Acclamations

This is the reason why waynealton.com was created in the first place. In 1997, I had a conversation with Vicki about wanting to let folk know of what I thought of them, say after I'd gone! She suggested a web page and this is it! A page dedicated to all that played a part in my life and for some, continue to.

 

I haven't removed any text that I've written over the years, instead, I have only added to a tribute by way of an update. That way, original comments and feelings, at the time of paying tribute, remain unchanged.

 

Finally, those who have a grey border are sadly no longer with us.

 

The names are stored alphabetically by first name. The A-Z below can be used to go directly to the names of those whose first name begins with the letter tapped/clicked on.

A B C D E F G H
I J K L M N O P
Q R S T U V W X
Y Z

A

Afife Leiper

I am so happy to have met you, Afife (and Tommy). You always made me feel so welcomed whenever I visited you. You were warm and friendly each time I responded to your calls for help and turned up with whatever computer skills I had. Furthermore, you made it very entertaining, and you also introduced me to some of your fabulous cooking.


Alison Watkins

Amazing person. Fun, thoughtful, loves my husband to bits and I think she likes me, too. Ali has been a colleague with Jezz for some time. She has her fair share of trauma and sadness, even since we've known her, and yet she continues to be a beacon of support and kind friendship to Jezz and I. Her input with our wedding alone was superb. Her partner Simon is lovely, too.


Amanda Cradock

My half-sister, Amanda. We met in 2015 at one of the family reunions. You and I definitely have an uncanny connection. We seem to share very similar opinions and about some very wacky subjects. Lol. I'm always pleased to hear from you and out of the two of us, you have always made all the effort to keep in touch. You are very funny, and I love that we invented CBA together, which for anyone reading this is: “can't be arsed.” Amanda uses it far more than me and far too often. Hahaha!

 

UPDATES:

OK… I don't know what's going on, but you are fab to have around. You continue to be a daily tonic and have shown so much love and affection towards Jezz and me. You make the phrase 'you only get out what you put in' so very transparent. Not only that, but you're just always there for us both… even when we haven't asked for you to be… LOL. 

17 October 2021

 

My latest proofreader for this site... is there no end to your talons? You continue to amaze me with your beady eye (just the one, then). Honestly, you can't go throwing your weight around any more... you haven't got enough, now! Lol. Still loving you.

12 February 2023


B

Barbara Johnson

One of the funniest people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. You and Liz made my working at the DIA the longest job I have had. I only stayed there for the laughs that I had with you. There were bad times, normally when it was your time of the month, and we both had tension from it. But you’re one of the hardest working people I know, Barb. You’re generous to your family, and you make a fab Mum. Work-wise: you have always deserved better and hopefully, moving away… you're getting it! Lol.


Barry Collins

Jezz and I met you around 2005 when you were taken on as the gardener and cleaner for the place where we lived. We'd make you a coffee with two sugars every time you turned up. You are an incredibly nice and gentle person and so lovely to be around. In 2015, some ten years after we first met you, we got to meet your lovely wife Mel and beautiful daughter Ellie when we came to see you and had lunch together. Lovely people.


Betty Gray

You have been a great loss to me. I feel that I have known you all of my life, and my growing up may not have turned out quite the same without you being around. As a child, I remember always thinking that you were so up-to-date with everything… the only adult that knew all the decent records in the charts. You also understood why I wanted friends to stay, a girlfriend to stop over and the reasons for needing a certain brand of trainers! You would pass on my feelings to Dad because I hadn't developed a way of expressing myself convincingly… I didn't need to… I had you! One of my fondest memories was of us being alone together on one of the family holidays to Rustington. Another time was of my coming out to you… that I was gay. Just you… with no one else to interfere or spoil the kind words of reassurance that I desperately needed and that you readily had, almost rehearsed… because you once said… “I always knew you were gay, Wayne!”
Your passing on Christmas Eve, 2001, left us all with a huge chunk of life and soul missing from all of our lives. From that moment, whilst comforting Dad, my heart was constantly torn apart by the restful happy memories that aided my grief but then by the feeling of Dad's pain with each amusing short story he would tell.

 

Our tune: “You Make Me Feel Brand New” by The Stylistics.

This was the song I most associate with Betty as a partner with my Dad. They both liked the song, and I believe Betty bought Dad the 7" single of it.


Brenda Russell

My cousin Brenda… I've known you all of my life (haha). Like Aunty Gwen, I have only happy memories and thoughts when I think of you. We teased you years ago by calling you 'Margo Leadbetter' from The Good Life because you just seemed so posh compared with us riff-raff. But what I love most is that we learned how to behave around you, how to speak properly, and I hope that I have maintained that behaviour.

 

UPDATE:

I absolutely love our catch-up chats and we both agree, they should be more often, aye? Your memory is fabulous about the old days and wartimes. But more than that, your recollection of historic family tales and anecdotes are everything to me. Thank you.

14 June 2023


Brian Halls

My cousin Brian… I hold you in high esteem, as I do, Brenda. If I thought of anyone I know who has lived their life the right way and done everything properly, then it would be you. Intelligent, good job, kind heart and a respect for others that commands respect back. I, on the other hand, do not feel that I have any of those fine traits… possibly except for respect for others. But, as the years roll on, one thing I do think we have in common, we are both very good at being 'grumpy old gits' and putting the world to rights.


C

CB

We met in 2009 and have continued to see each other regularly since. I consider that we are quite compatible, and even our differences make for a good, challenging debate. I think we sharpen one another's wits, too. You're funny, very intelligent, and I feel that I can talk to you about everything. You've taught me a great deal, advised me when I've asked for your help, and I feel useful when you call on me for help with something. Our falling outs are quite dramatic though and worse still, I don't create any of the drama bit. Lol.

UPDATE:

Not talking to you has meant we haven't shared together the 10th year anniversary of knowing one another. Also, today is your 60th birthday and I miss you every day. It's good to be talking and seeing one another again.

19 February 2019

 

I ended my friendship today with this person who I have shared my life with (in conversation). Whilst feeling quite grief stricken, realising that I do not want this friendship any more, I feel so disappointed. Everyone else in my life have been telling me that the narcissistic and over-controlling personality was having a detrimental effect with my life. I enjoyed most of my friendship over 10 years, but the last 6 months have been unpleasant and fairly toxic, possibly for both of us.

3 July 2020


Chris Beattie

My beautiful daughter's beautiful ex-husband, Chris. I absolutely loved the comfortable, secure feeling when I look at photos of you with Kelly. You were always fun to be around, and you kept my little girl safe and happy. You were also an amazing father figure to Ethan and Jake. I continue to respect you and adore you… and like I've always said, when talking about you (and to you)… you're pretty fit too!


Christine Scotcher

The most harmless and kindest woman I have known. You’re also the cuddliest and the easiest going, lovable woman. I couldn't fault you with anything, Chris. The perfect soundboard and listening ear when I needed it most. If I were to think of an angel, you’d be my next thought.

UPDATE:

My dear, wonderful friend… This evening, I learned of your passing last month, and I have spent the evening remembering you fondly. I have also tried to recall a moment when you were angry or cross, and I have no recollection of you ever being anything but smiling and a joy to be with. You cared for me, listened and were a terrific surrogate Mother. As is still the case with Liz, I will miss you, a lot.

10 December 2015


D

Dave Bacon

Dave, there’s a handful of people that I considered I fancied to the point of fell in love with – and you were the first. Your straight-acting had me going from the start. You haven’t been there for me on so many occasions, you almost don’t deserve a mention. But then again, you do. Because I grew up on the scene with you. The introduction of my gay lifestyle was with you, and you took me places and introduced me to sessions of sex that were and are still unique. I’m glad you chose David as a long-term boyfriend – you and I wouldn’t have lasted as long, despite your opinion in 2000… we are both too much alike.

UPDATES:

I know I haven't exactly been by your side for 2003, but I hope that our phone calls together went part of the way to you surviving a very difficult time.

24 July 2004

You continue to show that soft spot you've had for me (as I have for you). Although we don't see each other as often as we'd both like, it's a warm feeling I get, knowing that you're still as fond of me as I am you! Awe.

1 August 2015

 

Our tune: “Little Girl Blue” by Nina Simone.

Dave introduced me to this song when he played it to me once, whilst at his parent's place, where he lived. I fell in love with it immediately.


David Jack

Meeting up with you again, after all of those years, was brilliant. You’re a fabulous bloke with only love and care in your heart. I can’t imagine you ever being angry or violent with anything. Your affection for me has soothed me through endless bouts of trauma that had been going on in my life. Whether they be, general, specific or deliberate, you have always been there to listen to me, talk me through a bad patch. I tell you this much, David, when I held and cuddled up to you, it’s a feeling that I didn't feel with many. Your arms have a warmth and strength about them that is total sincerity. For that – you’re up there as “One Of The Best”.

UPDATES:

I've realised in the last few years, you are the tonic to shifting an otherwise depressed state of mind to one of laughter and a more happy mood that has the power to change how my day unfolds. We share the same sense of humour and find our differing outlooks on life an enjoyable and amusing telephone debate.

11 March 2004

My dearest friend... the second-to-longest pal I've ever known. You were my friend for over 32 years. I loved you like a brother and will miss you terribly. The phone calls, the FaceTime calls that had us chuckling away for decades. I thought knowing your illness and your wishes from so many years ago would ease the grieving, but it hasn't. I cry spontaneously — just like I still do with missing Dad.

21 September 2018


David Wallis

Originally, and once again, Jezz met you from the internet and got chatting. Well, I feel like I've known you for years. A genuine and really decent gentleman. We haven't known each other that long, and yet we've stayed at each other's homes for the weekend several times. Funny and intelligent, and I reckon that's why we're so compatible! Hahaha!

UPDATES:

Since Dad died, April 2008, I feel that I have got even closer to you because of the video chats we have almost daily and the mature and life-experience style advice you have so readily to offer me. You were given the title Daddy David (DD) before Dad passed away because of how you continue to show your love to Jezz and I. Well, I know I turn to you more than ever. And you're just always there for me, unconditionally and for, what seems, nothing in return.

21 September 2009 

Well, my darling DD. Goodbye to a very special friend... My Father figure that simply took over from where my own Dad left off. 
You were the strength when I felt weak; you filled sad times with glad times, you gave me sound advice and mentored me through moments of uncertainty, you educated me better than any geography teacher had done. And best of all, we both spent your last couple of years moaning the world to rights like the two perfect grumpy old men that we were.
Nobody else but you will understand not only the extent of how much I will miss you, but all that I will miss about you, too!
See you again one day!
Bye for now, Wayne (one of your boys)

13 November 2011


Debbie Gray

You’ve played a large part in my life. We had our rough times together, and sadly I remember some of them, but thankfully, I also remember all the fun we had, especially in the early days. I grew up with you, laughing with tears. I’ll treasure and never forget those times together, after school, with Paul, Sam, Tony, Darren, and Diane. Evenings in the bedroom playing records and singing along, and if I didn't wave goodbye to you at the bus stop from my bedroom window, I'd have walked you home and gave the dog a walk, too. We shared a precious moment together when Kelly was born. I haven’t experienced anything like that since. You’re a superb Mum and you have a kind and caring heart. You're up there, Debs, as one of the best there is!

 

UPDATE:

Wow… you continue to impress me (and everyone else) with how strong you really are. You were the power and energy needed for the whole family when both your Nan and Mum died and now, even more, with Cade's health. Resilience I may have experienced once or twice in my life before. Unbelievable.

16 March 2023

 

Our tune: “Saturday” by L.A. Boppers.

I played this to Debs in 1981 while we were in my bedroom at home. From then, I'd sing it to her and we both loved the song that it became a regular track we'd listen to when she came round.


Denise Friedlos

Well, they don't come much tougher than you. A strong fighting character with all the strength of a bulldozer and yet have that refined dignity and charisma. I have never seen that before or since. It was often said, that our fiery characters were similar… well if that's true, we expressed them very differently. I was just a screaming drama queen, while you were gracious and thoughtful about your opinions. You taught me that in the end.


Donald Pritchard

Dearest Donald. You are a gentleman… You're a complete sweetheart and as National treasures go… you're one of ours! If I ever make it to your age, I'd be happy to settle for just a third of your jovial banter and charm that everybody adores! You're quick-witted too.


E

Elliot Warren

One of the coolest and most relaxed people in my world.

I write this upon discovering your passing away, but only because we had only met a few times. At your Mum and sister's home in Harlow, for your Nan's funeral service, when you stayed with us for a few days and a trip to Brighton that still holds fond memories.


Emma Browne

Well – we met and became friends so quickly. You’re one of the most amazing that can show others: no matter how much life can get you down, you can just pull through and find laughter still. I’d like to think I’ve been there for you, and you’ve certainly listened to me when I’ve had my problems. You’re bubbly and brilliant fun to be with. You have the stamina to deal with loads of issues all at once. But moreover, you have a really nice outlook on life, and it infects and spreads quickly, making you a great person to be around.

UPDATE:

When your Father died, Em, I observed a period of bewilderment and uncertainty with life in you. Over the months, as your pain eased, you've become so much more grown-up and yet have maintained that fun and bubbliness about you! The powerful and heart-rending wording of your emails just gives away how sensitive and special you are!

4 April 2005

 

Our tune: “Don't Go Breaking My Heart” by Elton John & Kiki Dee.

Back in the late 90s, Emma and I would often meet up at Bar 68, a gay bar in a very rough and unsuspecting part of Thornton Heath, South London. We'd typically choose songs that were a male/female duet. Another one was 'Reunited' by Peaches and Herb.


Ethan Griffin

My eldest grandson of two, Ethan. A loving and beautiful personality, bright, eloquent and handsome. I am proud to bursting of how decent you are.


Eugenie Noonan

Meeting you for the first time is one of the best stories I’ve been able to share with others. You were very professional and very convincing. But then your expressions have always been confusing. I was never sure if I was shocking you, making you laugh, or just teasing… you have a fabulous sense of humour. You made me feel so special by bringing me into your family like I was a lost son. Thank you for that!


F

Frances Osborn

A feisty, lovable and genuine friend. It never seemed to matter where or when we met up and had a night out, it was always guaranteed to be an excellent night if you were there. My favourite night with you was my 29th birthday. We went to the bar (Bar 68, Thornton Heath). I spent a lot of the time sitting on your lap, eyeing up the talent, and we'd compare notes on what was hot and what was…. Not! But I particularly love your “fag hag” qualities. You're definitely one of the best people to have a night out with.


Freddie Townsend

Delightful, camp and witty. It’s nice, Freddie, to think I made a friend with you from being a friend of a friend. You kept in touch, made an effort and for a long time, stayed in touch and advised and guided me where I’ve needed it when I’ve asked for it. You’ve also taught me some of the funniest lines that I’ve had the cheek to copy. Your intelligence and success have been an inspiration to me and I admire how you combined your professionalism with your outrageous well, let's say other interests!


G

Gavin Dyer

You're a right one! Who'd have thought it? You went out with Noel and then I did! I cherish the way we kept in touch with each other. If I had to compare myself to someone I knew, it would be you. We see the humour in the same things, at the same time. You… you're bright, funny, fun-loving, radiate happiness and have the same interest in technology. See, sounds like me, dun it? Two peas in the same pod.


Gill Browne

Mother – yes, another mother figure. One memory I love to cherish, is that Emma said you always knew you’d like me from the very first time you met me, and all I can say is; I felt the same. You’re maternal and a friend. You’re lovely, bubbly and a thoroughly lovable person.


Graham Mitchell

Jezz and I met you in 2001, and you're one of our first mates, whereby you became a friend of both of ours. Still living in Edinburgh, we generally get to see you when you're down in London and visiting folk. I've grown very fond of you over the years, and there'll always be a space in my bed heart for you.


Graham Morris

Awe… our Grm! Another of Nick's mate's. Despite your hard, menacing, thuggery but horny looks, you're really a gentle and well-mannered guy. I hadn't known you long when I knew that you'd be a dear and decent friend.


