Monday, February 25, 2008


Edinburgh and Glasgow are two of the prettiest cities in the world. Aberdeen was bound to disappoint, but all the same... did it have to be quite so cold and grey and completely lacking in cafes?

There's only so long you can sit in the food court at a shopping mall. Try it. There's a reason they make the coffee so bad.

The real disappointment about Aberdeen was the men. Scottish men are normally 17% more attractive than the English, and neds are on average 24% rougher than chavs. Except for Aberdeen, where the sheer pitiless cold pebbledashes the faces and everyone is constantly eating fried food with the bored docility of cattle.

There's a harbour museum with a model of an oil rig.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Brilliantly, holiday

A night train from Euston tonight down to Aberdeen where we've hired this castle:

By sheer fluke, yesterday's gentleman caller had actually been there, so I now know top facts like how noisy the ghost is. Wheee!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Joy! Joy! Joy!

I have a new favourite television programme. It's called The Palace, and features a pretty boy as King, while Jane Asher staggers about as the drunken Queen Mother.

Imagine Hollyoaks meets The West Wing, only without the wit of either, and there you have it. An hour of television composed almost entirely of significant glances and knowing pouts. I loves it.

(Note Jane Asher's left eyebrow in the picture above. Look at the perfect 45-degree angle of it. Irony, she has it.)

But then, I discover to my shock that Hotel Babylon is back. Can I love two shows at the same time? If I cheat on one guilty pleasure with another, does that make me even guiltier? Or will Hotel Babylon actually respect me more?

Extra bonus: I hear that this year, Hotel Babylon really, really stinks. Oh, I can't wait.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

London's Worst Restaurant?

I've wanted to go to Sarastro for years. Imagine two men very much in love. Let's call them Bill and Ted. Bill is planning a restaurant. Ted is designing it. Then they split up, but each agrees that they'll carry on with the restaurant. The result is like walking in on a row.

The design is hilarious, all balconies and gold paint that scream "love me! love me you bitches!". But the house lights are on, so it looks like Joan Rivers without airbrushing.

It is often said that revenge is a dish best served cold, and the service here neatly settled a lot of scores. Perfectly acceptable starters were followed by bizarre mains, clearly inspired by "I made you supper, but you didn't turn up". The least offensive bit was the broccoli, which had been boiled since November. Hilariously, my "chicken breast wrapped in parma ham and cheese" turned out to be one of these:

... with a slice of processed cheese on top.

The whole thing was so bad, I actually want to go again.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Casual, meaningless socks

I should have kissed the boxer. He'd turned up to my local's sports night in full boxing gear - including gown and gloves. Somehow he was managing to drink a bottle of cider. He kept grinning at me. But I genuinely couldn't think of anything to say except for "Nice costume". Which, as I'll explain, was exactly the wrong thing to say.

Instead I got chatting to a remarkably pretty guy in football gear. "I'm thinking of splitting up with my boyfriend," he told me. "He doesn't understand all this." He gestured round to a room full of men dressed in sports gear despite being picked last at games.

"He doesn't?" I said, hovering like a vulture.

"No," said the man, sadly tugging at his shorts.

"I mean," I continued, leaning forward with a we're-all-mates grin, "It's just dressing up and having a bit of laugh isn't it?"

Startled, the footballer shook his head. "Not at all. This is serious." He held out his shirt to me. "Borussia Dortmund - German squad. I don't know anything about them, but this shirt is just such a great shade of yellow. And these shorts -" he tugged at his shorts, "They're not just black, but it's a double layer polyblend that feelds great on my skin, is shiny, and also really gathers the sweat. And that's why I wear them - not for a stupid laugh, but because it's a real turn on."

"Ohhhhh." I said, suddenly understanding and yet feeling out of my depth.

"And that guy over there - he's wearing new full-length rugby socks - 100% cotton and ribbed. They look amazing on him. Of course, I would wear Toronto Hockey gear, but none of these gays knows anything about that. Apart from you."

"Ah." I nodded. It was my best "we have nothing in common, but still have sex with me" nod. Now - I should explain. I was dressed in the 2004 Canadian Olympic squad outfit. It was an impulse buy in Toronto, purely because it was in a sale and said "Canada Roots" which I found funny. But now I sensed an opportunity.

"Yes," I said, lowering my voice slightly, "Those hockey players look... great. Really...." I breathed deeply "...great."

"You see?" he said, leaning in for a kiss, "You do understand."

* * *

The next night I was chatting to a friend who'd also been there. I told him how I'd managed to kiss the sexy footballer.

My friend smiled. "The one in the yellow jersey?"

"Oh yes. He was very pretty."

My friend smiled even more widely. "And you actually kissed him?"

"Yeah," I said proudly, "It was quite romantic really. Maybe I'll see him again."

My friend laughed. "After you left he was crouched down licking feet."

I spat out my chewing gum. "Feet?"

"Yeah. A few trainers, but mostly just chewing on guys' socks."

As I said, I really should have kissed the boxer. Or got some better mouthwash.

When the internet goes wrong

The Guardian's new travel blogger

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Apologies for the lack of posts. I've not been shagging, but video editing. It's a chance to play god, and has been quite consuming my evenings and weekends. But I'm emerging again.

Friday, February 08, 2008

I will update...

Properly, soon. There's lots of silly stories. One involves a bad restaurant. The other involves a foot fetishist.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Reassuring fact

I am not going deaf after all. I just needed a new pair of headphones.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Least tasteful card ever?

I was in the local card shop when this caught my eye:

What? "I'm sorry that your long-term flamboyant flatmate has died, but at least I never had to acknowledge the validity of your relationship. Now, let's move on, shall we?"