Sunday, 8 November 2015

Ode to my Nana



When a soul leaves this earth, how do we keep their memory alive and make sure they aren't devoured by the forgetfulness of time? 

We tell their story, of course. And this one was my nanas..

The year 1931 in a small Bosnian village my nana Marica was born. She was one of 12 brothers and sisters growing up in the countryside. Sadly her childhood didn't last very long nor was it a happy one for that matter. As World War 2 broke out she had just turned 8 years old. Fleeing for safety most of her family was captured, split up and sent to the Jasenovac concentration camp in Bosnia. She witnessed her father Ilija and two older brothers, Vlado and Boro, brutally executed as a warning to everyone. 'Do as we say, or else..' was the message their charred bodies portrayed as they were burned alive. 

A few years ago, before she got a stroke, I sat her down and purposefully made her take this painful trip down memory lane. 
I wanted to know about her life so that one day I could tell her story. It is a life worth remembering. She told me about my grand grandmother Petra, a good hearted and strong woman who lost 4 
children either in child birth or at a very early stage in their lives. She raised the remaining 6 alone after her husband and two sons lost their lives in the war. Radojka, Nevenka and Ratko emigrated to America in the 50's while the youngest; Vida moved to Australia in the 60's. The only ones left in former Yugoslavia were Nada and my nana Marica. 

Once she turned 15 my nana started working in an Iron Foundry as a metal worker. Tough job for a young girl but in those days beggars couldn't be choosers. 

At the age of 24 she met my grandfather Ljubodrag Vrbaski, an officer in the Yugoslavian army and an Auscwitz survivor. They moved to Novi Sad and got married a year later and a year after that their only child was born; my mother Katarina. Sadly their marriage didn't last very long due to my granddads constant infidelity and they divorced when my mother was 6 years old. 

Nana claims that she never loved another man after that. She gave up on men all-together and instead focused her life on raising her daughter and working 14 hour days at the factory. 

And then, she said, came her first and for many years only grandchild; me. 
Once retired from the iron foundry she helped raise me while my mom was at work. I remember our small one bedroom apartment in Zlatna Greda street in Novi Sad. It was a measly 25 square meters with a communal outhouse and no shower. A woodburning stove and a bucket for your needs during cold winter nights. But she made the most of it on her tiny pension and there was nothing I loved more than a nice home cooked meal at my nanas place. 

A few years later my mother and I moved to Sweden. I remember I was 6 at the time and nana was crying as I waved goodbye. 
It took another few more years until our paperworks were finished and my mother could bring nana over to live with us until she got a place of her own.

It was a hard decision for someone in their 60's to just pack up and leave the life you know behind. And it was hard for her once she joined us too. She struggled with the language and never mastered more than a few words, her favorite one being 'Bra, bra!' meaning 'Good, good!' 
It was her answer to anything and everything. She soon found her greatest hobby and favorite pastime; collecting cans and bottles and recycling them for a cash profit at the local supermarket. Every day she would walk for hours and in a week she could easily make about a 500 SEK profit. 

I remember being ashamed of her behavior when I was in my early teens. She cramped my style as I tried to get in with the cool kids in school and at times I would walk past her pretending I didn't know her. She didn't mind back then. But I do mind now. 

Growing up I too fled the life I knew for greener pastures in Great Britain. I lived my life to the fullest visiting maybe once a year, if that. Each time culminating in a home cooked meal at my nanas house and each time she would give me a parting gift of some of her hard earned recycling cash and I would gladly take it and treat myself to a couple of nights out in London upon my return. 

I was ashamed of her back then, but today I am ashamed of my behavior. I hope she knows that now.

Her final five years she spent at the Kviberg Retirement home as her health prevented her from looking after herself. And she refused to move in with my mom and her ex-husband because she couldn't witness the abuse he put her through. Instead she asked to spend her final days with people her own age.

My mother visited and took care of my nana several days a week. I visited her as often as I could, but towards the end I found it hard to muster up the strength to go and see her. I couldn't cope with the fact that my beloved nana was wasting away in front of my eyes.. 
Somehow I was hoping to preserve her in my memory the way she once was; feisty, colorful and full of life. Not the empty shell of the wonderful woman I once knew.

Nana, however, didn't give up. Her heart was strong and kept her alive through 4 pneumonias during the last three years of her life. An accomplishment rarely reached by someone in their 80's. In the end she was the only one left of all her brothers and sisters with great aunty Vida and great uncle Ratko passing on within a couple of months from eachother earlier this year. 

Today we lay her beautiful soul to rest. 
It is a gloomy, dark and rainy day. My heart is heavy and it aches at the thought that I'll never see my nana again. But I have to be strong today. I have to muster up the courage not to break down and be there for my mom through this hard time. And somehow find solace in the fact that mom and I were with nana through her last days. I just hope she could feel our presence. 

Rest in peace nana! May the black earth be gentle on your soul and give her the peace she deserves. Finally she is reunited with her brothers and sisters, and one day, we will be reunited with her.. 

Marica Međed
28.06.1931
~
22.10.2015







Wedding Speech for Edward and Monica


The first time I met Monica there was an instant connection and I knew that very moment that I had found the woman of my dreams. I knew that i had found my soulmate. But being an out and proud gay man this was somewhat confusing for me. (pause for laugh)

According to a dictionary a Soulmate is 
a person with whom you have an immediate connection the moment you meet - a connection so strong that you are drawn to them in a way you have never experienced before. With them you are all that much more aware of the beauty in life, because you have been given a great gift and will always be thankful.

It was clear to me that I had found someone i could share my deepest and darkest secrets with and she would never judge me for them, if anything she would love me even more. 

I could take her shopping and steer her clear of the hideous outfits that seem good in theory but not in practice. A sort of fashion police if you will. Although even I have been guilty of some fashion faux pas over the years. (pause for laugh)

Our relationship consists of unconditional love and respect for one another and I can only remember one major fight we ever had; it was when she decided to move out of our home that we had shared for many years in favor of moving in with her then husband to be. It resulted in a screaming match so loud that the neighbors called the police and reported domestic violence. Imagine the officers surprise when they found a hysterical screaming queen and a bleached blonde in a cat fight over who gets to keep the dining room table.. (pause for laugh)

In many ways we were just like any old 'married couple'. We enjoyed the little things in life, laughed, bickered, bitched and cried together. We were always there for one another and we worked together to realise our dreams; from fantasizing of the Galápagos Islands as teenagers to making it there in person as adults. Monica is the most wonderful woman I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She is my best friend, my sister, my soulmate and the wife I'll never and always have. But as much as i saw us together for the rest of our lives there were certain "husbandly" obligations i just could not accomplish. (laugh)

Enter Edward Jenkins.

Meeting Ed, same cataclysmic effect took place for Monica but this time it was with a man who could fulfill all her dreams and needs. A man who could challenge her, push her limits and boundaries and open her mind even further. He would come to love her in the same unconditional way and slowly they would start building their dreams and making them a reality. 

It has been a great pleasure getting to know Ed. He is an incredible man with a big heart. He's aloof, spontaneous and quirky and totally 'out there' - a perfect compliment to Monicas list making, planning and CCD (compulsive cleaning disorder) - a Ying to her Yang if you will. 

A perfect example was our roadtrip to Vegas when he proposed to her in the Nevada desert while the sun was setting over the pyramid, Eiffel Tower and Caesars Palace. The whole world in one place. Only he forgot one thing - Mons uncontrollable fear of snakes. Although the proposal was a roaring  success it was marked by the 'Warning of Rattle Snakes' sign forever etched in her mind. Monicas perfect moment with an unexpected twist. 

See how they balance each other out? (laugh) 

The culmination of their love has resulted in yet another perfection in the form of baby Dash. The best of both worlds, completing their lovely family together with Jimmy pup and Tilly cat. For now. 

Together they make the perfect family and I couldn't have wished for a better man to hand my best friend over to. Most of all I am grateful that he doesn't mind sharing his wife with me from time to time. A happy ending for all of us! (laugh)

Thank you Ed for making her the happiest woman in the world. I couldn't have done it better myself. (laugh)

So as an ending to this very long speach, here is a poem that could hopefully teach,
a thing or two for a happy long life, 
forever together as husband and wife.

LIVE EVERY DAY WITH YOUR LOVE AS A GUIDE; ALWAYS GIVE MORE THAN YOUR GROOM OR YOUR BRIDE;
FIND IN EACH OTHER THE FUNNIEST THINGS, AND SHARE WITH EACH OTHER WHEN YOUR HEART SINGS.
AND NO TRUER WORDS HAVE EVER BEEN PENNED, THAN THE CRUX OF YOUR LOVE IS JUST BEING BEST FRIENDS.
FROM THIS DAY ON YOU ARE NEVER ALONE; WHEREVER YOU ARE, IT IS YOUR SPOUSE THAT’S YOUR HOME.
AND WHEN TIME HAS PASSED AND THE TWO OF YOU AGE, AND YOUR LIVES ARE ABOUT TO TURN THE LAST PAGE,
YOU’LL SEE NOT THE WRINKLES, NOR THE OLD, NOR THE GREY – INSTEAD YOU’LL SEE YOURSELVES AS YOU ARE ON THIS DAY.
I HOPE THAT YOU’LL GIVE LIFE TO MY EARLY REPRISE, AND THAT YOU’LL SAY TO EACH OTHER FROM TIRED OLD EYES:
“THERE’S NO ROMEO NOR JULIET THAT EVER WAS, IS OR WILL BE, THAT COULD EVER COMPARE TO WHAT IS YOU AND ME.
I SAID IT BEFORE AND I’LL SAY IT TIMES TEN: GIVEN THE CHANCE, I WOULD DO IT AGAIN.
IF SOME WONDROUS FORCE TOOK US BACK WAY BACK WHEN, AND THE LIVES THAT WE’VE LIVED STARTED OVER AGAIN,
I’D AGAIN FIND YOU AND COURT YOU AS HUSBAND OR WIFE; YOU’RE THE FABRIC, THE PURPOSE AND MY REASON FOR LIFE.”

Let's raise a glass and toast to the perfect couple. May they live happily ever after and continue to brighten up all our lives with their presence. To Monica and Edward Jenkins. Now and forever! 

Cheers!




Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Hopeless Romantic


Being a hopeless romantic is not easy. I never thought it would be.As our world keeps evolving and getting more modern by the click of a mouse we seem to be losing touch with what romance really is.

Growing up as a kid I loved getting lost in fairytales. I used to fantasize about one day meeting that special someone, getting swiped off my feet, riding with my lover into the sunset and living happily ever after. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not a complete moron. I do have some sense left in me to know that fairytales aren’t real and that love rarely happens like it does in the movies. But then again, I also think, that if I still believe in romance like that surely there has to be more people that do out there in this world. Or is there?

I’ve come across a few individuals that claim to be as hopelessly romanticized as I am, but when push comes to shove it turns out that only in theory are they prepared to live out those emotions. In practice it’s a completely different matter. I don’t understand what people are so afraid of?If I had given up or lost hope that one day I will find someone who’ll fulfill me in the way that I would like them to then I would have packed my bags a long time ago and settled on a desert island away from the perils of reality. But I haven’t. I’m still here.

It Love at first sight’ said Kylie. ‘Love is a losing game’ replied Amy Winehouse. ‘Love tried to welcome me’ exclaimed Madonna. ‘Nothing’s real but Love’ announced Rebecca Ferguson.

I didn’t choose to be a romantic. It just happened. In all honesty I don’t know how. The prospects of me ever becoming one were slim to nothing seeing as my own mother never had any luck in that department. I kept witnessing one failed marriage after another. My nan only ever had one man. Once that was over she swore off men (and sex for that matter) forever. Never once did I see her or hear her speak of a man, ever. My granddad on the other hand was what Britney would call a Womanizer. He couldn’t get enough. He was chivalrous but never romantic.

So where did this stem from within me? Was it the lack of love and romance in my childhood that created this hunger? Or was it childhood defiance that made me go in the opposite direction to the people around me?

All I know is that I had no choice. And I still don’t.

Try as I may I find it hard to live without romance in my life. I yearn for it. I long for it. I need it!

But instead of waiting for someone to do something romantic for me I started doing things for the people in my life. I’m one of those guys that will fly across the globe to be with the one I love. I won’t see obstacles. I’ll see challenges that I can overcome. I will wake up in the middle of the night just to give my lover a kiss. I will leave little notes in pockets for them to find, sometime, one day. I will share everything I have. I will find out what makes them happy and try to multiply that by a hundred. I will write messages that later I’ll regret because I then realize how cheezy they sound – but feel right at the time. I will leave a flower at their doorstep for them to find when they come home. I will write crazy love letters that make no sense at all. I will shout my love from the highest mountain top. I will try and help make their dreams come true, even if there’s no logical way for me to do that. I will try. I will run through fire to comfort them when they’re sad. If I can’t, then I will cry with them. I will always be on their side, even if they’re wrong. I will try and make them laugh as much as I can. I will show them the world, if only so I can see it through their eyes. I will do anything I can to ensure their happiness. Or at least try to help them achieve it.

There’s no limit to what I am prepared to do, for someone I love. In the hope that maybe one day, someone would be prepared to do the same for me. Maybe these seem like small and insignificant things. But these things can make a world of difference.

That, to me, is romance. That to me is love. Maybe my view on love doesn’t coincide with yours. But it doesn’t mean that it’s not right.It’s a broad term that has many definitions. There’s no right or wrong in love.

The one thing I definitely do know about love is that it’s scary. Plunging in there’s not much else you can do but hope that someone’s there to catch you as you fall.Trust that they won’t break your heart once you let them roam free inside it and believe in an Ever After.

Hopeless. Romantic.

That’s me.


D.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Burning Man




It is with a heavy heart that I start this entry. I am saddened and appaled by how parts of our world are run today.


Last night I reluctantly clicked on a link that was sent to me. The heading read; 'African Man Burned Alive for being Gay'.


As I watched the images that emerged on my screen I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing. With my hand covering my mouth I stared at a poor man beaten to a bloody pulp by an angry mob. People laughing at him as he sat there in the middle of the street covered in blood. Some one was filming the whole thing as they continued to hit him with various objects. Then, suddenly, another man approaches and at first it looked as if he was throwing water at him. Only, seconds later, I realised that what looked like water was in fact gasoline.


Laughing and shouting the poeple threw burning matches towards the already incapacitated man and he burst into flames. Somewhere in the back of my mind I was hoping that this was some scene from a bad horror movie or some sort of sick joke - but the punchline never came.


I sat in horror as it dawned on me that I had just witnessed a real life excecution. Something that was clearly filmed by some sick bastard for amusement.


I feel sick to my stomach that things like this are allowed to happen in the world we live in today.


But what saddens me the most is the fact that this video has been online for at least a month and still there has been no reports about it in the major media. I have been looking for some coverage online. Any coverage. But the only thing I can find is personal blog entries from people as shocked as I am.


Today I took it upo myself to send this link to ALL major News Agencies World Wide.


I have sent it to BBC, CNN, SKY News, Evening Standard, Reuters, B92, Press Association, TT - you name it. All this in hope that some justice will be brought to the Burning Man.


This unknown man that lost his life for loving someone his own gender!


I hope that by bringing this story to the public it will open up the eyes of the world. That by telling this mans story his death wont have been in vain. And if by any chance it makes at least one person realise just how wrong this is - then I will have succeede in my task.


This is the video. I warn you. The images you are about to see are EXTREMELY DISTURBING!!!!



Tuesday, 24 May 2011

If U say U ♥ Me..



I don't want to hear you talking anymore,
because I know it's hard. I can see you're all alone..
So come into my home, baby..
I don't need to believe every word you say, with all the games you play.
It doesn't matter that you're late. You're always late.

Just say that you love me, cos I want you to.
Just say that you love me. Help me get to you.
Just say that you need me, baby, like I need you.
While the world is spinning round, I'm on solid ground.

If you say you love me cos I want you to.
If you say you love me, help me get to you.
If you say you need me, baby, like I need you.
While the world is spinning round, I'm on solid ground if you say you love me.

I can feel you. I can feel your every move,
every single grove.
You look so pretty when you're down,
but you don't make a sound oh ooh..
When I'm holding you I'm hoping that you'll stay.
When I touching you, you seem so far away from me,
and I never seem to be who I want to be when you talk to me..

Just say that you love me, cos I want you to.
Just say that you love me. Help me get to you.
Just say that you need me, baby, like I need you.
While the world is spinning round, I'm on solid ground.

If you say you love me cos I want you to.
If you say you love me, help me get to you.
If you say you need me, baby, like I need you.
While the world is spinning round, I'm on solid ground if you say you love me.

Kris Di Angelis feat. Melanie Blatt







CLIP : KRIS DI ANGELIS & MEL BLATT - Just Say That You Love Me DEMO by Krisdiangelis

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Satan I Gatan



I och med att jag har flyttat hem till Sverige så känns det inte mer än rätt att inviga mitt först svenska blogg inlägg.

Jag flyttade ju, som de flesta redan vet, tillbaka till Gbg för CK’s skull. Det funkade inte riktigt som det skulle med tanke på hur promiskuös den där killen var. Men vad hade jag att vänta mig av någon som funderade på en porr-karriär innan vi träffades?

De säger att kärleken är blind, men jag vet inte riktigt om det var fallet när det kom till mig och Christofer. I all ärlighet så var det ju trots allt jag som i början avfärdade hans intensiva uppvaktningar för att jag inte trodde att det var något att ha. Att han sen lyckades övertala mig att flytta hem igen hade absolut ingenting att göra med att jag var så in i helskota trött på London. Nej, nej. Absolut inte. Eller?

De säger ju att alla händelser har en anledning och kanske ver anledningen till vårat möte just detta att jag skulle befinna mig där jag är just nu; hemma i Sverige bland gamla goda vänner och familj. Eller går anledningarna ännu djupare än så? Kanske finns det andra grunder till att jag befinner mig just här just nu. Vem vet?

Som så många gånger förr så väljer jag bara att följa strömmen och se vart den leder mig. Jag har aldrig tyckt särskilt mycket om att planera för mycket eller sätta etikett på saker och ting.
Som min underbara kusin Dado brukar säga; It iz wot it iz!

Och så är det. Min vistelse här har resulterat i mången fina grejor. Jag har träffat några fantastiska nya vänner som har kommit att betyda mycket. Jag har ett grymt jobb som assistent till en Hot Shot på Volvo. Jag har återupptagit kontakten med min familj efter år av tystnad. Sommaren nalkas. Solen skiner. Fåglarna kvittrar. Lycka!

Jag ler och jag är glad. Luften är full av endorfiner. Kanske till och med lite kärlek. Jag drar ett djupt andetag och njuter. Jag passar på nu, för det kanske inte varar för evigt.

Men vem vet? Inte du. Vem vet? Inte jag. Vi vet ingenting nu. Vi vet inget idag…

Men satan i gatan vad det känns bra! (",)

Dan x

The Beautiful Things..





Every once in a while we come across something so beautiful it makes us stop and gasp for air. We can’t help but stop in our tracks and stare for a little while. It can be that gorgeous pair of shoes in the shop window that catches our eye. Or that delicious looking strawberry tart staring at us from the Patisserie stand across the street. Sometimes it’s a stunning flower in someones garden that just takes our breath away. And then there’s those exceptional moments when something truly extraordinary catches your eye. Like a beautiful boy that smilingly stares back at you.

Yes, there are many things that can take our breath away but few that leave a longer lasting impression. Sometimes, on very rare occasion that moment can turn into a dream come true.

When such moments occur there’s very little we can do to control our own emotions. Most times they simply get the better of us and we end up doing silly and sometimes embarrassing things; like write elaborate love letters whilst pretending they aren’t really love letters at all. Instead they are just a figment from our own imagination. Disguised in humour and frolics. Other times we act like teenagers, laughing and giggling at anything and everything, uncontrollably.

It’s strange when you are determined to close of your emotions, thinking that it’s better that way – and suddenly you find yourself feeling something completely different. But like with everything else in life, things happen for a reason. All you can do is simply enjoy the ride, for how ever long it takes. Sometimes until sunrise and sometimes for a lifetime. And in the process, if we’re lucky, enjoy the beautiful things that pass us by.. :)

Monday, 28 March 2011

Like a Moth to a Flame..

Things aren't always as they seem.. Unfortunately I had to learn the hard way. The boy, who's invitation I accepted and gave up everything to be with, turned out not to be the person he gave himself out to be.. I followed my heart. I refused to listen to my friends when they told me they had a bad feeling about him and I hope that I have learned from these mistakes.. I am not sad that I moved back to Sweden, nor that I gave up my life in London. I am just a little disappointed in myself that I didn't quite figure it out until it was too late. This is not the proper story. This is just an inbetweener, while I figure out what I want to say, so bare with me.. Dan

Monday, 1 November 2010

Time To Say Goodbye..

As the saying goes; all good things must come to an end. And just like that, it dawns on me that my time in London Town is nearing its very own finishing line.

I remember when I first arrived in the big city. It was in late -97. I recall the excitement as at the age of 17 I stepped off the train at Liverpool Street Station, fresh off the boat from Sweden. I was happy and scared, excited and nervous all rolled into one. I was tingling with butterflies all over. I had left home to come to this metropolitan city and I didn’t know a single soul here. It was a brand new start and one I was looking forward to.

Over the years I had fallen in love with London. I thrived on the fast paced lifestyle, the buzz of the crowded streets, variety of smells in different neighbourhoods and the diversity of people living here. I remember how I’d leave my house to go out on a Thursday night and not come home until late Monday afternoon. There is always something to do in this city. No matter what time of day, be it summer or winter or fall. I think back and smile at how easy it was to make friends.
You could just sit at a cafe and someone would start a conversation with you.
Ah, you’re sending a postcard to Sweden I see? Is that where you’re from?’ was a typical starting line seeing as most weeks I’d found myself sipping a latte in Old Compton Street Cafe, cautiously contemplating what to write home about. It was a line that worked effectively on a naive young boy who’d come to the big city to chase a dream.

In the back of my mind I had Madonna’s success story playing on repeat. How she came to New York with $35, how she asked to be dropped off in the middle of everything, how she worked real hard and how hear dream came true. I was looking to relive that story but in my own words.
Sadly, my fairytale didn’t have the same conclusion. Don’t get me wrong. This is a story with a happy ending only not one that left me rich to my teeth and famous all over the world.

After a couple of years some of my closest friends had come to live in London too. It was an incredibly happy time for me. Finally I could show them all the things I’d been writing home about and I could share the experience with someone I knew and loved. They were surprised to see how I’d grown. Actually, evolved would be a better word to use.

London was a city with lots great opportunity for anyone willing enough to go for it.
I had worked so many different jobs that I am embarrassed to say I can’t even remember some of them. When I first arrived I worked as a barman in the oldest gay pub in the city. It even had the atrocious nickname ‘The Elephants Graveyard’ – because some of the clientele were so ancient they’d been there since day one. Some of them never left, if you catch my drift. During another period I worked as an usher at a cinema in Leicester Square. When I got bored of that I somehow ended up managing a boutique Dry Cleaner in Chelsea. I was a waiter, a store salesman, a receptionist followed by a salon manager at a celebrity hairdressers, to mention just a few.

Each of these roles came with its own unique lifestyle. One I had to adapt to in order to fit in.
Like I said, there are a lot of opportunities here. If you are confident and hungry and not afraid to blag your way to what you want – you’re in. And trust me, there was nothing I was afraid of doing. I wanted it all. And I got most of what I wanted in the process.

But sadly, once I had it, it wasn’t interesting anymore. During one period of time I’d change jobs every three months. I’d get bored. I’d realise that I don’t actually want to do this. I wanted to try something different. So I did.

It wasn’t until I’d reached the age of 26 that I’d actually stuck with a job for a longer period of time. Three years to be exact. I managed a busy reception at a prestigious PR agency in West End. It was a dream job. One that allowed me to lead a pretty fabulous lifestyle. The hours were great, the colleagues were amazing and the salary was more than I could have ever hoped for.
At this point I felt like I was on top of the world. I went on extravagant holidays, partied at the best clubs and brushed shoulders with celebrities on a daily basis. I lived with my best friend Monica in a beautiful apartment overlooking Tower Bridge and I had even met a boy I’d fallen for. Life couldn’t get any better.

Then one day a dark cloud came and placed itself right over my head. That’s how it felt at least. But then again I’m sure that more than half the population of the world felt the same once the credit crunch reared its ugly face. Suddenly, I had lost my job. The company was downsizing. I couldn’t afford the apartment anymore. The lover I’d taken on decided to move on too. I found out the hard way why he was in the relationship to begin with. I had thought I was invincible only to find out just how wrong I’d really been. Everything changed.

I was about to turn 30 and suddenly, whilst struggling to find work in an extremely competitive environment I started to realise just what had changed so much. It wasn’t the city. It was me.

The job market was turning into a battlefield. I watched as bankers fought over bar jobs just to make ends meet and I refused to take such a huge step backwards. I hadn’t worked this hard just to drop all that way down again. But beggars can’t be choosers and I was forced to take a massive pay cut and start all over again. I realise that a lot of people had to do the same and with that I understood that I was slowly but surely getting over London.

I started to plan my next strategic move. Like a game of chess I contemplated where to go next.
The most logical idea that sprung to mind was to move to Serbia. I speak the language fluently, I have loads of friends and family there and I’d be arriving packed with ‘international experience’ that could secure me a job even in the worst job market.

I will always have a place for London in my heart. It has been a home for half my life and it has acted like a step mother in a way. It has taught me some very important lessons in life and it has enriched me with incredible experiences. Some extraordinarily good, some gruesomely bad and some outright unmentionable. But all of which I have learned something valuable from.
I leave this city with a smile on my face and some sadness in my heart. I will miss many great aspects of it but mainly the amazing friends I’ve made along the way.

Once again I find myself on square one. Only this time it feels different.
I am taking a deep breath, closing my eyes and I am taking a giant leap in to the (relatively) unknown. I don’t know what the future holds in store for me. But it’s exciting. And once again I have butterflies in my belly.

I am going home to recharge my batteries. I am going home to spend some time with my family. And I am going home to be with my beautiful man. And life is good!

Bye Bye London. You will be missed - but not forgotten.

Until we meet again.

Dan x

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

2012 - The Truth About The Myth



How much about the Mayan prediction is true? Will the world come to an end like their calendar – or is the calendar an indication of a new beginning? When Nostradamus predicted humanity’s destruction of the planet, was there any truth in his predicament? Or is the increase in natural disasters just our planets way of defending itself against humanity and the way that we treat it? One thing is certain; humanity cannot live without nature, but nature can quite happily live without humanity.

For decades people have been fascinated by Nostradamus’ prophecies. They predicted so many historic events that it’s sometimes frightening to even try to decipher what the future may hold. His visions were depicted in great detail and accuracy in his published four line poems, called quatrains. The philosopher envisioned both world wars, he saw the 9/11 attack on New York and even predicted his own death. Also mentioned was the invention of motors and machines, the French revolution, Napoleon and even Hitler. For someone who lived in the 16th century even a sceptic must admit that there lies some truth in Nostradamus visions.


Over the last 20 years there has been a surge of natural catastrophes. Among them the Indian Ocean earthquake that caused the Sumatran tsunami, costing an estimated 230 000 human lives, not to mention the destruction of land and property in 14 countries. There’s also been an increased number of hurricanes in the Atlantic, including Katrina that completely demolished large parts of New Orleans and now lately the devastating Haitian earthquake that might have killed up towards 300 000 people. Nostradamus described such occurrences in his visions for our time. There are specific predictions about global warming, freak weather and natural disasters. Mentioned are scenes of devastation, upheaval and turmoil followed by disaster, disease and famine. However, they all come with a glimmer of hope and an open ending – giving humanity a chance to take note of the warnings and act accordingly.
Over the course of earths existence our planet has gone through constant changes and adaptations. Humanoids only entered the picture some 200 000 years ago while our world is close to 4.5 billion years old. During this time the look of our planet has changed drastically time and time again, adapting to its surroundings and ever evolving climate. From a free flowing lava lump to a frozen ball of ice to vast dry deserts and back again. The only difference being; humans weren’t there to witness these changes.

Around 3000 B.C. a mathematical clan began to prosper on the Yucatan peninsula of Mesoamerica. The Mayans created a complex calendar based on planetary cycles around earth. When the Spanish invaded during the 16th century they destroyed most of the Mayan literature in an attempt to convert them to Catholicism. A few written scripts remained and it was with their help that the Mayan calendar could finally be understood. In the 19th century it took German scientist Ernst Forstemann over 20 years to decipher. According to their count the calendar ends on 13.0.0.0.0. which was translated into 21.12.2012, modern day. It was also discovered that the calendar began on 13.08.3114 B.C. – making it a full cycle of roughly 5126 years.


There has been a lot of speculation as to why the calendar seems to be so exact. Combined with Nostradamus prophecies of an ever changing environment many fear the worst possible outcome. There are guesses that Earth’s core will heat up due to extensive and increased solar flares and eventually cause major volcanoes to erupt and possibly shift the magnetic field causing the poles to switch place. Some say that a black hole, probably man made in the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, will devour our planet and send us into oblivion. Others believe that we might collide with another planet known as Nibiru or Planet X. Terrifyingly all these possibilities inevitably end with the virtual extinction of mankind.

The Maya were expert sky watchers’ says Dr John M. Jenkins, astrophysicist from San Francisco, who has been studying the Mayan culture and their incredible astrological accuracy. ‘After researching the dates in the ancient calendar and comparing it with studies of the sky for the approximate date around December 2012, we have discovered what we believe to be the reason the Maya chose this particular date for their calendar to end.' Dr Jenkins goes on to say ‘Winter Solstice falls on this date, but what’s different to previous ones is that a Galactic Alignment takes place. Galactic Alignment is the alignment of the December solstice sun with the Galactic equator. This alignment occurs as a result of the precession of the equinoxes. Precession is caused by the earth wobbling very slowly on its axis and shifts the position of the equinoxes and solstices one degree every 71.5 years which in turn causes this Galactic Alignment to occur only once every 26,000 years, and this was what the Maya were pointing to with the 2012 end-date of their Long Count calendar.’

Looking into the Maya culture as well as deciphering the prophecies of Nostradamus that leave an open ending to the future of our world, instead of waiting for the world to end, perhaps we should look at it as a New Beginning. In his book The Celestine Prophecy author James Redfield describes nine insights based on ancient scrolls found in Peru. Each insight leads to greater awareness, evolving the human mind. It is thought, that the Maya believed when the new cycle begins mankind will reach a higher state of consciousness, progressing to the next evolutionary step. The ideology is to connect to the planet that feeds and nurtures us. To connect to people we encounter and share the energy instead of conflictingly strive for greatness and power, thus repressing a fellow man. It’s simple yet effective. But the transition is much more complicated than that. In the last couple of centuries modern civilization has evolved at such rapidity that we have been spoiled with technology and lost touch with our own spirituality – especially our connection with mother earth. Instead of nurturing the planet we inhabit, we are set on stripping it of all natural resources and polluting it with all the unnatural ones. The human race is growing at an alarming pace and as a result we are in danger of outgrowing earth’s sustenance. Does it then really come as such a surprise when our planet fights back? If somebody repeatedly kept punching you, unprovoked, would you just sit there and take it or would you fight back and defend yourself?

Natural disasters, illnesses and epidemics almost seem like a necessary evil in order to somehow maintain a natural balance and give us hope for the future of mankind. We need to listen and take note of the messages our planet is sending us. We need to interpret them and act accordingly. Ignoring them will serve no greater good. We need to collectively put our minds together and act as one. After all, we are only one race. We need to connect and help each other instead of only helping ourselves. We need to realise that a new age is coming. There is hope for us still but we need to act now as time is slowly running out. 2012 is literally just around the corner. It is up to us to decide whether it will represent The End or as the Maya believed; a New Beginning.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Hag Fag



A few years ago I received a parcel from one of my closest friends who’d just relocated from London to San Francisco. I’ve received many gifts over the years from dear friends but never one that stood out in this particular way. Basically it sums up the sender so uncannily and upon receiving it I was instantly reminded of why I love her so much.

A soft largish brown envelope arrived in the post and I immediately recognised the handwriting. I couldn’t wait to go home and open it but I was somewhat alarmed by the rustle inside the package. It was squishing and squalping inside. I was curious as to what was in there and rushed home to tear it open. It was sealed well, taped up real good into an inch of its life and I had to dig up a pair of scissors to gain access. Once I cut a corner I yelped in shock as water came pouring out of the bubble padded envelope.
Oh. My. God! What the hell???’ I exclaimed as I tore into the parcel and dug out a book that was soaked through and through. The title read; "Girls who like boys who like boys – True tales of friendship between straight women and gay men". I looked further into the envelope and nearly cut myself trying to fish out a barely readable handwritten note; ‘I found *smudge* and thought *smudge* you! Love *smudge* eternally, *smudge*’. There was actual glass at the bottom. And water. And … glitter??
“Schhhlonkkkk! “
A snow globe base fell to the floor in my room, the Golden Gate Bridge rolling off to one side. I couldn’t stop laughing. ‘Typically Mon’ I thought.

And it was. Throughout our incredible friendship I have laughed many times at Mon’s entertaining ways of doing things and solving problems. But sending a snow globe in a bubble wrapped soft envelope from America to Europe and expect it to arrive in one piece was just delightful to me. It surely brightened up my otherwise gloomy day.
I remember putting the book somewhere to dry and that was the last I saw of it, until a few weeks ago when I was clearing out an old cupboard and suddenly it reappeared. It was a little bent out of shape but still in a readable condition. That morning, instead of trying to combat my daily issue of Metro on an overcrowded District Line, I decided to bring this book. It was a hilarious read but one that reminded me that my favourite hag was on the other side of the globe. The stories brought back memories I’d somehow misplaced somewhere in my mind. Perhaps all those years dedicated to my dear friend Mary Jane took their toll, but being clearheaded and out of the smoke cloud for a few months suddenly it was all coming back to me.

In my life I’ve been fag to many a hag. It all started just before secondary school back home in Sweden. My first real friends were all girls. Even before I knew I was gay I found I didn’t have very much in common with other boys. They wanted to get dirty (no, not in that way) and play football or wrestle or any other boyish type of stuff. Gosh, I was so bad at it I can’t even think of a single thing boys do when they are kids. Instead I much preferred to hang with the girls and do girly stuff like play with dolls and talk about boys. Being a sensitive child I found girls so much easier to relate to.

In the early years there were the two polish sisters from my block, Monika and Patricia Rodziewitcz, the good catholic girls who I corrupted with my obscure interest in pagan rituals and the occult. Then there were Linda, Tina and Annie. Three neighbouring girls that found my dressing up and impersonating Madonna hilarious. Annie and I became really close. I didn’t understand it back then but both our families struggled with the presence of alcohol. I guess that created a sort of bond between us and we could comfort each other when we need it most.
And then there was my first ‘straight’ crush; a pretty girl called Nina. I used to obsess over her and not really knowing how to be a boy’s boy I tried to woo her by stripping off outside her window and shouting obscenities through her letter box. Pretty scary stuff in retrospect. Not to mention embarrassing. How she never throttled me with a bottle or maced my face is beyond me.

Once we started secondary school Annie and I sort of drifted apart. We were placed in different classes and Nina ended up in mine, so naturally we became closer. I was lucky cos Nina was one of the popular girls in school and although at times she made fun of my eccentric ways she also protected me from the perils of the popular boys. As long as I was friends with her they wouldn’t touch me, apart from the occasional slander across the school yard which I didn’t pay much attention to. I even remember one of the jocks asking me if I was a faggot in front of all his mates on my way home from school one day. To which I replied; ‘Why? You wanna piece of my ass?’ A very risqué thing to say but I saw Nina on the other side of the football field and that gave me enough confidence to be bold. In the long run it paid off. Once they realised I wasn’t bothered they stopped. Coincidentally Nina was the first person I ever came out to. It turned out her uncle was gay and once I found out, it was easy to confide in her. After all, she would never judge me. Later on, when I came out to my parents and my mother “nearly died” in an over dramaticised heart attack simulation, Nina and her mom took me in while social services tried to find me a suitable home.

A year later my close circle had also come to include Lindsay, Danielle and Marie. The three Mouseketeers. They were called that cos they always wore the same outfits, just different colours and they all had Mickey Mouse bags. Lindsay was another girl I’d developed a crush on in my confused teen age. Something that in latter days developed into a much deeper friendship. Then of course there was Diane. Diane was a girl with the same background as me. Our parents were from former Yugoslavia and although naturally we should have bonded we actually despised each other to begin with. At least I think she despised me. Personally I found her hilarious. She was outspoken and confident and most of all she was insanely funny. As time progressed we eventually accepted each other and to this day we are still good friends. She inspired me to take up acting in college. We always used to go a bit crazy during class, especially when we had a substitute teacher. We’d pretend we were other people and I vividly remember one time when we actually ‘gave birth’ to a football in the middle of the classroom while the substitute teacher ran off terrified, screaming in tears. Ahhh, hose were the days..

The college years were not that much different. By this time I was fully aware of my sexual orientation but even though there were quite a few gays in college I still stuck to the girls. The thing in our college was that there wasn’t much segregation between popular and unpopular students. It was more about who was the most visible. Everyone was trying to outshine the other, me with fire engine red hair and green eyebrows. Don’t judge. I was still trying to find my inner artiste. After all, it was drama school and that’s what we were there for.
My immediate attention went to a tough but beautiful looking rocker chick named Cat. She donned the Pulp Fiction Uma Thurman look and being a massive Tarantino fan I was automatically drawn to her. It turned out she too had the same heritage as me and we bonded over coffee and cigarettes, skipping only the boring classes. Cat was a year older than everyone else in class. She’d repeated a year and as such seemingly had more authority amongst her peers. Hanging out with her I sought that status too.
By this time I was placed in an open juvenile home. I was too young to live on my own and too old to be placed in a foster home. Maybe not the smartest of moves considering that up until this point I’d been a ‘good girl’ and suddenly I was sharing a home with troubled kids of which some even had drug related problems. Here I befriended Becky, a street smart pretty girl with a tough exterior. I openly confessed my status during our first meeting and she looked me in the eye, deep and serious, and said; ‘One day I’ll fuck your brains out!’ A year later, she did. It was a drunken summer night while we were out camping. We were both lying by the log fire, missing our respective boyfriends when suddenly one thing led to another. It was my first time with a girl, but not my last.
Needless to say our relationship was never the same after that moment even though we tried to pretend it was. I cared deeply for her but she spiralled out of control and after a few months moved away to a more secure institution.

Her replacement, Johnny, happened to become my closest and best friend, ‘sister’ and partner in many of the crimes our lives would influence us to commit. We entered a life shaping period together and shared a few hags between us. Enter Michaela, Jessie and Jen. These girls were fun loving and up for ANYTHING. Although harbouring, what we thought at the time, unhealthy feelings towards my ex boyfriend Jessie was the ‘mother’ of the group. Easily persuaded to partake in the most ludicrous of things she still maintained a sense of right and wrong and at times acted as our collective conscience. Like having a guardian angel on your shoulder. The devil in this instance would have to be Jen. She always came up with the craziest ideas and wasn’t afraid of anything. The ironic thing is that her overconfidence made sure she also got away with just about everything.

