I’m not sure this Capitalist model we are all in love with is sustainable
Tim 58 from Middlesborough. Lives in London with his long term partner.
How are you?
I’m good. I stopped working 10 years ago after the economic crisis in 2008. I wanted to, I hated the job I had. I used to have that Sunday evening feeling whilst watching the The Antiques Road Show, a moment of dread about going to work the next day. Various lights had been going on for a while. I got a good deal so I left. At the same time my Mum was dying, she had Alzheimers and was in a home. I thought I’d spend some time looking after her. Sadly she died within a month of me leaving work.
How do you see yourself?
I see myself as a very lucky person; healthy, wealthy and wise. I don’t have to slave away. I feel a bit removed from those worries.
What do you think about marriage?
We’ve been together 26 years, we’re not married. I love her dearly but there’s lots of things I like to do that she doesn’t; I like to salmon fish and go away to football matches. I like to go away with my friends. I don't expect her to get it but it means a lot to me. It’s not harmful to anyone. I go off and have fun with my mates then I come back. I’d never go after other women. I don’t go into strip clubs. It’s all about eating, drinking, laughing and acting like a school boy with my mates. That’s all I want to do. I just want to giggle in a stupid way having drunk too much vodka in a bar in Lithuania. I just want to be laughing, just laughing and laughing and film my mate getting into a little police car putting a Euro in the slot so it wobbles backwards and watch him crammed in, he’s a big fat bloke and tears are streaming down my face. It’s completely immature but so what - it doesn’t matter? It doesn’t hurt anyone. It’s not all laughing and joking though, we talk about our feelings and where we’re at in life and where we’re going. We are every honest with each other.
What’s your most memorable experience?
One Christmas I was in Tanzania with a mate. We went up to the Ngorogoro crater on Christmas Eve and drove right into the bottom of it and for about 3 hours we were the only two people there. That was an amazing experience. It’s the feeling you get with the experience. I am not about owning things I’m about experiencing things. I get no joy from owing things.
What do you think about Life?
I don’t think there is any great purpose - it’s what we create for ourselves. I don’t think we are a part of a massive plan. I think you can get messed up thinking about it. I am not particularly optimistic for man going forward. As a generation I think we have had the best of it. We missed the war and rationing. We have on going prosperity, health care, property that we can afford. We have been blessed. The people coming after us wont have it so good - it will be a lot harder for them. Climate change and pollution is beyond the tipping point. I’m not sure what that will bring, probably a lot of conflict. I’m not sure this Capitalist model we are all in love with is sustainable. We are having mass inequality between the rich and the poor and we are complicit in it. We’ve had a unique opportunity and we should have enjoyed it. I hope the next generations get as much out of life as we have.
What brings you down?
Football. You give into the joy and you give into the pain. You cant have one without the other. It’s tribal, a belonging and giving in to your inner child. At some point in every boys life he wants to be a sports man. Being a footballer is most little boys dream so I think that’s a big part of it. Middlesborough is my club and it’s very tribal. It’s different with London football clubs. They are a bit more defined by who they’re not rather than who they are. Any Arsenal fan will tell you more about their hatred for Tottenham than their own team. Whereas the underdogs slag of their team for playing dreadfully. It’s less about the opposition.
What’s your views on faith?
I admire some faiths where everything is destiny and they can just relax into life. People want to become preachers not by being the most religious - it’s step onto a career path. I find that people who are very religious leave all the good stuff in the churches or mosques - super religious people pray but don’t carry it into their lives. I have relatives that are Evangelical Christians yet they were totally horrid to my mum and my sister.
There are a set of values that are important that goes across all religions. If only we could separate all the good stuff out and leave the bad stuff. I have faith in human nature. A few years ago my partner had breast cancer. I had faith that she wasn’t going to die. I just totally believed it.
I think people are fundamentally good and I don’t think everyone is out to get you. I have a faith if you treat people right they will in return. We should be nice to each other. London would be a nice place if people were just a bit nicer to each other.
What have you taken from this experience?
I think this is a great idea, I’ve enjoyed our conversation. I think is a very good thing. The bad thing about therapy is you only go when you need something fixed. Like a car, I think you should have a regular ‘service’, get someone to ask you a couple of meaningful questions every now and then.