Monday, January 30, 2006

An Affair I Don't Remember

I turned up at my London office to discover a rumour flying around that I was having an affair with a married colleague. Completely untrue, and just a little disturbing.

Ironic really, as, actually, I am having an affair with someone from work. Just someone else entirely. And it's all rather marvellous.

The BBC Homepage asks:

"What's Ned's problem?"

Narrow. It. Down.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Well, that was rather good. In an oddly melancholic way. Sounded like an awful idea, but a Morse sequel turned out to be a lovely thing.

If only for the adverts. Special hurrah for the "Mozart: The Best Composer. The Best Works. All On One CD".

And, for me, the fact that once again my old house in Oxford *just* missed being in it. A long pan from the boathouses... nearly on screen... but no. Twenty bloody years of Morse and not one lousy shot of my lovely old house on the river :(

Like random shots of Oxford (driving through pedestrianised Radcliffe Square, and walking in one college and out another) some things don't change. It's a campaign, i tell you.

Bloody Digital Radio II

The backlash begins.

First Stephen Fry on the news quiz points out that digital radio sounds like a fart in a bathtub.

Then Mil Millington in the Guardian discovers that a wind-up radio produces either an hour of FM or three minutes of digital radio. 20 times more hungry.

Then the Independent on Sunday notices this, and wonders what's the point of it all?

Hmmn. Where are we? At the point just before digital radios get more efficient and better reception... or the point at which everyone steps back to FM?

Butcher's Dog Food

Wow. What an awful ad. Showing how good your dog food is by having the tin of Butcher's Dog Food jump up and down and bark like a dog.

Clear inference? Dog meat in a tin.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Bloody Digital Radio

The signal burbled during the news yesterday.

As a result, I spent an excited half hour thinking that Robbie Williams had come out as gay. Instead of yet another boring Liberal Democrat.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Last night...

I dreamt I killed Kate O'Mara.

I woke up, screaming.

Worse was the court hearing where it was decided that I owed her family £500 in compensation.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Dizzy old gay

Tonight I tried to microwave my supper. In the fridge.

I even pushed non-existent buttons on the front of the fridge.

And then, when that didn't work, pushed the buttons on the microwave and set it merrily microwaving away... but empty. With my supper... still in the fridge.

Valley Girl

I'm standing in an unheated Leisure Centre in the Welsh Valleys. Next to the National Orchestra of Wales (string section). Handing out postcards to disinterested schoolchildren. While wearing a t-shirt that says HERE FOR YOU.

I am not happy. I am just very cold. The girls from the Catholic School turn up wearing high heels, micro skirts and unimpressed expressions. Even their highlights are sulking.

It's a relief that the girls are so highly sexualised ("I'm pretty. I know it. You can fuck off. Unless you've got fags."), but the boys just aren't. They've not even looked themselves in the mirror for three years. So I emerge with dignity intact, beyond a momentary flutter about a tall teenager with careful hair.

After lunch everyone starts speaking Welsh. Even the tea lady.

I get so cold I tip scalding coffee on my hands to warm them up. My scream of pain nearly makes a schoolchild look up from the lino.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Nurse update

The Nurse is still lovey. Although, there is something you should know:

His ex is in prison.
You see, the Nurse started dating at an early age.
14, to be precise.
And, it turned out his boyfriend wasn't exactly after him for his personality.
Or afraid of chatting up the Nurse's friends.
With a camera.
Police raid on his sixteenth birthday.

And you know what's selfishly most awkward about this? The nurse's paedo jailbird ex is 21. I'm so old, even paedophiles are younger than me.


The lovely "em" commented: "Less TV... less work.... more shagging randoms in doorways please :)"

She has, of course, correctly guessed my new year's resolutions.

Look - I promise, i'll try. Although last night, I very nearly had naughty touching with a lady. So, be careful what you wish for...

