Hello and welcome to this weeks blog post which is also my first as a 33-year-old. Yes it was my birthday yesterday but more on that later. So here is what has been happening this week and been on my mind.

The January slog goes on and on and on. This month is dragging so much and it is hard work isn’t it? At the start of the month we are all upbeat and positive about changes we are going to make but it is often difficult to do this in January and I feel I am just trying to exist rather than living. I know I am certainly struggling with this but hopefully I am still putting down the ground work for good things this year. So I have got to take what positives I can such as it is not totally dark when I leave work at 5pm. At least there are only a  few days to go for this month. Hopefully February will be a more proactive month with the exception of the horror of Valentines Day.

Many people think having a birthday in January must be a good thing as it must help with the January Blues. Well I can tell you it doesn’t. You are trying to save money as it is a long month and you know your friends are trying to do the same but want to celebrate the day. So it was a low-key event this year. After all it’s not a special one is it? Most of my life birthdays have not been a big deal. Probably because of the fact it’s a January. I remember some parties when I was a child. I think one of them was an animal themed party and one of them I was ill so it had to be postponed. I also remember it snowing for at least one of them as well. Then as a teenager it tailed off. You were seen to be too old for party bags (who ever decided this was wrong party bags are great) and birthdays were more meals out. I do remember for my 13th birthday I went to Laser Quest which was great fun even though I came last. After this they just stopped becoming an event. I would get a card a little present from parents but that was it with the exception of my 18th & 21st. At university it seems we did make more of an effort and I know we did do something for most people’s birthday then. After uni it went back to being a non event until I started work at the library and birthdays became a bit more of an event. This was probably because we did things socially anyway and the fact that a large number of us have birthdays in January.

This year I did play it down more and was quite happy to have a bit of a low-key event. I still got some lovely cards and presents and with social media it is easy to get lots of lovely messages from friends and family. I was really touched my all the cards and messages because over the last year I haven’t always been good to be around and felt that some friendships had drifted a little because of me. It’s nice to know they are still there and as I said in my resolutions I need make more time for friends. I rely totally on Facebook telling me when someones birthday is and I am sure I am not alone in doing this. I was off work so not with lots of friends and I didn’t want the day to go by totally without some ‘me time’ it was my birthday after all. So had a nice lazy morning before heading into town for a Starbucks. It turned out someone else in Starbucks was celebrating their birthday but I just kept quiet. I then went to the cinema to see ’12 Years A Slave’. OK this is probably not the best choice of movies for a birthday I give you that but it is a brilliant film. At times it was difficult to watch and I had to look away quite a few times. There was not one bad performance in it and my only criticism would be that I would have liked some information on-screen about how long he was a slave. It’s called 12 years a slave but during his ordeal you never know how far into the 12 years you are until the end. This is only minor thing though and it does what a good film should do and that is stay with you after leaving the cinema. for a while afterwards my emotions were all over the place. I would give it 4.5/5. Anyway I had a nice day and I know I other celebrations this week so I still have lots to look forward to. Still I finished the day feeling a bit emotional and reflective partly because of the film but not the whole reason I’m just not sure what the other reason or reasons are.

I mentioned last week about not watching the Winter Olympics because of the attitude of Russia towards the gay community. I’m standing by this still. It is particularly ironic that the Winter Olympics in Russia are taking place during LGBT History Month and hopefully I will get behind some events to mark this. It has been a few years since I came out and I thought most people who know me know about my sexuality but it appears not and had someone say I should visit Russia because they have beautiful women. It was meant in a nice way and I wasn’t offended but then felt awkward as I thought this person knew. The situation wasn’t right to discuss this but I will need to clarify with them at some point I think. I suppose I was just surprised because most people who knew me weren’t surprised at all when I came out and said it was about time. I’m obviously more straight acting than I thought.

Anyway that is it for this week. I hope you all have a nice week and I will update you on things that have been happening next weekend. So until then bye for now.

Top Programme of the Week – The Musketeers

Top Song of the Week – Rufus Wainwright – What Would I Ever Do With A Rose?

Book I Am Currently Reading – A Small Death In Lisbon by Robert Wilson