The Weird and Wonderful World of Memorabilia

Celebrity memorabilia has been a staple of the fanatic for years. At first there was the sought-after autograph of your favourite famous person, then after the explosion of the camera phone came the selfie. (Definitely a Phanyard moment!) There has always been a somewhat unhealthy obsession with celebrities in our society and now it seems to have gone one step further.

The public will go to great lengths to get their hands on anything that has even the most tenuous link to the current hottest ticket on the red carpet. Some of the things that have been bought include Scarlett Johansson’s tissue which she used on Jay leno’s Tonight Show; this was auctioned off for a staggering $5300. There was also Justin Timberlake’s unfinished toast that fetched $1000, Michael Jackson’s burnt hair ($1600), and on the subject of head fur, Justin Bieber’s hair went for a monumentally silly $40,668. If that seems excessive to you, you’d be absolutely right but at least the buyer (however deluded) got something for his money. Although the amount paid for this next example is not comparative to Bieber’s bonce fluff, believe or not, it’s perhaps even more of a rip off. Some very unfortunate individual paid $530 for a jar of air that was near Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt! And yes, you did just read that.

Bringing ourselves back down to planet earth, we’ve found some really cool memorabilia to be had. One place that will rarely let you down is eBay (another reason to have your Phanyard – enabling you to regularly check your bids). On sale today are some cracking little buys; for example we found the Sports Almanac magazine prop as seen in Back to the Future 2, a pistol from the Pirates of the Caribbean films or how about an original zombie mask from Land of the Dead? These are all very cool but I think our favourite and perhaps the most unique is the legendary Steven Spielberg’s half smoked cigar that he kicked back with on the set of World War 2 epic Band of Brothers. It also comes complete with loads of set goodies such as a hat, jacket and very cool knife. Don’t tell my wife but I might just have to put a little bid on it myself.

If you’re a regular eBay junkie like me then our Phanyard is the perfect phriend to help keep on top of those nail-biting bids. Happy hunting people.

You Snooze, You Lose - It’s As Easy as 5,4,3…



Hundreds of people all encouraging me to get up an hour earlier to take control of my day obviously made an impact as here I am at 6am writing this. After two days of intensive training with Ed J Smith at the Ibis Hotel in Earls Court, it is time to commit to daily habits that will allow Phanyard to get to the next level. Ed’s positive feedback on the product and my passion to make it work is a good start but…what else am I going to change?

Delicious and Nutritious

Anyone who knows me knows that cooking is not my forte. However, I have a child who is avoiding meat and I actually quite enjoy healthy food so I am going to pick a meal from my numerous cook books with the kids and we can learn to cook it together.

Man with Phanyard

Getting Outside – No Excuses

I know for sure that my mental health suffers in a big way if I don’t exercise regularly so that has got to be one of the changes I make. Even just a brisk walk outside for ten minutes can do wonders for my perspective on the world and turn a negative brain cycle into a positive one.

Groovy People – No Excuses

Surrounding myself with positive people, preferably on a similar journey, is a massive deal and something that I have been working on for a while now. Everyone has baggage, everyone has stuff they can whinge about but spending 3 minutes every day focusing on what you are grateful for can make all the difference. I like to document 3 fantabulous things a day on my phone so I can refer to the list anytime.

Be Accountable

Choosing important over urgent is difficult when there is housework to be done, coffee to be drunk and telly to be watched but it is vital to stay focussed on the task in hand. Time is our biggest asset and wasting it is just not an option for me at the moment. I am lucky to have people around me that believe in me and will push me when I need to be pushed. Being accountable to these people is vital to keep me on track and consistent.

The Boys in the Band

Festival phan

It’s been a long time coming, 40 years to be exact! Hitting what most would describe as middle age was quite a shock, especially as in many ways I haven’t developed beyond the mental age of 16. It’s a milestone of life and a pat on the back to say, “Well done you’re still alive!” 

Questions were being asked of me as to how I was going to celebrate, so I took it upon myself to look into what was going on in September, somewhere local(ish), on and around my ‘special’ day. I’m quite an unfussy guy so I wanted to keep it simple; I definitely wanted my closest friends to be with me, music was a must and of course plenty of alcohol, what more did I need to help me regress to my hedonistic teen years? As luck would have it, it didn’t take me long to stumble on the perfect event. It turned out that The Libertines were playing at a festival in Margate known as Wheels and Fins. Pete, Carl and the boys are one of my favourite bands whom I had missed going to see on numerous occasions. They are now residents in Margate and had chosen the Wheels and Fins festival as their final gig of a very long two years spent on tour. To cap it off they were being joined by Reverend and the Makers, Echo and the Bunnymen and none other than Chas and Dave. Unfortunately, Chas had fallen ill and had to cancel and sadly passed away shortly after, this is heart-breaking news for anyone who grew up listening to their lively, boisterous, witty pub singalong music. Their boogie woogie/rock ‘n’ roll sound was even given its own name, Rockney due to their east end routes.