Gran (Frances Alton)

The entire development of my life I owe to you, my late Grandmother. You insisted on being called Gran… not Nan or Nanny. It is the only occasion, still to this day, that you were the only person I knew that was feared by all… not for brawn but for the high standard you demanded of everyone and everything. Gran, you did a good job at keeping your religious beliefs to yourself, but made no bones about letting folk know of your principles and morals. It was to be this trait that I would mimic or carry forward into my adulthood and that has manifested itself to be the sheer honesty streak, I consider, that I have today.
I grew up from as early as a year old, separated from my real Mother. My Dad's Mum, Francis Isobel Alton, looked after me and my two elder sisters at her home, and we shared our lives together, along with my Grandfather, known to us as Grandpa, until he died in 1976. Then, eventually, when considered old enough, we moved across the road, to live with our Father. I was about 11, and I moved out of the family home when I was just 17. But the type of semi-Victorian upbringing I had from my Grandmother meant that I could, from the point that I was very ready and capable of living alone and fending for myself.

 

Our tune: “Please Tell Him That I Said Hello” by Dana.

Not so much an 'our tune' but more of a memorable moment. Gran enquired at the counter of a song she'd heard on the television. She mentioned that the lyrics featured hello and 'tell him.' Somehow, that transposed to the rock/punk song 'Tell Him' by the band Hello. Instead of returning it, Gran kept the single in her collection and I played it a lot, as a child.


Gwen Halls

Our Aunty Gwen was not just an auntie… you were a Mother, a friend and the best entertainer at family gatherings. Your sense of fun always fitted the moment. You were sharp and quick-witted and had the entire family organised on every occasion. If you were strict ever, we never experienced it. I remember that you were always fair and never took sides. Just knowing that you were coming over at the weekend, or that you were going to be there on holiday with us, had us excited. At Christmastime, you were the instigator and would have everybody up dancing. You were instrumental at ensuring that the kids had their fun by bringing along a bag of presents for ‘pass the parcel.’ 
But you were also skilled at knowing how to treat us children at sad times. Through moments of raw sadness when family members passed away, you were there to comfort us and ease the confusion and pain, whilst discreetly dealing with your own.
As the years went by, and we all moved homes, the contact naturally was less. But with you, Gwen, even that didn’t feel so bad! Because for every time we would call for a catchup and a natter, you were still there… that exact same exciting voice we grew up with but more than that; your laughter. Each time I would hear you laughing… I laughed. Even now, as we all think of you laughing, it forces a smile on our faces.
Fondest memory? I have a few, but one of my favourites dates as far back as the early 1980s… In one telephone call, I was called three names before you finally got to mine… it went… “Brian, er Andy, er Jamie… er, Wayne!” That line had us both laughing for years. 
Aunty Gwen, thanks for 47 years of sheer fun and laughter… thanks for the memories.

 

Our tune: “Feelings” by Morris Albert.

I always loved this song and in those days, when you heard you liked, you stopped to listen to it, because it was unknown how long it would be before you'd hear it again. It was the first track on a compilation album that Aunty Gwen had in her LP collection. Whenever I visited, I'd always make a point of listening to it, and now, the track still returns to those memories of staying with Aunty Gwen, in her house in New Malden, Surrey, in the late 70s.


H

Harrison Massaro

Beautiful person. You are so wonderful to me… for me. I know I've told you, but everyone should know that you are truly brilliant to have around. You are one of the kindest, most generous and pleasant people to know, and I feel so incredibly lucky to have met you. You have, time and time again, given me so much confidence to 'have a go' at anything that I'd otherwise have backed away from. It's as though there's nothing I can't do because you say it's OK… and I learn a lot and feel good just from that lesson alone. That's all you're getting… not because there isn't anything else to say, because there is, but when I compliment someone too much… I normally get a trickle of messages that say something like: 'ahem… you didn't write that about me?' LOL. I love you, Haribo.


Hayley Warren

Jezz's sister, a wonderful, warm and lovely young lady. Hayley, you're intelligent and trendy. Whilst you understand Jezz's and my sense of humour, you show just enough acknowledgement to let us know that it might be funny, but your decorum keeps our vulgarity to a minimum. It's a combination that you have perfected beautifully. You're accepting and make a pretty good sister-in-law.


Helen Armstrong

Hello, wonderful. I think I love you. D'you know something, Helen? You've almost tested my sexuality. If I didn't have respect for Jim, I think I'd have tried it on with you by now! Hahaha! Seriously though, you have every charming quality that we all look for, in a friend, a partner or a family member. I mean this… you're funny, gorgeous, and always so approachable. You have one of the most infectious laughs and any room is instantly a better place as soon as you walk into it.
I normally see a good-looking straight couple and say: “Lucky bitch!” — in your case; I'm saying it to Jim!


I

Ian C

Intelligence, if I'm honest, has always intimidated me slightly… but not with you. Your bright, extremely sharp and witty repartee with me on the phone, kept me going. You flattered and complimented me, but with genuine words. You’re talented and successful, and it’s a pleasure knowing you and sharing some of your life with you has made me happy.


Ian Latimer

Ian, I have to mention you. When I think of how we met, it’s great to think we’ve kept in touch over the years. You’re so lovely, warm, and caring. You were also a complete and utter bitch with your sharp and quick-firing retorts of insults that I loved so much. Furthermore, you taught me not only how to be gay, but how to carry it off with pride, dignity, and respect and for that, I’ll love you forever. My most memorable moment of you was my 30th birthday. You turned up, from all that way, and with one of the best presents that anyone has ever given me… a Marianne Faithfull CD.
I had a conversation with you once, years ago, about combining love and sex with relationships. It was you that taught me that if two people can think and feel the same about having an open relationship, keeping love and devotion for one another aside from sex elsewhere, that it can work. Well, you were right… I've done it and it does work! Thank you, Ian, for helping me be who am I today.

 

Our tune: “The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan” by Marianne Faithful.

Ian and I knew that we both liked Marianne Faithfull, as an artist, and the CD he bought me featured this track. It reminds me of Ian when I play it, even now.

J

Jake Griffin

My younger of two grandsons, Jake. My little man, I adore you. You're funny and gorgeous. Keep those two traits, and you'll be just like your old grandad.


Jamie Green

I realise that I have only known you a short time, and yet we've spoken so much in Messenger, Facebook and Skype.  Your relaxed attitude is soothing, and yet your feisty energy sores through to others and is quite addictive.  But it's also your tolerance and acceptance to other people's beliefs and sexuality that stands out as an amazing personality trait.  At 19 years of age, your ability to be so un-phased by all that we throw at you is both refreshing and rare.  I have a great deal of respect and admiration for you, Jamie, because you are mature, ambitious and fit (in both senses of the meaning).  Keep that superb healthy attitude handsome, oh and of course, that gorgeous smile… yeah, that’s the one!


Jean Thiel

Marge – you’re incredible. You wrote to me and told me things that really made me feel good. You always chose cards that were so appropriate for that time and mood that I was feeling. Your kind words told me to keep my spirits high, and yet it was those kind words that did.
I suppose there’s always a quality in everyone that someone will remember. With you, Jean, it was your laugh. You laughed at everything. You’re a lady in every way, yet what I loved more than anything else, was your ability to blend into the world of vulgarity that I threw at you, time and time again. Furthermore, you're fab!

UPDATE:

Jean, my scepticism of the spiritual world and its beliefs have always kept my mind open. From one of my most precious and intimate moments of just you and me, alone together, both in your garden but more importantly, whilst I was in hospital; I've carried this feeling with me wherever I go… I can't describe it other than maybe a feeling of confidence but one that I'm not controlling and when I wonder… I think of you! No one else!

24 July 2004


Jeff A

It hasn't been so long, but you're a great mate, good friend and one of our more knowledgeable friends that have been there, done that and then come back to tell us all about it! Haha!

UPDATE:

Our Jeff… Jezz and I were horrified by the tragic news of Jeff's murder in February 2008. It quite literally has changed our lives forever. How such a dear and wonderful person can be taken away from us is all too harrowing an ordeal to understand.

21 June 2008


Jezz Alton

You know, in all my time on the gay scene, albeit only London, Croydon and Brighton, I have yet to meet someone so new and fresh that is as adorable and wonderful as you, Jezz. Your constant systematic kindness, consideration, care, compassion, affection, and support are exemplary. You’re unique and probably one of the nicest guys I have ever had the fortune to meet. I’m so proud and pleased that you play a huge part in my life… you comfort me in a way that no one else can. Our fate of meeting in that week of November instead of my taking the week's break in September, clearly meant that we were destined to meet. 
It's already so evident to the people that know and care about me, that you are my strength and my guide through and through. You have the relentless energy of looking after me, looking out for me, and all in a way that I've never seen before. I'm trying hard to think of somebody more considerate than you... and I'm still thinking!
You’re in that very special place in my heart Jezz and there will never ever be anyone else like you, for the rest of my life… I wouldn't want there to be!

