Saturday, September 29, 2001

I've bought a blue shirt. Three-and-a-half hours of traipsing around the West End, Covent Garden, and even the near-legendary 'Wood Green Shopping City' (not so much a 'city', more 'two pound shops and an Argos'), in search of much-needed new clothes, and the sum total of my purchases is: a blue shirt. Not even a particularly interesting or exciting blue shirt. It's a shirt. It's blue. It'll get worn to work, maybe on Tuesdays. That's it. I am, officially, the most ineffectual shopper in the world.

The sad thing is, that's one more purchase than I normally manage to return home with.

Is there some kind of course in, like, buying stuff, I can do?

..or Saturday. Better now. The mysterious magic of 'Benylin 4-Flu'. Stops any known cold in seconds. However also does strange, floaty-spacey things to your head that you'd probably pay twenty quid a go for in certain London clubs. Fortunately the closest to operating heavy machinery I get is probably this here PC...

Thursday, September 27, 2001

Minimal blogging today sorry - have suddenly acquired the most ferocious of colds from nowhere, resulting in near-continuous sneezing, thus making typing rather difficult (hey I'm a man, I'm supposed to over-dramatise every slight illness...)

Normal service resumed tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

And today's programmes on BBC Radio 1:

7.00am The Breakfast Show with a Shouting Northerner

10.00am 'Whispering' Jo Whiley Three hours of shameless fawning over another obscure indie band you haven't heard of, whose first single will go to no.63, before they are promptly dropped and disappear

1.00pm Shouting Northerners from Manchester

3.00pm Fat Shouting Northerner not from Manchester

6.00pm Dave Pearce Two hours of people who use phrases like 'havin' it large..' and 'roll another fat one...' without any discernible sense of irony

8.00pm The Evening Session with God's Celebrity Toadstools and Umbilical Artichoke in the Live Lounge

10.00pm Random interference Absolutely no-one, but no-one, is listening by now, so we don't care.

It's true, honest.

I'm really, really sorry for posting this:

'News just in: Irish troops have surrounded a department store after receiving a tip off
that Bed Linen was on the 2nd floor.'

Ah yes, that is my coat, thank you...

An email request from my colleague, friend, and partner in many a Monday-morning hangover, Mat:

I will shortly be visited upon by an old friend, a sweet Indian-goddess with whom I discovered the millenial joys of blissful Kathmandu, and must arrange some suitable accommodation for her in town, for about a week or so. Does anyone know of a nice hotel, not too expensive, in the West End, or Kensington or some such? The kind of place with pot plants and leaflets in reception. Somewhere nice?

All suggestions welcomed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

'Sound barricades itself into rolls of peanutbutter when you speak...'

Feeling down today? Tuesday blues?

Then you need the Surrealist Compliment Generator.

Keep hitting reload for increasingly nonsensical self-congratulation.

Friday, September 21, 2001

Whilst I'm on a work theme, this from our latest company newsletter:


In the recent Met Police pitch, Jon Richards was talking about branding when the client,
a Detective Super piped up and said: “But I thought branding was about always having
the logo on the bottom of an ad.” Jon explained that you don’t always have to have the
logo at the bottom. There was a pause, after which our esteemed MD looked at the
Detective Superintendent and said: “Would you like it on the bottom?”


I have just had a drink delivered to my desk by what can only be described as a half-naked HUNK! No, really.

We're a slightly unconventional company - one of the reasons I've been happily working here for three-and-a-half years. Fancy dress days are not unusual - the Bad Taste Day, the I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Summer Day (held in January involving everyone in their finest beachwear) and the Fantastic Hats Day, to name a few - all held for no reason other than to keep ourselves amused.

This morning's random event though, was a surprise stunt. At precisely 11.30, the sound of Etta James' 'I Just Want To Make Love To You' came blaring over the pager system, and in walks a bona fide, shirtless, gorgeous Diet Coke man (and curvaceous woman for the straight boys), personally distributing cans of said beverage.

Sometimes, I rather like working here...

Wednesday night. Quiz night again at the King William in Hampstead. At which Greg, Dave, Kelvin, Phil, Nigel, Jonathan and myself proved conclusively that seven heads are infinitely less use than three, by doing even worse than last week. Thus demonstrating that decisions made by committee are, invariably, rubbish.

We were too busy marvelling at Phil's transformation into an 'Athena'-style icon. A photo, taken just a few weeks ago at Brighton Pride featuring him in full sailor outfit (complete with pink rubber ring), has been transformed into a greeting card, available in shops all over Brighton.
'No wayyyy!!!!!' was the chorus on seeing said card.
'I know! That's it - I want to be on postcards, mugs, mouse mats...'
This could become a defining gay image of our times. Or something.

Greg wants to make the quiz night a regular thing but I'm not so sure. Now, I'm a tolerant person. I believe there's room for all types of people within the gay community. And if we're sometimes subject to the prejudices and discrimination of others, there's no need to inflict it on each other. There's even a place for 19-year-old skinny provincial queens with blond spiky hair and gratingly camp voices who mistakenly believe they're amusing. But it isn't with a microphone in their hand, attempting to host a quiz. Next week, in preference, I will be breaking into a nearby school in order to scrape my fingernails down the nearest blackboard for an hour or two.

Sorry, I have to bitch occasionally otherwise they take away my gay licence.

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Another gem courtesy of Popbitch. It's the Tom Jones cat game.

'This time, there will be more cats...'

Here's a tip: don't re-heat filter coffee in the microwave. It mings like a vase.

Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Oh god Bette Midler has just come on the radio. Foghorns everywhere suddenly suffer an inferiority complex. 'Flyyyyyyyy....flyyyyyy......flyyyyy awayyy...' I really must start listening to stations more appropriate to the young, streetwise, and cutting-edge person I am. Ahem.

Melissa has Power Nipples, a hall that 'smells like an old lady attic', and has been making pancakes, 'whore-team style'. And still manages to blog. That's dedication.

The other day, Dave (we are many...) was writing about journalists being big fans of people with amusing surnames, due to the memorable headlines to be had.

My own favourites came from The Guardian some time ago, when former President of Zimbabwe, Canaan Banana, was in court on 'indecency' charges. A gift to journalists everywhere, which resulted in the wonderful: 'Banana accused of sodomy' , and the downright surreal: 'Banana denies charges'. Genius.

Monday, September 17, 2001

Until a week ago, the battle we thought would be generating acres of media coverage this week, didn't involve the US at all. Yes, it's the Posh vs Kylie race for No.1, with their respective new singles, which starts today. Critically, the honours have already gone unanimously to Ms Minogue, but historically, quality is largely irrelevant in these matters. We are, after all, a country which specialises in putting incomprehensible, rotund, children's TV characters at No.1 (Mr Blobby, The Teletubbies, Westlife...), so anything is possible...

More moving moments last night. I'd been intrigued to know how The DE Experience, whose material is almost always topical, but almost never sensitive or tactful (and we wouldn't have it any other way...), would deal with the events of last week. Not the kind of things that even Edna could joke about. And during the course of a first-rate show, she didn't. At the end though, sans wig, Jonathan articulated pretty much everyone's feelings in a thoroughly heartfelt speech, and dedicated an emotional rendition of 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' to all those who lost their lives. Thoroughly moving, and among the silent crowd, I was far from the only one in, or close to, tears.

Sunday, September 16, 2001

Moulin Rouge in five words: beautiful, insane, riotous, spectacular, heartbreaking. Having been nowhere near a cinema for, unbelievably, almost two years (they don't serve beer...), last night the trip was finally made to the gloriously unchanged-since-the-1930s Muswell Hill Odeon, with Kelvin.

Visually stunning and musically by turns amusing and ingenious - those things I'd expected and wasn't disappointed - but what I wasn't prepared for was the almost overwhelming sense of sadness hanging over the whole thing. I was, frankly, a wreck by the time we came out. It wasn't as if the film itself reduced me to tears. That rarely happens, and usually at the oddest things - last time I can recall was, bizarrely, at 'Carol Vorderman's Better Homes' on ITV (well, they had done a fabulous job on her kitchen, and the poor love was overcome...) which I'm putting down to a particularly tough comedown.

Maybe it was something to do with the events of this week, maybe something to do with the ever-present threat that at some point, like Satine, and like Freddie Mercury (whose 'The Show Must Go On' comes at one of the most moving moments of the film), any of us could find out we're dying inside - it could just as easily be me or someone I love (and I guess these thoughts cross the minds of gay men more often than most..) - a thought I normally try to push to the very back corner of my mind. And I guess we've all been a bit more aware of our own mortality this week. Whatever it was, it sure as hell tapped into this grief that I didn't know was there. And I just wanted to hug and hug and hug Kelvin so much it hurt.

Afterwards, he was heading home (seeming in a much better state than I was), and I would have joined him but had this feeling that one more hug and I'd start crying, the floodgates would open and god knows what would come out. Far, far too much to land on someone one week into a relationship. Hell, I don't have emotional baggage normally, I am the King of No Hang-Ups, so what exactly is going on?

So I opted for going to Hope instead, being in major need of cheering up - just really needed to lose myself somewhere with bright lights, loud music, plenty of alcohol, good friends and Andy's trashy-but-brilliant, uplifting pop tunes. And I'm pleased to say, it did the trick - all the gang were there, and pretty soon the weird sadness had been replaced by an almost overwhelming sense of happiness (it's amazing how much better the world seems when it's brought to you by the letters e and k). Hope indeed.

On which note, it's time I stop rambling and get my butt off this chair, for the Vauxhall Tavern calls, and who am I to say no? Let the good times roll...

Friday, September 14, 2001

So, amidst so much horrific news, the most comic news this week understandably went almost unnoticed. Yes, Iain Duncan Smith is now officially Conservative Party leader, as voted for by three mad old boots and a springer spaniel somewhere in Oxfordshire. Madame Tussaud's have already consigned the head of William Hague to the storeroom (see decidedly creepy picture here), where they are presumably, well, making it look a bit older and then sticking it back. It's a victory for mad old boots everywhere...

Thursday, September 13, 2001

A reasonably entertaining diversion last night, to Quiz Night at the King William in Hampstead - which unbelievably, is still probably our nearest rainbow-flag-flying bar, at a 20-minute cab ride away across the wilds of north London (or about three hours by tube). Well, if global war is going to break out, you may as well have a pint of Kronenbourg in your hand...

Rick's idea, although he and Jonathan didn't manage to make it, but Greg, Phil and I gave it a whirl regardless. First stumbling block of course, choosing a team name - it was nearly 'Gary Glitter and the Babysitters' but we eventually plumped for 'Myra and the Childminders' (I'm not even going into the twistedness of some of the other suggestions...) Incidentally, 'plumped' - is this not the finest verb in the English language? 'I plump, you plump, je plump, tu plumps, vous plumpez...' Must use more often.

Of course, we valiantly failed to win anything at all - I think answers such as, 'Name something you see on a cross-channel ferry?' 'Asylum-seekers!', didn't help, and bizarrely we were much better at naming Brazilian football players than almost anything else. We're so butch.

But a fun night.

And so the world of weirdness continues. Yesterday was downright odd - the eerie quiet of everyone on the tube, all glued to the same horrific images. The carefully-chosen songs on the radio all day, to fit with the general mood - strictly no 'Disco Inferno', although I wasn't sure Savage Garden's 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' was a good idea either: 'I wanna stay like this forever, until the sky falls down on me..' . Hmm. The quick glances skyward every time you step outside, which you know are irrational, but somehow can't help. Trying to get on with the business of working (and boy, was there enough of that yesterday) whilst trying to ignore the thought of impending war. Rather difficult, and definitely weird.

Kelvin's been stuck at work almost constantly since Tuesday - as a news editor for an American news channel, things have been understandably somewhat busy. Someone will definitely be needing a major hug come the weekend.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

A short blog tonight, because there really aren't words for today. The World Trade Center is no more, along with unknown thousands of people. 'Tragedy' just doesn't do it justice. God, doesn't everything else seem so unbelievably trivial now?

Monday, September 10, 2001

Crap celebrity spot of the weekend: Ex-Eastender and sister-of-Julia, Nadia Sawalha , in the back of a taxi, going past Highgate Woods on Sunday afternoon. As spotted from the number 43 bus.

Friday, September 07, 2001

I think it's going to be a good weekend. Kelvin's back from New York some time late tonight (whilst I shall probably be enjoying the new unofficial gay night on TV - Ab Fab , Will & Grace, Lily Savage, what's going on here??), tomorrow brings not just Love Muscle's 9th birthday , but a whole host of other friends' too, so undoubtedly a good night. And Sunday pretty much goes without saying.

The only cloud on the horizon is my ever-worsening financial crisis. It's only the 7th of the month and already I'm doing my expenses so that I can afford to go out this weekend. This can't be good.

Drastic measures are called for. I'm almost considering the suggestion put to me a few weeks ago at the Vauxhall Tavern. Me, walking over grassy knoll. Small Chunky Ginger Person on grass:
'Do you do porn?'
'Er, sorry?'
'Do you do porn? Y'know, videos and stuff.'
'Er, no, can't say I ever have.'
'Well, you should - I was doing a video this morning, made £1000 in four hours. I could put you in touch with someone if you like..'

I declined - hell, I've met porn stars (well, one) and trust me on this, I'm not porn star material. But then, in fairness, I wouldn't have said Mr Small Chunky Ginger Person was either. Perhaps he has a hidden talent. Of particularly large proportions.

A week or so later, I ran into a friend in Fist (careful to get that the right way round there...) who, since the last time I'd seen him, had given up training for the medical profession for, well, the oldest profession. And is currently buying a flat, and considering a new car, with the not inconsiderable proceeds.

Surely there are downsides though, I ask? Some really repulsive guy that he's had to, er, entertain, some psycho who's tried to kidnap him, you know the kind of thing. But apparently not, and in fact he seems to be having a hell of a lot of fun. And, in my thoroughly intoxicated state at the time, convinces me I should really give it a go.

I'm not sure I'm cut out for it though. Not on moral grounds, you understand - I have no problem with making money from your body (hell, I've spent enough on gym memberships to get it halfway decent in the first place. And only halfway, mind you). My trouble is an overall lack of time. As a rule, Monday to Wednesday are a write-off after the weekend, and Friday to Sunday are spent out with friends, clubbing if it's nighttime, hopelessly trashed and recovering if it's daytime.

So look out for my ad in next week's QX: 'Friendly, unhurried service. All things considered. So long as it's a Thursday night. And preferably no later than 10pm, because I have a meeting tomorrow.'

I can't see it working somehow...

This came round a while ago, and appears back in my inbox this morning. And since I note that pop quizzes are somewhat popular in certain corners of blogworld, if you haven't seen this before, it's time to gorge yourself on '200 lyrics from big UK hits of the eighties' . All you need to do is work out the song and artist in each case. Personally, I'm stuck on a rather shameful 140 or so. For added nerdiness, cut and paste into an Excel chart so that you can fill in your answers. If you really have too much time on your hands, that is.

1. My job is very boring I'm an office clerk
2. First she'll take your pride; turn it on its side
3. Some way after midnight in my wildest fantasies
4. Don't say you're easy on me.
5. My head is in a spin. My feet don't touch the ground
6. I never did good things. I never did bad things
7. We are the ones that make a brighter day, so let’s not give in
8. So he told it all and, in return, he got a credit card and a Thunderbird
9. And if you say run, I'll run to you.
10. Ronnie Kray, do you know my name?
11. What do you think? Can't think at all.
12. You won't settle down, you've got both feet off the ground
13. All we wanted to do is have a good time, then they went and took our house away.
14. Imagination never lets us take the blame.
15. Don't need no credit card to ride this train
16. I've been to paradise.
17. All the world is football shaped, its just for me to kick its face
18. He’s his family's pride and joy, his mother's little golden boy
19. Where do we go from here? Is it down to the lake I fear?
20. Across the Serengeti
21. Hand in hand is the only way to land, always the right way round
22. I've got this feeling of emotion, a sudden sense of liberty
23. all I wanted was a word
24. We’re not going to live in silence, we're not going to live in fear
25. So what do you want of me, got no words of sympathy
26. I could sail a mile down the Nile
27. A pseudonym to fool him, she couldn't have made a worse move
28. The head of the herd was calling far far away
29. We could dance and party all night and drink some cherry wine (ah-ha)
30. If there's music we can use it
31. Nothing to do all day but stay in bed
32. Summer in the city when the air is chill
33. Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque
34. Look these eyes are just holograms look your love has drawn red from my hands
35. Been on the bottom line sure ain't no fun
36. You know the rules and so do I
37. Politician granny with your high ideals, have you no idea how the majority feels?
38. They asked me how I got her I said, "I saved my money"
39. You could've turned around and hit me and I wouldn't have cared
40. The room is lit red danger
41. there's danger in emotional ties
42. Because the law don't change in people's minds
43. Swatted him just like a fly
44. More than an ocean keeps us apart
45. are you somewhere feeling lonely or is someone loving you?
46. damn hypocrite smokes two packs a day
47. it brings out the animal in me
48. Tonight is the night for feeling alright
49. Lenny Bruce is not afraid
50. when we made love you used to cry
51. just one smack and I was out of whack
52. And many fantasies were learned on that day
53. Wows are few, frustration more common
54. and the judge and the jury put the blame on me
55. Le rum et mumba, embouteillages
56. Chez les Blacks chez les Sikhs chez les Jaunes
57. If so how often? Which do you choose the hard or soft option?
58. Money’s all that you can score
59. Words in pictures, words in books
60. I’m looking for someone, someone I know I can count on
61. Tongue's tired, and I'm too tired to even try. Ooh, try a little harder.
62. You're such a hot temptation
63. Let's head for home now. Everything I have is yours
64. You can have a big dipper; going up and down, around the bends.
65. And you go home and you cry and you want to die
66. Never gonna stop, give it up, such a dirty mind. I always give it up for the touch of a younger kind
67. One hundred million castaways looking for a home
68. London, New York, Paris, Munich
69. Talk about it talk about it talk about it talk about it.
70. You've got the power to know
71. And I've never been close in all of these years
72. I get up but nothing gets me down
73. Run to the sun little one
74. You know you're missing out on something and that something depends on you
75. I'll lay down my coat so you can walk over a puddle
76. Don’t drink, don't smoke, what do you do?
77. Yesterday I felt so old it made me want to cry
78. I love you more than you love me
79. She unscrews the top from an old whisky bottle
80. These are the days when you wish your bed was already made
81. I don't feel too steady on my feet
82. I want to be with you be with you night and day
83. Got to find a way, find a way to get a way
84. Those two wet gits with their girly curly hair
85. Rolling like thunder under the covers
86. Working in a factory eight days a week
87. We're gonna drink a barrel and much much more
88. Some of them want to be abused
89. How can we dance while our world is turning
90. It was 4am in the morning
91. How long, how low, how high can you go?
92. Take or leave us only please believe us
93. I've got something to tell you, I've got something to say
94. She knows I'm there, I'm always there but heaven knows
95. Blessed is the millionaire who shares your wedding day
96. It’s the house on the hill
97. Nobody knows where my Johnny has gone and Judy left the same time.
98. You took a whole lot of something from a handful of nothing
99. When you walk on by, will you call my name?
100. And love means nothing in some strange quarters
101. Throw off your mental chains
102. I want a doctor to take a picture so I can look at you from inside as well
103. I could get a train, I don't want no hamburgers, no take-aways.
104. I wonder who's watching me now - the IRS?
105. Don't you rush to get old
106. Nobody going to hold me down, I've got to keep on moving
107. You give me one good reason to leave me
108. Zippy Bungle Jeffrey Archer
109. Reared on a diet of prejudice and misinformation
110. Electricity flows like the very first kiss
111. Let me hear your body talk
112. You took a mystery and made me want it, you took a pedestal and put me on it
113. I was a superstar, I was tres populare
114. While the sun shines, stick around laugh a while
115. Daddy's gonna buy you a dream to cling to
116. She fell asleep, I stayed awake and watched the passing cars
117. Are you laughing at me now? Can I please laugh along with you?
118. Your life's a mystery, mine is an open book
119. They've got glass tables you can watch yourself while you are eating
120. A thousand lonely housewives clutching milk bottles to their hearts
121. I liked the idea but now I'm not so Keyne keen
122. I'd like to see you baby, I'd like to keynoveh
123. If you hear something late at night, some kind of trouble some kind of fight
124. The wind blows right through you it's no place for the old
125. Keep a little here just to keep you in beer
126. And his mind is a beacon in the vale of the night
127. We'll always be together, however far it seems
128. Is there life in Peckham?
129. A penny for your thoughts my dear
130. But he just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich
131. Got to have a J.O.B. if you want to be with me
132. If you don't dance then you're no friend of mine
133. Side by side on my piano keyboard
134. Before you know it you'll be on your knees
135. Now he's doing horse, it's June
136. All I know is that to me you look like you're having fun
137. Will our braces lock?
138. Is this really love or just a game?
139. Well I know 'cos I think about it every day
140. When I called you last night from Glasgow
141. I know nothing stays the same but if you're willing to play the game
142. Don't tell me that you think it's green, me I know it's red
143. We were cool on craze
144. I lost mine too on that very first night with you
145. Every time you call my name I heat up like a burning flame
146. You raise me up then you let me fall
147. Look out boy she'll chew you up
148. Learn to fly again, fly again so free
149. He broke a million hearts in mono
150. Flying in the face of fashion
151. Bless my cotton socks I'm in the news
152. Better read between the lines in case I need it when I'm older
153. In time they'll see, fate holds the key
154. Coast to coast LA to Chicago
155. He's got to have big blue eyes, be able to satisfy
156. Waving to the girls, feeling out of sight
157. Children smiling in the street are gone without a trace
158. Played it till my fingers bled
159. Blue jeans and chinos, Pepsi and Oreos
160. Wrap me in designer sheets I still can't get enough
161. When I was I boy, Mama used to say, don't stay out too late.
162. You-oo-oo, You've been gone for so long
163.Just walk away, I don't want you seeing me crying
164. I'd like to take her home, you know it's understood
165. He used to give me roses, I wish he could again
166. It's me again now how did you guess, 'cos last time you were really impressed
167. I'm flying high like a rocket in the sky
168. Look at me standing here on my own again
169.Where’s my wife and family?
170.You like to think that you're immune to the stuff
171.Cut me a heart on a tree and see
172.Strangled by the wishes of pater
173. I will surely miss your tender kiss
174. When I die and they lay me to rest I'm going to go to the place that's the best
175. Too many people take second best but I won't take anything less
176. and the butterflies in me arise slowly we make love
177. I am an ocean wave my love
178. You called me Clive...Alex is the name that I go by
179. I will decide when I go or I don't go
180. A statistical reminder of a world that doesn't care
181. The truth is harder than the pain inside
182. You're looking good today, looking good in every way
183. Hey Baby what you trying to say
184. You don't have to say you love me, you don't have to say you care
185. Daddy daddy if you could only see just how good he's been treating me
186. In my imagination there is no complication
187. Reminds me of childhood memories
188. You've got a beautiful chin you've got beautiful skin
189. Hey there you with the sad face
190. I'm going crazy just to let you know - you'll be amazed how much I love you so
191. Throughout the night, through my mind she runs
192. There's an old piano and it's playing hop
193. Too much fighting on the dance floor
194. Or in the streets of Brazil
195. None of them received a hero's welcome
196. A place where nobody dared to go the love that we came to know
197. I don't know why sometimes I get frightened
198. It's like a jungle out there, sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under
199. Woke up in the morning and my love was gone
200. Anger is an energy

Thursday, September 06, 2001

'I've been studying the periodic table, and every time the program asks me about Molybdenum, I click on Mo and shout something along the lines of "Mo' Moly, mo' Molly B. Denim." It is horrible. I horrify myself.'

Some thoroughly lovely stuff over at sunday hero. A 'blog of note', no less. Go see.

Wednesday, September 05, 2001

Yay! Blogger's back up. I feel like I've suddenly regained my right hand.

Nice work if you can get it...

I sent an email (work-related) earlier, to someone at the Department of Health. This, I kid you not, was the response:

'I will be out of the office from 09/06/2000 until 20/06/2008. If you have any urgent messages please contact Jennifer Peter 020 7725

Now that's a holiday...

Tuesday, September 04, 2001

I shouldn't be here right now. I should be in town, watching my good friend Richie's first stab at presenting for the BBC. They're filming in Kudos (well, you can't have everything I guess) - I have no idea what, but unfortunately a combination of late working and general cashflow crisis has kept me from attending.

First time I met Richie, a shock of bleached blond hair and camper than your average 4-berth from Millets, was a little over two years ago, in Gran Canaria (although, it transpired shortly after, we're virtually neighbours). Where he happened to be making a pilot of a planned documentary series about gay holidays, entitled, naturally enough, 'Wish You Were Queer?'. The resulting show was certainly TV-worthy, but for one reason or another never made it to the screen. However, I'm impressed how much he's stuck to his guns, and it looks like it's paying off at last, with a real-life, proper presenting job.

I'm impressed mostly because I'm all too aware how easy it is to give up on what you really wanted to do and just settle for a regular job, with regular money. The plan when I moved to London was to go to a theatre school of some kind, and in the spare time, pursue my singing and songwriting. I was either going to be the new John Travolta or the new George Michael. In the event of course, just the sheer time and expense involved in keeping a roof over your head in this fine capital pretty much prohibited that - and these days, waiting tables as a resting 'artiste' would never keep me in the hedonistic lifestyle I've become so willingly (and irreversibly?) accustomed to.

There were a couple of flickers early on - the record company who expressed interest in my songs, and the two weeks I spent as the fourth (and replacement) member of a rather dubious boy band (whose chief claim to fame was having once appeared on Richard and Judy) before it all went down the pan entirely. Which is not at all surprising when you hear the single.

All is not lost however - work on the new 'album' (well, ok, collection of songs recorded on the 8-track in my room) is progressing well, if slowly, and if I can just get the results out to a few publishers, who knows? You could just be looking at the new Pete Waterman. Well, ok, maybe that's pushing it.

Monday, September 03, 2001

So, back to reality - if not quite normality.

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Tavern yesterday (I can see this becoming an ongoing series..what is it about Sundays on the tube?). I got chatted up. By two girls. Well, one girl and her giggly mate.

Now, I'd like to think I managed to escape at least a few of the branches on the fall out of the Ugly Tree, but this is by no means an everyday occurrence. And while I'd like to think it isn't always necessarily instantly obvious which team I'm batting for, you ain't gotta be a genius. Maybe it's the tan.

So I pass them on the platform and I hear an 'Alright?' followed by giggling. Just my imagination. Gotta be. Until it happens again. Nah, still gotta be imagining it.

We get on at opposite of ends of the same carriage, and they walk all the way down to sit right opposite me. Can't be any older than 21, blonde, chewing gum, maybe not from Essex but certainly pushing N17.

'Can I have your number?' is her opening line. Well, it's as good as any I guess - I can't deny I've been known to be similarly direct on occasions :)
Somewhat taken aback, I just laugh, in what I hope isn't a patronising way.
'Just joking..' she says. 'So, go out last night did ya?'
'No, just got back from holiday'
'Oh, anywhere nice?'
'Barcelona..' I said. This wasn't the face of a person who's familiar with Sitges.
'Oh nice, you can take me there sometime if you like..'
More giggling.
'So have you got a girlfriend then?'
'Er, no..'
'Do you want me, then?'
More laughter.
'I dunno, good-lookin' man like you with no girlfriend, I don't know...'
The phrase 'Well, I would but I'm not sure my boyfriend would approve..' came into my mind, but I hadn't the heart to enlighten her.

There followed, however, ten minutes of that really awkward tube situation, where you know someone's staring at you but you're really trying not to make eye contact, so they don't get the wrong impression. Suddenly, you have no idea what you normally do with your eyes on the tube. And there's only so many times you can read that travel insurance ad convincingly.

Finsbury Park couldn't come soon enough.

And we're back.

And what a week. Not so much a holiday as a seven-day marathon of sunshine, wine, vodka, dancing, laughing, and sex - all in quantities which can't possibly be good for a person. Sitges, we salute you. I now desperately need another holiday to recover...

Stay tuned for the full update - I think I need to be at home for that one...