Monday, September 18, 2017

Comments disabled

These days, the only comments on this blog are spam, so for now at I've disabled the ability for readers to leave comments. However, if anyone wants to say anything to me, my email address still works :-).

GB xxx

Monday, December 19, 2016

"Joiner visitors"

[Although I'm now a retired blogger, I feel the need to post this … ]

I like to think that I'm a (gay) man of the world. I've had a few boyfriends, and more than a few encounters with a varied selection men from all over the world, with a reasonable selection of activities too. So I don't think that anyone could call me naïve. Nonetheless, when I checked into a hotel with boyfriend K today, I didn't immediately realise what the following notice meant at the hotel reception:

"You do understand it, don't you?" asks boyfriend K with a cheeky tone in his voice, "the English is a bit weird!"

"Well, I saw on the hotel's website that they charge extra for 3 people in a room," I reply after reading it very quickly.

"Hang on," I continue, "what is a joiner visitor? A friend who arrives late?"

"Don't forget that we're staying in Pattaya tonight," replies boyfriend K helpfully.

For readers who may not know, Pattaya became famous during the Vietnam war as a place American solders went for prostitutes. And even though the Vietnam war ended a long time ago, the business continued.

"Wow," I say feeling very stupid, "I've never seen that before in a hotel, a policy about bringing someone back for the night!"

And when we get to our room, there's something else that I've never seen before in a hotel. A packet of condoms for sale in the bedroom, prominently visible, and proudly displayed on the mini-bar price list.

"Actually I remember now that one of my friends warned me about this," I say to boyfriend K after the baggage porter has left, "he told me that he always feels a bit dirty after a visit to Pattaya!"

Monday, December 05, 2016

Christmas charity donations

Christmas treeThroughout the year I make small charity donations, for example in response to specific sponsorship requests from friends. However, it's in December in the run up to Christmas that I make the biggest donations. Since 2007 I've been asking readers for charity suggestions (see Christmas charity donation posting category), and just because I'm now a retired blogger, I don't see any reason not to do a post here asking for suggestions. So all suggestions still welcome. I won't get round to making the donations before Friday 16th December 2016, so any comments made before then will be taken into account :-).

Update 21-Dec-2016: charity donations.

In the end, I decided to support some of the charities that I supported last year. Coming from a medical family, I guess Médecins Sans Frontières (UK charity number 1026588) is my favourite charity, so this year I gave them £1k. Apart from that, I also gave £0.5k to each of GMFA (UK charity number 1076854), Food Cycle (UK charity number 1134423), Against Malaria Foundation (UK charity number 1105319) and Shelter (UK charity number 263710).

As I was making these donations, it occurred to me that much of the work that these charities do relates to addressing the symptoms of problems rather than their causes. For example, MSF works in war zones and with refugees, but who is working to prevent the wars and the refugees that accompany them? Addressing the causes of problems would be better than treating their symptoms, but I guess that's a much harder thing to do :-(.

Anyway, a very Happy Christmas to everyone :-). Big kisses, GB XXX

Monday, October 31, 2016

Retirement as a blogger

Dear Readers,

I started this blog in 2005, and writing here has been great fun over the years :-). However, at the moment I'm finding it difficult to make the time for this blog, even though I've only been posting once a month. So for now at least, I'm not going to be doing any more postings. However, I'm still going to keep my domain name, so for the foreseeable future I should still be contactable by email.

Hugs and kisses to everyone!

GB xxx

Monday, September 26, 2016

A polite conversation

"So when did you realise that you were gay?" asks F.

I'm at a birthday party, and I'm chatting to a guy called F who I've only just met, so the question seems a little forward. But I'd just told F that I'm with boyfriend K, so it's clear that I don't have anything to hide regarding my sexuality.

"Over twenty-five years ago," I reply.

"Did you have girlfriends before you came out?" asks F.

"No actually," I answer truthfully, "but it took me quite a while to accept that I was gay. Looking back it was pretty obvious, given that I never had girlfriends. Perhaps I was the last person to realise!"

"My ex-wife almost married a gay man when she was living in Asia," says F, "because she loves the company of gay men."

I'd been trying to work out whether F was gay or straight, and I'd been thinking that he was probably straight. Given that he's got an ex-wife, that's settles it.

"I suppose that's part of the reason why we got married," continues F, "because I had a boyfriend before."

I didn't expect that!

"Oh, so I guess you're bi?"

"Well, probably more gay than straight :-). I had a girlfriend when I was a student, but then I switched to guys. But I always wanted to have kids, and I got on very well with this female colleague who also wanted kids, so we ended up getting married. It worked well when the kids were young, but we're divorced now."

"So have you got a boyfriend again now?" I ask.

"No, I had an operation a few years ago and now I can't get fully hard. Penetrative sex isn't possible for me anymore, whether with a man or a woman."

Talking about sexuality and sex with someone who you've only just met isn't what one expects in polite English society! But he's seems like a very genuine guy, so I'm more than happy to have this kind of conversation.

"I've never thought that having a boyfriend was only about the sex," I say, "I think companionship is important too, and indeed, probably more important as one gets older."

"I'm very happy with my own company," answers F, "Perhaps I'll end up as a lonely old man, but for now I'm not looking for a partner of either gender. Don't you get bored, waking up next to the same body every morning?"

"Not at all," I reply, "I hope that I'll be able to wake up with boyfriend K every day for the rest of my life :-)."

"That sounds like a strong commitment," says F, sceptically.

"Well, I ended up splitting up with my first boyfriend because I couldn't keep my trousers up!" I admit, "So I feel I've done the sleeping around thing. These days, I feel very lucky that I've found boyfriend K, because we get on very well together most of the time."

"Anyway," I say, changing the subject, "how many kids do you have?"

"Just two, a boy and a girl, but they're grown up now. Actually my daughter is a lesbian, and she's got a lovely girlfriend :-)."

Another comment that I didn't expect!

"One day, she comes into the room to talk to me," continues F, "She looks at me nervously and says 'Dad, what would you do if I told you I'm going to get a tattoo and that I am gay?'. So I just asked her what kind of tattoo!"

"But why was she nervous coming out to you, given that you've had a boyfriend before? Didn't she know about your former boyfriend?"

"When the kids were growing up my ex-boyfriend used to visit us," says F, "The kids loved him, and treated him like their favourite uncle. They probably guessed that we used to be together."

"But that means 'No', you never told your kids that you're not completely straight," I remark in disbelief. I feel astounded that F has been so open about everything with me in such a short space of time, but that he's never told his grown-up children about his true sexuality.

"What about your son?" I ask, wondering whether there more surprises in store.

"My son's also got a girlfriend, so he's probably straight!"

"Well, you said that you had a girlfriend too when you were young," I say, "and obviously a wife at one point, so you never know!"

"Good point," replies F, "you never know :-)."

Indeed, you never know. I like to think that as a gay man, I'm good at working out whether people are gay or not. But I had no idea what this guy's story was. It just goes to show how dangerous it can be to make assumptions about people's background, and especially about their sexuality!