2015 Now that’s done, what happened and where to now?

So at the beginning of last year I made some resolutions… well not so much resolutions but goals (New Year’s resolutions tend to last only a few hours-days so I don’t do that…)

The …umm.. goals:

  • To cut down on Facebook usage.
    • Wish a ‘Happy Birthday’ personally not using Facebook.
    • Not to sit reading ‘Newfeeds’.
    • Not to post when I’m going to the toilet, or blowing my nose.
  • To cut down on helping others before looking after myself.
    • In past years I have run myself to the point of getting sick taking photos, helping people out, etc.
    • This year only doing stuff for people that look after me and are concerned with my health.
    • To allow people to join me in my life (share my life) rather than follow everyone else in theirs.
  • To treat everyone with the respect and attitude that they treat me (for better or for worse.)
  • To cut down the amount of time that I work (for my employer) to something closer to resembling the actual times/hours I am supposed to work (using the hours to look after my family and friends.)

So how did it all go?  Well a mix of both success and failure, the easier ones were a complete success, the more difficult and controversial not so much. ie Facebook a no brainer, some took offence, some didn’t realise, some followed suit.  Some people treated me with complete disrespect and bad (awful) attitude, but I couldn’t bring myself to return the feelings no matter how much I wanted to.

2015 In Review…

Michelle Proposes to Gabie
The proposal…

The beginning of the year began with a proposal just a few seconds into the new year…  I tried to make it the stroke of midnight but this in reality was never going to happen, so it happened with the first minute of the new year.  This I think is how everyone should start a new year…  Not a proposal of marriage, but to start it with a happy note: Start in the way which you intend on going on.

I find in my life that no matter how hard you will try to keep everything on a positive note, there will always be those who try and spoil things, there will always be a negative, 2015 was no different.  Within a few weeks we (Gabie and I) lost a bunch of friends.  Some closer than others.  Some didn’t like the fact we were getting married.  Some didn’t like to see us happy. Some people just have to ensure everyone else is as miserable as they are in their lives.  Some people are just unfathomable and are just better left to wallow in their own self pity.  The result was after a great deal of stress and angst Gabie changed jobs to avoid someone who was poisonous in our lives, not to forget she hated the job.

After that little upset was dealt with, Gabie set her heart, with my full support, on pursuing an ambition of hers… To teach again.  For this she needed a TELT (Test for English Language Teachers) course to begin the process and in February she took the course, she thoroughly enjoyed it, at least until the exam and the early start preceded by an anxious and therefore sleepless night.  We found later, as I expected, she had passed it.  We booked the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course so that she may continue with the dream.

Michael, his lovely wife Anna, and the two beautiful children with us in their garden at Easter.
The family… Michael’s.

Easter was the next point in the year when things happened and fortunately it was also good.  We headed to the UK to visit my family, first my mother in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, then later my brother and his family in Mirfield, Leeds.  My sister came for Easter Sunday dinner with Mum so Gabie got to meet her then.

The Easter trip was a really good one as we found a great hotel, the Holiday Inn, Leeds-Brighouse… definitely on the list of places to stay!  (In fact we went back there at Christmas 2015 – more on that later.)

Next event was Gabie’s course, the May 2015 TEFL course and the resulting certificate (for those successful.)  A potentially stressful time, but  with the exception of Wedding plans I had managed to remove as many as possible sources of stress for Gabie, and this paid off as she also aced the course and got her certificate.

Attacked by a bouncer..

You’ll note at this point I haven’t mentioned a lot about me or what I have done, well that’s because there is not a lot to tell.  After a number of court events the case against the bouncers that had attacked me  was dropped because I couldn’t identify him as the attacker (when you’re attacked from behind and kicked in the back of the head it’s a tad difficult to identify the attacker) and it was obvious that he had friends as none of the witnesses – even the police witness – stepped up to identify him and the CCTV footage was mysteriously absent… apparently for the hour when the attack happened… apparently the system malfunctioned… as is often observed when its the staff being prosecuted.

On the work side of things I was not following my goal and was doing many many hours fighting to get things working correctly at the OS level, leaving me to blog a warning about FreeBSD particularly for production use…

So towards the end of May we had good news and bad news in the papers, first was Ireland who became the first country to approve same sex marriage by popular vote.  The local papers reported on the problems in Swieqi started happening again, this time not only vandalism but also thieves… and again it was my CCTV video that resulted in the capture…  Much to the annoyance of some people, but the residents were very happy which is all that matters.

