Thursday, 27 January 2022

Men Friends


Yesterday my friend Colin collected me from the cottage and we went to lunch 
We had a lovely long chat over celeriac soup which was drizzled over goats cheese and walnuts and put the world to rights over steak pie and poached haddock and poached egg

Now in my late fifties I’ve cultivated more male friends than I ever used to possess.
And more male  gay friends which may be a surprising fact for some. 
For years my only gay friend was Nigel, who is still my go to when I want an objective, occasionally waspish and totally honest opinion about something. 

Now I am single, I have a few more.
Chaps that understand more of the nuances of the gay world later in life.
My straight male friends have increased in number too, a fact I love too. 
Over the past decade sexuality seems to mean less in male friendships than it ever used to be
I applaud  that fact so very much.
I’m planning a visit to Sheffield soon and one completely necessary friend catch up will be with Mike, a friend of thirty three years.

Now Mike is a true Yorkshireman 
He’s a Straighter than straight, blokey, butch, football fan Yorkshireman .
and sounds like an extra from the film Kes
And in the 1990s I came out to him while we were drinking pints at the Dog And Partridge on Trippit Lane . 
When I nervously told him I was gay , he took a measured sip of his bitter
smiled lugubriously and said carefully
Does this mean that I have to go to gay bars occasionally ?” 
“Only occasionally “ I told him 
He nodded and replied quietly  “ I can do that” 

83 comments:

  1. What nice friends you have, be they gay or straight.

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  2. I had celeriac soup for the first time. It was lovely stuff, but my god...I did not dare to be around people for the rest of the day.

    Hats off to friends. May we always have them. May we always be one.

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  3. Good friends are everything. Mike sounds like a great friend. x

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  4. I remember your straight friend in Sheffield.

    It is interesting that you have gained friends and most of ours are gone. The few remaining I cling to and make an effort to continue the connection.

    Nice that you had a good catch up with a friend.

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    1. I feel friendships that last are ones you nurture and invest in
      Like feeding and loving a houseplant

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  5. What a true friend! You are one lucky man, John to have such wonderful people in your life. xx

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    1. I was going to meet another friend yesterday but let them down as the car was being serviced
      I’m sorry I missed them

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  6. Mike's reaction is great!
    How much good friendships bring to our lives. They can't make absolutely everything perfect for us, but they make life so much better.

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    1. My friendships are the icing on my life cake

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    2. You just need Mr Right to be the cherry on the top. He's out there somewhere. xx

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  7. I have a friend who I know is gay but who has always played it 'straight' and never acknowledged his sexuality to me. Many years ago, I asked a gay friend if I should ask my 'straight' friend and his response was 'would it make any difference to your friendship?' My reply was 'no, it wouldn't.' 'So why ask?' he responded. I've stuck with that advice ever since. There's so much more to friendships than mere sexuality - and these become so much more important the older we get

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    1. I agree with your friend but I guess trust within a friendship may just naturally allow sharing

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  8. Glad to hear that you have "cultivated" a nest of friends.

    However, cue eyeroll - both yours and mine at my always waiting in the wings and dreaded "however", my eternal question: What constitutes a "friend"? The term, in my opinion, is applied too liberally. I'd say I have loads of acquaintances, neighbours, colleagues, indeed bloggers, whatever, people close enough we may even put ourselves out for each other. All easy peasy, bonds formed, but not firmly tied.

    Friends? You know, blood brothers? Through sick, sin, sweat and tears? Unconditionally? To put it another way, and I paraphrase: Don't count your friends before the chicken has had reason to run the extra mile to drop an egg.

    Whatever, John. Best to enjoy the moment and the morsels humans can offer to each other.

    U

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    1. I think you think too much
      Friends are people you want to spend time with

      And always want to spend more

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    2. I think that you are just over-thinking that one slightly Ursula. If you'd met John in real life you would see immediately that he's the sort of really friendly bloke that would be a true friend. The sort that you can meet regularly or not for a few years ... and the conversation would strike up in exactly the place you left off.

      Some people take others at face value and can see the real value of their friendship straight away. Cultivating a friendship simply means that you are there for each other, would always help in any way you can no matter where you live or what you do in life.

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    3. A Smaller Life, my comment was a general observation on the varying degrees of "friendship" - most certainly not a reflection on John or how he conducts himself in his personal life.

      U

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  9. I like Mike’s response very much. Good friends are so important, you sound like you’ve got a good network, you’re a lucky man.

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    1. I am lucky with friends , always have been

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  10. Good friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It's not the packaging, it's the contents.

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    1. Yes , the older I get the open I am open to friends outside my usual circle and age…

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  11. Mike sounds OK. You sound OK too.

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  12. He sounds a good bloke to know.

    Good to have friends who just enjoy your company and conversation.

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    1. Yes…..I couldn’t function without them

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  13. Nice, but I think burgers and fries might have been tastier.

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    1. And less pretentious
      But having said that the soup was delicious lol

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  14. Man friends are awesome. I've had some for YEARS. Good convo, good food and good times? Sign me up!

    XOXO

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    1. Yes , men are generally getting a bit better at cultivating and nurturing friendships , notoriously straight men especially have gotten a bad press over the years for letting friendships slide

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  15. This comes over as such a happy, satisfied post and your friends look amazing.

    Out of curiosity did Mike come with you to any gay bars? I went to some many years ago in Manchester and it just proved to me that my 'gaydar' is completely out of sync with the real world!!

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    1. Lol sue , he did once but with his wife with him and we were on a foursome that night lol
      My friend john who comments here , would have been my go to as a wing man in a gay bar,

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    2. I'll let you into a secret ... a boyfriend that took me to one gay bar had me there as his wing man without me knowing it, I thought he was my boyfriend.

      Gaydar ... shattered!!

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    3. I'm nothing like as exciting as a gay bar wing man makes me sound...

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  16. SOunds like a delightful day out.

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  17. You are a blessing John and blessed with good friends x

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  18. You had a great day and your smiles in the photo confirm a delightful day from beginning to end. Enjoy.

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  19. Blimey,bet you were stuffed after that fab lunch.My husband is a Sheffield lad born n bred.I don't care what peoples are as long as they are kind to animals.x

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  20. We’d both at times love to have more gay male friends. Ah well. We do have some wonderful friends. Gender doesn‘t really matteer. I had some friends years ago quite like you describe: straighter than straight (whatever that means), blokey, butch, football fan Yorkshireman (they weren’t Yorshiremen). They were all gay. Currently have a football-hating, artsy, bookish friend. He’s straight. So much for stereotypes.

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    1. I understand ,, sometimes a gay chat is just what you need

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  21. I hope you don't mind me going off tangently-But whilst walking my dogs I regularly pass the time of day with some quite debonair gentlemen alone(50s/60s)who are birdwatching-Yesterday one was carrying a tripod and when I asked him about his business he said he always liked to be prepared-I wondered if you have considered birdwatching John x

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    1. but John-some I've met are very handsome men Alone-and very sociable-I showed him my recent repair on my wellies and he was very interested when I was testing their water resistancy x

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  22. Sounds a nice chap. These days sexuality shouldn't matter but sadly it still does in some quarters. I don't hink it will have gone until nobody thinks to mention it and that will not be in my lifetime, My dearest and oldest friend is gay, finally 'dared' to come out and for the last fifteen years has been in a civil partnership. I am just happy that they met one another and get on with their lives. Wish you could find a life partner John - do hope you will one day.

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  23. Mike sounds like an amazing friend to have.

    Your lunches/meals always sound so yummy.

    When I came out to one of my oldest and straightest friends and nervously said "I'm gay". He replied so matter-of-factly "Oh...I'm straight". I replied "I know that, I'm coming out to you". He said so earnestly, "Oh I just thought we were sharing... and now I'm coming out to you". It made me laugh and I felt so comfortable and safe with him.

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    1. I’ve never had a bad reaction to any of my old friends when I came out to them

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  24. countygal3:52 pm

    A story for you: 30 years ago my friends - a married couple, moved to Fuerteventua, both in their early thirties (and both on second marriages and no children); I went out to visit them after they had been there for a few months. It was a tsunami of emotions for the week - in essence he had found the true love of his life, another man there, and it was an extremely exhausting week for everyone. I of course was the go-between relaying messages sometimes bitter, some pleading and others angry. The outcome was that the marriage ended in divorce and he re-married his male partner. She never forgave me for showing support to him and cut me out of her life. I have a clear conscience, I gave them both the sympathy and help equally that I could offer at the time. I count him as a good friend still. He is very precious to me.

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    1. It’s hard for friends after a divorce, I get that and it’s very difficult to be impartial or to be seen to be impartial .
      I’m lucky I kept all of my friends

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  25. Barbara Anne4:43 pm

    Wonderful post and I am so glad your have lots of friend, new and long-time, and that they value you and you value them. That's what makes the world a better place for everyone.
    It sounds like you and Colin had a marvelous meal!

    Hugs!

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  26. After reading your post, I had a longing to see my friends...face to face! The combination of my retirement and the never-ending cycle of Covid restrictions has negatively impacted my social life. Oh, to be raising a glass in a laughter-filled pub again. Sigh...

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  27. Anonymous7:51 pm

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Barbara Anne7:57 pm

      Speak for yourself, anon, and find a way to speak kindly, write kindly, or keep your judgmental attitude and misery to yourself.
      Shoo!

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  28. My best friend at during my 2nd year at university was the President of the Student Gay Society, a status I never knew about until he coyly informed me about 6 months into our close friendship. Suddenly I realised why most of the rather attractive females around me assumed I was not interested in a relationship with them, despite the fact that I very much was. The President and I remained good friends, but I did have the rather odd challenge, at least in the mid 70s, of having to rather noisily and clearly "come out" as straight. Student life became more interesting for me after that. Life is full of strange misunderstandings.

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    1. A great story…very sex and the city …NOT

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    2. I have never watched Sex in the City so I would not know; but I do know there wasn't any sex for me in the city for the six months when all the girls around me assumed I was The President's partner. Things did eventually improve though, for both of us. He was a strangely reticent and shy chap for the president of the Gay Society, at least around me.

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  29. It still surprises me that you were ever in the closet and that your friends didn't know. Your gayness is written all over the way you move and speak. I've had way more cock than you and came out in my teens but I look far butcher than you x

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    1. Lol you bring out the Queen in me mave

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    2. Mave's secret admirer10:28 pm

      That's interesting Mave, do you think it's possible that John's friends knew all along but didn't let on?
      I've always thought you were good looking by the way with lovely smiley eyes.

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    3. I try not to think too much because it hurts my airhead.

      In response to your flattery.....do you swallow?

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    4. You are sooooo bad mave xxx

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    5. I like Mavis John-he's a very naughty man-I like you Mavis xx

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    6. Mave's secret admirer10:29 pm

      In reply to your question Mave :
      Of course, it would be rude not to.

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  30. Drizzled over goats... Haven't we all...

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  31. I LOVE Mike! Good man

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  32. A true and trusted friend. Good man, Mike.

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  33. Mike is a treasure.

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  34. I can't tell you how much I love Mike right now.

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