Friends Aren’t Always Forever

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Part of reason I wrote my recent post ‘Friendship Can Be Fleeting‘ was because I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the friendships that have dropped by the wayside over the past year or so.  And some of these friendships were ones that I had expected to last the test of time.

Growing up I didn’t have a lot of truly close friends.  Or at least nobody I could really call my ‘best friend’.  It was usually more about groups of friends all hanging out together, with some hanging out together more than others but I wasn’t always included in that.

But since moving to London, I’d met two different guys that I thought would be there until the end.  We’d talk almost daily about all sorts of shit, even if it was just to bitch about something stupid at work.  And it’s been the relatively recent loss of each of them that has been playing on my mind a bit.

Obviously when I say ‘loss’, I don’t mean that I misplaced them or they’ve passed away or something disastrous happened between us (at least not from my perspective).  They’re just not around any more.  The calls, texts, and messages have withered up and dried up.

And in one case, their profile has suddenly disappeared from my Facebook.

Man And Woman Help Silhouette In MountainsThe first guy is the one that hurts the most, as we’d been friends for over 8 years.  We’d always promised we’d be there for each other no matter what, even if one of us started a new relationship.

We’d been super close for many years and used to go away on weekends together (he lives in Scotland).  We even used to spend out birthdays together each year (2 days apart).

The last time we saw each other was on our birthday weekend in Brighton almost 2 years ago, and he’d been a bit out of it.  He finally told me a few months later that he’d been distracted as there was someone at his work he really fancied… and it was a woman.

I’d only known him as gay, so was a bit shocked initially but it didn’t change anything.  I didn’t care that he was suddenly interested in a woman instead of guys. I was just as encouraging regarding his feelings towards this woman as I would have been if it was a man.

Love is love, after all.

And all through the initial dating bits, I was still there as normal.  I listened to his insecurities and gave advise where I could, and so forth.  And I waited for details on how their first date went.  As normal.

But once they actually started dating, the messages from him slowly started to petter out until the point where a general message went unanswered by him for months. At one point when things were a bit rocky between them, suddenly he was there again to chat.. but then it was back to silence once they got back together.

20130206112854socially-awkwardOh, and they’ve come to London together twice since they got together, and I only found out after the fact or once I’d seen it on Facebook.  There was no suggestion of me meeting his lady friend.

One of the last actual conversations we had, he was trying to get me to become Facebook friends with one of his mates up in Scotland (that I’d met once years ago).  Because his mate needed other ‘gay friends’.

Riiight…

He’d recently promised to be in touch on a certain day to chat.. but that was over a week ago and I’ve not heard anything.  It’s almost seemed like he’s tried to distance himself from all his old gay friends…

As for the other guy, well… I kinda saw it coming to an extent, as he’d done it before.

We’d first met over 5 years ago when I lived in Vauxhall, and initially we were casually seeing each other for a bit before he cooled things off because ‘he didn’t want a boyfriend’, and then ended up with a boyfriend within a couple months.

A year or two later we had a bit of a blow up after a night out at a club where he ditched me to head home with his ‘neighbour’ (he was single again at this point).  I wrote about it in a fit of anger at the time (click HERE to read), which he subsequently read and blasted me for.

That was the first time he’d ‘dumped’ my friendship.

Then a couple years ago he’d messaged me out of the blue, and after awhile we ended up being just friends again.  In fact, during a quite low period of mine he was one of the few people that had stayed by me, allowing me to rant and rave about my feelings.

39th-birthday-cheaters-250But then things started to change once he started working from home, as he stopping hanging out socially with me.  In fact, he wouldn’t even come out for my birthday last year because he wasn’t feeling ‘social’ and had too much work to do.

Communication between us started to become less frequent, and when I did hear from him, it was like he was completing a chore. Like he felt obligated to check in on me or something.

And when we would talk, he would always try to deflect any discussions about his life.  And would seem like he barely listened to what I was saying based one his responses.  It was odd.

In the last conversation we had end of July, he briefly mentioned that he’d started a new job and had moved flats to a different part of London.. over a month prior! And when I asked why he hadn’t told me sooner, he said ‘I’m telling you now’ as if I was prying.

During that conversation it was clear he wasn’t listening or interested in what I was saying, but when I’d said something about being unhappy at work, he responded ‘that’s good’. I’d called him on it at the time, but it was brushed off once again..

And that was it.  It wasn’t too long after that I noticed that he’d either deleted his Facebook profile or had blocked me.

Ummm.. bye?

Obviously I’m well aware that changes happen in all of our lives, and sometimes people do drift apart.  But regardless of how it happens, it still hurts when you’re the one left behind wondering what happened.

It can make life quite lonely when it feels like there’s nobody to talk to on a regular basis.

80 Days and Counting

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November 22nd, 2016.

That’s a day I’ll keep in mind for awhile.  For most people, it’s just a day like any other.  It’s not a holiday or someone’s birthday or anniversary.  It’s just another day really.

Only it’s not for me – It’s the day I quit smoking.

Well, sort of.

Some might say that I’ve just swapped once vice for a new one, as I’m now using a Vape e-cigarette instead of actually smoking.  But to me, it’s just a stepping stone to actually becoming smoke-free in the future after about 25 years of it.  I hope.

It hasn’t been a walk in the park, to say the least.  I really loved the act of smoking (though not necessarily the smell of them).  That first drag off of a badly needed cigarette was absolutely bliss, almost orgasmic.  And the cravings for the act of smoking itself has been almost frenzied at times.

But I’m getting there, one day at a time.

For some reason, after the weekend previous to the above date, something in me snapped.  Just the thought of having a cigarette made me cringe with disgust.  For the first time in my life.

smoking12This change was two-fold as far as I could tell.

Firstly, like most people, it easily had to do with money.  Since April, I’d mostly been smoking duty-free cigarettes I’d purchased from abroad or friends had picked them up for me on their travels.

Basically, the thought of going back to paying UK prices for cigarettes made me cringe.  And with recent/new regulations, it meant things were just going to get more expensive.

But mostly I think it had to do with a (naked) house party I’d attended that weekend.

At one point during the party, I was chatting with a few guys near the garden door as I faffed with the host’s bathrobe (garden was overlooked, and it was easier than finding my clothes upstairs).  And perhaps it was just my imagination, but there seemed to be a sense of pity from them about the lengths I was going to have a cigarette.

I suddenly felt desperate and slightly pathetic about it all.  And I suddenly wondered why the hell I was still doing this to myself after two and a half decades… and just thinking about that length of time really pulled me up short.  It was quite jarring to suddenly realise I had been smoking for more than half my life.

Fucking hell…

So that Monday morning, I only had 1 cigarette left in my pack which I smoked on my way to work.  And I had absolutely no desire to buy another .. though I did bum a couple smokes off of a colleague that day to get me through.

Instead I’d decided I’d give vaping a try for a bit, and went to the local vape shop near my flat to see what options there were.  I’d heard of many people who’d turned to vaping and seemed to be doing quite well.  The model I’d decided on was out of stock, so had to come back the next evening.

So I bought my last 10 pack of cigarettes on my way home, purposely choosing a brand I didn’t normally smoke or enjoy.

vape-penAnd so far, after just over 80 days of not smoking, I’m still going strong and have only had 2 cigarettes since – one Christmas Eve, and one on a night out with colleagues when we were quite drunk.

And interestingly, neither cigarette made me want to buy a pack or start smoking again.  That alone is a good sign.

But there has been a down side as well… I’ve been gaining weight like crazy since quitting. And as a bigger guy already, it was something I didn’t need.

I had hoped by switching to the vape that the weight gain could have been prevented, and that perhaps I would start getting a bit more active.  But unfortunately, the on-and-off-again foot/ankle/knee issues I’ve been having since coming back from Canada in October haven’t helped at all.

In fact, it’s made me quite lazy.

So now here I am, more than 80 days later, and I’m having to work on my health issues alongside my pseudo non-smoking habits (I don’t really use the vape that much some days).  I don’t necessarily eat that badly most days, but it’s more about the quantities and the lack of exercise.

And I definitely had a shock upon weighing myself last week… I’ve topped out at almost 21 stone (that’s around 300 lbs or 130 kg… fuck 😦 ).

So… now I’ve started to watch my caloric intake and make myself walk a bit every day, even part way to work/home a few times a week.  And I’ve signed up for the free ‘gym & swim’ card at my local council’s leisure centre that will allow me to use the facilities in the afternoons on the weekends and any time on Fridays.

Hopefully with these little changes, things can improve somewhat.  I’m sure a part of my recent lack of feeling social has a lot to do with this, and each have impacted the other.

Oh and hopefully I can lose a few pounds before my next holiday in Gran Canaria.. I’m fairly comfortable in just my skin and all, but not when I’m feeling like a beached-whale. 😉

Close up of bare chested man holding scissors and squeezing stomach

Close up of bare chested man holding scissors and squeezing stomach

 

New Year Blues

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On New Year’s Day while driving back to London from Essex with a couple of dear friends, one of them asked me a fairly innocuous question regarding my plans for the year ahead.

“So, you have anything exciting planned for 2017? Anything you’re looking to accomplish?”

And for some reason I really struggled to answer him… and that alone threw me for a loop. Even more so than my seemingly lack of an answer.

For whatever reason I was already feeling somewhat ambivalent about it all in the lead up to the holiday season. I could have easily stayed home instead of travelling to my mate’s place in Essex for their Naked New Year’s party (which really wasn’t as exciting as it might sound lol), but I forced myself to go. It was an alright party, but not as exciting as previous year’s celebrations.

Here’s the crux of it all – Over the past couple of months, I’ve been feeling fairly anti-social.  I’ve been spending entire weekends at home alone, rarely talking to anyone let alone actually leaving the flat.  It’s happened a couple of times where, because I’d picked up groceries on the way home Friday night, there was kind of no need to go anywhere.

This is something that has continued into the New Year. And all it does is make me feel like I’m wasting my weekends.

I do genuinely go into most weekends with a basic idea of what I’d like to do, even if I don’t have anything planned ahead of time. It could be something as simple as taking the laptop to the local coffee shop to do some writing (which we all know has been lacking these past few months), going to a museum, or maybe just going out for a couple drinks with mates.

But instead with groceries in the fridge (or enough cash for take-away), I end up having several Netflix marathons.  Or on the very rare occasion, have a mate come over to hang out for an evening.

Basically I boils down to the same feeling I’ve had repeatedly over the years.  That if I don’t make the effort first to keep in contact with people or to suggest doing things, then it’s quite rare to hear from them. That could be somewhat simplistic or overly pessimistic, but hear me out…

truly caresThere are a few friends that I used to hang out with regularly (if not weekly), but this seemed to only happen when I’d message them to see what they were up to.  So when I’d stop messaging people to see what they’re up to, I kind of stop hear from them.

And that feeling of ambivalence towards my social life has clearly spilled into the rest of my life, especially when I try to think of where I’d like to be at the end of the year. What progress I’d like to make, what accomplishments, and so forth.

And that’s not a great feeling, especially after I was so driven during the latter half of 2016 to complete the Microsoft Office Specialist (expert-level) Excel 2013 certification exams. It wasn’t easy, and I had to retake them after failing the first time, but in the end I powered through and aced the exams as I knew I could.

Maybe my ambivalence towards 2017 has to do with this ‘waiting pattern’ it feels I’ve been in since those exams. I still have 2 other exams to complete to achieve my Master certification, which I have until the Autumn to complete, but I’m also waiting for the approval through work to get my Prince2 Foundation & Practitioner certification.

And that’s a great thing to be able to say is happening. I’d initially spoke to my old boss about doing this back in April, but there didn’t seem to be any movement regarding it. But once the new boss started back in October, things really started moving. And not just about the course.

This new boss is all about getting things right and is quite geared towards pushing forward those that work hard… not those that seem to flash certain attributes and turn on their gender-specific charm or get all emotional in order to get what they want.  Hell, he even pushed for me to get a raise back in October after he’d been there 2 weeks, and he wants to expand my role into more of a divisional overall one over the next year as I complete the course.

But yet I still sometimes feel that despite things actually going sort of ok at work at the moment that I need something to change?  Definitely doesn’t help any that the regional office I work in is quite lad-ish and unprofessional, which gets on my nerves at times.

Or is it more my dissatisfaction regarding other aspects of my life (ie: social and/or love life)? Could that be spilling over into my work life and tainting something that’s actually going alright?

Is there truly an answer to any of this?  Probably not, but most likely that’s down to my own pessimistic outlook at life at the moment.

*shrugs shoulders*disappointed-man_slider

Escapada de Madrid

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Sometimes you just need to get away from your daily routine and do something different.  And sometimes it’s more about getting away from your surroundings and seeing somewhere new.

I was starting to feel the usual urge to get out in the world a bit and do some travelling.  I’d come to the realisation that I hadn’t really been on holiday since last June when I spent my birthday in Rome.

Well, other than when I went home to Canada to surprise the family back in October.  As lovely as that was, it was less a holiday for me as for them if that makes sense.

Anyway, my decision to go to Madrid last weekend was fairly spur of the moment as I happened to find a super cheap flight online so decided to go for it.  Once that was booked, I found a simple little room that was quite central and walking distance to the Chueca area (where the gay bars are).

20170127_104721What also helped the decision was I have a friend that moved back there from London about 6 years ago and we hadn’t seen each other in at least that long.  We’d talked several times about me coming over for a visit, but I’d never gotten around to it.

Plus surprisingly I’d never been to Madrid before.  Any other trips I’d taken to Spain over the years have always been in the South or to Gran Canaria (where I’ll be visiting once again this coming April..).

Interestingly, unlike other trips I’ve made in the past, I didn’t really have a plan for once I’d arrived.  I’d kinda looked online at what there was to do there, but instead decided to just wing it and see where the weekend took me.

I just wanted to have a nice fun, relaxing weekend.  And that’s exactly what I got.

20170129_140357Unfortunately, my friend that lives there was going to be in Seville for most of the weekend and wouldn’t be free until Sunday afternoon/evening.  So that meant I had from Friday afternoon until then to keep myself entertained.

After checking into my little room (when they said small single, they weren’t kidding!), I grabbed a map and started wandered around the immediate area to get my bearings and to find a bite to eat.  It’s definitely a walking city (with an extensive Metro system) and I found my way around easily.

Once back in my room to relax a bit in the evening, I logged into the usual social/dating apps to see what sort of guys were in the area.  I had a few messages from a couple guys but one definitely caught my eye.. a tall, fit, sexy guy who clearly liked chubbier guys.

After a bit of online chatting and flirting, we decided to meet up for a drink and he even offered to meet me at my hostal to walk to the bar together.  Such a gentleman.

We spent a lovely evening together in a couple of bars chatting about life, drinking, and yes, flirting like crazy.  We seemed to get along quite easily and it felt quite comfortable spending time together… so much so, that I stayed at his place that night and we spent most of the next day together cuddled up on his sofa.

Such an amazing way to spend the day and get to know each other a bit.  I’d originally planned on leaving around midday to play tourist, but the day completely got away from us.  Next thing we knew it was about 6pm and he had to get ready to meet some friends for dinner, so I leisurely walked back to my hostal with a promise to meet up later in the evening for drinks.

20170130_122102What I hadn’t expected was to get to meet a couple of his friends when we went out for drinks that night.  And one friend of a friend turned out to be a guy I used to run into occasionally at the bear bar in Soho.  We weren’t friends so I didn’t even know he’d moved to Spain.

Anyway, it was a fun evening but I chose to be a ‘good boy’ and go back to my hostal for the night so I could get up and do the touristy thing on Sunday.. though I could have easily spent the entire weekend with him.  He was that easy to get along with, and it seemed like the feeling was mutual.

The rest of the weekend was spend wandering around, seeing the sites as planned, and then meeting up with my mate Sunday evening for a couple of drinks and a catch up.  He took me to an area I hadn’t explored yet but was quite close to when walking back from my new friend’s place.

All in all it was an excellent weekend away.  And as glad as I was to get home Monday evening, I could have easily stayed a couple more days.  I found the city to be quite comfortable to walk around with lots to look at. And yeah, lots of handsome Spanish men to check out.

It’ll definitely be one of those cities I’ll want to return to in the future.. maybe even to visit my new friend. 🙂

madrid-collage

Collage of pics taken over the course of the weekend

The Ankle Fracturation Issue

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After my return to London a couple weeks ago, things haven’t been the greatest.. But it has nothing to do with my personal or works lives, but more about my health.

I twisted my ankle two weeks ago, only to be misdiagnosed at the hospital with a mild sprain when it was actually a mild fracture.

Basically, I’d gone to visit a nearby friend the Sunday after I returned from Canada, and when I was leaving that evening I was too busy checking my mobile for the bus times to pay attention to where I was walking.

