Good & Bad News from Hamilton Hall
By John Bellamy
On December 23rd just gone, I was informed that I have cancer of the prostate.
It's in early stages and with quarterly blood tests, they wish to monitor and see how it goes. Medication is a last resort as I know how ill you can become from the medication itself.
So: I have bounced around throughout the Festive Season and while it is on my ' back burner' - it is stewing away nicely with some thoughts - some ideas and some changes I am going to make in the New Year.
On Wednesday 28th December and with a VERY heavy heart, I took Honey, my 13 year old Weimaraner dog, to the vet as she was very unsteady on her feet, falls down stairs, has difficulty getting up stairs, coughs real bad, had a recent operation for a cancerous lump and clearly was in pain as I can see it in her eyes - looking at me - pleading for me to help her. It broke my heart and at 2.30 pm this creature that has been part of my life for almost 7 years and was almost 100 years old ( in human terms - nearly 14 is our years ) - with the vets help, slipped silently into Doggy Heaven.
It is with great sadness that I say goodbye to Honey, and she goes with all my love and compassion and know that one day we will meet again.
While we have been enjoying the best Christmas ( so far ) for some years because of past lockdowns etc. it is tinged with great sadness and while I may be bouncing around having fun and being the host - it is with with tears ' back stage' and as ' the show must go on' - and I TRULY give thanks to Woody and Gary for keeping me laughing - I shall take a few deep breaths and remember Honey for all the laughs, the walks, the many thousands of memories that made our life together for the last 7 years full of very special memories. She was 7 when I rescued her and at nearly 14 - was quite old for her breed and she did seem to get old very quickly - and now we say our final farewells.
2023 The one thing I want to do is take some time.
Time has allowed me to build a wonderful environment here at Hamilton Hall since we opened in the year 2000, and time has matured not just myself, but the vibe - the atmosphere of Hamilton Hall and for many - it is like coming home - familiar things in familiar places - familiar smells and familiar smiles. Familiar friendly dog and not to forget the familiar madness that showers down from myself and the 'coming together' at meals and sharing of ourselves.
Next March 30th we will have been married - Hamilton Hall and myself - for 23 years and I am sure we will be enjoying many more years together - and I look forward to that.
Changing Times at Hamilton Hall. I want to take time - for the things that have been on hold for 23 years -
Time for me -
Time to unpack stuff unseen since moving into Hamilton Hall and just stored away -
Time for family -
Time for getting away and actually using the new camper van -
Time to think about what I am going to do with this diagnosis and time to give thanks.
Thanks for the many who have visited.
Thanks for making us such a popular and famous venue..
Thanks for the ' 3 IN A BED ' crew, who helped 'put us on the global map'
Thanks to all the various staff members over the years.
Thanks for attending my various training workshops.
Thanks for the many sweet e mails and cards.
Thanks for keeping me healthy and able.
Thanks for your thoughts and most of all
Thanks to the universe that showed me the way forward and provided a very clear and easy path, despite the many ups and downs and many on the gay scene whose mission in life is to destroy. Thanks for this incredible ' out and proud' life I have enjoyed since 'coming out' at 15 years of age.
Thanks for keeping me HIV Negative.
Thanks for keeping me - almost - kind of - sane - although that would be debateable.
Thanks for the tools that enabled me to make a living on my own and with little help from anyone but the universe and big thanks to Owen for the decades of emotional and sometimes financial support.
And I give a ton of thanks to myself - as why the fuck not - as I have winged it for 67 years and made it up as I went along and - somehow - I have always risen to the surface and smelled of roses. I have been guided by a force unseen and that energy has served me very well and as always, I give thanks.
Some of the workshops on the current Diary of Events for next year, may change or be withdrawn in the next few weeks as I adapt my life and my business to be - as always - in sync with what I am able - and willing - to do, and as I am looking for easier weekends with less training workshops, I hope you will like our way forward and will share some ideas and comments at any time.
Hamilton Hall has always offered more workshops, seminars, get togethers and events than any other gay venue we know of ANYWHERE - and with most being ' in house facilitated' - you know who we are and who it is working so hard and it becomes more like a family than strangers.
Naturally is you wished to offer your own workshop - we are always here to host as a residential space for you at very reasonable prices.
Hamilton Hall has become a major part in many mens lives. It has become an integral part of gay culture and thousands of lives have been changed for the better - and this all started with an idea, a thought, and me speaking up and voicing what I wanted to do and after much heartache and a long and sometimes painful road, I did it - and to quote the song.
I HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT - MY WAY -
and those who resent - those who are jealous and those who envy - get off your fat ass and do it - work the long hours, invest your life savings - work 18 hours a day 7 days a week, do it - get you act together and do it for your self and do not always rely on others all the time. Get off your fat ass and lift your thoughts and your deeds to the better good you know you have to offer - and do it.
I couldn't have done this without you.
I have learned and I have grown wiser.
I have listened and I have observed.
I have been one with you and someone separate at the same time.
I have paid attention and I have given of my mind, my body and my soul to a community sorely lacking any soul and that is in need of some inner growth - and Hamilton Hall has - with your help - proved itself to be a leading light on that journey and shall continue into the future, as long as I am able and willing.
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