As we celebrate this special time and bow down in chocolate worship to our benevolent overlord, Emperor Bunny, I’ve had a chance to pause and reflect upon the new life on which I’ve embarked. Our beloved bundle of joy has rocketed past the three-month mark and continues to change and grow at an astonishing rate. In fact, he’s already grown out of a good many outfits, including three of my absolute favourites, which I very reluctantly packed away until they are needed again for a future sibling.
Indeed, the wunderkind has been hitting all sorts of milestones, becoming more aware of his surroundings, grabbing a hold of things, discovering his body and trying to talk. Not to mention laughing and smiling at blank spots on the wall and ceiling, having us thoroughly convinced that our apartment is haunted. And, perhaps most importantly, he’s started sleeping through the night, in his very own room no less. Naturally, the first time he did it we freaked out thinking that something was dreadfully wrong, but after a few days we were simply grateful for the unbroken sleep.
This is a missive I’d planned to write before the start of the New Year, but the early arrival of my progeny intervened and threw my schedule into a bit of a spin. Now that I have a bit more time, even though it’s a month or so late, I’d like to follow in the grand tradition of people taking to social media to sum up the triumphs and failures of the past year in a gushing Oscar-style acceptance speech format.
On the world stage last year was rather…sucky, to say the least. The main culprits being the growing global social conservatism that led to some truly scary individuals rising to power and the Grim Reaper cutting a swathe through far too many talented idols…I’m guessing they needed better celestial entertainment.
It’s official – I’m a Daddy…and not just to young, impressionable twinks.
I’m coming up on two weeks of fatherhood and very happy to admit that I’m still bumbling about in a state of awe and shock. Not to mention the fear that creeps in whenever our pint-size man stops moving in his sleep and second guessing myself about absolutely everything, which I’m assured by more experienced parents will probably pass in thirty years or so.
It would be fair to say that Nathaniel Yves Peter Dhalluin-Goninan – the excessively long name is a French tradition – has me well and truly wrapped around his adorable petite fingers. Indeed, my whole world has quickly come to completely revolve around the needs and wants of this wonderful little bundle of joy. Thankfully, we have a handy app that tells us at a glance how long it’s been since we cleaned and fed him without having to calculate with our sleep deprived brains. Actually, on that point it hasn’t been too bad at all, with my beloved and I taking turns with both baby care and having naps throughout the day so that we aren’t complete zombies. This will, however, be tested when Antoine goes back to work in a few weeks and full daytime care falls to me.
Tis the season for miracles and I’m happy to report that’s exactly what’s happened here in gay Paris, as my sparkling clean apartment can attest. That’s right, I’ve gone full on Papa Peacock and started nesting, although it was bound to happen given the nearness of our new arrival. Admittedly, I’ve always been houseproud to a certain extent but I was by no means OCD about it all…until now. This past week my cleaning routine has switched into hyper drive, going far beyond the usual tidy up – polishing light fixtures, scrubbing cornices and doing inventory of all the cabinets. Even the cats, with their keenly developed habit of cleanliness, have been looking at me like I’ve lost the plot.
First, I must apologize for the extended absence of my musings – to those of you who noticed at any rate. It has been a hectic past couple of months with a great deal of my time being consumed by my ever-growing duties with The Big Funk Company – not that I’m complaining…well, maybe just a little.
I’ve written before about this marvellous group of people and their successful efforts to put on bilingual theatre events in gay Paris – namely staged play readings and delicious brunch/theatre combos. Over the past year, they have allowed me to dive back into the wonderful world of theatrics and given me room to explore all the different facets of production.
In this vein, there have been several exciting new developments of late. Perhaps the most important one of these being the fact that tomorrow evening shall see the WORLD PREMIER of the first play I’ve ever written – The Evil Queen and the Precocious Princess. Trust me, I’m just as shocked and surprised as the rest of you.
The play is based on a short story I wrote a few years back and is a rollicking romp through a rather dysfunctional fairytale kingdom. Granted, it is only being put on as one of the aforementioned staged readings but we are discussing the logistics of transforming it into a full production. As excited as I am for the event, there is still the pressure to succeed, coupled with my lingering doubt that my friends are simply humouring me and that the general public won’t find it as funny as I tend to think it is.
Well, the cat is well and truly out of the bag, actually, come to think of it that always seemed like a bit of an odd phrase to me. Whenever our cats are merrily rummaging about in a bag it’s somewhat obvious and hardly a secret. Perhaps, a more apt saying would be, the cat is in the bag and very happy about it, indeed. But I digress.
For those who haven’t seen our proclamations on social media, our recent visit to the States was in fact the latest step in a very long quest to form a family of our very own. If all goes according to plan, Baby Jantoine – don’t worry that’s just a cute placeholder and not a narcissistic mashing of our names together that would be the bane of our progeny’s existence – shall be arriving early in the New Year.
To say we’re excited is a bit of an understatement, although there is a healthy mix of fear in there as well – I mean I can just about manage to keep my own life in check, how am I supposed to do that for a completely dependent infant, whilst in a sure to be thoroughly sleep deprived state? My empathy for my poor parents grows daily. Luckily, we have a very strong base of supportive people, which will allow me to muddle through somehow.
