Never fear…

The world is in a state at the moment. Times are as bleak and sad as they haven’t been since probably World War II. But never fear the people we need to guide us out of this mess are here.

Do you know where to go to get all the most credible and reliable information in a crisis? Influencers with a six pack! They are the ONLY people we should be looking to for advice. The police, the medical professionals and the government are all clueless. They aren’t giving you the real information.

Only a pretty person with a six pack and endorsement deals will tell you to mix boil oranges in water and pour the (still boiling) water down your throat to kill the virus.

I’m always stunned when people with zero medical training but two or three gym memberships think that they are the ones the world needs to tell people how to overcome mental health struggles or to provide crucial medical advice. I’ll listen to them for gym routines and workout advice but damned if I’m trusting their google-voodoo-psychology for tips on turning my life around while in quarantine.

Remember that old saying “Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach”? While that isn’t a rule in life, most of the people I’ve met that call themselves Life Coaches have the most messed up lives of anyone.

Took a while

In all the chaos of the last month or so I realised this morning that after transferring the money from PayPal I hadn’t got to donating the money I raised for the bushfires. For two weeks I donated all sales from ALL downloads to raise money for the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.

For a while I was toying with splitting the money to various charities but my initial statements had been about the NSW RFS and it was too hard to work out where else to donate to as well. So yesterday I got myself organised and transferred the money to the Fire Service.

They had received donations in the millions of dollars but it’s nice to know that our $3,000 is in that mix going to help people devastated in the most enormous fires I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. Thank you to everyone who bought downloads during that period. Your money will be appreciated!

Please just shush.

In times like this pandemic, the Australian Bushfires a couple of months ago or one of the multitude of enormous political/climate/world events that seem to be spiralling out of control lately, I’m trying to take it as an opportunity to clean out my facebook.

Social media has lead to a divide in the sharing of information as we tend to interact with people that think the same as us. Sure, that’s a bit of a bad thing and it seems to lead to an intolerance of differences in thinking. However, if someone is going to post conspiracy theories, share uninformed or unverified articles all over the place and talk absolute garbage, either they deserve to be called out on it or they deserve to be blocked. I’ve done both recently.

One guy I’ve known for 20 years was posting bullshit about the fires and then got abusive and violent about it so he was swiftly blocked. The other day a former school acquaintance was railing against lockdown saying people will die without jobs. Um, a hell of a lot more people will die if this virus isn’t contained honey. She’s now blocked as well.

A guy I went on a date with several years ago, works in medicine and bio stuff but on top of talking about social distancing and saying to stay home and wash your hands (you know, good advice) he then went on to say that if we all focus our lives on Jesus we’ll get through this. How’s fuck off buddy? Thoughts and Prayers have a 100% failure rate in stopping disasters, gun violence, and every single other situation they are offered up. From someone in medicine it felt incredibly hypocritical and ignorant.

If someone is religious, have at it. If it helps you get through a tough time, fantastic but don’t try and get me to believe. It isn’t going to work. You’ve got even less chance than me becoming vegan or taking up running.

In the mean time stay clean, keep washing.

PREPared

After two weeks of working from home and taking part in social distancing, I got up to do my usual morning routine of going to the bathroom, cleaning my teeth and taking my PrEP before going for a long walk when I realised, there is absolutely no need for me to take PrEP for a while.

My sex life would suggest that I possibly don’t need it at all but I’d rather be prepared for the rare instances where mood and opportunity collide and I actually get some sex with someone else involved. But while we are all being encouraged to stay at home and stay physically distant from people, casual sex is off the table, or bed. I’m surprised that there are people still trying to hook up on Grindr etc. But then we can’t seem to convince people to not gather on the beach or in parks either so sticking body parts into each other for fun is always going to be hard to stop.

The government needs to just put us in lockdown and make it a fine-worthy offence to be out for anything other than essentials, and sticking body parts into each other is not essential. You may get horny as hell but Pornhub has made their premium services free for a while to get us all through this difficult time. Take your pants off and get yourselves off guys. It’s not difficult.

I’m thinking the break from taking a pill every day and not thinking about the time wasted on Grindr is a good thing.

Can’t help but smile

With socialising all being done via FaceTime and social distancing being a damn good idea I’m getting up early and going for a long walk in the mornings and I have to say, it’s bringing me joy.

There is a big park with trails, ponds, hills etc just down the road from my place and some areas of it are off-leash areas for dogs but it’s pretty accepted for people to walk their dogs on or off leash through the whole park and the dogs are what makes me smile.

One dog would run just in front of it’s human mum who was going for a run. The dog would get only a few metres in front then do a loop to make sure it’s human was still there, bounding around and looking SO happy. Obviously dogs don’t give a flying fuck about social distancing and they are running around chasing each other, saying hi to people and just living their best lives.

