#TacheTalk: Twelve Months On (Part 4)

Last Movember, I started #TacheTalk, a blog speaking to different men about their lives, health and happiness. Here’s the fourth and final of part of my catch-up with 26(ish) of the original 30 guys finding out what’s changed and challenged them over the last year.



When he moved back to Australia, Boaz started both a long-distance teaching degree and a business. ‘It’s been challenging moving from a busy office in London to learning and working alone from home most days. But I’ve had amazing support from people both professionally and personally, especially my brother and Jasmin, my business partner and wife.’

‘Our online florists Chivalry & Delivery is growing much slower than I’d like. We don’t yet have enough orders to make it sustainable in the long-term. It feels like we’ve got many other things right, and we’re constantly getting great feedback, but honestly I don’t know which way it will go.’

That business experience is central in Boaz’s clear hopes for the next year: ‘Start a family. A context of community for my work. A growing a profitable business, or not at all. A better sense of the role of teaching and the direction I’d like to take it.’




Charlie has changed jobs twice this year. Now he’s a branch manager for a wholesaler, opening a new Essex store in 2017. ‘It’s keeping me busy and sometimes I’m up working til 2am. But I’m looking forward to what’s ahead. It’ll be rewarding and worthwhile when we’re open.’

‘I’m inspired by winning, whether that’s securing a sales deal or having a good day. I get a good feeling from it in general, like Charlie Sheen.’ He hopes to move out of home and in with a friend by March, but hasn’t got any plans to be ‘wifed off’.




After June’s EU referendum, freelance designer Tom lost a key client in France. ‘This was a major blow to me, as I’d already done lots of fun and exciting projects through them. It’s forced me to look further afield and find work closer to home.’

‘I’ve recently started design work on a local business app which is a new and challenging project for me. The key to success in something that is new is finding time to learn, being patient even if it means failing and most importantly the will to collaborate.’

‘I’m inspired by fellow designers. You can draw on so much when working together as a team to drive a project forward to new heights. Seeing a connection between two or three people come together and produce something is very satisfying. I never stop questioning a project, which allows me to continue to develop and push boundaries.’



Me, Joey

My work friend Ben lead a #TacheTalk with me last December. Last week he passed out from his Navy training and in September followed my lead to be an Attitude magazine Real Bodies model.

Like last Christmas, I know I need to look for a new job and know I can’t stay at home. I continually struggle to feel I’m worth enough, which is an easy feeling to have when you’re doing a part-time maternity cover role.

This year I’ve been inspired by unapologetic people who proudly use their voice and put themselves out there in every way. For three months I saw an LGBT-specific counsellor, who helped me give myself permission to strip back other people’s expectations and control more of my life. Even though my context looks very similar right now to last year, I have changed. I’ve found what I want to blog about and started doing it, ran a 10k, dated someone, been on my first holiday with friends and put myself in new LGBT spaces.

And if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll already know what my needs for 2017 are: a permanent job, a new home and a boyfriend.

What’s changed for the other guys I chatted with? Read part 1, part 2 and part 3.


#TacheTalk: Twelve Months On (Part 3)

Last Movember, I started #TacheTalk, a blog speaking to different men about their lives, health and happiness. Here’s the third of part of my catch-up with the original thirty guys, finding out what’s changed and challenged them over the last year.



This year my brother has listened to me worry too much about my work and love life while always buying the drinks. You might have read about his springtime wedding to Mark in The Times of London. Next year, they’re getting a puppy.




A few months ago, Robin’s travels took him to America. He found more geocaches in just two days than he had in five years of geocaching put together. Robin’s also tried speed dating a few times, which has helped reduce his shyness.

‘I have this passionate drive to do the right thing. I’m not sure where it comes from or why it’s so strong at the moment. There’s only so many trips you can go on your own before it starts not being fun, so a partner in crime is my biggest wish for the next year.’




Right now, Dave is on a long holiday in Asia. He ditched the commute from Hampshire and moved back to London where he continues to work for Christian Aid. ‘My job is challenging me but it’s very rewarding. I’m surrounded by inspiring colleagues.’




James is registering CATS (Cancer Awareness in Teenagers and Young People Society), the student group he founded as a charity and taking a year off from his medicine education to do an MA assessing its impact. He’s also working on a new project to create a holistic and relational care centre for the vulnerable groups such as the long term unemployed or homeless in Stoke-on-Trent. He hopes the centre will unite different services available and stop users ‘falling through the gaps’.

‘It’s difficult to get new projects off the ground. You feel like you’re constantly hitting brick walls to battle apathy, get people motivated and build a team around you. It helps that I have a clear sense of calling, to do what I’m passionate about and see the need for. I’ve had a very fortunate middle class upbringing and really good education. We are all called to bring something back, not just live, pay taxes and die.’

‘I’m massively inspired by hearing people’s stories and seeing how the give up their time, money and energy for causes they believe. They are making a difference.’




Ed’s moved house and, to use his words, ‘started dating someone long-term’. ‘I’ve fixed a long term plan in my head and thinking about that is challenging. Climbing, writing more, reading, walking and being forced to talk through my emotions by a significant other has all helped.’

‘I love reading Neil Gaiman, PG Wodehouse and philosophers from 1500 years ago. They faced the same issues and worries as the rest of us. Professional writers find writing and life as hard as I do, which is a relief and inspiration all in one.’




‘Not much has changed. Life is more or less the same, but it feels a little more stable and manageable, which is really nice.’

‘My job has been quite challenging and can often take over, but it’s good to get into the habit of prioritizing what’s really important in life, like my wife, friends and family, relaxing and enjoying myself, spending time on things I’m passionate about. It’s been good learning to spend my time well.’




One door opened when Chris bought a flat with his girlfriend and another shut when his Leigh-on-Sea barbershop closed. He now works as a mobile hairdresser. ‘It’s been challenging to just pay the bills, and change my working pattern from days to evenings. I’m working all the time, so in the next year I want to improve my social life and find investment for a new barbershop.’ Chris remains part of Guerrilla Barbering, a grassroots industry group helping the homeless.




Luke is studying Mental Health Nursing at university. ‘I’ve always been quite an introverted person with a nervous edge behind me. I have quite a lot of anxiety and at the start of this year it manifested itself in me having some OCD-like symptoms. It made me doubt if I should do this mental health course and I nearly didn’t progress at one point.’

‘My family came through and were really supportive which I didn’t expect to happen. My university was also incredibly supportive. I’ve had counselling sessions, feel much better now and been able to progress on to year two. Talking to my family and friends about it really did help. Everyone is supportive.’

‘Your mental health is important and bottling things up isn’t helpful. You just create tension in yourself. We need a culture where people are open to talk about their feelings and how they feel. People can be hurting who are close to you and you may not know.’

Last month I grew a moustache and ran my first ever 10k race to raise money for Movember so they can keep research and conservations on men’s health going. You can find out how I did and sponsor me on my MoSpace. Or you can text ‘JKMO90 £5’ to 70070. Thank you.


#TacheTalk: Twelve Months On (Part 2)

Last Movember, I started #TacheTalk, a blog speaking to different men about their lives, health and happiness. This year I’ve interviewed more men (which you’ll be able to read about on here very soon) but I was also keen to keep the old conversations going. Here’s the second part of my catch-up with the original thirty guys, finding out what’s changed and challenged them over the last year.



After graduating this year, Hadley set up his own mobile chiropractor practise in South Wales: ‘As I’m self-employed, work tends to consume every hour of the day and there never seems to be time to have a break. I’ve neglected the gym, football and playing the guitar.’




This year, Jack graduated, got a new job, a new flat in Peckham and even a new shoulder. ‘I dislocated it, so had surgery and they fixed me up. It was an interesting experience, quite liberating. It’s good when surgery goes well. There’s always a risk with it and that can get you thinking about all sorts of things.’

‘Everything has challenged me. The last few months has been a big big time. Sometimes those things feel a bit daunting but suddenly you’re on the other side of it and it all seems rather easy in the end, although at the time I’m sure it wasn’t. I relish the challenges, but they are challenges nonetheless.’



Matt T

In September last year, Matt was diagnosed with testicular cancer. When I spoke to him in May, he was in remission and recently started a new job in Harrogate. ‘I’m getting to do a lot of different, interesting research and development projects, it’s basically my dream job!’

‘A challenge for me has been staying positive about the future. I’m still having ongoing issues with depression and trying to fight through that. The hormone side of things hasn’t fully settled down since my cancer treatment so I’m waiting for doctors to decide what to do about that. Work has really helped me through it as it’s given me some stability and takes my mind off things. It really makes a difference doing something you love and enjoy, life is too short for the 9 to 5 grind!

‘One of the most inspiring things I’ve seen recently was Elon Musk’s presentation about the future of the human race and becoming a multi-planetary species. It really gave me hope for the future.’




‘It’s been a tough year. I was signed off work for a month in April because of stress but having that time off taught me how to cope with stress and anxiety better and put myself first. I’m lucky my boss is incredibly supportive, because I’ve talked to him about it before.’

As well as getting back behind the DJ decks at club nights, this year George became a Birmingham City season ticket holder. ‘I’m inspired by the sound of Tilton Road End. The Birmingham City anthem is Keep Right On. I couldn’t ask for a better club anthem.’



Matt B

In May, Matt celebrated his first wedding anniversary. He’s also changed roles in his company and been on his first surfing trip. Every week Matt and I now go to the local Parkrun 5k with our friend Kate. This week he ran a personal best of 19:49. He hopes to qualify as an actuary in the next year, with just three of his fifteen exams left to do.

‘I’m inspired by Abraham Lincoln. He was a self-educated man, and that desire to further his knowledge and better himself stayed with him his whole life. That’s something I want to emulate.’



Nathan’s second child was born on Christmas Day. This year he’s won his second competitive physique and bodybuilding show, launched a new business venture and written an ebook.

‘Adjusting to another child at home has been challenging, but the relationship with my wife has strengthened and we now work closely as a team to support and help each other. Another dieting phase for my training early in the year was also challenging with the new born but made my win even more rewarding. Having a better life balance and continued support from family and friends helped immensely.’

‘At home I am constantly inspired by my hardworking wife who balances being a housewife and motherhood, as well as managing to start her own online business. I’m hoping for another year of laugher and love, where my family continue to grow happily and healthily.’

Follow Nathan on Instagram and Facebook




Last month, Dave accepted a new role working for Tearfund in South Sudan. Before moving, he sold off most of his possession for the second time, including the headphones he showed me last year.

‘People are always challenging but life isn’t really worth it without them. In the end, everyone wants the same thing: to love and be loved. Once you work that out, you can see through all the other mess. It’s been helpful to be truthful and honest in situations where people are mucking you about.’

‘Hopefully while I’m in South Sudan, I’ll cross off lots from my bucket list. I’ve already been in a helicopter!’

This month, I’ve shaved off my beard to grow a moustache and will be running my first ever 10k race. It’s to raise money for Movember so they can keep research and conservations on men’s health going around the country. You can sponsor me on my MoSpace or by texting ‘JKMO90 £10’ to 70070. Thank you.


#TacheTalk: Twelve Months On (Part 1)

Last Movember, I started #TacheTalk, a blog speaking to different men about their lives, health and happiness. This year I’ve interviewed more men (which you’ll be able to read about on here very soon) but I was also keen to keep the old conversations going. Here’s the first part of my catch-up with the original thirty guys, finding out what’s changed and challenged them over the last year.



James has switched job from Store Manager in a busy London running shop to lifeguard at the local swimming pool. ‘It’s been challenging changing career but knowing I make my family proud has got me through!’ His now has three children and recently started a new relationship.




Ben’s lost his beard, become a ‘part-time monk’ in the Community of St Anselm, and ran faster than ever before. He’s also written an excellent resource at The Children’s Society, helping youth leaders tackle sensitive issues including mental health and safe relationships.

‘I’m challenged by how self orientated I am. Being single can be a challenge, although committing to being single whilst being a part time monk definitely helps. But there are still times you can feel lonely and lacking that person you can go to, talk to, hang out with.’

‘Thoughts, ideas and experiences that make me think about the world differently are what I relish and seek out. It helps me realise how incredible the world we live in is. Just think about how much human collaboration it takes to drink your cup of tea.’

The Community of St Anselm has a strong focus on listening to God and a disciplined prayer life. ‘This time next year, I hope I’m able to pray for three minutes without getting distracted and able to listen to God for one minute without getting distracted!’

Read Ben’s Humble Theology blog on Medium 




Just after our talk last year, Max travelled around Asia for a couple of months. Now he’s focused on his new career at an international company. He’s still at Craven Cottage supporting Fulham most weekends.




‘Since our chat, I became fed up with my old job, went back to a mental health professional, got a new job and got engaged. So not much, a quiet year really. I’ve been challenged by my mental health and encouraged by my friends, family and the new sense of calling that I now have as a Youth Worker.’




Dorian moved from London back to America and in August, he got married. Congratulations Dorian! ‘Obviously, moving, especially to a new country, is a big challenge. It’s the seventh big move I’ve made, and the second time across an ocean to a new country, so I like to think that I’m getting good at it.’

‘An incredibly important part of moving is framing it right in your mind. Even when I had to move back in with my parents a few years ago I was sure seek out new friends and activities to make it feel like a step forward. Thankfully here my wife’s friends have been very welcoming, I’ve been able to meet new people as well, and I’m working on a new hobby, disc golf!




Joe graduated in the Summer and moved from Cardiff to Canterbury to start work as a chiropractor. ‘I’m in the ‘beginner’ phase of my career and within a year I’d love to feel like I’m refining my skills and perfecting my craft. Right now, I’m to trying to put it all together!’




Over the last year, Kristian has performed in a Christmas show in Lichfield and a UK tour of The Railway Children. He’s lived in Dubai since August, working as a cast member at a brand new theme park.

‘The most challenging thing this year has actually been deciding whether to accept the jobs or not. The last two jobs had many pros and cons to them and by really looking at those pros and cons it helped me to make the right decision.’

‘I hope this year I can carry on up my career ladder and keep being paid for what I love and what I have trained to do. The performance industry is a very inconsistent one. You could be working one week earning lots of money and then the week after have to work numerous jobs to pay the London rent.’

Follow Kristian on Instagram @Kristian_Turner

This month, I’ve shaved off my beard to grow a moustache and will be running my first ever 10k race. It’s to raise money for Movember so they can keep research and conservations on men’s health going around the country. You can sponsor me on my MoSpace or by texting ‘JKMO90 £10’ to 70070. Thank you.