Monday, 31 December 2012

New Year.... that means catch up today!

Looking back over the years entries including that from new year 2011/12 I can see how very much things have changed.  Before I go on though I just think it’s worth getting Christmas out of the way with a mention at very least.  I had a lovely Christmas this year,  waking up in the arms of someone I loved so much was perfect.  Something I never imagined possible again just 12 months previously.  I don’t need to labour much on the gifts, it’s about the giving not the receiving however, there are some I’d rather have not received.  I was fore warned though.  I’m not a snob at all but “Poundland” is not known for its fine fragrances. 


My Sister and Brother in Law  arrived on Christmas Day from Norfolk which was a big surprise for my Mum.  She didn’t think she was coming until late on Boxing Day so she was very pleased to see my Sister, as was I.  I had to help keep the surprise by laying the table for five (without sis and brother in law) and also only putting presents out for those who were “supposed “ to be here at Christmas.


The meal went off without a hitch.  Everything was homemade, nothing was “courtesy of.... A.N.Other supermarket” but all fresh wholesome food prepared with a hint of creativity from yours truly. 


On Boxing Day Jon and I didn’t bother getting dressed at all.  We slobbed all day in our dressing gowns.  It was lovely to just relax all day after a later start.  It was something neither of us would usually do.  The following day we attended a family party and since then we have also caught up with some other friends.  It’s been lovely to spend time with family and friends, new and old.  It reminds us what’s important and I hope we can spend more time with each other and those who are important to us for the coming year.  We, (I) had hoped to go and visit friends for new year too but after being landed with a £565.00 bill for heating repairs the funds just won’t stretch.  Hopefully we can catch up early in the new year though.


Back to now.  It’s New Years Eve.  One of my least favourite nights of the year. It always has been.  Those with Steve before diagnosis were the best I remember but since then they have been as unpleasant as I always remember.  Maybe in the future this will change, I expect so.


Looking back over the year there have been many low points.  The first anniversary of Steve’s passing, losing friends, being hurt by “friends” and of course the usual tribulations of life when things don’t go to plan.  I am sure there are some people who would delight in my pain.  They’ll get no satisfaction here.  Happiness is the overwhelming flavour of the last 12 months.  Some of it forced because I refuse to let grief and/or Cancer spoil my life any more but most of it a genuine and enthusiastic, and an all consuming feeling. 


Early this year I met a very special man.  Not someone to replace or compare to Steve but someone different, VERY different and he has had a wonderful impact on my life.  Yes he knows of and accepts Steve but he also accepts me and I accept him.  We BOTH have “baggage” but we manage to make each other very happy.  I’ve found a new job and have managed to get the charity I set up in Stephens memory set up.  I have a charity number for the charity now and have a clear vision of where I want to “take it”.  When the training for my new job finishes early in March I will be able to focus more time on it and move it forward in leaps hopefully.


Looking forward I have so many hopes and aspirations for the future.  Some of them as an individual and some of them as part of a couple.  Some will be achieved this year and others may take longer and some may need re-considering but, the important thing is that I am aware of that and accept it and I know, because I have lived through such horrible times, that no matter what life throws at me I can deal with it and I will come out the other side, stronger  and better for it.  On a more flippant note this cheers me as tonight I’ve discovered my washing machine has broken.  That’s £565 for boiler repairs and now a new washing machine...!  Goodbye 2012 an d hello 2013!


Whatever you’re up to this evening have a lovely time.  Take a moment to recall those who have made you happy this year.  Friends and family.  I will be.


I hope you have a peaceful and happy 2013 and I wish you all you wish for yourself.

Lots of Love,

Mark x


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

One year older

One year older but do I feel wiser? Hmm it's debatable. Looking back to my birthday One year ago I can see I was in a very different place.

Here is the post from the day before my birthday last year:

I could never have imagined the year I have had. I don't remember what I wanted for the coming year last year but I never imagined, just three months after this post it would bring a new partner as special as Jonathan.

So lets look at it. It's now 18 months since Steve passed away. It's gone really quickly. As you will have read in recent posts I have had highs and lows but Steve is very much still a part of my life and of Jonathan's life too now as if it affects me then it affects him too.

It seems some people have assumed because I have Jonathan then I have forgotten Steve. That isn't the case at all. Eighteen months on though and in general I feel like I am in a good place. Jon has really made a difference in my life. I'm not sure what my frame of mind would have been now if I had not met him but I'm not going to dwell on it. I am just happy I met him.

My birthday this year has been lovely. Jon tried his best to get me "excited" about my birthday this year but I struggled. I guess I have been nonchalant about it for a few years so am just not used to enjoying it.

This year though I did enjoy it. It started on Thursday when Jon took me to see Ken Dodd's show. I mentioned a few weeks ago I'd like to see him whilst I still can as he's 85 and wont be around forever. The show started at 7.30 but he is notorious for being on stage for a very long time. This was a problem as I had an important exam to sit on Friday morning so we left in the interval.... at 10.40! He was great and my lasting impression was that he thoroughly enjoyed doing what he does.

I commented that I would be happy to work until I physically can't work any more so long as I am able to enjoy it as much he clearly loved what he does. That is of course if I am lucky enough to get to his age.

On Friday we had a relaxed night in and on Saturday we went to a family gathering. That was nice too. On Sunday I got to open presents. That was lovely. My Sister and some other friends had sent presents and Jon had bought loads, it was great. I don't think I am a difficult person to buy for though. Everything was lovely and there is too much to list and I appreciate it all and will look forward to using them.

On reflection I don't think I looked forward to the last two birthdays as there seemed little to look forward to. There was so much uncertainty in the future but the future generally looked bleak. Now I have a new partner I realise I have a brighter future. Not because of him but in part, with him. Being "loved up" again makes everything seem better.

The other positive change has been the new job. I am really enjoying it so that has lifted my spirits too. The house needs to sell now and then things would be really rosy. I keep getting told to let things take shape in their own time, I'm impatient though and whilst I know "everything for a reason and nothing before its time" it's still toughs obtaining focus. I suppose though I now have a special guardian angel, he sent me a new partner and guided me toward a new job so I guess he will be nudging the move in due course.

Well, this week so far has been a good but busy one. Seeing friends, wrapping presents and finishing off the chrimbo prep. Not long to go now before the fat fella comes down the chimney so I will try and write again before then but if not will at least aim to "review the year" before it ends.

Take care of you and yours and I hope you all have a happy safe and wonderful christmas.

Lots of love,
M x

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, 7 December 2012

Catch up

Wow! It's been over a month since I blogged last. How time has flown and how things have changed in such a short space of time.

On November 5th I received a call confirming I could start my new job on December 3rd. I quickly had to submit my notice and start finalising things including the £200k funding bid I was working on.

My notice period went without a hitch really. I was pleased to leave my old job as so much has changed and it had become less enjoyable. I'm not going to discuss my new job as many will know what it is and it isn't really that important although its suffice to say this week has been very enjoyable. It's week one of an eleven week training course so there's a long way to go but I'm pleased I made the move.

I had to call back in to the old place on Wednesday to sign the £200k bid before submission. We will find out how it's gone in around 16 weeks so fingers crossed eh!

Part of the reason for leaving my old job is so I can spend more time focussing on a more personal project. Although the new job is still full time I won't be able to take my job or work home with me so in my spare time I can focus my energies on making a difference to other people's lives.

If you've read for a long time then you will know Stephen and I had a very mixed experience of cancer and of cancer support. We found there is no specific support for members of the LGBT community dealing with cancer. After he'd receive his first wave of treatment Stephen and I made a pact to rectify this just as soon as he got better.

As you know, he didn't get better but I've still kept to my end of the bargain. With support from a friend and also Steve's Mum who has been doing car boot sales this year to raise funds we have finally got to a point where we are now registered as a charity with the charity commission. was "born" this October officially. This isn't the end of the journey but the very beginning. There is a lot to do and I am slowly gathering support. I have an old friend who is an accounts expert who has volunteered for doing the finance stuff and a few others who are happy to help wherever possible but I will also be on the lookout for others, researchers, web designers, graphic designers, copywriters and other forms of help which I may not yet know I need.

Take a look at the website and feel free to use the contact form there to tell me what you think. It's going to change a lot over the coming months. Those changes will probably happen more once training for my new job is complete but at least I am now in a job which will afford me free time to do what I want and need.

I must say I have been very lucky though to have the support of those around me and in particular the support of a partner who is happy to help and support me in trying to pay the best possible tribute I can to my late partner. I am not sure outsiders understand what a positive effect he has had on me and some perhaps do not want to see how good he has been for me, it may be that they don't want to see because their feelings for steve are influencing that but the point is though that I know and I appreciate it.

On times I feel I need to remind other people that I am still a widower and I am still fighting a daily battle to deal with how that makes me feel. Not Jonathan, in fact never Jonathan, he accepts Stephen is as much a part of his life as he is mine. I am convinced others look in and think I have forgotten Steve and their insensitivity, attitudes and actions back this theory up. It's difficult, for many reasons. Yes, I have good days and good weeks but a recent incident reminded me that my recovery this far is relatively fragile.

Onwards. Christmas is just over two weeks away and then new year. I love Christmas and hate new year by I am looking forward to reflecting on this year. It's been difficult. There have been good and bad times and whilst its been wonderful meeting someone special in equal measure that has been tough too. Obviously my history factors a part of the difficulty but there are other external factors too. Hopefully 2013 will be more positive.

For now though most presents have been bought, many are wrapped its mainly Jonathan I have left to buy for. This weekend though we are heading to London so no shopping but, I am looking forward to us spending time together .

I'm signing off for now, have a great weekend and I hope to write soon

xxx M xxx

Sent from my iPhone