Monday, 31 January 2011

Well, the room's....interesting!

Back to London for my latest working week today, and after my late shift, I made my way up to a pretty central location to find the B & B I'd booked by way of the week's accommodation. As I'd got a cheap deal, I was expecting the room to be pretty basic, but what I got was decidedly not what I imagined - and not necessarily in a bad way. This room was obviously a cellar when the building was constructed, but has been converted into quite a cosy single bedroom within a half-barrel shaped space. It's got a bed, TV if I was interested, a wash basin and storage space, with an adjacent toilet and bathroom shared with just one other room - I knew I was getting shared facilities when I booked, so that's no big deal - and everything appears to be in reasonable condition, so, all in all, for the modest price I've paid, it's perfectly acceptable. The only worry I had when I first saw the room, and more particularly its location below street level, was whether my mobile broadband would work, but that hasn't proved to be a problem, as evidenced by this post. An amusing thought has just struck me - it's a bit like a hobbit hole! Something different, certainly.
It's probably as well that the room has turned out to be better than it might have been, because I certainly wasn't a happy bunny when I was getting ready to leave home this morning. I've been in my new job for just over four months, and it's proved much harder than I expected to come to terms with being away, certainly more difficult than my previous 'working away' experience a few years back. All I can do is grit my teeth, tell myself that it's necessary and in a good cause, and get on with it. I suspect I'll have to do it for a few years, so I'm going to have to learn to make the best of it.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Winter breaks?

There seem to be a disproportionately large number of people in this little corner of the blogsphere taking breaks from blogging at the moment, either explicitly, by announcement, or by posting rarely or never  - is it just the winter blues, or have blogs suddenly become pass√©, and I've been too wrapped up in myself to notice?


Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B


Late night, lanes and literary spring cleaning

I didn't go to bed until 3:30 this morning, something that only usually happens when I fall asleep accidentally in front of some TV programme or other, but, on this occasion, I stayed awake throughout. I was online, which almost goes without saying, reading stories and blogs, and looking at the odd bit of eye candy, as you do - well, as some do! In consequence, I got up rather later than usual, which put everything behind for hours and led to some unseemly rushing about towards lunchtime, as my daughter had to be at her friend's house at midday to do some work in connection with a school project. The place we had to get to is, as the crow flies, about four miles from here, but to get there by road is, without exaggeration, a forty mile round trip, taking in some entertaining driving round various country lanes - the joys of the estuarine geography of this part of the world! Of course, there was another similar round trip later in the afternoon to pick the girl up again - 'Dad's Taxis' open for business!
One other job I undertook today was to trawl through the unconscionable collection of drafts clogging up my 'Cuckoos' list of posts with a view to seeing what was worth salvaging. There are actually one or two things which aren't too bad, if I can make the time and find the motivation to thrash them into some sort of publishable shape. One story in particular, with a decidedly autobiographical flavour (but, then, haven't they all!), had certainly got off to a good start, and might well be a candidate for some attention. There are never enough hours in the day, or so it seems, but I think I need to give my fiction writing a slightly higher priority than it's had of late, given that was one of my stated objectives when I began blogging.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Winter sports, and honey

Despite coming from a country without a real tradition of winter sports, I've been a fan as long as I can remember. Strictly as a armchair spectator, I have to say - I have enough trouble standing up if there's any snow or ice about, without trying to do anything more elaborate! From December until March, quite a chunk of my weekends are taken up by watching Eurosport's coverage of Alpine and Nordic skiing, ski jumping, biathlon, bobsleigh, skeleton, luge and speed skating - I'll quite happily watch it all. This weekend's bobsleigh and skeleton events are taking place in St Moritz, where there's a cafe/bar inside the 180 degree Horseshoe curve which I think qualifies as the winter sports spectating location that I'd most like to visit, although the Holmenkollen in Oslo, especially this year when the Nordic World Championships are taking place, would be a pretty close second. Maybe one of these days, who knows?
Another local cutie spotted this afternoon, en route to taking my daughter to her stage school - a very attractive face, always the first thing I look for, but the second thing I noticed, and another of my likes, his lovely hair, the colour of honey or perhaps golden syrup, dark honey-blond, anyway, just a delight. Sweetness, in more ways than one.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Straw poll - postscript

I'd like to say thank you to those who've responded to my post of yesterday - I'm really grateful for your interesting observations. One of the responses came by e-mail, for reasons of the privacy of the person concerned, so I'd like to say that if anyone else would rather comment in the same way, that's absolutely fine, and I'll reply to any e-mails I receive. My e-mail address is in the sidebar.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 28 January 2011

