Hi everyone and welcome to this weeks blog post. I probably should be doing something fun and exciting tonight as it is my birthday instead of writing my weekly blog but that’s the type of guy I am. So in this weeks blog I will be discussing reading books, the TV shows ‘Cucumber’, ‘Banana’ and ‘Tofu’, clearing out my wardrobe, Birdman, and turning 34. So let’s get this party started.

This week I read an article about a persons reading life. The person who wrote the article had come to the realisation that they would probably only read another 2000 books in their lifetime and that they would never read all the books that they feel they should read. This has made them more ruthless when it comes to reading and they are only reading things they want to instead of what they feel they should read and more likely to give up on a book rather than persevere with a bad book. A number of things struck me about this discovery. The first it is really depressing to think like this no matter how true it is and second it is almost too big a question to get your head around. A bit like how big is the universe and where does it end and when it ends what is there. It’s just too big to comprehend. I suppose it is true we only have so many books that we can read and it has made me more determined than ever this year to read what I want to read and not have other factors such as reviews, book clubs, film/TV tie ins influence my decision-making. I have let this happen over the years and this year I am going to read what I want.

This week on TV saw the start of a new series of interconnecting shows by Russell T Davies. The shows are called ‘Cucumber’, ‘Banana’ and ‘Tofu’ and although they are separate shows they are all connect to each other. They are named after a study into male arousal (that is all I am going to say in my blog as I like to think of this blog as family friendly) the main show is ‘Cucumber’ and is set in Manchester and looks at a group of people of all ages who are part of the Gay community. ‘Banana’ is a spin-off from the main show looking at certain characters storylines in more detail and ‘Tofu’ is an online short documentary about an issue connected to the show for that week. Just like Russell t Davies earlier work ‘Queer As Folk’ back in 1999 it pushes boundaries and is one of the few shows on TV now dealing with everyday issues for the average gay man. I remember back in 1999 secretly watching ‘Queer As Folk’ in my room while pretending to be asleep. This was when I was starting to question my sexuality for the first time and this show made me ask questions of myself and I learnt some things too. This series of shows seems to be following in the same way and it is like having that close gay mate who answers some questions that I still have and didn’t know who to ask. My mum asked if I wanted to watch the show on TV and then had to say yes but not with them. I knew it wouldn’t be a show I would be comfortable watching with my parents (I found The Tudors very awkward) and would fear questions about stuff in it. Instead I watched it upstairs in my room on my laptop and this was a very good move. I loved all three shows and for me I found them quite empowering as gay man as it showed how far society had come interns of accepting same-sex relationships but also how things have changed for a gay man. Nowadays you don’t have to rely on your gaydar you just switch on Grindr or one of the apps, you can have a family, and now get married. Back in 1999 this was not possible. I know some people may think the show is a bit of a stereotype and it’s another show set in Manchester but if I am honest it is true of some people and I know from own experience that Manchester is good for experiencing things as a gay man. I look forward to the next show.

All week I had the impending realisation that I would soon be 34 and decided I needed to start 34 in a refreshed way and rejuvenated way. So on Saturday I had a big clear out of my clothes. I am normally quite bad at doing this and cling onto things for sentimental reasons even if I haven’t worn it for years and it doesn’t fit. This time I got rid of lots of clothes and they will be heading to a charity shop soon. It felt really good to do and I hope this is a good start for me as a 34-year-old.

I didn’t have much planned for my birthday today so I decided to go to the cinema to see ‘Birdman’. I enjoy going to the cinema to see a film on my birthday and I am also trying to see as many of the Oscar nominations for best picture as possible. So far I have seen ‘The Imitation Game’ and ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’. Now I can say I have seen ‘Birdman’. I found the film quite interesting and appreciated the message that the film trying to get at but at times it was probably trying too much. The film does work but I wonder if that is down to the casting of Michael Keaton rather than anything else. I don’t think he gives a sensational performance but Michael Keaton the actor adds to the fictional story the film. Out of the films that I have seen so far I don’t think it should win Best Picture at the Oscars but at the sometime I could see why the academy would award it best picture. I would give the film 2.5/5.

So today I turned 34 and I am quite pleased that 33 is over with. It wasn’t my best year so 34 is about me and having Birthday cardsfun again and start living again without feeling guilty about others. Yes I will still have days when I’m low but I have to work past them and instead make the most of the good times and make more good times happen. Thank you to everyone who has sent me a card, present, message, like, tweet wishing me a Happy Birthday. After the last year it means a lot so thanks and I appreciate it all. Looking in my diary 34 has little happening I better get on and change that.

To all my Scottish readers I hope you are having a great Burns night. Thanks again for reading and I will be back again next week with another blog post.

Top Programme of the Week – Cucumber

Top Song of the Week – Take That – These Days

Book I Am Currently Reading – Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch