4 December 2015
Back to work
Jason has just mentioned the Lady we had dinner with, and called her wholesome. I had to think for a bit, what he meant by wholesome, but understand what he is getting at. Good, honest, true. Three words to describe her. Three words we should all aspire too!
She cooked Italian and we spent a good five hours chatting about everything. It isn't until you sit down with someone, that you discover the real truth, the real person and their real purpose. In all honesty, so many people have said their bit and had their say, that sometimes, the facts get skewed and that has been a major problem all along the line.
It was a wonderful, relaxing and enjoyable evening, spent with someone who has a heart of gold and truly made us feel welcome, as ever. When you go into someones house, there are occasions when you feel uncomfortable, this was nothing but. We had a lovely time and will reciprocate as soon as we are able!
4 December 2015
In this rehash of my second blog, Forever Enduring Cycles, I refer to Darrell as Jason, his birth name. We both changed our titles, when we left for Spain after taking legal advice. Writing about ones old employer, after the injustices they committed would have been impossible, using our real identities; a pseudonym was the answer. Three years have passed since I began blogging; although I still write under the name Luke Martin-Jones, I am no longer afraid to reference my partner and I in the correct manner! In time, as Oxfam are finally brought to account, I will once again be able to speak freely, without fear of reprisals!
Reflections - 24 March 2018
In the first part of this blog entry, entitled 'Burning ones Bridges,' first written on 4 December 2015, Darrell and I spent an evening at a friends house; dinner and conversation flowed late into the night.
Both of us were invited to a work colleagues home, another Manager who was based in Eastleigh. Since the person in question no longer works for Oxfam, I am happily allowed to refer to her by name; Hilary. Like us, Hilary had become a victim in Oxfam's games; bullied, sidelined and abused by a Manager who had no thought for her staff. Hilary was still working for them at the time we paid a visit; this period at Oxfam was a strained affair and not one she looks back on with fondness and who can blame her.
We had a wonderful relaxing night, spent in the company of a dear close friend, who remains in contact today, exchanging correspondence frequently. The three of us had much to talk about. I was returning to work at the very time Hilary was leaving. She couldn't take the harassment any longer. Like Darrell and I, her health had suffered dramatically and it was the right time for her to take a final bow.
Without people like Hilary my life would have been far more difficult. She was a great source of advice and comfort at the time and was there when no one else was. We all shared our problems often, it helped us come to terms with what was going on. It is sad that other Managers didn't offer support us at such a crucial time, but looking back I can understand why. Most had no idea what was going on and others had seen it all before, not wanting to become Veronica Raymond's latest victim. We three were the lucky ones, getting out when we could. It is painful giving up a career, you have dedicated your life to, but in the long run, sat here writing today, it was the best thing that could have happened.
The second half of this entry refers to the night we finally began to go through decades of paperwork. Our impending move to Spain, was becoming a reality, so we both felt it was time to start destroying a lifetime of documents. This was a difficult process; even after being together over twenty years, we both had to keep everything, that proved our partnership. The Foreign Office could demand access to our files at anytime, in order to verify we are still together; we kept the most important files and burnt the rest.
It's funny really, now we both live in Spain, we have no need to keep any of these papers. We have lived outside of the United Kingdom too long now, so Darrell's entitlement to live and work in Britain, is no longer an option. He would have to go through a process of settlement once again, as he did twenty years ago. Since neither of us intend returning, our life in the UK has come to an abrupt end and we can finally rid ourselves of all references to our time together living in Southampton. As a hoarder and collector, I doubt I will get rid of these memories anytime soon!
46 year old Expat, writer and columnist, living and working in Gran Alacant on the Costa Blanca.