More to Me Than HIV

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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

Family

F is for Fur

http://www.fotosearch.com/clip-art/bank-clerk.html

F is for Fur.

Roger lay in bed, every time he opened his eyes the room span madly making him shut his eyes tight again. Downstairs he could hear the others getting on and knew that he too had to get up.

Ever so gradually, Roger held both hands tight round his face as he lifted his head off the pillow. With his eyes still tightly shut he made the familiar journey to the bathroom, only to misguide where the laundry basket was and stubbed his toe. Bright lights filled his head as he let out a yell. From downstairs his wife, Julie called up the stairs and told her husband not to cuss in front of the children.

Blindly, Roger reached out for the bathroom light-switch, pulled the cord, then quickly pulled it again to stop the roar of the extractor fan switching on and cutting through his delicate head. Gripping hold of the side of the sink, Roger slowly lowered his head and rested his forehead against the coolness of sink, but felt little benefit from doing so. With the same amount of effort, Roger slowly lifted his head back up and tried to recall just what he had been up to earlier to be feeling so dreadful now.

Still unwilling to open his eyes, Roger reached for his electric toothbrush, but shuddered at the though of turning it on and putting that noise inside his fragile head and so he just gently went over his teeth manually.

As he brushed, flashes of events earlier came into his head, he was sitting at his desk, with the blinds half way down blocking out blazing sunshine which sent a crack of pain through his head. As he flossed his teeth, his tongue felt furry as another flash came flooding in; this time he was standing by the water cooler hearing Sharon from accounts yabbling on about the latest c-celeb on TV, her on/off relationship with her boyfriend Barry and how’s although she’s starving, she has lost 2 pounds this week on the ‘Carrot diet’. “You can eat as many carrots as you like, juiced, shredded, sliced, boiled, steamed, grilled, but you can’t have them deep fried in batter which a real shame.”

Next Roger fills the sink with water and lathers up the bar of soap and vigorously washes his face. As he splashes cold water over his face another memory hits hard; the same droll day continues with his sitting in the staff canteen, looking at a piss weak cup of tea and a flaccid white roll filled with egg mayo. Across the table, Barry is moaning that he doesn’t quite know how to dump Sharon as he and his mates have a holiday booked in Magaluf and what they really want to do is get so drunk they throw up, get a tattoo (a devil in a diaper being the favourite) and then finding as many ‘birds’ as possible to shag.

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The blandness of his day drags in more memories, his boss droning on about the next five year forecast being the most depressing thing that refuses to stop rattling around his head.

With a heavy sigh, Roger stumbles back into the bedroom, with anticipation of bright sunlight, pulls back the curtains and sees the full moon staring back. Holding his puny hands up to his face he watches as fur sweeps up hands and arms, torso, back and round and round his legs and feet.

The horror of his life as a clerk are put in check as he combs his fur across his cheeks, licks his teeth and joins his family for a night of hunting….he really hopes to bumps into his his boss, Barry and Sharon.

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Posted on by admin in Flash Blogs, Flash fiction, Gothic, Gothic horror, Horror, short, short story, urban gothic Leave a comment

Writing everyday in October: True Story

Writing everyday in October: True Story.

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Some childhood memories are still very clear to me, particularly the time I lived in Blanche Street. I was seven, my stepbrother was six and our dad decided to give us an opportunity to murder. It was the 1970’s and everything seemed more brutal back then and very much so in the house we all lived in Blanche Street, two adults, three children, one baby in a two bedroom terraced house with no bathroom and an outside toilet.

On this occasion my stepmother had seen a mouse dash under the electric airer; a tin, oblong, upright contraption with removable wooden slats which also double as her weapon of choice to cane us with.

My dad seemed to take great relish in his plan. First he blocked off the door of the lean-to kitchen and the yard outside. He then got a large wooden mallet and said to my stepbrother and I, “When I move the airer, who ever sees the mouse first, grab the mallet and smash it.”

My stepmother with my half sister in her arms and sister stood behind the barricade in the middle room while my dad slowly moved the airer. To be honest, I don’t think I really knew what was going to happen next but when the terrified mouse shot out, I screamed, my stepbrother screamed, my stepmother, sister and half sister also screamed. I tried jumping over the barricade as my dad grabbed the mallet and smashed the mouse into oblivion . Some images never leave you, particularly childhood horrors like that and they still have the power to make me cry.

Posted on by admin in blogging, Flash Blogs, Ipswich, Writing everyday in October Leave a comment

Holiday! Celebrate! 2

Holiday! celebrate! (2)

 Sicily.

I visited Sicily earlier in the year and loved it. Why? Well, I loved the balance between history and good taste versus the craziness of contemporary life, mad driving and bin strikes. Somehow the beauty of the past came alive by the casualness of the contemporary residents. The food was amazing, served with an ease that only tradition could offer. We dined in a cave by the sea where we pointed at the fish we fancied on the way in the door. The grumpy chef then shrugged and nodded towards a table as his wife plonked a jug of unnamed wine in front of us. What followed over the following hour was possibly the best meal of my life. 

Sublime. 

J.P.

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In the time it takes you to drive from Brighton, to Leicestershire (3hrs) you could be basting in the sunshine of the beautiful island of Sicily.

Sicily, a collection of nine provinces, each linked to the mainland (with the exception of Enna) giving travellers a host of experiencers to explore. Furthermore, the inhabitants of Sicily are extremely friendly, proud of their heritage and eager for tourists, particularly families, to have the best holiday during their stay. 

San Vito lo Capo.

For sun-lovers, the temperatures starting at a pleasing 19c (60f) at the start of May and  can reach up to 26c (79f) during July and August. Even in the later months of September and October, the heat is still a pleasing, 24c (76f), 21c (69f respectively. This of course mean stat the crystal blue waters are equally warm, making the whole summer experience so much better.

Catacombs of the Capuchins

Villa Romana del Casale

Mount Etna

 

However, Sicily is so much more than just a place to catch some rays, it is also a place steeped in history; from the fascinating Catacombs of the Capuchins, where thousands of preserved corpses dating back from the 16th century are on display, to something less macabre like the Roman mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale, or to get your pulse racing visit th worlds most active volcano, Mount Etna.

Even for the most seasoned tourist, Sicily continues to surpass and delight on each returning visit, with sunshine, good food, excellent hospitality and a breathtaking landscape that reminds you just what a fantastic holiday destination you have arrived in.

Sicilyian pasta Sicilian cakes

Sicely Fish

Sicely shell fish

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting there: Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Manchester, Birmigham and Dublin airport each offer direct flights to Sicily

Accommodation, Places to Eat: Sicily has a huge range of hotels, B&B and apartments to rent: www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g187886-Sicily-Hotels and equally some stunning places to eat: www.baroquesicily.com/sicily-ten-must-eat-treats

So, while the weather continues to lash and bash outside, do yourself a favour and book that bit of summer sun now. 

P.S. Random New Year Eve fact about Sicily: An old Sicilian tradition says good luck will come to those who eat lasagna on New Year’s Day, but woe if you dine on macaroni, for any other noodle will bring bad luck. “

Posted on by admin in Leisure Leave a comment

Holiday! Celebrate!

With Christmas all but a distant memory and the new year getting ready to kick 2013 into the long grass, the British nation’s thoughts will be thinking of two things and two things only, diets and holidays.

th-5Camping At st. David's Pembrokshire

My first and only thought on diets is life is too short, eat chocolate in moderation and you should be fine, as for the second, I have asked a group of friends to tell me their favourite holiday destination, which in turn should give us all a little inspiration to start imagining what the sun on our face feels likes as opposed to the biting wind that is lashing our windows at this very moment in time.

First up: Camping at St David’s in Pembrokeshire.

Calm warm sea, seagulls riding the wind, soft white, perfect sculpting sand, tea, toast and papers in the morning, the sound of the tent zip, unzipping to see the edge if the cliff as it dips away gently into the blue sea. I like it cos it’s idyllic, with calm space and the most beautiful weather. 

Sarah.

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With its miles of golden sand, blue waters and some of the best surfing in the country, St David’s in Pembrokeshire offers the perfect break with a range of budgets to suit all pockets. Although their are some fantastic bed and breakfasts guest houses, their are equally some brilliant camp sites dotted across the coastline.

For the uninitiated, the idea of camping may send a chill down their spine, but for that very reason camping should be given a second chance. These days their are a range of tents to suite all families, couples of for those who want to seek a little solitude and get away from it all. 

The other main thing to remember is comfort. Invest in a descent inflatable mattress. Their are two main types, those that can charged via the car’s cigarette lighter, or pumped by foot or even a reachable pump. For a stress free experience, invest in a self-inflate mattress, with a twist of the toggles a perfectly comfortable mattress is ready to stretch out on in minutes. F.Y.I. the former have more bounce, but the latter are firmer.

Forget sleeping bags, who wants to roll over onto a cold zip in the middle of the night? so, grab your duvet and pillows and be assured of a decent nights sleep and be ready and refreshed to wake up to amazing sunrises and the beauty of the expansive ocean on your doorstep.

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Pack a camping stove (never ever use any type of gas stove inside your tent. Ever) to make that morning cuppa, or just take a flask of your favourite beverage to get you up and running in the morning and get the local cafe or eatery to fill your flask with hot water for the next day; yep it really can be that stress free.

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As for St David’s, the place is perfect for whatever kind of holiday you have in mind, from taking yourself off to the quieter parts of the beach to catch some sunshine, to the perfect blue waters, many of which continue each year to win the prestigious clean water, ‘Blue Flag Awards’; something of great importance to all those who are seeking the perfect wave. Further along the coast the rock face offers stunning coastal walks and fantastic climbing opportunities to the adventurous, while inland their are many historical places of interest to visits  includingSt David’s Cathedral, fantastic pubs and restaurants with lovers of fish cuisine spoilt for choice, while those with an artistic bent can absorb themselves in the many art galleries St. David’s boast.

For more information about St David’s in Pembrokeshire and camping outlets, visit:

Packed with further information about What St David’s has to offer:

www.stdavids.co.uk

For all your surfing needs, from shops to surf reports:

magicseaweed.com/Pembrokeshire-Surfing/12

For all your camping needs:

johnscamping.com

Posted on by admin in Health, Leisure Leave a comment