I came down the front steps to take the path to the street, only to step off the path right into the edge of the garden, with my ankle twisting inwards.  My own stupidity really.. but damn that hurt!!  OUCH!!!!

Initially, it didn’t feel like anything was wrong, so off I went as planned thinking the most I’d have would be a slight tenderness the next day or so.  Unfortunately that turned out to be an understatement.

I spent the next couple of days trying to take it easy on my foot when possible, keeping it popped up on the sofa and in bed, and using an anti-inflammatory gel along with the usual over the counter pain medications.  But by the time I left work on Tuesday evening, I could barely walk.

My foot had swollen up a bit, the inside of my ankle was bruised, and walking felt like someone had driven a hot poker inside my bones.  Not a fun feeling to put it mildly.

So come Wednesday morning, I called in sick to work (something I hadn’t done in well over a year..) so I could go to the hospital’s A&E (emergency room) to see a doctor.

I’d already expected that I wouldn’t be seen that quickly, as it wasn’t anything urgent like an obviously broken bone or something bloody, so I made sure to take my Kindle with me so I had something to read and pass the time.  And it’s a good thing I did too, as I was there for about 3 hours.

After getting x-rays done on my foot, the doctor I spoke to said it didn’t look like anything was broken, but was instead just a mild sprain.. which was a relief, as the last thing I needed was to be on crutches or having to get a plaster cast on my foot.

So off I went with advice on how to treat a sprain.. most of which I was already doing, so I was hopeful that I’d be able to walk fairly normally within a few days to a week.  That’s doable and fairly realistic I thought.

fracture-patternsAnd after over a week of self-treatment, I was walking fairly normally and had mostly stopped the pain medication, saving it for when I really needed it…

Only to receive a letter from the hospital’s radiology department stating they’d reviewed my x-rays, and I needed to re-attend to the A&E asap as they’ve determined I actually have a minor fracture (medial malleolus) in my ankle.

Yeah.. I wasn’t impressed.  That basically meant I’d been misdiagnosed, and according to the results I found on Google, I might have to get a plaster cast or possibly even surgery… and I really couldn’t afford a couple weeks off work to recover from ankle surgery.

So off to A&E I went once more, only to be seen by a nurse practitioner instead of a specialist (as suggested in the letter) and then referred to the ‘fracture clinic’ for further investigation… which, of course, was being held on Sunday morning.  At 9am. 😦

Definitely even less impressed at this point, as I was going to a Halloween party that night, and was looking forward to nursing my hangover in bed the next morning.. not traipsing to the hospital once more.

And get this.. after all THAT malarkey and worrying on my part, it turned out it was such a minor fracture that the only treatment for it was exactly what I was already doing!!!  Which was why it had been getting better already, without splints, casts or any such stuff.

riceYeah… all that for nothing and a waste of my time this weekend.  Sure, it’s always better to be sure when it comes to health issues, but damn.. I really wanted that lay-in this morning.  LOL

Now here’s hoping that it doesn’t take too long for my ankle to get back to normal.  The pain fluctuates daily, with some days being worse than others depending on what I’ve been doing.

Fingers crossed it’s sooner rather than later.

A Visit Home

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Hey guys,

Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately.. again!!

Life has been a bit busy lately, between work and a whole bunch on different little things popping up.. including watching a mate’s cat while he was away in America for a couple of weeks.

And on top of that, I’ve been away myself in Canada the past week visiting the family. 

My sister and I organised it back in August that I’ll come for Canadian Thanksgiving.. and we didn’t tell our parents so I could surprise them.

The surprise went off without a hitch! They had no clue I was coming, and those few that knew didn’t spoil the surprise.

The looks on their faces were priceless when I opened my sister’s door! 😁

It’s been a lovely visit and great to see those I could.. but now it’s time to get ready to head back to London tomorrow night (arriving Friday night).

Let’s just hope I don’t leave it another 4 1/2 years before the next visit. 😄

I’m 51 Days Late…

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I’m a bad, bad blogger sometimes..

It’s been almost 2 months – 51 days, to be precise – since my last post of any sort on my poor little neglected blog.  And that last post was a filler type (you know, when I’m not writing anything lol) with a few sexy, semi-naked guys showing off their wares.

I know.. you’ve just hated looking at those semi-clad, Adonises in my absence, right?  😉

So where have I been,?  Well.. mostly I’ve just been home being a lazy twat during the week trying to catch up on the lost sleep from the weekends.

busy diaryThis has probably been my busiest summer in many many years.  Between late June and early August, there wasn’t a weekend where I didn’t already have something planned.  And I barely spent a weekend home in my flat in July.  LOL

And no.. I wasn’t out being a dirty slag or anything quite so exciting.  Dammit. 😉

Let’s see.. how do I update you on a summer’s worth of adventures without writing a dozen pages.. I know, everyone loves a list!  🙂

    • Last weekend of June – London Pride on the Saturday, then rest of the weekend hung over hahaha
    • 1st weekend of July – After arriving back from Rome, I met some friends for a belated birthday party.. then spent the weekend hungover and cat-sitting for my old flatmate.
    • 2nd weekend of July – Spent the weekend with a ‘friend’, going to see the new Ab Fab movie, sleeping over, and then driving around the Kent countryside on Sunday.
    • 3rd weekend of July – NAKEDFEST!!  A naked camping weekend with about 200 other men.. was interesting, but very uncomfortable (note: buy a bigger tent and an air mattress haha)
    • IMG-20160723-WA00034th weekend of July – My dear friends M&B got married!!! I’ve known them almost 7 years, so was lovely to spend their special day with them.. and drinking with M and his best man until 5 am 😮
    • 5th weekend of July – M&B’s NAKED Wedding!! They had a 2nd reception for all their naturalist friends, and it was a laugh.. especially the exchanging of the cock-rings hehe
    • 1st weekend of August – I actually had a whole weekend in London and was able to catch up with a couple of friends on the Saturday night, before heading to another naked house party Sunday afternoon in West London.
    • 2nd weekend of August – Don’t think I did much all weekend other than helping my ‘friend’ with some DIY at his flat on the Sunday and then taking another drive into the Kent countryside.
    • 3rd weekend of August – A well-deserved quiet weekend, mostly spent at home. Oh, and more cat-sitting on the Saturday night.

And that brings us to this weekend, the Bank holiday weekend in the UK.  I’d originally wanted to go away for the weekend and spend it on a beach somewhere, but I never gotten around to arranging anything.

JulietaSo instead, last night was a few drinks with some mates in town, with possibility of more of the same tonight, and then tomorrow I am meeting friends to go see the new Pedro Almodóvar film ‘Julieta‘ at the BFI Southbank near Waterloo.

I’m also trying to update my laptop to Office 2013 from 2007, as I’ve started studying to get my Microsoft Office Specialist certification in Excel 2013.  I’m already well-versed in the software, so once I’ve gone through the official study guide I’ll be taking the exam (hopefully) in the next month or so.

It’s amazing how quickly this summer has gotten away from me.  I haven’t been to a beach since my trip to Rome, and that’s surprising for me!  Most summers, I’m usually down in Brighton a couple times (at least) to spend an afternoon sunning on the nude beach.. but I haven’t been once!  LOL

I’d considered going this weekend, but sadly the weather has dipped down to the low 20’s and a bit overcast after a super hot week.  So definitely not beach weather.

So all in all it’s been a damn good summer, and here’s hoping the upcoming Autumn is just as fun.

Ciao Ciao for now 😉Brighton Beach

My Roman Holiday

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This past week to celebrate my birthday, I went on a little trip.. to Rome.

It was the first time I’d been there, or even to Italy, so it was something I was so excited to do.  I’d always wanted to tour the ancient ruins of this timeless city, and finally I was getting a chance.

It also helped that a friend of mine lives in the city with his boyfriend, so it gave us a chance to catch up since we hadn’t seen each other in 4 or 5 years since his last trip to London.

I have to say.. as much as I’ve loved my recent beach holidays to Gran Canaria, this trip to Rome definitely took my breathe away.  The surreality of standing in the Coliseum, looking out over the ruins on my actual birthday Wednesday kept getting to me.

There I was, just a guy from a small town in Canada, standing in one of the most ancient wonders of the world.  It was so breath-taking at times that I had to catch myself bursting from happiness.