Today we learned

1) We are no longer a child.
2) Well, no longer aged 7-8, to be precise.
3) So we shouldn't try on kid's pyjamas.
4) Even if they are Dalek pyjamas.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Tried to watch more than 10 seconds of Extras again. I just can't do it. It's brilliant, but just so unnerving.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Invasion on Channel Four

Reasons for watching it:

Reasons for not watching it:

  1. It's about a Beautiful Park Ranger vs. evil alien dolphins.
  2. The dolphins invade very slowly.
  3. They're Shape-changing dolphins.
  4. Main alien dolphin is called "Sheriff Underlay".
  5. It's trying to be all mysterious, like Lost. But we kind of know what's going on. So it's like a date where the bloke's already agreed to a shag, and then plays coy. What's the point? Call a cock a cock, and an evil alien dolphin an evil alien dolphin.
  6. Like Lost, it has a Wise Lazy Fat Man. Who is dictating the Story So Far into a dictaphone which somehow turns itself into a blog. Uh?
  7. We are supposed to believe that Beautiful Dolphin-Thwarting Park Ranger is divorced from his wife so she could be with Sheriff Underlay, who has now turned her into a dolphin. I don't know what is less likely - that she'd leave a man who looked like BPR, or that she's now a dolphin.
  8. It's not a show that's easy to talk about. Whereas Lost is "that cool island show", or House is "the grumpy doctor show", and 24 is "that camp cop show that doesn't realise it's camp"... Invasion is, uh, "the slow show about naughty dolphins". Bah.

Nurse Update

The Nurse met me off my train back from Cardiff. This is terribly endearing.

It's going so well that on Saturday morning we went to Habitat for a row. This is one of my favourite hobbies - finding a quiet section and then staging an enormous fake argument that rattles through from bathroom furnishings to rugs.

The Nurse actually did very well, responding to my "You think quoting Little Britain counts as a personality?" with "And you think looking like you're about to start decorating counts as dress sense?"

But best of all was when he slammed down a bowl and roared, "That's it, I'm telling your mother I'm sixteen!" and swished up the stairs.

An old gay gave me a sympathetic look. I found the Nurse outside, giggling on the phone.

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Briefly back to London for a leaving party in Islington's The Green, an otherwise pleasant gay cocktail bar rammed full of Smug Rich Gays Who Wished They Went Out More.

It was a nightmare - fighting to the bar through a sea of cashmere sweaters and then standing for 10 minutes while the staff ignored you, got the drinks wrong, or huddled giggling in a corner over an English-Latvuanian phrase book.

I spent so much time queuing at the bar a weird form of Stockholm Syndrome set in, and I started to find even the ugly barman attractive.

But the people there were great - and all looked fabulous, thanks to the extraordinarily dim lighting.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Club Class

I belong to a swanky private club in London. I love it, but have always felt a fraud whenever I go there.

Ironically, my club phoned this morning to tell me that I was a fraud.

A friend had signed in as me last night. The club had cottoned on in seconds, and asked him to leave. He was less than gracious about this.

My club were silky voiced about the incident: "Obviously we wouldn't want you to think that this in any way jeopardised your membership. No no, not at all. We've just made a tiny little note of this against your name, barely a mark.

"We're so sorry to even be phoning you - poor you to have such friends! No, don't apologise - it's already forgotten. And we know it won't happen again, so we won't even hear talk about withdrawing your membership. Please, think no more about it."


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Not expedient

Since buying a holiday with Expedia, the amount of spam I'm receiving has rocketed. That is all.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Meanwhile, on Radio Three

The latest edition of nu-Music show Late Junction opened with: "Well, it's been an exciting year for Norway..."

Monday, January 09, 2006

Things not to say when you're in bed with an 18 year old, even though they seemed a good idea just before you said them:

"Luke, I am your father."


The flat is very large. A bit too large for my intended minimalist chic.
Or, as Edward put it, "It looks like we've been burgled."

The vague feeling of being nobbled continues when I try and connect a TV or phone line.

It turns out that the flat doesn't actually have any TV aeriels or phone ports. Nothing. Just weird sockets on every wall labelled "NTL". There's a package in the kitchen labelled "Welcome to NTL - about what we can offer you" and an invitation to call Eugene Cumberbatch.

With a name like that, how could I say no? Sadly, Eugene is on annual leave for a fortnight. But suggests I try the main NTL Cardiff number. Which rings out.

Instead, I ring NTL Customer Services, who, after 10 minutes on hold ("We value you. We value your call. We value entertainment"), transfer me to the Sales team.

"Sorry sir, but we don't supply NTL to that area."

"But there are boxes on the wall saying NTL and no other way of getting TV in the building...."

"Sir, I'd just like to clarify that NTL does not supply your area. Thank you for your call. *click*"


Friday, January 06, 2006

Why Estate Agents are miserable arseholes

On Sunday I move into my company Cardiff flat for six months. It's a bargain, but all's been quiet with the estate agents. I phoned them earlier this week, to remind them I was moving in, and to see if they'd taken me up on my invitation to invoice our accounts department in mid December.

Them: "We forgot to invoice you."
Me: "Then it'll take our finance manager a while to pay you."
Them: "Well, we need payment in full before we let you in."
Me: "But, you forgot to invoice us!"
Them: "Doesn't matter - we still need paying."

*** many calls later ***

Me: "Well, I've spoken with everyone I know in accounts, and they can't possibly issue you with a company cheque in time."
Them: "Then you can't move in."
Me: "What about if I come down with a personal cheque?"
Them: "That's not valid."
Me: "Then I think we'll stay in a hotel and find somewhere else. As I said, I'm busy, and accounts payable aren't something I'm good at."

*** many calls later ***

Them: "James, Mark. Have you considered bringing down £2,000 in cash?"
Me: "No."
Them: "Well, it would make it easier for us."
Me: "But I'm not happy carrying around that kind of money. I live in King's Cross."
Them: "I'm afraid it's all we're offering."
Me: "Don't worry about it. I'll book myself into a hotel. There are other apartments."
Them: "Well, we've got a signed contract from you."
Me: "Doubt it matters - you won't let us into the flat, and you've made it very hard for us to pay you."
Them: "A grand up front in cash. How's that for an offer?"
Me: "No! The whole idea's terrifying."
Them: "We'll leave you to think about it."
Me: "No! The situation is horrid, I've got other things to do, and I've made it clear that you should deal with our finance people, not me. Please, leave me alone - I've got hotels to book."
Them: "Well, don't be hasty - think about it."


Them: "Tell you what. Your company's a good one, they always pay, why don't we just move you in, and then we'll sort out the money in the next few weeks?"
Me: "..."

So, I'm now moving down on Sunday. To Cardiff. With all my stuff. But there's every chance that they may not let me into the flat. Just for the sheer twatty fun of being an estate agent.

NB: Have just checked. No, I've never shagged an estate agent. I'm pleased. See - I've got standards.

Mutton and Lamb

So, suddenly, I'm dating a student nurse. An 18 year old student nurse.

*buries head in hands*

Look, nurse is older than his years - I've done many things, but I've never done anything as brave as clearing up after incontinent mental patients. Plus he's fantastic company. When he's not quoting Little Britian.

But, um, anyway, I'm moving away to Cardiff this weekend, so hurrah. No danger of developing any emotions for the dear man. Phew!

PS: *sniff*

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


The worst thing about having my parents in town for Christmas was the hideous way the chance it gave fate to create situations I'd missed out on in my youth.

F'rintance, there I was one morning, happily finishing last night's boy when my parents turned up early.

How embarrassing - having to try and sneak out a shag without my parents noticing. Why did I give them keys? Why? We dressed and sat giggling on the bed. I popped out into the corridor to check the coast was clear. No.

"Hope it's okay," said shag, "I got nervous so I've lit a joint."

Oh god. Sex and drugs double-whammy horror. Please don't be pregnant, I thought as I ushered shag through the hall. I opened the front door - and there was my mother, scrubbing the front step. Bizarre. I didn't know I had a front step.

Her chit chat about emulsion vs eggshell tailed off suddenly as she realised I wasn't alone. "Oh," she said, darting poor shag a bitter glance, "hello."

We spent the rest of the day not talking about it. And then went out to supper, also not talking about it. Despite sitting next to a Lesbian Football Club Xmas Dinner.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Whose bright idea was that? I feel so old....