Monday, 25 September 2017

Surprises

Of a mixture of kinds. The first, last night, was certainly unpleasant - my old 'London local', the Wetherspoons I used most often when I was in 'domicile-ville' before, has closed down, seemingly in just the last few days. There is another branch of the chain nearby, which I'd heard might be going to close, but for my old haunt to have gone was a bit of a downer.
The next surprise, this morning, was a genuine case of bemusement, as I received a social media 'invitation' from someone I'd had several - differences of opinion, shall we say, through the comments section of this blog. I don't do any kind of social media (unless you count Blogger, of course), because I'm as determined as I ever was to keep my 'real' life and my 'cyberlife' as far apart as possible, but, given some of the things the person concerned has said about me in the past, and, indeed, my robust replies, I can only describe the invitation as inexplicable.
The last surprise has been a pleasant one, though - a buckshee early finish to my late shift at work, because of one of my colleagues was staying on for some overtime. Would I rather have done an extra two hours at work, or headed, as I have, for the pub? Guess!

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Summer's end, once more

Autumn tomorrow, I can barely restrain my delight - or not, as the case may be. At least yesterday brought a little sunshine, both literal and figurative, as I travelled down to 'uni-town' to spend the afternoon with K. It was as pleasant as I could've wished for, lunch, drinks and conversation, but, as usually seems to be the case, it's been followed by bad news. The 'check-out' report on the flat was even worse than I'd been anticipating, and might well have financial repercussions, beyond the loss of my deposit, which I'd already resigned myself to. Life, just lurch from one disaster to the next, why don't you?

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 18 September 2017

Non-metropolitan

Officially. I went through a rather farcical 'check-out' procedure at the flat this morning - the estate agents' person turned up ridiculously late, due to a screw-up at their end about the appointment, so I pretty much handed her the keys, and left - but it formally marked the end of my three and a half years of living in London. I know K is determined to return to the capital once she's finished at uni, but will I ever find myself living there again? The short answer is that I have no idea, but it's certainly not something I would shy away from, if it could be achieved affordably. There's a big part of me that would love to go back to Cornwall, but the part of me that favours London isn't so far behind. Time, as ever, will tell.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Plus ça change

I'm in 'domicile-ville' Wetherspoons for the first time in three and a half years, and a little more, and, frankly, it's as vile as it always was. As is 'domicile-ville' itself. With hindsight - that most useless of commodities - I'm wishing already that I'd been more proactive and found somewhere affordable in London to move to. The saving grace, I guess, is that I'm not tied to any sort of tenancy contract at my accommodation, so if I do find anything back up in the 'Oystercard zone', I could go at fairly short notice. It might be sooner rather than later.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 11 September 2017

Working like a dog....

....to achieve a thoroughly suboptimal outcome, certainly from my perspective. Although the 'last rites' won't be played out for another week, when I go through the 'check out' procedure for the flat, for all practical purposes, neither K or I live in London anymore. K worked as hard as I did, to be fair, but she was far more invested in moving to 'uni-town' than I was in my relocation back to 'domicile-ville'. And she didn't have to drive the bloody van, which had definitely not been designed with people with my length of leg in mind. I've pretty much always enjoyed driving, but the past weekend's experience, after my not having driven at all for well over three years, was, frankly, no fun whatsoever. To spoil my mood still further, all the 'humping and dumping' I was doing culminated, yesterday morning as I was two-thirds of the way through moving my stuff from the van to my first floor room, in my suffering very painful, and, in terms of what I was doing, debilitating muscle spasms in my (dominant) right arm. It's still more than a little sore now, the upshot of which is that while I managed to get everything into the room, eventually, the floor looks like a jumble sale, with numerous bags and boxes of my belongings still needing to be unpacked and put away. It will be done, hopefully sooner rather than later, but it's thoroughly frustrating that I wasn't able to finish the job yesterday, as I'd originally planned.
Even if everything had gone totally swimmingly, though, one inescapable heartache would still have been there. The fact, of course, that unless something completely unexpected happens, I'll never live under the same roof as my girl again. I have no doubt that we'll always be close, but phone calls, however frequent, and the occasional meeting are no substitute for sharing a home. I'm going to miss her, more than I can say.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 7 September 2017

It worked out, in the end

Pretty much by chance, though. After Tuesday's amiable, if not fond, farewell, I didn't really expect to come back to 'regular haunt' Wetherspoons, but my doings today, most notably going down to 'domicile-ville' to pick up the keys to my old new accommodation, didn't take as long as I'd imagined, so I've found myself back in the pub I've used the most since my local closed last year. And, much to my surprise, Daniel is working, even though Thursday isn't usually one of his days. And he has pulled what will be, unless something totally unforeseen happens, my last pint here. Nothing more to add, really. I'm just pleased it was him.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Ends of eras

Although I guess three and a half years is far too short to qualify as an era, but, whatever, the pieces of the North West London endgame are starting to fall into place. The van for this weekend's move is hired, the end of tenancy cleaning service has been booked for early next week, the packing up will begin tomorrow. And other things are coming to an end, too. I'm drinking what will probably be my last ever pint in what has become, by default, my most regular Wetherspoons haunt - I absolutely refuse to call it my local, because, as far as I'm concerned, my local closed in February last year. There is a connection, though, because Daniel, cute Daniel, is working here tonight. There was a moment when I thought he would be the one to serve me that last pint, but he was busy doing something else, and the moment passed. To be honest, he's pretty much the only thing I'll miss about this place - there won't be any meltdowns like the one I had over Cammy on the last night of my old local's existence this time around. I've liked living in London again, and this part of London has been absolutely fine, apart from the ridiculously time-consuming commuting, but my emotional attachment to the area consists of Cammy, who I never really had the least expectation of seeing again after the demise of the old place, and K, who'll be off in 'uni-town'. So, I guess, as 'ends of eras' go, this one shouldn't be too traumatic.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 4 September 2017

The past

Completely unreachable, unchangeable, but still with the power to reach me, and wring my heart dry. I've spent the past hour or so rereading a handful of stories from the very early days of Nephelokokkygia, stories about, or prompted by, two of the great loves of my life, R, the first boy I ever fell in love with, at school, at 17, and, from the more recent past, the most beautiful boy in the world, DBJ. Not only that, but I dreamed, a couple of nights ago, about the ultimate love of my life, my cousin, my darling boy, who, of course, hates me beyond words now. There are times when I wish I could wipe my memory clean, like reformatting a hard drive. This is one of those times.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 1 September 2017

September

Already. Summer is virtually over, the schools go back next week, cutting my eye candy quotient drastically, and although I've got the best part of two weeks off after I finish work on Sunday, I'll be far too busy to enjoy it very much, given that K and I will both be moving to our respective new domiciles during that time.
And there are other melancholy echoes, too - tomorrow is the second anniversary of Jay's untimely death, and, as I've discovered in the past hour or so, David's last blog appears to have been deleted. I wish I could run away from it all, but, of course, the one thing that you can never run away from is yourself.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 28 August 2017

Sinking, gradually

It hasn't been a bad weekend, really, apart from it coming to an end all too soon, the weather has been OK, apart from the Glasgow experience, I've got out and about, albeit without K, because she went back to work on Saturday, I've had some unhealthy food and too much to drink, and fielded a nice text message from my friend at work telling me that his older son got the GCSE results he needed to get onto the apprenticeship/college course he wanted, citing some, as far as I'm concerned, very minimal help I gave in terms of advice on exam technique as a big deal. But, as the fourth of my five days off is coming to its end, I'm beginning to feel thoroughly down in the mouth. The reason, mostly, anyway, is predictable enough - boys, of course. It started almost as soon as I walked out of the front door this morning, a coltish cutie with his dad making his way down the hill into our local town centre, followed by numerous 'untouchables' on view as I meandered through town, and culminating in a group of three 12/13 year olds, with a couple of girls (one of whom was cute enough in her own right), I encountered during a change of buses not too far from Heathrow this afternoon. I would, without hesitation, have taken any or all of them home, even though only one of them was a real cutie, but, needless to say, there was more chance of getting to the moon by flapping my arms than ever getting close to any of them. The sooner my hiccuping heart knocks me over definitively, the better.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 26 August 2017

The weekend started....in Glasgow!