UPDATES:

I've been doing updates for others every so often and yet I haven't with you, have I? Well, there's a very good reason for that! You are consistent with everything you mean to me. You haven't stopped caring. I don't think you ever will. I don't know about you, but I feel as confident about us today as I did three and four years ago. This month has seen our 6th anniversary of us being together. I don't feel any different. You know what's so good about us…? We're into our 7th year together now… and I feel no itching! We never will. Some will argue we're both too busy with other people to have time to 'scratch any itch' While everyone else wonders how we do it… you and I are enjoying the companionship that most will only ever wish they had. You're still my absolute rock.

20 November 2006 

My Jezz… we're now at year 10: what I have uniquely named as “10 years strong.” Since your illness with your gallbladder that started in July, you and I have been closer than before with one another. I have come to realise, after talking to some and observing others, that everything we have with one another is so perfect. I've listened to queens on Gaydar being jealous and never getting it, to friends being envious of all that we have together. It dawned on me this year that we share our entire lives with one another and yet are still able to be independent and do our own things, indoors, or out! And that magical blend is the very fabric that keeps us strong… 10 years strong.

6 November 2010

 

Wow. Look back at that. Still together after 6 years and then 10… and now, 21. Oh, with the added bit that we're also now married, officially. My darling number one, I love you more than ever before. I've reached a stage in my life where I not only can't imagine my life without you, but more worryingly, not sure if I would want to live my life without you.

17 December 2021

 

Our tune: “It Must Be Love” by Labi Siffre.

I associate Jezz with this song because it is my favourite song of all time. Originally, it was a 7" single in my Gran's record collection, and I've played it ever since. I made it our tune with Jezz, because it has been consistently my favourite song of all time, and I've now made the ringtone when Jezz calls my mobile.

 

Our tune: “My Life Is Loving You” by Sylvester.


Jim Armstrong

It is so refreshing to have a straight guy that is never offended by some guy in their lives who are gay. In a short time, we've known each other, you've looked after me like a big brother. You're one of the most tolerant placid straight blokes I know and one of the most charming features you have, apart from Helen, is your ability to take any knock or fall and show us all that being patient and calm wins every time. You're marvellous!


Joan Warren

This is Jezz's Mum, Joan. I feel honoured and proud that Joan, Hayley and Elliot have accepted me so readily into their family. Joan, you and I have always got on, and I do enjoy you and Hayley staying with us. You're smart, always look good and despite any religious beliefs and differences, you show a great acceptance that comes across as totally un-phased.


John Gregory

I met you while dating Debbie, your daughter. I remember being so impressed with how you played the guitar and then singing. Furthermore, I wanted to be like you. You continued to influence my appreciation for decent, wholesome music through the decades. Most recently, a few years ago, with a post on Facebook from you, of the amazing Boz Scaggs. It made me buy the album and then two more.

 

Our tune: “Moon River” by John Gregory

This isn't rightfully our tune, but it is one of John's many songs, only this one, is a studio recording, and I'm thrilled and honoured to have a copy of it.


John Noble

You’ve been a thoughtful and caring person, something anyone could ever want in a friend. You’ve made me laugh so many times with you (and sometimes at you because of your funny ways). Your professional approach to everything you did in life blends into your strong character that has always impressed me. You’ve taught me a lot, Johnnie; from how to fold socks to how to be strong when I first thought I was dying. When you consider the way we met, and the way how queens get their trade from one to the next, it’s a beautiful relationship and friendship we had and one that many would and have envied. You’re one of a few that I can say, nothing was ever too much trouble. Your tolerance of me when I’ve been weak, foolish, and inconsiderate, was exceptional. I loved you very much.

UPDATE:

I won’t retract anything I’ve said above – because, at the time of writing, I meant everything. However, since then, I have experienced a trait in your personality that has certainly made me learn that no matter how good a friendship is – there is always a danger that it can turn sour and bad. I am saddened that we are no longer in touch.

31 August 1998


K

Karen Wheeler

I can't imagine Sarah without you… Karen, you are the best. You're funny, inoffensive, down-to-earth and just plain lovely. I love everything about you. As personalities go, you're in the same league as my friend Simon, completely faultless and totally adorable.


Karl Moffatt

This is another one of those “in such a short time” situations…, you came along, with your great smile, good looks, intelligence, and sense of humour… and I was completely sucked in! Karl, you're funny, outrageous at times, a complete theatrical nightmare and I love you, lovey! But you're also kind, thoughtful and take meticulous care in looking after all that matters to you… it's normally you, but that's not the point! Hahaha! That was a joke, by the way! Just in case you've flounced out!

UPDATE:

When I think of what you go through with your work, I'm totally impressed with your strength and stamina. You are amazing with your ability to cope, and I thought I was too old to learn another trait like that, but your influence is electric, and I find myself doing more with my life since knowing you! You're also elegant and stylish, and I'm waiting for that to rub off on me too!

11 March 2004

 

Our tune: “Since You Stayed Here” by Liz Callaway.

During my short time of socialising with Karl, and whilst at this place, he would often introduce me to songs from musicals and my favourite was this track by Liz Calloway. I bought the album in the end and love 'One Boy' and 'Marry Me A Little.'


Kate Gardener

If there's ever a lesson to be learnt from observing how others cope through life's turmoils… it's to watch your family. The differing strength qualities are amazing. And how the combination of personalities come to together when it matters most. Well, yours is evident, Kate! Your contribution to this wonderful family unit is your sensible state of order. You're calm, professional, caring, and fabulous. You're also observant and funny, but then you, Lizz and Vick always have been. When it's mattered, you treat me as a Brother — and that is something else! 

UPDATE:

Does everyone else see what I see? You are one self-less special person that brings laughter to every gathering. More than that, you are an angel. What you did for Maggie and Dave was beyond that of love for a member of the family… it's that same stuff that you see on TV programme's like 'Hearts of Gold.' That's it! You have a heart of gold. You are just an incredible angel.

29 October 2011


Kelly Alton

I wish in my lifetime I had been more of a father to you, Kelly. I have no regrets about my lifestyle and have been proud to be gay, and saying that it's fab to have a gay Dad just made it better than ever. But, you being around, made me feel 'achievement' — something I feel would’ve been missing in my life without you. You showed me a love that I haven’t had from anyone else. You said you were proud of me, and I’ll never forget that. We have had some fantastic times together, and I look back at some of them, and don’t just see a father and his daughter… I see a friend and an older friend with her. Well, I suppose the fact that we argued over Boyzone posters one Sunday afternoon was proof enough of that. I’ve listened to a dozen people telling me you’ve grown up a beautiful and very pleasant young lady… but they didn’t need to tell me. I love you dearly, and I wish you happiness and laughter with everything you choose to do. Not only that, but I hope that what little I bring to your life goes part of the way of making up for not being there enough for you when you were younger. A shame that never fades with time but is controlled by your love and forgiveness.

UPDATES:

I am so proud of you. No matter what life throws at you and despite any unhappiness you experience, you still find a way to put on a brave face. Telling me that you regarded me as your 'hero' has been the best accolade anyone could give me. I will treasure you for the rest of my life.

15 July 2010

 

The single-most amazing lady of my life. An invisible and silent strength that can, and does appear, from nowhere, as and when it is needed. Despite all of life's pressures and your important career, you still manage to hold it all together. What an incredible person you are.

22 October 2022

 

Our tune: “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” by Van Morrison.

This could be Jim Reeves's version for all that it matters. The main point of this track being an 'our tune,' between my daughter and I, is because we use the acronym: HITYLTILY a lot. And, of course, that stands for Have I Told You Lately That I Love You.


Kes Howe

My dear mate, Kes. I love this guy. You are one of my favourite straight mates of all time. We have worked together as DJ's, sang and recorded with one another. You have a very calming and yet confident persona. You are just such a lovely bloke and I want to know you forever.

 

Our tune: “Please Stay” by Wayne Alton.

This song was written by Kes, and he gave me a copy on a cassette. About 10 years later, during a home mic night, Kes asked if I'd like to sing and record and something. I chose this as my first song., surprising him that I knew all the words.


Kim Heat

I have very fond memories of you, Kim. One, in particular, was at Bar 68 in Thornton Heath. I sat on your lap as you sat on a barstool, and we eyed up the talent in the bar all evening. I met you as a good and close friend of my sister, Nikki and much like her, you liven up any room. You're loud, ballsy, gutsy and always guaranteed a bloody good laugh. You're also a reliable and decent friend.


L

Laurie Noble

You being a close friend to Nik has meant so much. You're strong, funny, and sensible. Likewise, you're a complete rock when it matters. Our limo night in 2001 with Nik, Fran and Paul for Jezz's birthday was a total success, because mixed with the madness that is Nik and Fran, is you! An incredible talent to be able to combine all that is vulgar and crazy with dignity and genuine care.


Linda Gray

You’re fantastic. I loved talking to you on the phone, listening to your accent and your funny ways. You and Pam accepted me from day one. I remember that the most. We were modern and trendy while the rest of the office was square, rigid, and frumpy.
My most memorable time with you, Linda, was at John Penman’s party. We got drunk together and danced the carpet away. You will always be funny, yet sensitive, a lady and yet one of the girls. You’re amazing.


Linda Phillips

I missed our chats towards the end of my neighbourly friendship. I used to love the way you and I had a unique understanding of each other's problems. Furthermore, I found a way about you, Linda, that allowed us to laugh with each other about each other and at each other. I loved your Mum and Dad, your parties and your party spirit that lived on for years after the events. You’re cuddly, and I remember, fondly, the times we shared together. 

UPDATE:

I was deeply saddened to hear of your Mum's passing earlier this year, 2003… my thoughts were with you completely.

27 December 2003


Liz Bovingdon

You and Chris have been the best substitute for a Mother anyone could wish for. It’s incredible how much confidence I had with you… I knew I could always rely on your support with anything I wanted to do or had already done. Even if you didn’t approve, sometimes… you still gave me all the assistance or encouragement that I needed and with any problem, I threw at you. You’re so strong in mind and can cope with anything. 
You have a maternal care for anyone you come in to contact with and are so acceptable to nearly everything. On a lighter note, you are the funniest and camp-est woman I’ve ever met, and I love you for that. You made working at the DIA so special, come to think of it… you made it bearable! 

UPDATE:

Oh, my dear Liz. I have been remembering fondly of all the fun times we had working together. I wish I'd known sooner so that I could have spent more time with you. No matter, I guess… I'm grateful that I knew you at all. I miss you terribly.

17 December 2013


Lizz Gardener

Well, what can I say about you that we all don't already know? You have the usual personality of a Gardener (that's as in the family, not a gardener — that would just be silly). But you also have this backbone quality that is there, ever on hand, should the strength within the family link weaken. It's that finely tuned ability to reserve your own emotions for a more private moment, and be there, strong — for those who need you… probably one of the best strengths that can exist in a person.


M

Maggie Ward

A truly, lovely, charming person to be in the company of. I loved the way in which the entire family accepted me immediately when Vicki first introduced me to you all, but I particularly love remembering when I first met you. It's always nice to make people laugh, and I felt that I was always able to do just that with a few people, no matter what the mood or environment. In my list of people who I enjoyed sharing anecdotes with, you and Jean are definitely in the top three. 

UPDATE:

My wonderful Maggie… Thank you for your laughter… I'll be fine, all the time I can hear it!

18 November 2011


Maria Abberley

Isn't it strange how long we've really known about each other, and yet the fact that we only met months later? Yeah, right — whatever! You see everyone, right now she's saying: “Yeah alright, I'm getting bored with this already!” But that's Maria. Honest, upfront and a complete C**T. Hahaha! But more seriously… Maria is quite unique in so far as she is so honest… someone once said to me, 'you're too honest for your own good' and that's what we share Maria… we're both too honest! With other people that don't deserve our honesty, it's a shame — but with a friendship like ours, it's what makes it so special. Bullshit free. But my fondest memories of you are the fabulous times we've had in the SCILL kitchen. You always laughed with me, or was it at me? Even when it's evident that you were down in the dumps… you always told me that I cheered you up again. We've had some excellent laughs and piss takings and I believe, for someone who doesn't mind displaying her levels of dizziness (which incidentally just makes you even more lovable) you're completely tuned in to my sense of humour. One other thing I've noticed, on that note, you catch every quick line too and indicate to me that you've spotted it. I love that bit the most! You're right up there, Maria!


Mark Smit

In my life, you are the finest example of towering, enormous strength and yet have a remarkably, calming, relaxing and soothing approach to life. Your stories, attitude, and anecdotes continued to keep me entertained, and I loved the 'grumpy old men' style chats that we had!


Melanie Low

I've known you since around 1982. You have been consistently funny, intelligent, and immaculate with appearance and conduct. You also have a terrific and refreshing outlook of life that is completely addictive. Meeting up with you again in 2008 was just so wonderful.

 

Our tune: “A Lover's Holiday” by Change.

I'm not too sure why this is Mel and my tune, but it's certainly a song that we love a lot and together.


Michael Charlton

Here's an all-round fabulous bloke. Another short space of time and yet so true and wonderful a friend. We've had some lovely moments together, and you're also one of the easiest people to get on with. You're intelligent and funny, and you've taught me a few long words along the way.


Michele Alton

I missed Gran when she died, and have never really got over it. But, that feeling of loss, returned when you moved away to Grimsby with Alex. The mixture of hurt and anger I’ll always remember, largely because whilst you were doing something I never wanted you to do, I also felt so proud of you… you’ve always been meticulous with everything; doing it the right way. I’m proud of your efforts to make a go of it, Michèle. However, you have also shown me that no matter how much effort you put into something, it doesn’t necessarily turn out the way you intended. You’re a gutsy sort that will stand up to anything, a bit like Nik. But you also have a quality about you that is calm, non-aggressive and successful, that I only ever saw once before in our family… and that was in Gran.

 

UPDATE:

We are connected, aren't we? You and I joke about how we cry together, but you are the only person in my life that can have me crying with you before you even get started! I sometimes wonder why I feel like I understand you completely… but I do. 

17 August 2014

 

Our tune: “One Nation Under A Groove” by Funkadelic.

Growing up with two sisters meant sharing the records we bought and this track the one I was allowed to borrow, so long as Michele was there to listen to it.


Mike Keogh

I've known you for a long time now, and my admiration and respect for you is as strong today as it's ever been. How you cared for Colin, through to his death, is more than courageous. How you cope and get on with life, I aspire to. You are gentle, considerate, and sensible and I love the memories we have of our friendship.


Mike Osborn

What a gorgeous bloke! You are one of the most sensitive, gentle and genuine guys I've ever met. One of your best qualities is that you are so genuine and sincere with everything you say and do; it's hilarious when you say something cutting. I can't imagine you ever losing your temper, and certainly never with me… and nor me with you. And that, amongst other things, is why I think we should always be friends.


N

Nick Ward

It's strange that we grew up in the same neighbourhood and yet never got to know each other until some 30 odd years later, but I'm so glad that I have. Nick, you are a lovely, generous and funny guy. You're honest (sort of — hahaha) and I enjoy our intimate chats about life and comparing our devotion to others. You've taught me that decent, unconditional and true friendship is to be treasured and is only available in the most respectable and wholesome of people. Since knowing you, I've realised how clued-up you are with a lot of things. I might not want it, but your opinion and advice continue to be useful in my decision-making. As with my mate Gavin, I've found another 'me' in you! We think alike, we laugh at the same things, and we enjoy the same interests, well most things… weirdo! You know, whatever other folk don't like about you, Nick… I love!

UPDATES:
Nick, when I have a problem with anything and I tell you about it, I feel that you not only share the problem with me but are actually equally concerned. So concerned, you seem as worried about the outcome as I am. That is rare.

21 July 2005

Nick, you're becoming so important to me and a truly dear friend.

