Tuesday, 24 April 2007


anticant writes:

I need an early summer break, and so far have been unable to find someone willing to accompany me. I cannot travel alone, and my partner prefers to stay at home. I am looking for someone who would appreciate a quiet, relaxing country or seaside holiday at a comfortable hotel with good food - all expenses paid - in Italy or Spain for ten days or a fortnight: a lounging-around, garden and poolside vacation; not a city or busy sightseeing trip, as I am not up to that any more.

The person I have in mind is male, aged 20-50, preferably [but not necessarily] gay, non-smoker, kind, caring, considerate, and intelligent. I won't add "must have a sense of humour", as even if he does, ours might not match. Sounds like a paragon, doesn't it? But I'm sure there are such guys around somewhere who would appreciate a free holiday in return for some helpfully caring attentions to an elderly invalid. Maybe a professional carer needing a break?

I've spent weeks asking around, and searching the internet for travelling companion agencies - of which there are surprisingly few. It's becoming increasingly frustrating, as time is moving on and I would like to go away in late May or June, before the Mediterranean weather gets too hot.

So any practical suggestions and contacts from my burrow friends, or casual visitors here, would be very welcome. Thanks!


lavenderblue said...

I can pretend............
Will think about this..............

Anonymous said...

If I were gay, non-smoking and a caring person, I would put myself up for the gig.
Unfortunately, I am even more curmudgeonly than Pink Knickers is on her fasting periods.
Help me, grumpy Aunt.
Best of the lot would be Trousers (because I am a wicked bastard.)
We did think about our version of the current illustrations and a new title sprang to mind.
'Travels With My Grumpy Aunt'.
Kill before the voyage is finished.

trousers said...

*raises single eyebrow at anonymousmerkin*

lavenderblue said...

My thoughts are that it is sad that Anticant's immediate friends and fmikly are not yet available.........
I just spoke to a lady who knows a lot, and she suggests that, in London, there simply must be super,caring,possibly medically trained people who would love to be with you.What a lovely offer!
And Trousers,I do not think that the comment made about you was a bad one, everyone knows you are a wonderfully caring,kind,funny and clever man..........

anticant said...

It is not only sad - frankly, I find it quite amazing. And rather disgusting.

I could write a lengthy blog about my futile endeavours to sort this one out over the past couple of years - because I was in the same dilemma last year, and ended up in desperation going on a cruise by myself in the autumn, which I don't want to repeat now.

It is not just the unwillingness of people, or the feeble excuses some of them - including cousins who are always telling me how much they love me etc. etc., blah, blah, blah - gave, but their sheer indifference and lack of appreciation for the opportunity I was holding out, which flabberghasts me. They took that entirely for granted, apparently, while ignoring my actual dilemma and needs.

I am sure lavender's lady friend is right, and that there are plenty of people in London who would be suitable and might jump at it - but so far my "Googling" and other efforts have led nowhere.

The gay network which 20 years ago rallied to the AIDS crisis by providing 'buddy' services and so forth is no longer operating, and with a few honourable exceptions all they seem to be into these days is "shopping and fucking".

There are quite a few professional caring agencies, but they mostly expect you to employ a full-time live-in carer, which I neither need nor can afford. Even finding suitable people to come in for an hour or two in the daytime is difficult.

If it weren't for my real-life partner - who's unwell too - and my loyal burrow cyberstaff Ben and the Beadle, I don't know where I'd be.

Being chronically ill really isn't nice. When big illnesses start, folk are very concerned, shower you with cards, pop into hospital etc. - but when you've been ill for a year or so they lose interest. I suppose one can't really blame them: they've got their own busy lives to lead.

But whatever happened to empathy?

Merkin said...

My father joined the 'Gay Network'
He was in his sixties.
He went for the 'buddy meeets buddy'.
His best friend had a son.
His son was dying of AIDS.
His son was a well known hairdresser.

Had lived in London for years.
A typical gay hairdresser.
Fine chap. Gerald.

My father tried to console his best friend by joining a 'buddy group'.
All that happened was that they sa him as 'new meat' and gave him a hard time.
He loved it. Of course.

anticant said...

H'm. That's why I am not using any gay messageboards to find a travelling companion! It has to be through personal contact.

trousers said...

Hey lav, I didn't take that comment as a bad one at all, I found it amusing. My response was just my attempt at being deadpan as opposed to my being affronted or suchlike.

But I agree - the bad thing is that anticant is in this situation - what, indeed, happened to empathy?

I hope, anticant, that you are able to find someone suitable to accompany you on what surely would be a more than welcome holiday.