A happy and gay life is mine! Merry Thanksgiving!

Today I woke up a little less tired than usual, which was great, and thought Oh Blog, how I’ve ignored you! So determined to do something different today, I was grateful to have a free lunchtime to catch up with writing and with you all!

Being Australian (and technically British) I completely forgot it was American / Canadian thanksgiving, until I read some lovely Facebook posts.imageMy American workmate doesn’t really celebrate it over here, which is a shame as she is an amazing baker, so I can only imagine what her pumpkin pie must be like. Still, I am grateful for the days she brings some other creation in.

Not today.

I had thought in any case that today was a day to write about friends. Mainly what most of my posts are these days, (where ARE the dates?) but today the urge was to write about how truly grateful I am for my friends. And just to reiterate how wonderful they really are.

I’ve gotten over my turning of age crisis, and my Why is Everyone in a Couple but ME..blip. And looked back on the last couple of weeks and how my friends have really been there for me.

I threw a little birthday, housewarming, Christmasy shin ding at my flat. I say little as my flat size dictated the amount of people I could invite. With that always comes inevitable cancellations and then wishing I had invited certain people, having regrets about this, but then just remembering there will be other parties.

For some reason this party I felt a sense of calm before hand. Only raising the BP at one point when my dishwasher packed up. Where is that man when I need him? Well two phone calls and a knock on the neighbour’s door, and I had several opinions and offers of assistance.

I think the other part of the calm was because I had my amazing neighbour Lee help with all the catering. A retro style 70’s party, full of prawn cocktails, cheese and pineapple hedgehog, ritz and dips, devils on Horseback (prunes wrapped in bacon, if you please!) Not to mention a three or four layered Black Forest cake! My favourite from when I was at school in the 80’s even. I felt very spoilt.

My friend James looked after the music, ensuring we didn’t miss a disco beat. Friends turned up with all sorts of amazing gifts and importantly with their dancing shoes on. There were surprise guests late in the night, and a truly friendly atmosphere, with many new friends and connections formed.

To me this is what life is all about. Putting people together, and having a good old disco dance.

Of course there are many more things to life! But I guess on the weekend and since, when I have needed my friends they are there. Well, maybe not on Sunday for the party clean up.. Strangely they were nowhere to be found… ūüôā

My favourite saying by William James still stands true – “Wherever you are it is your friends who make your world”

Gays, straights, girls, boys, and more gay boys. I am thankful, and am grateful that you all walked into my path, and I really couldn’t ask for a better life.

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Crazy (not) in Love. But OK!

I’ve been reading, hearing and chatting a lot about love lately.

Llove love love

I’ve been spending the first week of 41 trying to hone in on some thoughts I’ve been having and changing them for the better. I hope what I’ve learned I can somehow express over the next few posts, without sounding corny. Though I guess that’s part of a blog about finding love through friendships with the gay boys. Bound to not be your average bed¬†time reading!

So, just the weekend before my birthday I had a bit of a melt-down, as only a girl in a gay gay world probably can. I don’t really know why it happened, perhaps just the not accepting of the new age, realising birthdays are really just not as fun the older we get, and wondering why the hell there are so many friends in couples now?! Looking at the love everyone else has and wonder how it has passed me by.

Why do all the gay guys want to spend time with me (I’m fighting them off) but I can’t seem to get anything right on the dating side of things? The straight dating that is.

This went on for a while, feeling sorry for myself, even¬†cancelling a few social engagements with coupled up friends. Preferring the warmth of my duvet, and willing my birthday to just go away. Then feeling really bad about cancelling. And reminiscing about how at my 40th one year before I had sung to a ship of sailors “If I could turn back time”. OMG! How I wished right now I could stop time, turn it back, walk the plank backwards. Anything but be turning another year older!

DSC_3596I got myself quite worked up. And then I stopped and looked at what has happened to me in the past year, where I am now, and how I have SO much to be grateful for. AND I have the power to change things in my life moving forward.

I might not be able to magic dates from my gay friends out of thin air… but I can certainly change the way I think about love, and about dating. Perhaps my thinking has been all wrong?

I awoke to more than a hundred beautiful ¬†birthday wishes from friends flung all over the world. And I knew I got the love. Then with just a few changes I’ve made this week I’m amazed at how much more I have achieved. Nope. No dates. Still on zero there!

It’s quite simply in addition to just having the usual fun filled nights out with (several and varied) gay friends, I’ve been really feeling their love and giving it back, rather than pushing it away, as I think I have before.

It’s only Week 1 into my new mind fitness regime… but some fun and really beautiful stuff is emerging which I can’t wait to share. It’s not without it’s wobbles. But hey, what’s a blog without a breakdown? Every now and then ūüôā

Have you ever felt err, wobbly?

 

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Last days of 40 (not disco)

Can’t remember if I told you, I decided to continue my Sober October into November? I realised abstaining for 40 days would take me up to my birthday. As well as having a nice ring to it, 40 days 41 nights… it’s also pertinent on the day/night I go from being forty to forty-one.

Chards Party

Maybe I am going a little over the top, and reading waaaay too muuch into the significance of this. But I like to think there’s something significant about not drinking the last 40 days of being forty.

It’s taken a lot of willpower. I never thought I could go 40 days without drinking. Booze I mean. I’m not into fasting. In fact I’m happy to have got right into drinking water, and lots of it.

It’s been a challenge but has really helped clarify that anything is possible when I put my mind to it.

So though this weekend I got a bit disheartened that I don’t have someone special in my life. And ok, quite disappointed that my 40+ gay friends have not yet come up with one date… What I have learned is that love comes in so many different forms, and I can rely on myself to make the decisions that are right for me, and stick to them.

Accept responsibility

I will be the best I can be, and take note of what’s put in my path, to help guide these decisions. Not force anything, but be grateful for what is what.

And I’ll continue writing, cos that’s what feels right, right now. And has been one of the best things I started in my 40’s.

I’ll enjoy a champagne tomorrow, or sometime this week. And hit the disco again soon enough. My shoes are sparkly clean and ready to go!

Goodbye 40, you’ve been great.

Cheers to 41!

 

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How Katy Perry helped get back my spark

I don’t know if it’s just my birthday¬†approaching next week,¬†but there’s certainly change in the air.

And fireworks!!

Five days into November, and it’s Bonfire night here. Crackers and fireworks going off everywhere outside, blasting through the sky, as I think about what to write, staring out my window into the rainy night.

fireworks!

And in honour, my Penny for the Guy… I couldn’t help but put the very gay anthem of Katy Perry,¬†FIREWORK (on repeat). It’s not one of my normal karaoke numbers, and don’t know I’ve ever listened to the lyrics. But I like them!

Baby you’re a Firework. C’mon show ’em what you’re worth!

Baby you’re a Firework. C’mon let your colours burst!

 

It’s exciting watching and listening to the pops, snaps and crackles. What’s coming next?

Boom boom boom.

Even brighter than the moon moon moon.

Oh. Have they finished? Nope they’re off again. One more! Many more!

Crashes in the sky. More chaos (than my life at the moment). Up high.. then plummeting down to earth..

Until they’re all done. And you’ve seen and heard the fabulous sparkly coloured Guy Fawkes’ spectacle for another year, and the sky, and life, returns to normal.

Well, sort of. That’s if there was no change in the air and in my world¬†right now.

What’s happened is I’ve¬†resigned from a job that wasn’t making me happy.
And though¬†feel a huge sense of relief that I’m being true to myself,¬†it’s not without trepidation.

I’m leaving the security of a day job. The monthly income to pay the mortgage. I can walk to work. I have very nice co-workers.¬†I’ll tell you the ‘cons’ one day.

Suffice to say,¬†something just isn’t right. And I aint got time for that.¬†

I’m at a time in my life where I have no responsibility to anyone else. Nobody. Actually it’s been like this for a while, except I had huge expenses buying my flat last year and renovation costs spiralled a bit.¬†Still, I don’t regret my sparkly quartz kitchen worktop. Ever!

Now the home costs and my home life have stabilised,¬†I’ve reached the point where I need more fulfilment with my day job. And I have seriously asked myself the age old question

“What’s my purpose?”

Might sound all a bit airy fairy, or “woo woo” as my wonderful¬†business mentor Judith says… But hey, why not use this time to work out what I love, what I’m good at, and what I might find joy doing on a daily basis?

I enjoy telling stories and writing new blog posts. I love meeting new people (just the dates are a bit thin on the ground!)… I love being free to make my own decisions when it comes to my working day.

These are just a few of the things I have come up with in the past week. That’s not all, but I hope to tell more as time unfolds….

So, great! I have some ideas. I’m working a little on these. And letting thoughts¬†wash over me, soaking in what feels right. I’m putting it out there, open to new opportunities put in my path. One door closed, another is opened. I’ll stay focused. Make a few mistakes on the way.¬†But I know it will be ok.

Whatever happens, I will be fine. 

Worrying will do no good. Embracing change and all the opportunities that await is more like it. Good things await. Fabulous things indeed!

And if¬†it all gets a bit much, I’ll just sing it sista…

You don’t have to feel like a wasted space
You’re original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe a reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it’s time you’ll know

 

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Someone left the cake out in the rain…

Today was a day of rain. And an afternoon of cake.

The cake wasn’t really left out in the rain.

That’s just my love of disco and Donna Summer coming out, and sounds so silly, as a blog post title, it might help you visualise the scene.

These are a few of my favourite things. High Tea, and catching up with friends. I do a lot of the second, but nearly not enough of the first. Given the amount of food that comes out at an English high tea, that’s just as well it’s reserved for the odd rainy Sunday. And when overseas visitors come to the capital.

High tea at St ErminsThere’s a constant stream of friends from “home” swinging by London which means I rarely have time to be homesick. I absolutely love it when I hear from a friend saying they’ll be in London next week! Even if it’s been ages since we’ve been in contact, it’s a joy to live in a city that people either pass through, or come for the first time, or revisit over and over.

I’m also fortunate to have one of my oldest school friends living here in London, and don’t take this for granted. She’s like my family. This afternoon we tried out a new hotel with our school pal who now lives in Hong Kong, visiting for a work conference. It was a great reunion of us Aussie country girls, who now live in “big cities”, sharing memories spanning the 80’s at school, the 90’s at college, and whatever has happened since, in the 2000’s, when all of us lived in different continents at various times.

Of course, I can’t tell you any nattering that was discussed at the table…for all our school pals read my blog… But it was a perfect London afternoon to get lost in cake and endless cups of tea. Doesn’t matter that I saved my pennies all weekend to afford it. Or starved myself all day to be able to fit in the four cakes and scones.. And though these friends are two of my least girlie girlfriends, it was still well-needed girlie time.

Hard to believe I, Chardonnay Bell, resisted the unlimited champagne offer… That’s just so lovely and girlie! But I will be back, and highly recommend this pretty peaceful hotel. Located in yet another street I have never walked down, in the twelve years I’ve lived here. London, I love how you continue to surprise me!

I’m grateful today for time with wonderfully inspiring girlfriends I could share a piece of London, and they gave me a taste of home.

 

 

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