After three weeks with only one full day off, and the job around my neck all the time I was at work, I'm now almost two days into a long weekend that couldn't come quickly enough. With K working full time as well, we really haven't had much time to do anything together since she came back from uni, but yesterday was the exception that proves the rule. K is pretty much exclusively vegan now (although she still has the occasional 'flexitarian' moment!), and had mentioned, months ago, that she'd heard, through 'vegan social media' about a place that reputedly served the best vegan burgers in the country. But it was in Glasgow. So, after a few ifs and buts and maybes, we left the flat at 6:00 yesterday morning to begin an almost 16 hour day trip to visit the place. The weather, when we walked out of Glasgow Central station, was vile, but it didn't take too long to walk to the restaurant. Had the place not lived up to expectations, it would've qualified as a thorough wild goose chase, but K's vegan option, and my carnivorous one, were both excellent and plentiful, so we both declared the trip worthwhile. The best part of it all for me, though, was, as ever, spending quality time with my girl, all the more so because we're now beginning to get into the throes of preparing to leave the flat (with elements of completely unnecessary drama from the landlord’s estate agent to make the process even more stressful than it would be anyway). I know I'll still see K often enough, but not having her actually living with me isn't something I'm looking forward to, at all.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

'Domicile-ville' it is, then

After what was beginning to become a somewhat concerning silence, I finally got confirmation this morning that I have secured the new, upgraded version of my old room as my 'home' once we leave the flat next month. I've got mixed feelings about the impending move, really - I certainly won't miss the time-consuming commute right across London, but the flat has been far more like a proper home, especially when K has been there, than anything else since I left Cornwall, and the 24/7 public transport in the capital has also been a major bonus. The return from whence I came will also save me a good couple of hundred pounds a month, which should mean I can afford to have an extra day or two off a month without finding myself in financial troubles. That is certainly a welcome prospect at the moment, because, as well as work being particularly manic of late, I seem to be finding myself less and less tolerant of the quagmire of fuckwittery that passes for conversation and opinion for the great majority of my colleagues. I've managed not to out myself for almost seven years now, but it seems to getting more difficult each day. The sooner I can escape from the benighted place, far the better.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

News, good(ish), bad and worse

Back to 'Domicile-ville'. That's what's in store for me after a couple of phone calls yesterday. In fact, back to the very room I first moved into in April 2011, albeit a room which is now en suite and a little bit smarter than its previous incarnation. Going back there wasn't my first choice, but given the timescale and the financial considerations, it's probably the most practicable option.
Moving to pastures (re)new(ed) obviously entails leaving where I am now, though, and the realities of that certainly reared up and bit me when I got in after the last of eight straight night shifts yesterday morning. I knew the landlord was planning to advertise the flat, but to field an e-mail from the estate agents at 8:45 that they had arranged two viewings for nine hours or so hence was far from welcome, given the backlog of cleaning I'd managed to accrue. It led to me having to spend several hours of one of my few and far between days off making the place look at least vaguely presentable, as well as leaving me with backache and virtually no energy.
All of that, though, pales into insignificance compared to what K sprang on me yesterday evening. We'd arranged to meet at my preferred relatively local Wetherspoons for something to eat after she'd finished work, which duly took place. K had drunk a fair amount of wine, and, whether that was significant or not, felt herself compelled to confess that she's spent several years struggling, intermittently, with an eating disorder that she's never told anyone about. Despite her adamantly stating it was nobody's fault but hers, as a parent, and a parent who loves her very much, it left me wracked with guilt, for not noticing (although K has never been underweight, and has always seemed to eat normally when I've cooked for her, back at home and since she moved to London, over the years), for all the things I might have done, or failed to do, as she's grown up, for not being the stereotypical 'normal' father she had every right to expect. We talked about the situation to some extent last night, but I was almost braindead with tiredness by that point, so further discussions about what she needs, how to move forward, will undoubtedly be required, sooner rather than later.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Beauty, but all too much truth

I'm on nights yet again, so not much to say in general beyond the work/sleep/work cycle - apart from this morning. I took a slightly circuitous route home to catch a bus, fairly local to us, that's being diverted this week due to road works by way of a road that doesn't normally have a bus service, and was thus new territory to me (yeah, anorak, I know!). Waiting for said bus in the bus station of the town one to the west of ours, my 'boy radar' caught a movement in the right corner of my field of vision. And yes, it was a boy - an utter delight, blond and lovely, too young, but aren't they all, with his mother, off on some early, by school holiday standards, expedition. He 'ghosted' away, onto a different bus route, after five minutes or so, leaving me with the depressingly familiar quagmire of 'never' in my head. I try to believe that 'one day my prince will come', but he never will, of course, in any remotely plausible circumstance. Nothing left but disillusion, and death. Great.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Wild horses

The proverbial ones, of course, who wouldn't be able to drag me to something I saw advertised yesterday. The Evergreen Club ('For Over 60's', as the poster paranthetically added). I don't actually qualify yet, anyway, but it's only just over two and a half years until I will. What I expect to be doing at 60, assuming I don't keel over in the interim, is gigging with K, not sitting in a church hall with the cemetery queue. If I'm ever found in such a place, I give my full permission for anyone to have me humanely destroyed!

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

End of an era

An overused cliché, I guess, but sometimes employed more justifiably than others. I've alluded a number of times to my passionate attachment to a particular sports club, of which I'm not just a fan, but a member, namely the St Kilda Football Club. And I was met, when I got home last night, with the news that a bona fide legend of the club had announced his retirement at the end of the current season. Nick Riewoldt has been a Sainter for the whole of this century, being no. 1 draft pick in 2000 and making his debut in 2001, becoming an integral part of the team almost straight away. He's subsequently become our longest serving captain and done pretty much everything doable in the sport - except winning a premiership, of course. We could, theoretically, set that omission right this year, albeit that it's a very, very long shot at this point, but either way, the almost unimaginable prospect of the Saints without 'Rooey' will become an actuality in 2018. Apologies to the no doubt great majority of my readers who haven't the slightest knowledge of or interest in Australian Rules Football, but for any of you who do, you'll understand what a big deal this is, especially for a St Kilda tragic like me.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Nothing new under the sun

Posting is problematic at the moment - there doesn't seem to be much to say that I haven't said myriad times before. Work, and the shower of braindeads I'm condemned to associate with there, my health, or lack of it, and, most frustratingly, cute boys and their inaccessibility, have been discussed here ad nauseam. I am still trying to make progress on my new long story, but, at present, it's more in my head than committed to cyberspace. Maybe I'll suddenly find the inspiration to come up with some sparkling entries, but I wouldn't bet my very meagre life savings on it.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 21 July 2017

Double edged words

I'm an unashamed 'word fan', always have been. But they can very easily turn round and bite you, too. I was bussing past Tottenham Court Road station the other day, and saw a window display obviously linked to the recent Pride in London event - it was rainbow themed, but it was the hashtag at the bottom that brought me up short. #LoveIsLove. So, when, at 49, I fell in love with an 11 year old boy - DBJ, of course - that would be perfectly fine, then? Yeah, right. As ever, some are more equal than others, and boylovers are at the bottom of the heap.
Then today, amid some badinage at work around birthdays, my friend and shift manager told me that I had 'years in me yet'. I'm sure what he said was in the best spirit, but all I could think was 'is that supposed to make me feel better?'. Because the prospect of more of my benighted life, stretching to the horizon and beyond, is almost enough to make me want to reach for the overdose right now.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

No escape

I go to work and spend most of my time listening to morons talking crap, then I come to the pub on the way home, and - listen to morons talking crap.
And then there are the boys, of course. After yesterday's commuting encounter, there was another school party on the same route today, including a pretty close simulacrum of my mental picture of Xander at the beginning of Alexandrine. And a pair of irresistibly cute brothers as I was walking to 'worktown' station when my shift had finished. The school holidays start at the end of this week. I'll be a gibbering wreck by about the middle of August if it carries on like this.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 17 July 2017

Waaaah!

Not a word (or exclamation, or whatever else you want to call it) I'd ever used in a text message before, until this afternoon. I texted K after an encounter with an infeasibly beautiful boy, one of a party on what appeared to be a school trip, on the Overground on my way to work earlier. He was about the same age as DBJ was when I fell for him, tallish like my unforgettable inamorata but not otherwise alike, today's boy's most distinctive feature being absolutely lovely light brown, collar-length hair I could happily have spent hours cooing over. But, of course, he 'ghosted' away after little more than ten minutes as I changed trains to continue my journey.
And that wasn't the only 'waaaah' moment in the past twenty four hours - last night, in reaction to a conversation at work, I found, in an internet property search, a place that could easily have been my 'retirement home', a two bedroom, furnished cottage in a waterside Cornish village I would give my right arm to live in, for the sort of rent that wouldn't even secure you a garage in several parts of London. K's reaction was that I should just take my pension yesterday and go and live there, but I simply can't shirk the responsibility I feel to at least do what I can to help my girl through the rest of her education. I just hope somewhere comparable might be available in eighteen months or so.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Assertiveness

Or desk-banging, if you prefer. I managed to pin down one of the 'management team' - the deputy manager, as it turned out - this afternoon, and presented a robust, shall we say, statement of my concerns about next month's rosters. And it worked, amazingly enough. Perhaps the fact that I'm not normally a member of the 'awkward squad', preferring to just go in, do my job to the best of my ability and go home, might have had a beneficial bearing, but whatever the reason, within a couple of hours I received an assurance that I would be doing the shifts - and receiving the remuneration - I would normally expect. The only slight regret is that it's taken away what might have been an excuse to bring forward my early retirement, but, realistically, I can't yet afford to give up what is, by any standards, a well-paid job, especially while K is still in full-time education. A problem resolved, though, which is rarely a bad thing.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The beginning of the end, and another beginning

At least one thing, albeit as part of a predetermined plan, is definitely coming to an end, but events over recent days might add another ending, one I wouldn't have begun to envisage even a week ago. What is certain is that K and I will be moving out of the flat by the end of September - it was always the intention, but an exchange of e-mails with the estate agents in the past couple of days has made it official, and thereby far more concrete. K already has her flat in 'uni-town' organised, so now it's my turn to organise 'pastures new'. The second potential ending may have a huge bearing on where I go, however, because it involves my job. It's a somewhat convoluted story, but the short version is that the management have substantially moved the goalposts around rostering in connection with a very big project that's taking place next month, and it looks like I'm going to be one of a number of people who will be royally screwed over - to the tune of hundreds of pounds, minimum, in lost earnings - as a result. The aforementioned management have been conspicuous by their absence today, my first day back on a weekday daytime shift for nearly a fortnight, so my plan to go and bang the desk and try to get some answers has been delayed by at least 24 hours, but if I can't come to some agreement over the issue, I would very seriously consider simply pulling the plug and taking early retirement. It would certainly be a gamble financially, but I've lost so much over the past twenty years or so by being cheated out of promotions and blatantly lied to by my employers that this might well constitute the proverbial final straw.
And the other beginning? In all honesty, it will probably be another false dawn, but I've begun a new story, which could develop into something substantial. It began simply as a name, one I've never used for a character before, around which the plot, and the attributes of the character himself, began to coalesce. I want this one to work, because it's something at least a little different from much of what I've written in the past, but whether I can find the application to bring it to fruition very much remains to be seen.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 30 June 2017

How did you get so serious?

A mild paraphrase of the title of the new Royal Blood album, but no actual connection. For the first time in ages, I called into the Chinese takeaway, a couple of minutes walk from where my old local used to be, on the way home this evening, to be confronted by a 'blast from the past'. But, oh, such a change from that past. Behind the counter was N, once the happy, smiling little guy I played catch with on Christmas Eve 2014, but now almost unrecognisable, still only 10 or so, but looking like he had the weight of the world on his young shoulders. My instinct was to want to give him a hug and ask him what the trouble was, but, needless to say, to do any such thing is unthinkable in today's societal climate. All I can do is to hope that whatever was ailing him is susceptible to remedy, as soon as possible.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Tormented

I didn't sleep at all well last night. Despite being very tired, I was woken several times by what you might call an episodic nightmare. The 'centrepiece' of the dream was my finding a website full of videos of young people, girls as well as boys, being abused, raped and even murdered - by me. The 'dream me' was frantically trying to delete the evidence, but more and more kept appearing. The sleep/wake cycle happened probably three times, and each time I was dropped back into the miasmic swamp of my subconscious. I really don't know what to make of it - I'm well aware that many would consider me irremediably evil just for being attracted to (mainly) boys, but, in my waking hours, I genuinely don't want to hurt anyone, and try my utmost to live my life accordingly, so why all of this horrific stuff should have presented itself is mysterious and disturbing in equal parts. Maybe I'm just reading too much into a dream, but it must have come from somewhere, some dark place within. All I can do, I guess, is to isolate myself still further from the slightest hint of temptation, painful as that might be.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 23 June 2017

Why do you have to ask why?

I read a blog post this morning about a particularly rabid christofascist opining that the US was being run by and for 'satanists'. Amongst the torrent of stupidity, there was a claim that this supposed 'hidden government' condoned 'paedophilia'. Why, the post author mused, do the religious right always use such claims? Well, it's fucking obvious, isn't it? Who could possibly be a softer target, a more convenient scapegoat, than a group of people no-one would ever dare defend publicly, even if they had reservations about the relentless demonisation of those attracted to younger people. How better than screaming 'they're coming for your children' to terrify the sheeple into bankrolling such idiocy?

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 19 June 2017

A weekend with K

I’m 80%, more or less, through one of my all too rare five day long weekends - my last day off is tomorrow, before I launch into a run of nine early turns - and I've been lucky enough to spend a goodly chunk of it with my girl. Not during the day on Friday and Saturday, because K has got herself a summer job, working for another branch of the chain of photographic shops she had a part-time job with for a time while she was doing her A-levels, but both of those evenings, all day yesterday and a good part of today. I've been lucky in another way, too, because the weather has been very warm and sunny, if a little humid for ideal comfort, K and I taking advantage of the fact today by going for a picnic lunch at a country park not too far from where we live, with panoramic views right across London. While the food and, especially, the company, along with the views, were great, there were, as seems inevitable in my life, a couple of clouds wrapped around the silver lining - the knowledge, as I've said before, that K will be gone, more or less permanently, in three months time, and the fact that the country park is very near to where I believe Cammy lives (not that he'd have been there at lunchtime on a schoolday, of course), reminding me once more how much I miss the little guy. Maybe Wetherspoons saved me from myself by closing my old local, but that really is clutching at the faintest straw of positivity.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 10 June 2017

A joy for....

....a quarter of an hour. Not a thing of beauty, but an achingly beautiful person, in this instance. A boy, of course, on the Tube on my way to work at lunchtime. A rather different sort of boy, in some ways, than would normally catch my attention, though, and a rather different kind of reaction on my part. As I've said many times, I like the 'all boy' type by far the most, but this boy, wearing a sweatshirt with a Royal Ballet School logo, was what you might expect with such an affiliation, slight, almost elfin, high cheekbones and all. But oh, so, so beautiful. Like a little jewel. And my reaction to him was on that aesthetic level. I didn't, really didn't, want to touch him, he was, thinking about it now, eleven hours or so later, beyond sexuality. All I wanted was what I had for those few minutes, possession of the eyes, just to watch him and luxuriate in his beauty. He never once looked my way, so he couldn't have been disturbed, still less distressed by my absorption. By the time he and his family got off of the train, two stops before 'worktown', I felt close to tears. I certainly won't forget him in a hurry.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 9 June 2017

So.... what now?

Well, the election didn't go the way most people expected, certainly not back in April when the Tories sprung it on us. I wish I'd put my shirt on a hung parliament at that point, I reckon I'd have got pretty good odds. Despite Labour's almost surreally good performance, against the landslide that was widely predicted - I remember seeing speculation they'd only get around 75 seats, as opposed to the 262 they've ended up with - the news still isn't really that great. The Tories are the largest party by some margin, and seem to be heading towards an 'understanding' with the DUP, a bunch of frothing Christofascists, if ever there was one, which, when the Ulster party's 10 seats are added in, gives May a potential overall majority. My constituency didn't manage to unseat the useless backbench warmer masquerading as our MP, either, although it was a close-run thing - his majority was reduced by something like three-quarters compared to 2015. There are mutterings, too, that Boris Johnson fancies his chances of replacing May in the aftermath of her perceived failure, which, while it wouldn't be close to the fiasco that is the Trump presidency, would mean our country being led, if that's the right word, by an egregious buffoon. On the other hand, the good news is that UKIP have been virtually wiped out, down to 2% of the popular vote (and that's 2% more than they deserve), even if their legacy, in the form of Brexit, will plague the country for years. So, as with the EU referendum, the electorate have spoken - and done little but muddy the waters. What happens in the coming days will be nothing if not interesting.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

You can't say you haven't been warned

May promised yesterday to 'rip up' human rights legislation, beginning on day one of a prospective new administration, if she wins tomorrow's election. The 'justification' is 'fighting terrorism', but history illustrates that such illiberal measures are widely used for purposes other than those declared. Anyone who votes for a party that announces their authoritarianism in advance deserves to be the first against the wall, as far as I'm concerned. And that's before consideration of the fact that any such erosion of civil liberties is a complete victory for the terrorists. If you're eligible to vote tomorrow, use your vote carefully.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 3 June 2017

The ache

It never goes away, but resurfaces, sometimes, in unexpected settings. Like at work at around 5:00 this morning. One of my colleagues was reading yesterday's Daily Telegraph, and mentioned, as a humorous aside, a rather inane 'letter to the editor'. What caught my attention, though, was where the writer of the letter lived. The small Cornish town where I worked until my transplantation to London in 2010. And then the memories kicked in. Memories of sitting in my old workplace, as, day after day, the most beautiful boy in the world walked past. Yes, I never really knew him. Yes, he's a boy no longer - he's a year older than K. But the feelings I had for him are as strong as ever. DBJ. Lost, but never, ever forgotten.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 2 June 2017

Redistribution

So, it's official. In withdrawing the US from the Paris Accord on climate change, Trump has clearly illustrated that the multi-billionaire oligarchy is so consumed with greed, with the need to further intensify the redistribution of wealth from anyone not themselves, that they are literally prepared to destroy the world to facilitate that end. Didn't Mulvaney, Trump's 'budget' director, say something the other day about it being essential to gut social and environmental programmes so that his notional future grandchildren wouldn't have to pay the bill for them? With this decision, and the domino effect it's likely to set in motion, those unborn children will have a good chance of paying for this generation's selfishness and greed with their very lives.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 26 May 2017

Failing to learn

'Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it', the saying goes. In some cases, very recent history, as in a comment on a blog post I read yesterday, advocating internment for Islamic 'jihadis' in the UK. Brilliant, because we all remember how stunningly successful internment was in Northern Ireland - successful, that is, in driving recruitment and fundraising for the various paramilitary organisations involved in 'The Troubles'. If a country wanted to actively encourage the radicalisation of a generation of Muslims​, or any other cultural group, for that matter, throwing them in detention without charge for an indefinite period of time couldn't be bettered, as far as I can see, as a mechanism for doing it. And that's before we begin to discuss 'thin end of the wedge' issues like who gets interned next, at governmental whim.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Five minutes

Just five minutes, that's all I'd ask, alone in a room with this vile excuse for a human being. He'd get more than the so-called 'gay agenda' shoved down his worthless throat.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Is the muse awakening from her slumber?

Over the past few days, I've felt something that has been absent for a disconcertingly​ long time - the urge to write fiction. It started in the shower, of all places, as I was getting ready for work one morning earlier in the week, with an idea for continuing my stalled second long story, probably already half or a little more as long as Alexandrine and nowhere near completion, coming to mind. I hope I can find the perspiration as much as the inspiration to continue, because I think it could really amount to something as a story, although I have no doubt at all that it wouldn't appeal to anything resembling a 'general audience' because of much of its subject matter. Can I do it? Maybe, but, were I a gambling man, I wouldn't put too much money on there ever being a denouement.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 18 May 2017

2017

The post as well as the year - this is my 2017th post in this blog. Not, really, that I've got anything much to say - I'm in the throes of yet another motivational dip, fuelled by the knowledge that the things I could write about are more of the same old, same old. The brightest light on the horizon is that K will be back at home in a couple of weeks time, and, as things stand at the moment, she should be around for pretty much the whole summer, but, thereafter, she'll be moving to 'uni-town'​ permanently - until the end of her course, anyway - and I'll be moving out of the flat as well, although where to is decidedly vague at the moment. Alone again, naturally, as the old song goes.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

There's no escape except death

From my benighted situation, that is. My phone rang while I was at work yesterday evening, and although we're not supposed to take personal calls while actually doing the job, when I saw who the caller was, I answered it regardless. Because the call was from my ex, the first time she's rung me for months. My concern was that something had happened to herself or K, but it immediately became clear that she had other fish to fry. In a nutshell, she wants money. A lot of money. As a 'final settlement', in her words. An amount of money I could only generate by cashing my occupational pension in. But to do that, I would have to retire. Which, of course, would leave me with no job, and very little prospect of finding another, given my age and health, and no pension either. To say I wasn't sympathetic is a considerable understatement, but there was an implicit, at least, threat to take the matter to court if she doesn't get what she wants. I knew there was a reason, beyond their being gorgeous, that I should've stuck to boys.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 8 May 2017

Beyond contemptible

The 'archbigot', my colleague at work whose political views, for want of a better phrase, so often cause me to grit my teeth, may have hit a new low in my estimation this afternoon. He quite openly described yesterday's French presidential election result as 'bad news', before going off on one of his trademark rants about immigrants, people with more melanin in their skin than he has, etc, etc. As far as I'm concerned, the only class of person who would think it a good idea for there to be a neo-Nazi in the Elysee Palace would be another neo-Nazi. In the case of the 'archbigot', such a judgment comes more as confirmation than revelation. The sooner he retires and pisses off the better.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Some encouraging political news, for once

The French electorate have decisively rejected the fascist Le Pen in favour of a pro-EU centrist in Macron in their presidential election. Would that British voters might do the same to May on June 8, but, sadly, the chances of that are infinitesimal to nil - the politics of selfishness, greed, racism and xenophobia are seemingly in the ascendant here at the moment.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Another, far-off Saturday

I have written about this before, but the coincidence of another May 6 falling on a Saturday has brought the subject back to my mind over the past day or two. That other Saturday was 45 years ago, when I was the princely age of twelve years and six days, and while I had, at the time, no understanding of the significance of what happened that sunny afternoon on a school cricket ground in my home county, it was the precursor to the issue that has had arguably the most deleterious effect on my life ever since. Because it was the first day that I found myself entranced by a boy. He was my age to within no more than a few months, given that he was playing for his school's age group team against the equivalent team from my school, so the fact that guys his age and a little either way would become my delight, my heartache, my downfall, psychologically if not literally, couldn't have been known at that point. Had I had some implausible 'crystal ball' moment, though, and somehow discerned what my life was going to be like, I'd have gone home that night and found some means of ending it all, there and then.
I have no doubt that he wouldn't remember that day, or me, if I had any way of contacting him, but it's absolutely fixed in my consciousness. Until my dying day, I'll never forget you, G.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Wide ranging

After the prefatory stuff I mentioned in the last post, my best birthday present came yesterday, as I spent a good part of the May Day bank holiday with K. We didn't do anything particularly out of the ordinary in terms of activities, spending plenty of time over a very leisurely late lunch, but the scope of our conversation was wide, to say the least, ranging from Schrödinger's Cat via theories of the evolutionary basis of religious belief to the baby clothes section at Primark. I love my girl unconditionally, of course, but I love her all the more for being as bright and interesting as she is. My world is a much better place for it.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Early birthday presents

My birthday isn't until tomorrow, but I've already had what you might call a couple of early pressies. The best has come this morning, in the shape of my Saints pulling off a stunning victory, on 'enemy territory', to boot, against one of the best AFL teams of recent years, albeit a team who have struggled so far this season. To say I'm stoked, as the Australian vernacular has it, is a considerable understatement.
Yesterday evening's 'gifts', however, were a little more ambiguous, but, on balance, more welcome than not - another couple of delightful 'ghosts'. The first, who was probably just about legal, sat opposite me for several stations on my middle train of three en route to work, but even he was eclipsed by a simply beautiful boy - decidedly not legal, probably 11/12 - at the station where I changed for the last leg of my journey. As always, there's more than a hint of bittersweetness about such encounters, so much beauty and desirability, from my perspective, so close but always out of reach, but I still think my life would be the poorer without them.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Family stuff

I've been down to darkest rural East Kent today, for the christening of my grand-niece, my nephew's daughter. I have to say that I'm 110% against infant baptism, not because I'm an atheist, but because I consider it against the child's human rights - I don't think anyone should be 'claimed' for a religion, as the form of words of today's service had it, until they're old enough to make the decision for themselves. Despite my distaste for the process, though, I went because it was one of those rare opportunities to catch up with a goodly number of family and friends all at once, not least K, who made a special trip up from 'uni-town' to be there. The christening wasn't the only family thing of the day, either - my niece and her fiancé have named their wedding day, so there will be a trip to East Anglia, all being well, for that event around this time next year. I'm not, on the whole, all that clannish, but it is nice, sometimes, to acknowledge that certain people in my life are more significant than others.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Oh, I wanna, I wanna....

....see you again and again and again. But I'll be leaving in a quarter of an hour, and you'll be another 'ghost'. A boy, of course, the same age, more or less, as Cammy, who was definitely aware that I was looking at him, and smiled, just like my lost 'little friend', rather than showing any signs of freaking out. Would that I could escape to some parallel universe where such moments could evolve into something more concrete. Not in this place or this life, though.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 14 April 2017

Maps

Another of my perennial fascinations, since I was very young. The idea of being able to explore an area, to a degree, at least, that you've never visited, and maybe never would or could, has always​ been an attractive one for me. And, in conjunction with an​ app I’ve downloaded in recent days, a mapping and public transport app, some maps I've been looking at this evening have piqued my wanderlust for the first time in quite a while. I've been procrastinating about renewing my passport for literally years, but looking at the Paris Metro map might finally thrash me into actually doing it - K has said on a number of occasions that she wants to visit there, preferably with me as a 'tour guide', I suspect, and I've always been a big fan of the city since I first went there on a school trip when I was 13, so maybe it could happen, sometime soon. A rather more distant prospect, both literally and figuratively, was raised by perusing various maps of Melbourne. The main motivation, really, is Aussie Rules, and my beloved Saints in particular - being able to visit places like Moorabbin, and, given a visit at an appropriate time of year, the chance to actually go to one or more AFL games would be the proverbial trip of a lifetime. Will it ever happen? Probably not, but looking such places on a map makes it seem feasible, at least.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 10 April 2017

Well, thanks a bundle, America

I spent most of the first four decades of my life living through the Cold War, with its implicit threat of 'mutually assured destruction'. After a fair period where such a threat was substantially diminished, if never completely alleviated, it's taken Trump less than three months in office to have senior Russian officials talking about the possibility of 'real war'. The ever-present flaw in democracy - the fact that any moron can vote.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Best friends

K and I went out yesterday afternoon and evening, meandering before going to the nicest remaining local-ish Wetherspoons for food and drink. As ever, the conversation was eclectic and thought-provoking, but something K said not long before we headed for home really made me feel good about myself, a thoroughly rare occurrence - my girl told me, unbidden, that I was probably her best friend. There's no doubt whatsoever that K is my best friend, there's no-one even close, but for her to say the same about me was as uplifting as it was unexpected. They say that parents should never be their child's best friend, but we agreed unreservedly that such an assertion was nonsense, as long as the younger person was happy with the situation. We've got a lot of common interests, we've been on the same wavelength since K was very young, so why not? Not to mention that I love her to bits, of course.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 6 April 2017

A good night out

K and I were out gigging again last night, over at Shepherds Bush to see The Jesus and Mary Chain. And they were a good couple of notches better than when we saw them just over a year ago - they hadn't long been back together after a lengthy hiatus last time, and the gigs they've played in between seem to have taken them back close to their best. The only slight disappointment from my perspective was that they didn't play my 'personal national anthem', Never Understand, this time around, although there was plenty of early stuff, including The Living End, a clear number two in my J & M C 'hit parade'. There was a little bit of last-minute doubt around the outing, because K has come back from uni for the Easter break in none too wonderful health - she's had a chest infection, with symptoms along the lines of those that put me in hospital in 2013, albeit not as severe, hitherto - but she declared herself fit to go, and enjoyed the evening almost as much as I did. She's been pretty much out of circulation today, though, feeling tired and not up to much, which is a shame, given that I've been off work and that the weather has been almost summery, sunny and very pleasantly warm. Still, her well-being comes first, of course, and we should have a few more chances for some quality time together before she heads off to spend Easter weekend with her mum.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 3 April 2017

How much more ridiculous....

....can these people get? Not satisfied with being intent on destroying the economy, some of the Brexiteers are now threatening to declare war on Spain over Gibraltar. Realistically, it's a pretty unlikely scenario, but the fact that it's even been mooted shows how easily the UK could follow Trumpistan into über-nationalistic fascism. How willingly the 'raving right' are prepared to shed other people's blood - overwhelmingly poor people's blood, of course - to further their political agenda.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Brexit, and boys

Mostly legal ones, too, for once - I saw two adolescent cuties after leaving work this evening, one outside 'worktown' station, who was borderline - he might have been 15, but certainly no younger - and another when I changed trains en route who was definitely legal, 17/18 at least. And that was after having seen Daniel at the pub last night, for the first time in weeks, brightening my evening by his saying it was nice to see me. As ever, I can't bring myself to believe that it's anything beyond 'professional politeness', but the daydreams won't quite go away. I did revert rather more to type at the station where my final change of trains took place, as an undoubtedly 'not legal' cutie, 12/13, tall, slender and very good looking, caught my eye for long moments before, as so often before, 'ghosting' out of my life forever.
Earlier in the day, the media, especially the fascist tabloid variety, were full of our (un)elected dictator May signing the letter invoking Article 50, beginning the formal process of the country leaving the EU. There were some particularly pathetic examples of xenophobic populism, from the Daily Mail's headline 'FREEDOM!' to Sky News (part of Murdoch's Wapping Lies conglomerate, of course) displaying a Brexit 'countdown clock' - 730 days and some hours when I happened to glimpse it momentarily in the rest room at work when I was on a break - at the bottom of their 'ticker' bar. I'd like to say that it isn't all a product of the British propensity for mindless racism and bigotry, but I'd be lying if I did.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 27 March 2017

Ghosts, Saints, daylight, darkness

I escaped from my latest half week of nights this morning, and I've spent most of what has been a rather nice early spring day taking advantage of the fact. The weekend, though, was a somewhat more difficult proposition, albeit not without some positives. I tripped over a quite breathtakingly beautiful boy on my way to work on Friday, 11/12, blond, high cheekbones, slightly more androgynous than would normally be to my taste, but desirable enough to overcome any such reservations. But, of course​, another 'ghost', flitting through my life for a bare fifteen minutes before disappearing onto a different platform at the station where we both changed trains. Gone forever.
Then Saturday morning, and my Sainters' first game of the AFL season, with high hopes of a successful year. Except it all went to shit. Being a St Kilda fan has always entailed embracing disappointment, but I can remember very few more disappointing, given the context, displays than Saturday's. It was only Round 1, so I guess I should tone down the melodrama, but it was pretty hard to swallow.
Brighter things, both literally and figuratively, 24 hours later, though, as the clocks went forward, and the light evenings returned. Nothing seems to abolish winter more thoroughly than it still being light close to 8:00 in the evening.
But the internal darkness still won't go away - more boys today, both on my travels, and more recently in the pub, with the usual inner turmoil, how can I live without them, but how could I live with myself if I succumbed to temptation. The maze without a solution, as ever.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Love is forever

So I just overheard an oldish Asian guy say in the pub. It is for me, that's a certainty. I've fallen in love, as I would define love (and I'm sure that definition would be different for everyone), maybe seven times in my life, with a four to three male to female majority. But what I've never done is to fall out of love, with any of them. Who knows what that says about my personality, but it is what it is.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 18 March 2017

2K, but no celebration

I didn't think my 'milestone' post would come so soon, but I've just spent well over an hour listening to some of the most depressing nonsense I've been subjected to (outside work) for the best part of some time. There was a middle-aged Irish couple sitting on the next table to me in the pub, having a long and unavoidably audible mobile phone conversation with either a family member or friend, who is seemingly about to give birth to a child - who will be born addicted to methadone. The woman's advice to the prospective mother was to stay away from social services, and go to mass instead, and to pray for 'what ever you need' to Padre Pio, one of the most egregious charlatans to ever disgrace an organisation rightfully notorious for charlatanism. What conceivable chance has that unborn child got? None, that I can see. The sooner organised religion is consigned to the dustbin of history, far, far the better.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Tonight I'm gonna party like....

....well, not​ like anything, actually, because I've got to get up at 4:00 in the morning to go to work. But this is post number 1999 in this blog, so I couldn't resist the allusion.
I discovered​, or maybe better, rediscovered, something about my much earlier life last night. I was idly meandering through various linked items on Wikipedia about John Wyndham and his works, when I came across a reference to a radio serialisation of what became one of my favourite books of all time, The Chrysalids. I knew it was broadcast in the school summer holidays, because I'd managed to listen to it all despite it being on during the day, but I'd believed for many years that the school holidays concerned were those between my last year at primary school and my first at grammar school, i.e. when I was 11. It turned out, though, that the broadcasts were actually a year earlier, in August 1970. A trivial point, it could be said, except that there's another life event which will always be inextricably linked in my mind to my first experience of Wyndham's work - my first crush, and first - conscious, at least - heartbreak. The object of my nascent affections was my cousin - female, but very tomboyish, and almost exactly the same age as me, to within a few weeks - who stayed with us for several weeks that summer, prior to her family emigrating to Australia. I obviously knew she was leaving, but I didn't, of course, know that I would end up being so smitten by her. I haven't seen her since, although I did hear​ that she ended up as a P.E. teacher, which was no surprise at all, given her personality and interests as a girl. My first love, I guess you could say. I hope life has treated her more kindly than it has me.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Mired

I didn't arrive at work this morning in a particularly downbeat mood, but circumstances seemed to conspire to depress me, to the extent that, during my mid-shift break, I was seriously considering walking out of the door, maybe forever. I ultimately resisted the temptation, but it wasn't easy. And, as on so many previous occasions, it wasn't the job itself that was the problem, but the people, or some of them, at least, that I'm condemned to work with. If there's a greater concentration of ignorance, bigotry, selfishness, greed and stupidity in one workplace than there is in mine, I'd walk a very long way to avoid seeing it. It's like swimming in a cesspool, and about as much fun. The sooner I can find a sensible way of extracting myself, the happier I'll be.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Cruel and unusual

One of those moments, three quarters of an hour ago. The BBC weather slot used a picture of a very well known Cornish landmark, half a mile or so from where I spent nearly ten years living, as a backdrop to their forecast. Here's what you won, but subsequently lost. Home. But not any more.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 10 March 2017

Freethought


Pedophilia remains a serious medical condition for which there is no cure. The only productive treatment involves smearing the patient’s genitals with honey and burying them up to their necks in a fire ant hill

I came across that delightful comment earlier today at a 'freethought' website, in response to a post about religiously based infant male circumcision (a practice I wholeheartedly revile - no boy should ever be circumcised for any reason other than medical necessity, as far as I'm concerned). Well, here's my twopennyworth, Mr Bigot. There's no 'cure' for paedophilia, any more than there's​ a cure for homosexuality, for instance, because it's not a fucking 'serious medical condition', it's a sexual orientation. And even if you actually believe it to be a medical condition, by what rationale would you consider torture to be an appropriate, still less 'productive', treatment? The disheartening thing is, though, that had I done what I originally had in mind, to leave a withering riposte at the website concerned, all I would've achieved would to have been 'shouted down', with the bigot and his inevitable supporters still considering themselves to hold the 'moral high ground'. And that's in a supposedly tolerant and rational forum. I know unequivocally that I'm wasting my time trying to convince anyone that people like me aren't irremediably evil, but when evil intent from the other side is virtually unanimously encouraged, it's all the more soul-destroying.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Not au revoir

The only constant in life is change, and that's nowhere more true than in cyberspace. People come and go, and all those of us still here can do is watch. When the final departure is of a person who came to 'blogland' at much the same time as me, though, and someone I've always been undisguisedly fond of, too, I can't help but feel a little heaviness of heart. His last blog, which was officially on hiatus, albeit a hiatus I never really believed was anything other than terminal, has now been deleted. All that's left to do is to hope that his future is happy and successful, and to say thank you for being allowed to share a small part of his life over the past seven years or so. Be happy, David. You deserve nothing less.

1045 10/3 edit: Yesterday's anonymous commenter (thank you) showed me that the premise upon which this post was written was wrong, and, in this instance, I'm pleased to be wrong. That, however, doesn't invalidate the last three sentences of the post. I said what I meant, and meant what I said.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

More truth from within

I had a longish dream today around friendships with boys. But the element of the dream which was truest to my actual situation was a boy, of the early teen-ish age I find most irresistible, albeit not obviously based on anyone in my real life, who seemed momentarily to be interested in me, too, but who ultimately walked away from the 'dream me' just quickly enough that I couldn't keep up with him. What I want the most always just out of reach. There's no escape from this life sentence, even in sleep.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 6 March 2017

A breath of spring

There are still a couple of weeks or so of 'official' winter left, but there have been the first hints of better things to come in recent days - it's been chilly today, but the previous couple of days both had moments of sunshine with some genuine warmth in it. The clocks go forward in a little under four weeks, too, which will bring the welcome boost of lighter evenings. Too bad that I've just headed into a run of extra night shifts - it should've been four, starting tonight, but ended up beginning 24 hours earlier than planned, when I was reluctantly talked into yet another, covering someone who needed a short notice night off. It'll all seem worthwhile on payday, I guess.
One little bonus literally just a few minutes ago, though - my first sight since the day after Boxing Day of a cutie whose grandparents live opposite the flat. Let's hope he visits often over the next few months!

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 3 March 2017

The answer to your question is no

One of the games I fritter my time away with throws up adverts when my tablet is connected to the internet, and the tagline of one such asked whether I wanted to meet 'exotic women' online. I can barely think of anything I want less, quite frankly, but the question did set the 'daydream machine' in motion, thinking of how much better it would be - from my perspective, of course - if I could meet cute boys through such an 'app'. Not in this world, needless to say.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

A pivotal moment

I found a picture on the internet a couple of hours ago, a picture of a little building, now long gone, that, when I walked into it on a Sunday afternoon in September 1976, completely changed my life. In the space of an hour, I went from university, maybe even Oxbridge candidate, to someone on a path to the career in the industry I've now worked in for more than 38 years. Just by being in a particular place at a particular time. Unbelievable doesn't even come close to describing how much influence that day and that place had.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 26 February 2017

In memoriam

I'm raising a glass in memory of my old local, murdered by corporate greed 52 weeks ago today. Daniel (the cute barman who used to work in the old place, and now works in my current most regular haunt) and I had a longish conversation about the pub and some of its more characterful patrons last night, although I had, of course, to refrain from mentioning the one I miss the most, the subject of the previous post. Still, what was probably the longest chat I've ever had with Daniel was at least a small consolation prize, even if there's no chance whatsoever of it leading to anything more.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 24 February 2017

A doleful anniversary

A year and about two and a half hours ago, I saw Cammy for the last time, on the Friday of the weekend that marked the demise of my old local. I still miss him, all the time. Where is my boy?

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Good days and not so good days

Yesterday was the former, because I spent a good chunk of it with K. She came up to London, and we went for her belated birthday meal - she chose Wagamama, a chain I hadn't eaten at before. The food was pretty good, actually, if a bit pricey, and I wouldn't hesitate to visit one of their places in the future. From there, we decamped to one of my occasional Wetherspoons, spending hours talking about whatever came to mind. She eventually headed back to 'uni-town' at around 8:30, but I can at least look forward to seeing her again next week, because she's up in town for a gig next Wednesday, which conveniently happens to be a day off for me.
Today, though, it was back to work, which I wasn't in the mood for at all, and it didn't get any better when the 'p-word' was gratuitously - and, surprise, surprise, incorrectly - bandied about. And it wasn't even the 'archbigot' who was responsible, although he was on duty, but two of my colleagues I'm on reasonably friendly terms with, most of the time. It's difficult to say whether it was the casual, ignorant bigotry or the fact that, once more, I had to bite my tongue to avoid outing myself that frustrated me more, but, either way, my teeth were certainly gritted.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Out of circulation

A night shift week again, forget doing anything of note apart from the sleep-eat-commute-work cycle. More frustrating than usual from my perspective, too, because I've effectively missed the eye candy potential of half term week, apart from the odd cutie espied while I've been 'in transit'. It was K's birthday in midweek, too, but I'd known for weeks I wasn't going to see her on or near her last teenage birthday, because, apart from my being on nights, she had a 'hand-in' deadline yesterday for her latest module of work. If all goes to plan, though, I'll be spending most of this coming Tuesday with my girl, so that will be a considerable recompense. Oh well, two more nights to go, so I'd better get on with the 'eat' part of the cycle. Are we having fun yet?

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Another reunion

Yesterday saw another reunion with my friend who emigrated to Australia some years ago, but, unlike his last visit, his whole family have come over this time, his wife and two daughters also being here. I hadn't seen any of the ladies for a dozen years and more - the girls were 6 and 4 respectively when they moved - so it was nice to be able to catch up. I actually hit it off quite well with the younger daughter, because she's a major Aussie Rules fan, as is her dad, so there was certainly plenty of conversational material. There was, for a couple of hours, at least, a 75% reunion of our 'group', too, six of the eight members being at my brother's house to watch the Wales - England Six Nations match. Sadly, I had to make a rapid exit as soon as the game ended, needing to get home at a reasonable hour preparatory to my being on earlies this morning. Would that I could've afforded to ditch today's shift, but the financial ship is starting to creak rather alarmingly of late, more money going out than coming in for three of the last four months. It's not a crisis, yet, but some belt-tightening might soon have to be seriously considered.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B


Friday, 10 February 2017

Two dreams

Both depressing, in their way. Early on last night, I dreamed that I had a cute young boyfriend (not based on anyone in my 'real' life, as far as I could tell), 12/13, blond and lovely. It wasn't an erotic dream at all, the most intimate contact was our holding hands, but, on waking, I realised that even that degree of closeness to a boy would be deemed 'grooming' in today's fanatically intolerant society. Then, when I fell asleep again, I dreamed of my ex, for the first time in a long time. We argued in some unidentifiable street, before making up with protestations of still loving each other, but parting agreeing that we could never be together again. I do still love her, on some levels, but even if she begged me on bended knee, I'd never want us to be a couple again. When you've been as comprehensively rejected as I was, that's something that can never be repaired. The pain of that still gnaws away, even now, but there's nothing I can do apart from live with it.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Too cold

Well, by Southern English standards, at least, it's been too cold for much meandering this afternoon, as my partial weekend off began at lunchtime - the only shift I'm working over the next few days is on Sunday morning, before I start nights on Monday. So, of course, I'm in the pub, and have been for quite a while. I might be doing something more sociable tomorrow, possibly involving a trip to my home town, although I'm awaiting final confirmation from my brother. If not, I'll probably end up in the pub again. As is my wont.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

I'm so glad....

....I’m not an American parent, because the education system in that country has just taken a huge step towards destruction, with the confirmation of the egregious DeVos as education secretary. By way of the even more appalling Pence's casting vote. If anyone ever needed an excuse to blow his smug, smirking theocratic head off of his shoulders, that casting vote is ample justification.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 6 February 2017

Near perfection

I've had almost 24 hours to think about this now, during which time I've gone through a number of phases of 'shall I, shan't I?', mostly around the self-censorship I'm all too often guilty of. But, sometimes, reality has to win out, the truth has to be enunciated. Regular readers here might have noticed that I haven't written much about boys of late, in spite of my regular assertions that talking about being a boylover, and the implications of that fact, is the principal raison d'être for my having a blog at all. So, last night, around about this time. He appeared, with his parents, in my most regular haunt. The family, to judge by the conversation I could hear, were Eastern European, which flavour, exactly, I'm not linguistically gifted enough to say. But whatever his birth nationality, the boy was simply a delight. Happy, obviously intelligent, with the most infectious laugh I've come across in many a long day. And, of course, attractive to me in spades. So why do I say he was only 'near perfection'? Because, to be perfect in my eyes, a boy should be on the absolute cusp of puberty. And yesterday's boy was at least a year, maybe two, short of that point. In other words, he was prepubescent. And attraction to prepubescents, even using the 'proper' definition I wish the world would adopt, is paedophilia. I don't, even if I only looked and imagined, feel very good about myself at the moment.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Archbigotry

Another couple of days of tongue-biting for me at work, homophobia yesterday, racism today, orchestrated, of course, by the 'archbigot'. He's on holiday for a couple of weeks after tomorrow, though, so there will be some respite. Unlike from the Mussolini clone in the White House, whose egregiously fascistic actions seem to lurch from bad to worse to nightmarish by the day. If only his own supporters were affected, I'd be positively giddy with shadenfreude. But the rest of the American people, and the rest of us outside 'the wall' face potential disaster because of his imbecility as well. Terrifying times.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Seasiding, and yet another musical hero gone

It was off to the coast yesterday, to meet up with K in 'uni-town' for what turned out to be a decidedly long Wetherspoons lunch - we sat and talked around the food and, for me, drink - my girl sensibly stuck to water - for something like four hours. I guess we defy the stereotype of parents and teens not being able to communicate pretty well!
A different kind of communication from K, a text she sent me on my way back to London, alerted me to the all too familiar news of the passing of another of my favourite musicians, John Wetton. The three piece line-up of King Crimson that he formed part of, alongside Robert Fripp and Bill Bruford, is, as far as I'm concerned, the best incarnation of the band, and certainly the one I would most liked to have seen live, much as I enjoyed the two gigs I did see in Autumn 2015. And Red, the last Crimson studio album Wetton performed on, is my favourite by the band by some distance. Another sad loss.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 30 January 2017

Appeasement, and the impossible

Well over a million people have signed a petition calling for Trump's recently announced state visit to the UK to be cancelled, but, needless to say, the supine shower of appeasers masquerading as our government have fallen over themselves to rubbish any such suggestion. Meanwhile, the headline in today's Evening Standard referred to May's 'mission to tame Trump'. Yeah, fucking good luck with that - even his 'inner circle' can't do anything to prevent him being the complete loose cannon anyone with two brain cells to rub together should've known he was from the outset, so what price a Brit, and a woman to boot, suddenly persuading him to become a paragon of diplomacy?

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Badge of shame

The fascist tabloids made a big deal of the fact that our unelected dictator - sorry, Prime Minister - was the first 'world leader' to meet Trump since his inauguration. In any sane world, kow-towing to neo-Nazis would be an unmitigated badge of shame. But we don't, it seems, live in a sane world anymore.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 27 January 2017

One of these days....

.... I'm going to have a serious meltdown in public over boys. I wasn't a million miles away from it today, as I contemplated a cutie on a bus during my meanderings who I hadn't even noticed until he was getting ready to alight from the vehicle. I can't deny that it's all rather obsessional, and I'm equally aware that no conceivable boy would ever be interested in me, but I simply can't come to terms with the 'never' scenario. Because accepting that defeat would be tantamount to accepting that my whole life has been a failure. And who could countenance that with equanimity?

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 23 January 2017

A lie, by any other name

'Post-truth'. Now 'alternative facts'. They're still lies, and no amount of political spin or fascistic repression will ever make them anything else. My dad, when I was growing up, used to say I'd make a good politician, but before I was much beyond my mid-teens, I had to disagree with him. Because I realised I was far too honest to ever succeed in that most mendacious profession.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Aching and breaking

Apologies in advance for another downbeat post, another variation on the theme of all too much of this blog, but I’m going to write it anyway. I had a bad day yesterday, after coming across something that was simultaneously achingly desirable, from my perspective, and heartbreakingly unattainable. All I felt like doing was going out and getting ruinously pissed, but, not for the first time, shift work, a late shift on this occasion, saved me from myself. I'm somewhat recovered today, but not because there's any resolution in sight - it's simply a case of keeping on keeping on, existing but not living. If there's a point to it, I'm afraid it's escaped me.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Hope and prosperity

I saw a brief snippet of the BBC News Channel's coverage of Trump's inauguration last night, including a 'vox pop' with a Trump supporter - white, of course, male and middle-aged - who opined that yesterday was the 'beginning of a new era of hope and prosperity'. Yeah, you hope, and the oligarchs prosper. How's your health insurance?

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 20 January 2017

Do you hear the chimes....

....of the Doomsday Clock? It currently stands at three minutes to midnight, but with a thin-skinned, fascistic megalomaniac now inhabiting the White House, and an equally fascistic, but more calculating megalomaniac in the Kremlin, I would imagine the next review of the Clock's status might well be counted in seconds. Sweet dreams, all of you who voted for these people.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Coming of age

I hate 'coming of age' records. Planet Rock has just played Photograph by Nickelback, a prime example of the sort of song that, for me, dredges up all the pain. the 'otherness' I felt through my teenage years, and beyond. A mostly gay boy, trapped in an unremittingly homophobic (even if the word wasn't used in those far-off days) milieu, including, in my case, an all-boys school, who then discovered he wasn't even 'normally gay', but was entranced by younger boys. And now, forty years on, I'm still trapped by my sexuality, and society's attitudes towards it. As I've said before, a life sentence without the possibility of parole. No escape except death. What was it the world said about 'choices', again?

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Just me, again

The festive season is officially over. K went back to 'uni-town' this afternoon, so it's the 'me, myself, I' syndrome at the flat again. I'll be back to work tomorrow night, too, so the hamster wheel will definitely be asserting itself in the weeks to come. If there was any discernible light at the end of the tunnel, it might be more tolerable, but there isn't. As Marvin said, 'Life, don't talk to me about life'.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Breakout

I finally got out of the flat for a couple of hours yesterday evening, meeting K for something to eat at Wetherspoons - including my first couple of beers of 2017! - before heading back to my place of incarceration about 8:00, and promptly crashing out for several hours. I am getting better, though, finally, and I'll head back to work on Monday, unless anything unforeseen happens. Being in my preferred hostelry did remind me of some unwelcome facts, though - the absence of my old local, and Cammy with it, for almost a year now, that the school holidays are over - I saw a number of youngsters in school uniform on my way out - meaning that the eye candy quotient will be down, at least on weekdays, until Easter, and, most of all, that K will be back off to 'uni-town' tomorrow. She has been talking about coming up for a weekend towards the end of the month, so it's not as if I'm not going to see her at all in the coming weeks, but it certainly isn't the same as having her at home every day. Get used to it, though, I keep telling myself - she an adult now, 19 in a few weeks time, living her own independent life, and that is exactly as it should be.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 5 January 2017

House arrest

Well, in a manner of speaking, at least. Since I got in from work, early on Sunday afternoon, I haven't been out of the flat, due to my ongoing health issues. I'm not quite coughing as much I was, but I'm still having occasional bouts that leave me breathless, and I'm completely unable to sleep lying down - I tried the night before last, and ended up coughing so much I was almost sick. On top of that, I'm in the throes of a very painful attack of gout that came on yesterday. Isn't growing old lovely?!
At least K is still around, and has been kind enough to do some bits of shopping for me, in between catching up with friends before she has to go back to uni at the weekend. We did have a bit of a mad day trip planned for tomorrow, but that won't happen now, given my ills. I'm still hoping to go out for lunch with her before she disappears to start her new term, but whether I'll be able to is still very much in the balance at the moment.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Monday, 2 January 2017

2017 sucks already

When I wrote the previous post, the last of 2016, I was already aware that I was teetering on the brink of coming down with something unpleasant, and it duly arrived yesterday. I've picked up yet another chest cold/borderline infection, and I feel bloody lousy, probably as bad as at any time since the early stages of what became pneumonia in 2013. I did go to work yesterday, but I was really struggling, and rang in sick last night. So a shedload of money down the drain to begin the new year, as I was supposed to working at bank holiday rates today, whereas now I'll earn precisely nothing for today. So, how to occupy myself indoors for the day. Read some online fiction. Yeah, that worked out well - I went back to a story I'd read the first chapter of before Christmas, which has now expanded to five, and which is showing signs of being a good one. Except that, on a story site with many tales by, for and about boylovers, even the writer of this story couldn't resist falling for the propaganda that anyone over about 16 can only interact with a younger boy by raping them. It's bad enough that 'society' hates us, bitterly and vehemently, without us turning on each other. If we can't even portray ourselves in anything but negative terms, the haters have surely won. Not for the first time, it made me wonder if I want to carry on, and if so, why. It looks like it's going to be a long year.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B