These relationships proved vital for my future survival and taught me how to get what I want simply by batting my eye lashes. Essentially it worked a hell of a lot better for the girls, but whoever was on the receiving end of my batting lashes was generally so freaked out that they gave in without much of a fight.

At the age of 17 I was hungry for more. I decided to leave Gothenburg and, with Madonna as my inspiration, try my luck in a metropolitan city. I ended up in London. On the way here I met Chanelle, a girl I recognised from college, and we instantly clicked. My first 3 months was spent with her and her five sisters in a one bedroom apartment. Although it was somewhat cramped it was also a lot of fun. It was like living in a doll house. Being Caribbean Chanelle, Meeryam, Neemah, L’Wonda, LaKesha and Star taught me everything I ever wanted to know about hair extensions, fake nails and black men. It was an important chapter in my life. One that would have huge significance when I finally met my No 1 fag hag; Mon.

:)

To be continued...


Dan K.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Oh damn..









..I didn't have a chance to post anything all of february!!?

How the hell did that happen?

OK, I better get my act together and make sure to be more productive in March!


Bare with me..


Dan

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Red Brick - a short story by DK




As he walked up the narrow footpath leading to the red brick building where she lived, he felt a knot forming in the pit of his stomach. It’s been four years since he saw her face and he wasn’t sure what to expect. The fact she wasn’t expecting him didn’t make matters any easier and suddenly the palms of his hands became moist.

Would she invite him in or would she not even bother to open the door?

Last time they met things didn’t go very well. She was six months with child and she had just discovered that her abusive husband of 10 years was cheating on her with a woman young enough to be his daughter. She was devastated and lost and she turned to him for help. He wasted no time and did everything he could. He’d called a halfway house that specialises in helping abused pregnant women. They had been full and kept referring him to other places but he begged and pleaded for hours until they finally gave in and agreed to see her. He called her to tell her what she needed to do next. When her husband went to work she should pack only what’s necessary, leave no clues as to where she’d gone and meet him by the corner shop at the bottom of her street. He would wait for her and take her to the halfway house and make sure that she was safe.

When the day came, he stood there waiting for her. He waited for over an hour. She never showed up. He started to fear that maybe she’d been caught trying to escape. The fear in him grew the more he thought about it. He decided to go and check on her. Slowly, he walked up the narrow footpath leading up to the red brick building where she lived. He envisioned her on the floor, beaten, holding her swollen stomach, protecting it from her husbands’ punches. The fear in him turned to rage. He started running. Faster. He reached the house where she lived. The light was on. He rang the door bell.

Nothing.

He rang it again. This time he heard movement. The sound of a key turning. The door opened. He saw her face. She had been crying.

I’m sorry’ she said ‘I can’t do it.’
He looked at her, puzzled. ‘What do you mean?’
She shook her head.
‘I need to get you to a safe place. I’ve made all the arrangements for you and they are expecting you. But we have to leave now’ he said.
She looked at him once again with teary eyes. She shook her head.
‘I can’t do it’
He gazed at her. His eyes welling up.
‘Please’ he asked ‘think of the baby.’
Her hands were shaking. Tears streaming down her tired face as she continued to shake her head. ‘I love him’ she cried. ‘I’m sorry’

Before he had a chance to say anything else she’d closed the door and he heard the key turn in the lock. With the red brick building behind him he slowly started walking away. With a lump in his throat and tears in his eyes he couldn’t help but wonder what kind of hold her husband had over her. Then at the end of the day, the choice was hers. It always has been. But why then did she come to him and ask for his help?
He hated her for it. Every time something went wrong in her life she would turn to him and ask for help. She’d expect him to always be there. Never once wondering how he felt in the intricate web of heartache she’d snared him in.

‘Not any more’ he said to himself as he walked away ‘I can’t do this any more. Not again.’

That was four years ago now. After that last meeting he decided to disappear for a while. It was clear to him that he had nothing left to fight for and as such the world was his oyster. At 25 he had so many prospects for a good life. But he had no ambitions. He never learned how to develop one. He only ever focused on making sure she was ok. That was his ambition. That was what gave him the strength to carry on. His love for her and his constant worry for her well being.

His hand was shaking as he lifted it up to press her buzzer. He hesitated.
What if he opened the door? He was about to turn around but stopped himself.
It would be a chance he’d have to take. He’d travelled far to be here and he wasn’t about to turn around now. Not like this. Not yet. He had to see her. Even if it was the last time he ever did. He just needed to know that she was ok.

‘BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ’ went the doorbell.

Mommy, mommy, there’s someone at the door’ he heard a child shout inside.
He hadn’t even thought about the child. He didn’t even know if it was a boy or a girl. Suddenly he felt ashamed. He wanted to run. He wished the ground would open up and swallow him whole.

Then he heard the key turn and the door opened, slowly.
He could hear his heart beat like a drum inside his chest. He was positive the whole world could hear it. His eyes wandered towards the opening and were met by her surprised gaze. She couldn’t believe her eyes. She was searching for the right words to say but none came out. He looked at her tenderly. She had grown old. Her long auburn hair was now conquered by strands of grey. He held his breath as his hand touched her face. He traced the lines with his finger as she closed her eyes and tears started flowing. She took his hand, looked him deep in the eyes and pulled him in to her embrace. He felt his heart explode and he broke down in tears. He held her tight in his arms, unwilling to ever let go.

‘Mommy, mommy, who’s that’ a child’s voice asked.

He felt her embrace loosen a little and he suddenly saw a beautiful little girl standing behind her. The girl looked at him suspiciously with large almond shaped eyes.

‘This’ she said ‘is your brother..