Why Do Men Sit On The Left And Women Sit On The Right?

This is no joke. Sorry if you thought I was going to double you up with laughter. No, today I’m talking stereotyping! I thought it a thing of the past, but it seems it’s as evident today as it has always been.

Take, for example, television. Have you ever noticed that during a pub scene on a TV show, the men seem to be constantly drinking pints or bottles of beer while women are drinking glasses of wine or a gin/vodka tonic?

How often have you seen a man in a pub scene drinking a glass of wine and a woman drinking a beer? Some may say it’s down to taste, but surely not all the men in Coronation Street only drink beer while the women always order a glass of wine?

I’ll give it to Emmerdale (another UK soap opera), as I have seen at least one female character (the vicar!) drinking a pint of beer. It’s refreshing to see, but I’ve yet to see any of the men walk in and ask for a gin and tonic! It’s always “pint please, Chas.”

Let’s turn our attention to the news. I know many people don’t watch the news on TV because it’s always depressing, but take ‘Breakfast’, the BBC early morning news programme.

Why does the man always sit on the left of the screen and his co-presenter, a woman, always sit on the right? Is it some kind of power struggle? Why can’t they occasionally swap positions?

Charlie State and Naga Munchetty
Charlie State and Naga Munchetty, Presenters of BBC’s Breakfast – He always sits on the left while she always sits on the right.

Which leads me to why it always has to be a man and a woman when two people read the news on TV? ‘Breakfast’ occasionally has two women presenting the show, but I’ve never seen them have two men present the show. Why? Is it not acceptable to have two men present the news together?

It’s precisely the same over on ITV. The man sits on the left of the screen while the woman always sits on the right.

Have you noticed that the male presenter seems to be a lot older (not you, Charlie) than the woman presenter? Very rarely is it the other way around? Is there a reason for that?

Let’s move on to driving. Yesterday, while waiting to cross the road, I counted the number of cars that drove past where a man and woman sat in the front of the vehicle. Would you be surprised if I told you that it was the man who was driving in just about all of the cars?

I’ve seen it when on holiday as well. Most of the time, it’s the man who drives a hire vehicle while the woman sits in the front passenger seat.

It happens in our family all of the time. We go and collect my sister-in-law, and her husband and I can guarantee that my sister-in-law will sit in the back of the car while her husband will sit in the front passenger seat.

The same goes for my niece and her boyfriend. When they come down to visit us, he always does the driving regardless of whose car they are using.

Take two couples going off on a car journey together. Why do the men always sit together in the front while the two women sit in the back of the car?

London 2012 Olympic Games
Celebrating at the London 2012 Olympic Games

Sport also suffers from stereotyping. Today, I was delighted to hear that Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow won an Olympic bronze medal in the synchronised 10m platform diving.

On TV, ‘Breakfast’ mentioned it all morning, and the interview with Daley and Goodfellow was aired far too many times. They even interviewed a friend of Daley and Goodfellow who talked the audience through the last dive more times than I care to remember.

However, where were Clare Balding and Co when Ed Ling won an Olympic bronze medal in the men’s trap shooting for Great Britain? Was he not worthy of an interview, Ms Balding? And why, unlike Daley and Goodfellow, did he only get a few seconds of a mention on ‘Breakfast’? Ed, if you’re reading this then, unlike the BBC, I’d be delighted to interview you and celebrate the fact that you won an Olympic bronze medal.

Finally, let’s turn back to drink. How many of you ladies enjoy drinking whisky? Does anybody out there consider whisky is only a man’s drink? Why am I asking these questions? It’s something that recently came up in conversation.

It seems I’m as guilty as most others at stereotyping. Reading through this post, why did I put an exclamation mark after the word vicar? Do vicars not drink alcohol?

Do you have any examples of stereotyping in today’s world? Does it bother you, or is it something we just take for granted?


28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

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How To Spend A Restful Few Minutes Over A Cup Of Coffee

I’d just sat down to a nice cup of coffee.

Two sachets of sugar are on the saucer. The teaspoon looks rusty and dirty from too many washes in the dishwasher and is not being wiped clean! Never mind, the coffee looks good, and it’s a beautiful day here on Mumbles seafront.

I take my first sip, and then it begins.

“Hello, Brian, can you hear me……I’m on the mobile……can you hear me, Brian?”

Bit of a pause.

“Brian, can you……what?…….what did you say, Brian?”

Longer pause.

“I’m ringing to find out if…….Brian, are you still there?”

Bit of a pause.

