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- Two jars of out-of-date cooking sauce?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.