Tuesday, 31 July 2012

It's taken a while, but....

....I've finally found a picture which is a reasonable lookalike of the boy who changed my life. It isn't perfect, the hair isn't quite right, the lips were a paler pink, the eyes a slightly different shape, but I can look at this and see him as he was, at 11 or 12.

DBJ - almost.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Signing my life away

Blogging from my phone again, on a break at work, but back to a more conventional format, for now. I didn't start another post like yesterday's earlier on, because I was off in Cloud Cuckoo Land, making a start on another story. I nearly said a new story, but then hesitated, because it's really a sequel of sorts to Optimal. I'm going to try once more to write it from a boy's point of view, something I struggled with to the point of giving up the last time I had a go at it, but, at least in these early stages, it seems to be flowing a bit better this time, perhaps because this boy character is a little older, a little nearer to my own perspective, and of an age I've got rather clearer memories of from my own life, as opposed to the 10 year old I was trying to impersonate last time.
The other significant event of the morning, as alluded to in the title of this post, was that I've signed and posted a document, part of the divorce paperwork, which states that I agree to my daughter living with her mother. It's not a formal 'custody' arrangement, and, to be fair to my wife, she hasn't made any attempt to discourage contact between my daughter and I, but 'possession is nine-tenths of the law'. I doubt that she'd be so sanguine about the situation if I made a serious effort to have my daughter live with me. Anyway, as I said yesterday, I'll be seeing my daughter next week, and possibly again two weeks after that, for one confirmed visit and a second possible event in London. Certainly something to look forward to.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 30 July 2012


0810: This is my first attempt at a slightly different type of post. I was sitting in a pub in New Malden yesterday lunchtime (as you do - or, at least, as some do!) musing about the pros and cons of signing up to Twitter, but I've decided instead, with the help of the phone app I downloaded yesterday, to use the blog to record any thoughts and impressions I come up with during the day, in real time, as far as practicable. How, and even if, it will work out remains to be seen, but I'll give it a go, and I'll be adding to this post through the day, as I head out and about around London a bit later on. It might become an unwieldy mess, but I hope it will be readable. Anyway, the sun is shining and the sky largely blue just now, so I'll set about getting ready to go. Talk to you later!
0915: Cuuutie! First of the day, already, at 'domicile-ville' station. Not waiting for my train, sadly!
1010: Funny how I still think of the place I'm staying as 'domicile-ville', even though, for all practical purposes, I'm living there permanently. I just can't bring myself to call it 'home'.
1100: Just had work on the phone, asking if I'm available to go in this afternoon. For once, I've politely declined. Work to live, not live to work.
1250: A group of day nursery kids, three or four years old, and three adult staff have just got off the bus I'm on. One of the staff, a young woman, early twenties at a guess, gave me the impression of having no empathy with the youngsters whatsoever. Maybe I misconstrued her manner - I certainly hope so - but if not, why do that sort of job in the first place? It can't be doing much good for the kids, or, indeed, for herself.
1410: A train of thought set in mind by what struck me as a thoroughly infantile poster outside a church - if mankind is the pinnacle of God's creation, as some religionists claim, then God is a pretty substandard designer. In my opinion, of course.
1435: Just stunning - another of those boys that don't so much walk, as flow.
1630: Just passed a building with an old plaster moulding above the door proclaiming that it used to be a 'temperance billiard hall'. It's now a bar. Definitely a step in the right direction, as far as I'm concerned!
1700: It's beer o' clock! Just before I got off the bus, I saw a sign in a wine merchants' window that announced '20% off Australia'. You know what they mean, but the literal reading brings forth an interesting mental picture!
1820: A 45 minute phone call to my daughter, definitely the highlight of the day so far. One of those free-form, almost random conversations we specialise in. If I chuck it all in and go back to Cornwall, that girl - no, young woman, to be fair to her - will be at least half of the incentive. I will see her next week, because she's coming up to London for a gig, and staying overnight with me afterwards. I can hardly wait.
1845: Even though I've been on this bus route literally dozens of times, I've just noticed something I hadn't noticed before. A 'blue plaque' commemorating Queen Victoria's dentist. On a very large house in a very desirable area. Dentistry was evidently as lucrative then as it is now!
And while I've been writing this, a mind-manglingly cute boy, more than a little reminiscent of DBJ has come and sat opposite me. Meh!
1930: Sadly, I'm going to have to bring the 'mobile' part of this little experiment to a close, because my phone's battery is getting a bit tired, and I'd like to have enough charge to actually make or receive a call - shock, horror, using a phone to make phone calls, how archaic! - should that be necessary. I'll hopefully round this post off when I get back indoors later.
2040: Just a quickie - in the middle of thoroughly urban West London, a fox has just trotted across the road. Would he or I be most likely to survive the apocalypse? No contest!
2235: Back at base, full of Chinese takeaway. It's been interesting, for me, anyway. I hope it's worth reading for others. I'll probably have another go, maybe even tomorrow, although, being at work, I won't get the chance to be as 'real time' as today. I'll see how it goes.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 29 July 2012


At least, I hope so. After some prevarication, I've downloaded the Blogger app for my phone. There is a specific reason for this, something I want to try, which requires that I can blog easily from my phone. Watch this space, as they say.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Lost at the weekend

Here we go again, feeling sorry for myself. (Please feel free to switch off at this point if you've read all too many of these posts from me before.) It is, on paper, my long weekend. I worked yesterday and today, though, and I'm working again on Tuesday, but I've actually got 72 consecutive hours off. But what use is any of it to me? I haven't got anything to do, anywhere to go, or, most depressingly, anyone to see. I spoke to my daughter yesterday to see if she wanted to get together with me, and she said she'd get back to me, but she hasn't, not even a text message. Mind you, when you're 14, meeting up with friends, as she was due to do today, is much more interesting than spending time with absent parents. Or even ringing them.
I could have gone out this afternoon, I guess, but my usual haunts in West London are pretty difficult to access this weekend because of the Olympic cycling road races - all sorts of roads are closed, and numerous bus services not running - but, even so, I can envisage an alcohol-soaked trip of some description taking place tomorrow. Not good for my health, or my wallet. But, frankly, I don't give a shit at the moment.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

I wish I could link....

....to a particular Tumblr post here, but, sadly, it would just be too risky, because it would immediately identify the person I care most about in the world, and, by association, me as well. My daughter has posted a cover version of a song, which I hadn't heard before, but which is apparently well known in her milieu, and it is stunning! She sings, plays ukelele and keyboards, and has added some 'rhythmic clapping' percussion, mixed on some 'music maker' software I bought her for her birthday last year. She's such a talented girl. And I miss her so much.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 23 July 2012

The story of a story

I posted my latest fictional effort on Nephelokokkygia last night, after quite a few weeks of work, on and off. Optimal is, basically, my favourite fantasy scenario written up as a story. I have no expectation that anyone other than me will like it, given the unashamed depiction of 'active' boylove, as it were, but it is, should there be any doubt in anyone's mind, just a fantasy, not some lightly disguised description of anything I've done in real life, much as I might want to. The 'backstory' of the main adult character is fairly autobiographical, but even he isn't me, in any meaningful way, while the younger joint protagonist is completely invented, born of the answer to the rhetorical question I posed nearly a year ago, the 'darling boy' of my imagination given a literary manifestation, even if no such person, or, at least, none accessible to me, exists in the world at large.
Just to prove that life imitates art occasionally, though, there was an echo of one little incident from the story yesterday afternoon - I was wearing one of my Aussie Rules polo shirts, and I was asked what team I followed. Sadly, the question was asked by a chatty barman rather than a cute boy. FML!