“OK, I’m waving now. Can you see me?”


“Well, I’m waving. Hold on, I’ll get Margaret to wave.”

Margaret starts to wave her hand.

“Can you see us?”


“Well, I can’t understand it; we’re both waving. Are you there, Brian? Can you hear me?”


“Yes, I was ringing to find out if it was working?”


“No, I said, I was ringing…….Brian, can you hear me? Perhaps you can’t hear what I’m saying?”


“OK, I’ll get Margaret to wave again, hold on.”

Margaret waves again, and a small girl passing by, licking an ice cream cone, waves back at her.

“Can you see her waving, Brian? I’m waving now as well. Can you see us?”


“No, I’ve been to Spec Savers, and my eyes are OK. I wasn’t ringing about that; I was ringing about the……”

Longer pause.

“No, my eyes are fine, they said I could continue with the glasses I’ve had for the last……..hello…Brian, can you hear me? Are you still there, Brian?”

He looks at the phone.

“I think he’s gone, Margaret.”

He puts the phone back to his ear.

“Brian, are you still there?”

By this time, I quickly gulped my coffee down, wanting to get away, but then he looked at the phone again, and this time he closed it up as it was one of those clam style phones. I thought about getting another coffee and maybe a cake to continue with my people watching, but then his phone rang.

“Hello…Brian, is that you? Can you hear me?”

Not wanting to find out what he wanted to know was working, Toby and I made a rapid departure.

We enjoyed a lovely quiet walk home along the beach without the sound of any mobiles phones going off.

Toby on the beach

Have you ever overheard a one-sided conversation? What was it about?

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Weird Questions Gay Couples Get Asked

Last week, I published 10 Reasons Why You May Be Gay. It got a lot of reactions, which I always like my posts to get.

I wasn’t going to publish anything along the same line, but when I was pointed to the video below, I couldn’t resist. However, it wasn’t only the subject that got my attention. No! It’s also because a particular breed of dog also features in it.

This is a light-hearted look at some of the questions a gay couple may get asked. It includes some of the items I had on the list in my post last week. I hope you enjoy it, and I’d love to know your thoughts. You may need to log into my blog to view the video.

Thanks to Trina at Its Good To Be Crazy Sometimes, for bringing this video to my attention.


28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

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10 Reasons Why You May Be Gay

Warning! – Contains some adult humour.

Ever wondered if your brother, boyfriend, best friend, boss, or that lovely looking man you pass by every day is gay? Here are the top 10 things to look out for in finding the answer.

  1. Gay men do not like watching or participating in sport.
  2. Gay men love baking quiche.
  3. Gay men always dress well.
  4. Gay men love to go shopping.
  5. Gay men love to watch ‘The Eurovision Song Contest.’
  6. Gay men love to watch re-runs of ‘The Golden Girls.’
  7. Gay men would never apply for a job on a building site.
  8. Gay men love the music of Kylie Minogue.
  9. Gay men can tell you what cardigan best fits the outfit you are wearing.
  10. Gay men lust after all heterosexual men.

These are just some of the things I’ve been told over the years when asked, “Are you gay?” and getting one of the above as an answer when responding “, why do you ask?”

Let’s tackle each one and see if we can find the answers, shall we?

  1. Gay men do not like watching or participating in sport.

False. Although I’m not a massive lover of watching sports and have never shown any signs of participating in any, that does not mean I am gay. There are plenty of gay sportsmen and women in the world (although, as yet, none in the English Premier Football League – ha!). Anyway, I like watching some sports, especially when the ball is curved, and there is lots of mud involved!

2. Gay men love baking quiche.

False. How do you know you’ve been burgled by gay burglars? Because when you come home, they will have tidied up and left you a quiche in the oven!

I like eating quiche, but because I don’t make my own does not mean that I am not gay!

3. Gay men always dress well.

False. While I take great pride in my appearance, you should see some of my gay male friends’ outfits. Plus, even though I like wearing my flannelette, carpet burns & chocolate sauce proof pyjamas, it does not mean I’m always looking smart. Comfort over style always wins.

4. Gay men love to go shopping.

False. I hate going shopping (unless it’s to the Apple store). No, I’ve come into the 21st century now and do all my shopping online.

5. Gay men love to watch ‘The Eurovision Song Contest.’

False. While for many gay men watching the final of ‘The Eurovision Song Contest’ is the straight man’s version of the ‘The FA Cup final’, I know some gay men who prefer watching football to ‘The Eurovision Song Contest.’  *note to self – link back to what you said in point 1, Hugh!* Also, I know many straight men who like watching ‘The Eurovision Song Contest.’ However, getting some of them to admit it is sometimes very hard.

6. Gay men love to watch re-runs of ‘The Golden Girls.’

False. Most do, but so does my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, niece, and Perry (who insists on measuring my inside leg when buying a new pair of shorts!). Some straight people also like watching re-runs of ‘The Golden Girls,’ but that doesn’t mean they’re gay. *Note to self – ask Perry if he watches Eurovision next time I’m shopping online for a pair of shorts.*

7. Gay men would never apply for a job on a building site.

False. There are plenty of gay builders, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and labourers. There are some female builders, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and hairdressers! Don’t get me wrong, I may have never wanted to be a builder, but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying wearing a hard hat every now and again.

8. Gay men love the music of Kylie Minogue.

False. Many may scream “KYLIE, KYLIE” when one of her songs comes on and dance the night away, but so do some straight men (minus the screaming, of course). The difference here is that Kylie has become an icon in the gay man’s world, whereas somebody like Wayne Rooney or Sir Bobby Charlton may be icons in the straight man’s world.

9. Gay men can tell you which cardigan best fits the outfit you are wearing.

False. A gay man would tell you never to wear a cardigan. Why on earth would anybody want to wear a cardigan unless it’s your Aunt Mabel or Great Gran? They are very unlikely to ask a gay man for his opinion on what is best to wear because they are pretty happy to make their own choice. And don’t argue with them!

10. Gay men lust after all heterosexual men.

False. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I really do not fancy you or your best man. Yes, some straight men are good-looking, and who’d blame me for putting them on my fantasy date list, but what you might find or think is attractive doesn’t mean that I will. Just like the chocolates in a box of Milk Tray, we’re all different. Now, let me give you those directions to Perry, the tailor’s shop you were asking me for.

Other than asking somebody, how would you decide if somebody was gay?

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The Day I Almost Married Lara Croft

What? I almost married Lara Croft? OK, I don’t mean, ‘the’, Lara Croft, do I, just somebody else with the same name as her?

Well, no, I mean the most famous Lara Croft there has ever been; she is a full-time tomb raider; she has the body most men desire, and most women envy.

Our relationship started back in August 1997 when a friend of mine loaned me a copy of “Tomb Raider” for the Sony PlayStation 1. I’d had the Playstation for some months but was already getting bored with it, that is until my friend introduced me to Lara Croft.

From the moment I inserted the game disc into the PlayStation and pressed the play button, I’d fallen in love with the one and only woman who would ever pull at my heartstrings.

I would spend countless evenings, nights, and weekends with Lara. It even got to the point that I would no longer go out on a Saturday night. Instead, I would spend the evening at home with Lara while my friends danced the night away, having fun, socialising, meeting new people, enjoying each others company, while I only had eyes for Lara.

She’d take me too far off places around the world, Peru, Mongolia, Egypt, India, to name but a few. She’d protect me from killer bats, bears, lions and weird monsters I never knew existed. I followed her everywhere and ensured nothing horrible happened to her while on our travels.

I even remember that Saturday afternoon I sat down with her at 5:15 and, before we knew it, the clock told us it was 4.05 Sunday morning. But it didn’t matter then as we were both in love with each other and saw each other every day.

The day we got engaged was beautiful. By now, I knew I had met the perfect woman, and I was pretty sure that Lara felt the same way about me. Why wouldn’t she? After all, I’d spend all my free time with her, and I’d even told my work colleagues about her. I know some of them envied me for having caught myself one of the most beautiful and sexiest women in the world, but others were happy for me and wanted to hear more of the adventures Lara and I were having.

I begged Lara to let me buy her an engagement ring, but she had none of it. Well, not at that moment anyway, as she had dangerous work to do and would never forgive herself if she lost the ring while working. She promised me I could buy her an engagement ring just as soon as she had solved the mystery she was working on. But that day never came, and it wasn’t long after when things started to go downhill, and our Wedding day kept getting further and further away.

I’d gone everywhere with her on her first two adventures. While she worked at solving mysteries and puzzles, I earned the money that would pay for our wedding and first home together. We both knew that nothing could part us when she started her third adventure, but how wrong we would be. I’ll be honest and say that her experiences were getting too difficult for me. But that was because I’d started going out again, socialising, meeting friends, having a real laugh, enjoying the actual world around me, catching up on gossip, TV and the movies. Meanwhile, Lara continued her adventures without me, not ever wanting to come with me.

“Most of your friends don’t like me”, she’d told me the day it all went pear-shaped, and I’d realised that she was right. I also learned that Lara had put quite a big gap between my friends and me and that I was almost losing them and my life! Not only that, but she’d also put a strain on another relationship, the most important one, the one I’d had since 1993 and, to this day, is stronger than ever. Would John ever forgive me?

I finally put an end to my relationship with Lara and called off the wedding. I thought she’d be distraught, especially when I told her I was also selling my Playstation. But, she simply walked away with the man who had purchased the PlayStation from me, and I never heard from her again.

Do I have any regrets about what happened? No. I’m just happy that I found my life again and have never been tempted to contact Lara…Ever!

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The Three Ladies In My Life

I have always been a lover of life. Yes, it’s thrown many wrong things at me and said: “here, deal with that!” But, my love affair with life has never ended or been anywhere near ending. I could just ‘like’ life but, no, I have always adored it and will carry on doing so until my’ sell-by date’ comes along.

The other day I was thinking about my life and reliving some memories. I tried to remember my first ever memories of life that included my mother. A few memories came to the forefront of my mind.

The memory I am sharing with you today is extraordinary because it includes three wonderful ladies who I will never forget. So, let me take you back to a day I can remember and tell you what it means to me.

I’m sitting on the floor in the huge living room of our house. In front of me is a big high dark wooden table and, on top of the table, I can just make out the brightly coloured yellow truck I had been given that day. The colour fascinated me and became my favourite colour until about twenty years ago when blue took over.

Sat at one end of the table, to my right, is the first of these ladies, my Grandmother, Nana Wallington. She looks down at me and smiles. She has thick black-rimmed spectacles, which make her eyes look huge. She’s wearing a green’ pork pie’ style hat, which has two red cherries stuck to the side and is dressed in a velvet green two-piece jacket and skirt.

Underneath the jacket, I can see a cream cardigan helping her keep warm. She wears some white pearls around her neck. Her lips are painted a bright red, and she has a pair of flat, black shoes and beige coloured stockings on. She’s quite a chubby lady and adores me because I am her first grandchild.

To my left is the kitchen. In there, I can see the back of the second of these extraordinary ladies, Mum. She’s busy peeling sprouts, and I wonder why she makes a little cross on the bottom of each sprout with the knife. I only know she is doing this because my Grandmother has told her to remember to ‘cross the sprouts’ at the base. 

I can see lots of steam coming off various pots boiling away on the stove, and the house is smelling of ‘roast dinner’. 

Mum is wearing a green flowery dress and a new pair of slippers, which are tartan green and have cream coloured fur inside them. She talks to my Grandmother about how long it will be before the men come back from the pub.

Behind me, I can hear a baby stir. It’s the third of these special ladies in my life, my baby sister, Jayne. I look behind me. Over in the corner sits a small, artificial Christmas tree lit up by colourful Victorian looking lanterns. I love looking at the bright red, green, blue, and yellow lights. The tree is on a small table to prevent me from getting my hands on the chocolates which hang from some of its branches. There are no gifts under the tree because they’ve all been opened, most of which are scattered across the living room floor.

Jayne starts to cry, and my Grandmother gets up and takes a peek inside the carry-cot while my mother continues to peel sprouts. Besides me, I notice a few selection boxes, one of which is opened. On the front of each selection box is a picture of Father Christmas in his sleigh, pulled by some reindeer over some snowy roofs and chimney pots of houses. 

Pictures of the various chocolate bars and sweets inside the box are displayed on the front of each box. To my Grandmother’s dismay, I’ve eaten most of the contents of the opened box. She tells mum that I won’t want to eat my Christmas dinner!

Upon the ceiling are pinned two colourful paper bells; one just above me and the other down the far end of the room. When taken down, unclipped, and closed up, they both look like the shape of a boot, the type my mother would wear when going out. When taking them down, my Father would always say how the form reminds him of a country called Italy and that one day he would like to take us all there for a holiday.

My Grandmother and Mum continue to talk while I play with the toys delivered the night before. Mum eventually comes into the room with two small glasses of sherry and hands one to my Grandmother. Even though I am just coming up to the age of five, I already know that these three special people will be the three most important ladies in my life.

The date is 25th December 1966.


In Memory Of Gwladys Elizabeth Hill, Who Sadly Passed Away On 15th September 2015

I’ll Never Ever Forget You, Mum.

Mum & Hugh

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