical and inspirational photos. I just love learning and understanding things and the reasons behind them. I have my thoughts, morals, beliefs and values that I hold so tightly and profoundly.

I am not (too) afraid to grow older!

Man in Black Jacket Wearing Black Headphones

I may be 23, but I feel like I have matured very quickly and I am already over the whole young and immature persona. I look forward to the future as hopefully I will have a job I enjoy and my own place to live in. Most importantly my own washing machine and tumble dryer! Gosh, I live an exciting life right? I might as well be that man shaking his fist at young skateboarders! The only things that scare me about growing older are my hairline and physical body worsening.

What are some things that people do not know about you? Share them in the comments.

What have I been up to?

I have been back in the UK almost two months now and I am into my third and final year of study at the moment. I have been very busy with my studies but I have also been up to a few things! I thought it would be fitting to offer a kind of catch up post, so you can understand why there has been more time between blog posts than usual. Don’t worry though! There are plenty more posts scheduled that are coming up in November. You can count on it!

Sadly the main thing I have been doing is studying! I bashed out a 2,800 word assignment that was due only a month after starting this year again. Crazy right? It was enjoyable topic area really but very stressful. It was for my disability class and I was looking at how disability is perceived and how school children with disabilities are mistreated. It is a topic familiar to me and something I feel strongly about, so it was quite easy to think of things to write about.

I am a perfectionist at times when it comes to studying, but it can often cause more problems than it does solutions. I will spend way too much time on work and not allow myself any time to relax or recuperate. This year with utilizing the help of others and other healthy realisations, I am doing my best to not get ‘burned out’ essentially. I know it is bound to come as I am already incredible tired and such, but I am getting out and about more which I think can do wonders. It is not good to stay inside for too long which I seem to do if I am busy studying. But even just going out on a short walk to see something other than the four walls of my room, it can only be a good thing. This is something I have been doing more lately, seeing the sunsets, appreciating the nature and just trying to be more healthy really.

No description available.



Finally, I have been trying to get a little bit more active but I still have a long way to go. My activity comes through sport and recently I have played Tennis and Badminton. I love my racket sports and soon I will be playing Table Tennis. I also love to watch sport and I have watched quite a few football games in person since arriving back to the UK. Apart from the poor results they have been very enjoyable! Sadly winter is looming and the cricket season is long gone. I can’t wait for spring to start up again already so I can be even more active! But for now, please do share with me some ways you like to keep active and inspire me!

People Playing Badminton



Feel free to suggest things in the comments, that you would like to read about on this blog so I can be inspired by you! I will try my best!

Five of my pet peeves

Mad formal executive man yelling at camera

I have so many to name, I can already a sense a part two coming. 😛 But for now, let us get started on five of my pet peeves (in no particular order). You know, the things that you absolutely cannot stand that other people do. The things that are testing your patience and even though you are dying to warn your friend or acquaintance about, you save them from the potential embarrassment.

1) Old fashioned views / narrow-minded people

I think that these two generally go hand in hand, so I have included them as one whole pet peeve. I like to have an open mind and surround myself with like-minded people for the good of my mental health. But it is so easy to come across narrow-minded people. It can be the older generation who are stubborn and refuse to listen to new music or it can be the younger generation refusing to try new food and culture. Narrow-minded people exist at all ages and it drives me crazy. These people will dismiss things before they have given them a fair chance. It is isn’t rock science to give things time and a fair opportunity in my opinion.

2) Obstructed sight

This is perhaps a particularly unique one that I do not hear people discussing often and I wonder how many people it does annoy. I am generally referring to when I am a football match and I have to watch it through the netting, or a fence, or if there are poles in the stand that spoil my view. I cannot relax that well in these situations as I find it so obstructive and distracting. Another time I noticed this quite recently was when I was at the beach and I wanted to look out and appreciate the wide strand without distractions.

3) Selfish/Inconsiderate people

This one is pretty clear and obvious. It must affect a lot of people. Those that play music too loud or smoke in bus shelters are just some things that selfish and inconsiderate people do. I think most of the time people are just too selfish to think about if the shoe was on the other foot… They need to think about how it would feel if they had to put up with their annoying behaviour.

4) Incorrect mask-wearing

This one is especially relevant right now and it goes out to those wearing a mask around their neck, or not covering their nose. Or even worse, not wearing one at all. If they are exempt then this is okay but I feel that too many people are abusing these rules. I mean I have autism and I am asthmatic, so I could have reasons not to wear one. Yes, it is uncomfortable and not ideal but if its something that can save me or others then it has to be done. Don’t be difficult… If you can then wear your mask and wear it right!

5) People who watch videos in public spaces without headphones

Woman Placing Her Finger Between Her Lips

Oh gosh, I cannot believe that I did not think of this one sooner. First of all, it is selfish and inconsiderate to everyone around you. Second of all, headphones are portable and cheap so there is no excuse. Nobody wants to hear your tinny music or annoying mobile phone sounds. What I loved about Sweden was they had a properly designated quiet zone that people took seriously. I think Swedes are perhaps more reserved than other people but they are not afraid to speak up when someone is spoiling their quiet zone. That I can respect and it made for some peaceful journeys.

Do any of my pet peeves also bother or annoy you? What are your pet peeves? Please do share in the comments.

If you could witness any event in history, what would it be?

Anonymous person with binoculars looking through stacked books

Although I am focused more on the present and future these days, there are still so many events in history I would have loved to have been at. Of course, most of them took place years before I was born, but, there are also some in my lifetime that I simply was not present for. I will be describing multiple events as it is so hard for me to pick just one.

A Green Day concert in the 90s / pre Dookie.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this band. They are by far my favourite band of all time and I love most of their music, but there is something special about their early releases. Back when their music was incredibly ‘punky’ and they were playing intimate shows at 924 Gilman Street… That forever remains an era I’d love to be in. I reckon a teenage me would be stage diving and moshing till I drop!

1982 European Cup Final

Since I was born in 1997, this was long before my time. For the non-football fans of my blog, this well-renowned competition is known now as the Champions League. Back in 1982, my team, Aston Villa were crowned champions after a 1-0 win against Bayern Munich. It is a huge event in the history of our club and is still sung about almost 40 years later. I know a few that were there and it sounds like an incredible day! Millions will have supported Aston Villa but only 12,000 were lucky enough to be there that day. I can only hope something as amazing as that happens for Villa in my lifetime.

Mob football

I am really fascinated by sports history. I would love to have been around the industrialisation period so I could see the sports available at the time and how they were changing towards what they are today. I am not really a fan of violent sports but I would love to have seen a game of Mob football – which appears to be a forerunner to what we now know as Association Football, or soccer depending on where you are from. It was essentially a football match between two villages of people, which allowed kicking and biting. The only rule seemed to be no murder… Crazy right?

Why I hate small talk (As an autistic person).

Man Wearing White Top in Front of Woman Wearing Blue Long-sleeved Top

As an introverted autistic person, I was bound to hate small talk. I do not think research is needed to show that many people like me hate to engage in it. Many people seem to have small talk regularly whilst others can just about manage it. Me though? I absolutely cannot stand it and here is why…

The main issue I have with small talk is that it feels incredibly forced. People seem like they are scared or at the very least feel awkward around there being silence, so they force out this generic small talk. But I believe if you are with the right person silence can be comforting. It does not have to be a bad thing. I have never been a fan of fake people or fake conversation and it is so easy to spot. The questions are so boring and they invite dull or blunt answers: this actually makes it worse for me as the conversation is not flowing naturally, nor are either party really that interested in it. It is like trying to fill a hole but the two of you are just digging even deeper.

There must be some kind of myth around introverted people being anti-social but a lot of the time, it can be the complete opposite. Many of us are comfortable with silence and enjoy our own company. This means that we can communicate on our own terms and with people, we can genuinely connect with. There is no urgent desire to go chasing people that we do not need or connect with. It is nice to keep our circles small. This for me is incredibly rewarding, as I know I do not have to go through that small talk stage with people. I know that there are others out there that think and feel the same way as me. That is most comforting.

The whole small talk stage of any kind of friendship or relationship – even meeting a colleague for the first time can be incredibly boring. The same generic questions you hear and have to repeat every time, for example, “Where are you from?”, “What is the weather like where you’re from?”, etc. How do I know you are truly interested? Truthfully it feels like being attacked with question after question, with no authenticity or meaning behind it. It is like getting a snapshot of somebodies life without any real connection. It is so fake.

