Stuff to do
A smörgåsbord of stuff to do
First published in Spring 2020
The word smörgåsbord is Swedish for a buffet made up of many smaller dishes: 'a laid-out table'. This is how we've laid out this section, grouping things together but not massively organised.
Hopefully, you'll click away and use what we've done as a springboard to explore further. We've aimed for free stuff where you don't have to log in, and done our best to avoid websites with premium content or which get you reaching for your wallet.
We should add that we are not sponsored, have slept with, or are supported/ paid by any of the organisation listed here. Not all our suggestions are spectacularly sensible. Get in touch if there is something we ought to cross off or add. Simply complete our contact form here.
- All about you
- Thinking of and supporting others
- At home
- Exercise and fitness
- The phone
- Online security, data protection and personal information online
- Finance and money worries and concerns
- Gardens and balconies
- LGBT Podcasts
- Virtual tours and streaming
- Film and TV
- LGBT Britain from BFI Player
- Ten gay films
- Streaming the arts
- A day for every day of the year
- Random selection of topics from MENRUS.CO.UK
- More stuff
All about you
- Draw something
- Get stuck into a new podcast
- Join or host a virtual pub quiz | The Nudge
- Join or start a virtual book club
- Learn a language | BBC Languages
- Learn to cook | 4 meals anyone can make | Tasty | 11 Jan 2018 | 3m 13s
- Try Origami | origamiway.com
- Try Sudoku | sudoku.com
- Try chess | chess.com
- Buy a jigsaw or try one online | jigsawexplorer.com
- Try a free online course | openculture.com
- Learn to knit | Imbrandonfarris
- Learn to meditate | Nathaniel Drew | 2 Nov 2019 | 10m 34s
- Listen to an audiobook
- Read a book
- Relax for 30 minutes
Thinking of and supporting others
- Show your support for the NHS, NHS staff, key workers and carers at 8pm every Thursday for 1 minute
- Volunteer locally; eg: a food bank or local COVID-19 support group)
- Support business by buying locally
- Write a letter
- A random act of kindness
- Donate to your local food bank
- Donate blood
- Stay at home!
- Catch up with the ironing
- Clean the oven or microwave
- Re-organise your wardrobe and draws
- Check the washing machine/ dryer filters
- Find that lost sock
- De-clutter and donate
- Spring (deep) clean a room or something a week at a time
- Turn the mattress
Bedtime mattress fails | Fail Army | 8 Jan 2019 | 5m 21s
Exercise and fitness
- Take a yoga class
- Learn to juggle
- Join an online workout class
- Practice singing or dance moves
- Phone a friend
- Learn how to your phone's features
- Check your privacy settings
- Cull your contacts list
Awkward conversations compilation | Arron Crascall | 4 Aug 2019 | 3m 1s
Online security, data protection and personal information online
- Check our hook-up app tips | MEN R US
- Check out personal information online | MEN R US
- Check your privacy settings
- Check your antivirus/ firewall software
- Find out what data Google, Facebook, Alexa and other collects and holds on you
Finance and money worries and concerns
Finance, housing and unemployment worries during the coronavirus outbreak | Mental Health Foundation
Coping with money worries | NHS Inform
Debt and coronavirus advice | Step Change Debt Charity
Coronavirus finance and bills help | Money Saving Expert
If you can’t pay your bills because of coronavirus | Citizens Advice
Coronavirus: six money-saving ideas for lockdown and beyond | BBC | 8 May 2020
Gardens and balconies
- Get out in the garden (if you have one)
- Get out on your balcony (if you have one of those)
- Get out to a park or open space (rules permitting)
- 15 amazing queer podcasts to help pass the time | Queerty
- Top 25 Gay Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020 | Feedspot
- 12 LGBTI podcasts you should download and listen to right now | Gay Star News
- 12 LGBT podcasts you should be listening to right now | Pink News
- LGBT Archives Media Player | The National Archives
- 21 best podcasts to listen to in 2020 | Time Out
- The best LGBTQ, gay and queer podcasts to listen to during #Queerantine | Attitude
- Top 30 LGBT Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020 | Feedspot
- The LGBT Sport Podcast | BBC
- 12 LGBT podcasts you should be listening to right now | Pink News
- We're an LGBTQ+ Podcast bringing you a regular dose of positive news stories and fabulous interviews | Queer Talk
Virtual tours and streaming
- British Museum, London
- Buckingham Palace, London
- J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
- MASP, São Paulo
- Musée d’Orsay, Paris
- Museum of Modern Art
- NASA Live
- National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
- Pergamon Museum, Berlin
- Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
- The Northern Lights
- Uffizi Gallery, Florence
- Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Film and TV
Can't be arsed with this. Though there are others (many subscription-based), the usual suspects are:
- Channel 4
- The over-hyped Disney+
LGBT Britain from BFI Player
With over 40 films and documentaries, this colourful and challenging collection explores screen representations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lives over the past century. British cinema boasts a long history of carefully coded queerness, but for much of the 20th century, explicit depictions of gay life in drama or documentary were more or less taboo.
