Wednesday, 27 December 2017
Appealing to your heart - Apelando a sus corazones
Yelitza, mother of two, more than my niece, is like a sister. We grew up together when my Mother died and my sister, Yelitza's mum looked after me. On Sunday, the 24th, my beloved niece had a stroke and was rushed to the hospital, but unfortunately, the Doctors prognosis has been very unhopeful. They found her brain covered with herpes due to a bacterial infection.
My country, Venezuela, where she lives, is in shambles and they DO NOT have the medication to keep her alive. They will be able to buy it in Colombia, and this whole process is unaffordable to them and to me.
From the bottom of my heart, I am using my most humble resources as a person asking you to PLEASE help me to help her. I am not asking for much, every penny will make a HUGE difference. The Doctor adviced my family to prepare for the worst, and with my broken heart, I can say if the worst happens I can still use your valuable help.
This is the link for donations https://www.facebook.com/donate/356954444777019/1823216517708752/
Needless to say, I will be eternally grateful to you, and I will return the help if you need it at some point.
Yelitza, madre de dos varones, quien mas que mi sobrina es como una hermana para mi. Nosotros crecimos juntos cuando mi mama murio y mi hermana, quien es la mama de Yelitza, me cuido. El pasado 24 de Diciembre, ella colapso y la llevaron al hospital, pero desafortunadamente el pronostico medico ha sido desesperanzador. Le encontraton herpes en su cerebro, a raiz de una bacteria.
Mi pais, Venezuela, esta sufriendo la peor crisis en su historia, y NO se consiguen los medicamentos que mi querida sorbrina necesita. Pueden conseguirlos en Colombia, pero es un proceso costoso tanta para ellos como para mi.
Desde el fondo de mi corazon, estoy acudiendo a mis mas recondita humildez para pedir ayuda para ayudar a mi sobrina. No estoy pidiendo mucho porque cualquier ayuda no es pequena, y puede hacer una gran diferencia. Los doctores han dicho a mi familia que nos preparemos para lo peor, pero incluso si lo peor pasa, que le pido a Dios que no, podre utilizar la colaboracion recibida para eso.
Este es el enlace donde pueden donar https://www.facebook.com/donate/356954444777019/1823216517708752/
Demas esta decirles que estare eternamente agradecido con ustedes, y devolvere el favor cuando ustedes lo necesiten.
Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Always Be You - Siempre Se Tu
As I have said it in previous years, the Christmas spirit is the awakening of all the beauty we possess inside, allow that spirit to possess you throughout the festive season and for the rest of your life.
And always remember there are many things in life we can learn, be trained of or even perform, however, the only thing that should remain unlearned is who we are because who we are is our biggest treasure, and that's the beauty of life.
Enjoy the silly season and have a Happy Christmas together with your family and friends...
Como lo he dicho en anos anteriores, el Espiritu de la Navidad es el despertar de todo lo bonito que llevamos por dentro, permitamos que ese espiritu nos posea en las fiestas decembrinas y hasta el final de nuestras vidas.
Tratemos de siempre recordar que hay muchas cosas en la vida que se pueden aprender, ser entrenados en esas cosas o actuar para demostrar que sabemos esas cosas, pero lo unico que debe permanecer intacto, sin aprender, es quienes somos, porque he alli la belleza de la vida.
Espero disfruten de las fiestas decembrinas. Espero tengan una Feliz Navidad con sus familiares y amigos
Friday, 1 December 2017
Being positive about being Positive
December, 1st is World AIDS Day - which is the day designated every year since 1988 to raising awareness to the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease.
Since then, science and technology have advanced immensely, so being positive is, in ANY WAY AT ALL, a death sentence ANYMORE.
Back in September, I published a blog post called 'The stigma is in our heads', and the response it had was very good. As a result, one of my readers shared with me an article he wrote talking about his experience as HIV+. I found the article very moving and inspirational, and I am grateful he is sharing this article with the rest of the world through #marlife.