Straw poll

I've said on several occasions that I'm always pleased when people read what I have written, and that I'd continue blogging even if no-one visited, and I still feel the same way now. Having said that, I've come to notice a phenomenon, and this is the fault of Blogger, in a way, since they introduced their 'stats' option, which makes me curious. I never expect feedback, always considering comments as a privilege rather than a right, but I'd be interested to hear people's opinions in this instance. What I've noticed is that when I write what could loosely be described as an 'opinion' post, such as yesterday's, I never seem to receive any comments, whereas the more 'journal'-type posts usually attract at least one person who's kind enough to take the time and trouble. What interests me are the reasons people seem to fight shy of some posts - is it that my opinions are uninteresting, or the posts poorly written, are they egregious nonsense not worthy of attention, or is the fact that I'm a self-confessed boylover (which I'll admit most of these types of post seem to centre around) so far beyond the pale that people are afraid that by responding they'll either upset me, or face 'guilt by association'?
I can assure everyone that I'm not fishing for compliments or any kind of 'sympathy vote', I'm genuinely interested in reading people's observations, whatever they are. If anyone wants to comment anonymously, including any of my valued group of regular commenters, that's fine, if you want to criticise me, even to the point of calling me a filthy pervert who should be castrated with a rusty penknife, that's fine as well, as long as honest opinions are expressed. I've never asked for comments before, and, as things stand at the moment, I have no intention of doing so again, but I'd really like to hear what my readers think about this. I hope to hear from you soon.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Pigeonholes

I've been trying to frame a post for some little while now, but I can't seem to make the words fit what I want to say. Not writer's block exactly, but more a case of finding the right way of expressing my ideas. It's a bit frustrating, really. Anyway, I'll try again.
I've been thinking about how it's common that people seem to find it necessary to attach labels to others, old, young, gay, straight, fat, thin, and then use those convenient, but, in my opinion, meaningless generalisations to make assumptions about the person the label has been attached to. My particular sexual predilection seems to have been rebranded since I last looked - hebephilia is apparently the term now being used for sexual attraction to pubescents, paedophilia being reserved for attraction to prepubescents, ephebophilia for attraction to older adolescents, and even teleiophilia for the 'normal' attraction to adults. Subdivisions of subdivisions, and on top of that 'studies' have seemingly shown that the 'normals' have higher IQ and better memory test scores than those of us in the underclasses. Given some of the braindead pondlife that pass as teleiophiles, I find that more of an insult than being called a 'paedo'. At the end of the day, I am what I am, whatever others choose to call me.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Tempting fate once too often

After my little excursion into satisfied well-being last night, reality obviously decided it was time to intervene and put a stop to all that nonsense. The quiet evening was evidently intended to lull me into a false sense of security, because from around 11:00, the occupants of the room next door to mine launched into what, at various times into the early hours, sounded like a cross between a non-stop argument, a wild party and an orgy. One of them finally contrived to get locked out of the room, or so it seemed, because I was woken, at that stage for about the fourth time, by the sound of hammering on their room's door and shouting. One of the other guests had had enough at that point, and yelled at them to keep the noise down, a reaction greeted by a predictable volley of foul-mouthed abuse. It's quiet again at the moment, so I can only hope that they've either gone on their way, or that they wore themselves out and intend to sleep tonight. I'll doubtless find out in a couple of hours time.
My comments about my relatively pleasant commute have also come back to haunt me - the journey to work this morning was more of a minor irritant, as my first bus was a few minutes late, meaning that I missed my connection and ended up arriving at work at the last possible moment as opposed to the relatively leisurely schedule I'd hoped for, but the journey back to the hotel this afternoon was a nightmare. There had been a serious accident, leading the police to close a main road, which meant my bus had to go on a lengthy diversion over roads that were clogged by other diverted traffic, meaning that my nominal 45 minute journey took the best part of two hours. I suppose the best I can say is that at least I wasn't in any particular rush - I'm sure there were people caught up in the mayhem who were late for work, missed appointments or whatever, whereas all I missed out on was a bit of cyberspace time.
It wasn't quite all gloom and despondency today, though, as I managed to sort some accommodation out for next week, of the sort I've been looking for from the outset - cheap B & B. There is a certain element of risk involved in the place I've booked, because the customer reviews on the website were, to say the least, mixed, but the majority view seemed to be that it was OK considering the bargain basement price, and, in all honesty, if it's got a bed, an electric socket to plug my laptop into and a working shower, that will do me fine.
As if my temptation of fate last night wasn't enough, I spent some time earlier this evening reading an online story of a type that's had a tendency in the past to leave me feeling very down, namely an early teen love story (although still with some sex in it, I have to admit). This one, though, left me feeling happily melancholic, if you'll pardon the oxymoron, a kind of vicarious nostalgia for a past I never had, but which I would very much like to have had. As I've said before, you never miss what you've never had - except when you do.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Glass half full

What's this? An atypical Sammy B post that isn't full of doom and disaster? Well....kind of. The main cheerer-upper has been my finding some accommodation, even if only for this week, which is perfectly acceptable, reasonably priced (albeit still somewhat more than I could afford to pay all the time), and, best of all, easily accessible from work by public transport. It's a cheapish hotel, for which I found a special offer online, in a fairly quiet part of South London, a two-bus, 40-45 minute commute from where I work. That's still a fair chunk of travelling by some people's standards, but being able to sit on the top deck of a London bus and watch the world go by rather than flogging my way to and fro around the M25 in the car is a much more restful experience. And not one entirely without collateral rewards, either. Yesterday evening, I changed buses in another area not too far from where I've ended up staying, and while I was waiting for my next bus, I was treated to the sight of an absolutely stunning 13/14 year old boy, waiting for a different bus (sadly!) at the same stop. I think it's fair to say that he was the most eye-catching boy I've seen since the last time I saw DBJ, four or five months ago. A fleeting experience, with no foreseeable sequel, but it still brightened my day a lot more than I had any reason to expect.
The other good news of yesterday was that I sailed through another competence assessment, albeit one that was far less taxing than the one at the beginning of the month, which has now brought me within sight of the end of my training and familiarisation phase in my new workplace. Another few weeks, and I should be integrated into the full rota, which will mean the chance to earn substantially more money by working more regular night shifts and weekends, and open up the possibility, if I want to take it, of more overtime as well. The overtime aspect has to be balanced against the amount of time I'm going to be spending away from home, and the cost of accommodation while I am, but, ultimately, the more money I can earn in the short term will hasten the day - I hope - when I can retire (dis)gracefully back to Cornwall, this time permanently.
Sitting in relative peace and quiet, in a hotel room which, while it's by no means on a par with The Ritz, is comfortable enough, and with all the basic facilities available and working adequately, I get the feeling I could get used to this sort of lifestyle. Heat, light, a warm shower and the internet, with daydreams of cute blond boys like yesterday's in my head, what more should I expect? The boy in reality would be nice, but not obtainable by any conceivable means, but even that thought can't dampen my current mood of drowsy well-being. I'll have to try and bottle my contentedness and take a draught or two the next time the rollercoaster takes a downward trajectory. If only....

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 23 January 2011

When the outward and inner don't quite match

It's been a rather odd weekend. Superficially, it's actually been quite pleasant, with my wife's birthday and the associated meal on Friday, followed on by everyone getting along pretty well - not that we don't usually, but this weekend has been markedly harmonious compared to some others I could mention. Underneath, though, I've been in some considerable turmoil, and having to work really hard to stop it bubbling to the surface. IRL, I've just about managed it, but I had a most unsociable rant on someone's blog this morning (although I have since apologised) - if I feel bad enough to want to vent about things, my blog should be the place to do it, rather than taking out my frustrations on innocent bystanders.
I've spent a good deal of this afternoon banging my head against the wall of trying to find affordable accommodation within hailing distance of work - again. It's a pretty thankless business, and I've got to the stage now when I'm just going to wing it for this week - I've seen a couple of places, which are OK, but not ideal for varying reasons, so it might be a case of mixing and matching. Wherever I lay my hat, and all that. Wish me luck!

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Torture

I've just spent the last half hour or so reading the first chapter of a story. One that could have easily been written by me, certainly could have been written about me. The protagonist is a boylover, going through all the agonies of self-contempt, paranoia and the deadly knowledge that most of society would happily see you dead, even though his orientation is no more of a conscious choice than being right-handed or brown-eyed, who then falls helplessly in love with an unattainable paragon - anyone see the resemblance here? I've no idea whether the story has a happy ending - there are seven more chapters I haven't read - but all this sadness destroys your faith in happy endings.
Just....torture.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Beauty

I came across a photograph during my peregrinations through cyberspace earlier today which really struck a chord. It was a picture of a boy, probably around 10 or 11, more or less in profile, outdoors, looking thoughtfully at something out of frame. I have to say that it was one of the most beautiful 'portrait'-style pictures I've ever seen, and not just because it featured a very good looking boy - the whole ambience of the shot was just gorgeous. The sad thing is, many people would assume that anyone who found the photo and its subject beautiful was nothing more than a paedophile, even though, objectively, the sexual content of the image is exactly nil. I'll admit to more than a little paranoia in this area, as I've said before, but has society got to such a pitch of intolerance that a lovely picture can't be appreciated in its own right, without hauling hundredweights of prejudiced baggage into the equation?

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 21 January 2011

Natalitial

It's my wife's birthday today, so it was nice to be able to be at home for at least part of it - I got back late this afternoon after a reasonably early exit from work at lunchtime. I even managed, after racking my brain for days, to find a present that was reasonably well received - it had been a bit of a 'what do you get the girl who has everything' kind of scenario, as she couldn't come up with any suggestions as to what she might like, and I'm perennially awful at choosing presents for people, always being afraid of buying something they won't like, with all the concomitant embarrassment that entails. We went out for a family meal earlier this evening, which was nice, although the place my wife chose to go was busy, and we were a bit lucky to get a table - it was only a glorified pub at the end of the day, so the fact that so many tables seemed to be pre-booked was a bit bizarre. Maybe I'm behind the times, but I thought the idea of these pub-restaurants was that you just turned up and were fitted in as and when.
Another positive about today was that I seemed, finally, to have a bit more energy after the washed-out-ness of a lot of this week. It could have something to do with the fact that I fell asleep for the best part of three hours after getting back to my brother's yesterday afternoon, and then having an early night on top of that. I get the impression that my brother thinks that I'm putting my health at risk with my current lifestyle, but, in truth, I haven't got much option even if he's right. The alternative is to completely fail in my responsibilities to my family, as far as I'm concerned. I've got to find a way to make it work, because failure is not an option. The ladies of the house are too important to me for that.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Bloody exhausted

Up in the middle of the night on Monday, 12 hour shift on Tuesday, up almost as early as Monday again today so I could commute to work by train and save a bit of money - I'm totally running on empty at the moment, leaving me feeling utterly braindead. Hence, at least in part, the current lack of meaningful blog posts. I know this is only the third week back at work after the New Year break, but I'm already feeling in desperate need of some time off, even if only a long weekend.
I think the time of year accentuates the lack of energy and enthusiasm as well - far more hours of darkness than daylight, not very prepossessing weather, all that kind of thing, adding up to a dose of the winter blues. It is something I've been prone to for many years, although my wife says she can't tell the difference, because I'm miserable all the time (thanks for the few kind words!). On that note, I think it's time for a power nap!

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 17 January 2011

I'm even boring myself!

After work today, while driving down to my brother's, where I'm kindly being accommodated again this week, I had yet another 'woe is me' kind of monologue rattling around in my head, which, had I had the means to do so at the time, would probably have ended up in this blog. After a couple of hours sleep and a little reflection, though, it struck me that my constant railing against my situation is not only likely to alienate anyone who is brave enough to read my blog, but it's becoming more than a little tedious to me as well. The basics of my life aren't going to change in the immediate future, unless something unforeseen happens, so what's the point in constantly complaining about things? I'm not promising anything resembling 'positive mental attitude' - that would be most out of character for me! - but a dose of lightening up wouldn't do any harm at all.
Unfortunately, if the previous paragraph might have raised expectations of some sparkling, light-hearted prose, I'm afraid I'm going to have to say that today has just been one of those mundane, rainy, back to work after the weekend kind of days, with little opportunity for thrills and spills. Mind you, getting up at 2:15 in the morning to drive 200-and-odd miles to work does tend to put a dampener on things at the best of times! On top of that, I'm working overtime again tomorrow, which will mean, with travelling, about a 15 hour day, so that's likely to be another day when it's unlikely that the floodgates of levity and jollification are going to swing open. Maybe later in the week? Who knows - but don't hold your collective breath!

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Psychological truths

I dreamt about DBJ last night, the first time that's happened for months. I dreamt I met him by chance on a street corner somewhere, said hello to him and then told him the reason he didn't see me any more was that I'd moved to a new job. He just shrugged his shoulders and walked away. If that dream scenario ever chanced to be played out exactly the same way in real life, there's absolutely no reason why I should be surprised. Just because I spent the best part of four years mooning over the boy, there's no expectation on my part that he should even know I exist, apart from as a slight irritant by way of me taking every opportunity to gaze longingly at him every time I saw him walk past my old workplace. It looks like my subconscious mind has a better grasp on reality than the conscious version!
Another sidelight into my psyche, or at least the current iteration of it, has come to light over the weekend. I've been trying to progress a couple of stories that are sitting amongst the seemingly myriad drafts in the 'Cuckoos' list of posts. One is my take on the sort of explicitly sexual story that might be found on Nifty, which is going reasonably well, while the other is a much deeper, possibly more sophisticated tale with a proper plot and no sex, which I'm struggling with. No prizes for guessing what's in my head rather a lot at the moment. At least if it stays in my head and isn't acted out, no-one will be hurt, but it all adds to my recent frustrations.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Struggling

My wife came out with a very perceptive comment an hour or so ago - "We're both struggling at the moment, aren't we?". Tell me about it, I thought. She's got her mum's health uppermost in her mind, but she's also had a less than wonderful time at work recently, having to manage a very awkward subordinate who's been transplanted into her project after a reorganisation, while we've both got the family finances to contend with. My personal issues are well documented here, of course, so there's no need for much recapitulation, but 'struggling' is a good description of that aspect of life as well. I'm not suggesting that we've got any particular right to an easy, problem-free life, but when events have been so relentlessly negative, it starts to feel as though the world is victimising you for no reason other than to be malicious.
Even my daughter has had a bit of a disappointment today, denting her status as the resident 'ray of sunshine' - after prevaricating for months, she finally plucked up the courage to ask the cute boy she's friends with (and wants to be rather more with) at her stage school if he was free to go into 'town' tomorrow - not exactly a date, but heading that way - but he said he was busy. I don't think it was an outright rejection in the 'I'm not interested in you at all' kind of way, from her demeanour when she got home, but it certainly wasn't how she hoped things would turn out. Mind you, if most people took their 'young love' experiences to heart too much, the species would probably die out pretty rapidly, because it usually seems to be traumatic in one way or another.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 14 January 2011

A travelling companion, and heroism

In these days, where celebrity seems to be gained by a five minute appearance on a reality TV show, it's rare to cross paths with someone who genuinely deserves to be well known. I had such an experience last night, while I was travelling by train to my friend's house, where I've been most hospitably welcomed again this week (and for which I'm very grateful). After a last minute decision by the train company to change the train they were going to use for my service, and the inevitable scrum for seats on the replacement train, I ended up sitting opposite the Astronomer Royal, Lord Rees, for my journey. Sadly, it wasn't the sort of situation where I could have any sort of conversation - he spent most of the trip buried behind the Financial Times - but it still felt like a more worthwhile experience than most in my everyday life.
Fame of a different sort, earned at the highest price of all, has come to another person in the last day or so. Many people have commented on Jordan Rice and his sacrificing himself to allow his younger brother to be saved from the Queensland floods. I'm sure many people have thought about the situation he found himself in, and asked themselves what they would have done, and concluded that they would have liked to have made the same decision. But he actually did it. Such courage, and such a tragedy that he can't be here to take the accolades for his actions. DJ said it all in his post about the story - 'The world was a better place with him in it.'

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Slapped down

Just when I get through one trough and start scrabbling my way up the other side, I read another blog post from someone who was on the 'receiving end' of what I want, and who has been so damaged by it. It makes me feel like an abuser just for thinking, for fantasising about it. I wish I had another head I could go and live in sometimes. Instead, I have to carry on being me, with all the demons along for the ride. Should I feel guilty for being who I am? Who else can I be but myself, ultimately?
There are more thoughts going through my mind, but I suspect there's a lot of self-pity involved, and I'm out of time, anyway. I need to put on my mask of 'normality' and go and face the world.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Unravelling, maybe

I've had a very dark scenario running through my mind over the last couple of days, initially prompted by a letter we received about five minutes before I had to leave home to head back to work on Monday morning, which suggested that our creaking finances might be even worse soon. How much longer can the plates be kept spinning, was my first thought, followed by how to react if it all starts crashing down. That's where the darkness set in. I'm not going to go into detail, but I had the idea that I might find a way of fulfilling a long and cherished ambition, and then fall off of the edge of the world. I doubt I'd have the courage to go through with what I had in mind, anyway, so this post is probably all a bit irrelevant - but, then, aren't they all?

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Taking leave of my senses

I did something monumentally stupid last night, which I was extremely lucky to get away with. I was on my own in the living room with my laptop on, perusing various corners of cyberspace which wouldn't meet with universal approval, so to speak - nothing pornographic, but eye candy, without a doubt. I heard my wife coming downstairs, but rather than closing the page I was looking at, I merely 'alt-tabbed' to another window I had open. Then my daughter appeared as well, and she started talking about something she was interested in, so I opened another tab on my 'safe' window to get some information for her. Sadly, when we'd finished with the stuff my daughter was interested in, I closed the whole window rather than just the tab, as I was intending, leaving a large picture of a scantily clad pubescent boy visible on the screen. And my laptop has a large screen. If my wife had happened to be sitting at the right hand end of our sofa, rather than the left as she was, she would undoubtedly have seen what I'd been looking at, and the meltdown I've been skating around the edge of for months would probably have come to fruition. I almost literally had my head in my hands afterwards, thinking of what the consequences could have been, and for what? It wasn't even as though the photo was especially wonderful, just nice to look at, for me, at least. All for the sake of clicking on a cross on a computer screen. My daughter caught a momentary glimpse of the picture before I did what I should've done twenty minutes or so earlier, but she wasn't surprised, knowing what she knows. Hopefully my outbreak of pathological carelessness will teach me a salutary lesson - I've certainly been a lot more circumspect today, even though I haven't been anywhere near any photo sites. I know I've said in the past that there's a part of me that would like all this pretence to come to an end, but to almost out myself in such an inane way wasn't exactly what I had in mind.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Moans and groans

Not only do I not know quite what to write, but I can't even think of an apposite title for this post. I'll have to try and work out what to call it while I'm writing. Yesterday and much of today has been - well, it's hard to describe - downbeat, I suppose, things happening which have conspired to flatten my mood. Nothing wildly traumatic, but just....meh, as my daughter would probably say.
It began at work early yesterday morning. I had, shall we say, a difference of opinion with one of my colleagues. No shouting and bawling, or anything too uncivilised, but I wasn't best pleased, because I don't think I was particularly at fault (although I would say that, wouldn't I?!). Not the best way to start a working day, and it seemed to set the tone for what followed. There was certainly an 'atmosphere' for much of the remainder of the shift, which made it more than usually pleasant to get through, and head for home. That was probably the best part of the day, because I had a reasonably smooth journey back to Cornwall, although even that was soured slightly by hearing David Cameron on the radio trying to shamelessly bask in the reflected glory of the victorious Ashes cricket team (apologies to my Australian readers - I'm pleased we won, but I can assure you I don't do gloating) - politicians, hate them or detest them, you can't possibly like them!
I originally intended to post last night, but that was kind of shot down in flames by reading of yet another upset for the blogger I care most about - I spent ages trying to think of a suitably supportive comment, but even that was almost beyond me. I hope that what little I did write was received in the spirit that was intended.
Today got off to almost as bad a start as yesterday, with some more friction between my wife and I, over one of our perennial bugbears, our raddled finances. There are times when I don't think she appreciates where we are, and how much effort it's going to take to rescue the situation. I wouldn't be spending so much time away from home if there was an easier way of doing things, but I'm hoping, and hope is all it is at the moment, that the sacrifices are going to be worth it in the fullness of time. It all calmed down fairly quickly, but it was just another nudge in the downward direction.
I earned myself a few brownie points by trying to catch up with a couple of domestic jobs I'd put off over the holiday period, because I'd spent so much time feeling rotten, but even those good intentions were thwarted to some extent by the fact that something I needed wasn't in stock at our local DIY store, so that I was only able to complete one of the two most pressing issues - it looks like we'll have to go to the 'big city' tomorrow to get what I need to sort the other problem out.
The weekend has now finally reached the stage of being fairly chilled (with the help of some nice Australian Chardonnay!), and I hope that signals the turn of the tide. Compared to many, I have no doubt my niggles are very minor and trivial, so I'll try to avoid too many moaning posts like this one. As ever, no promises, though!

