Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Ultimate Camping Guide - Halfords

I can still remember all those fond memories of camping in the wilderness, making fires and living off the fat of the land...I actually did none of these things because camping was never really something me and my family did! However, I can certainly tell you about a camping trip with school way back in 2003(ish).

As part of my primary school experience (primary school, those were the days...), we were given the opportunity to travel to Shugborough. Shugborough is an area located in Stafford and I believe the camping area was part of the Shugborough Hall grounds. We probably spent 2-3 days there in total and it included a mixture of activities including sports, map reading and crawling underground in very small spaces (not my favourite activity). The camping trip was probably my first ever trip going away from my family on my own. I remember being both scared for leaving but excited for spending a few days with my friends on my own.

Halford's Ultimate Guide To Camping, is an informative and helpful guide that should be in the backpacks of every first time camper and even the more seasoned professionals.
One of the most important things that helped me pack for Shugborough was a check list. I hoped that doing a checklist from an early age would enable me to never forget anything. However, we're all human and I do tend to forget a few things now and again. Therefore having a checklist of all the essentials that you need is probably one of the most important elements before you go camping. The guide has a checklist on the back and includes everything and more that you may forget about taking with you. For the families reading this, it wisely mentions kids games as one of those essentials. Very handy!

The guide includes places where camping is most popular and is great for planning where you'd like to set up camp. Locations include Scotland, the Lake District and Wales to name but a few. It also mentions events taking place in those areas so you're able to pick a time to go when something cool may be going on. What sets this aside from other guides that just have the general information about locations etc, is the beginner's tips on purchasing the right tent, ways of keeping the kids entertained and camping recipes. It gives advice on the sought after festival season, providing essential tips and advice for making your camping experience the best it can be. And finally it also gives you an insight into glamping (one I think I'd find more appealing).
If this blog has inspired you to brave the camping world then make sure you check out Halford's range of tents here.

Happy Camping! (or glamping)

Disclaimer - I was gifted this product in return for my own honest opinion.

Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Enemy Mine - Sean Derbyshire

So I've been given an opportunity to expand my horizons and post something a little more different on my blog. Working with various PR agencies, gives me the chance to really create a diverse blog that will keep you, my readers interested. One of these agencies, sent me over a copy of Enemy Mine in Blu Ray. Now I know someone (pretty well), who loves watching films and that's my housemate Sean. So I gave this dvd to Sean because well...he can definitely do a better job at reviewing it than I could. You may see a few of these popping up every now and again so be sure to keep your eyes peeled if this is for you. Take it away Sean!
Tale as old as time, true as it can be, barely even friends, then you grow to love the alien that you were trying to kill - not quite the love story one might expect. The 1985 film ‘Enemy Mine,’ directed by Wolfgang Peterson (Troy, The Never-ending Story) and starring Dennis Quaid and Louis Gosset Jr., tells the story of a fighter pilot who crash lands and is forced to align himself with the very enemy whom he had intended to destroy. This movie has many enjoyable moments, but fails overall in coherently telling the story that it set out to tell.

It is difficult to distinguish where the flaws originate from; The screenplay, written by Edward Khmara, tries to tell a story of the growth of love and friendship that spans three years. Unfortunately, due to the pacing of the story, the audience is rarely ever allowed to become invested in any particular situation or moment of character development. At times, the film jumps ahead by an unspecified amount of time without allowing for any full resolution of the issue at hand. A prime example of this can be seen in the few scenes in which the two leads are attempting to learn each others language. In one scene, Davidge (Quaid) is trying to communicate with the alien using crude sign language, and in the next they are instantly conversing in reasonably coherent english, denying the audience the ever so popular ‘Me Tarzan, You Jane’ moment, which would have no doubt added to the development of their relationship.
This could, however, be attributed to the choppy editing that sees some pivotal scenes (no spoilers here) ending extremely abruptly, so that the narrative doesn’t flow naturally but jolts forward time after time. Key plot points that would otherwise drive home the film’s theme and message (one of enemies overcoming their prejudices and growing to become friends) lose their impact and believability. In particular, there is a moment early in the film when it is abruptly implied that the two adversaries are suffering from some sort of ‘cabin fever’ but there is nothing leading up to this reveal to even hint at it, leaving it feeling forced. This isn’t to say, however, that there aren’t moments that do hit their mark, as on the rare occasions that the story stays in one place for long enough, we are allowed to see some genuine moments of character development.

Dennis Quaid gives a fairly good, if uneven, performance as the pilot who has to battle his own prejudices in order to work together with his enemy in order to survive. One genuinely feels his connection with his friend in the second act of the film, even if the moments leading up to it feel slightly rushed and at times unnatural. Louis Gosset Jr., on the other hand, gives a fantastic performance as the alien adversary with a much more organic evolution (possibly owing to the writing) and some very well delivered comedic moments. Their on-screen chemistry really shines at times, lending far more weight to moments later in the film when their relationship and care for one another must overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
The music, art design and cinematography are a mixed bag to say the least. The opening credits, for example, accompanied by the score of Maurice Jarr (Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago) is something akin to the opening of Ridley Scott’s Alien, with gravitas and feelings of imminent threat and uncertainty; before long, however, the audience is subjected to a bouncy, almost playful, melody as Davidge attempts to hunt the indigenous life on the planet, creating conflicting tones that do not link cohesively within the narrative.

The special effects leave a fair amount to be desired, with paper-thin spacecraft design and an obvious green screen to create backdrops of the alien world. This is particularly  notable when one considers that revolutionary films such as Blade Runner, The Terminator, ET: The Extra-Terrestrial and of course Star Wars Episode V were released  years prior, and all were filled with such technological innovations that it’s hard to ignore the deficiencies here.
Conversely, certain elements of the art design really impress. The design of Louis Gosset Jr.’s alien is fantastic as are some of the indigenous creatures on the planet. It could be said, however, that the design of the planet might have benefitted from richer flora and fauna, as it did fail to deliver a fully immersive and living environment that such science fiction films are often known for (though this may be attributed to the source material, which I admittedly have not read). The world, while quite barren, does however create that feeling of hostility and danger that believably challenges the characters’ skills of survival.

The cinematography is nothing to write home about. Mostly switching between static shots  and tracking shots with occasional use of wide angle to add an element of diversity. It must also be mentioned that on occasion, the overuse of cuts can be quite jarring when the audience is trying to follow events on screen, particularly in the action scenes.

Overall, ‘Enemy Mine’ suffers from a crisis of identity. Thematically and tonally, the story fluctuates constantly, at one moment hinting at a deeper story of overcoming prejudices and respecting cultural differences, and the next becoming what amounts to a sci-fi ‘buddy comedy.’ Sadly in flirting with both, the movie fails to successfully court either, landing roughly in the middle and delivering an uneven narrative which, while as a whole enjoyable, leaves very little to be remembered after the credits roll.
Reviewed by Sean Derbyshire

Thanks Sean! Be sure to drop him an e-mail for any business enquiries here.

Disclaimer - I was gifted this product in return for my own honest opinion.

Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Fitness Fashion - Inspired By Celebrity Looks

Photo by
Fitness and healthy diet have gained a somewhat prominent status in lives of both celebrities and us, the regular people. A few years back, it seems like most us were working out but nobody’s been making a big fuss about it. You worked out for yourself, not for the Instagram cheer of it, but hey – new times, new vibes, whatcha gonna do except adapt.

The thing with working out, though is – unless you get hooked, you are running the risk of quitting and going back more often than not. So, you need your inspiration right where you can see it – either in the mirror or on the celeb pages.  If we are being absolutely honest, our celebrity inspirations are all working out five times a week with personal trainers and cooks who are watching their every move. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the same privilege, but at least we can try and give our best to achieve goals that aren’t as hard to reach as everyone’s making them appear.

What we’ve learned from our celebrity fitness inspiration is that, apart from the commitment to working out you need to have hot sportswear, too. You’ll notice that, for the celebs – sportswear is almost as important as street wear, so they are really careful about that.
Here are a few examples;

Khloe Kardashian

Photo by

The formerly “chubby, funny Kim’s sister” (as she’s referred to herself) is now the bombshell of the family; she’s perfected her body superbly and we’re in love with every single curve’s flaunting. You’ll notice that the workout sessions she documents on Instagram are always looking flawless! Her fitness-wear is always looking super cute and put together, and doesn’t even seem that hard to pull off, right?

Shay Mitchell

Photo by

Face it, this girl is gorgeous! Naturally gorgeous and slim, she’s not taking it for granted and is working hard on staying in shape. Her sport of choice is boxing, and her fitness-wear? Always flawless! We’re so experiencing major Shay Mitchell envy!

Joe Manganiello

Photo by

Anyone scream perfection? This man is everything and more! Tall, gorgeous, hunky, charming and with a body that looks like Gods of fitness have sculpted it themselves, Joe is giving women around the world a major ovaries-skip moment and an incredible envy situation to all the men out there. “Manganiello is an old-school gym rat. He doesn’t do any fancy exercises, just tried-and-true bodybuilding staples like the bench press, overhead press, and pushdown”. His gym clothing pieces are everything you’ll ever need – shorts, trainers, T-s, quality sneaks and he’s good to go! Ah… Vergara, we hate you!

Miranda Kerr

Photo by

Not only that this woman is stunning in every way, but her fitness regime is making us go crazy. Only after six months after giving birth, she’s gone back to shape, and an amazing one! On top of that, she always looks super cool working out. It’s just… so unfair, really.

Channing Tatum

photo by

The former striper turned celebrity is one of those celebrities you have to adore; apart from looking smokin’ hot, the guy’s down to Earth and really nice. What more can you ask? And have you seen his dance moves in Magic Mike XXL? OMG!!
The body he’s got – he owes it to the committed and intense daily working out, proper nutrition and probably God-given genetics. By the way - the man looks spectacular working out!

Gigi Hadid

Photo by
This model of the moment’s pretty open about her fitness dedication and a strict diet; she’s into boxing and runs, and she’s been one to promote sportswear as streetwear. We don’t think she’s done it consciously; it’s just that – she’s working out so much that most of the times the paparazzi snap her, she’s in her sportswear! On her way back from the gym, she’ll grab a green smoothie or coffee and take her gym outfit to a whole new level with a fancy overcoat, jacket, sunnies, or else. We’ll definitely try this trick out!

Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.


Blog Design Created by pipdig