Friday, 15 March 2019

Summer sabbatical, doggy drama and watching a man die (again)

I kicked off this summer, which is sadly now coming to an end on this side of the world, by reliving my emo youth at a festival in Sydney.

The bands I loved growing up bounced around to the same old songs, my aching body struggled to keep up like it once did, and a man died right in front of us.

That's not a joke either, one minute he was stood there and the next there were ambulances parting the crowd, like Moses apparently did to that sea, as paramedics desperately tried to resuscitate.

His limp body was stretchered away, Mayday Parade came on a few moments later than scheduled and thousands of people then danced on this poor chap's grave.

The show will quite literally always go on.

I think the most depressing moment of the whole ordeal was the fact that Mayday Parade still included Miserable At Best in their set.

The incident brings back memories of a few years back, when I was stood queueing up in a Manchester Post Office, and the gentleman in front of me dropped to his death.

I remember being on anti-depressants at that time, imaging he was probably happy to move on to something else, being slightly jealous, and forgetting about it within a few hours.

As expected though, the post office had its doors wide open again a few hours later, and it was back to business as usual for everyone expect that fella that mailed himself off to somewhere better.

One person's final moment is another person's mild inconvenience.

Excuse the morbid opening to this latest update, but there is a point I'm getting to.

One day, you, the person reading this post, will be dead.

It's sad, inevitable and hopefully won't come for a while, but it will, and life will go on.

Which is why I think it's important to take a moment to remember that when that day comes, the majority of the shit you struggle with daily, will mean nothing.

Material possessions won't save you, the strangers you seek validation from will forget you, and only a select few will truly remember you were ever here at all.

Bleak that, init. So make the most of your time. 

Other than that, these past few months have been spent mostly doing nothing and catching gastroenteritis off Winston the dog.

I discovered a whole new type of love after dropping him off at the vets and seeing his sad little face as I was forced to leave, not knowing when, or if, he'd be coming home.

Thankfully he's fine now and we've both stopped shitting on the floor every two minutes.

William and I also adventured up to the Gold Coast to visit his family in January, via a week camping in Byron Bay and a brief break in Woolgoolga.

We also spent Christmas with his family, went a little over the top decorating our garden (my fault) with lights and welcomed the New Year in watching the fireworks with his parents on the Habour.

As I type this now, we're both now back in full time employment, about to meet a woman about a mortgage and appreciating the mundane of routine.

We also finally fucking sent out the invites for our wedding, which we've discovered clashes with Elton John's final farewell tour.

January 2020 is going to be one big gay month in Sydney.

Sling it, Elton.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Aches, ageing and a celebrity personal appearance in the garden

After many months prolonging the fact an engagement party tends to follow an engagement, William and I finally got our act together this month and invited people round. 

Gifts were given, drinks were drunk and we found the perfect solution to ensure all focus would not be on us during our back garden get together as we have a mutual dislike of attention.

By booking the most controversial Australian reality television star I have in my phone book for a personal appearance. 

In the midst of people celebrating our love, we thankfully managed to skip doing any soppy speeches of our own as our home became a bizarre, and slightly enforced, one man meet and greet.

Older relatives had no idea who our VIP was, younger friends enjoyed the novelty of a virtual villain stood before them and William and I smiled as our lives endured a tabloid worthy clash.

Alongside our minor celebrity, it also helped having a dog dressed up with a ribbon roaming round and an adorable baby nephew appealing to all in attendance.

The holy trinity of attention gravitating guests at any function while the hosts happily hide.

Away from our garden based gathering, these past months have mainly been focused around camping trips with Winston the dog, a couple of weddings and my own failing health.

It's rather ironic that after 20 plus years of living completely fearless, unphased by consequence and being annoyingly reckless, that the moment I have something to cherish, my body starts to shut down.

'Able bodied, but no longer able to do, the things in this life I'd planned for me and you.

As I grow taller, the world grows smaller, crippled by the realities I struggle to see through'.

I wrote those poetic words recently after an appointment where I paid for the pleasure of a professional practitioner to tell me the things I am not capable of doing. Things I already knew, but things I'd still push myself through while enduring the pain. 

In the grand scale of life, it's hardly the most harrowing of things to be told you can no longer train a certain way, that rest periods must be greater and my body now comes with a growing list of restrictions.

But it is certainly a reminder to me, and now you, that age creeps up sooner than you think in one way or another.

Aches last longer, hangovers hang around for days and before you know it, you're no longer able to bounce out of bed after a big night. 

There's an old saying I've always enjoyed: At some point your mum picked you up, put you down and never picked you up again.

Now, along those lines but even more depressing is the fact that at one point in your life you drank all night, danced until day broke and then went about your business as fresh as a daisy without even realising it was the very last time you'd do so.

Maybe you've already enjoyed your final all night sesh and haven't even realised so you will never endure another?   

There was also a time you rolled in the mud at a festival without fearing the clothes wash afterwards.

A time you stayed out on a week night and weren't scared of snoozing in work the next day.

A time you could operate on four hours of sleep, eat what you wanted without it showing and live on a whim while soildering through every adventure you throw yourself into.  

I type this as a man closer to 30 than 20 and a man who spends his disposable income on things like physiotherapy before fun.

Also a man that fears he may one day struggle to keep up with the children he dreams of having.

This isn't a memo to provoke ill-deserving sympathy, but more a post to remind you to have the fucking time of your life while you physically can.

Because the second your abilities lag behind your sense of adventure and logic comes before the luck of life, restrictions are set and you're forced to slow yourself down.

Wether ya want to or not.

To give this a less depressing end, Willaim and I would like to express our thanks for everybody that attended our party, pitched in with food and baking, brought gifts and gave us all the love.

Also congruations to both Sarah and Andy, and Emily and Ryan on your recent big days.

And lastly, thank you to Married At First Sight's pint-sized, sexually fluid, famously-always-feuding-with-someone, breakout star Nasser Sultan for kindly donating his time to stand in our garden.  

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Wedding planning, penis problems and surviving the Sydney winter

You know what the worst thing about planning your very own big gay Australian wedding is?

The realisation that you're going to be the star of the grand sparkling occasion. Along with your dearly beloved, of course. Who isn't much more pleased about declaring his love in front of all of our nearest and dearest either.

It's not out of shame, but more out of pure embarrassment.

I've been raised watching weddings on the TV filled with joy, love and Katherine Heigl excitably hoarding 27 Dresses. There's dancing, exaggerated drama and dodgy public displays of affection as your employed paparazzi snaps every single moment.

There's just, like, never much mention about how cringe the whole thing is? All them eyes focused on you while you try and conjure up some crowd pleasing words, which will soon be shared across everyone's social media.

As for the first dance? That can fuck off too. I'm a man that can barely do a drunken shuffle and no amount of apparent protocol will get me Strictly Come Dancing on my big day. Sorry, Will.

And then there's the slight problem that my fiancee and I both have penises.

Traditional church ceremonies may be on the out and unique union's between people of all backgrounds and identities may be on the in, but who's going to be the one walking down the isle and who's going to be the one waiting up front?

'I now pronounce you top and bottom,' the person officiating may as well say. Because no matter how we're looking at it, the one doing that slow awkward stroll is essentially seen as 'the bride.'

I may be joking, but it's also true.

As for the actual planning, things are going spectacularly. The majority of decisions were made in one afternoon and we chose the date on a whim after my mum started pestering to book flights. In my opinion, love should feel natural and require no effort, which is the same logic we're applying to our wedding.

William and I will be saying I Do on January 17, 2020.

It'll be an intimate outdoor affair north of Sydney with Nandos doing the catering. Hopefully, I'm open for sponsored posts on this blog for any brands looking, FYI.

With flights to Australia being pricey as fuck and us hosting our nuptials quite literally on the other side of the world, I have no expectations of people from back home coming over especially.

Unless you're a parent or sibling then you best book that bloody flight. But for any friends planning their vactions for your next couple of years, here's your extended notice so you can swing by Sydney.

Other than the very brief wedding planning, there aren't many more updates to share and this travel blog has once again become void of any travel as I've settled back in Sydney following my European jaunt.

I survived the tail end of the Australian winter upon my return, and you know the worst thing about temperatures dropping Down Under is? They just shouldn't. 

Nobody moves to Australia to spend a couple of months with a slight chill. For British people over here, it's almost like the second you step foot off that plane you're entitled to 365 of soaring sunshine or you want your money back.

10 degrees? No fucking thank you, that wasn't on the tour guide. 

Spring has now kicked in though thankfully, shit is getting hot again and most of my days are spent with William and Winston the dog doing absolutely nothing but living our best lives.

It's quite an odd feeling that after over a decade of touring, parties alongside pop stars and shoving myself into the centre of all things showbiz, the thing that keeps me most content is coming home to a man I love and a dog I'd die for.

Bit of a dramatic end that, weren't it?