On being a new father – No man’s land #9

Reflections on masculinity, mental health and trying to make a difference  Years before I was even considering parenthood, I got seriously concerned about the prospect of being a father. I don’t really know why, but I got burdened by just thinking about the parental responsibility of influencing a growing child by everything said and done […]

Back to school – no man’s land #8 part 2

Reflections on masculinity, mental health and trying to make a difference  When I was young, I was lucky enough to be taken to the Liverpool Playhouse. The performances there were high quality because they were warm-ups ‘in the provinces’ for plays before they transferred to the West End. I shall never forget a performance in […]

Back to school – no man’s land #8 part 1   

Reflections on masculinity, mental health and trying to make a difference  “They [the products of the British public school] go forth into the world with well-developed bodies, fairly developed minds and undeveloped hearts. An undeveloped heart – not a cold one. The difference is important”                     […]

Birkenhead revisited – no man’s land #7  

  Reflections on masculinity, mental health and trying to make a difference  I believe Birkenhead has always suffered from being just across the Mersey from Liverpool – with the Beatles, scousers and two top football team. In contrast, Birkenhead doesn’t often hit the headlines and, when it does, it can be for the wrong reasons. […]

My four mothers – no man’s land #5

Reflections on masculinity, mental health and trying to make a difference  My mum used to say she only ever wanted to be a mother (admitting in the same breath many could not afford to have a similar ambition). She believed parenting was an essential skill and a noble calling for the wider benefit of society. […]

Belonging: people, place or something else ? – No man’s land #4

Reflections on masculinity, mental health and trying to make a difference  I have an interest in ‘new’ communities. In my first year at university studying Geography, we had a field trip to Harlow (a much newer town then than now) and I semi-seriously asked our guide which was higher, the murder or suicide rate. At […]

Leaving London – No man’s land #3

Reflections on masculinity, mental health and trying to make a difference  In the wider world, Royston is a place for arrivals, departures and intervening connections. House prices reflect good transport links via international airports (two within 45 minutes), motorways (two within 15 minutes by car on a good day) and 10 minutes by train to […]

On the line – No man’s land # 2

Reflections on masculinity, mental health and trying to make a difference  For 25 years, I’ve lived in a kind of no man’s land, on the boundary between Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire. Home is Royston, which also happens to sit on the Meridian Line alongside a wealth of other intriguing geographical and historical features including, some say, […]

A spot of bother – No man’s land # 1

Reflections on masculinity, mental health and trying to make a difference  I’m standing on stage, on a circular bright red carpet. 80 strangers, spotlights and cameras are watching my every move and wanting to hear what I have to say. Silence – my mind has gone blank and I’m thinking ‘Uh-oh, I’m in a spot […]