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?!


Monty said...

I can see your dilemna! And yes, you do need to take into consideration cultural differences, the things he's been through etc, HOWEVER, the fact remains that should you continue with your relationship, you'll have to deal with that on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis! Don't assume that "he'll change eventually", because he quite likely won't. And if you move to Manchester with him, you're going to be in a new town, without your support network around you, with him and his negativity.

It's gotta be hard, because obviously, you've fallen for him - but now you need to think things through, use your head instead of your heart and make a decision that will be right for YOU, and your future happiness.

Big hug!!!

czechOUT said...

Well, it is gay (almost as gay as his fifth version). I think it's because the firing squad look as if they have over dandy culottes.

But that detail aside, go with your intuition.

In the meantime:

(a) let me really think about the totality of your postings on Harry to give you my considered opinion - but if you've got alarm bells job, new life; and

(b) I'm still without a Eurovision party to go to, despite having been there last year you know! It's well blogged on the MiS blog, if you go back a year from now!


Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, but I think he may have too many 'issues'. But I am not in a great place for giving an uncynical view on the male of the species, so don't take my word for it... though I do think you can do better. You need someone to pamper you and whisper sweet nothings, not drag you down... work will do enough to drag you down without added downers! ;-) A