Thursday, 29 May 2008

Does it count?

I know anyone who’s read this blog before might be surprised that I pose the question. Yes, since I (a) came out and (b) came single I’ve been through a fair number of men. Wild oats sown (diligent care taken to ensure a crop failure); learnt a thing or two to be sure; met some great people. But no persistent significant other, boyfriend, etc… So what do we call this?

Let’s start then with what it doesn’t count as. It doesn’t count as love. And putting out won’t get it! I’m hoping that honesty; being baggage-free; keeping positive; and working on my own expectations are the key. Well, that’s what’s on offer – we’ll see if anyone in the June line-up takes me up on it.

But, in the meantime I’ve been [I am] terribly slutty and had a lot of new experiences in a relatively short space of time; very exciting, and lots of fun. But, the question remains; does it all count… as a ‘love life’? If I’m going to make a distinction between love and sex, then no; it probably does not.

Of course, it doesn’t matter because beyond a certain level it’s what I think it is that counts. I don’t need to go into much more gruesome detail here about this guy or that, to put you off entirely, gentle reader. But I’m surprised about how broad-minded [horny] I am and willing to try new things. New to me, anyway; though probably still pure vanilla compared to everyone else! incidentally, I find I’ve been accused of having sex to validate myself. Well, D’uh! I’m still new at this.

I’m also currently enjoying that very special arranging-dates feeling where emails and texts are exchanged with someone you’ve just met and there is the anticipation of someone nice, and who just possibly might think I’m nice. A good feeling. This is the stage where I think the whole world is giving me the eye, and liking what it sees. Yum! And the feeling only gets better after a good first date, I’ve found.

I’ve just come back from the concert at St Martin’s, and it was fantastic. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, complimented with Boccherini’s Minuet, some Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Warlock. All in a beautifully restored venue; and well played enough to carry my mood with each movement. Managed to slip the second violin a sly wink too.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Age before beauty

My recent date offensive across the ether has begun to yield some results. Am I ready to assign that final letter of the alphabet? I am not! But I do need a new naming system. Elements? Places? Fictional Characters? Trees? Ideas, please, would be most welcome. In the meantime, anonymity is even more assured than usual!

Anyway, I did in the end meet someone online on Tuesday. Not especially blog-worthy, except for two things. The first is that this is the first non-white guy I’ve hooked up with. Oddly, when ‘straight’ I dated women of every creed, colour and religion. Now I’ve realised/admitted I am in fact gay…. I’ve only been with white men. Up to now.

The second is, once we’d finished, he really came across as absolutely disgusted with me and him and what we’d done. Wouldn’t kiss me, would barely look at me, very uncommunicative. At the risk of sounding a dreadful racialist I wonder if it’s a cultural/religious thing? Mind you, Harry is Muslim too. Hmm. Well, I guess only time and experience will answer my questions for me!

Two further prospects have arisen from the Soulmates website. One I’ve just started messaging, so we’ll see what happens there I suppose. But, I HAVE A DATE! About time!!

A banker (well, he works in the City, so something like that) who lives not far from me, but not too close. Next Tuesday is the day, 7pm (BST) the time, Greenwich the place. I can’t wait.

However, I think it is gentleman number three that is the most interesting.

I met him on Gaydar and what you can do, if you find a profile there that you like, is mark it with a star (nice) or a flame (hot). And to this chap I gave a star because the photos look good and the writing was lovely. Anyway, he messaged me to thank me for the star, and I wrote back a fulsome message complimenting his profile in more detail, and he replied and etc etc.

The interesting thing is that this guy, whom I genuinely do like, is outside my pre-defined age range of “28 to 38”. Men in their thirties I find are not afraid to be demanding and passionate in bed, while relatively young men… not in my experience (ha! Like I really know enough! Still, I’m on my third bed in six months, so…). Well, Mr Man is in his fifties. ‘T’, a semi-regular, well ‘lover’ I suppose is 40, but he’s great in every way, so I’d not really discounted people in their 40s. But over 50 is a new one for me…

Well, I’m much younger than his preferred age range too so we’ve agreed to disregard each other’s preference for the moment and see what happens. Next Thursday, if I’m lucky.

In the meantime today I spent mostly update my YouTube favourites and playlists, so check them out if you want to. But, to horrify again before you go, I’ve discovered I do quite fancy a young Sir Anthony Eden. Yeah, Eden, you can invade my canal anytime. He wasn't gay and died before I was born, so I'll make do with the men at hand...

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Another day

Tuesday holds another visit to the doctor for me. I’m just back, actually, laden with five, count ‘em, five different medicines. A galaxy of tablets I need to take for at least three months possibly six. Aaargh! If I have to stay off the booze for that length of time I’m going to be a bit miffed…

In the meantime I’m supposed to take at least one more week out of work and chillax. Like Hell! Bills don’t pay themselves (or do they? If they do please let me know, gentle reader!).

Well, I guess that means I could concentrate on the dating scene for a while (and blogging of course). I’m going out to dinner with friends on Friday, and seeing the Sex and the City film on Sunday with another friend, and neighbour, who coincidentally was at Lord of the Rings when I was there with 'D'.

Speaking of a small world, QueerPersonals was started by another neighbour of mine, hence the mysterious invite; as well as a human pin cushion (thanks doc) I’m also the guinea pig for the next Gaydar. Well, I wish him all the best. I’ve already been propositioned by a 24 year old and, to my genuine horror, an 18 year old; but they’re far too young for me (though it is true What’shisname falls between those ages). At the other end of the scale I’ve also been asked to do some “passive web-cam action” for a “dominant daddy”, and been invited to some kind of group activity by some older gentlemen… but nothing doing. Truth is I’m not really in the mood for the casual thing right now. All very flattering though.

So now I’m staring a 72 hour teatime in the face… well, I’m going to go to a concert at St Martins on Thursday, as I’d been meaning to go back there for a while; I love classical music though few of my friends share that interest. Plus there are things I really have to get on with.

During the meanstwhiles I have decided to throw myself at the Parship and Soulmates websites. It’s a bit gruelling, actually, to find people you might like and send what is really the same message to about 13 of them. But I’ve had three replies so far, and I’ve replied to each of those… and we’ll see how it goes. After all, they do say a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down ;-)

Monday, 26 May 2008

Lazy Monday Afternoon

Today I really should be doing some work, as I have deadlines to meet and providing a good service is the foundation of my business (restrictions on advertising mean most of my new clients on the finance side contact me because of word of mouth) and, frankly, I’m pathologically against refusing work – I genuinely can’t understand the attitude of some of my friends and neighbours that refuse, or worse, abandon work half done. I have ambitions for my business and I want to be Rich Rich Rich hahahahaha…

Nevertheless I did give myself ever such a long lie in today, and then in the early afternoon went for a lovely walk along the river in the driving wind and rain (I love weather like that, don’t know why). And after popping to the supermarket I made my way back. Exhilarating.

When I got back I found I had received a further email from ‘Q’ because he wanted to explain further why he had finished with me in the way that he had. At first I was tempted to publish it here, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that I’m, apparently, sexy; attractive; warm; kind; hospitable; a good cook; a good conversationalist; I have great taste; and I’m a very good fuzunjulator with a vuduedium that just won’t quit.

But, I like late nights; parties; drinks; living it up with friends; spending more than I should; public displays of affection; laughing at inappropriate moments; and I’m not afraid to share my views or challenge others’. And this is why, he writes, I’m just not his quiet-stay-at-home type.

Though annoying – because if we had talked we might have found some middle ground, or some way of keeping going - I’m a little mystified as to what in the description he himself sets out, makes me unsuitable. Hey-ho: it’s over, the end.

It occurs to me, though, that men might sometimes not be very nice. From the postman’s peculiar but persistent inability to deliver some work from a client to me (thus costing me about £150 per day – I will have mine vengeance upon thee Royal Mail) to the shabby way I have been treated by Darren, ‘Q’ and ‘O’…

Also, currently my health problems have reached a level where the physical symptoms have become quite alarming and I need to go back to the doctor at the earliest possible opportunity.

Fortunately neither has brought me to a point where I need to stop meeting guys, so once again I find myself on the prowl.

To that end I have joined yet another site - in fact I was invited by person or persons unknown (intriguing). It's called QueerPersonals, so we'll see what happens there. Annoyingly, the site doesn't let me make a distinction between being gay or a lesbian, so at least some anecdotes for the blog, eh?

In the meantime, a couple of interesting events from the world of alphabet soup. 'X' was so pleased with Friday night's activities that he came round first thing on Saturday for more. A gap of less than eight hours; nice to be popular ;-)

We won't be having another casual hook-up, though. 'X' said he actually gets uncomfortable with those situations but we agreed that maybe we'd go out for a drink or something soon instead. We're still in touch, so we'll see.

'W' on the other hand is a guy I've been chatting to online who is in a long term relationship that is, unfortunately, sexless. So he's looking for an outlet - friend with benefits, if you will. Now that suits me just fine, but I wonder whether anything will come of it. Not because there's something wrong - far from it. We've become friends quite quickly and our conversations have a decidedly adult theme on many occasions. But, I have discovered his partner has been unfaithful and this really hurt 'W' a lot. As such, two questions arise.

The first is, if you're both playing away but not together, why? The second is, am I just 'W's way of getting revenge? I'm encouraging 'W' to talk to his partner at least in general terms about what, if anything is wrong. As I have posted before, honesty must be the absolute basis for anything that I do with a guy. Open minded, inquisitive and playful I am. But I really don't want to hurt someone's feelings. I'd rather be a true friend and forgo the 'benefits'.

