Pubs and beer and food and Indian and rain and cold and wind – but mainly pubs , beer and food

A proper English country pub

I mentioned before about my friend from school, H, who’s wife died a little while ago.

Unfortunately, I could only go to the funeral for the day but I made the effort and went over on our long holiday weekend – the one just gone, to spend some time with him.

I tried to let him do most of the talking. I thought it was the least I could do. We are blokes, after all, and we don’t do the opening up thing very easily – at least, face-to-face. But I think he did a bit and I really hope it helped him. But his story is not my story to write. I found the UK to be nicer than I had thought it would be. Admittedly, although not so far from London, this was the middle of the countryside and reminded me a lot of Herefordshire.

The first night we went out, with his daughter and son, to The Fox Inn in Rudgewick. It was a typical old English pub serving food. The food was wonderful (Steak and Ale Pie with mashed potato) and, of course, there was the beer. A very nice start to the trip.

The next day we we to his daughter’s new house. It was a lovely old house which she had started doing up. We went for lunch at The Crown Inn in Chiddingfold. Again, a typical English village pub with an open fire. Of course, I don’t eat so much and, in the end we had (H & I) some sharing nibbles. And some beer! God, I miss the English beer. Food was good and the place was very nice.

In the afternoon we did some shopping (for me) in Cranleigh, apparently the biggest village in England (or, maybe the UK?). It was very pretty. We were back there in the evening to go to The Curry Inn – not an inn at all but rather a good quality Indian restaurant. H had asked me if it was OK to go out with some of his friends and gave me a choice of Thai or Indian – which. of course, meant Indian. And boy, the curry I had was the best curry I’ve ever had. It was incredibly busy which, of course, means it must be good but the downside to that was we did have to wait an incredibly long time for the food. But, for me, the wait was worth it! Of course, it was Indian beer but you can’t have everything!

The next day it was raining all bloody day. However, H took me on a trip around and to his “baby”, some all-weather football ground (he’s very sporty) that he’d managed to get built. Then a bit more shopping and then, at my request, we went for a proper Sunday Lunch at The Chequers Inn in a tiny village called Rowhook. Again, a typical old English pub with an open fire (the wood smoke permeated the whole place and was so lovely to smell – I miss that atmosphere and that smell) and the food was fantastic. I had roast pork with gravy and asked for a Yorkshire pudding. And, of course, beer. The waiter/manager was Italian! Of course. I would have liked to understand why he was still there but the place was too busy.

Just before that we went shopping and I got my last bits and bobs.

So a weekend of listening, great food and great beer and meeting some very nice people.

So that’s what I got from it but, really, it was for him, so I really hope he got something from it too! And, maybe because I was with him, maybe because of the English pubs and the Indian restaurant – I didn’t hate being back in the UK – apart from the cold and the wet.

I feel somewhat sorry for him as this is shit.

It’s no good.  I’ve tried everything, short of half a bottle of wine or something.

I get up and get myself a glass of milk, my cigarettes and my book, the one I started months and months ago (before summer?) but, which, over the last few months has remained untouched, unopened, unread and unloved.

I know I shall regret this in the morning but, although tired and although it seems I am almost at the point of sleep, the final hurdle seems insurmountable.

I went to bed later than I had hoped, too.  I even had a wank which used to work wonders but now, not only was it difficult but it made no difference.  Bugger.

The last time I looked at the clock, which displays the time on the ceiling in laser red, it was about 12.45.  I know it’s not because of him but part of me blames him anyway.  After all, it was his decision.  And it is because of him.

But, I knew it was coming, even as I got home; even before we spoke or chatted or texted or anything.

Even if his new flat has no electricity and, so, he cannot go there.

It was (and still is) very cold.  Although not freezing in Milan proper, it is close.  The flat was OK but not so warm when I arrived home, the cleaner ironing and then pointing out the broken handle on the moka and blaming it on Dino.  Another broken thing.  So bloody clumsy.

He texted or phoned to say he was leaving work and going home.  I knew he would not be venturing out last night again.  Not in this cold.  I wanted to say ‘Come here’, as I am on his way home but I knew he would not so I said nothing.  We don’t want to feel needy, do we?

He got home and phoned me.  He said that he was so cold, the heating not having been on in the flat and me not having sorted out his timer thing over the weekend.  We chatted through Facebook for a while.  He called me again.  He said he wouldn’t come over, if I didn’t mind.

Of course I minded even if I knew it was coming or, rather, had the nagging doubt that he wouldn’t come.  I wanted to say ‘but it’s OK for me to suffer the cold before 6 in the morning when I come to your place!’ but, of course, I didn’t.  And, anyway, it is my choice.  He said I could come to him but I said that I had the dogs and I hadn’t spent enough time with them over the weekend and, so, I should stay.  He knew that I would stay and said he understood.

And I wonder, just for a moment, if he has the same thoughts as me?  Well, the same but different, if you see what I mean.

We chatted more on Facebook.  I took the dogs out.  God it was cold.  I hurried through the streets, knowing that, at least, the flat would feel warmer on my return.

It didn’t.  Or, rather, not warm enough.

I went back to Facebook to see some messages from him.  There was a turkey to take on Farmville and he had posted a video.  The video said ‘For You’.  I saw what it was.  I chatted back ‘For me?’.  He chatted ‘Did you like it?’.  I ignored that.  ‘From you?’, I chatted.  ‘Si, Mi (sic) and Diana’.  The video is below.

[April 2015: Unfortunately the video doesn’t work any more and, as I didn’t use to put the name of the song, I don’t remember what it was. Sorry. Video now removed as it doesn’t work.]

As I watched it, my feelings of slight anger dissolved.  But the emotions were mixed.  He wasn’t here and that was the point.  And I wasn’t sure it was really for me; I mean, not in the words although the song maybe.  I had asked before if something was for me, some weeks ago.  He said no but he would tell me if it was.  He had told me this was.  He doesn’t use words so much.  But the sentiments, if for me and if he understood the words well enough, were strong.  As I watched, I felt myself welling up inside.  I choked back a sob and wiped the few tears from my eyes.  I hoped it was true but, if it was true, where the fucking hell was he?  I loved him more and hated him all at the same time.  It’s not as if we were far apart but it felt like the other side of the world.  I briefly contemplated going over to his place.  I wanted him so badly, wanted to hold him and kiss him.  But I wasn’t going to go, I just wanted to.

I chatted.  ‘It made me cry’.

‘Why?’, he asked.  It made me think that, perhaps, it wasn’t the words he was trying to tell me.  You, surely, wouldn’t be asking why if they were?

‘Just cos’, I replied.

‘cos ?’, he queried.

‘It’s difficult…….I don’t know how to say……I don’t know’, I replied.  Afterwards, as I was in bed, I thought that it wasn’t the sentiment he was querying but the word ‘cos’.  Maybe he doesn’t know it’s slang for because.

‘I will phone you now’ he says.  I think he was worried.  I think he didn’t understand and was frightened it was something else (that I don’t understand).  We are open to this mis-communication.  We have a different mother tongue, different culture, etc.

I’m not crying by the time he phones.  I am a bloke.  Blokes don’t cry.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have told him.  We talk about An, the friend of his in London and the problems with her husband and with him (her husband) having had an affair and he told me how he had said to her that he had had the affair because of the problems and the problem was that they hadn’t talked about the problems and that she should make sure they talked about the problems and he said that talking about the problems was better, wasn’t it? …he asked me, finally.  And I agreed and then added that we didn’t talk and he replied that we didn’t have any problems and I thought that we do but that we didn’t talk about them anyway even if they were important and then he mentioned something that is and is not important and I said that I understood that and didn’t have a problem with it and I thought, additionally, since that was not the “problems” I was talking about although I didn’t then say what the problems were but they aren’t problems for him and, with the exception of him not coming down to see me and be with me, the other problems weren’t really problems, at least, not yet but would become problems, I was sure, but in the meantime how could I possibly tell him something about the problems that weren’t but would be.

And, anyway, I’ve already told him but perhaps he’s forgotten.  And I couldn’t mention the problem of tonight because I didn’t want to make him feel guilty and he would, I am sure (well, almost sure), have got re-dressed and come to me and you have no idea how guilty I would feel about that!  Having done that once to him, never again.  It made me feel so bad that he was doing something he really didn’t want to that the pleasure in him doing it was so lost that I thought at the time – Remember this, this moment and how bad you feel and make sure he doesn’t do something just for you when he really doesn’t want to do it, again! Ever!

And so I didn’t say anything, of course.  And then he said he was going to bed.  So he was tired too.  This is a big week for him and I must try and remember that it’s not all about me.  Even if this blog IS all about me.  This is the place and should be the only place that really is about me, with others being only bit players, even if some of them feature often.

And, so, he went to bed.  And, within a few moments so did I.  But it was cold in the bed and I missed him putting his arm round me and I still had all those mixed up and screwed up emotions; loving him and aching for him and hating him (but not really) and understanding but thinking that he didn’t really understand me or my needs or just how much I love him.

And I thought of V.  But not in that way.  V used to say that he thought that he loved me too much.  I thought that it was a stupid thing to say.  I mean, how can someone say ‘I love you too much’ – how can love be too much?  But maybe there’s something in this?  Maybe he had a point?  Maybe it’s just ‘cos I didn’t understand?

And, I decided that, if he really did feel this way, I should have been more sympathetic and understanding.  But I didn’t know.  How could I?  But this, this thing, this feeling or feelings.  Was this what he meant?  And, if so, then I have sympathy or empathy or something like that.  And I wondered why I never felt this about V.  Or, at least, I don’t remember feeling like this about V.  Or is this because I’m not getting everything I want?  But I never had everything I wanted with V either.  But I think you can never get that.  Not everything.

And that’s why I couldn’t sleep as well.  In spite of everything I tried to do.  And the thoughts and the questions remain, this morning.  What is really meant by it all?  He’s fucking up my mind.  And, is this what I did to V?  For 20 years?  And, so, even if it’s not true, if it wasn’t true, I feel somewhat sorry for him as this is shit.

Meat Markets


I was never really a fan of gay bars, discos or clubs.  When I was younger I was (now that I look back) quite a ‘pretty’ boy.  Unfortunately, I never fully appreciated the significance of this, struggling as I was to a) fully come to terms with who I was and b) being fairly crap at meeting people and forming some sort of lasting relationship (I have been very, very fortunate in my life, I do know this).

The problem with the ‘gay scene’ is that it is, more or less, like a meat market.  The young(er) guys waltz around showing off their wares’ whilst the older guys stand to the side and eye them up.  Then, if they are really attracted, they may make a move – but, let’s be honest, it’s nearly always purely for the sex; the good looking guys, generally, airheads (as it is in the straight world, I guess) and the more intelligent guys looking, well, more geeky and, certainly less attractive.

Since I had a little intelligence, I always thought of myself as one of the geeky ones.

I know, I know, this is all generalisation.  Not everyone is like that.  But it did ‘put me off’ the scene quite a lot and, apart from a few years at the start with M and then at the end of M and I, I didn’t really do the scene.

And, now that I am exactly one of the older guys, I certainly do not want to be doing it again.

And so, given that there must be other guys my age who think the same (although that may not be true, of course), I thought I might try the on line stuff.

So far, I’ve signed up to two sites.  I have a small problem here.  I don’t actually have any ‘gay’ friends (here, anyway) and, therefore, don’t know the etiquette involved.

On one of the sites, there are opportunities to ‘wink’ at one another.  Now, for me, this means that you think the other guy is attractive (in a variety of senses since my photo hasn’t been ‘approved’ yet so no one can ‘see’ me – only what I like, am like, etc.).

But does this, on the gay on line dating scene, mean something else?  If so, why the hell is someone from New York winking at me?  What possible purpose could it serve?  Should I wink back or not?  I mean to say, I am not going to be travelling there to see if we ‘get on’, stuff that for a lark!  So what was the point?  I am certainly NOT looking for pen friends (I have enough problems keeping in touch with people that I know well, as some of you may know – what with me being a typical English bloke and all).  So I don’t really get it at all.

As a result of the ‘winking’ thing, I’m now a little concerned that, given the sexual promiscuity on the scene in general, that, should I meet someone, they will expect sex that moment, which is certainly not what I want (hell, for that I can just go down the road)

So, do I make that plain from the start?  If we get on and I am sexually attracted to them then maybe but not immediately I clap eyes on them!

My worry is that this is just another facet of the same scene – another meat market.  One of the sites I purposely did not go on is, more or less, used for one-night stands (so to speak), apart from other reasons which I won’t go into here.

So, here I am, already invited down to the southern(ish) part of Italy; being winked at every five seconds; emailed; looked at; scrutinized – I’m not at all sure that I like this much.  However, there’s a life to get on with so it has to be.  At least, on these sites, I can be certain that they are men looking for men, which is a huge step forward, I suppose.

And, who knows, maybe I’ll meet some really nice people (they can’t all be camp, screaming, psychotic, axe-murdering, weirdos, can they?) and make some friends?  And, maybe it’ll be fun finding out.

I have to be honest and say that my limited experience indicates that the French and Spanish seem more into this on line thing and, looking at the photos, maybe I should be moving to one of those countries for they are hot’ – see there’s my gay superficiality coming out again.  Damn.

In Como with true friends.


Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before

Hotel California – The Eagles

And the conversation over dinner in this rather nice and not so expensive pizzeria, in some square in Como, was a distraction from the current feeling and A was very concerned and, what’s more, I could see it in his eyes. For all that I complain about him, I could tell that this was true and that, even if he thinks I am some sort of alien, he does, really, actually, care about me as a friend. And I am grateful for that.

He has said he will call me from his holiday to check up on me and see how things are going.

I am supported by friends and, even if they cannot take this away from me, it is good to know that if or when I crash and burn, they will be there.

We had been to Fox Town, as I mentioned a couple of posts ago. I had wandered round Iceberg and found a very nice, blue suede jacket/shirt thing. I tried it on because it was so nice. It had the outlet price as half of the original but was just way out of my range and I wouldn’t have paid so much.

I had put it back on the rail and had wandered around more of the store, picking things up, giving a cursory glance, putting the stuff back. Neither caring nor interested, really, in what I was doing.

A came over to explain why they were taking so long. It seemed that the 60 or 70% sticker was the extra discount, not on the original price but on the discounted price. At first I didn’t believe him. But he insisted. So I went round to the rail on which this blue shirt/jacket was and calculated how much it was now.

It’s one thing that V has given me. I know that, this thing, although only a thing and, therefore, not important, can be worn for years and still look good. So, suddenly the price was not only affordable but, for something that will be worn so much, well worth it. I was very happy about it, as much as I could be given the circumstances – and it was the first time I have bought something that I didn’t strictly need for about 3 years.

After shopping, we were to have gone to Lugano but because it was late, we went to Como instead, somewhere I have never visited before (although I have been on a train through the station).

We sat and had aperos overlooking the Duomo and then went to the pizzeria which had been recommended. The pizza was good – not the best – but good. I’m sorry but I forgot to take a card so I cannot tell you the name.

And there, rather than pooh-pooh my story, which, in any event was difficult to explain and posed as many questions as it gave answers, is where A showed how genuine he was; how understanding; how much of a friend he was.

His advice coincides with my plan. I don’t know whether it’s the right thing to do but it is the only thing I can do. The only question now is ‘how’?

However, right now, with this tiredness and the situation, I could burst into tears – which is certainly not a very blokish thing to do – but I can tell I am only a step away from that. Let’s hope I can keep it together until I get home, at least.

In other news…..


I am afraid, in spite of my promise not to post, I still am. However, the bulk of the insanity is now relegated to elsewhere and I am making a serious effort to lighten this one up a bit, not least because it was becoming a bit of a bore.

And so, in other news:

I cannot get really angry with Dino. This morning, as I was getting ready for work, I glanced over and saw what looked like something white on the front of my shoes, which I had not put on yet.

I went over to find it was not white on the shoe but rather the floor showing through what should have been the front of my shoe. And they were relatively new shoes too! To be honest they only cost me about €15 from the market and I can always get some more. Whilst I can’t get so angry with him, Dino will be banned to the kitchen until further notice. And he’s been doing so well recently, too!

S, my colleague that I mentioned in the last post, told me that, whilst she was on holiday and her husband still at home, her dog had committed suicide! Stop laughing because, really, it’s not funny. Now, she had told me, in the past that C, her husband, never got on well with Carmilla (the dog – and here, I’m not referring to our latest Princess of Wales). Anyway, S went to the holiday flat with the kids leaving Carmilla and C alone together (he was working). It seems that, at the ripe old age of 15, this resourceful dog, whilst not exactly going into the kitchen, getting a bread knife and slashing whatever her wrists are called, squeezed herself between the railings on the balcony and jumped to her death! I just can’t help but have this sneaking suspicion that C, having had enough, kicked her and, unfortunately, she went flying over the balcony but, obviously, he can’t tell his wife and kids that. However, with her having lived in the same house for 15 years, the idea of jumping off the balcony herself sounds, well, quite absurd.

To go back to the current insanity, just for a moment, for the second morning running, I have been wide awake at about 4.30 a.m. And I don’t seem to feel really tired which I find quite amazing. I don’t start off wide awake but as soon as I start to ‘come to’ I start thinking and that’s the thing I really need to stop, that and the pain-which-is-not-real-pain that causes my stomach to churn and ache as if I am hungry and full to sickness all at the same time. Once I can get those two things sorted, I’ll be fine.

Still, this 4.30 thing has one advantage. I get up and take the dogs out and don’t have to rush. I don’t have to rush over coffee and I don’t have to rush to work, arriving earlier than I have to, meaning that, in theory, I could leave a little earlier, if I wanted.

Finally, I’ve been invited to a party by FfI. Interestingly, during the conversation she mentioned that the Weasel would be there. Is it possible that my lusting after him was noticed after all? You know what women are like with these things whereas us blokes can be pretty useless. Although, I am aware that, in my madness, I don’t quite realise that things I think are ‘secret’ are, in fact, known by everyone around me. This can, of course, lead to much embarrassment later on but I am finding that, being in the middle of such madness means I am incapable of determining when I have crossed that magic, invisible line from being unobserved to slightly, or worse, completely, blatant. I didn’t ask as that would have made it much worse. We wait to see what happens. Let’s hope I can keep myself in check enough.

Saturday morning, I shall have to revisit the market for new shoes. Ho hum.

I can’t even be bothered to give this ramble a title


I sit here, being paid for something else, not this. Of course, my ‘waiting’ thing is still going on, a little like ‘The Final Question’ – still not finalised.

I would prefer to be doing the thing I am paid for. It would stop me from thinking and would stop me from messing with my nose, which has developed a sore, at the base of one of the nostrils. It isn’t a true spot, since it is not raised nor does it have a head but it feels like an ‘inward spot’ if you know what I mean. And it is red in that point but not inflamed. It’s a lack of sleep, I know, not from last night but, rather, from the last few weeks.

The sore is just like the ‘waiting’ and ‘The Final Question’, both of which are not on any surface but mostly hidden, except from me and just like the sore in the nostril, they are annoying and irritating and sore.

And V has emailed again as we are due to meet up tonight.

He said: ‘I don’t have anywhere in Milan to stay (at the moment).’

I don’t answer straight away. I think it was the addition of ‘at the moment’. Worse was to come, I felt. I responded that I guessed he was living in the Hinterland.

I looked it up. It is even beyond the Hinterland! A long way from the centre of Milan. Anyway, we are still to meet up, it’s just that he must leave early. He adds, ‘if I stay in Milan obviously I can stay later but the apartment is still quite a way away. I’m not sure what he is asking or, even, if he is asking.

Either way, I studiously ignore it in my reply. I am good at that. At least, I say to myself, I am good at something.

Apparently he doesn’t like where he lives.

I took off the weeding ring a few days ago; the copy of his that we had specially made for our 10<th anniversary. I must remember to put it back on. He notices these things whereas I always mean to but always forget. It’s one of those things one does as a couple. Taking roles. I fleetingly wonder if I became worse at noticing these things because I could rely on him to do it for me and tell me. However, I don’t want to shut any doors as one never knows and I still do love him and want him and…. well enough of this shit.

I get called to the Purchasing office. It means a walk outside and the chance of a cigarette. It is now so hot that it is like stepping into a furnace. The only creatures brave enough to be in this heat are me and the ants – the lizards, normally sunning themselves at every opportunity are hidden away in the coolness of the permanent shade – unless they have all died or something?

And I watch the ants, from some shade that I find, whilst I finish my cigarette. I watch them move from the shade to the open sun. In the shade they move at normal pace; in the sun they move at three times the speed and more erratically as if they were chickens with their heads ripped off and running around frantically hoping that they will find their heads and, as if by magic, become whole again; then they find the shade again and immediately go back to normal speed. It is funny to watch them do this. Funnier still when you see one that, apparently didn’t learn from the last time of being in the glaring sun and goes back to the madness the extreme heat induces.

It all seems so random and I think that we are the same. When we are in the comfort of the shade we move at a moderate pace, seemingly aimlessly (and almost certainly it is aimlessly, not matter how we tell ourselves it is different) and then we hit the sun and it makes us crazy, running faster and faster, still aimlessly, still with no plan as to how to get out of this shit. I think I may be in the sun. What is it they say? ‘Mad dogs and Englishmen……’

Oh enough already. Enough of the ‘waiting’, ‘The Final question’ and the bloody sore nose thing.

And, since I wrote this piece to be posted tonight, the ‘waiting’ has stopped and I cannot tell you how relieved I am.  And, excited or, maybe, that’s just the relief.  I could jump in the car right now and speed down there just to shake his hand and buy him a beer (that being a very blokish thing to do) and give him a hug (which is not a very blokish thing to do nor very English).

The mysterious case of the disappearing curtain pole and other things.


I bought two curtain poles and fixings. The first was yellow as the curtains and lounge is a mixture of yellows and red. The second was white as the bedroom curtains and walls are white.

After successfully putting up the lounge curtains, I started on the bedroom ones. Afraid of heights, nonetheless, I dutifully climbed up and down the ladders with drill/screwdrivers/pliers, etc. a number of times.

The holders for the rod were fixed. All I now needed was the rod itself. One small problem. I couldn’t find it.

It’s a bloke thing. We can’t find stuff that is right in front of us. I have this problem for certain.

So, although I had only bought it on Saturday, it had already disappeared. I hunted in every room. Unfortunately, it is the same colour as most of the walls. And I was certain that I had put it upright in some corner.

I checked behind each door (twice), in each corner of each room/alcove/whatever. I even checked the kitchen even though I was pretty sure it would not be there as I do not trust Dino not to try and eat it as the new toy.

I must have walked past it several times before, eventually, I noticed I had propped it up in a corner created near the front door.

At least it was found but I could have saved a lot of time if I had remembered where I had put it in the first place.  I like being a bloke but sometimes …….

Tonight must be more drilling; putting up the ‘new to me’ kitchen cupboard from FfI (who is no longer responding to calls or texts – ah well) and, hopefully, some ironing or cleaning, both of which I detest.

The Final Conclusion or The Final Betrayal; Travelling and Quandaries; Not as Gay as I was?


The Final Answer to The Final Question has been confirmed in the affirmative. This has made V very happy despite it being too late in certain respects.

Of course, The Final Answer is not the end of it. There will either be The Final Conclusion or The Final Betrayal. At this stage, obviously, I don’t know which. I have been promised The Final Conclusion but, if you’ve been reading this blog over the last few months, you will have some idea as to my uncertainty regarding things concerning V.

This last few weeks have been somewhat busy at work, hence my lack of posting. And, when I get home, there is, now, less time to sit at the computer and ‘mess around’ than there was.

And, it is almost certain (I shall know on Friday, definitely), I shall be going to the UK for a few days for work. Whilst I am there, I shall stay on a few days to renew my passport. It seems, from the website, that I shall be able to get it all done in 1 day (at extra cost, of course). This is slightly imperative on the basis that I shall only have one day to do it before needing to travel back to Milan! I shall let you know how it goes, for all of you ex-pats.

The alternative was a month to wait whilst it went through the consulate in Rome.

And then there will be Paris in June.

And the reason for writing this is the dogs, for I absolutely MUST do something with them and I cannot take them with me. So what to do? I can put them in kennels of course. Or I could get someone to look after them. Or I could ask V but asking V means that I have to rely on him. It’s a quandary. In addition, the day I come back will be the day that used to be our anniversary. I don’t know that I want to go and pick the dogs up on that day. However, since it is only two weeks before the first trip I do need to do something pretty sharpish.

Finally, as you will have read in an earlier post, it seems I may not be quite as gay as I thought I might be, in spite of using hand cream. And by that I mean that I lost the cream (it fell from my pocket whilst walking to the car) and I didn’t notice for two days!

To be fair, my hands, or rather, the part of my hands that were particularly bad, are much better. But there is still a stubborn area of hard skin. So I bought some new hand cream and have started using it once or twice a day. I’m not sure I can stand any more than that!

But, as soon as they are back to normal I shall stop using the stuff and be back, once more, to being the straight gay guy that I have always been. Hurrah!

I go to the dentist (and once was enough) – an update from the previous post


S phones her husband – who owns the dental practice where I now go. I can go in at 12.30.

I arrive. I am lucky (?) to have both dentists at my disposal. I explain what has happened and that I think it is infected (abscess). I need some antibiotics.

They take a look. They see that the tooth has a bit broken off. They think this is the cause of the pain. I try to explain that the tooth broke about 2 or 3 months ago and the pain started happening 2 or 3 days ago. In my mind there was no correlation.

They still think it is a result of the break.

The woman dentist injects my gum and, a few minutes later starts the treatment. The cold air hits my painful bit and I almost jump out of the chair. They think this is strange. They decide to inject the roof of my mouth. At first this is OK. After a few seconds it feels like she is sticking the needle into the painful area without any anesthetic.

I attempt to rise from the chair like she is a magician doing that levitation trick. At the same time, I make garbled shrieks. I have never felt this much pain in a dentist’s chair.

She stops but then says she must continue to sort it out. She continues. I scream. She then blows a little, faint stream of cold air into the area. She asks if it hurts and yes, it bloody well does.  I mean, I know I’m a bloke and we’re not so good with pain, but never, never can I remember so much pain.  She might as well have been sticking a needle into an area of my body that was the most sensitive!

They decide that, maybe, there is some small infection. I have a prescription to get some antibiotics.

I go back on Tuesday. The man dentist says it’s OK to take Synflex whilst taking the antibiotics.

