Saturday, December 22, 2001

So, last post for a while methinks. Because in just 48 hours' time (not that I'm counting or anything), Rick, Jonathan, Phil, Nigel, Greg and myself will be landing in the sunny isle of Gran Canaria, for what promises to be The Most Enjoyable Christmas...Ever!

Personally, I'm overjoyed at the prospect of some sunshine, not to mention escaping the normal dreary 'festivities' at home. Much as I love my family, it has to be said, Christmas is generally so incredibly, teeth-grindingly, catatonically dull that I lose consciousness somewhere after the Queen's speech and have to be revived by medical experts bearing vodka on Boxing Day. Hell, they don't even have arguments over the dinner table like normal people. Nothing to raise the interest needle off the zero.

And after this many years, I can predict so exactly at what time each and every event will occur, what they'll watch on TV, and who will buy what for who, that there's really no need to go through it all again - you might just as well put on a video of the year before and save all the trouble.

I'm being uncharitable I'm sure - still, this year I am more than happy that Christmas Day will be spent supping champagne on the beach, with good friends, great weather, and (hopefully) not a brussels sprout in sight. Hurrah!

Back New Year's Eve by which time I'll be having major Kelvin-withdrawal-symptoms, not to mention an RVT craving - but hopefully January 1st will sort out both of those...

Meantime have damn good ones whatever you've got the joy of doing this week - may it be short, painless, and involve a large quantity of alcohol.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2001

'I always have such great hair when it's midnight and no one else is around to witness it. But oh, there's always a crowd and a run-in with someone from high school when I'm sporting a shaggy Prison Mom hairdo. Jesus hell.'

Making me laugh this morning, as ever: sunday hero.

Undoubtedly this morning's favourite search request:
homosexual polo neck

Is there any other kind?

Why, why, why does it ever seem like a good idea to have a McDonald's breakfast?

'Er, yes, I'd like a Sausage and Egg McMuffin Meal please. And if the egg could possibly be completely tasteless and the texture of plastic, that would be great. Oh, and if you could also sap all trace of flavour out of the sausage and make sure the orange juice is inexplicably bitter, with a mysterious white film on top. Oh, you have already? Lovely.'

I haven't regretted a decision so quickly since that awful incident with the traffic cone and the vaseline...

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Meanwhile, last night's journey home consisted of Judith and myself unashamedly bitching through the latest Hello! magazine - not least their 'most attractive man' vote. See the entirely implausible results here. Jim Corr? Simon Le Bon? Er, hello?

A beauty contest of an entirely different kind meanwhile, over at ratearod.com [via cub4blog] - which is much along the lines of Am I Hot Or Not? but, well, I guess you could call it a 'members-only' site (not to be looked at at work or if you're under 18, kids!)...

No, I haven't. And no, I'm not going to.

Okay, not drunk today. Slightly hungover, yes. Extremely cold, yes. Infinitely thankful that in a few days' time I will be somewhere hot and sunny, yes, yes, yes!

Been a fun few days though. It was Kelvin's work's Christmas party on Friday night, a black tie event to which I found myself unexpectedly invited at about 4pm, and which turned out to be a lot of fun. Fascinating to see his colleagues' reactions on being introduced as his partner. I have the honour of being the first they've met, and it's certainly the first time I've played corporate wife for the evening - a role which I believe normally involves wearing something revealing and smiling-sweetly-whilst-batting-eyelids at hubby, chairman and anyone else he needs to impress. Fortunately none of that was required - the hardest part was just trying not to let the sight of Kelvin in a tuxedo lead me into entirely inappropriate behaviour...

Saturday, a great night at Hope (if not exactly the busiest ever), and yet another marvellous RVT night on Sunday (two of whose thoroughly lovely staff have resolved my New Year's Eve problems - thanks guys!)

As for yesterday, a long and thoroughly drunken lunch led to a very lazy afternoon, and on to a gathering at Nik's house, in honour of our temporarily-departing boss who's off to Sydney. The wine flowed more than freely, much hilarity ensued, and being Christmas, there had to be games. Including the inescapable 'I Have Never...' game, whereby each person states a thing they 'have never' done (usually something suitably sordid and/or depraved) and anyone who has done said thing is obliged to stand up, drink, and confess all. I think we can all guess exactly how much time I got to spend sitting down...

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

I am here. I'm just drunk. Should you be wondering.

Typing difficult. Full update tomorrow. Probably.

Monday, December 17, 2001

When dodgy search requests and spelling mistakes collide...

...or was someone really looking for
pics+of+girls+getting+f***ed+by+dido?

I've already told you, she's busy.

Friday, December 14, 2001

So what are you doing for New Year?

Yep, it's nearing that time again - New Year's Eve, the dreaded evening whereby everyone and their dog knows it's over-rated, over-priced, stressful and generally an anti-climax, yet still, every year, we feel this compulsion that You Must Have A Good Time Or Everyone Will Think There's Something Wrong With You.

I've kinda mastered it in recent years by simply picking a club, generally The Fridge, buying a ticket early, and then staying there till dawn to avoid problems getting home. Which pretty much guarantees a good night out, even if not particularly different from any other Saturday in the year.

It wasn't always thus. One of the worst I can recall is being aged about thirteen and my parents having a party in the house. Since my mother taught music part-time at our school they were friendly with many of my teachers, and thus at the turn of the year, whilst I was in bed, ensconced in the midnight edition of EastEnders (my sole source of entertainment for the evening) I was interrupted by my drunken headmaster bursting into my room with a glass of champagne to wish me a happy New Year. Not that awful you might think, but when one is thirteen, one really does not wish to socialise with one's headmaster, much less in one's own bedroom, whilst one is in bed. A horrifying experience which left me mentally scarred for years.

Probably worse still though was the final year at university in Stirling, Scotland. A big group of us had returned early after Christmas in order to go to the huge Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh, about an hour away. For various reasons I couldn't get the afternoon train with everyone else but had to drive there later on - however a combination of my car breaking down, and complete lack of public transport after 5pm (Scotland takes New Year very, very, seriously) meant that I ended up stranded in Stirling, completely unable to join the others. Hence the evening was spent entirely on my own (sob!), the sole person on campus, with just the TV and a bottle of whisky for company. Happy fucking new year, I thought, and went to bed about half-past-ten.

As for this year - well, a tricky one on the grounds that we'll be flying back from Gran Canaria on the evening itself, landing at Gatwick at 9.30pm. I'd love to make it to the Vauxhall Tavern (where else?), not least to see Kelvin as he won't be with us on holiday, it having been booked well before we were so much as a flirtatious glance in each other's direction. But if the flight's delayed, if the trains are late, if there are tube problems - well, let's just say I'm not holding out too much hope. And the suitcases will never fit in the RVT cloakroom - not with the amount I take on holiday anyway...

Agh. New Year stress. Getting to me already. Somebody pass the mulled wine...

Thursday, December 13, 2001

It's Ananova, but not quite as we know it. I rather like 'Avon Ana'.

Grrr. Comments facility knackered already. Sorry.

I guess after 'Mamma Mia' it was only a matter of time...

So is the world ready for the first Kylie musical? 'I Should Be So Lucky' opens in Melbourne in January...

Just don't say I didn't warn you.

It's all gone very Dynasty in our office over the last few weeks.

A few weeks ago, the Group MD mysteriously left/resigned/was fired and hasn't been seen since. Rumours abounded of a bust-up with the Chairman, and an attempted management take-over, but nothing was ever confirmed. Then last week, the Acting MD announced he and the (now returning) Group MD were in fact buying out the Chairman and taking over the company. And now, not four days later, in one dramatic swoop, the Chairman's re-taken control, the MD's resigned, and the whole management team who were going to buy him out have collapsed in on themselves.

I can just hear the boardroom conversations now:
"I made this company what it is today, dammit Alexis!! You'll never take it away from me..."
"You might have won this round, Blake. But I'll make sure you regret this. Just watch me..."
"Not while I have breath in my body, you won't..."
"I'll destroy you, Blake Carrington, if it's the last thing I do!!!"

I would like to think that were also cat-fights involving hurling sequins at one another and falling-into-swimming-pools, but I suspect the truth is probably rather more mundane...

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

Dear Agony Aunt,

My flatmate and my boyfriend are going out tonight to the movies without me.

I would go, but I lack the patience to sit through films unless they are either something I really want to see, or star Dean Cain and/or Vin Diesel. As far as I'm aware, the Harry Potter film, although no doubt very entertaining, falls into neither of these categories, so I can't really be bothered.

Should I be concerned?

thanking you in advance of your help,
Dave x

Random terrifying thought for the day. Somewhere, even as we speak, Dido is probably in a studio, working on another album, ready to whine her way through another set of tedious, self-indulgent meandering dirges that will infest our airwaves until we all run screaming for the hills. Again.

Egad. Four days hath passed and nary a post to be seen. Verily, I am slack indeed.

Still, a thoroughly marvellous four days it has been, spent for the most part eating, drinking, more drinking, further drinking, dancing, cavorting, colluding and canoodling - all the things that make life worth living. And now, back to work, the thing that comprehensively saps all will to live. Hey-ho.

Friday night saw a damn fine party at John's place in Richmond, whereupon a good half of the RVT crowd seemed to have descended on his living room in order to get through as much alcohol as possible in a short space of time (we are well practiced in this). Very nice to get to know many of those folks we say hello to every single week but have never actually had, like, a proper conversation with - or at least, not without relying on shouting and hand gestures over one of Andy's thunderous tunes. Sherie-from-the-BBC informed me I have a perfect voice for radio. I think she meant 'face' but was just being polite. I didn't like to mention that the deep huskiness I have acquired over the last few days is actually down to a rather nasty cough...

Saturday. Fridge. Fabulous. As ever. And in sensible clothing!

Sunday, and being the third consecutive night out with the same crowd somehow made the RVT seem more like a big family than ever. And hence a fantastic night. so much so that we cancelled all plans to carry on clubbing afterwards, on the grounds that the night simply couldn't get any better. There was a brief re-appearance of Phil's tying-up antics, however luckily I had long since escaped before the security staff came over to ask Phil and Dave to desist with their 'inappropriate behaviour'. Inappropriate behaviour? In the Vauxhall Tavern? Who would have thought it?

I also rather enjoyed possibly the most back-handed compliment I think I've ever received.

Random bloke(indicating Kelvin): 'Phwooar! Is that your boyfriend?'
Me: 'Yeah, he is'
Random bloke: 'He's gorgeous!'
Me: 'Yeah, I know..'
Random bloke: 'Well, y'know, don't put yourself down, you must be alright for him to have looked at you in the first place...'

Yeah, thanks mate, I think!

Friday, December 07, 2001

Ok, so it goes against all my principles, it's a Bin Laden joke email, but this one is actually quite funny:


MEMORANDUM
To: Cavemates
From: Osama Bin Laden - your Leader
Subject: The Cave


Hi chaps.

We've all been putting in long hours and we've really come together as a
group and I love that. Big thanks to Omar for putting up the poster that
says "There is no I in team" as well as the one that says "Hang In There,
Baby." That cat is hilarious. However, while we are fighting a jihad, we
can't forget to take care of the cave. And frankly ... I have a few concerns.

First of all, while it's good to be concerned about cruise missiles, we
should be even more concerned about the scorpions in our cave. Hey, you
don't want to be stung and neither do I so we need to sweep the cave
daily. I've posted a sign-up sheet near the main cave opening.

Second, it's not often I make a video address but when I do, I'm trying to
scare the most powerful country on earth, okay? That means that while
we're taping, please do not ride your mini silver scooters in the background.
Just while we're taping. Thanks.

Third point, and this is a touchy one. As you know, by edict, we're not
supposed to shave our beards. But I need everyone to just think hygiene,
especially after mealtime. We're all in this together.

Fourth: food. I bought a box of Cheez-Its recently, clearly wrote "Osama"
on the front, and put it on the top shelf. Today, my Cheez-Its were gone.
Consideration. That's all I'm saying.

Finally, we've heard that there may be American soldiers in disguise
trying to infiltrate our ranks. I want to set up patrols to look for them.
First patrol will be Omar, Muhammed, Abdul, Akbar and Jonathan.

Love your work,

Osama

Thursday, December 06, 2001

Ooh lookee, a comments facility! Marvellous. The bit about strangling isn't mine though, I hasten to add. You'll see what I mean.

Of course if I actually had any work to do, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this navel-gazing nonsense. Yesterday spent mostly decorating office christmas tree. Logic suggests cannot do this every day until Christmas.

Anyone need anything doing? Anyone?

Wake me up when it's Friday night...

Secrets and lies...

I really like Cory's post from Monday - especially the bit on self-censorship of his writing:

'For me to write what I hope is a good blog I can't think about if I will offend, or come off as stupid, or if I seem like this or that. If I did, I'd be paralyzed and would censor myself to such an extent that it wouldn't be worth blogging at all. It wouldn't be a good document of my life, and it certainly wouldn't be worth you coming here and reading it for entertainment.'

Too true. And I think I've maybe fallen into that trap myself a little lately. So, time to fill in some gaps I think.

And it helps answer the question I've been pondering this week: namely, whether to reveal this web address to the numerous friends who've asked about this journal I've inadvertently admitted to having.

I've decided the answer to that one's 'no'. A lot of the reason I wanted to write this whole thing at all was to have somewhere that was a real, accurate, and honest account of my life. Not just the side that friends know. Not just the side that family knows. Not just the side that people at work know. But the whole thing. The real thing. And if I'm having to take into account the reactions of any of the above groups to anything I'm writing, then doesn't it immediately become just one of those sides?

Of course, one or two may stumble across it anyway, and it's not as if every reader's a complete stranger - but, by and large, I think it's going to be a whole lot better, and a whole lot easier, not to share it with those closest to me.

One very important person to me stumbled across it though, before I even knew about it. Which, initially, wasn't good. There were things I didn't want him to know about, and more importantly there were things it hurt him to read. Not surprisingly, it led to some pretty difficult conversations, and some searching questions (it's also why the archives from July to October disappeared, should anyone be wondering!)

It's testament to what a fucking great guy he is though, that that wasn't the end of the story. And ultimately now, in a way, I'm glad that it happened. Because now he knows he's going out with a real, flawed, human being, and not some textbook ideal of a boyfriend. And, incidentally, so am I. Which is a much easier bargain to maintain on both sides.

It might also explain why, over the last few weeks, well, let's just the say the difficulties I was having adapting from three years as a completely free agent to not being, seem to have pretty much abated. It's not just that I'm not writing about my misdemeanours anymore - it's actually that they're not happening. Not just through some newfound self-control, but because I haven't wanted them to.

This, I think, is what they term a turn-up.

It's started already. My first Christmas party of the year last night, this one being an advertising industry thing, held at Turnmills. Which was kinda weird - the venue is normally home to clubs, not least the (in)famous Saturday night/Sunday morning festival of fucked-up-ness that is Trade.

I'm not a big Trade fan, the music's a bit toohard for this pop kid's ears, and I've never found it half as friendly and atmospheric as its many devotees claim - yet still, every now and then, at the end of a club elsewhere on a Saturday night, someone will go: 'Let's all go to Trade!', and lo, we end up there, hopelessly confused by the numerous staircases and corridors that never go quite where you were expecting them to, and eventually washed up on Farringdon station at some hideous hour of Sunday morning.

So, extremely strange to be in Turnmills last night, like, sober! And conscious! With like, a shirt on and everything. Very weird. Hey, at least I know where the stairs go now.

Wednesday, December 05, 2001

Okay, so just about three years behind the rest of the planet, I finally get to checking my search requests for this site.

So, my apologies to those looking for:
simply sweet and gorgeous london girls
naked black gay men galore
and even the
NCP Car Park Clapham
(I'm not sure who will have been the more disappointed).

And I'm not sure quite who arrived here via dave is a gay bastard but hey, thanks. Still, guess I've admitted to both those attributes in the past...

Meanwhile, a certain bloggin' girl from Atlanta might be interested to know there's a demand for nude pics of hermione. Could be the career move you've been looking for...

Tuesday, December 04, 2001

Things we loved about this weekend:

* Friday night at Kelvin's (I'm saying no more on this one...)

* A surprisingly painless trip to IKEA, resulting in much-improved bedroom

* Going to Heaven on Saturday night, to give Nathan a good send-off for his impending world travels. Haven't been for ages, crowd much younger and twinkier than I recall (or maybe I just got old suddenly...), but great fun, good music, if a little low on the volume side (perhaps I have been deafened by too many Sundays at the RVT)

* Sunday at the RVT, from which we dragged ourselves away about 9pm to go to...

* ...a rather fabulous party at Soho House, hosted by the unfeasibly lovely Stevie P (who is shortly off to visit Dave - spooky blogging coincidence alert!), going by the name of the 'Snow Ball'. Ah, that'll explain all the white powdery stuff everywhere...

* Going from there to DTPM, for five hours or so which I'm sure were fantastic, although in fairness the memory of this section of the evening is more than slightly vague...

* The ensuing chill-out party at Stevie P's, from which we finally dragged ourselves out into the Islington sunlight sometime around midday yesterday, in serious need of some sleep...

Things we didn't love about this weekend:

* My car being broken into in Highgate. Although it would have been amusing to see the thieving b**tard's face on realising that, despite ransacking the entire car, it contains nothing of any value whatsoever, unless you happen to be collecting old chocolate wrappers for some Blue Peter-style charity appeal. Even the stereo is older than God.

* Having my wallet pickpocketed in the five seconds it took me to walk between a cash machine and a taxi on The Strand, on Saturday night. Thieving b**tard no. 2.

On balance though, a damn fine weekend. More later probably - just as soon as this bright screen and Monday morning's party stop having serious arguments with each other...

Friday, November 30, 2001

It's obviously the day for emails about the company Christmas party.

I've just received ours:

'This year's party is fancy dress and the theme is porn. Don't panic. This doesn't mean you have to wear a gimp suit and strap a dildo to your head (as Sam is planning).

Porn is actually quite a broad genre so use your imagination. You may want to come as a pimp, a nurse or even a postman. Some of you might even like to dress as animals.

Basically think 70s boogie nights and glam it up!

Oh, now this should be FUN... [rubs hands together with evil glee...]

Are you a child of the '80s? Do you spend far too much time doing online quizzes?

Then this lot should be just about heaven on earth. Or at least while away a few end-of-Friday moments while you're waiting to go home.

If we're working on the 'no pain, no gain' theory of gym-going, then right now I had better be seriously gaining...

Still, that's all the hard work done for the week, it's Friday, I've finally been paid, and the weekend promises to be fantastic - what with catching up with some very good friends, loads of time with the bf, much partying at Heaven, the Vauxhall Tavern, a party in Soho, and DTPM all to look forward to. I have a feeling I could be somewhat the worse for wear by the time I next come to post.

Y'all have great weekends now, y'hear?

Thursday, November 29, 2001

If you're in the UK, and happen to enjoy Ab-Fab type humour, then you must catch What Not To Wear on BBC2 next week. It's a fashion makeover show whereby two snooty-nosed 'fashion experts', named Trinny and Susannah (no, really) try to re-style a drab member of the public, by taking her shopping and coming out with - in their best Joanna Lumley voices - things like:
'Trust me darling, you must Never. Wear. A pleat.'
'I told her to go for a low neck-line and what has she picked up? A high neck chunky knit!!'

It's camp, it's bitchy, it's utterly superficial - but it's very, very funny.

Arrrghhh!!! I'm trapped in megamix hell!!!

Not thirty minutes ago, on the radio, the mix currently doing the rounds whereby someone has spliced together all the songs from Madonna's new Greatest Hits album into one so-called 'megamix'. Why, why, why do people feel the need to do this? There you are, just getting into 'Deeper and Deeper' and it suddenly goes all 'Erotica' on your ass - and just as you're starting to enjoy that, off it goes again, being all 'Frozen'.

Has anyone, anywhere, ever heard a 'megamix' that wasn't completely, utterly pap - and infinitely less than the sum of even one of its constituent parts? I think not. Even the 'Rick's Hit Mix' on the back of one of my most prized Rick Astley 12" singles (I was, perhaps shamefully, a major Rick wannabe - had the haircut and everything. But not the famous 'hedgehog' jacket) is just, plainly, bollocks.

And now, now, they're doing it to Prince!!

I can't cope.

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Text message of the day:

'Flashing antlers with tinsel harnesses held on silver reins by Santa. Dare ya !? xxx'

Phil, of course, with a suggestion for The Fridge's christmas party. The sad thing is, you just know I'll do it.

One day, we'll go out in normal clothes, like normal people. One day.

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Some blogs I have been reading today, in no particular order, for no particular reason, but I kinda liked 'em.

Johnny A Go Go
Fredosite
2xy
Bald Sarcasm
Gentlementle
Cub4blog
Fried

The guestbook's back - so feel free to sign it, or use it as a comments facility until I get one set up, should you be so inclined. Pics on the way too soon - no, really, I mean it this time!

...and you know you've been spending too much time with Phil when you see the Evening Standard seller's display board with the headline 'HANDCUFFS FOR BRITISH PLANE SPOTTERS' and your first thought is: "Ooh, free gifts!"

It turns out to refer to this story, whereby 12 British and 2 Dutch people have been arrested in Greece, ostensibly because they have been mistaken for spies whilst 'plane spotting'.

There has of course been uproar from the families concerned, but am I alone in thinking that people who would travel all the way to Greece purely to jot down the names and models of passing aircraft, really ought to be locked up, for everyone's sake?

Never mind the dangers of drug addiction, what about the evils of those who peddle the so-called 'Fruit Shortcake' biscuit? I've just had approximately thirteen and yet here I am, irrational, unable to focus on my work, tetchy, and still craving the next fix.

These people must be stopped.

Bit of a whirlwind weekend really, which are always the best kind.

Although Saturday night didn't get off to too good a start, with a random goose-chase around London, from home to a party in Russell Square, and to a flat in Tulse Hill, in a recently-crashed car, trapped with a really irritating Austrian on speed, who was therefore incapable of shutting up despite the remaining passengers' total lack of interest in his inane chatterings. Which sadly meant I also had to pass up my first opportunity to drop into a gay(ish) blogmeet at the Retro Bar, which I'm sure would have been interesting - next time, I hope!

But eventually we made it, dressed appropriately of course, to Love Muscle's Leather and Denim Party (which rocked) - on to a great chill-out party in Clapham, back to Kelvin's, and waking up at 4pm, just in time to jump on the train back to Vauxhall for one of the best Dame Edna shows for weeks, and finally home, happy, high and, frankly, horny, about 1am on Monday morning.

God, I love weekends. Now if we could just do something about these pesky week things in between...

Monday, November 26, 2001

You know you've been up to no good at the RVT for too long when complete strangers tap you on the shoulder and say things like: 'Not getting tied up tonight, then?'

As if I'd do a thing like that. Not this week, at least.

Although that's not to say it was a night of entirely good behaviour, on the subject of which I can only say that my seemingly sweet-and-innocent boyfriend is, in fact, increasingly A Bad Influence.

We like that.

Saturday, November 24, 2001

I guess this is what happens when you write a post about looking for a pair of football socks...

From: Support
Date: 23 November 2001 03:52
To: ds25uk@hotmail.com
Subject: Our Socks Are On Fire


Subscribe to SockStuff Quarterly Magazine and save more than 41% off the cover price of $25!

Each issue of SockStuff Magazine is a fascinating chronicle of the erotic gay escapades involving Foot and Sock fetishes, with EXCLUSIVE SockStuff trademark fantasies.

It's either just coincidence, or direct marketing people are reading this and trying to sell me things they think I need. With this in mind, I'm looking forward to receiving 'Special Offers on Chastity Belts!' and 'Reduced-Rate Breaks At The Betty Ford Clinic!', if they're paying attention...

Yet another birthday last night, this time my colleague Cherry's, at the roman-themed Millennium Bar in Covent Garden. Which was a lot of fun, and always interesting to see what so many of the people I work with are like outside of work (the ones slumped drunkenly over a table, the unexpectedly-lecherous ones, the ones who've clearly just ingested half of Colombia...) - it was almost like the office christmas party come early.

And for some reason, I'm sure I had the same conversation at least three times with different people, all suddenly wanting to know about the differences between gay and straight dating.
'So is it like, really easy just to meet people and have sex?'
'You mean you don't even have to get to know each other first?'
'Must make it really difficult to stay faithful to someone, if it's that available?'

Well, yes to all three. It is that easy - all too easy sometimes. I think it's fair to say as a gay man, provided you've got a pulse and everything else in reasonable working order - and you certainly don't need to be an Adonis - sex is pretty damn easy to come by. At least here in London, and most other major cities. Even if you're as hopeless as me at chatting people up in bars or clubs, there are plenty of other options where the formality of actually making conversation first is entirely unnecessary. You don't have to take them to dinner, they don't have to buy you stuff, you don't have to wait until the third date - frankly if a guy hasn't slept with you by the third date you strongly suspect that he's not actually gay at all.

Which has its plus points, but also its downsides - yes, it can make it difficult to develop anything more meaningful, and it can make monogamy, well, that little bit more of a challenge. The reactions of those quizzing me about all this last night though, were much as you might expect. From the straight girls: amazement that it could all be so straightforward and readily available. From the straight guys: jealousy ;-)

Straight girls, naked boys...

A thoroughly enjoyable night of birthday celebrations for the other 'arf on Thursday, which began with approximately twenty of us drinking far too much at the Duke of Wellington in Soho, before heading around the corner to see Naked Boys Singing at Madame Jo Jo's in Soho, which, well, does exactly what it says on the tin. They're naked boys. They sing. And it's very funny.

And yes, inevitably you can't help looking, well, 'there' - but it's interesting how after about five minutes you simply don't even notice, with only the lyrics of the (very good) songs like 'Gratuitous Nudity' and 'I Beat My Meat' (involving steaks being flattened with a mallet, of course...) reminding you that they're nude. Although we also derived some fun trying to work out which of the six cast, er, members, was the token straight man - a question which was answered later on, chatting to this guy from the cast in Bar Code.

Somewhere along the way there was also a fair amount of champagne drinking (Greg's influence, as ever..) at The Yard, and now, while I'm not entirely unaccustomed to finding random phone numbers or business cards in my pockets the morning after a night out, it's normally a safe bet they're going to be from a guy. Not on this occasion - although, despite the vague memory I have of there being requests to feel the would-be pecs (which I can only put down to the effect of so much naked male flesh earlier in the evening...), I'm sure it was purely that I'm supposed to call so she can join us at Love Muscle tonight. I think?

Thursday, November 22, 2001

Happy Birthday Kelvin!

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Not much goin' on with me this week, so some bits and bobs of London news, mostly courtesy of the Evening Standard (and partly because they shouted me to a legendarily-good steak and chips yesterday, which, so far, has been the week's highlight. Yes, it's been that exciting).

S Club 7 switch on the Oxford St christmas lights
'...which are the same design as last year because the twinkling white lights and snowflake design proved so popular with shoppers.'
Not, then, because it's a whole load cheaper to just dig out last year's. Oh no. I'm slightly at a loss to grasp the fuss made of the Oxford St lights, which even after major improvements last year are still outclassed by plenty of high streets around the UK. Ditto Regent Street. Much better though, are St. Christopher's Place (next to Selfridges), and even Carnaby Street, which this year rejoices under bizarre giant neon balls. Odd, but somehow quite good.

Police Chief In Sensible Drugs Policy Shocker!
'There are a whole range of people who buy drugs...cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy, who buy those drugs with money that they have earned legitimately. They use a small amount of these drugs, a lot of them just at weekends. It has no adverse effect on the rest of the people they are with...or within the wider community, and they go back to work on Monday morning and are unaffected for the rest of the week.' says Lambeth Borough Commander Brian Paddick, apparently the sole person in authority to realise that Scotland Yard's current plan to tackle London's crack and heroin problem by automatically prosecuting anyone caught with even one ecstasy tablet is rather like trying to get drunks off the street by targeting anyone who enjoys the odd glass of wine with their Sunday lunch.

Although I'm not sure about the 'unaffected for the rest of the week' - has he seen me on a Tuesday??

Prince William spotted at university foam party?
Is it William in the picture? Do we care? It's not even a proper foam party. They've got clothes on and everything. Pah. And today it turns out it isn't anyway. Definite contender for Most Rubbish News Story Of The Week.

Jonathan King gets a criminal record
...which will be a change from making them, then (sorry, I've just been possessed by Angus Deayton's scriptwriter).

So there you have it. And now over to the weather.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Ok, so in the interests of positivity, I'm not going to talk about my car opting to break down on Friday night, somewhere in a remote and unknown Oxfordshire location - or the horror of discovering the family gathering I thought was on Saturday afternoon was actually on Sunday afternoon, thus putting paid to attending Nigel's birthday bash in Hampstead, and damn near ruining my weekend.

But, with a hefty dose of determination, and to the excitement of speed cameras everywhere, somehow by 5.30pm I had made it back to London, back to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, and I can honestly say I have never been so relieved to walk through those hallowed portals, back to normality, back to a place where people actually have, like, fun. Of course, by the time I walked back out at around 11.30pm I can honestly say I have never been so utterly, utterly trashed, but hey, that's what Sundays are for...

Monday, November 19, 2001

There may not be much blogging today, owing to the policy I have of trying to keep this site free of whinges and moans, no matter how bad a day I'm having.

So, when I find something about today that doesn't suck like a great big sucking thing that's just won 'Sucker of the Week' on Suck FM, I'll get back to you.

Meanwhile, go see my new linkees akafrankgreen and hermione, they'll be much more fun...

Friday, November 16, 2001

I'm getting palpitations already. For the second weekend in a row, I will be departing my beloved metropolis - but this time, not for the gallic grandeur of Paris, but the glamour of, er, Gloucester. Like, in the country. Bleurgh.

Which means a long-ish drive tonight, during which I'll have to go past, like, villages, and 'ye olde farm shoppes', and little country cottages with dodgy home-made signs outside saying 'Freshly Layed Egg's £1 dozen' or some such illiteracy (I mean, what's wrong with you people? Why do you think the good lord gave us Tesco's? What kind of weirdo drives to someone's house just to buy eggs?) And no doubt I will, at least three times, get stuck behind a tractor and/or horse box, which will be painfully slow and/or smell.

Still, gotta be done. Family obligations and all that - numerous family birthdays, and since come Christmas I'll be reclining with a chilled glass of champagne on a beach in the Canaries, it's also the only opportunity I'll have to deliver the assorted presents (yes, I have done my Christmas shopping already, and yes, it's freaking me out too. Normally I'm strictly a December 23rd person).

Back Sunday though, to breathe heavy sighs of relief at the Vauxhall Tavern, provided I haven't been swallowed up into some hideous provincial nightmare and forced to spend the remainder of my weekends trawling garden centres, believing that corduroy is an acceptable fabric, and seeing nothing wrong with floral wallpaper...

Just a quick note to Destiny's Child, who I know are regular readers. We like 'Emotion', but please, pick a note and just sing it. You don't need to try out fifteen alternatives for each one before you finally settle on it.

And you can stop smirking, Mariah...

Thursday, November 15, 2001

Good grief. That Carol Vorderman gets everywhere, doesn't she? And now she's all over blogging, in The Mirror - which you can read right here... (via iamcal)

'Isn't there something a little odd about sharing your most intimate moments with the wired world?' she asks.

Just the issue I've been trying to get my head around this week, for various reasons. Which, to cut a long story short, has resulted in the somewhat slimmed-down archives you may have noticed, and the fact that, well, I'm gonna start distinguishing more carefully between what belongs in a private diary where it can't hurt anyone, and what's fair game for the public domain.

Apologies in advance if this makes for dull reading - but on the bright side, it sounds to me like carte blanche to be even more shallow and trivial than usual. Hurrah!

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Top Five Things About Parisians Which Are True:

1. It is unacceptable to wear anything other than black. 99% of Parisians are dressed entirely in black, and those who aren't receive funny looks and are pointed at in the street.

2. Yes, it is compulsory to smoke. No exceptions.

3. Parisians are not rude. Provided you make even the slightest effort to speak their language, however mangled, you'll find them as friendly and welcoming as you could hope for. More so, in some cases.

4. That is, unless they are an official of some kind, seated behind a counter in a post office, bank or similar. In which case you can regale them with the entire works of Moliere, perfectly enunciated and with props, and still not raise a smile. The woman who resolutely refused to look up from her book while answering customers' queries at the Museum of Modern Art is a prime example.

5. Nobody carries a string of onions around their neck whilst wearing a stripy jumper and riding a bicycle. That's Brittany, where it remains compulsory.

6. If a shop doesn't sell bags, it will sell shoes. If it sells neither, you're not in a shop at all. Get out of the bakery before you have that 34th croissant.

7. Yes, that is six. Sue me.

And here endeth Paris week, I promise!

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

Did I mention how much I love Paris? Ah, just the once or twice, yes.

Nearly didn't make it at all thanks to the vagaries of London's buses holding Kelvin up, but once on board the Eurostar it was plain, er, sailing, into Gare du Nord and down to the Hotel Central - which I'd fully expected to be the campest hotel in the world, what with it being Paris' only gay hotel, and having a proprietor called 'Fabrice' - we were thinking pink duvets and rainbow towels galore. Which wasn't far off the mark (well, pink walls at least), but turned out to be a good choice, very welcoming, sooo quaint (as I believe a tourist would say) and handily located right among all the bars of Le Marais for easy stumbling home.

Friday afternoon comprised a lazy lunch at the Open Cafe (a new arrival since my last visit) and a trip to the top of the Pompidou Centre, chiefly for the great views across the city, but also briefly taking in the Musee National d'Art Moderne, if for no other reason than to be able to claim we at least did something cultural that didn't involve alcohol.

Culture out of the way, it was time to hit the bars. Starting with, for old times' sake, My First Ever Gay Bar (available at all good toy shops, from Mattel!), the venue formerly known as Le Subway. Which is now home to 'Le Sun Cafe' - a rather unusual venue which is undoubtedly the product of someone thinking: 'Ok, gay men - they like bars, they like sunbeds - let's have a bar with sunbeds in it!' Which, bizarrely, is what it is - bar on the ground floor, sunbeds in the basement. God, all it needs is an IKEA on the first floor and nobody would ever leave...

From there to the busy Amnesia Cafe, and on to Le Quetzal, located appropriately enough at the end of Rue des Mauvais Garcons (Bad Boys' Street). Traditionally one of the busiest and cruisiest Marais bars, but being fairly quiet I rather suspect it's been superceded by the newer Cafe Cox, where we headed next, and probably the liveliest and most enjoyable of the bunch. Not to mention home to possibly the world's most flirtatious barmen, who appear to insist on mentally undressing you at least three times before serving you (maybe that's why it's so popular...) - Kelvin even returned from the bar at one point with free drinks we'd been given on the grounds the barman liked his nipples. Hey! Hands off - I have exclusive rights on those!!

Saturday: it's actually illegal under Homosexual Law to visit Paris without going shopping, so shop we did, and very successfully too - good grief, I even managed to get four (four!) t-shirts. This is something of a triumph when you consider that under normal circumstances my inability to buy shirts is second only to my inability to keep them on.

After that, Chatelet, the Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, crepes, the gorgeous Rue Mouffetard (tiny bistros and shops for miles) - where the red wine started to flow at around 5pm. And continued through drinks with a friend and colleague of Kelvin's at Le Dome in Saint-Paul. And continued well into the night, to most of the aforementioned bars and several others, eventually winding up at Le Depot at around 1am, which Time Out describes as 'a colossal disco sin-bin'. They're not kidding.

On the ground floor, a reasonable-sized dancefloor, pretty decent house music, and go-go dancers, much like any club of its kind - busy, enjoyable, but by no means packed. Which, you soon discover, is because everyone is downstairs, in the vast, winding, and thoroughly confusing labyrinth of passageways, dark rooms, and, ahem, darkrooms. Buried somewhere within which is another smaller dancefloor, rather livelier than the first, complete with video screens which seemed to specialise in a type of film I'm dubbing 'Implausible Garden Furniture Porn'. It was all:
'Blimey, that deckchair's never going to stand up to that...'
'That sunlounger's going to give way any minute...'
'Ooh, look, now they're on a hammock!'

Much fun though, much dancing (yes, of course we stayed on the dancefloor the whole time. Well, nearly...), though we didn't make it quite as far as the 8am closing time, the vast quantities of alcohol having taken their toll...

Sunday: a lazy breakfast at the bistro opposite our hotel, followed by visits to Sacre-Coeur, St Michel (the Latin Quarter), more of Le Marais, and in the evening, dinner at a gorgeous old restaurant Kelvin had secretly booked for us, the old romantic (he was just so adorable all weekend, as ever - there aren't many people I could spend every waking minute with for four days without even the slightest argument, but already I'm kinda sad I won't get to see him now until Sunday - god this is getting serious!) Followed by further partying, of course...

And back to London yesterday, thoroughly exhausted, but thoroughly happy. And planning the next trip already...

Monday, November 12, 2001

Back from Paris. And a truly perfect weekend, more details of which tomorrow no doubt but right now I need to be horizontal. Again.

'WildTop' is not, as first impression might have it, a refugee from the aforementioned Gaydar, but the sender of this:

From: WildTop
Date: 11 November 2001 11.35
To: ds25uk@hotmail.com
Subject: Ice Rescue


Hi,

I found your email address on your website at http://davelondon.blogspot.com

Regarding the site, you might be interested in my invention "Ice boat and a car top storage combination".

The winter's first ice is already skimming lakes and ponds and with it comes ice tragedy season. I invented this boat to be used effectively for Ice rescue.

Ah yes. You've clearly picked up on that falling-through-ice-while-fishing fear that I have. Very intuitive.