One of the main reasons for the trip was to attend our baby’s second ultrasound, where our little bundle of joy danced about more than my good self at a Kylie concert. To be fair, if I was being poked and prodded, in the middle of taking a nice cosy nap, I’d be doing my very best to move away from the source of the rude intrusion as well. It was also a chance for us to finally meet our wonderful surrogate, Tara, and her equally delightful family, face to face – all of our previous contact having been of the virtual kind. Thankfully, everything went swimmingly, with our greatly enjoying their gracious hospitality. This didn’t come as a huge surprise, however, as we have all grown rather close over the lengthy process – well into our second year. In truth, we have already come to think of them as family and can’t imagine better people to be coupled with on this fascinating journey.
Well, I’m currently zipping through the air at a breakneck place, headed to our final destination of the summer – Chicago – where I shall post this missive once re-establishing contact with my beloved internet. Unfortunately, we were subject to yet another travel delay – I do believe we’ve somehow mortally offended the travel gods this year – although, thankfully only three hours this time.
Anyways, it gave me the opportunity to get thoroughly tipsy on champagne in the Air France lounge and put me in the mood to write about our recent time slumming it in the French Alps. Now, I’ve oft spoken/written/bragged about my love of this place – it is truly one of my favourite places in the world. The landscape is beautiful and I can usually bronze myself to a healthy mountain glow in the summer, not to mention that the fresh mountain air tends to have a wonderful effect upon my creative juices. Indeed, the only thing missing is a beach…slightly hard to manage in the mountains.
The week got off to a slightly rocky start, however, as I’d anticipated a lovely spot of rest and relaxation after our partying in Barcelona, only to discover on arrival that we were to be in charge of our rambunctious – and possibly demonically possessed – nephews, for the first two days. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that following a sleep-deprived night I wasn’t particularly in the best of states to entertain children. Mercifully, my husband and his mother took up the brunt of the work and I only had to deal with a few energetic kicks to the body before they left me in relative peace.
Unfortunately, dear readers, I have some distressing news. That’s right, the party is officially over. After traipsing about the Continent for the past several weeks – gleefully defiling cities and their inhabitants – I’m prepared to admit defeat and declare this birthday well and truly celebrated.
Some may say – my husband among them – that deciding to have four separate celebrations in four countries was a tad excessive and more than a little greedy, but then again moderation has never been my strong suit. And, quite frankly, anything that helps me momentarily forget about what the ravages of time have already done to my good self, let alone what’s to come, is well worth the effort.
Now, I must admit that I have a grand affection for Barcelona and it has long been one of my favourite cities. Indeed, I still dream of spending an entire summer there one year, although with our current plans that shall have to remain a very long-term goal. Opportunely, I organised the trip to coincide with the Circuit festival – otherwise known as gayapolooza – to ensure that we could partake in the maximum amount of gaiety, which we dutifully did.
Well, seeing as I’m stranded in the airport awaiting my flight to Barcelona – which is nearly 6 hours behind schedule and ruined our plans of cocktails and a romantic beachside stroll, as we won’t arrive until 4 in the f@&king morning, not that I’m bitter – I thought it high time that I finally sent off a missive about our time in Berlin.
It appears my earlier assertion on facebook, as to what happens in Berlin will probably end up on a porn site, was rather prophetic. No, not me, of course, the weekend wasn’t that crazy – that honour belongs to the time I managed a grand total of 3 hours sleep for an entire weekend and while had marvellous fun at the time, my body certainly let me know in no uncertain terms, for a bout a week afterwards, that I’d crossed a line. Rather, it turned out that there was an adult movie being filmed in the club that one of the official after parties was being held in. Ah, you gotta love the anything goes attitude of the city.
The weekend started off with a delayed flight – I’m sensing a theme – although it was only by an hour. Actually come to think of it, our Eurostar to London was also delayed, so that’s every birthday event with transport trouble…why must the gods toy with me so???
Anyway, despite our slightly tardy arrival, we still had a splendid time on the Friday night, at the Revolver party, which was packed with all sorts of handsome, mischievous lads. It was held in one of my favourite venues, the KitKat Club – a most wonderful rabbit warren of a place, with many a dimly lit corner available for those wanting to become better acquainted with one another. Not to mention a handy pool to wash away your sins when you’re done.
Well, I did it! I crossed the threshold of 40 and somehow managed not to have a complete nervous breakdown. In fact, I ended up having a most wonderful day, doing the things I love –mainly pampering myself and lapping up any hint of attention being thrown in my direction.
The day started well enough, with a champagne breakfast, complete with French Toast and a side of white chocolate Oreos, while I perused social media and bathed in the waves of virtual love from all around the world. Even though my husband was asleep – the poor man so needs his rest after a long working week – I can proudly say that I wasn’t drinking alone; my cats were in attendance…that counts right? Speaking of shameless drinking, I made a somewhat heavy-duty Planter Punch for the party that was nearly strong enough to strip the colour right off of my sparkly-blue nails. Unsurprisingly, it did prove quite popular, with many a guest partaking of the dangerously alcoholic, golden liquid.