Thursday, 30 November 2017

#tbt Beermats: Week 8

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

You've changed

Writing warmup exercise from Writers Connect with the above phrase as a prompt. 10 minutes on the clock. I produced this:

“You went to Avici White without us?!”

“Well, yeah.”

“Where was my invite?!” Hudson throws his arms out slightly, like this admission has stung him in both his armpits.

“Well, would you have come if I'd have asked?”

“Yeah,” he blurts, as if it was the most obvious answer.

“Last time I asked you you didn't wanna go; you were out in Oldham,” I stress, “again.”

“But it doesn't matter where you go,” he says, jamming his thumbs into his jeans pockets.

“Hudson,” I say, rolling my eyes, “Come on. That's just a bullshit phrase people use to, uh, to get people to do something they don't wanna do.” I stun myself with how confident I can be since the last time I saw him, and remember that it was that phrase, his group's mantra, that pushed me away from his group in the first place.

“Matt, you've changed,” he says.

“Yeah, Ferro said that on Facebook,” I remind him. “Because I won't go to Yorkshire Street. I don't go to Oldham.”

“But we're your mates,” he says, “and that's where we go.”

My blood runs cold as I stare into those black pupils, and remember the discomfort I felt when I first met him- my instincts telling me, I now realise, not to get involved.

“Hudson, Oldham's a shit night out. The only change is I won't put up with it.” I walk off.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Filling in a gap

Well, the gap in my stomach was filled with egg mayo sandwiches, Galaxy chocolate and Aberlour single malt tonight (the bottle is now empty). But what about the gap in my blog? What about tonight's post? I've listened to a load of Immortal Technique rap songs to see if I can get inspiration- no luck- and I've watched I'm a Celeb to see if there's any celebrity-related gossip I can drag out- void.

My weight yesterday was 84.1kg, shockingly high, but today I got it down to 82.2 thanks to a Total Body Workout gym class. (I've probably already put it back on, though.) Looks like this is a regular Tuesday thing for me from now on.

I've met no celebs, I've not finished reading any books, I have no particular thoughts on anything... why not unwind and go to sleep. Maria from Gentlewhispering will help you to do that. ASMR is a growing trend on Youtube, and is helping millions of people to relax and fall asleep. The Russian-American Maria is my favourite.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Almost there...

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

What is more dull than a discreet diary? One might as well have a discreet soul.
-Henry Channon, British politician and diarist

The #NaBloPoMo / Excess Month: Practical final day is Thursday! After today's post: Three more uploads. It can be done.

With the theme of excess in mind, I've been making an attempt to polish off almost-empty alcohol bottles in my cupboard; a little sample bottle of The Arran Malt, Southern Comfort, Highland Park, and I've got an 8th of a bottle of Jack looking at me right now.

This week- Manchester Cool Bars are going to History. I'm not, but if you like RnB and a few celebs to spot, plus some of the craziest podium dancer outfits ever, get involved.

The Meetup scene will be quiet until Christmas.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

So, what has happened this week?

First, Calum Best liked the fact that I corrected his grammar.

I went to Proof, the Friday night in Panacea. The weather- sleet- really put a damper on proceedings, in more ways than one, and the club was dead. Their glass collector looks like Stamper from Tomorrow Never Dies. Would have been good if busier. The nightlife scene will, until the main Christmas nights, be similar to this. Didn't stay long.

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

Yesterday I ticked off a few bars from the Hit List, which has been heavily revised over the years as new bars and clubs have opened up. My date and I started at West Corner, a nice little restaurant on Hilton St in the Northern Quarter, and made our way around a few new venues in that area.

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

Next: Turtle Bay for some rum shots (must try the food here). Busy with good happy hour deals.

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

We found a drunk stag do in Flok, a Spanish-style place which the MEN describes as 'Manchester's first sherry bar.' Unique décor with a tiled floor, strange mounted decorations and a full-sized bank vault downstairs, the bar stands out from its neighbours for it's low key visuals mixed with upmarket deep house. I like. I did think it was a bit unfair the management to tell us off for singing swing classics with the stag do, though.

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

We moved on to Soup Kitchen, a fragrant little venue serving, you guessed it, soup, to people on long rows of tables like a scene from Oliver! Or something. I would have been up for soaking up the atmos a bit longer but my date wasn't feeling it.

A satisfying night all in all. In February (after we've been paid and the sales are over, and it gets warmer and the nightlife scene picks back up) I'll probably set up a meetup to go around this area with Manchester Cool Bars.