This the article
A pragmatic attitude about being HIV+
There seems to be this fashion today, from authorities, if people are not behaving in the way that ‘society’ wants them to behave then the answer is, education, education, education, or to produce a leaflet or booklet and hey presto people will suddenly change and the world will be a better place. What if the information being given out, people are already aware of? What if the consequences of one’s behaviour is already known by the people who are behaving in that way, what then? What if the underlying problem that needs to be dealt with is a psychological one? A person may behave in the way they do but may not be aware of what underlying causes are driving that behaviour. No amount of sensible talking to, or passing out of information on the consequences of that behaviour is going to resolve anything unless the route to the problem is dealt with.
I did not know myself until the very second I was given my positive HIV diagnosis what had been causing my destructive behaviour and why I had not been aware it. The counsellor who gave me my diagnosis said it was, ‘positive’. At that very instant I had a vision appear in my head of this family member and this feeling, literally, of weight being lifted off my shoulders. I knew, from then, what had been the cause of my deliberate destructive behaviour of going out and having lots of unprotected sex with strangers in order to purposefully become HIV positive. I had been carrying a guilt around in my psychology regarding this family member with whom I had been very close but who had been expelled from the family. My guilt was over the demise of their life and their ultimate death. I felt responsible, in some way, for the lonely way their life had turned out. It felt, to me, as if this guilt had been forcing me into a kind of self-harm process.
At the time of my diagnosis, I had a very mixed set of feelings. Relief, for now I didn’t need to worry about becoming HIV positive any longer. Regret at not realising what had been causing my destructive behaviour sooner but also a sense of power (or control), now what could I do with this knowledge and experience in order to help others?
When I was given my diagnosis I was classed as a seroconverter which simply put meant I was in that period of transition from a negative to a positive HIV status. All my previous HIV tests had been negative. The hospital which gave me the diagnosis invited me to be a part of a clinical trial which was specifically aimed at seroconverters. I was in a state of shock at the time and a little bit overwhelmed by the news and information I had just been given so I said I needed the weekend to think about it and I would give them my decision the following Monday. I thought long and hard about entering onto this clinical trial and thought this would be one of the more beneficial aspects of being HIV positive and any information the medical profession could gain from such a study could only be of benefit to others in the future, so I agreed to be part of the trial. Plus I am a curious kind of fellow and was intrigued as to what might be involved anyway.
The trial started immediately on the Monday, the idea at the time was to give recently diagnosed seroconverters combination anti-retroviral medication for a short period of time, just until their viral load became undetectable, and then take them off that medication and let their own immune system take over. The idea was that their immune system would be boosted by this brief intervention of medication and carry on successfully without it. I guess the key question was, for how long? If I remember correctly, the combination anti-retroviral medication that I was on was, Abacavir, Combivir and Efavirenz each with their own side effects, which I remember vividly and did make me feel very unwell. I did not enjoy taking this medication, but I did persevere for the sake of the study. With my own clinical trial results I did very well and for a good number of years. Diagnosed in December 2001 I was on combination therapy for just four months, my viral load become undetectable and my CD4 count was excellent, I think it hovered just under the 1000 mark for a few years. I had regular check-ups during this trial, I think they were weekly to begin with, then every month and then every three months. One thing that I did learn that was extremely important regarding taking HIV anti-retroviral medication was something referred to as ‘compliance’ or ‘adherence’ which means following your medication dosage and routine very strictly. The amount you should take, in the way you should take it, and at the frequency you should take it, is of the uppermost importance. Why? One of my HIV doctors described taking anti-retroviral medication and the HIV virus as being like a ‘fast flowing river’ (for the virus) and the anti-retroviral medication as being like a ‘brick wall’ holding it back. If for any reason cracks, or holes, appear in that wall then the river (the virus) has a chance to seep through and continue its journey. The cracks would obviously represent the not following the strict medication regime, or the holes would represent not taking (or forgetting to take) the medication.