9 October 2005

Nicholas, I am writing this 'cos you've asked me to. Haha! No, seriously… as you read the comments, Nick, spiritually, I'm feeling and sensing that you and I, meeting the way we have, is like someone has given me the gift of having a big brother… something that, without you… I'd never have experienced. By the way, I always thought that the 'big' bit meant older… <smirk>. I love you, you clumsy old Mary… and don't you forget it! Oh… and you now hold the record for having the most amount of updates!

20 November 2006

 

Our tune: “You're Moving Out Today” by Carole Bayer Sager.

The way this song became mine and Nick's 'our tune' was because of the extreme detail of the lyrics and noises that we both observed and then would repeat to one another, even when the song wasn't playing.

 

Our tune: “Heaven” by Late Night Alumni.

Similar reason to the other song, but this track is because of one solitary line, in the intro. I think it maybe Spanish, and it's a man's voice saying: 'Me dijo que te ama.' If I'm correct about that, it translates to 'He told me that he loves you.' Nope… it makes no sense to me either!! But every time Nick impersonated it, it made me laff. It still does now, thinking about it!


Nigel May

It's sort of weird when you just know that a friend forever is there at the end of the phone, and I hope I've got it right again this time. Jezz and I met you one evening, and we remained in touch after exchanging telephone numbers and chatting online together. You're intelligent, very quick-witted, and funny, and I love you! I think the reason you and I will remain in touch and friends (hopefully forever) is that we laugh at the same things and have other similar interests to boot, <smirk>.


Nikki Caiger

A sister and friend all rolled into one. We’ve shared sometimes together, from drinking and socialising, laughing and crying, living and working together. And, if we’re both honest, they haven’t all been fun. But Nik, you have a presence about you that everyone loves. You’re easy to have fun with, and you’ve lifted me so many times. I want you to know that I have never seen such extreme strength in a person as you showed us all. Your battle with bereavement and fighting on for Zoe, Stacey and Charlie, taught us all that there is an inner-strength measurable to nothing. I’ll always love you because you are my sister (and probably as a sister), but I hold great admiration for you as a friend with enough charisma to chat up anything that we both fancied. You’ve got what it takes and always will have. If I had to sum you up with one word, I’d say “fighter.” You bounce back from everything, Nik. You’re wonderful.

UPDATES:
In addition to all I have mentioned above, you are also the one I remember the most while I spent 12 weeks in hospital. You were there, every day and through my being unconscious, I detected and felt the strength and hope through your hands, your spirit of fighting, your gentle soothing voice. And all this support from you, while you maintain your role as a Mother at home as well as a full-time job. You’re actually rather incredible.

10 July 2001

Is it a good thing to have fallen out for three months and then made friends again? Probably… because I concluded when I made up with you, ignoring you was only meant to be painful for one of us… not both of us! Yes, you can be the pain and the nuisance that every big sister is… but I've learned I can't be without you, and trying to be didn't work well at all… and I'm glad 'cos I feel more complete with you in my life.

14 April 2006

 

Something happened this year, probably the wedding, but you and I got even closer than ever before. Still loving, still laughing together.

17 December 2021

 

Our tune: “Bring The Family Back” by Billy Paul.

Nik had this record in her collection and I would borrow it to play, a lot. I think of that every time I play it now.

 

Our tune: “If Leaving Me Is Easy” by Phil Collins.

This track, my second favourite song of all time, became our tune when we listened to it once in the car and sang a long. Now, and quite often, it will come on during a shuffled playlist, when we're together. Spooky.


Norma Browne

In such a small amount of time, you became so incredibly important to me. Your knowledge of life and your ability to laugh at everything was a true tonic. I think of you a lot, and I love the way you can still laugh despite all that appears to be wrong. We have so much in common, Norm., upbringing, history, opinions, love of dance music and the idea of a good night out. You became my soul-mate overnight. Your strength, guts, and balls rubbed off quickly, and I’m proud to have had anything to do with you. I loved, most of all, your support for everything I wanted to do. You stood by me and talked me through all the hard times and sad times with Noel and Pete. I knew when you didn’t agree, but you had a way of casting your opinion without causing offence – that was one of your best qualities.


P

Pamela Robinson

My biological birth Mother. We met up with each other, first in 1987 and then again, in 2015. It's been a strange time and there have been many feelings, pressures of the past and awkward conversations, but I'd like to feel that we've come through it with a good balance of forgiveness and kindness. I wish there were more happy memories to talk of in our catch-up phone calls, but understandably, there aren't! I do enjoy both of us talking about our similar music interests and sifting through my collection to create CD's for you to play in the car. Furthermore, I'm also flattered that you considered my version of 'Unchained Melody' good enough to be your default ringtone on your mobile. Lol.


Paul Bigmore

Paul – you know, everyone else thinks it's weird how we got on so well, you being Pete’s boyfriend with me being his ex. Living with you has had us sitting and talking for hours at a time. You’ve shown me how it’s possible to be completely selfless, one of the best soundboards I ever knew and a target of my barrage of joke insults every day. You totally exude kindness and thought. Getting your words wrong was always a bloody good laugh, as well. “That’s the icing on the biscuit” being one of the best ever! But I’d also like to believe that we were there for each other, too. You and I were always having a heart-to-heart… I played Jonathan and you were Jennifer, or was it Freeway!?

 

Our tune: “One More Time” by Daft Punk.

This track was around when Paul and I lived together. We would dance and sing along to it every time we played it.

 


Paul Caiger

My brother-in-law since 2006. You are a sensitive geezer… a bulky softie. You are funny, and you must be pretty remarkable to have lived with my sister for as long as you have (LOL). Not only that, but you have everything I'd look for in a husband for my sister… good looks, kind heart, tough strength and a high tolerance of anything. Quite proud, actually.


Pete Fields

I have always loved you, and your love for me has shown how two people can stay together through absolutely everything thrown at them. You have always been there for me… in particular, when little Billy died, you were there for me to cry on and helped me find the strength I needed for Nikki and the rest of the family. The court case back in ’89, where I thought suicide was the only option at one point, you stayed by me and brought me through a time I thought I would never come through. The news of HIV has been such a terrible strain on you as well as me, and yet you hide your emotions of upset and anger in front of me and just smile. The qualities in you, Pete, I have never and probably will never experience in anyone else. You’re one of the most intelligent, kind and thoughtful of my friends. Being together for so long has allowed us to know each other so well that we knew what each other were thinking so many times, and it mainly surfaced in humour. And it’s that I want to take with me as my most cherished gift from life. You and I were our own double-act with ourselves as the “screaming-with-laughter” audience, and I loved that about us more than anything else. I love you, you old bastard, and if I can, I will come back and haunt you till you laugh with me again.

 

Our tune: “Sunshine On My Shoulders” by John Denver.

Pete pretty much taught me all of John Denver's back catalogue. This particular track is almost impossible to sing along to, but when I did, Pete would endure it and give due criticism after.


R

Richard Le Riche

Richard, despite our knowing each other for years, you have become a lovely close friend recently. Your losing Marc in 2004 was heartbreaking to witness, but I'm continually impressed by your strength to smile and make like everything is OK. Your personality is genuine and of only truth and kindness. I love being in your company and I want you to remain in my life forever, my forever at least.


Ron Friedlos

It got off to a bit of a rocky start, when we first met, Ron, but you and Denise have been an inspiration in my life and taught me the more civilised way of handling myself when I needed to. I’ve enjoyed learning from you on several occasions on how to tackle difficult situations and how to overcome them by coming out on top every time. Being from another generation, you taught me that there are values, beliefs, and morals that allow others to endear or reject you. You have never shown any rejection with me — from what I’d call “a fine upstanding man of the community” who strongly believes in family values, something that my lifestyle desperately opposes; you always tolerated me to the point of acceptance, my existence in your family. Then developed on that, to mentioning you looked at me as a son. That will always be one of my favourite compliments.


Russell Alton (Dad)

You’ve taught me so many things from a young age and I have used them in my everyday life ever since. Your experiences of life have shown me, and probably Nikki and Michèle too, that no matter how bad and how hard life is getting you down, there is an inner strength that can pull you through it. You’ve displayed this time and time again. When Gran died, you found a way of coping with three grieving people that all needed you there and then. I don’t know about Nik and Michèle then, but I know I needed you. I felt something ripping our family apart and you kept the whole traumatic time at a level we all coped with. Exactly the same thing happened when Billy died. Nik needed you and you were there completely but still found the courage, strength and time for Michèle and I. Dad, I’ll love you to my grave and beyond - you have taught me when to care and when not to.

