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alone as usual

Dear Mr. Bellamy. I recently received your Newsletter Blog after finding your site on line and what a blessed revelation for me. I spent a whole day on your site as there is so much to see and read. It was an absolute delight to find something gay and something that took me away from my isolation and loneliness for an afternoon and evening.

I get up in the morning because my old dog needs the garden for a wee. I then go back to bed until 9am.

You see, I have nothing to get up for.

I retired some 10 years ago and now in my mid 70's, I find myself alone, bored, existing and not really living, and wonder how it came to be this way.

Never a big one for family and friends, I worked hard and worked 7 days a week running my own building firm and while I never married, I did have tons of work mates /staff and friends who seemed to vanish as soon as I retired.

I have money and can travel but hate doing so on my own. I took one of those river cruises a few years ago and it was all couples, elderly couples - and not being the most talkative person, I was basically ignored by everyone on board. I had dinner alone, sat alone during shore trips and very few actually took the time to converse with me and as much as I did try, it was a very lonely trip.

So I thought I would take a proper cruise around the Med, and once again, that was a disaster. 3,000 passengers, different restaurants for meals every night so no sharing a table with the same people like in the old days of cruise ships. Again I was considered old, and while I enjoyed the sites and food and the ship etc. if it wasn't for a women and her husband who took me under their wing, I would have spent most of that cruise alone as well. The couple involved were arguing a lot and saw me as someone who may stop them fighting, which I think it did - having someone around all the time - and it was an uncomfortable position but one, I kept going or end up absolutely alone.

They said to keep in touch and I wrote asking how they were once I returned home and I never heard in reply.

I watch Netflix and YouTube a lot.

I watch a whole series in a couple of days.

I tried Age Concern but that was a joke. Unhelpful is all I can say about that organisation. Local things for the elderly are aimed at straight people and there is nothing for a gay man at all, and even then I am isolated.

I am also hard of hearing and while I wear a hearing aid, it does limit me a bit.

So I spend my days alone.

My evenings alone.

My nights alone.

I reached out to various groups for elderly gay people but there seems nothing in my area and as I am nowhere near Brighton, London. Birmingham or any other large gay population, things are not just limited, they are non existent.

Spent a week in hospital last year and it was wonderful to have some company. No visitors at all, but I did chat with the other patients and their friends and the nurses and was so depressed when I returned home to - solitude again.

I remember back to the days when I worked and had friends and enjoyed Birthdays and Christmas with people laughing and having fun and now I spend my time alone, remembering back to when it was more fun.

I have so much time on my hands and nothing to do to fill the time.

I offered my services to these groups looking for volunteers and for a while helped serve meals to the homeless, but that stopped with Lockdown and since then it seems my services are no longer wanted.

I shop for one.

I cook for one.

I plan everything for one.

Hours staring at the walls.

Hours watching the telly where I am sometimes not even aware of what I am watching as it all blurs into one thing after a while.

It is no fun getting old and being alone. Robert.


John Bellamy Responds: I offered Robert to come and stay for a week as my guest, so shall wait and see if he takes me up on this.

I also worry about ending up alone but - at 68 and with Hamilton Hall taking at least 90 hours a week from me - and with guests in and out chatting and joining in, and with the 3 others who live here and where we eat together every night - and where I work hard and long hours still and chat and share and Blog and more - every single day of the year - my life couldn't be more different to Roberts above and where I do at times curse the phone ringing, curse the constant people around and curse the lack of privacy at times, I also know I would not have it any other way. I would soon start climbing the walls, going nuts and finding some organisation, some group, SOMETHING to volunteer my time and effort in and as I do have a huge personality, I am sure I would soon make friends and find a new path full of fun and laughter, but if I was the quiet one, the one you see but do not hear, it would be a very different story.

You see, it is always down to us to make a life for ourselves and not rely on anyone or anything as at a moment - it can all be taken away from you and we all need friends and - sometimes - family - and it really is up to the individual to sort out and not expect someone else to do it for you.

Having said that - Hamilton Hall is here and ready to greet and have fun and laughter at and is a good starting point for making new friends and new happy memories. If you genuinely cannot afford it, then speak to me and let's see what we can arrange to help.

John Bellamy


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