Wednesday, 23 June 2010


I am an introvert (INTJ is my Myers Briggs type), I always was. One of the main things I wondered about, coming out, is whether I would become more extroverted as a proper gay! Well, the answer to that is yes and no. Before and after personality tests show I am much less introverted than I was before – but not quite tipping the balance. And, as with so many things, rather than being a cure for all my ills, coming out exposed my... flaws... much more clearly.

My problems communicating etc I don't intend to revisit here; there's enough of that on this here blog. One thing I have noticed though is that at my most ill I did become very withdrawn and really just wanted to be on my own (well, that may not be too unusual)... I really retreat into my shell. Classic introversion – I need to be alone to recharge my batteries.

Looking forward, living with Fella would on the face of it not seem to be the best way of meeting that need for me time or me space. However, one of the biggest challenges in finding that time and space has been the need to accommodate Fella when he spends those three of four nights a week with me. Sharing a home will give us both a chance to do the things we need and want to do. I can, for example; stay late in the office; go to the gym; take some work home; go for a drink and still see Fella in the evening. Naturally I can't do that now.

Does that read selfish, gentle reader? I love my man, sure enough – but having to by Mr Happy Fun Cheerful Fairy at all times isn't very easy for me. Being able to go into another room lets us both get on with living.

Things are going absolutely fine at the moment for him and me, and moving in together – I am hopeful – will help. Ironically both Fella and I have been quite unwell over the last week; I get some antibiotics to help me shift my illness, and Fella comes down with food poisoning! On the plus side that means neither of us can drink. On the other hand it means we haven't had much fun together over the last week or so. Again, living together would make that a bit easier – helping us support each other whilst having the freedom to be apart if we need to.

We've begun looking for flats, but without much luck so far. Fortunately there is no rush for either of us to move as such so we can look for as good a place as we can manage. But we are hoping to move any time soon, and then the pressure will be eased; no longer will I have to compromised between the private me, the public me and the private/public us.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


Well, gentle reader, I think it is safe to say that the Cheerful Fairy is Frumeplla no more. Of course my rippling gorgeousness could use some work; always room for improvement, dontyaknow, etc.

I refer of course not only to my efforts to improve my physique, bowl over the residents of Strumpetville with my lovliness... yeah, anyway, I refer not only to that; I refer to my wider health.

Since a week last Sunday my illness returned with a vengeance: I lost three pounds over the course of the weekend, and felt pretty run down since then. It's calmed down but co-incidentally I had a hospital appointment last Thursday to follow me up.

There is something rather special about having a good doctor, and you may take good to mean intelligent; erudite; interested; or just good at lateral thinking. However, the nice lady who saw me had clearly decided this is a bit too much and the best thing to do would be to do a series of tests from scratch. Hence I spent much of the morning having blood tests and other... examinations, going round and round the hospital beaten only to the various departments by the electronic missive explaining what is required.

And, yes, and at the end of it all I have – Te Deum to be composed in honour of this momentous occasion – a diagnosis.

Intestinal spirochaetosis.


Spirochetes are a nasty class of bacteria not routinely tested for, and as an anaerobic bug, not prone to surviving in samples exposed to air. Hence it can be hard to find. It is a class of bacteraemia that counts among its number humanity's friends, syphilis and lime disease. It is an opportunistic infection and will quite often attack people with HIV, or other sexually transmitted diseases. Although it is not sexually transmitted the bacteria are much more common among gay men (30 to 50%) than straight men (two to five per cent) for reasons unknown to science!

Well, the next step is to get some antibiotics (metronidazole in my case) for a short while and with luck my roller coaster love affair with Armitage Shanks will be over. Interestingly – in a Freudian there-are-no-accidents kind of way – I can't drink whilst on the antibiotics and for a short while afterward. That ought to be interesting...

Anyway, once I'm better I need I think to review my healthy living regime. I wasn't able to go to the gym whilst very ill and of course as before it consumed my body mass rather than body fat, so I'm perceptibly weaker than I was before. Still, it is good to take the opportunity to capitalise on the fact my ribs are showing through. I want my flat tummy!

Overall it's good to have a diagnosis; though on some level the amount of stuff to deal with right now approaches new heights or tiresomeness. I look forward to it being over... and thus this is progress of a sort.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

What’s next...

Some things, once said, cannot be unsaid and cause such damage there is no going back.

So Fella made his choice; the booze over me. Well, it's a decision and – on every level – I asked for it. What else could I do? I asked Fella for his keys and advised him to contact some friends he could stay with. When I got home I packed up his stuff and put it to one side, in preparation for handing it over in over the next couple of days. I went on Facebook to update my relationship status, but somehow it felt so... final, I couldn't quite do it. I texted some friends for a bit of short term sticking-plaster support.

The Gardener, unaware of the situation, let Fella in. Rather than have him wander the streets in a drunken state I decided to let him sleep on the floor. And on Saturday morning he went to get his hair done, and to give me some space, to think about whether we should talk when he got back.

So we talked.

Fella said my new willingness to just end the relationship was, as he put it, a 'wake up call' and he was willing to go tee-total if that was what it takes for our relationship to work. I expressed my doubts about his ability to do this, as I'd asked him to moderate his consumption in the past. And in fact I would have never asked him to stop drinking all together; but I would ask him to bear in mind how much he's eaten (or not); how much other people are drinking; how he will get home safely... As an aside my illness has moved to a point where I shall soon be unable to drink alcohol at all, but that I shall post about shortly.

What needs to be worked on is the underlying cause of his drinking. What makes a man so insecure that he turns, through drink, from someone acknowledged as charming, intelligent, giving and witty, into someone universally acknowledged as a bit of a dick. What also needs to be worked on is how I deal with things and how I can support him going forward. What needs to be restored is a level of trust; we can still have a good time together, we can enjoy ourselves.

Where we left it is that we're still very much together, and still planning to move in together, but this endless cycle has to... end. Fella, it seems, wants to be happy but in a world where happiness is the default and attractive though that is we're in a place where I think it has to be worked at quite hard now.

I imagine it seems, at least a little bit, to you gentle reader like I'm flogging a dead horse. But I see quite the reverse. We have, admittedly through a crisis, reached a point where we have agreed our problems and agreed to work through them, together. No guarantees of course, but our relationship is built on a strong foundation and we have a real love I would not want to throw away. I'm not afraid of being single, but I also know how I feel when Fella walks into a room.

So what's next? Stay tuned...


Fella and I have had our disagreements in the past, but they tend to centre on two things. The first is my inability to communicate well. I get terribly frustrated and this results in huffy and pouty behaviour that's not very nice for either of us, and eventually it boils over into big arguments and hurt feelings.

The other is Fella's alcohol consumption. It's been an area of concern for some time. Since long before our anniversary I got terribly anxious about going out with him where alcohol was involved. Ironically because I was unable to articulate my concerns the difficulties in our relationship were based on a positive feedback cycle where ultimately the more frustrated I became the more he drank in response until we couldn't have a good time going out at all. It's been that way for a while now, until things recently came to a head.

We went to see A Beautiful Thing at the theatre on Wednesday and the 15 or so of us who went all agreed that it was an excellent and well staged play. The evening in fact was marred by just one thing, and I think you can guess what it is gentle reader.

In order on Wednesday Fella drank the following:

  • A bottle of red wine, by himself at home while getting changed before going to the theatre
  • One pint of beer with the group before the play started
  • One large red wine at the interval
  • One pint of beer and one large red wine, in the pub after the theatre
  • Finished up with a line of shots of unknown number.

All told not less than 25 units of alcohol. The rest of us had two or three pints; nine or 10 units at most. He had eaten, all day, two ryvita. You can imagine the state he was in...

The absolute worst thing, though, is the shots. He was with the group, talking away. And he turned to me and said he was going to get a diet coke. Of course I was fine with this, and in fact quite relieved. But he was gone for a while.... so when I went to find him he was at the bar, alone, knocking back the shots he lined up. He had lied to me.

I am concerned about how much he drinks; his family is; his friends are; his colleagues are. There isn't an alcohol dependency at work here. Fella can go a very long time without drinking at all. But his inability to enjoy a social situation without drinking to excess had at that point gone just to far.

Of course this led to a terrible row over the next couple of days and ultimately, piss poor communicator that I am, on Friday night it boiled down to a simple choice; the booze, or me.

And he choose booze.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


One of the things I always did before I came out was to avoid gay culture. Or gay cultural references. By that I mean GLBT fiction, films like My Beautiful Launderette, 'The Scene', etc. I'd avoid focussing on the small number of gay characters in TV shows, or socialising in gay venues or with gay people.

Since coming out this is not an area of my life I have sought specifically to rectify. I've been too busy meeting guys for relationships and assignation and all that jazz... plus there has been an element of re-exploring my existing relationships and lifestyle in the light of my new found honesty. But, still, a part of my still found itself somewhat uncomfortable when confronted with anything... gay. Not the sexual side of things, by any means, not since coming out at least. But the whole being gay thing... a closed book to me I never made the effort to open.

I'm not totally certain why. It may be a combination of things; a real regret that I left things so late. A small amount of envy that my own experience was somehow less glamorous, happy ever after, or whatever... or lingering embarrassment about the whole thing maybe? Who knows.

Over the last couple of years I've been well blessed with the support for friends, particularly 'A', who have tried to involve me however indirectly with their gay friends. And I joined various networking groups like "Out". I even went to pride (which was fabulous). However, it was not until I met Fella and our two groups of friends began to coalesce that I began to have a significant pool of gay friends. And, of course, as part of that I began to be exposed to their interests and lifestyles.

Still, there remains a significant gap in the Cheerful Fairy's knowledge... well, the good news gentle reader is that it's time to do something about it!

On Wednesday Fella and I, and about a dozen or so of our friends – all gay (except my friend 'C' who is coming along too) – are going to see A Beautiful Thing at the theatre. It promises to be a good night out, but also it will be the first time that I've done anything like that with that kind of group. Fairly ordinary for them; fairly good for me!

Also, I'm going to read The Line of Beauty, which is a novel set in the 80s and revolving round a gay central character. It was adapted for television, and I'm told was fairly explicit; though of course I didn't watch it. It may well make uncomfortable reading, but I want to get more involved... more informed at least.

So that's two things. A start, at least. If anyone has any ideas for a third, then please let me know. I'm on the lookout now!


Wednesday, 2 June 2010


Well, what a weekend that was gentle reader. Over the bank holiday we had a lot of parties, my Fella and I.

The weekend began with a drinks reception at the Royal College where Fella works and I did the Good Wife thing and mingled and charmed (I think, anyway). After that fella went home and I went clubbing it with friend 'C'. I have vague memories of dancing on a table until about 3:00am so we can consider the day seized there!

On Saturday we attended a barbecue cum housewarming hosted by fellow blogger Made In Scotland. We had a lovely time, and I'm delighted to have been invited – and to have attended. I am, I will admit, semi-consciously training to be a stepford-homo and as such was on tenterhooks for the social faux-pax but I think I managed to subsume my streak of misanthropy sufficiently well.... Made In Scotland will give you an honest assessment, I am sure!

After that, well we had Eurovision. I attended a party hosted by friends of Fella's that are now in some measure mutual – but this was the first time I had seen them separately, as it were. Well, it went well enough. I like Eurovision and we all laughed a great deal. I preferred Iceland (and Ireland, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Belgium...) so was surprised, though not unpleasantly, when Germany won. What 100 billion Euro will buy you, eh ;-) ?

Sunday, well we had a jaunt to Richmond before Sunday lunch to celebrate the birth of my good friend 'A'. There were about 15 people there, mostly gay, in a crowd that would have scared the shit out of me three years ago. But all were rather lovely and it was a really rather lovely time.

Truth be told I was feeling rather worse for wear on Tuesday and glad of the opportunity to go back to work, for the rest if nothing else... I wonder if I'm beginning to approach the propinquity of passing beyond an age where one might reasonably be considered capably of bacchanalian or even saturnalian pursuits for an extended period? Hmmm....

Fella and I had good reason to celebrate of course because we finalised a lot of our plans to move in together. We know our budget (surprisingly good), the area we're looking in (roughly where I am now), and when (September or so). Timing and money are tough because of my master's degree beginning in October; but I have applied for funding from work and coincidentally my department's training budget was recently doubled because of an underspend last year... so I am hopeful of at least some support.

But I can blog more about that another time. I hope you had an equally lovely bank holiday... and are equally happy J