Sorry for the quiet spot!

….. well folks, I’m back, well almost anyways!

Things since the beginning of September have been totally manic, a very relaxing if rather hot week in Mallorca, then home and a visit to my ancestral home in Essex.

2 very important events in my church community attended as well as 2 weddings in which I sang (well I call it singing) in the choir.

I’ve also had a house guest, my dear mum. She’s staying for a little R&R after a slightly difficult period in her long and busy life. I have to say that it’s been a total pleasure and I’m having the best of times with her in a long time. It’s nice finally to care for her with the kindness she has shown me throughout my life.

More to follow.

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New beginnings!

I shall be a bit coy for the time being, but a big new chapter in my life and the life of my family is about to start …


watch this space!

The comforts of “home”!

They say “home is where the heart is” and “wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home”, and I believe them both to be true.

I have lived in quite a few places in my near 54 years, my family home for over 20 of them, a second floor flat on the south side of the River Thames in London close to Borough Market for 10. But it is Brixham in Devon that I think of as my home. 

I first visited the pretty little fishing port in 2000, it’s where I met my best friend Paul. It was a part of the U.K. I had only visited briefly once in the late 1980’s and I knew nothing about it. Strangly though I felt an instant affinity with it. For the next 7 years I would visit Brixham and stay for maybe a total of 3 months a year, Paul and I had the pleasure of each other’s company and were enjoying the delights of London, and recharging our batteries so to speak at his flat just a hop, step and a jump from the inner harbour.

Time has passed by and 9 years ago, a year after Paul had decided to relocate full time back to his home town, I was lucky enough to secure the rental of a substantial ground floor flat overlooking the harbour entrance and the expanse of Tor Bay. This is the first place I have felt truly at home in the U.K., it is where my heart is.


(The view from my lounge window in Brixham)

Of course, we all love a holiday and most of us Brits are partial to a bit of Spanish sunshine. My family were no different. After many washed out, blown away, car failure, camping holidays in the West Country or along the Norfolk coast, the lure of the 2 week package holiday to Spain was impossible to resist. Our first adventure as a family was to Palma Nova in Mallorca, the flight intrigued me, an Transeuropa Caravelle 10 twin jet with triangular windows of quite ancient build. 

It was probably the most exciting thing in my life, even more than the chain driven pedal go kart I’d had the previous Christmas. It engendered a life long love of all things commercial aviation wise, I’ll tell you about my “collections” another time.

The following year we visited a town in the north of Mallorca, the transfer from Palma airport took forever, but we eventually arrived at a very newly built hotel, set back a street from the quite pleasant beach. Come evening time we realised that behind the hotel was a salt marsh, and as the sun set, so the biting commenced, after this I don’t really remember much except for the constant application of insect repellent!

However, the area around Puerto Pollenca is fantastic, tall rugged parched mountains rise up behind the town which is draped seducively round a pine tree lined bay. Back then in the late 60’s there was almost no development, a couple of rather nice hotels and some very impressive Mallorquin villas, each with there own wooden jetties reaching out into the shallow, fish filled waters of the bay.

I have visited Puerto Pollenca on a fairly regular basis over the 40 odd years since my first visit, it has developed a little, there are a few more hotels, the marina has expanded somewhat but it has lost none of its peaceful charm. In these latter years I have settled to staying at the Daina Hotel, this year must be my 7th or 8th visit. I love this hotel, it’s delicious hot and cold buffet breakfasts and dinners, well appointed rooms, and staff that seem to remember you no matter how long since your last visit. 

The weather here is always agreeable, sometimes a little hot, but what’s a pool, the sea or for that matter air conditioned rooms for! I seem to always buy hats here, there are 3 in Devon and a brand new one laying on the table in front of me, this is my home away from home!


(The Daina Hotel, Peurto Pollenca, Mallorca)

So there you are, my heart and hat homes, soon I’ll tell your where my soul feels at ease!

He’s 14 and sulking!

Inside this very small house is my eldest Jack Russell called Spike. He’s usually a very happy, bouncy, waggy and bonky wee man.

He became very distressed after I went to collect the “madness”, so much so his DaddyP (Paul) phoned me in the car. “We” decided a trip to Unckie Matt the vet was in order. So after much running about shopping etc we arrived at the vets for Spike’s appointment.


He greeted Unckie Matt in a very subdued state after the most fretful journey in the car. He had a full body examination and didn’t even flinch at the insertion of the rectal thermometer (usually this induces much barring of teeth and growling of dark and evil intent) in fact he was perfectly well behave (rarely for him too).

Unckie Matt couldn’t find anything wrong, but to make sure he kindly removed an adequate blood sample to do a “geriatric screening”. Matt said that we weren’t to worry and he’d get results asap. So home we came.

Spike was quiet and rested all the way home, he greeted his house mates in a reasonably jolly way and the went straight to his house and here he has stayed. Treats and dinner have been served at the door and a quick drink at the water bowl and a pee in the garden have been completed, but to his house he has returned and stayed.

Blood results arrived at 6.30pm, and of course they are all clear, so it appears “Mr Dog” has had his first “fuck you, you’re going on holiday” hissy fit. I dare say he’ll be back to his old self in the morning.

Oh how I love by difficult little man.


Ner ner ner ner ner!

The “madness” is coming!

Well folks, not long until I depart with my soon to be 60 yo best mate for a week in sunny Mallorca. Those of you that may know me will know that I have 3 terriers and my best mate has one too. So what happens when we both want to go away?

(Drum roll …)


Enter our dear friend, Aunty Alex, Mad Alex, Mr Over, his names are without end.

Our terriers absolutely adore Alex, they have known him all their lives, and he totally adores them right back. We go away in the knowledge that our beasties will have the bestest time, they will run riot and by the time we get home they will have forgotten any of the good manners they occasionally have.

If you were to meet Alex, you know why our beasties adore him. He is completely loopy, he has 3 conversations with you at once, is a creature of very well defined habits (he’s German!) and compiles a written, sketched and photographed dossier of everything that occurs during our absence. I have kept many of his etchings, the one of dogs pooping and throwing up is one of my favourites.

One thing is for certain, we’ll have a great holiday because Alex is here with the beasties and we will not miss out on anything that happens at home while we are away.

Everyone should have a bit of “madness” in their lives, ours is 6 foot 2 with a blonde Mohican!!

Tickets? Money? Passport?

Oh how I laughed when Edina Monsoon on Absolutely Fabulous swept like an enormous mountain of summer clothing at a bring and buy sale towards her front door hollering the above as she and Patsy were embarking on a vacation to France!

That dear reader is NEVER me!!

You see, some might call me cautious, some might call me careful, most just call me anal as I am a very, very, very fond user of the ‘list’. Not just writing and preparing the list, but honing it, adjusting it, laying out in its most logical structure (well to me anyways). And it doesn’t stop there. I weigh everything to optimise my baggage allowance, I cross check continually to my holiday operators website, I measure all my luggage’s dimensions to millimetre accuracy. NEVER let it be said I go anywhere unprepared .

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Then there is the practice packing, firstly the wash bag and it’s carefully selected contents, ┬áthen the medicine bag (I do take rather a large amount of prescription medications) and all its precious pills, ointments, drops, etc. After this comes the clothing and shoes in the main bag. Outfits for each day are formulated and stored in my mind, colours carefully considered, weather conditions, where and what I’ll be doing, the parameters are endless. I always do the carry on baggage last of all, this contains all the relevant documentation for the trip, plus a change of underwear and a fresh t-shirt as well as any medications required during travel.

At some point final revisions and a final practice pack is completed, the ‘list’ items being ticked off by being struck through with a yellow highlighter and each baggage item is weighed and measured a final time before the final packing is undertaken on the evening before departure.

As final packing commences, a blue highlighter is selected and as each item is placed in the relevant baggage it is stuck through on the ‘list’ with blue, thus turning it from the previous yellow to green for go! Once all the ‘list’ is green and the clothing for travel neatly laid out on the chair beside my bed I know that I am ready to go and NO stone has been left unturned and NOTHING has been left behind!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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My best mate Paul and myself in Spain some years ago, smiling as we’d left nothing behind!

 

My first ramble!

My first ramble!

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Well here I am, well me some 22 years ago. YES, that is me!

Hell wasn’t I young-looking and oh so skinny. At the time I was working for a skin care specialist and ‘doing’ the Ideal Home Exhibition. The unit next to my company were doing ‘makeovers’ and just for a laugh we did me (I was the only man to partake the process).

I brought my own outfit to wear, I was after all a bit of a ‘Master’ of the London gay leather scene at the time (maybe you’ll hear more about this in future ramblings).

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Needless to say we had an absolute blast this day, the whole experience got the very worst of my ‘camp’ well and truly aired, something I always have enjoyed, well ever since I was three years old, and that story will be coming very, very soon (all a bit Dave Cameron as it happens!).

I hope you’ll enjoy following my ramblings, I’m no great wordsmith, but I will always write from the heart and with my usual terrible humour!

Thanks for getting this far xxx