Saturday, April 30, 2005

A Taste of Modern Clubbing

I was heading home. Tired, giggly and silly – ready for a few happy days in the country. Instead I got a phone call from Mucky Mark, quite my favourite corrupt TV executive. He was drinking in town with Darian (“one of us” Mark boomed excitedly), and decided I should joing them. Which was nice, as I looked like a sweaty heap of hell - during the recent hotspell, our central heating finally kicked in, reducing the office to a sauna. *pause* I really can’t use that phrase, can I? It conjures up pictures of happy semi-naked Latvuanians cavorting. This can not be said of my workplace.

Anyway, we trawled through town to some kind of nightclub that Darain knew of old, Mark belonged to, and which is frequented by Prince Harry and Chelsea girls/Expensive hookers.

It was nice. The bar staff were both pretty and deeply unpleasant. The hunky, dismissive doorman gave us a lecture on timekeeping rather like turning up late for a handsome PE teacher (“Members are allowed in until 10. Can you tell me what time it is? Exactly. Gone 10. So, can you tell me if I should let you in?”)

The cocktails were incomprehensible. We noticed most of the Chelsea Girls/Hookers were just ordering bottles of spirits. Meanwhile, we stumbled through cocktails with names like “Pearl”, “drZeuss”, “pHidelity”. Some of them came scattered with more exotic petals than a Sri Lankan honeymoon suite.

We were joined by David, a music PR friend of Mark’s. He’d just got off a plane from New York, and sat watching the digital wall, sipping drinks, and occasionally muttering “Of course, Boston Legal is superb…” or “Why have sex when you’ve got Sky+?”

Eventually, we were asked to leave. Simply, we weren’t important enough to stay.

So a few drinks in my club next to some hunky Kids’ TV presenters (“hmmn,” sighed Mark, “Today I was at a meeting where we decided to fire some of them. How unfortunate. Lets see if any of the male ones kiss.”) and I was happily thriving on the kind of Friday I wasn’t planning. My evening of sobriety and steamed dim-sum had turned all… exciting.

Mark insisted that I didn’t go home, but instead went with them to AM at Fire (thinks: I’m no good at club names. It could be Fire at AM. I could even check. But I shan’t). So I did. I was drunk. Darian explained that it was the kind of club where you took drugs. Not for any particular reason other than it was so horrible your main impulse was to get out of your skull.

And it was... interesting. Rather like a battery farm for mutton dressed as chicken, it featured a lot of semi naked men doing the kind of dancing that, if you think about it, resembles exactly the moves to the Birdie Song. Only heavily disguised under muscles, nice hair and tattoos.

There was one pretty man there. “Oh! Had him!” announced Darian, “Although, he’s prettier now.” Interestingly, Pretty Man appeared to be snogging a bald fat man.

We’d gone there because Mark was keen to meet his new man. Mark’s currently very happily monogamous with a muscly accountant, but he was away. The other weekend, Mark had met a man called Logan. “He’s fantastic! He texts like a 14 year-old girl. He’s a straight-acting, scally mechanic – he’s been sending me pictures of his car all week, which I think is a courting ritual.”

Logan turned out to be small, swarthy and almost completely out of focus. He'd persuaded Mark to come with a text that said "Da music is bangin!"

“um,” I said to Darian. “The music just goes biddly-biddly-biddly.”

“No it doesn’t,” pointed out Darian, completely fairly. He was hugging an air conditioning unit, despite some stiff competition.

A man wandered past, wearing speedos and a Zorro mask. I felt a mixture of lust and the hope that he’d travelled on the tube like that.

The toilets were a sweaty nightmare. Straight couples were having sex in the cubicles while gay men stood around looking cross, and the lollipop man shouted out “Ladies, this Council Flat is looking pretty full! Keep it moving, girls!”

A man came up, demanding a cigarette. “They’re menthol,” I explained. “Fuck off,” he said.

I decided to walk back to my bike. It was in SoHo, I was in Vauxhall. The walk didn’t seem so long, as I was very drunk, it was a warm evening, and a composer of operas was very slowly explaining on the World Service how Global Governments had kept him under Close Observation for years.

On the way, Lee sent me a picture message of scary shop dummies with the phrase “Lawks!” It brought me to a standstill. Apparently this new phone can receive pictures. I would appear to have finally joined the 20th Century.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Why I was late in today

Biked past a massive pile of pigeons this morning. All looking very content.

Coming the other way, super slow and slinky, was a fluffy white cat with murder on its mind.

So I got off my bike and watched. The cat got very close. And then settled down. To watch. And wait. Like a Japanese businessman at Spearmint Rhino.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Alien Life

Last night was a magic evening of gossip and fun and generally urbane "goodness me, it's a small world."

One minute it was 8.30, then it was 9.30... then *snap* it was 12.30, and I felt terribly light-headed and was holding two empty fag packets.

It's obvious: Aliens kidnapped us and stole my cigarettes.

Monday, April 25, 2005

nuw fone

Thanks to the lovely Lee my dear old Brikia phone has been replaced by something from Sony. And it's splendid, especially now Lee has removed most of the porn from it.

But I'm having to learn text all over again. It's a slightly different predictive system, which is fiddly, and reducing my wild fancies and clever sentences to stutterings of "Good time thanks" and "See you soon?"

And I'm having to teach it bad words again. No, not those happy little words we shout at the backs of indifferent pretty men. No, the sad words, such as "Dalek", "Rambaldi" and "Stockard Channing".

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Genuinely not a pony

So there I was. Out jogging. I have no excuses, my route just appeared to veer a bit through Bloomsbury, across Soho, Mayfair, and, what have we here...? Why, Hyde Park Rose Garden at twilight. Full of single men. Goodness me. There's a surprise.

The only person who appeared to know quite why he was there was a charming old man, smiling gently at the setting sun while fondling his erect penis.

The rest of us lacked both his bonhomie and directness. Well, apart from a token cute Brazilian, who curtsied at anything that moved (and a fair few things who didn't).

It really was an odd, odd assortment. There was a German Trustafarian ("Ja! Ja! If it looks good get the cashmere in black and grey."). Also chatting on his phone was a charming looking bloke, who I nearly picked up, until I heard his conversation; "No, mum, no. Course I'll come and visit you. Course I will. I know where the Ward is. I promise, as soon as I can. But it's the money thing that's really getting me. No, no. I don't want to worry you. It's just the debts are mounting up, and if you could just see your way through to..."

And by that point, I'd really started to lose interest in the whole thing. Especially when some weird Tweenie with a combover walked up to me, clicking and whistling at me, like I was an errant beach pony.

I am many unhappy things. But I'm not a pony.

So I jogged home, chastened.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Same old Saturday Night

The lovely Tim was visiting, and I decided that, as he wanted to watch Dr Who, we should see it on a Big Screen. In Company. With Booze.

So, I took him to Central Station. Tim, being nice and from Sheffield, has little experience of sleazy gay bars in the Kings Cross shunting yards. WSomehow, I'd expected more... joie. More of a crowd of young, whooping gay beauties. Rather than a tired crowd of old, drunk, men, and a lesbian barmaid, watching it, enrapt. Still an old Irish man announced he "fancied the arse" of Dr Who. Which made the evening worthwhile.

But the journey there was remarkable. As we wandered across the shunting yards, we were passed by a white stretch range rover, crowded with screaming teen prom queens. Lee memorably calls these "Slagglewaggons"

They yelled something at us. I yelled something back. Their car roared away.

Tim froze. "Those lights are red," he wailed. "We're going to have to walk past them."

Not a problem.

We walked past them. "Gays! You're gays! You are gays!" The young madams roared. "Whoo-hooooo pooooooooofs! Boy kissers! You touch men! Wooooooo!"

"Whoo hoo to you!" I roared back.

"Hey gay, You gay?" One with frizzy hair and a frizzy nose screamed.

"Why yes, ma'am, that we are. Very gay. And we're off to touch big cocks right now!"

Squeals and shouted abuse. Mixed with alcopop drinking and bad miming to that milkshake song.

We walked on. Tim mortified. "How can you say that? They're going to pass us again in a minute."

"Yes. But they'd have shouted stuff at us anyway. This is more fun. Go on. Tell them they're fat or something. I can't think of anything."

"I'm just humiliated."

"Think how their driver feels."

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Never buy things while out jogging. The sofa I bought on a whim turned up this week. At 6.30am.

In the shop it was skimpy and slinky. But it's obviously been eating since I last saw it. It's now set on devouring the living room.

Like Tony Almeida in 24, every time you turn around, it's even larger. And has a different goatee. My other sofa is starting to edge nervously away.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Madam and I...

Are still seeing each other. But sporadically. I suspect he's got his own spin-off show. Perhaps he's moved to LA and set himself up in a Detective Agency.

Anyway, he cameo'd in last Friday's episode. In that Lee and I were at Brief Encounter for their weekly sing-a-long (There's nothing quite like getting groped by very large men while belting out "Somewhere over the rainbow").

I checked in with Adam.

ADAM: Where are you?
ME: Oh, Brief Encounter.
ADAM: Ah. I thought I could hear Goldfinger. Excellent. I was going to head home to get money, but you can lend me some. I'll be round in five.
ME: ...

Two portly brazilians dashed past me to the toilets, in a state of excited undress.

Adam brought along a friend called Gavin. Who was a hairdresser. I could see Lee's hackles rise - they're purple, which helps.

Gavin actually turned out to be the star of the evening. Not only could he do spot on impressions of celebrity clients with disastrious hairdos, but he could also dismantle Adam with barely a word.

They left to go to Heaven. "Sorry, sweetheart," said Adam, pocketing my fags, "Gotta dash - it's a friend's 17th birthday party. I don't want to go, but..."

"Yeah," muttered Gavin, snapping his powder compact shut, "Adam hates it when they get too old for him."

Ealing Broadway

It's like London, but from the time of the Avengers. It's all quaint streets, villas, and open areas covered in fluffy green stuff.

This week I am mostly attracting interest from...

Asian men. And rich ones at that.

What happened there?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Hitchiker Movie (no spoilers)

Oddly like having one of your best friends turn up drunk to a dinner party.

Wildly amusing, frequently incoherent, and more or less embarrassing depending on how close you're sat and how well you know them.

That doesn't mean it's a bad film - just odd - and one that you may love far more than you'll like.

It's the most polished Monty Python film ever made. And at times resembles school revues where nervous teenagers triumph over familiar material that's way beyond them.

Hey! We're doing Vogon Poetry! Yar! It's Magrathea! Look, towel joke! Aren't we funny! Bosworth Mi's got some brewskies in his study.

But perhaps the shambolic desperation of the whole thing is appropriate. After all, the original radio show was performed by baffled actors in cupboards reading lines slipped under a door by a frantic Douglas Adams.

The TV version was made by a director so obsessed by special effects that he left the cast to recreate their original radio performances (which was fine if they'd been in the original).

So, it's fitting we get a film that's all fingers and thumbs and brilliance. Some actors are pitch perfect, some neither understand their lines nor care how they say them (dear Sam Rockwell, you've got two mouths and can't use either), and some are vaguely bored (Helen Mirren, obviously filing her nails throughout).

It's visuals are stunning and refreshingly un-CG (even when they are). It's a warm-hearted blend of Fifth Element, Terry Gilliam and Star Wars... but, unlike Star Wars, you never feel you're being cynically exploited by a cold-hearted machine - just slightly let down by a very good friend.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Email of the week

From a colleague in BBC online:

"Dear all

I'm afraid I've got to cancel the Dalek brainstorm in Audrey Hepburn. The Creative Facilitator I booked has had to pull out. I'll be back in touch if I'm able to find another suitable date."

(PS Audrey Hepburn is the name of a meeting room)

Middle-Aged Again

Went round for dinner with my favourite ex, the lovely Simon. Last time I saw him, Simon had just taken up with Panos, having dumped his drug-fuelled foursome with two air stewards and a children's book illustrator.

"Panos'll be round soon," said Simon, chopping vegetables in a way that made his biceps bulge. Actually, anything Simon does makes his muscles bulge. When he sneezes it's like seeing walnuts vacuum-packed. "Before Panos comes round, we should have a talk."

"Really?" I asked, watching a tiny muscle twitch on Simon's shoulder. It was the size of a large squirrel, and appeared to be looking for something.

"Now, don't think that Panos is afraid of girl-talk and plain-speaking, but he doesn't like to be reminded of the fact that I've got history."

Only Simon and Lady Diana could get away with the phrase "history".

"But, Simon - Panos met you at an orgy."


"You were lying on the floor."


"You were on crystal meth."


"There was a queue for you!"

"I know, but it was special."

"In god's name, how?"

"Panos jumped the queue. Greek men don't wait for what they want. As he got stuck in, I remember hearing a West Country voice yell, 'Oi! I've been waiting forty minutes for my go on that!'"

"And that's when you fell in love with him?"

"That's when it started, yes."

"How romantic."

Monday, April 11, 2005

To boldly go down

Never tell anyone anything about the TV you watch. It'll never be held against you.

I say this because of Damien. I nearly worship Damien. He's another proof of my vow that, if you're about to leave somewhere, you should always stop and chat to the prettiest stranger on the way out.

Damien was the prettiest stranger at the Black Cap on Saturday. And I lingered there for three hours after I stopped to say hi.

He's got a Most Interesting Job - managing an Angus Steak House! Hysterical! The things he knows about Black Forest Gateaux... He's naturally many other wonderful things - His gay best friend is going to inherit a mansion in Hertfordshire. They're planning on living out a fine old age their, whizzing around in Golf Carts, the grounds well-stocked with Helpful Men.

He only made one significant mistake. For some reason he announced that he was a trekkie. God knows, I really shouldn't judge, and he did quickly explain "Only for Captain Janeway and The Hair." But it turns out he's been to conventions in LA. In uniform. So... *shrugs*

I was preparing to forgive all this, especially as he leaned over the bar, and his t-shirt rode up and I suddenly felt all dizzy... He then told me "But at the moment, I really adore Buffy (good news), especially the last two years (unbelievably bad news)."

Hmmn. It's at that point that I realised I couldn't spend the rest of my life with this man. He even knows all the names of the Potential Slayers from series seven.

That said, I think we're meeting up for drinks.

Being too honest on ebay

Well, I'm selling off my Dr Who videos. I don't need them anymore. And perhaps there's someone out there who does?

I couldn't help but be honest about them:

The Daleks: Original 1989 Video Release - "Marvellously unrestored, crackly film prints, with hilariously innaccurate covers (one of them's beige). PS: Includes episodes directed by Richard Martin."

Oddly, no bidders so far.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Watering hole

With the Black Cap increasingly becoming Another Straight Pub (what happened there?) I decided to make another stab at making Central Station my local.

I picked the wrong night. It was lesbian night upstairs. And downstairs was a paddling pool.

PS: Who has to blow up that paddling pool every week? And is it the worst job in London?

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The curse of powerpoint

Before I start I should point out. I quite like my department. I rather like most of the people I work with. I think I'm very lucky in that the top bosses are two Very Bright People.

Right? That's out of the way now. Last week's annual departmental meeting was horrid. Mostly because my site's being shut down, and I'm still furiously depressed about it. The whole idea of an afternoon devoted to singing out praises when I felt like the biggest failure was agony.

But, on top of that, there were.... powerpoint presentations.

What happened? When did we stop speaking in public and instead start farting in pastel?

At what point did we stop telling people stories, and instead start reading out bullet points very slowly? It's been years since the Cat Sat On The Mat for me, so why is it still okay for people to mumble their way through like we're all reading-along-with-Tinkerbell?

The worst thing about powerpoint is that it, instead of encouraging thought, it actually prevents it. Just 'cos you've filled in five bullet points, doesn't mean you've got an argument. Just 'cos your pages flip over neatly, doesn't mean you've got a chain of thought.

It's a real shame - most of the presentations were by bright people doing important things. But, although I heard a lot, I learned little.

The lowpoint, though, was the brainstorming group work. Several of my table vanished "to make important calls" never to be heard of again. I lack the spine - which is a shame, as our challenge was to assess "Expanding throughput of external ideas". Exactly. Luckily, they handed out copies of "Hello" to make mood-boards with, so I was happy reading "Camilla: A History in Pictures".

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Cash Machine Classism

There should be special cash machines for Us. The people who know how to use them.

Normal cash machines would still be available for slightly puzzled blokes and baffled tourists.

And then there would be special cash machines for Daffy Girls. They'd be painted pink, have scented candles, and a nice fluffy rabit toy. Every time you press a button, it'll play jolly ringtones, and the onscreen menu is hosted by Brad Pitt. Anything to put these poor dears at ease as they try and carry out some terribly complicated action - like fiddle around in their purse for their card, or hack into the pentagon.

Monday, April 04, 2005


I decided to cheat on Adam at the weekend. It didn't take much. Just another cameo appearance from him, stopping only long enough to watch tv, and get booze and fags.

Suddenly I felt fed up and decided to do something fun for myself. Rather than continue to play out the role of "Student Mom" (I've even started doing his washing).

The cheating on Adam was bloody easy. The only mistake I made was the classic of chatting to the bloke afterwards. Turned out he was called Dean and drove a White Van for a living.

Comment away

How marvellous. The comments system is back. Rather like the Not-Boyfriend, it slunk back in without explanation, looking a bit grubby and wanting money.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

End of another world

So, after an absence of several days, Adam turns up at the office to watch Doctor Who.

Our last phone conversation went like this.

ME: Hello!
ADAM: Darling! Someone's just broken a capsule of K under my nose. They're a bad, bad, bad bad man.... Goodbye!

So where had he been? Apparently, cooking up K in a flat for days on end with two Ketamine dealers and a flyer boy.

He settled down to watch Strictly Dance Fever, and suddenly stiffened when a pretty dancer shimmied on screen. "Oh! My! God!" he roared. He went quiet for a few seconds. "Smashing body, great kisser... a terrible shag."

Adam leaned in close to the screen. "Oh! He's looking nervous. Wow. This means he's got a facial expression other than pout. Good."

Pretty Boy Dancer got through to the next round. "You could sell your story," I suggested to Adam.

He glared at me, "For that thing? Perlease, I'd be at the end of a very long line."