This is a good thing as, on the drive back to work, the pain comes back like it was at 3 this morning. I have taken two more tablets. Almost 2 hours later I find the pain is now almost bearable.

I never did like dentists that much. I like S’s husband – but he is not a dentist, only the owner/dental technician. He made my new teeth and on which he did a fantastic job. I still don’t like actual dentists that much.

I take a trip to the chemist (twice)


I decide I must go the chemist after all. It’s 3 and I decide to drive, walking will take too long and I can’t use public transport.

I get in the car and start the drive. I know which chemist I am going to. The traffic is light – well, almost non-existent. That is because this is just after 3 in the bloody morning! I got home at midnight with my tooth aching as it has done, on and off, for about 2 days. I know what the problem is – it is infected (again). I had, sort of, hoped it would go away but it hasn’t and now, instead of the pain lasting for an hour or so, it has lasted for several hours and has now woken me up at this ungodly hour.

I am in so much pain (and, being a man, this is tripled or quadrupled, of course) that I cannot do anything. When I got home at midnight the pain was bad. So much so that I texted V to ask if the chemist was till open in Corso Buenos Aires (it used to be an all-night one) and what I should get as I don’t usually do pills so really have no idea.

He says that he thinks the chemist is open and that I should ask for Synflex 550.

So, at just after midnight I trot off to the chemist – to find it no longer did the overnight opening but had a sign to say that it was now open from 8 a.m. To 8 p.m. Damn! I look for the nearest one open at this time from the list they have posted. I know where the nearest one is but it’s just too far to go, I have been out and had a few drinks and I want the pain to stop now.

I phone V. Does he have something? He says that he does but it’s not very strong. I say that that is OK by me. I go to the old flat. He has the pills ready and a glass of water. I take them, gratefully.

I go home. I go to bed. I go to sleep. Then I am up again at three and this time the pain is worse. I cannot stand the dogs who think it is time to go for a walk. I dismiss them and then feel sorry for them because it is not their fault but rather the pain’s.

I leave them to take the drive to the chemist that I am almost certain will be open.

I park, across tram lines, knowing that there will be no trams at this hour. I go to the chemist door. They are not open as such but I am invited, by a sign, to ring the bell. I ring, almost jumping up and down with the pain by now. I wait. This is taking too long. I ring again.

A bleary-eyed man arrives at the door. There is a small metal cover which he can open. He asks what I want. I tell him. Normally, at the chemist, when you ask for this stuff, they question you as to what you want it for; have you ever taken it before; before grudgingly going to get the packet.

He just asks for €10. I guess that, if you’re coming out here at this time to get this you know why you want it and have used it before. I give him 20 through the metal door that he has now opened, slightly.

He goes away. He returns quite quickly. He hands me the box and the change through the metal door. I thank him. It is as much as I can do not to tear open the box there and then and take a whole load of them.

I get in the car and drive back. In the 30 minutes or so that this whole exercise has taken, my parking place has been taken. I curse Italians and Italian drivers in particular. I drive round and find one space in a residential zone. I now live out of the zone for which I have the permit. I don’t care. I need to take the pills. I park, reasoning that between now and 7.15 when I shall leave, there won’t be anyone calling the police to have my car towed away for being parked in a wrong place.

I get back to the flat and once again, cannot greet the dogs who are happy to see me as if I have just got home from work.

I take the pills. I know that they will take effect – but, obviously, not within one second.

I wait for them to take hold. At 4.30 I go back to bed. I don’t really sleep but need to so much.

At 5.45 the alarm goes off and I find that I have slept, thank goodness.

Still, I am grateful for all-night chemists and grateful, in this case, that I live somewhere where it is possible to get to the chemist without having to travel for half an hour.

I am, unsurprisingly, very tired today.

I go to my dentist at 12.30. He will give me antibiotics and everything will be fine within a day, I know. I very much hope that I will be able to sleep tonight.