Friday, April 28, 2006

The Joker of the Band

Weirdly Written Robbie Bio: "He seeked refuge in Cocaine and Alcohol, both of which were ready available to him with no arguments..."

Mind you, this is the same site that claims Jake Shears has outed Robbie. Um.

Kit Kat Chunky Peanut Butter

I still can't make up my mind about these. It says "Peanut Butter" so I want one. But it's not very nice peanut butter. And Kit Kat chocolate barely counts as chocolate. And let's face it, how exciting is wafer?

And yet, put them all together and there's a whole crunchy, chocolatey, peanutty wafery thing that's kind of pleasant. Hmmmn.


LIDL is one of the best things about Cardiff. The other week, they were selling bath taps and small trees.

Compared to Tesco's "We Sell Everything" policy, I far prefer their "We Haven't A Clue What We're Selling, But Look! It's Only A Fiver! And, Who Knows - One Day You May Need A Horse Blanket. Why, My Aunt Beth Always Has People Dropping By Saying Their Horse Is Feeling A Bit Cold."

My heart also goes out to them for their lonely but cheerful display of fresh fruit and veg. "Go On! Try A Vitamin! You Might Like It!"

I keep meaning to update

But I'd just go "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek."

There have been some really wonderful things in the last few days. Lovely, wonderful things involving exciting talented people, thrilling drinks and so on.

And then other stuff, which finds me in the Spar shop, buying fags and crying quietly.

Sadly, I can't really talk about the other stuff, because that involves talking in detail about office politics. Which is
a) boring.
b) really awkward without naming names.

Mind you, it's getting increasingly hard not to talk about the person who's pureeing my working life -- they've transcended reality. Not talking about them is like a Bond movie without a villain.

But I won't mention them. At all. In any way.

Oh, well, allright then. Just a little.

I came back from a trip to London to find people had been told I'd left, and my office full of filing cabinet.

And then... oh, but no. I just can't.

Monday, April 24, 2006

My tabloid shame

I was woken by a text from Lee: "Have you seen the front cover of the Daily Star?"

Me: "No. What's on it?"

Lee: "You are. Hilarity."

And he was right. All of page one (apart from the breasts) and most of page 7 (apart from more breasts) devoted to, uh, my work. I read it slowly, with that weird, creeping feeling of "bu-bu-bu none of this is true! This is all wrong, this is nothing to do with me!"

And yet, there I am, professional reputation trashed by a tabloid. All very silly and complete rubbish. And therefore rather enjoyable.

However, as I've said before, I've got many managers, bunches of them in London. Once they knew what was going on, did any of them bother to get in touch to check that it was okay? Er. No. Should I be reassured by this, or worried?

Friday, April 21, 2006

The nurse and nature

"No," said the nurse. "I am not coming for a moonlight stroll in St James' park to look at the swans. I know exactly what'll happen. No!"

... some time later...

"See?" said the nurse.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sucking Eggs

The BBC is launching a new online commissioning system . I was sat in a seminar on it.

They explained how you set yourself up with a profile, saying what you are interested in doing, how well you do it, and if you do it with partners. Then you sit back and wait for the offers to flood in.

It was when they showed us the "Thanks but no thanks" button that I realised the BBC had just spent an hour teaching me how to use Gaydar.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Basic Instinct 2: We just had to (spoilers!)

The Orange advert finished, and the cinema went silent.

Best straight friend Rick turned to me: "Are you really sure you want to go through with this?"

I nodded, staring ahead at the screen, my eyes sparkling.

Rick sighed, and produced a bottle of wine and two glasses. He's classy.

Basic Instinct 2 is not classy. It opens with Sharon Stone having sex in a car with Stan Collymore (I had no idea that "ironic cameo" counted as community service).

Before long, she's fixed her wrinkled eye and potty mouth on poor David Morrissey. He's her therapist, and has lovely offices in the Gherkin. Fuck the facts, it's a symbol.

"Wow," breathed Rick, "What a great chair. I'd shag that chair."

Moments later, Shazza is shagging the chair, while telling David, "Sometimes I masturbate thinking about you mastubarting about me, coming as I come thinking about you masturbating while thinking about me coming while you come. Come masturbate come come wanky wanky come come."

David has nothing to say to this. So Sharon leaves.

"I bet there's a snail trail on that chair," Rick doesn't say.

People start dying. But all we're really noticing is how lovely the film makes London look. Everyone lives in impossibly nice houses - just as David can't possibly work in the Gherkin, so he can't possibly have a flat in the Temple Bar. But he does.

Sharon Stone goes one better. She lives in space. With a jacuzzi. The flat's so lovely no wonder she walks around it naked. She's probably fucked every bit of furniture in it. While thinking about it thinking about her thinking about it. And coming, no doubt. Sharon can't open her mouth without coming coming out of it.

At one point she announces "Beat me up as you fuck me. No, harder." And with that, proves that all women are, of course, evil sluts who deserve it. Sadly, we don't see her doing any housework or baking. Clearly, Germaine Greer was unavailable for a script polish.

David hurries to the East End - all empty streets and rolling fog. "Dear God," breathes Rick, "The victim's living in the only unreconstructed Huguenot cottage. That's got to be worth millions." Like most straight men in London, Rick is very interested in property. For the first time, he seems aroused.

Then something really horrible happens. So jaw-droppingly horrid I could barely watch it, let alone describe it. They go clubbing in Atlantic.

Atlantic used to be my favourite restaurant - like dining on the Titanic. Sadly, it went out of business. Worse, it got bought by that ghastly Ivy-owning gay, who turned it into a steak house. I genuinely thought things couldn't get worse. But no. The filmmakers have turned it into a club. With spinny lights and thumpy music and oh god, oh god, they've not even moved the tables out of the way, so people are dancing around them with their glow sticks and....

Rick patted my hand gently. "There there," he muttered, "You're distracting me from the lesbian sex."

The film carries on, in its meaningless way. The plot has something to do with a hideous magazine called Urbane - from the samples shown on screen, imagine the Big Issue, but really made by tramps. In a sample issue we get to see the phrase "A promsing movie script gets badly...". Twice. Are they trying to tell us something?

David Morrissey has sex. This isn't good. As Rick points out "He may be buff, but he's English. He looks pasty and cold." It's not nice. Especially when shafting a "psychopharmacologist" roughly from behind. His sex face is not pretty.

"Ian Hislop!" cries Rick in a sad voice.

Sharon wanders the streets of London looking for a shag. She offers a rent boy money. He's not happy, but we don't quite hear their conversation. Probably he's telling her "I don't do drag queens."

The film carries on. It even includes Charlotte Rampling as a classy older lady who lives on "Hampstead Street, Hampstead". This is shot in Highgate. She is smoking Mayfair cigarettes (obviously, the props man is from Mars, and thought they were a classy name).

"What is she doing in this film?" I ask Rick.
"Oh, she'll do anything. She shagged a monkey in Max Mon Amour." He paused, whistfully, "You know, anyone could have been in that gorilla suit."

There's a *shocking* twist concerning Sharon's latest novel, which she was writing wrapped occasionally in a bed sheet. "It contains the clue to who's next!" she sneers at David, flashing her ladygarden. Her plastic surgeon has, we discover, stuck her nipples on at the wrong angle. This is weirdly fascinating.

David scours the book for clues. On screen we see, in enormous print, the phrase "She was coming over to fix her Sky box."

This, clearly, tells David everything he needs to know. But will he be in time?

The film ends, inexplicably.

In the epilogue, we meet David Morrissey again. He's fatter and has stopped dying his hair chestnut. He still doesn't quite know what's going on. But then, in the last few frames, as the camera begins to fade and he thinks no-one's looking, he rolls his eyes.


PS: I went to see the original Basic Instinct on a school trip. We'd been going to see Hamlet, but had missed the showing, so were ushered into this. Looking back, it's funny how many of my English class turned out gay...

Vegan Sandwich

Just eaten a vegan sandwich by accident. I feel drained of life, joy and energy. And oddly full of cardboard.

Friday, April 14, 2006

What is Waugh good for?

Recently finished a biography of Evelyn Waugh, written by one of his best friends.

Hilarious. Mostly because best friend (also a novelist) was plainly settling scores. The biog went something like this.

"Brideshead Revisited is a flawless book, of course, but, if one had to list flaws, then they would be... (continues for several pages)..."

"Evelyn was rather charitable about this occasion in his autobiography, when, in reality, at the time he was simply too drunk/rude/mad/catholic..."

"That year, I also published a much more minor work, which the critics were rather kinder about than they were to dear Evelyn's obviously superior work..."

"Once Evelyn left, I again found myself apologising to the Queen..."

I mention all this because I'm enjoying re-reading Evelyn Waugh at the moment. No-one does Hapless Innocent Crushed By The System quite like him.

Or so I thought, until someone lent me a marvellous book called Script Doctor, about a young script editor crushed by a hopelessly exaggerated BBC full of drunks, mad writers and monstrous executives. It would be laugh out loud funny, only it's an autobiography.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Madder on the dancefloor

What kind of person is the first on the dancefloor? What magical combination of chemicals and balls makes you look at a square patch of glowing dry ice and decide to own it?

Whatever, it's a fact that being first on the dancefloor makes you the most noticed person in the room. Bad if you're Uncle Bernie at a wedding, but great if you happen to do it very well. You are the most attractive person in the room, and you can take home who you choose.

So why did Derek choose me?

It was in Glasgow. He strode into the club, smirked at the room, stepped onto the dancefloor, off came the top, up went the arms and "oh!" went the crowd.

And, at some point, he noticed me salute him. I have to point out, this was just a small fingers to the forehead salute. It wasn't like I was hailing a cab. But all of a sudden, the boy who couldn't keep his clothes on was dancing next to me.

"Come home," he said in the right kind of Scottish accent. "I've just been dumped by my boyfriend, and need the company. Just talk and hash. No shagging, okay?"

Fine by me. In a world where appearance is everything, so long as you leave with the best looking guy, who cares about the sex?

As we got ready to go, someone sidled up to me. "Just a warning. That guy you're with is a total poseur."

"Of course he is!" I replied. "I wouldn't have him any other way."

And with that, we left.

Of course, it's never that beautiful. Scottish men have an amazing ability to appear completely sober until they get out of the taxi.

At which point, Derek became a little hazy on whether he owned a string of houses and a business, or actually rented a small room and worked selling electrical goods door to door. Oh, and he'd already done a bottle of wine, four pints, coke, three Es and wanted to go out with me.

Somehow I got him up to his flat ("yer know, i'm so lonely here, that London isn't too far. I can move there... I knew as soon as i saw you that i was gonna be with you..." But I live in Cardiff. "Yeah, but London, well, that's nice. I could have who I want and I want you forever.").

At 2 am, we were sitting in the courtyard, swigging vodka from the bottle, smoking dope, and playing catch with his rottweiler, Cher.

His sense of balance had gone by this point, and Cher didn't much like me. Derek was also a little hazy on his own name ("'sRichard, you fool, 'sRichard..."). I'd noticed that the bills in the flat were all to the same surname but different first names. All of them red and scary.

Eventually, Cher decided it was time for bed, and growled at me. I carried Derek/Richard/Whatever up to bed. Then went back downstairs to find his trousers. Derek lay in bed. "We're not going to do anything," he murmured into his leopard print pillow. "Go on, try it. Lay a finger on me."

I laid a finger on him. He nearly broke my arm.

I stood there, amazed at how casually my arm was pinioned. "Where did you learn to do that?"

"Ju-jistu," he sighed, eyes closed, "You need it on the streets where I grew up."


"Clacton-on-Sea. Now, get some sleep."

So, I passed a virtuous night in bed with a beautiful mad man.

In the morning, he rolled over in bed, and his hand flopped onto my shoulder. Instantly awake, he sat bolt upright. "Gah! Who the fuck are you?" he yelled.

I blinked.

"Just kidding. Give us a fuck, would ya? I'm still wasted and I've got work in half an hour. Sober me up."

And so, I shagged him while his rottweiler watched. Anxiously.

Later, he phoned his (ex)boyfriend. "I miss you. I really miss you. I stayed in last night, and just missed you. I did. No, I did. I'm empty." While this was going on I started to dress, but with his free hand he made significant gestures at his crotch and a pleading face.

New entry on my list of things I'll never do: Fellate a bloke while they ring their boyfriend. Yay! A new standard to live by.

Oh. And he had tits like fried eggs.

Your Radio Times

There's a picture of me in the Radio Times. Or rather, a glimpse of my slightly receding temples. Goodness, if only I'd eaten properly as a child, mum'd be proud.

(if you can't find me, look for number 132. or look for the fabulous number 72).

Thursday, April 06, 2006


I don't quite know why I'm here. But I'm terribly glad I am.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Absent friends

Meanwhile, just spent an amazing hour on the phone with my old flatmates in Australia. Funny how my friends form a definite pattern.

Lorraine: Do you still buy everything in avocado? I remember how you'd just track avocado stuff down in a store automatically, and trot up to the counter and the assistants would be all "oh, sorry sir, did you find this in our store? i really don't think we'd sell something like that..."