#NYC, BigApple, Travel, Uncategorized

An Englishman in New York…



After a long break from posts I thought it worthwhile to share some of the knowledge I have gained visiting my favorite city; New York, New York. Since my last post I have been lucky enough to be able to return to the Big Apple for a short break to reaffirm my love for the place as the best city on earth; in my opinion! although I know many more agree. My Fiance and I have been fortunate to visit the city on a number of occasions and each time we have added new and exciting experiences in what is an ever changing city. Whilst I would never consider myself an expert I feel that the little things I have learnt in visiting the city makes it more enjoyable so I thought I would share a few things with you…

First up – The Subway

Without a doubt this is the best way to explore the city; one of the first things I learnt when I first visited, as the city is huge! Even if you only want to visit Manhattan you will find out very soon how big it is and whilst walking is a good way to soak up the city you will struggle to walk everywhere in good time . Of course cabs are another option (and by all means get a cab!) but being a more frugal traveler I think the subway is ideal and a good place to start.

Tip 1 – Get a weekly MetroCard. These are circa $30 and last 7 days with unlimited travel; an absolute bargain if you compare to the tube in the Big Smoke.

Tip 2 – Don’t try and get one at rush hour, like London or any other city you will be getting in the way of people just trying to get to work and its New York so don’t expect good old english queuing and niceties!

Tip 3 – Uptown and Downtown are important. Make sure you get on the right line! Get a subway app or carry a small subway map with you to avoid wasting time and potentially getting lost. The subway is easy enough to negotiate but when its busy you are better off knowing exactly which way you are looking to go.

Tip 4 – Enjoy the entertainment! The subway is full of a vast myriad of characters and especially at weekends we have seen some very good entertainers in the stations. If you enjoy street performers some of them are definitely worth a watch.

All that being said, be safe and follow the rules. Whilst New York is probably one of the safest places we have ever visited remember it is a still working city so treat it as you would any other major city you might visit. We have never had any problems on the subway but study it beforehand i.e. your local station and line, to give yourself a fighting chance.

Hopefully you will find the above helpful and please feel free to leave feedback if you do.  I have quite a few more topics I want to share about this wonderful city and hope some of it helps would-be travelers and Big Apple lovers like me!

Cheers, Paul.

construction, Life, Uncategorized

Under pressure…Construction Life

It’s been a while. 

“It wouldn’t be fun if it was easy” 

Life according to Paul

I’ve been in the construction game a while now and every project is as complex and challenging as the last. Late nights, weekends, sleep deprivation….a part of every job if you care about what you do. “Blame the builder” they say “it’s all their fault”. Well guess what?! Whilst you despise change, we revel in it we build or lives and families around it and make it our own. If there was anyone better at giving you what you want and need we’d use them. We’re not uneducated fools who failed at life and decided to build things; we do a job that needs doing. We are the facilitators, the change merchants, the foundation of every industry and if you didn’t need us we wouldn’t be here. 

Don’t hate us, appreciate us, because we are your fathers, your mothers, aunties and uncles and your children. We do what needs to be done to change the world as we know it into something better. 

If you want to make a difference in the world; be part of the industry that’s helps change it.

Cheers, Paul. 

Life, Motivation, Uncategorized

Finding the balance…

Work/Life, Health/Enjoyment, Time/Money. 

“Live life to the full”

“Everything in moderation”

“Your health is your wealth”

Those are all good sayings but are also contradictory in nature as we all know. How can you live life to the full when you work? Surely moderation is boring? And not all the things you want to do are good for your health and certainly not good for your wealth. 

As I write this there will be potentially millions of people who have just cancelled that gym membership that they only started in January. These are People who aspire to get healthy and implement positive change into their life. Unfortunately real life is the worst habit and the hardest to give up. Everything always starts well and then falters as we fall back into our usual approach to life. But who can judge them….not me; I’ve been one of them! 

The question is ‘How do you balance your life to live well and live healthily whilst maintaining a decent standard of life?’

The answer……is unknown to me and one beyond my years so I’ll let you figure it out for yourself!

Fortunately, spring is on the way and all the cheerfulness of the thought of warmer, and (potentially in the U.K.) drier weather. Hopefully we’ll all forget about what we think we should be doing and actually enjoy our lives rather than analysing and evaluating our life performance thus far. 

Whatever you do….live the dream! 

Cheers, Paul. 

Chillies, Food, Uncategorized


It’s fair to say that as you make your way through life that the things that you like and ultimately make you happy and satisfied will change.

From my own perspective, a fine example of this is growing plants, namely chilli plants. I’ve always loved eating chillies and spicy food but never contemplated the satisfaction of growing your own. Even now as I write this post I am still struggling to comprehend how a person changes or even develops new hobbies. I suppose you don’t know what hobbies you may like  until you give them a go. 

I would thoroughly recommend chilli growing to anyone who likes to cook with fresh ingredients and have a bit of free window sill space to grow them on. As someone who has never really grown anything they are a decent challenge whilst still being relatively simple. 

Cheers, Paul. 

Food, Lunch, Saturday, Uncategorized

Saturday Lunch…Simple

Hi there,

Its been a busy old month and now I’m the other end of it I have found myself with a bit of time on this fine Saturday. The sun is shining but my stomach is grumbling and something special is needed to repel the impulse to take a trip to the local fast food establishments. After all, Christmas is pending and the indulgence to follow is enough of a reason to deter oneself from eating fast food.

So, the regimented search through the cupboards and fridge commence knowing that despite a love for food it surpasses my cooking skills by light years. Luckily I spy a nice sized potato and this means one thing; Jacket Potato. My mind then carries out the following calculation, Potato+Time = Oven baked jacket potato with Tuna and Cheese and its on. I do love a jacket potato but doing them in the microwave is not the same, they deserve to baked and I mean baked proper!

However, hunger is making timing of the essence so in the microwave it goes. The clever beast tells me it needs 7.5 minutes for this 400g potato so on it goes. Just when it thinks its done, its out and in the preheated oven for an hour to give it the oven baked touch it deserves.

Now the waiting game begins so the radio goes on and its time to prepare the Tuna and Cheese for its hot, melty end. I’ve always loved tuna and also dolphins so its pole and line caught and tinned in spring water and tipped in a bowl. It needs a fork run through it to break it up for maximum exposure to its best pal, mayonnaise (sorry to say ‘it has to be Heinz’) add a liberal dash of vinegar and black pepper and it gets mashed.  Next up the Mature Cheddar is grated to within an inch of its life making sure its going to be enough for under and above the tuna (obviously!) to take it to the next level.

Beware – Hot Contents

Time’s up, open the door and watch as it appears in a billow of steam looking like your mate after returning from a year in Dubai without packing sun cream. Grab a knife, cut through the crisp shell and the lack of resistance from the fluffy joy inside meaning that its perfect. Apply the first coat of cheese, scoop the tuna on top and finish off with the remaining cheese to make the dream come true, but wait….resist the urge to eat it and put it back in the oven on its plate.

Nearly there, be patient!

Give it  5 minutes and pull it out of the oven reborn as a thing of beauty as tuna and cheese have become one. Pure and simple satisfaction on a plate and you deserve it! and you take your time to savour it as you know the plate is scorching from the oven and won’t let you down.

Who needs garnish…

There you have it, simple Saturday lunch. Roll on dinner time!

Cheers, Paul.