July would mark one of my few photographic events of the year where I covered XMA 2015, it also marked the ‘full steam ahead’ on the wedding plans.  It also made for a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland to visit the good people from ‘Your GP‘ who wrote medical reports that resulted (eventually) in me obtaining my GRC (Gender Recognition Certificate) which also gave me my new Birth Certificate…. all of which was a pre-requisit to getting approved for marriage in Malta.

August went with a blur, and was marred by an insult or two.  Won’t go into the details of who here, but suffice it to say, if you’re invited to someone’s Wedding it is polite to either attend or at least say that you can’t.  Similarly if you’re invited to a stag or hen night and you don’t want to deliver one of the biggest insults in Malta, you tell people you can’t make it, you don’t just not show up.  Lastly for the wedding you don’t tell people you never received the invite “a week before and it was too late” if you’re going to show it to other people who might actually tell the happy couple two-three weeks before!!!  Weddings in Malta are a personal thing and the bride side of the event is very very personal.

So September and the wedding itself, well what more is there to say…?

The vows captured by The Malta Independent.
The vows captured by the photographer from The Malta Independent on Sunday.

Well quite a lot, but not for this post.  Things didn’t go according to our desire, but according to the wedding planners design, despite our being quite specific.  The important thing though was we got married, and most of those people important to us were there to witness it.

Our honeymoon took us to Iceland, mainly chosen as a location as its spectacular and very difficult/expensive to get to if you live in Australia.

Panoramic View of Iceland on the way back to the Airport
Panoramic View of Iceland on the way back to the Airport

Iceland was rather different and brought some disappointments, it was very expensive for a lot less… especially considering it is ‘part of Europe’ .. the year before I spent less money on our holiday for more days in the Seychelles than our fleeting visit to Iceland where we seemed to spend all the time driving from place to place.  What topped off the whole experience was getting back to Malta and having Europcar Iceland try and accuse us of putting a massive dent in the roof of the car and try to charge us an addition €3500 to have it repaired….!  Worst part of the whole ordeal is that we had already read about various rental companies trying this on in Iceland, so we went with Europcar because we figured “Big well known name, will be reputable” … how wrong we were.  Result was we informed the bank they had no permission to make such a withdrawal and told them to take us to court.  They no doubt figured with me having photos of the vehicle before and after they would end up with a fraud charge in court and I haven’t heard from them since.  My advice in all such cases, always get evidence, and always stand your ground.  In most countries if you are innocent you can claim all costs associated with a lawsuit (legal fees, flights, hotels etc)…

So skipping to Christmas 2015, for the first time in many years, I did not put up the Christmas decorations, we knew we were going away and the house was a bit of a mess with everything that has been going on renovations wise so figured ‘why bother’.  That said, lights went up on the outside of the house, though in a diminished set.

So at the end of 2015, despite haven attended court several times against both defendants, “Sean Borg” and “Xelinu” nothing has progressed, every time the case has been adjourned, quite literally. So I am no further forward in reclaiming either my truck or bike, though I have a new lawyer on the team.  For those who have forgotten what this is about… A previous blog entry…

The ARMS saga is still going on, they finally just 3-4 weeks before our wedding decided they want to talk to me about the rates.  They had to wait until I got back from honeymoon as I was way too busy to deal, and they agreed I should be on commercial rate but insisted only from the point of the March 2012 telephone call… some 18 months (and €15,000 later.)  They have told me that if I supply paperwork on older forms than I have currently found then they will reconsider… I have so far found 8 forms of various different revisions (though plenty from 2011 and 2013) .. and have 3 more boxes of paperwork to review.  The problem being there, is that there is half a tonne of concrete slabs in front of the boxes which was supposed to have been removed already.. didn’t stop them threatening to cut the power over Christmas, or adding nearly €300 in ‘other charges’ which in the fine print was for ‘legal services’… next thing for me is to charge them for the legal services relating to the fact they *still* are billing me on the incorrect rate and charging me interest on the invalid bill, and without a credit contract or credit control…. and they have the audacity to threaten me when they are illegally charging fees against an account they have failed to bill.  (Note: a judge confirmed my case as stated in December 2013, they are trying to negotiate a change to that judgement.)