Sadly my living arrangements and lifestyle aren’t conducive to owning a dog at this point but they are definitely good for mental health. It’s no surprise they are used as service and companion animals. I know cats are too but I’ve just never gelled with cats.

Keep moving

Without the gym to get me out of bed in the morning, I’m in very real danger of being locked inside, getting fat and then depressed. I’m going to set up a bit of a routine for my days so that doesn’t happen. This morning I made myself get up and go for a walk and now I feel fantastic.

Lucky for me there is a really nice big park not far from my house and it has paths winding through it with people out and about walking an array of cute dogs. Some people are running but I’m never going to be one of those because running sucks. Have you ever seen anyone running who looks like they are having fun? No. Not unless they are running towards food.

I had no idea or plans for how far I would walk or for how long. It turns out I walked nearly 4km (2.4 miles) and it is a beautiful morning for a walk. So to keep my sanity in this bizarre horror shit show movie we all seem to be living in at the moment, I’m thinking my plan is this… A nice fast early morning walk. Then at lunch I’ll do some time on the foam roller to loosen up muscles and joints that are going to seize up from being immobile, which I should do a lot more regardless of lockdown. I’ll follow that with a short meditation to try and get out of the gloomy headspace that I’m sure will set in soon. I can already feel it looming a little and I’m not a depressive person. Before dinner and when I stop working it might be time to do some pushups, crunches, air-squats/lunges and dips etc.

Let’s keep moving everyone.

Almost guaranteed

Now that we are supposed to practice Social Distancing and here in Sydney we are in the first level of lockdown I want to do things that I haven’t been in the mood for or thinking about for a while.

Yep. Sex. I haven’t been in the mood for casual sex for pretty much all this year. Now that we are supposed to stay 1.5m away from everyone all I want to do is be right up in someone’s business. It’s how my brain seems to work. If I can have something too easily I don’t seem to be interested, but if I can’t have it, then I really want it.

I’ve literally just sat down with a coffee but if I finished it and you immediately told me I wasn’t allowed another one, that’s what I would want.

The same rules seem to apply to my dating life. If I like someone 99% of the time they are unavailable or not interested. If they are interested I’m too busy, distracted or stupid to be interested. Why do we do that to ourselves?

In the meantime, this working from home business does mean the opportunities for procrasturbation are increased many times over.

LUKE and more

A few people, after I teased an image, were waiting for this download to be released, and today it is. Luke has appeared in one of my downloads before and we took a while to make the time to shoot this one but a few weeks ago, we finally god there.

He’s such a cheeky fun guy to work with and looks so good nude, you know you’re going to get some sexy shots, even when there wasn’t much light available on the day.

If you want to buy the download, simply called LUKE, click here. There are a lot of downloads to choose from if you want more than one. Given a lockdown is quite imminent here in Australia for the Corona Virus, I’m not sure what will happen with downloads for a while. There are a few more in the vault ready to go but there might be a bit of a break in releases sadly.

So as a bit of an incentive, each week I will choose a different already-released download to discount for that week. It will change each week and I won’t announce which one is reduced, you’ll have to go looking. I’ll keep this up until Sydney comes out of the lockdown situation and I can shoot again. The first one is already discounted, but you’ll have to find which one yourselves.

A bit of love

With the world locking down more and more in the face of Corona Virus, I wasn’t sure if yesterday’s wedding was going to take place. I drove down to stay at my parents’ place on Friday night and went further south yesterday for the surprise wedding. It was only a wedding of 20 people and it was outside so we weren’t breaking any guidelines on safety. No one at risk was there and we were all very conscious of social distancing.

It was very special to be able to help two really lovely people surprise their closest family and friends with a surprise wedding. The guests all found out 5 minutes before I walked in that they weren’t just there to celebrate a birthday. Two of the couples in attendance had been wedding clients of mine last year and are also friends so it was great that I’d been able to keep the secret.

We are in for some seriously dark and probably stressful times ahead, possibly for 6 months or more and it’s the little bits of love and light that are going to get us through. One of the other weddings I have booked for April is now happening in December.

Let’s see if we can keep making each other smile for a while. The world needs it.

Doesn’t fit

Working from home is a weird thing. About 14 years ago I did it for two years and I’m stunned I survived. That was working freelance and doing my own thing. Admin is not my strong suit, but more importantly the lack of social interaction is my biggest problem.

All over facebook I’ve seen people joking that as introverts they have been training for this their whole lives and they love it. It doesn’t even feel like a change to them. For people like me, on the other hand it doesn’t feel like it fits. I thrive with other people around.

I’ve had this conversation with a work colleague on the phone today and over facebook chat with another friend. We are people people. I get my energy from other people and really enjoy bouncing work ideas and just conversation around with people.

While this is a horrible situation for the world to be in, it’s going to be interesting to see what it brings out in everyone. I predict there will be more phone calls, even in this era where phone calls are way less common than texting, just to satisfy a more immediate social interaction. Let’s see what happens.

