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


writing everyday in October: Filthy Weather

Filthy Weather

“The ongoing stand off between the waste collection service and the recently elected government has now spread up from the South Coast and as far as Nottingham. The dispute started when the Brighton council increased working hours and cut holiday pay. The situation has been exacerbated by the increasingly hot weather. Many of the local beauty spots have seen a dramatic increase in fly tipping. A local woman said that she no longer allows her children to play in the local parks after her daughter came home holding a used syringe. Councillor Richard T Summers said talks where on going with the union and he hoped this issue will be…”

The television suddenly went dead, Barry turned round to see Genie in her nurses outfit. “Oi, I was watching that!”
Gina rolled her eyes as she dumped her bag on the chair and said, “Oh, hello love hard day at work? Well, yeah it was actually.
Sensing Gina had once again been run ragged, Barry jumped out of his chair and gave Genie a hug, “Sorry hun, you want a cuppa?”
Gina flopped herself down on the sofa, “We got any of that wine left?”
Barry looked out of the window, the mid morning sun was already unbearably hot, then back at Gina, but before he could say anything, Gina spoke up, “Yes I know its mid morning Barry, but after the night shift I’ve had a cup of tea just won’t cut it.”
Knowing better, Barry scurried off into the kitchen and poured out the last of the white wine. As he returned to the lounge he saw Genie sitting in her chair with her eyes shut.
“Busy night then hun?” said Barry as he passed Genie the glass”. With one eye half open Genie took the glass and nodded, “More people coming down with that stomach bug. Why didn’t I choose to be a pole dancer, or a bank clerk, at least then I could just pretend to care”.
Barry flung himself onto the sofa, which nearly caused the wine to go flying, Gina was about to shout, when Barry threw his arm around her gave her a big kiss and said, “You wouldn’t be any good in those jobs, it’s in your nature to look out for others, I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Gina wanted to protest, to say she had great legs for a pole dancer but she knew that Barry was right. She had wanted to be a nurse for as long as she could remember. Growing up she was forever bandaging up her toys and on occasions her baby brother.
Gina drained her glass as the sun shifted and poured into the room.
Holding his hand up to his face, Barry squinted, “You’re off tomorrow aren’t you? If its like this we could go on the beach. Find a nice quite spot, away from the crowds”.
When Gina didn’t jump at the chance, Barry added, “I’ll make us a picnic, what do you say?”
Gina snuggled up to Barry and nodded before falling asleep.

The next morning Barry was up bright and early, putting together a picnic, by ten o clock Genie and Barry were driving along the seafront.
As they whizzed past the main tourist’s beach and passed the Marina, Gina piped up and said, “Barry! We are not having a picnic at that end of the beach, that’s where they pump out all the sewage.
As he pulled the car into park, Barry said, “Look, it’s nice and quite and at least this end it’s not all pebbles; besides, the sewerage is pumped out miles into the sea, it’s the law.”
Not happy, Gina let out a long sigh as they grabbed their beach gear and made their way down the long stairwell. Once settled on the rare bit of sand Brighton had to offer, Gina had to admit that it was a lovely spot, a great sun trap and best of all their were no tourists!
By midday there was not a single cloud in the sky as the sun beat down at its fiercest.
Genie fanned herself with her book and was about to say that if they had gone to the other end of the beach, they could have popped into a bar and had a nice cool drink, when Barry suddenly jumped up, “Come on let’s have a dip, cool off.”
Genie looked over her sunglasses at the sea and shook her head, “The water’s not clean Barry, let’s jump in the car and find a bar, get a nice long cool drink.” Barry wiggled in his trunks and winked, but Gina was having none of it, “No I don’t fancy it, Barry no matter how much you think a wiggle and a grin will help, but if you want to, you go ahead.”
“Chicken” said Barry as he ran to the waters edge, waded in up to his trunks and dive din head first. No sooner had he disappeared under the water then he was up again. Genie couldn’t help but laugh as Barry staggered back up the beach; arms reaching out like a horror film zombie.
He tried to speak but his words were not forthcoming. Eventually he managed to say “Orange, orange” while stabbing his finger towards the cooler bag.
Genie passed him the carton, which Barry gratefully gulped down. Once he got settled back on this towel Barry turned to Genie, “You can’t see it, but there’s something nasty in the water, yuk, I can still taste it.”
“That will be the sh..”
Barry held up his hand, “Don’t even say it.”
Even though he had drank all the liquids from the cool bag, Barry was unable to get rid of the taste from the back of his throat. He then tried his best to lay still but each time he laid flat he started coughing and his eyes were streaming. Gina looked at Barry and said, “Come on, let’s get you home”.
That night Genie spent most of the night lying awake in the darkened bedroom listening to Barry in the bathroom throwing up. It had got to that horrible stage where there was nothing left but stomach lining to bring up; Gina pulled her pillow around her ears as she was convinced Barry’s stomach was actually going to make a very unwelcome appearance.

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