Friday, 31 August 2012


Fresh new version of a classic song.. Reggae fans will be familiar with the John Holt version whilst many will immediately recall the powerful and almost sultry version sung by the legendary  Dame Shirley Bassey.

The lyrics depict an emotionally conflicting situation that is pretty much soul destroying, an uncomfortable place to be for those who can relate on a personal level. Hope you enjoy this classy version.

Jaz McKenzie

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Snakes & Ladders~ A Quick Poem

A simple summary of life!!

Snakes & Ladders
Ever played that game?
Rolling the dice & climbing high
Only to feel the pain
Of short lived success
When landing at the mouth of the snake
Who swallows you whole
Dragging you way back down
Down below!
To re-start your climb
In the hope of renewed success
Yet dependent upon a few dots
Numbers on a dice...
Snakes & ladders, common version
Of the game we call life.
Luck plays its part with each ladder we climb
Whilst avoiding the snakes
To the best of our ability
Just keeping them all
In visual proximity...
... if each snake represents a mistake
Take care, take time to learn, beware
And spare yourself many a slippery slide
For the games in life are fun
Ready to enjoy the ride??

Jaz McKenzie

if you would like your poetry featured here send to

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Basking In The Glory (enjoying Success) Live Life~Love Life WK 35

With the success of the Olympics and with the Paralympics about to commence it’s a good time to take a quick look at success.

Success is the ultimate reward, whatever area of life you manage to achieve it in, because success is the result of planning, hard work and capitalizing on your talents. It is the confirmation that we deserve to feel good about ourselves for a number of reasons including the effort that we have invested; it is also confirmation of self belief. Achievement shows everybody that we have good judgement and the ability to follow through. It also proves to others that they were right to believe in us and back us whatever the odds or cost to themselves.

Most of the time success is a joint effort being the result of good and at times great teamwork. There are many people who contribute to an individual’s success, likewise with a successful company or brand. Success is increased when everybody knows the goal, the plan and is dedicated to fulfilling their role without wanting constant recognition for their efforts... ultimately everybody knows how essential their contribution was in the journey.

When an individual has talent, eg: an athlete, musician or actor, they invariably need great coaches, managers, promoters and a whole host of people to help spur them on... help them improve their craft, obtain sponsorships, get bookings or advertising deals. It is almost impossible for one person to concentrate on their talent whilst organizing all the publicity and practical details required for them to advance- such as booking travel and accommodation if they are to reach the top of their chosen field. Successful people need others around who excel in their own right. Sometimes dedicated friends or family members are able to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to propel the person they believe in forwards.

Sometimes we can be successful at something we would never have imagined that is way outside our comfort zone. Success in the unexpected is extremely sweet as we need to extend in new directions and undertake new challenges that encourage us to re-assess ourselves, adding more positives to the list and the understanding that we can achieve more than we would ever have presumed.

Of course the success of an artist or athlete is obvious to the world yet our own achievements are equally great- success should be measured against individual potential and can apply to any area of life. Courage is a component of success in many instances, being an individual quality that can be called upon in different personal circumstances- most of which will never be in the public domain. Courage helps you achieve results and is a remarkable tool that helps overcomes obstacles by empowering the weakest aspects of our character. Courage with determination creates a high level of confidence which is a key element of your personal mental environment... Remember that you are in control of your own mental environment by authorizing your feelings and emotions. Your mental environment needs to be GREEN ... ie: unpolluted by negative thoughts and procrastination... a tall order! Important as success usually comes from a calm, controlled and highly focussed mind.

Once you achieve success in anything make sure that you enjoy it and appreciate the effort and time it took to achieve. Don’t gloss over your successes or play the overly modest card because each success is a pre-curser to a new challenge and it won’t be long before you become involved in applying 100% effort to the next project and your next anticipated moment of success! Success is another important step in the ladder of your life, so keep achieving & keep on climbing!

Jaz McKenzie

If you would like to write an article for Its Braap contact

Friday, 24 August 2012

Back To Nature Festival~O2

If you're not busy next Saturday here's an exciting event to book into your calendar! Back to Nature will roll from 12 midday until 7pm bringing you a great dose of music and more besides... pop along & join in the fun.

Jaz McKenzie

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Be Braap~Be Inspired!!! Real quotes from Real People #14

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
This is a great barometer for measuring mentality and on occasion- mood! Most of us will fit pre-dominantly into one category and we know, reading between the lines, people refers to gossip! The intelligent amongst us still discuss people yet we do so within a specific framework and generally with the aim of increasing productivity, problem solving or in a personal non-malicious way.

Events add excitement to life... whether through bringing happiness and joy or the shock factor, and add to the momentum of life as a whole. Ideas... now there's a thing to ponder. The ideas referred to here I believe are destined for great things. Of course, ideas can simply be giving your point of view... or challenging existing thinking and ways of doing things... many theories to tear apart & re-strategize!

Overall, how do you rate yourself? Makes a change from the preferred learning style quizzes!!

Jaz McKenzie

BE BRAAP! Send us your favourite quotes or sayings with a few words... you can include a photo of yourself (optional) to: These can be your own quotes or famous sayings and we will include them in this section: 'Be Braap~ Be Inspired.' NOTE: you do not have to be a great writer, simply send YOUR quote with YOUR thoughts in 10 or more words as the aim is to inspire others!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Jahmene Douglas' audition - The X Factor UK 2012

What exactly are the mentors going to be able to teach Jahmene I wonder? This audition is the most outstanding performance I have ever heard, possibly better than Rebecca Ferguson though I hate to say so!!!

Jahmene's voice soars from the first note, pure and breath taking- and while you are in a state of wonderment he brings out something more- and something more again taking it to a whole new level.
Jahmene's style is retro yet fresh and puts you in mind of the great singers we have been blessed with other the years. Can't wait to hear more from this's going to be an exciting season!

A quick mention... Ella Henderson... amazing 16 year old who has a mature voice and is clearly a talented song writer. Have to say, the UK is most definitely full of promise.

Jaz McKenzie

Monday, 20 August 2012

Battle for the Charts~ Everybody Dreams V Justin Bieber... & Jessica!! Read on!

Jessica Ennis~ in with the IN CROWD!

The race for the #1 spot in the charts is ON with Gladesmore School’s ‘Everybody Dreams,’ released this week, going head to head with Justin Bieber’s latest offering. With PR Company Ketchum Pleon’s press release last Friday, stating that Mayor Boris Johnson is calling for people to get behind ‘Everybody Dreams’ and take it to #1 over Bieber, I thought we would take a look at the difference in attitude between these young rivals.

Firstly, let’s consider... Justin Bieber is classed as an adult by UK standards whilst Gladesmore pupils are still pupils, yet look at the difference in maturity. Whilst Justin Bieber is disgracing himself in the eyes of the World’s press by making personal remarks about Prince William’s premature hair loss, Gladesmore are taking a stand and trying to make a difference not only to their local community but to people’s perception of youth. Let’s take a look at recent events

What message is Justin Bieber giving?
1) He has a great head of hair and enjoys drawing attention to it by knocking a popular public figure
2) It is OK to make abusive remarks in public that demean another person
3) It is OK to publicly disrespect people and expect them to agree with your priorities... including Royalty
4) Appearance is everything...

It would appear that Justin is a shallow person who has been so wrapped up in the trappings of fame that he is out of touch with the everyday person’s needs and the importance of being a good role model.

Gladesmore School Pupils’ message
1) We want to show the world that we have pride in ourselves and our area
2) The past is the past but you can change the future and people’s perceptions
3) If you believe in something you have to dedicate yourself to making it happen
4) There is love ... everywhere!

Gladesmore staff and pupils’ have worked hard not only to produce this track, they have dedicated their holidays to it; committing to a schedule of public appearances allowing them to share their message and make the dream a reality.

Another highly significant consideration is that whilst Justin Bieber thinks it is acceptable to publicly insult Royalty, Gladesmore School have a high regard for Royalty, Queen Elizabeth having awarded them with a Royal Crest last July- one of only 4 schools ever to have received a Royal Crest! The crest was given for the school’s long running ‘Value Life’ campaign, which speaks for itself.

If Everybody Dreams fulfils its potential not only as a #1 hit and anthem for the youth, but becomes a permanent charity... possibly aimed at running youth projects in schools and the community, maybe Prince Harry would like to be patron... in fact, why wait... maybe some of the Royal Family might like to lend their support right now, who knows...a little banner holding or a video message!

AND Jessica Ennis... has been tweeted heavily today showing support to help Everybody Dreams reach that #1 spot!...


Answer: We don’t have enough space to answer this question but we’ll have a shot at it!

Firstly, a whole host of celebrities from the music world including British sweethearts Leona Lewis and Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, Tinie Tempah, massive support from the Lover’s Rock Fraternity & DJ’s... the list goes on + other public figures including Mayor Boris Johnson, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe & other members of the force who have attended events & tweeted. With Gladesmore being a school it is good to see they have support from Sir Michael Wilshaw, Head of OFSTED!!

Big thanks to DAVE STEWART~ Previously of the Eurthymics~ for the radio mix.

NEW: Ketchum Pleon PR company ~are actively supporting Gladesmore and arranged for the kids to sing outside their company headquarters following their appearance on the steps of Saint Pauls Cathedral yesterday.

NEW: The Mall-Wood Green~ will be screening a selection of Everybody Dreams videos around the shopping centre and will add the official videos to the homepage of their website and Facebook page.

NEW: Pizza Go Go ~ Lordship Lane & Stanford Hill~ are going to publize on their Pizza Boxes- offers & information about Everybody Dreams

NEW: Call Haringey Council & get put on ‘HOLD’... pass a few minutes listening to ‘Everybody Dreams!’

RECENT: Arriva Bus Company~ have been providing FREE transportation for Gladesmore pupils to their public appearances

CONTINUED: Tottenham Hotspur F.C... MASSIVE support! The kids have visited the club, THFC have an exclusive video of Everybody Dreams to play to their supporters at their first home game of the premiership, 25th August 2012

CONTINUED: HARINGEY MP’S: Are busy tweeting and running their own Storify:

CONTINUED: ITS BRAAP... We’ve been following this since the rough mix stage!! Check back through the blog to read all about it!!


BEAT THE BIEBER!!! Here’s the I-Tunes Download Link to ~USE NOW~

The Apple I-tunes download link

NOTE: Limited addition CD’S can be ordered directly from Gladesmore School’s website

List of the Official Videos~ so get Tweeting!!

1] The Official Video

2] The Gladesmore Community School Campaign Teaser

3] Everybody Dreams Official Flash Mob Video 06/08/12 [Exact date one year on from the riots]

4] Dave Stewarts Radio Mix set to Mo's new Documentary Teaser about the Everybody Dreams Campaign

5] Gladesmore Community School perform on the BT Vision Stage at BT London Hyde Park Live 07.08.12

Do your bit to put love, positivity and enthusiasm to the top of the charts!!... and did I say what a great single it is?1?!

Jaz McKenzie



GO TO>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


~4 Versions available - go & check them out NOW~

Help to make their dream come true so that their inspirational efforts are MAXIMIZED.


Jaz McKenzie

Sunday, 19 August 2012

How To Know Yourself and Become Fully Aware. Live Life~Love Life WK 34

When you read magazine articles, newspapers or watch T.V. Lifestyle programmes, you can always find one which tells you how to look better, feel better, take challenges, push the boundaries- so you can be someone other than you are! Trying to turn yourself into someone else is both stressful and unsuccessful, especially when you are working against your nature.

The other view which also gets in our way is the belief that you can, 'be who you want to be.' I would have loved to have been a ballet dancer but I was actually too tall and a little too plump; plus I couldn’t dance! My mother, who hated me to be disappointed, thought I wasn’t working hard enough to be a ballerina and used to get cross. This didn’t help either of us. I could not express myself in terms of dancing but later, found that I could be creative in other ways which were even more fulfilling. It took me well into my forties to find this out but if you are able to develop self awareness earlier, the sooner you can discover the 'real you' and save a great deal of frustration.

It’s really important to take a reality check about what you want to do with your life- so many ideas/ideals are thrust at us we have forgotten how to listen to our core selves and if we don’t write our own script then someone else will write it for us.

If you have been subject to a neglected, abusive and deprived childhood, then listening to your core self will have been attached to survival issues and the messages received tell you to freeze, run away or fight. I won’t address these responses here as you will need more time and dedication than this article provides, however you can read up on the subject.
QUESTION what is our core self?
Our body is the place in which we live, our mind is how we think and feelings are changes within our bodies that we can sense as a response to emotions or circumstances.

A unique part of being human means we have the ability to stand outside ourselves and self reflect. I teach people to have an ‘invisible friend on their shoulder' who can observe their thoughts feelings and actions. This is the beginning of becoming self aware.

Self awareness is different to being self conscious; which usually means we are shy or worrying that other people may be looking at us critically or in a judgemental way. Actually, you are doing this to yourself. We all have those nagging voices inside our head! I now tell mine, if they are not useful to me to shove off and bug someone else!!

Many people have not been taught how to become self aware and lacking self awareness might mean we struggle to be empathic. When you develop the skill of 'feeling for others' you also become more accepting of yourself and the negative parts of your personality. You can learn how to express anger without being violent and disappointment without feeling a victim. You can learn to celebrate your achievements without being a bighead. Most importantly, you can love and be loved.

If you do the same old thing in the same old way you get the same old result.
For example, in my childhood visiting the dentist was unpleasant- the sound of the mechanical drill frightening and the treatment often painful. Consequently for years, even though dentistry has advanced, just thinking about a visit would give me a dry mouth, raised heart rate and an all over perspiration which was a challenge for my deodorant! I had developed a learned response and got stuck.
School can often be a problem. For instance, if you didn’t get the right help at school because when asking questions you were made to feel stupid, then you will probably still hold back from asking new people for help in case those feelings surface. Feelings can be uncomfortable but they are a signpost to many different things.
I finally moved forward when I realised I needed to ask my dentist to reassure me about pain relief and step by step treatment– without the gory details! This was a big move forwards and I no longer get super anxious.

Human beings get stuck with habits and these habits form our comfort zone and ‘our personality’. We can then think this is ‘me’ and I can’t change.

Now, you were not born with these habits, you picked them up along the way in your childhood and at school. To release ourselves from these habits needs self awareness through reflective thinking. You also need to ask whether you were trying to change someone else’s behaviour without asking them to change it, or attempting to control circumstances over which you had no control. We only have the power to change ourselves, we do not have the power to change others – they have to be willing.

So here are Allie's Tips to get started!
1)Think of a recent problem you had.
2)What was the problem?
3)Who or what did it involve?
4)What did I feel inside my heart?- scared, angry, frustrated, sad, depressed, anxious, worried, lonely, rejected
5)What was I saying inside my head?
6)What was my body saying?- did I have a headache, were my shoulders raised, teeth clenched, legs twitchy or foot tapping
7)What did you want to happen?
8)Did you ask for help?
9)What was the result?

These are just some starter questions to help you get to know yourself a little better and raise your choices for the future. To know yourself is to be fully alive – to be you.

By Allie Stewart
Write to:
Link to Allie’s business:

We hope you enjoyed this exclusive article for Its Braap~ Great advice Allie... A huge thanks from all our Braappers!

If you would like to write an article for Its Braap contact

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Everybody Dreams Documentary Teaser to our Dave Stewart Radio Transatlan...

Amazing video & worthy of a poem to make you think a little about the importance of genuine dreams and why this project is so important... inspiration is one of the important keys in life, so help Gladesmore turn that key for future generations and get ready to download Everybody Dreams TOMORROW!!

Everybody Dreams-  Sometimes!

Everybody dreams –sometimes!
Allowing us to come fully alive
Entering our own orbit of sunshine
Beyond the greyness of winter lit skies
Clouds that revel in chasing the sun far, far away
Oh misery- the beating of another rainy day
We need hope’s light burning in our lives
Revealing the true purpose of a dream-
Our purpose built inspiration beckoning
Google Map outlining the route to bluer skies

Dreams... Set within foundations of routine or poverty
The dirty bass of our lives beating with endless monotony
Summoning up deep seated desires for change
Dreams, allowing us to swap or rearrange
Our perspectives, juggle our priorities
And view the future through a rosy mist
Perfection, perched upon a pedestal in distant haze
Awaiting, curiously anticipating everything
Except the unknown issue of fate
Life’s blessings or the cold cruel twists
On which we deliberate

Dare to dream?
For real... we all do!
But only the chosen few
Have the determination to
Run with the dream
To plan, prepare
And execute
With skill, with care
Yes the dream will come true
But only to those who dare!

Jaz McKenzie 2012©

Friday, 17 August 2012

Channel 4 Paralympics - Meet the Superhumans (Annotated Version)

This is a great advert for the Paralympics, so how come Channel 4 are now using a totally dire trailer to advertise the games? 

The 2012 Olympics has been amazing... everything, from the quality of the sport which gave us maximum skills, excitement and world records to the amazing atmosphere. So how come Channel 4 in their infinite wisdom are advertising the 2012 Paralympics in total contrast with an austere atmosphere in which the athletes emerge like the un-dead in Michael Jackson's video Thriller? This approach has actually taken my mind away from the games, its shock appeal succeeding in portraying the athletes as a bunch of sinister characters instead of dedicated, highly trained and exceptionally talented people. Such a travesty.

The advert we are featuring here shows the glorious side of the athletes... given a choice, if you were entering the Paralympics after years of hard work, how would you like to be represented? If any of the big bods at Channel 4 get wind of this maybe they will realize that there is still time to take the current trailer down and give us something inspirational instead!!! Zombies are NOT the order of the day, the Paralympics are about competition, showmanship and most of all an exciting aspect of life.

Jaz McKenzie

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Tropical Island Show~ Coming Soon!

We're sharing something a little different on ~IB~ today aimed at the younger generation. The Tropical Island Show is designed to be FUN and based on characters that children will relate to... Miss Piggy eat your heart out while the Tropical Island's fruits & animals take centre stage!! What could be better than a treasure hunt... pirates treasure to be pursued by goodies and baddies alike! You can already feel the atmosphere and the excitement of the children as they win real prizes from the chest... begging the question- what's more exciting, pirates or Father Christmas?!?!?

The shows will be at Cottons, Islington~ so those of you attending Reggae In The City know exactly where to go! Check the website link now for further details of bookings and a sneak pre-view. Performances commence weekend of the 25th August.

The show is loosely educational... and we all know the importance of Early Learning Goals don't we... does doing the limbo count? Putting that to one side for a second the show does look fun and promises to be full of audience participation. I have the feeling that it will be a definite hit with the kids and parents alike... and you can even order a CD of carnival songs in advance so your children can join in.

it sounds so good I think I might just pop along for some sunny island vibes!

Jaz McKenzie

If you have an interesting event to share with us send to

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Introducing Allie Stewart... Ready to be Inspired?!?!

It’s always good to introduce new people to our Braappers and today is the turn of Allie Stewart. As we mentioned on Sunday, we will be sharing an article Allie has written specially for ~IB~ this coming Sunday.

‘How to Know Yourself and Become Fully Alive’ is beautifully suited to our weekly blogathon Its Braap~Its Life...currently at week 33! I love Allie’s individual approach, especially as she challenges one particular public perception... you will need to read it to work out what I am referring to!

Anyone like to rise to the challenge and guess what Allie does for a living???? Easy, Allie is currently working as a life coach and has created her own business, ‘The Life Changing Company.’

Allie works with all age groups and specializes in helping people find their ideal career. Her greatest sense of achievement within the spectrum comes from helping young people to discover their key interests and get their lives off on the right path. She recognizes the struggle to equate personal interests with an appropriate course of action and enjoys steering them in the right direction. If you are thinking of changing career you will find plenty of useful information on her website... follow the link below.

I met Allie in central London recently and we had some interesting discussions over lunch. Allie is a warm caring person and loves finding a balance in life herself, currently prioritizing spending time with her grandchildren throughout the summer holidays. This in itself is a great recommendation when you consider that Allie is following her own advice and creating that balance!

As you are all aware, I love people who are genuinely focused on living life in a positive way and enjoy encouraging others to do so; therefore was thrilled with Allie’s feedback regarding Its Braap... Thanks for the encouragement! Allie has spent a great number of years working with people and undergone intensive training so is extremely qualified to help individuals make considered decisions with her step by step approach. Whatever a person’s circumstances and the changes they have recently experienced... or not as the case may be... Allie has her methods and the skills to help people explore their options safely, increase their confidence and face the future with a greatly reduced fear factor. If you have major decisions to make in the short term you would be well advised to contact Allie for some firm support and advice. The final point worth mentioning is that Allie offers a genuine service for an honest price so you know you will receive great value for money.

A big thanks to Allie for giving up her time to write for us and hope you will all tune in this Sunday!

Link to Allie’s business:

Jaz McKenzie

If you would like to write an article for Its Braap contact

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Everybody Dreams - Official Music Video !!! WATCH THIS NOW!!!

Here it is~The Official Music Video from Gladesmore School which has had over 1000 hits in 24 hours... great mixes in here with a touch of reggae so keep watching! Just loving this song which, given the time committed to this project makes it all the more worthwhile. Everybody Dreams is definitely a contender for the commercial market and very inspirational... get your kids to tweet it!

SHARE ~SHARE~SHARE & PRE-ORDER your copy from this link~

Thanks Everyone!!

Jaz McKenzie

Monday, 13 August 2012

Ed Sheeran - Small Bump (Acoustic)

This is an amazing song about a premature baby and the lyrics are stunning. Ed Sheeran's descriptions defy description and the belief, strength and hope portrayed are remarkable, this tiny little person being humanized by the words...'you can wrap your fingers round my thumb and hold me tight.' I was riveted to the first ever performance of this song and the most amazing thing is that Ed doesn't mention the words love or beautiful at all yet those are the two main emotions that are actually portrayed in the underlying sentiment of the song... and that is the mark of a brilliant lyricist!

Jaz McKenzie

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Clocking Up The Minutes Live Life~Love Life WK 33

Clocking up the minutes... how we use time.
The majority of us for most of our lives have no idea when we will draw our last breath, although occasionally we have a clue when the time draws near, especially if we become extremely ill or are elderly and our bodies are running down.

So, why are we considering this at all?
The reason is simply because when I was suffering from a moment of acute distress and thinking all sorts of the wrong things I tried the ‘fly on the wall’ thing we looked at last week and thought- ‘if this was your very last minute on earth would you really choose to spend it with these thoughts in your head?

Just imagine if you took your current feelings with you when you passed into eternity. Great if you popped off after winning a gold medal but what if you were feeling angry, upset, jealous or any other negative emotion- who knows, this might be the first thing in your head to start the new era of your being. A pretty scary thought as I have heard reports of people who have apparently died and not realized it! Do we believe in the world of mediums and spirits... your choice.

I am not suggesting that we go around with the idea of dying in our minds... preserve us from the very idea... but it is good to pull ourselves up and away from the negative vibes we tend to dwell on when things go ‘wrong’ and we feel overwhelmed with particular situations.

To be able to cheer yourself up is an acquired art that usually takes a lot of practice. Basically we need to focus on the minute in hand and find a way to make it better, make it count. Usually the best thing is to do something that gets your mind off your worries... little things such as a game of cards can provide a good distraction and create mental relaxation.

If you look at where you are in life right now is it where you would wish to be? I am not referring so much to location as your personal attributes... patience, generosity, kindness, being without resentment. Basic characteristics which can elevate us in our own eyes; even encourage us to keep on treading the road to self improvement and towards our earthly goals.

Think back to the last words you spoke. Maybe they were everyday conversation, an instruction, a request. How did you put yourself across? With consideration for others, in an everyday manner or without any thought. If you were angry would you prefer an opportunity to take those words back? This is just a reminder to think before we speak or in some cases, not to over think!
How well do you like yourself? Before we can answer this question we need to take an honest look at ourselves. If we are generally happy with who we are we can keep on the same path. If we don’t like who we are we are definitely not ready for eternity- you don’t want to spend the rest of your days with a person you don’t like! Time to identify the things you wish to address and find some ways to help you change. Don’t expect overnight results... gradual progression is likely to be more permanent.

Where are you spiritually? Do you have a God? Do you want to have a God? Have you thought seriously about this side of your being or have you simply focused on earthly riches? Now might be a good time to take that journey of discovery and make sure you are happy with the views you hold.

On a practical note, have you taken the time to make a will, tell people what you would like to happen if you were to die unexpectedly. Preparation is not morbid it is showing love for our families by having a plan and ensuring that they receive what is rightfully theirs. Planning helps to remove stress at an extremely difficult time of life.

Living in the moment is a skill. We are so often drawn away by our thoughts to the past or the future... as is making the most of time. This week try to take time to appreciate the here and now, it can actually help you feel more at peace with yourself, calmer and more in control which ultimately improves your quality of life.

Jaz McKenzie

If you would like to write an article for Its Braap contact

Saturday, 11 August 2012


Q~ What can you do while you're making a cup of tea???
A~ write a poem!!


Quick put the kettle ON NOW
Daaaam it- I neeeeed a cup of tea
Fresh brew, hot- just the ticket
Not the last resort
Not a matter of habit
Forget tradition- after all
China & India are just as attached to their cuppa
As we British & drink it ceremonially
No just tea, from the kettle to the cup
No time for teapots & sitting around
Awaiting a perfect brew
By the time I finish this poem it’ll be done
And I’ll gulp it down... maybe make another one
NO... I think I’ll drink a little more slowly
And watch the TV... congrats to MO Farrah
And plenty more to come later
Jamaica or USA... we’ll have to wait & see
Quick... grab the cuppa & drink it up
Otherwise- I’m stewed!

Jaz McKenzie 2012©

Everybody Dreams Official Flash Mob Video 060812.... 8 days to DOWNLOAD!!

~IB~ sharing the OFFICIAL Flashmob Video for those of you who missed the teaser. 
This is a really hot anthem expressing the views of the youth.

You can share this video, download the ringtone, visit the website via the link... top right & get ready to download the track next Sunday 19th August. The Everybody Dreams initiative has caught fire so check it out & do your thing to support these kids... The Tottenham Riots are a thing of the past... this is the present & a path to the future!!

Jaz McKenzie

Friday, 10 August 2012

Olympic Fever Burning!!!...

Olympic fever has been burning brightly whilst the most imaginative Olympic torch ever hosts the flames of hope, victory and most importantly the honour of competing in the historic 2012 London Olympic Games. At the beginning of the celebrations each nation placed their petal to form a part of the torch and each nation will take their petal home... WOW who is the genius who came up with that idea?

The opening ceremony was typically British and a celebration of British history, proving to be quite we have a few days left to contemplate what awaits us in the closing ceremony... NOPE, too busy keeping up with the action!

In addition to superb athletics, much of the magic has been conjured up by the crowd and the way in which all the athletes have been supported across the board. The multi-ethnic London crowd has displayed true Olympic generosity of spirit contributing to the overall success and enjoyment of all, making this an outstanding Olympic games so far with the Paralympics still to come.

There are so many ‘behind the scenes’ elements in play relating to the athletes journey's, giving us exciting and painful personal stories... all brought to that initial table of hope when the games opened and each athlete had their dream intact. As the games unfolded all has been revealed awash with tears of joy and sometimes frustration.
ABOVE: Charlotte Dujardin riding 'Valegro'
Team UK has surpassed all expectations and won medals across the board, with Chris Hoy achieving the 6th Olympic gold medal of his cycling career... outstanding. Yesterday we watched Charlotte Dujardin winning gold in dressage at her first Olympics, incredible as Charlotte has only recently started to compete at world class level. This morning another young competitor, Jade Jones from Wales, won a gold medal in Taekwondo, another great achievement.

The fact that the UK are in 3rd position in the medal table is phenomenal given the size of the country compared to the USA & China... how did we do it... clearly through talented athletes with dedication and excellent mental attitudes backed up by a home games with major British support & funding from the National lottery.

LEFT: Doing 'The Bolt!'
Last night the men’s 200 meters proved to be a phenomenal event living up to its promise as living legend Usain Bolt fulfilled his prediction and won his second gold medal this Olympics- in classic Bolt style. What an occasion, a triple and well deserved win for the Jamaican’s making Bolt, Blake and Weir inspirations for the nation of youngsters- in line with the 2012 Olympic theme.

There have been spectacular wins throughout the past 2 weeks in different sports and many well deserved personal achievements which have led to a total of 70 nations to date acquiring at least 1 medal to celebrate.

It has been very interesting listening to the athletes speaking about their careers and to hear some of the commentaries and presenter’s opinions... just love hearing Michael Johnson speak- such ‘on the ball views’- have to mention yesterday’s nature/nurture discussion of what makes an outstanding sprinter; fascinating. There was even mention of creating a sprinting gene... hmmmm... but as Colin Jackson said, the gene is only a small part of it, you have many other factors that come into play. The main message repeated by numerous athletes is that they have to be totally dedicated to their sport at a cost to friends and family. Getting up every day regardless of the weather and your mental/physical state to undertake essential training day in and day out is the only way to reach your peak performance. Of course the hard work and training in sport is carried out behind the scenes so we only ever see the end result... the excitement of races and competitions... the tears and the glory.

RIGHT: Chris Hoy
These have been dubbed the ‘social media games’ and Twitter, Facebook etc have really enabled the athletes to connect with their fans. Social Media has given people an almost direct link to their hero’s that was previously unavailable and reaches worldwide. Planning is already underway to keep the impetus of the games rolling long after they have finished. Let’s hope that the Olympic vibe is so strong today’s children can hold onto it and become the athletes of tomorrow!

Jaz McKenzie

London Olympics 2012 filmed by me Epke Zonderland on Mens Horizontal...

There have been so many amazing performances in the last couple of weeks that we could have shared however we would have been chock-a-block trying to keep up with it. I am sure we have all see Usain Bolt's phenomenal performances so I am posting this guy, Epke Zonderland from the Netherlands who won gold on the horizontal bar. Epke is a medical student... how do you study medicine and become a gold medal Olympic finalist?? That is dedication to the max. Apparently Epke has another 4 years to go before he qualifies~ just in time for the next Olmpics!! Epke said that he has inherited his talent from his Grandfather who displayed amazing skills walking across rooftops or some such thing and wanted to be a clown!

Well, just a few more medals to be decided and we're up to the closing ceremony. Hope you have all enjoyed the atmosphere and energy of the games.

Jaz McKenzie

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Everybody Dreams Flashmob Taster... CHECK THIS OUT!!

Flashmob video as promised yesterday however Youtube was uncooperative!! Help this campaign & SHARE!... A great message here to spread across the nation so get to it heart to heart!!

Jaz McKenzie

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Everybody Dreams~ massive support & media coverage for the flashmob!!

Everybody Dreams left the ‘dream’ phase long ago and has clocked up a pretty impressive string of realities. Those of you who have been following the Gladesmore Community School journey will know that this single is having a huge impact in creating a new, positive view of the borough of Haringey following last year’s Tottenham riots. ‘From strength to strength’ has proved to be a reality firstly by the support of Tottenham Hotspurs FC, Mayor Boris Johnson and most recently by the attendance of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe at the Everybody Dreams Flashmob appearance this Monday, 6th August- a year after the riots... along with other representatives of the force including Borough Commander Sandra Looby who is showing continued support. How wonderful it is to see the police standing by and even joining in a little with such an original initiative.
The school has over 1000 pupils however it wasn’t possible for them all to attend so Monday was the turn of the dancers! Traffic stopped with prior agreement from the police for a total of 6 minutes to allow the children to perform their routine. Once it started Everybody Dreams was definitely the focus of attention; besides the crowd, shoppers peered out of the local Tesco and people were literally jumping off the buses to catch the action whilst the drivers waited for the road to clear. To the surprise of the teachers, French TV reporters rushed over to grab the story which was also aired on radio & BBC TV. An even greater surprise was in store an hour later when CNN turned up at the school having got wind of the story!!! Everybody Dreams also featured this week on The Voice on-line who are calling for us all to rally around and show support... so why not go to the Gladesmore School Soundcloud and download the free ringtone right now... also available on the Its Braap Page opposite... or share the videos to spread the word.
ABOVE: Flashmob with Pauline Pearce
The most amazing thing I found was the electric and yet peaceful atmosphere that dominated Tottenham on this occasion. People went out specifically to enjoy the Everybody Dreams experience which contrasted totally with the scenes last year and shows you how the real Tottenham inhabitants feel. We will follow this article by posting the flashmob video and you will see the familiar face of Pauline Pearce now telling us how it is a year on... how many of you remember the viral video in which she gave the rioters a piece of her mind?!?! This occasion provided a great opportunity to meet the people who are involved in the campaign, including recent recruits- Arriva bus team... more to come there... and especially the most humble person of all, the Headmaster Mr.T.Hartney CBE otherwise known as Tony!
ABOVE: Tottenham the next generation!
Stay tuned... more great news still to come & check out the link to the Everybody Dreams website top right!!

Jaz McKenzie

If you would like to write an article about your dreams for Its Braap~Its Life contact us on We would love to hear from people who have also reacted positively to the riots!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Everybody Dreams Mini Up-date

A year to the day after the Tottenham riots it's Flash mob day for Everybody Dreams & guess what?!?!??! The kids hit the BBC news twice & also the radio... more to come on this event shortly... those of you who follow the Gladesmore Community School on Twitter will have seen the picture of the children with the Commissioner of Police, Bernard Hogan-Howe. A quick congrats on achievements to date. STAY TUNED!!

OFFICIAL Jamaica 50 theme song- "On A Mission"

Right now it seems the world is celebrating with the Olympic feel flooding from London and way beyond. Today however belongs to one nation, Jamaica, as they celebrate 50 years of independence. What a great time with this special day following Usain Bolt's incredible win yesterday  in the 100 Metres- amidst a strong athletic presence in general from the Jamaicans. It is great to see the celebrations reported on the news with communities clearly enjoying their cultural heritage & looking to the future.

With the way the world has been let's hope we have moved from the era of 'blood on the streets' which has been referred to in some reggae songs and focus more on pride in the heart... and have you ever met a Jamaican who is not proud to be Jamaican!! This is the time for one love... Bob Marley definitely got that one right! Love & blessings to all on this long awaited day... Its Braap!

Jaz McKenzie

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Be A Fly on Your Own Wall! Live Life~Love Life WK 32

How often have you discussed a situation with your friends and said, ’I’d love to be a fly on the wall?’ We have so much curiosity about other people and the way they carry on, very often forgetting that others are observing us and as a result may see us very differently from the ways in which we see ourselves.

You may think that no-one knows you as well as yourself. In some ways this is true because others do not have direct access to your true thoughts and opinions, but likewise it may be incorrect because we often lack objectivity regarding our actions.

Question: As an individual how can we be truly objective about ourselves?

Answer: we can’t... but we can try to see ourselves as others see us... what better approach than attempting to be a fly on our own wall.

The advantage of this is that we have insider information and a clearer view of our situations so that becomes our starting point. There are two ways you can go about this; by using a pro-active approach and turning your ‘fly eyes’ on from the outset of any given situation, or working retrospectively which might be the best option until you become skilled at zooming in on yourself.

What this actually means is that you may decide to monitor your actions in a given situation at the time- or later on it may occur to you to run it through your mind and see how your words or behaviour affected other people.

In order to increase self understanding you will need to look at different aspects of your life and how you act or react. It is best to examine positive and negative situations to help identify your basic characteristics which can then be categorized as strengths and weaknesses. A good way of gaining some insight is to consider work appraisals as these are useful tools for reflection. For example, maybe you think you are a great team player but it has been brought to your attention that the rest of the team don’t see it that way. You may think that you are giving helpful advice however others might see this as interference. If this is the case you need to identify why... maybe you are joining in with conversations of your own accord and were not asked for your opinion. Try standing back and assessing people's reactions to you in different work settings. Maybe the same contributions are valued when given in staff meetings or other appropriate forums. This method may help you to change your approach and you will start to realise when you need to keep yourself in check which will help your progress.

One of the most useful aspects is that we come to understand our own behaviours. We will know what is good and should be built upon and what we deem ‘undesirable.’ The aim is that we will not keep repeating the same un-necessary actions; Point being, the same actions create the same result.

Sometimes people describe us in ways we do not recognize. People might label you as organized whereas you may consider yourself as not particularly organized. By standing back mentally and watching your actions you may realize that you are far more organized than you gave yourself credit for! You might be a patient person however through studying your behaviour find that you are less patient with some people than others. Sometimes we are aware of these things and do nothing about them. Once you identify certain behaviour patterns it gives you the opportunity to look at specific situations and evaluate the reasons for them.

Whatever situations you decide to observe whether they be social, intimate or possibly a recent job interview, you need to maintain an open honest approach and consider the contributions of all concerned in order to enhance your understanding of the outcomes.

Anytime you really wish to review your behaviour, remember... the fly on the wall has the best view!

Jaz McKenzie

If you would like to write and article for Its Braap~Its Life contact

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Olympic Focus!!!

The Olympics are well and truly in full swing and with them the shock story of the Women's Badminton Doubles disqualifications, giving a new slant to these great words of Michael Jordan's. Clearly Michael is speaking about life in general and also as a true sportsman. So, what were these badminton players and their coaches thinking of when they deliberately sabotaged their own well loved sport? What glory would they have really had in winning if they had evaded disqualification knowing that their success was grounded in deceipt and trickery rather than true brilliance? In addition they must have had no consideration whatsoever for the poor audience who had spent their hard earned cash and many months looking forward to witnessing some of the best badminton in the world. Selfish in the extreme.

The good news is that their plan did not succeed and as a result one of the players, Yu Yang, has quit the sport.

Thankfully there will be many Olympians who will have tried their hardest and walked away having played their sport honourably and as a result be able to hold their heads high with pride despite not winning a medal... On top of that we have the medal winners who have given some truly stunning and memorable performances... as for the above 8 badminton players, they will never live down their disgraceful conduct and have lost their opportunity to go for gold!

Jaz McKenzie

If you have a great story relating to the Olympics contact

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Love theme from Godfather played by Andre Rieu

This is an absolutely beautiful musical arrangement of the love theme from the Godfather played by Dutch violinist Andre Rieu who born in Maastricht Netherlands; Andre is also conductor and composer.

Andre Rieu can also be described as a man with vision having created his own orchestra, the Johann Strauss Orchestra which, as the name suggests, specializes in the waltz. I have also discovered that he owns a very special violin, a Stradivarius which dates back to 1667... remarkable!

If you would like to know more about Andre here is a link to him his website:

Jaz McKenzie