Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Third Home




I completed my last Community shift today and finished at lunchtime .
The community team have asked me to come back which is flattering and it's nice to think that I have a foot in each camp at the hospice and am popular in both.
It's nice to be liked and in just one year I feel settled and surrounded by nice people who care about me.
I'm lucky.
The hospice is situated a stones throw from Llandudno's West Shore and walking east you cross the peninsula that Llandudno occupies to the East Shore where the hotels and restaurants and promenade are.
It was a nice walk in the hot sun today. I left the hospice, walked past the Loreto convent and across into town. The streets were full of exotic looking orthodox Jewish families who holiday here this time of the year, and everywhere I looked down Abbey road there are family groups dressed in black suits, the men splendid in their big black hats, training tzitzits from their shirts, the women with headscalfs and pushchairs.
Llandudno feels very cosmopolitan in an old fashioned way.

As I passed the town hall a middle aged woman came out and gave me a double look. She smiled and said hello and asked if I was keeping well with a large wide mouthed smile
I had no idea who she was until she gushed on about the dog poem reading that was read by "the actor" ! She was the registrar at my wedding and it was her very first gay wedding and certainly one where love was likened to owning a dog

The poem was written by Taylor Mali and it was read out by one of my best friends John, who IS a bit of an actor!

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!

Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.

Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!
Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.

Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you’re all wound up and can’t move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

I was surprised she recognised me , but perhaps it was her first gay marriage
I laughed at her remarks about the poem and hid my left hand

I had jobs to do so I didn't stop
I walked to a little gallery on Mostyn Street and collected an original pencil drawing of a Llandudno goat I had reserved.

I fell in love with it when I first saw it




I took the drawing and some sandwiches and fruit down to the beach and sat on the sand to watched the holiday makers . The Jewish men there had taken off their hot black jackets but had kept their hats on. They talked in small serious groups whilst eating ice cream as their children cantered around

And I felt at home, sitting there listening to the screams of the seagulls.
My first home Trelawnyd
My second home Sheffield
My third home Llandudno

Ben


Click on the link below to read a perspective of one of my friends at St Davids HospIce

He writes so well

https://www.baysideradio.co.uk/news/nurse-reveals-all-on-frontline-challenges-at-crisis-hit-hospice-2472

Monday, 10 August 2020

Grease Stains




I had my hair cut yesterday by a colleague after work.
She told me I have cradle cap and told me off for using expensive medicated shampoos
" Just rub olive oil into your scalp" she told me
And this morning I did just that!
Only the bottle of extra virgin didn't have one of those pouring things in the neck and within a second I was dripping in oil.
Frantically I rubbed it into my scalp but great globs of oil splashed down onto my third favourite Walking Dead T shirt
I looked like a greasy teddy boy
Ian ( The head of the Community association) and Gwawr ( who is heavily pregnant and out for a rare drive ) were too polite to comment how much I resembled a cheap Italian waiter when I bumped into them but Mrs Trellis was less reticent and asked me pointedly just why I was sweating GREEN sweat !!!!!
I've had to place a tea towel antimacassar on the back of my armchair as I write this blog!!

Ive cleaned the cottage and cut the lawn as my sister shaped the Laura's bush and weeded and have hung the living room throws on the fieldgate to dry in the humidity of the afternoon.
Gwawr said that thunderstorms are on the way but I've still had tonwater the planters and the border plants who have wilted badly whilst I have worked.

The cottage clean

The garden neat

My sister's new business flyer


Olive oil is seeping into my eyes as I type this
I smell nutty

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Happy Days


 I've just found out that there's a date in Oct for the one off season 10 finale of my favourite





I'm having a large gin and tonic in the dark
The windows are open and it's 23.29
A storm is approaching 

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Solo


I know I said I'm not posting anything until Monday but this , I think deserves a brief mention.
From today I'm back working in the hospice inpatients and am working long days until Monday
My allocated patients were all new to me and so a support worker was filling me in with some background info
One patient, a quiet and cultured man, was a musician and the support worker asked me if I thought it was a good idea to offer him some time out to play the small piano tucked away in our hospice chapel
Of course I agreed.
The patient was thrilled And after some brief shenanigans with a wheelchair and urine bag tubing we set him up in front of the keys and left him alone......
Moments later, from the silence of the chapel and with several of the nursing staff leaning against walls and down corridors
We quietly listened to him playing this........
Quite beautifully



Friday, 7 August 2020

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Summerland

Arterton and Gugu Mbatha Raw

The Brits are brilliant at making wartime whimsy movies
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society was a real winner recently and following close on its heels and with a similar heroine and cast in tow is the gentle Summerland 

Shrieking wartime shabby chic Gemma Arterton plays Alice, a bad tempered single writer of books who explore and discounts folklore and myths. Alice lives in the most beautiful cottage overlooking the Kent white cliffs, is mean to children who refer to her as a witch and lives to write. Unfortunately a young boy Frank, (Lucas Bond) is billeted with her from his London home and their initially prickly relationship rekindles past memories of a failed lesbian affair Alice had in the 1920s.

Crusty writer, lonely boy, angry villagers.....the whole movie isn't original by any means, and in actual fact the movie looks as though it is shot from one field over looking the most impressive of the Dover Cliffs but in Arterton's sensitive hands this is a charming tale of lost love and longing

I loved the powerful little scene when over dinner one night Frank innocently guesses that Alice's past love was a woman.
"Would it bother you if I say you were right?"  Alice asks tentatively 
And when the little boy replies honesty No
Her pure emotional release literally breaks your heart in its intensity.

Unlike The Guernsey Potato Pie etc Summerland has a small supporting cast which do very little
Tom Courtney turns up as the blustering local schoolmaster and Sian Philips ( I thought she had died) plays a local grandmother who played the moral high ground card.

If  you want a bit of light whimsy which will make you cry , go and see Summerland 
Arterton and Kent , has never looked better 



The Shrimp Vase and other thoughts .....


I had a lovely day yesterday.
I met up with my date and we had lunch out , ice cream on the beach and a mooch which resulted in him buying a load of bedding from a lovely Asian shopkeeper  and me buying a robust vase with a design of a shrimp on its side!
I also decided that my date and I would remain as firm friends rather than anything more hazy or nebulous which is a decision I am happy about .
Gay men in their fifties can be complicated beasts and contrary to belief I'm not fickle or complicated at all but I think I do read people well and certain phrases and words and deeds jump out to remind you where you stand .
Once furnished with this information, it cannot be ignored .

I once let a friendship lapse after receiving a belated birthday gift of some garage flowers . The quality of the gift was not the issue, what underlined the death knell of the friendship was the lack of thought about the gift , something that was very evident in a relationship previously based on kindness and thoughtfulness.

Of course situations are much more complicated than I describe but the main messages hidden away can be plain and simple to read if you have the emotional intelligence to understand the cues

I am suddenly reminded of my former mother in law here, who when I informed her that I was marrying her son on such a date, remarked that she had a nice red dress which would do!
The would do comment may have been lost to many, but not to me .
Would do underlined her opposition to the marriage which only truly showed itself in later more unhappier times.

Dating in your fifties is an odd experience for on the surface it is no different that dating in your twenties and thirties .
But of course it is different
We all have baggage in our fifties ,we all know what we do want and certainly what we don't want.
And In my case, I think I read situations much better than I did in my salad days

And so I have a new gay mate that I get on with, how good is that?
I was sharing a fantasy of travelling to Japan yesterday afternoon and he suggested that he would like to go too
" Absolutely !" I agreed
Looking out to sea, where the azure water of Llandudno bay met the sky




Tuesday, 4 August 2020

How are you today?


Thoreau is famously quoted as saying" The Mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation "
I disagree with this generalisation and always have done because I think that the people who may agree with it may be the pessimists, the depressives, the unhappy, the more thwarted of life.

Personally I think most people plod along with things in a similar way as animals do . The normal joys and the disappointments life bringing , more colour and texture
I know I plod.......and I know my emotional pendulum swings generally towards the optimistic view of the world rather than the negative.
So I think I am luckier than most.

I also reward myself with things and company and positives, something many don't do 
Today I've booked myself a ticket to see Summerland as well as buying myself some cheerful sunflowers
Yesterday it was a stupid toy and the company of work friends

Summerland


How are you today?
Where does your emotional pendulum swing?