Thursday, November 08, 2001

Questions In A World Of Blue - just because it's one of my favourite David Lynch/Julee Cruise songs too.

Anyway, definitely off now, I got A Real Indication of some packing comin' on...

My second venture out into the Paris nightlife was equally memorable, for different reasons. Armando, who’d already been in Paris several weeks on an exchange from California, volunteered to show me round on a bar crawl of Le Marais, to which I readily agreed of course…

Which began at Le Duplex, a tiny, art-themed bar on the north side of Le Marais where you’d tend to find writers, artists, and anyone else who felt themselves a little too ‘intellectual’ for the thrust of the more boisterous bars. Including the rather lecherous architect-in-a-black-polo-neck (is there any other kind?) who I had to, quite literally, run away from on a later occasion. But, despite that, it rapidly became a regular starting point for our nights out, by virtue of its relaxed ambience, ease of getting to the bar, and being small enough to find each other instantly.

From there, it was on to Le Piano Zinc, a real Paris institution, wherein you’d find possibly the world’s tiniest bar upstairs, and downstairs every night, local singers (or anyone who wanted to have a go) would take to the microphone alongside the eponymous piano and sing their hearts out, to the chansons of Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf et al, to an appreciative and, more often than not, participative audience.

Which sounds potentially excruciating, but was, due to the sheer talent and infectious enthusiasm of most of the performers, thoroughly entertaining.

And there, sitting at the bar, watching the show, a vision. Kinda smartly dressed, wavy dark hair, the most piercing blue eyes and one hell of a smile – now, I always picture him as looking like Joseph Fiennes in Shakespeare in Love, but then, I just thought he was the most stunning looking guy I’d ever laid eyes on.

So I was more than somewhat surprised when, on the way to our next port of call, (Le Subway again), Armando said to me:
‘Did you see that guy at the bar?’
‘Which one? The really gorgeous one – to our left a bit? Yeah of course I noticed him!’
‘He was checking you out the whole time.’
‘He was not!’
‘Didn’t you see he kept looking over?’
‘No way….’
‘No really, he was!’

This went on for some considerable time, but a couple more drinks, and a couple more bars later, we went back to Le Piano Zinc. He was still there. And this time there was definite eye contact. And smiling. And more eye contact. And more.

Which, finally, resulted in him coming over and enquiring as to whether I spoke French (I still cringe to remember how, at that same moment, I involuntarily picked up my jacket, like he’d just said ‘Get yer coat, you’ve pulled’ or something – god that must have looked cheap!). Fortunately, at that time my French was considerably better than it is now - witness the slow progress of my attempts to book a hotel room the other week - so conversation was reasonably easy, or as easy as it ever is in that kind of situation (numerous bieres blondes had helped) so I soon found out he was Adrien, a year older than me at 22, and a part-time security guard when he wasn’t studying literature at The Sorbonne.

Armando was busy chatting with some fellow Americans by this point, so we said our goodbyes, and went, ostensibly, for a walk – but one which I was rather happy to find let to Adrien’s studio flat, seven floors up, right in the heart of Le Marais (and almost directly opposite where we’ll be staying this weekend).

The rest I don’t think I need to document – you’ve got imaginations. Let’s just say no stereotypes about French men were contradicted that night…

And suffice to say I practically floated through the streets the next morning, stopping only to grab a croissant for breakfast, on the way back to the (rather less romantic) Universite de Paris X.

That was just the first two of many, many pretty damn incredible nights and days that spring – so, unsurprisingly, I’m rather happy to be going back, even if it is just for four days. Paris, officially, rocks.

So, I'm outta here - blogging unlikely for next few days, back Tuesday, have damn good weekends y'hear?

Wednesday, November 07, 2001

Blogs re-organised alphabetically. The disorder was offending my Libran sensibilities.

That is all.

'So do you remember all the things you were saying to me on the train home on Sunday night?' asks Kelvin on the phone last night.

'Er..no?' I reply (to be honest, due to alcohol consumption and pharmaceutical indulgence I didn't even remember that we got the tube home together, and had been wondering up to this point why we'd left at different times...)

'Haha, I'll have to remind you at an appropriate time...'

Now I'm intrigued - although not really too worried. Some people, when intoxicated, get aggressive, violent, or abusive. With me it's entirely the reverse, suddenly I love everyone and will probably tell them so (cue confused expressions from the guy in the kebab shop I frequent post-Vauxhall Tavern) become over-friendly and usually downright flirtatious (some would say 'slut', but it's so, ahem, not true...).

So I've probably just declared undying love or something trivial like that.

Guess I'll find out in Paris over the weekend though. Which I'm really looking forward to now - four days in my other favourite city.

It's largely thanks to Paris that I now live in London, if that makes any sense at all. The six months I lived there as a student, in the first half of 1995, were more than enough to expose 'living in the country' (as I'd done for the previous 21 years) for the contradiction in terms it undoubtedly is, and convince me that capital city life was most definitely where I wanted to be.

For the first time, there were shops where you could buy anything, every conceivable kind of restaurant, bar and cafe, beautiful places, famous places, nefarious places, places filled with opportunity, places to discover - and all of them filled with every kind of people. AlI I had to do was jump on a Metro train and pick where I wanted to experience that day. Armed with little more than a travel pass and plenty of free time, finally I had the opportunity to enjoy a real, live, city and well, some real life.

So little wonder I fell in love with the place. It helps of course, that all the cliches about Paris - beautiful, charming, bohemian - turned out to be entirely true.

The freedom of being away from home and in a big city also gave me the chance to experience this 'gay scene' I'd wondered so much about, but had never encountered in the closet I'd only escaped from six months earlier.

So I'd surreptitiously perused the 'Gay and Lesbian' pages of a friend's Time Out guide, and mentally noted down a few addresses. 'Le Subway' (since renamed) sounded like one of the less intimidating bars, where a tourist might not feel completely out of place - so one February evening I headed off to Le Marais, Paris' charmingly village-like neighbourhood which also doubles as the gay district.

And round and round I walked. Past 'Le Subway' at least fifteen times, but without daring to go in. The windows were tinted so you couldn't see in - what would I find in there? what were you supposed to wear? would everyone laugh at what I was wearing? what if everyone stopped and pointed when I walked in? wouldn't I stick out like a sore thumb on my own with no-one to talk to?

It seems ridiculous now, but I was as nervous as hell. And hence walked the streets for an hour and a half, up and down Rue Ste Croix de la Bretonnerie, where our hotel for this weekend is located, and Paris' nearest equivalent to Old Compton Street here in Soho.

Eventually, courage summoned, and having worn the pavement thin, I went in. And found, of course, a perfectly ordinary bar, with perfectly ordinary people, having a perfectly ordinary drink. Phew. The bar staff smiled, either at my less-than-perfect French or my obvious nervousness - I couldn't tell which - but the atmosphere was friendly, yeah slightly cruisy, but intimidating, no.

And before long, my obvious Britishness had alerted my presence to a couple of British and American guys - Iain and Armando (who went on to become a very good friend throughout my time there) who came over to chat and wow, I had, like, gay friends!

Since which time, there has of course, been no looking back... ;-)

Tuesday, November 06, 2001

Gratuitous eye candy time.

I don't like football quite like Jonathan likes football, but if there were more like Kevin Phillips, well, there'd be a lot to like...

My name is Dave Young, I'm a 28-year-old man, and I LOVE the new S Club 7 record.

There, said it.

It's under control. I'm only 44% blogaholic. Although by posting this I've probably just gone up another point. And cheers to Molly for the link. Damn, another point!

Monday, November 05, 2001

Y'see there's the Seventh Circle of Hell. And then, just below that, there's Argos, the catalogue shop. Wherein the normal method of shopping (find item you want, take to till and pay, leave) is replaced by: hover expectantly waiting for there to be a catalogue free, search through idiosyncratic index for item, locate it on page, see if it's actually in stock, take item number on bit of paper and queue to pay, then go to another counter and queue for an indefinite period to collect said item.

A process which on Saturday took me thirty whole minutes just to buy a simple beard trimmer (the goatee's staying put, but it's getting out of hand...), which, having finally got it home, is no use whatsoever. Which I would have known if I'd been able to see the sodding thing in the first place instead of looking at a sodding picture in a sodding catalogue!!

'Five different length settings!' it says on the box. Yeah, you have a choice of: 'Forgot-To-Shave-This-Morning' (setting 1), 'Father Time' (settings 2, 3 and 4) and 'God' (setting 5). Reaaally useful. You could use this in Afghanistan and the Taliban wouldn't execute you.

Which means I'll have to face taking it back, next time I have a free four hours to waste.

I fucking hate Argos like, so much.

Monday night. Ho-hum. Well, it's either this or the Channel 5 movie 'Addicted To Love', with Meg Ryan. In which apparently she pairs up with Matthew Broderick, who she doesn't like, they fight, they bicker, but eventually realise they were perfect for each other all along. God, that never happens in a Meg Ryan film...

Something I can relate to, big time. Maybe not right now, but all these thoughts have certainly kicked around my head from time to time - I just never put them into words this well...

Yet another top-notch Sunday night last night, much Vauxhall madness, complete with fireworks (ooh! aah!), and, oops, a reprise of mine and Phil's little performance, this time with added blindfolds (don't ask...) - god, there was practically applause - have we no shame??!

Also managed to fit in a flying visit to the Gaydar party down at The Fridge. Gaydar, for the uninitiated, is I guess what you'd call an 'instant dating' site (or alternatively 'online meat market') massively popular here in London although it doesn't really seem to have caught on as much anywhere else. And having been around for two years now, they decided to celebrate this by holding a one-off club night at Brixton's finest. Which could in theory have been quite entertaining, what with everyone trying to recognise each other only from their online profiles:
'Oh, so that's what you look like from the neck up!'
'Are you completeslapper214? Oh, sorry, must be someone else...'

We'd been lured by the promise of free guest list entry and free drink, so it kinda seemed rude to turn it down, but in the event, it seems most people had. So a very brief visit, just long enough to down the strongest vodka and cranberry known to man (how come they don't make the drinks like that when you're actually paying for them??!), and indulge in some gratuitous podium dancing before returning as hurriedly as possible to Vauxhall.

I guess there's something of a flaw in the logic of holding a great big party for a whole load of people who, er, normally prefer to remain anonymous. Hmmm.

Sunday, November 04, 2001

So now we know. Our flat is, officially, average.

Or at least, so say Enfield council. There was a national census here in the UK a few months ago, requiring every household to fill in a rather tedious form about their employment, dependents, yadayadayada. We duly filled it in, and now it seems we have been selected, for some unknown reason, to represent the 'typical household of twentysomething London professionals'. Ahem. Although, thinking about it, a neurotic woman and two gay men, working hard but permanently overdrawn, and getting through enough Chardonnay per week to flood a small country, probably is fairly representative.

So far though, our new-found status has just meant yet more questions, in the form of a council bloke who came round to interview Greg on Saturday (yours truly stayed suitably out of the way) - apparently it was all very straightforward although the guy looked rather disturbed by the pink puppy pants on the wall.

It's a responsibility though. Now, every decision is like:
'So do we go straight to Nik's party or stop off at Bar Code on the way?'
'Dunno - what would the typical twentysomething Londoner do?'
'Go to All Bar One and it would be horrible.'
'Good point.'

Pretty much a perfect Sunday. Waking up with Kelvin. Sunshine. Full fry-up for breakfast. Seriously good Eastenders omnibus. And the Vauxhall Tavern still to come. Fantastic.

And some surprise news over the weekend - I am to be an uncle!

Technically speaking it's top secret between my older sister and myself at the moment - she's waiting for a proper doctor's test before getting the rest of the family too excited, but it looks pretty definite. And I'm actually really touched to be the first to know.

Of course, being top secret I probably shouldn't be writing this but I'm fairly damn certain none of my family will have stumbled across this site - and if they have, somehow I think there'd be rather more to answer to than having blabbed about the bubba.

Am determined to be the Cool Uncle:

'Yeah, that's my Uncle Dave, he's got this reaaally cool flat in London, and goes all over the world, and gets me the best presents 'cos he's got this reaaally cool job and earns loads of money...'

Yeah, well, maybe in a few years' time...

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

It's interior decor war in our flat at the moment.

It's always been wall-to-wall white in every room, which suits me just fine. I like white, it's clean, it's bright, and makes the whole flat seem bigger than it actually is. And with the strategic addition of fairy lights and the odd mirrorball (camp? us?) it kinda sparkles. Well, if you use your imagination a bit.

Greg and Kirsty though, are trying to convince me the living room really wants to be terracotta. Hmmm. I don't think we've ever disagreed about anything in two years, but I'm going to have to make a stand on this one. It's like someone deciding to paint one side of the Pyramids blue because 'Well, it's a bit boring just being that sandy colour all over...'

Meanwhile, in some drunken weekend moment, a pair of small, pink, pants have found themselves pinned to the living room wall. And they've got a picture of a puppy on them. Kirsty reckons we should frame them as art. Greg on the other hand, was heard to protest 'We are NOT having pink pants with a puppy where the fanny should be on our wall!!!'

Personally, I think they're great.

So I get this email this afternoon from Dan, circulated also to many other Vauxhall-going friends, wondering if I've seen a certain website. Which should be none other than David's jolly good A-Z of the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.

Which was, in fact, how I came across this whole blogging lark in the first place. Blimey, next thing you know they'll all be reading his blog, and maybe by extension mine, and then I'll have to write nice things about them...

You take one little day off work, purely in the name of using up your remaining leave, and what happens? They make you go to Milton Keynes, that's what.

Fortunately, I have returned unscathed after a morning of client meetings, which resulted in the somewhat bizarre experience of sitting in a theme pub on a housing estate having the manager explain his new high chairs (don't ask...).

And next week, Biggleswade!

No, I have no idea where it is, either.

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

Ok, so you know your porn name, and what you'd be called in prison, but what do your co-workers call you behind your back?

Modesty prevents me from revealing mine (have never been one to blow my own trumpet - haven't got sufficiently flexible back muscles...) - although if I choose to be David rather than Dave, it's probably rather more accurate...

Monday, October 29, 2001

I Can't Believe This Programme Exists, no.274: This afternoon, on BBC1, Diagnosis Murder, which is much along the lines of Murder, She Wrote, but rather than Angela Lansbury as a novelist-turned-detective, has Dick Van Dyke as someone who appears to be a doctor, but is also a detective, who just happens, for no discernible reason, to be a magician. Cue much sawing people in half, escaping from boxes, disappearing coins etc, all whilst solving one of those implausibly jolly and cosy murder cases. It's like: 'Cheer up, I know he's been brutally murdered, but look! A twenty-dollar note from behind your ear!'

I'm still not sure I actually saw this, or whether it was some after-effect of last night's indulgences...

Well, the socks were duly found, and thus began another weekend of excess. Firstly, to Dave's flat in Clapham to meet up and change, on the grounds that if we were going to arrive at The Fridge in ridiculous outfits, we'd have to go the whole hog and make an entrance en masse (well, that and a fair amount of 'I'm not going in on my own like this!'). So it was boots, shorts, harnesses, and horns a-go-go, and best of all, tridents into which Phil had managed to insert lightsticks so that they glowed. Ooohh.

I'm sure other people in, or approaching, their thirties, try and have some degree of sophistication and dignity when they go out. We, on the other hand, get dressed up and take toys. It's worrying, really.

But an enormously fun night as ever, much nonsense podium dancing and general silliness, and interesting just seeing people's reactions, ranging from the amused to the downright bemused - including the lovely Australian lady who insisted on massaging my shoulders, and a nice guy who stopped me as I stumbled past, saying 'I know I won't be your type but I just wanted to say you look really good in that..' Ah, the beauty of beer goggles. Although no idea why he was so convinced I wouldn't be interested - perhaps the assumption is one only goes for other leather-clad Beelzebubs.

Or perhaps the newly-grown goatee (or at least what's currently attempting to pass for one) is projecting a whole new rough and rugged image. Yeah ok, maybe not. But I think it might have to stay put - it was originally intended just to complete the devil look, but well, it's kinda grown on me (boom, boom!). And Kelvin loves it - partly for reasons I'm really not going into here - although more than one person has commented along the lines of "Aww, how sweet, you'll have his-and-his matching beards!"

Sunday night, and yet more Vauxhall madness - and if Phil and I didn't make enough of a spectacle of ourselves last week, well, I'm not entirely sure how somebody came to be bound and handcuffed to a pillar above the dancefloor by somebody else, but it can't have been us, can it? Really must learn to leave the cabaret to the superb-as-ever DE Experience. And as for what was going on on the stage at DTPM later in the night... Somehow I think we were living up to our mantra for the weekend: 'It's not cheap to be fabulous, but it's fabulous to be cheap...', just a little too much. Fabulous.

Friday, October 26, 2001

I must ask Jonathan where I can get my hands on five pairs of red football socks. Somehow I think he may have the answer...

They're the final item needed for our 'Horny Devil' costumes for the Halloween party at The Fridge tomorrow night, along with the aforementioned much-loved boots, leather shorts, and erm, flashing red horns.

Oh dear...

Of course, it would help if I actually wrote something...

Well, some news I'm rather happy about - Kelvin and I are going to Paris! Yay!

A romantic long weekend for two, no less, in my second favourite city (after this fair metropolis, of course), which we've been talking about for some time, but finally as of yesterday, have booked.

Admittedly, I've not been entirely without doubts - like whether it's too soon to be going away together, and spending four days solid in each other's company - but as of yesterday lunchtime (sappiness alert, the schmaltz-sensitive among you may care to look away now...), sat across a pub table, looking into his gorgeous eyes, I'm thinking 'how could I ever doubt anything to do with this beautiful, beautiful man?' (I'm sorry, I don't know what's come over me. Normal butchness restored soon...)

So, it's booked. Precisely two weeks from now, we'll be on the Eurostar, trundling towards the tunnel and then hurtling through the French side (where they have, like, proper railways), heading for our hotel, right in the heart of Le Marais, on a street I know very, very well, but more of which another time...

Marvellous.

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

It's Live in London you can read without the need for opera glasses! Yay for bigger fonts!

Brothel-owner wins first Oral Sex World Championships.

There's no picture of the trophy, but I think we can imagine...

Blimey, it's all gone a bit 'Surprise, Surprise' today. Out of the blue, an email from my childhood best friend Rebecca, who I've neither seen nor heard from since shortly after we moved from Gloucester in 1984.

Where, as I recall, we spent most of the time playing in the stream that ran past both our houses, insisting on camping in the back garden, writing all manner of nonsense on her dad's electric organ (and performing for our oh so lucky families, poor buggers) - and chiefly, dancing around her living room inventing routines to ABBA songs (which probably accounts for my parents' lack of surprise at discovering I was, well, not exactly the marrying kind...). Our copies of 'ABBA The Singles 1973-1983' and 'Now That's What I Call Music 3' were well and truly needle-worn.

But now apparently, there's been a chance meeting of the mothers in an NCP car park (...the glamour!), and so we're back in touch. Which is fantastic - but where, where, where do you start? It's been nearly seventeen years, there's so much to tell, and yet you know the conversation will at some point go:
'So, what have you been up to then all this time?'
'Oh, y'know, not much, how about you?'

Of course, now that I have this here blog, it'd certainly be one way to bring her up to date - but I think maybe one revelation at a time! Let's just say a fair few things have changed since 1984. Well, maybe except for the ABBA thing.

Tuesday, October 23, 2001

Argh! Apparently, there is, on your computer keyboard, a combination of keys you can accidentally press whilst trying to do something else (I suspect involving 'Alt' in some way) which will shut down your Blogger window, and lose the really long post you've just spent ages writing, and haven't saved. Whatever it is, I just found it. Bugger.

Whoa. Long day at work. Spent mostly making sure that the recruitment project I've been slaving over (well, project managing, so principally co-ordinating everyone else's slaving) for the last few weeks - namely this - finally went live on the web.

But, as of 7pm tonight, it has, albeit with one or two minor tweaks still needed. And just as well really, since the ads for it start appearing tomorrow. Just don't tell me if you spot any mistakes...

Monday, October 22, 2001

I LOVE my new boots. They're big. They're black. They're go-go dancer boots. They're sex on, well, legs. These boots weren't made for walking. These boots have got one thing on their mind and they know how to get it.

Yep, gotta love the new boots.

Well you already know far, far too much about who I am. So sign my brand spanking new guestbook and fill me in on who you are. Feel free to hurl abuse, vitriol, or even nice stuff, like solicitations and job offers. I'm all ears. Which makes typing rather difficult.

And still they come - this from Nathan:

'Memory's a bit vague hey? You were putting on a bit of a floor show up on that stage bending over! Hahaha.'

I think this answers my hope-I-didn't-do-anything-really-embarrassing query. The wrong way.

Communication received in the last few hours:

'Hey you drug fucked mary - how's the head? When I left you were in seventh heaven, shaking your ass on stage...' (kind words from the boyfriend)

'I can't believe what you were doing up there last night - I didn't know that was physically possible. Uri Geller would have been proud...' (Rick)

'Want to go and get those leather shorts after work on Wednesday?' (Phil, of course)

Good grief. What have I done? What have I agreed to? Help!

And exactly how did we find ourselves piling into Byron's flat, a mere fifty yards or so from the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, pints in hand, watching Michael do his laundry while Nick served up a Sunday roast for six? All very strange. And sorry, Byron!

Perhaps something to do with compensating for - shock - not going out on Saturday night. Well, at least, only in an uncharacteristically civilised manner, a birthday meal at Bertorelli's for Rick, with all the usual suspects, plus my boss and her girlfriend. Who, if they were men, we would have to hate for being so impossibly attractive and intelligent and funny and obviously-happy-together. But as they're not, that's ok. Sickeningly happy lesbians we can handle.

Activity so far today: three cups of coffee, a bacon roll, surfing Internet, exchanging text messages with Phil. I really think I'm working too hard...

'Mum, there's a cow in my bedroom!'
'Yes, dear..'
'No, really there is!!'

Friday, October 19, 2001

Back at work (boo!) but feeling much better (yay!), and currently in middle of one big post-gym endorphine rush. Still, much effort needed to make up for lost time in that respect - it's Love Muscle again next week, and frankly, there's not very much of the intended Halloween costume. Might require a lot of breathing in...

More in a bit - kinda frantic today, things to be, people to do...

Thursday, October 18, 2001

Ok, I take it back about the daytime TV.

This from 'This Morning', sadly now devoid of the legendary Richard and Judy, currently replaced by John Leslie and some impossibly wooden old dear whose sole purpose seems to be to hold a cup of tea in as many different positions as possible. It gets to the phone-in quiz:

Impossibly-wooden-old-dear: 'What's the capital of France?'
Utter-bimbo-contestant: 'Belgium!'
Impossibly-wooden-old-dear: '..er, France..?'
Utter-bimbo-contestant: 'Oh! Er, pass.'

And she still won six thousand pounds or so.

This so wasn't the plan.

The plan was to spend today working my butt off and clearing my desk, such that I could go along to tonight's Globe Centre fundraiser at the Vauxhall Tavern, and if, say, I happened to get a little trashed, to the point of not being able to go into work tomorrow, well, it really wouldn't matter too much.

I'm resigned to the fact I can never call in sick on a Monday morning, no matter how god-awful I feel, because they'll know it's entirely self-inflicted. A Friday though (aha!) would raise no such suspicions.

In the event though, my ferocious cold of a couple of weeks ago has decided it's time for a comeback, so I'm off today instead, and really not up to going along tonight anyway. Grrr.

I'm sure there's a moral in there somewhere, but I've never been very good with those.

Ah well, bring on the Lemsip, bring on the daytime TV, I can take it...

Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Troubled by bushy-tailed brethren in your back yard? No, me neither. But the people over at Outwitting Squirrels ('where squirrels fear to tread...') have all the advice you need, should you need it. They're normally a peaceable bunch, but I'm not so sure about today's suggestion:

SQUIRREL STEW (Could also be good with chicken)

4-5 squirrels, cleaned and de-headed
1/4 lb (1 stick) margarine
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 c chopped bell pepper
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. finely chopped shallots
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup Burgundy wine
1 tbsp. flour (heaping)
Tony Zachary's Creole Seasoning
(or salt, red and black pepper)
4-ounce can mushroom (bits&pieces)

Cut each squirrel into pieces. Season well with Tony's or salt and
pepper. Melt margarine in a large cast iron pot and fry squirrels
until browned all over and they start to stick. Add onions, bell
peppers and garlic.

When vegetables are soft, add 1 cup of cold water, and Worcestershire
sauce. Cover the pot tightly and let simmer on very low heat 1 hour.
Stir well and add burgundy wine. Recover and cook until tender.
Remove cooked squirrel from pot, leaving as much juice in the pot as
possible.

Add 1 tbsp. flour to the liquid from the mushrooms and mix well. Add
this mixture, chopped onion tops, parsley and mushrooms to the gravy.
Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened. Pour over
cooked squirrel.

Serve over steaming rice


See also, I kid you not: Outwitting Deer.

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

Naked engineering students....

No, not a bizarre search request - but next time one of my clients has a major recruitment problem, I think I might just have to suggest this as the solution...

Dave knows lots of Daves. But not all of them.

Dave also has far, far too much time on his hands.

Yeah pot, kettle, I know...

I'm sure I've mentioned my ongoing feud with Tuesdays. It's a mutual thing - I hate them, they hate me. And this one's no exception. Probably best I shut up until there's been a whole lot more caffeine. And chocolate. I'm gazing longingly out of my window at Starbucks. Which is kinda worrying.

Monday, October 15, 2001

Ouch. Seriously hurty head today. But more than worth it, for (yet again) a hell of a weekend. In a good way, that is.

I'm not entirely sure why last night at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern was the wildest for many a week, and quite possibly the most enjoyable to date, but it undoubtedly was. And having been a little thin on the ground in recent weeks, it was great to have almost the full line-up of usual suspects back in force: Mikey and Kelvin back from Kos and looking impossibly relaxed and tanned, Dan, hyperactive having not come straight from Trade for once but actually having slept, Nathan and Jason, still on a high from Fist (more of which to follow), Byron and Nicholas, Cherie-from-the-BBC and Michael (still gorgeous, still straight - damn...), to name but a few. And undoubtedly a new record set for sheer drunkenness and over-indulgence on a Sunday. Which takes some doing, given the precedents.

I'd definitely lend my support though, to David's suggestion of some kind of loyalty of scheme - the pondering of which has led me to the downright scary realisation that, in any given month, almost 10% of my earnings go directly behind the Vauxhall bar (which, as London bars go, is very reasonably priced). Perhaps they could just set up some kind of direct debit scheme and save us the trouble of handing it all over manually?

Meanwhile Saturday, a riotous gathering at Bar Code, before Kelvin, Phil, Nigel and I piled into a cab down to the aforementioned, near-legendary, South London sleaze fest known as Fist. And a wild and wonderful night indeed - certainly my favourite of the handful of times I've been along. You'd think the whole leather/rubber/dresscode shenanigans would lead to it being purely be a sexual thing (and it's not to say there wasn't plenty of that going on. Apparently...) - but it's interesting how just getting dressed up in something out of the ordinary seems to bring out a real party spirit in all concerned. I guess it is just like a big fancy dress party after all. Hence a packed dancefloor and much hilarity, as well as all the other, ahem, diversions.

The current ad campaign reads: 'Don't be scared, I know you'll like it...' - which seemed to hold true for several first-timers (somehow 'virgins' doesn't seem the appropriate word...), Kelvin included, all of whom had such a ball they can't wait for the next one. Me neither. Roll on November...

Friday, October 12, 2001

Friday. Sunshine. Not much work to do. 4pm already. Evening to be spent curled up on sofa with boyfriend. If I were a cat, I think I'd be making loud purring noises right about now. Shame there's that, y'know, war thing on.

I've always been determined not to moan about stuff on here - in the grand scheme of things, plenty of people have far more important things to worry about than I do. But likewise, I'm sure, dear reader/s (I flatter myself with the plural), you don't need me banging on about just how happy I am today.

So instead, go see some nice people who've linked to me lately: Molly, over at umbrellastand, who has a particularly nice line in rants for almost every occasion, and Leoboy, who's just had exactly the kind of Thursday I'm having today. Except it's Friday. Oh y'know what I mean. I'm outta here.

Thursday, October 11, 2001

Go to bed Dave, go to bed. You are disturbing the neighbours by singing along, badly, to 'How Do I Live' by Leann Rimes on the radio. You are not Leann Rimes. Which is probably just as well, all things considered. Although you might have got to meet Adam Garcia when you made that video.

Now there's a thought on which to go to bed.

Top childish gag of the day (you know you want to do this):

1. Go into Microsoft Word on a friend or colleague's computer (when they're not there)

2. From the Tools menu, select Auto-Correct

3. You'll see the option to 'replace' typed words 'with' others, thus automatically correcting them when typed.

4. Enter everyday words they might use, like 'letter' and replace them with things like 'ARSE!'

5. Sit back and snigger when they next write something, and find themselves writing things like: 'Dear John, In response to your ARSE! of 18 September...', and find themselves unable to correct it, because Word will keep changing it back.

Trust me, this is literally seconds of fun.

Top new advertising fact of the day:

Normally, when producing a double-page ad for a magazine, it's necessary to leave a space (a 'gutter') down the middle, to allow for the bit you won't be able to see once it's stapled together. However, if for some reason you don't want the gutter, you simply need to ask for a 'Butt Job'.

Which comes easier to some than others.

Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Things I can currently see from where I am sitting:

* A yellow rubber chicken, suspended from the ceiling
* Two brown curly wigs
* A sombrero
* An inflatable sheep
* Two small plastic dinosaurs engaged in what appears to be some kind of S&M practice involving chains and blindfolds

I want to work in a normal office!

Romanian firm banned from promoting 'indecent' wine: The producer of a wine called 'Pasarica' is being banned from advertising under indecency laws - 'pasarica' meaning small bird, but also Romanian slang for female genitalia.

Ministry of Agriculture spokeswoman Tita Mutica (surely also Romanian slang for something?) says, rather bafflingly:
"If the label shows a woman with one finger in her mouth and it includes also the image of a little bird, then the bottle should contain what the label shows." Er, sorry?

Lord knows what she thinks is in tins of cat food with cute little kittens on the label.

Unlike my connoisseur flatmate Greg, I'm no wine expert, so have to stick with the following rules of thumb:

Label has more than one colour of writing = It will be disgusting
Label has pretty picture of Iberian villa, and more than one colour = It will be really disgusting
Label has pretty picture of Iberian villa, and many multi-coloured flowers = Do not go near this in a million years

Trust me, it works.

Tuesday, October 09, 2001

You realise your colleagues know you far, far too well, when they buy you, as a birthday present, the Love Muscle Classics 2 CD, and one of those calendars featuring loads of semi-naked firemen (Genuine Serving Firefighters! From The UK!). And sod pretending to be above such things - it's great. I'm particularly looking forward to next January and March...

Meanwhile, other treats included the 'Wow! Let's Dance 6' video (Sing and Dance to your favourite chart hits! Words on screen for added enjoyment! Fun for children from 2 years upwards ...and their parents!) from Kirsty. Not that I intend to watch it of course - there is nothing the kids on this video can teach me that Dan and I do not already know. Except that they probably manage to get through S Club 7 without knocking a full pint of beer down themselves. Repeatedly.

Ah, if only all weekends could be like this one was. Oh, hang on, they usually are. Well, whatever - a damn good one.

Surprisingly, all went as planned - so a suitably ridiculous evening on Friday, followed by another one on Saturday, courtesy of The Fridge. Shamefully, I bottled out of the planned cowboy costume - well, I still wasn't entirely sure we were all dressing up, and I'd have lost the hat in seconds (my ability to lose things in that venue - travelcard, money, sanity, virtue - is second to none). However, Phil, Nigel, Dave and co more than made up for it, with hats, chaps, er, silver hotpants (you're a braver man than me, Dave) and lightsticks a go-go. Which renders somewhat inexplicable Rick's inability to find us, on arriving later on ("just look for the neon people in the hats and not much else.") - but good to run into a whole host of familiar faces.

It finished of course, all too soon (where does the time go in that place?), so back, en masse, to Phil's for a party of which I can remember little, although marginally more than of the last one. To this day, I still don't know whether it was actually me who was responsible for the towel rail parting company with the bathroom wall (and how that came about, if it did, I'm not even going into...)

Sunday night of course, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern (was that really Kelvin, Phil and I, dancing on stage and finding ever more inventive uses for a leather belt? Oh dear...), and onwards to DTPM at Fabric. Which I rarely get to, owing to that pesky Monday morning having-to-go-to-work thing, so a nice change to be somewhere different. Again, the memory's somewhat vague, which may be a good thing (I have no idea to whom the mystery business card belongs which I found in my jeans the next day...), but I remember there being rather a lot of downright depressingly gorgeous men, plenty of wonderfully ditzy straight girls, and the cream of London's A-list celebrities, including, ahem, Jimmy Somerville (approximately three-foot-two), and Brian-from-Big-Brother (looking absolutely hammered, leaning on wall in toilets for support). Do none of these people ever have to work on a Monday??

After all of which, a (necessarily) relaxing birthday yesterday, spent lazing around with Kelvin, having a vast pub lunch (having forgotten to eat for the previous 48 hours) and watching trash television. I'm rather liking being 28 already...

Friday, October 05, 2001

Scores on the changing-room doors from last night's visit to Southgate Swimming Pool:

Lengths achieved: 30
People in my lane: 6 (good)
Women with heavy make-up attempting not to get face wet: 2
Show-off doing 'butterfly': 1
Shouty children: 3
Annoying Fish Man (bloke who hogs middle of lane and gapes like goldfish): not present
Eye candy - lifeguards: 1
Eye candy - other: 0

More next week, stats fans!

Thursday, October 04, 2001

I have just four days left on this side of 28. Yes, like so many at this time of year, it's birthday time. I guess the proliferation of birthdays around this time relates to so many drunken New Year flings - I note with interest that mine falls precisely nine months to the day after my father's (wonder how his birthday was spent that year?). That, and the fact that there's generally sod all else to do in January.

So on Monday I'll be 28. And on Tuesday Phil er, won't, but I'm sure he remembers it fondly, if distantly ;=)

Which, of course calls for not just a party, but an entire weekend of revelry and celebration (read drunkenness and debauchery). Hurrah.

It's all spiralled slightly - what started as 'let's take Monday off and go to DTPM or somewhere after Vauxhall', has now become:

Friday: inevitably raucous dinner party chez nous at Brownlow Towers. Much wine, experimenting with drinks cabinet, Phil, Nigel, Kelvin, Greg and myself - and the star attraction, Greg's legendary fajitas. This is supposed to be a gentle warm-up to the rest of the weekend but I have my doubts. The vodka will come out. Followed by the camp straws. And the pink-elephant shaped ice-cubes. Well, not cubes obviously but y'know what i mean. Heads will be hurting on Saturday morning.

Saturday: the handily-scheduled appearance of Love Muscle, which seems as good an excuse as any for another party. I have a sneaking suspicion that in a previous drunken moment I may have agreed to Phil's suggestion of going in some kind of fancy dress. The details are blurry, but I fear I'm not going to get away with my usual vest-and-jeans gay uniform.

To be followed by a so-called 'chillout' at Phil's - which as Dame Edna has observed is in fact the Spanish for 'takesomemoredrugsdahliiing...' - so who knows where that will all end...

Sunday: but all being well, as ever, where else could I celebrate a birthday but at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, to be followed if still standing, by further clubbing at a yet-to-be-decided venue. The last time I did this I found myself stumbling out of The Orange in Vauxhall, at 8.30am on the Monday morning and on to a Victoria line packed with visibly bemused commuters. Perhaps the big red eyes and foaming-at-the-mouth wasn't a great look. Ah well.

So tonight I'm sleeping. A lot. Somehow I think I might be needing it - I'm going to feel about 48 by Monday...

Wednesday, October 03, 2001

Next year, dammit, I will get to the Folsom Street Fair, in San Francisco.

If it's half as much fun as the many nights I spent in said thoroughfare this June....

Which, judging from Dean's weekend, I should think it probably would be...

'A University degree in 7 days!' - I'm sure I'm not the only one currently being bombarded with this email, and seemingly endless variants thereof, on Hotmail.

I don't want a university degree in seven days. I've got one thank you very much. And if I wanted another one, I'd sure as hell want the four years of sleeping in late, excessive alcohol consumption, sexual and pharmaceutical experimentation, and daytime television (well ok, maybe not the last one) that goes with it.

Be off with you, pesky junk mail people, and come back when you've got a 'Free Holiday Of A Lifetime!' to sell me.

Tuesday, October 02, 2001

An extremely talented thirtysomething performer doing a top class drag act. Sharp-tongued comedy. Witty songs showcasing a truly remarkable vocal range.

Not, for once, the Dame Edna Experience, but Jeffery Roberson in The Very Worst Of Varla Jean Merman, at the rather lovely Soho Writers' Theatre in Dean Street, last night.

And very good stuff too. It's near impossible not to compare (and on that it's still safe to say Edna has no threat to her funniest-drag-act-in-existence title), but in fairness it was a different kind of show, gentler, less outrageous, more scripted, but no less impressive. The kind of show you could take your mother to - well, just about.

She'd clearly made an effort to work in local references (the horrors of finding yourself in the Kings Cross McDonald's were all too familiar...) - and along with some very funny video footage (including a quest to Japan in search of an elusive Hello Kitty toaster) and songs like 'If We Could Talk To The Genitals' and her ode to boyfriend-stealing 'Reach Out And Touch (Somebody's Man)', it was a thoroughly entertaining show. And another truly amazing voice. Only on here until this Saturday but highly recommended, should you get chance to see her elsewhere.

I feel like Time Out all of a sudden.