Anyhow so there you go 2015 in a nutshell, the only thing I haven’t covered is I’ve changed from doing 70(ish) hours per week for my employer to more like 45 hours per week this has had a *massive* difference… nothing new has been developed by me, my paperwork has been done when other things have gone the wayside, and visa versa.  Finally with all the failures of the network most of the time I have had has been wasted trying to fix other peoples’ problems just so I can actually do my job.  Good job the service I am responsible for is in my control and not the control of others or the entire service would be long dead and gone by now.

Here’s hoping 2016 will bring more success.

Thoughts on the “Spring Hunting” vote..

Lets preface this with the line: I hunt and shoot and would vote “NO” if I could vote…

I will still hunt and shoot even if the “NO” vote wins. Hunting and Shooting as I do takes a lot of skill and is very demanding. My weapon of choice is different from the average hunter though (which is what makes it a lot harder)… Here’s the results of my shooting:

Maltese hunters target passage Spoonbills

Mark Sultana also shot a few and the Times of Malta posted the results of his hunting… (which if you click the photo you’ll see more and you will see the skill level is so high that when in flight getting the results is significantly more difficult.)

Spoonbills shot, BirdLife to protest to EU after Spring hunting decision

Oddly enough it seems there are many like me that enjoy hunting and shooting, and we can quite legitimately and legally hunt and shoot protected birds as well as non protected birds…

Pity the “YES” vote chooses to show people crossing fields with not a bird in sight, after all isn’t that what they are in favour of?

Pity the “NO” vote feels the need to post all the blood and gore of birds that have been blasted out of the sky being carried by tree huggers and the likes.

Pity the church (which seems to play politics here in Malta on items like Same-Sex marriage whenever it feels like it, yet) don’t seem to care that a “YES” vote means legitimising the killing of God’s Creations FOR FUN….

When it comes to voting on 11 April, don’t vote how people tell you to vote, don’t allow people to tell you how to vote, vote with your conscience… i.e. what you really feel is right, if that means vote “YES” then do it without worry, if that means “NO” then vote “NO”, the point of a referendum is to allow *YOU* to choose for yourself!

(And for those people whom their family and/or friends are being pressured into voting “YES” or “NO” just remember when it comes to voting, it is your choice, tell them what they want to hear, then when you get into the booth, tick the box *YOU* want to vote for. Remember, it’s YOUR vote not THEIRS!)

Moving time… (well soonish)

So many have just found out I plan on leaving Malta for good next year (and more will know when they read this.)  Many have asked why, and asked me to reconsider, rather than having these conversations with everyone let me tell you all why at the same time.  (Feel free to ask questions in comments on here or on Facebook, I will answer them.)

About me (to put some things in context for the rest of the post)

I am a dual national of both Australia and Europe, I am 44 years old, transgender (male to female), single, and have been living in Malta for almost 4 years now.  My job is programming, managing and maintaining the Spam and Open Relay Blocking System (SORBS) for Proofpoint Inc.  It is a specialist position that no Maltese (or anywhere else in the world) person can have or probably do.  The job was created here for me by an American company who wanted to make me happy and has not taken anything from Maltese persons, in fact it gives Malta more than €50,000 in taxes every year that it would not have had if I had not chosen to stay in Malta.

So why am I leaving?

Well basically there are many reasons, some trivial, some not, but here they are in no particular order (and perhaps someone/everyone should post this to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat as many of these relate to Malta… oh and the Police Commissioner Mr Peter Paul Zammit as some of these concern him…)

 

My truck and bike: I have been living in Malta for nearly 4 years now (I landed here October 20, 2009) and around 6 month later my personal effects turned up in two containers, one which was the household stuff, the other which was my Truck, my Bike and a few other personal effects in the truck.  I spent weeks going to and from Transport Malta and Customs Malta trying to get the last of the paperwork signed so these could be released to me.  Customs at this point were helpful and Transport Malta (then the ADT) were not, they were blocking the process by not signing off on one piece of the paperwork.  Their excuse I needed to get the truck inspected and valued and pay the tax on it (some €8000+ on the truck and another €2500 on the bike) before they would sign, I even got a personal import exemption for the €8000 in tax, and presented this letter to the Manager at the ADT Hall involved, and he said it was only a temporary exemption and therefore would not sign.  The permanent exemption/exemption process was not possible to complete until after the police inspection.  Customs on the other hand would not unseal the container or allow the inspection until after the release form was signed…  Stalemate.  over 40 hours of waiting in lines at the ADT hall to get told the same thing over and over again – even with signed and stamped letters from Customs saying they need the signature for the release before the truck and bike could be inspected.

The Truck just before going to a show..
The Truck just before going to a UK show in 1999..

I got a lawyer involved and started proceedings with the European Court, only to be told that the case had to be resolved (for better or worse) in Malta first… another dead end…

I employed a local agent who was familiar with these things… 12 month later he was no further forward.

I was on the point of giving up when a friend told me he was the customer services manager for Transport Malta and I told him of my woes, he offered to take a look and help, 6 month later I finally got all the paperwork back from the agent and presented it to my friend, who went about looking into it, he said we should (will need to) wait until after the general election as most of the computer systems were frozen pending the un-certified/approved budget from the old government.  We waited, he then got to work on it in his spare time, he could find no reason why the paper was not signed and suggested we get all the paperwork together and he would ensure it would be signed.  All I would need is to get the letter from the tax department for the exemption renewed, so I started getting that together, but before I completed it I was driving back from Naxxar, when low and behold my truck drove past me.  I pursued it until the driver finally pulled over to ask me what was the problem, I told him the truck was supposed to be in a bind yard in Hal-Far, he told me it was bought at a customs auction some 18 month prior by one ‘Xelinu’ for just €6500 the pair (they had the bike as well)…!

I went into action and called everyone I knew, lawyer, friend at Transport Malta, friends in the Malta Police and a couple of friends of the new ‘owner’ to confirm what had happened.  I (on instruction) went to see each individually, and found out a number of things…

  1. The truck and bike were indeed sold at auction in June/July 2011 for around €6500.
  2. The truck had been registered as a 2.2 Diesel Toyota Hi-Lux from Europe (no tax paid, even though customs know it was a nitrous oxide powered 3500cc petrol v8 custom from Australia.)
  3. There is no paperwork regarding the notification of auction (or intent to confiscate) at customs (they have since asked my lawyer for the dates I was not in the country, rather than just providing the receipt, no doubt so they can cover the sale and make it ‘legal’ by producing fake letters (as in not sent at the time) and date stamps for the period I was away.)
  4. The vehicle inspection by the Pulizija failed to see the big V8 or hear the roar of the race engine with 3 inch custom build racing exhaust, instead marking it off as a noisy old (1987) 2.2 Diesel Toyota Hi-Lux.
  5. I have no chance of getting any of them back, my only option being to sue the government of Malta for their value (and to replace them, that will be around some €100,000.)
  6. Customs are stone-walling my Lawyer requiring her to provide the dates I was out of Malta around the time they say they sent the confiscation notification.

Everyone who has looked at it suspects there is corruption involved, whether it be a complete ‘inside job’ or whether it was just paying off people to sign the right forms and ignore what is right in front of their eyes I doubt no-one will know.

It should also be noted that the truck had been mine since 1999, and I had hand built the engine myself I bought it and paid the Tax (VAT) on it in the UK, I then moved to Australia and the truck went with me, where I paid, GST on it (GST = VAT for Australians).. I still hold all the paperwork in relation to the tax paid, and no person in Malta has the authority or knowledge how to retrieve copies of that information, so as far as Malta knows (and can prove) the truck is an Australian 3500cc Custom V8 Toyota Hi-Lux, which would require some €18,000 in tax (still €8000+ when you know it came from the UK.)

Finally on this topic, a few days after making my inquries and posting the pictures of my Truck and it’s new number plates, I received a visit from the local police telling me to remove the photos and posts.  I refused, but was told in no uncertain terms I may be taken to court over it as, and I quote, “You can’t post things like that on the Internet”… someone obviously is worried that a V8 Australian Truck being registered as a UK born 2.2 Diesel is going to cost them their job.

EDIT: Some have asked about the truck, here’s a couple of pictures of it here in Malta now with it’s new “Owner”..

The Rear view..
The “new” number plates..
Side view..
The side view with the new “Owner”..

Dating and Love life: It has become very apparent there is no chance of me finding happiness in Malta,  being a Pre-Op Transgender person (Male to Female) I am a girl in real life, those that have lived and/or know me extremely well, have said I am predominantly Female in both looks and actions, but with a few Male traits (eg my voice, my competitive nature, and my control over my life – I know where I’m going, and how to get there and by golly I’m going to do it!)  So to all intents and purposes I am a woman, even though I am ‘Pre-Op’ (ie I still have working ‘boy bits’).

Being female every day of my life and having female on my ID card and passport is my attained goal… so I am happy.  However, that means as I date girls and only girls I am a lesbian (by definition) and here lies the problem.  ‘Straight’ girls, whether they like me or not, see me as a woman and therefore will not risk the views of others by dating me.  ‘Lesbian’ girls on the other hand see me as ‘male’ because I still have my ‘boy bits’ and therefore they will not date me based on the sole premise of what happens in the bedroom.

Then there is men, I’m not interested (sorry) but I really am not… and it’s especially insulting and degrading when those horrible little fat Mediterranean men that cannot admit they are gay want me to help them ‘experiment with their sexuality’ .. Seriously?  You want me to jump in bed with you so you can date ‘a girl that is not’ so you can fulfil your sexual desires at my expense?!?!?!?

Since being in Malta I’ve dated three people, all of which are foreigners, and for less than 2 months in total (physical contact – 5-6 months if you include the 3 months with Jessica when she and I were dating over the phone as she’s in America) and all of which broke up because of the involvement of other people from Malta.  The one person in Malta who I think would/wants to date me, has told me outright she dare not because she would lose her career, and as such she has had to be very careful even being seen with me (and they will remain nameless, even to friends to respect her safety!)

 

ARMS (Automated Revenue Management Services): Well the latest bill is some €38,799, apparently their lawyer wants to meet me and mine to try and come to a resolution, but I’m sure they will not change anything apart from raise the stakes.  Personally I have had 2 additional meters added to my electrical system, the first of which is to check the accuracy of the ARMS’ meter and the second to tell me what is actually used by my business and office… and it’s around 80% of my bill… This means that if ARMS actually tries to charge me for the business and home separately (as I suspect might be their intent to try, and the reason they are refusing to change me to commercial rates) my bills will be reduced to 25% of their original.

I’m waiting for the lawyers to sort out a date and will update later.

 

MEPA (Malta Environment and Planning Authority): So I want to make some changes to my house, and despite houses getting torn down and ugly flats several times the height of my house being built in their place they have (to date) refused my plans on turning the top floor of my house into a rooftop garden and master bedroom (not increasing the height I might add.) However, apparently my plans are no in conformance with the local policy… seems I can’t have a roof top garden, but I could knock it all down and turn it into a 6 story monstrosity that blocks the views of all my neighbours.

 

Continual Discrimination and Racism: Now, I have some wonderful Maltese friends and I know none of them are guilty of the following, but I also know many of them also suffer because of the people I am going to refer to, and some of them are Maltese themselves.  These are the people that refer to me as a ‘weirdo’, as someone ‘un-holy’, as a ‘non human’ and/or ‘a gay man’.  These are the people that are of the opinion that they are Maltese and anyone with Tattoos, Piercings (other than ears only), that are gay (or lesbian), that listen to rock and heavy metal music, or just are not Maltese are all horrible foreigners that destroy society and should go home.  These are the people not only that some will call ‘peasants’ but also those in government positions who keep holding on to policies like paying 30% more for electricity and water (even though some of us foster 3-6 Maltese children, or like me pay more in a month in income tax than most Maltese do in a year)… On the subject of my job it is not taken from a Maltese person, it was brought here, it is not from a Maltese company, it is from a US based company that created a company in Malta specifically to pay me and for me to live here to keep me happy rather than force me to move to the USA…. Yes guys, gals, all you readers, my job is paying tax (a considerable amount) into the Maltese community because I chose to be here in Malta rather than live in the ‘land of the free’.. at no point have I gone out of my way to avoid tax, nor do I do as most others and employ an accountant to strip every little cent back I can from my tax… I could, if I wanted to, recover some €40,000 a year in paid tax, however I believe that people should contribute to the community and not be selfish… I guess people are right, I am a weirdo… when have you heard of anyone happy to be paying more tax to the community than necessary.

EDIT:  …and who can forget yet another example of discrimination, arrogance and racism us ‘Alien’s get..  the Joe Debono Grech incident at Malta International Airport!

 

The church and religion: A tough subject, one that commenting will probably upset some.  My father was Catholic, my mother is Church of England, I was baptised in the Church of England.  I am not religious, I am a firm believer that the church and religion (all of them) are man made devices to make other men richer in the guise of everlasting after life… to give people hope that there is something after dying, that they won’t just cease.  Well newsflash, I don’t know whether there is something after we die, I don’t really care (I do hope there is) but I am also sure that none of the religions on this planet are right, and I am firmly in the belief that my rights as a person allow me to think and live that.  I am also firmly in the belief that anyone else has the right to believe in religion of any different type they choose.  I also believe no-one should be persecuted because their belief is different from yours.  Deal with it!  Live and let live appears in most scriptures of most religions… so why do you criticise others?  Leave me to my beliefs and I will leave you to yours, providing you do not interfere with others’ choices. 

For the record, I had a discussion with a policy maker of the Catholic Church (appointed by the Vatican) and he told me as someone Transgender God loves me and I would not be denied the Catholic faith, because I date Girls and not Guys and that I was born male, the church they do not consider me gay and in fact would allow me to get married to a woman – in Church!  This leads to a lovely situation in Malta… Legally (according to the government) I cannot get married to a girl however, the catholic church in Malta will marry me! (The church’s position is on the provision that I do not have any body mutilating genital surgery, which policy would prevent me from entering the church after such.)

 

My Birthday and the Aftermath: Well Saturday was my birthday and as previous years I arranged a birthday party, and as usual I chose to organise it in Remedy (upstairs of Coconut Grove in Paceville) and like other years it was well attended, though unlike previous years it was not without it’s drama or problems.  Some uninvited people turned up, and whilst I didn’t have a problem with that, one person chose to bring drama, and as such successfully upset me (they will remain nameless here, but they know who they are.)  Others I was surprised about and whilst I had put a ban on the ex-boyfriend of because I knew they would be the root of some drama, I wasn’t sure if it would be drama free.  I was very pleasantly surprised when Joan therefore enjoyed the party and at the end when I was so drunk I fell asleep in the street she was one of the people that asked if I needed help and offered to take me home and make sure I got there safe.  Joan, my thanks, very unexpected and appreciated!

The other drama that happened was the police got a complaint about the noise, and they decided that rather talk to the organiser of the party they would just report the bar owner and manager to the justice system, and now it is expected that a fine of around €1200 will be levied, not to mention that both persons will be required to take a day off to attend court.  So Commissioner of Police, my call for you is to have your people contact me (see http://www.mhix.org/ for my details) and cite me as the party organiser and squash/release the owner and manager of the bar as it was nothing to do with them, I was the organiser, and the person responsible as it was a private party, I had hired the room and my staff ignored the sound level provisions so it is my fault and my fault alone.   Please allow me to take responsibility under the law and make things right by removing the charges against the innocent!

 

What I do for the community (and the resulting jealously): Many of you know me though my photographing of various events and bands.  Some people have been going out of their way (recommending to boards and committees) that I am refused photographer passes to some events, some have been traced back to specific people who run their own photographic businesses and are therefore unable to charge for attendance because I offer my services for free, for the community.  Others do it because they fit in the class of the racist and discriminatory people, some I suspect are both.  Well to stop that, it requires those who would have me attend to stop those that would stop me, but they are often too afraid of saying or doing anything because they themselves may loose their passes or in some cases may be replaced with other acts.  Personally I think those responsible are the lowest of the low and should be removed from their positions as should happen to people in jobs of power like the government offices that continue to discriminate.

 

So where does that leave me?  Well I’ve decided Malta will not be right both politically and socially for many years yet.  The discrimination and racism in Malta will continue unabated with people blaming everyone else rather than take responsibility for their actions.  I will never be personally happy here in Malta, and as such I have spoken to my employer and told them I intent to leave Malta for good soon, and they have a choice of where I go.  They can request a permanent residence VISA (green card) for the USA and I will move to the head office, or if they fail to obtain that, I will move back home to Australia.  When will it happen?  Well today (August 29, 2013) my boss should be getting a meeting together with the HR department and starting the process, it is likely to take at least 6-12 months, and is certain not to be before Christmas 2013.  As soon as I have an answer on my USA VISA (approval or refusal) my house will be put up for sale and when the sale completes I will leave Malta for good… I will miss many people and some wonderful friends, but for once I need to be selfish and think of me instead of others.  Thank you all the wonderful people that have made Malta my home over the last few years and I hope to see you all in the future some time.

 

Final note:

I do not expect things to change, but in the highly unlikely event of major changes to the above (ie most of them getting resolved – not just empty promises of change) I will reconsider leaving.

 

 

Weird dream time…

Well if anyone can make sense of this… I have had this dream several times over the last few weeks, and each very vivid and very unusually I have a very clear recollection of it…

I have no idea what it means except a few suspicions (last paragraph) but would love to hear comments about what people think it might mean…

 

Anyhow here it is… each time I go into a hotel – where I don’t know but it’s a big place, and I decide to ‘have fun’ and instead of taking the lift to my floor and going to my room I smile at the receptionists, wave, and hit the emergency exit door and start running upstairs. Round and round I go, up and up sometimes down 5 steps to the next floor, choosing random doors (a bit like a maze) sometimes hitting elevators(lifts) and taking it to the top… most of the time I choose a service elevator rather than the main public elevator, occassionally meeting other guests saying hi and leaving the elevator at the next floor… I get to the top a few times to find a restaurant/bar, before leaving again to go back down to my floor zeroing in on my floor, and at the end of the dream finally getting there… The Foyer is like the Hilton in Baltimore, my room is my Suite in The Crowe Plaza in Helsinki, the hallway on ‘my floor’ is the upper level of the Royal Pines in Brisbane, Australia and each time Mandi and Mark are sitting on the stools/benches in the hallway with their backs to the glass (massive glass wall to the outside of the Pines’ golf course) and Mandi tells me ‘You took your time’ and I said, ‘I had fun!’…

Other details, sometimes I take elevators that are massive and full of dirt (construction type of dirt) .. and are multi level where you can climb the stairs in the elevator, to find no roof on the elevator, and sometimes the doors open to another floor, which explore and have to go back down (by stairs) to the floor below to find another way up… nothing bad, just a dead end floor – where you have to go down to get to other stairs. Both times in the ‘service stairs and/or service elevator’ I meet a young guy who is having fun hanging there and he decides to follow and after a while I’m moving so fast I lose them (leave them behind) and I don’t see them again.

On two floors (one a dead end, the other an intermediary) I find the wall is missing (could be there is supposed to be a door/window put there in the future) on the building and I’m in a public plaza (park/garden style) with lots of people in it – the plaza seems to be at ground level, but I have the sense I am many floors above the foyer… This hotel has 120-130 floors…

In the last occurrence (this has happened in only the last version) I got to my floor and Mandi and Mark where there along with Mandi’s son Zak… who was lying on the other side of a post with his coat over him on the same type of seating… and my ex (Jessica) comes walking down the hall, and I say, ‘you took your time, with a cheerful out of breath smile’ and she smiles at me, walks over to Zak they cuddle and start snogging… right in front of me! I look at Mandi with a ‘Huh?! What the fuck?’ look and then I wake up.

Figure that one out… I suspect I know who the young man is that joins me, and I suspect the service area’s being always ‘construction lighting’ (and therefore badly lit) are a reference to my life… I suspect the highs of my life are the bar/restaurant, I suspect when I get to my room that is the end of my life… I have no idea why Mandi and Mark are there – or what why Zak and Jessica are there…

Relationships and Exes…

Today I spoke to my best friend and had a discussion about exes and host they affect current relationships so I thought I’d share my thoughts…

(Personal note to Jessica, when I said read my blog, I was referring to the previous post about “Top 5 Regrets of the Dying”, not this entry)

It seems that all relationships have an ending, some good, some bad, and some inevitable…  Of course the inevitable ones are that finish because of things out of our mortal control (such as old age).  Good and bad are on the other hand are completely in our control, and are often governed by our own conduct, and that conduct of those who become our exes.  The problem comes when we move into new relationships, as both the new partners will usually have exes and therefore some sort of ‘baggage’.

Baggage…

What is baggage really?  Well baggage is the memories and emotions of the previous relationships, it maybe physical, it may be emotional, it may just be simply memories.  As an ex of mine suggested, it is a ‘memory jingle’ ..  i.e. something, or some memory, that is associated with an object, person, movie, song, TV show, night club… etc.  Something that triggers the memory of something associated with an ex.

So is baggage a problem?  Well my break ups over the last few years seems to have focused on my baggage at some point.  Somewhere along the lines my exes have mentioned an ex as being an issue in my life.  In the case of my best friend, she has had problems with her ex that is affecting her current relationship in a damaging way.  Her current partner is patient and understanding, but has seen her reminiscing on several occasions and has assumed (correctly) that she was in thought about her ex.  This is obviously a problem.  Here’s the thing though, her current partner also has an ex, and has baggage that goes with that.  My latest ex, the baggage she had was phenomenal (and it was just her ex, it was several of her exes, all bad) and whilst it did affect me a little I kept it to a little as an effect as possible, because I know exactly what she went through.  I knew that over time with love and care I could rid her of those memory jingles, I could re-write her life to remove the baggage.  Unfortunately when it came to me, it got the better of her and she left because of her own baggage (according to her last message) way before I could help her re-write her life and realise that life is good, and douches like her exes don’t deserve anyone, let alone her.

So what is the solution to baggage..?  Well in reality the solution is time, care and love (in that order.) It is also the understanding that any two people have baggage, whether good or bad, and when you enter into a relationship you both need to grasp an understanding of the other person, what they have been through, and how to use that to build a stronger bond between the two of you.  You do need to put the past behind you (I have heard this said so many times) but when people say it, they say it without knowing what it really means.  Putting the past behind you, does not mean forgetting what happened, it does not mean, bury it and don’t talk about it, it means use the memories to build a better life with someone new.  Talk about what happened, talk about what you want to do, and be patient with the other person, they might talk about their ex way more than you, but it could also be that you talk about your ex as much as them, they just don’t remind you of it when you do.

Personally I talk about my ex-wife Alison a lot, I do so in a good way, I don’t recall any major arguments until the relationship and marriage came to an end, and it came to an end because I am a trans-sexual, and whilst she has no prejudices she married a man, and couldn’t cope with the idea, personally, of being married to a woman.  I respect that and as such we are still friends, in fact when I was recently telling her about my proposed marriage she asked if I would allow her to ‘give me away’ to my blushing bride to be.  I also talk about ‘The Mother of My Son’ (sorry Claire, but that is how I refer to you, to others) we had a very rocky and very explosive relationship that ended and returned many times over 8 years, but we are friends now and talk regularly thanks to the wonders of modern technology and social networking.  Other exes I refer to, the obvious one and “The EX!”, my psycho-stalker Katie Crothers, she really messed me up mentally (whether deliberately or not) that has taken months if not years to recover from (and to be honest, I’m not recovered, but at least I am functional now.)  I even think back to my very first “proper” girlfriend Jayne, a woman who I have not seen in 20 years, but every time I hear, “Toyboy”, “I should be so lucky” or “Green Door” played on the radio I immediately remember her in such a fond way.

 

My thoughts for a happy life with your new partner and their ex…

The human mind is an amazing thing, and whilst you can damage it very easily, over time it will recover, some take longer than others, some injuries take longer than others, we all heal differently (and in different ways.)  If you get in a relationship with someone that refers to their ex, before you think badly, before you fly off with “You’re still in that relationship and not with me” or “You are just trying to replace them with me” thoughts, step back and think, you also have an ex, and even if you haven’t mentioned anything to your current partner, you still think about one of your exes when ever you hit one of those “memory jingles”…

Of course, lastly, if your ex does say something about you talking about your ex, take the time to think about it, you might be obsessing.. It is definitely worth talking through, but neither of you should make assumptions about the others state of mind, all you need to do is talk about it, and if you are about to say something, just bare in mind, that your partner talking about their good times is a good thing, the person is giving you tips about what makes them happy…  You can use that to improve your bond and over-write those jingles with memories of you…!