I truly loved wandering around the city (even if my feet said otherwise afterwards hahaha), and just seeing what amazing sight was around each corner.  The buildings, the streets, the food, and ohmygod.. the men!!  LOL

Yeah, I definitely had a terrific trip, and it’s a city I’d love to return to some day, as there was only so much I could see in the 3 days I was there.  But at least I got to see most of the major things that were on my list.. even if some of them required me to wait in a 3 hour queue.. Yes, I’m looking at you, Vatican.  😉

Anyway, here are just a handful of snaps I took over the course of my trip.  Think I took well over 200 pictures, so I’ve just selected a few of my favourites.

Ciao!!

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Striping Away the Insecurities

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Like many people, I tend to be quite self-conscious when it comes to my body.  I was always the chubby or fat kid in school, and have continued to be of a larger size well into my adult years.

I’ve spent many years feeling bad about myself, putting myself down and generally beating myself up emotionally or psychologically whenever I felt I had let myself down regarding my weight.  I’ve repeatedly tried to restrict my diet, deny myself the food I’ve always enjoyed eating, and to get more active.

But of course, despite brief periods of weight loss here and there, I’ve continued to watch my weight rise year on year.  And my own feelings of self-worth fluctuated about as much as my weight did.

Now don’t get me wrong.. I don’t necessarily eat as if I’m running out of food, or am so inactive that I’m beyond lazy.  It’s like anything in life – I know what I need to do, but don’t tend to do it.

cute bums on beachOk, maybe that is my laziness talking there. LOL

I’ve tried several things over the years to help myself to accept my own body image issues, but it’s only been recently that I’ve become more comfortable in my own skin.  And just my own skin.

Over the past couple years, I’ve discovered a love of naturalist beaches, especially after my recent trips to Gran Canaria.  I found on the beaches there that nobody cared what you looked like, and all shapes and sizes were welcome.

On top of this, a close friend of mine convinced me to join a naturalist social website well over a year ago (Nakedmates.co.uk for those who’re interested lol), but I hadn’t done much with it other than poke around, looking at the guy’s profiles and pictures.  And reading about the events some put on, wondering what it would be like to go to one.

Well… all that changed back in April, just before my most recent trip to Gran Canaria.  My mate was hosting a small gathering at his flat in town, and I decided to finally take the plunge and attend.

That’s right.. I went to a naked house party.  And despite my initial nervousness, I absolutely loved it.  It literally was just like any other house party – some laughs, lots of chatting, a bit of flirting, and maybe a bit too much wine haha.

Only difference was that everyone was naked.

The whole ethos of the website is ‘No Clothes. No Attitude’, where members organise parties at their homes, in bars, saunas, and such.

beardy threesomeOne reason I’d been so so hesitant about these parties was it felt like it was so sexualised.  My mate had told me plenty of naughty stories of things that had gone on at these events, and that really isn’t my thing.

But what I found after attending that first party was that it isn’t really like that at all for most of the guys.  It’s just a different outlet to meet like-minded guys in a comfortable and non-judgemental clothing-free environment.

Now don’t get me wrong.. there is a sexual aspect to the parties, but only if you choose to engage in it.  Most hosts when having parties in their homes will set aside a room away from the social areas for those who want to have a bit of fun.  And despite what I might have previously thought, it didn’t turn into full-blown orgies.

At this particular party, I was one of the first to arrive so was already naked when the rest of them arrived.  I think that helped me a bit, where I was only initially stripping off in front of a couple of guys instead of 20 or so. 😉

Of course, the bottle of wine I’d brought helped me relax.  The first half of the bottle went down very quickly. Hahaha

Anyway, the time flew by as I chatted to a gorgeous Danish guy in the kitchen, while some of the other guys drifted in and out of the play room.  Neither of us were interested in joining the frolics, so just enjoyed each other’s company.

Well things have sorted progressed since then, as I’ve been to 2 other parties since.  Including my mate’s naked birthday party last month… where I met a very sexy farmer from Suffolk.

And the parties continue next month.  I’ve agreed to a naked camping weekend up North with over 200 guys from around the country (the sexy farmer promised he’d make it worth my while if I went.. hehe).  And then a couple weeks later it’ll be my mate’s naked wedding!

I admit, it’s not a community I ever considered being a part of, but it’s amazing how friendly and inclusive most of the guys are.  And it’s great to meet guys from so many different walks of life all because of one shared interest.

The upside to all this is how much more comfortable I’ve been feeling in my own skin, and how I keep looking for new opportunities to spent as much time naked at home as I can.. though usually just in my bedroom or when nobody is home.