Small talk can happen so fast and as an introvert, I like time to listen and process information before I give a response. This allows my answer to be more honest and well-thought-out. How can I tell you how I am feeling when I am not sure if you care? What would happen to the conversation if I told you I was feeling upset or stressed or confused? Would it continue? I think with many people it would not, but I am not sure as I do not open up too much to just anyone. I want to feel like I can trust the person I am speaking to and that they are likely to follow up on my answer, otherwise it is just wasted, meaningless conversation – just like small talk.

MY thoughts on gender equality.

Person Wearing Black T-Shirt

Gender and gender equality is an area that I have been interested in for a while now. Usually, I am studying and writing about it in the context of sport, but I feel so strongly about these views so I wanted to share them.

Gender equality is an interesting concept. First and foremost, I believe that everyone deserves equal opportunities, regardless of their sex or gender. This is just common sense and decency in my opinion. Doing this however accompanies a range of things and it makes me wonder, are people picking and choosing what they want gender equality to be? Is it not that simple to be equal in all aspects of life? Not just what is convenient…

There are areas people feel strongly passionate about such as equal pay and fair job opportunities. This makes me think that we are onto something, and are capable of great change towards fairer opportunities. But then I see the selfish and one-sided mind of others… The main thing I am talking about is those women who do not pay for meals or dates because “a real man should pay”. This is lazy and selfish if you ask me. This is no good reason to bail out on paying and is very hypocritical if you are preaching equality. Nothing is stopping you from contributing except these old fashioned stereotypes that you have held onto.

Gender stereotypes like this are not just evident in potentially toxic dates or new relationships but also in ‘healthy’ long-lasting marriages. You know the ‘traditional’ stay at home wife who cooks and cleans whilst the husband goes to work. It is so dangerously normalized from history, that it is baffling and scary. When will we truly move on from this historical perspective? I welcome people who challenge these stereotypes. I have the utmost respect for say a man who can become a ‘stay at home husband’ to raise his child. Also maybe he has to do this because his job earns less than his wife. It is time to destroy that toxic masculinity where men believe they need these traditional values or to earn more money.

Working together 50/50 as a couple can be much more rewarding. This can apply for any pairing of man or woman though, for instance in friendships. In any two people, the roles can be shared just as easily, for instance, the man serving his wife a lovely dinner, or a female friend coming over to perform physical labour.

Why should gender have anything to do with what we want to achieve? Anyone is possible of anything. Sometimes what we want to do it is for ourselves and to become a stronger person and that is great. Other times we must cooperate together as men and women to balance the workload fairly. That is also great. What is not great is living with outdated and questionable historical views. Time is moving on, do not live in the past.

drinking less alcohol for a better lifestyle

Many people discuss the harmful effects or concerns around drinking alcohol from a physical perspective. But in my opinion, more should be done to discuss them from a mental or social perspective too.

Two Smiling Women Sitting on Wooden Bench

Drinking alcohol seems like such a normalized event worldwide -especially if you are from a country like England for me where it is EVERYWHERE. People will drink whatever mood they are in, happy or sad, excited or nervous and so forth. But they rarely ever grasp the true dangers of it. Sometimes it can be too late and they are stuck in a difficult phase of trying to get out of it. Others may never realise how destructive their habits are.

It is nice to have a drink in moderation, or even get drunk now and then. But as I grow older I am starting to get extremely bored when I see this regularly. It is the same people in the pub almost every night, sipping on their warm beer and probably reheated food. I cannot help but feel sorry. Is this all they have for a social life? We are all welcome to our differing interests of course. But something I can not fathom when behaving like this is how self-growth is actually possible.

Maybe some people are just not ready for change. Maybe this is what they are like. But if you are like me then you always want to be moving forward. I am an ‘outdoorsy’ kind of guy (as you can tell by many of my previous blog entries) so this kind of sedentary, repetitive lifestyle drives me crazy. But now I have gotten a good idea of what my interests are and what is good for me. I know for sure now I can enjoy a drink or many as infrequently as I choose. I know now how easy it is to say no to plans that will not benefit me, or make me feel worse.

Woman Holding a Smiley Balloon

When you have been towards rock bottom or have started to make the necessary positive changes in your lifestyle, you will do anything in the future to help prevent a relapse of it. It is, of course, a difficult thing to do for many people but persevering through this transition of change is key, as it will reap many benefits for you. For instance, when I am not drinking I feel better as I feel like myself… I am not reliant on this ‘magical social juice’ to engage with others. I am quite happy now being introverted and I do not need a few drinks to be able to talk to people. I realise now that if I need to then perhaps I just do not have the interest in or enough in common with these people to engage with them.

Right now I am focused on healthy behaviours with a clearer mindset from drinking less. My social skills or events will not be centred around alcohol like they used to. This is not me. I aim to continue travelling as much as possible and drink as it feels healthy and natural. Peer pressure is a horrible thing as it is too easy to get sucked into its vicious nature, especially when you are not well or secure enough to say no. I have explored so much this summer without the need for alcohol, and I have had so many unforgettable days. Long may this strive for better change continue.

Social distancing – Ignorance is not bliss.

Social Distancing on Wooden Table


Perhaps one of the most universally known phrases of 2020 is ‘social distancing’. We all know what it is, but how many of us can truly say we are abiding by it? Should we be doing more?

To me, it seems like this is the main thing that many countries are focusing on. People think controlling the virus is as simple as washing your hands and keeping 1-2 metres away from each other. They also must think that wearing a mask (a cloth one at that) is going to save them or act as a replacement for social distancing. People need to wake up and realise that they must do all of these things to give them the best chance at avoiding catching this deadly disease, or risk passing it on. It is such simple things we could do, but are choosing not to do.

This makes me begin to question the common sense of many people… Do they not like being told what to do? It is not difficult to see that people are obsessed with doing what is ‘normal’ or at least what everyone else is doing. For instance, I have noticed that everyone is distancing in a queue, or if one or two are not, then everyone else gives up with the distancing. When did we become such sheep? Why can we not decide for ourselves what we will do, and stick with it?

To me, there seems to be a mentality going around like ‘well if they can’t then why should I?’ and this is disastrous. I refuse to bow down to this pressure and will go above and beyond to keep myself safe. For instance… I have lost count the number of times I have changed my path whilst walking the streets. I might as well be walking in zig-zags at times. It is painfully exhausting because people may recognise social distancing, but suddenly do not think it applies when they walk past you. Many will be selfish and take up the whole path with their group or family, which is even worse on narrow paths.

I think it is safe to say that not only are people more concerned about doing what is ‘normal’ but also what is convenient for them. This goes for walking on paths and moving around in tight spaces. The list goes on though… People sitting next to strangers on buses and the strangers letting it happen is perhaps the craziest thing I have seen recently. People will happily pack onto buses just because it is convenient for them – for instance so they have their fun Saturday night at the beach. It is frustrating the lack of sacrifices people have made in this pandemic. But even more frustrating when others protest how many sacrifices they’ve made or how their summer has been ruined, when in reality I would say there are very few of us who have given up enough to handle this pandemic. This virus shows and even confirms to me how selfish many people are, and how even at the most difficult of times people fail to bond together.

What is an important lesson you learned recently?

LIVE IN THE MOMENT. I mean, I always try to do this. But it does not come without difficulties. It is too easy to get tangled up in the past or to have two eyes on the future, what with all the pressure we face in our everyday lives. This year though, more than any I have started to realise the importance of just enjoying the present day. I guess part of this is due to the pandemic and the realisation that things are unpredictable and can change at any moment.

Man in Black Backpack during Golden Hour

It is nice to have some kind of an eye on the future though, so you have a rough idea of where you are headed. But as plans change and your interests develop, we do not always know the path we will end up on. We can strive for a certain goal or path and in fact, end up taking off to a different destination. We cannot change the past, we cannot ALWAYS predict our future. I feel that the one thing we can do though is to make sure we enjoy our time right now.

It is a hard thing to do though I must admit when you feel or know that something can change. But if you are constantly waiting for that change, you are rapidly losing the time and moment. The best thing you can do in my opinion is to enjoy the things happening to you right now for what they are, as they may not last forever. Happiness is the key, and why let it wait?

For me, my plans have changed significantly due to COVID-19 but that does not have to be a bad thing. I never thought I would be studying abroad in my life and I certainly did not imagine being here so long. But the choice to do it and to stay in Sweden has paid off. I now get to experience a Swedish summer after braving the cold and windy months earlier in the year. This is just one example of living in the moment and trying to make the most of a different situation.