Saturday, June 29, 2002

Hear'Say in excellent single shock! For their new single, Lovin' Is Easy, they've wisely pushed Myleene to the fore and decked her out in a Shakira-style revealing outfit, all mascara and cleavage and belly button. Catchy little tune, ironically remniscent of Liberty X.

You've come a long way baby - two years ago, I was writing about cult American indie bands. Now I'm harping on about manufactured teeny pop groups, Madonna's greatest hits and Almighty Records. I think I'm finally becoming a proper gay man. Or a giggly schoolgirl - what's the difference? I'm wearing silver lycra as I type this, you know. And choosing outfits for Yasmin, Chloe, Sasha and Jade, my Beach Party Bratz.

Friday, June 28, 2002

Ah, thank God for the evil genius who came up with this. I have been giggling non-stop all afternoon
NYLPM have unearthed another of my old reviews - this one of 69 Love Songs, originally written in December 1999.

In other music news, my seventh album, Mithering Heights - recorded under the nom-de-plume Mickey Moist - has entered the UK Top 40.
The City of Westminster? What's that all about, then?

I live in London, which is, of course, a city, but I don't live in The City of London. What's that all about, then?

Ken Livingstone is the Mayor of London. James Michael Yorrick Oliver is the Lord Mayor of London. What's that all about, then?

And, say, do you guys know the rout to Lye Chester Square?

Thursday, June 27, 2002

8:54pm: too h - u - n - g - r - y to do any more work. Must heed the call of Nando's.
Bisexual who has never had a homosexual experience to receive a homosexual experience
Tell me again, Ian, which newspaper do you work on?
[via Fraser, of course]
GHV2HMV4.99. Yes, Madonna's Greatest Hits Vol 2 is just £4.99 in the HMV summer sale. That'll teach the cow not to put any new tracks on her second 'Best Of' album. Her first compilation, The Immaculate Collection, contained a couple of as-then unreleased tracks, and went on to become one of the biggest-selling CDs of all time. In fact, I don't believe I have ever seen a gay man's record collection which doesn't include it.

Also in the HMV sale, Fatboy Slim's most recent offering, Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars, which is clearly a lot closer to the gutter at a bargain-basement £2.99.

The HMV sale starts this afternoon.
Dave has spoken before of 'Tearful Tuesdays' and 'Weepy Wednesdays' - the mid-week slump after a weekend of excess. I don't get Weepy, just Witchy. All day yesterday, I was in a foul mood, more irritable than an oyster with a bucketful of sand in its crotch.

My mood has not improved much today. I have loads of work to do, with extremely tight deadlines as I'm going on holiday from Friday next week. And this morning didn't help: I woke up at six, wide-awake, feeling refreshed, not needing any more sleep. Till about fifteen minutes before I was actually due to wake up, when I fell asleep again, then overslept, waking up feeling like shit. How does that happen?

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Google have hugely improved their image search facility. Now, thanks to the wonders of technology, I can at last reveal the faces behind your favourite blogs.

Troubled Diva
Dave, Live In London
Swish Cottage
The BBC website has a Pass Notes-style column called e-cyclopedia, dealing with zeitgeisty words.
bargepole: n, the thing with which one wouldn't touch; something deeply unpleasant.

