Saturday, 31 May 2014

Schism

It's absolutely fine, making an intellectual decision about the 'right' thing to do, but real life doesn't let you off so easily. Despite my saying 'never, never, never' the other day, it doesn't make the wanting go away. And when the 'ghosts' cross my path, day in, day out - there's one sitting a handful of paces away from me, right now - the possibility of succumbing to temptation is always there, more or less in the background, dependent on circumstances. I know all about self-denial, self-control, if I didn't after forty-odd years, I'd be pretty damn oblivious, but all those years don't make it any easier. But, as I've said often enough before, why should I expect anything to be easy?

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 30 May 2014

50/50

So, there's a 50/50 situation. Which way, from my perspective, do you think it would fall? If you guessed 'positive', I'm afraid you're mistaken. When I left work at lunchtime today, there was the possibility, a fair possibility, of my getting to meet a super-cute little blond-haired teddy bear this evening. It hasn't happened. Why am I not surprised?

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Elucidated by a little darkness

Yesterday's posts, needless to say, reflected my mood, which was rather dark. Darkness can illuminate sometimes, though, in this case perhaps in prompting me to accept something I've known from the start, but didn't want to believe. Namely that the word, that word, I've found so scary for so long has to be embraced, because if I don't, I could well end up ruining someone else's life. Knowing that what I want the most is always going to be out of reach is so difficult to contend with, but it has to be that way. There will never, can never be a boy in my life. Never.

1330 edit: And, with soul-destroying predictability, little more than half an hour after I'd written this post, not one, but two cuties, rubbing salt into the wound, completely inadvertently, of course, close enough to touch, but always, always out of reach.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Then and now

More reflections on the 13 year old me, and what I've become. I wish, I wish so much, I could've been braver, dared to be myself. Maybe, then, I wouldn't have completely screwed three lives up, mine, my ex's and my daughter's. The child who never should have been, had I not been such a fucking coward.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Time machine

I read something earlier this morning, a story of a 'coming of age' experience, which initially had the old clich├ęs about 'if I had my time over', 'if I knew then what I know now', and the like, springing to mind. But I quickly realised that I almost certainly wouldn't do it differently, even if I could cheat the laws of physics and find myself a time machine to take me back to being 13. Because the boy who sat in a cubicle in my school toilets literally shaking with fear at the consequences of anyone finding out he liked boys and not girls is still living in my head today, and that same scared boy has made more or less all of the decisions in my emotional life in the intervening forty-odd years. Fear and happiness are pretty much mutually exclusive.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 26 May 2014

Untermensch?

Not long after I'd left work at lunchtime, I found myself on a bus, sitting opposite a delightful little boy - and little is the operative word, he was only 4 or 5 - pretty, blond hair, cheeky smile, full of life, chattering away nineteen to the dozen to his mother. The only thing is, the chatter was in some Eastern European language (Polish, I think). Given their current triumphalism after the European elections, it made me wonder what Farage and his bunch of fascist xenophobes would have made of the little guy - probably would have wanted to have him and his mother summarily deported, given half a chance, after Farage's comments about Romanians in the runup to the elections. What these people seem blissfully unaware of (or maybe deliberately choose to ignore) is that everyone in this country is, ultimately, of immigrant stock, given that Britain was effectively uninhabited at the end of the last Ice Age, and the vast majority of those immigrants came here for what can be called 'economic' reasons, to try and build a better life for themselves and their families. As I said to K when I phoned her a short while ago, if UKIP and their ilk ever come to power, it will be time to leave the country.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Life is full of new experiences

Nothing too mindblowing, but new, nonetheless. I've spent the past three-quarters of an hour in my local, listening to my favourite album of all time on YouTube, namely The Piper at the Gates of Dawn by Pink Floyd. I can't remember ever listening to a complete album on YouTube before, and certainly not in the pub. No doubt there was some kind of copyright infraction involved, but I do own two copies of the album, so I don't feel like too much of a criminal!
I arrived here a couple of hours ago, looking for a lift of some sort, given that I wasn't feeling all that cheerful - I have to admit that I was hoping to see 'smiling boy', but that was never a realistic option - but losing myself in music has been a reasonable 'second best'. Whatever gets you through the day can't be all bad.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 23 May 2014

Geographically challenged? And a resemblance

According to some Serbian Orthodox Church functionary, the severe floods affecting his country at the moment are God's judgment on Conchita Wurst winning the Eurovision Song Contest. Given that Wurst is an Austrian, does this mean the supposedly omniscient sky fairy isn't actually all that well up on Central European geography, given that Serbia is 300-odd miles south east of Austria?
And speaking of (at least potentially) dangerous buffoons, I saw Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP, being interviewed on the BBC News channel while I was on my break at work this morning (although I did have the foresight to have muted the sound, so I didn't actually have to listen to the pillock), and I was struck by his resemblance to Homer Simpson. That a party of xenophobic morons should have picked someone who looks like a legendarily stupid cartoon character as their leader strikes me as pretty appropriate, really.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Three beautiful boys

In one afternoon, two in the same place (a pub, surprise, surprise). The first, and oldest, although still only 12 or so, was sheltering from a thunderstorm in the entrance of a tube station which the bus I was on stopped outside, and was very reminiscent of the mega-beauty I saw on my way to work the week before last. The other two were younger, spotted in the pub where I had my encounter with Jake last month, the one who pinched my seat (at his mother's behest) while I was at the bar being particularly delightful, albeit much too young to do anything other than coo over. As ever, I'm sure the 'moral guardians' will hate me for even looking, but it's a bit of hard luck they're having, because I don't care, frankly, about their disapprobation.
And, in more good news, my internet connection appears to have returned to relative normality after the issues of the past few days, suggesting that it was a network hiccup, rather than a hardware problem at this end. My cup runneth over.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Wednesday evening in the North

In the Ultima Thule north of Greater London, that is, in the suburb where my local is, the last place before you fall out of the Oystercard zone and into the darkness of the shire counties. There was some shouting and bawling before, fuelled by an excess of alcohol, needless to say, but it's quietened down again now. Daniel is here, the first time I've seen him for a fortnight or more, wearing a wig - which doesn't suit him at all - in connection, seemingly, with some sort of charity event that was happening before I got here, but he's ignoring me, hardly a surprise. Another ghost, albeit in a slightly different way than usual. Now there are blue lights flashing outside, maybe the row that was going on in here before has spilled onto the street, but I can't see or hear what's going on, and, frankly, I don't care. All human life - and some subhuman life, apparently - is here.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 19 May 2014

Insignificance

Having painted myself into my corner of isolation, I suppose I should neither be surprised nor complain. Even so, I can't help but feel the pain of the knowledge that the number of people who would be materially affected if I dropped dead tomorrow can be counted on one finger. And even that last link will soon be gone, two years maybe, five at the most. Then I will be, in Orwell's coinage, an unperson. Removed from the stream of history, my existence forgotten. Fitting, I suppose, for a wasted life.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 18 May 2014

There's more than one way....

....to sneak into cyberspace, in this case, taking advantage of a substantially earlier finish at work than I'd been expecting to head to my local on the way home, and hook the Kindle up to their WiFi. I can get online at the flat, but my connection is still frustratingly unstable, as well as being much slower than I'm used to. That's not an issue here, though, and there is, of course, the added advantage of a cold beer or two to round off what has been a very warm and summery day, albeit one I've spent a goodly part of in the air conditioned cocoon of my workplace.
My journey to work yesterday was a bit of a nightmare, as my decision to go through the West End to indulge in a bit of cutie spotting rather blew up in my face as the whole area was gridlocked for reasons I never got to the bottom of, so I let discretion be the better part of valour today, heading for the simplest, but relatively slow option of a bus to my nearest suburban station for a 'stops everywhere' direct train to 'worktown'. And I was rewarded with a boy moment! He was 12-ish, pretty tall for his age, more than a little cute, and he actually spoke to me, albeit briefly. Inconsequential, really, but, as I've said before in this context, any moment of contact is more than welcome, as far as I'm concerned. It gives me, at least, the hope that I could find a boy who might become a friend, which would be more than enough for me. Let the haters think that all I want is sex, it doesn't change the truth.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 17 May 2014

On and off the air

I've been having rather a lot of problems with my internet connection in the past 24 - 36 hours - I'm not sure whether it's a network issue, or whether my mobile broadband gadget is on the way out, but, either way, my access to cyberspace has been intermittent, to say the least. So, while I have got a window of connection, I'd like to apologise for not being able to comment in the places I normally do, as well as not being able to post much here. I'm planning to get wired broadband in the flat before K arrives, so the problem should, at worst, only be temporary.

Love & best wishes
Sammy B

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Not well

I've been feeling pretty ropey for the past few days, full of cold and getting chesty again. I probably feel as bad as at any time since I finally escaped from hospital last year, but, at the moment, at least, I'm battling on - after my seven-plus weeks off in connection with my pneumonia, I feel guilty about the idea of going sick again. I have learned my lesson to a degree, though - if there's the slightest suspicion that my current ailment is anything more than a cold, I'll be off to the doctors post haste.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

There are times....

....when you feel like a complete dork. And lunchtime today was one of those times for me. After some weeks of procrastination, I finally got around to making my way to the nearest main Post Office to the flat, with a view to renewing my driving licence (they have to be renewed every ten years over here, a nice little earner for the government, given the £20 renewal fee). The guy behind the counter asked to see my licence, because I didn't have all the paperwork he expected me to have - and amusedly announced that my licence was valid until 2021! I was absolutely convinced that I hadn't renewed it in 2011, but evidently I did, on January 19 of that year, to be exact. I have still got to send the licence off for my address to be updated, but that's free, apart from the postage. Oh well, it wasn't the first time I've made an idiot of myself, and I very much doubt if it will be the last!

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 12 May 2014

Very sad

I didn't know when I wrote yesterday's post, but when I spoke to K on my way to work last night, she gave me the news - her cute boyfriend has dumped her. Not exactly the best preparation for her first academic GCSE exam tomorrow (aside from the English exam she took before Christmas, of course). I really feel sorry for her, because she'd invested a lot in the relationship, and I feel even more sorry that I couldn't be with her, to give her a shoulder to cry on, if that's what she needed, or, at the very least, a big hug. All I could do was to let her know I'm always here for her, and always on her side. And, of course, that I love her to bits. And it won't be too many weeks until I can really be around for her, to be a proper father again.

Love & best wishes to all (but especially to K)
Sammy B

Sunday, 11 May 2014

K Day

My daughter has named the day! The day she wants to move up here, that is, namely June 25 (although why she specifically wants to move on a Wednesday two weeks after the end of her exams, I have no idea), and, as luck would have it, that day, and the day after, are my rostered days off that week, so her plans actually fit with what I'm able to do. All I need to do now is to get a van hired, and head west to pick the girl and her belongings up on the nominated day. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to it - it will make all the expense, and the jumping through hoops of the past few months thoroughly worthwhile.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 9 May 2014

Heart melting

Catching the bus outside the flat last night, the first stage of my latest trek to work, I was, within seconds of getting onto the vehicle, completely bowled over. And it wasn't desire, lust, like the encounter with the boy at Brent Cross a few weeks back. This was a case of being smitten by the sheer beauty of an individual, almost like love at first sight. He was 12, maybe 13, dark, almost black hair, blue eyes, flawless complexion, just a sprinkle of freckles across the bridge of his nose, all boy, but not 'little boy', just on that utterly perfect, from my perspective, cusp of boyhood and adolescence. Quite simply, the most beautiful boy I've seen in a very long time. A beauty almost beyond sexuality, and there certainly wasn't a conscious sexual component amongst the chaotic swirl of stuff in my head in the few minutes I was lucky enough to be close to him, almost, but not quite, close enough to have reached out and touched. He'll be another 'ghost', of course, I haven't the slightest expectation that I'll ever see him again, even though I could happily spend hours just looking at him. Exquisite, and exquisitely painful, all at once. And heart melting.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Conspicuous consumption

On hearing a commuter on my train to work last night using his mobile phone to loudly book an appointment for a 'hot stone massage', whatever that is, for his partner, I couldn't help but think of Peter Sinfield's more than 40 year old lyrics - Nothing he's got he really needs, 21st Century Schizoid Man. That, and hearing the story this morning of a former shift manager at my workplace, who'd taken early retirement before my time there, putting his fairly modest former family home in the relatively upmarket area of London where I work on the market for £800000, and being told by the estate agency that he'd find a cash buyer within a week. Recession, what recession? I have to admit that I compared my situation to people who have that kind of money rather bitterly - after working my arse off for 35 years, I could, when I moved to the flat a couple of months ago, fit literally everything I owned into the boot of my brother's car. With room to spare. Yeah, I am where I am partly, or maybe even principally, because of the succession of terrible decisions I've made in my life, but the contrast between even someone like me, who isn't poor, by any stretch of the imagination, and some of the 'high rollers' in this town is almost surreal.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Breaking the Cornish connection

My ex rang me yesterday evening as I was on my way into work with some news that was unexpected, without being a surprise, if that makes sense. It seems that she's decided, once K moves to live here with me, that she's moving back to her home town in the Midlands. After it became clear that K wanted to move to London to do her A-Levels, the fact of my ex moving back 'home' was discussed, especially as she'd intimated a number of times over the years we were married that it was something that she'd want to do, but, at that stage, she maintained she wanted to stay in Cornwall, that her life and her friends were there, but now it's come. more or less, to 'the crunch', to K's imminent move, she's evidently changed her mind. As I said to her last night, it's right and fair that she should do whatever is best for her, but I couldn't help feeling a little pang of regret at what will be, at least for the foreseeable future, the impending break of the last link with the Duchy, the place that I still call home, in the 'home is where the heart is' sense. Will I ever find my way back there? I really don't know - there are too many unknowns in the equation at the moment, K's education, and where it will go, if anywhere, post-18, what my finances will look like at that point, what state my health will be in, even whether there might be anyone else in my life (not a likely scenario, for reasons that I've discussed almost ad nauseum here). There is an adage that you should 'never go back', back to an earlier phase/location from your life, presumably on the basis that it could never be the same as you remembered it, but, in an ideal world, I guess that my ending up back in Cornwall, retiring there, if you like, would be something I'd find congenial. Time, as ever, will tell.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sunday in the suburbs

No impromptu visit from K after all - she found a through train option from her Ultima Thule destination of yesterday, nearly eleven hours worth, to get her back to Plymouth tonight. At least, with tomorrow being a Bank Holiday, she's got a day to recuperate before she has to go back to school on Tuesday. As a result, I've been left to my own devices today, and I've spent most of the time meandering around London's mid to outer suburbs. Nothing out of the ordinary, just watching the world go by, being treated to a little eye candy, and imbibing a beer or three. All in all, a calm way to end my weekend off, and to leave me fortified to approach yet another week of nights starting tomorrow. What an exciting life I lead!

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 3 May 2014

The wanderlust gene. And rationing

The gene, that is, that my daughter appears to have inherited from me. Not much more than 24 hours ago, impromptu, seemingly, of very little, she decided to spend her weekend visiting an online friend. In Scotland. Not just in Scotland, though, but in Northern Scotland. 590 miles from where she boarded the overnight train from Plymouth last night, according to the website I've just consulted. Madness! And it's possible that she might go back home tomorrow, although there is also the possibility that she'll spend the night at the flat to break the journey - which wouldn't upset me in the slightest, of course. It's definitely the sort of thing I would've done at her age, had I had the travel concessions that she has - indeed, it's the sort of thing I have done, albeit not so much recently. She's not her father's daughter for nothing!
Daniel was working this evening, but it was a mixed blessing - the first time I saw him, he smiled again, quite mischievously, it seemed, but the next time he passed my table, he looked right through me. The truth of the matter is, of course, that the chances of his being interested in me are somewhere between infinitesimal and zero, and that anything else is purely in my imagination. The old reality check coming to slap me in the face, and quite rightly. A ration of smiles is the best I can hope for.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 2 May 2014

A story that deserves to be heard

I've just added another blog to my Bloglist. It's a blog I've been following privately since its inception, almost a year and a half ago, after I was kindly invited by the blog owner, but I haven't followed publicly until now, for reasons that are personal to myself, and probably rather stupid. Having read the most recent entry in the blog this morning, though, I've come to the conclusion that the story that's being told there deserves the widest audience it can get, both in terms of the quality of the writing and the subject matter, and if my linking to it can help to facilitate that, even in the smallest way, then that is the right thing to do. So please go to 45th Parallel, and read David's story. And while you're there, go back to the beginning of the blog, and experience some awesome music, too.

I really hope you don't mind the plug, David. ((Hugs))

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 1 May 2014

An assortment of stuff

The flat was an internet-free zone last night - a network issue with my mobile broadband - so some of this is yesterday's news, but here goes, anyway. For some time, K has been angling for me to 'help her' pay for a trip this summer - i.e., I pay for it, because she hasn't got any money! I've been stalling her for a while, waiting to see how the financial outgoings for the flat would pan out, but after a substantially lower than expected water bill, I reckon I can come up with the requisite funds. So, as long as the accommodation arrangements come together - there's an online friend (definitely bona fide) involved - my girl and one of her YouTuber friends will be heading to the US of A, Denver to be exact, in July. To be fair to K, the fact that she hasn't got the money to pay at least part of her way herself isn't entirely her fault - she and a schoolfriend had planned to go to New York as a sort of post-exams present to themselves, and K had been saving for eighteen months, getting a fair amount of money together, but then the friend dropped out around Christmas, because she hadn't saved any money at all, her parents refusing to bail her out. K then rather frittered away her savings, before the new plans began to be aired a couple of months back. The 'state of the nation' is such that I'm not taking too much of a risk in promising K the money, although it will put a bit of a dent in our 'strategic reserve'. There's overtime available at work, though, if I want to do it (which, to be honest, I don't very much), especially as we head into the 'holiday season', so I can make good the depredations, all being well.
And then there's Daniel. There was Ben, the cute barman at 'domicile-ville' Wetherspoons, and now there's another cutie at my new local. I would guess that he's not quite 18, because doesn't seem to be able to serve at the bar, his duties consisting of waiting on tables and washing-up instead, from what I can see, but I'm 99.9% certain he's legal. And he's smiled at me more than once over the few times I've seen him. It's probably just a 'professional' smile, keeping the punters happy, and all that, but I can daydream, can't I?!
Some daydreams are darker than others, though, and serve to remind me that I need to keep myself isolated from temptation - the boy at the local bus station this afternoon was certainly cute, but he was only barely pubescent, and I can't envisage any scenario where being involved with someone like him wouldn't end in disaster, for all concerned. Staying away is the way I can see of guaranteeing that I'll continue to be 'good'. I wish it was otherwise, because I genuinely like boys, and enjoy their company, as well as being sexually attracted to them, but the potential consequences of the latter mean that for everyone to stay safe, I have to sacrifice the former. A ragged hole in my life, but one I just have to come to terms with.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B