My 10 year anniversary with Dave

Sun 26 July – Sat 1 Aug 2020

Summer months are like a weekend

It’s great to have personal milestones to celebrate like an anniversary. Someone suggested summer months are like a weekend. June is Friday, July is Saturday, and August is Sunday. I can empathise. Indeed, despite Fri’s one-day heatwave (climate change alert!), I can already sense the days starting their journey to getting shorter. The main light now goes on a bit earlier. And after August / Sunday inevitably comes autumn and the decline into winter. πŸ™

Anniversary light in the darkness

Life is pretty rubbish at the moment. But a light in the gloom last week was celebrating my anniversary with Dave. This was our 10 year anniversary from when we had our civil partnership. We still haven’t done our upgrade to a wedding, I like being in a CP – feels less hetero-normative. πŸ™‚

Mine and Dave’s Civil Partnership in 2010

We’ve been together a while

But the anniversary date belies the length of time me and Dave have been together. We’ve actually been going out together for 13 years. And we first met in 1993 when we had a six month fling together. Amazing how history pans out. πŸ™‚

Our night out

It’s a bit hard to celebrate a major anniversary in the middle of a pandemic / semi-lockdown. Dave was really keen on a party but that was pre-covid. However, we booked ourselves a room at the Union Jack Club and stayed over with a nice evening meal, drinks in the bar, and a cooked breakfast the next morning. Good fun though the venue was so quiet compared to how we usually experience it. And the restaurant was very Spartan with nothing on the table like salt and pepper, bread rolls and butter, etc. πŸ™

The view from our room on the 14th floor

Health and Efficiency

Weight

man weighing himself

One of the knock-on effects of our anniversary blowout was that my weight went up last week. Currently hitting around 13 stone, 8 & a half pounds. This is about a half stone above where I was at the beginning of lockdown in March. Come the end of August, I am going to have a new strategy to lose weight and do more exercise.

Jog-run

man busy jogging
How I think I look on my jog-run

Another very good jog-run last Sun morning though I do feel ‘heavy’ as I run probably due to the weight I am carrying. πŸ™ Achieved getting the time for my 5K to under 32 minutes which is great. πŸ™‚ Hope I can duplicate it for the next Sun morning. And I need to work at getting the times for each of my 1 km stretches more coherent. Currently, I tend to alternate a fast km with a slow km – it feels a bit like pulsing. Run times and weight here.

Eyesight

Sun with glasses

Had my 2 year optical test last week. And the good thing is that I can still claim some of the cost back via work. πŸ™‚ I know my eyesight is getting worse. Confirmed by the optician leading to new stronger glasses prescribed and ordered. I severely suspect my deteriorating eyesight is due to so much time on the computer for personal and work usage plus the reading I do. πŸ™

As you get older

Strange how things happen as you get older that you don’t realise are inevitable. You think you will escape them when you are young but they come. Things like getting fatter, losing hair on your head whilst your body gets hairier (a man thing), going grey, eyesight deteriorating, etc.

Books and Reading

Warmer collection

Completed the remaining short stories / novellas in this special collection for Amazon (horrible company but how can you live without it? πŸ™ ) about climate change. A decent collection but not as good as its sister Future Collection with its stories themed on the future:

  • ‘There’s no place like home’ by Edan Lepucki Apocalyptic fiction in a nightmare future where a family tries to survive
  • ‘Falls the shadow’ by Skip Horack A weak story about a veteran motivated by the environment that ultimately I found quite unfulfilling and confusing
  • ‘At the bottom of new lake’ by Sonya Larson A young girl tries to fit into the new world of poverty and submerged places
  • ‘The hillside’ by Jane Smiley An interesting piece that’s almost mythical. Humans are put on trial by intelligent animals and found wanting.

‘Against the Law’ by Peter Wildeblood

Rock Hudson pic
Rock Hudson

This is the book we are considering at the upcoming meeting of the Velvet Page book club. It’s a piece of classic gay literature looking at a time when being gay was something to be ashamed of and hidden. Fundamentally the memoirs of a man famously imprisoned following the Montagu Trial in 1954. The book covers the secretive life of gay men in the 1950s and life in prison for being gay. It’s very authentic and sad.

More details on Peter Wildeblood’s life can be found here. I enjoyed the book, be interesting to hear what the others in the group think.

Personal Development

Languages dip

My 100 day challenge around language learning unfortunately got broken by my anniversary. πŸ™ But that’s a good enough reason. πŸ™‚ I got to around 47 consecutive days of using Duolingo to improve my language skills. But then took a day out which means I start again at day 1. Oh well…

Digital housekeeping continues

Otherwise, not much else to report on PD. Pretty confident I can give this a lot more time and attention Sept onwards. Still keeping on top of work and personal emails as well as continuing with my digital housekeeping deleting unwanted files and emails.

Family and Friends

Mum

As well as my anniversary night-out, also managed time with mum. She remains fine and slowly becoming more adventurous in venturing out post-lockdown. Indeed, she took a trip on the tube this week which is something I still haven’t had the desire to do yet. She does not enjoy the hot weather though I try to point out it is only temporary.

Friends

Must make sure I catch up more with friends in the future. News this week that one of my mates is moving out of London. I wonder how many more will give up on city-life now. πŸ™

If coronavirus had not happened

Interesting to reflect on what should have been this weekend. It had been planned that me and Dave would have gone back to his home town for a family wedding. Obviously that was cancelled. We hadn’t arranged travel so no loss there but we had booked a hotel with a non-cancellable reservation. πŸ™

Art and Culture

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”

Pablo Picasso

Time to start visiting again (while we can)

Manchester Art Gallery
Manchester Art Gallery

Another area I am going to do more on as soon as I have increased ‘me time’. It’s great that so many of the galleries and museums are reopening though who knows how long for if lockdown returns? πŸ™ I’ve told Dave we need to sort out some visits as they need to be booked in advance – sadly spontaneous visiting is no longer possible. I could also do with some nice trips to stately homes with their elegant gardens and restful grounds.

‘Glow up’ and the art of make up

And I don’t have enough time to catch up on so much good TV. Again, that will change one day. One thing I am still watching on terrestrial TV is ‘Glow Up’. Make-up and decoration can be such a brilliant form of art. Could watch the whole series in one go online but quite like the old-fashioned slow build that comes through watching it weekly on TV πŸ™‚

Don’t lose your dick, wear a mask

The Week Ahead

  • Usual load of work meetings on zoom especially making sure my team are OK
  • Several online training sessions around Salesforce
  • Velvet Page book club on Thurs night to discuss ‘Against the Law’
  • Started a new historical thriller by S G MacLean which seems very evocative
  • 5K jog-run on Sunday morning and daily walks
  • Collect my new stronger glasses plus INR (blood clotting) check-up again on Thurs
  • Time with mum though my brother is going to be with her part of this week. I think next weekend is going to be another mini-heatwave πŸ™
  • Hoping to restore my daily use of Duolingo – new aim is a 7 day run
  • Continue to unclutter by deleting unnecessary digital stuff
  • Looking forward to the next episode of Glow Up

β€œHide not your talents, they for use were made,

What’s a sundial in the shade?”

Benjamin Franklin

And Finally…

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