Gay men were subject to vicious state-sanctioned persecution, while lesbians were socially ostracised and the transgender community ignored and misunderstood. Cinematic and small-screen breakthroughs in the 1950s and 60s played their part in the public debate. Finally acting on the recommendations of the Wolfenden Committee a decade earlier, the 1967 Sexual Offences Act partially decriminalised male homosexuality in England and Wales, between two men over 21, in private.
Fifteen gay films
Here are 15 films in no particular order which have caught our eye. We don't critique films for a living and, before you start squeaking "foul", we're not including "Love Simon"', "Call Me By Your Name", or "Brokeback Mountain". Enough already. MEN R US also has sections on films here (under LGBT Arts) and here. (under Coming Out films).
- Akron | 2017 | Trailer
"Benny, a college freshman at the University of Akron, Ohio meets and falls for fellow freshman Christopher at a football game. With the support of their families and friends they embark on a new relationship. But a tragic event in the past involving their mothers soon comes to light and threatens to tear them apart."
- We Were Here | 2011 | Trailer
"The first film to take a deep and reflective look back at the arrival and impact of a definitive chapter in a city s queer history. It explores how the inhabitants were affected by, and how they responded to, a calamitous epidemic. Though a San Francisco-based story, We Were Here extends beyond San Francisco and beyond AIDS itself. It speaks to our capacity as individuals to rise to the occasion, and to the incredible power of a community coming together with love, compassion, and determination."
- The Way He Looks | 2014 | Trailer
"Leonardo and Giovana are best friends. Like all teenagers, they yearn for more independence and, being blind, Leonardo even more so. They dream of going abroad and of experiencing love s first kiss. Gabriel, the new boy at school, becomes fast friends with them both, but ultimately three becomes a crowd. Told from a unique perspective, The Way He Looks is a universal story of first love that redefined the genre and captured the adoration of cinema audiences the world over."
- Pride | 2014 | Trailer
"Set in the summer of 1984 – Margaret Thatcher is in power, and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is on strike. At the Gay Pride March in London, a group of gay and lesbian activists decides to raise money to support the families of the striking miners. But there is a problem. The Union seems embarrassed to receive their support. But the activists are not deterred. They decide to ignore the Union and go direct to the miners. They identify a mining village in deepest Wales and set off in a minibus to make their donation in person. And so begins the extraordinary story of two seemingly alien communities who form a surprising and ultimately triumphant partnership."
- Weekend | 2011 | Trailer
"A one-night stand that becomes something more - an unconventional love story between two young men trying to make sense of their lives. On a Friday night after hanging out with his straight mates, Russell heads out to a nightclub, alone and on the pull. Just before closing time, he picks up Glen. And so begins a weekend - in bars and in bedrooms, getting drunk and taking drugs, telling stories and having sex that will resonate throughout their lives.
- Getting Go: The Go Doc Project | 2014 | Trailer
"College boy Doc is obsessed with a well-known NYC go-go dancer, nicknamed Go. He befriends his hunky crush with the intention of shooting a movie about what it's like to live in his skin. Camera in hand, he follows his subject across the city: into bars, onto rooftops and dance floors and ultimately his bedroom. But as they grow closer, flirtation blurs the line between subject and filmmaker until a steamy night together solidifies deeper feelings. Cory Kruekeberg's explicit directorial debut explores the thrill and danger of getting exactly what you wished for."
- Four Moons | 2016 | Trailer
"A young boy fights to suppress his growing attraction to his male cousin, a relationship between two reunited friends threatens devastating repercussions, the appearance of a third party throws off the balance of a committed gay relationship, and a family man gives into his obsession over a handsome male prostitute in this film featuring four stunning and personal tales of personal struggle."
- Five Dances | 2013 | Trailer
"Coming-of-age portrait of a talented young dancer who leaves behind a troubled family life to join a small dance troupe in New York City
Follows the rocky emotional journey of an 18-year old dancer with talent to burn, who must choose between his responsibility to his broken family in the Midwest, and forging a life and career for himself. Shot with a vibrant immediacy, and featuring five of New York's most gifted dancers performing the choreography of internationally celebrated Jonah Bokaer, FIVE DANCES artfully navigates the border between dance and film, art and entertainment and offers a modern gay love story for a new generation."
- Moonlight | 2017 | Trailer
"Winner of 3 Academy Awards, Moonlight is a timeless story of human connection and self-discovery. The film chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighbourhood of Miami."
- God's Own Country | 2017 | Trailer
"Johnny works long hours on his family’s remote farm in the north of England. He numbs the daily frustration of his lonely existence with nightly binge-drinking at the local pub and casual sex. But when a handsome Romanian migrant worker arrives to take up temporary work on the family farm, Johnny suddenly finds himself having to deal with emotions he has never felt before. Bracingly open-hearted, this is a thrillingly romantic story set in the heart of rural Yorkshire."
- Lilting | 2014 | Trailer https://youtu.be/_bHtkQK5J_8
"Set in London, a Cambodian Chinese mother mourns the untimely death of her son. Her world is further disrupted by the presence of a stranger. We observe their difficulties in trying to connect with one another without a common language, as they begin to piece together memories of a man they both loved."
- Drole De Felix | 2000 | Trailer
After the death of his mother, Félix discovers a box of letters from his father, who deserted her before he was born. Deciding that the seeds of his past are rich with stories about his mother and how cam to be, Félix decides to go on a search to find his father, and find out about that one half of his genetic make-up that he never knew. Leaving Dieppe, and promising to meet his lover Daniel five days later in Marseille, Félix takes to the road. He decides to hitchhike across France, avoiding all major cities en route. This beautiful road movie slowly seduces the viewer, submerging them into a France where powerful issues that are rarely explored are tackled with great subtlety and intelligence.
- Just a Question of Love | 2006 | Trailer
"You will be hard pressed to come across a better plotted, acted and directed film about the agony and ecstasy of coming out than ths brilliant French production available for several years now. It will echo many personal experences and thankfully, has a HAPPY ending. This is not a spoiler as you can enjoy it just as much on repeat viewing. The acting is a revelation." Jarek
- The Broken Hearts Club | 2000 | Trailer
"In an endearing and funny coming-of-age story, Dennis can't quite decide if his friends are a blessing of a curse. Once you meet them, you'll know why. Benji is a punkish youth whose obsession with gym bods gets him into trouble. Howie is an annoyinglyoveranalysiig psychologygrad student who can't let go of his ex-boyfriend."
- Carandiru | 2004 | Trailer
"Murderers, rapists, stool pigeons, drug addicts. They were the feared ones, the criminals who really ran Carandiru, Brazil's largest correctional facility: Ebony, an honorable thief and respected leader; Highness, a smooth operator with two families to support; Ezequiel, an ex-surfer turned crack addict; Dagger, a brutal killer with God on his side. They were among the prison's elite, the select few who ruled Carandiru by their own codes and laws. A rule that would end in bloodshed when 300 policemen stormed the facility and brutally murdered 111 unarmed inmates. This is the true story of that infamous day in October 1992, a day that shocked the world. The day of the Carandiru Massacre."
