The 24th March was the anniversary of the death of Mark's mother, he wanted to go to London and see a play that he and his mother had seen together, words from it were read at the funeral.

Mark had originally arranged to go with a friend from London, luckily for me the friend had to withdraw. We were a bit uncertain about the trip, it was very important to Mark and needed to go well. With our fledgling relationship it was a bit of a risk for us to go into such a stressful trip at such an emotional time.

I had never booked into a hotel with another gay man as a couple, my old partner would never have done that. I also had not been to the theater in 20 years. My old partner did not do going out together, he did not like to be identified in public.

Well I booked a hotel room, was very nervous, didn't know how they would be when i turned up with the boyfriend. I needn't have worried, it went fine. Mark had driven us down to London, it was a lovely trip and I enjoyed being able to hold hands, simply sit with my hand on his leg. I never realised how tactile I was as my old partner did not do touching as such. Mark is such a tactile man, and it is wonderful. Having driven to London Mark showed me where he grew up, it was nice to be able to see places where he had spent so much of his life, places that were important to him.

He took me to a local reseviour, they had a narrow gage railway there. We went on it even though it was really for kids, he used to go on it with his parents when he was a kid. It was good to have such simple fun, I took loads of photos and it even showed. After a tour round his old haunts we headed off to the hotel, it took another hour to get there. Once at the hotel and booked in I felt much more at ease, it was so good to be away with Mark.

We went for a meal, it was great to eat and talk in public and not feel selfconscious as to what people might think. It was a mad rush to have the meal and then go to the Queens theater for the show. The show was Les Misarables and it was the most fantastic show I had ever seen, there was a long standing ovation at the end of it. We strolled along towards Piccadilly Circus after the show, not rushing. We eventually got a taxi back to the hotel and had a couple of drinks in the bar.

The next morning we had a lovely breakfast and then made the trip back to Birmingham. Mark stayed overnight and left when I went to work at 7am, another 3 hour drive for him to get home.

It was a wonderful 4+ days, we have spent a great deal of time together over the last few weeks and still find it both exciting and rewarding.

Today was the 3rd Anniversary since my Partner died, I had expected it to be a dismal day like the last 2, but it wasn't, I spent it thinking about Mark and the future not just the past.

I sent Mark a message something like the one below:

3 years ago today Dave died and I wanted to die, one year ago today I lay in a hospital bed after my heart surgery wishing I was dead. Today I am thinking of you and the future and being thankful I am alive and not wishing I was dead!

My life has changed so much this year and I hope it continues to do so, I hope that Mark's health holds out as I feel that we have a lot of living to do yet, much to discover and much to experience.

Mark is coming over again tomorrow night, he can only stop over night but I will be so glad to see him.

I hope that all of you reading this have the opportunity to feel the joy that I feel, to Love is a wonderful thing, to be Loved is an even more wonderful thing. 27-03-08 


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