My general feeling of 2005 was that it was a year of high hopes not so dissimilar to a glorious river heading for a waterfall. There were beautiful things to see along the way, memories that will last me years and bring a smile to my face but, on the whole, I will remember that big drop and how deep the water was.
The year began with me in a relationship with Nick, Jermaine was in children’s’ services respite and Nick, Matt and me were all at Ian & Richard’s place chasing after Matt trying to stop guys getting in his knickers with him very pissed filling up a biscuit tin on the way home and still dating Kim. Nick had started a new job, the year was looking good but already uncertainties were looming.
I had already just about decided that my relationship would not see another year. I was aware that with Jermaine reaching 18 his respite would collapse and something else would need to replace it. I had been working hard to that end but still nothing was in place.
Ian & Richard dropped by for one of their very few non party visits on Jan 9th but it was a very short stay and there they were, gone.
Occupational therapy came to find out what we needed and we agreed upon a bed, it never happened.
By Jan 22nd we’d had another set of visitors, a one time visit from Andy & Craig, the guys we met in Gran Canaria the previous year. We were not to see them again in 2005 or have any real contact with them.
I started the month off with a radio interview with a station in the Republic of Ireland about gay dads but it was a one off, I didn’t hear anything else from that interview. My Citroen was once again in the garage for repairs, they seemed to be having it more than me and I had decided it had to go, it was just a matter of when. Matt had managed to bugger up the laptop; this was the year I lost my ability to get accidental damage on my household insurance policy.
Ntl finally got the boot and in came BT. Another new face was Sue Helyar from the Carers Centre, someone that was to prove invaluable as an ally over the coming months. I did a conference in Bristol this month which went really well for the Terrence Higgins Trust. I was there in my capacity as manager of Gaydads and Ian from Q:dads went along too. Jermaine started his stays at Quarry House, somewhere that was never going to suit him, one of many problems caused because social services don’t listen.
Mid month and Matt went to Paris with Kim, I had a feeling she was just going to have the experience and would dump Matt when they got home but Matt couldn’t see it, maybe he didn’t want to. Yet another new face for me this month was David from Clapham and Houston, Texas. My friendship grew with Stan and Pete but it was Matt that went up to visit at the end of the month and was duly dumped by Kim at the same time so spent all his money owing me quite a bit and quitting his job.
That was that, nearly 5 years of a relationship and Nick moved out on 2nd. It was something we both wanted yet, after that amount of time it was always going to be a wrench and I am not sure either of us have got over it but it was the right thing to do. With Nick no longer around, I take active measures to sell the car. The C8 went very quickly and for the asking price and I bought my current car, the Chrysler Neon.
Yet another new face, Pete who is a bisexual guy I know, very nice chap though a lot more keen on sex than I am but such is life. Charlie and I walked to Tony’s along the canal path, a totally mad thing to do but a really enjoyable day.
What I did not know was that Martyn nearly died this month, I think I am glad in many ways that I didn’t know else I’d have been on the next plane out to GC to look after him!
The cats reached 1 year old and I got to 42. Matt arranged a wonderful party for me and Robin and Tony looked after me for the earlier part of the day. I look back on this with real happiness but also sadness remembering Tony and this being the last thing I celebrated with him. I did a lecture in Wellingborough about me as a carer, which was fun and also enlightening. I finally became friends with Martyn again and he visited me here which was wonderful. I visited Tony on my own for what turned out to e the very last time on June 20th. I told him he was ill then but he wouldn’t listen. He invited me to go to Gran Canaria with him and Pete next month but later retracted the invitation which really upset me, apparently they had a great time. I am so sad to think I missed out on that last time with Tony having fun, seeing him happy.
Off to Gran Canaria with the kids, Jermaine is in respite. A wonderful holiday but, as is often the case, I got ill which meant some emergency and very painful dentist treatment when I got home.
Jermaine went into Hargrave House in Rusden officially for an assessment but otherwise, very little happened this month.
This month I met another Nick, a student nurse from Manchester but there were problems from the outset. He smoked, it was obvious he was trying to give up because of me and that wasn’t going to get us anyway. He had an attitude to life that is excellent in a student but crap in a partner so it was doomed to fail which it did later this month. I did a visit to Drayton Manor with the kids, my first ever and that evening had to drive to Clacton for a great weekend with Tom & Gary. I really like the pair of them so much.
My old school friend Paul visited too. It was not pleasant. He has health issues and is borderline alcoholic. He also knows nothing about sensuality and we had very rough sex which really hurt and was about as near to being raped as I ever want to get.
Met up with Danny and Dan again when I picked them up from Luton.
I finally got myself a King Sized bed, way later than I should have left it me thinks!
Met loads of guys off Kagoul again though, if I am honest, my main thought was, yippee, I get to meet Martyn again. I know the feelings are not reciprocal but that doesn’t matter. To be honest, I am not sure Martyn would ever tell me if they were but that’s just something I live with and I am not complaining because he makes me happy every time we are together, even if we don’t say anything I am happy, he builds me up.
BANG! Tony is dead. I cannot believe it. I had a speech ready for when I heard inevitably very third hand that Tony had died hours if not days earlier. I had built up to it knowing it would happen maybe by December, I was ready. Pete called, Tony had just died, I failed, I wasn’t there for Pete, I was gone in my own shock and grief, I handled it so wrong. I just cried and cried, I have never grieved for a friend before but Tony was special.
Tony’s funeral, I need not say anything more, read previous blog entries.
Black Friday when everything social services had been warned could go wrong, went wrong and I am still picking up the pieces. Not only did it destroy any confidence I had left in social services, it forced me to make the decision to lose my eldest son and also had the result that the virus I had triggered arthritis in me.
New face of the month, another Pete from Peterborough. Visit from John and Steve the guys I met on Kagoul.
Interviews for both BBC Northampton and Northants 96fm, both about the appalling service I have received regarding Jermaine. There was another Kagoul meet where I got to meet yet more guys and, again, Martyn. Stayed over with David & Gregg in Clapham. The following week and I was in Clacton for another enjoyable weekend in Clacton.
Our holiday and Christmas in Disneyland Paris. Not my ideal for Christmas but it had to be done and it was fun so what the hell!
Did my first horse ride thanks to the wonderful John; it will also be my last!
Then there was Christmas, a bit of a non event as Christmas’s go but one of the best we have, quite strange how things work out.
For New Years eve we had to stay at home so I arranged a gathering here then, once that was done, we found out we didn’t have to stay at home, a right bugger but it turned out for the best. Martyn came down a day earlier than the others which was great news for me, not so good for him as he had trouble sleeping. Probably all my fault snoring and fidgeting but he was too nice to say so. Gary and Tom were here, so was Pete and finally Charlie and we had a family type celebration with games and silliness. I do hope it didn’t seem to silly or too not gay for them but I enjoyed it.
So, that was it, 2005 been and gone, 2006 started up, cogs spinning and ready to go.