Sunday, 25 May 2008


So that was Eurovision. As is usual Britain did badly, despite fielding what I thought was a good song this year. Russia’s not very good entry won (I was hopeful Ukraine might get it). Every year we go in knowing exactly what’s going to happen, and every year a mood of sullen defiance descends over the nation the next day. Most of my friends have said we shouldn’t play any more! Well, till next year in Sunny Moscow… Still, it was a good party; I cooked a huge amount of food and brought in a vast amount of booze which I think helped!

Unfortunately things have gone off the rails with ‘Q’. He did come to my little party, but after giving a lift to a couple of people who were leaving – instead of coming back - he just sent me a text ‘…I feel like a worm… I can’t see us fitting together… You’re a great guy, and now I have run off like a coward. I’m so very sorry to hurt you as you have shown me nothing but warmth and kindness.’ All true.

I was quite angry about it actually. OK, so he doesn’t want to see me again – it would have been nice if he’d had the balls to say it to my face, being that he was in the same room as me for several hours. Or perhaps talked to me while we were planning this weekend together that now isn’t going to happen? I suppose if we meet electronically we may part the same way, but in a fit of childish pique I removed him last night from my phone, de-friended him on Facebook, blocked his email address and unlinked our profiles on the website we met through.

Take that Dr ‘Q’ pig-dog PhD! This morning I mostly just have to laugh at myself.

When I woke up, bad-tempered and hung-over, I did jump online to see if there was anything doing, but stopped myself hooking up with anyone as I dimly perceived that wouldn’t be a good idea right now. I’m much better now! Partly cheered up, I must say, by the fact I was contacted online by a man whose profile I had visited, and who asked me to get in touch. He appears to be a fitness fanatic, which might be just what I need! One door closes; another one opens?

He can’t have a letter just yet, though; because there’s only one left!

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Culture Vulture

On Thursday night I had a second date with ‘Q’. It was much more sedate than the first one; a vegetarian Indian meal with a drink both before and after.

The before drinks certainly involved muches smooches, and the dinner was lovely (I prefer Chinese food but it was really nice). ‘Q’ is coming to my Eurovision party, and he’ll stay the night. His family has a house in East Anglia where he was going to spend the long weekend – and we have arranged for me to go with him direct from my place, and I will spend a night or two there too! But, before we knew it, the time had come for us to part.

I felt ‘Q’ was a little distant when he left, but I thought it was because he was tired, so I sent him a text wishing him a good night… And yes, in the morning more messages and all was OK, everything back on track, a great weekend ahead of us.

There is a play, written by Sir Terence Rattigan, called The Deep Blue Sea. Through it he hypothesises about what might have been if an actor, with whom he had had a relationship, had been saved from suicide – that is, rescued and revived in the attempt. The play is written as a love story between a man and a woman – focussing on her struggle to find ways and reasons to go on living - because in 1952, when the piece was penned, the Lord Chancellor would have got his infamous blue pencil out and censored it to hell; and Sir Terence would have been carted off to jail to boot. Greta Scacchi plays the lead ‘female; role in the play currently at the Vaudeville Theatre, and I’m very keen to see it. ‘Q’ said he wanted to see it too, so I shall book that as our next outing after the long weekend.

On Friday night ‘D’ and I, after dinner, went to see Lord of the Rings at the Theatre Royal and I must say it was brilliant. The special effects are simply breathtaking – I can’t describe how powerful and absorbing they are, and expertly blended into the story. The songs (and the singing), choreography, everything was great; and it is not a simple copy of the film, so despite lasting three hours it is a must-see (check out the vid below)! Co-incidentally a neighbour of mine who’s coming to my little party was also there. Small world. ‘D’ was his same old self – I’m worried that he is excluding himself from all the opportunities out there; he’s not on the scene, not a member of any website… still, I’m sure he’ll bump into a friend-of-a-friend at a party or some such thing and that will be that. He doesn’t really go for the casual hook-up, but secretly I think that’s what he really wants, and is at the core of all his neuroses about relationships.

In the meantime the man-fun side of me that I’m sure you’ve come to know and love is still very much in evidence. On Friday afternoon I had another visit from ‘Z’ which was rather nice. I have tentative hopes* that he’ll become a semi-regular feature of otherwise dull afternoons. And when I came home this morning – after a brief panic arising from the fact I had lost my keys – I found an email from a new guy (‘X’) to which I replied. As he was online too we ended up messaging each other, and this led to a phone call and… a new experience for me, but apparently one where I am not considered wanting.

Now, you know me well enough gentle reader. Should things work out with ‘Q’ (see the * above) I shall hang up my spurs and be the one-man type. But until then, gentle reader, until then…

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Yin and Yang

Things have moved remarkably quickly since March. I’m not complaining, oh no; I even managed to squeeze in a bit of fun on Tuesday night with ‘Z’, a guy with whom I’ve been exchanging texts and emails for some weeks (I’d actually given up hope of us ever hooking up). But I do wonder if sometimes I rashly make sudden jumps, complicating situations that ideally would get more careful consideration and management.

For example, Harry has become, in a remarkably short space of time, something of a vexatious stalker. He has constantly called, texted, emailed, visited my profile on the website through which we first met, and otherwise made a bit of a nuisance of his-self, several times a day since we split up.

Things came to a head with the message he sent to me today, of which the following forms part:

“…my ex visited your profile and I would appreciate it if you don’t start chatting to him because all I need is my current boyfriend taking of with my ex !!”

Hmmmm. Okay….

Firstly, we have broken up, I can assure you. What, then, is this ‘current’ boyfriend business? Secondly, what do I care his ex visited my profile? I’ve never met his ex, and would never have known the guy from Adam if Harry hadn’t helpfully provided his details. Thirdly, as I made clear in my reply, had Harry and I remained together, I would still speak/flirt/[insert verb of choice here] with whomsoever I please, damn it!

I suppose it’s a good sign his ex has sufficient use of his limbs to visit my profile in the first place…

But, enough is enough so I’ve told Harry not to contact me again until at least early June (he’s going away for a week then so it seems a natural point) by which time he will hopefully have calmed down!

In the meantime ‘Q’ and I are in virtually constant contact so that seems to be going well. Yesterday evening we exchanged some romantic and sweet emails about getting to know each other and how much fun it is going to be, and how nerve-wracking it’s going to be, and how much good it will be to see where this leads. I do find myself warming to him oh such a great deal. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Go to your room...

…and think about what you’ve done

Monday saw me stricken with my illness so I barely rose from my bed all day. Fortunately I did get a few bits of paperwork done and I forced myself to eat properly, check my emails etc – the day wasn’t a total write-off. I even phoned my mother (“Now that you’ve decided to be gay, have you been making lots of new ‘friends’?”).

One of the nice things is that it gave me a chance to keep in touch with ‘Q’ and we’re meeting up on Thursday to go to a vegetarian Indian restaurant he knows. I do hope he isn’t totally vegetarian; I really, really like my meat. If I do end up with a vegetarian I can see myself joining ‘Meatdar’ and disappearing of an evening to have encounters with burgers and steaks…

Writing of encounters, I sometimes feel that there are many prospects on the horizon, and sometimes that I’m in a desert. The weekend was obviously very busy and I enjoy online-cruising very much. The hope of finding someone; the thrill of making arrangements; the anticipation of meeting; kissing; touching;… passion…; etc. I also enjoy dating; meeting someone for dinner drinks etc to get to know the person without some pre-arranged physical intimacy.

Today, however, I feel somewhat adrift. What a difference a day makes! My mood is not helped by the fact Harry and What’shisname are both contacting me, and not in a ‘let’s be friends’ way; Harry in particular is checking up on me two or three times a day, badgering me to call him as soon as I’m well so we can, in effect, give it another try. At first that was sweet. Now it’s really annoying! Early days, though, so presumably things will all calm down given enough time.

Coincidentally a daytime TV show called “The Wright Stuff” that I occasionally enjoy discussed sex on a first date. I have often enjoyed relations on a first date (quite apart from casual assignations), and in truth I’ve had some great nights, and lots of fun but it hasn’t got me too far. But I agree with the expressed views of the panel on the show that sex is always there in the background in any event (as the whole point of the date is to appear attractive to the other) and how things go depends in part how much pressure we put on ourselves, and in part on our ability to be honest.

After yesterday’s laziness I must busy myself getting things done, especially as tomorrow I feel like having a ‘me’ day – if it’s nice I shall go out, have a coffee al-fresco and read the papers. Thursday is dinner with ‘Q’, Friday I’m seeing Lord of the Rings with my friend ‘D’, and Saturday is going to be Eurotastic…

Not for the office!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Shut up and make out

Today I had a date with 'Q'. As discussed before, I met 'Q' through the terribly grown-up Guardian Soulmates website.

Saturday I spent mostly running errands in the rain, unfortunately losing the debit card to my main bank account in the process! Typically, the card for my other account had expired and so I was left with the horrible prospect of either cancelling the date or being a skinflint as I had no access to cash.

But then – genius! I have 100 Euro or so about the place as I’ve family all over Europe, so there’s little point exchanging it between trips. So before 'Q' and I met at Kings Cross (platform 9¾) I nipped over to the Eurostar terminal in St Pancras and got me some Sterling. Our Hero Saves The Day.

'Q' and I met, went to a coffee/cake shop, got (perhaps unoriginally) a coffee and a bit of cake each and we talked.

I thought at first he was a bit too far into geek territory for me. And the nervous giggling at his own jokes… Nevertheless I did have a good time, and we talked about many things over afternoon tea; about work and friends and our respective experiences of coming out.

Q grew up on the Isle of Man. There being gay was a criminal offence until about 1990; and even then the law only changed because Westminster put its foot down. Consequently attitudes are a little behind, and Q had a pretty rough time when he came out to his family. It really just goes to show how lucky I’ve had it.

Anyway, after we had our coffees I suggested we go into Soho and have a drink, which is exactly what we did. And, after three glasses of wine, things began to get a bit amorous.

Now, I’ve mentioned before The Rules:

1) No sex on a first date.
2) Terms and conditions apply to rule one.
3) If you use rule two to get past rule one you only have yourself to blame.

I promised, I promised, I promised myself that this would be a totally respectable affair; chaste, sophisticated, proper. The object of date one, after all, is to get date two. But there’s just something about a really good kisser that gets me going and I’ll admit after a while, after being got ‘going’, I simply do not care about the niceties any more.

Fly in the ointment alert; my flat’s about an hour away. While that isn’t a problem in itself, beyond the confines of an area like Soho our amorous activities would have been liable to cause comment amongst the general populace.

Luckily Q (bless ‘im) knew of old a discreet and accommodating venue where gentlemen of a certain persuasion might enjoy good company without fear of causing comment. So there we headed, and it was an eye-opener to say the least; certainly somewhere I may visit again on occasion depending on how things turn out.

Now I’m at home reeking of chlorine and shame (but mostly chlorine) and I’ve been texting an awful lot because I don’t want it to be just a one-off thing…

Tune In Next Week for another Exciting Episode!

Friday, 16 May 2008

A beginning?

So after Harry, what is next?

Well, today I was very naughty and had not one, not two, but three assignations via the gift that is the internet. All last minute, and not planned at all, but as events unfolded I thought – go for it.. Of the three there is one (‘S’) I may see again in a no-strings semi-regular way. We seem a good match, so why not?

I know, I’m terrible…. But if it helps 'S' is a classical musician. And I'm planning to learn to play the oboe...

I need to get it all out of the way now, of course, because, on the boyfriend horizon I have some small hopes of ‘Q’.

One of the many, many dating websites I have joined is Guardian Soulmates. Recommended by a good friend and colleague, I joined but paid it little attention – partly because other avenues were yielding good things, but partly because it is what I think of as (of all the ones I’ve joined) the grown-up website. Serious Dating for Serious Men.

Well, co-incidentally someone on there sent me a message a little while ago wanting to know more about me, and over the last few days we have sent messages back and forth, first using the site and then by text.

Now it is time for ‘Q’ and I to meet. Actually it’s Dr ‘Q’ PhD. Cor. He’s written books and everything.

Of course it goes without saying he writes his messages incredibly well; it takes me about an hour to craft a reply to anything he sends. But he seems keen; he’s sent about twice as many messages to me as I have to him (it takes me so long to reply, another one from him arrives in the meantime!). And, finally, we’ve agreed to meet in London this very Sunday afternoon. I just have to find a suitably highbrow Bloomsbury coffee shop that will impress him. Any ideas, gentle reader?

So now I’m in girlish first-date panic mode; get haircut; wash all known clothes; slap on moisturiser; re-wire the kitchen; learn ancient Greek…

In the meantime I’ve decided that I am going to have my Eurovision party after all, hurrah, so I’ve got a lot to do between now and then. Annoyingly, my next case of wine from my wine club (oo-er, now who’s grown up?) is not due till 1 June. I shall have to see if they can expedite delivery…

Thursday, 15 May 2008

An end

I’ve been pondering what to do with myself with my new found freedom from work. The first thing of course is DIY; the bathroom’s had a lot of long overdue work already. Then of course a rigorous exercise and study regime; and the whole flat is going to get thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom.

Of course at the same time I suddenly get a lot of business; I have a couple of ‘big’ clients who retain me to provide financial advice to their clients and employees (one is an insurance company and the other is a construction company that is making quite a few people redundant at the moment) and I’m working with a couple of charities that are merging and need a new website, new systems, financial arrangements etc. It’s going to be tough to juggle for the foreseeable future. But, I like a challenge!

Writing of which… Harry called on Tuesday after we’d exchanged some emails and I explained I’d seen the doctor and what was wrong etc. I was surprised at his reaction – though I suspect I’ve put myself in this position, and only have myself to blame after keeping him hanging on.

He said he was not interested in discussing it or meeting me as arranged until I guaranteed that he and I would continue our relationship indefinitely.

After a moment or two of shocked silence I mumbled something about seeing how we go which seemed to satisfy him. But as the conversation continued I became quite cross, with myself and him, at this attempt at emotional blackmail and my reaction to it. So I made my final, final, almost final decision to end it when I saw him on Thursday.

So Thursday comes and we meet up in Piccadilly at 7:30. Unintended, I arrived very early, but took the opportunity to find a nice quiet place where we can sit and talk and I can get my total-bastard-moment out of the way.

Having never given notice of a break-up before I found it very difficult (the least one would expect, I would suggest). I explained how I was feeling and that I couldn’t really be a good boyfriend under those circumstances. I also explained I was unwell and that made quite a significant difference to the outlook for ‘us’. In return Harry, though a bit upset, explained he would prefer not to see me while I was ill but that he hoped when I was better I would look him up and we could try to hook up again.

