The Rambles of Neil Monnery

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My Saturday as a patient in the Acute Medical Unit at Southend Hospital

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Well Saturday didn’t go quite as planned. I was woken up at around 4:45 by my body coughing and eventually I was able to hack out a blood-ball from my throat. Not pretty in prose let alone in reality. I have been battling what I thought was a throat infection for weeks, I first suffered it over Christmas but it cleared up but around three weeks ago it seemingly came back. This time I lost my voice and my throat was much more raw. Being a typical bloke though I ignored it all but the presence of coughing up blood for several weeks finally made me drag myself to the drop-in clinic at St. Luke’s on Saturday morning.

I’m not one for going to the doctors. Since leaving home I’ve been twice. Once was because I had blurred vision in one of my eyes and then on Saturday. I always think I’m just wasting people’s time. So anyway I get into see the doctor and after saying ‘I’ve been coughing up blood for weeks’ she was pretty much straight on to the phone to the hospital. She wanted me to have chest x-rays. Naively I thought I’d pop along, have a chest x-ray and be home in time for Liverpool v Arsenal. I got into hospital and found myself admitted on to the Acute Medical Unit. Guessing the doctor at the clinic was really quite concerned.

I sat around bored (my iPod battery had died earlier in the day and I decided not to wait to charge it back up – y’know the whole in/out thing I had planned meant I didn’t worry about it). The staff nurse did all the vitals, temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar, all of which I aced. Go me. However the blood sugar test sent my body into shock. It always does when I have needles stuck into me. So about two minutes later there was literally a pool of sweat on the floor under the chair. Lovely.

An hour or so later I saw a doctor. He had a good look around my throat but he was happy with all my answers to his questions. He decided a blood test and chest x-ray just to be on the safe side but he thought it was probably complications from Tonsillitis or Laryngitis but he didn’t want to take any chances. So he went and took my blood. Cue more epic sweating and I went off for an x-ray. I felt perfectly healthy the whole time and looking around I really felt as though I was wasting people’s time. The doctor came past to see another patient and gave me the thumbs up and said I’d probably be going home but he had to refer something past a senior doctor. Guessing there was a small issue with either my lungs or my blood.

Doctor and senior doctor came down around 5 o’clock and said I was an extremely healthy young man. The key thing was my lungs looked in perfect shape and the issue was with my blood. However it wasn’t an issue that concerned them too much, not enough to keep me in anyway. Basically they think my body is still battling whatever infection it started fighting three weeks ago but the body is still fighting it. They recommended I talk as little as possible until I stop coughing up any phlegm or blood. Apart from that they were happy to see me be on my way. They said they could prescribe antibiotics but the blood work looked like my body was still fighting so didn’t want to add antibiotics to the mixture.

They did say though that I was right to see a doctor and that she was right to refer me straight to hospital, which made me feel a little bit better. I did have some of the main symptoms of either a blood clot or lung cancer, both quite clearly very nasty diseases. As is stands though I probably just have a secondary infection or something either in my throat or in the vocal chords. I should get better in time but if it doesn’t clear up totally within a few weeks I need more thorough tests.

So all in all extremely good news. I have been battling this for a while and apart from a few days and certainly morning’s when my throat was extremely painful, I’ve been in no pain whatsoever. It has just lingered and if it wasn’t for the constant throwing up of blood I wouldn’t have troubled anyone.

One other thing I want to write about though is the staff. I have been involved in Hospital Radio for several years, so I see a window into what the staff have to deal with but on Saturday I was a patient and saw first hand for several hours everything thrown at them. I was treated thoroughly and both the doctor and the senior doctor were truly first rate. The nurse who admitted me and did all my initial tests was great as well and I didn’t really have any dealings with any other staff. However I did watch the HCA’s closely as they get a lot of stick in the press for not being nurse’s and this one young HCA didn’t sit down between the time I was admitted at around 11:45 to the time she went for her lunch at around 2ish. She genuinely did not sit down once, not even for a few seconds.

I was extremely impressed by her considering the job she was doing was certainly not glamorous in any way shape or form. It included helping people to pee and poo as well as then clean them up. I didn’t see her roll her eyes once. I thought that was a miracle in itself. I know if I had to face some of the issues she faced in those five or so hours that I watched then I’d not be able to take it at all. So for all those rubbishing HCA’s for not being nurses then I think they should go and watch an HCA for a shift and I firmly believe their opinions will change mightily quickly.

As for me, I’ll live. I’ll heed the advice to basically only do essential talking until I have been cough and phlegm free for a good week or so. This of course means going on hiatus from radio presenting but I think it is the right thing to do. I have noticed that over the past three weeks my throat was at its worse following commentating on Southend v Hull and the two Wednesday night radio shows, so clearly whatever I have is effected by overuse of my vocal chords. So basically I am shut down from any significant social interaction for a while, luckily I’m used to that!

I’m sure within two or three weeks I’ll be able to talk for an hour or so without feeling razor blades in my throat and turning my sink a nasty scarlet red colour. Graphic to the end. Thank you to all those who have sent along their best wishes. I’m fine and it seemingly isn’t any of the real nasty things it could easily have been. I did think the treatment and performance of the staff at Southend Hospital was truly exemplary, not only towards me but what I saw and heard with my own eyes and ears.

I didn’t even tell you about the girl who had dislocated her knee whilst taking her rollerblades off, yes not whilst rollerblading, but whilst taking them off. She said everyone laughed when she told them, even the doctor. Internally I was laughing but did well to keep a cool exterior. That was an amusing wait for the x-ray.

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Written by neilmonnery

February 10th, 2014 at 8:00 am

Posted in Personal

Tagged with

On virginity…

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Well here we are. A few weeks short of being middle aged and writing a blog post about virginity and how I still have that label. How did this happen? Well let me tell you and let me also tell you why it is a label that shouldn’t be placed around someone’s neck but let me first tell you why today I am writing this blog post.

It all stems from yesterday when I was Googling to see how strong my blog post about being a 29 year-old virgin was doing on Google. Yes this is the type of thing I do. This might say a lot about me. Anyway I was Googling it because I get a steady stream of traffic from people searching for ‘I’m a 29 year-old virgin’ and variants there of. A couple of spots below my blog I read a post entitled ‘It happened to me: I ended up in bed with a 27 year-old virgin and my blood kinda boiled reading through the piece. If you don’t want to read it then here is the premise. Girl was just out of a long-term relationship, was dating, met a guy, liked him then when they went to sleep together he said he hadn’t done it before and this is her reaction…

Internally, I was screaming at myself to not laugh, not make a face, not judge. He definitely didn’t need that — and really, he should get points for honesty, right? But outwardly, I was ultra-calm.

I don’t think I can be the person you do this with. I’m not going to be your girlfriend, this isn’t going to be a relationship — and you probably should do this with someone who is,” I told him as placidly as possible. He just groaned.

I have bolded the bits that galled me the most.

Firstly why would anyone laugh, make a face or judge anyone who is a virgin? There are various reasons behind virginity and as a race we try not to judge on sex, on colour, on race, on sexual orientation and yet here is a seemingly well adjusted young women who is having to strain herself not to judge someone who hadn’t had sex for whatever reason. I genuinely despair but I have to say that whilst this story isn’t about me – it has actually happened to me in a similarish context.

I have never been about to have sex with someone and told them that I was a virgin and then they’ve stopped and said no. However I have had people stop talking to me and stop perusing romantic interests in me because they found out I was a virgin. I remember once someone Googling me and reading me talk openly about my virginity on this here very blog and sent me an e-mail saying basically ‘you seem like a nice guy but I have no interest in dating a boy but I’d really like to still be friends as apart from that you seem like a really great person’ only for her promptly to never speak to me again. Hilarity.

On to the next bit I bolded. Who is this woman to judge who this guy needs to lose his virginity to? He is a grown man and is surely capable of making his own decisions and knows his own mind. Just because said woman wasn’t journeying into sexual activity for the first time then does it mean she is the only one capable of making decisions on that front? It is a bit like when parents tell non-parents that they know nothing about children and never will until they have kids. One section of humanity telling the next that they are essentially inferior at making decisions just because they haven’t spread their oats and creating offspring. That is another of my bugbears.

The thing is there are two types of virgin when it comes to those that have made it through their teenage years without doing it. First of all you have the people that just want it over and done with for whatever reason and you have those who choose to not have sex until they feel it is the right person at the right time. I identify myself in the latter of these two categories. Even I have had plenty of offers in my years of circling the sun and lets be blunt here – none have even tempted me for one iota. I think that says a lot. Either I’m completely frigid or I’m strong willed and know what I want. I like to think I know the answer on that but heck you may have your own opinion.

I’m now going to tell you a story that I found sad – not sad as in ‘that’s so sad’ but as in ‘that is genuinely sad and a terrible indictment of our society’ type of sad. I used to work with someone who was a few years younger than me who was also a virgin and he got teased about it a lot. It made him depressed and feel like a second class man as it were so do you know what he did? He lost his virginity to an escort. See personally I find that sad that he felt he had to do that but I don’t know what was going on in his mind – he may have been very happy to just get it done and out of the way and has kicked on and is far happier now that perceived monkey is off his back.

See that is the point – society as a whole makes far bigger a thing about virginity and sex than they should. It seems strange that a virgin says such things but I firmly think that sex is a very personal thing and if people want to sleep around or choose not to sleep around then that is their own decision to make. It shouldn’t be societies. This is why I get annoyed at slut-shaming because if someone wants to sleep around and act like a slut then that is a decision they are fully entitled to make. Just like it is if someone chooses to be reserved when it comes to sexual activities.

In the situation linked to earlier the woman decided not to speak to the man again due solely to his virginity. She made a decision that the fact he had not yet had sex determine solely how she progressed in their relationship – basically it was something so appalling that she couldn’t bare to even know him any more. Now of course she was fully entitled to do this but I wonder how she would have reacted if the roles were different and she was the virgin looking to lose her v-card but the guy made a decision that he wasn’t the right person to take the v-card from her. Would she have thought that she was a grown woman who could make her own decisions? I’m pretty sure she would.

Also one other line from that piece. After he told her she said, ‘I went into caring stranger mode’ – why does someone being a virgin need someone to turn into caring stranger mode? He wasn’t ill. He hadn’t just lost a member of his family. He was a virgin. That was it. It really bugged me that she felt that was the correct default position to resort to.

Anyway back to me and my place in all of this. I write about this openly because I don’t think it is a stigma to be afraid of. I’m not saying I’m proud of it per se and wish to flaunt it all over the shop but it is part of who I am and I’m not going to pretend it isn’t. I like to think it is a footnote and is certainly not something that would appear on my epitaph should I curl up and die today. ‘Here lies Neil James Monnery. 29. Virgin.’ – Nah I just don’t see it and not just because I’ll be cremated.

Virginity and in turn their views on sex does not define a person – well it shouldn’t anyway. However I strongly feel that individuals are well adjusted enough when they reach adulthood to be able to make their own decisions on sex and what they want. No-one should feel that they need to make decisions for the other person in their best interests. If you know a virgin and they are happy then leave them be. If you know a slut who enjoys sleeping around then it is their decision and if they are happy then who is anyone to step in and tell them they are doing wrong?

Society dictates that women who sleep around are sluts but men who do the same are not. This again is totally wrong. Both men and women should be free to act as they please as long as they aren’t breaking the law and as far as I’m aware having multiple sexual partners or being in an open relationship is not against the law – neither for men nor women. So let people live their lives as they please do not feel sorry for me for being a virgin. I don’t and if I did I’d have lost it a long long long time ago.

Personally I am far more saddened by my inability to meet someone with whom I could share my life. There is no-one who I’ve felt I could have an ongoing emotional relationship with. Someone to share the good times and bad. Someone with whom I could create memories and a partner with whom I could share this journey that is called life with. That is far more disappointing than never having had sex and if at the end of my life I came to say that I never found anyone special to share my life with then that to me would be a far sadder state of affairs than my penis never having entered a vagina.

So if you are reading this and are in a similar position to me then don’t worry or fret. You are not alone. I know many people who are virgins and into their 20s and beyond. Some worry about it daily and some don’t. I would implore you not to worry about it and remember that you actually hold the cards in this situation. If you feel that for your own good being you need to just get it out of the way I’m sure you could find a hook up with a friend or an acquaintance. If you feel that you want to wait then remember that it is your decision and there is nothing whatsoever wrong with that and if someone has a problem with it then it is their problem – not yours.

In those situations where people have dropped off all contact/romantic interest in me because of my virginity then I think it is their loss and move on. I don’t regret it for one instant. If someone else doesn’t have the mental capacity to get over being someone else’s first then it is their issue to deal with. Personally I could see some good parts to being someone’s first as you have a blank slate to play with and probably someone who is rather eager to please. A virgin won’t have developed any bad habits and is probably rather experimental but maybe I’m biased.

I did say in the introduction I’d write about how I got to this point. Well towards the end of the first year of university I realised that it wasn’t just a simple act of going to uni and then meeting someone and the sex would follow/be plentiful. So at that point I distinctly recall making a conscious decision that I would wait until it was the right time with someone whom I cared about and who cared about me. They were the three criteria. They have yet to be fulfilled and here we are.

When I meet someone and things get to a stage where I genuinely care for them and I believe similar the other way round then we’ll be there. I’m not talking love. I’m certainly not talking marriage but I decided that I didn’t want to have sex (not just losing virginity) with anyone just for the sake of it. That was (and is) my decision to make and one I’m comfortable with. When people say things like ‘come round here and I’ll fix you’ when hearing about my virginity then it reinforces my decision in my mind (yes this actually happened – those exact words).

So here I am. A few weeks shy of reaching middle age and I’m a virgin. Do I care? Not really and the important thing is neither should you. I’m sure that when the right person comes along they’ll deal with the situation appropriately and if they didn’t then you know what – they won’t be the right person. Simple as. However if someone awesome wants to walk into my life anytime soon then I would appreciate it…

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

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Written by neilmonnery

June 17th, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Posted in Dating,Personal

Tagged with ,

A Valentine Day Special – Reasons why I’m still single.

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Ah the 14th of February. The day when we are all meant to show our love for our significant other and if you don’t have a significant other you are shamed and feel depressed because society dictates that you should be. Well as you all know I like to rail against the way society says I should be so there won’t be any lamenting from me. I enjoy Valentine’s Day as I see all those who are ‘luvvy-duvvy’ show off about how happy they are and those who aren’t complain mercilessly about everything. Also the most fun bit is when someone complains that people are too ‘in your face’ regarding it when they aren’t in love but the next year if they are then they are just as ‘in your face’ – hilarity.

I thought this would be the perfect day to run down a list of why I’m single so folks – these are the reasons why I’m single:

Firstly I think we should look at my lifestyle. I live alone, I work from home and I don’t go out much. I don’t actually meet too many people! Every year I do the old Livejournal end of year meme and one of the questions is ‘who is the best new person you’ve met this year?’ and looking back at last year I’m not sure I met anyone (or in an online sense spoke to anyone) for the first time in 2012 who made any significant on my life. So going a whole year without anyone making an impact on your life – that is quite something and certainly a good starting point for this blog.

I am very selfish with one thing – my time. I have slowly become more introverted in the past few years and have in turn become very selfish with my time. I like spending time on my own. If it wasn’t for going out to get the newspaper every day I could easily go several days without seeing another human. The thing is it doesn’t bother me. So if I actually go out of my way to spend time with someone it is actually pretty significant!

Thirdly I seriously don’t like sharing a bed. I know it’s a small thing but boy I hate it. I never get a good nights sleep and therefore I’m grumpy the next day. I’m one of those people that needs a good nights sleep otherwise I just don’t function properly the next day. So when you are seeing someone you generally share a bed and it makes me narky.

Fourthly not asking anyone for a date in over a year probably doesn’t help…

Fifthly I actually don’t mind being single. In fact it is the opposite – I’m more than happy being so. A friend of mine has a friend who is in an absolutely terrible relationship but she is scared to leave him because she’s afraid of being alone. What is scary about being alone? I mean seriously what it scary about being alone? There is nothing scary at all about being alone. It means you have the freedom to do what you want, when you want. Freedom is very important to me. The moment I feel any level of having my freedom restricted in anyway whatsoever I quickly extradite myself from that situation because I love my freedom. Does that make me a commitment phobe? Maybe but if the right person wandered into my life then I think I could exchange some of that single freedom for love and comfort with another. I always ask myself the question, ‘would I go to an art gallery with someone – or watch a play with someone instead of sitting at home and watching a sporting event I wanted to watch live on TV?’ If the answer is yes then I think they are worth my time and to me that is significant, if the answer is no then it says a lot.

Sixthly (I know that isn’t a word but still…) I think in the immortal words of that great poet Michael Buble – ‘I just haven’t met you yet’ and that is how I see it. I think in my life I have met under five people to whom I thought I would seriously want to invest time in them for a potential romantic future. Two of them I am reasonably sure that had things just fallen the other way things could have worked out very differently.

To sum up my thoughts – I don’t get what is wrong with being single. I know many many people think life is better for two and it very well might be however it is better to be single and happy than in the wrong relationship that doesn’t lead to happiness. Until I find a person who thinks I can make them happy and vice versa I’ll continue along this single path and I am more than fine with that.

One day I’m sure I’ll blog about being happily loved up and they’ll be tonnes of photos on Facebook showing happy times with a partner but until that day you won’t find me moping about how unfair life is. I am very content with things as they stand but if the right person wants to walk into my life then please be my guest.

Until that happens though my Valentine’s Day evening will be made up of Chinese food and Crimewatch. Yeah I bet all you loved up couples are supremely jealous…

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Written by neilmonnery

February 14th, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Posted in Personal

Tagged with

Have yourself a very Neil Christmas

with 2 comments

If you know me then you know one thing. I’m boring. No wait not that. If you know me then you know one thing. I use far too many full stops instead of commas. No not that either. Get a grip Monnery and get this blog under way. Ok if you know me then you’ll know one thing about me – I’m not Christmassy at all. In fact I’m extremely anti-Christmas. I have been for many years.

I just feel that Christmas just brings stress and you are expected to act in a certain way and I don’t like that. The thing I hate above all in life is the feeling of being expected to be happy when in fact I’m not. I keep my emotions under such a tight leash that I wonder who the last person to see me genuinely happy was. I don’t even recall a time where I was genuinely happy. Of course the flip side to this is I am also rarely genuinely sad although this year gave me around nine days of hell in the Spring.

So instead of going to my Mum’s today I stayed here and spent the day on my own like I spend the majority of my life. It was well and truly my choice so I don’t want any pity for being alone at Christmas. I’m 29 not a teenager but even now people look down on you with those eyes when you tell them that you’ll be alone at Christmas. Like Christmas is different to any other day in the world. If you are not religious then Christmas has no real significance and as much as I am a Chris Kamara fan I’m not going to celebrate his birthday.

So here is a look into my world today. I woke up late in the morning. Got up just before the India v Pakistan T20 international and watched that (which Pakistan thoroughly deserved to win I must say). I had leftover Indian from last night and then this evening I scrolled through my Sky Movies library and downloaded and watched The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo (English version) and here we are I’m writing this and the Boxing Day Test Match is about to start at the MCG. This is my life and this is what I’ve chosen.

It has been interesting to read Twitter and Facebook all day as people speak about what they’ve got with a mix of excitement and disappointment. I just haven’t done the whole present thing for many a year as I think so many things are bought and then not used and I (unsurprisingly) don’t like the expectation of the whole process. The only thing I actually like is the food but it’s essentially just an elaborate roast dinner and I love roast dinners.

I wonder if I’ll ever celebrate Christmas like the rest of the world ever again. If I had kids that would be different (but I’m not having kids) so yeah so that as they say is that. I wonder what things will look like come this day 2013. I wouldn’t be too shocked if things are very similar and the Boxing Day Test next year with be an Ashes Test. Christmas is a strange beast but for me it is just another day.

This time last year I was seeing someone and they told me they would force me to be more Christmassy next year. I told her that is would be an impossible task but she was adamant and that she was never wrong. Well she met someone else and promptly stopped talking to me. Looking around I think I can now prove that she was wrong and I was maybe even less Christmassy this year than last which is quite something.

Ok I’m hungry (and really fancy a roast dinner) but I don’t have anything for one. I’ll go find something to eat and leave to you it. I hope you all enjoyed the day whatever you did and if you didn’t have the ‘stereotypical’ Christmas then don’t worry – I know a considerable amount of people who didn’t and remember – it is just a day.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

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Written by neilmonnery

December 25th, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Posted in Personal

Tagged with

The stigma of being ‘weird’ and ‘creepy’ that hovers like a spectre…

with one comment

Last night I was having a conversation with a nurse at the hospital (I wasn’t at the hospital – good old Facebook) and we were gossiping about another nurse and a situation that we are both looking forward to as and when the Hospital Radio is reopened and she was saying that I needed to be more spontaneous and maybe go around with mistletoe in the upcoming weeks when doing my ward rounds. I shuddered at the thought and it reignited something deep down inside.

We are all moulded by our life experiences. I think that is pretty evident to us all. My own life experiences with regards to the opposite sex have been somewhere between woeful and horrific. Now of course a lot of this is very much water under the bridge but it still lays dormant in my psyche.

You see at school I wasn’t a popular boy with members of the opposite sex. In fact I think I would go as far to say as I was rather unpopular. Even within my own social group I was without a shadow of a doubt the most unpopular male of the group amongst the females present. I knew this and at times I would question myself as to why and wonder what had I done. Now of course if you asked these people even to this day ‘who was the weirdest and creepiest boy you knew at school?’ I fully expect that I’d come out light years ahead of anyone else.

I look back on events like when one member of said social group said that the New Years Eve Party in 1999 would be so much better if I wasn’t going – and the moment I heard those words come out of her mouth there was no way I was going and I’d prefer to stay home alone. I wasn’t going to put another person’s nose out of joint. I distinctly remember things like this and they are not isolated incidents. If I thought anyone was uncomfortable in my presence then I would do (what I thought at the time) was the right thing to do – stay the hell out of the way.

Now I know that (or do I know – maybe believe?) that this may not have been the best course of action. That may be in fact have been even weirder and creepier to just stay the hell out of the way. Where I used to work a few years ago the girls there thought I was weird and creepy and yet I pretty much blanked them and didn’t really ever engage in conversation with them. Yet that was weird and creepy.

I think it all stems from that lack of self-confidence as a kid and once you have it then it is hard to overcome. Now I know some people are reading this and thinking I’m being defeatist and selling myself short but here’s the thing – I know that in the vast majority of cases people who actually get to know me and invest time in doing so like me – they like me a lot. People with whom I spend time and am relaxed around generally like me. The issue has always been people making snap judgements on me and obviously I must give off a bad ‘vibe’.

This is why I still would never do anything spontaneous with people whom I hardly knew because I know deep down that the majority of women in the first instance do not like me – and a significant percentage of them think I’m weird. Now it should be said here that most people that know me know I’m weird but also they know it’s not creepy weird so I could be far more spontaneous as it were with them.

The truth is I make a bad first impression. What I do or do not do I don’t know but apart from that blip last year that I have written about previous it has been six and a half years since I translated a first date into a second date. Now I’m not saying there have been 100s of dates in that time but I think we are certainly using both hands to count and maybe a foot as well.

Personally I think the major issue is I don’t have that bed of self-confidence as a rock underneath me. Instead I have a plethora of bad memories and being told that I’m a creep and a weirdo and hence why I take the step-back approach. I would be stunned if I ever became the forward-thinking and forward-acting person when it comes to relations with the opposite sex. I need a lot of positive body-language (and when I say a lot it needs to be overpowering) before I do anything. Maybe doing nothing is the creepy part. Maybe doing the wrong thing is the creepy part. Whatever I do I fail and do you know what? Deep down I am fine with that and have resigned myself to that.

For example I know that I cannot flirt. I would propose that I had more chance of nailing Heston Blumenthal’s signature dish snail porridge one my first go than I do of successfully flirting with somebody (and when you consider how awful I am at cooking then that says even more). Is this because I don’t have the mental capacity to flirt or is it to do with not having that rock of confidence underneath me? I think we all know the answer to that (the latter…).

So to round up I think my lack of self-confidence has evolved over the years. These days I believe in myself a lot more and I fully believe that most people would like me if they got to know me (which is significant progress on the Neil of a decade or so ago) but I also still know that my first impression is not great in a lot of instances and that I give away a creepy vibe despite being really not creepy. I mean the moment someone says I’m being a bit weird or creepy I done. I mean totally done. As I said before this might even be being more creepy but who knows.

All I know for sure is I’m moulded by my past experiences and my memory is not full of people saying I’m amazing but more people saying I’m a bit weird and that they are not comfortable around me. This is just how it is. This is why I stay very much in my shell until I have the confidence of knowing people don’t think bad of me and then I can flourish but until I have that belief in any situation I will always revert back to the knowledge that people will think I’m a bit weird and creepy when they first meet me and that as they say is that.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

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Written by neilmonnery

November 22nd, 2012 at 4:42 pm

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Tonight I met Tina Cousins and acted very cool and not fangirlish…then I realised I had my flies undone. Fail.

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Seriously I had my flies undone. What the hell is wrong with me? (Please don’t actually answer that) So yes the crux of the issue is this evening I met Tina Cousins. Hopefully you all know who she is but if you don’t I’ll put a couple of her music videos underneath this post:

I would like to say I was all suave and sophisticated when I met her but I probably wasn’t however apparently I was cooler than someone else who met her the other day. As you all know I do Hospital Radio and you go around meeting the patients and getting requests. It is one of the unknown pieces of Hospital Radio.

So yes I walk into a room on a ward and go and chat to a lady and ask her if she wants a request. The lady standing up talking to her said that she’d pick one for her and would have ‘one of hers’ and requested Sash! with Mysterious Times. Now I love that song and I know who the singer is on that track and I looked and at her and said ‘you’re Tina Cousins aren’t you?’ and we proceeded to have a chat.

She has some good things on the horizon and is apparently set to work with Sash! again on new material which excites me. It is good to hear that she is still involved in the business and I must say that she is an extremely nice person and very talkative. I think I hid that inside I was going ‘OMG It’s Tina Cousins, OMG It’s Tina Cousins, OMG It’s Tina Cousins, OMG It’s Tina Cousins’ relatively well and didn’t come over as too much of a loser. Result but OMG Tina Cousins…

Not everyone else was as impressed that I met Tina Cousins and this makes me sad. The bizarre bit was ten minutes later I was meeting the footballer Neil Harris. Both are cool and Neil Harris is an absolute legend but I think I was still swooning from meeting Tina Cousins…

So yes this evening was interesting and most certainly different. Throw in my favourite nurse returned for the first times in an age then yes. Tonight was a good night.

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Written by neilmonnery

October 24th, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Posted in Random Stuff

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The day the BBC approached me for a new TV show asking if I wanted to get ‘more manly’

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I could be a TV star. I’m terribly excited. When you get an e-mail entitled ‘BBC America’ it will grab my attention. When the e-mail is about being part of a new TV show then you think ‘yeah I could do that’ but then some details become clear and the TV show opportunity that has excitedly presented itself is a chance to be more manly. Yes folks I’ve been offered the chance to try-out for a new TV show called ‘Man Camp’ which is designed to make single guys like me who can’t get a girlfriend well you know…be manly and get a girlfriend. Rock on.

The thing is though is I have zero interest in taking part in a TV show like this. I don’t want to be more macho. I fixed my boiler once and that is enough for me. Just because I don’t go to bars and try to pick-up women it doesn’t mean that I want to be able to do that. Lord no I’d hate to be that type of guy. They are the types of guys I don’t look at with envy I look at with pity that whilst they are busy at bars having a good time playing the dating game I am at home in my underwear watching Match of the Day eating takeaway food. I know which situation I’d prefer to be in and it doesn’t involve booze and chat-up lines.

Here is the e-mail I received just now:

Dear Neil,

I hope that you’re well and don’t mind my getting in touch after reading the interesting blog on your website. I work for a TV casting company and I’m looking to cast people for a new TV series for BBC America and wanted to get in touch to see if it is something that may be of interest to you.

It’s a series called ‘Man Camp’ and we’re looking for a group of Brits who feel that in some way they would like to become more traditionally ‘macho’ and boost their confidence, whilst taking part in a fun, light-hearted TV competition to win a significant prize.

The group of men who wish to become more ‘manly’ in the traditional sense will be sent to America in the new year to take part in a range of American ‘macho’ activities such as hunting/DIY etc. to compete to learn new skills and prove that modern men can still be macho.

The show is meant to be good fun but we also want people who genuinely think they could have something to gain from taking part as well, and I know that your comments about lacking confidence in social situations is something that strikes home with a lot of people.

I don’t know if this is something that would appeal to you but if it would I’ve attached some more information for you to have a look and would be happy to talk about this further.

Either way thanks ever so much for you time.

Kind regards,

[redacted]

This is the attachment text he sent through:

Do you need to Man up?

Or do you know someone who just isn’t masculine enough?

We’re looking for men who are desperate to be more manly, to be a part of a new American TV series. You’ll be flown to America to be taught to be more macho by the nation that brought us Cowboys, Pick-up trucks and the Harley-Davidson.

Do you know someone, or are you…..

• Far too metrosexual for your own good
• Too old to be living at home…and still being looked after by your mum
• A computer geek with not enough friends or chat up skills
• Camp, but not gay
• Too in touch with your feminine side
• Unable to be one of the boys, talk about sport, or hang out with the lads

If this is you, or someone you know, we can help. This show will transform men who desperately feel that they are missing something that makes other men manly.

Filming will be in America in the New Year AND there will be a significant prize for the biggest transformation.

To apply please fill out this form and return it with a photo, your CV and if possible a 60second video clip (you can use your phone) of you telling us why you are right for this show, to [redacted]

If you want to e-mail the guy then I’ll pass on his details if you contact me.

Do I need to man up? Well it depends on what you mean by man up. Some may say yes but who wants to be overly macho anyway? I live on my own and look after myself easily enough. I’m certainly not metrosexual. I have friends (but few chat up skills) and I’m really not camp. I am in touch with my feminine side but there is nothing wrong with that but I love my sport but hate going out on the lash.

So all in all I really don’t fit in with this show and I’ll respond telling him that I am not really what he is looking for. However I absolutely loved getting the e-mail out of the blue and thought it was hilarious. These TV people are trawling the interwebs trying to find people for all these types of shows. It shows in this day and age we could all have our fifteen minutes but I’m waiting for a better opportunity.

Seriously imagine me trying to be manly and/or more macho. Oh the hilarity. Actually I think the real losers here will be the public not getting to be me try and shoot a gun or whatever. Watching me try to chat up a woman. Oh boy that would be cringeworthingly awesome TV. It is so bad in my mind’s eye that I even made up a word for it but people of the world I will not be appearing on ‘Man Camp’ for the BBC any time soon…

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Written by neilmonnery

September 24th, 2012 at 6:04 pm

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‘I’m not lonely, I’m alone’

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The words of Emma Morley in One Day. These are however words I have also uttered in my lifetime. This evening I sat down and watched this movie and did so with a genuine interest. Rarely do I sit down and actually watch a film that I have heard about and actually wanted to see. Usually my film watching habits involve being bored but I actually did go out of my way to watch this one.

Now I haven’t read the book and my subsequent peruse of the reviews of this film indicate that this was not a bad thing. The book is apparently quite wonderful and the film did not live up to the material of the manuscript but I can’t judge it on that. For me all I saw was a quirky little film with a strange feel-good factor despite the character you grow to love being killed and the character you hate getting the girl he doesn’t deserve. Also I didn’t care that Anne Hatherway’s character was ‘too attractive’ and had a rather clear shifting accent. I’m not sure people who actually watch films care about this. I’m sure it is just for the critics. Most people just like a couple of hours of escapism.

I thought about my past and looked to see if any of the characters related to me in any way. I always do this when watching films. I’m pretty sure it isn’t normal but still. Unlike Dexter I am pretty sure that I don’t have a close female friend who is deep down in love with me. Also as far as I know no friend has ever had a crush on me. That might be a rather depressing sentence that I just compiled. I think I should move on rather swiftly.

The other thing I did mull over in my mind is the type of girl that I deep down yearn for. Once more linking it back to a blog post I read earlier in the week entitled Typecasting: The Myth of My Ideal Man – we all have the people in mind that we believe and hope that we will fall in love with.

Looking back at my history of women I have either dated or had interest in physically there doesn’t seem to be an obvious link. I always thought I had a type and yet I realised that I have dated more people who don’t fit into my type than do. If we just narrow it down to the big three of people I have had real interest with in my adult life physically there are no similarities whatsoever.

If we move it on to personality then yet again nothing too clear if you look at the three of them and yet again I always thought I had a type. I thought that I had a type of the quirky girl who would like to spend her Saturday’s baking cupcakes, being read to in the park, sitting watching the world go by in the countryside or by a lake. Very much the creative type with an interest in the arts. Now to most people who know me they might be stunned by this as they see me as a guy who loves his sport and not much else. I just think I very much want someone who is the polar opposite to me to light up my world. Someone with a positive and sunny outlook.

That is what in my head I have as my ‘type’ as it were but yet there was another moment in the film that summed everything up beautifully. In the film Emma dates a nice guy called Ian for several years but is never in love with him. She is always deep down in love with Dexter. A couple of years after her death Ian speaks to Dexter and says, ‘I used to hate you…because she lit up with you just in a way she never did with me and it used to make me so angry because i didn’t think that you deserved her… She made you decent and in return you made her so happy, so happy, and I will always be grateful to you for that.

Now that sums it all up for me. I just want to find the person I light up with and who in turn gets lit up around me. Isn’t that deep down what we all want and all not only want but deep down just yearn for? I can safely say that up to this point only the three people I hinted at earlier ever made my heart beat that little bit faster when I saw them or spoke to them or whatever. Only these three have made me smile at just the thought of them.

We all have this idea of the perfect partner in our heads but yet you never know when you will find that person who just makes you smile when you think about them. The person with whom you do nothing but nothing is everything. The person who even on the gloomiest day and at your lowest ebb will be there for you and assure you that everything is going to be all right – not just that – but you actually believe them that everything is going to be all right.

One day was a nice little quirky film. It made me think and I like films (and people) who make me do that. Emma was never happy with anyone except the person she deep down wanted to be with and I can relate to that. I see no point in dating people who don’t make me light up. It is better to be single and happy with yourself than be in a relationship that isn’t truly special. I honestly believe that and whilst so many people say I should settle for some happiness and not wait for that special someone I think that happiness can be found from being single and unhappiness can be found from not being truly happy in a relationship.

As the title says I’m not lonely, I’m alone…

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Written by neilmonnery

September 16th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

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Tranquility

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Sometimes we all need to go to our ‘happy place’ the place where we feel safe and most at ease. I imagine everyone has a different idea as to where there’s is but tonight I decided it was time to go to mine and therefore I strolled to the beach.

I love the beach but I don’t love it on a hot steamy day. I love it on a still but overcast day. The difference isn’t only the temperature but also the proximity of people around you. I knew that tonight I’d be pretty much alone except for the odd person wandering by and could be completely alone with my senses. One sense is the smell of the sea. The slight tang of salt in the air and the freshness is something I adore.

Also the sound. Now whilst I did have my iPod on you could still hear the gentle lapping of the water. I think that water is my favourite thing on this planet. The sound of water is one of my very favourite all time things. From the sound of a waterfall (not that I’ve been near too many) to the sound of the rain on the roof to the sound of the sea. All these things make me happy but most of all they make me tranquil. Water makes me feel safe and happy.

So tonight I am down there. Alone. It is a strange concept knowing that even though I expected to not speak to anyone just the sense of seeing the odd person wander by made me feel less alone in the world. I’d think about who they were and what they were doing. From the joggers to the fat family who walked past with me pondering whether it was genetic or whether they just all ate junk – I thought about them all and their lives.

I noticed a few strange looks at me as I’m just sitting alone on a bench by the sea as dusk fell but I ignored them. They were probably doing what I was doing and wondering what I was doing there. As dusk fell there was one section of water which had light glistening of it and the rest of the water was in darkness. It was beautiful. I looked across the estuary at Sheerness and wondered if anyone was looking back at me. I need to put messages in bottles. It is something I need to do.

As I was walking back I looked at all the houses in Thorpe Bay Gardens and wondered how the people that lived there could afford such places. Did they inherit them? Did they make wise investments? Do they have good jobs? I pondered all the possibilities. I also thought about whether I would live anywhere like that. As I passed the posh houses I turned for home and here I am writing up a blog about nothing but summing up just how peaceful I can be just through the simple things like the smell and sound of the sea. I lived for so many years away from the sea and I always ask myself why.

The sea is my tranquil place but only when there isn’t too many people about. Every so often I think I should move to London and live in a big city but quaint quiet evenings like tonight make me glad I live in a relatively small coastal town.

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Written by neilmonnery

September 2nd, 2012 at 8:28 pm

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It is time to announce my retirement from the world of online dating

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I’m surprised I didn’t call a press conference and/or issue a press release on this but I have actually had a few people ask me what the latest was with my online dating adventures that I have blogged about previously. Well there is news but the retirement is not because of any great success. I have watched many people that I know have success in the online dating world and that has been heart-warming. I have seen these people say they are the happiest they have ever been thanks to online dating. However things have not exactly been the same for me and a few weeks ago I threw the white towel in mentally and this evening profiles were deleted.

Now this of course isn’t me throwing in the towel of ever being in a relationship. It is more a concession that maybe online dating isn’t for me. I am one of those people who is better in the flesh than I am online or in photographic form. I’m not exactly what you’d call full of the old self-confidence but heck I have been known to look in the mirror whilst cleaning my teeth or washing my hands or having a shave or whatever and think to myself ‘not bad, not bad…’ and I don’t think I have ever thought that after seeing a photograph of myself. I am not photogenic. Which is a problem in the online dating world.

As for describing myself and making me sound interesting. Yeah… I work from home, live alone, have a fruit and herb patio which I am super proud of. I do hospital radio, commentate on football, blog my life and thoughts pretty publicly and have a rather large interest in politics. I don’t drink and I don’t exactly go out much. Heck looking at me on paper I wouldn’t want to get to know me. So maybe it is no surprise that I’m not ticking boxes.

At this point I’d like to point out that on the flip-side I’m a guy who most people who get to know me quite like. Whether they fancy me is of course a very different kettle of fish but most think I’m a decent guy. At times apparently I fall down in my ‘manliness’ as I’m a beta male and let other people make decisions. I can make decisions about myself easy enough but when it comes to others I’m very laid back. A lot of women I have ‘met’ or should I say communicated with prefer a guy who makes decisions and takes charge, which is a surprise as I thought women didn’t want that any more but in my years of attempting to date it seems the opposite is true. I think relationships should be equal with both members leaning on each other to get the most out of things. This might not be the majority view.

Most of all though the reason why I have retired from this is because I don’t enjoy it. I do not enjoy the dating game and when you can’t even get dates then the dating game is even less fun. This year I have not had what you’d call a quote/unquote ‘first date’ and it showed no sign of changing. Since I moved into my apartment just over two years ago I have had a grand total of four proper first dates. An average of one every six months. It really isn’t worth the hassle.

So online dating is now in my rear view mirror. If something happens with someone then it’ll either be through someone I already know or someone I meet via a different medium than internet dating. Everyone has a different piece of advice as for whether you should put yourself out there and look or it’ll happen when you aren’t looking at all. I am sort of been in-between the two for a long long time but now I’m moving towards the latter of the two.

Deep down I have always hoped that a relationship would be a natural progression of a friendship I had with someone. I think being friends first is a good platform for a relationship. I know others may disagree but a friendship forms a bond that goes beyond physical attraction. I have always – and I do mean always – said that the most important thing for me in a potential partner is to enjoy spending time with them. As a self-proclaimed loner knowing that I’d like to spend time with someone over watching a plethora of live sport says a lot to me. Online dating doesn’t really create those opportunities as it is basically if you/them don’t fancy each other from the get go then you/them don’t want to know each other.

To round-up my online dating statistics. I think I have had seven or eight dates although to be honest that sounds low so I may be forgetting one or two. These numbers do not include people I have met/dated from IRC as that would add a few names to the list or from other websites that aren’t strictly ‘dating’ websites. Out of these only two did I have more than one date with. Not an awful ratio but nothing stellar either. One of those two it should be pointed out I had a second date with the day after she met another guy who subsequently she dated for four years so not sure if that really counts…

We’ll see what happens but I’m happy I have closed the book on my online dating attempts. Deep down I hoped to just meet people but you forget that most other people are seemingly looking for ‘the one’ and I don’t think I was. Maybe that is why things didn’t work. So now I look to see what happens. Whilst my hopes of leaving the single world aren’t what I’d call going on the backburner but I’m not going to worry about it and just let life take its course. No more forcing it. Forcing (or attempting to force it) wasn’t working and wasn’t making me happy. It just frustrated me. Just kicking back and seeing what happens is the way forward.

I think the only thing I’ll miss is good blogging material. Now that bit I did enjoy…

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Written by neilmonnery

August 28th, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Posted in Dating,Personal

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