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

mother

Somebodies Son.

Somebodies Son.

P1080145The moment I walk into the chemist and see her I know she is my mother. I wait and watch her in the security mirror. When she turns the corner I bump into her, knocking her handbag and its contents to the floor. Dropping to my knees I apologise, “I’m really sorry. Are you okay? Here’s your purse.”

She’s so grateful she doesn’t notice me slipping her notebook into my coat pocket. As she wanders off she leaves behind a scent that is unmistakably Mum.
Only when I’m safely back in the side street do I allow myself to look at her little notebook. The cover is black, crinkled like crocodile skin. I run my thumb over the gold lettering, M.a.r.g.a.r.e.t. A tingle ripples up my hand. Over the years I have thought of many names for my mother, but it makes perfect sense that she’s called Margaret. Margaret’s are strong, honest, and reliable… just like that Mrs Thatcher.
On the first page mum has written her name, Margaret J. Lawrence, 11 Blanche Street. Her handwriting is so neat, I wish she had been around to teach me.
She’ll be home soon, if I’m quick I can surprise her. How pleased she’ll be to see me waiting. I catch sight of my scruffy face in a shop window, I can’t remember when I last shaved or washed. Mum will help transform me back into her son. Perhaps we’ll even make it on the front page of the Ipswich Star, “Long Lost Son, Home at Last.”
When I eventually get to Blanche Street my heart sinks. Opposite the row of tatty run down terrace houses is a dirt track where a couple of burnt-out cars and a white van is parked. This was not what I had been expecting. In dreams I saw us together living in a country cottage with roses around the door or perhaps a detached house with a long gravelled driveway. I’m puzzled. What could have happened to my mother for her to end up living in this hellhole of a street.
The front door is locked and the curtains pulled tightly shut, a good sign, you never know who might be skulking around in an area like this.
I think of mum, she looks so much different to what I had imagined. She’s aged more than I expected, but that doesn’t matter as greying hair can easily be dyed back to blonde. When we are together I will help her with her makeup. Her lips will be rose pink for daywear and poppy red for when we go out on the town.
***
Want to read more? check out the full tales at blanchestreet.co.uk for link to buy the book.

Posted on by admin in Blanche Street, creative writing, fiction, Horror, Ipswich, short story Leave a comment

Writing 101: (Day 4) Loss, Part 2.

Loss (part 2)
15 min free writing.

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Things I have lost.

My mother at 18 months old through a divorce, my cat Sooty through either Sooty getting fed up of being dressed up in dolls cloths or he died. Loss of animals, budgies, rabbits, gold fish. Nearly losing the school tortoises who was penned in with the homemade rabbit run (chicken wire and canes, but found a hole and could move at some speed for at tortoise. Losing the fights against a group of bullies at school, which only came to an end when I left school, losing out to jobs and not knowing where to go next. Went back to College to stud catering. Lost my inhibitions on the dance floor when I move Norwich (to study at Norwich Hotel School). Lost my Ipswich accent when I moved to Brighton. Lost any longing to move back to my home town when I realised Brighton was the place I was meant to live. Lost the need to work at The Bedford Hotel when The Grand Hotel reopened after massive refit following the Brighton bombing, lost the need to work at The Grand when I got a job as a steward on the newly revitalised QE2. Lost more inhibitions when I teamed up with my mate Mark on the QE2 and formed a cabaret style show for the crew, which was so successful we were asked to perform regular shows for the passengers too. Lost in time and missed the QE2 in New York, stranded, but got home safely. Lost the number of times I have laughed till it hurts with my mates. Lost the urge to work in catering, started working and retrained with adults with severe learning difficulties. Lost the urge to work with adults with learning difficulties, retrained as a reflexologist. never really lost the urge to give help with reflexology, but moved on to retrain to be a writer.

Posted on by admin in Ipswich, Suffolk, writing 101 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