Sunday July 05 , 2015

Free Senior Citizen Holidays







I offer at least
25 FREE WEEKENDS AND WEEK LONG BREAKS to people throughout the year and this New Year ( 2013-14)  we even had 4 guests for free as I knew what it meant to them to be with company and friends at this strange time of the year.  I do this - I offer these free holiday periods,  as I hope that one day if I am ever in need, I hope some kind hearted soul will be there for me.  I know what it is like to have friends turn their backs and you realise they were not the friends you thought and you find yourself alone in the middle of something when you REALLY need a shoulder.  I know how untrustworthy gay men can be, how fickle, how damaged many are,  and while we are all damaged in some way - being there, being constant, being kind hearted and thoughtful of others is the only - THE ONLY - way forward for mankind and not through selfish arrogance so often thrown into the community by self centred fucked up people;-  but kindness.

These weekends cost me considerably,  financially as well as emotionally,   and as a NOT FOR PROFIT VENUE  where I do not get paid a wage after investing all my  life savings and hard work into this venue,  it hurts,   when all you are trying to do -  'is the right thing'.  How many other gay hotels, night clubs or any venues come to that,  offers anything
FROM THEIR OWN POCKETS  and not because it gets loads of people into the bar spending loads of money.   How many venues work for the love of it and what profit made, is reinvested back into the venue and the people - THE PEOPLE - who use it ?   Yet there are those who abuse this and it realy is quite insulting behaviour - those who expect everything for free - and as nothing was ever handed to me on a silver platter - and as I have always had to work damned hard for everything I have ever had in life,  and as there really are NO FREE RIDES - I have changed how I offer these free vacations.


Terrence Higgins Trust

In 2010 I offered the THT £1,400 worth of free vacations for service users in need of a break and the THT staff couldn't even be bothered to reply to my 3 e mails sent over a 3 week period.  So I phoned and was passed around and passed around on the phone and eventually I was so frustrated and irritated with their attitude - that I withdrew the offer and told them exactly what I thought of their planning skills if this was how they treated someone who was trying to give them something for free.

I was absolutely gobsmacked and disgusted.

Elton John Foundation

I sent a similar e mail to the Elton John Foundation and after some weeks and more e mails sent, I phoned and was asked to send the e mail again to a different person at a different e mail address within the EJF - which I did - and still heard nothing in reply - so again - I phoned the guy who had obviously not read my e mails and he told me he was saving the offers to auction to the highest bidder as a way of making money for the EJF - and this WAS NOT WHAT I WAS OFFERING.  My offer was for people on low incomes  to be able to enjoy a weekend or even a weeks free holiday and NOT as a money spinner for the EJF.  He was rude when I explained he had got my offer wrong and as I am not use to being patronised by someone I am offering something for free to,  he was also told that I was withdrawing the offer  out of absolute disgust for the manner in which my offer was being treated.

Other charities that contacted us after the TV programme we featured in ' 3 IN A BED' which  highlighted our free vacations, also messed us around BIG TIME and with absolutely no thought of an apology or explanation and when I contact them to see why - all I was got an off  handed response - and it beggars belief.






Now I know and appreciate that these organisations do a huge amount of superb work. I know many lives are eased and saved by the good work undertaken.  I know there are many kind and thoughtful volunteers and staff members who are 'giving their all' and I congratulate these people and organisations for good work undertaken.

Unfortunately - I was not offered the same level of respect- even though they did not know who I was - and if the lack of respect offered to me was anything to go by, there must be others with harsh words towards these orgaisations and harsh comments towards some of the paid staff members who - quite simply - should be fired and replaced with those who care, those who want to be there and those who are not rude assholes to someone offering something for free. 
It does the organisations reputation no good at all and it just gets peoples backs up and they either go elsewhere or they give up trying. 

So what are we offering ?

Most free periods these days are offered to people w eknow and trust and who have been guests here and have proven themselves genuine. One guy booked in for a month - paying the full amount - after having  Pa
ce Maker inserted and at the end of his stay,  as he was retired and struggling to pay for the hotel etc.  he was offered various free periods in the future and has since become a good friend.

If you are an OAP and genuinely 'hard up' and in need of a couple of days or maybe a week away - with bed and breakfast and evening meal, - I will read your e mail request and may ask for more details, and if we like what we hear and feel we have something to share - we will then offer a 50% discount on our normal charges .    If all is well and we do not feel you have just conned us, as many do,   we will refund all your monies so all you have to pay is your return fare and any extras you may spend locally.  The hotel and food will be free of charge.

Sadly,  too many people set out to con us, to lie and manipulate the truth to suit themselves and this disgusting behaviour has made us very wary of trusting - and we do need verification and evidence before we offer anything as we have been stung too many times, and considering we are offering what we offer from the heart,  it truly disgusts when we hear how we have been conned - duped and fooled by someone with pots of money and how they have lied and bullshitted us and how they think themselves so clever,- when all they have done is ruin it for someone more worthy and more in need as we then pull away and offer less.  These people, sadly - are unworthy of my time and effort and yet exist out there and still try it on.   You'd be amazed how many e mails and phone calls I get that are full of lies and blatant cons.  I have had to toughen up in business or I would have been dragged under decades ago by these self centred assholes. 


One of our guests told me that he has cancer and HIV and lives a 4 hour drive from the hospital where he needs to go for treatment - and that as Hamilton Hall is in the middle of that drive, and as he lives in the wilds of nowhere and in a very quiet and lonely location, and as he gets SO MUCH from his stays here en route for the clinic and/or home - that I offered for him to stay here each time he comes and goes for treatment - for free - and we are delighted each time to see him and share a good laugh.  He stays for anything up to a week each time.   Not that he needs a whole week each time,   - but emotionally - he does, as the company and the friendship, laughter and communal feel of Ham Hall,  helps in ways we cannot even fathom,  and this is the healing space ( for us as well ) that many value and appreciate and that is why I offer these free vacations.  Not just so someone can 'get one over' on us - but so some healing can take place on many levels.  It is not about what it cost - it is about helping others with an open heart and with no hidden agendas and just being a decent human being - sadly - something the gay scene seems in short supply of.

Another regular customer who has been unwell lately,  came for a few days as my guest and his car broke down and took almost 3 weeks to repair and he was climbing the walls  with worry.  So I offered him to stay as long as it took for his car to be repaired - as my guest - and he offered to help us out around here - as he always does - and he repainted the fire escape - which was a big job rubbing it all down, painting it all and then clearing up after.  I was thrilled to get it done, he was pleased to be able to help out and a much needed job got done.   He also scrubbed the decking down with a power hose and cleaned up the garden ready for the plants to be planted ready for the summer, and just in time for the hot sunny weather we had at Easter this year ( 2011 )  and it was another job well done and greatly appreciated... and he had fun like a big kid with the power hose machine...  I cooked dinner every evening for us all and we had a laugh
and the time passed for him, his car was repaired, and he was off home with a big hug and - as always with him - we are sorry to see him go ( and not because we think of all sorts of other jobs he could do... ha ha - well maybe... ha ha )

an e mail:

John. After my heart attack and long time in hospital, my emotions were at an all time low when I checked into your venue for some R&R.  What I got was so much more.  Although I paid for the first two weeks,  I had absolutely no idea you would offer for me to stay a couple more weeks as your guest and I was dearly moved and it truly helped me get back on my feet again.  From my heart John, thank you.

Randolph W.

Dear John:

Thank you for the wonderful free week you allowed me to stay due to my health problem. Living alone and being a quiet man, I have few friends and I was really in need of some company and help, and you rose to the occasion with an open heart and a willingness that moved me dearly.  I never really said much during the week but at home and with keyboard, it is so much easier to really let you know how your kindfulness helped at a time when I was in despair.  I just wish there were more like you on this world and more in the LGBT community.  

You are a real treasure John. From the bottom of my heart. Thankyou.
Stanley F.

I had an old gentleman friend ( a client when I was a sex worker ) who lived alone,  was lonely, could afford to come each week for a massage with me but wanted to spend some more time -  on another day than 'massage day' - with me because - as he said - just being around me and my insanity made him feel better, it made him laugh and we always shared a gossip and he would leave with a smile on his face and a skip in his walk.  So every Monday morning he would arrive with his packed lunch,  we would share a coffee and a chat, and then he would do my ironing while I got on with my own business - office work - seeing clients etc.  We would have lunch together and he often stayed the afternoon and went after the rush hour to drive home.  People always laughed when I told them he came and did my ironing for me -  but if he wanted to 'hang around and be my friend' when I had a life and a business to run, and as he was retired and had loads of spare time - and as he was good at ironing and enjoyed himself - in my home and around my energies - he had a ball and loved it - and for almost 4 years I never ironed a thing... I enjoyed his company and respected his advice - for friendship goes two ways - and until I moved away from the area and he met someone and started a relationship and our friendship changed,  we had a laugh.

Another time in years gone by, I always had housekeepers keeping my London house clean and tidy and one time I knew this  man who was a little older than I - around 45 when I was 35 - and he had colon cancer and who enjoyed cleaning and needed the money,  so I had him for 2 years do my cleaning and while he was actually slow and not that good,  I knew that the company twice a week as well as the money,  cheered him up, gave him something to do each week as he didn't work and gave his week some meaning.  He would share a laugh with some of my clients who came to know him and many of the guys working on my escort agency grew fond of him,  as he was a sweetheart.  Now - I could have got a younger, healthier cleaner who did a better job and was better eye candy,  but this guy got so much out of his twice weekly visits and to see him smile, and laugh and enjoy those hours was all I needed to know I had made the right decision in employing him.

One day he didn't come, and his father phoned to say he had died,  and I was saddened at his loss but pleased I could have been a part of his life at the end, to introduce some distractions and a little insanity into his days - which cheered and delighted,  and while it is over 20 years ago, I still remember him and know I did the right thing.


We are not a care facility and do not offer personal care and social service facilities. 

All corresppondance must come from the same e mail / phone number / social worker each time and please return all e mails sent between us each time, so we can keep track of what has been said in the past between us -  as we get hundreds of requests and do forget who we are dealing with.


Many times in our lives we just want someone to talk to, who will listen and not pass judgement and will have a sensible head on their shoulders and will help if and where they can with words of advise.  Friends are often NOT the right people to turn to as they do have hidden agendas and will often simply not have the time for you, which often becomes a heartache in itself when you realise your friends are not as 'there for you' as you thought.  family - the same - and while there are many good and loyal friends who are there for you,  the sad fact is that all too often,  they are too busy with their own lives to bother when you have a melt down.

I usually invite you into my private apartment, where I can relax and we can share some privacy, and I will spend the evening - after dinner - with you.  There will be no ' Your times up'  and I shall offer a friendly and caring attitude and non judgemental. I am not easily shocked.... so you can be honest and open ,,, knowing it is truly confidential.  Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll - it's all the same to me and I do not blame, accuse or judge.

There are times in anyone's life when you just need a friend, a shoulder and an ear to hear, to feel and to guide,
and with total discretion and privacy,  I shall always do what I can to help.


All monies donated go to Hamilton Hall and just to remind you -

Dear John:.  I have never known such kindess.  I have never known anyone quite like you.  The time you spent with my boyfriend and myself trying to help sort out out messed up love life, was so rewarding and consructive, I was amazed at your kindness and thoughtfulness.  We both realized a great deal after our lengthy chat with you and we spent the whole of the next day talking in more depth together than we had ever done before and we both stopped hiding from each other and, because of you, spoke openly and honestly and we moved so much clutter from our relationship,  it has really helped.  So thankyou John. Thank you sincerely.  J & R.

Thanks John. When David and I were in need of someone to listen, you were there. I never got that David had gone off me sexually and you figured it straight out - clever old you - and it answered so much that had been going on between us and I just  had not figured it out. You were wonderful and David and I discussed it the next day and made a great deal of changes and all because of your thoughtful evening talk.  Our lives are now not going to be together any more and we have both found happiness and joy in this parting and we are remaining good dear friends - we just cannot continue as lovers.  You were a huge help in cutting through the crap and big thank you John. Big thank you. 
Simon .  Cleethorpes. 

Dear John.  What can I say after all you shard with me last week.  I came to you a mess. I was so wound up I felt my face twitching all the time and my tummy ws in knots and I knew something was going to give - if I did not sort something out.  You prioitised everything for me, and I cannot tell you how much better I feel and so less worried.  It just took you to help me see things clearly as I was h=just so lost in it all,   boyfriend trouble, Mother dying of cancer,  career in a mess,  moving back to the UK from Spain - it was all just too much to cope with and your help was so valuable to me and thank you.  I will remember you always for your kindness and generosity of heart.  Tim ( Southampton )

John.   Just a few words of thanks.  Being sued by my X lover for everything I had was starting to take its toll on me and your input and guidance was exactly what was needed.  You certainly cut through the BS and made me think clearly and I am so glad I listened and followed your advise and am now heads up with the X - he has settled for half  - 2 of the 4 flats - and I shall retain 2 for myself, so we both win.  It would have destroyed me to loose everything and only because you told me to toughen up and be firmer towards him - take legal action and sue him in return - or at least threaten to, was enough, and we are both happy with the end result.  Thanks John, I know I pestered you for many months with this and am so thankful you were there.  Tony ( Bristol ) 



Please be as professional as you can be and we will try and offer the same in return.
Mistakes can happen and we apologise if we make an error, or if you get us at a bad time
and we are not  as polite or as friendly as we should be
If you cannot respect us for the long hours and hard work we do and the extra million miles
we go for our guests compared to most venues - then please - go elsewhere.