I guess that worked out for both of us, then…

In medicine there is a condition that affects otherwise healthy babies called “failure to thrive” and I think this is what happened to us here. How odd when you consider all the wonder and joy I felt at the start.

I do feel like a real hick though. Booze… I must… have… booze.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Carry on Doctor!

Nearly a week since my last post, I dunno…

So where are we up to?

Harry and I had a lengthy phone conversation on Friday. I didn’t really want to go into detail about my concerns over the phone, but he insisted and when he asked me to set out where I thought we were (are we OK? etc) I just said we should meet next (meaning this) week.

He went away with friends at the weekend so that gave us both time to think. I’m actually still not sure what to do so I suppose my final decision will me made when I see him. Not really fair on the chap, but as before while I adore so much about him/us there’s just something that makes me hesitate and it would be particularly unfair to keep him hanging on.

In the meantime on Sunday I met not one but two guys who live really near me. Totally chaste, but a good time! With the first (U) we walked all along the river from Woolwich to the O2 dome and had a early afternoon drink therein before heading back. It’s a lovely walk and one I’ll repeat with other friends when they come to visit.

The second ‘date’, with R, was spent in front of the river on a path of land between it and our development, where we polished off a lot of wine and I got terribly sunburnt – to the amusement of my colleagues.

Both were great and I hope to see both of them again if only for a laugh.

Now Monday rolls around and by the end of the day I’m beginning to feel seriously unwell. I end up going home early and getting straight into bed; though I hate doing it I went to the doctor and I discussed my current and more long-standing symptoms.

I was expecting to be told to take some aspirin and stop being such a girl, but instead I was told it was extremely important that I had been seen and to take at least two weeks off, awaiting an onward referral to a specialist. Oooops. Well, we’ll see what happens. I’m not worried about the health thing (as of yet). I’ve emailed a couple of colleagues to let them know and to keep me in mind if any social things are happening! And I’ve contacted a couple of clients to move things around.

I hate being off sick; haven’t taken at day off for nearly two years and it just makes me worry that I’m pathetic and not pulling-my-weight when told to take the time now. But my health is the most important thing.

Anyhow; I’m now at home, enjoying the sunny weather and wondering what’s next. Apart from an early afternoon glass of wine…

Thursday, 8 May 2008


As I may have mentioned here before I have a bit of a portfolio existence and alongside my financial advice-and-planning business, I have another small business providing support services to charities and community groups (websites, research, project management etc). Jack of all trades; master of none, that's me!

But alongside these I work for the public sector in a semi-regulatory/governance role. I (mostly) love it to bits and my colleagues and I have developed a fantastic new service over the last year. But, to help manage its growth we have been writing a 40 page, 10,000 word business plan and the deadline we set ourselves to get it out was 3pm Wednesday!

Yet while Wednesday was set to be a really tough day at work anyway, we additionally had visitors from Australia coming in as the government of Queensland wants to set up a similar service to ours. The pressure really was on! However, they were really, really nice and I enjoyed meeting them, talking them through our work and the new systems we had developed over the last 12 months, and discussing solutions to common problems we face. They seemed impressed and I had some great feedback: I’m tempted to fly over there and offer my services...

I adore being busy and all the challenges (and freedoms) my working life presents me – before I came out I threw myself into my work a lot so finding the time and space to be in a relationship can be difficult. As can managing one.

Harry and I met on Wednesday evening as arranged, and went to the National Gallery. BUT (eternally present it would seem) the negativity I mentioned before was very much in evidence. I could give lots of examples, but it was essentially a repeat of the unending series of comments that neither invited a response nor formed part of a conversation.

The best example I can give is of Harry’s comment on Eduard Manet’s “The Execution of Maximilian” (1867) – a painting showing the death by firing squad of the Mexican Emperor on 19 June of that year, and which was cut into pieces subsequently and only survives today in fragments. He said, on seeing this work, that is was “gay”.

After we finished with the paintings we went for a couple of drinks, and we ended up having a good time once I’d chilled out a bit; I needed to unwind after being on tenterhooks for the next comment. Not really surprising then that Harry said as he was leaving that he’d got the “wrong vibes” from me that night.

But that was the comment that finally prompted me to say that his negativity was really grinding me down and I genuinely didn’t know where we were going next. Words were had, right in the heart of Piccadilly, and we parted company.

I have not yet contacted him today, but I have been thinking about how difficult it is to reconcile how great this is ‘on paper’ with how hard it is in practice. This negative attitude is going to kill all the wonderful feelings I have and all the unbidden day-dreams of jacking it all in and heading off to Manchester to be with him, no thought about what I’d do when I get there, and no regrets about what I’d leave behind.

I’ve talked it trough with friends – good friends who have their own problems without me going on about this – and they’ve pointed out it may be cultural, and it may be related to all the things he’s been through. I accept that entirely but I work 15 hour days and study for professional qualifications; I have a full social life and a complex family. I love my life and there’s room in my heart, and arms, and bed for a man. I’m just beginning to think twice about whether it should be that man.

still keeping up?!

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

431 words or just three?

To Harry

I don’t know how best to put down in words the things I feel; I don’t understand what is happening to me. So I’m writing to try and explain to myself as much as anyone what is happening with my head, and my heart, and my… *ahem*.

I’m not the world’s most outgoing guy, and I am someone who’s introspective and thinks things through so you can guess how annoying it is that I can’t get you out of my head for even five minutes. Hence the need to write this thing, though you may never even read it.

Perhaps it’s the fact I’m always thinking of you that makes it most difficult to find the expression I need; like finding love when you least expect it I probably need a distraction to have the epiphany I’m hoping for. But in the meantime I can’t believe how often we talk and email and message each other. I miss you when you’re not here and will the phone to bring me your next call or text. Just having you in the same room would be heaven right now. And I couldn’t help but notice that today’s last text had four kisses on it rather than the usual three. Oh my.

It feels like there’s no-one else in the world for me. Though you don’t yet know this, I told my lover What’shisname as soon as I’d met you that I couldn’t see him again; and I broke off the other dates I’d arranged too. I haven’t looked at another guy since. But there is that last part of me that won’t jump off the cliff…

How is it that I feel I would walk away from my work, friends and life to join you in Manchester? How it is that I’m planning for Wednesday night, the picnic you promised me, Paris in July, what’s next after you complete your training all at the same time?

Perhaps it was wrong but I went online today just to test myself and see if I would indulge my baser side. It felt like a foreign place to me, a culture I could no longer understand; what I need is not there anymore.

It’s different this thing I we have found. I don’t yet know what it is. Will you hold my hand while I find out? In the meantime let’s go to the design museum and the Tate. Let’s have a picnic in the park. Let’s go to Paris, and have a weekend flat hunting in Manchester too. Let’s do everything...

Sunday, 4 May 2008

A Busy Bee - Part Two

After work on Friday I went for the now traditional drinks on Das Boot with colleagues. However, I was in a foul, foul mood because of various things that had happened at work on Thursday and Friday, and also a bit worried because Harry had said he wasn’t well and might not be able to make it as planned, so I’m not sure I was great company! I’ll make it up to them… but, to my relief Harry called to say he was coming after all so I dashed off to meet him, and together we headed into the sunset, general direction: my place.

Friday night was good; we watched a film (30 days of night) and had a candle-lit bath together and went to bed; a lot of fun and very little sleep, ha ha.

The morning after the night before was a bit different, though. Harry is very tactile and after 17 hours of it non-stop I’m afraid I was really beginning to feel the need to have two minutes to myself, without someone unendingly stroking my hair or running their fingers up and down my spine. I mean it’s great, but not constantly! So when he couldn’t leave me alone to the extent it took nearly an hour to make coffee (no exaggeration), and after very little sleep, my mood began to get just a little bit brittle.

However, as it was a nice day we decided to go for a walk along the river and enjoy the nice day it had turned out to be. Yet along the way another side of Harry came out that I wasn’t too keen on either; a somewhat relentless negativity about things: “It’s stupid to run a ferry when they could build a bridge”...“that’s a weird looking boat”... "what an ugly building”... "that’s a funny colour for a helicopter”...“it’s so noisy around here”... “she’s very fat”... etc, etc, etc.

I think it’s important to understand it wasn’t even conversational, just a litany of comments: after I while I really did have to stop and tell him to just try and say something nice! Nevertheless on we went to the Greenwich Heritage Centre near the Firepower Museum, where we also grabbed lunch in the Gunpit Café there, and enjoyed sitting outside in the sunshine.

When we got home I did sit him down and explain that he had been quite negative, and that was a little bit off-putting; he got quite angry with me about that but I also explained that it was also in part that I was tired and sometimes needed a bit of space to recharge my batteries. We talked it out, and certainly patched things up to the extent that we ended up in bed again! Essentially, though, we’ve decided to do more things together so we a range of common experiences and interests.

But even so Harry said he would go home rather than stay the night, and I walked him to the station - though we actually ended up having a really great talk along the way, - and he went home with us on still very good terms indeed.

This morning I looked at flats in Manchester for him. As he did too; we talked on the phone in the afternoon and I explained the flats I had seen were really nice and really inexpensive. I also looked at train fares to and from Manchester and even sought out suitable job. We also agreed to go and spend a weekend up there doing a bit of flat-hunting nearer to his move. In my head I sometimes catch myself questioning what I'm doing - we've only been together a week but (at the risk of sounding repetitious) it strangely feels totally natural to be contemplating leaving my home of 13 years, my friends and colleagues, the life I've built... because that's where he'll be.

As I was typing this he called again and we talked more about the places we could go and the things we could do – so later in the month we’ll go to the Design Museum and the Tate. I also want to have friends over for dinner as a thank you for having me at theirs for a house-warming; and I'm giving serious thought to a Eurovision party.

But first, on Wednesday we’re meeting again at the National Portrait Gallery to be followed by drinkies.

So, it’s a beginning.

One of Harry's favourites

A Busy Bee - Part One

I've decided to write two posts about this weekend, rather than one long one. This first post will be about all the other things I've done; the second I shall devote to Harry...

Saturday night saw me at my friend’s housewarming party. As well as a colleague she and I have been living in the same area for about four years, and briefly she lived in the same development as I did while I was active in my local residents association. So we had a lot of contact both personal and professional and we ended up getting quite close; she's heard all about my dating-life (more than she wants to know probably, bless her heart) and I went to her wedding, which was fantastic as it was great to see her hitched to her fantastic husband, and I'd never attended a Sikh ceremony before, so it was a wonderful experience for me in lots of ways.

I had intended to stay only a couple of hours, but it being a fantastic party I ended up staying till 2am! Curiously, my friend said to me at one point “You know, I think you’re the only gay person I know”. This surprised me as it looked to me that there were enough friends of Dorothy around to make it seem like a housewarming in the Emerald City. But in any event I ate and drank and danced and stumbled home in the early hours, totally mashed, to bed, to sleep; a righteous sleep.

Today, after not quite enough sleep, I met a friend in Central London and we saw Happy-go-Lucky (trailer at the bottom) – and it is brilliant. We laughed all the way through. I'm not sure if it was scripted or ad-libbed but the banter between the actors flowed brilliantly. It was exactly what I hoped it would be, and the film is jam-packed with lots of little story lines that really meant it kept moving without any twists or shocks or contrived plot lines. I strongly, strongly recommend it!
The central character, Poppy (shown in the picture) exemplifies the kind of attitude I try hard to have about life, and the film really made me think how great it will be to stick to seeing the good about everything, and the opportunities in everything. Loved it to bits.

After the film my friend and I went for a pizza and consoled each other about the election of Boris Johnson to London Mayor this Friday. Still, though Red Ken loved London almost as much as he loved himself, it was time for a change! I am sometimes left and sometimes right of centre in my politics; overall I would say my politics are if you want a better life/world/future, then at some level you just have to accept responsibility and work for it. However, the offering this time around was just pitiful. No wonder the BNP have a seat!

But tonight I'm relaxing alone, watching Dr Who and preparing for all the work I've got to do tomorrow even though it's a holiday...

Thursday, 1 May 2008

You can't travel faster than light

Are you sure?

For now let ‘H’ be Harry. Harry is a doctor, half British half Iraqi, over here after much of his family was killed in the ethnic squabbles that have overtaken the cradle of civilisation since 2003. What remains of his family is mostly in Jordan, but he still has some family in Baghdad and he talks about the life they have and he had there like it is the most normal thing in the world… I suppose, sadly, it is.

Harry and I went to dinner tonight; afterward we went to a bar for a couple of drinks and during the time we were together talked about many things, including;

  • moving in together;
  • getting married;
  • being together forever.

I think it’s a case of being so comfortable together that we can talk about all of those things, but God knows that’s really fast. Not that I was uncomfortable with it at all, although I did try to get across my view that we should see how we go and if we end up turning round in 50 fantastic years and saying “well, we never did get round to getting married” then that’s OK too. But he’s so romantic, and the way he described over dinner being together forever nearly made me ask for the bill right then. And it taught me I'm a nervous eater!

Still, should I pull back for the sake of appearances? I mean, if it feels right then we should go for it, yes? Actually I recognise the need to be at least a bit careful; I haven’t (fear not) quite abandoned the lesson I learnt not so very long ago. But Harry is definitely someone who knows what he wants, whether it is from his career, his life, or his boyfriend.

So where we are is that we are in a relationship, and it’s going to be exclusive. That’s fine by me as I really have no eyes for, no interest in someone else anyway.

Where we also are is (fly meets ointment: part one) my being measured against the yardstick of the dreaded ex. That’s OK, in a way that it really isn’t, but I’m quite clear and up-front about the fact I am not your ex! Example:

H: “are you on MSN?”
M: (thinking ‘Oi oi!!’) “why, yes. Yes I am” [flutters eyelashes]
H “my ex was always on MSN flirting with other men”
M [pause] “Yeah, but I’m not your ex.”
Divers alarums ensue

Yet, on the other had, he wants to take me to Paris in July, he’s threatened to pay me a special visit in the office, and he can’t resist tickling me. So maybe I can live with the odd rough patch for now.

Also (fly meets ointment part two) Harry’s medical training takes him to sunny Manchester from August for two years and we’re also discussing how we can accommodate a long distance relationship and the occasional need for him to work weekends, be on call, and do two 12 hour shifts back-to-back etc.

But, in the meantime, he’s still coming over on Friday; and he wants to stay all through Saturday too. I’ve explained I’m going to a party on Saturday and he should come with, but he may not; I’m still going to go but won’t stay too long and in the meantime he’ll have the run of my place I guess. Soon he’ll know all my secrets – and without my mystique what am I?

I’m his boyfriend.

PS watch this it's fab!!