Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Interesting Christmas Presents

1) A pile of original 78s. (Mum & Dad)
My parents abandoned their normal sweetly absurb attempts (last year's top horror: a double-breasted leather jacket that would have looked baggy on the cast of Fat Friends), and instead provided me with a cloth album of old, terribly cherished shellac 78s.
They've been played to death, and only work on my modern turntable with a bit of enthusiastic hand-cranking (wistful sigh). But are just maginificently odd.

2) Dr Who Theme Present (Lee)
Dear Lee got me the following as a tribute to the Dr Who story "Remembrance of the Daleks":
- Sugar
- A Skipping Rope
- A Time Controller

3) Bag o Shite (My Flatmate)
Obviously, my flatmate wants to move out as soon as possible. Why else would she have brought lactose-intolerant me
- Vodka cream liquer from the Shetland Islands
- Two jars of out-of-date cooking sauce?

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Old Shags Revisited

Bumped into the first guy I shagged after I moved to London last night.

It was in the summer of 2000, and there he was standing on the Tube platform. We glared at each other all the way back to Camden Town, where he took me back to his council flat, cooked me chicken nuggets, and then let me do fantastic things to him on the balcony.

But there I was, staggering around the Black Cap after seeing Eddie Izzard, and there he was, leaning against the bar - still typical Rough-U-Like, all muscles and bad hair.

I wandered over.

ME: "Hello - you're the first person I shagged when I moved to London."
HIM: "Oh. Yeah. Want to do it again?"

So we did. He still lives in the same Council Flat, with a carefully ironed duvet cover and fifteen books (Andy McNabb, James Herbert, and The Borrowers).

I staggered out at three in the morning, and there were people dealing crack in the stair well.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Season of "oh why bother"

Trying to write a news story without using the phrase "something new for you to hate, you joyless fucks"

Friday, December 19, 2003


Just enjoyed a strangely lovely cocktail party. At our desks. We nipped out, spent £20 on booze, ice, and cheese and pineapples, and then sent out the invites.

Within about fifteen minutes, our corner was stuffed full of people discovering that a vodka martini (with an olive) was the nicest imaginable drink.

Within another five minutes we had carols on the stereo, cookies, and the head of department.

Now, two hours later, i'm slumped over my desk, typing this up, rather than daring to either...
a) vomit
b) tidy up

I have a dinner party to go to. I have no idea how i'll even find my bike. Let alone ride it through Notting Hill.

If I leave now I may just be able to walk it there in time... :)

New insult

That picture makes you look like a kids' TV presenter... on one of the digital channels.


Lee wrote this. It will only really appeal to Dr Who fans who've listened to Scherzo - a play about two people walking hand in hand through a white void. But I've preserved it for posterity anyhoo

(fade up)

James: It’s so bright! I can’t see!
Lee: (as catchphrase) My eyes! Oh, my beautiful eyes!
James: The light!

(a beat)

James (cont) Oh. Still. It may give me a nice tan, though. Shall we walk?
Lee: Do we have to?
James: Yes. There may be something exciting.
Lee: Mfft. I doubt that.

(time passes)

Lee: How long do you think we’ve been walking?
James: A month? A year, maybe.
Lee: Its ten minutes. I counted.
James: Oh well. We can sing if you want.
Lee: (distracted) Honestly, I can’t see my hand in front of me. But! If I grope this way I think I’ve found a big slab of meat…
James (under breath): It’s just like Sailors for you, isn’t it?
Lee: What?
James: Nothing.

(time passes)

Lee (panicked): James! James! I can’t feel your hand!
James (far off, muffled): I’m over here!
Lee: Where? Where are you?
James (suddenly close. SFX: zip being done up): Here I am.
Lee: Oh! Right. I think there’s something in here with us!
James (looks back at faint bushes): You may be right.
Lee: I think it’s evolving.
James: You could say that. Last time it was Latvian. Now I think it’s Brazillian.
Lee: What are you on about?
James: Er.
Lee: Anyway. Hold my hand. I don’t want to get lost.
James: Alright.

(SFX: squelch.)

Lee: Eww.

(time passes)

(SFX: chatter, humming of ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’)
Lee: I think it’s trying to communicate!
James: Yes! I made out ‘phone number’ and ‘want to make fuck with you’!
Lee: Do you think it wants to eat us? Or something?
James: I think it just wants to get down our throats!
Lee: Hmm.

(time passes)

Lee: I really wish you’d washed your bushwanked hand before you stuck it in mine. Now I can’t let go.
James (jovial): Well! It is a jolly adventure, isn’t it?
Lee: No.
James: Well, if I give it a swift tug, it may come off.
Lee: That’s what got us into the trouble in the first place.
James: What?
Lee: Nothing.

(time passes)

James: (snatch) That’s MY broach!
Lee: I think you’ll find it’s BBC property. Look. See?
James: Oh.
Lee: Yes. That means it’s going to get taken off you at any minute.
James: I hate you, you know.

(time passes)

JAMES: This wouldn't be so bad, but we ran out of vodka at the end of CD One.
LEE: No wonder I ended up with my mouth pressed to yours. I was trying to get the last fumes out of you by squeezing.

(they press their mouths together. awkwardly)

LEE: I thought we agreed, no tongues.
JAMES: Oh, sorry.

(they walk on for a bit)

JAMES: I love you.
LEE: Sorry - didn't quite catch that - too much background, uh, noise.
JAMES: I said, I Love You.
LEE: Hmmn. No. Not quite getting through. Sorry.

JAMES: I LOVE YOU! (sudden, alarming echo)
LEE: (quietly) And I love you too, dear. Got any more Jaffa Cakes?

JAMES: But - after all our adventures together - when you had to choose between saving my life and those q-jump tickets for GAY - I understood - and I thought...
LEE: You. Betrayed. Me. You told me those tickets were for Girls Aloud, but it was only One True Voice.

JAMES: But (plaintive squeak) love, real love - it's like a jigsaw. It's about concentrating on the big picture -
LEE: - And ignoring the big lines on your face. Hmmn.

JAMES: (sulking) I wish you'd cut your nails before we started out.
LEE: I wish you'd stop bleeding over my shoes.

JAMES: (plaintive) I still love you, you know.
LEE: (pointedly) I miss Jeff.

(time passes)

(SFX: wind, chaos)
Scherzo the Brazilian (shouting): Give him to me! You must give me your hand!
Lee: Why? No. You’re only after him for a green card!
James: I’ll do it.
Lee: You will not take him! He’s not that desperate!
James: I said I’d do it.
Lee (surprised): Oh. Alright then.
James: I’ll get bored in a week anyway.
Scherzo: Nooooo!
(SFX of exploding villain)

(time passes)

James: Well, that was fun!
Lee: Mfft.
James: Lets go back to mine and watch a film.
Lee: With popcorn?
James: Oh yes.
Lee: Good.

(a beat)

James: I wonder if I got a tan. Do I look like I got a tan to you?
Lee: No.
James: Oh. Anyway. Shall we?
Lee: Yes. Lets.
(SFX: squelch)
Lee: Eww.

The end.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Whose idea was it...?

To have our office Chrimbo party a two minute stroll from the Hyde Park Rose Garden?

Brought a whole new meaning to the phase "just nipping out for fags".

I wish it could be Christmas every day...

In our canteen.

It can't manage Lasagne, pasta bake, or even chips...

But it can turn out a perfectly lovely Turkey Roast with Pigs in Blankets and all the trimmings.
Go fig.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Cottaging vs Bog Shags

Dear Lee has recently accused me of having sex in toilets.

Well, this is true, but dear Lee does it in a way that, surely accidentally, allows readers to infer that i go cottaging - ie hanging around public toilets in the hope of receiving random jollies.

This is not true, and I'm now going to elaborate on the difference between Cottaging and Bog Shags.

Cottaging is seedy. Gents' public loos - they're not pleasant places. If you're lucky they smell of clean hospital. If you're unlucky they smell like a kidney infection, and look like a sewer.

Public toilets are not nice places to hang around. They're cold, usually outdoors, and... oh yes... have you ever seen the kind of man who goes to one to have sex?

I've found myself in a cottage three times. The first time was at the age of thirteen, when, naively, I went to a gents in a small public town, and was rather puzzled to find myself sharing a trough with two old men who were helping each other wee.

The second time was when I nipped into a Gents in SoHo just after I'd moved to London, and found my flow interrupted by a sharp pinch on my arse from ... well... Jabba the Hutt in a mac.

My third experience was an odd one. After a long evening being entertained by an adorable and sophisticated Italian in Hoxton, we both collapsed, sweaty and exhausted on his bed.

"Do you want to go out somewhere?" he asked, his dark eyebrows beetling across his... (ok, i'm stopping this now: look, he was v. pretty).

I was dead impressed. Here was a man who after a frankly experimental evening-in was planning on taking me out... at three a.m! I was struck by the fact that Italians were not only pretty, but also dead cultured and also knew exciting bars that were open sensible hours.

I followed him out into the street, and then watched as he ducked down some stairs into what was no doubt one of London's Most Secret Watering Holes.

Imagine my horror when I instead found myself in a dark, smelly pit, with no lighting, and vague shuffling shapes in anoraks. My chic friend had taken me cottaging. I was surrounded by creatures of the night - randy Zombies from Debenhams.

I ran home....


Now, let's talk about the far more pleasant subject of Bog Shags. A bog shag happens when, overwhelmed by lust-of-the-moment, you end up dragging a boy into the nearest palais du shag - frequently, the loos in a club.

It just seems the right thing to do. Its somewhere convenient to nip off to. Not my ultimate destination on a night out.

I'd argue that sex on trains counts as a bog shag. After all - we'd do it in a carriage if we had one to ourselves (and, once on the Jubilee line at 5am, we did).

And no - it's not unusual. I've done a gentle straw poll, and I'm not the only person (gay or straight) to have grabbed a Bog Shag in a nightlclub.

After all - you can't have sex on the dancefloor.

Well, okay. I did once.

Hum. Gay Dating on TV

There are many reasons why I hate my friend Lee. I could list them. But the internet isn't that large.

Let's just settle on the fact that two people I know have now seen my spot on the "Date Me I'm A Lonely Gay" Channel.

About a year ago I turned up to meet Lee, the be-wigged Jeff, and Lee's fab mother at London's the Yard. I was late, they were all giggly, and there was a camera crew there.

"Have you spoken to the TV people yet?" asked Lee.
"We all have," said his mother.
There was general nodding and encouragement, so I wandered over into a quiet corner and allowed people from the cheap end of cable TV to point expensive camera equipment at me and shout "Start."

And that was it. That was all they said. No leading questions, prompts or hints. Just an expectation that you'd talk yourself into a vacuum.

Which I duly did, with Lee standing on the sidelines, grinning like he'd swallowed the Cheshire Cat and occasionally prompting. I think I talked bewildered old nonsense about being able to put up shelves, and my inventive shunting of Jo the Architect with a philips screwdriver.

And then, at the end of all this, wandered meekly over to the table, to find everyone beaming broadly.

"Well that was odd. What did you all say when you did it?"

"Us? You don't imagine we'd be foolish enough to do that do you? Hah!"

So there we are - tricked into something silly by Lee. For a change.

(For the record, Lee has promised to get me on Babestation - as one of the bored people pouting on a divan in high heels in the bottom right of the screen. This notion almost makes me forgive him).

Monday, December 15, 2003


Every time I smoke, I like it more and myself less.

Alias Watch

Have reached The Box, Parts One and Two:

"Dear Diary. Today I was sat in front of the log fire, listening to Enya and burning pictures of my mother, when Quentin Tarnatino popped round to give me some artistic credibility".

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Cruise Control

Irritatingly, when I left the party, I discovered my bike had a puncture. With no Taxi willing to take it, I spent an hour walking home, listening to the world service.

Caught a fascinating programme all about Latin American crops. Thought it was really intriguing.
Finally got to bed at 4, and was then up at 10 to go to a course....

I signed up for a GMFA course on Cruising Skills - they keep promising me normal networking training at work, and this seemed a great way to get that, as well as a few new tips for chatting to strange totty.

Like all good training, this was Basic Common Sense explained well. And I had a riot.

Especially as I was sat down talking to one of the people on the course.

ME: "So, what do you do?"

J: "I work for the BBC."

ME: "Oh. So do I."

J: "No! I work in World Service radio. The latin american service."

ME: "Really? I was listening to it last night as I walked home - heard a great show about Latin American crops"

J: "No! I made that. Took me three months."

The chances of this happening are, of course, phenomenal.

I thoroughly recommend the course, as well. Although... it doens't provide all the answers in a box.


Turned up at beautiful Julia's for a party. Turns out, I'm an hour early, so I stomp off to the Champion for a swift drink.

I'd forgotten how... bland... the Champion is. The average age of the clientele appears to be the same as the Tory Party. But, sat in my corner, thinking profound thoughts and reading rent boy adverts, I was distracted.

A young, fit bloke with a stylismo-goatee wandered past, heading out into the rain-soaked beer garden. He paused, "Would you like to smoke a joint?"

This was Vinnie. A smart, clever boy from Sydney - who was monged off his face, but appallingly friendly and diverting. He worked the entire pub like a smooth politician, and eventually agreed to come to Julia's party.

I'd gone from being an hour early to three hours late, and had turned up with a pissed, giggling Aussie beefcake, who proceeded to run around the party, complimenting the women, yelling with the men, and occasionally showing off his muscles.

I just sat there baffled, through a thin haze of hash and red wine. Serge was set next to me (married to the lovely Gemma). Serge always strikes me as unflappable - and was amused in a Cheshire Cat way by the obstreperous Oz boy who was rampaging through the Ferero Rocher.

Vinnie and I ended up outside - there was a queue for the loo, Vinnie needed a piss, so we went looking for the garden - and, of course, bumped into an angry guy from the flat below, who'd come to complain about the noise. Vinnie charmed him, and then we headed off for the lawns.

It took us a while to get back into the flat.

Twenty minutes later, Serge opened the door as it was being hammered down. At it was Vinnie, me, and vengeful neighbour, screaming his head off, demanding the noise was turned down, vowing to call the police, and yelling "And I want these two to leave NOW!"

While the owner of the flat went to calm down the Vengeful Neighbour, Serge turned to me, "What was all that about?"

"I think he doesn't like your taste in music," I explained. "Plus, we had sex in the lift."


Friday, December 12, 2003

Sex survey

Everywhere, we are being counted by little men in coats with clipboards.
I'm used to going into a club, and a man the size of an expensive Smeg Fridge noting this fact with a counter...


...I cycle into work, and a student on a stool makes a tick as I whizz past the Euston Road.
...I take the tube, and a beardie's clocking me as I struggle past the clipboards.
...I walk to the Chinese for lunch, and a pasty-faced starveling notes this fact grimly (First observed by Richard Herring )

... And where, you may wonder, will the "Let's Count People Doing Things" madness stop?

Well, I shall tell you:

There I was last night, cruising the Hyde Park Rose Garden, for a bush trembler on the way home... and there they were! Men! With Clipboards! Counting!

One wonders what the boxes were that they were ticking...

- Dissapointed loners with combovers and tesco bags (12)
- Noisy old men (6)
- Really very cold but quite cute foreigners (2)
- Weird snogging couple on a bench (1)
- Tramp or Trade, hard to tell (3)
- Mad moppet looking for his "boyfriend" who he'd met for the first time there last night (1)
- Cute film runner called Jamie (1)

I had the cute one. It's always nice to shag someone with a name a bit like your own. And my inner Who fan was thrilled that I got to shout out "Jamie! Jamie! Hold On!". Twice.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Meanwhile, men II

The bloke who I saw ealier this year... the, uh, sixteen year old...

He's now 17.
And his dad's brought him a sports car for his birthday.
He was seeing a Tory MP.

He's emailed me to complain that the Tory MP turned out to be married.


Of course he was married! Fool.

Meanwhile, men...

A young man I snogged in Leeds rang up. He wanted to talk about "Us".


Monday, December 08, 2003


Went to the American Embassy for a visa. It involved standing in the cold for forty minutes, more frantic queueing, a scramble for a stapler... and finally... a long talk with a stern lady in an embroidered jumper.

All went well until the following exchange:

"So, you're wanting a working visa for a Doctor Who Convention?"


"So you'll be interviewing medical professionals?"


Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Bold Management Decision

I'm tired of spending my life begging, pleading, arguing and despairing as I try and develop projects. It's humiliating, demeaning and degrading, and a vaste waste of time.

So, I've made a decision that'll improve my sense of self-worth.

I'll just offer people head instead.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Weird junk

An email about penis enlargement contained the following weird keywords....

approval diagram blush malarial influential husky lust injustice kept ninefold janos tone in impress jocular detergent laminar strum butler poke throaty sunspot torrance axiomatic rachel chairlady knoweth animadversion demarcate chaos wake jeremiah

Toasted Sandwich Recipe

From the Breville cookbook.

2 medium sized tomatoes
6 spring onions
2 tbsps finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons peanut butter

Written by Judy Ridgway. Who says it's her fave "midday snack". "Judy Ridgway" patently a pseudonym for Elvis.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Oh Joe

Spent the weekend in Leeds staying with a groupie. This is a bit of a misnomer. Young Joe is a massive Dr Who fan who lives a terribly uncomplicated life.

To be frank, it was reassuring hanging around with him - his life is kind of empty, but kind of full - of friends, shags, spells and drugs. He believes witchcraft stopped him getting HIV, crystals heal headaches, and Paul McGann will be the next Doctor Who.

He makes most of his money by making pirate DVDs of porn and Dr Who. He does his own dentistry.

He's kind of cagey about his family. I presume he has one somewhere. This weekend I found a picture of him, arm in arm, all smiles with a lovely couple in late middle age. It was a lovely little picture, proudly framed in the living room.

"Mum and Dad?" I asked.

"No, Polly and Jamie."

Banged to rights

I'm thinking of joining the police. No, seriously. Have been toying with the idea for quite some time of finding out more about being a Special Constable.

The only thing that stopped be filling out the application form was how truly awful the website is:
Being Special

Oddly, I keep on bumping into people who've done it, and really get a lot out of it. And, oddly, the evening I spent out clubbing with three gay coppers was one of the most fun evening's I've had.

Apart from anything else, they used call signs to point out attractive men to each other. "IC4 at 9 o clock." "Yeah, but what about the IC3 at 7?"


Went to Leeds to mope for the weekend. Leeds is a good place to mope - it's cold, wet, and windy. The default state is miserable, the default cigarette is Safeway's Own Brand, and an idea of a meal out appears to be Burger King.

I don't think I like the Leeds gay scene. It's full of straight people. And they're not pretty. You're constantly being elbowed out of the way by a conga of clapping ladies, all with jolly bosoms.

And every conceivable corner is skulked out by a straight bloke. They've got gay faces, gay hair, gay clothes, but a beer belly you could hire out at children's parties.


Bad news at work. Very bad news.

I mean, not obviously the worst - I've not been fired, not has our department turned into a Poundstretcher, but still, pretty bad news.

We kind of knew something was in the air - weird, small hints have been dropped... but I finally received the velvet curtain by phone on Friday.

It was all done in a very BBC way - quite nicely, but firmly, and completely overruling all of the absolutely clear, irrevocable reassurances we've been receiving for the last few weeks.

That's the way of the BBC, though. Nothing bad is going to happen. Until it does. At which point, you're on your own.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Working from home is brilliant.

Not only is it 5000% more productive than being in the office, but you can put washing on in the morning, get laid in the lunch hour, and nip out to Argos in the afternoon.

Shuffling mad old gay

Yesterday it rained. I showered, dressed, and left the flat to buy some breakfast and do fun shopping.
Only when I got back to the flat did I realise that I'd put moisturiser on... but not rubbed it in.

Friday, November 21, 2003

BBC Staff Survey Update

After spending half an hour filling in this nonsense online, my printed copy turned up.

Typically, it's printed on the wrong kind of paper, so we're not allowed to put it in the recycling bins.

Massive Waste of Licence Fee?
1) Disagree
2) Tend to Disagree
3) I watch BBC3
4) Agree
5) Strongly Agree

Now I've done everything...

Last night, a man gave me head while sucking a Fox's glacier mint.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Annual Staff Survey

Once a year, the BBC asks its staff what they really think of them. It's always vile, but this year's survey is more candyfloss horrible than most. And backed up by ceaseless emails from Alan Yentob begging us to fill it in. I like Alan Yentob - he wears nice suits - but surely he has better things to do than email me all day?

By the end of the survey, I hit the roof, and stuck this in the additional comments box:

This survey is ridiculous and sums up everything I HATE about the BBC.

This is still the best, most exciting company in the world, but rather than accepting that and moving on and actually trying to solve the problems, we instead get surveys like this.

I LOATHE the fact that serious issues (management, pay, work between departments, the appalling LST) are cloaked under waves and waves of vacuous blather about celebrating core values.

Why can't we have a real survey written in real language? Why can't we be asked "My Manager is an insincere bastard?", "My department is desperately underfunded", or "I think far too much money's wasted"?

Why are we offered this idiotic nonsense about core values? Why not empower staff instead - give us phone lines to rat on useless internal services, give us champions to solve tough problems?

When I joined this firm I thought I would be working with clever people who all wanted to do the best possible they could for this company. Now I realise it's stuffed full of pedantic timewasters - and it's a disease even I'm catching.

The BBC is still an organisation where it's easier to find 20 reasons to say no that 1 to say yes. And I'm becoming one of those people.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Some people may call me cheap...

I prefer to think of myself as a bargain.

Monday, November 17, 2003


Is a TV show on a nameless channel.

Men send in texts, which are read out by bubbling, scantily clad beauties, while, on three mini-screens, lingerie-snapping lovelies mouth and jubble to rude phone calls.

It's all most salacious and never goes anywhere ("Come on, come on - would you like me to whip Sammi? Or should I do a pole dance?"), only with occasional flashes of tit.


1) The host Sammi. Tart-With-Heart-Of-Gold, TM. Neat line in small talk, and the look about her of someone who loves her job, but hates every minute of it.

2) A man texted in asking for the girls to crush fruit under their high heels. They found a couple of bananas and trampled on them, making "ooohummmmm" noises... until they started to giggle and sat down again.

3) Someone texted Sammi saying "I've always fancied - ever since we were at school. We're all watching you from The George." Sammi goes red, and squeaks. "Do you have any idea how embarrassing this feels?" she asks, off camera. Then turns to the camera, flashes her tits and giggles - "Get a J&D in for me, lads!"

Things I learned on Saturday

1) I really should have got of with the handsome man with the great smile I met on Friday.

2) A taxi cab from Euston to Peckham costs only £16.

3) Peckham on a Saturday evening makes Kings Cross look like the inside of Buckingham Palace. Hmmn. There's an oral-sex-in-public joke somewhere there...

4) Somewhere in the world, at every minute of every day, there is a video channel showing Girls Aloud. Lee gets all these channels on cable.

5) Ah. Babestation... see next post.

Friday, November 14, 2003


We've got a bit of The Official 40th Anniversary of Dr Who Cake from the House of Commons launch yesterday.

We're sure it's not as good as it used to be.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Porn launch

Steve tells me he can't see me tonight as he's going to the launch of a porn film.

You know how when they launch a boat they spray it with champagne?
I wonder if it's kinda the same thing...


Bonkers phone call from our publicist.

SOPHIE: Sweetheart, bike a DVD of Dr Who round to the Times would you?
ME: I can't. We only had one copy of DVD, and you've just had me send it round to the House of Commons.
SOPHIE: That is no good.
ME: I have a video copy.
SOPHIE: (drums fingers. Sighs) Video?
ME: Of the first three episodes.
SOPHIE: But I promised him all six!
ME: We're not due to take delivery of those until the end of the month.
SOPHIE: But. I. Promised. Him. All. Six.
ME: But can't you...?
SOPHIE: No. Look. Send him the video, I'll phone him up and lie.
ME: Can't he just review the first one? Like a TV review? That's all that's going out tomorrow.
SOPHIE: No. All Six. He must have all six.
ME: But TV reviews just review last night's TV, don't they? They don't review the next six weeks of EastEnders.
SOPHIE: Yes they do.

walking on broken glass

So far today, I've

- stepped on a shard of broken glass in my room that I missed
- bled everywhere
- had to pull it slowly out while my flatmate said "I can't see anything, I can't see anything in there ... Oh god!"
- remembered I have to give a presentation on Dr Who tomorrow

But I did watch the West Wing last night. That was nice.

Monday, November 10, 2003


Oh dear god.

Had sudden panic attack. Should I be...

- making a flash promo
- reading a proposal for a story about ping pong and talking trees?
- checking a budget about vampires
- filling out a standing order
- paying my plumber
- checking a Doctor Who books page
- thinking about my boy
- sending out a CD with pictures of ladies on it
- listening to a radio four programme about secretaries
- rewriting a flash loading screen
- asking for £250,000 nicely?

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Hot water?

I've been without hot water, central heating, or a shower for 10 days now. It's kind of odd. Weirdly, the death of the boiler appears to have been the queue for other things to go wrong. The front door now creaks, the lights in the hall have blown, the TV ariel no longer works, and I appear to be incapable of buying more toothpaste.

Plus, people have started sending me unimaginable bills for alarming things. I now owe the council £1,900 for renovations to the car park. I don't even know how to drive.

More Steve facts

1./ When he wants to be, he is skipper than me.

2./ Interesting previous boyfriends include a porn star and someone who lived on the streets for the year.

3./ At 19, he was a project manager for an Internet Firm. Then he went into advertising for a bit, moved to Gran Canaria to run a bar, and came back to work in a sex shop.

4./ He hates clubs. Or pubs where you can't talk and the beer is bad.

5./ My flatmate thinks he's cute.

6./ He thinks I should have 'a little switch that I could flick to choose how I want
you: "shut up", "bubbly", "discreet", "on all fours".' Hmmn.

7./ Did we mention the fact that I'm constantly being outclassed by someone who was born in 1979?

8./ He's not impressed by Doctor Who, at all. But mentioning that I knew Nev Fountain got him into bed on Saturday night.

9./ It's very hard to tell when he's drunk. Either that or I've never met him sober. All of a sudden, he will announce mad, drunken plans with deadly seriousness.
Rolling through Chinatown last Saturday night, he suddenly announced "We've got to get off the streets now. The shooting's about to start." I asked him what this meant the next morning. He looked alarmed, whimpered a little, and then laughed.

10./ He appears to know my every online move. Which is unnerving. He's found pictures of me from a long-ago Doctor Who convention in LA. I didn't even know there were any.

11./ He thinks I'm the most dishevilled man he's ever met (this obviously includes Homeless Ex). He offered to buy me an iron for Christmas. I pointed out I already owned one. He growled.

Steve update

Do I have a bloke? God knows. But I do enjoy his company.

Took him to Brighton for supper. Forgot he hates travelling by train, but he was reasonably up for it (well, he chain-smoked himself to sleep). Impressed by English's (still my fave restaurant).

While I wanted to pay, he insisted that I let him look after the wine. Then bought a bottle of Dom Perignon, thus guaranteeing that I will constantly be squeaking "£120!". Slightly resent the fact that I'm so middle class I'm desperately impressed by this - obviously valuing the price tag over the sheer loveliness of the champagne.

We bitched and sniped in a most amiable and fond way through supper, and then fell asleep stretched out in a cabin on the last train back to town. While drinking much cheaper champagne.

He's now gone to Prague for a few days, which means I can update my blog in safety. After all - they don't have radio waves out there, let alone the internet. Phew.

Monday, November 03, 2003


I'm not really a convention goer. And my lovely boss (the most powerful beard in BBCi) was completely baffled by it.

He turned up on the Sunday to find us cowering at our BBCi stand, blocked off from actually meeting the public by two rows of desks twenty feet away. And then he started to laugh. "Are you often stuck behind the gents loos?"

He'd genuinely come along to meet people and talk to them, and was rather annoyed that this didn't seem to be the purpose of our stand (which, when people could get to it, was actually in the middle of an autograph queue, so was used as a place to leave tatty plastic bags and, on one occasion, a small child).

He was even more bemused at seeing crowds of people queuing for four floors of spiral staircase on the off-chance that Katy Manning (the only unsealed postbox in London) was still below. Vaguely surprised no one hurled themselves down at her.

He actually got angry when it turned out that no-one, not even Beech, could explain whether or not the Shalka episodes that he'd brought along were even going to be shown, when they were to be shown, or why, if they were being trailed, it was being done as "?!".

That said, seeing children sitting cross-legged in front of the TV screens watching Shalka made me feel all gooey. Even if most of the children were 35.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Steve for beginners

There are two things you need to know about Steve:

1) He's suave, sexy and very witty.

2) He's found this blog.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Large old men in saunas

Strangely, those blokes always remind me of geography teachers. It's the beards and bellies that do it. They still manage to look like they're wearing tweed jackets and cords, even though they're naked.

I wonder - do they come to saunas to have sex with young men or to eat them?

Sunday, October 19, 2003

And it sucks...

Detail I forgot about the sex club, by the way. A row of cubicles backing onto each other, with a hole in the joining wall.

J: "It's called a suckatorium. It's yummo. You stick you knob through and get head."

ME: "But... you can't see who's doing it to you. That's...."

J: "Who cares? You're getting head."

How I've missed the moral high ground.

Holiday reading

THE FALL OF HITLER by Hugh Trevor Rope
Fascinating and strangely depressing account. The Nazis were just as dumb as any bureaucracy. Hitler was accidentally being poisoned by his incompetent doctor, and Himmler was a lovely man to work for - a gentle old madman who didn't seem to be aware that he was committing unimaginable horror. It's somehow so much worse to discover that the nastiest events in history were carried out by such lacklustre dodderers.

THE SINGING SANDS by Josephine Tey.

Another of her rivetting not-quite-mystery stories. Is it just me or is this book massively homoerotic? Inspector Grant spends paragraphs musing on the beauty of the young male corpse, and keeps on inviting the victim's flatmate Ted to stay over.
At the end of the book, Grant is glad to have escape marriage, and Ted laments "our bungalow will never be the same again."

GREENMANTLE by John Buchan

First World War ripping yarn spy thriller from the author of The 39 Steps. Gripping and also daft. And (sigh) similarly homoerotic. Our hero, Dick Hannay, thanks himself that he's never fallen under the spell of women, is often complimenting men on having "the face of a pretty girl".
The Germans, meanwhile, are corrupt buggers. Witness the foul living room of Colonel Stumm: "It was the room of a man who had a perverted taste for soft, delicate things. I began to see the queer other side to my host, that evil side which gossip had spoken of as not unknown in the german army." Shudder.

The Australian Dream

Appears to be to own a palatial triple front two garage house with a flag out the front and lawn out the back.

Oh, and have babies. Top reason for Lorraine and Paul being lovely people is that they do not have babies and have no intention of acquiring them.

Have spent some of the beach time catching up with Paul's sprogged-up friends. And it is truly terrifying. Their lives are under the control of something that can barely speak, is much less smarter than a kitten, crawls at about 100 metres an hour, and has a homing instinct for electrical sockets and sharp corners.

True horror: Last night Paul's brother and wife came round for supper. With sproglet. Which set up a constant wailing howl.

MOTHER: "Would you mind turning the TV down? I want to listen to the baby."

Beach Holiday and babies

Port Stephens is a lovely place to spend a week. Nothing ever happens. It's by the sea. And it has sand dunes.

It's despicably tranquil. Even the bakery only opens when they feel like it.


I was only in Adelaide for eight hours, but if felt like forever.

Lorraine, Paul, Ben, Susan, James, Justin, Anthony and random alley shag all warned me that Adelaide would be dull, but I figured... how dull can a place be that there's nothing to do there for eight hours?

Adelaide is that dull. It's so dull, it has a cricketing museum. That isn't open.

Overland train journeys

Best way to see Australia. You get a room the size of a vacuum-packed Japanese hotel, with a great view of the most amazingly empty countryside ever.

Oh, and champagne.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Wilting Poppy

Apparently, the men in Sydney suffer from Wilting Poppy. It's the reason Kylie left the country, apparently.

Andrew explained it to me. The men have flip-flop/passive-aggressive moods - they switch between being man hungry devils and shy angels. In seconds.

I'm so glad he told me it's a known phenomenon. I was getting puzzled.

EXHIBIT A: On my first night out in Sydney, I was chatting up Dan, originally from Germany. He was flirty, and bold, but refused to kiss in front of his friends. Once outside the club, he demurely let me kiss him, but only once he was sure the bouncers weren't looking.... and then demanded we had sex in an alley.

EXHIBIT B: On Monday night, Matt. Lovely bloke - grabbed hold of my nipples in the Colchester Hotel. He smiled and waved, waltzed off, and beckoned me over. He was wearing jeans and a smile, and stood there bumping and grinding against me, his grin getting broader and dirtier as his muscles pumped and whirled around like popcorn in a pan.

Then there was a pause. Gradually all that muscle came to rest.
"Why are you looking at me?"
"You're a very attractive man. You're dancing. Topless. It's hard not to."

He throws his arms over his head, howls, and cringes. "Don't say that! Don't tell me people are looking at me. I'm not doing it for that."

An aggressive new version of 'American Life' comes on, and he starts to pole dance a bar stool.

Later: "You find me attractive? I wish you hadn't said that. You're so forward!"

But... but.... you dragged me across the dance floor by my nipple...

Pause. Shrug. Witling poppy.

Sydney Sex Club

"It's called Head Quarters," said Justin, "And the emphasis on Head is deliberate."

So, Justin drags me into one of his favourite haunts. We've spent an evening wandering around Oxford St, Sydney's gay street, which has the overall ambience of caviare served on used chewing gum.

After wandering the bars, and a quick visit to Justin's favourite porn emporium (porn still bemuses me.... firstly: why? secondly: why are the covers so awfully produced?)... we ended up in Head Quarters.

It's where Justin finished the weekend's SleazeBall - "I had four or five men. All fine - but nothing you'd bother cooking breakfast for." - and, charmingly, he insisted I saw what he meant.

Head Quarters turns out to be four floors of solid filth. Well, three floors of solid filth, and one showing soaps. There were rooms for enemas, slings, crosses, chains, dark rooms, a room with a marble altar, and a room containing three bathtubs.

Some of the rooms contained exhibits. In one, a middle-aged man stood, splayed provocatively in a leather nappy, snarling listlessly like a tired lion at the zoo.

Outside the room where men crap over each other was a notice: "For your own comfort and safety, this is a NO SMOKING club."

Five feet away from it, a bearded man had his arm buried inside a friend, working him like a human puppet.

This is the point where I'm supposed to say I made my excuses and left. I should have done. Justin and I looked out of place. For one thing, he was dressed in designer gear, I was still in beach shorts and a mambo shirt. But, I went looking for the loo, caught someone's eye.... and lost Justin.

Hmmn. How does one describe this properly. Um. "Dear diary, last night I had sex in a cage...?" No. No. Perhaps not.


I am in Melbourne. It is cold and raining. I have brought a fleece. I am sitting typing this in a gay bar, with drink by the mouse. 20 feet away from me, a drag act is sliding down a pole to American Life.

Ozzie drag queens have biceps the size of a mini metro, and don't sing. They just dance. Athletically.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Sherlock Holmes

Am reading a book of Holmes short stories. Much better written that I thought they would be, but, surprisingly...

1) A cavalier attitude to the lower classes. Clerks and serving girls come out of it rather badly.

2) Some of the mysteries aren't that mysterious. In one, Holmes notices that a friend's father has a tattoo. Friend's father faints with alarm at the amazing discovery. Days later he takes his own life, leaving behind a long letter about how clever Holmes is to have discerned his secret life as a pirate.

3) I'd forgotten how troubled and lazy Holmes is. He's a stronger character because of it - in between bouts of discovery and derring do, he lies on a sofa, too listless to move.

So enjoying it, I got Without A Clue, the movie about an actor impersonating Holmes for Watson, who's the real brains of the outfit. Oddly lovely film - Michael Caine is perfect as a slightly uneasy Holmes, and Ben Kingsley is wonderfully priggish as Watson. Possibly not the best film ever, but as a one joke film it's better than many!

Monday, September 29, 2003

Oddly lonely

Bradley cancelled me by text message. Sensed "something wasn't right".

Suspect he spotted I was a superficial cheat. But there we are. Stunned me more than I thought it would.

Consoled myself with a happy evening of booking train tickets and DIY.

Saturday, September 27, 2003


Gemma and Serge got married today. Wonderfully.

They had such a lovely wedding in the back of Brighton Pavillion (unbelievably startling venue - a Victorian gothic Bond Villain HQ).

TRUE LOVE MOMENT: Gemma stumbled over her vows and announced that she would "honour or obey." She paused, and giggled. Serge grinned and stared at her.


The party was just startling, although the DJ was Not To Our Liking. He was firmly on the soul train, spinning James Brown and Barry White at a largely indifferent crowd. Wonderful Harriet led a delegation to see him. Steps? No. Kylie? No. Girls Aloud? Not a chance.

When he played Abba, we all felt duty bound to dance - with a sickly grimace on our faces.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Dr Who

On Friday, the BBC announced it was bringing back Dr Who. Properly.

Typical. You wait eight years for a revival, then two come along at once.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

An Interesting Accountant

Tonight I met the most interesting accountant ever.
Her name was Jo and she bumbled up to Bradley and me looking for a ciggie.
Eventually, she sat down and was wildly entertaining. More so than her tag along accountant friend (though he did announce "My sister is a model. She looks like Sarah Michelle Gellar. Makes a fortune. But puts paid to me fancying Buffy").

At the end of the evening I told Jo she was the most interesting accountant I'd ever met. "Darling," she announced, clasping my hand and exposing more boobage, "I only said that. I'm really an actress."

Mystery solved.

Intolerable Cruelty really very very good. The whole idea of a Coen Brothers rom com is startling - and yeah, rightly so.

It's both a transcendence and a send-up. It uses so many of the tropes of a standard mainstram flick, but with a little sour spin.

The biggest, cleanest, dourest of all is the use of the Sudden Public Speech + Applause. It's a standard cinematic device: if stuck for closure, introduce a spurious gathering of the people in a public meeting cum courtroom. The otherwise charmingly unsettling In & Out is a classic example - all of a sudden, Kevin Kline is making a public speech about The Gay, gets a standing ovation, and the film soars off the rails.

Same thing happens here with George Clooney - but in a very dour, Coen way. Well done them.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Inspector French's Greatest Case

A really lovely old penguin crime book. Lots of fun. Written completely in Upper Class speak.

Lots of jokes about the food in France being rubbish, the lower classes being stupid, and the Dutch being untrustworthy.

The plot hinges on a secret code hidden in the Oxford English Dictionary, and relies on us not knowing that the villainess was brought up in Peru.

The ending is terribly tidy - there are two villains. One is unmasked, and goes happily to be hung. The other (the interesting, morally complex one) instantly takes a suicide pill, thus saving messy discussions of moral complexity.

And the empire is saved.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Modern man managment

It's all gone wrong.

Not only was lovely Byron too hungover to come round on Saturday, but, worst... I've lost my mobile phone on the road home last night, so my Big List Of Men is lying crushed underneath a really big truck in Holborn.

I've spent the day using my investigative skills to track down the men that matter. It's not looking good - even with my attention to small talk, I've only really got a clutch of first names and a vague memory of jobs to go on.

How am I ever going to hunt down the lovely Byron? And what about the luscious Adam.
I know he's deputy manager of the Four Seasons in Witney. But I also know his boyfriend is the other deputy manager.

So far, I've hunted down cute Bradley, to his Ladies Accessories department store head office. Is very sweet - got through to his secretary who told me "Oh, he's in handbags at the moment..."

Clubs, threesomes, and the shape of Brussels

Never go clubbing with your ex.

This is what I did with favourite ex, Simon. Now blissfully unhitched from the slightly creepy Michael (after six gloriously unsettling years), Simon is back on the singles scene, and has the arms to prove it.

Simon is one of those people who has arms. Big, proper arms. The kind of arms that make Ben Browder look like a girl. Plus breasts that would make Jordan envious. Simon is seriously, wonderfully buff. And most of the time I manage to forget this. But Simon, unhitched from slimy not-cheating-on-him-at-all-even-though-he-had-a-gaydar-profile Michael, has really hit the gym. And he's hit the gym hard. So hard it's wincing.

He could barely fit through the door when he turned up on Friday. He was wearing the one of those Emergency Issue Gay Special Forces tshirts that only get given out to men with a serious figure to hug.

"Do you like the tshirt?" he asked, the gravitational force of his pecs making the woodchip wallpaper explode. "I'm worried it's a bit in-your-face."

"Yes please," I muttered, making a feeble effort to chop coriander. "Help yourself to a really big portion of Naan bread. Blow job?"


"Chutney? The jars are on the shelf on the left."

We ended up in the Black Cap. Simon suddenly got curiously envious of my Brazilian fun, and demanded I set us up with a threesome. I duly trotted off into the crowd, and fetched him back something he liked the look of.

Five minutes later, all was going well - young Brussels tourist Matteus and I were snogging, and it was up to Simon to step up to the mark, join in, and then we'd be merely a swift taxi ride away from making our French friend lucky Pierre....

Alas, I had forgotten that Simon's chat up technique was a little rusty. Simon stepped forward, smiled, and issued the immortal question:

"So, Matteus, what shape would you say Brussels was?"

Appalled, I went off to the loo. Five minutes later, my worst suspicions were confirmed. There was actual small talk. Interaction at a human level. They were even talking about some of the historic roof structures in Belgian churches.

A quarter of an hour later, it was worse still. Matteus was, in halting English, trying to describe me to Simon. "You friend... he is keen. No. Sharp... No... I mean, yes, easy."

Soon, I went home alone, spared the slight freaky trip of a shared shunt with my ex.

Simon turned up at my flat later the next day. Obviously happy for a man who hasn't had sex for two years.

"How did it go?"

He shrugged. "It was really nice. We went back to his place, cooked a simple meal, and then had a really warm cuddle. It was meaningful."

Meaningful? Pah!

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Week of Men update.

MONDAY: Mark. There was a lot of drinking. Some of it with his boyfriend, who runs a restaurant I've never heard of. Ended up sitting in a flat at 3am with a BBC3 Celebrity (yes, I am aware of the tautology). When Mark's boyf wasn't looking he squeezed my bum. Which wasn't confusing at all.
Dropped into my fave bar (Site), which is in the process of shutting down. It's taking longer to die that Peter O Toole, and with less booze. My favourite Latvuanian barman was there - smacked off his head on some chemical or other. Mark kept on asking him if he was a rent boy.

TUESDAY: Brad. Saw Calendar Girls. I cried a lot. Discovered that Brad thought I'd done a runner halfway through the film, when all I was doing was emptying my tiny bladder. Wow. Never realised how easy it is to play mind games with the insecure. There was, alas, only kissing. Brad says he isn't ready yet to "take things further". Seethe. Even Princess Di put out on the third date. The irritating thing is, he's quite lovely.

WEDNESDAY: Phil. Texted to say he might not be able to make it - he's hungover. Am looking forward to a night in with a lust it's dangerous to speak about.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Men Summary Update

Features new entries in some top slots. As ever, chance of duvet rippling marked out of 10.

SUNDAY: Matthew. Doctor of Art History with big arms. We had dinner. 5/10

MONDAY: Mark. Drinks. 0/10

TUESDAY: Brad. We're seeing a film about old ladies taking their clothes off. Should be good for a popcorn fumble. 6/10

WEDNESDAY: Phil. My fortysomething raving wrinkly's just won a year's supply of Lancome Moisturiser. Hooray! 8/10

THURSDAY: Dieter. German fashion designer. Drinks. 4/10

FRIDAY: Simon. Favourite ex. Never go back. If he has a beard: 0/10, If clean-shaven: 3/10

SATURDAY: Byron. Australian surf dude. Repeat visit. 10/10

SUNDAY: Gary Russell's Birthday. Doesn't count. 0/10


Luis and Luce: too hard to schedule.

Adam: rang me up breathing heavily at two o clock last wednesday, gasped out my name, muttered "you're great" and then rang off. Can't work out if this is a good sign or not.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Old dog/New Tricks

Trying to give my dad travelling directions around central london. It's
like trying to teach a penguin to cook.

The curse is come upon me

My weekend is collapsing. My parents are hurtling towards me by caravan as we speak.

After weeks of planning and cajoling, and offers to book them rooms in a nearby hotel, all of a sudden, I discover they are inexorably wending their way over, swimming slowly up England's motoways like a blood clot through a fatty artery.

It all started when I mentioned that I'd, at some point, need a new sink for the flat. All of a sudden, they have one. It's in Somerset, and they're reluctant to ship it. For that would cost money.

Whereas, obviously, driving it hundreds of miles in third gear in a caravan isn't a hassle.

So, they're coming to stay, and to find dust and gentle fault with everything.

My flatmate has fled already. Tonight, in a vodka haze, I'll be staggering around the flat clearing away all trace of gay fridge magnets and rude games of hangman, and frantically, terribly tidying away everything that could possibly be described as dirt, in any context of the word.

Armadale by Wilkie Collins

Quite the best Really Good Book I've read in ages. 700 pages of jolly small print.

I firmly believe that, if it wasn't so very long, it would be read by everyone. At school. Several times. With a song in their heart.

It's got everything in it, which is really surprising when you consider it was written in 1864.

Both Woman in White and Moonstone were, i remember, strangely fabulous. This one is... well... intriguing, cos I had no idea where it's going. It's got heaps and buckets of atmosphere. It begins with a rivettingly nasty backstory narrated by a paralysed man dying of syphillis. As he talks, his wife is standing forlornly in the room, and their child is playing with his toy soldiers, staging battles on his father's crippled hands.

Every 200 pages or so, the story changes gear and shifts sideways into a new book - it's a bit like a Robertson Davies sequence, as the story romps from German death rooms to a Carribbean tale of pirates, to an English country town mystery, to a London Victorian spy thriller, ending up with a murderer stalking the corridors of an insane asylum.

It really is the most incredible book, presided over by the ghouslishly beautiful, and thoroughly evil Lydia Gwilt: forger, prostitute, bigamist and poisoning psychopath. With great hair, and some musical talent.

I urge you to read it. At the very least, I urge you to buy it - it's very thick and serious and looks great on shelves.

Sabina: cool fact

Her mother is terribly eager to marry off this Pakistani female Doctor. She's thirty, incredibly talented, a specialist, and startlingly beautiful.

Her mother keeps on arranging for prospective mates to come to work just to watch her. Sabina is undestandably creeped out to discover looming little fat men with combovers and an appreciate glare lurking in A&E.

Growing old.

Am now 29. It didn't hurt nearly as much as having a filling put in.

Top tips for birthdays:
- don't let anyone know about them. makes it easier for people to know when you're lying.
- spend them abroad. if not having plastic surgery, then in a villa on a distant Italian mountain where no one can hear you howling.
- have an older friend with the same birthday. My friend Rick turned 30 this year. On the same day. On an Italian mountain. Everyone was so busy scrutinising him for sudden sagging, no one noticed me glaring at my crumbling reflection in the mirror.

Sudden thought: Every time you squeeze a spot, do you also squeeze some life out of your fave?

Things that made this birthday better:
- Spending it on an Italian mountain.
- Near a pizza oven.
- With lovely people.
- And an incredibly glam juniour Doctor called Sabina who spent every available moment asleep.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Men Summary update

BRADLEY: Now wants drinks (9/10)

DAMIEN: Arranging charcuterie with him on Friday lunctime. (9/10)

LUIS & LUCE: Received apologetically randy text message. (5/10)

THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER: I have a lead.... Some bloke came in for a meeting today. He was smily, cute and quite gay. Plus well dressed. Turned on the full charm. Suddenly remembered I'd met him before and don't like him. (2/10)

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Men summary

In alphabetical order, with the chances of it actually getting anywhere in the next fortnight at the end. Out of 10. In brackets.

ADAM: Furiously texting me with some terribly novel suggestions. (5/10)

BEN: Actually, just a friend. But a really lovely one. (0/10)

BRADLEY: Back from holiday. Tanned. (7/10)

BYRON: Moving flat. (6/10)

DAMIEN: Wants to do something in his lunch hour next week. (8/10)

JIM: Wants to show me Hoist. Am hoping this is a club rather than a sexual position. (4/10)

LUIS & LUCE: Scheduling nightmare. Also, can't face getting banned from any more clubs. (2/10)

MARK: We're going out drinking. He'll get all touchy feely, then mention his boyfriend (0/10)

PHIL: Spending some time with his kids. (5/10)

THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER: We haven't met yet. But give me time. (5/10)

Old school crush

Off to Tokyo at the end of October, to meet up with a man who I fancied at school more than Jane Austen.

He is, obviously, as straight as he is lovely. It was one of those things that I was never sure about - mind you, I seem to remember that, at the time, I was all giant glasses and nylon pyjamas.

But still... a boy can have fond nostalgic memories.

Anyway, the point is, that, lovely as this guy is, he had an even more attractive brother. Who I'd completely forgotten about - until Wouter casually informed me that... his brother now has a boyfriend. Pause. Wobble. Heart flutter.

Funny how odd that feels. Discovering that someone you've forgotten about is....
1) Still handsome
2) Gay
3) Unavailable

Weird mix of emotions. None of them easy. Or funny.

So, to close, I'd just like to mention that Adam the Restaurant Manager texted me at 4am to inform me that he was playing with himself. Not particularly funny, but certainly bizarre. I mean - what am I supposed to say to a detail that? Especially since, when I eventually received the message, the only response I could send was "Eating bran flakes."

Kinky boots

Watched a fabulous episode of the Honor Blackman Avengers last night, The The Nutshell.

Stunning - amazing to compare Patrick Macnee's performance in it to that in the Linda Thorson stuff. Here he's gritty, scheming, and compellingly charming. At the end he played the part as a quaintly baffled alcoholic who wanted to be somewhere else. It's like the Tom Baker era all over again.

Monday, September 01, 2003

If gaydar was more like Amazon...

1) When logging on, it would have Recommendations and Special Offers
2) At the bottom of every entry would be: "People who've had this man have also had the following men..."
3) There would be a completely pointless Garden Furniture section

"It's like amazon, but for sex"

I've always had mixed feelings about Gaydar. I still can't work out if it is the internet's killer app, or just The End of Civilisation as we know it.

There's something fantastically reductive about it. You get a page to say everything possible about yourself, to talk about your wants, your needs, and your aspirations. You can even put up pictures to convey a true picture of yourself....

And yet, you get entries that are just a picture of an erect penis and nothing more. No text. Apart from perhaps a token indication that the person likes "sex and food".

Who are these people behind the penises? I happen to know one (not, I rush to point out, through gaydar). An actor friend (real name: Dickie. I kid you not), has a gaydar profile that is something like "/thickcock" and it is just a picture of his thick cock. Well, several pictures. From different angles. But it still looks like an indifferently cooked quorn sausage.

It's just alarming, frankly. Dickie is a mature adult. He's a startling actor, he's witty, complex company. He can sing, dance, and read books with small print and few pictures. But, when asked to sum himself up as a potential mate... all he can do is the online equivalent of shoving his todger through a hole in a toilet wall.

I can't claim complete innocence here. I log onto gaydar about once a month. Oddly, it's rarely with the explicit purpose of sex - it's actually to catch up with a guy in Sheffield called Linten to chat about his kitchen units (we're both doing up our own flats, and quite like talking about the boring form of drilling and screwing). But I have ended up ordering men off gaydar. Always with mixed feelings - after all, I'm wouldn't order shoes online, so why sexual partners?

It's not something I ever feel comfortable with - if I ever chat someone up over gaydar, I try and stumble towards some form of elegance. I was surprised on Saturday to receive three unsolicited offers - the most eloquent of which was "Hey, cum round and worship our cocks." Since it was from a couple, I can assume that it was the work of two hands. I'm being careful with the phrasing there.

All that said, I did end up inviting an Australian called Byron round for grubby athletics yesterday afternoon. You could say we threw down a blanket on the moral highground.

Paint or Porn?

When buying some paint yesterday, I suddenly realised that the titles of the colours are now alarmingly similar to those of certain sweaty vids owned by my friend Lee.

For instance, I am painting my shelves in Russian Velvet II.

Psychic to find Dr Who

Josh Green on the BBCi message boards:

"Wouldnt it be worth a try to get a psychic medium in to see if he/she can locate missing Dr who adventures, it works on murder investigations, i dont see why it wouldnt work on locating missing who's..."

This makes me so happy.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Planet of the Daleks

As part of my Must Save Money Friday, I'm spending the evening curled up with an old Dr Who video.

God, it's incoherently fab. Following on from Frontier in Space, Jo and Dr Who head through space to the planet of the Daleks (who are about to invade the universe). They're looking for the Daleks. Guess what the surprise cliffhanger to episode one is... Goodness me, there are Daleks on the planet! Gasp!

Dr Who starts the story injured and asleep in the TARDIS, covered with frost. The TARDIS gets covered with plant spores. Immediately, the supposedly infinite TARDIS starts to run out of oxygen. This is probably due to the fact that Dr Who has obviously made a small fortune by trading in his stately home TARDIS interior for a cheap council flat. The TARDIS is now the size of box, and full of really horrid white MFI furniture. There's even plastic wrap still on the beds. Shudder. The only nice thing about it is that the TARDIS sends Dr Who messages in Futuristic Space Font.

The whole thing is magnificently 70s. Jo becomes infected with alien spores, and starts to grow bubble wrap on her hand. Even better, an astronaut reassures her that "I'm an expert in space medicine." Pass the space tea and the moon buns, luv.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Not a hen

Decided not to go on my friend Gemma's Hen Night. A last-minute check of my bank balance has convinced me that there are better ways of spending £70.

I adore Gemma. I adore Kate. I adore Harriet - but the rest of her friends are merely window dressing for how fabulous Gemma is.

So, I'll be going round to Dieter's for supper instead. It'll be cheaper and includes having sex.


On a very useful (but not necessarily interesting) training course about the future of interactive television.

Receive a text from Adam: "Naked and thinking of you. What you up to?"

Daren't say "Fully clothed. Thinking of future cross-platform non-linear narrative streams."

Sat around drinking vodka and watching Doctor Who with friends. Beryl Reid was in it. There were tea cakes. Applause.

Friday, August 22, 2003


Gross point un:
Brought a tin of Irish Sea Moss round to my friend Sam's. It is made from Sea Moss. And is a vanilla-flavour aphrodisiac. It tasted horrible. Like watered down cough mixture.

Gross point deux:
From the same shop, grabbed a pack of monkey nuts. Was happily filling a bowl with the nuts, when something fluttered past the light. Sam and I looked up to see a group of moths zizzing around the kitchen. We looked back down - and realised the moths were swarming out of the nuts. The packet was full of them - shifting, crawling, fluttering and spreading. How we hadn't noticed I've got no idea.

Went out and got five packs of Prawn Cocktail Space Invaders. Much less threatening.

Gaybar! Gaybar!

Tried to get on a bus home to Euston last night.

It said Euston on the side, so I got on and asked for a ticket to Euston.
"Not going to Euston." growled the driver.
"But it says Euston on the side!" I protested.
"Doesn't. Get off."
"But it does! It says Euston." I murmured. Feeling strangely out of love with the man.

The next customer gets on.
"Ticket to Euston please."

The next passenger tried to get on.
"Euston, mate."
"No!" yells the Driver, full of vicious joy at his power.

At which point, something wonderful happened. I forgot to mention that standing at the busstop was the audience from an Electric Six concert who started to sing "Euston! Euston!" to the tune of GayBar.

The bus driver panicked and roared away, door still open.

It should be made legal to do really horrible things to nasty bus drivers. Like take away their tea cakes, or put coleslaw in all their sandwiches.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Old Blue Peter

We're watching an old episode of Blue Peter in the office. Suddenly, Simon Groom is dressed as a christmas tree. Shame.

Whisky and SitUps

Never see your personal trainer drunk.

When I woke up this morning (after a charming evening with Bradley, the young man from Ladies' Accessories) I felt brilliant. Of course, it wasn't until I jumped on my bike, wobbled towards an oncoming lorry and started giggling that I began to suspect that I was still trolleyed.

And so it proved. The only thing actually keeping me on my feet and functioning was the Red Bull still marching around my system and issuing orders like an over-practical lesbian at a picnic.

Tom the trainer was his usual sympathetic self when I sashayed happily into the gym.
"Y'aright?" he asked.
"I'm pissed, bless you for asking!" I announced, swaying.
"Fine. Let's go for a really nasty run and then some sit ups."
I paled.
He clapped me on the shoulder. "Don't worry! I was joking. We'll leave out the sit ups."


I was lying down on a bench to do a bench press. Feeling comfortable.
Tom was talking.
I shut my eyes.
Tom's voice got gentler and gentler, fading slowly away.
I opened an eye and glared at Tom.
"Were you doing that deliberately?"
"No! Why would I do....that?"


"James, stop turning your head."
"I was looking to you for reassurance."
"James - you can feel my reassurance. Waves of it washing over you. Now, stop moving your head. The sooner we do this, the sooner we can do some more sit ups."

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Bad Books: Death of a Constant Lover II

And here's how the book ends.... (look away if you're planning on reading it).

So, Delaney, the beautiful scheming student is dead. So is Jesse, another student. Jesse's father, the head of the history faculty, is grief-stricken. The wrong man is promptly arrested.

A copy of a book by an obscure French author called Constant was found on Jesse's body (hence the title. ho ho ho). This was mentioned but then forgotten about.

Nick, our hero, finally reads the back cover blurb of the book and solves the mystery. It is about a sinister young man who seduces an older woman. He realises that Delaney killed Jesse, because Jesse had discovered that Delaney drove his mother to suicide. Nick goes off to confront Jesse's father who admits that, yes, he was the murderer. And he has Delaney's appallingly unsettling diaries. He would like Nick to go home and read them and then decide what to do with them.

So.... Nick knows who has committed two murders, and holds VITAL evidence which could free an innocent man, and bring down the entire campus administration.

Here's what happens next (with page numbers)

262: Nick gets home. Stefan is cooking. They talk about French literature
263: Nick explains the plot of the Constant book.
264: Stefan says Nick shouldn't have confronted the murderer on his own.
265: They start to read the diary. "We broke off when the timer rang. We ate wild mushroom lasagne...."
266: They load the dishwasher. "The quiet chugging seemed to mirror Stefan's musing..."
267: They read more of the diary. Then they talk about an offer Nick's received to edit a book.
268: They talk more about Nick's career prospects on campus.
269: They remember that an innocent man is in jail. They leave a voicemail with the police, watch a movie, and go to bed.

Even my dog knew....

Wandered dozily out of the tube station last night as it shut.

Two skinheads lurched up to me. One of them roared "Oi! Oi!"

Figuring I was cornered, I smiled weakly.

"Do you know any good pubs round here?" demanded one. The other belched.

"Er. What sort of pub?"

"Gay pubs, you gorgeous fool."

I gave them directions to the Black Cap. They gave me a bottle of rather nice white wine.

Take Time Back, Sapphire

- But I don't have the receipt.
> Take it back anyway. Tell them you've only worn it once.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Great Junk mail...


Can't Seem To Find Miss Right?

Put An End To Those Lonely Nights Here!

You've tried meeting women just about everywhere!

Why not try checking out some Hot Russian Women?

People I used to work with

Funny how you lose touch with people you used to adore when you worked with them.

Even better is when one of them sends you an email update that makes it sound like you've missed 53 seasons of 24. Here's what my old friend Debbie said:

"Jane got pregnant by a Portugese man on a barge in Amsterdam."

A fan of Strange writes

jooly wrote

i know everybody said that the programme with the demon child and the mad haired ex priest was crap but i really really liked it, am addicted and therefore devestated at its disappearance! when's it coming back?! dont stop showing it just cos no one else watched it! or if you really aren't going to show the rest then please arrange for the cast to come to my house and re-enact the rest of the series in my front room. am willing to provide tea and chocklet biccies.lots of love from jooly who is a useful member of society and not a reclusive computer/sci-fi nerd despite the stereotypes my viewing habits might suggest x


My old boss just emailed to let me know he's reading this.

Pause. Blinks.

People are reading this? Who?

Dear Mum.
Yes, I'm still gay.
And touching boys regularly.
Lots of them.
PS: Need more socks.

Bad Books: Death of a Constant Lover

by Lev Raphael.

I keep on nearly loving this book. And then getting annoyed by it.

Brief plot summary: A gay academic in his forties is occasionally distracted from cooking elaborate meals with his perfect boyfriend by grisly murders on campus.

I thought this book would be lovely. I liked the idea of a gay detective book. I liked the idea of academic infighting. I do not like this book.

For one thing, it's terribly politically correct - but in a touchy-feely-me-me-me way. The hero is perpetually agonising over being supportive enough. His boyfriend is psychologically tormented by suddenly discovering that he's Jewish and can't forgive his parents for concealing this fact from him. He's not so much haunted by the fact that they survived the holocaust, as that they tried to shield their son from the horror of their past. Which just reads... well, odd.

Periodically, the hero's sister phones. She's on her way to therapy, and the two discuss issues. Or talk about how they suspect his neighbours are "repressing".

Every fifty pages or so, someone remembers there's been a terrible murder on campus. There's a pause. Some sharing. And then we move on to the hero's selfish worrying about how his involvement in the investigation could ruin his career, or worse, supper.

This is a book of lists and labels. People aren't just well dressed - we get an inventory: "Stefan had a lightweight green-and-brown Jhane Barnes sweater and a Kenneth Cole brown suede shirt, though he never wore them together."

The same thing happens when there's cooking (and there's a lot of cooking). I think this book is written by a man who likes cooking, but loves cleaning. Witness: "Didier had equipped their kitchen very well. Sub Zero fridge, thirty-two bottle wine refrigerator, chrome delixe Cusinart, convection oven, KitchenAid mixer, Dualit taoster, Gaggia espresso machine, Henckel knives, Calphalon cookware.... By the stove a cookbook stood open in a plastic protective stand."

Ignore the list of martian cookery utensils. Let's just concentrate on the phrase "a cookbook stood open in a plastic protective stand" - this would be fascinating if it was making a telling point against the character (ie, you can tell he's emotionally sterile because of the clinical way in which he cooks) - in the same way that you'd learn a lot about a passionate character from hearing "perched on the stove was a cookbook stained with ingredients". This information is purely there to reassure the fussy reader that everything was nice and tidy. Shudder.

Similarly passionless is the description of the hero and his boyf watching a film. "After dinner, we stumbled into the living room and dug out the cassette of that quintessential 1930s romantic comedy: Midnight with Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore, Mary Astor, Francis Lederer, Hedda Hopper and Rex O'Malley." This is an IMDB listing, not descriptive prose. This tells us NOTHING about the film, or what it means to the heroes. There's another five lines before we learn that the film was set in Paris. Which is a detail at least.

It's all so teeth-pulling. Not least of which because there is a lot of the book that is fascinating and interesting. There are some fascinatingly unsettling characters, such as Delaney, an impossibly beautiful, frightentingly perceptive grad student, who looms through the book, unnerving and yet captivating every character he meets. Imagine Steerpike with social skills and a gold card, and you're kind of there.

There's Nick's head of department, a wonderfully bland woman who refuses to produce any emotional response ever, even when accused of murder.

And then there's the whole idea of gay detectives. I'm rivetted by the idea of Alan Cumming starring in a series about crime-solving decorators. The whole idea nudges on what this book is missing... just a little bit of gay fab.

I'm not asking it to be an out-and-out campfest (although, perhaps I am) - I'm just looking for the heroes to use their gay powers to solve crimes. There's not a hint of "You can tell she's a witch - just look at her heels!". There is no scene in which the heroes stand in their neighbours kitchen and tut "He *must* have killed her here. This room's never been so well cleaned. He's even done the cabinets." At no moment do they glare at a man and say "Come on sugar, you're having an affair - you've lost weight and you've stopped wearing polo shirts. Something's up."

It's all just supportive, positive, bland self-affirmation. Except for one line. One line that gives you a hint of what the book could have been....

"Stefan turned to me, quoting Sigourney Weaver's immortal line from Ghostbusters: 'Take me now, subcreature.' "

Monday, August 18, 2003

Sunday evening: Where the nuts come from

I owe Lee an apology. Hampstead Heath is not the complete dismal right off that it first appeared to be.

Prompted by a text from Lee ("It's heaving at this time of day. I hear."), I pedalled up there yesterday afternoon. Frankly, I decided the men would be crap, but cycling up a big hill is very good exercise.

The men were crap, but the bike ride was fun.

It was about six o clock, and it was rather pleasant weather for taking a stroll through the woods. The nearby cries of happy children playing were a little disturbing though.

The children were heard, but not seen. In fact, there was very little to see. There was the token "Far Too Attractive" man wandering about. You know what I mean - you see them in clubs. Vaguely unearthly creatures wandering around, with a look of total indifference to everyone around. They're like the attractive men you see in saunas "who are just there to cleanse their pores."

But that was about it - what gay men there were weren't exactly attractive. They'd all arrived dressed as elderly American tourists. Single bold colour tshirts (what is it about lime? who can find that an attractive colour? especially for lurking in a wood? and do people really still wear t-shirts with the CK on them?), pushed out by a gut expanding from the over-streched elastic of their plaid shorts.

[side confesssion: i've suddenly remembered. i once owned a t-shirt with CK on it. it was lime. my flatmates burnt it.]

So, I pottered through the woods. What randiness I had gradually muted it's way through to... well, boredom. I was about to go home when a very good looking man walked past. He obviously shouldn't have been there - early twenties, thin, fashionable clothes, decent hair, the right number of limbs... he was even smiling.

I immediately did The Worst Possible Thing. I ground to a halt. Boggled. In an alarming way.

He ground to a halt. And stopped smiling. He may even have shuddered slightly.

I stepped forward. Paused. Should have said something. Instead, boggled further.

He backed neatly away down a path.

I turned around, to find a topless fifty year old man with nipple clamps bearing down on me.

I boggled, and backed away. Down the same path that Attractive Man was on. Who soon realised I was following him, and sat down on a log until I'd walked past. As I stomped mournfully away, I heard Nipple Clamp guy starting to chat up Attractive Man.

I wandered past a few minutes later, and there was Attractive Man alone again. I walked up to him and apologised for stalking him. He shrugged, smiled, and then said the magic words "I've brought a bottle of wine."

We ended up having a picnic in the open air away from the shuffling bushes. It turns out it was the first time Luis had headed up to the Heath. He was a bit puzzled by it as well. He'd come up with a friend, Luce, another Brazilian.

We received a text from Luce. He was stoned, had no mobile reception, and couldn't see a thing. Eventually he joined us... and turned out to be just as good looking as Luis.

So, the three of us sat there, watching the sun set, drinking red wine and smoking. I failed to learn any Portuguese, despite the fact that the two of them would occasionally pause, look at me, giggle, and then mutter something.

It was an oddly idyllic way to spend the evening - getting drunk and laughing with people who were really good mates, and very good at sharing their in-jokes.

And then? Well reader, I married them.


Later on that evening, Luis, Luce and I are at the Black Cap. With two elderly South Africans.

There was stuff that happened in between, but the laws of cause and effect have stopped working. Now I am just drunk, stoned, and have muddy knees. And there's a drag act on stage shouting at us about Ewen McGregor.

Luis and Luce are dancing - dancing really well. With the effortless skill of the beautiful pissed.

The South African leans over, a hand stroking my shoulder. "So, mate, which one's yours?"

I shrug.

As if on cue, Luis walks up. And kisses me. Then Luce walks up, and kisses me.

And tonight, ladies and gentlemen, just for a few seconds I realise I have won the gay lottery. Or at least, the hearts of two Brazilian students. For an evening.

Saturday and Sunday

Lee and I discovered....

* Frock coats are lovely
* Lazer Quest is compelling
* Lee is best at laser quest if he's hidden in a high spot sniping at anything that comes near.
* My least favourite ex in the whole world still drinks in Oxford
* And has the stupidest lisp in the world.

Lee very kindly assured me that my evil ex Cary (real name actually Gary) is not at all attractive. This was splendid of him.

Did manage to escape to a small club where I met a charming man called Bradley. He's a buyer of Ladies Accessories for House of Fraser. So gay, then. Wonderful company.

We watched as a lipstick lesbian attempted to seduce his married friend Chrissie.

The train ride home on Sunday was only interesting for the man on platform 10 as Lee and I said goodbye. He was incredibly muscly, had really interesting hair, great arms, and was seeing off an elderly female relative.

I followed him out of the station, wondering whether or not to introduce myself. In the end, just couldn't.

I was walking out of the station, wearing yesterday's shirt, weighed down by a battered old Radio Time bag, wheeling my bike with a novelty cow bell.

He strode confidently past in his muscle-T, up to a vintage Harley, threw on a perfect denim jacket, and roared away.

And I know my place.

Lee's version of events is here....

Friday: Oxford

Lee and I went to Oxford. We rowed a boat. We failed to smoke pipes.
We went dancing.

It's strange to discover that the Coven, the club in Oxford that used to terrify me more than anything on a Friday, is actually small, badly organised, and full of unattractive men.

The DJing was all over the place, the drinks were rubbish, and the big dance floor was empty cos the music was much more hardcore than the crowd.

In amongst it all, Lee stood, magnificent, and a little bored. The only man he found attractive turned out to have two left feet. Which he'd left at home.

The only man I found attractive, was there with his boyfriend. He looked like a cute combination of Owen Wilson and a bog brush. His boyfriend looked like a bad tempered boot salesman.

I wandered up to the cute guy. "It's a shame you're here with your boyfriend."
"Isn't it? Do you want my number?"

Actually taking his number proved to be quite hard. Neither Lee nor I had a phone on us, and the staff didn't have pens. Lee and I spent a miserable minute trying to memorise Adam's number ("07978? no? 08798? 605? 600?") before Adam revealed that he had a phone.... which he then used to text me all weekend.... with bad thoughts.

Dolly vs Delius

When will Lee Binding discover that Dolly Parton is not classical music?

David Boreanaz

It is obvious that Angel is now being played by David B's older brother.
Even more exciting is the discovery of a web site that contains...

David Boreanaz Fan Art

Gasp! Breathe! Gasp! Oooh... airbrushing....

Friday, August 15, 2003


Due to the appalling number of squats my personal trainer made me do yesterday, I'm having trouble walking today.

I've developed this new gait, that's rather like a crab scuttling slowly past on tiptoe.

Put another way, it looks as though my bum's bitten off more than it can chew.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003


Scientists have discovered that the Big Arms Powder also makes you brainy.

Last used it a couple of months ago. Gave me a hangover every day for a fortnight.

Brought it in a biomass store in LA from a man with big arms, a vacant grin and steroid acne. He assured me was "much less likely to cause nausea, vomiting or internal bleeding than most other leading brands". It tasted vaguely of vanilla.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003


Only gay men could reinvent mugging as a hobby.

What other group of people could possibly think of this as fun?
- Going into some woods.
- At night.
- Alone.
- In the dark.
- Inviting a stranger to take you somewhere even more isolated?

Last night I finally went to Hampstead Heath. It has some kind of mythos in gay culture as being like a perpetual, twilight gay woodstock, only with shagging.

Nonsense. It was dark - too dark to see most people. There was no lighting. There was just the crunch of gravel, and the alarming knowledge that ugly men were glaring at me.

I can't imagine anything less liberating and fun that going to a darkroom. This was like going to a darkroom, but with nettles.

I did, eventually manage to discern a man who was probably pretty, and drag him off for a bushwank. But it wasn't terribly fulfilling really.

Frankly, if I wanted to stand around, thinking about the West Wing while getting indifferent head, I'd still be with my last boyfriend.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Johnny Depp's Entrance

.... in Pirates of the Carribbean is one of the best entrances in the visual medium. Period.

Other good entrances:
- The President in the first episode of the West Wing
- Locutus of Borg
- The Daleks
- The First at the start of Season Seven of Buffy.
- Grace Kelly in Rear Window

All good entrances. Really, you know... nice. But still a mere nothing compared to Captain Jack Sparrow.

PS: This film also contains an orchestral score you could go jogging to. If you were very fit.


Why, when someone says "This won't take long" does time suddenly stretch out, slow down and stop?

Dammit. I'm in my twenties. Still.
I *like* being in my twenties.
I *like* being in people in their twenties.
I only have a finite number of days of my twenties left.

What excuse do vacillating morons have for taking two of those precious, never to be repeated hours of my youth away from me with a meeting about NOTHING? I could be having pointless sex with the pretty new programmer.

And why do they tut at me just 'cos I'm reading a book during their meeting?

Quote from this morning's meeting: "Joey is in charge of a new project. It's to scope out whether or not we should progress to formulate a basic framework for our strategy of response to the idea that going forward we need to look at addressing, and perhaps changing, the way we approach our community-facing operational decisions. But it's early days at the moment."

What this means: Our messageboards are broken. We could fix this really important thing. Or we could look to the long term.
It is a bit like a fireman turning up and saying "Yes, your house is on fire. Let's start planning building a new one."

Friday, August 08, 2003


Not all cats like marmite.
Not all boys like Kylie.
Quorn sausages taste just as bad as real ones.
The men you want to call seldom do.
I can't digest Magnums.
Straight couples get engaged in heatwaves.
I appear to earn too much money.
While you can't buy happiness, you can buy DVDs.
All publicists are evil hell demons who will die alone and hated by their children. Even the maggots consuming their rotting flesh wil shudder with revulsion.
Peppermint tea is scrummy.

Blue Peter Appeal

Blue Peter Appeal video clip

Of course, these people are poor. And filthy. And probably sluts. But we want to give them a chance to play football in the cold by the sea. Just once. To give them a glimpse of a proper life. And a night in the caravan with sweaty "uncle" Roger and a little secret that they can treasure forever.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

A dream I made earlier

Bad dream:

All the other Blue Peter presenters were off having amazing sex in glamorous locations, while I was in the studio making soup.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003


This weekend I went to a big gay bbq.

Most of the men there were gay.
Except for a fab lady called EJ.

Most of them had slept with the host Daniel.
Except for me, EJ, and a man from Ireland who slouched in late, sat in a corner, and refused, frankly, to sleep with anyone there.
There is always one.

It was gay because...
1) Most of the preparations went into the salad.
2) The cooking of the meat involved fussing over marinade, and making sure people on the Atkins diet were adequately catered for.
3) Hot dogs out. Ciabatta in.
4) People drinking beer felt the need to apologise.
5) Everyone kept out of the sun ("Brad Pitt swears by the shade.")

Gay remark of the afternoon was won by EJ, who suddenly announced "My friend Pete once rimmed Limahl."

1./ The sun is shining.
2./ I have done all of my To-Do List. Except for the stupid things that I will never do.
3./ I've discovered I don't like Prawn Mayonaise sandwiches. Thank god, as the fat content is alarming.


1./ I am going to get no more work done.
2./ I have to go to a rubbish meeting that will be A Huge Waste Of My Life. Two hours of my twenties are about to be pissed down the drain.
3./ The air conditioning stops working ten feet from my desk.

Was Welsh and called John Rodriquez. Obviously.

Met him at the Black Cap in Camden. He was pretty but drunk. Not in a rolls-eyes-vomits-staggers way - just in an amiable/slightly repeating way.

Had a weird evening, lying in bed, baking alive thanks to the mini heatwave.

Every now and then he'd wake up and murmur a random fact from the night before

- "Did I mention I'd had 13 pints?"
- "You don't have a suit I can borrow do you?"
- "I've had thirteen pints. I'm still drunk."
- and, endearingly.... "Where am I?"

I think he amuses me.

He signed off sick the next day by text message. That's casual.

It had been a difficult acorn harvest that year. Skip had been working terribly hard on his exciting new acorn store, and had been busily tap tapping away putting up new shelves for the acorns. But at last, all that hard work was over.

All the acorns were in, and had been lovingly polished until Skip could see his merry face shining back from each one as he placed it in its very own velvet niche in his lovely new acorn store.

There was a stern "rat-a-tat-tat" as the door fell down under a hail of bullets.

Scowl entered. "You'll need a new door," he muttered.

"Ooh!" squeaked Skip, "it's you! Have you come to look at my shelves?"

Scowl blinked. Slowly. "No." he replied. "I have come to take you to a party in the Muttering Meadow."

For a short second, Skip's twitching whiskers were still. "The Muttering Meadow? I'm not sure about that. What could I possibly have to talk to the animals of Muttering Meadow about?"

Scowl grabbed him firmly by the shoulder. "You can tell them all about your shelves."


It was a long journey to the Muttering Meadow, through happy little fields, and funny little valleys, full of laughing birds and chittering rabbits.

Skip and Scowl walked along the stony path, Skip running on ahead, and then scampering back to encourage Scowl along. Scowl just walked at his own pace, smoking a narrow clay pipe, and kicking snails.

As always with a new idea, Skip was terribly excited.

"Will there be buttercup juice?" asked Skip.

"Probably." said Scowl.

"And will there be brambleberry jelly?"


"And chestnut jam?"

"If we're quick."


Eventually, they came to the top of a small, sunny hill, and there, before them, was the Muttering Meadow. There were already some animals there, talking merrily away in little groups.

"Oh," said Skip, his eyes losing their usual gleam, "I thought you said there would be a bouncy castle or a trampoline..."

"There will be if you lie down." growled Scowl. "Did you bring some acorns with you?"

"Why yes, of course. I thought the animals might like some."

"And you were right." said Scowl, snatching the bundle. "Hello everyone! I've brought acorns!"

Scowl marched into the Meadow, leaving Skip smiling nervously on the edge.


But Skip wasn't alone for long. Big Badger soon wandered over. "Hullo!" beamed Badger, "I'm brilliant! And so is my wife!"

"Hello," said Skip.

"Gosh," laughed Badger heartily, "It's so tiring telling everyone how lovely I am. I'm famished. Have you got any acorns?"

"ah, No...." sighed Skip.

"Well, toodle pip! Come along brilliant Mrs Badger."

And Skip was alone for a bit longer.


Old Hamster wandered up to him next. "Don't believe a word of it." he announced.

"I'm sorry?" said Skip, looking up from his weak elderflower champagne.

"A lot of people here don't like you. But not me. I still like you. Despite your crimes." Hamster pecked at a small beetle.

"What crimes?" asked Skip, nervously edging back towards the happy forest.

"Well, you've been telling everyone how brilliant Badger is, for a start."

"Have I?"

"Yes, and everyone knows that Wise Robin is far more clever than Badger."

"Oh. Well, I don't really know them that well-" Skip looked nervously away. In the distance, Scowl was happily showing the other animals his new chainsaw.

"That's no excuse. We all decided years ago. But don't worry about it - I really still like you. Even if you have been wasting acorns."

"oh - uh - have I?" From the other side of the field, Scowl was waving a hand. It wasn't his own.

"Yes. Everyone knows you've not been looking after the acorns properly. But don't worry. I'm sure you had a really good reason. Oh look - there's someone else I don't like very much. I'm just off to laugh at them. Enjoy the nutmeg."

Skip was terribly confused. He had been rather pleased about the acorns. But perhaps he shouldn't have let young Miss Squirrell tell everyone about the acorns before the harvest was quite finished. They may all have got the wrong idea.


Skip felt a sudden sharp pain in the ribs. He looked around, expecting the familiar comforting presence of Scowl, but instead found Sneer, the vole who used to run Woodland Times.

"I'm surprised you dare show your face here." shouted Sneer.


"Everyone knows about the disastrous acorn harvest."

"Disaster? But there are more acorns than ever this year. And they're on nice new shelves...."

"I know all about the shelves. They'd have been much better if I put them up."

"......" managed Skip, smiling apologetically.

"In fact, I'm sure I did put the shelves up. Or they were my idea in the first place. I haven't decided yet. But I know you've ruined them. Everyone's been talking excitedly about how they'd have put the shelves up so much better if they'd been asked to."

"................" said Skip. A bit lost. His heady was spinning dizzily, a feeling he normally only got when doing Scowl's accounts.

"Why didn't you tell us you were putting up shelves? We knew all about your plans to put up shelves, of course. It was all our idea. But you should have told us first. Then we could have told you how to do it. Although you stole the idea of putting up the shelves from us."

"I - I - I - don't.... think....." Skip felt lost. In the distance, he could just hear the faint roar of the chainsaw, and see tree after tree toppling down.

"Anyway, the whole shelf idea is despicable. And a disgusting thing to do to acorns. Can I kiss you?"

"What? No!" protested Skip.

"I think you're terribly smug. I despise you. Oh go on - just a small kiss."

"Oh. No! No!" wailed Skip, backing away. A long way away, he could just see Mister and Mrs Badger dancing happily around each other.

"I've heard the acorns taste terrible this year. I don't know how you dare be here. Well, can I touch you then?"

"I don't know what you mean-" gasped Skip. Even further away, he could see Hamster standing next to Wise Robin. They were giggling.

"Let me touch you!" roared Sneer, advancing on him, "You smug worm! You loathsome insect! You insensitive slug! I've got to have you!"

"It's uh, not that, I, ah.... it's just that... well.... don't you already share a burrow with another vole?"

"Oh, that! Don't be boring and smug. He's hibernating already. And, if you let me touch you, then maybe I'll be nice about your acorns."


"Let me have your acorns!"


"Let me lick them! I have to have your acorns! I demand them!"

Skip paused. His eyes wandered across the Muttering Meadow to all the other happy animals. To the industrious little owls who were busy organising games, to the happy pandas making little cakes, and to the frolicking lambs who were chasing each other through the meadow. And then Skip looked back to Sneer, advancing on him, licking his lips with a terrible, slavering hunger, most surprising for such a small vole.

And then Skip ran, ran until he was safe in his little burrow, safe amongst his shelves, safe with a little pot of acorn polish. And then Skip slept, and had unquiet dreams.