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)