Thursday, September 29, 2005

Poor Tony Blair

Isolated, villified, and threatened with dire criminal proceedings for a one-word outburst at a moment of natural fury?

Is this Tony Blair facing prosecution for being rude about the Welsh?
Or his party arresting a heckling pensioner under the terrorism act?

Indy love

Hatefully, I'm starting to really like the Independent. Take their profile of David Hockney's pro-smoking visit to the Labour party conference:

Only metres away, the Royal National Institute for the Blind was handing out research proving that smoking causes blindness.

"It used to be wanking that caused blindness," Mr Hockney said.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Neighbourhood Twatch

"Can I help you?" asked the man under the umbrella.

"Well, no, not really, I'm waiting for a friend to arrive." I was stood in the carpark.

"Only we have had some burglaries," said the man, crossly, "And I can see you're wandering around."

I spread out my palms. "I am empty handed," I shrugged. "Just waiting. I'm staying in Flat 70, if you're worried."

"I am worried," he said. I realised he was a weaselly, disappointed looking man. I took against. "This is a neighbourhood watch area, see."

I turned to walk away, popping my headphones back in - it was The Archers (oh Will! Oh Emma! Oh Ed! The Grundy family meltdown). As I walked on, I realised the man was screaming at me, a sentence which ended "-NOT EVEN SORRY!"

"I am sorry," I said. Plainly neither understanding nor meaning it.

I wandered off around the carpark. He stood, watching me from the porch for a while. I got a text ("It's too wet! sorry!x"), so pottered back inside. He had gone.

I went back indoors, up in the lift, and back to my flat. As I unlocked the door, I heard a noise behind me. I turned around.

There, at knee length, peeping around the corner, was the weasel man. A grin on his face. "Go on," he said, licking his lips, "Let's see if the key fits. If it doesn't, then we'll call the police."

The key fit.

"Well," he said, "Perhaps next time you'll be more polite in a neighbourhood watch area."


He began to rant, boringly, still crouched over. He shouted about burglaries, my foul manners, and how I'd like it if my car was broken into.

"I don't own a car."

"So you don't care about the rest of us! I SEE!"

"Well, not personally, but I do generally. I was merely saying I don't own a car. Do carry on."

"No. I can't be bothered with people like you." And, with a glare, his head vanished back around the corner.

At that point, I shut the door. It's the first time I've ever been terrorised by the Neighbourhood Watch. Is this the kind of thing I can expect from my thirties?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Pride And Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice, handsome, clever and rich, with a good script and clever cinematographer seemed to unite all the best of British cinema, lacking but the attachment of a Star Name to make it the happiest of perfections...

Thankful they were that young Miss Knightley, a woman of no small accomplishments, came to the film set, and was happy to be called upon to spare no exertions in the achievement of A Cheery Film With Bonnets, which is about all we can make these days, really. Apart from nonsense about criminals hitting each other.

Anyway, for the curious, the film goes a bit like this...

KEIRA: I'm not wearing make-up you know. It emphasises my untainted beauty.

BRENDA BLETHYN: The character of Mrs Bennett is normally played as a fool. This makes her annoying. Instead, I'm playing her as a worrying fool. This makes her even more annoying.

CARDBOARD CUTOUT ON WHEELS (aka MATTHEW McFADYN) : *squeak* *squeak* *squeak*

KEIRA: I'm going to dance exuberantly. This proves that I am a free spirit. Then I'm going to say things that are very clever in a deadpan fashion. But I'll smile. Very slightly.

THE AUDIENCE: We are in love with you.

DONALD SUTHERLAND: This is Donald Sutherland. I'm not in at the moment. Please leave a message.



KEIRA: But you're a cardboard cutout on wheels. I cannot love that.


KEIRA: Oh, Bren - I'm about to express an emotion.

BRENDA: Right ho, dearie, I'll just nip outside and turn the weather on. Is it going to be a happy emotion? I can do you a lovely autumn sunset, suit "whistful" a treat, that would.

KEIRA: No, Bren. I think I shall be quite sad.

BRENDA: Fair enough, dear.




KEIRA: I haven't slept all night.

THE AUDIENCE: You're the most beautiful thing in film.

MATTHEW McFADYN: I haven't slept either.

THE AUDIENCE: You look like shit.


Monday, September 26, 2005

Social Worker

"Methyr Tydfil," I said. "What a pretty name. Is it nice?"

Sometimes I say really stupid things. It turns out that Methyr Tydfil is an almost unique blackspot, nearly deserted by industry, with 60 per cent of the male population signed off sick due to mining-related injuries. Or just depression.

This weekend I meet a social worker who used to have to deal with the mental of Methyr, but's now much happier dealing with learning difficulties ("The kids are great, but, oh, the parents...").

I can't exactly remember when it was decided he was coming back to mine. It could have been shortly after his flatmate announced "Watch him - he'll miss the last train and sleep with anything."

Certainly, in amongst the booze and another miserable attempt not to smoke, an arrangement was made. A mature gentleman's agreement - not really about love, or passion, more a "well, you'll do" on both sides.

Of course, he did do a final beauty pass of the club before we left, just in case he could find anyone better. I found him wrapped around a blond youth and began to make dignified excuses.

"Oh no!" he said, looking up, "He's working early in the morning. With you in a tick."

Sometimes, revenge is a dish best served without lube.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Censored in the name of the Lord

The Independent: There are Mormon firms who censor films to remove pre-marital sex, blasphemy and naughty thoughts.

They were being sued by the film industry. However, the Bush Government passed the Family Movie Act, which explicitly allows them to continue.

What's the next move? Will studios start releasing their own "clean" versions of films... or, since CleanFlicks and CleanPLay are mostly concerned with God not gore, will we see a spate of films about clean-living hunks with guns?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

New Euphemism

Cocaine user: "Friend of Kate"

Usage: "My ex is a close friend of Kate."

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Mysterious Skin

Next time I see a film described as "an unconventional love story about child sex abuse and alien abduction", I'll remember not to take along a pack of corned beef.

The good news is that Greg Araki's finally discovered how to tell a story. But did it have to be so horrible that a lesbian couple fled sobbing from the cinema during the pederasty-fisting-threesome?

Interesting casting: The kid from 3rd Rock, young Alan Tracey from Thunderbirds, and Dawn from Buffy.

Monday, September 19, 2005

I wish I'd known...

I had a cleaner. It could have been worse, but how shaming to discover the coffee table emptied of fag ash, vodka bottle and cherryade.

How awful to discover my papers tidied, with a Doctor Who book and an advert for a gay sauna placed neatly on the top.

And worse, how terrible to discover the wooden animals liberated from their cupboard.


Why are men with 0% body fat always 43% mad?

Albertas was out on a Saturday in Cardiff wearing a kilt and drinking white wine. I'd have talked to him for novelty value alone, but he was also rather well put-togther...

And completely bonkers. Perhaps we could ban pretty men from speaking? There's that terrible thing where you're thinking "I know you'd have to be mad to sleep with me, but couldn't you be just a little crazy?"

He was a Spanish-Russian make-up artist who "loved to do the dead in Casualty", made a hobby out of buying expensive bottles of Cognac and not drinking them, and lived in a luxury apartment in the City Centre. Which turned out to be a small front room in Roath. No, I still have no idea where that is, either. But there was a futon.

In the morning he popped out to make coffee, bumped into his flatmate (a brassy lady with a pink nightie and split ends) who got terribly excited and insisted on popping her head round the door to "Just have a look at the shag. Hello luv - he really likes you you know, and misses his boyfriend terribly...."

His most disturbing habit: Yelling out "oh shit!" during sex. However you think about it, it's not reassuring.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Cardiff Flat

Someone went to Africa, had a Spiritual Time, and filled their flat with lots of carved wood, paintings of Savannah, and cheap printed versions of ethnically woven rugs.

This is my flat in Cardiff. Every time I get home I discover another gazelle and pop it in the closet, which is now a Noah's Airing Cupboard of wildebeest, herons, and wise fat men with spears.

My little chunk of veldt nestles between Cardiff Town and The Bay. Having grown up in Milton Keynes, there's a certain cosy familiarity to the starter-home desolation of the Bay, with the howling wind, endlessly straight roads, and complete lack of shops.

I'm one minute from a Salsa class, two minutes from a multiplex. Three from an opera house. Four from a Bowlarama. But a newspaper is a bike ride away. As is toilet paper, chewing gum and yoghurt.

My first weekend was spent in splendid isolation, just loving the sheer pensioner feeling of it all, trekking to a market, chatting to butchers about interesting cuts of meat, and taking ages to prepare meals from scratch. I nearly, very nearly, went to an organic food festival on Sunday.

I've also learnt, now that the weather's turned, not to pack for a long move during a heatwave. The thought of another day in Cardiff without at least one cardigan was just too much to bear.

Monday, September 12, 2005


Things about the last year:

  • Indigestion Suddenly, red onions are no longer my friend.
  • Metabolism Oh. It's not just a myth that it slows down. Goodbye fat yoghurt, hello secretary-strength Muller.
  • Clubbing GAY really is Disco Inferno without the disco. How did I never notice that?
  • Too young for you A whole swathe of men are suddenly unavailable. And I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye.
  • Hair I liked having a slight widow's peak. I liked having no chest hair. Now I look like Basil Rathbone with a chest wig. And as for nose hair - isn't it supposed to be inside your nose, not on top of it?
  • Babies No, I'm not getting one. They're like iPods. Everyone else either has one, several, or so many they leave them in cupboards. No. Not me.

Welcome To My Country

When I was young, I always wanted to work in a foreign country. I just never dreamed it would be Wales.

I decided to make a grand entrance, wearing my suit. Of course, there was the small matter of the backpack with all my worldly possessions. And my bicycle. But my flat was only a few minutes from the station. What could go wrong?

Everything. After two hours of pedalling around I realised that:
a) My flat wasn't in the centre of town.
b) There were no keys for me at the stage door of Cardiff Millennium Opera House.
c) I had nowhere to sleep.
d) My suit looked like a crumpled rag, I was covered in sweat, and about to pass out.

The solution to all this, naturally, was to book into A Very Nice Hotel. And, within half an hour, I was stood in a passing Gay Mardi Gras, belting out "You'll Never Walk Alone", surrounded by young gay men with the right kind of "rugby build". Good.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A fabulous letter

Dear George Lucas,

Please find attached Joss Whedon's tiny finger. It's got rather more talent than you. Do be a dear and put it in charge of your corporation forthwith, would you?

PS: And, if ILM can hurry up that Virtual Cher project, we'd be terribly grateful. She's starting to fizz.

The Gays

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Gay Chatlines II

Was flicking through one of those Magazines About Gadgets For Boys With Lots of Pictures Of Ladies Holding iPods.

And there at the back, lots of adverts for Gay Chatlines. But curiously, all aimed at a slightly different market - can you guess what it is:

- Best mate dares me to suck him
- Drunken stag night ends up in bed with groom
- Mugger made me gay at knifepoint
- Skinheads approach me in empty tube carriage
- Hunky boss blow-job to get promotion

Outrageous Claims vs Disclaimer

Kim on online TV file-sharing


Life solves big problems with small moments of wonder.

My pretty-much-best-friend Rick is having a birthday supper tonight. He is wonderful. As are the friends we have in common.

Sadly, they're not attending his birthday. Instead it's a lot of people I've never met, and a woman who has been played by a drag queen for the last few years ("oh, darling, i see people going into Tesco, and I pity them.... Honestly, my family has made so much money out of Iraq that it's embarrassing... It's so hard buying a second house in Paris, you know...").

And then, all of a sudden, someone offers me a ticket to the Firefly premiere. Best present in the world.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Ever have one of those evenings where you've just got a lot of tins and no real idea? Here's what I ate last night. I think it was a stew. It was honestly delicious:

1 tin of corned beef
1 tin of baked beans
1 tin of kidney beans
handful of frozen sweetcorn
8 olives
2 crushed chillies
Marmite stock
Tomato ketchup
Worcester sauce and basil.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Hardy Annual

"Pah!" said Laurent, lighting a cigarette, "We do this every year. We meet at about the same time, have the same chat, and roughly the same sex in roughly the same setting."

He tutted, Gallicly.

"Still, at least it's a different tree every time..."

Separate Tables

"Stop looking over my shoulder!" barked Andy.

"I can't help it," I bleated. "My ex is sat on that table. On a date."

"Well, stop looking," suggested Andy.

We left, instead. Andy glanced dismissively at both of them, just as the date brayed at something funny Adam said. "Hum. He's not bad looking, but did you hear his laugh? Can you imagine what he'd sound like in bed?"

I was quiet.

"Are you ok?" asked Andy.

"Yeah. Just... well, Adam said he spent every evening in hospital at his dying flatmate's bedside... and, well..."

As we walked down the road, a gentle laugh eeyore'd on the breeze.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Poppy and Menoptra

The Web Planet is coming out on DVD. It is the single weirdest, worst Doctor Who story ever - an incomprehensible mess of giant ants, hopping caterpillars, and Martin Jarvis playing a butterfly who thinks he's Hamlet. With vaseline smeared over the lens.

Lee and I sat down to watch it. One episode in, I brought out the two leftover painkillers from hospital last year. Rather lovely painkillers containing mostly opium and a lovely warm glow.

Now, I'm always a bit reticent around recreational pharmaceuticals. Thing is, you always know where you are with Vodka (unless you buy it from a street market in the Gorbals), but why trust your mental health to a stranger who hasn't discovered deoderant?

But these pills were, as I said, supplied by the hospital, to use whenever mind-bending pain occured. And, the Web Planet certainly qualified.

Within minutes, we'd stopped groaning as Ants fell over, and furry tea-trolley monsters crashed into walls. Instead, we just started to giggle contentedly. Soon, nothing could shake us... not even when the planet Vortis was invaded by a fleet of giant butterflies, all flapping their arms.... and, by the time the story ended with the entire cast on their knees, lapping at a puddle of water and cooing, well, we were just quiet.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Today's fact

My ex is appearing on Watchdog.

SURPRISE #1: He's not the subject of an investigation.
SURPRISE #2: It's not Crimewatch.

Two years of blogging

It's summer. It's time for repeats. Find out what I was doing in August 2003: