So at the start week I had my new jogging bottoms on and was ready for my marathon. No not the running kind (trying not think how close the Great North Run is), I was getting ready for my Harry Potter DVD marathon. As I have been off on holiday this week I decided that it was possible for me to watch all seven DVD’s before seeing the new film on Friday. From the training I have done for the Great North Run (I have done some… ish) I understand the importance of having the right clothing so new jogging bottoms were ideal. I have only recently rediscovered how comfy jogging bottoms are. It is also quite ironic that a form of running.exercise clothing is also perfect for doing absolutely nothing; I wonder why this is. Anyway I am pleased to report that I did make it and did watch all seven films before seeing the latest film on Friday afternoon.

Talking of the new film I have to say I was impressed with the film. Yes there were a few things left out but it didn’t detract too much from enjoyment of the film. It was great to see Maggie Smith have a bigger role as she hasn’t featured much the the last few films.  I was also pleased they kept Molly Weasley’s (Julie Walters) line in as there had been some debate about whether they put it in the film, despite it being quite a crucial part of the book. The big surprise was seeing Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis)become this big hero. I am pleased about this as I suppose out of all the characters from the beginning of the book he was the one I related to the most. My only criticism is that the battle scenes were rushed and focused just on Harry, Hermione and Ron. Those of you who have read the book will know that there are a lot of scenes with other characters and theses either left out or briefly referred to without much explanation. the film does capture the sadness of the book and also the humour. I have to admit I did shed a few tears at times. When the film ended a lot of people in the cinema applauded. This is a really good idea and I have only witnessed it once and that was with Mamma Mia! I suppose it shows how popular the whole Harry Potter franchise is and what it means to a lot of people.  I will give the film the mark 4/5.

As I have been off this week it has meant that I have been able to go to Starbucks during the week. Now many of you think I am there most days. This is not the case because there is no Starbucks on my way to work so it has to be Costa Coffee, it usually just Sundays and occasionally Saturdays that I get my proper Starbucks fix. So when I am off it is always nice to have the option of going to Starbucks. It has now got to the stage though where most of the staff know not just y order but they now know me by name and I also know them by name. It isn’t just the person serving me either who says “Hi Tim’, it is other staff who are around and also just say it. Now some people think that this is weird and means I need to get a life, but if you think about it this is the level of customer service that shops used to give. Shop keepers you used to know you and all the family. This seemed to get lost with big companies arriving on the high street and we now think it odd and maybe even intrusive if people ask our names etc. I personally think it is quite a nice thing, especially from such a large organisation. Now I am not naive to think that this isn’t part of their training I am sure it is. I am just pleased that it is. I might get worried if I get a Christmas card from them though.

I have also had a few nights out this week. I talked last week about needing to go out more and this week I have done something about that. On Friday after the cinema I met with some friends for curry and drinks. This was really good as it was my chance to catch up with a former colleague. My other night out was on Monday night. This was quite a big deal for me as it was totally spontaneous and it was my first time going out on what is the local ‘gay friendly’ night. I mentioned last week that I needed to do this and how I didn’t want to put friends in the awkward situation of going out on the scene. I also mentioned that going out on my own could also make me feel a bit sad and depressed. However I wanted to give it ago and I did. I was pleased that I did but I realised that I do need to go with other people. Also I am rubbish at flirting and also noticing if someone is flirting with me. So when I left I came away with mixed feelings. Part of me was pleased to have the made the step of going out but the other part of me was disappointed. I suppose I wasn’t sure of what to expect. A friend of mine said it it would be fine and that everyone would be really welcoming, and I suppose I was hoping for this because it would be easier to go out with other gay friends. This didn’t happen , no one was awkward just that no one really spoke.  I suppose it might happen another time  or it might not. I will try it again sometime though.

The whole expereince though did make me think about where I fit in amongst my social circle. My friends are amazing and totally supportive but I suppose I am just finding where I fit in. Some gay guys go down the whole girly route and have girl nights out etc. But thats not totally me. Also I don’t think my ‘girlfriends’ (once again think Gok Wan style hand gesture) want that  either. On the other hand I am not the blokey type guy either and the idea of a lads night is not going to work either. If I am honest this is just me guessing about what others want/expect/feel about things and I suppose I need to make the effort to ask them. Since coming out I have been open with people but I haven’t really stopped to think  how people really feel about this and this has made me question that maybe they don’t know where they fit in with me now,not that they have a problem far from it they are probably more worried about upsetting me or making me feel awkward. I suppose at the end of the day I want everyone to feel open and relaxed enough to talk about things openly with me, basically treat me the same as before I came out but also talk to me about what I think of things and go out on nights out etc. Some of my friends already do this and are totally happy to discuss things such as ‘do you like him’ etc. Other people are not as relaxed and I do respect that. I know it is not easy for you but it is also not easy for me and I am stumbling along trying to find where I am going and without any real answers. One thing I have learnt since coming out is that being openly gay can be quite a scary and lonely experience and a lot to get your head around and I am still finding my way. I suppose it is like running a marathon or half marathon. You start off nervous then things happen quickly. You then get to the mid point where you start finding it tough. As long as I get there in the end.

Thanks for reading this. I hope I haven’t come across too heavy, I try not to be. Also please check out a friends blog. I have put a link on the right hand side called ‘Boro’s Bard’. It is a really good observational and funny read.

Well that is it for this this week. I’m off out tonight to see some stand-up comedy which I will talk about this next week. so until then bye for now.

Top TV programme of the week : Torchwood: Miracle Day

Top song of the week: Britney Spears : Hold It Against Me

Book I am currently reading: Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis