Have you ever?

Have you ever wanted to take your own life? I have. I am not afraid or ashamed to say it. There shouldn’t be stigma attached to someone who is struggling with their mental health. But too often people are ready to judge rather than listen.

“What have you got to be depressed about?” When I told my mother in the 1990s that I got diagnosed with depression by a psychiatrist. It’s not the best or response of your own mother. I even had a member of my family make fun of me about a time when I was in utter pain.

I was reading about a local lad in Chester-le-Street that took his own life because he had witnessed a horrible trauma of his own mother being murdered by his father. Medicating himself to stop the anger is a way a lot of people do to mask the pain.

But who can we really turn to in that moment of crisis? Here’s my advice …

1. Always have a friend you can trust and go to even if it’s telling them your not feeling too good and they will check on you later

2. Keep phone numbers in your phone of contacts who are professionals. Even though I am doing really well at the moment I still keep them in my phone. People like Mind or Samaritans.

3. Be aware of the times when you feel low. For me it was always when I was tired, had a drink or late at night. Sometimes it was none of those and it just appeared out of nowhere.

4. Realise you aren’t your feelings. In other words how you feel now doesn’t define you as a person. You are loved. Even though you don’t feel it. Someone does care even though you think no one does.

5. Talk to people. Women do it well men are shit at it. Fuck that comment someone said to you about talking about your “feelings” it wasn’t being “a man”. Fuck them! It’s your life not theirs. It’s your health not theirs.

6. Go to things that help. Medicating yourself with booze fags or drugs is easy and a temporary fix. Talk to your doctor. Talk to someone about what they think you should do and own your health. You’re in charge. I love music, films, friends, photography on social media. I find pleasure in stuff I like.

7. Be yourself not your past – If you are struggling with past trauma, your sexuality, or something someone said or did. There’s help out there. Bottling it up might help it in short term but these things always come back to us. I have spoken to hundreds of guys over the years who are terrified of their own sexuality. I was like that when I was a teenager. Afraid of being who I was and thinking people will reject me. I had nasty comments before I came out by my mother and when I did come out she didn’t speak to me for 3 days. But after talking to her about it she realised I was the same person as I was before nothing had changed. If they don’t accept you it’s their problem not yours.

Anyway. I hope this is helpful. Share it with someone who you might be concerned about. Message me if you need to chat. I might not have all the answers. But I can point you in the right direction of someone who can.


We are in the the middle of another full lockdown. If you are like me was a little bemused by the tier system and think the government is in charge of a very sensitive seesaw. One slight movement sees the whole country moving one direction only for it to be tipped the opposite way a few moments later.

The first major lockdown came back in March 2020 I was at first a little nervous to leave the house to do some shopping after the first week as I had seen how brazen some people had been and seemed to be walking around my town like nothing had happened.

Throughout the lockdown and moving into regional tiers I have heard that advice from central Government had been, somewhat confusing. I will try and stay at home as much as possible, not mix with other households unless it’s with a support bubble and slather my hands with tonnes of hand sanitiser.

Of course in all time whether it is normal or not there will always be a contingency of stupid people.

I don’t know anyone who has had covid some I’m not bothered

It’s only fatal in 2% of cases

It’s all a plandemic

There has to be some responsibility taken not only by the people who make the decisions to contain the virus but those who flout laws governed to keep us from spreading Covid-19.

I have seen many instances of people not wearing masks in shops. Clearly they don’t have any visible reason not to wear them. Even if it was just one group of people to be broken up by the police because they decided to have a party with 30-40 other people this is one too many.

We also have heard stories of people of groups of people who have gathered for parties whether it be on boats or in small confided spaces underneath railway arches. It’s people’s sense of entitlement that annoys me “No one can tell me what to do” like a petulant child reprimanded by a step-parent.

Reports now coming in of other strains of Covid-19 which are more transmissible so much that they government in some areas are literally knocking on people’s front doors asking them to be tested.

One of the news items that concerned me that an organisation has been set to up help those men who regularly attend football matches and have contact with their friends in the stand. Sometimes it has been said that this is their own social contact they have each week. Men are feeling the strain of not being able to socialise as you can imagine the buzz of the football ground gives people a sense of belonging and being part of the community.

Being the most connected, in terms of technology more than at any other time as a human race a large percentage of people are feeling isolated and trapped.

I wonder if it’s time to look at our lives and how we communicate with each other. When I hear about vile abuse that some footballers or other personality has received on social media. Isn’t it time these companies tightened their rules?

What ever your story has been throughout this pandemic have we thought about how others might feel? Given time to listen to our friends or made sure of that someone who you know might be vulnerable has been spoken to to make sure they are okay.

2020 review – it’s been a bit shit

Despite having more time then ever I have neglected my diary at home but also this blog. This is the least amount of posts I have ever written on this site in a year a grand total of two.

January and February were two of the craziest months I have had in a long time. Last year I ditched dating but came crawling back to some apps with a vengeance. I thought to myself I will never actually meet anyone. No one thinks that I am sexy, smart, funny and witty.

I decide to turn up the “whore-bag” level to ten and see what life could throw at me. And boy it did. I met some nice people to have lunch with some were kind, some were okay and some decided after the second meeting to completely ghost me they disappeared out of my life without a single word; no apology or the pathetic excuse “it’s not you – it’s me”.

This happened not once, not twice, but thrice in ten months. If you want to start a conversion you damn well should be grown up enough to end one as well. That’s the one thing I certainly have learned this year men are pathetic at communicating feelings end emotions.

My favourite band, Pet Shop Boys, released a new album “Hotspot” and in my biased opinion is one of their best albums in the last 20 years. The opening song on the album ‘Will-o-the-Wisp’ takes the crown as my favourite song of the year second comes ‘Blinding Lights – The Weeknd’ a cracking tune.

Pet Shop Boys – Hotspot

The looming pandemic arrived and we were placed into lockdown. It amazed me how many elderly people weren’t taking it seriously at all and I saw a large number going about their business in Chester-le-Street like it was just an ordinary day. Like a lot of people I was worried about how it would affect my mental health and apart from being a little bit lonely now again I saw the bigger picture.

This symbol of hope this year. The rainbow stolen by the gays from the Christians only to be stolen by those clapping for the NHS.

My small supply of hand sanitiser soon ran out and I was left one day with hands that looked like had been run up and down on a cheese grater.

One of the benefits of being made to stay at home this year was having a stab at proper cooking. You know branching out from the microwave and creating something different using a recipe. Thanks to the 79 million cook books I inherited I turned to the internet and eventually mastered Yorkshire puddings. From a recipe by someone I follow on twitter.

I also had a bash at making my own soup as I was appalled at how tasteless some tinned soup I had consumed. Managed to cook a combination of onion and leek; ended cooking chicken soup.

This year around my birthday I turned 50. I kept saying to myself I can’t be 50 I was 18 two seconds ago and now I am 50? My body was telling my otherwise. Experiencing a heart attack a couple of years ago I am aware that I am not a teenager anymore and if I want to see another decade I need to do less of the booze more exercise. But I got it mixed up and did less exercise and did more booze. Even the warnings from County Durham’s twitter feed about the harm too much alcohol can do did nothing to dent the gin-soaked evenings.

Driving into Scotland on my 50th birthday.

Now I have started to have not just days but weeks abstinence. I joke that I am not 22 anymore and my body when getting out of bed reminds me each day.

I fixed the oven this year. Having zero confidence in my DIY skills as I decided that it wasn’t worth calling out a company at 80-100 quid just to come and look at it, kick it and to be told “It’s fucked.” I bought an element that needed replacing from eBay and struggled for two hours wrestling an oven and the most fucking fiddly connections But I won and the oven is now operational again.’

With all the crap that’s happened this year December proved to be an even shitter month. With my fridge freezer going to the big council landfill in the sky and the car throwing error codes left right and centre it’s been a time when things have not got been good. Friends family being ill with serious conditions just made 2020 a crap year.

So whatever you’re doing. Fat, thin, tall or small. Black, white, gay or bi. I hope this next year is decent for you. A happy and blessed 2021 !

My grindr experience

I thought I would give it a go, meet someone, who knows it could turn out to be something good. I was wrong. 

I don’t date. I said in my last post that its not for me and I am sticking to that because dating (in my opinion) is such a silly thing to do. I had a great day in Newcastle and thought it was nice to be able to walk around the city and have a few around people watching and maybe get some food and a drink.

The day was good – I like that Newcastle has changed so much (for the better) it has become a cosmopolitan and vibrant city. It has embraced a modern approach to life, where everyone is accepted and it has been hosting the World Transplant Games this week and it was great to see so many people from all around the world decend to the north east in competing in various sports.

So I trundled back to my home in Chester-le-Street ready to settle in for a evening in front of the television. I know that my life isn’t exciting. Not going parties every weekend plus I don’t mind having a dull social life. Not interested in clubs and busy bars; just aint my scene.

Previously, I was talking to a guy on grindr and was asked to go out in my town to meet  him. I thought to myself ‘why not?’, there can be no harm. Right? It could be a start of something good if I give it a chance. This positively, Philip.


I am a big lad, I have tattoos and usually when I walk into bars these days I get a quiet nod and an “alreet”. It’s a northern thing men do when they want to acknowledge your masculinity and presence. They don’t know I am a raging homo.

So I met up with this guy and we got chatting in a rather crowded bar. The music that was being played wasn’t great and I thought we were connecting pretty well, he seemed engaged enough to think I wasn’t too hideous and ugly to look at. I jokingly made a comment about how the music was shit and he didn’t respond much.

I had offered to buy him a drink but he declined. Thinking that this was a sign that he didn’t realise the protocols of meeting someone for the first time and how to conduct yourself when you first meet. Never the less I got myself one and about two minutes later he walks to the bar to get a drink. Very odd.

I saw him talking to the DJ and he had gone outside to have a smoke but then didn’t come back to where we were sitting. He eventually returned to the bar and sat with some friends he had met. I didn’t want to make scene or think anything of it but I bumped into him later on and told him he was rude. He shrugged his shoulders and walked away.

Now this is one of the reasons I don’t do dates. Even if something goes wrong you are polite and decline and say it probably isn’t going work out. Not stomp off like a petulant child and act like a baby.

I really think some have lost the art of conversation of allowing yourself to get to know one another. It’s instant world of hookups, one night stands and now disposable people. You don’t like what you have so let’s just get another one.

It will be a long time and maybe even never, until I next decide, to meet anyone from dating apps.

I’m coming out

I have decided after many years I hate going on dates. I despise them. Bear with me I have a reason for this and I will explain. 

You don’t have to look very far when people talk about finding love. People immediately talk about speed-dating or meeting up with someone going on a ‘first date’. When I was young the idea of finding a significant other didn’t interest me at all. It was all part of the expectations my parents had and automatically assumed I would follow.

A few years ago I thought it was the right way to go to finding love and I was wrong. The person turned out to be utterly wrong for me. I think it put me off completely. The inability to have a conversation to understand someones sense of humour and the art of actually listening to what the other person is saying rather than getting to have your turn to complain about something not relevant to what is being said.


Maybe I am being a little harsh or too judgemental – too quick to give up on the idea of finding the right one is this way. It’s not because I am ‘asocial’, far from it. I love the idea of meeting up with someone going for a drink or food, maybe a walk or to the cinema (which is the suckiest of places to go on a date) and spending time with the person you really like.

People all over the world want to find the right person, but they have high expectations, it’s never approached as what can I add to a relationship but what can I find to get out of another person.

I want them to talk in a certain way have a certain sense of humour and have their lives sorted too. I want them to be dressed smartly, have perfect teeth, be tanned and have a six-pack. I want them to be good in bed, to be attentive when I am down, talkative when I am up and have the power of telepathy. I want want want …


Isn’t it a wonder that a huge percentages of marriages end in divorce. Bad behaviour, inability to communicate, expectations that don’t match reality and wanting different things out of life. How many people walk away from just a friendship alone when things get slightly tough. Relate that to any close relationship and you can understand marriage isn’t for everyone.

So I am coming out as a ‘Non-dater’. I am a person who doesn’t go on dates. Not that I am closed to the idea of a relationship it’s just I would rather get to know someone else in a less formal structured manner. Let’s be friends and see how it goes.

Durham Pride – thoughts

Last year I wrote about Newcastle Pride and how I didn’t think it was my cup of tea. I returned to another Pride march this and this one took place in the City I was born – Durham. 

The pile of sick I stepped over in front of a Champagne bar in Durham might have been a foreboding to what I was going to experience throughout the day. I had travelled from my home into Durham city and made my way down to ‘The Sands’ which is a field next to the river Wear.

Durham Pride is in its infancy and we must take that into consideration. The fact that it was founded in 2014 and only has been running for 5 years makes us realise that this event does have a few problems and stuff that needs, in my opinion, ironing out.

I arrived about 2.30pm an hour and half after it officially opened to see some stall holders already starting to pack up. The event itself is only running for half a day from 1-6pm at The Sands. I thought it was a bit mean of those people who had decided to put their stall out to start dismantling things not even half way through the afternoon.

It was good to see organisations like Police, NHS and Samaritans get involved in promoting their cause and even local bus services had brought a vehicle designed in a LGBT theme celebrating pride.


The music was okay I am not a huge fan of every song being the dance version of every hit you have ever heard. The queue for the bar was about ten minutes long and overall the prices where reasonable for this sort of event. The only thing that I thought was a bit steep was the price of a full bottle of wine at £18. Strangely I didn’t witness anyone take up this offer and people mainly stuck to pints or shots with a mixer.

At around 5pm people were leaving in droves and it was only when I was walking back to catch a bus home did I catch the headlining act (albeit via facebook live) of Sonique. They had decided to put her on about 5.50pm when the majority of the people had gone home.

I think overall people were happy with the event. It’s manly attended by the 16-30 crowd which is great if you are that age, but someone who is knocking on the door of middle age and reluctant to go inside, it does make me feel that once you have passed the milestone of thirty in gay terms you are in retirement.

There was nothing I could see for people past thirty we all aren’t interesting in drag queens and repeating infinitum the mantra that we are ‘having a good time’ at the host requests.

This for me is where Pride events fall down. The ageist opinions of not just the attendees but the mindset that people in organisation make invisible those who have experienced the 80s and 90s and have the grey hair to prove our non-existent status in LGBT world.

Good points – young people ready to embrace their sexuality and others willing to support them

Bad points – 15 toilets for 25 thousand. Not enough variety of food. Stalls packing up way before the end.




Mum – Mothering Sunday 19

When someone dies people are on an edge mentioning the person who has passed just incase you might upset the person. It’s a natural response because you don’t want to feel you have upset them.

The month of March is a difficult one for me in the middle is mum’s birthday and around a week or so later is mothers day. It used to be a time when I would cook food or take mum out for the day and we would spend happy times with each other.

Now she is no longer around I try to spend these days thinking about the good times especially the last ten years of her life when we were particularly close.

It is 25 years in July since my father died and when I eventually met up with some friends on a summer camp a couple of weeks later I could tell people were a little nervous around me. I told people then and tell people now I don’t mind talking about what happened and I don’t mind being asked questions. I might get a little upset but that not because you asked the question or I was offended just a little pain recalling information and sad thoughts. We tend as human beings to limit our pain whether it’s numbing it with alcohol, drugs illegal or otherwise to reduce the hurt. Slowly coming to terms with this loss is all part of the grieving process and allowing ourselves to get emotional.


The people I say that we should watch out for that don’t show their emotion and I mean those who say that they aren’t upset or hurting inside. Bottling up emotions is dangerous for health both mental and physical. It will eat away at you for a long time and eventually you will reach a point when you might not able to handle that emotion in a safe and stable manner.

Girls and women in general are much better at accessing emotions as they talk to each other about them and process them in a more manageable way. Blokes on the other hand are crap with their emotions unable to talk your way out responses become violent and the person on the receiving end becomes a victim.

So we have another mothers day which I won’t ignore I won’t go overboard and build a shrine either but I will have moments when I can remember the good times I had and that’s what I have to take with me.


It still amazes me that some men cling to their masculinity like a ship-wreck survivor to a life raft. If someone questions it it’s seen such a threat.

I used to work in a school where the boys had to be men and the girls got pregnant and stayed at home. It was like I was living in 1850s time warp. I look at some of the profiles on social media of some of the pupils I used to teach and its all to apparent the amount of time spent in the gym and the stark abuse steroids in contrast to the rest of society.

Their inability to leave toxic masculinity behind and seek a progressive attitude towards society means they see anything they isn’t part of their own is a threat. It took me years to be accepted in such a community even though I was only born a handful of miles away from the area.


Terry Kupers, professor in psychiatry, explains in an article that the basis of toxic masculinity is the ‘constellation of socially regressive males traits that serve to foster domination, the devaluation of women, homophobia and wanton violence’. A man sees his right to assert dominance over women and any gay man he may come into contact is a threat to his own masculinity.

I see a lot of men who I define as having a ‘heterosexual blindness.’ What I mean is that anything that doesn’t fit into a mould of a macho stereotype will instantly dismissed. eg. Boybands are dismissed as being ‘gay’; any alignment with perceived femininity also the same. Jobs in the field of fashion the arts and world of entertainment were too brushed off as for ‘poofs’.


Growing up in the 80s boys had to follow careers in hard industry. Domestic science or cooking was for girls and woodwork and metalwork for boys. It was alarming that I taught in a school that still harnessed these outdated beliefs.

I am not stating that all heterosexual men have this blindness some see beyond straight roles and have successful lives in various professions. But there are still that cling on to the fact that men shouldn’t talk about their ‘feelings’. Even talking openly to a gay man is frowned up on.

Screenshot 2019-01-31 at 19.38.55.png

The recent Gillette campaign for men to be ‘the best a man can get’ confronting toxic masculinity some were denouncing its campaign. Saying that it was unfair that all men are painted with the same brush but they missed the point. Some men are decent hardworking loyal people who contribute to society and haven’t done anything wrong. There are ones who look after their family work and pay for their children. We know that but we have all seen and know of the ones who don’t.

When we see the figures of domestic violence and how they affect women and incidents of bullying and violence it worries me that men somehow think it’s their right to carry on the way they do. They will be perceived as weak if they don’t tell a woman what they should be doing.

But it my opinion it takes a real man to be able to discuss his feelings. To not be afraid to cry in from of his peers. Its not about men becoming feminine either. Critics of the Gillette campaign have said that men are told they should adopt feminine characteristics.  But again they still have missed the point its not about making men more like women its asking men to stop behaving in a way that has a negative affect on other people. Surely that has to be a good thing.