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

PS - There - found a title!
SB

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Bits and pieces

For the most part, the past couple of days have been pretty mundane, but there have been one or two little incidents of note.
The first was on Tuesday evening, as I said goodbye to my nephew's girlfriend - she was going back home for a few days with her family before going back to college. I said it was a pity that our first encounter had been a relatively fleeting one, to which she replied 'Oh, it's all right, they (my brother's family) have told me your whole life story'. I almost laughed out loud! You literally don't know the half of it, I thought. Even my wife (fortunately!) doesn't know my whole life story, and neither does anyone else. My cousin and best friend probably knows more than anyone, but even he doesn't know everything. A bit of humour, but of a rather mordant variety.
Yesterday was almost a complete write-off, because I was asked to stay on at work for some overtime to cover a combination of sickness and a rostering mix-up, so I ended up working an 12 hour shift, which, with my long distance commuting added, meant that it was around a 15 hour working day for me. The financial exigencies of our situation was the only reason I did it, but it meant that by the time I got back to my brother's last night, all I wanted to do was to crash out, which I duly did, albeit with apologies for treating their house like a hotel.
Today has been a more conventional day, just a straight early shift at work, and back to my brother's by mid afternoon. It was a thoroughly grey, miserable and wet day, but that's more like typical southern British winter weather, rather than the snow and ice we had to contend with last month.
I'll be heading back home for the weekend after work tomorrow, and. given that I'm on late shift next week, I'll have two full days in Cornwall, without having to worry about getting up in the middle of the night to return on Monday. Definitely something to look forward to.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Another milestone

First day back at work after the holidays, and I was straight into a big competence assessment, one of the more daunting days since starting my new job. Fortunately, I managed to get through OK, so I'll be moving onto something new from tomorrow.
I'm down at my brother's again, and I finally got to meet my nephew's long term girlfriend. They've been going out for about four years, but she and I have been like the proverbial 'ships in the night'. She seems like a nice enough girl, on first impressions, and if they've stuck together for this length of time, much of which has been spent with them living in different parts of the country, there must be something substantive there. As long as they're happy, of course, what the rest of us think is irrelevant anyway.


Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 3 January 2011

End of the festive season

Today is the last day of the Christmas and New Year holiday season in the UK, only, though, because New Year's Day fell on Saturday, so the associated public holiday was transferred to today. Most people are back to work, school or whatever tomorrow - certainly my wife and I are back to work tomorrow, although we both worked three days last week, and my daughter starts back at school tomorrow. This time of year is traditionally known as 'the season of goodwill', which makes me wonder why we have to have a specific 'season of goodwill'. Why can't the goodwill last all year? Surely the world would be a happier place if that was the case? 'Impossibly idealistic' might be a typical reaction, but why? For all the supposed differences between people, we are all part of one species, there must be more that unites us than divides us. If everyone who was tempted to disparage somebody because of a difference race, colour, creed, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, colour of eyes, or whatever, decided instead to say 'that's another human being, but with differences according to their nature or personal choice', couldn't we live in a kinder, safer, happier world? Sadly, I'm not about to hold my breath in expectation of any such thing happening, but why shouldn't I dream?

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Being me

This is something of a follow-on from yesterday's post, with thoughts that have arisen from what I said then, and from the comments that it elicited. What I'm going to say is purely from a personal perspective, and not intended in any way as any sort of criticism of those who were kind enough to comment on yesterday's post, or other similar posts I've made in the past. I value the feedback I receive through my blog, and, in practical terms, the comments on yesterday's post elucidate the only realistic path I can follow, to stay in hiding and do my best to look after my family. This post is, in a way, a theoretical take on the issues that I face.
The first thing I want to say is that my sexual orientation isn't something I've chosen. I would have to be insane to choose to be a boylover, given the hysterical levels of opprobrium people like me attract. I don't think it's too much of an exaggeration to say that there are many, often otherwise tolerant, people out there who would quite happily see all boylovers dead, or at least locked up with no prospect of release. For whatever reason, it just seems to be an issue that many are incapable of thinking about rationally. Boylover = evil, child molesting pervert, no other view permissible. Well, I would like to put forward a couple of counter-arguments to that 'tablet of stone' opinion. Firstly, and I can only speak for myself in this, I'm not in the slightest bit interested in any non-consensual relationship, with anyone, of any age or gender. Which leads on to the second issue - what constitutes consent? I'm well aware of the legal position, that 15 years 364 days leads to a lifetime as a sex offender, whereas, magically, the next day doesn't, which just, to me, illustrates the illogicality of fixed age limits, not only for sexual consent, but for anything at all. It's a 'one size fits all' approach which doesn't appear to me to fit anyone. In my ideal world, age limits would be assigned individually, according to the physical, emotional and practical maturity of each person, whether for driving a car, buying alcohol, having sex, or whatever else. I know this isn't a practical option, both in terms of bureaucracy and of who would decide the applicable criteria. There isn't even anything approaching consistency between different jurisdictions - the age of consent in the various European countries ranges between 13 and 18 - so there's already a lot of grey areas in who can give consent and in what circumstances without adding individual variations, but it still seems to me that natural justice would best be served by taking the individual into account.
Leaving aside the legalistic, however, what's my take on the ethical aspects of being attracted to people under the age of consent? As I said earlier, I'm not interested in forcing my attentions on anyone - quite apart from thinking of the welfare of any potential 'victim', my own self-esteem, always fragile at best, wouldn't survive any thought that I'd hurt someone, physically or emotionally, in such circumstances. For me to even embark on a platonic friendship with a younger person, much less a physical relationship, I'd need to be absolutely convinced that it was genuinely and unambiguously what that person wanted. I made a huge mistake once before in my life by misinterpreting messages from a younger person, and was only prevented from doing something very damaging by what I consider to be sheer luck, as those who've read my blog for a while will be aware, and I have absolutely no ambition to find myself in that kind of situation again. What that means in practical terms is that the already very low probability of my becoming involved with a boy is reduced still further, but I feel I have to be honest, and being honest I would never say never - I can envisage scenarios where I could have a relationship with a boy, but they're all very unlikely, given my age and physical unattractiveness, so the chances of anything happening beyond the realms of fantasy are, to all intents and purposes, nil. If, however, one of those scenarios was to come about, and I was absolutely convinced of mutuality, I wouldn't consider it immoral for me to become involved. I know that many, if not most people wouldn't agree with me, but, as I stated at the outset, this is purely a statement of my personal views.
So, I stay in my deep, dark closet for the foreseeable future, and make the best of the, admittedly, reasonably favourable life circumstances in which I find myself, but, all the while, with the knowledge that in doing so, I'm not able to truly be me.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Resolution?

I started this post as the idea for a story in 'Cuckoos', but, on reflection after writing the first paragraph and a half, it's pure autobiography, no fictional element at all. So it's going to be posted here instead.
I've only ever stuck to one New Year's resolution in my life, the one I made twenty-odd years ago never to make another New Year's resolution. The turn of the year is, though, sometimes an opportunity for an assessment of where you are in your life, and what might be remediable. And when you've been living a lie as long as I have, there is plenty that needs remediation.
I could say I don't know how I got myself into such a situation, but that wouldn't really be truthful. It was a combination of not wanting to fall short of the expectations of others, pressure to conform, and, in all honesty, fear. I was frightened to be myself, to be honest about what I wanted, about who I am. I still am, really. So I've drifted, almost by default, into a life where I haven't a hope of getting what I really want, but because my heart isn't really 100% into where I find myself, that tends to feed feelings of frustration and discontent, which, in turn, can lead to me not being as good a husband as I should be, despite the fact, and I'm well aware that I lay myself open to charges of hypocrisy, that I do love my wife, and don't want her to be hurt.
So, once again I reach that point of impasse, when I try to think of some way of resolving the dilemma. The easy way, the path of least resistance, is to keep my head down and just stay as I am. It's not as if there's anyone else in my life that has any prospect of being an alternative 'significant other', and no realistic way of anyone coming into the picture who would be a candidate for such a dubious honour. This isn't a common or garden adultery situation - if anything, it would probably be less complicated if it was. If I take that easy way, though, it presents two problems - there's the possibility of my accidentally being 'outed' in some way, which isn't a negligible consideration, because, after all, that's what happened with my daughter last summer, but even if I'm not, I still have to live with the knowledge that, every day, I'm deceiving the person that I'm married to. But what else is there to do? If I choose to be honest, I'm as certain as I can be that the marriage would be over, given my wife's expressed attitudes towards the issue of what she would doubtless call 'paedophilia', even if I would beg to differ over the terminology. Who would gain is, I suppose, the question to ask. I might gain some self-respect, but lose a home and family, while my wife and daughter would lose a good part of the stability in their lives. Put in those terms, my decision might seem clear-cut - would that it was so straightforward in reality.
Resolution? The only conclusion I can reach is that there is no prospect of a resolution in present circumstances, or at least, no resolution which would suit everyone. As usual, no doubt, I'll vacillate, do nothing and thereby perpetuate a situation which, in an ideal world, shouldn't be allowed to drag on. Just because the old year has gone, it doesn't mean that the old problems have gone with it.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

2011

Well, contrary to my own predictions, I made it to midnight!! Happy 2011, everyone!

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B