It was not only the clinical trial that made a difference (in my opinion) my behaviour, since being diagnosed, had also changed. I stopped going out and having lots of unprotected sex with strangers, I guess the simple answer was I no longer ‘needed’ to do it. The guilt bubble that had been driving that behaviour had finally been burst. In addition a new psychological influence had started to show and kept buzzing around my head and that was ‘what if I infect someone else with HIV by having unprotected sex’. So I made a conscious decision, at that time, to explain to every potential sexual partner from then on what my HIV status was. To me it made the decision of who, and when, to tell easier. I also chose, at that point, to be fairly open about my HIV status, again it just relieved a lot of worry, concern and doubts in my head. I decided if I was dealing with anyone who had some involvement in my medical care, including a dentist or an optician, I felt it only right and proper that they should be fully aware of my medical history. After all, how else are they to make an informed and accurate assessment of treatment if they don’t have all the information? This decision to disclose this kind of information is entirely left to the individual and no one should be put under any pressure to disclose their HIV status, it was just right for me at that time.
In 2008-2009 my health started to deteriorate. There were a lot of mitigating circumstances that were having a very negative effect on me and I went into a severe depression. One of my brothers unexpectedly died, which was a traumatic shock to all the family. However, the condition he died of was thought to be a hereditary one and we were all advised by the medical team treating him to seek medical advice ourselves to see if we were all ok. I did go to my GP and also for an appointment at the hospital to get this checked and thankfully all was clear, but apparently it is something that does need to be checked regularly. In 2008 I also suffered with terrible pain in my left shoulder which was made even worse by the fact I do have an underlying medical condition related to my spine that exacerbated the problem. I did seek out treatment and it was found that I had a tear in my tendon. My partner was made redundant around this time which not only caused financial difficulties but also brought about arguments between us, usually over money, but not always. My own freelance work had started to dry up, can’t blame it entirely on the global financial depression but I guess it didn’t really help matters. My partner and I both became very depressed and our behaviours toward one another became uncaring, disrespectful, aggressive and destructive. In 2009 my HIV doctor told me my results had got so bad that I needed to go on life-long medication. The very thought of this filled me with horror, I think partly because I had previously been on the drugs during the clinical trial and did not like their side effects and how they made me feel. My HIV doctor explained that my viral load had reached 500,000+ and my CD4 count had gone down to 210. I was also feeling very unwell in myself not just physically but mentally too. I felt in a very bleak, hopeless place and while I did not specifically think about suicide I was thinking about the more beneficial aspects to death. To me death was a place that offered tranquility, calm, was a peaceful state with no worries, or commitments, or stress, or arguments, or anything else that I did not wish to have to deal with at that time. So I agreed, not reluctantly, I knew it was the right thing to do, even in my very negative and hopeless frame of mind, to go on life-long anti-retroviral therapy. To be frank, I was petrified. Lots of questions were running through my head, what would the side-effects be like? Would I be able to stick to the medication regime? How do I manage my time around taking my medication? Who do I tell that I am taking HIV anti-retroviral medication? I remember the first evening and the first tablet I had to take, I was physically trembling while holding the tablet dispenser so much so that I dropped the tablets all over the floor. That I recognised as the last remaining action from my resistance to taking life-long medication and from then on my determination to be committed to taking and following this drug regime took over. One of the reasons for my willingness to comply was the fact that I am getting my HIV treatment for free. In some parts of the world people have to pay for their HIV treatment and in other parts people do not even have access to HIV treatment so it became a moral issue for me to follow strictly what I was advised to do.
In April 2009 I started my life-long anti-retroviral HIV treatment. It was quite simple to follow, a combination of three different drugs, Efavirenz, FTC (Emtrivia, Emtricitabine) and Tenofovir, all in one tablet called, Atripla which I only had to take one tablet, once a day, simple. While this tablet was easy enough in itself to take, I was advised to take it in the evening after a meal because some of the side effects it could cause would impair your ability to use machinery or make decisions. This tablet certainly did this to me, besides feeling very hot and causing my skin to become very dry, it also gave me diarrhoea and a feeling of nausea. The most disturbing side effects for me however were being light-headed, a feeling of dizziness and also a sense of being ‘out of control’ or dysphoria. I remember these side effects getting so bad that about an hour before I was due to take the tablet I use to start to become very anxious and concerned about taking it. I persevered and continued to take my medication and attended my regular HIV medical appointments at hospital but about a year after starting the Atripla treatment I was told, by my HIV doctor, that my results were showing that the virus had become resistant to certain aspects of that drug regime. Usually this can happen when compliance to the drug regime is not adhered to but I was certain I did comply and I even asked my partner if they thought I had missed any and they were convinced I hadn’t. However, during this very stressful time and period of getting use to taking life-long medication the village which we were living in had a terrible winter period with lots of snow and cold weather and as a result the village lost all its gas supply and certain houses (including ours) also lost their electricity supply, this resulted in a very miserable and considerably uncomfortable and cold living experience for several days in the run-up to Christmas. An emergency centre was set-up in the village social/sports club and at one point my partner was so concerned about the cold and the effect it was having on me that he even contacted the British Red Cross at the emergency centre in the village. The British Red Cross very kindly arranged for us to stay in a hotel for an evening. So maybe during this time the extreme cold weather and very stressful situation did mean that I did not follow my drug regime as closely as I should have done.
The virus becoming resistant to Atripla meant that I had to change my drug regime and to go on what was called, second stage HIV treatment. I remember sitting down with my HIV doctor and discussing the various options I could take, certain drugs were ruled out because of the resistant factor and those that were left my doctor explained what the side effects were likely to be from taking these drugs. So now I take, Darunavir, Raltegravir and Ritonavir and because of the dosage I need to take it means taking five tablets a day, one tablet in the morning and the remaining four in the evening. Touch wood, the side effects are no way near as bad, for me, as taking the single tablet Atripla but it does require a little more planning and adherence taking five tablets a day as opposed to the single tablet once a day.
Around this time I decided I wanted to turn being HIV positive into an asset in my life and make it something beneficial to both myself and others. I contacted the HIV charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), in London and applied to go on some training courses with them in order to become a volunteer. I attended their orientation course, their volunteer awareness training course and also their community support volunteer course. I passed their courses and was accepted following a CRB (criminal records bureau) check and became a Community Support Volunteer (CSV) with them. I attended several monthly support group meetings for CSVs where CSVs discuss the work they are doing and any issues that might arise from their meetings with their service users and any advice and guidance is then discussed at the meetings. Sadly a move further north meant I had to give up the volunteer work for THT but which then lead me to apply to become a volunteer for both Cornerhouse, a sexual health charity and Body Positive after successfully completing the foundation course in sexual health run by the charity Cornerhouse.
If anyone who is, or has recently been diagnosed, HIV positive is reading this account, then I would hope you will not feel frightened or isolated by being HIV positive. Be inspired and have the confidence to be accepting of your HIV status, to see being positive as something that could bring some benefit to your life, or to the lives of others. There are some great organisations out there waiting to help such as, ‘Body Positive, Hull and East Riding’, so send that email or make that call, it is confidential. The main message that I hope comes from reading this story is that if you are a person, no mater what age you are, 16 or 60, and your behaviour is not as it should be, with family and friends, and professionals, all telling you your behaviour is destructive. Or you have been told that the consequences of your behaviour could be very serious to your health or well-being, then it is time to seek out professional mental health support. Just because you can’t always ‘see’ the problem does not mean something does not need dealing with. You might have an underlying influence in your psychology that is making you behave the way you are. Again lots of places to get help, you could start with your GP and ask to see a counsellor, or you could approach some charities such as ‘Mind’ and they might help. You could also contact organisations such as the ‘UK Council for Psychotherapy’ who may be able to put you in contact with a to a trained psychotherapist. Finally your HIV consultant could refer you to see a psychologist. Having support for mental health issues can be a bit like going to the gym for your mind, or to put it another another way, it’s like having a make-over for your personality. It can make you feel empowered for now you realise, you do have choices in life. Take care.
My dear reader, thanks for sharing your story. I admire your strength.
Monday, 27 November 2017
It's a beautiful thing
Christmas is coming and, for some of us, it’s a joyful time. We tend to become sensitive and more propense to give and receive, just lovely.
For others, like me, it can be a bit nostalgic because I remember my Mother and her devotion to making Christmas a magical time for me. I had so many beautiful memories of and with her.
Hope is a beautiful thing
If you are going through a rough time, remember that nothing lasts forever, but if you think or feel things are bad, turn your head to hope, because hope is a beautiful thing.
I have said this many times before: when my Mother died I didn’t know what to do. I was only eleven to have the discernment to figure out what to do with my life. However, what I did know was that the only option I had left with was to be happy to honor my mum’s memory.