Anyway, I put it out to my mates that this is what I wanted to do, tickets were bought and an Airbnb was booked in the lovely old Victorian seaside town of Ramsgate. Four mates (two of which traveled all the way from Devon) and me, made the trip east arriving on Saturday afternoon ready for the revelry. Saturday night was spent taking in the pubs and bars of Ramsgate, even managing to find a good live band playing in The Mariners, a pub situated on the harbour front with a sort of fisherman’s watering hole type of feel. Eventually, after many a beer and ill-advised shot (or four), we hit the hay hoping to be ready for a day of epic music on Sunday.

Sunday morning came and after the perfect hangover cure of a bacon and egg sarnie and a gin and tonic (yes, I know! But I was turning 40) we headed into town to grab a cab to Joss Bay. The festival gods were clearly happy as the early September sun was blazing and we knew it was to be a good day. Once inside we headed straight for a rum and coke to further assist recovery from the night before and then took in some pretty gnarly skating on the half-pipe while simultaneously rocking out to some great punk in the small tent, good start. The music was of a continuously heavy tempo all day, keeping our spirits high. The crowd helped create a great atmosphere around what was turning out to be a fantastic festival, especially for a small indie gig. There were a variety of different types of punter milling around, the old, the young, some with their kids; I have to admit thinking that Phanyard would go down a storm here but hey, next year maybe.

The time quickly came around for the main stage to come alive and come alive it did. Reverend and the Makers walked onto the stage with the swaggering confidence of band ready to keeps your hands in the air until you thought your arms might fall out of their sockets. If there was a party atmosphere beforehand, the guys (and gal) from Sheffield took it up a level, pumping out hits like ‘Shine the Light’, ‘He Said He Loved Me’ and of course, ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World’. This bunch knows how to get a crowd going and there wasn’t a person around without a huge 90’s style rave smile on their face.

Echo and the Bunnymen were next with their tight 80’s Liverpudlian rock. This was quite a difference to Reverend and not everyone’s cup of tea at the fest but there was a good hardcore attendance, myself included. I’ve always loved Ian McCulloch and company. There set was reasonably brief in the end but my disappointment was short lived as The Libertines were imminent.

And finally, what we had all been waiting for… on skipped Carl, Pete, John and Gary all wearing Margate FC shirts with ‘The Libertines’ on the front as shirt sponsors. They arrived on stage to a noise that could probably be heard all the way down to the white cliffs of Dover and beyond. The next two hours were to be one of the best demonstrations of how to hold an audience in the palm of your hand you’ll ever see. From start to finish without letting up for a second, they were relentlessly on the money. An effervescent array of classics such as “What Katie Did’, ‘What Became of the Likely Lads’ and ‘Time for Heroes’ sprinkled with a cheeky irreverent banter which showed their unity and togetherness. My associate festy goer and good friend James expressed his surprise at how good musicians they were. And how right he was! Pete and Carl played with a fervor and solidity that enabled them to alter certain riffs to give the songs a uniqueness of which makes the crowd feel like they’re witnessing something really special. Another memory that will stay with me is the band’s choice to throw in some Chas and Dave covers, most notably the extremely apt ‘Margate’ which went down a storm obviously; and even more touching considering Chas Hodges’ untimely death days later. Inevitably, the set had to come to an eventual end but not without a roaring encore where Pete threw his guitar into the melee and caught by some seriously fortuitous individual.

What an extraordinary night! The walk back to Ramsgate after the gig had finished was just what the doctor ordered and we even had time for a pint in the pub before we returned to the Airbnb. Oh yeah! To top it off, my mates all chipped in and bought me a Margate FC shirt to help me remember it all, not sure I’ll be forgetting this one in a hurry though.

Every aspect of the weekend was more than I could’ve imagined for what I can only describe as the best birthday ever. I wonder if I’ll be able to top it for my 50th.

Keeping Your mobile phone Safe.

Mobile theft

Smartphone snatchers account for 26% of mobile theft for students

Despite the concerns of social media and disrupted sleep patterns, smartphones are pretty useful and very expensive. They allow you to keep a track of your finances, your location in a big city and, most importantly, your friends and family. Losing your phone, dropping it or mobile theft is heart-wrenching for most because even if you are lucky enough to have insurance, your phone is your lifeline and replacing it can be very stressful.

All this is even more painful for a student and sadly, even more likely to happen as they are often easy targets for mobile theft. In fact, smartphone pickpocketers and snatchers account for 26.1% of student mobile theft, according to gadget insurance provider Protect Your Bubble; and even without being targeted for theft, research has found that dropping the device, water damage and stepping on the device were the top three reasons for insurance claims coming from students with 9.1 percent sustaining damage that costs over £1,000.

Think of the hassles involved when you lose or damage your mobile phone. Acquiring an incident number from the police, having to deal with insurance companies asking a hundred and one mundane questions. These all pale into insignificance when it comes to all the data you carry around on that little box of tricks, Apple Pay, photos, emails, contacts, all of which you may or may not have backed up.

Knowing where your phone is at all times is vital for anyone on a night out or in a busy place, and all too often loss of a student’s phone is dismissed as part of the sacrifice of a big night out. Keeping it attached to you but also accessible and fully functional is the answer so you never accidentally leave it on the bar, drop it taking a photo or have it pick-pocketed when you are simply walking down the street.