Sunday, 26 August 2012

Separate Holidays

(I've written this document on Friday but I'm posting it now)

Have you ever considered having separate holidays from your other half? Was it a need or a choice? Have you done it? Did it affect your relationship positively or negatively?

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m going to Greece via Zurich tonight. I plan to stay there for a whole week visiting my parents and seeing old friends. ‘JJ’ is not coming with me. The main reason is the tricky situation with my parents and the other reason was the fact that he didn’t know if he could take any days off during August. Yes, my parents know I’m gay and that I’m living with him. That doesn’t mean however that they’re accepting or they’d like to meet him and have him staying at their place. It’s the elephant in the room situation. JJ is generally never mentioned by them, especially by my father. I have been mentioning him in conversations and I’m always on about things we’ve been doing together to show them how happy he makes me. My mother is happy for me but can't really take my place and stand up to my father.

I’ll give you an example of the situation and how ridiculous it is. My brother and I bought my parents for Christmas an ipad! I thought that they’d love the idea of skyping me using it. It’s very easy and portable. They have never done it. I think they’re afraid they might see JJ in the background or something. They’ve never even been curious to see the house I now live in. It will be very interesting next year at my brother’s wedding…

However, JJ was told that he must have a week off the exact same week I’m away. He was told that very recently to our annoyance. We could have organised something together and I could go to Greece some other time. So, he decided against staying home, bored, waiting for me to come back, checked destinations online and booked to spend some days in Berlin. I’m so glad for him. Berlin is a very nice destination which I assume he’ll like.

When I mentioned to a common Greek friend of mine that I’m off to Greece and JJ’s off to Berlin, he was kind of shocked. His first reply was: ‘And you’re going to let him go?’ Knowing him, I wasn’t that surprised. There are many people that can be possessive like that in a relationship. Think of a typical Greek, Italian, Spanish or generally Latin person. Stereotypically speaking they like to be in control, knowing at any given moment where their partner is and what he/she is doing. Forgive me for using that stereotype but I guess you know what I mean.

But I’m not like that. I trust JJ and I want him to have a great time. I don’t think it would do us any good if I demanded from him not to go on holidays while I’m away. There are no double standards when it comes to us and I believe that with no trust, there can’t easily be a good relationship. I do feel a bit sorry for him for having to go alone, in a sense that it would be much better if we went together. We always have so much fun when vacationing together, which brings me to the second issue of the day.

I still need to take a week off till the end of the year and JJ was supposed to get some days off from work in late October, early November, so we were planning with friends this time to go away. However, apparently, things changed at his work and his holidays might be cancelled. What am I to do? I still need to book holidays otherwise I’ll lose them and I have the invitation of going away but I feel bad leaving him here again. It’s not his fault that his job is causing him problems. Maybe I could go away but for fewer days that previously planned and stay home to get some rest keeping him company. Being the person he is, he encourages me to go away for as long as I want…  

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Random Thursday Thoughts and a naked prince

Have you seen Prince Harry’s naked photos?
I knew I could catch your attention with this opening line. Apparently, he was playing strip snooker with his friends in a hotel in Las Vegas. Nice… I’m really happy for him for enjoying life and having fun with his friends. Of course he’ll get grief over it, but he’s young. Let him enjoy life and even be a bit irresponsible. Here are some pictures:

She's not going to be happy:

On a different note I’m flying to Greece this weekend. I’ve turned it a bit into a tradition, but I go to visit my parents every year, around the August’s Bank Holiday. We have a day off every last Monday of August and by taking 4 days of holiday I can go away for a week. This time however, I’ve planned it differently and I’m flying through Zurich. I’ve arranged to stay there for a day on my way to Greece between flights. I have a very good friend of mine there and I expect it to be fun. I don’t know if you’ve been to this side of the world, but Switzerland is quite beautiful and Zurich’s a lovely town to spend a day or two.

I’ve already planned so many things to do while in Greece. I’ve invited friends of mine to stay over at my parents’ place and also arranged to meet old university colleagues and old school friends. That’s the main reason I love social websites and mobile communication apps. With my new smartphone which I really love I’m in contact with them constantly on the go. It’s amazing… PS. Does any of you play ‘words with friends’?

where I'm heading...

Monday, 20 August 2012

TMI Thursday - Books

I saw that in Jim's blog who took it from Sean on his TMI Thursday challenge last week and I thought of taking part... Better late than ever...

1. eBooks or real books? If an eBook: Kindle, Nok or other? I generally love the feeling of holding a real book. However, for practical reasons when I commute to work I’m holding a kindle. So, I’m a person that has a real book on his nightstand and a Kindle in my bag.

2. Which book are you currently reading? Matter by Ian M. Banks

3. How many books have you read in 2012? How has reading blogs, FB, and/or tweeting affected your book reading? According to my Kindle, I’ve read 11 books since January. I also know I’ve finished 3 normal books during that time. So, I’m at number 15 at the moment. FB, blogs, tweets etc haven’t affected me on my reading. I read in the tube, underground, where there is no internet reception and in bed, where I don’t use any electronic (reading) devices.

  4. What genre(s) of book do you enjoy reading? I like reading crime novels, historic fiction, fantasy books and sometimes general fiction. If something catches my eyes, I’ll read it. I’m not that fussed about the genre. I’ve read almost everything in the past

5. Have you read the Kama Sutra or The Joy of Sex? Helpful? Funnily enough I run into my parents’ Kama Sutra many years ago. That’s a bit weird, I know. We generally never discuss anything about sex. Then, I only went through the pictures but that’s it. I wasn’t interested. Nowadays, I own a ‘Joys of Gay Sex’ book. I don’t think it was that helpful and the only chapter I really read was about hygiene and diseases…

What was the first erotic novel you read that matched your sexual orientation? I’ve never read an erotic novel. I was never interested. I have come across books with gay characters though unexpectedly, which was always a pleasant surprise. From the top of my head is the ‘Magician Trilogy’ by Trudi Canavan. That’s a very good Fantasy book where I wouldn’t expect to find gay characters…

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

3 years old!

Last week marked my 3rd anniversary since I created this blog! 3 years! For some of you that is probably next to nothing, but I have to admit I’m glad with myself. I generally have a short attention span and I sometimes get quickly bored with stuff or hobbies. However, I managed to stick to this blog. I’m probably not writing the way or as frequent as I used to, but things have changed and this is a recreational activity and I intend to keep it this way.

There are some bloggers I’ve ‘met’ through these years that started round about my time but have left the blogosphere already. Sometimes blogging is not easy. This is the 3rd document I’m writing which I hope I’ll post. The other two are either left just before being finished or are finished but I didn’t have the time to post them and they are now a bit out of date. These things happen though. Sometimes life gets in the way.

Thinking about it, my life has changed so radically these last 3 years. Unintentionally, I started this blog a month before I came out to my parents, 3 months before I met ‘JJ’ and a couple of years before I moved in with him. I’ve also changed my career since then. When I started this blog it was mostly about my dating adventures and afterwards trying to fit in a new relationship. The only constant thing in my life during these is my friends and family. I’m blessed to be surrounded by people all these years that stayed with me through various periods.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The dark side of the coin

I visited yesterday the neighbourhood where I used to work for around 3 years to meet some old colleagues of mine and go to the local pub. It’s always a pleasure meeting them. I’ve been in my new company for more than a year now but I’ve kept in touch with them.  After some quick small talk, the conversation moved to the Olympics. After talking about Bolt and Team GB’s medals we started talking about the other, darker, effects of the Olympics.

The area where my old office is located is affected by the bad economic climate. There are lots of abandoned office buildings and closed shops in the high street. There is also a noticeable increase of the number of the rough sleepers on the streets. Not only that, there are many new people on the street with still relatively clean duvets and clothes. This is of course something not to be shown to the visitors or the Olympic Games fans.

The Olympic Games were estimated to cost around £11bn ($17.5bn?)! There are of course the sponsors (£700m), the money from the ticket sales and merchandise (est £600m) and the money provided by the International Olympic Committee (£800m). All the rest (£9.3bn) were provided by the Public Sector that includes central Government (ie taxpayers), National Lottery and local authorities in London.

The amount of money spent for the Games were of course removed from other sectors or taken by newly introduced taxes. I’ve heard numerous stories about public funding cuts on social care, pensions and health care. It’s a bit ironic talking about the legacy of the Games and how the new generations should start actively taking part in sports when most sports centres and similar schemes are cancelled due to lack of government funding. It can be painful to watch homeless people on the street and the glamour of the Olympic Games on the television…

I don’t want to be all negative, pessimistic and spoil the party. I love watching the Games and I think I always will. I just wanted to make a point that there is another side to it.

I want to end this post in a funnier and lighter mood. Here’s a list of athletes that caught my attention during the last days:

Ben Ainslie - Gold Sailing Finn

Greg Rutherford - Gold Long Jump

Tom James - Gold Coxless Four Rowing

Sunday, 5 August 2012

5 on the 5th

I was very happy to be informed that Stephen from 'The State of the Nation UK' revived the 5 on the fifth. That's a posting where you share 5 pictures taken on the days leading to the 5th of the month. Hopefully this is not the last and we might see more coming the following months. Stephen?

This month's theme is 'summer'. Here are the pictures I took since Friday:

The amazing summer British weather. This year it was dreadful, even worse than normal. I think I read that we had more rain since records began all these years ago... There were floods today in parts of the UK.

 This year of course is all about the Olympics. That's Cleopatra's needle Wenlock in Embankment gardens (in front of Cleopatra's needle)

 Summer is about harvest as well. That's a courgette I picked from our garden yesterday. This year for the first time ever I planted some vegetables and for the time being I can see some amazing courgettes growing in the garden. 

 That's a copy of Myron's diskobolos ("discus thrower") at the entrance of the British Museum. I took this picture today. They run an 'Olympic' themed exhibition in the museum which is interesting to watch. 

There are various exhibitions running in the Capital at the moment. This is 'Mr Brainwash's (Thierry Guetta)  work which is a massive Kate Moss. The artist is the guy who did 'exit at Gift Shop' and Madonna's Celebration cover.

Extra picture. The above is what happened to the courgette I picked from the garden: an amazing omelette for breakfast yesterday! You can't imagine how delicious it was...

Thursday, 2 August 2012


It's been hectic the last couple of weeks at work and that's why I've been quiet at the blogosphere. Last week I gave an interview at work and I managed to get a better position in my company. I'll replace a guy that is soon leaving, so I'm joining a different team. However, apart from me another colleague has quit. That means that I have to train a replacement, help my team since we are sort of staff and also get trained in the new position. Juggling many balls at once can be tiring but the occasion is very exciting. I'm so glad I've been given the opportunity of the new placement. I've officially started yesterday but I'm practically between teams.

On a different topic, I've been highly enjoying watching the Olympic Games. I wasn't amazed by the Opening Ceremony. I liked some bits like Bond and the music evolution walk-through but not others. Anyway, that's old news now. Greece managed to get their first medal, in Judo. There might be more to come... Iliadis won Bronze in Judo. That's Iliadis... Woof:

Even if we first invented the Games all these centuries ago, we really can't compete with other counties in medal wining. So, I'm happy with what we can get. :-) Even taking part in semi finals or finals