Bring on the fever

With the world in lockdown, today my office officially started working from home and after initially believing it was to be just a trial, it is now indefinite and policy. There may be occasions where some people are required in the office but those are going to be minimised as much as possible.

Being day one it had a novelty about it and I was very productive. Thankfully there is a lot going through our agency at the moment and a lot to be done. Potentially it all might shift to non-sales related marketing given the current economic climate but at this stage, we have lots to do to keep our days full.

There will no doubt be some cabin fever in store. I get home from the gym by 7am or 7:30am and am at my desk by 8am so essentially never leaving my apartment will send me around the twist. It’s been years since I’ve worked from home and I’m out of practice at the art of breaking my day up nicely so the cabin fever doesn’t get too crazy. Lunch time walks may well be in order while we are still allowed out and about. Coffee breaks on the balcony and just time away from the desk will definitely be required.

Fingers crossed the panic buying of groceries and toilet paper will stop soon and people will settle into a more sane routine. I do predict that there will be some silly selfies taken in this apartment in the near future.

It begins

Tomorrow my office begins the “work from home” phase of the Corona Virus prevention. No one is infected that we know of and I don’t think anyone has been exposed but this is all in an effort to minimise the spread and therefor the pressure on the medical system.

My boss is saying at this stage it might just be easier to keep working from home after initially saying we might work in the office in a rotating roster. Who knows what will happen.

What I do know is that I can sleep in a bit and not get up for the gym quite so early because I won’t have a commute after the gym which is great.

I’d always liked the fact that it wasn’t feasible for my job to be done at home with file sizes of my working files being too great but sadly our IT company has made it possible to access our server and all the files remotely. It won’t stop me being relaxed as soon as I walk out the office door in the future though. This is only in this global pandemic situation that I’ll do this, although a bit of flexibility to work from home is a good thing.

Another day…

There are people that read this blog and one troll in particular that think I bang on about dating and being single too much. I’ve been trying not to but every now and then I just have to.

There’s a guy I’ve been chatting to on Tinder for a few weeks on and off. We were supposed to catch up a couple of weeks ago and on the morning of the catch up I sent a message asking if he was still on for that night. No response. The next day I got “Sorry I’ve only just seen this message.” Interesting since we had made plans.

On Friday night we had plans to catch up for dinner and a drink. Even that morning he was still keen. Two hours before the catch up time I got a message saying he wasn’t feeling well and could we do it next week? The irony and the reason I’m posting about it? His profile says “I really hate flakes”.

There are a lot of guys out there with very little self awareness of their behaviour online doing things just like this that they claim to hate in others. So I had a lovely quiet night to myself on Friday night instead.

Excited and daunted

I don’t often talk about work on here because like most people, I kinda wanna leave work behind when I walk out. For those of you that don’t know, I work for a global advertising agency and over the past few weeks we’ve been working on a campaign. One of our clients (a global, well known high end car company) is preparing for their new retail campaign but like most companies at the moment, their budgets have been cut.

Working closely with the art director at work, we’ve been working on a solution to create a visually striking campaign with the resources and budget available to us. It’s been stressful but also satisfying and today we got the green light from the big boss at the client’s offices with no changes.

That’s a big deal. Traditionally they’ve had a fairly conservative approach and while this isn’t a radical campaign idea that we’ve had, it’s a visual departure for them but he’s totally on board. Now we only have a couple of work days to get the assets created and get the campaign happening.

On the train on the way home I realised that it was the first time I’d been so hands on in creating a look and working on ideas for something this big. Obviously I’ve worked on campaigns for this client before but the vast majority of the campaigns are based on globally created content.

I actually feel really proud of what we’ve done and optimistic that some of our other global regions might pick up this content and use it. Fingers crossed.

Consistency

When I did an 8-week body transformation and joined a new gym last year, I hoped that it would lead to some radical changes. While it certainly did reinvigorate my gym motivation and enjoyment, no, I’m not suddenly as motivated or disciplined as a Men’s Health cover model and never will be.

When that gym went bust and I had to find a new one I got into a bit of a funk with training again. Now I’m happily settled in at a new gym close to home with great equipment and good classes I’m enjoying my training. Am I going to look like Chris Hemsworth? Hell no, sadly. Having said that, I’m enjoying doing a mix of their classes and doing my own thing on other days.

At the moment I’m doing 6 days a week. Three of my own thing and three days of their classes which are kicking my ass and that’s exactly why I’m doing them. I haven’t sweat as much as I do in those classes and it’s great. Not just getting my heart rate up but really working me hard. It turns out I quite like being in a class training situation. On my own I’m not as likely to push myself.

Gone are the days expecting a stunning overhaul and amazing body. In the second half of my forties it’s about being consistent, keeping moving and doing what keeps me entertained.