The Queen Vic; Day One @sea

So far my limited experience on cruises has only been on the ocean lines; QE2, albeit for a short party cruise, and QM2 for a transatlantic. That is not to say that QV had not done and cannot do a transatlantic, but she is very much a criuse ship rather than a liner.

She is however astoundingly beautiful inside, very much the Cunard i saw on QM2, just slightly smaller.

So far we have enjoyed a few glasses of fizz at the sailaway from Southampton, a delicious first night meal and show, and breakfast of kings.

Deck games have been attempted, and lost by the other half 😏;

The celebrity guest speaker is Dr Christian Jenson, who gained favour for his subtle jibes at the Daily Mailgn (from which i think he has suffered something of a few takedown attempts) in front of an audience that would probably contain a fair few readers, but also from interesting and humorous tales from the medical profession.

I do genuinely love this kind of travel; from the quiet spaces to read and write to the enforced disconnection from the world; the views of wall to wall sea and the gentle sway and rumble as waves make way.

The interesting part is going to be tomorrow and our first stop; Bergen… But the last shot is our scrubbing up well.


Freeze frame, pause, rewind, stop…

Freeze frame, pause, rewind, stopil_570xN.43700626
And get back to the old familiar thoughts;
Can we just freeze, frame, pause, rewind, stop;
And get back to the feelings we think we’ve lost;
For now….

For Now
Beautiful Trauma

I guess this is this one about thoughts on age, mortality and, though not regret, a feeling of different chances in today’s world.

There has been a recent increase in the visibility and, dare i say it, quality of gay themed media; from the amazing successes of God’s Own Country, Call Me By Your Name and Love Simon in the cinema, to a now plethora of Audible books, to new authors getting published on the basis of their own gay-themed tales; Justin Meyers with his Romeo, to music artists who have only ever “sung gay” and not switched it when they had a stable career and back catalogue.

It is not a new thing, we have had Tales of the City, Milk and other ground breaking and cult niches, Elton John has always been ever (even with Kiki Dee), but I don’t think it is something to miss that Hollywood, publishers and, in some kickstarter instances, everyone around us are putting money behind some of these movies, books and artists; the movie, music, publishing industries are money driven, they set out to make back multiples of what they spend on movies. Suddenly non-hetrosexual may be bankable, there is a market of acceptance and interest.

I know my youth as a gay man was easier than the previous generation and theirs easier than the one before that. We stand on the shoulders of giants and champions; and maybe that is something that is being forgotten. However I am slightly facinated with the idea of hitting the personal freeze-frame, pause rewind and stop, then play me as a 16 year old in today’s world. Purely to see what would change and if I would do some of the daft things I did to hide or explore my sexuality.

I would say that this is not a cry out for a “Freaky Friday” experience, I do believe that today’s teenagers and early twenties have some of the hardest times ahead of them. I think they will become disenfranchised with rampant crony capitalism running the show, with faded and paler World of Nations. They will eventually come into there own but spend a lot of time repairing the damage that we, and our sires, have done. Fare to say when I am 100 years or whatever and slipping of the coil, I will be satisfied to go.

But there is that desire to watch me as Sim, or one of those ‘shadow cars’ you are racing against. I am curious to see if I would be so stoopid again.

So read; Tales of the City, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Holding The Man and about Matthew Shepard. Watch; God’s Own Country, Milk, Boys Don’t Cry and Queer as Folk, listen; Steve Grand, Elton John and Eli Leib. support; Tom, Gus, Adam.

Or don’t.

Don’t ‘follow’ anyone. Don’t fall into the image trap. Don’t sacrifice your self from anyone.

But do discover and appreciate what this new freedom is; there was less of it 20 years ago, 40 years ago it was hardly a spark, 60 years ago it was almost so dark….

I am kinda jealous, but excited about how we will help change society, nations and civilisation.


Some people huh?

So this is a bit of an odd post; it has sorrow, anger and some really bad language. You are warned.

A month ago a friend’s partner unexpectedly passed away, it was sudden and shocking to all that were close to him and my friend was left shell shocked. The person concerned was well liked; personally and professionally, and I have read a load of good stuff written about him. In truth a knew him a wee while ago; a nice guy but we didn’t ‘click’.

I have been a bit worried about my friend since; he moved countries to be with the guy, left a good place where he had family and friends, a good social network and support. All of these things that I think he needs right now but is too far from them.

Today we had a little catch up where I learned some horrid news about the family of my friends partner. To say that they used the word “parasite” to describe him before the funeral and have now raided the house and taken away a load of documentation and served him with an eviction notice.

So let us be clear, this is a gay couple, together for a number of years and committed. They had never got round to putting in place ‘protections’ of a mutually respective wills and stuff, but then how many 30 somethings do? Death, sudden and unexpected, is not usually in the forefront of minds.

So many good things have been said of the guy who passed away, reading them they are not the usual platitudes, he did help, counsel, share, support and love people. However the actions of his family can only be damaging those memories, maybe they didn’t like him being gay; it was probably a tolerated thing, maybe they thought he could do better in terms of a partner; but my friend was who he picked.

By acting like fuckwits and cunts they cannot change the guy’s life and choices. You do not get rewrite the history of your son just because you have had to go through the trauma of burying him. I am sure somewhere there is the “rule” that no parent should bury their child, it must be a terrible loss. A seemingly healthy and happy guy, the worst thought should never had entered his parents mind, but in this case it had to. However in this case they also seem to have gone to a crazy fucked up extreme. The stress, upset and damage they are causing my friend is truly abhorrent and unjustified. Grief fucks up the mind, but it doesn’t negate compassion or love. Grief should be a bonding thing, bring together those that genuinely loved the one who has died. It should be a time for collective healing and forgiveness.

I am dispassionate, quite often, and it is probably one of my worst traits. It makes me wonder if there are motives; an insurance policy, a house paid up, a death in service policy and a pension. They used the word “parasite”, who is the parasite really? The ones making a horrible and compassionless grab for the gold? It is certainly not the person that made their son and brother happy.

It probably never happens in real life, but I hope that at some stage they think and realise that all the good memories of their son and brother are naught when compared to the cruelty they have and are doing. That moment of realisation when they see that they are cunts and wankers. [add in all the spite you want there, cause it hope it dripping in it.]

So my worry for my friend is that he feels lost, anxious and at risk. He doesn’t know what to do. I have asked him what he wants out of this monumental fuck-up. I hope, with the cruelty and selfishness shown to him, that he just wants a clean break. It is more than a set-back, it is a life altering shock, but I hope he sees that he can do it, that he doesn’t need to get the expensive lawyers to fight his case. Cause in the end we are not the money and stuff we leave behind, the estates and insurance policies. We are the ones we loved and cared for, and I know my friend has more love in him to share, time will move him further from the ground zero and with the help of friends and future friends he will heal from the shock, remember how he was loved and how he can love again.



Allotmenteering or strawberreering 🍓

So this is our second year at the allotment, it is fair to say that last year was a bit hit and miss with the onslaught of the slug and mysterious corn munchers.

This year we have started with some gusto and a rotavator! The whole plot is looking so much better and we now have an eighth that is a strawberry bed🍓!

That is 48 strawberry plants, four varieties, and we are really looking forward to our jam making autumn! 😁


I am lucky 🍀

Loyalty and cooking, are these the things to base a long term relationship on? I would say no.
Whether you are straight or gay (dominant or passive (straight or gay!!)) I think that you need the “zap’n’zip” off a spark top make things interesting and sustainable.
Genuine likeness, a shared something is going to make a relationship last. The thing i am almost sure about is that loyalty and cooking are not anywhere near that shared something.
I love making a mess in the kitchen, I love it even more when the other half is there with me querying what I am putting that in and making sure I am not burning this or that; salt or my lack of using it is often a discussion.
I think is it a form of loyalty that he lets me create chaos in his tidy kitchen at the weekend.
However they are definite the things I love about him. His flares (gratefully not his trousers). His interests. His sparkles and daydreams. His voice and his attention. These are some of the things.
However it is fair to say that his loyalty to us or his skill in the kitchen have never really featured. If he couldn’t cook Quorn he would have got a cook book for his birthday!
Oh and I guess loyalty is assumed through our complex bond that is everything from breakfast to morning; his cooking skills are neither here nor there.
So why do we describe our selves on such mundane words and voices when we type out our descriptions?
Where is that expressive voice that day I have a passion about? I have a desire to go and see? I want to achieve?
I believe that the way to a partnership (marriage or whatever) is not that you bring great cooking skills, but that you want to create meals together. That you are interested in things, but not necessarily the same things. That you both have passion in your lives and can express it in your union.
Don’t get smothered; but true to you and your other.
It is not hook, line and blind sinker that wins through, but rather interest, collaboration and independence. Don’t be stuck to closed adjectives….. Be open and describe yourself!


Let The River Run

I am not musically minded; current music trends almost always elude me and defeat me, but music does play a big part of my life. Whether it is my ‘gym’ playlist to keep me running those KMs on the treadmill or the USB stick filled with everything from Valkyrie Missile to the Rent sound track that I sing along to in the car (much to the despair of my better half) to shorten the journey.

I tend to always find myself listing to tracks at various crucial times in in life and they make a lasting memory, sometimes sad but usually happy. I can still revisit the imagined landscape of The Diamond Throne through listing to Billy Joel’s Stormfront from when I was 14; that trip across the Dukes Pass one hot August day in a Mini listening to Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s famous Somewhere/Wonder medeley on repeat knowing that the song of that summer.

Over the last couple of days two tracks seem to have resonated really close to my heart; Let the River Run, by Carly Simon and We Are The Night by Steve Grand. These two tracks have somehow linked into my feelings about the events of the last couple of days in Orlando. I guess that both are a bit obvious (ready anthem-ie), but then sometimes I am a bit obvious (and occasionally anthem-ie).

Acceptance, openness and honest have been on my mind over the last wee while as I plan my wedding to my better half. 5 years ago this would have been unimaginable, mainly due to the law, but rewind 10 or 15 years ago and it would have been socially difficult as well. Not only has the UK overcome the legal issues around letting gay people cement their relationships in a personal, social and legal sense, but it has overcome a hostility that saw legislation banning the discussion of homosexuality in schools which lead to many troubled and lost teens abused by peers and society.

There are still cultural issues in the UK, some areas of faith or society still think it is a sin; morally or culturally wrong, but these are seen as more fringe day by day and the solidarity that has been demonstrated in Orlando, the UK and all over the world in the the last day has been, personally, very inspiring and spirit-lifting.

We cannot let those who would wish to limit us; those that would exclude us for any reason: race, creed, sexuality or any other; those that would put up barriers and stop our understanding of each other. We must address and defeat them at all possible turns, through constructive, creative and welcoming ways.

We are all the dreamers, dreamers of a bigger and better world of inclusion and hope. We are all together standing on that trail of desire, hoping the light of that bright star will bring truth and honesty. We are all sons and daughters.