Hi everyone and welcome to this weeks blog post. This week I will be discussing Starbucks, Bonfire night, blogging, dating, Monty the Penguin and Dr Who. So quite a mix of topics this week so let’s get started.

This week saw me have my last Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks for this year but as one coffee cup empties another gets filled up with coffee. This time though it is in Christmas red cup and is full of Gingerbread Latte. It is just like the changing of the seasons. Although I am sad autumn is over with I am pleased that Christmas is now arriving. I have talked about how great the staff are in Starbucks in Durham and this week saw another example of that. They had told me that there was to be a giveaway of some tumblers this week (Thursday they thought) and the first 14 people to come in and say a certain phrase would get one of them. They told me to check my e-mails for the phrase. I thought it was nice that they told me about it so I kept an eye out for the e-mail. Nothing had arrived and I continued to visit each day. On Friday when I visited there was a queue but Tom the barista made mine when he saw me in the queue so I didn’t have to wait long. This is lovely service although I do feel bad about the others in front of me who have theirs delayed. While I was paying for my coffee Tom then said to me to say the phrase “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”. I asked why and he said “have you not had the e-mail” I replied no and I was asked to say the phrase so I did. I had won the last tumbler and they had kept it for me. They didn’t have to do that but they said it was fair because I was in every day. It was just a little thing but it put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. So thanks again Starbucks Durham.

It was Bonfire night this week and I didn’t do anything for it. It was a bit of a shame as I love watching fireworks but the closest I got was seeing some people with sparklers and the odd firework  in the sky on my way home from work. The event seems to have fizzled out in my life over recent years which is a shame. Maybe next year I will go to a display. It is such a shame that there is no display in the town anymore. I understand why not because the Council can’t pay for a free event any more but it is a shame that there are no other displays. The following morning there was that lovely autumn post Bonfire Night smell in the air. I really do love this time of the year.

I have been doing this blog for about 4 and a half years now and it has become part of my weekly routine and life. This week someone asked if they could interview me about my blog and my experience from writing it. I was a bit surprised to be asked but I was happy to answer the questions. It was nice to talk about blogging with them and when they write-up the interview for their blog I will let you all know and you can read my answers. The interview did make me think about writing and what I could do to improve my blog. When I started this I did it for me and didn’t expect people to read it. I now have regular readers and average 400 views a month. I want to keep doing what I am doing but maybe there is more that I could do to enhance my experience of writing and enhance the reading experience. Let me know any comments you have.

This years Christmas advert for John Lewis was released this week. The John Lewis advert is fast becoming another Christmas tradition. I loved last years so this year it had a lot to live up to. The advert features Monty the Penguin and is about love. I won’t say much more as I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t seen it yet. It is a lovely advert and the music is what really tugs the heartstrings. It is Tom Odell singing ‘Real Love’. I didn’t realise it was a Beatles song until today but despite this (yes I am not a fan of the Beatles) it is a great song for a great advert.

With the end of the year rapidly approaching it is making me think that I have neglected my New Years Resolutions for the year.  I have felt I have let myself down a bit with this. I know we all make resolutions and don’t stick to them but this year I felt it was my best chance to make progress with my life. I put three of my resolutions as category red for the year and the only one I have made some progress on is to get out and have more fun. I could still do more with this but at least I have done work on this one. Getting my own place is unlikely to happen this year. I am in a better position to do so but still it is unlikely this year. The other category red resolution was dating. I said I would try online dating I have done but nothing has come of it and this is the one that hurts the most. I just don’t know what else to do in this area. Some people can go from one relationship to another and I just struggle to get going. I had more dated with guys before I came out than I have since coming out. I have made efforts with online dating and nothing has happened. Others said stop trying so hard it will just happen and I have done that and still nothing. I am going out more than I used to and meeting new people but still nothing. Sorry for going on about it but I struggle to talk to people in person about this. I joke and say who would put up with me or I should go on that TV show ‘The Undatables’ but inside it hurts a little. I don’t know what I can do with this resolution anymore. There a loads of guys I like some are straight so ain’t going happen some are gay but don’t appear interested and some others I am not sure what they think. Ask them you say? Crazy idea! Although there is sense in that and I know the worse they can say is no but rejection can hurt on different levels.

Ok enough of this let’s talk about Dr Who. The latest series has now ended and I thought it was only fair to discuss my view on the series. If you haven’t watched this series yet then there may be some spoilers. A year ago when the new Doctor was announced I was not happy. In fact I stormed out of the room and vowed I wasn’t going to watch Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. I would give him the Christmas episode that was it. Fast forward to the start of this series and I decided to give him one full episode. After episode one I was impressed with him and Clara has improved hugely throughout the series. I still have doubts over the direction Moffat is taking Doctor Who and I hope he moves on soon and lets Mark Gatiss take the reins. Peter Capaldi has brought to the series a darker side to the Doctor but has also made the connection with the new and classic series work. Yes there were episodes of Doctor Who before Christopher Eccleston and this series has had lots of links to the Classic series. Maybe this is due to the 50th anniversary being still fresh in Moffat and other writers minds at the start of year. Whatever the reason please keep this going. Matt Smith wasn’t bad as the Doctor but now I realise he was just OK. He had a tough job following one of the most popular Doctors but I now think it s wasn’t just this. He was missing something but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Peter Capaldi I am sorry I was wrong to say you weren’t the Doctor. You have proved me wrong and just like Clara I can’t give you up that easily. Also thanks for explaining why I don’t like hugs “Never trust a hug, it’s just a way to hide your face”.

Well on that good advice I think it is time to say bye for this week. Thank you again for reading and I will be back next with another blog post (maybe two).


Top Programme of the Week – Downton Abbey

Top Song of the Week – Tom Odell – Real Love

Book I Am Currently Reading – A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway