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

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Brighton and Hove City Reads: My Policeman, By Bethan Roberts

My Policeman, Bethan Roberts’ third novel, and this year’s Brighton and Hove City Reads, revolves around a Ménage à trois, set in 1950’s Brighton that is doomed from the start.

            As an awkward teenager, Marion is befriended by, Silvia. I was thinking – you look alright, will you be my friend? During one of their shared times in Silvia’s bedroom while listening to Nat King Cole, Patti Page and Perry Como, Silvia’s brother, Tom makes an appearance at the bedroom door.

            He couldn’t have been more than fifteen – barely a year older than me; but his shoulders were already wide and there was a dark hallow at the base of his neck.

            From that moment, Marion is besotted with Tom, ignoring all the signals, and the coded advice from Silvia that Tom isn’t the boy Marion wants him to be.

            I know you’ve got a crush on Tom. But it’s not the same, Tom’s not like that.

            Tom struggles too with his inner emotions about his sexuality. Not because he hates the way he feels, but because society tells him that his feeling are perverse. After a spell in the army, Tom returns to Brighton and enrols in the police force; much to Marion’s delight. Unlike her friend, Silvia, whose main ambition was to get married and have a baby, Marion enrols in teacher collage, sharing the same passion and inquisitive streak as Tom, wanting to know more than the boundaries of Brighton. Although Tom shows little interest beyond a friendship with Marion, she is still hopeful that love will blossom if she continues to persevere.

            Meanwhile, Tom’s life is about to be turned upside down when he is asked for his assistance regarding a minor road accident by Patrick; a respected art curator at Brighton Museum and closeted homosexual. As is the case with Marion, Patrick falls deeply in love with Tom on their first meeting. And so begins the tragedy of one love destined to be unfulfilled and one dangerously forbidden. 

            Roberts presents the story through Marion’s present day manuscript and Patrick’s diary, written during the time of his love affair with Tom during the 1950’s.  Through these accounts we are reminded of the hopeless marriages many women unwittingly entered into and the sadness of those men who were compelled to enter into sham relationships; while all the time longing to be true to their hidden sexuality.

            Roberts’ is a well cvrafted storyteller, pulling the reader into the world of Marion and Patrick as they both share the love of their policeman. The draconian laws on homosexuality are exposed for their outdated views, with minor characters highlighting the opinions of many at the time that a change in the law about who we can love should be changed.

            We all knew he was queer – so many of them are around here – but one can’t help but feel sorry. Sometimes this country is too brutal.

            At times her beautiful description of their doomed love makes it nearly unbearable to turn the page as Marion fights to save her marriage, while in equal measures Patrick brings joy into Tom’s life as he swims ever deeper into a world that will ultimately destroy all their lives beyond repair.

            Roberts has created a story that once finished, this author felt compelled to start at the beginning and read the whole novel again.

      

 

 

 

Posted on by admin in Brighton & Hove, Fiction & Books, LGBT, Literature Leave a comment

Mother, Mummy, Mum. Happy Mother’s Day

0 to 60 (quid). Ten Top Things to do for your mum on Mother’s Day.

1.    Make her an origami heart. Be creative; use a colourful paper bag, a piece of old music sheet, a sheet from a magazine. Once the paper is folded, the end result can look really great, once you get the hang of making this easy to learn paper fold then you could make a whole collection of hearts to show your mum how much you love her.

Cost £0.00

2.    Take your mum around one of Brighton’s most iconic buildings, The Royal Pavilion. This Mother’s Day the tour guides are dressed to impress in authentic costumes from the Regency era, giving you and your mum and insight into the bygone year

Cost £4.90 (for Brighton & Hove residents)

3.    Put together a collection of books. With a little forward thinking, you can put together a set of books that you know your mum would love. There are some fantastic second-hand book shops including Amnesty international bookshop and Oxfam bookshop with hundreds of titles. Use your imagination, buy a bundle and wrap it up with some nice ribbon and pop one of those origami hearts (point 1) on the top and you’ll have a truly original gift and be helping some really good causes to boot!

Cost £10.00

4.    Chocolate, for most mums, is always going to be a welcome present, but don’t just grab a box while doing your weekly shop, get yourself down to the Brighton Lanes where shops like, the outrageous choccywoccydoodah, or the more traditional chocolate Hotel are on hand with a range of traditional and not so traditional chocolate range for every budget, but for this day, push the boat out and get your mum something really special.

Cost £20.00

5.    Mother’s day and flowers is all very nice, but think outside the box and buy her a Bonsai plant. These miniature trees are not as difficult to look after as you may think, they are also an excellent talking point for when your mum’s friendscome over giving you added brownie points.

Cost £30.00+

6.    Mother’s Day experience on the Brighton Wheel. Give your mum a chance to see Brighton as she never has before with the Brighton Wheel she’ll have the best panoramic views of the city. For under the £40.00 mark you and your mum can jump the queue, make use of the VIP lounge. The entrance fee also includes a glass of Moët and a small box of luxury chocolates.

Cost £35.00

7.    Champagne will plant you firmly in your mum’s good book for the rest of the year. There may be those who frown at such an idea, but this is all the more reason to get a very special bottle of fizz for your mum as it’s something that she would least expect, particularly if you go for a chilled bottle of Veuve clicquot Rose ice Dress to really show how you want to spoil your mum.

Cost £46.95

8.    For a very special afternoon to remember then it has to be a trip to The Grand for afternoon tea where a selection of cakes, scones, cream cakes and a selection of teas or for a very special treat add Champagne to the menu  for your mum to feel she is treated like a queen for the day. There are two sittings and it is extremely advisable to book well in advance to avoid disappointment. £50.00+

9.    Push the boat out and allow your mum to truly relax with one of the many luxurious treatments at Brighton’s premier health spa, The Treatment Rooms. The Treatment room offer gift vouchers so your mum can decided for herself which treatment she would like to indulged in, or you could choose one for her, why not buy the wonderful Lava shell Massage where mind and body are brought back into perfect balance.

Cost £62.00

Remember, whatever you do for your mum on mother’s day she going to love you no matter what you give her. Just remember the date this year Mother’s day is on the 18th March 2012, Don’t Forget!

Posted on by Glenn Stevens in Brighton & Hove, Flash Blogs, Health, Leisure, Literature, Plants and Gardens Leave a comment

Happy New Year…

New Year resolutions? I stopped making those a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the other traditions that lead up to this time of year. From October the 1st, the shops start stocking up on Christmas cards and wrapping paper and my mate Martin sends me texts messages on how many days are left before the big day. Read more

Posted on by Glenn Stevens in Brighton & Hove, Gscene, Leisure Leave a comment