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Sometimes the best thing you can get out of London, is to get out of London. And that’s exactly what I’m doing right now, speeding my way by train across the UK and into Scotland on my way home for Christmas.

The test results came back — all negative. All clear. My first full STI test and there was absolutely nothing to be concerned about. In all my life, I’ve never been so happy to see so many negatives all in one beautiful list.

So now, I can sip my wine and play my War for the Overworked game in peace. I’ve got a great new job to come back to when I return at the end of December and great friends to London with, along with a host of new activities and London adventures that I was to try out (life class drawing, anyone?).

All in all I couldn’t be happier. And although 2016 has not been the easiest of years, for me or for anyone, at least I can leave it behind while feeling positive.

Yesterday, while I was in the midst of a sea of worry and fear; living my own mental crises between trips to the Dean Street Express for a parade of needles and swabs, a most peculiar thing happened: Superman asked me out. A message popped through on my preferred dating app from the blue-suited, red-briefed saviour of humanity himself. Or rather, someone very muscled who wore a suit of uncanny accuracy.
We began to flirt, and at this writing, we have been on the phone a total of 4 times in the past 24 hours.

His name is Keith, and he’s a cosplayer. Cosplayers are a particular breed often found frequenting the likes of comic-cons and other nerdist events. The difference between a “cosplayer” and a regular fancy-dress person is that the former will expend large amounts of time, effort and money in order to make the portrayal (some might say the transformation) as accurate as possible. Hand-sewn costumes, wigs, make-up, the works.
It turns out that Keith (who works as a cinematographer by day) and some of his weight-room buddies turned their two hobbies into a business. Now, dressed up as Superman, Spiderman, Batman or Captain America, they are paid to show up at corporate events; their bulging muscles carefully cocooned in layers of latex. While I’ve attended Comic-Con and other events for fun, and I love to embrace my geeky side with games online and off, this seemed another level of Marvel fandom which I was yet to encounter. But then Superman told me the most heroic thing of all. Every month, he and his friends will visit at least one charity and use their costumed superpowers to help sick or disabled kids, giving them a lift from seeing their heroes live in the flesh. d

I mean, how incredible is that?

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Here was a man who looked gorgeous, who we were unbelievably attracted to each other (even over the phone) had a smattering of shared interests and, best of all, he obviously had a warm and caring heart.
As we spoke on the phone today, I asked him something fairly unusual for the murky world of online dating; I asked that we not share any sort of risqué photos with one another, at least not until we had met in person and established whether this was worth pursuing romantically. He agreed. I’m sure there will be moments where I would have loved to have seen Superman’s “rod of steel”, but I think that this is definitely the right decision. Truth be told, he seems very special and I don’t want to spoil it.

of online dating; I asked that we not share any sort of risqué photos with one another, at least not until we had met in person and established whether this was worth pursuing romantically. He agreed. I’m sure there will be moments where I would have loved to have seen Superman’s “rod of steel”, but I think that this is definitely the right decision. Truth be told, he seems very special and I don’t want to spoil it.

The road between phone call flirtation and bona-fide relationship is a long one, but one that — given what I’ve seen and heard so far — I want to give the best chance possible.
But for now, I can’t wait to be home for Christmas.

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