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The Contemplations, Rants & Reminiscences of DavidB327

Something Sensational To Read On The Train

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I was born
Body Painting1
No, my surname is not Copperfield but I am a fan of Charles Dickens, and I live near the area that was featured in much of his writing. Anyway, rather belatedly my first post.

I grew up in a town near Liverpool in the late 1960s / early 1970s. Physically near that is – in terms of people’s lifestyles and their attitudes it could have correctly been descried as a ‘backwater’. I remember that when I announced to my family and friends that I intended to go to see a concert by T Rex at the Liverpool Phil it was treated with amazement, that I should be doing something so ‘way out’. This seems laughable now, but I felt such a sense of freedom when I left home to go to university, to move away from somewhere so parochial. What I particularly wanted to leave behind was the homophobia, and the verbal and physical abuse that came with it. Well that was me being naive; ignorance like that was prevalent elsewhere. Quite ironic given that I am not homosexual, but the irony escaped me when my nose was broken on Xmas Eve 1974.

From a relatively early age I knew that I wanted to ‘push back the frontiers of science’, and in my time as an undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral researcher I’d like to think I made a contribution, however modest. However after a series of short terms jobs, I decided it was time to stop moving from 1 city to another every year or two, and put down some roots. It was unfortunate for me that this coincided with cut backs in staffing level in the UK universities. Like a lot of my colleagues who had also had a series of temporary jobs, what I desperately wanted was a lectureship, which would have been a permanent position, but that never happened. I started work in IT ‘temporarily’ (or so I thought at the time), but as time went on it eventually became I continue to work in IT today.

When I was growing up I felt that I was in tune with the mood of those times (or rather my perception of it). I shared the rejection of materialism, dislike of politicians and the status quo, and loved the music, films and fashion; I particularly loved the more glamorous aspect (space age, wacky, body painting). What worried me at the time, although of course not any more, was that I had a strong desire to wear make up etc. I did not dare speak to anyone about this, but at least when David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Roxy Music, The New York Dolls came along I felt that I was not alone.

I also (oddly enough given my long hair at the time) had a fascination for shaved heads. I think this first became apparent when I saw photographic in a newspaper from a fashion shoot, with a man and a woman with shaved heads, and I decided then that I wanted to look like that. Since no one else did then, I was too wary to do so, but when I first read about Grace Jones (in 1975) I thought ‘if she can get away with that then so can I’ – unfortunately I wasn’t living Paris! I got quite a lot of verbal abuse, and the negative reactions made me feel reluctant to continue shaving my head. However in 1978 I finally decided to start again, and this time I carried on, as I do today. I also began at that time to wear make up, at first just for clubs, but for a couple of years every day, except when I went home to visit my parents. I even gave a lecture at a major scientific conference dressed like a punk, with lots of make up, which I suppose is some kind of statement. I think my colleagues considered me to be an eccentric, in the best English tradition.

Although I went to various ‘alternative’, gothic, fetish clubs, and have some fond memories of doing so, my memories of such times is tinged with sadness. This is because in1993 I was diagnosed with RP (aka Night Blindness), and since then my eyesight has got progressively worse. I am now registered blind, and every memory I have of my younger days is a memory of being able to do things I can no longer do.

Nevertheless with the love and support of my partner 'SG' I am coping with this disease. I spent a long time in denial, but I passed the ‘why me’ stage a long time ago. My main problem at the moment is that one of the symptoms from which I am suffering is photopsia (flashing lights), and as it never goes away it’s causing a lot of distress. Sometimes it’s worse than others, for example after a sleepless night of when I am feeling stressed out.

Still as mentioned above I am finally beginning to feel that I can live with this, and for the first time in years I am beginning to feel more confident and more like my old self. So to bring this to a rapid conclusion, I need to start getting ready to go out for an excellent meal with the partner of my dreams.

I’ll post some photographs soon.

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I'm really glad to read 'bout your life,David ))) And i want to see your photos soon)))
Thank you for sharing this! :)))

It's my pleasure. I'll be posting some photographs when I can spare the time to sift through them.


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