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Searching for the light

Any light, but it's stubbornly absent.
When I restarted the blog a few weeks back, I was determined to try and avoid posts awash with self-pity, but I really haven't been very successful in that aim. And days like today has been don't help at all. It
was all triggered, unsurprisingly, by another conversation with my wife - she rang me, for once - that rapidly descended into torturous realms. She hung up on me in the end, and I had no appetite to ring her back. It really left me feeling that there was little further to fall, and took me as close to the edge of the precipice as I've been in this whole process. In fact, even now, fourteen hours or so later, I'm still slightly surprised that I got through it and that I'm still here to write about it. The last straw I had to cling to, perhaps, was that of routine - I was on a late shift today, so I had the relatively mechanical process of getting ready for work in the following hour or so, and once I was actually there, I was busy enough to not think too much about anything else. Even by my own taciturn standards, though, I was noticeably uncommunicative in any but strictly job-related terms, to the extent that one of my colleagues made a comment about it. I just agreed with him - it was the easiest way, really, and he didn't feel the urge to follow up by asking me why I was so quiet, I'm pleased to say.
I've recovered a little from this morning's lows, but I really don't need too many more blows just now. A succession of days like today might just be more than I can cope with.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Stick or twist?

Given that it doesn't look as though there's any immediate prospect of my moving back to Cornwall, I've been considering my options as far as accommodation is concerned. Where I am now is small, but clean and fairly comfortable, all inclusive in payment terms, in that utilities and the like are covered by my rent, and I'm lucky enough to benefit from the sterling efforts of the housekeeper to look after certain things I would otherwise have to do for myself - I got back from work this evening to find my bed made up with fresh bedding, and a set of clean towels left for me (albeit I use my own towels most of the time). On the downside, though, I'm spending the best part of two hours a day travelling to and from work, and I'm returning to a town I have not the slightest affinity for, and where I know no-one.
So I've been looking at what might be available 'in town'. London is, of course, one of the more expensive places in the world to live, but it isn't wall-to-wall unaffordable, even in reasonable areas. Perusing the net earlier, I saw a few places I'd quite happily live in terms of location, at prices I could manage, including one (although it was pretty much at the absolute top end of my potential budget) less than ten minutes walk from work. Probably the most tempting, though, was a bedsit in a large block of flats a mere couple of hundred yards from where I lived when I worked in London in the 1980s, a block which I've looked at on several occasions and thought would be an ideal place to settle. The perennial dilemma - stay in the less than optimum, but safe, place, or take a chance on the unknown. I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.


A little edit - I've just realised that the 'ideal' block of flats near where I used to live was the location I had in mind for the central character's residence in Londoner. Fancy living in the same block as a....well, you'll have to read the story if you want to know who my fictional 'neighbour' might have been!


Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

How are you?

