7 Touching Christmas Adverts from Big UK Brands in 2017

 

1. Marks & Spencer Christmas TV Ad 2017 | Paddington & The Christmas Visitor #LoveTheBear

A bear comes across a thief pretending to be Santa and enthusiastically decides to help him deliver presents.

2. Morrisons Christmas Advert 2017 – Free From

A brother offers support to his timid younger sister on multiple occasions.

3. Sky Cinema Christmas Advert 2017

Love, Christmas and Sky TV make a family reunite every year, for decades.

4. Argos Christmas TV ad 2017 – #ReadyForTakeOff

A warehouse assistant goes the extra mile to make sure an item goes out for delivery on time.

5. Barbour Christmas Ad 2017 – The Snowman and The Snowdog

A man leaves a present for his best childhood friend, the Snowman, who comes alive on Christmas day.

6. Very.co.uk Christmas Advert 2017 – Get More Out of Giving

A big-hearted little girl gives out presents on Christmas but loses her much-loved toy wolf in a storm.

7. John Lewis Christmas Ad 2017 – #MozTheMonster

Joe befriends a monster living under his bed but the two have so much fun together that Joe can’t get a proper night’s sleep and is always tired on the next day.

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ASDA Christmas Advert 2017

A young girl and her grandfather visit a factory that cooks Christmas food.

Morrisons Christmas List Advert 2017

A family goes Christmas shopping at Morrisons and appear to get everything they asked for.

Matalan Christmas Advert 2017 – Creating Value in Every Moment

A family is busy preparing for Christmas when the mum goes to work and then Matalan to pick up a delivery.

House of Fraser Christmas Advert 2017 – Bring Merry Back

Two sisters reconnect with their younger selves, reminded of the joy that Christmas can bring.

Amazon Christmas Advert 2017 – ‘Give’ 60″

It’s a magical journey for parcels to be out for delivery before Christmas.

Aldi Christmas Advert ft. Kevin The Carrot 2017

On Christmas Eve, attraction develops between two carrots travelling on a train operated by Santa. The advert references Murder on the Orient Express.

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Icarus, Netflix Documentary Review

Icarus (2017) is a Netflix Originals documentary about the greatest doping scandal in the history of sports. It’s ground-breaking, highly informative, intense and at rare times amusing.

Icarus tells the story of amateur cyclist Bryan Fogel who takes performance-enhancing drugs in order to win a prestigious amateur competition and eventually publish a documentary about his cover-up. To cut a long story short, he unintentionally gets involved in the world’s biggest anti-doping scandal after meeting the director of Russia’s state-sponsored drug testing facility, Grigory Rodchenkov, who enthusiastically agrees to help Bryan cheat in his drug tests. Later on, Grigory flees to the US where he becomes a whistleblower and reveals exactly how Russia cheated at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Read more…

Netflix doping scandal doc is flawed but fascinating“, Icarus review by the Guardian.

Russia Doping Scandal“, all of the Guardian’s news articles on the issue in chronological order.

 

 

 

 

What Color is Your Soul?

On page 103 of Journey of Souls by Michael Newton, a remarkable book about what happens to us as souls after we die, there is a very interesting chart describing the color that souls of various maturity emit during their transitional period in the spirit world. The first column (Learning Stage) relates to the maturity of a soul, the second column (Kinetic Color Range) relates to the color projected by different souls as reported by the author’s subjects, and the third column (Guide Status) related to a soul’s potential to serve others.

Classification Model for Soul Development Levels

Learning Stage Kinetic Color Range Guide Status
Level I: Beginner White (bright and homogenous) None
Level II: Lower Intermediate Off-white (reddish, turning into yellow) None
Level III: Intermediate Yellow (solid, no traces of white) None
Level IV: Upper Intermediate Dark Yellow (a deep gold turning into blue) Junior
Level V: Advanced Light Blue (no traces of yellow, turning into purple) Senior
Level VI: Highly Advanced Dark Bluish-Purple (surrounded by radiant light) Master

Are you surprised? I thought white would denote highly advanced souls, yellow to denote beginner souls, and light blue intermediate ones. Purple is usually associated with loyalty, and I was intrigued to hear it radiates from highly advanced souls, perhaps those souls are the closest and most loyal to God. What are your thoughts?

Interested in reading the entire book? Click here to view it on Amazon.

Essential Guide to Commuting by Bicycle in the UK

Thinking of cycling to work? I’ve been commuting by bicycle to work for more than six years and I’d love to share a few tips on choosing the right bike. I’ve also included my essential list of accessories that will hopefully make cycling in the UK easy, safe and enjoyable for you.

Choose the type of bike that suits you best.

Almost any type of bike will take you places but there will be only one that suits you best. A decisive factor would be where you would be cycling, in relation to road surface. Would you be cycling in a city (asphalt and concrete) or countryside (rough ground)? If the second, you’ll need a mountain bike because it’s tough and manoeuvrable. Otherwise, you’ll need a road bike because it’s speedy.

Bicycle Types

There are various types of road bikes to choose from (racer, fixie, hybrid, folding, electric) and factors that will influence your decision include frame size, weight, gearing and suspension. To be comfortable when mounting and riding the bike, there should be about 2cm between your crotch and the frame when stood over the bike.

Road bikes are designed to be used exclusively on tarmac roads. They are suitable for racing and long distance riding.

A fixie or Single Speed Bike has only one gear which in turn makes the bike quite light, reliable and easy to maintain. The faster you pedal, the faster it goes.

Hybrid bikes combine the best of mountain and road bikes in one package. They are comfortable and fast.

If you need to take your bike up stairs, on a train, or store it somewhere with limited space, you may consider buying a folding bike.

If your physical fitness level is low, you may benefit from an electric bike. It has a battery and motor that will give you an extra push when cycling uphill.

Essential cycling apparel and accessories.

1. Helmet

Accidents happen. Prioritize your safety and get a helmet. It will reduce the risk of head injury during a fall or collision.

2. Lock

You must lock your bike before you leave it at a public place or parking rack. The sturdier the lock, the more protected your bike. I’d recommend U locks over cable locks.

3. Lights

You must be visible when riding in the dark, especially in autumn and the winter when days are short. You need a front (headlight) and rear light. I use a rechargeable super bright headlight by SolarStorm, and a strong red back light by CatEye.

4. Mudguards

Due to UK’s unpredictable weather, you need to attach mudguards on your bicycle to prevent your shoes and back from getting wet and dirty at any time of the year. I have Zefal Swan & Croozer mudguards which are sleek and effective.

5. Waterproof Clothing

To keep yourself dry when cycling to work, you need at least a weatherproof cycling jacket and maybe trousers, both high visibility if possible.

6. Backpack

You need a cycling backpack or side bag to carry your work clothes and lunch with you.

7. Tyre Pump

A bicycle pump is the most important tool you should have in case your tires gets a little soft. Presta pumps are compatible with road bikes, whereas schrader pumps are compatible with mountain bike. I own and highly recommend getting a Vandorm universal pump. If you plan on repairing you bike yourself, I suggest getting a basic puncture kit and a set of keys. It’s always good to keep a valve adapter too.

The Most Horrible Comment in My 8-year Experience as Amateur Blogger

I started blogging about 8 years ago in 2009. I was a complete beginner to blogging and writing in general. I was 17 and English is my second language. I wrote about personal things which had almost no value to the reader. My writing style was a bit long-winded and some sentences make no sense to me now. One of my oldest posts from 2011 is about the purpose of movies and has been viewed over 14,000 times. It was informative but written really badly. So badly that I got the following comment from an anonymous visitor:

Horrible Comment 03.03.2013

I was shocked. On the bright side, negative attention is better than no attention, right? A few days later, I re-wrote my blog post which is presently generating the most traffic to my website and hasn’t received further abuse.

My Experience Qualifying with Diverse Trainers

Looking to become a personal trainer? Thinking of enrolling onto a course by Diverse Trainers? Here’s my experience qualifying as Level 2 Fitness Instructor with Diverse trainers.

Who are Diverse Trainers?

Diverse Trainers provide the cheapest personal trainer and fitness instructor courses in the UK. Their courses are accredited by Active IQ and certified by REPS. At the time of writing, their course prices are as follows:

  • Level 2 Gym Instructor Course, £449
  • Advanced Level 3 Gym Instructing and Personal Training Diploma, £899
  • Level 3 Personal Trainer Master Diploma Course, £1799

The best about qualifying with Diverse Trainers.

I chose to qualify with diverse trainers purely because their Level 2 Gym Instructor Course was the cheapest I could find. Exercise 4 Less on Kirkstall in Leeds was assigned as my course location, and my course dates were 1st, 2nd and 8th July.

I wasn’t concerned with the quality of the course but my teaching days turned out surprisingly informative and fun. My female tutor Bev was very passionate about giving all students in my group much of the knowledge we needed to pass a practical assessment and a theory exam called Principles of Exercise. She also spoke about essential skills and principles we needed to acquire in order to be successful as qualified instructors. I learned a lot and felt very supported both on my course dates and studying remotely.

What I disliked about Diverse Trainers.

In my experience, the customer service was really poor. I’m not saying this as a pretentious person, I’m honestly quite calm and patient, but the way Diverse Trainers handled my certificate delivery angered me. The certificate delivery process is generally slow but mine was further prolonged by an unacceptable admin error. Although I confirmed my full address by writing via email, Diverse Trainers somehow input a different street name and post code for delivery. The city and my name were correct. Here’s how the story unfolded:

1st August 2017
I complete my remote learning coursework and request my Level 2 certificate.

10th October 2017
My certificate arrives at their office. That’s more than 10 weeks later (over two months!?). Strangely, my personal tutor informed me it actually takes 48 hours for certificates to go from the awarding body (Active IQ) to Diverse Trainers. Anyways, I confirm my address and my certificate is sent out for delivery within 2 weeks.

24th October 2017
My certificate hasn’t arrived and no postman has left any of the usual notes about attempted delivery. Meanwhile, I call Diverse Trainers every few days just to hear that my certificate should be on its way.

30th October 2017
First unsuccessful delivery. Diverse Trainers inform me that my certificate arrived back into their office on the 17th October.

13th November 2017
Second unsuccessful delivery. I ask Diverse Trainers to send me a picture when the certificate returns back to their office, and I was shocked by what they emailed me two days later.

15th November 2017
Diverse Trainers send me a photo of the envelope, and I immediately realize they’ve been trying to deliver to an incorrect address. That’s poor attention to detail.

Diverse Trainers Unsuccessful Delivery

I asked customer service how this mistake happened given that I emailed them my full address with 100% accuracy. The reply I got was:

Royal Mail sent it back to us explaining that the address was not found.
The second time we sent your certificate we searched the address on google and the address found was the one we sent it to.

 

I was shocked ever more. They didn’t check with me about any of that. They assumed I had made a mistake and did what they thought was right without keeping me informed. Not to mention I’ve been calling them every few days while my certificate was out for delivery. That’s poor communication skills.

Eventually, I got my certificate by asking them to forward it to a different address. It came a little creased but at least it didn’t get lost.

Would I recommend Diverse Trainers?

Yes. If you want to save money and are willing to wait at least 3 months until receiving your certificate, I would highly recommend signing up to a course by Diverse Trainers. It will save you a few hundred pounds, you will get taught by a supportive tutor and learn a lot on your teaching days.

 

“Journey of Souls” by Michael Newton, Book Review

This is an amazingly insightful book about the journey we go on as souls after physical death. Dr. Michael Newton is a private hypnotherapist who places his subjects in a state of superconsciousness and guides them to bring back vivid memories of their experiences in the spirit world.

Book Structure and Chapters

The book includes twenty-nine cases of people’s incredible recollections as souls, which the author has carefully selected from his forty-year-long career as a hypnotherapy practitioner. The case studies are arranged in such a thoughtful order it makes the book seem like a progressive travel log.

  • The 1st chapter, Death and Departure, reveals what it feels to die.
  • The 2nd chapter, Gateway to the Spirit World, talks about the well-known tunnel effect during a death experience.
  • The 3rd chapter, Homecoming, discusses who welcomes a newly arrived soul to the spirit world (personal guide, soulmate, close friend, etc.), how it feels, why it’s different for each soul, and more.
  • The 4th chapter, The Displaced Soul, talks about the souls who deny the fact their physical body is dead and resist coming back to the spirit world.
  • The 5th chapter, Orientation, reveals the healing process that takes place after a soul is greeted.
  • The 6th and 7th chapter are primarily related to the organisational structure of the spirit world and the way all souls are projected to their relevant destinations from a central port in the spirit world called “staging area”.
  • The 8th chapter is about the personal guides of souls.
  • The 9th, 10th and 11th chapter elaborate on the differences between beginner, intermediate and advanced souls.
  • The 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th chapter reveal the process of reincarnation as a whole. The souls go through the following stages, named as the actual chapters of the book: Life Selection, Choosing a New Body, Preparation for Embarkation, and Rebirth.

I really like Journey of Souls because:

  1. The book is written in a clear and understandable way. If there’s any terminology you may not be familiar with, the author will provide a definition.
  2. Author provides abridged but informative dialogue from his therapy sessions as evidence for his explanations about what happens to our souls immediately after death. The reader can also interpret the dialogue in their own way if unhappy with the author’s conclusions.
  3. I really like the fact the author has worked with numerous subjects and hence there’s variety in the case studies included. This gives readers an opportunity to compare how souls of different maturity levels experience the afterlife.

Buy the book on Amazon?

Click here to view Journey of Souls on Amazon.