My Uncle Frankie

March 1, 2008

I woke up this morning, thinking about Frankie, my uncle. He was my mum’s little brother, and like a big brother to me when I was growing up. I was remembering a lot about him, especially the times when be baby-sat me and my brother when mum and dad went out for the evening. He did this on a regular basis, as my mum and dad liked to go out regularly. I think they paid him quite well, as it subsidized his YTS wage of about £28 a week. He was a trainee painter and decorator.

My brother and I loved it when he was looking after us, as always meant we were going to have a good laugh, and loads of sweets, crisps and ginger. We would also rent a video to watch. VHS players were very hi-tech them days. I was laughing about the time Frankie decided to hand-wash his trousers as he was going out on a date the following evening. After he finished washing them, he asked me to hold them near the fire to get them to dry quicker. To my complete astonishment, I held them too close and the heat from the fire made his trousers deteriorate and the heat burned away most of the fabric, but with no flames, just lots of steam and smoke! I was in big trouble, as they were the his good trousers. I didn’t know what to do or say, so I left them on the floor for him to find them himself. I ran upstairs and waited in my bedroom.. and wondered how he was going to take the incident. It wasn’t pleasant. I was called lots of names, and they were being shouted very loudly, in a language that can’t be written here. I was shitting myself. Once we all calmed down, the laughter came, with Frankie sitting in his underpants, wondering what he was going to wear to get home and on his date. My mum came to the rescue with some jogging pants to get home in, that didn’t look too good with his smart shoes.

I also remember the time he and his mate, Aki, took my brother, Brian, and myself swimming. Brian nor I could swim, so they were going to teach us. We never did get to the teaching bit, as Frankie and Aki wanted to race, with Me on Frankie’s back and Brian on Aki. Frankie had a disadvantage as I was the chubby one, and Brian is light and skinny. Aki won. They then told us to use them like a surfboard. So I stood up on Frankie’s back as he swam, which was great fun, until we got thrown out by the lifeguards for being a danger to others. Spoilsports!

He used to embarrass me in front of my mum, aunts and my granny. Frankie had three big sisters. He was their baby brother. He would ask me out the blue, in front of the whole family, if I was still winching Debbie MacGregor from up the road. My face would go bright red, and tell him to shut up. He would make the situation worse be repeating it and making fun, with everyone else laughing at my face and reaction. Debbie was my childhood girlfriend, on and off, over the years. We were the good looking, chubby couple.

Frankie would let me use his pride and joy. His Amstrad music tower system. He saved for weeks on his low wage, and bought it for himself. I think is was £199, which was a lot of money then. He would let me tape the charts on a sunday, that i used for my personal stereo when doing my paper round. We still have the tower system, in my old bedroom at mum and dad’s. Frankie introduced me to U2. We would listen to the album over and over.

I remember helping him decorate his bedroom. Is was very trendy at that time to use artex on the walls, experimenting with different designs. I thought it looked great. He used yellow paint to colour the details, which was swirls and thick lines running from the ceiling to the floor. Great days, with loud music playing, usually one of my chart tapes from the previous week. And with lots of Barr’s irn-bru and limeade from a glass bottle, and sometimes with added ice-cream to make an ice-drink. This room eventually became my room as I got older, with most of my studying being done there for my university exams. The walls were still the same as when he decorated it with his experimental artex.

Very happy memories. He was much loved by everyone in the family, and has been sadly missed. In a sometimes cruel world, he was tragically taken away from us when he was only 18 years old. Rest in peace Uncle Frankie. Mr. Francis Campbell, born 4 June 1966, died 4 March 1985.

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I was chatting to a close mate the other day about how i have been watching my Voyager DVDs as I have been without television since the start of December. I am a great fan of Voyager, so I get quite enthusiastic when I talk about it. I could see his face changing, as if to say, “David, don’t start boring me with sci-fi stuff.” It may have something to do with the amount of sci-fi he has been subjected to over the years, as his partner is a much bigger fan than anyone I know.But the conversation led onto why gay men enjoy sci-fi dramas so much. It is true, as the majority of gay men I know like one thing or another under the sci-fi genre. I suppose some have an element of camp, other’s have the leading female character, which gay men love- a domineering, powerful, intelligent female role model. Some also have the good looking male characters. (Personally I don’t think Chakoty is as sexy as people think.) Or maybe it is because we generally have the freedom to watch what we want. We generally do not have children to look after, and have partners with similar interests, or with interests of their own. And if you’re single, there is nobody to object to what you watch.Can anyone else think of a reason why we are all sci-fi freaks?

Social Activism

January 27, 2008

After I wrote my blogs this weekend, I read this at Annie’s website, under the Blog hyperlink. Check it out at annielennox.com… 

IAmAnActivist.Org

January 26, 2008

In addition to what I was saying earlier about Annie Lennox’s efforts, I should have mentioned something about the above website. This website was set up in memory of Anita Roddick, who sadly passed away last year. Her family set this webiste up in her memory. Annie & Anita were very close friends, and shared similar ideals about the world and society. I was at the concert at the Royal Albert Hall last year, celebrating the Peace One Day campaign. Annie lifted the whole place up with her hits, and dedicated a fabulous version of Sweet Dreams to Anita, showing a large portrait of her in the backgound. Therefore, if you sometimes feel that you want to make a difference to what is going on around us and elsewhere in the world, a good place to start is at IamAnActivist.Org…. Do it!

Annie’s Blogs

January 26, 2008

I was reading Annie Lennox’s recent blog entry.  She is requesting feedback on her idea of publishing her blogs from the previous year. I thought it was a good idea at first, as I have really enjoyed keeping up with her life through them. One thing I was very impressed by her blogs was how personal she has become, not afraid ever to say how she feels, or even show her outrage sometimes if something unpleasant has been done or said. Being a big fan, this is obviously of interest to me. But these days, annie is not just about music, but someone who is also an activist, humanitarian, campaigner, public speaker… to name a few of the roles she has taken on. I know one message she conveys strongly throughout a lot of her blogs, and when she is interviewed sometimes, is that we, as a society, are becoming more and more silent and unreactive at issues and policies and politics that run and control our everyday lives. We are living in a democracy that is becoming more and more undemocratic. What do you think? 

My first blog…

January 17, 2008

Well.. I found this site, wordpress.com, through a friend I met today on a social network site, called Eurowoof.com. It is a site I use regularly, especially to keep in touch with my friends, old and new, and to do a bit of online flirting. I also receive many comments, or flirts, from people I don’t know. But because it is Eurowoof, you know you are ok when it comes to feeling confident about sending or receiving messages, compliments or flirts, because we are all there for similar reasons.We are gay men who like men that are big, hairy, chubby, stocky, fat, hirsute, chunky etc. etc. We are bears, cubs and their admirers who are looking for online chat, make new friends or even meet up to have sex. I suppose it is more intimate than other social network sites, as you see a lot of people on it that you have met before, had one night stand with before, gone out with before or just chatted with online before. I have been on the website for many years, and found it comforting as I can keep in touch with people I know. I have never really used it as a means to meet up with someone, but as I move into a new chapter in my life, I’m thinking why not? I have nothing to lose. It doesn’t have to be for sex. It can also be to make new mates, or arrange a proper date! So here’s to Eurowoof.. and its comforting ways.