And this is what I have been doing throughout my life. I believe being happy was the most paramount legacy she gave me, and I am very grateful to her for that.
I know she is in heaven looking down on me, making sure I am OK. I know she is still loving me, protecting me, guiding me. She is my beloved mum, I am her beloved son.
So, I have turned to hope because I know one day I will reunite with my beloved mummy, and I know she will embrace me in her arms forever.
So, yes, I have hope because hope is a beautiful thing!
Sunday, 19 November 2017
Instagram stories, not for me
This blog post is the result of having several chats about the subject with different people.
Even though I have a very strong social media presence, and through my blog #marlife I have an audience around the world, I have never used Instagram stories.
I am a fervent user of my Instagram @marlife16 and I love it. I try to post content daily. However, Instagram Stories never appealed to me. These are some of the reasons why...
The content I create, whether funny or not, is imbued with passion, therefore to me it’s relevant and worth sharing. And the idea of having my content live for just 24 hours is not honoring the relevance of it.
When an idea comes to my mind and I work on it until is materialized, even if it’s just a picture, I prefer that material to be sempiternal and not ephemeral. I highly treasure what I create.
The power of engagement
To me, engagement is very important. Without too much effort, I like to see who is reacting to my content creation, how, when and from where, those reactions are occurring.
Once an engagement is established, I respond to every single interaction, and sometimes a particular interaction can propel me with an idea to create more and more, it is like a snowball for content creation.
I love and enjoy paying attention to my audience and always try to find ways to nurture them.
The psychology behind it
As you can see, I take all this process very seriously and it is because I love it so much. My social media is the echo of my thoughts and feelings. Social media has helped me empower my voice.
A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, in relation to pictures, states that taking pictures of a certain event can actually make the person remember the event more, thus making them happier if the event was an enjoyable one. To me, the same applies to videos.
Finally, all of the above is an extension of how I feel about myself. I feel relevant. I feel I matter and my presence in this world is powerful. And I would like it to be perpetual even one day when I will not be around.
Instagram stories makes me feel what I create is not relevant enough, therefore just worth living 24 hours, eh no no no
Thursday, 9 November 2017
It was, undoubtedly, the song of the summer. It became part of the YouTube's 10 Most-Watched Music Videos...EVER. It became a phenomenon. Our 2017 summer anthem and - of course - I wanted to be part of fun.
Recently, one evening, I decided to record myself dancing to this very sexy song, but little did I know Sammy, our dog, was going to become my number one audience hehehe
There you go, this is My Despacito...
I hope you enjoy it...
Wednesday, 1 November 2017
Main ingredient: TLC
I am sick of saying 'My hubby is a great cook', but I don't know why because I am the one who is, all the time, talking about his culinary skills. He is the cook in our sanctuary and, yes, I have to admit it, I am spoiled ; ) But It is not because I am lazy, but because he just loves cooking so I just allow him enjoying one the things he loves the most (apart from me cough cough).
So as I am enjoying a week off work, I decided I was going to be the chief in command of our kitchen, and I insisted he needed to sit down on our kitchen table - to keep me company - for me to cook a nice dinner for him.
I took two beautiful steaks, marinated them with garlic, salt, soya sauce and coriander. Very tasty. Even though he was happy with my good intention, I could notice he was a bit apprehensive not because he doesn't trust me, but because he felt - I think - one of his favorites places in the house has been invaded. He felt he was dethroned from.... The Kitchen.
The TLC ingredient: Tenderness, Love and Care
In his very subtle desperation, he was going "Oh baby, are the steaks already on?". "Oh I think the grill should be higher" "I think this should be this way" "What kind of sauce is that" and bla bla bla so I said "Could you please shut up and concentrate on what you are doing on the laptop?"
When I finally served the dish - which you can see above - he had a couple of observations to make. Observations I didn't care, anyway, because I know he deep down was delighted by the dinner I cooked with the TLC ingredient: Tenderness, Love and Care.
Life is wonderdul, all we have to do is to value the little things.
Wednesday, 11 October 2017
Seasonal Affective Disorder
It was one of those weird things, when I first heard the term SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), I went in my head "What the fck?". I couldn't understand, and I'm still struggling to understand, that some people can get depressed because of weather changes.
So I needed to be a bit more open minded about it and I did some research. I found out that the condition is more common than I thought or knew about, in particular in those countries where the four seasons occur.
However, I must explain the reason I was sceptical was because I come from Maracaibo, Venezuela, a city where you have the sun shining all year around. Sometimes you can have a 40 degrees weather, and in those days you can even fry an egg on top of a car. So, it is quite understandable I have never been the victim of SAD.
Having said this, I know a couple of people who come from hot countries. Actually, I know a couple of people from Venezuela, too, who get depressed when there is no sunshine. This reality kind of make you wonder: Is it really the weather, or is it just us who have the proclivity to get depressed? But who am I to make such assumption?
What to do if you are affected by the condition...
I would like to go back to my own statement of having an open mind, because if it does not happen to me, it doesn't mean it does not exist, and I would like to share some info I found researching the topic. Some Doctors and other professionals recommend to:
- Lit candles when in the house
- Try to sit near a window when travelling to your destination
- Leave a light on in the house when going to bed, even to try
- Light therapy - photo therapy which consists on exposing ourselves to light via special box or lamp. You can find out more about on this link
What else to do
As the day are getting shorter, it is rather likely we will be spending more time indoors, so I think this the perfect time to:
- Get a gym membership and workout throughout the winter so we will have a fit body for next summer
- Enroll ourselves in college and do a course to gain more knowledge and upskill
- Have movie nights in the house with family and/or friends, or like me
- Enjoy the dark days as I my hubby and I make our home romantic and spend time with each other cosy in our couch watching TV
The matter of fact is, we have to do something to improve the way we feel. Nature can be nasty and that's not going to change. The perfect thing we can do it's finding a way to approach that nastiness. And if all of the above does not work, come to me a will give you a big, warm hug. Or just build a bridge and GET OVER hehehe
Monday, 2 October 2017
Despacito dance routine
My hubby, John, and I are big fans of the program Strictly Come Dancing. For a good number of years now, we have watched the show which aired on Saturday and Sunday nights on the BBC. It is a very entertaining dancing show which I highly recommend.
The show consists on a celebrity being paired with a professional dancer to teach them how to dance different type of dancing.
Last Saturday, we were absolutely blown away by the dance routine performed by Aston Merrigold, member of the former band JLS, and professional dancer Janette Manrara who, I particularly think, is an incredible dancer.
They danced to Despacito and the routine is beyond incredible. Watch it for yourself. The video only lasts 1 minute and 38 seconds.
I hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think. Thank you!
Sunday, 17 September 2017
The stigma is in our heads
Sometimes I wonder, are we still living in an era where we can encounter sexual prejudice?
I have read, heard and been engaged in conversations about PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis). This is a treatment some gay men take to have condomless sex - or bareback as we call it.
This practice has opened a new door for criticism. It has even created a huge split of opinion even in the gay community. And some under the treatment have been labeled as reckless, irresponsible, careless etc.
Due to the controversy and new-found-stigma, Eric Paul Leue, Executive Director of The Free Speech Coalition, came up with the idea of making a video to expose some of the sexual realities of the gay community. In his own words 'I thought we needed something bolder, something sexier, and something that reflected the realities of gay sex...'
I watched the video myself - which I think it is a very good and informative project - and the first thought that came to my mind was "Is the stigma in our heads?"
I invite you to watch the full video below. Or you can watch it by parts: The PrEP Project. And you can form your own opinion.
Tuesday, 29 August 2017
Sometimes is just the simple things
I love my job. I manage to try to find real meaning in what I do because it is important for my psychological well-being. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I struggle to get out of bed, but the thought of seeing the people I work with - from my bosses to my work-mates - is always a good motivation to get up and get my day rolling.
I take very seriously what I do, too. And this idea of trying to make the world more open and connected is something I do enjoy thinking it's part of my mission. From the moment I open my laptop to the moment I send my first email etc...I feel I am doing a job that is rewarding...rewarding in many ways - at least for me.
However...as Cindy Lauper would sing "when the working day is done" I am so looking forward to coming home to my man and my dinner.
Just the little things...
I chose to be happy and appreciate what I have, and this will always remain that way
I love coming home. It is a great feeling knowing my hubby is picking me up from the train station (even though I sometimes have to give out because he is late), then getting into the house and closing the door behind us when it's just the three of us in the house - of course, Sammy our dog is part of the whole experience, it is an amazing feeling I will never change for anything in the world.
And then having those nice dinners only my hubby knows how to cook with his main ingredients: tenderness, love and care, makes me come to the conclusion that those simple things will always be important things I will always treasure because I chose to be happy.
The core of my message
I am not bragging, what I am saying is try to enjoy who/what you have. Try to enjoy and value those simple things that are relevant and meaningful to you. Whatever they might be. Because we are living in a hassle and hurry world we tend to forget about those little, tiny things that are so powerful for our psychological and emotional well-being.
That's exactly what I try to do and it's a great feeling which can not even be bought by a MasterCard ; )
Monday, 21 August 2017
A Swedish man with a lot of savoir-faire
“Savoir-faire (French), knowledge of just what to do in any situation, tact”
I am someone who throughout my life I have had good friends. Because I am a people’s person for me is very important to cultivate strong connections with people I know. However, I have never had a relationship with a heterosexual man that flourished into a bromance. And this is what I have with this Swedish treasure of a friend.
I never thought that one day complimenting his shoes was going to lead to a lovely friendship I am keeping close to my heart. Words fail me to describe how fortunate I feel to be getting to know him who is someone who has a heart made of gold, he is a human being of a high standard.
Our connection has become stronger because we have told each other about our lives experiences. I find him supremely endearing telling me about his happy childhood memories, telling me about his mum and dad and sister. I can honestly say he is the result of having grown in a happy household, with loving parents who instilled in him a desire not only to succeed but also to be a great person.
What a man!
Sometimes I think the day he meets and marries his soulmate, she already is a lucky girl who won the lottery. He is a good son, brother and friend. He is someone with very strong family values.
Jokingly I have told him that I am going to create a website called www.girlsyouneedtomarryhannes.com - we are receiving applications. Because...What a man!
The face and the brain
I particularly think he is a beautiful man. He has a very unique face nobody else has. His looks are what in the fashion industry is labeled as ‘high fashion’.
He reminds me of the former super model and now Academy Award-winning actress Tilda Swinton, who also has a spectacular singular face.
He reminds me of the former super model and now Academy Award-winning actress Tilda Swinton, who also has a spectacular singular face.
He didn’t become a fashion model. He actually is an engineer so on top of the wonderfulness he possesses as a person and his look, he also has a brain and what a brain.
Homage to him
The reason I am publicly paying this homage to him is because I am very happy to have him in my life. I know I can count on him. I know he is someone who is a friend for life, and I will try my very best to cultivate and preserve our friendship forever.
We have spent a lot of time together and never have had a dull moment. We can talk about serious stuff, but we also make each other laugh, it’s a great feeling.
|Christmas time 2016|
|Our LaLa Land moment in The George|
|A very random Saturday afternoon drinks|
|June, Sunday Bank Holiday in my garden|
In reminiscing I have said to myself “Thank god I complimented his shoes, otherwise I would have missed the opportunity of enjoying this wonderful friendship”.The name of the Swedish man with a lot of savoir-faire is Hannes Adollarsson.
Hannes thank you for existing, thank you for the friendship and cheers to many many great experiences together.I love you, my friend!
Sunday, 13 August 2017
Hunted by hot chicks
When you have a strong social media presence, like I do, you get all sorts of invitations, people asking you for favors etc - which is fine. However, you sometimes, or at least me, who is so gay, I keep getting friend request from hot girls ; )
Should I be flattered? Hell, NO, for obvious reasons, I like men as much as those hot chicks do and also they scream SPAM all over their breasts, asses, and fabulous bodies.
Let's have a look some of them
Marlon, would you like to play with my flowers?
My reply: No, honey you live way too far and I am not California dreaming.
Chuvenkova Elsi said: Marlon you can take my body and have no mercy!
