More to Me Than HIV Read more

More to Me Than HIV

First published in Gscene July 2020 For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library.For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being           Read more

More to Me Than HIV: GScene post Aug 2020

More to Me Than HIV is a project that aims to breakdown the stigma that has historically been attached to this virus.  When I saw my piece in last months Gscene to promote the More to Me Than HIV project, I was extremely proud, but a small part of me was filled with anxiety; but why should I feel this way? I have been on effective antiretroviral therapy since the Read more

More to Me Than HIV: first published in GScene July 2020

For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being             diagnosed HIV+ 32 years previous. Back then there was no treatment and a lot of fear and misinformation concerning how HIV was transmitted. As such stigma was rife, Read more

31 days

Writing everyday in October: Waiting


I remember quite clearly, well nearly. I’d had this huge argument with a neighbour. What the argument was about now I am not so sure. It could have been over my apple tree hanging over her side of the garden. I just don’t think her taking apples is right, do you?…Hang on, I’ve just looked, I don’t even have an apple tree! No, what was it? Was it she who came round and complained about my washing machine being on at an unsociable hour, is 3 p.m. unsociable? or did she say i had the full spin on at 3 a.m …oh I remember now it was…no hang on, it’s gone. You see, the main problem I’ve been having is lack of sleep, which all started when I had an argument with my neighbour about…no, it’s gone again.

At first I ignored it. Not the neighbour, the not sleeping bit. I was so sure my neighbour was spying on me after that incident that I can’t quite remember that I decided the best thing to do was to keep an eye on her. Where my bedroom window is, I can see right in to her garden. I’ve now got the dressing table mirror set up so I can nearly see her back door. I can almost watch her come out, which gives me enough time to duck out of the way. She hasn’t been out yet, or at least I don’t think so, but when she does I’ll be ready for her.

It was only when my back started to ache that I realised that I had gone three whole days without sleeping a wink!

If only I could remember what it was she had done in the first place that had started this whole thing…oh, it’s right on the tip of my tongue, but it keeps slipping away again. Now, you must understand, I’m not paranoid, I just know that if I stop watching then she will take her chance and come out and….Damn If I could just remember what it was she had done.… I had stepped into my garden, she then said…no, it’s gone again.

I feel really pleased with myself, you know I’ve stayed awake now for twelve days.
In the beginning I found it difficult, but in the beginning I took an hour off from looking while I had my dog, Ginger, stand by the window while I gathered a few supplies, food, water and a bucket to you know what in. I knew that if my neighbour even glanced up at my house, then Ginger would have barked, but she was quiet, that is I mean, Ginger, not my neighbour who did that thing that I can’t quite remember. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen Ginger in days, I would go and check but who would keep guard of the window? Oh I’m sure she’s fine. She’s very clever, if I had the time i would teach her to do those tricks that woman who cheated on Britain’s Got Talent got her dog to do. Ginger is a good dog, a clever dog; she would have got into her food cupboard by now, that I’m sure off.

Yesterday I suddenly became aware of a terrible smell. At first I thought it was the bucket but was really surprised to find out it was me! I think that’s why Ginger stays out of the bedroom.
Ginger?! Ginger?! No, she’s having one of her moods, I can well imagine she’s curled up on the rug downstairs.

It’s funny the things you get use to, the routine of looking, the smells getting ever more pungent, not just from me but from downstairs too, I think it’s the bin, it has to be the bin, what else could it be? My hair is quite matted, I should have grab a brush at the same time as my other supplies, but it’s not essential, not when I have this important task at hand.
Nothing is more important to me then catching my neighbour, if only I could remember what it was she had done, perhaps when she come out into her garden I can ask her.

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Writing everyday in October: Room Number 4


Okay, this is the plan to write a short, short story for fifteen minutes each morning. Some will be complete, some, I’ll return to either later in the month or for a different project.




First up,

Room 4

The receptionist to the little guest house looked up and said, “I’m afraid only number four is free.”

Before I had a chance to question her concern, a man, her husband I guessed, was by my side. He picked up my suitcase and nodded for me to follow him.
As we reached the top of the first floor he looked down at my key fob and said, “Oh”.
There was a bit of a pause before he added, “Your in number four.”
I jokingly asked if number four was haunted but he just shook his head and said, no, that will be number six”.
I was about to ask what was wrong with number four but had a sudden pang in the pit of my stomach.
A cold sweat form on my top lip as the husband gripped the door-handle to number four and pushed the door open.
A smell of fresh laundry and soap filled my nostrils. The husband hurried across the room, flicked the light switch, hurried back while ushering me in. he then stood in just outside of the threshold and said very quickly, “The bathroom is just down the hall, tea and coffee making facilities are in the corner, breakfast is served between 6:30 and 9:a.m, if you need anything either my wife or I will be on call at reception until then, a night-porter, Derrick, will see to your needs thereafter”.
The husband then took in a deep breath and hurried off back down the hall.
Dusk was thickly disguised by the thick fog that had been building up all day and was now wrapped firmly around the guesthouse. All thoughts of checking out the nightlife were put on hold. Besides, what I really wanted to do was a soak in the bath, something I only allowed myself when staying someplace else and an early night ready for tomorrows funeral.

With my small case unpacked I grabbed my toiletries and made my way down the hall. I had expected to hear the voices or televisions in any of the three rooms I passed, but each was silent. I checked my watch, 8pm, too late for dinner, perhaps the other guests were down in the main reception room having drinks. I thought I might join them, but I really wasn’t in the mood for small talk. So instead locked the bathroom door behind me and ran the bath.

While the water filled, I checked myself in the mirror, the family are going to comment that I’ve got older, but then if I have then so will they.

Turning of the bath taps, I quickly undressed and gingerly dipped my toe in the bath, the water was on the right side of hot, the water stinging my flesh as it engulfed my skin. I let out a silent, “ohh-ahh-ohh” as I lower myself into the water until I was submerged up to my neck when I became aware of someone on the other side of the door. It was then I noticed that someone had slipped a piece of paper under the door.

Although I was in fully immersed, I knew I could not settle until I had read the note. Pulling myself out of the bath, I quickly dried my hands and pick the note up. Someone had scribbled with some haste, ‘Leave room 4 while you can!!!!’

The four explanation marks seemed a bit excessive,  but still they unnerved me. I turn back to the bath, pulled the plug, wrapped a towel around me, grabbed my toiletry bag and scooted back to my room.

to be continued

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