Mid Year Report

Looking back over the past six months makes me realise once again that I don’t need to go to foreign parts to encounter adventures…or misadventures. Beginning with the latter…first, the central heating boiler packed up on the coldest day of the year…it was impossible to get through to the boiler maintenance helpline: there were so many emergency calls they had suspended their call queuing system…so I had to pay for a local engineer to get the heating back on.

In the second calamity, my brave Volvo stopped a runaway People Carrier hurtling down Pump Street to cause untold damage and possible loss of life. The driver of the 7-seater Ford Galaxy….ran down the hill bewailing that she’d put on the hand brake. She expressed great concern that I might be injured…thankfully, I was able to reassure her that it was that car that had been hit…and that although I was shaken by the impact, I appeared completely unharmed. The top of the range Audi Sports car with which I was provided until repairs on my own were complete, impressed my neighbours…but scared the life out of me. I have never driven such a powerful vehicle…and breathed a huge sigh of relief when I was able to return it undamaged.

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The third disaster was losing my wallet…but someone must have found it, because credit and debit cards it contained had been used fraudulently. So the loss became a theft…with all the hassle that entails… cancelling cards, library tickets, bus & train passes, etc. …then having to obtain replacements and make a crime report to the Police. Maybe it will teach me to take more care of my belongings.

Listing all of the good things that have happened so far this year would be lengthy and boring…so I will just pick out the ones that might count as ‘adventures’ or very close. Creating ceramics with Jo Ayres and Alice Thatcher as part of the OLGBT Wellbeing Project…brings a smile to my face just to think of it. We all had a wonderful time and surprised ourselves with the amazing pieces of pottery we able to make in such a short space of time with so few workshops.

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Taking part in the launch of Roland Chester’s Book ‘Ripples From the Edge of Life’ involved a mini adventure to London that included my first visit to the Wallace Collection in Manchester Square – a veritable treasure house of artistic gems. Impossible to take in the vast collection, I wandered through the magnificent rooms crammed with priceless artworks in a trance. Magical!

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After a swift look at a fascinating temporary exhibition on the ground floor of  The British Museum about an expat group of British artists in the Caribbean, I met up with some old chums and made some new friends at King’s Cross before walking round the corner to the London Canal Museum for the book launch. It was a pleasure and a privilege to be invited to contribute to Roland’s remarkable book and to read an extract from my own contribution at the launch. Lots of lovely people…shame I had to leave early to catch a train back home to Stoke.

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About Maurice Greenham

Musician, writer, student, art lover, global traveller. Gay man living with HIV for over 34 years...and enjoying life in my 70s. Speak Spanish, French and German as well as English. Although German was the language I studied most recently, it is the one with which I have most difficulty. Competent pianist and becoming more competent as an organist. Normally sing tenor in a choir, but can also manage bass parts. Had a successful career in professional theatre which I loved... until it ended with enforced retirement because of an AIDS diagnosis in 1994 when I was given 6 months to live. Before that worked in education as a teacher/lecturer in music and drama.
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