Friday, 30 December 2011

TIC TAC TOE... what do you think?

Time to write a poem I thought and last night the words ‘Tic Tac Toe’ jumped into my mind followed immediately by an image of an organ grinder with his monkey. So I got up this morning and let the poem write itself! I never know where my writing is going to lead so it’s an adventure into the subconscious everytime. This poem fascinated me, especially when it was clear that in order to end this piece it was necessary to return to the beginning. When I re-visited the organ grinder and was thinking about the way life works, suddenly I understood the true significance of the monkey. It is probable that the monkey will mean different things to different people so I wonder what you will make of it!
Interestingly there is a little saying, ‘Speak to the organ grinder, not the monkey.’ Meaning speak to the boss!


Tic Tac Toe, Tell me
Who really earned the dough?
Was it the monkey or the Organ grinder?
You can’t answer that... Hell NO!
Could be the organ grinder
Churning out sweet music all the while
Or could it be the cutie monkey’s cheeky little smile?
You see boss, probability versus possibility
Leaves us at a loss! odds on or odds off?
You understand? Even with every last detail planned
What could possibly go wrong?
This is life and so it can, the odds are on!
What happened to the wedding singer
Who was singing the special song?
She suffered a sore throat and sang
Like a 91 year old nanny goat!
It wasn’t in the plan... but then
A wedding’s not a wedding without a hiccup
So the newly weds were in luck
Had a story to tell... sigh... just as well!
Going retro for a sec
Can we? Heck!
The guest who swore she’d reach the church on time
Was late... trust British rail... leaves on the line!
Knew the probability, shouda took a taxi!
Then all wouda been fine, no fussing, no crying,

Stress don’t like to rest, the perfect pest!

So, to fail to prepare is preparing to fail... hmmm
Not necessarily... sometimes we’re just good to go
For God blesses the meek and the weak
The very essence of power can lie within defeat!
When you think about it that’s kinda neat.
It’s not an excuse, but when life’s noose
Feels tight around your neck
You can just let go, allowing thoughts to flow
And a solution will formulate
In the cavity of undefined gravity
Once your mind is weightless and free
Prayer, meditation, relaxation; the ancient key
Allowing your inner self to be itself,
Do you see? All of our foregone conclusions
Might prove not to be so
And around we go, the circle of life
In time with the organ grinder
Turning the handle, a little fast
Maybe a little slow... and the monkey?
Is for you to guess and me to know!

Jaz McKenzie 2011 ©

Thursday, 29 December 2011

LIVE LIFE~LOVE LIFE in 2012!>> Be Braap!

Our new 52 week Blog-A-Thon! ‘LIVE LIFE~LOVE LIFE’ is coming soon!

2012 is an exciting time as it is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius and here at Its Braap we decided to take on the challenge of preparing for the new era; so if you are with us be ready for change! Here is a beautiful quotation that summarizes the very essence of what we are trying to achieve:

‘All of us need a vision for our lives, and even as we work to achieve that vision, we must surrender to the power that is greater than we know. It’s one of the defining principles of my life that I love to share: God can dream a bigger dream for you than you could ever dream for yourself.' Triston of Galuchie Knits

‘Its Braap~ Its Life’ will be celebrating this exciting new era and here is our first initiative. Week commencing Sunday 1st January we will begin posting our new weekly blog, ‘Live Life~Love Life’ which is a series of articles designed to inspire and help cultivate a positive outlook on life. Our objective is to encourage you to make the most of yourself and to help you cope with everything life throws your way. The key is the realisation that you are in control and like any good workman you need to understand the job (situation) and know which tools to use to get the best result.

To some people this will be a new dimension whereas others of you will have avidly read many motivational books and already be inspired to live life to the full. Either way, we would appreciate your comments as we can always learn something new from one another.
We are pleased to welcome two new writers to the blog, Jessica Lea & Gemma Posie, who have agreed to ‘give it a go!’ Neither of them have done anything like this before however they are both extremely positive people who like a challenge and have a desire to encourage others.

Maybe you have a subject you would like included in this series, or have written an article you feel would benefit others, if so contact us at
Its Braap is about sharing so YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A BRILLIANT WRITER (we can always edit)! It is your thoughts, ideas & experiences that count and are of interest to our ‘Braappers,’
Life is a journey & we would love you to hope onboard the Braap express & ride this one with us!

Jaz McKenzie ~QJ~

NB; ‘Braapper’ is the term developed by members of our Facebook group & refers to everyone who is involved in anyway within any area of ‘Its Braap.’

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Rebecca Ferguson - Nothing's Real But Love

I am thrilled to have been given this 5 star acclaimed album 'Heaven' for Christmas. It is Rebecca Ferguson's debut album and the track you are listening to is her debut single.

The first time I ever heard Rebecca, which was her audition on the X-Factor last year, she became my instant top ever contender; now matched by the young American rapper 'Astro.' To me Rebecca is simply outstanding. Apparently, the songs for this album had already been written for Rebecca however she could not get into their groove and ended up co-writing them. Working with material and giving it your own twist is the mark of a good singer in my opinion. Rebecca is extremely talented across the board singing traditional blues, modern R&B and I imagine her versatility stretches to jazz and other genres. There is a calm to her voice that captivates the listener and her subject matter is ever current.

It's high time we had a truly classy singer in this country and Rebecca fits the bill. I look forward to following her career which should be positively dynamic!

Jaz McKenzie

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Right Direction - Marcia J Ball


Right Direction - Marcia J Ball

The last few days have been very busy for those of us who celebrate Christmas, especially if dealing with highly excited young children... personally I am experiencing a little hiatus here having a house filled with 'Young People!' Either way it is a good time of year to take a breather, exhale and relax. To help us do this I thought we would have a little treat in the lull between Christmas & the New Year. What better than this great tune from Marcia J Ball?

I only discovered Marcia recently & she definitely provides music for the ears & the soul! A little of Marcia goes a long way in these testing times and at this point in life Marcia is set on sharing her talents quite literally through increased live appearances. If you would like to see Marcia 'live' let us know!

Marcia is being promoted in the UK by Selector C who has this to say about his artist:

'Marcia is a girl for all seasons & excels with every song she sings. She is enjoys singing reggae & R&B delighting audiences in Atlanta & Georgia. Next year she is planning to extend to Europe. Please contact me on to book a show or call +44 or(0)7050029715'

Selector C

IF YOU would like your music considered for this blog please contact us at

Monday, 26 December 2011

Eat Up!!

Just sitting here feeling somewhat stuffed & thinking about the need to cut back in the new year & lose those inches!! Nope, larger clothes are not an option LOL.. so here's a little poem to go with the feelings.

Eat Up!

Time travels
As the waistline expands
Seasons greetings
While the mind plans
To abuse our physical being
Season of greed
We do not need to over extend
But stuff our faces we must
Christmas dinner, cake and puddings
Mouth watering
A tantalising lust
Into the mouth & on to the waist
Don’t stop to think
Just eat in haste
For the New Year will soon be here
A time of resolution, not good cheer!
So just live in the moment while its here.

Jaz McKenzie

Thursday, 22 December 2011

KEHV-Prince Of Reggae Soul Love Will Find a Way

‘Its Braap’ featured video, ‘Love Will Find A Way’ is beautifully produced and lyrically we are treated to Kehv’s positive, encouraging words that always give food for thought. Many of us will associate with the theme of tested love, having to make decisions about a relationship & especially deciding whether what we have is worth fighting for. Sometimes relationships are so strained it looks impossible to mend them however as Kehv states, ‘We can achieve, nothing is impossible to achieve.’

The filming tells the story and is shot in synchronization with the lyrics. For me the bonus is the imagery of the sea which backs up the vision of life ebbing & flowing eternally!

Here is Kehv’s take on ‘Love Will Find A Way’>

'While making Love Will Find a Way it was apparent that these words sung to melody compiled a magical potion. The high level of energy that took over the atmosphere was a gift from the Most High, that created a synergy that even now continues to grow outside of the set.
Giving Thanks!' Kenv ‘Prince of Reggae Soul’

Jaz McKenzie

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Christmas Quotes TO GO!!!

Just for a change I thought we could have a little excursion into other peoples thinking & enjoy a few Christmas quotes.

The first comment is highly significant & insightful given that Bing Cosby sang possibly the most famous Christmas song of all, 'I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas.'

'Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won't make it 'white'.
Bing Crosby

Switching to some humour;

'I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included.' Bernard Manning

'The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.' George Carlin

'The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn't for any religious reasons. They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin.' Jay Leno

Moving on to a comments that require a little serious consideration;

'Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.' Calvin Coolidge

'Actually, my mother and Alfie came for three weeks' Christmas vacation and stayed for 21 years. I guess my mother never went back because she was lonely.' Frank McCourt

'A good conscience is a continual Christmas.' Benjamin Franklin

Read more:

Feel free to add your favourite sayings!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Goose is Getting Fat??

Christmas is Coming!

...And the goose is getting fat. Sadly this is a lean year so in some ways that goose is the lucky one, never going short before that fatal day!

QUESTION; Do you have a penny to put in the old man’s hat?!?!

You know, it’s so easy to try and provide the same this year as every year and many people over stretch themselves to the point of no return; so sad as this highlights the false values of our society. Children these days do not concern themselves on the whole with their parents’ predicaments, they simply want what they want and throw ridiculous accusations at others when they cannot have it. After all, their friends always have one!

So how did we ever become so materialistic?

In a nutshell, I always look towards the progression in society which incorporates the gradual decline of the extended family. Generation to generation, the passing of knowledge, was actually the backbone of society teaching us morals and values, in addition to practical aspects of child rearing. I will direct you specifically to an area of major concern, the respect of others and in particular our elders. Today’s youth are frequently scathing regarding the knowledge of their elders and may be inclined to ridicule them which is a sad reflection of their inability to be open to ideas and suggestions. Yes children have more knowledge in some areas, especially technology and that alone can give them the ‘upper hand.’ I used to laugh when my teenage son told his Gran that she didn’t know how to cook certain dishes... he still has a limited culinary repertoire! Communication is lacking... severely... and children tend to communicate via technology. At least the Wii takes the fam-ine out of family and encourages family interaction even if everyone is gathered around the TV! This ability to laugh together is an improvement on the more limited PC & Play station games of the not so recent past. The physical exercise these games incorporate is definitely a bonus.

The ray of hope I see now compared to the last 10+ years is that we are encouraged to teach children not just their rights but also their responsibilities. It has been a long time coming but will hopefully lead to a more responsible generation. The likes of Nanny Jo Frost are encouraging parents to return to good old- fashioned, ‘kind but firm’ discipline implementing strict yet realistic measures. This is good for working parents in particular as they often have the guilt complex... I remember that so well!

Christmas is coming that’s for sure and despite hardship is often a focus for fun and enjoyment in a bleak year, so go ahead and make the most of it... but don’t be pushed beyond your limits and live to regret it! Merry Christmas... have a Braap one!

Jaz McKenzie

If you have any tips on positive child rearing please share with us on

Monday, 19 December 2011

Wild Ride!

Wild Ride

Bopping along on the river of life
Hands clinging tightly to the sides of our raft
Whilst we’re tossed and thrown by the strength of the rapids
In Full Force!
Oh for a moment of calm
Still water lapping quietly around the edges of our craft
Time to catch breath
Be warned it’s not for long
Before you exhale rapidly
As the force of the wild is unleashed once again
And the struggle begins
Heart beating, adrenaline coursing through veins
Taught with the effort to avoid capsize
Consternation and fear give way to concentration
Enabling us to steer
Our crazy course until finally
We find a safe spot to moor
And drop anchor in the safety of the bay!

Jaz McKenzie 2011 ©

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Anthony Cruz - Never you forget the father

This is a great song with a very happy vibe & re-assuring lyrics. Sometimes it is easy to let God take a back seat in our lives, usually when things are going quite well! I always like to know a little more about the tunes I post here so I asked Anthony what inspired him to write this song so will leave you with his words;

'well because he has lifted me , given me inspire me to do this wonderful music reggae , so just a reminder to the fans to never forget him .bless'

Saturday, 17 December 2011


Welcome to Christmas Tide, the season of goodwill. So why I wonder do I still keep seeing references to so called, ‘haters’ all over the place? What is it about these ‘haters’ that inspires people to do better? Why should we strive even harder just because somebody has decided that they have a problem with us?

I think it is better to seek inspiration from those who love us, encourage us and give their advice freely so we have a real chance of doing well in our endeavours.

Every time we put up a status referring to our personal haters, speak continually about them to our friends or put a song out in public to ‘get our own back’ we play into their hands by keeping both their actions and influence over us alive; how satisfying this must be for them!! If you are really angry then yes you need to deal with it however, before you explode publicly take a few minutes to consider how such a response is going to reflect on you. I find it best to deal with it privately and move on.

At the moment I am actually very thankful for the incidents I have experienced because they have left me free to develop ‘ Its Braap’ with total focus and I am very happy that this gives me the opportunity not only to speak with positive & creative people but to be able to bring their stories to you.

We need inspiration in this life and the best source of inspiration is always a positive, confident, motivated person who shares their knowledge & experience generously. This type of person is never concerned with their haters because they know that negativity in any form will bring them down.

The one piece of advice I give is to always look towards the light, it will show you the way... as for the darkness; this is for those who wish to waste their time stumbling around and whining about the unfairness of life. For my own calm state of mind I prefer to leave my enemies in the shadows and surround myself with positive people. A thought; have you noticed how these people who turn against us invariably accuse others of taking from them in some way, shape or form when the truth is usually quite the reverse!

2012 is the year when I will make an effort to avoid paying any attention to ‘haters,’ as far as I am concerned life is all about the lovers... so Tina Turner... What’s love got to do with it? Absolutely everything!

Jaz McKenzie

Friday, 16 December 2011

POP TO ART!! Interview with a difference ~ Presenting Anna Jacobs

The story of Anna Jacobs is quite remarkable. Anna is one of the most inspiring and determined people I have ever met. She has hit the heights and taken the decision to give up everything in order to be true to herself. In the past Anna was involved in music, even working with Robson & Jerome, however has recently returned to her passion for painting. Anna had her first paid job at 10 years old illustrating an advert for a children’s clothing label. Since then she has done a million things and is now back in the artistic loop exhibiting her paintings in the Jane Newberry Gallery, Dulwich until 21st Jan 2012. ‘Flying’ is a collection of paintings depicting birds in flight. The paintings are beautiful yet should be regarded as mentally stimulating for those who thrive to understand the challenges of life!

How did you first discover that you were good at art?

I had an amazing art teacher called Barrington Barber at my first school & he’s actually a prolific author who has written about drawing techniques & published many books. Barrington was a practising artist & a graphic artist. He appreciated my art and encouraged me from quite a young age to pursue a career in art & I managed to achieve a grade ‘A’ for my ‘O’ level. Barrington thought I might be able to make a living through art. Even before that my handwriting at school was very good & slightly hilariously, when I was 9 years old I was asked to teach my class good handwriting!

Did you go to Art College?

No, I went to another school & did ‘A’ levels in art and although I enjoyed the creativity and lesson structures, the fact of taking exams put me off. I actually wanted to be an actress but I was also academic & went to Bristol University instead.

What did you study?

I did a classical studies degree covering Greek and Roman literature and history as well as the Ancient Greek language, then I did a masters degree in gender & social policy.

What did you plan on doing with it when you left university?

Well , I set up a business in a partnership, an all girl acapella band called ‘The Shrinking Violet Partnership. ’ We were a band but we were also teaching gender awareness in schools. A ridiculous thing to do at that age of 21, teaching 15 year old boys; it was a disaster!

The ‘Shrinking Violets ‘ were successful in some ways because we were quite successful in Bristol which is where we were based & we have a dubious claim to fame. We auditioned for Simon Cowell in the foyer of the Stock & Aitken recording studios and Simon immediately told us to go in and record with Stock & Aitken. We recorded the backing vocals for a Robson & Jerome song. They were the people who catapulted Simon to major success & we supported them on their live gigs. Robson & Jerome covered one of our songs ‘Love You Forever,’ (originally written by Paul Berrington) on their #1 self titled album & we did a live gig with them in Newcastle and were on their video which was brilliant fun! Then, as the Shrinking Violets we were interviewed on Radio for Woman’s Hour by Jenny Murray & sang live on the programme. We did HTV & were in a TV Robson & Jerome vehicle ‘Ain’t Misbehaving’ on ITV. We did a few more things like that then we split up.

Which direction did you take next?

I pursued a Theatre Career which is probably closest to my degree! I was then the administrator/production/producer/marketing person for a company called, ‘Clean Break Theatre Company’ which is a company for women ex-offenders and ex-prisoners.

Is the company still running?

Yes it is. I managed to get the first co-production for the company with the ‘Royal Court Theatre Upstairs’ & we did a production by Winsome Pinnock called ‘Mules,’ which was fantastic.

Actually before that I worked for a company called ‘Molecule Theatre Company’ which presented science for children & was an amazing company. Very sadly it went bust after 27 years while I was there due to difficulties with the main funders.

Soon afterwards I developed an interest in the Eastern style religious teachings of an American Spiritual leader. I was intensely involved, a committed student for 6 years. During that time I was mainly doing that and went between the states and the UK. I did a bit of music production with an American Music Label called ‘Metro Music’ and I coordinated the London Recording sessions & auditioned & hired the singers; amazing young opera singers and we made an album called ‘The Classical Child at the Opera’ which got brilliant reviews by Billboard magazine in America. In 2000 it was awarded the American Library Association’s distinction ‘Notable Recording For Children,‘ which was great.

What was your next move following the Award?

Actually in 2000 I started my life again from scratch at the age of 30. I left the spiritual community because I became disillusioned and returned to the UK with nothing but my independence!

I had been in America for a year and returned to London having no idea what to do with my life. I volunteered for a charity called, ‘The Cancer Resource Centre’ and helped them organise a celebrity fundraising event in memory of an amazing author Stuart Browne. A team member asked me to organize a party for her husband who had just been made a senior partner at his prestigious city law firm. This resulted in me being offered a full time position to set up and head up their Marketing Department. I intended staying a year but remained for 8 years. The corporate life was not my natural environment so I made it as creative as possible. I was head of style & brand guardian for the firm and managed to include some portrait photography for them.
By this point I was craving creativity so I started painting again & did a short course at Camberwell. I set myself a goal and invited friends and family around to see my paintings. That sparked the whole thing. I had a little garden in my house at Camberwell and was awestruck by the beauty of plants and flowers, so all my paintings were of them! I was fascinated by the ageing process of plants and flowers, how they change through the seasons and what part ageing & imperfection plays in beauty; especially as they were beautiful at every single point.

Have you ever taken anything from your observations of the plants and applied it to yourself as you have grown older?

Yes in some ways and that is partly why I am fascinated by it. I am more conscious now at 42 of ageing. I have got away with it pretty much up until now (laugh) but I have very little time left before my face really starts sagging & the wrinkles will form! I am having to really face it and it is an interesting time. I am really trying to address it and am thinking of doing a project photographing wrinkles & lines on women’s faces close up and making absolutely beautiful photo’s juxtaposing them with stories of the women’s lives. I don’t want to have surgery or get obsessed with it but I fear it I have to say. I want to face it and embrace it at the same time, just be who I am which is an ongoing process and I’m sure it’s the same for all women.

What else have you enjoyed within art?

I have also worked with plaster & acrylic as I was interested in the etching process; scraping into the plaster & painting underneath.

After 8 years with the law firm your creativity clearly took over so what was your next move?

By this time I had 2 children and wanted to focus on my creativity, namely pursuing my paintings and to become an interior designer. So I went to ‘Chelsea College of Art & Design’ and ‘Central St Martins’ & I did interior decoration & interior design courses at both, with the addition of textile design at St. Martins. My ‘Flying Show’ came about when I moved to Dulwich & there’s a wonderful shop that has a gallery. I was talking to the owner and she looked at my website there & then and offered to put on an exhibition of my art. The subject matter for ‘Flying’ is taken from my struggles within the previous intensity of my life and my fight for emotional /creative freedom namely the ability to be myself. I have often been advised to earn my living creatively and pursue my art and finally feel that I am doing that. I am confidently finally ‘Flying Free’ with inner peace & stillness and that’s what the show is about: Being representative of that moment when you fall into the pocket of who you really are. The birds also represent natural joy combined with the exhilaration of movement.

How many pictures are in the collection & how long did it take to paint?

I am showing a combination of 26 works, framed paintings and prints. There are another 6-8 different images I am showing as unframed prints. I actually ended up having to paint the whole show in 3 weeks! I thought I would have a few months but in the end it wasn’t to be. I was suddenly offered a job at Chelsea Art School teaching a short evening course about colour theory and also my son Zach was starting school and had a long introduction, oh my God, 35 minutes for his first day and it went right to the end of September! I was about to start painting when I was suddenly offered a really fantastic interior design job that I couldn’t refuse. I took the interior job to the limit when I told my client I would get him into the apartment. I had to completely re-do the 3 bedroom apartment in 3 weeks and I had to re-floor it, re-decorate it, put in new lighting and complete every furnishing detail to cutlery & tea towels. I managed to get him into his flat by 19th October & I started painting on the 21st October, only to realise that it was the beginning of a 10 day half term break. Even this was interrupted when the kids were sick & I still had to keep on top of the interior design project! In the end it was literally 3 weeks of painting.

Anna, that’s unbelievable! You come under the heading Phenomenal Woman, you’re definitely on my list of Braap People.

No Jaz, (laugh) it’s just a needs must I think!

Anna’s work may be viewed and purchased via her website:

Don't forget to check our album which also contains Anna's work & other aspects of Its Braap.

TO FOLLOW LINKS: Highlight, right click & pick relevant option.

Jaz McKenzie

If you have an interesting story or would like your art, poems, fashion design or project featured here on our Blog contact us

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


Today I’m heading up a complete change of style. Instead of the serious poem’s we’re going a bit 'street' in-line with the nature of social networking site ‘TAGGED.’ A guy called ‘The Jucyiest’ asked to be my friend and although I didn’t add him it caught my imagination & I decided to play around with the term. This is a poem I read at my one & only public poetry reading the ‘You’re A Star’ that Davinia Goodwin organizes. At least my knees aren’t knocking now!! As I don't have a pic of 'The Jucyiest' I will post my ultimate guy!!! Ah Lenny!


beta watch out gels coz u know juice is on the loose
and u don't wanna get caught like a horse on the hoof
coz this man is fit as fiddle.. and how u gonna fiddle ur way outta his grasp
but then again ur more likely 2 throw urself in his path
and claim ya tripped over on ya shoe.. wot u wudnt do that??
Hell gel wotz wrong with you??
Coz the man is as kool as a glacier sliding down the mountain
cumin right atcha so smooth
and u know u gots 2 be ready wen he's gonna make his move
Least I'd be ready coz u no wot I’m gonna say
Queen Jazmataz won't think twice bout whiskin the juice man away!!
Jaz McKenzie ©

Saturday, 10 December 2011

MOTHER EARTH.. She Turns!!


It would be very interesting to know what Mother Earth would have to say about the state of the world if she had a voice... and what sort of voice would that be I wonder? Rich & resonant I imagine, but then again the world is a very varied and inconsistent kind of place; so maybe Mother Earth would have a voice for every occasion. In some ways she is quite vocal. Listen to the sound of waves crashing on the shore or the summer breeze gently rustling the leaves ... most powerful of all the heavy thunderous clashes in the sky & the terrifying sounds of natural disaster arising from earthquakes & twisters.

In many ways nature has a right to be angry. Look how our lifestyle has changed over past decades in tune with all our man-made inventions. We have managed to make life easier for ourselves on a practical level with all the modern gadgets & machinery, yet as a people we expect so much more from ourselves as individuals with our pressurised work ethics & busy lifestyles.

We live in a pre-packaged society and in the current climate where disposable income is limited we happily maintain our recently claimed disposable lifestyle. Poor Mother Earth is probably groaning in pain under the ‘land filled’ masses of rotting material heavily compounded with elements such as ‘disposable nappies’ that take many years to break down. All those gases being created beneath the crust of pur planet are seeking an easy route to escape... greenhouse effect they say, destruction of the ozone that was discovered in 1913 by a couple of French Physicists, Charles Fabry & Henri Buisson. The scientific explanations as to what the Ozone layer actually is, how it works & how we are destroying it would take a while to absorb but all poor Mother Earth knows about it is that she is slowly burning up & no suntan lotion in the world is going to make any difference to her.. . in fact, those empty bottles of ours are just more logs on the fire!

Suntan lotion of course is a product forever twinned with the joys of life & the good times; the prosperity of Western society. This then takes us to our brethren in poverty stricken lands. We see them crawling towards the water sources weak with hunger & thirst, disease ridden & too sick to care about their appearance... hold on while I flick the TV over because these images are so disturbing & I’m off out tonight & need to get back into a good party mood... by the way has anyone seen my new mascara? Oh yes & tomorrow I really must just pop some money into the bank for the latest appeal so that I have done my part.

What we need to realise is that the care of this world is down to us. We need to be consistent, to form new & improved habits that stay with us. Try to repair rather than throw away ‘broken’ items. Don’t overload your plate & throw away food you couldn’t possibly manage, just cook less in the first place! Think how you use energy; give away used clothes to charity where possible & yes donate to appeals but check them out first if you can so that your money is used wisely. REMEMBER> Individually we are a drop in the ocean. Together we become that ocean. We have reached a point in time when Mother Earth clearly needs a hand and maybe we really are headed for destruction. Hands Up all who are willing to do their part!

Jaz McKenzie.

If you know of any tried & tested charities that spend the majority of their income on the cause, please contact us on Thank you.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Crazy Ass Government! Don't you Agree?

This poem is the result of rage! I signed up for a management course only to discover that I am expected to take un-necessary exams which I simply don’t have the time for. Of course people don’t bother to explain all this to you because they want the free government money, however if I don’t do the course I have to repay the full whack. Obviously I will check the paper work but the interesting thing is that it’s taking a few days to even discover which examination board the maths & English are with... this is what happens when you ask questions slightly outside the box. I shall go away & study my paperwork to see where the small print is squashed pertaining to this ‘clause.’

Ultimately however, you can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink... if you follow my thinking! 4 hours a week home study I was told, so 4 hours a week max it is. As for everything else, BUSINESS AS NORMAL!


Sign up, sign up, sign up, SIGN UP NOW!!!
Government’s going Crazeeeeee
3 thousand pounds for Freeeeeee
training; Why not spend it on Me?
After all,
I pay my taxes & it’s a little
kindly bequeathed to meeeeeee
in a manner of speaking.
So I got sort of Freakin
at the very idea.
Only now I fear
that this was a poorly calculated & possibly foolish move,
for there were 3 factors that were not properly understood
at the time
I signed up;
Daaam, a stitch in time saves 9!
Outta luck
too much work,
+ English,
+ Maths
& I’m seriously concerned I’m gonna crash!
• Stress attack
• Time won’t wind back
• No room to slack
All those years spent writing reports & calculating fees.
But because this country has a terminal disease
called a severe lack of education amongst the masses;
government dickheads, who sit around on their asses,
with all the infinite wisdom that their restricted minds possess
dictate: mature students such as myself need to take, not tests
every imaginable aspect of English & Math* into my working day:
Punctuation, fractions, verbs & percentages.
The only fraction I need anyway is,
‘If I have 2KG of rice, what % must I use to feed 40 kids?’
Now that’s the real deal, agreed, when looking at a real biz?
Hey wadda dey tek dis ting for?
Dem nah no you caan tek a hoss to water & mek he drink?
Di govment men shuda no di score
Before dem throw it inna tank, DEY NAH CAN TINK!
You see, you can’t make sense out of no(N)sense.
So I resign to the idiotic educational vision
Of taking unnecessary exams, although it’s criminal.
Well, there’s not much more to be said
£3000 to repay for opting out
Stress ‘till you drop down dead!

Jaz McKenzie 2011 ©
*whatever happened to ‘maths?’ anyway?

Monday, 5 December 2011

Getting Fit Naturally in Jamaica!!... ~ Try It ~

(Contact us at if you have a great venture!)

Don’t you think that it is fantastic to come across people who have a real vision as to how to use their talents to enhance the lives of others? Stokely Rose is such a person who clearly has the ‘Braap’ Factor & his initiatives are creating wonderful opportunities for Jamaicans to come together and combine health orientated activities within an exciting programme aimed at socializing people and sharing experiences. I would love to jump on a plane & join the ‘Fitmas Hike’ this festive season... sadly finances won’t permit! Full details included below. Stokely is extremely professional in his approach & sent a document outlining the necessity to be aware of your health prior to making the commitment to join in. Here is Stokely’s personal summary of the opportunities his ‘Train Fit Club’ offers:

(Team TrainFit)

My name is Stokely Rose(ISSA Certified) and I am the owner and operator of TrainFit Club. TrainFit Club is a freelance organization that brings people together in various locations in the name of health, entertainment, Education and fitness. We have transformed lives and brought fitness and health awareness to many individuals and institutions. Our activities include: partnering with Health Clubs to put on Fitness Hikes, Moonlight Excursion, Beach Fun Day, Scenic Tours and other outdoor activities, and conducting health talks and fitness classes in Churches. Our aim is to bring fitness and health awareness to people wherever they are comfortable. In other words, we want to impact communities with this new approach: “Health, Education, Entertainment and Fitness is anywhere you want it to be.”

We also encourage Jamaicans in the Diaspora and visitors to come see a different side of our Island, not just the beach, parties and city life but our historic sites, beautiful hills, mountains and indigenous places. For more info see the number and links below:

Stokely Rose: ISSA Certified Personal Trainer
Freelance Trainer & Owner Of "TrainFit Club"(Hiking,Scenic Tours,Group Nutrition/Workout Plans & Outdoor Activities)
Contact: or 1-876-366-0435.
Join my "TrainFit Club" or Group on Facebook:


Date: DEC 11, 2011
Location: RAF-JAM Cafe Irish Town.
Trail: Red Light/ Greenwich

Time: 3hrs(Rest stop @ New Castle)

Cost: JM$3000.00/ US$40.00 per person (includes: food & drink, use of trail, Trail guides, parking/security)
Food choices: Baked Chicken, Veggie Stew (choose one)

1.We will meet @ Ript Gym between 6:00am to 6:45am
2.Convoy up to RedLight, Irish Town by 8am(for those without vehicles, limited carpooling available)
3.Commence hike and daily activities by 8:15am
4.Lunch, fun and games between 11am and 2pm.
5.Head back to Kingston about 3pm or when you are ready.

Arranging Lunch.. Stokely to the right of the pic!

Sign-up @ Ript Gym, shop #7, 29 East Kings House Rd, Barbican Centre or call 631-2466, 631-2566.

DEADLINE TO SIGN UP & PAY(cash/card) IS DEC 9, 2011. All sign-up and payments are non refundable.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Astro - The X Factor U.S. - Audition 1

Teen Astro the Great!

The American X-Factor has been blazing for several weeks now and sadly it’s brightest flame the now 15 year old Brian Bradley, AKA ‘Astro,’ was shot down tonight (on UK TV) when he received the lowest vote. Astro swept the whole of the USA away & beyond during his first appearance where he directly challenged Simon Cowell in a manner to which Simon was clearly unaccustomed... Simon’s face a picture to behold! After directing the sound man Astro burst into a rendition of his own song, ‘Stop Looking at My MOM.’ By the end of the track the entire audience had got the flow & was joining in making viewers feel as if they were watching a live gig.

Yes, Astro arrived with attitude and clearly the right attitude to be able to cut a career in this business. It was obvious that as a Rapper he had little chance to win; sadly he was not blessed with good singing voice which is a ‘must’ due to the way the competition is structured. L.A. Reid made Astro work harder than any other contestant requiring him to write new lyrics every week & rightly so as his version of Eminem’s song ‘8 Mile’ during the show’s ‘film week’ was outstanding.

A couple of weeks ago Astro was voted as one of the bottom 2 acts and was expected to sing for survival. Astro was not expecting this and could not cope, wanting to pull out instantly from the competition. However, he was persuaded otherwise & to give credit where it’s due came back in force with a renewed positive attitude, promising his fans that he would never behave in that way again: a promise that Astro lived up to tonight when he gracefully accepted that he was voted off and his time in the competition had come to an end. Astro re-assured his fans, branded ‘astronauts’ that Team Astro is here to stay. Such terminology highlights the business acumen of this young rapper whose branding is another reason why he will be a huge star. Astro is clearly on the road to success and such a positive example/role model for today’s youth.

FINALLY!! It’s official >> Teen Rapper Brian Bradley, AKA Astro IS BRAAP! << He is also>> PC ~Positive & Creative~ << NOW, How about you?!?!?!

Jaz McKenzie

Wednesday, 30 November 2011



Pretty obvious really, it’s simply a question of wings! Let’s consider for a second; a pig is not really that different in shape to a bumble bee is it? Slightly heavier maybe but the real difference is that a bumble bee has wings & can fly despite the fact that it’s a technical impossibility. At this point we will step away from pigs, bumble bees and especially technicalities.

The beauty of this is that we are entrenched in certain modes of thinking and when these are twisted around by clever people all our pre-conceived ideas are challenged. In cartoons pigs can fly; FACT. The reason for this is that our imaginations are pretty much limitless whereas the physical world is full of boundaries both real & imagined.

In some instances with pure grit and determination some of us mere mortals are able to achieve beyond other people’s greatest expectations. An outstanding example of this is James Dyson who had the idea to produce a bag-less vacuum cleaner. How mad that must have sounded to people at the time, although the main point was to produce a vacuum cleaner that retained greater suction beyond the limits of a full bag. Of course this was not James Dyson’s first invention which was a ‘Sea Truck’ and he had used a ball for his ‘Ballbarrow,’ a wheel barrow that had the wheel replaced by a ball to increase ease of mobility. Its success brought Dyson into the public’s awareness.

Even with a brilliant new product Dyson had to face a huge challenge to launch his revolutionary invention. The British marketing powers that be were not having Dyson's vacuum because it was economic suicide in the world of dust bags. So, Dyson had to find an alternative method to sell his unique product & his pig eventually started to fly when the new vacuum was distributed to Japan via catalogue sales winning James Dyson the international Design Fair Prize in Japan, 1991. 'Fly' isn’t quite correct because the UK market continued to ban the manufacture of the ‘Dyson’ leaving only one alternative; James Dyson had to set up his own manufacturing company to get his product into British homes.

What we are looking at here is making the dream become a reality which is different from chasing a dream. James Dyson was determined to succeed so it was always a question of ‘when’ not ‘if.’ His product was originally called the ‘G-Force’ however has been re-named the ‘Dyson’ which is a tribute to his monumental achievement and proof that failure was not an option.

The major lesson we learn from this is that if you want your pig to fly, one day it will. How you decide to attach those wings is entirely up to you but ultimately it can be done! James Dyson is Braap... he is a living example of our slogan, so go ahead... ‘Be Braap Be PC!’ ~POSITIVE & CREATIVE~

Jaz McKenzie

Monday, 28 November 2011

Unique Poems by Chaynnell Rue

Chaynnell Rue performing live at 'Z-Lounge.'

Chaynnell is from Pennsylvania & recently performed at the Rex Theater, Pittsburgh


Love is a subject I really don't share
even though my heart is real big and very dear
a smile a day can kill any mood and change ur ways
Love is like a smile that u show the world day to day
how can that be replaced?????
Love is the same game
broke poor, just making it just and wanting to hit the floor
there is that love and a smile that opens the door
so refreshing something u can't by pass
just straight to the door
So sending a smile is love
start smiling and looking around
Love can be anywhere around.(Freestlye).~ChayButta~G.M.E>

Chaynnell writes as she finds life, very directly, tending to give her poems one word titles. This has translated into a style that people easily connect with. Here is Chaynnell's favourite poem 'FEELINGS' & a little about herself.

I have been writing since I was 15yrs old. This would be my fav poem, only cuz feelings really get u in some tight spaces and I need this to remind me everybody changes on how they feel and I dont want to change on feelings but the fact of the life inspires me to write. my life is adventure and what a great story...I think my poems touch people by letting them know the same thoughts they think, there is other people that feel the same..basic living is what people want to hear about...I like to do a CD and maybe just write a book. My fav subject is Math..I started performing at IUP while taking dance and drama...from the plays I really started performing them cuz people ask me to write a poem for them all the time. I work for a entertainment company G.M.E.and been on stage for awhile.

feelings they come they go
one second i like u then i don’t
those r feelings!
Don’t loose control!!
i would like too say,or maybe i wont!
oka u draged it out
feelings are man made they r not real!
there i said it,i cant get no more real!!!
feelings they go away
thats nothing im proud to say
i want to always have the feel of joy in play
but as we know feelings make u feel that way
feelings get hurt
causing pain on self
that sounds painful in away
feelings create lust
in later days it becomes rust
feelings i would like to say can crash ur a**
so let me leave by saying
ashes to ashes dust to dust watch before those feelings can make ur life rough....

If you would like your poems, artwork or videos featured on ITS BRAAP~ITS LIFE contact us!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Christmas Magic at Fairfield Halls... your kids will love it!!

Details & Flyer with kind permission of the Fairfield Halls.
Croydon has excellent transport links to Central London & other boroughs along with on-site parking so no excuses!!

Friday 2nd to Friday 30th December 2011

Do you believe in Santa Claus? Well if you do head down to Fairfield Halls this Christmas for a brand new fun-filled show, SANTA CLAUS AND THE CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE, a magical experience with songs, stories, a meet and greet with Santa and a free gift!

Featuring magic illusions created by the legendary PAUL DANIELS the adventure takes place on Christmas Eve at Santa's Ice Castle in the North Pole. The Reindeer Santa-Nav is programmed and the toys are piled high on the sleigh, then… chaos strikes! The fog is too thick for Santa and his reindeer to fly through. Charlie the Elf suggests that a young reindeer called Rudolph could guide the sleigh with his shiny red nose, but he’s not in his stable and can’t be found anywhere! A huge search of the North Pole takes place. Will Santa ever find Rudolph and deliver the presents to all the boys and girls?

Santa needs your help, and in return the children will get to meet him after the show and even receive a present. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the magic moment your little ones meet Father Christmas for the very first time!

TV and stage star LESLEY JOSEPH will provide the voice of Santa-Nav, the sleigh’s onboard computer and award winning director and actor, IAN TALBOT OBE, will provide the voice of Santa’s playful friend Muffin the bear.

SANTA CLAUS AND THE CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE can be seen from FRIDAY 2ND UNTIL FRIDAY 30TH DECEMBER (performances at 10am, 10.30am, 1pm, 1.30pm, 3pm, 4pm & 6pm on selected days) and promises to be the festive treat you won’t want to miss – come and join the fun and help Santa save the day!

Tickets are available from the Fairfield Halls Box Office 020 8688 9291 or online at priced Fri 2 – Sun 4 Dec all tickets £10, Thu 8, Fri 9, Mon 12, Wed 14, Thu 15 & Fri 16 Dec Adults £12.50 & Children £10, all other performances Adults £14.50 & Children £12.50. Family Tickets (2 adults & 2 children) £40 & £49, Groups of 8+ £8. Please check daily performance times online or with the Box Office. No Performances on Mon 5, Tue 6, Wed 7, Tue 13, Mon 19 and Sun 25 Dec. SUITABLE FOR AGES 3 – 7 YEARS.
For further information please contact: Laura Roberts, Press Officer, Fairfield Halls
Tel: 020 8603 3931 Email:

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Tale of a Frustrated Creative!! ~ Interview with Styling Consultant Lisa Gillbe

Photo: Lisa Gillbe, Corporate Stylist.

Would you like to tell us a little of your background and why you decided to become a personal stylist?

The reason I went into styling is because I was a frustrated creative! I spent years working in finance and banking including investment banking. I worked with finance in media and enjoyed the creative side of it, eventually coming to the realisation that I am essentially a creative person.

I have always been involved with vintage clothing and used to make my own clothes, curtains and blinds; being obsessed with interiors! I was working at Coutts bank as a member of the charity investment team when I had my first child and found the job too demanding to fit in with the priorities of my new lifestyle. It was clearly time for a change.

How did you go about making such a phenomenal change?

Luck played its hand. Whilst I was expecting my second son I was offered voluntary redundancy. The redundancy payment was generous enabling me to follow my creative interests by doing a course at the London College of Fashion where I studied the principals of styling. I absolutely loved it and knew that I had done the right thing as it fulfilled my passion or more accurately ‘obsession’ for fashion! My friends were very interested in my self styling so I decided to set up professionally. I pursued this by going to an image consultancy business in Holland Park who train corporate image consultants and signed up for a very intensive course. I learnt how to be a colour analyst so that I can tell people what skin tone they are and advise as to which colours they should wear. I followed this with additional training as a style analysist for women which involved learning to match cuts, colours and styles with the different body shapes. My next moves were to find a web designer and design my logo so I could develop my brand. I settled on using my name and based the logo around black, white and gold, featuring lace which is feminine and eye-catching. This proved challenging and it took 3 attempts to find a designer who understood my vision for the brand.

Were you based at home?
No, I was working from an office in Putney where I was able to network and styled 5 people before I really launched. One of these contacts introduced me to a company who train high achieving people, including politicians, in the true art of public speaking. I am now working as their Image Consultant which helps to enhance their service.

Do you have links with hair dressers and make-up artists?
Yes, I have found an excellent make-up artist and am looking for a free-lance hairdresser who understands my vision for the client. Eventually I would like to extend my business and be able to offer a complete bridal service.

How are you finding it setting up a business in the recession?

It is quite difficult in these times to find clients because having a stylist is seen as a luxury. That is why I am trying to make inroads into companies with the possibility of developing group contracts and maybe group sessions. I went to a ‘women in business’ meeting at the Chamber of Commerce which was attended by women such as barristers and lawyers, my target market. They are high flyers who like to look good but often are not interested in fashion or don’t have the time to shop so want somebody to sort it out for them.

How long does it take to re-style someone and can you outline the steps?
 First we do a telephone questionnaire which takes about an hour.
 Secondly I go to their house and undertake the colour and style check... 2 hours.
 Thirdly, the wardrobe re-vamp which is where I bring my rail and put all of the client’s clothes on it, analyze everything and remove all unsuitable clothing.
 Next I plan to utilize what people have and identify gaps in the wardrobe to give them a more functional and usually classic wardrobe
 Now I can create the shopping list
 With the list prepared I go back to the client and also use the comprehensive notes identifying their style and requirements to ensure I am meeting their requirements.
 Finally we go for our personal shopping session of between 2-6 hours.

Can you describe how you go about re-styling someone?

I will go to their house and do a full style, colour and body analysis. I look at their shape, scale, body proportions and then their colouring. I use a series of seasonal coloured drapes to work out their true colouring and usually people resemble one season. Occasionally people resemble two seasons if they have a strong personality, which needs to be taken into account. I look through their wardrobe and establish their tastes, patterns and ‘Ruts’ as many people buy the same thing constantly. I build up a picture and try to get to know the person and what makes them tick as people dress in very different ways. Some people like to look natural with little make up and an easy hairstyle so I would keep them looking natural and not dress them in tight pencil skirts and high heels for instance.

How would you handle somebody who likes to look natural if you have to style them for a red carpet event?

Firstly they have to accept that they need to dress up for such an event and can’t go in their jeans! I would go for a simple, classic outfit and keep the heels to a minimum so that they would feel well dressed and comfortable. I would not put them in an outfit that is screaming for publicity and attention. Usually a classic dresser will have a well organised wardrobe and wear matching things whereas a creative person is more likely to be disorganised and wear unusual combinations. They might border on the eccentric and want to show this, so I dress people in a professional way that reflects their style and personality. Some people who approach me need to raise their game at work whereas others have a specific area they wish to address such as ‘smart casual.’ It is quite varied and complicated, skills needed being ; getting on with people at all levels, understanding how people tick and how to relate to them, understanding their interest and what makes them comfortable and having a passion for fashion. My aim is to dress people in a way that makes them look authentic and not just put them in the latest trends, such as ‘Harem Trousers,’ if they are not comfortable as this makes them into a fashion victim.

Could you give an interesting example pertaining to the wardrobe re-vamp?
I was re-styling a city party girl the other day who used to work in an advertising agency and was extremely glamorous. Since then she had a baby, put on 2 stone, became a garden designer and subsequently shed the extra weight. Her entire life changed within 3 years yet she had held on to her entire wardrobe having beautiful dresses and high heels that bore no relation to her current lifestyle. People tend to hoard so we went through everything giving reasons as to suitability. We worked out what she needed now rather than before and removed the un-necessary items.

Do you experience much resistance from people when you suggest removing their favourite dresses etc?
No surprisingly I don’t. There are things we all hold onto and just need someone who is objective to come in and help sort it out. If you haven’t worn it for 18 months you probably don’t need it and it’s a waste of space. It’s actually therapeutic and once done you can start afresh however you do need time and money to invest in this. I did have a young TV producer as a client, very high up in the BBC, who worked 20 hours a day, 6 days a week. She would just pop into shops and buy something, pop it in the wardrobe but never wear it, so she had about 40% of her clothing still with tags on! We gave a lot of clothes to charity shops but the designer clothes I sold through my boutique. I often sell busy customer’s clothes through my on-line boutique and give them 40%. Wherever possible I try to utilise further the clothes that people already have in their wardrobe. People naturally tend to go for things that suit them so I will try to style these; for example I will say, ’if you buy 2 scarves, 1 belt and a pair of wedgies you will get 6 more outfits from this to make your money go further.’ Ideally I like them to go shopping with me afterwards.

Could you run us through the actual shopping experience?

Yes, recently I had a client who I took to Selfridges. I arrived 2 hours before my client and went in the personal shopping suites on the second floor, collected a rail and went round while the staff collected the items I requested and brought them to the room. Her brief was; 2 new suits for work and an outfit for a business trip. I gathered the suits, put them on the rail and ordered the client a coffee up to the room so by the time she arrived it was all ready. It’s rather like being in a plush hotel. The client tried on the clothes and bought almost everything on the rail.
How much do you need to invest in your end of the market?

I would say to build a classic functioning wardrobe you ultimately need to invest between £1,500-£3000, which can be done over time. It is seasonal, so right now you would usually need a good winter coat, some good suites for work, nice shoes, great blouses and trousers and of course an attractive party outfit.

What do you regard as your personal approach to this business?

Definitely the key thing for me is making people look and feel authentic so they really understand where their style personality is. The advice I give is life-long advice to help people look their best now and in the future. It’s sound advice that suits their lifestyle. By comparison TV styling predominantly plays to the camera. For example, I saw a mother of 4 dressed in a white rain coat when she spends a lot of time taking the children and her dog to the park which is far from ideal! Clearly no thought went into it whereas I ask for personal details about how their week pans out to make sure that the clothes will be functional. The clothes have to work well and work hard for them because they are investing money in it.

As a final word I would say that ultimately you will need time and money to invest in personal styling because this is a premium service.

Interview by: Jaz McKenzie

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Larry The Lamb Stars in ALADDIN!!!

A BIG BRAAP THANKYOU to the FAIRFIELD HALLS for supplying the flyer & accompanying information!

Emily Wood & Paul Hendy for Evolution Pantomimes in association with Fairfield Halls present

Starring Larry Lamb

Friday 2 December 2011 to Monday 2 January 2012

Star of EastEnders and Gavin & Stacey, Larry Lamb headlines as the villainous Abanazar in this year’s magical pantomime Aladdin at the Ashcroft Theatre, Fairfield Halls, Croydon from Friday 2nd December until Friday 2nd January 2012.

Fairfield Halls is delighted to announce a new producing partnership with acclaimed pantomime company Evolution Pantomimes, renowned for their superb family entertainment, who present this year’s pantomime treat for the first time at the Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon.

Prepare to travel to the Mystic East for the best and most magical pantomime of them all…
ANTONY HANSEN, fresh from a West End run in the hit musical Wicked plays the role of Aladdin, with JOE TRACINI, who recently joined the cast of Hollyoaks (as Denis Savage) and appeared in the BBC3 comedy Coming of Age, as Wishee Washee. QUINN PATRICK is the outrageous dame Widow Twankey in charge of the Chinese laundry, NATHANIEL MORRISON the magnificent Genie of the Lamp and KELLY CHINERY the Genie of the Ring. The beautiful Princess Jasmine is played by ROSA O’REILLY, closely guarded by the Chinese Policeman OLIVER BROAD. PAUL TATE appears in a majestic role as The Emperor, and also directs the pantomime.

Colourful sets, spectacular costumes, fantastic effects, lots of fun, laughter, great music song and dance, not forgetting plenty of audience participation, make this a spectacular panto not to be missed!

Larry Lamb is known to millions for his roles in BBC TV’s award-winning comedy series Gavin & Stacey, as Mick Shipman (Gavin’s Father), and as rogue Archie Mitchell in the hit soap EastEnders. The public voted Larry Villain of the Year at the 2010 British Soap Awards for his portrayal of Archie with EastEnders also receiving the Best Storyline Award for Who Killed Archie? Larry has recently added author to his extensive acting career, which includes a wealth of credits embracing television, film and theatre, and is currently enjoying success with his first book Mummy’s Boy: My Autobiography.

Aladdin offers great value with tickets at just £15 for all performances during the first week, from Friday 2nd to Friday 9th December and following performances £18, £22.50 & £26. Concessions are available for children, senior citizens, schools, groups and families. A booking fee of £1.50 per ticket, £1 if booking in cash, applies.

Tickets are available from the Fairfield Halls Box Office 020 8688 9291 or online at


For further information please contact:
Laura Roberts, Press Officer, Fairfield Halls, tel 020 8603 3931 email


Saturday, 19 November 2011

WOW... What A Coincidence!!i

image from

I was busy looking to see what had happened this day in history in order to find an inspiring event to blog about when, lo & behold, I spotted that natural or un-natural phenomena, ‘the coincidence!’ Whilst looking at musical history I discovered that David Crosby was is hospital on the exact same day, 19th November, in 1990 & again in 1994.

1990, David Crosby from Crosby Stills Nash & Young was admitted to hospital after breaking a leg, shoulder and ankle after crashing his Harley Davidson motorbike.
1994, David Crosby had a successful liver transplant operation at Dumont-UCLA in Los Angeles.

Luckily for David the bad had pre-ceeded the good, not only the physical harm but also overcoming his serious illness. This got me thinking about the subject of coincidence, after all everyone of us can quote an entire chapter of co-incidences when pushed, despite it being a small world. Here’s my latest example:

Our accountant at work told me she had seen me on her friend’s Facebook page yet we are not linked on Facebook as she keeps her work separate from home. It turns out that she met my friend whom I know from Facebook... (who co-incidentally I met at a gig for the first time that I didn’t even know she was attending,) in Grenada whilst on holiday. Speaking of holidays it doesn’t matter where in the world you go as you can still bump into people you know... the word has definitely got smaller due to increased accessibility. Another example from a few years ago; my family ran into a friend we hadn’t seen for years who just happened to decide to go to Barbados for a holiday at the same time as us and we bumped into one another in St James... such a co-incidence especially as the friend had no ties with anyone in Barbados.

Being enthusiastic about the subject I thought I would check the dictionary for a definition:

1. 'The state or fact of occupying the same relative position or area in space.' This is a beautiful little definition and can be applied to the real world as well as cyberspace!

2. 'A sequence of events that although accidental seems to have been planned or arranged.'
Very often co-incidences do leave you wondering ‘how come.’

Looking further into the subject I discovered this little gem of wisdom;

‘Coincidence quotes and sayings about coincidences remind us to pay attention to these meaningful, sometimes magical occurrences. Many famous authors consider these acts divine in nature.’

There are many quotes about co-incidences but the fact is that they happen so often that it’s surprising we’re surprised when they occur! I think I would describe co-incidences as, ‘life’s natural sense of humour, whether the coincidences are happy, strange or even morbid.’

I will leave you with 3 quotes from the famous;

‘Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.’
Albert Einstein

‘There is no such thing as chance; and what seems to us mere accident springs form the deepest source of destiny.’
Friedrich Schiller

This is my favourite as it so positive and re-iterates the power within;

'Live your life with an appreciation of coincidences and you connect with the field of infinite possibilities.’
Deepak Chopra

Jaz Mckenzie

If you would like to post any of your co-incidences in comments please do, or if it's a long story & you would like to include it in this blog please contact us on

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Raise your Game - Your image and the way you dress is a powerful tool

Hand knitted Fashions by Babini Kuki®

Article reproduced with kind permission of Lisa Gillbe, Personal Stylist. Interview coming soon!!

Some may dismiss dressing and style as unimportant, frivolous and perhaps a bit shallow. Not so. Studies show that our first impressions of other people are made within 7 seconds of meeting them. Also, our initial perceptions of people influence our interpretation of their later behaviour because of our - possibly misguided - expectations. First impressions are hard to change.

Your image is powerful. It is widely recognised that attractive people are immediately assumed to have a good personality and more skills than someone who just looks ‘average’. This is known as the halo effect. I’m not saying you need to be of supermodel ilk to reach the top of your game (just look at some of our politicians!) but you can make the absolute best of what you have. Your efforts will quickly register with others and they will naturally assume positive things about you too. It’s not just the effect you will have on others that counts either, crucially if you look good you feel good and that increases self esteem and helps you to perform better.

We are talking about your Personal Brand and stepping back to have a good look at how you come across to others is time well spent. What is your professional presence and is it right for where you want to be? Ask yourself what message your clothes and grooming are sending. Are you creative, approachable, authoritative or corporate? Is your star rising at work and have you adjusted your appearance to fit?

By not paying attention to the way you dress and its impact in the workplace, you could unwittingly be causing negative bias. However, this is entirely unnecessary and something you can easily change.

So how can men and women dress well to communicate the right impression?

Women have moved on in the office environment from the days of power-suit dressing. There is no need to wear a pin striped trouser suit and stripy shirt to match from Thomas Pink. However, if you like the mannish look then go for it but it can look a bit dated if done incorrectly. Power dressing was popularised in the 80’s to make the wearer seem authoritative and competent but these days that effect can still be achieved in a more feminine way. You can inject personality into the way you dress and still look professional. Shift dresses are a good example, patterned or plain with a smart tailored blazer over the top. If I were to generalise here then a classic look would always work, pearls, knitted woollen dress, great tailoring.

Men, the rules remain largely the same for the corporate fields. Make sure your suit is in the standard corporate colours (black, dark grey or navy still lead the field). You need at least three good fitting suits that are in top condition and are dry cleaned regularly. Personality can be shown in colourful shirt and tie combinations or plush suit linings but steer clear of novelty ties and socks, you are trying to look professional not like an embarrassing uncle at the Christmas get together. The exception to these rules would be in a creative environment in which case dressing without some flair could perhaps cast judgements on your creativity.

For both sexes, learning to choose the right colours to suit your skin tone is vital, and obviously, grooming is essential too - cleanliness, neat hair, polished shoes no chipped nail varnish etc…

Communication is a powerful tool for success. Learn how to communicate yourself in the best way non-verbally, and by using the power of dress you will be creating the right impression, influencing others positively, increasing your self-esteem and overall, raising your game.

Lisa Gillbe


Saturday, 12 November 2011


I don’t know what you think about this somewhat notorious show which Simon Cowell has swept across the Atlantic landing it squarely in the middle of American prime time TV.

The X-Factor UK has been on an ‘extraordinary journey ‘and produced a couple of quality stars, Leona Lewis & Alexandra Burke springing to mind. Must say, Leona does nothing for me... predictable every time; in fact I had to laugh when I heard that her autobiography was virtually a glorified picture book!

Anybody who would like the low down on the X-Factor should pick up a copy of Ben Elton’s book ‘Chart Throb.’ Ben has sussed it out to a tee and watching the show rapidly deteriorating in front of our eyes it’s fast becoming the ‘desperation factor.’ First Jedward, then Wagner... what on earth was all that about? Followed this year by Goldie who was clearly bonkers and couldn’t sing; very sad to see a man like Louis Walsh with a sharp reputation prior to the competition lowering his standards to find his ‘wind up the public’ factor. My thought... Goldie was paid off to disappear quietly! On top of all that we viewers and also some rejected worthy contestants have had to contend with the deplorable ‘bad bwoy‘ behaviour of Frankie Cocozza ( I was told that a comedian had referred to Cocozza as the Italian for coke head!!) Personally I imagine Gary Barlow had anticipated being able to strengthen Frankie’s voice and turn him into a soft rocker, sadly such a feat was beyond his capabilities... Soooooo exit Frankie. Quick thought... was the double eviction planned with a view to the unfolding drama?

It now looks as if the X has become a symbol for the major cover-up of several catastrophic decisions. The show is a shambles, very unfortunate for the 3 worthy contestants; Misha B, Marcus Collins & girl band ‘Little Mix.’ Love or hate Kitty Brucknell the woman can sing & perform.

What happens next? We will see how the producers are going to rectify the current situation. Evidently the plan is to replace Frankie which will leave the new contender weeks behind with regard to professional tuition & the experiences of performing week after week in front of a live crowd.
X-Factor?!?!?! Xtreme, Xcrutiating, Xtraordinarliy irritating... come on people and add your own... and maybe we should demand a public Xplanation form Mr Cowell & the programme producers!

Jaz McKenzie

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Refection of A Summer's Eve- Poem by Jaz McKenzie

Looking back to summer evenings past
Pale light reflective in the watery shine
Yet with the newly fashioned seasonal mix
Our autumn eve’s too appear sublime
Winter calls, darkness bearing down
Coldness creeping stealthily through the air
Whilst the day time sun still shines quite brightly
Rain flexing from mild showers to severe



CREATING HAVOC, here and there.

Whilst the world turns.

All across the globe our lives are racing
Hearts beating with the challenges we face
Our ups and downs at times seem monumental
Leaving without a whisper or a trace
Here we are today and yet tomorrow?
Not promised, can’t be held within our hands
Time forever will be ticking on, eternal
So let’s live life and work it to a plan!



CARING, SHARING, woman, child or man

Glimmering life’s reflections

Jaz McKenzie © 2011

If you wish us to include your favourite original poem please send to Thanks

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

(A Must See!!) Why Is This Singer/BeatBoxer/Rapper BLINDFOLDED @ The Pia...

'I wanted to do something different. So called rappers now a days lack, creativity. So i decided to combine most of my talents at once and this is the product of that.

Never knew so many people would like it and share it so i guess I did something right. I just want people to see not all rappers are the same. At the same time, i just want "Artist" in general to display more talent and stop simplifying everything.

Kids are the future so if we keep feeding them garbage, guess what they're going to become and display??

The message in this song is inspirational too. So I think all around, its something nice to watch for everybody all over the world.'


A huge thanks to Camilly for giving us a little insight into the rational behind his amazing new song.Always good to hear to from the artist!! ~QJ~

If you would like your talents included in a feature or a music blog such as this, please contact us on

Sunday, 6 November 2011


‘Life is not a matter of milestones but of moments.’

A curious little statement and open to consideration. Yes we need to pay attention to the moments and live them to the fullest, squirreling these away in our memories to dust off at the opportune time. Whereas a milestone is a milestone!

Maybe the best way to look at this is that special moments give us the feel good factor which in turn generates waves of positivity that propel us forwards. Once feeling positive we are filled with determination to achieve and start striving towards our goals, marking out the milestones along the way.

An easy way to demonstrate is to consider a mother’s reaction to her child. The first time baby smiles is special and may well be something she holds close to her heart whereas baby’s first steps are definitely something to shout about!

Some of the most important moments in our lives often create feelings of negativity when they occur, for example the moment you hear that your job application/audition was unsuccessful or the project you worked on so hard stumbles at the last hurdle. We need to turn these around quickly by acknowledging what has happened and finding a new route to achieve that goal. With the given examples this could be through self employment or auditioning for different types of roles, possibly having a reality check. Turning negatives into positives is a fundamental skill that alters our outcomes by increasing our determination to succeed.

Milestones, by comparison, are pretty monumental therefore easy to recall and mark out our road OF achievement. Our C.V.’s cannot be compiled of ‘moments’ but achievements. It is very interesting listening to Rolf Harris speaking about his life; a man who clearly missed many moments in order to pursue achievements. Rolf missed out through working 7 days a week leaving his wife feeling lonely & almost suicidal. Rolf lacked the experience to realise that he was fulfilling public demand and had no idea how this affected his wife, being very shocked when he discovered this for himself. Rolf stated that he had led a very selfish life in order to maintain a good standard of living, which is not uncommon amongst men who pride themselves on providing for their families. The balance between work and maintaining a true family lifestyle is very difficult to achieve especially for celebrities and the special moments may become a scarcity as a result.

The lesson here is that whilst it is imperative that we maintain our focus and strive to reach our milestones we need to make an effort to create ‘moments’ and fill our memories with them. In a way there is a definite division between moments & milestones, in summary we can view our moments as the personal side of our lives whereas the milestones are usually within the public domain.

Jaz McKenzie
If you have an achievement you wish to share please contact us on

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Joseph Macwan - Wind Has Got My Size

Joseph Macwan ‘Wind Has Got My Size’~ An introduction to Ska.

Today has been a great day, partly because I spent some time with Michael Arkk whose team is currently planning to launch a brand new Festival here in the UK. Now, that is an exciting prospect for 2012!

‘The Heritage of Ska’ will be the first ever exclusively Ska festival to be held in the UK and is designed to be both a fun and educational event aimed towards the whole community. The very nature of Ska music demands enjoyment and participation which is partially why it has crossed over culturally, drawing fans from a wide range of races and identities. ‘Wind Has Got My Size’ is a really good little number to retune your Ska vibes which I discovered posted on my Facebook wall. It is performed by UK artist Joseph Macwan & is on his debut album ‘Time is Up’... who knows, we may see him in what we hope will be a spectacular line-up of popular established artists and today’s new talents!

Here are the details so you can pop them in your calendar now... yes ‘in’ is the word!
<< July 7th and 8th 2012 >> Brockwell Park London SE24<< Website soon coming so bookmark now >>

Jaz McKenzie

Monday, 31 October 2011



I need to grow an elephant skin
A place to be enveloped within
Many layers to keep me tightly bound
So I don’t make too much sound
A protective armour to keep me away
From the hasty actions I take each day
Not as you’d think to shield me from pain
But so I have time my thoughts to reign
Marinade, digest and grow
To gain perspective, get in the know
To halt the actions that will hurt you
When I see things with a jaded view
Far from just being a gifted healer
Time is also the greatest revealer
So time be on my side
Hasty decisions delay
And put off until tomorrow
The upsets of today!!
Elephant skin keep me in your grasp
On occasions restriction is a must!

Jaz McKenzie 2010 ©

Sunday, 30 October 2011


OOOH, The problems with Technology!!

A few years ago I didn’t have a clue about computers. In fact, prior to joining Myspace in April 2007 I couldn’t even cut & paste however Myspace appeared to be the technical challenge my inner self was clearly craving.

It is very interesting how we manage to challenge ourselves without even realising that we are doing so. Interest is obviously the key factor. I was Googling Carlos Acosta at the time as I liked to keep up to date with his movements & the PC informed me that he had ‘Moved to Myspace.’ It then asked if I would like to join Myspace so I clicked yes without knowing what it was! Lenny Kravitz had recently moved there & as I skimmed my eyes down his page I saw the gorgeous Chang I, male model & musician, so asked my son what I was supposed to be doing on there. I discovered that I could write to Chang but it was ages before I realised how to request friends; although by some miracle could add those who requested me! Eventually I learnt how to upload a picture and set it to default. Finally I discovered how to request friends and wrote to Gypsy numerous times asking why he hadn’t added me... when he had! At the time I didn’t know how to view more than 4 friends & Gypsy was #5!! My workmates showed me how to customise the page which involved copy & pasting codes. With the help of on-line friends I eventually became so competent that I designed my profile like magazine which attracted great attention resulting in me running 2 additional pages for a reggae singer & boy band! To organize these pages properly I mastered some external links to improve content which was time consuming yet very rewarding.

The last couple of years I have been very busy on Facebook and formed the group ‘Its Braap. ’ This enabled people to publicize their own music as I was unable to promote all the music that people were requesting. Originally I was able to listen & comment on all their posts however I find it impossible to keep up with now in addition to running my pages. The number of pages I work on has grown significantly and too much for just one person! Even so ‘Its Braap clearly needed a blog spot and thanks to Christopher Smith who helped to set up the ‘Its Braap’ Youtube & ‘Linked In,’ watching him gave me the underpinning knowledge to design this blogspot entirely unaided. Now that’s a landmark in technological history as was my NVQ 2 in IT.

So with these great achievements under my belt I confidently went on-line to do initial tests for the management course I am about to undertake. HMMMMMMM... This should have proved simple enough! Guess what?!?! First I couldn’t find the log in... Why? Because it didn’t say ‘LOG IN’ !!! Instead there was a pale grey sentence I completely overlooked so failed to click on it. That sentence takes you to the Log In as I discovered with the tutors help. Finally I entered the site & went looking for the tests. This was not a simple process either despite being shown during induction. I finally came across them once I relaxed my mind & bingo...Clicked on a few things & found the link to the tests. The tests themselves failed to show however it now reads that I have completed them... DWL!! I guess it just shows how diverse our thinking actually is. When designing things they seem clear to us yet may leave others extremely confused. Well I guess I can anticipate the test results very easily... a straight zero across the board!! Good job we can reset isn’t it!!! The ultimate thought here is that life is forever a learning curve.

Jaz McKenzie