Lie in Monday morn, after late flight back from Croatia. No mews meet to rouse me, it being New Year‚Äôs Eve. Half-awake reverie of events over last, closing 12 months ‚Äď Gaydar co-founder Gary Frisch leaps to his death from a London balcony, high on Special K (Feb); Judi Dench looses out at the Oscars, despite her superb lesbian portrayal in Notes on a Scandal (Feb); John “I’m free” Inman dies aged 71 (March); the House of Lords votes in new protections against discrimination of gay people in the provision of goods and services (April); BP chief exec, Lord Browne, quits after admitting lying to Court (May); George Michael plays the first ever concerts at the new Wembley Stadium (June); former Savage Garden frontman Darren Hayes headlines Pride London (June); bi jazz singer, Soho swinger and life-and-soul George Melly dies aged 80 (July); an estimated 150,000 people take part in Brighton Pride (Aug); PM Gordon Brown attends his very first LGBT event, a fringe party hosted by Stonewall at the Labour Party Conference (Sept); the overarching Equality & Human Rights Commission opens shop (Oct); the Government announces its intention to introduce a criminal offence of ‚Äúincitement to homophobic hatred‚ÄĚ (Oct); ex-top gay cop, Brian Paddick, is selected to stand as Lib Dem candidate for London Mayor (Nov); and, on World Aids Day (1 Dec), latest stats suggest 1 in 20 UK gay men now live with HIV, rising to at least 1 in 10 in larger cities like London.
Over late lunch, read somewhere that new figures show gay men here in the capital have ‚Äúthrice the vice‚ÄĚ, being over three times more likely to use (non-nicotine) drugs than the wider population, at least in London. Suspect alcohol and drugs should carry safe sex warnings! Not that there ended up being much sex at Josh ‚Äėn Charlie‚Äôs booze-fuelled New Year‚Äôs fling, in the evening. ‚ÄúRemember last Xmas?‚ÄĚ muses Charlie, recalling the bash at my place where almost everyone seemed to be, or at least end up, hard at it! This year disintegrates into wrangles and rows. Apart from our troubled hosts who are at each others‚Äô throats ‚Äď with their hands that is - Karl and his Judge fall out, doubtless as Charlie wafts his scent at the latter; Kev ‚Äėn Inge bicker over Em, which only gets worse with the unexpected arrival of the Boy (from God knows where). Only Nutty and I manage to stay above the fray. No Kerrie this year, thank God!
Kev rings, still wrecked, very late on Tuesday; says Boy disappeared as mysteriously as he‚Äôd arrived, though not before being kneed in the balls by Inge, shortly after he‚Äôd supposedly suggested a threesome with Em ‚Äėn Charlie. Also says Nutty‚Äôs just had his wallet nicked, when out in Soho earlier this eve. Always at Christmas and New Year! To avoid heart-ache and stay safe, best leave expensive personal items at home; always be aware of your surroundings and those around you; don‚Äôt get overly wrecked; and take care of your property should you decide to go home with someone you have met whilst out!
Wednesday eve. First time back on Switchboard since New Year! From that drunken office party to folks meeting the new boyfriend: the volunteer gang have been pretty, yet typically seasonally, busy - whilst I‚Äôve been off partying. For many LGBT people, the so-called ‚Äúseason of goodwill‚ÄĚ brings a whole range of additional stresses and strains.
Which all gets me to thinking about my own like, come Thursday morn: lying in, again, alone - save for a frisking Mous ‚Äėn Cous under the covers. Rapidly conclude I need ‚Äď yet another - overall overhaul. My four resolutions (four being doubly ample): resolve conflicts with the people who matter most (including Boy and Boss); get a sexual health check-up (it‚Äôs been months and I do meet lots of nice boys when travelling); get back in a gym; and try (even) harder to accept I‚Äôm getting older!
Thought of getting back in gym just too boring, when it comes down to it, Friday afternoon. Falter at last moment, and instead consider joining a gay sports club. Go online and mull over gay yoga - despite recent risible Tantric experiences. One guy has, apparently, been giving yoga classes for gay men in London, continuously, since 1995. The 1¬Ĺ hour sessions in Islington operate in a ‚Äúsmall informal group atmosphere‚ÄĚ that is ‚Äúfriendly, motivating, non-competitive and safe‚ÄĚ, teaching yoga postures and techniques that aim to develop ‚Äúmuscular-skeletal strength, good posture and the ability to relax‚ÄĚ. Allow four hours after eating a large meal, it cautions. Forget it.
Almost head out to Gay Gordons, London’s LGBT Scottish country dance club, at the weekend. Formed in 2005, it meets twice weekly for a class; and several times a year for special club dances; plus throws even larger events as often as possible. Scottish country dancing is, says the website ‚Äúvery sociable‚ÄĚ, urging that ‚Äúlong faces are left at the door‚ÄĚ and that ‚Äúthe club runs along cooperative lines‚ÄĚ. Hardly me - even if kilts are optional!