Last night we'd started off in the early evening, so I was actually sober enough to get to Writers Connect for the first time in ages. More on this on Wednesday.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

I am confused by this dentist's fine

This is not a cry for help, nor is it a whinge. It's an attempt to illustrate the problems that I face having memory difficulties. This week I received a penalty charge from the NHS because I indicated that I was 'receiving NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate.' They want £120.60 by the 11th December.

It's something I will definitely need help with: formal documents like this make very little sense to me, and they arrive in the mail so thick and fast that I can't keep on top of them.

I've mentioned before, I have brain damage, memory difficulties and depression. I've worked most of my adult life, with minimal success, and since I was 29 I've been in receipt of some low-rate benefits- I was on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Working Tax Credits (WTC). I've needed a lot of help getting them and staying up to date with information relating to them.

In January my DLA was stopped, as the government was replacing this with the controversial Personal Independence Payment (PIP), something I had to apply (and fight tooth and nail) for. In February I was still in receipt of WTC and by March I had been allocated an award of PIP (albeit less than I was getting from DLA.) Around this same time, it now seems, my WTC were stopped. I was, for some reason, under the impression that the two were now being paid together and that WTC were part of the PIP payment. This is the kind of mistake I make, due to the condition that makes me eligible for PIP in the first place.

I thought my finances were under strain; it now seems I'm getting to the bottom of the issue.
On 7th September, I went to my dentist and claimed that I was on WTC, making me eligible for free treatment. I was not. The PIP I'm receipt of apparently does not cover me for dentist visits, so it looks like I'm going to have to pay £120.60. This is an honest mistake, one of many I make every week.

The exemption certificate that I have, a plastic card the size of a credit card, expired at the end of April. I, typically, forgot to chase this up.

I guess there's a few options- I work in social services so there are colleagues I could ask for advice, and I could always push the boat out- on my PIP application form I explained that formal documents like these make very little sense to me. Unfortunately, because I speak well and have decent written skills, social services will have nothing to do with me and any NHS support I receive is always short-term (I'm not meeting any NHS people right now.) The only talking support I get are my ever-loyal and over-relied-on parents, and my line manager. I suppose I could bring this to Andy's Man Club and see what advice they could give. And ultimately, I could try to get the fine waived on disability grounds. It's not like I tried to blag them. This happened because of the condition.

Another issue: I'm on Sertraline, an antidepressant, and have been for some time. I've been telling the chemist I'm eligible for free treatment. This site doesn't suggest I am: there's no mention of PIP, only the tax credits that I forgot had been stopped. I don't know what I told the chemist I was in receipt of, so am I about to be bombarded with numerous fines for claiming free prescriptions? I did have an NHS exemption card in my wallet but

I started by suggesting that this blog post was not a cry for help. That said, any advice that anyone can give me, I'd be grateful for.

Friday, 24 November 2017

10 Things to Leave Behind in 2018

You'll get every benefit you could get from this and more if you study psychology instead. All the wonder and life lessons you could ever need are in science, and they apply to every human on the planet.

The word 'peng'
Sounds to much like 'pong.' A fad which will pass.

RnB nights where women aren't interested in any white guys
I don't just go out to pull, but, for fuck's sake, it would be nice once in a while.

Wasting time on social media
Don't forget the real world, and your life, which is passing. But please read the rest of this post.

Selfies with random girls in clubs
They don't know what you're going to do with that picture, and how you're going to caption it, so they might be a little uncomfortable. You're not Dan Bilzerian, and your drunk-girl-themed Insta page doesn't make you look popular.

Cheap umbrellas that go inside out when it's windy
Time to shell out on something sturdy, or buy a formal raincoat.

Chocolate binges
You know how you've had no visible abs since 2010? This is why.

Fast food
See above.

Charging your phone next to your bed, and occasionally looking at it when you're supposed to be falling asleep
This is why you've been an insomniac since 2010 too.

Breakfast first thing in the morning
Consider this to get in shape.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

#tbt Beermats: Week 7

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Plan for tonight (Sessional Haiku)

Straight home from working
I'll double drop sertraline
and The Arran Malt

A sample bottle
I got for Christmas one time

Dressing sharp tonight
Although nothing too fancy
Bailey's Hot Chocolate

Manchester Markets
Pork sandwiches, alcohol
And chocolate fruit treats

We're starting nearby
in the Slug and Lettuce bar
then wandering round.

Party time later
will be in Voodoo

Wednesday night clubbing
Birdcage student night, can't wait
So please get involved!

Expect a writeup
later in the week, Friday
Anyway, must go

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

What happens if I skip breakfast?

If I don't look like thisin a month I'll give up and go full-on 'Mr Creosote.'

We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Right? I certainly struggle without it. Or do I? Sometimes, on my days off work, I get up and go to the gym on an empty stomach. I do okay, and eat when I get home.

But on a standard work day, the idea of not having breakfast horrifies me. It sounds like a lot of hard work. But a few weeks ago I came across an advert on Youtube that changed my mind. As it was an advert I can't actually link to it, but it was a video from the very knowledgeable Thomas DeLauer. In it he discussed how, when we are asleep, our bodies are breaking down the food in our stomachs. When we wake up, our bodies go into fat-burning mode, and that's when we start to lose weight- unless, of course, you dump a load of breakfast food on top of it. Then your body goes straight back to burning the carbs in your stomach.

If we 'break our fast' in the early afternoon, we'll burn off reserve fat for hours beforehand while we go about our morning.

DeLauer explains a lot more than I ever could, so check him out. What I'll be doing is skipping breakfast for the next month, and actually 'breaking my fast' at 12:30.

I currently weigh 83.3kg. I'd like to be 10kg down from that please. I'd also like to beat a few PBs in the gym. Let's see how that goes.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Party Party Party

ALRIGHT! Just before advent starts and we all go into social hibernation, There's a few events planned that YOU can get involved with.

Wednesday night: Manchester Cool Bars heads to Voodoo at The Birdcage, a good party that fills up every term-time week and offers some decent drinks deals and a young, good-looking crowd. Me and one other mate are definites so far.

Friday night: Cool Bars heads back into town to a place with a very different vibe: Proof at Panacea. Great RnB, a stunning venue, gorgeous people and probably a celebrity sighting if you keep your eyes peeled.

Sunday: I'm at Writers Connect in Nexus, offering feedback to other writers. If you fancy giving it a shot, Come down to the Northern Quarter cafe, 1pm. For this I'm sacrificing the Bisping fight in UFC, so it'd better be good!

Oh, and in theme with Excess Month, I downed the remnants of a bottle of Wild Turkey... then found another bottle on offer in Tesco. And I've started it already. Oh, and ALSO, I met the gorgeous Jemma Lucy from Ex on the Beach / Celebrity Big Brother on Wednesday in Kettlebell Kitchen. Forgot to ask for a pic so you'll have to take my word for it!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Awful Scene Outside History

There are two roads into History nightclub on Longworth St- Camp St and St John St. Last night, 3am, on the latter, I saw a man punching woman a in a car.

The guy was huge- sat in the driver's seat next to her. She was screaming for help, but I wasn't going to get my face punched in, thanks. I was on my own. I went straight to the doormen outside History. They told me that the two of them had been 'fighting' in the club, and that he had been thrown out. She'd been advised to stay in the club, but she left with him. Now that they were outside, the doormen couldn't do anything.

After a few other people complained, the doormen eventually intervened. I left the scene looking for the police- I suppose I should have rang 999, and I'm embarrassed that I didn't. I walked up to Peter St, just around the corner from the club, where there are a handful of other bars and usually a few police vans waiting for something to happen. The police were nowhere to be found.

I went back to History and the car, the man and the woman had already gone.

I had been out looking for stories for the blog, hoping to photograph a few things, but I wasn't wasting time with a camera when someone was in trouble. I'm disappointed that the door staff were reluctant to help- regardless of club policy, they should have a conscience.

Also, I'm not one for victim-blaming, but if you're given an opportunity to be kept safe from a violent man and you don't take it, and you end up getting punched, you have part- PART- of the blame.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Cottonopolis Turns 2!

Manchester Northern Quarter bar Cottonopolis threw a second birthday bash on Thursday. Cocktails and canapés galore (the latter was free), good funk music and chilled out people came together to make a great party atmosphere.

DJs Will Tramp, Oldboy, and Andy Smith (formerly of Portishead fame) kept people dancing. A healthy flow of cocktails and prosecco accompanied this.

A post shared by Matt Tuckey (@matttuckey) on

If you're trying a few Northern Quarter bars is well worth dropping into Cottonopolis on Newton St.

Friday, 17 November 2017

More Manchester Construction Work, November 2017

 Manchester continues to grow upwards. Here are a few new inclusions to the city's skyline...

...Starting with Angel Gardens near the CIS buildings.

Further along Great Ancoats Street we find what I am assuming is this Mulberry development...

...Or it may be this one a block down.

Actually, it seems this Oxid building is this development.

Towards Piccadilly, we find the soon-to-be-demolished Mecure Hotel.

Finally, here's the groundwork being laid foroffice tower development  125 Deansgate