- Get out the CDs, vinyl and cassettes
- Join an album listening party
- Stream a virtual concert
- Get the rave on at a virtual nightclub
- Watch pop music from the year you were born
- Try karaoke (Japanese for 'empty orchestra")
Sing it your way karaoke channel | Sing King
Streaming the Arts
- National Theatre
- Glyndebourne Opera
- Royal Shakespeare Company Online
- Royal Shakespeare Company Online Performances Student Learning
- Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A): The story of theatre
- British Film Institute (BFI): Archive films
- Creative England
- Ballet Hub Online
- Channel 4 Culture
- BBC iPlayer
- BBC Arts
A day for every day of the year
It appears there is a day for everything day. Check our lists and, quelle surprise, who would have thought 25th April is hug a plumber day?!*
- List of LGBT awareness periods | Wikipedia
- International Days | United Nations
International days currently observed by the United Nations. The United Nations designates specific days, weeks, years and decades as occasions to mark particular events or topics in order to promote, through awareness and action, the objectives of the Organization.
- Calendar of national health and wellbeing campaigns table for 2020 to 2021 | NHS Employers
Selection of national and international campaigns to help to plan activities for the year ahead.
- National Today | National Today
Keeps track of fun holidays and special moments on the cultural calendar — giving you exciting activities, deals, local events, brand promotions, and other exciting ways to celebrate.
- Days of the Year | Days of the Year
Aims to gather all the special holidays, moments and occasions from around the world that bring people together, and help everyone celebrate them with special events, helpful tips and heaps of fun. For each day, it curates content with extensive and exciting holiday history, facts that will blow your mind, and amazing ways to truly celebrate the day to its fullest.
- Awareness Days | Awareness Days
A digital curation of UK, US and international Awareness Days, Weeks, Months and Events to create a central resource, making awareness days more easily accessible to a wider audience and with improved accuracy of information covering the leading Awareness Days and Events.
Random selection of topics from MENRUS.CO.UK
- About chemsex
- Ball and prostate check-ups
- Bottom shaming
- Coming out
- Fast track cities: ending HIV
- Gay labels
- Gay conversion therapy
- Gay web series
- Hanky codes
- HIV and AIDS history
- LGBT or is it LGBTQIAABAACG?
- QTIBPOC and QPOC
- Safer chemsex
- Section or Clause 28
- Types of gay men
- Free eBooks @ Project Gutenberg
A library of over 60,000 free eBooks. Choose among free epub and Kindle eBooks, download them or read them online. You will find the world's great literature here, with a focus on older works (with expired US copyright). Thousands of volunteers digitised and diligently proofread the eBooks, for enjoyment and education.
- Big History Project
Big History examines our past, explains our present, and imagines our future. It's a story about us. This growing, multi-disciplinary approach is focused on high school students, yet designed for anyone seeking answers to the big questions about the history of our Universe.
- Learning about our UK Parliament
Award-winning free education services for schools, colleges, communities and home educators.
- Pulitzer Center
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is an innovative award-winning non-profit journalism organisation dedicated to raising awareness of underreported global issues through direct support for quality journalism across all media platforms and a unique program of outreach and education to schools and universities.
Seterra is a map quiz site which you can use from any web browser to explore the world and learn about its countries, capitals, cities, rivers, lakes and more.
- Project Noah
Project Noah is designed to help people connect with the natural world and learn about wildlife. It enables amateurs and professionals alike to create and share multimedia nature journals.
- The Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a non-profit, building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artefacts in digital form. Like a paper library, it provides free access to researchers, historians, scholars, the print disabled, and the general public. Its mission is to provide Universal Access to All Knowledge.
- Latest Free Stuff
Looks for new freebies, updating the website with the best freebies, samples and free stuff offers. Freebies and samples are given away by UK companies as a promotion or part of an advertising campaign. They are trying to attract customers to purchase their products in the future.
- Board Game Arena
Apparently, the largest online board game table in the world. No download necessary. You need to sign up. You can play directly from your web browser. We think it's free; if not, let us know.
- The True Size
It is hard to represent our spherical world on flat piece of paper. Cartographers use something called a "projection" to morph the globe into 2D map. The most popular of these is the Mercator projection.
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