My time in the hospice is taken care of.

My time in the hospice is taken care of

It happened a few days ago but a) I hadn’t thought it through and b) it hasn’t actually happened – it’s just an intent.

But, it’s a big intent. Well, I think it’s big.

So, I have a private pension fund (it doesn’t make me rich, honest, (unfortunately)) which, as an ex-pat, I had moved from the UK to an EU country for a number of reasons. One of those reasons was to escape some of the various private funds having a say over who could receive the fund in the unfortunate event of my death.

So, I’ve left it all to F. And I explained that I had done this, warning him that it wasn’t something to get excited about but it would mean he could pay for people to look after the dogs, etc. This was a few years ago.

Then, a few days ago, when I was having some issues and he was away, I talked about them and he told me that his brother had phoned wanting money. Now they own the house down in Carrara on a 50/50 basis and F’s brother wants F to buy him out. F said that he would go to the bank and try to get a mortgage to buy out his brother.

And then he added that he would write a will to leave it to me if he should die.

Because, “it would help you pay for a hospice if you needed.” Which was quite a strange thing to add but, still.

Of course, it’s extremely unlikely that he will die first, given my age and the smoking and stuff – but that’s not the point, as you realise.

And I thought it was quite sweet (apart from the hospice stuff which was a bit weird).

But it makes me feel a little more secure, which is nice.

Shit happens

Shit Happens

He’s been back just over a week but it seems like F O R E V E R!

I’m not really complaining, of course, but it seems I’ve rarely have a good night’s sleep since he’s been back. Such is life.

Last night wasn’t too bad except that I woke up some time around 3 a.m. and, amongst the many thoughts that crowd my brain and keep me awake, was this blog. Can you believe that?

It started off by me thinking about my brother. We haven’t “been in touch” for about a year. He stopped emailing since I explained that F’s dad was dying and that everything was a bit “up in the air” and then, even though I’ve sent an email (or two), – nothing.

I’m not particularly bothered by it one way or another but I do wonder why. And this led to the blog.

After all the trouble I went to to move it, for some reason which I don’t really understand, I’ve let it slip a bit. It’s not like I don’t have anything to say, it’s more like I don’t want to write it all down, which is strange for me. As I’ve explained before, I tend to use it as some kind of therapy and yet, right now, it doesn’t seem to work as well as it did before. Or something.

I still have the same doubts and fears about the most stupid of things but I either don’t want to write about it or can’t be bothered.

And, without regular posts, of course, blogs become a bit defunct.

And then there’s the blogs that I have listed that have suddenly become “private”. I have emailed the guy for one of them, Man of Roma, and he said he’d email me after the summer but then he didn’t. And, if you can’t see the blog, you can’t see what’s going on. Or, maybe he’s not posting? In any event, you can’t tell if there’s anything happening in his life (not that it was really about his life, as such.)

So, here I am, after the middle-of-the-night thoughts, posting something to explain why I’m not posting much. If you see what I mean.

I do have some shit going on, of course, as usual but nothing I can write about since I do need to try and sort it in my head and find a “way round” the problem (which is all to do with the effiing bureaucracy here) but let’s see what I can do first.

And, then there’s other stuff. But it’s not like any of it is exactly life-threatening, so it will keep. And it’s not like my life is terrible, as opposed to friends who are ill or dying or struggling with life in general.

And, anyway, shit just happens, right?




Say this quietly.

It’s possible the trip won’t take in China (well, apart from Hong Kong) and that he’ll be back on Monday.

One can hope. It would mean just over two weeks away instead of three.

I don’t know why or what’s changed. And, at the moment, it’s not definite.

So, I’m whispering this.

And, crossing my fingers.

And, hoping (as is he.)

I’ll miss you too

I'll miss you too.jpg

“I will miss you.”

Things rarely said become more effective when said.

“And I’ll miss the bambini.”

Well, of course, but that gets said more often.

We’re now into day 3 of at least 16 days. At least 16 because, as yet, we don’t know (or, rather, I don’t know and he may or may not know … yet) if he’ll be required to stay in London for a day or two when he gets back there.

I followed the flight. Most of the flight was over Russia. Russia is a very big country which, although I knew that, following the flight and hours and hours of flying over terrain without towns and hardly any names to rivers and lakes (or seas), I appreciated it more.

Apparently he slept little and watched four films. The flight was over 11 hours. He is seven hours or so in front. As I write, it’s about 6.30 p.m. for him and not even lunchtime for me.

Of course, I’ve been busy. His cousin’s son and his girlfriend came to see Expo and stayed with us. Except he was only there for the Thursday night when they arrived. They stayed until Sunday. So, really, they stayed with me and not us. It was OK. They were at Expo all day Friday and then all day and into the evening on Saturday.

On Sunday, after breakfast, I tried to tell them how to go to the new Porta Nuova area but it was difficult to explain with my bad Italian so I offered to take them. I did my usual walk from there down Corso Como, Corso Garibaldi and into Brera – then we took a tram to the centre of Milan and I left them there. I think they were grateful.

F just phoned me. He has to phone when he can which is not that often since he doesn’t want to run up a huge telephone bill. It’s OK. These snatches of conversation are better than nothing.

I will be quite busy over the next few weeks – also because he’s not here – and that will make the time go really fast. Plus I have a load of films to watch so it’s not all bad. It just gets a bit exhausting – getting up earlier to take the dogs out, doing everything that needs doing, etc. But it’s OK.

He is working too and won’t get so much time to go and visit the cities he will be in. It won’t really be a walk in the park for him.

But, I will be so happy when he’s back and, from his comment, so will he.

And, as I replied to him – “I’ll miss you too.”

20 days!

“20 days!?”

20 days!

It’s impossible to hide my shock and unhappiness.

I am, at once, jealous, happy for him and really quite pissed off. He sees this. I wish he could see that I am happy for him. I recover. A bit.

“Well, if I didn’t know you better, I would say that at least you’d have some great food.” Except I DO know him and I know he doesn’t really like their food. It’s why I’m jealous though. One of the countries is one I would love to go to – just for the food. He says he hopes the girlfriend will come too so that he doesn’t have to spend all the time with M, his boss. But I suspect that won’t happen. It’s not that he doesn’t like his boss, it’s just that he also likes to do his own thing.

He says they will probably go around the 3rd October (which probably means it WILL be 3rd October – a Saturday.) “That will mean you’re away for nearly all of October?” Again, I can’t keep my feeling of panic out of my voice. He’s disappointed, I see. I want to be encouraging but he’s just sprung this on me. I knew it was all a possibility and I was very pleased for him – am very pleased for him – but I was thinking a couple of weeks, maximum. 20 days just seems such a long time.

I know. It’s selfish. My first thought was I’ve got 20 days of doing the dogs; getting up very early; all my lessons; just 20 days of hell – after which I will be so tired – and that’s assuming nothing really dramatic happens (which, after a call this morning, is always possible.)

Later, when I’ve had time to recover a bit from my initial reaction, I’m able to say, “Good babe”, as that’s what I really think. This is a great opportunity for him, and I am genuinely pleased for him. It’s a long trip though, to the other side of the world. It will exhaust him, for sure.

And, I know, in the end, it won’t be so bad. The time will fly as I will be really busy.

“I’ll be away for our anniversary,” he says, pulling a face that looks like he will cry. “Don’t worry, babe, we’ll celebrate when you’re back.” It’s OK. But now I’ll give him the model of Dino for when he gets back. It will cheer him up.

I will get the cleaner to do a special clean for when he gets back.

But, still, I will miss him. And the dogs will miss him for sure, not really understanding that he’s only away for a little while.

Still, 20 days!!!

An unexpected happening

An unexpected happening

It should have been nice but he just wouldn’t talk about what I wanted to hear about. Instead he’s boring me to death with photos of restaurants that I’ll probably never go to and castles and churches and stuff.

What I wanted to hear about was his feelings about how it went. His relationship with M, his relationship with M’s parents, etc. But he was reticent (which makes me think that there’s more to it, of course.)

So I was bored (a bit – it’s not fair to say it was terrible – anyway, we were having a few pints which is always a good thing and he had only come back from his holidays a few hours before and he is really into the photography thing so it’s fair enough.)

We were at Bar Blanco, just across the piazza near our flat. It is one of the few bars open at the moment (most open next week when everyone is back.) It’s renowned as a place that gay people go to. It’s not a “gay bar” as such but a lot of gay people go there – mainly the younger, hipper ones.

I noticed a guy stood up near our table. He had the most dreadful shorts on. Or they looked dreadful on him anyway. He was reasonably tall, slim body, a half-grown hipster-style beard and he was probably in his mid-thirties. These details I noticed later. The only details I did notice were these dreadful shorts. I am unable to explain to you why they were so dreadful. They looked like “little boy” shorts being worn by a grown man.

I went to interrupt the photo show by telling A that this guy had the most dreadful shorts on when I saw the guy looking at me.

The next thing and he was flouncing behind A (so directly in front of me), between the tables, then round behind me and back to where he started. And, out of the corner of my eye, I could see that he was staring at me. He was actually hitting on me!

Of course, I told A, adding “unless he’s hitting on you?” It was my little joke. I then added “but that’s unlikely.” A responded that he hoped he wasn’t but, secretly, maybe, he was a bit jealous? ;-)

Anyway, although I wasn’t (am not) interested as I have F, it gave me something of a thrill and some delight that, at my very advanced age, a guy of under 40 should actually be hitting on me!

Soon afterwards, we left. A walked me to my flat even though his car, blocked in by a Ferrari, was parked right by the pub. Afterwards, I wondered if A was going back to see if it was really him that the guy was hitting on (not really …….. maybe?)

Without you.

It’s quiet. I open the door and I’m greeted by silence.

I feel free. I don’t have to rush. I can take my time. It’s great.

I don’t speak to anyone. There is too much silence. I rattle around in the place and it’s suddenly huge.

I can relax. When I come back from going out, I can just go to bed.

I am lonely. Even if we do our usual call. He is there, with them and I am here, alone.

It’s conflicting. It’s only for one week. He’s taking an extra week’s holiday as, after that, he’ll start going away a lot. So the dogs have stayed with him. So I am in Milan on my own which is both wonderful and awful. It is really nice not to have to rush to take the dogs out when I come home and, in the evening, when I’m tired and just want to go to bed.

But I miss them. I miss the fact that there’s always someone (thing) that’s so pleased to see me, someone who wants attention, someone that I have to look after. It’s very rare (in fact, it’s always been very rare) that I’m at home, on my own, without the dogs. In fact, I can’t remember a time since ….. well, probably some time in the UK, so at least over 10 years.

I’m trying to make the most of it – next week will be back to normal.

But, in the end, I miss not having them there, being in the bloody way, always wanting something.

I don’t think I could live without dogs.

And, so I give you this:

Yes, I know it’s not really relevant but it is a wonderful song, isn’t it?

Not first, last nor everything

Not first last nor everything

2nd June is a national holiday here.

It is also the date that I met V all those years ago. Of course, I don’t forget that. He remains a significant part of my life even if a “past” part.

But as the years go on and my relationship with F becomes fuller with memories that we have of our own, the date itself becomes less important (although it will always remain significant.)

During my trip back to Milan I had several calls and texts. I don’t answer them as I am driving and really don’t want to be distracted when I’m hurtling along the motorway!

So I looked when I got back home.

And one of them was from V.

Obviously from an English phone. But it’s too strange. The things that are written are as if we are still together. Except one sentence:

I hope you feel comfortable to think of me and us on this very special day

Well, yes, of course I’m comfortable. I had already thought of it, of you – but it’s memories now and not the here and now. Here and now I’m on the beach, soaking up the sun. This is my life now.

One thing was a bit unfortunate although it may have been a slip of the fingers on the keyboard – he said it was 28 years ago – whereas, in fact, it was 27. I couldn’t resist pointing that out. Was that bad of me?

But, anyway, I’m afraid I can’t reply in the same way as he wrote. I told the truth which is that I don’t forget and am grateful I met him 27 years ago. For, as I’ve said before, I wouldn’t be here now without him. I wouldn’t have been lying on a beach on the Tuscan coast if it weren’t for him. But, I’m afraid he’s not “my first, my last, my everything” as he put. He was but now he isn’t.

And, anyway, given his modus operandi, the stuff he writes or says aren’t always exactly the truth. And if it is the truth, this becomes lopsided relationship since it isn’t reciprocated. It’s not that I don’t wish him well, nor that I don’t have love for him, it’s just that he isn’t my everything (nor even my first or last).

He’s someone who was a big part of my life and because of whom I am here, with F and for that reason he remains a part of my life. But only a part.

We go to buy some furniture ….. except I don’t go.

Originally written mid-June 2014. I don’t know why I didn’t post this!

“You can come if you like.” Those were the words but, for reasons I can’t quite explain, those were not the sentiments. This was more of a “You can come if you really, really want to but I don’t really want you to come because ….. [list of reasons why I don’t want you to come].”

So, correctly, I said, “No, it’s OK, if you don’t mind. I have a lot to do today.”

I DID have some things to do. I wanted to get the Netgear Powerline product to make the computer access faster in the new flat; I wanted to take the duvet to the dry cleaners; I wanted to sort out some more stuff.

As it happens, I was very glad I didn’t go as he took all morning, in the end.

He wanted to buy the kitchen and go to IKEA. I got a photo of how the kitchen would look as it was slightly different after the surveyor had been to measure. Plus, he wanted to get a dishwasher which meant only one sink and not two. But it was OK by me, to be honest.

After the kitchen, he went to IKEA with his list of items he wanted to buy. This was a huge list so, rightly, he wanted to buy it and have them delivery it.

The kitchen will come sometime after 24th July and the IKEA stuff will come this week.

But the difference it made for him was incredible. He’s now so excited. He will start putting everything together as soon as it arrives and then get his carpenter guy to fix it all to the wall. After which, he will start putting his stuff away. Then he will be happy – although he is already looking forward to just putting everything together!

The end is nigh

This was a draft post from June 2013. It still applies. I don’t think it was properly finished but, no matter. This (and I wish to make it clear in case it is read by someone going through some issues now, in May of 2015) is not about you but about someone else. Remember this post was written in June of 2013 – 2 years ago!

Of course, there’s got to be give and take.

It’s a trade-off, really. One doesn’t get everything one wants – or, not usually.

You may think that you have the same goals but, often, we project the goals we want to on our partner and only look for the signs of confirmation, ignoring those that go against what we think.

Let’s get this straight. I’m not talking about me, here. Although what I’ve said is, in fact, true for me also, the rest of this post is not. Part of the problem is that I don’t really have any goals to project. I leave that to F. He has plans. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know, for certain, that any of those plans include me although there are hints that some of them do. But, it’s not really important to me. I have this “fatalist gene”, of which I am aware and which, in reality, suits me just fine, thanks. Sure, as time passes, I think more of the future – the future together – but I’m not talking about a future as far as, say, when I reach 70 but rather the future as far as, say, Christmas. This future involves the presents I will get him since he is so difficult to buy for. So, I am working on the present for our anniversary (in October) and I have the plan for one of the presents for Christmas. And that’s it. It doesn’t worry me, it’s just the way I think.

So, back to the purpose of this post.

In two days, two different people’s world has been turned a little upside down. And the problem is their relationship with their partner.

But, I have a little experience in relationships and what happens. I give my advice, unasked for, knowing that they will, almost certainly, ignore it but knowing that it is valid and clear advice.

For one person, I suggested that they not search for something on the basis that eventually you will find something and it won’t make things better. Search, by all means but know that it is the end of the relationship as you know it. In fact, the very act of the searching means that the relationship is doomed. It may not result in being single but it will change the relationship to a point that is irrecoverable. Of course, what may then happen is that “a relationship” continues but it is not the same as the relationship you had. There is no “going back” and “undiscovering” the facts that have changed everything.

So, I advised against it but said that, if she were to continue, be aware of the fact that it will all change ……. forever.

She ignored that advice and continued to search and, unsurprisingly, find the facts and was, on Friday, just about holding it together. But that won’t last. And I felt sorry for her even though I knew that the very act of searching could only lead to this result.

The future for her is uncertain. It will depend upon how she and he react. At the moment, he doesn’t know that she has evidence. Or, rather, on Friday he didn’t know. But it’s hard to keep the evidence hidden and not to say something. And then what? Even if there are promises made and a reconciliation done, if it lasts, it won’t be what she had. And will she be happy enough with that?