Hello and welcome to this weeks blog post. It is a bit of a busy weekend for me this week as it is my performance in Under Milk Wood. fingers crossed it goes wetland that I don’t let the rest of the cast down. I’ll let you know how it goes next week. In the meantime here is what has been happening in the last week.

Before I start talking about what I have been up to I want to talk about the whole Gary Barlow tax thing that has been in the news this week. I am not an expert on these things and I agree everyone should pay their tax but I do find it uncomfortable how it has turned into a witch hunt and that Gary Barlow is unfairly being made solely responsible when actually others invested in the scheme as well (apparently around about 1000 people). This isn’t new news as it was first mentioned in the news back in 2012. A lot of the news coverage doesn’t even mention the names of Mark and Howard from the band who were also involved in the scheme, they are just referred to as 2 other band members. They haven’t broken the law it’s just that it is not ethical and it is right that they have to pay back their tax. Let’s also remember that a lot of celebrities and other rich individuals often don’t deal with their own finances they get accountants and financial advisors to do all that for them. Some leave the UK altogether to avoid the UK Tax system is this just as bad? Maybe they should have asked more questions of their accountants but they didn’t  and it is an error of judgement thats all. Before we all get on our moral high ground remember blaming one person only for the so-called fault of others is just as unethical. Ok that’s my rant over with.

This week saw 2 anniversaries for me. The first one was my 4th anniversary of my blog. Yes this blog you are reading has been going for 4 years. I never thought it would last and over those 4 years so much has happened such as turning 30, Great North Run, ‘coming out’, holidays, and performing Shakespeare. At times I wonder does my blog say too much but then I remember why I started this blog. It was and still is my way of addressing issues in my life and documenting what has happened to me. So because of this I don’t think I say too much and there are many things I don’t discuss because a)it’s not the place b)you are probably not interested. So I do still have a private life. I hope I continue to blog for another 4 years but you never know what will happen.

The other anniversary this week was my 3rd Anniversary/Birthday since I came out. 3 years doesn’t sound a long time but it feels so long ago since I made the best decision in my life. It is odd having a set date for coming out because you never stop coming out really. But the date I picked is 15th May as that is the date I told my parents. I had told a handful of close friends before this but for me this date is when it was official. I feel like I have come along away in 3 years and I look forward to what the next 3 years will bring. Thanks again for your support over these 3 years it still means a lot and will continue to do so.

I have had a lot going on at the moment with the plays, work,  health, social life etc. I had hoped I could update people on some of these things this week but some stuff still isn’t sorted it’s almost there and I hope to say more next week.

On Saturday it was lovely sunny day so I had a nice walk into town and had a look around the town and the market. I don’t usually do the market which is quite bad and let’s be honest maybe a snobbish of me. However I thought why not have a look at the indoor market. I haven’t been in for years and it hadn’t changed too much. what struck me though was that is was a different shopping atmosphere . It was quieter and more relaxed and I remembered why markets are great. I didn’t buy anything but I am going to try to make more of an effort to check the market out more often and support local business’.

Saturday was also IDAHOT Day (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia). I have to be honest I have never noticed much happening in the UK to do with this although it is a great think to raise awareness of. One way to show support for the day is for buildings to fly the Rainbow flag for the day. This year in Darlington I saw 2 public buildings flying the Rainbow flag. One was the police station and the other the Town Council.IDAHOT Day They may have done this before but I have never noticed until this year and it made very happy. I have lived in Darlington all my life (minus my uni years) and I think it is fair to say that is was a quiet traditional conservative little North East town. Change and things that weren’t the ‘norm’ weren’t welcome. Of course there have always been gay people in the town like any where but we didn’t belong really and thats one of the reasons it took me so long to come out. If someone did come out it was discussed in a quietly mouthed way in the style of Les Dawson or a Victoria Wood sketch probably over a wall in the backyard or more commonly just not mentioned at all. Things have changed now though and I see people being open about the sexuality most days and most people don’t bat an eyelid. So whether it is 2 men in love holding hands in the street or the Rainbow flag flying high in the sky in the town it says a lot about the town and where it’s come from and more importantly where it is going. It is great to see and I hope that it continues.

Finally I want to say how sad it was to hear about the death of Steven Sutton. He was just 19 and sadly lost his fight against cancer this week. There was a lot of news coverage in the last few weeks about him and all the amazing work he has done for fundraising for the Teenage Cancer Trust. It sounds a bit of a cliché but really did live life to the full and was so upbeat and positive about life. He once said “You get one shot at life make it count”. We are all guilty of drifting along or feeling like the victim but we need to remember this phrase and make the most of our lives. Let’s try to remember this and more importantly act on it.

Well that is it for this week. I’m off to Llareggub to be Nogood Boyo and Mr.Pritchard. I’ll speak to you all the other side of the play.

Top Programme of the Week – Gogglebox

Top Song of the Week – Basim – Cliche Love Song

Book I Am Currently Reading – Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin