Saturday, December 30, 2006


He was only supposed to be a Gaydar shag. But, for some reason, we went out for drinks. And got on rather well.

That night, he took me to heaven. The following morning, he took me to Next.

I'm baffled. Maybe it's cos he's the first human being I've talked to for a week apart from my parents. Perhaps it's cos he's Irish, and therefore irresistibly charming. Maybe it's cos he's really rather handsome. Or perhaps it's cos he's quite startlingly flexible.


Frankly, I'm amazed he ever leaves his room.

Friday, December 29, 2006

A new sound entirely...

The Slave is at home with his folks for Christmas.

Last night I got to listen to him licking boots really quietly.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Runaway Bride

I had a really good friend. Unfortunately, I can't stand his wife. Maybe it's because she didn't want me at the wedding due to my gayness.

Or, maybe it's because she's a bit odd.

She sends round an email:

"Hey everyone! I'm throwing a joint birthday/New Year's Party for my husband. I know it's short notice, and I know he's really difficult to buy for, so why not just send me some money towards a present? Even if you've got other plans, you can still send some money!"

Holiday Reading

A pile of adorable Perry Mason books (this year's discovery, thanks to Rick). The Case Of The Caretaker's Cat was the best yet. I'd never have suspected to check the caretaker's hollow crutch for the legendary Koltsdorf diamonds for a second. Blimey.

Wonderfully, I also found The Tangled Skein, a Sherlock Holmes vs Dracula pastiche. It all rattles along rather merrily until Sherlock Holmes meets the Count, at which point the dialogue genuinely reaches this level:

"Damn you, Sherlock Holmes!" seethed the Count.

I picked this up on a shopping trip to a place called Trago Mills. As my parents explained, "You'll adore it - it's run by the backer of the UK Independence Party."

Imagine a shopping centre, merged with a theme park, with the theme being Anti-Euro-Legislation, and "BE WARNED: Some of these goods are imported".

Had a merry afternoon, wandering amongst the twinkling fairy tale towers, stuffed with fleeces, agricultural equipment and DVDs of darts championships. Every now and then, you'd pass a sign saying "We've caught 20 shoplifters this month. And we'll catch you!"

Monday, December 25, 2006


Best thing about Christmas? Oh, the food poisoning, undoubtedly.

How brilliant. Weight loss over Christmas. Even better - loss of appetite. Christmas lunch was some tomato soup.

My parents, bless 'em, had worked really very hard to make the house habitable. In a "oh my god, how do you live here?" way.

They'd put some carpet down in two rooms. They'd even lit a fire in one.
Most of the house was roofed. And some of the roof didn't leak.

They still hadn't unpacked the television. Or found any DVDs.

But delightfully, they'd made a bedroom for me in the garden shed/conservatory. In place of any heating, they'd left a bottle of whisky by my bed. They know me, and I love them for it.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Packing

You know how it is when you're frantically packing for the train home at Christmas. Have I got the presents, enough books, tranquilisers and nicotine patches? Is there anything I've forgotten?

It turns out I'd forgotten I'd ordered an estate agent off Gaydar. And very welcome he was too. There's some puns here about "there are some presents you can open before the 25th", and "unwrapping underneath the tree", but you know what? I can't be bothered.

Lovely Mark [actually, cannot remember his name, but he looked like a Mark] was a great distraction, and quite took my mind off the train journey. My hatred of families travelling with young children in the quiet carriage has reached whole new heights of middle-aged outrage.

I'd just like to thank the Earth Mother, with the self-cut hair, stinking child, and flea-raddled dog for making the journey so memorable. For god's sake lady, soap is organic, surely.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Best Christmas Present?

Porn. And some glitter pens.

The porn is rivetting. Using the Robin Ince approach of opening at a random page, we get:

"Please, please I need more," she moaned.

With no warning whatsoever, Mark opened his mouth on her, licking deeply into her wet folds, and Noelle let out a tiny scream.

That was when sanity deserted her completely.

I can also recommend p201, which opens with the pithy:

"So, I d-definitiely don't need this tonight," she stammered, about to toss the dildo away.

I adore the Office Secret Santa.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Let's play...

One thing I didn't expect for Christmas was a slave. He wasn't on my Xmas list but nevertheless, I have a slave.

He's helpfully called James, and is terribly keen to do anything I ask him to do.

Lee finds it hilarious. "You apologise when people ask you for the correct change."

The situation is very puzzling. He's the seemingly shy young student I met at Central Station. It all started with a text message, "What are you into?"

I just didn't seem to be able to give him the answer he wanted. And then, all of a sudden, he cracked and said, "I want to be treated really badly by you. I'm a slave. I just don't think it's your thing, though."

This was a challenge. I can be aggressive. And nasty. And really quite strong-willed. Surely. I can be a master. Oh yes. Grr.

I mean, I own a whip (admittedly, I brought it simply cos it was in a sale, and I thought it was hilarious to say "Can I buy this whip on switch?"). I'd never dreamt of using it for anything other than dusting, but perhaps its time has come.

Hey-ho. It's all good fun, I suppose. The thing I was worried about was exactly what to do with him, but luckily he has lots of suggestions. Although, I really must stop saying "Goodness, are you sure?"

The phone calls are the oddest. He'll ring and announce some incredibly painful new thing he's doing and ask my opinion. "Oh... yeah... well do it some more, and quite a bit harder," seems to be the safest thing to say (I'm working at lowering my voice for this).

And some of the stuff I've managed to deflect, for the moment. I mean, really, why would I when I have a perfectly functioning lavatory?

So far, the only foot I've really put wrong is to say, "But really, wouldn't you rather just kiss?"

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Free entry with a cigar

We didn't mean to go to a sex club. We honestly just went to Central Station because it was convenient for a drink.

And then, at some point, we nipped downstairs "just to see what the theme was".

It was "Free Entry With A Cigar". There were men. In leather. And a lot of drapes. And some cigars (they do smell exactly like burning dogs. Why is this?).

There was a curious moment right out of a Pet Shop Boys concert. The TV on the wall was showing a porn version of The Empty Child, in which a young man was menaced with a cigar by a man in a gas mask.

"I bet the guy in the mask is really hot," said my friend.

"I bet not."

Then we noticed that not only had the video been filmed in the bar, but several of the cast were there. In costume. Eep.

It was at this point that we got foolishly drunk. And then took a tour around the room.

We're drawing a veil over what happened between me and a young student from Epping Forest. He seemed quite the wrong sort for that kind of place, but took my phone number, which was sweet.

It is, by the way, quite amazing how the English talent for Small Talk is almost indestuctible. Throughout the evening, two men in elaborate leather suits kept up a constant genteel chatter about red wine, Strictly Come Dancing, and whether or not they should go and pee on that nice punk again.

Later, I find myself talking happily to my friend while he flew athletically around in a sling. "Would you like another drink?"

"Ooh, go on. Let's be devils - but make it a half."

Sunday, November 19, 2006


As I was getting ready for the airport, I was offered a part in a Bollywood movie. As a customs official.

Even though there wasn't time, I was selfishly thrilled, and eagerly imagined my winning rendition of the part, bringing to it a wry complexity.

As I walked to the taxi, there was a dead rat lying outside the hotel. A dog walked past the rat, sniffed it, and then continued on his way.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

French Connection

There is one gay bar in India. And it's only open on a Saturday.

The reason Club Voodoo goes gay once a week is because it's not the biggest crime going on there.

As we walked in, Rick was separated from me by a throng of Russian female prostitutes.

I tried to order drinks at the bar. A knee landed against the back of my leg. And then started to rub up and down against it. And push in harder. I caught a glimpse over my shoulder of a fat grinning man. Frantically I turned to the indifferent barman, who was pouring "vodka" the colour of piss into our glasses. I was being dry humped by a fat man's knee in a hooker bar while paying through the nose for moonshine.

Rick and I stood there, glancing nervously around.

"R and B gets everywhere," growled Rick.

I saw a lovely man at the end of the bar. He looked very severe, with a shaved head and cruel expression. Rick looked over and tutted, "That's an arms dealer."

"All the same, I'm going to chat him up," I announced, staggering unsteadily across the dance whores.

The arms dealer turned out to be a charming French tourist. He'd had a terrible evening at the bar, being groped by strange fat Indian businessmen. It was all rather unpleasant, but we were getting on very well, considering I was almost too drunk to speak.

Soon, I realised it was time to go home. "I'm drunk. I'm going back to my hotel. Would you like to come?" I asked.

The Frenchman warmly. "I don't understand, i'm afraid."

"Would you like to come back with me?"

"No. Sorry. Do you know it in French?"

"Uh. I'm sorry. The only way I know is from the song... and I can't..."

But I did.

He burst out laughing.

"Oui," he said.

Bombay Jazz

Rick and I found a jazz club in Bombay. It was full of rich India businessmen, and empty of jazz.

Instead, there was a wedding singer. We all sang our way through 'Mustang Sally', 'Sweet Caroline' and 'Come On Eileen' quite happily, paying through the nose for vodka.

It was blissful. "How ironic is all this?" I asked Rick after half an hour.

"Not at all," came the grim response.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Power Cuts

Aren't rare in India. And there's nothing that spices up a mad dash to the toilet quite like being plunged into darkness.

However, the joke runs out when you're sat in an airport and there's a power cut. Followed by another one every ten minutes.

Rick turned to me, putting down this Agatha Christie. "We're going to die," he said.


The Indians are proud of their approach to English, which leaves the rest of us a little baffled. In a country that uses the old sense of "avatar" in headlines, it's hardly surprising to pass a billboard that reads "When She's Creative And He's Conservative, Thank God For Royal Tiles."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Love my leeches

So, Rick and I went for a walk through the rainforest. Only a short walk as the sun set. We walked back along the river, and got back to the cottage.

"Right" said Rick. "Let's check for leeches." He smiled a sour smile. He'd picked one up a couple of days before, and had proudly burned it off his leg.

We both laughed at the absurdity of having leeches. And then I pulled up my trouser leg and squealed like a greased gerbil.

Both of us had anklets of leeches, hanging off like swollen bling.

The measure of a true friend is what they'll do for you. I've had friends who'll buy me supper, or sleep with me in a crisis. But Rick is possibly the only friend I have who'll spend a patient half hour burning leeches off my legs.

They were vile little buggers, who just wouldn't die, but flopped around on the porch, pointing themselves hungrily towards us.

We then combed through our trainers, which were full of them. I burned my socks.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


You’ll get ill in India. It’s how you cope with it. Drink plenty of water and make sure there’s a very nice bathroom nearby. Preferably with lots of marble and a bowl of coloured soaps.

If it was up to me, I’d much rather not poo, or even talk about it. In India it’s a fascinating thing. After all, the streets are full of people doing it, and I’m travelling with a straight man. Straight men like farting, and they love pooing even more.

The useful thing Rick taught me was tagging meals, to see how fast the bacteria were working. Cashew nuts seemed useful, even if my claim of half an hour was hotly disputed.

The only thing against us was the food. Two weeks ago, spicy Indian meal after spicy Indian meal seemed like bliss. Now it’s torture. Breakfast is the worst. Weakly, you plead for a little toast and coffee. They do the Indian nod, and bring you some toast. And then a bowl of curry. And a glass of yoghurt with chilli.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Malabar Caves

I only had one bad day on holiday. We were offered two hours in a jeep, seeing a waterfall and the nearby caves. It actually took two hours to get to the waterfall, another two hours to get to the caves, and then two hours to get back.

Six incredibly bumpy hours. The waterfall was fine – but the caves were awful. For a start, we had to climb up a hill. A very steep, tall hill. At the top of that, we had to climb even further. And then, once we’d paid, we crawled into the caves. Which looked oddly like even more mountainside. We scrambled through these open air caves to the Main Chambers. They turned out to be a space between two rocks, about the size of a teashop, almost completely open to the elements.

“Come over and see the carvings!” a guide enthused.

“It’ll turn out to be pictures of lady bits,” said Rick. And he was right.

The sad walk back down the hill was miserable beyond words. Except for the little monkeys, who were great and didn’t spend any time either masturbating or throwing faeces. They just stood around, looking neat and graceful, and a little like WH Auden.

Monday, November 13, 2006


If you are going to do a rainforest, you might as well do it with servants. Why backpack through arduous conditions and wipe your bum on a banana leaf when you can sit in a secluded cottage, reading Perry Mason novels and watching nature just happen merrily around you.

The Bell helped. When we arrived, the hotel staff pointed at it. “If you want anything, just pull the string, and we’ll come.”

We spent an afternoon looking at it, as suspicious as cats. It just seemed wrong. After two days, it was an essential part of life – I don’t understand how I managed to boil my own kettle, mix my own drinks or make my own snacks. (Note to self: Get really subservient boyfriend. Who is also good cook).

The lovely thing about being so high up was the weather. We’d be sat reading on the veranda, and the clouds would come rolling in, blocking out the trees, the valley, and then us.

The Kidnapped Child and the Starving Politician

While we were in India two stories grabbed some headlines. The first was about the child of an IT executive who was kidnapped. After three frantic days, the child came home in a rickshaw.

The police gave a jubilant press conference about how the child’s return was part of a triumphantly elaborate rescue operation.

However, when the child was interviewed he said that his kidnappers had got worried for him, hailed a rickshaw and sent him home.

Angrily, the police responded by arresting the rickshaw driver.

Meanwhile, in another province, an 82 year old statesmen went on hunger strike to protest the conditions in his region. He became so ill that the police arrested him and took him to the nearest public hospital. So horrified were they at the conditions there, they promptly took him to a private hospital. The starving statesman gave an interview that was, effectively, “See?”

Sunday, November 12, 2006


“You’ll love this train,” said Rick. “It’s not a sleeper – it’s like the Eurostar.”

And indeed, if they did a Eurostar to prison, that would be just like the train from Cochin to Kalikut.

A large, vibrant family were sat next to me. They had a young daughter who was precocious. You know how, in classic serials, there’s always a sprightly young thing who reads poems, sings madrigals, says “Fi!” and makes a disastrous early marriage with a guardsman? Well, imagine that at three. All orange ruffles, cartwheels, bangles and constant baby talk. It was almost charming…. Until she realised I was watching Family Guy on my mp3 player.

She was entranced. Good, I thought. She was so entranced, she fetched her brother. Okay, I thought, a little creepy. And then her father.

At which point I realised I was watching an episode about drugs, sex and paedophilia, and hurriedly changed to an old episode of Yes Minister.

The little girl screwed up her face and tugged on her father’s arm so he’d sort it out. He produced his mobile phone and let her play all the ringtones.

When the journey finally ended, we were in Kalikut. It’s a tourist stopping-off point, before you go up to the rainforesty mountains. It really, really smells so much you can navigate with your nose – Turn left at “What the hell’s that?”, carry straight on past “Kidney Infection”, right at “Dead dog” and past the “I don’t know what it is but I think I’m going to throw up. Oh god help me.”.

Kalikut has about one hotel. An old English officer’s club. It’s expansive, a little bit luxurious, and appears to be the local drinking den. Various owners, managers and life insurance salesmen made their way over to our table to swap pleasantries and offer to help us in any way. In the background, a boy of about 14 appeared to do all the work.

In the morning, one of the managers was sat on my porch reading the paper. He scowled at me as I walked past.

The most amazing thing about breakfast there was that they brought it as soon as you ordered it. This isn’t normally the way. Indian restaurants have a little note on their menus “All our food is prepared freshly from your order. Please allow 30 minutes.”

In practice this means that you can walk in, order toast and tea, and watch as they put the toast on, make a pot of tea, and then leave both until their allowed half hour is up. By which time the toast is sandpaper and the tea can talk.

But no. In Kalikut, they brought out the toast when it was freshly toasted. Along with some gorgeous butter. Which was great until I found the mouse droppings.

The Hotel in Kalikut also managed the most amount of paperwork. We had to fill in two forms (171C-New and 171C-Old), in quadruplicate (India is a country where carbon paper is brandished proudly). When we checked out the next morning, we found we had our own dossier. Such meticulous care went into their paperwork that it was hardly surprising they didn’t have the time to clean our rooms.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Diet Coke

India is a land almost bereft of Diet Coke. “People,” Rick said crossly, “Are starving. There isn’t really much call for reduced calorie soft drinks.”

“Coke tastes horrible.” I muttered, chastened.

The Indian approach to soft drinks is that they’re all very well, but a little bit more sugar would make them even better. They do a version of Orangeade that’s pungently sickly – although a dash mixed with “XXL Rum” and a pint of soda water makes a reasonable cocktail.

The Indian approach to hard drinks is curious. They have booze shops that look rather like betting shops – a long, furtive queue and frantic shouting at the counter. Customers slink away, neatly concealing three or four bottles of rum in their dhoti.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Boat Trip

Travelling companion RickThe boat looked like a whicker armadillo. But it was our own boat. With servants. For two days. Pottering up and down a genteel river in a piece of giant garden furniture, past rice fields, palm trees, and strange little villages,

We did nothing, very steadily.

We’d sail past rice fields, where peasants were happily gathering in rice, and then suddenly squat and poo in the field before moving on. It makes a certain agrarian sense, but it’s still a facer when your cook brings you a plate of steaming rice an hour later and says, “We brought it from that field we passed this morning.”

Every now and then, our boat would stop at some strange land mark. Either an electricity sub station, or a water tower. I realised that these were probably sites of great local pride. Or just near the shops.

I’m uneasy about having servants. On the plus side, it’s three new people in my life to constantly apologise to.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Chemists Shop

Product proudly displayed in the window: “Nice N’White Skin Bleacher”. Oh.


We went to Pondicherry because it had a nice-sounding name. It’s an old French beach resort, so the streets have those quaint blue-tin-and-white-writing signs that say things like “Rue du Renard”.

There’s a lycee in town, so every now and then a chic French girl will putter past on a scooter. All the restaurants serve gourmet French cuisine. Or at least, a version of gourmet French cuisine. And anyway, when a steak’s 40p, can you really complain?

Pondicherry contained the first nice hotel – Hotel de l’Orient. It appeared to be a restored chateau, with vast rooms, four poster beds, and slowly stirring ceiling fans. It was luxury, especially after Bombay, where Rick’s room overlooked a kitchen yard where the chef was butchering chickens. And it was about £20 a night.

Going out at night, we found a tiny little bar. The kind of place that North London bars aspire to be – the sort of chic filth you associate with Cuba. Cockroaches chased across the crumbling plaster, ashtrays overflowed onto the floor, and wires dangled from the ceiling.

When we walked in, a couple of “travellers” at the bar glared at us. The look said, “Fuck off, tourists. We’ve suffered to find this place. This is the real India. You have no part in it.”

Rick and I grinned and started to work our way through the interesting collection of fake whiskies behind the bar, with names like McSporran, Bagpiper and Old Tartan. Rick brough a packet of fake Marlboro lights. They looked like Marlboro, but were like smoking soap, and turned teeth instantly black, like joke shop cigars.

By the time we were a little drunk, Traveller Girl was dancing ethnically to that song about Milkshake bringing boys to the yard.

By the time we were very drunk, we’d spent £1.20. As we left, Traveller Girl was sobbing at her table, muttering, “I love this country so much.”

We were followed home by a little man on a scooter, who looked rather like Ralph from the Muppets. He kept asking us whether or not we were married, and grinning.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cures for Travel Sickness

1)Mildly successful cure for travel sickness
Run over a dog. It'll take your mind off it.

2)Incredibly successful cure for travel sickness.
Run over a cow a few minutes later.

Rather nicely, Rick leant the taxi driver his bottle of water so he could wash the blood off the car.

Notes on Vermin

I've never really liked rats. I can't see a point for them, although India has taken them to its heart.

There are, by the way, no cats in Bombay. Plenty of sick-looking dogs living off dust, but no cats. It's as though they got together, took one look round and said, "Fuck this, let's build a raft."

But rats - rats are everywhere. Which is a shame, as I've never liked rats. One of my earliest memories is living on a housing estate in Northampton. We'd only just moved in, so there was no furniture, and the TV just rested on the floor. I was watching Star Trek, and a rat ran in front of the screen. I've never liked Star Trek since.

The only nice fact I've ever learned about rats came from a man I met in Hyde Park. He was so remarkably under-endowed he made a cat look well-hung. I was gamely trying to go down on him on a park bench, and he just stopped me. "Never mind," he said, "Let me tell you about the Royal Parks instead."

One of the things he told me was that Hyde Park has almost no vermin, as it is large enough for foxes to live in. And foxes eat all the rats. This is the only nice thing I've ever heard about rats.

Platform Fag

It was 2 am, and we were 12 hours into a 26 hour train journey across India.

I popped out onto a train platform to smoke a cigarette.

I got three drags in before a guard stopped me. "There's no smoking here!" he yelled. "India is a clean country," he admonished me, as a rat scuttled across the platform towards a fresh turd.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Indian Train

"I should like," I said, "to go to Pondicherry. It's supposedly an old French town, but plonked in the middle of India. Sounds cute."

"Sure," said amiable travelling companion Rick, "I'll book us a train."

Just buying the tickets took three visits to Bombay railway station, walking along a nasty little gutter where people were buying fast food on one side, and defecating on the other.

But we got the tickets in the end. As we left the train station, I walked past a rubbish bin, which someone had tipped coffee grinds into. Then, as I passed it, I realised they weren't coffee grinds.

One thing I soon learned about Bombay - if you're not sure what it is, it's probably human excrement. It's a city where 6 million people don't have access to a toilet at all. Of any kind. Even in the nicer slums, the ratio of people to toilet is 1,500:1.

The train itself was surprisingly nice. A bit like a prison on wheels, only without the showers or sexual tension. Everything apart from the bedding was nailed down, and the beds themselves were made out of the same pallets they use in gay saunas.

I unfolded my bedding. It contained pubic hair and two muddy footprints, probably tracked in from a squat toilet.

We were sharing a tiny cubicle with a snoring businessman and a polite young naval commander, who kept us sane for the next 26 hours.

26 hours is a long time to spend on a train. It was suprisingly lovely - just sitting back and reading, drinking endless cups of coffee.

The best thing of all was discovering a Western Toilet at the end of the carriage, which was strangely reassuring. Although after a few hours, someone did to the toilet what we'd all like to do to K-Fed.

Bombay After Dark

"How nice," I thought, "It's 2am in Bombay and the roads seem quiet. I'll go for a little stroll."

The road seemed lovely and empty and calm. And then... It was like one of those magic eye pictures. But a magic eye picture that's watching you.

I was aware that all around me, I was being watched. By the road. From the long shadows under cars... And by the pavement, with it's little individual cobbles. Each cobble was staring at me. And then I realised what they all were.

Vermin highway.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Filthier and sadder than I could ever have imagined. Where there isn't poverty, there's shit. And trailing through it all are people, people, people. Ooh, and cute little taxis with almost no gears.

In my first day, I've seen the official welcoming of the Prime Minister of Belgium, and mistaken my mosquito cream for toothpaste. My gums have stopped bleeding.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Spark plugged

A straight electrician followed me home the other night.

In his defence he was very drunk. I was out drinking with the Gay Royalty of Cardiff - a couple of staggering handsomeness and style. And suddenly, he sat down at our table. With a slight whoosh of bacardi breeze.

He announced he was straight. Very straight. And then looked at one of the Gay Royal Family. "You are gorgeous, mate."

"I'm straight," said one of the GRF. He pointed at me, "He's my gay brother. And that -" with a gesture at his partner, "is his ex."

Confused? Now add eight pints.

It was all good harmless fun. Until the electrician said that one of the GRF looked like Barry Manilow. Then we figured we could be as nasty to him as we wanted.

So, we got drunker, and he just sat there, believing every lie we told him, until at one point, quite without us noticing, he took his trousers down and rested his member on the pub bench.

"Ya see?" he said, grinning. He'd obviously just proved a really important point in his head.

We glanced at it, and tutted.

Quite why or how he followed me home, I don't know. But he did. Placidly. Like, I suspect, cattle trot off to the abbatoir.

He sat down on my sofa and waited. I pottered around, getting ready for bed.

"Right," he said. "I suppose you know I'm a DJ, yeah? I've got a residency at The End."

"Um." I said. It could have been worse. He could have wanted to talk about sport.

"Now, guess who my favourite DJ is. Go on."

Out of my depth, I shrugged. "Armand van Halen?"

He looked at me, blinked, and shook his head. "No, man, he's like number 15. I want the top, the first, the best DJ in the world ever. What's anal sex like?"

"Fat Boy Slim has to be in the top 10," I ventured.

"Seven," he nodded, "Not that I'd ever do it mind, but I'm curious. Just want to know what being bummed feels like, you know. Never do it. Now guess who number one world DJ is, faggy."

I never did guess who the number one DJ is. But I did answer his other question about five minutes later.

The next morning he turned out to be a surprisingly good kisser. "It's being straight mate. Pretty much all my girlfriend wants to do."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

South by South West

"It would," said the doctor, "Be so easy to make you into a zombie right now."

Instead, she told me about Flu Season. "It's why I gave up general practice. 37 people sitting in surgery every morning, and another 40 in the afternoon. I was having panic attacks. I was terrified of going in every morning - but I loved being a doctor. So I did this."

She'd opened up a small private surgery. Which was very flexible about appointments, letting you see a doctor at a moment's notice for a small fee. Which meant that when, halfway through an email, I thought "Well, I can't do this any more," I was just able to pop down and see her. It's like how GPs were 10 years ago. Even the receptionist was chatty, rather than a terrified harridan hidden behind bullet proof glass covered in Hindi.

Anyway, the point is I'd reached a stage where I just couldn't work. Now matter how much I loved my job, every time i'd try and do something - whether work or email - I'd just feel an incapacitating wave of panic and misery. Every morning, I'd wake up, shaking with fear. Every evening, I'd stumble to bed, miserable.

Which is what found me in the doctor's surgery. With her explaining that there were all sorts of exciting new pills to try before hitting the heavy stuff.

My pills, it turns out, are pink. And immediate. True, they stop me laughing as much as they stop me crying, but this merely means that I can watch the West Wing with dignified composure, and allowed me to have an evening out with my parents without feeling despair.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Finally some good news

No child porn charges to be brought against Forest Gate victim

First they thought he was a terrorist. Then a Brazilian. Finally a child pornographer. Goodness. Next week they'll arrest him over the sinking of the Belgrano and the disappearance of Lord Lucan.

I predict a front cover of the Daily Express will link him, somehow, to Diana.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

So that was Blake's 7

Well, goodness me. The last series of Blake's 7 is strange.

For a start, someone's flicked the switch from "camp" to "gay".

It opens with the crew being rescued by Dorian, a sexy rogue who achieves immortality by luring young men to his glittering cave.

Fans of Blake's 7 please note:
- Yes, Dorian is genuinely sexy, rather than just "sexy for someone in Blake's 7".
- No, he's not the only one.

The last year of Blake's 7 features genuine boy totty. Servalan is no longer the most attractive man in the show. Suddenly, the series is full of atheltic young men, dashing guards, and a slick of hair gel.

There's an S&M computer called Slave ("thank you, Master"), and vile computer Orac has started behaving like a prissy queen who's had their drag show cancelled.

Best of all, we gain Glynis Barber as Soolin. A very attractive woman with a slightly fat arse. The camera is fascinated by her slightly fat arse. Sadly, she and Dayna have to share the same character, so she spends weeks sat on her fat arse.

Sadly, the crew get a new spaceship that only looks good when it's been blown up, and spend 13 miserable episodes failing to get what they want. Every single time. Honest. They are rubbish.

Each week they meet exciting people, and fail to rob them, or recruit them, or conquer their enemies.

Servalan's still there, but looks increasingly bored at having to execute Fat Gay Comedy Villan Of The Week. She's starting to remind me of Gina G. I can't explain that, but she is.

And then there's the last episode. Which is magnificent bobbins. 45 minutes of not much in a wood, followed by 5 minutes of slo-mo slaughter.

Possibly the best thing about it, surprisingly, is the commentary track to Assassin, where half-way through Jacqueline Pearce unleashes a bitch fest on an actress which lasts till the closing credits.

I shall miss Blake's 7. It's still the oddest thing the BBC made - it hurled itself at greatness and missed spectacularly. And I still want to have a go on the Liberator...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Meanwhile, the Affair...

The Affair texts: "How awful! I'm home alone."

Irritatingly, it takes me nearly two hours from door to shag. This is all London's fault. Why, when you're heading somewhere important (toy shops, interesting meetings, and the affair), does London just grind to a halt? Trains stop running, cabs vanish from the street, and bus drivers look the other way.

But how pleasant it is, to be hurrying through leafy South London on an Autumn afternoon with only one thing on your mind.

Discovery: the Affair is worried about limescale.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Devil Wears Prada

Amazing film. But a bit too close to home. I spent the entire film whimpering with fear and sympathy.

FAVOURITE BIT: When she has to get the next Harry Potter book

WORST BIT: The cop-out ending. There's a really, really good ending to this film. 5 minutes earlier. Instead, there's a warm feel-good coda, a bit of redemption, and the unlikeliest newspaper editor in history.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Archers Update: Aw noooo

Ruth and Sam the cowherd are enjoying adulterous kisses in the cowshed.

RUTH: Oooh Sam.

SAM: Oh Ruth.

(wet endless kissing noises)

RUTH: Oh this is wrong, Sam, wrong.

SAM: Oh, no, Ruth, it's right.

RUTH: Oh Sam!

SAM: Oh Ruth!

COW: Moooo.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The law won

Last week's lawyer was true to his word, and summoned me to a hotel in the middle of nowhere.

The tax conference seemed as vile as you could imagine, with The Lawyer managing to smuggle me into his room in between seminars.

After we'd tried out the entire bathroom (including shower caps. what the hell are they?), The Lawyer announced he was off for a Working Supper with his tax chums in the restaurant.

"You could always come down to the restaurant on your own, you know. You can distract me."

So I did.

There he sat, at one end of the restaurant surrounded by endless talk about accomplished children, violin lessons, ponies and holiday homes. And, at the other end, I sat reading Vanity Fair and cadging cigarettes off the barman.

I ended up, sat in a wood-panelled lounge in front of a roaring fire, dozing off gently with a pot of coffee, waiting for The Lawyer to finish his meal.

"I feel like a hooker!" I texted a friend in giddy excitement.
"Hookers get paid," came the reply.

Next week, he's visiting a client in Harlech. He'd like me to attend.

Top facts about The Lawyer
#1) He also teaches Karate
#2) He once flew a client's ashes to Iceland.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Most worrying URL....?

"As a single working mom with two kids and a divorce from hell behind me, I do understand how difficult life can be. So please don't be shy to call me and tell me your story."

Monday, October 16, 2006

Quite the best West Wing review ever..

It's bloody hard to know what to say about West Wing series 7. It's got the wrong wedding, a star drops dead during filming, and it's no longer really about The West Wing - and yet it's still amazing.

It's still really hard to pin down - especially with The Presidential Debate episode in which the Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits debated in character live on TV. Wow. And yet, yawn. I don't think I'll ever know, so instead I'll hand you over to the staggering review from summary site TV Without Pity:

"The Debate - At the debate, Vinick and Santos throw out all the rules. We decide to follow their example, and recap a completely different show. It was just boring. To remedy that, I will be mixing this recap of The West Wing with a recap of the third episode of Mile High, the sexy British series about a group of sexy flight attendants who work for a sexy airline. It has none of the good qualities of The West Wing -- the acting and writing are atrocious, and the show is as meaningful as a bite of cotton candy. But at least its producers haven't forgotten that their main job is to entertain us. Plus, it's sexy.... [ More ]"

Read the whole thing. It's hilarious.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

How I got my mojo back

"I should let you know I'm very shy," said the lawyer as he threw me onto the bed.


I've always believed that if someone you take a fancy to leaves a bar on their own, you should follow them and say hello. On the few occasions that i've put it into practice, it's worked out very well.

Last night was a lawyer who seems to own most of Derby. He's coming back next week to address a tax conference. I've been ordered to turn up at his hotel and wait. There's a four poster bed invovled. How exciting! I'm being treated like a cheap Latvuanian prostitute.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Don't grow old...

My parent's neighbour rings me. She's 84.

"Do you know - I can't get travel insurance? Can you believe it? You get over 81, and all of a sudden they get really picky. They won't even let me go paragliding any more..."

Commander In Chief

Sometimes, you forget how good The West Wing is and need reminding. Thank heavens, then for Commander in Chief, the Asda knock-off of the West Wing.

Whereas The West Wing's take was "Don't you wish real politicians were as wise and witty?", Commander In Chief's is "But look! The President's a girrrrl!"

Sadly, this doesn't feature Reese Witherspoon or Nicole Richie as the First Lady, but instead Geena Davies. She's perky and mumsy and actually rather good in the role. She's a bit feisty.

When having a row with evil senator Donald Sutherland, she snips that he's worried about "that whole once-a-month, will-she-or-won't-she press the button thing."

And, when the dying president demands to know why she's redeployed the entire Navy while he was in a coma she sighs, "I was bored. I'd read all the magazines."

So, we like her, and we adore that her husband gets stuck with the title First Lady (on his office, "It's a bit, er, pink, isn't it?").

But the show is still bobbins of the first water. Whereas the West Wing spins itself out in unimaginable complexity and cleverness, Commander In Chief is more straightforward. And, as the title implies, it loves its guns.

Then there's the vile First Family, composed of hunky teen track star and Little Miss Sulky. They're going to get very tiresome. Unless the teen track star plays all his scenes topless, and Little Miss Sulky plays all hers strapped in a burka.

But with The West Wing over, it'll have to do.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Home Cures

So, the Nurse and I tried to cure indigestion with sodomy. It didn't work.

"Well, it does for prenancy, but when you think about it," tutted the Nurse, "It's like trying to mend a puncture with a bicycle pump."

He's changed since he stopped working on the mental health unit and started pulling pints in an East London drugs den.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Steve's Secret Bar

"Let's go for one more," said Steve.

It was 1 am. It was SoHo. Steve is an ex. Quite a charming one.

"I know this little place..."

Steve always knows places. Evenings with him have involved pub quizzes in pubs with horse brasses, serving alcopops in a twink bar, and crying quietly on an art installation while breaking up again.

We were walking down one of those SoHo streets. Steve knocked on a door. This wasn't like a normal door leading to a swish club. It was a battered door next to another door which said "Model".

The door opened barely, like you see in speakeasy movies. A tiny bouncer dragged Steve inside and shut the door. There was a pause. Then the door opened again and Steve grabbed me.

We went down some filthy stairs, down some more filthy stairs, and into a tiny, tiny room. It was full. Full of impossible people, a tiny bar, three musicians and a ceiling tiled with "Learn Italian" LP covers.

A petite women, looking like Twiggy wandered behind the bar briefly and fixed herself a drink. Then she came over and squeezed Steve.

"This is Meg. This is her bar," explained Steve.

We got drunk. Really drunk. So drunk that we stopped standing and just sat on stools. Blinking. Contentedly.

I can always remember how I got home. Even on those vile nights where you're counting your steps on the way. But that night, I suddenly woke up on a night bus, watching Yes Minister on my iPod.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Brandy for Breakfast

I've always believed that insomnia can be cured with a bit of TV and a little glass of something soothing.

I woke up at 5 on Saturday morning. Too early to wake up properly, too late to really go back to sleep.

So there I was, watching the West Wing, drinking brandy and eating chocolate cake until the sun came up.

Alarmingly, it was all rather nice. But I'm now waking up fancying a vodka.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Jab! Jab! Jab!

Got my shots for my India holiday.

Wonderful verbal sparring with the nurse. It took a while for me to understand what she meant when she kept asking me "how adventurous" my holiday was going to be.

"Ah," I said, "Yes I am gay, but no I'm not having sex while I'm there."

The nurse smiled and stuck a needle in my arm.

"Who knows," she said, "This male friend you are travelling with? Well, maybe there'll be a good evening, a sunset, a few drinks, and one thing will lead to another..."

Poor dear straight friend Rick. If only he knew.

Miss Marple Afternoon

"Find me the Joan Hickson Miss Marple theme," went the email. And so, to the Internet I went.

Immediately I found the marvellous Margaret Rutherford theme arranged for:

But for poor Joan Hickson, whose theme my friend Claire and I would merrily ballet around parties to (even when it wasn't playing)... no sign.

Apart from an Hilarious Midi version

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Oddly, reviewed

Not only do I forget I once adapted a play, I even forget that it's still in circulation.

And then the LA production gets reviewed in Variety, and I feel extraordinarily pleased. Smug, in fact.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Cardiff Anti-Gay Leaflet update

Christian Voice Man let off for handing out anti-gay leaflets at Cardiff Mardi Gras

I've actually got one of the leaflets at home. It's *completely bonkers* and whilst I found it personally enormously insulting and offensive, you couldn't really describe it as threatening violence.

It spent a lot of time explaining how homosexuality was actually incest, as gay people call each other "brother".

Yeah. Now, there's an arugment that homosexuality is bestiality, as gay people do spend a lot of time calling each other "bitch".

But, by they time the author had finished explaining the whole incest thing, there was very little space left over for "God Says: Bum and Burn".

Ah well. The woman who gave it to me was very nice, and had a lovely smile and an Iceland bag full of cake.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

War on Terror Lego

Yes, that is a Scud missile - discover more at Their slogan? "Works with other brands." But only after overthrowing their leader, destroying their infrastructure and stealing their resources.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Loss of perspective

I've just turned down the kind offer of a shag so that I can stay in and play Bejewelled.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I heart New York

Out drinking with the New Yorkers. Including the one with the largest arms.

ME: I'm off.


ME: But yes. Walk me to the end of the road.


ME: In case you can persuade me to come back.

And he did. Up against a small family hatchback.

Friday, September 22, 2006

New Addiction

Bejewelled - how come this was on my Freeview box for a year and I never discovered it?

It's like an autism factory - there's filing and colours and shapes and Everything Had To Be Ordered.

Suddenly I'm no longer worried by problems at work or that my only serious relationship is with Marlboro Lights. I have this. And it does nicely.

New York State of Princess

Imagine what happens when you take four New York Queens to an Italian restuarant in Cardiff Bay.

No, really, imagine.

It was worse.

The combination of "hey, bitch!" pickiness with uniquely Italo-Welsh service was terrifying.

It began easily enough. Sliding slopes leading to crocodile pits are usually fairly gentle.

"Excuse me - what meat is in those meatballs? I just need to check that it's all beef?"

"Okay, now - these olives. What's the pickle exactly? Hmmn. Okay. Can we change that?"

"Now - so if there is pork in these meatballs, can I cancel them? I just don't do pork."

"This ciabatta - okay - now what wheatgerm is here?"

"Right. Now I've cancelled the meatballs, I'd like to change my main. Thing is, I've been to the gym, so there's not really a protein hit in ravioli, so it'd be great if we switched that to the chicken breast?"

I swear, they started taking away plates before we'd finished eating.

The advantage: Going clubbing later, and watching them "put their gay on" - as they swept off their shirts, revealing sleeveless t-shirts and arms made out of girders.

It's not often you see an entire nightclub take one step back. And whimper.

But it was Thursday night, so we're talking about 12 people. Including a lesbian barmaid with a donkey jacket and an open wound.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

My mother's language

As parents get older, they start substituting words. Years ago my mother swapped "Specific" with "Pacific", and "Art Nouveau" has pretty much always been "Art No View".

Someone clever just told me this is called "Mummification".

Her latest trick is to replace "Yank" with "Wank".

I first heard her say "oh, just wank it over the washing line".

I found this boggling. Later, when Dad finished a bottle of wine she told him, "Just wank it out the window. I'll scrape it up later."

My mum's gone all salty. She's never been exactly prim, but when Dad offered her a crisp, she yelled "Aw, stuff it in my gob, big boy."

In 20 years, she's going to be the terror of the retirement home.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Missed me

Got the following email from a dear friend:
There I was browsing the internet for information about Noel Coward, when I stumbled upon an advert for a splendid DVD set called "Hot Nude Yoga"
- and it made me think of you.

The link is (just about) work safe, although you may need to blink a couple of times before you realise this.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Email of the week

How pleasant it is to be copied in on an email exchange about video file types, which starts off wonderfully sensibly and then results in emails like the following?

"... encoding of mp4 content... what are the consequences of specifying these choices of mimetype and extension... For example, the differentiation of content subtypes by extension... ITMS DRM ... Using m4v ... without an aac-encoded audio stream may cause difficulties as iTunes ... has trouble rendering mp4 files with an mpeg layer 3 audio stream ... as per the differentiations in RFC4337?"

I read it four times. And can still only hear "I don't wanna. I don't wanna" ringing in my head.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Thrilling rebound shag #1

Was *another* Tesco worker.

Every little helps.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Terrible Infidelity #4: The Air Steward

"I can't believe I'm doing this. I'm boarding a flight to Alicante in an hour."

Is there anything better than a day when "working from home" means "flight attendant"?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Conversations with dead people

Bumped into my not-sure-what-was-going-on-but-well-he-certainly-feels-like-an-ex. First time I've seen him since he got off with someone else in front of my friends on Saturday. After such a humiliation, it was always going to be an interesting chat.

HIM: Hello! Have you got over Saturday?

ME: (stunned) No.

HIM: Hey ho. I saw Will Young last night, which was lovely...

It's odd how conversation works. The brain has this amazing ability to generate endless, light small talk, all these pointless words words words spilling out while inside all you can feel is this boiling rage/misery that's yelling "FuckerYouColdBastard Youfuckingfuckingfucker. Youhurtmeyoufucker. Fuckyouyoufuckingfuckingfucker!" and yet at the same time you can hear, vaguely through the red mist, your voice burbling merrily away about restaurants and haircuts.

*sigh* I wish I was more confrontational. I suspect it's a skill I've learned from my job. Meetings with Exes are rather like meetings with managers in so many ways - trying to look uncaring and fabulous while wondering "do you still love me?".

When it was over, I realised I badly needed cheering up. Fuckit, I thought. I'm gonna buy the most expensive thing in H&M.

I checked my pocket. Yes, I had a tenner. Today was going to be all right.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Terrible Infidelity #3: The Artist

A friend from work had had a bad date.
As had my friend's friend.
So, accidentally, they were out together.

"Thing is," said my friend from work, "I think he really fancies you. Yeah, I know."

The guy who fancied me was an artist. He paints portraits on commission while he's developing his own serious work. And hates it.

"Haha!" I laughed, "At least you're not painting pets."

"Actually, I've just done a King Charles Spaniel watercolour."


But he still let me walk back to his car.

While I rather like that awkward pause before a goodbye snog, it's also a little horrid isn't it? Especially when the Artist was being a bit odd.

"Oh, I can't," he said suddenly.


"Your friend told me you're only here for another few months. I'm not interested in a relationship that'll last less than six months."

"Excuse me?"

We went and sat down in a courtyard outside a call centre. "I just can't commit to anything... short term," he said. "I wish I could - dear god, at university i shagged my way through the GaySoc, but not now. I just feel that one night stands are a form of abuse, don't you?"

"More of a hobby," I said without thinking. "What did you say? Abuse?"

He ran his hands through his really very lovely hair. There was a lot of it - you could have hidden chewing gum in it. "Yeah, I've always thought that I'm just abusing someone's body for an evening. It feels wrong."

I stopped myself whimpering "-but oh so right," and instead managed a sincere nod.

"So you're saying you won't come back?"

"No. Even sitting kissing you here feels wrong. But you're incredibly my type. I'd love to..."

"...abuse me?"

"Absolutely. But it would be wrong. I wouldn't know how to treat you afterwards. And I really just want a long-term life partner I can talk to about my art."

And then, dear reader, I made a big mistake. "So," I said, "Tell me about your art."

Is there anything worse on a hot summer night than sitting next to an attractive man who fancies you rotten but won't have sex with you? Yes, it's hearing him describe in desperate detail his concept for art.

But, I heard him out. I nodded. I smiled. I made sympathetic noises while realising, creepily, that he worked in isolation in a portacabin by the sea and had no real social contact with anyone. Worryingly.

By this time it was very late. "Oh, I'm so tempted," he said, "But I know I'd just use your body, and I'll feel awkward about it and be weird around you when I next see you. And I'd hate that."

So he went. And the next time he saw me, he was weird around me. I hated that.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Terrible Infidelity #2: The Internet Virgin

"So nervous. Never done this before," he told me.


"No. Having a vodka then coming over. So nervous. Be nice."

Ordering a shag online is a shaky business - especially in Cardiff. But bless him, he turned up 20 minutes later, and stood shivering outside on a warm night.

"Are you that nervous?"


"It's fine. Come in."

As we walked into the flat, he suddenly tensed. "Do you live alone? Only I was worried there'd be several of you, and you'd... you know... do something scary. Ooh."

Never forget - All Cardiff Gays Are Mad.

We sat down on the sofa, and he sweetly explained how he'd just come out of a relationship, and how he and his boyfriend had never really done much sexwise for three years "just really wanking and cuddling, you know". It's weird the sentences you find yourself nodding sympathetically to.

"Anyway, now I'm out of that, I'm looking to explore a bit more. So, this is a new thing for me. Just being, you know, treated as a sex object." He paused, "You know, you're not really interested in me. Just my body. That's nice, isn't it? Fun."

"You're still scared aren't you?"

"Petrified." He nodded, and sniffed bravely.

"You afraid of heights?"

He nodded again.

"Come and stand on the balcony."

So, we stood 11 floors up, gazing down at the tiny railway station.

"Now, what are you more scared of - having sex, or the height?"

He smiled - "The height."

After a while, I looked across at the building opposite. "Wow. They've got builders in - and I think they've spotted us."

"What do you mean?"

"Maybe they're porn builders. Anyway, I think they're expecting a show. Go on."

A bit later we came back inside, and he sat down, sighing. "Well, I've never had sex outside, at height, or with people watching. Blimey. I've really done it all tonight. Do you mind if I pee?"

He went off to the loo, and I fixed us drinks, and wandered into the bathroom. He giggled. "Ooh, you're watching me pee. I'm blushing. That's like watersports isn't it? I haven't done that since this orgy my ex and I went to in June."

"Orgy?" Hmmn. Clearly, at least one of us had been had.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Terrible Infidelity #1: Dogging

I really didn't mean to go dogging. I was simply chatting to three people outside a club, and two of them got in their car and went home, and I got chatting to the remaining one.

He got in his car, and shut the door, leaving me standing outside. Oh. Odd. Was that goodnight? I tapped on the window. It slid down.

"Get in then," he said, and in I got.

"Um," I said. We were sitting in a dark car. This felt naughty and yet odd. Plus, I had no idea what you actually do. I mean my only experience of reaching across in a car was to grab another sandwich from my mother's tupperware. This was... new.

I decided to risk a snog.

"Not yet," he hissed. "I'm waiting to make sure the others have gone."

"I think they have."

"Nah, I'm just checking - it's just that they're great to go back with, but Simon always makes like he's happy watching you shag Derek, but then all of a sudden he's on top of you. Kind of puts you off, you know."

"Right. Yeah. Um.

"Look, let's just park round the corner."

So, we park round the corner. And it's all very odd. I mean, I've kissed a boyfriend goodnight in a car. That seemed fine. But sex in a car? It's all rather Carry On. Especially when the chairs reclined automatically. That was hilarious.

So anyway, the chairs reclined, and so did we, and I learned many useful things about him, including where his tattoos were and what his name was.

All of a sudden, though, there was a light. One of those motion-sensitive security lights. Was that us?

"Fucking hell," said Carl, "They're pressed up against the windows." And he was right.

You know that bit in a horror movie when the noble young lovers are taking desperate
refuge in a car from the shuffling zombie hoardes?

Well, dear reader, I was that desperate.

Gays had surrounded the car, and were up against it like slugs on a milk bottle.

"What... do... we... do?" I whispered.

"Buckle up," grinned Carl.

Oooh! A daring bid to scatter them like cardboad boxes in Starsky and Hutch! I reached for my seatbelt.

"No," hissed Carl, "Pull up your pants. They'll get bored in a minute."


So, we talked. About stacking shelves in Tesco, and how he had to leave in a few minutes to start baking bread.

And gradually, the zombies got bored and shuffled away.

And eventually, the security light winked off.

And, finally, he went and baked some bread.

September 11th

Dear The Met

Thank you for trying to reassure as at Paddington Station today. Clever move - deploy two policeman with sniffer dogs. If we didn't find the policemen reassuring, ooh, look at the puppy wuppy!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hospital Visit

Of course, it's not funny visiting someone in hospital. Especially when they've had their jaw broken by a mindless thug.

But then again, we were three gays in a car, and Shakespeare's Sister were on the stereo. I defy you not to be doing impressions, even in a hospital car park.

When we found Matt (we'll call him Matt - all Cardiff Gays are called Matt), he looked surprisingly fine. I think we'd bet on him wearing a wire cage or something horrible. Instead he looked a bit lumpy. And overjoyed/terrified to see us.

You see, on the same day Matt had had his jaw dislocated, he'd very nearly dislocated something else entirely through enviable bedroom antics involving two bisexuals and probably quite a lot of pillows. Yes, Matt had taken two bottles into the shower.

As with most things gays describe as "fabulous", our reaction was a mixture of incomprehension, envy and wincing fear. Matt just looked bloody smug, and was the willing butt of cheap puns all evening (see?).

Unfortunately, little did he imagine that the next day he'd be laid up in a hospital bed, barely able to speak and confronted by a cackling hoard.

We'd honestly tried to be sombre, serious and grave. A hospital is after all, a terrible place.

But, as we entered the ward we saw the sign: "No more than two visitors to each bed."

[to be continued]

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Hospitals and Heartbreak

The important thing to remember about Saturday night is that somebody I rather like ended up in hospital with a broken jaw. It's seemingly trendy in Cardiff to finished a night out with a kebab and some mindless violence.

The lesson to learn from this, fellas, is never leave a Cardiff nightclub alone.

The other thing about Saturday night is that the bloke I've been quietly dating for a couple of months went home with someone else.

So, ouch. I feel really, really terribly about it. In a most irrational way. I did have high hopes for the little fella. But never mind.

The good news is that this does mean that, since he was a regular reader, I can now write up all my slight accidents in two months of near celibacy.

Hoorah. Especially as one of them involved going dogging with a Tesco shelf stacker.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Older? Yes.
Wiser? No.

Avoided celebrating my birthday by going along to a work do in town. Lovely restaurant, and you could bring your own bottles and so on.

Except... they waited an hour before taking our orders, and another hour passed before any food turned up.

Getting smashed on Rose wine is neither dignified nor clever. Kind of fun, for the first six glasses, then just a blurry nightmare.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Today's meeting

I had a meeting at 12.30 in London.
I was on time for the 8.55 from Cardiff.
Only the 8.55 wasn't planning on turning up to 9.56
The 9.25 was also due in at 9.56.
Before it was cancelled.
The 9.55 was still scheduled for 9.55

Then, at 9.40 a train turned up on the platform. "Get on!" yelled platform staff, "It's a surprise!"

And it was. For everyone, including the train driver, who'd been hoping to go to Taunton.

By the time I got to London, I was late for my meeting, which I *just* made by cycling furiously across town, cunningly disguising a hideous spot on my nose with concealer at some traffic lights, and rushing into the meeting, which turned out to be behind the prop store, up some stairs next to a broken microwave.

Shirt flapping out, trousers falling down, earphones scraping along the floor, dripping with sweat, I bumped into the Affair, who looked as smooth as a hunting cat. "Goodness," he said, "There's something on your nose."

Half a stick of spot concealer.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Muddy Grass

Eskimos, we are always told wrongly, have 32 words for snow, as they've got so much of it. So why the fuck don't the Welsh have hundreds of words for rain?

Cardiff Mardi Gras was a dazzling display of diversity - every conceivable type of rain was there, from almost imperceptible drizzle through to heavy sheets that chased each other across the field. At one point it even appeared to be snowing, but this was simply the howling wind blowing fag ash from the dance tent.

In amongst all this were some damp gays. My memory of the afternoon is a little cloudy. I decided I needed a drink, and the only non-beer was a thing called Red, which was blue. The drink was as challenging metabolically as it was philosphically - the label on the side was a bit hesitant about what it contained beyond "alcoholic drink with mixed fruit flavours", but I was climbing the walls within seconds.

Over in the cabaret tent, a Welsh youth sang some "slow, romantic numbers" from Miss Saigon to a baffled crowd, and then a drag queen somehow managed to sing 9 to 5... *but to the wrong tune*. At first the crowd were stunned, then revolted, and finally murderous. I remember yelling "Stop! In the name of disco, stop!" And after that, perhaps some screaming, and a cloud of ostrich feathers.

Rugby Matt turned up late, having gone to a motor show by mistake ("I was thinking, this isn't that bad for Gay Pride, you know..."). When he finally turned up it was a heaving crowd of trainee goths, gay children (am I the only one reminded of the Mini Pops when I see a 14 year old twinked up?), wizened muscle Marys (I swear I saw one gay with a tatoo on his naked back of a naked back), and those girls with boobs merging into muffin tops. Matt sighed, "The Valleys are empty."

Over in a distant corner, near a stage on which four members of Blazin' Squad skipped, was the private members' area (Pink Plus), in which a dozen miserable people tried to shelter from the horizontal rain under a tiny pagoda. Nearby, two large old ladies had built themselves a shelter from empty crates and a tarpaulin. A dog cowered within, whimpering.

I went and had a dinner party, more to sober up than anything else, and then went to finish the evening off at the "Charles St Street Party". What someone had done is taken two enormous queues for two nightclubs, and added an outdoor bar and some speakers. The result? Instant carnival.

Mike, Sian, Darren and I sat on a step, drinking more alcopops and watching the world shuffle by. It had stopped raining, so I was out in only a t-shirt. In the subsequent downpour I achieved saturation.

Darren eyed me coolly, "I have a theory that gays are water soluble, you see. At any second, you're just going to wash away."

A tiny lesbian danced up to us. Sian gasped, "I saw her earlier. She was trying to stop traffic with her fists." The lesbian roared at us - "This is the most amazing tune ever. You guys remember that. I could dance to this tune for fucking ever. Have the most amazing lives! Hey, they changed the tune. Fuck them! Fuck you! Great beat."

Matt and the glamorous gays of Cardiff swanned past, in a strange array of Breton shirts and cloth caps. "We're queuing for the madness."

I went home for a shower.

WKD dreams

As a result of all the alcopops, I had the worst night of sleep imaginable.

Dream #1: The Spanish are so upset that a website I work on isn't translated into Spanish that they've sent someone to my flat to kill me. I can hear them going from room to room with a knife. I try and wake myself up before they kill me, but it's so hard, and I can't remember any Spanish. I finally wake up, and run to the door to get out of the flat when I realise "Oh. A dream. Shit."

Dream #2: I'm visiting my parents. Imaginary nieces and nephews are visiting. My dad's behaving very strangely. Immediately after supper, my Dad goes up to bed, and comes back, in his dressing gown with a mixing bowl. "I'm making them pancakes," he explains, stirring the bowl. I realise that my father is going senile, and burst into tears, hugging him in his dressing gown. He suddenly seems so small. My father starts to cry too. "But they might be hungry..."

Friday, September 01, 2006

Better than a boyfriend

"What's that?" I asked my personal trainer, gesturing at a new piece of gym equipment.

"We can have a go on it later, if you want," he said, smiling.

And, eventually, after lifting heavy things, and lunging and all those other silly things that boys do in a gym, we got around to the plate.

It just sits there, a treadmill crossed with a mushroom. There's a nice marketing poster of an older woman doing serene yoga on it, the faintest hint of a grin on her face as though the secrets of the universe were unfolding around her.

Lovely John made me stand on it, like I was skiing - it felt vaguely like squat thrusts or something - a bit stretchy, but basically, fine.

Then John switched it on. And the plate began to jiggle, causing my calf muscles to quiver in agony. I glared at the picture of the serene woman. She just smiled calmly back.

It was the same doing push ups on it - I thought my hands were going to fall off.

Finally, John made me lie on it, paused halfway through a sit up. "Now, tell me what you think of this one," he said. And switched the machine on.

For the first ten seconds, all I could think of was the burning pain in my abdominal muscles. And then the sensation changed direction. It moved down... and.... oh... reader, it was so good I told it my pin number there and then.

After a minute, John switched it off. "How do you feel?" he said, regarding me strangely. Slightly like the look my Dad gave me after I'd shaved for the first time.

I tried to say something, and instead giggled.

"Yeah," said John. "You can go and shower now."

As I walked out, I finally realised what the Old Lady's smug grin meant - "You'll be back."

Gay Street Fight

GAY NUMBER ONE: Wanker! (giggles)

GAY NUMBER TWO: Twat! (laughs)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Having a PA

Got phoned by someone's secretary. Here's how the conversation went....

PA: Hello.

ME: Hello.

PA: I'm [Someone Important]'s PA. You're meeting him today.

ME: Yes?

PA: He called me just now from the train to ask if I could call you.

ME: Okay.

PA: I was wondering, would you like me to call him and ask him to call you, or would you like to call him?

I am not hungover

I merely require more bacon.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Rolling Stones

Never thought I'd ever see them in concert. But I did, and they were *almost* as enjoyable as Girls Aloud.

Partly, it's just the fact that they're there. Standing on a stage, less than a quarter of a mile away from you. It's just amazing.

Ignoring the amazing songs, and the stunning stage show (floating stage! fireworks! streamers!), there was just so much to take in, especially during the bits where they "played a new song".

Mick Jagger - amazing dancer, appalling dresser.

Keith Richards - chain-smoking legend, with an appearance rather like a mummified vegetable discovered down the back of the freezer.

They're all so thin! Is there a Rolling Stones Diet book? Is it from the same publishers as the Kate Moss Diet?

Hi-Definition Big Screen Wow. Not only could you see all of the words on placards, you could also see every single crow's foot.

It was just amazing.

Battlestar Galactica

(six episodes in, no spoilers)

Dear Battlestar Galactica

Goodness! You've certainly cornered the market in grim and gritty. But would a joke kill you? Go on - crack a smile! Cheer up - it might never happen! I mean, really, 24 is funnier than you. Doesn't that worry you?

If you carry on at this pace, you'll crack and do something really inadvisable. Like a musical episode.

PS: Dear Jamie Bamber, I appear to have dropped my pen. Would you mind picking it up for me?

How I broke the internet

I just googled "google".


I'm going off rattling between London and Cardiff on the train every week. Thankfully, there's a train strike at the moment, so I can't.

It should, truthfully, be fine - after all, I normally spend my evenings watching DVDs and eating crisps, so why moan about having to do it on a train?

It comes down to four things....

1) - we have to use them, but they're hateful. Their machines barely work, and their customer service helpline only operates 9-5... and yet, when it is open, calls are taken by shrill women in India with the volume turned to 11, so it's like having a row with the speaking clock.

2) Other people. Pissed businessmen sneaking cigarettes in the corridors. Fat straight couples going for all the bases. Japanese Tourist girl who giggled through all 400 of her digital camera pictures, with the bleep-bleep-bleep still turned on....

3) ....And children. Bloody, bloody children. Why do people assume all gayers are paedophiles? I HATE children. Girls with their princess skirts and recorders, boys who SCREAM when they've dropped their crayons, the Aled fucking Jones prodigy who sang Old Macdonald all the way from Newport to Reading.

Children are so annoying that they have their own carriage. And do the shoot-me-i'm-so-tired parents take them there? No, they take their squealing spittle merchants into the Quiet Carriage. Yes, the Quiet Carriage - where slippers are compulsory.

The apocalypse will come when 3 year olds start using mobile phones on trains. Then the world will end. Out of shame.

4) Swindon. Is there, oh is there, a tedium quite like sitting outside Swindon for no apparent reason for 40 minutes?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Spam of the week

I have been invited to a "Product Development Metrics Summit" by a "John R. [Dick] Power".

It's the fact that he points it out in his sig. Like he introduces himself to people as "Hi, I'm Dick Power."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Babies and single women

My beautiful friends had a Christening yesterday. The wonderful Gemma and her husband Serge, the French kickboxing count, formally saved the soul of young Anna Petra Pennings.

It was interesting. I remember these from when I was a kid, running around in plastic black shoes and touching the font (would it, oh would it open up into Narnia?). I'd forgotten how loud they were though - Petra was eerily silent in her vast cake of a gown, but the other babies squealed all the way through.

The exception was Kate's Amelia. Kate's always had A Very Hard Stare that's worked wonders on a succession of boyfriends. Amelia tried out a tentative wail and Kate just glanced at her. Amelia closed her mouth and went to sleep.

But what to get as a present? A tankard? In the end, I went to a bookshop and grabbed all the books that meant the most to me when I was a kid. Wasted on Petra, who is a mere few months, but I figured Gemma and Serge would find them funny when they'd finally got rid of their dull Dutch cousins ("oh! London is craaaaa-zy, yes? Wild, huh?").

So Gemma and Serge got:
  • Alice in Wonderland - dull but obvious
  • Miffy - she always seemed so sad. And now kids get a version they can stroke.
  • Flat Stanley - still as weird as ever
  • Richard Scarry - although the Rainy Day Activity Book is long out of print. Boo.
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar - the first book I ever read. My appetite has been regulated ever since by the belief that if I eat enough, I'll become pretty.
  • Eloise - actually never read these, but saw an article about them in Vanity Fair and decided they're just the kind of books I should have read.
  • Mr Happy - is happy. Therefore good.

I left out Mog the Cat (dated - Mog foils a robber stealing cutlery), and a Moomin story book (yikes! how creepy were they?). Also figured Tintin/Asterix are barred until Gemma and Serge decide which language Petra will enjoy them in.

Most of the fun came at the lunch party afterwards. Especially the pack of slightly deranged single women, surrounded by tired young mums and fat young dads.

Appallingly aware of our singleness, we all started to drink very quickly, and laugh loudly and brittly. "You're gay," they bayed, "Surely you're having a lot of sex!"

"No, not really," I explained. "There's this nice man, and we go out for drinks and hold hands."

"Awwww," they all said.

"Now, there's my friend who's just come out of a relationship. He's very attractive, he's a single gay man, he doesn't feel like another boyfriend, so he's working his way through gay London at warp speed."

"Oh, how sad," they all said.

"What? He's having the time of his life."

"No, no, no, not really," they all said. "He's doing it to hide the pain."

"Then he's hiding it very thoroughly. And in a lot of different places. Five last Sunday."

"That's so tragic!" they sighed.

"But he's just come out of a relationship. He's cheering himself up, proving that he's sexy and desirable, and making a lot of rough men happy. What's wrong with that?"

One broke away from the chorus - "It's... it's.... it's just wrong."

"Basically because he's having a lot of sex?"


"A lot of sex and no emotional involvement?"

"There's no such thing as meaningless sex! How can you say that!" they all roared.

"I didn't say it was meaningless. Casual sex makes him happy and it makes me happy - on a dull Sunday afternoon there's really nothing like a blow job behind an oak tree for cheering you up. It's fun... and if you learn their names and how long they've been over here from Brazil, then it's pleasant and polite, but that's it."

They just stared at me. One of them shook her head.

I suddenly realised - I really don't understand women.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Your home-selling horrors answered!

Are you a scary home-selling dragon? Do you terrorise the menstrual mothers of the neighbourhood with tupperware targets and crystal campaigns?

But hey - aren't there just sometimes not enough hours in the day? Especially when, girls, it comes to emailing out a newsletter full of bible quotes and fuckin scary salespeak.

Then rush to UNIT News. They'll write your emails for you, leaving you plenty of time to push your children around on tricycles.

Why not read a sample newsletter. And remember - don't just let anybody dump into your mental factory

Random Link

Every now and then I click the "Queer Diaries" link on the left. Often it goes to a broken page, or the latest entry reads - "January 13, 2005 - I'm know now that Roo really cuts through all my shit, so I'm just gonna follow him to LA. I'm following my dreams. Will post again next week to tell you they went. Wish me luck!!!"

So, I click it this morning, and get a food diary. Sample entry:

    Brunch today was scrambled tofu plus a piece of toast with Earth Balance.

    Midafternoon I had an apple and some raw cashews...

    Peach Berry Smoothie. Whizzzed it up in the blender. It's okay but I think I used too much flaxseed.

Oh my god. Why?

PS: Suddenly I feel fat.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Which train are you?

James "likes to think of himself as A Really Splendid Engine. This can occasionally lead to high-falutin' ideas about the work suitable for such a noble creature. Invariably they land James in trouble."

What engine are you?

Hand cream and matches

Sometimes the line between tragedy and comedy is very thin.

Woman has panic attack on plane, they search her handbag, the world media goes mad.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Glorious weekend spent going through my old Lego. I'd just meant to see if I had all the bits for the castle, but ended up building Lego Town all over again.

Blissfully therapeutic. Scary Lego things I'd forgotten:
  • Lego Shell Station Is there now a Lego recycling plant?
  • Too many nurses Lego nurses are a bit creepy. More so when you realise you've got five identical clone nurses, all with evil grins.
  • Lego Sex Change Simply swap the perm for a hat. Creepy.
  • Legoland is now gay All the new Lego is about men. With rakish grins and stubble. Compare 1980s Fire Chief with 2005's:

  • Old lego plans are now online Whoosh!


In London, I work over a wine bar. I've always ignored it - there's something about "wine bar" that says 1980s, tossers, sneering, tossers, Nelson Gabriel. Tosser.

It's partly cos I don't like getting drunk on wine. It's like fingernails scratching down the blackboard of my soul. Plus I say stupid things.

But, on an impulse, I went for a drink there after work. And yes - even with three people in there, the wine bar stank of sneering. And yes - three drinks were £12.

But, I realised... they don't just do wine. There are spirits. And cigarettes and... then it hit me.

I work over a pub.

Suddenly, being back from holiday isn't that bad.

Unplanned Pub Crawl

Saturday REALLY was going to be a quiet night in. Then a quiet drink out. Then a quiet drink in Vauxhall. Which was running late. So I went to Duckie and had a brilliant time.... And then finally went for that quiet drink.

It was great catching up with an old friend, but Barcode Vauxhall was HEAVING. If I did drugs, it'd be okay. No, it'd be fun. Instead, my vodka blanket just sighed and said "I'll be outside."

So, I stood there till half two, doing finger puppet dancing in a tiny pocket of space, surrounded by people grinning their heads off. And I think I had a good time, but... it was just this vast sea of slightly steaming muscle.

The night bus home stank. Really stank like a sweat orgy. After a quick game of "where's the tramp?" I realised it was me. Euw.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Quote of the Fringe

"All ferrets can do it, and it fools all ferrets"

Ken Campbell on ventriloquism.

Back from Edinburgh

First holiday in a year. Amazing. Things to know

  • Dylan Moran was a long way away, very funny, and really needs to work out what he thinks of gays.
  • I spent more money than I knew I had.
  • Student theatre is exactly how you remember it.
  • Had supper next to the Goodies.
  • Stayed in a gay sauna. Again.
  • Didn't have sex.
  • Edinburgh is FULL of boy totty. All that nervous energy.
  • Listened to two Celeb Big Brothers talking about a third: "Very keen on recycling. We drank champagne on the last night and he said 'Promise me, if I go out, you'll do one thing for me - put the bottle in the right bin.'
  • AL Kennedy was amazing.
  • Saw a play about a bench on top of a hotel. So bad I couldn't sleep through it.
  • This week's midlife crisis: Why am I not a 30 year old, 6 foot tall, blonde fit comedian from the North? Why? Why? Why?
  • I keep dreaming that John Reid is going out with Paula Radcliffe. Whenever she's out running and has to pee, policemen form a ring round her for privacy.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Just got a text. From a man. I cannot remember him at all. But it sounds as though we've had sex. Or worked together on a really difficult project.

How do I reply?

The Unluckiest Man in Forest Gate

Poor Mohammed Abdul Kahar. What are the chances of...
  • Being mistaken for a terrorist?
  • Being accidentally shot in the shoulder by a trained firearms officer who was actually using his gun as a, um, torch at the time?
  • Being arrested as a child pornographer?
  • On the very same day that the report into your shooting comes out?

I mean, goodness me. That's quite a run of bad luck. I suspect by the weekend we'll also discover that he ordered the death of Princess Diana, and broke Wayne Rooney's foot.

Meanwhile, over to the IPCC report, and poor old officer B6:

B6 was the first officer to climb the steep, narrow and dark stairs. He states that as he climbed the stairs was was shouting "armed police". As he was wearing a respirator any words spoken would have been muffled. As it was dark, B6 was using the torch fitted to his MP5 Carbine. B6 says he was carrying the weapon "raised to an off aim position in front of me"....

B6 states that he heard a "pop" but did not register that it was a shot (he was wearing ear defenders, a helmet and a hooded suit)... We note that the safety catch was off... and the officer was wearing two pairs of gloves.

Cruise Control

What a week it's been for bush botherers. George Michael appears to have made cruising cool.

I knew it was in trouble when the straights started doing it. Will it go the way of disco and crystal meth?

It was even on Any Questions, and the panel said "well, not my cup of tea, but my sharply-haired friend Jasper can do what he wants..."

What with ASDA and M&S in trouble for their increasingly provocatively sloganed kiddie clothing, how long is it before we see kids wearing t-shirts that say "Cruisy slut" and "Cottage grrrl"?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pirates of the Carribean

Goodness me, but that film went on for EVER didn't it?

Leaving email

This is quite the best "I'm off then!" work email I've received for ages. And it's from a publicist:

I wanted to let you all know that I have taken the very, very difficult decision to leave this wonderful world (and it truly is a wonderful world).

The reason for my departure isn't that they never changed the colour of my office from this appalling yellow - but a more happy one named David who lives down in Cornwall. He's a wine merchant - I'm no fool.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A mountain problem with the gays

So, you're an author, and you've come up with a book that will do for werewolves what Buffy did for vampires.

The marketing department are all behind you. But someone in sales doesn't agree. "Look," they say, "The title - it's very good, but it's also quite a naughty gay term."

The author doesn't believe it. Marketing go away and check. Yes, the title is gay slang, but they think it's quite obscure, and, anyway, it's not going to put off young teens or their parents.

Then a gay film comes out that popularises the phrase, but still the author sits tight. After all, the phrase isn't actually used in the film, only by people trying to be funny. And anyway, that's not going to put young teens off reading this gripping werewolf thriller. And, luckily the book has a lovely cover that's going to stop people thinking of gay shagging.

So, the book comes out. The title? Bareback.

Friday, July 28, 2006

In which I nearly have sex

So, his boyfriend had left the pub and he offered to walk me home. It was a warm summer's evening, and I was charmed.

He walked me home. He followed me up in the lift and into the flat. And then he pounced.

There was a brief, exciting tussle. And then something caught his eye, and he stopped. "Oh my god!" he gasped, "Is that really a script for what I think it is! Wow! I am like the world's biggest fan!"

I got rid of him within minutes. Sadly, I appear to have got good at saying "No" to attractive men. That's three times in a fortnight that roughly the same thing has happened. Virtue's comforting. But just a little dull.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Spent a day at the Royal Welsh Show. Handing out leaflets, meeting children and parents, and generally soaking up the atmosphere.

I loved agricultural shows when I was young. Every year, we'd go to the East of England, and I'd eat a pork pie, look at cows and sheep and pigs and horses, and maybe pop into the BBC stand to pick up a piece of paper that was exciting just cos it said "BBC". Somewhere I've still got em.

Anyway, there I was, handing out leaflets and posters and stuff and feeling a bit rubbish for not speaking any Welsh (how I cringed when a five year-old said patiently "Diolch means thank you. There.").

Most of the people were deeply lovely, but it was amazing how the 0.001% of vile people can really leave you in a mood. The Dad who just pointed at me, snapped his fingers and then pointed at his two kids. The girl who asked me all sweetness for a poster, then threw it away over her shoulder, still smiling at me. The little boy with the milkshake... oh, but hang on, the twitching's started again.

Oh and then the grans. One came up to me, asking "Can I have a cool drink for the little kiddies?" I apologised, we didn't do drinks. "I see," she said, eyeing my cup of coffe, "You don't do drinks. No. That's right." And then sailed away, dripping dignified disdain.

I didn't really get to explore. Apparently the Sheeptacular was unmissable, but there just wasn't time to see performing pedigree pullovers.

I did get to see a jolly woman parading her horse and trap round the main ground, while giving off a commentary that sounded, as someone put it "just a shade too excited" - "Now, then Jasper's really breaking into it... oh good Jasper! Jasper! Oh a little faster! You too, Starlight! Really go for it! There we are! Yes!"

The real delight was, of course, Welsh farmers with their shirts off. Without a thought or a care in the world. Topless tractor totty just strolling around, or watching a display of dancing ducks, or whatever. Shyly oblivous to the world, yet beautiful and content. Like barely living Greek statuary. Only with cheap tattoos and a thousand acres.

I bought a pork pie. Sadly, not at the fair, but at Tesco Services.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The other me

Just checked my online bank. Over the weekend, I would appear to have developed a quite ruinous taste for online poker and the gee-gees.

Bless first direct though. "We spotted it at once, sir. It's a sure sign of fraud. Or divorce."

24 update

Caught up with the latest series. In which Jack gets on board an airplane by disguising himself as luggage and Chloe gets a stun gun.

87% of 24 is Made for Gays.
The other 13% (inane torture) is just there to reassure straight men that they're not watching something poofy.


Why we should all behave like the BBC: "I'd like you to call me Bradley instead of Daniel, please. I had a terrible time in Marseilles, and I'd like to put it all behind me." from GUM Clinic

Saturday, July 22, 2006

My Welshest yet

*hilarious* fake tan disaster. I look like a coal miner.

UPDATE: I've now got a real sunburnt nose. I'd like to think this makes the overall effect realistic. Sadly, if I was a cat I'd be called Patch, and if I was a puppet I'd be called Sooty.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Completely forgot I'd gone a bit mental on Amazon during the summer heat. Got back to the flat to discover...

- a book of plays
- a book about whores
- Spiderman Lego Train. Complete with Lego Doctor Octopus.


Who moved my cheese?

There's a revered management strategy called "Who moved my cheese?" - a simple parable about two mice who go to the same place in a maze every day for their cheese. One day, the cheese has moved. The clever mouse goes hunting for the cheese. The stupid mouse stays, waiting for the cheese to come back.

Yesterday, my cheese moved. Or my maze moved. Or something. And anyway, I'm lactose intolerant. But there was a restructuring work thing. With flow charts. And a complicated circular diagram thing like those Georgia O'Keefe drawings of lady bits.

After much hunting through these charts, I discovered what my new role might be: "Embedded Future Media Technologist".

I explained this to the people in Cardiff. They're now calling me "the inbred".

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mind the gaps

Go see a dentist. Now. I'm going to.

I had drinks with two exes last week. Normally, I throw myself at them. Even the fat ones. But what saved me this time was that both of them had disgusting teeth.

Adam (the ex boyfriend) merely had a gaping hole in his stained teeth. A fascinating, jagged wedge that almost sparkled in the dim light. For Joe (the ex shag), however, it was worse. Years of doing his own dentistry with home filling kits had caught up with him. Instead of a normal row of gnashers, his teeth were like pebbles on a beach - layers upon layers of wedged fillings, each a different shade of fizzing decay.

The teeth were my salvation. Joe is astonishingly beautiful and terribly straightforward... but everytime he grinned his rockery smile my stomach lurched.

Adam hasn't really changed much since last I saw him. Still madly in pursuit of teenagers ("Was at an 18th birthday party last night. Shan't see him again."), and a career. He's now decided to become a lawyer. I begged him not to.

Finally, after a year, he gave me back some of my stuff. Or rather, a pile of books and a t-shirt that wasn't mine. "This isn't mine," I said.

Adam glanced at it. "No. Too small," and pocketed it.

Apart from vile teeth, both insisted on showing me their camera phones, full of pictures of their recent shags.

"It's because they're desperate to prove they're doing okay," I explained to Lee over lunch the next day.

"Yeees," Lee toyed idly with his salad, "That's absolutely it. Life's downhill after you. Carry on telling yourself that. Go you."

So anyway, two evenings of looking at bad teeth and pictures of my ex shags. Adam looked down at his phone sadly. "That's all of them. Howabout you? Any pics on your phone?"

Yes Adam. One of you sucking off an old man for money.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

There was culture

Went to see a fabulous satire about Welsh politics. It summed up perfectly everything about why the Theatre's not like going to the Cinema - you could see the cast, the rest of the audience, and even, in a corner, the author, staring hard at a spot on the floor.

Shamefully, it's been six months since I've been to the theatre. My Cardiff flat's about 100 yards from a theatre, but it appears to rotate Festen with The Vagina Monologues and, currently, a Rod Stewart Musical.

Apparently, I missed the week when Kate O'Mara was in an Agatha Christie.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Job interview

A couple of weeks ago, in a moment of madness, I applied for a job. Simply because it was in Glasgow, and I like Glasgow.

Oddly, I got an interview. Which really surprised me, as it was way out of my league. And I hadn't a clue what the job was.

Don't get me wrong - the job ad didn't say "Earn $$$s from home!" - it was just that every time I read the job description it looked like a different job. Completely. But, it was with a brilliant bunch of people, and, as I said, in Glasgow. The only thing I could be certain of was that the job title was nice. And very long. Which had to be a good thing.

The train journey was fun. A 13 hour round trip from Cardiff to Glasgow was still easier than trying to catch the plane. And, you know, better for the, um, environment thingy.

I nearly pulled on the train journey up. Or, at least, I got glowered at several times by a man who looked like he used his knuckles for maths. How wonderful, I thought. What a good omen!

He passed me in a corridor, and loitered menacingly. I'm ashamed to say I went giddy as a nervous schoolgirl. Partly 'cos I've never done it in a Virgin Train bog. They're enormous, shiny and full of buttons. They even have something like a flip-down ironing board. Yay!

Anyway, there we were in a corridor, him lowering away like a summer storm. Just as I'm about to surrender my heart and my wallet, my phone rings. It's habitat. They wait three months to tell me the dark walnut mirror is back in stock... and then call just as I'm about to enjoy a furtive bog shag with a simmering gay so rough his kitten has an ASBO. Bastards.

Rough gay isn't impressed, and wanders off. I'm left with a broken heart and a half-finished presentation on something no-one knows anything about for a job I don't understand.

The job interview is predictably hilarious. I've not had one for years, and I alternated between breezy incompetence and cheery terror. I discovered from watching a recent tv appearance that, when stressed, I slow down and posh up. So, bless 'em, some lovely Scottish people end up interviewing Tim Nice-But-Dim.

At the "Now, is there anything you'd like to ask us?" stage I cracked. "Yes, the job description's terribly lovely, but sounds very, um, you know, broad. Would you mind telling me what the job actually involves?"

There's an awkward pause and a flinty glare. "It seems perfectly straightforward to us..." Reading glasses are popped on. And the job description is read to me.

"Oh," I say, still in the dark, but pressing on. "Now, if you were applying for the job, what bit of it most excites you?"

The flint sparks. "All of it." There's a pause. "But I guess, what's best is..." And then they describe the job to me. And it's a brilliant job. An amazing job. A job I've just completely failed an interview for.

On the long train back, the air conditioning jams at Crewe, and I spend the last four hours shivering, watching my breath freeze in the air. The ticket inspector's worse - she's stuck in her thin summer blouse and micro skirt. She canters through the train every hour, teeth chattering, lips blue.

"Rubbish job, sometimes," she says. I nod.