What I do know is this is a new adventure for me, and it’s one I’m quite enjoying.

Now to see what happens next.. and whether that sexy farmer will keep his promise when we go camping next month.  😉

naked camping

 

Holiday Dramas and Regrets

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As I wrote back in March (click here for previous post), I’d booked a return trip to Gran Canaria, only I wasn’t going alone this time.  A young Italian mate was coming along, and despite a few misgivings, I’d agreed to allow him to share the apartment I’d rented for the week.

As only casual mates, this holiday was either going to make or break our friendship..  Let’s just say there isn’t a friendship anymore.  I should have listened to my gut feelings about this one.

I’d pre-warned him before he booked his flight that I snore, and we would be sharing a 1-bedroom apartment (2 single beds, thankfully).  Oh and that he’d be seeing me naked, of course.  LOL

He’d said he was fine with all of it, so off we flew to Gran Canaria and somehow ended up in seats next to each other, even though we’d booked our flights months apart.  Small world.

fuck the dramaBut it turned out that he was going to be a bit of a handful over the course of the week, and it quickly felt like I was babysitting a little drama queen.  It didn’t help any that I’d come down with a sinus cold the night before we’d flown away.

Firstly, he complained while we waited to board the plane that he felt gross because he’d hadn’t had time to moisturise that morning (he’s barely 30!), then he moaned at how he was stuck in a middle seat and how uncomfortable the seat was.

Once we’d arrived and picked up the keys for the apartment, he immediately started going on about how we could have found an even nicer place for the money we were paying.  That wasn’t on the 4th floor with no lift.  And that was bigger, probably with separate bedrooms.

*Sigh*.. I think he’d already forgotten that he was tagging along on the holiday I’d booked, not something we’d arranged together.

That night I went to the Yumbo for drinks with my dear friend ‘M’ who was already there on holiday (was there the week before on a naturalist group holiday), and the young Italian tagged along.  He’d left his mobile back at the flat, and I had to ‘remind’ him how to get back to the flat when he left.

snoring guyOnce I got back went to bed, he kept poking me throughout the night, and then complained at length in the morning how loudly I was snoring.  Something he knew would happen, plus the sinus cold probably didn’t help.

I tried to shrug it off, but that night when we were heading to bed, he actually had the nerve to ask me “Could you try not to snore tonight so I can actually get some sleep?”.

Yeah.. the little princess actually said that.

I snapped.

I’m generally a fairly easy going person, but this guy had really gotten under my skin.  After angrily reminding him at length that he was forewarned of my snoring, and I eventually got up for a smoke to cool off before falling asleep on the little sofa.

The best though was the first day on the beach when I simply asked him to put some cream on my back so I wouldn’t burn.  To me, this was a simple enough request of a mate when on holiday together.

But oh no, not for him.  He immediately got really uncomfortable and started going on about how he doesn’t do that sort of thing.  That he doesn’t do ‘public displays’..

Ummm.. huh?!?!

It wasn’t like I was asking him to fuck me on the beach or something.  Haha  Perhaps it was because I was naked and he wasn’t.. it was a nude beach after all.

cute bums on beachBut here’s the kicker… several hours later, he started chatting to a cute German guy and actually offered to put cream on the guy’s back.  That’s right.. he was quite fine with a ‘public display’ when it came to someone he fancied.

What a hypocrite! hahaha

There were a few other little things, silly things, that were annoying when you put them all together. I’m not going to list them all since that’ll take way too long.  Each day there seemed to be a new little drama, and I really didn’t want to deal with it anymore.

Generally after the 2nd day or so, I went off and did my own thing, especially after my mate ‘M’ headed back to London. It’s wasn’t that I specifically tried to avoid him, but I didn’t go out of my way to hang with him.  If we happened to be in the same place, then fine.

Most nights he’d go to bed around midnight, despite the bars not really getting busy until then.  He claimed he didn’t want to miss the beach the next day.. despite the beach not getting really busy until midday.  I was there to have fun, so was out late each night enjoying myself and went to the beach whenever I felt like it.

In the end, it wasn’t as great holiday as the last time, but I did my best to enjoy myself.  I relaxed, got a nice all over tan, and even had a bit of fun with a couple of guys near the end of the week.

I’d still go back again at some point.. but now I know to either go on holiday alone or only with a close friend I know I’d get along with.