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The Strength of Positivity - FU Loves Birmingham #38

Lockdown has turned me into a little old man. Working from home has meant that I get to control the accompanying soundtrack and I’ve discovered that what I play has a real effect on both my productivity and my mood.


Years of being in an office with Radio 1 or Capital buzzing away in the corner has given way to minimalist piano music, modern classical and, dare I say it, folk music. I find it really calming and it offers a form of escapism– something that we all need at the moment.


I did, however, make the mistake today of listening to the radio and, in particular, the Jeremy Vine show – something I used to adore but that now just makes me anxious. I’ve never been one for hiding away from reality, but I do think that the media, now more than ever, has a responsibility to present the facts responsibly. That means without incendiary, divisive and manipulative headlines that are designed with clicks and listener numbers in mind rather than facts.


We decided early on that we would always try to speak with a positive voice. To focus on the good whilst remaining factual. To look forward and to support. I have personally been criticised for this – told on social media that I’m putting a PR spin on my personal experiences for the sake of profit. That hurt a lot and, as anyone who knows me well, could not be further from the truth- if the milk tastes sour, I ain’t the sort of pussy that’s gonna drink it ;o).


We’re going to keep on being positive, we’re going to carry on looking at the good whilst being mindful of the bad and we’re going to keep on talking about the amazing things that are happening in our region right now.


Until next week, stay positive Jon, Kevin and the #FUFighters.


OBLIGATORY BAD JOKE


Why did the jaguar eat the tightrope walker?


It was craving a well-balanced meal.

JO BRAND URGES WEST MIDLANDERS TO EXPRESS THEMS - ELVES FOR ELF DAY!

Stand-up comedian Jo Brand is determined to help spread some festive cheer and wants people across the West Midlands – where more than 70,000 people are living with dementia – to pop on a pair of elf ears, pull up their festive tights and shake a leg in some jolly jingle-bell slippers on Elf Day to raise some much-needed smiles and funds. Find out how you can get involved here.


WEST MIDLANDS PROPERTY COMPANIES ON ACTIVE RECRUITMENT DRIVE

Jewellery Quarter-based Cordia Blackswan Property Ltd and Henley in Arden’s LettingaProperty.com are both actively recruiting for new staff to join their growing teams- find out what roles they are recruiting for here.


STIR UP SUNDAY WITH THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS PUDDING AND CAKE RECIPE

A Victorian tradition, Stir Up Sunday always falls five weeks before Christmas- making it this weekend! It’s a time for family to gather and each stir up the Christmas pudding and make a wish. Once prepped, it can be stored ready for Christmas Day when it simply needs heating and enjoying! With many people also choosing to make their Christmas cake on Stir Up Sunday we’ve provided a recipe for our tried and tested Ginger Christmas Cake as well as Dualit’s easy to follow recipe for the perfect Christmas pudding. Read them here.

PANDEMIC OPENS UP POTENTIAL FOR BRITS TO WORK REMOTELY OVERSEAS

With working from home being the new norm for many of us, families are evaluating where exactly home needs to be now that the traditional daily commute is no more. Leading Spanish home builder Taylor Wimpey España is seeing an increase in interest from those looking to swap working from their spare bedroom to a terrace with stunning views and sunny climes- could a new life in the sun work for you? Find out here.


FOUNDATION LAUNCHES APPEAL TO IMPROVE WELLBEING OVER WINTER

To help ease the pressure of the ‘long, hard winter’ on the horizon, Heart of England Community Foundation has launched their new campaign, ‘Winter Wellbeing’, not just to raise money but to encourage people to give back to their community – find out how you can help here.


SIT DOWN AND STEP ON AS JAMES AND HAPPY MONDAYS COME TO BRUM

A pre lockdown drive back from Brighton reconnected us to the delights of Tim Booth and James so we were thrilled to hear the band will be coming to Utilita Arena Birmingham on 26 November 2021 as part of a new UK arena tour with very special guests Happy Mondays- 33 years since the two Factory label mates last toured together- find out how you can get tickets here.


HAVE A SNIFFY CHRISTMAS! OUR PICK OF THE BEST FESTIVE SCENTED CANDLES

With us all spending more time at home this year and in the sprirt of ‘hygge’, the DLUXE team cast their nets to find the best scented candles to adorn your homes this Winter- see our choice and find our surprise winner here.

KYLIE SKIN LAUNCHES IN SELFRIDGES BIRMINGHAM

Eagle-eyed beauty fans will have spied the launch of Kylie Skin by Kylie Jenner from across the pond last year – we sure did! So we’re thrilled to announce her highly anticipated skincare collection is now available at Selfridges. Shop the nine-piece collection, get to know the 100% vegan products and read our exclusive interview with Kylie Jenner, where she discusses her everyday routine, her move into skincare and the importance of beauty rituals. Read an exclusive interview with Kylie here.


DRIVE IN PANTO, CINEMA AND CAR - AOKE BRINGS CHRISTMAS TO BRUM

Taking place at Edgbaston Stadium, drive-in festival The Parking Lot Social is bringing Christmas to Birmingham with a host of exciting socially-distanced events from 27th – 30th December. Visitors will be welcomed to a festive evening of fun entertainment from pantomime and cinema evenings to silent discos and much more. Famous for their vast inflatable sets, the winter festival will feature a fabulous 60ft tall rainbow coloured Christmas tree and a giant DJing Santa Claus providing the perfect backdrop for the entertainment- find out how to get tickets here.


THE HUNT IS ON FOR THE WORST CHRISTMAS CRACKER JOKES EVER!

Corny Christmas cracker jokes might be groan-worthy, but there’s nothing to bring people together like a truly tragic one-liner – so to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year, thortful are on the hunt for the best (or should that be worst?) Christmas cracker jokes.


If you’re in need of some inspiration, they have shared some of the best festive dad jokes below:


Why are Santa's deers always wet? Because they're reindeers!

How does Santa keep track of all the fireplaces he's visited? He keeps a logbook

What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations? Tinsillitis

What do you call a blind reindeer? No eye deer

Who hides in the bakery at Christmas? A mince spy

What did Adam say the day before Christmas? It's Christmas, Eve.

What did the snowflake say to the fallen leaf? You are so last season

Why did the turkey cross the road? Because it was the chicken's day off.

What is Santa’s favourite pizza? One that’s deep-pan, crisp and even

What do you get if you lie under a cow? A pat on the head


Find out how to submit yours here.


SUPPORT LOCAL WITH NEW CHRISTMAS VIRTUAL MARKET

Birmingham Museums is bringing together some of the city’s best independent businesses and makers for The Virtual Birmingham Christmas Gifts Market, encouraging shoppers to browse stalls from the comfort of their own home and discover unique, locally sourced gifts at a time when small businesses need support more than ever- wrap up your Christmas shopping here.


STAGE IS SET FOR NEW SPECIALIST ACADEMY IN BIRMINGHAM

Students in Birmingham are being invited to apply for a new academy specialising in technical theatre, film and broadcast production, which will open in the city next year- be the first to get the facts here.


THE BIG TOY APPEAL LAUNCHES

The Salvation Army has once again teamed up with The Entertainer, the UK’s largest high street toy retailer, to deliver presents to children who need them the most in a year when many family budgets have been hit hard.


The Big Toy Appeal asks customers to consider picking up a toy online to donate to a family in need at Christmas. For every toy donated, The Entertainer will also donate a toy, doubling the number of donations and increasing the number of families supported.


Whilst the UK is in lockdown shoppers can easily take part in The Big Toy Appeal and donate a toy to The Salvation Army by adding a £5 toy to their basket at the checkout on the www.TheToyShop.com and www.elc.co.uk websites. These toys will then be sent directly to Salvation Army centres for delivery to children.


NEW ARRIVALS AT MAILBOX THIS DECEMBER

Renowned Midlands bakery and café Medicine, is set to open a new location at the Mailbox this December along with authentic Italian restaurant Lucarelli- get all the info here.

FEEL-GOOD RETRO TV FAVOURITES PROVING A HIT AMONGST BRITS

When we’re not binge watching The Crown, Brits are seeking comfort from feel-good, nostalgic actors and TV shows in the wake of the pandemic, a new study finds. A survey of 1,001 UK adults, commissioned to mark the launch of the One4all Favourites Gift Card range, quizzed Brits of all ages on their favourite actors and TV shows, and it was the retro choices which came out on top – beating even contemporary favourites.


80s comedy classic Only Fools and Horses took the number one spot in the list of UK adults’ favourite TV shows – beating contemporary fantasy drama, Game of Thrones, which came in second. Feel-good 90s American sitcom, Friends, followed in third place, continuing the trend with homegrown TV sitcom Fawlty Towers coming in fourth and sci-fi drama Doctor Who appearing in fifth place on the list.


LUKE 1977 RAISES £8K FOR UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS BIRMINGHAM TRUST

When LUKE 1977 launched the latest Dapper Villan collection back in May, the world was in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In a bid to give something back to the real heroes of 2020, LUKE vowed to donate 30% of all sales from the new range to the University Hospitals Birmingham Trust Charity. The Trust supports hospitals in Birmingham including The Queen Elizabeth, Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospitals- find out more here.


BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS FOR BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET

Following critically acclaimed live performances of Lazuli Sky in Birmingham and London last month, Birmingham Royal Ballet has announced Birmingham Royal Ballet at 30 – Supported by Birmingham City Council, a celebratory free online show, broadcast to audiences worldwide. The show filmed at Birmingham's iconic Town Hall, is presented in partnership with Birmingham City Council, marking 30 years since the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet moved from London to the city in October 1990 and became Birmingham Royal Ballet.


The stream will be available to view worldwide on the Company’s Facebook from today for seven days. Click here to watch it

NOVEL TAKES READERS TO RUGBY THE DAY AFTER THE COVENTRY BLITZ

Rugby author Steve Gay has launched his evocative debut novel on the eve of the 80th anniversary of the Coventry Blitz that is inspired by long-told tales from his own family history. The Birds That Do Not Sing is set on the day after the World War II city bombings campaign, through the eyes of a ten-year-old boy from a pacifist family in neighbouring Rugby- we talk to author Steve, here.


SOLIHULL PERFORMANCE COACH OFFERS FIVE STEP APPROACH TO LOCKDOWN WELLBEING

Solihull based performance coach Arj Thiruchelvam has a new approach to keep us feeling positive during these tough weeks. Arj has an academic background in Sports Science and Nutrition (he's designed degree programmes), supports normal people keen to get fitter to Team GB athletes, and works with UK Athletics.


Arj's new ASAF approach is about being Adaptable but Structured, Accountable yet Fun in five steps- read them here.


INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE


“Do things for people. Not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.”


Harold S Kushner

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Fraser Urquhart Media, LCB Depot, 31 Rutland Street, Leicester, LE1 1RE, 07713 740 272.  Copyright Fraser Urquhart Media 2020