UPDATES:
Losing you this year has been the single biggest loss in my life, ever. I've never experienced an uncontrollable outburst of emotion before, but I only have to think of you, not being around me. There at the other end of the phone, that voice I have known all of my life that has helped to guide, advise and care is no longer with me… and I cry. It's happened twice now… in very embarrassing circumstances. I don't mind really because it's about you… and I know it's likely to happen again.
You said you wouldn't let me go before you. Did you think that the pain would make me stronger? Maybe one day, Dad… but right now, I'm hopeless without you.

23 June 2008

It's nearly three years of ‘surviving’ without you, Dad… and it hasn't got any easier. Sometimes, the guilt of laughter slices through me and stops me in my tracks. On other occasions, my feelings of hopelessness and surrender are comforted when I smile and think of what you’d have to say on the matter! But the intensity of loss when I sit and cry about you is powerful. I wish and long for you back so hard that I nearly convince myself that you are there, next to me, every day here at home when I’m alone in my room and sometimes when I’m out in the car. I find myself asking, out aloud, for your advice! Not only that, but I ask other people for their opinion about a decision that I need to make, and I don’t have that complete feeling that I always had with you. So, Dad, I’m afraid to say that without you… life is as uncertain today as it was the day you left me. The only other mild comfort I get is wondering if the misery in my life has nothing to do with grieving for you. Then I wonder if you're not better off where you are, because it is so depressing and shit here now!

13 February 2011

 

Our tune: “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty.

Baker Street is an epic record anyway, and Dad regarded it as one of the best songs of all time. In particular, the solo sax parts always had him standing there, listening with his eyes shut. A fond memory.

 

Our tune: “Convoy” by C. W. McCall.

This track is not so much our tune but more a song that will always remind me of Dad loving it. He would join in, with the lyrics, with an almost acceptable American accent. Another fond memory.

 

Our tune: “Til Then My Love” by Matt Monro.

Dad taught me a lot of musical genres. As well as classical music, he introduced me to artists that had either passed or retired, music from his era, and Matt Monro featured heavily. This tune though, after discovering it on YouTube, I played to Dad in the car once, and he hadn't heard it before. We both loved it, as I still do.


S

Sara Benham

My dear half-sister, Sara. You have a hold, hug and embrace that is so unique… similar to friends David and Simon, when I hug you it is so real. I feel that I am mind reading the affection and love. You are a very loving person, and it stands out big time. I sense that you are probably very feisty and not to be messed with… I don't know it for sure because, thankfully, I've not had to experience it. But what a quality… so much love and yet an ability to be savage, if needed. I love it!


Sarah Barnett

Sare – my little mate. You’ve always been so gentle and understanding. My outrageous behaviour has sometimes been a little unacceptable to some, but you’ve always laughed it off and accepted me. I love you for that. I loved the times we went binging together. Just you and me. And the rest of the world could go fuck itself. We’ve had so many laughs as well. I remember the time you and I laughed for hours about that lady at work, in the kitchen, that broke a glass. I told her that you had said… “Was that her ear-ring?” HAHAHA. And we had so much fun doing impressions of Veronica. We spent time together going to venues that were worse than dives. Carats, Club Dionysus. Dreadful. Still, we have had some fab times as well. G.A.Y. nights and touching Boyzone together. And still – probably the best, and yet bizarre, were nights at the Moon-on-the-Hill. You made me feel so comfortable so many times. Times when ordinarily I would have felt vulnerable. Like, on the tube, in a straight bar, in front of your parents.

 

Our tune: “Don't Give Me Your Life” by Alex Party.

Not only was Sarah my drinking pal, but we'd go out to terrible dives to test the gay scene, get drunk and take over the dance floor. This track was usually the one that wore us out from 'over dancing.'


Sarah Gibbons

You’re wonderful. You accepted me from day one, genuinely told me, on lots of occasions, that you loved me and dealt with me as though I were another brother. Furthermore, you’re particularly special in my memories because of how supportive you were when Pete and I told you about my being HIV+. I might’ve just as well as said I’ve got a verruca for all that it mattered to you. And that’s what I loved about you. Apart from that, and I’m sorry if I’m letting something out here, one of the most enjoyable moments was getting stoned with you. You’re a bloody good friend indeed, and a bloody good laugh to boot.


Sarah Williams (Willsy)

We’ve had our ups and downs, Sarah, but you’re so strong and determined… that you’ve held our friendship together single-handedly. You are still the most professional and the most organised person I’ve ever met. You also showed me that knocks come small and great, but with love and laughter, you can ride through them (or do a runner). Hahaha!

UPDATE:
The news of my dear friend passing away has been very painful. Sarah was one of my longest and most loyal friends. I have so many fond memories of her, particularly from the radio days. Superb proofreader, excellent fun, great fag-hag and truly loyal friend.

12 March 2017


Scott Williams

Awe… Jezz and I were unjustified and wrong to have judged you on stereotypical grounds. You're a decent, honest and totally lovable bloke who just 'appens to smoke too much! Hahaha! Our weekend away to Brighton, in November 2006, left us all feeling as though we had bonded in a new way. I'm glad you've given us the time to get to know you.
Oh… and your body is smooth and gorgeous, with particular emphasis on your sexy bum!


Sharon Chapman

Sharon – has anything ever got to you? In the time I’ve known you, I’ve never seen you bad-tempered, angry or violent. Oh, I know you have been… you told me. But never in my company. I’ll only ever know you as someone who only ever grabbed life and made the best of it. You work hard and play kind. You’re a true mate, sociable with anyone and everyone and always accepted me.
Revision – ooh, dear! Just a quickie to say, that I have now seen you bad-tempered and thankfully, it wasn’t with me.


Simon Jones

Simon, “my lover!” Nick-named “my lover” since day one; you are gentle and likeable. I haven't known you long, but from what I know, you're completely adorable. And something else that's perfect: everyone else loves you from the moment they meet you. One of the most fabulous personality traits you possess is how selfless you are. You think of how others around you are feeling and completely forget about yourself.

UPDATES:
Your upset showed me something I haven’t seen in anyone for a long, long time. My connection with you is always pleasant and sometimes beyond physical, and I sense a true feeling of affection from you like no other, but last night was something on top of that! My darling boy… I struggle to show you how I am truly feeling, largely because of my strong relationship with Jezz. But I want you to know… you’ve become extremely special in my life.

6 November 2006

Simon is the Valium in my life.
20 November 2006 

My beautiful darling Simon – with not a single bad vibe in your whole being; you are there as a friend, like no other. From mentioning that you were selfless back in 2006, I sense it more today than before.  You show me care, consideration and compassion when it matters most but also without any agenda. We owe each other nothing and yet look out for one another like we’ve both saved each other’s lives in the past.  All I know is that whenever I’m with you, I feel lucky that I have someone in my life that connects with me and has the ability to lend a hand and lift me back up on to a level. That I am able to manage alone again, if only for a while.  But I’m even more comforted knowing that your hand is consistently reachable. I love you always.

13 February 2011

My friend forever — hearing the news of your moving to a new life far away filled me with sadness initially. But then I got less selfish and was thinking of you again… you sound so excited to be setting up a new home and I love your passion. It makes me feel secure that you're looking forward to it. We won't see each other as often lover, but all I care about is that you're still my special friend and that our love for one another won't be interfered with by distance. I still love you just as much since the last update. Hey... and you came to see me today and our song magically played on t'wireless.

1 August 2015

 

Our tune: “Fallen” by Lauren Wood.

Quite simply, we loved listening to this song together and now, each time I hear it, or play it, it reminds me of Simon.

 

Our tune: “Together We Are Beautiful” by Fern Kinney.

This is just another tune that I know Simon liked a lot. So, now, each time I hear it, I think of him.

 


Stacey Wilson

You have pretty much everything that any Mum would be proud of. You're intelligent, quick-to-learn, outgoing, forthright and certain about everything you want to do. Furthermore, you're gorgeous, and I feel quite sure that you'll be successful with everything you do.


Steve Noonan

You held the record for being one of the most fanciable men that I haven’t had the pleasure of sleeping with. I suppose that was largely due to you being straight, but I loved the way you accepted the situation. It was almost as though you admired the idea. I bet if I was a woman, you’d have shagged me by now. Apart from your looks and body ('cos that part is all geezer'), you’re a gentleman, Steve… and that is rare and unusual both on the gay scene and within the hettie-world. You’re a great Dad and an excellent friend. You’ve looked out for me so many times, and I haven’t forgotten any of them. Not only that, but you looked after my car and kept it road-worthy at the cost of next to nothing, and you have always helped everyone when they’ve asked.

 

UPDATE:
Today I learned of your passing away and was so shocked. Eugenie left a beautiful tribute on her Facebook page, and I've been in my room thinking of you for the past 5 hours. A gentle man indeed… I feel so sad. 

18 December 2020


T

Tim Hila

I've only known you for a short while, but during this time you have become so close and so special. I've found another Steve (as above) — a straight guy that is gentle, calm, caring, and considerate. You see, I don't see them too often, and they don't necessarily stand out in a crowd. But in this short space of time, I've found you to be a decent and honest true friend and I want you around me forever. I've said this to you in person, Timmy, that you give me a feeling of great calmness. When I'm feeling down or frustrated, I've noticed an instant soothing effect when I speak to you or meet with you for lunch. Despite how much everyone else says I'm in love with you, and who cares if they're wrong or right. What they don't know, and maybe you don't realise, is that what I'm in love with is how pleasant and calm you are! I'm getting by just fine having you around… seeing you smile and feeding off your relaxing approach to everything is all I need. Mind you, letting me feel your muscles from time to time has got to help too! Hehe!

< written in 2006 >

 

UPDATE:
You have consistently been a good friend to me. You are so generous, caring and giving, and I never want to take advantage of that. I know we do favours for one another, but everything you do in looking after Jezz and I, far outweighs anything I do for you. I feel that I always owe you a favour, which is not a bad thing because it guarantees our friendship forever. 

24 August 2020


Tony Fisher

In just such a short time, Tony… we became so close. Staying with us was so lovely and when you went back home I felt sad. You're one of the kindest, friendliest gay men I've ever met. You're sincere, but most definitely your best quality is your laughter. Not only that, but you're a very funny person, and as I tell everyone; you've caused me pain in my sides with laughter.
I can't believe in so little time that we'd known each other… we'd laughed and cried together. Our chats out in the kitchen were very precious to me — you shared some intimate details of your past, and it confirms to me just how forgiving you are. You are a very dear friend and I love you buckets. <snigger>

UPDATES:

I used to talk to you as often as I did my Dad. You became such a completely vital part of my life. You're one of my most favourite gay male friends of all time.

24 July 2004

My dear Tony — I heard of your passing on Facebook. I was devastated. You were the funniest man I ever met. Your entire outlook on life was fun. When I read or hear comments from people who knew you long before I did, they say much the same… you always guaranteed laughter. You were the kind of person everybody wanted to be around. Our song played on my iPod on the way home today… I thought of you for the rest of the journey.

28 Aug 2017

 

Our tune: “21st Century” by The Weekend Players.

Tony and I both loved the entire album 'Pursuit Of Happiness' by the Weekend Players, and this track will always remind me of him.


Tracy Macintyre

I met you in 2001 when Jezz introduced me to his then equivalent of a 'fag hag'. Instantly, we hit it off and were friends within minutes… in it great when that happens? Well, despite the fact we don't get to talk that often, when we do, it's epic and constantly funny. You're totally outrageous and share my sense of humour so completely, it's like we've grown up together! Still, to this day, our funniest moments were doing hoaxes on members of the public in Wallington from your car with Jezz and Sam.
It's wonderful to know that there are lovely people in the world… it's even more pleasurable to realise that some of them are a part of my life, and you are absolutely one of them!


V

Vicki Gardener

Really, thinking now, you are one in a million. My favourite ‘fag-hag’ of all time.
You have shown me so much in such a short time. Your presence is hauntingly attractive and your company astoundingly uplifting. I’ve never known a woman like you. You spend your entire time thinking of others. Running around, for everyone else. Your most memorable asset is your memory and your fabulous proofreading. I bet you're reading this now, and you've found a spelling mistak somewhere — there! There's one! You’re incredible with how much detail you remember, and I used to love the way you put me straight on a few things (in more ways than one). Hahaha.
My Dad once said that I should have settled down and found myself a nice young girl… “And what's the matter with that, Vicki?” he once asked. Well, nothing! It's only because I was gay, I spose!

UPDATE:

How arrogant is that? I mean the assumption that if I were straight that you may have been my girlfriend… although you may have been… it's that bumptious conceited streak in me, isn't it? Well, perhaps not… you see — I only have to think of you my darling… and I feel confident again.
I just want to let everyone know, that is reading this: that whenever possible, Vicki and I have this unarranged pact now. If either of us are out and about in the car, and either one of our tunes are playing on the radio, we have this need to call and sing it down the phone. It's not always convenient to listen to our Vicki, croaking Always And Forever or screaming More Than Words down the phone at me; sitting in a hospital waiting room, but that just adds to the gorgeousness of our relationship and the never-wilting love that we have for each other.

1st October 2006

 

Our tune: “Always And Forever” by Heatwave.

Vick and I sang this once, whilst driving somewhere. It played on the radio and this idea of singing along, no matter how much we couldn't reach the high notes, was very funny. That made it worse, trying to sing in tune, whilst laughing at one another. Very fond memory.

 

Our tune: “More Than Words” by Extreme.

This was simply another tune that we tried to sing together, whenever it played on the radio. Remember, we weren't allowed to stop singing.


W

Wendy Majewska

Pete will tell you I’ve needed people from time to time in my life, but none like I’ve needed you. We have a way with each other that we learnt and built on, every time we speak, whether it be on the phone or face-to-face. I’ve cried and laughed with you on several occasions, and I look back thinking about how you managed to pull me through the hard times of my learning about my health. 
I don’t know why, but you were the only person who put me straight whenever I required it most. Talking to anyone else other than you, always left me feeling; “well, that’s that, they’ll get on with their lives now, and I’ll just carry on worrying”. But you were different. You told me when to behave, when to be more considerate and even when not to. Thank you for everything. You’re the best there is.

UPDATES:

You're still there for me... well, when you're not organising incompetent staff in a clinic or ferrying kids and folk around like some demented chauffeur or flying through the aisles like a contestant on Supermarket Sweep. Or trying hopelessly to be a Mum and wife every single day, all through the night and all year round. But I say these things with complete affection because, for me, that's what sums you up. A total and utter workaholic with no time left for anything else and yet, there you are… albeit dishevelled and worn out. Yet again there to lend a listening ear, put me back on track in times of doubt and restored my self-worth. Tough, hard, harsh and totally necessary… there still is nobody like you.

14 April 2006

 

What more can I add that I haven't said in 1997 and again 9 years later… wow, and that was 16 years ago. Well, I could say that you're still here, despite still revving at the same acceleration and going just as fast as you did 35 years ago. But, more than that… you continue to be my friend, mentor, guide, life-coach and support my very existence. You're extremely important to me, always have been. Don't go anywhere!

16 May 2022

 


Z

Zoe Alton

I've grown up from child to man and automatically respecting my elders, as Gran taught us. To admire someone older because of their worldly knowledge and wise advice is pretty normal, but to have the same adoration for someone younger is unusual.
You have everything it takes to make it because while you have a frightening innocence that makes us all think it'll get the better of you, you have courage and strength to see things through. Maintaining the dignity and self-esteem that we don't see much in our family. You hang in there with such ease and casualness. You're so chilled out all the time, and I'm proud of your approach to any problem that comes your way. There's a lesson there for us all!

 

UPDATE:
It's interesting that everything I wrote above about you, some 15 years ago, is pretty spot on. The strength that you continue to show us all is a true lesson for us. When I think of the stress and pressures with life, that I have, I only have to think of you and take a leaf out of your book… and I feel that I can manage again… for a while. But it's just how connected we are with our sense of humour and emotions for everything that we care about is so amazing. Funny lady! 

24 August 2020