A question people seem to ask each other all the time, so it's odd that most who do ask it don't actually want an honest answer. One of my colleagues asked me the question as I arrived at work yesterday lunchtime, but when I answered 'shit', the conversation came to an instant halt. After all, I was only telling it like it was - I did feel pretty rough, although it was partly self-inflicted, in that I had substantially more than was strictly good for me to drink on Sunday, and had woken yesterday morning with a bit of a hangover, but, on top of that, it was one of those days when my heart medication hadn't had as beneficial an effect as it usually does. The pills, around 95% of the time, keep my arrhythmia under control and allow me to pretty much lead a normal life, but there are days, maybe one every two or three weeks, when they don't kick in as effectively, and yesterday was one of those days. I have talked to my doctor about the phenomenon, and have been told there's not much that can be done about it, because I'm on the maximum safe dose already. Just one of the joys of growing older, I suppose.
Of course, it wasn't just physiological factors that led me to give my succinct answer to my colleague's question yesterday. Apart from imparting the news about the cat when I spoke to her on Sunday, most of the rest of the conversation I had with my wife was, predictably, about money issues. Given that I'm already working more or less seven days a week, it's difficult to see how much more I can do - Sunday was my only day off, and that after not having finished my Saturday night shift until 7:30 in the morning, in around two and a half weeks, while my wife is not only still unemployed, but not making much discernible effort to change that status. As I've said before, I've no intention of shirking my responsibilities to my family, but a bit of help wouldn't come amiss.
There are usually a few bright spots to alleviate the gloom, though, and the past weekend wasn't at all a bad one in the 'cutie stakes'. There was a good example of one of the more arcane pleasures boys can bring me while I was waiting for a bus on Sunday morning. A youngster, maybe around 11, passed by with his family on the opposite side of the street from the bus stop, not markedly good looking, although not hard on the eye, either, but what really attracted my attention was the way he moved, such grace and fluidity, and all completely natural, because he was, after all, just walking down the street. I could, quite happily, have watched him all day, rather than just the couple of minutes he was in my field of vision. Many would probably say I'm mad as well as perverse for having a thing about how boys move, and maybe they're right, but this was another quality which DBJ absolutely epitomised - I've almost never seen anyone, of any age or gender, who flowed as gracefully as he did. Even though he'd be 15 now, and even though I haven't seen him for almost two years and almost certainly will never see him again, I still miss him, every single day. Sad bastard? Mea culpa.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Head, heart, then reality intervenes

I was going to write a post about the head knowing something is lost, but the heart not wanting to let go, but some news I received earlier today has rather overtaken the previous train of thought, underlining the inconstancy of life, as I'm experiencing it at the moment.
I'll still give a potted version of what started the original strand yesterday. I was on my way to work, for the second of two twelve hour night shifts that have taken up much of this weekend, when, outside my local station, I came upon what I presume was a family group, mother, father, two elderly people, both in wheelchairs - and a boy, a young man, really, around 16 or 17, or maybe even 18. Who looked so much like a 'grown-up' version of DBJ, albeit a rather more heavily-built one, that I could hardly believe it. Unsurprisingly, I wasn't a happy bunny, to be reminded of that beautiful boy, who not only would, could, never be mine, but who I'll almost certainly never see again. It's so hard, though, when you've been so besotted with someone for such a long time, four years and more, to accept that every vestige of hope is gone. It is, though, and I'll just have to live with that realisation.
But then the unadorned version of reality asserted itself, with real life consequences for people who I have a genuine connection with and concern for. In some ways, it could be said to be, if not trivial, then at least in the 'small earthquake' category, but connections, and the length of time they've been in place, come into play once more. Our cat, who had deigned to allow us to live with her for the last eight years, was hit by a car and killed, yesterday lunchtime. My wife and daughter, understandably, are heartbroken, and even I, who never really got that attached to her, am rather shaken up by what's happened. Yet another piece of my life, our life, that has been taken away, another hurt. Another nail in the coffin.

Love & best wishes to all (and R.I.P., Tia)
Sammy B

Friday, 13 July 2012


Nearly a year ago, I wrote a post which posed the rhetorical question 'Where is my darling boy?'. One of my regular commenters replied with 'only in your imagination'. On the basis that any real life example has remained stubbornly conspicuous by his absence, I'm taking my commenter at his word - I'm currently writing a new story which pretty much sets out the sort of scenario, and the sort of boy, that would be my ideal in real life. There's going to be plenty of sex in the plot, no doubt rendering the story indigestible to many, but, at heart, it's a love story. Because, as my cousin, the person who probably knows the 'real me' better than anyone else, said during a long phone conversation recently, 'You've always been looking for love, really'. Sums up my life, and its failures, I guess. Whether my 'paragon' even exists in 'real life' is a moot point, of course. If I stop looking now, though, the last vestige of hope disappears. And I have little doubt where that will lead me.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

I'd say it was all crap....

....except it isn't even that good. The divorce papers have arrived, bankruptcy proceedings are happening in ten days or so, repossession proceedings have already started, my health is rapidly going down the pan. And it's going to rain for the rest of the so-called summer, and beyond, by all accounts.
As far as my emotional life is concerned, it goes without saying that there isn't even the remotest chance of finding what I really want.
I'd like to be able to say that there's a point to any of this, but I can't. The only thing that's keeping me alive at the moment is sheer cowardice.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The randomness of dreams, and a small slice of reality

I've had three memorable dreams in the past twelve or fourteen hours, but none of them really make very much sense. Not that I expect my dreams to make sense, but these were more surreal than most.
The first one, I suppose, had the most psychological truth to it - I dozed off during a break at work, and dreamed of having wandered away from work in a daze, and walked to Cornwall - just like real life, 200+ miles on foot! - finding myself in a village which I named as the place I'd most like to live in, but which had more similarities to the village we really lived in when we first moved to Cornwall. I was convinced I'd woken up within the dream, and was being examined for consciousness by one of my work colleagues, one of those I was working with overnight, before actually waking up and dragging myself blearily back to work.
The second found me driving a small car in my home town, with another work colleague in the passenger seat, in what can only be described as an ice storm, with the car skidding and sliding all over the place, trying to get my colleague to the railway station to catch his train home. No idea what, if anything, that one has to say about my psyche.
The final one, during an extra hour's sleep I managed to grab after having woken earlier than I'd wanted to this afternoon, had me working as an astrophysicist in a science centre in the Pennines - definitely not going to happen in real life, my maths is nowhere near good enough! - and apparently married to an attractive female astronomer. In waking hours, I've got no ambition whatsoever to become involved emotionally/sexually with another woman, especially given recent events, so what this was all about is beyond me.
One thing that certainly would interest me in real life would be getting together with a cute boy. And there were a few of those in evidence on my way back from work this morning, later than normal as I stayed on to work some overtime. There was what appeared to be a party of boys on a school trip on the train, all around my favourite age of 12 or 13, and there were three of them in particular who caught my eye. Not for a moment that I would ever expect any of them to feature in my life in any way beyond eye candy, but it made for a nice interlude after a long night shift.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 9 July 2012


Apart from in my job, where I feel, I guess, competent and in control, I don't do stress at all well these days. In particular, my hiccuping heart copes with it very poorly. I've contrived to get myself into a bit of a spat in cyberspace today, by allowing what I considered to be a person opining on a subject he appears to know nothing about, but of which I've got ample and current experience, to get under my skin. As with my abortive idea last week, I hesitated to get involved, but, for once, my annoyance did cause me to put my head above the parapet. And all I've achieved is to have my arrhythmia breaking through my medication, little more than an hour before I have to go to work. Marvellous.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 5 July 2012

There are times when I'm such a bloody coward

I've been trying to decide whether to make a suggestion, in connection with an issue that is central to my life experience, got as far as starting to write a blog post about what I had in mind, and then chickened out. All the ways it could have gone wrong recited themselves in my head, and it was just too scary. Even the knowledge that I've already lost pretty much everything I could have lost wasn't enough to overcome the instinct to hide. Stay safe in the dark closet. Safe, but utterly isolated. A minority of one, to steal another Orwellism.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 2 July 2012

What is the reason for your journey?

I've spent much of the past two days up in London, watching the world go by numerous bus windows. On one of the buses yesterday, there was a Transport for London wallah doing a travel survey. He didn't ask me the question in the title of this post, but, had he done so, there would have been little I could have said beyond 'because it's better than sitting in a 15 by 8 room on my own'. There is, as well, always the chance of seeing a cutie or two, and that has happened to some degree - one in particular this morning, albeit that he was much too young, even for me, was just a delight, honey blond hair, deep blue eyes, sweet face. Just before I got off of that particular bus, he leaned back against his mother, and she gave him a hug. I wish I could have swapped places with her, and no mistake.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B