SUCH AS: some state secondary schools, according to Estelle Morris, Education Secretary. Quoth she: "I know that all secondary schools are not identical. As a teacher, I go into some schools and think 'I would like to work here' but there are some I wouldn't touch with a bargepole."
The e-cyclopedia has also gathered 141 words for 'drunk':
Ankled, Badgered, Banjaxed, Battered, Befuggered, Bernard Langered, Bladdered, Blasted, Blathered, Bleezin, Blitzed, Blootered, Blottoed, Bluttered, Boogaloo, Brahms & Liszt, Buckled, Burlin, Cabbaged, Chevy Chased, Clobbered, Decimated, Dot Cottoned, Druck-steaming, Drunk as a Lord, Drunk as a skunk, Etched, Fecked, Fleemered, Four to the floor, Gatted, Goosed, Got my beer goggles on, Guttered, Had a couple of shickers, Hammer-blowed, Hammered, Hanging, Having the whirlygigs, Howling, Inebriated, Intoxicated, Jahalered, Jaiked up, Jan'd - abbrev for Jan Hammered, Jaxied, Jeremied, Jolly, Kaned, Lagged up, Lamped, Langered, Laroped, Lashed, Leathered, Legless, Liquored up, Locked, Locked out of your mind, Loo la, Mad wey it, Mandoo-ed, Mangled, Manky, Mashed, Meff'd, Merl Haggard, Merry, Minced, Ming-ho, Minging, Moired, Monged, Monkey-full, Mottled, Mullered. Newcastled, Nicely irrigated with horizontal lubricant, Off me pickle, Off me trolley, On a campaign, Out of it, Out yer tree, Paggered, Palintoshed, Paraletic, Peelywally, Peevied, Pickled, Pie-eyed, Pished, Plastered, Poleaxed, Pollatic, Rat-legged, Ratted, Ravaged, Razzled, Reek-ho, Rendered, Rosy glow, Rubbered, Ruined, Saying hello to Mr Armitage, Scattered, Schindlers, Screwed, Scuttered, Shedded, Slaughtered, Sloshed, Smashed, Snatered, Snobbled, Sozzled, Spangled, Spannered, Spiffed, Spongelled, Squiffy, Steamin, Steampigged, Stocious, Stonkin, Tanked, Tashered, Tipsy, Trashed, Trollied, Troubled, Trousered, Twisted, Warped, Wasted, Wellied, With the fairies, Wrecked, Zombied.
It seems to me they're missing quite a few: Minkered, Pissed, Cunted, Tired and emotional, A little bit tipsy [©Marcus]; Escalatored [©Ian]
Fans of Lord Of The Rings may wish to check out the trailer for The Two Towers. [Not changing the name, then?]
Oh, how handy! The lovely Terreus went to Sitges and Barcelona last month and wrote up his recommendations. I am packing the Andrex as we speak!

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

We're going away on holiday to Sitges next week. There are going to be five of us sharing an apartment, and I've been looking for some CDs that will please all five of us. Something summery and dancey to get us in the mood for yet another night out. You know, holiday music.

An Amazon search for CD titles containing the word 'Ibiza'' produces a staggering 466 results. Chillout Session Ibiza; Chilled Ibiza; Old Skool Ibiza; Real Ibiza; Undiscovered Ibiza; Essential Ibiza; Naked Ibiza; Bora Bora Ibiza; etc, etc.

Nobody has yet produced a CD specifically aimed at the thousands of gay men who flock to Sitges every summer. In fact, if you search for 'Sitges', Amazon suggests that you may have meant 'Sixties'. Come on, Almighty, change the name of your forthcoming Definitive Collection to SLAGS In Sitges - Almighty Summer Anthems. A surefire summer smash, surely.

Until then, we are going to have to create our own compilation CDs for the holiday. But what to put on it? A bit of trance, a bit of chill-out, a lot of cheese. Any suggestions?

Monday, June 24, 2002

Saturday's Guardian Magazine contains some of the funniest writing around. Not from Julie Burchill or Mil Millington, though. Skip past them to the food and drink pages, and marvel at the silliness within.

Like Mike, I was struck by Heston Blumenthal's method for making the ultimate in convenience food: chips. His process involves: running the potatoes under cold water, then boiling them, then allowing them to cool down, then putting them in the fridge for half an hour, then frying them at a low temperature, then draining them, allowing them to cool, putting them in the fridge again for another half hour, then finally frying them once more. He's taking the piss, surely?

