2 December 2015
Reflections - 9 January 2018
I was in two minds about reviewing this entry today, since I have discovered that Sam and Laura are no longer together as a couple; however it is important for me to discuss every aspect of my life in 2015; such an important year for me. I met Sam through Christopher Bunday, who just happens to be staying with Darrell and me at the moment. Like Chris, Sam comes from Hythe, or rather Marchwood, situated on Southampton Water, just outside the New Forest; If I remember rightly a more upmarket neighbourhood in Southampton; so I am told. He is a great lad, with a tremendous work ethic, respectful and someone I saw often when Chris lived with me; about ten years ago now.
In December 2015, we were doing the rounds, visiting those close, before we moved to Spain in January. Fitting in everyone was difficult. Darrell and I were busy most of the time; consequently, we were unable to see many, we would have liked to say goodbye too. After a lunch date in Totton, near Sam and Laura’s house, we popped in to see them both and their new son Arthur; who it has to be said, was a feisty one. It was great to see them all together as a family. I was sad to hear they both parted ways; but understand the pressures all families are under today.
There were a few children in my life at the time, most noticeably baby Imogen, the daughter of our friend Kirsty Hooper. Up until this point there were no youngsters of note. It is rather poignant that we became close to Imogen in particular, at a time when we were preparing to move abroad. I would have loved to remain a part of Imogen’s life, as I would others, like Arthur and indeed my own cousin Rachael’s latest child, but circumstances prevented me from doing so.
Unlike my husband Darrell, I wanted to have children, but when we were young, it was an impossible undertaking. I have always loved kids, working with underprivileged children in the UK and of course teaching here in Spain. I suppose that was my way of having contact with our future generation, even though I was unable to have any of my own. This very topic cropped up the other day, while I was working at LoungeD; I was asked if I wanted a family, by one of our customers. Of course I would love to adopt, but at my time of life, in my current situation, that would be impossible. I’ll leave that to those who have the abilities to do so.
I do have friends, who are gay, who have children; they remain a beacon for others who hope to one day follow their example. Richard Leach, the ‘Cakeman’ from my home town is a fantastic father; a doting Dad, like no other. Many I have known also had the ability, far more than I, to become the fathers they so deserve, gay or not. Jay Greaves, who used to be close to myself and Darrell, helping us through some very difficult times, was fantastic with kids; in fact I have personally never seen someone ‘do it better.’ I hope in time, he will also realise his dream of fatherhood. I come from a large family myself. I remember as a teenager, I would go and visit my Gran and Grandad and there would always be children about, which is great when you are growing up. If you have the expertise to bring up a child, especially as a gay man, you should. What a wonderful way to give something back.
When I look at some of those who have children these days, for no other reason than they can, I am shocked at some of the parenting skills employed. Mothers screaming at their little ones in shops, smacking them, abusing them in public, let alone in the privacy of their own home and of course, the terrible cases of child abuse one reads about in newspapers everyday. No child needs to suffer this way, there is a queue of well able and superbly qualified parents from all sectors of the community wanting to give a good home to those in greatest need.
I am struck at how well behaved children are in Spain; they seem to be so different to their British counterparts. The concept of family is far more important here, with more focus on unity and encouragement; as a consequence siblings seem to be closer. Society in Spain allows for a more stable, nurturing and supportive environment in which children can grow, develop and aspire, achieving all they want to. A child’s life is far more outdoor centric and they seem, at least on the surface to be far more grounded. These are of course only my own observations, other people may totally disagree. Living in Spain has taught me a lot about the values surrounding family, something I never really had when I was in the UK.
So there we have it a blog about a certain day in December; at a time when I was visiting friends and family, saying my goodbyes. A difficult turning point for me and Darrell, but part of the process of renewal, rather like the arrival of Arthur. The birth of anything new, a baby, new direction or fresh start, is important for all of us, in order to evolve as people. Baby Arthur served as recognition, that new times were ahead and our future was no longer based in Southampton. It was good to see them and say goodbye, but just as Arthur had a new life ahead of him, so did we.
I haven’t been back to see anyone in Southampton yet; I’m sure I will in time; equally I am sure I will be shocked at just how much both Arthur and Imogen have grown. I wish both of them all the luck in the World for a wonderful future. They are lucky to have loving parents, who will cater for their every need, what more can I child ask for.
46 year old Expat, writer and columnist, living and working in Gran Alacant on the Costa Blanca.