Monday Male

Well, its been a week since our first feature of Monday Male and so its time to introduce Kim Ayres to you.  He is a wonderful Scots blogger over at ramblings of the bearded one . 

Kim aged 43, has 2 children, 3 stepchildren and 3 grandchildren. He has been with his artist wife, Maggie, for 19 years and has been in the midst of a midlife crisis for about 25 years (no end in sight yet...). He is a philosopher by education, a portrait photographer by profession, and a musician whenever possible, playing the mandolin and bouzouki at local folk sessions.

Kim's claim to fame is from when he was 17 years old - the landscape gardening firm he briefly worked for used to do the grounds of John Paul Jones, bass player of Led Zeppelin. JPJ spoke to him once, uttering the profound and life changing words, "You can put those grass clippings over there...".

Life changing stuff indeed...

Five years ago Kim weighed 85lbs more than he does now.  When questioned about it, he will reveal there are two secrets to weight loss. Firstly, is to concentrate on eating healthily and allow any weight loss to be the side effect, rather than the aim and the second is to understand the multiple reasons why we eat more than our body needs in the first place, and develop strategies to tackle them. It works, but he never said it was easy.  Kim has a separate blog monitoring his weight Losing a Hundredweight

So, if you want an answer to anything from our dear Kim, be sure to mention whether you are after the 30 second or 30 minute reply, otherwise he WILL talk your ears off for hours on end.

I adore reading his blog and keeping up to date with his ramblings. 

Here are Kim's feature questions and answers:

1. What are your five non-negotiables in a woman?

"Non-negotiables" implies an idea of dominance and of laying down the law. And while this might work with some people, it doesn't with most of the ones I know - including my wife. Tell them that this or that MUST NOT be done, and the temptation is to immediately go out and do it. Consequently, I've found the best way to move forward is through discussion and finding the points of mutual understanding.

You could say the primary desire is that we both want to be together and to make our relationship work. Everything else follows from that. If that desire is strong enough, we can overcome any obstacles. If it isn't then it all falls apart.

Finding a list of 4 more is unnecessary - either something contributes to, makes no difference to, or takes us away from, that primary aim

2. What do you wish someone had told you before you became a dad?

I don't think there's anything anyone could have told me to prepare me for the reality of fatherhood. It would be like advising a 10 year old boy who still thinks girls are stupid, on the best ways to interact with women - until the change happens, he wouldn't have the concepts and framework to understand what you'd tell him. Truly understanding what it feels like to be a Dad is incomprehensible to someone who isn't.

3. Do you think women prefer men with beards?

There's a definite split here. I've sat in a room with a group of girls going on about just how much they despise face fuzz, which I must admit I thought was rather tactless. But my wife loves beards, and would be horrified if I shaved it off. In the 19 years we've been together, she has never seen my chin. And on the occasions I've suggested it, the look she has given me has made it quite clear how she feels about the issue. I don't think it counts as a "non-negotiable," but it must be pretty damn close where Maggie is concerned

4. What is the correct answer when your woman asks, "Does my arse look fat in this?"

There is no correct answer - it's a lose-lose scenario. However, "Maybe I'll write a blog post about why women are obsessed about how clothes affect the size of their arses..." is a good way of ensuring I don't get asked again.

5. If you had to take a photo portfolio of someone famous, who would it be and why?

Someone with an older, more interesting face who wasn't worried about having to look young and glamorous. Expressive faces with lives etched on to them are infinitely more captivating than some plastic smooth skinned 23-year old. Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith or Keith Richards leap to mind

6. If you could sum yourself up in one photo you have taken, which one would it be and why?

I don't think it's possible to sum someone up in one image. We are 3 dimensional creatures who live through the movement of time. A 2 dimensional image of 1/250th of a second is an idea, a momentary representation, and certainly not an accurate Truth. It would be like trying to sum up a complex piece of music in a single note. A good portrait then, is a construct to fashion a mood or concept that creates an implication of something beyond that 250th of a second. For the past year or so, I would say my favourite image of myself is the one from this blog post

7. Why do you think so many men cheat on their spouses?

This is not an area I have any expertise in, never having cheated on any woman I was with. Perhaps I just felt so fortunate any woman would want to be with me in the first place, I didn't want to risk losing her. Perhaps the "right" opportunity never presented itself. Perhaps I knew I would feel so devastated myself if it happened the other way round that I could never inflict that on someone I loved. Whatever the reason(s), I cannot imagine ever cheating on Maggie, so don't feel in a position to give you an answer to this question.

8. What is it like for you and your family having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?


9. What is your favourite motto for life?

That life is entirely about the journey, not the destination. There's only one final destination for all of us and we never know when it's going to arrive, so it's vitally important we enjoy the journey. We keep putting life off until the kids have left home or the mortgage is paid off or until we retire. But what if we never get there? Well, then we never had a life. We have to make the most of the now.

10. Boobs or Bums?

This completely and utterly depends on the mood I'm in. Either can dominate my attention or desires.

Here is some of Kim's brilliant writing.  Very powerful and profound stuff.  Go have a listen to the audio written and read by the gentleman in questions.

Thanx again Kim, you're one in a million!!

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