My reply: Thank you darling, but no, that was exactly what I said to my hubby last night ; )
Miss Murray goes: Marlon I am the queen of porn, would you like watch my show?
My reply: No Amy, thank you, because if I need to watch a queen, I will just watch myself.
The last one is the best one.
Madilyn sees herself as one the Kardashians & her invite reads: Marlon would you like to spank my Kardanshians?
My reply: No, honey bum, I rather spank Kanye's ; )
We gotta love and enjoy the internet and always try to find the good in the bad. Next time when you get a strange request, remember SPAM is a HUGE issue in the online world. Do not let the spammers to get you!
Monday, 7 August 2017
Trevor & Paul: a love story
|Paul and Trevor on their wedding day. Photo by kazooieloki|
This story is a living example of how life and love can sometimes work things around for two people to be happy.
Before going any further, I would like to publicly congratulate them on their first wedding anniversary. They got married last year in a lovely ceremony John, my hubby and I had the pleasure to be invited and attended.
Guys we wish you a tsunami of love and happiness today and forever!
Their first encounter was In heaven
Fortuitous encounters can be impactful and have an everlasting effect in our lives, and more so when those encounters have to do with love and happiness.
They first met in the late 1980’s. They both went to Heaven, which is very popular gay club in London where gays go to drink, dance and maybe get lucky. I am sure they didn't go there thinking "tonight I will meet the love of my life". Well that night gay Cupid pointed its first shot into their hearts. They had a great time.
Paul must have a special something which incentivated Trevor to try to stay in touch after that first meeting. He would send him cards and so on. In the meantime, they met each other a couple of times over the years on the gay scene in London, but it was only 'for fun'.
Love knocking on the their door
It was not until August 10th, 2002 when they met again in a bar in Islington and talked about being with each other in a serious relationship.
You can say love is a mystery, and I agree, yes, but when we allow that mysterious feeling enchanting us, a lot of things can happen in the name of love. This is exactly what they did and today they are a happy couple.
They felt they needed to officially legalise their love and union. They started talking about a Civil Partnership for a while. Then marriage became an option when it was legalised and the conversation escalated to getting married instead. So one day Paul just simply phoned up and booked a venue and the marriage registration place and the process of the beautiful wedding took place.Driven by love
I would like to outline two remarkable aspects of this loving story: 1) When they first, Trevor tried and managed to keep in touch with Paul and they build a connection and 2) Years after, way into their relationship, Paul decided it was time to make arrangements to get married. I think both initiatives are a true testimony of wanting to be with someone.
In Trevor’s own words which I think they are so meaningful, “One thing that helps us get through difficult times is the ability to communicate, understand and appreciate where the other person’s behaviour is coming from and be patient - plus trying not to control the other person.”
Guys John and I salute you and respect you for that great commitment and we truly believe you are a great example for any relationship.
As I mentioned in a previous blog 'Our trip to England', I met Trevor online, around 15 years ago, if not more, when I was still in Venezuela. We have stayed in touch. Actually, he is one of the reasons why I chose Ireland as my way out of Venezuela.
When he invited me and John to his wedding, I was moved, I was touched thinking he is a guy who believes in friendship and cultivates it.
They got married last year, July 29th, in a city called Hull where they live, in the North of England, in a lovely ceremony witnessed by family and friends. We were there witnessing every moment, and it felt great to be part of a celebration full of joy and happiness.
We met wonderful people whom with some we are still in touch on Facebook. Including photographers Richard & Christine from Kazooieloki Photography whose work I think is amazing.
Trevor & Paul I would like to finish this post by saying again CONGRATULATIONS on your first wedding anniversary. Thank you for giving us the golden privilege to be part of your celebration. We would like to ask you to always remember you two are a living example of what love is all about: hard work, true commitment, understanding and mutual respect sealed by the name of love.
Wedding pics were taken by international photographers Richard and Christine from http://www.kazooieloki.co.uk/
Richard and Christine you work is amazing. I have visited your website many times and your pictures always take my breath away. Well done guys!
Wedding pics were taken by international photographers Richard and Christine from http://www.kazooieloki.co.uk/
Richard and Christine you work is amazing. I have visited your website many times and your pictures always take my breath away. Well done guys!
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