Saturday, 12 May 2007

The Touch Typed Diary - West

Some background to what follows can be found here. Other installments are here.

I started this as a way to train at touch typing (hence the title) which I have finally taken up learning more or less seriously. At first I was typing what nonsense came across my mind and deleted it once I had finished. Gradually, it just turned into a diary relating the events (not very numerous) of my life. This has also the advantage of keeping me relatively busy at work when I have nothing else to do which seem to happen rather frequently these days.

04 March 2002

The lecture was mildly interesting and lasted about an hour. When it was finished, P. and I went for a drink in the pub on the embankment close to the Tate Modern. There we traded bits of our experience as French housemates in the UK. Me telling him about the poisoning attempt, he telling me about a control freak of a landlady he had had while an “assistant”.

After a while, as I was getting hungry, we walked towards Soho and had a meal at Wong Kei which he did not know, we carried on chatting amicably for sometime before going to the Original Soho Bookshop 2 which he did not know either. We bought books there and finally made our way to Piccadilly and we said goodbye.

Although we felt slightly awkward at the beginning, the ice melted very quickly and we were both quite surprised to see it was already 11pm when we parted company. The evening turned out to be altogether quite promising and I hope and believe that we should become good friends in due time.

After having been to several Buddhist meetings I am afraid I am starting to get the same outlook as they on life. It feels a bit like sometimes my life pushes me into action. I felt very much that way at the end of August when I lost my job and then had this horror story at my former place; not forgetting the bedbugs I caught around that time too. I new it was time to move on and was actually thinking about it but without acting on it. Once I had moved, things went well again.

This time, I would like to move on with my job and get one with a more descent pay. But that would also mean that my solitude would be more bearable too and that I would therefore not try to change things in that department. But a few weeks ago, I got so desperate that I actually started to do something and new doors seem to have open… Are these just coincidences or not, I do not know. There is also a feeling that my life follows an ascending seesaw pattern: things go bad and suddenly as if some momentum had been gathered I reach a new level where things actually improve and I grow.

The last week end is another example that shows that I am at a point where things are changing. Well I hope so anyway…

I started the week end on Saturday morning with a 45 min run after a long phone call from PFM. Once again I seem to be going faster and faster although it does not feel like it as I had to make my route longer than usual. I also went to see the IT people and the Bloody Thing seems to be more or less in working order now. I still have to reorganise all my folders and reinstall a few things.

In the afternoon, I made my way to what seems to be the other end of the world: Sunny Richmond about 1hr30 tube ride away from where I live. MPB, my former colleague, had had invited to the house warming party of her new neighbour on the sole ground that we are both gay and should get along well together.

The party had started around one in the afternoon but MPB and I had decided to be (very?) fashionably late and turned up there around 6...

The experience proved to be much more enjoyable than the last party I went to with MPB. Although everybody was at least 10 years older than me, they were all very nice people.

After a while, I found myself at the kitchen party which, according to everyone are always the best. I could see why as food and drink were more readily available and the company even more sociable.

Around midnight part of the guests, including the host decided to go for a walk by the river and left the rest masters of the battlefield. This is when I noticed that Michel, a 50ish French Canadian gay guy (down from Brighton with his long serving partner) had probably taken a shine for me. I had noticed earlier that he seemed to be watching me a lot and when he discovered I was French, he started to try and talk to me several times in French which I found quite rude for the rest of the company, I invariably answered to him in English.

When people came back from their moonlit walk, Simon, the host, and a friend of his told me in a conspiratorial way that I would have to get the details from MPB about what happened during the walk.

Earlier during the party, MPB had asked me to tell her who I thought was gay and who I thought was not. Some of the guest were pretty easy to classify but other proved more difficult and I had to do a lot of guessing.

As it turned out, one of the guys I had told MPB I thought was gay, had been very friendly towards her during the evening and even more so during the walk; to the point of kissing her actually! MPB convinced from what I had told her (albeit with reservations) that the guy would not be interested in her other than in a friendly way and even though she rather fancied him had returned his kindness without self consciousness and was now feeling both perplex as to his behaviour and embarrassed at the discovery that her wish of this guy being straight had actually come all too true. (She is involved with a guy in the States and has several other guys wooing her over here in the UK!!!).

When all the guests had left, some of them to return in the morning for breakfast, another walk and lunch at a local pub, Simon, MPS and I had a chat regarding what was happening to MPB. Around three in the morning, we finally left Simon and went back to MPB's place (where I was to sleep) and chatted some more till 4.

The next morning I walk up around 9 and made my way to the kitchen to grab some sort of food. There I noticed that Simon was up already and went to say hello. Soon afterwards the other guests who were to come back as well as MPB made their appearance and we all had hot cross buns and tea for breakfast before going for a walk along the river to Marble Hill House (which was built by George II for his mistress). The part of the park closer to the river had been flooded and there was water on the street too at some points.

MPB did not join us as she had to be in town for some open day at a university. I was to meet her again at 6 at Ravenscourt Park station from where we were to go to a private viewing of the paintings of the Polish woman whose dreadful birthday party I had been to and her aunt.

On our way back from Marble Hill, we stopped at a small pub along the river for lunch. The area where we are is not really Richmond any more; I think it is part of Twickenham but it is still a rather wealthy area. The pub's patrons as well as the numerous people who had the same idea as us to have a walk and enjoy the nice weather were all upper middle class and some of them were looking slightly wearily at our bunch of 5 unshaved guys...

Another interesting fact about the pub is that it seems to be the rallying point of rugby fans and players. We were thus lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a pair of tanned and nicely shaped legs poking out of slightly muddy white shorts !!! (how sad can you be?!)

After lunch, we went on to the high street and had a cuppa in an ugly little cafeteria and then moved back to Simon's place where our party disbanded.

I went back to MPB's place to pack my things up and have a look at her computer as she had asked me but I could not do much as the D drive did not work. It settled down in the settee and browsed through the first Time Out I have ever bought.

When it was time to leave and went to say goodbye again to Simon. We chatted a bit more and decided that it would be nice to meet again. He also gave me his details so that I could send him a link to the Reading Group's website which he seems interested in joining.

The private viewing turned out to be a rather interesting business not due to the quality of the art displayed but rather to the crowd of visitors in attendance. The thing was taking place at the Polish Cultural Centre and had gathered an amazing and colourful set of specimen of the Polish Diaspora in the UK. These people looked like they had left their fashion sense behind them in Poland when they left about three decades ago. What an impressive array of flashy colours and strange combinations of clothes!

After perhaps half an hour in the place MPB and I had spotted no less than 4 wigs and a fake pony tail.

I, personally had spotted something else too! In support to the two "artists" several members of their family were hanging about more or less gloomily and/or playing host to the visitors, offering half empty glasses of bad wine. One of these people was a dark youth of 16 to 20 years of age, rather handsome as mixed race people very often are and very sexy. Ukrainian and black... MPB informed me he was the half brother of J.'s husband (J. being one of the two celebrated that night).

Now whether my gaydar was playing another of his tricks on me or not I could not say. But I received some strange and discordant vibes from this guy. True, he was accompanied by a female fashion accessory (oups, that's mean, isn't it?). True, there was not the slightest trace of campness in him. But then why did I get the feeling he was watching me from across the room, just as I was watching him ? Something that MPB noticed too. Why, at some point, did he came up to me looked at me straight in the eyes with what felt like an intent gaze, before winking, smiling and introducing himself? Andrew. Why when we took our leave and were showed out by his brother, was he there too, winking again and telling me to enjoy myself or to have some fun (or something to that effect) and then staring at me again through the glass door?

I left the place utterly confused and rather flustered, I must say. Am I imagining things? Is he a closet case (he seems too self confident for that) or bi or has my uncommun beauty played its usual trick on this poor impressionable mind?!

Anyway, there are little chances that we should meet ever again and even if this happened I could not see what more could take place than a few-minute stand as he is much too young and obviously not very educated. I would be curious to know if I was mistaken or not though!

Now I know what you are going to ask me (if you haven't fallen asleep yet, that is): Simon ? How is he ? Do you like him ?

That is a tricky one I must say.
Simon looks like he is in his forties, has very short grey hair with a bald patch. He is not very tall and rather stocky. Blue eyes behind small rectangular glasses. Without being plain, he is not particularly handsome but has charm. He is a very kind and really lovely bloke. I do really like him and I think we will become friends if we get to meet often enough. As for more I do not know. I think he fancies me because of certain things he said about how he behaves with people he fancies and the way he behaved with me in line with what he said. Do I fancy him? Not really, but I am sensible to his charm and attracted by his personality, so perhaps if he manoeuvres his boat properly (he does sail after all !!!).....

A rather eventful week-end also as usual even when lot of things happen, nothing has really changed in my miserable life...

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