Mike also spotted Matthew Fort's review of a Cheshire restaurant called Juniper, which begins:
We ate: exotic vegetable pizza; cauliflower and apricot mousse, saffron sauce and crispy black pudding; quail leg beignet, chocolate mayonnaise; beans on toast, glazed hollandaise, curried quail egg; chicken boudin, green grape and tomato salad; "shooter" of fresh pineapple juice, beetroot cream; ragout of wild mushroom and peas, smoked butter sauce; baby artichoke and caper salad; smoked bacon, white asparagus, beetroot dressing, vanilla glaze; poached monkfish, sweet ginger sauce, lavender; glazed tomato and hollandaise; wild mushrooms, pimento chewing gum, tomato consommé, poppy seeds, dried leeks, fennel powder; poached halibut wrapped in courgette, crab bisque, garlic beignet, morels; roasted fillet of beef, truffle glaze, horseradish; French cheeses; melon and vanilla milk; sherry trifle; baked lemon tart; milk chocolate soufflé; espresso and chocolate truffles.
The silliness continues over the page with Malcolm Gluck's wine reviews.
Dorrien Estate Bin 442 Barossa Shiraz 2000 (17 points, £7.99, major branches only) offers the thoughtful drinker coffee, chocolate and a vague touch of tobacco.
If I've got this right, this is a talking wine which says: "You look pensive. Here, have some coffee, and help yourself to a chocolate. And, um, I don't suppose you'd like to touch my cigar, would you?"

Five of the following wine reviews are from Mr Gluck's column. Five I made up. Can you spot the bogus ones?

1. Rasteau Côtes du Rhône Villages 2000 (17 points, £7.99, major branches only) has extraordinary, almost paradoxical fruit of supreme civility on one level, yet spice and exoticism on another. The tannins, holding the berries like ripe pearls, gather themselves together in smooth array, and the effect is wonderful for all the senses.

2. Monasterio de Santa Ana Monastrell Jumilla 2001 (17.5 points, £4.99), from Spain, is a thorough bargain for nose, throat and pocket. It achieves staggeringly deep levels of complexity for nigh on peanuts, and offers chocolate, cherries, berries, figs, liquorice and nuts. But the real masterstroke is in the Spaniard's tannins, which are world class in texture and tenacity.

3. Waikaito Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 (16.5 points, £6.99) has fruit which runs the gamut from hedgerow to orchard via the vegetable patch, with an undertone of caramelised onion. It coats the tongue with unctuous layers of molasses, violets and fresh manure.

4. Chardin du Bône (16 points, £5.99) has long been this man's best friend, my faithful old companion. Opening this is like coming home to a friendly welcome. Hugely boisterous, the tannins bound up and threaten to shag your leg, but are held back on a politely restraining leash.

5. Quiltro Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 (16.5 points, £5.99), teetered on the edge of 17 points before it settled back, upon reflection, to 16.5. There is edge-of-the-crater fruit to enjoy here, too: warm, aromatic (without being sulphurous), rich, beefy, biting and very, very explosive.

6. At Marks & Spencer, there is Twin Wells Hunter Valley Semillon 1997 (16.5 points, £7.99), from Australia, which is mature and thrilling. It coagulates in the throat like Diana Krall's voice: dusky, dry, waxy, lyrical, and fruitily modulated.

7. Seveso Sauvignon Blanc (15.5 points, £3.49), is a scintillating diamond unearthed from the rough mulch of Hungary. It has bright, piercing rays of gooseberry and cut grass, with hints of green pepper. The faint odour of a cat's litter tray, typical of the varietal, adds up to stunning complexity at this price.

8. At Oddbins, there is Casual Affair Chardonnay 2002 (15 points, £4.99), from Australia, which delivers huge helpings of duck liver pate smeared thickly on burnt toast. The silky oak lends the affair all the class of a Chippendale escritoire. Would go down a treat with duck liver pate smeared thickly on burnt toast.

9. Kaituna Hills Cabernet Merlot 1999 (16 points, £5.99, M&S) is well kitted out with warm, basil-edged fruit, an undertone of black olive and fine tannins. A very warmly textured wine - and if you were to ask if that olive comes on a little stick, I'd respond with a resounding 'No': there's no evidence of wood whatsoever.

10. For a the month of June only, Sainsbury's are stocking the Chilean Semillon, Pinot Ché 2002 (13.5 points) for just £3.49. Ferociously flinty, with minty mineral herbs, the unrelenting directness and sheer force of personality make this a wonderful companion for kidneys, strawberries or sushi.
Walk for Life:

Marcus looks hard. I show off my red t-shirt given to those who collected LOADS of money. Bizarrely, I have just discovered that a girl at work was on the bus behind us.

Bit of a bottleneck at the Millennium Bridge.

Cool. In all my time in London, I've never seen Tower Bridge open. It did, just as we got there.

A much-needed beer in the very swish marquee at the end of the Walk.

Don't masquerade with the guy in shades, oh no.
Aha! Found the camera. Sorry about the large images - I can't be bothered resizing them and doing thumbnails. Horniman Museum.

The Horniman museum - opened in 1901 - is a collection of eccentric artefacts in an appropriately eccentric building.

The old section of the museum is a jumble of architectual styles - part Moorish palace, part gothic manse.

The new extension is again a jumble of styles - very modern, somehow Scandinavian - yet works brilliantly with the old part.

A rather over-stuffed walrus dominates the main hall.
Marcus wasn't at all fazed by any of the stuffed animals - until he saw these dogs' heads. 'That's just wrong,' he said, 'they're man's best friend.'

After leaving the museum grounds, we took a long, loooong, walk up the hill to Crystal Palace. Sadly, the nice bits were closed for renovation, and we wandered gloomily around these dilapidated, scarey, run-down barren grounds.
What a wonderful, full weekend. My brain seems to have got lost in transit, so the detailed retelling will have to wait till my head arrives at work.
  • Midsummers Eve: The Swedes gathered in St James' Park. So did the rain clouds. Off we all trooped to the Retro Bar, where I drunkenly told Wendy I thought the redecoration was a mistake. Oops!
  • The Horniman Museum: Way cool. A Victorian treasure trove of artefacts gathered from all over the Empire - a veritable taxonomy of taxidermy. Stuffed animals, ritualistic head dresses, torture machines, tropical fish, randomly scattered through two bizarre buildings.
  • Walk For Life: Marcus and I raised about five-hundred quid between us, thank you. A two-hour stroll along the river. Thousands of people. A faint sense of anticlimax. A funfair. A very funky starlit marquee. Then the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Clench-jawed grinning. Dukes. Meandering chat with Ian. Home. Bed. Morning? Oh dear.

    Photos to follow once I've, er, found my head. Or my camera. Strange, coulda sworn we used it last night...
  • Friday, June 21, 2002

    And so the Cow Parade comes to London. The cows pictured here, with Marcus taking the bull by the horns, are in Embankment Gardens. There are 150 of the things scattered around the city, each one individually decorated by an artist. Knowing London, it won't be long before they receive additional modifications from "street artists".
    One year ago today:

  • I was telling you about the time I broke my cock.
  • Prince William turned 19.
  • Shaggy was number one with the eminently forgettable Angel.
  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider was the number one movie in the US.
  • I was looking forward to my trip to Hamburg with Ian, and my trip to Boston and New York with Jonathan.
  • There was a total eclipse across southern Africa.

  • And I had my first date with Marcus.
  • As soon as the final whistle blew, I dashed out of the house. As did everyone else [not out of my house, you understand]. The road down to the tube station was very busy, but deadly silent. Late for work, people walked very briskly, but with their heads hung in sorrow. As I waited for the train, the platform got fuller and fuller, and when it eventually arrived, there was a bit of a scuffle. As I struggled to keep my place, I felt like Rio Ferdinand battling to keep possession. I considered taking a dive and appealing to the driver for a foul, but after spiking someone in the shin, I eventually got on. Now, tube carriages are always silent, but this was an eerie, mournful silence. Nobody was reading - they were just staring at the floor, shaking their heads. The nation's hopes have been crushed. Again. The office is strangely quiet, too. A Swedish colleague was warned as she walked in: "Just don't say a word, OK?"
    You know that the World Cup has gripped the nation's consciousness when even Ian gets up at eight to watch a game of football. He and I conducted an SMS conversation throughout the match, though it does reveal our lack of knowledge of football and our interest in the footballers.

    Ian: God, I feel so butch!
    David: Explain the offside rule to me again.

    Ian: I'd do: Cafu.
    David: Dyer isn't dire.

    David: Why does Beckham wear a yellow armband on the left? Does that make him a piss top?

    Ian: Give Rivaldo an Oscar.

    David: They're coming home, they're coming home, they're coming. England's coming home.
    Ian: They think it's all over.

    Thursday, June 20, 2002

    On the tube this morning: six-foot-two of toned ebony impressiveness. Impeccably dressed in a sheer black sleeveless jumper, powerful shoulders exposed, tattooed biceps rippling each time he flicked another page of Metro. Occasionally he would glance nonchantly over his sunglasses, ensuring he was having the desired effect on the carriage. And he was. Women [and at least one man] gazed openly at him, lustfully watching his every controlled move. Men stared equally openly, the envy, and downright bitter jealousy, plain. People on the down escalator turned round and rubbernecked as he went up into the ticket hall, which came to an almost complete standstill as every single person stopped what they were doing to stare at him.


    Wednesday, June 19, 2002

    Help! I am in the process of making a compilation CD of South African pop music - the songs I grew up listening to. I am writing 'liner notes' for each track, giving biographies for the artists, and placing each song into context historically, politically and from a personal perspective. I would like to make these songs available for you to download, but...

    ...I already regularly exceed my allotted 100Mb a day bandwidth. Are there any kind souls with large bandwidth capabilities who would offer to host the songs [about 64Mb] for me; or could you recommend a free virtual disk space service? Many of these services have now started charging, or limit trial subscriptions to 2Mb transfers a day.

    Any recommendations/offers gratefully accepted.
    A chart featuring nothing but bootlegs of Eminem's Without Me - the most bootlegged song since Get Ur Freak On. My favourite is the version mixed with Blondie's Heart Of Glass, and the Shakira one works scarily well.

    The site also makes the acapella and instrumental versions of the track available, so that you can make your own bootleg and submit it to be ranked on the chart.
    "I think that shit is fucking bullshit. Whoever put my shit on the Internet, I want to meet that motherfucker and beat the shit out of him, because I picture this scrawny little dickhead going ‘I got Eminem's new CD! I got Eminem's new CD! I'm going to put it on the Internet.' I think that anybody who tries to make excuses for that shit is a fucking bitch."
    Michael, Simon, Tom, Meg, Jonathan, Ian, Luke, Catherine, Scally, Iain and I were all at the Retro Bar last night to make sure Dave actually leaves the country. The word 'blogmeet' wasn't mentioned. Beer was drunk. Quiz questions were answered [incorrectly]. Photos were taken.
    The burning questions from today's mailbag. If anyone knows the answers to either of these questions, please drop them in the Comments. The first question is of an elevated, literary nature:
    im trying really hard to find out one thing...and that is the name of the arenas poem read by javier bardem right before the credits in Before night falls. if you know could u please spread the knowledge...every site i've been on( and there have been many) pisses,honours, hisses etc at this film but not one, thinks it important to name anything...
    The second question is of a more basic nature:
    Subject: The David Beckham penis  
    Any knowledge of whether Beckham is circumcised or uncircumcised?

    Any nude pics of “your soccer team“ individuals, especially the Irish guys?

    Especially interested in the state of the Beckhan penis.

    Tuesday, June 18, 2002

    A bunch of us went to see Bumboy Bombay Dreams last week. I have been battling to put into words just why I loved it so much. Ian's excellent review of the show sums it up perfectly. Go see.
    You live in London? You have a blog? Go to this map immediately and mark your site on the tube map.
    David is...

    ...the devil
    ...triumphant over Goliath
    ...currently a hot property in the character actor business
    ...also currently hard at work
    ...kind to Mephibosheth
    ...presently on secondment to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
    ...a big WWF and WCW fan
    ...considered by peers to be the world’s leading authority on raw food nutrition found in all synagogues
    ...a superb literary achievement the studio this summer
    ...simply the best
    ...sincerely sorry for the pain he has caused in the past

    Marcus is...

    ...a frequent lecturer and conference speaker on computer security topics
    ...responsible for cruelty, suffering and death up-and-coming voice in the movement advocating vegetarian diets on health, humane and ecological grounds
    ...a weird 12-year-old boy with problems at home and at school
    ...single, and lives with 5500 books, 1000+ games and supplements, and four pets
    ...indeed a lucky guy
    ...rolling in his grave
    ...a bit of a dipstick
    ...much bigger than Curtis
    ...getting old and getting scared of all the youngsters in his neighbourhood

    [David is sincerely sorry for pinching this link from Meg via Nico]
    I had promised myself I'd stop posting silly innuendo-laden nonsense about footballers, but when the Evening Standard runs a pic like this, how can I possibly resist? [Click on it to see a larger version.]

    I don't think the photo had anything to do with the story about footballers' wives being sent to Japan, but not being allowed to have sex with them. But then again, it might. Either way, David looks quite happy.

    Monday, June 17, 2002

    Who invented the telephone?
    (a) Alexander Graham Bell
    (b) Some Italian bloke you've never heard of

    Yup, it's (b). The US Congress yesterday recognised that inventor of the telephone was Antonio Meucci. He set up the first working telephone in his house, to communicate with his partially-paralysed wife. However, the impoverished Italian immigrant couldn't afford the $250 for a patent, and couldn't even afford $10 to renew his notice of an impending patent. Alexander Graham Bell, who shared a laboratory with Meucci, filed the patent in 1876 and received huge acclaim and financial reward for the invention. Meucci sued and was nearing victory when he died in 1889. The legal action died with him.

    This page has the full story. I wonder if the Bell telecommunications company will change its name to Meucci? It has a certain, er, ring to it.
    Is Sol Campbell gay? Has Freddie Ljungberg been romantically linked with Peter Joback? Why does David Beckham spend so much time with Gary Neville? And why have all my recent posts been about bloody football? [Or footballers, anyway.]

    Saturday, June 15, 2002

    How nice of the Japanese weather to make the game more interesting for us gay boys. The torrential downpour just before half-time meant the England team put on a wet T-shirt competition. The Danes, in their white shorts, went one further. Which was nice. The three goals were a lovely bonus.
    The hundreds of people who come here looking for 'David Beckham naked' should go see this Danish tabloid.

    Friday, June 14, 2002

    Fantasy Football

    I have nicked this idea from Urban Nomad. Here is my own personal Word Cup team, chosen from the 16 teams still in the World Cup. The criteria for choosing these players? Why, looks, of course!

    (Actually, either they're an ugly bunch this year, or the photos are really bad, as I was hard pressed to find eleven fanciable ones. The best-looking teams, in my opinion? Sweden and England. But then I would say that, wouldn't I?) [pics removed to conserve bandwidth]
    25 million people worldwide have died of AIDS.
    On the 23rd of June, I will be taking part in Walk For Life to raise money to fight HIV and AIDS and improve the lives of those living with the disease.
    10 new HIV infections a minute.
    The money goes towards improving the health and quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS in both the UK and developing countries, and to fund research into treatments, vaccines and a cure.
    40 million infected.
    Last year's walk raised over £300,000 - the target this year is £500,000.
    £5 could save an unborn baby's life. £50 could provide a day of respite care for someone living with HIV in the UK.
    Please help me raise money by making a secure online donation.
    Where does Fraser find these things? This is, as he says, the best conversation ever. Go read it now.

    I should worry: I received in the post this morning a magazine called A Lighter Life, the official publication of some slimming organisation. Yeah, like I need that. Talk about targeted mailings.

    Thursday, June 13, 2002

    I have been practising my Photoshop skills this afternoon, though I seem to have forgotten everything I've learned. Anyway, we're going to the theatre tonight, with a bunch of other gay men, to see the new Andrew Lloyd-Webber Bollywood musical. Click the thumbnail to see my modification of the poster....

    Sometimes a night in with good food and a good bottle of wine, watching crap telly, followed by a good night's sleep, is just what you need. And so it was last night:

  • Good food: I quickly fried some huge tiger prawns with some red peppers, chillies, garlic and ginger. I chucked in freshly-chopped coriander, and squeezed a lime into the pan. I then sliced up an avocado and added that, coating everything in the juices. I tipped the contents of the pan over some salad leaves and voila! Gorgeous Tiger Prawn and Avocado Salad in three minutes flat. Delicious. It just cries out for a good Sauvignon Blanc. A Sancerre, perhaps? Or a facsimile thereof...

  • Good wine: South African winemaker extraordinaire, Neil Ellis, has produced a Sauvignon Blanc exclusively for Sainsbury's. He has cheekily called it Sincere, and labelled it in the posh scripty typeface traditionally used on Sancerre labels. It looks like a Sancerre, smells gloriously like one, tastes like one, but costs less. Fortunately, it packs a fair whack of alcohol, meaning I was enthralled by...

  • Crap telly: Boy, there was plenty of that on offer last night. Debbie, a 36-year-old secretarial temp from Croydon, has been single for three years. And no wonder, with that poodle haircut, that waddle, those Kenneth Williams impressions, and that violent rash that flares up over her neck and boobs when she's nervous. Over six weeks, the panel of 'style experts' on Would Like To Meet try to boost her confidence by finding fault with the way she dresses, speaks and walks. Amazingly, this seems to work, and she is now dating a younger bloke. Perhaps the style team have already applied their talents to Jade in the Big Brother house. How else can one explain the fact that the miserable pig-like one seems to have ensnared a man? [Though as it's only PJ, I guess that's hardly a big deal.] I couldn't handle the increasingly banal V Graham Norton. Is it just me, or is he sweating desperation from every pore? So off I went to bed, and a...

  • Good night's sleep: Somehow I managed to wake up feeling refreshed, despite the bottle of wine; and despite the vivid dreams involving: a walk from Oval to Vauxhall which somehow took me via Swaziland; a meaningful conversation with the girlfriend of an ex-boyfriend; a cottage full of satanic bikers; and a desperate escape which involved performing a stand-up routine on stage.
  • Tuesday, June 11, 2002

    Dear Jade, what the hell is a chipstick?
    Oh, have I told you that Marcus and I are going on holiday in three weeks' time? Yup, the fifth to the fifteenth of July - a week in Sitges and three days in Barcelona.

    We're going away with A and K and G. If previous experience is anything to go by, I doubt it will be a relaxing holiday. I went to Sitges with A and G two years ago. It was a memorable, eventful trip:

  • G, dancing wildly, fell off a podium and broke his arm. He was rushed to the hospital the next morning and had a metal pin inserted [into his arm, that is] and spent the rest of the holiday with his arm in plaster. This would probably slow most mere mortals down. But not G, oh no. He even managed Trailer's legendary foam parties, with his cast gaffer-taped in a plastic bag. Very fetching.

  • The three of us were part of a much bigger group. There were seventeen of us, descending en masse onto Sitges, like some skinhead Sunshine Coach Tour to RVT-by-the-Sea. We became well-known during our stay. Some more than others...

  • For the first foam party of the season, Trailer decided to experiment with putting food colouring into the foam. Green food colouring. Indelible green food colouring. Indelible green food colouring that reacted badly with human skin, particularly that on your scrotum.

  • After the foam party, everyone piled into my room. Bottles of cava were opened, schnapps were drunk, loud music was played, clothes were loosened, morals were loosened yet more, hands strayed, mouths strayed, and a veritable orgy ensued... And suddenly, like some bad porn film, there were three uniformed policemen in the room....

    ...Let's hope this holiday is equally memorable, but perhaps not quite as eventful!
  • There will be huge celebrations on the streets of Kilburn tonight. And probably even more if England don't manage a win or draw tomorrow.
    Our friend Karl is having a Moulin Rouge party later this month. Guests have to come dressed as a character from the film. I'm having a costume crisis - I haven't the faintest idea what I'm going to wear.

    The look Marcus and I could most easily achieve is that of the pale, thin, bohemian musicians - white face, black suit, little glasses.

    We could perhaps go as two of the Four Whores - Nini-Legs-In-The-Air and Mome Fromage, but who would be who?

    But these are all minor characters - I want to be a star, darling. I quite fancy going as the Duke - wispy moustache, false teeth, obseqious, insincere fawning. Yes, I think I could carry him off. But Marcus, much as you'd love to, I don't think you'd make a convincing Absinthe Fairy.

    Any suggestions?

    Saturday, June 08, 2002

    With apologies to Dominic Behan

    'Twas in the year of 'noughty-two
    And I felt like such a drinker
    When I was heading for Cricklewood
    To meet Fraser and Sashinka.

    Oh, the craic was good in Cricklewood
    And we wouldn't leave the Crown.

    I drank till the beer made me feel queer
    with Fraser, Sasha and Dave
    More than I should, in Cricklewood
    My hangover was grave.
    I chatted hard, told tales by the yard
    Fuelled on lots of Belgian lager
    If you pride your life, don't join, by Christ, with drunken Kilburn Bloggers.

    Friday, June 07, 2002

    Fame! I'm gonna live forever! Swish Cottage has been reviewed in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age, as part of an article about gay blogs:
    From the Green Guide, The Age, June 6, 2002
    From Blogon by Jenny Sinclair

    Swish Cottages
    Clubbing, pub trivia nights and Michael's fabulous party on Saturday night: just another day in the life of London-based blogger David. His favourite hangout is the Vauxhall Tavern; he's even written an A-Z of what he loves about it.

    "F is for five o'clock, four quid, full, fags, fashion, Fred Perrys, footie kit, fraternising with friends, fancying, flirting ..."

    When not socialising madly, he complains about middle-management meetings and lets you know what he thinks of the latest CD releases.

    For that uniquely British touch, he offers the London Sun's "real story" on British soldiers in Afghanistan: "Troops were shocked when they were targeted by frisky fellas wearing PINK LIPSTICK, NAIL POLISH and PERFUME."

    A page of photographs gives the impression of random moments from a day wandering around London.

    Follow the link to his friend Marcus' site, where you'll find review of Kylie Minogue's London concert and another perspective on David.
    Thank you to Amanda and David for pointing this article out to me. If anyone has a printed copy of the article and could scan it for me, I'd be very, very grateful.

    Thursday, June 06, 2002

    Been on a course all day - Photoshop Advanced Techniques. Tomorrow too.

    Wednesday, June 05, 2002

    The RVT on Sunday was lovely, despite - or perhaps because of - not being allowed in to see the show. Instead, we drank cheap off-licence lager on the grassy knoll and discussed good friends with other good friends. We ended the evening in conversation with two of the loveliest people on the planet. [Hello Andy! Hello Christian!]

    Andy - a huge ABBA fan - took great delight in getting Marcus to say "Agnetha" and "Fältskog" and "Lyngstad", and seemed surprised that he was able to pronounce them properly. [Uh, yeah, he really is Swedish!] And someone made my weekend, my week, my year, by giving me something I've waited nearly twenty years for. And it was worth the wait.
    "And now, laydeez and gennulmen, heeeeeeere's GRAAAACE!" And there she was, prowling and growling. Striking ludicrous poses while wearing a series of ever-more ludicrous headgear. Seven songs, seven hats. Posed halfway up a flight of stairs, baring her impressive gnashers, challenging a wind machine to do its worst, she was the butchest thing at Purple In The Park.

    The Skinny Boyfriend and I had a fab time. The weather was glorious - hot, with not one cloud troubling the blue sky. This was the only queens' celebration we were interested in. We wandered in and out of dance tents, sprawled on the grass, chatted to good friends, screamed at Grace, then went home and had a fab night together. A perfect start to a perfect Bank Holiday weekend.
    Get me to a dentist! Last night, while struggling manfully with a fossilised bit of pork crackling, the sliver of remaining molar around my root canal collapsed. It has exposed a jagged lump of metal where my tooth once was. Of course, I can't help exploring these new sharp edges, so I've got an abraded tongue, too.

    Trouble is, I'm on a training course tomorrow and Friday, so unless I find an emergency dentist today or Saturday, it'll only be fixed after the weekend. I don't think it would be a good idea to go out clubbing with this jagged nugget in my mouth - I'd have no tongue left.