Wednesday, June 26, 2002

A fantastic weekend though. Friday night's fundraiser at the RVT was a big success which you can read about here. Drag queens with water cannons, naked straight boys doing the hula, a surprise (and reluctant) appearance from Graham Norton, and plenty of money raised.

Saturday night's party meanwhile, wasn't a charity event but all the proceeds were ploughed into the decorations and entertainment, making for one of the most spectacularly lavish events I'm ever likely to attend. Held in the listed 19th Century ballroom of the Grand Hotel in Birmingham, with 300 guests, dinner, steel band, jugglers, cabaret, disco, and no end of wonderfully extravagant costumes (we felt downright plain in our cyber-silver get-up, in comparison), it almost made Moulin Rouge look like two bits of rag and a paper hat. The kind of party Elton John would have been proud of, methinks, and a truly spectacular night.

Quite how we got from there to Nightingale's, dressed only in the last remains of our costumes (leather shorts for myself and Kelvin, decidedly skimpy gold pants for Paul and Rob) remains a mystery. Apparently, getting taxis, getting into a club (being whisked past a long queue), getting drinks and getting home when you have absolutely no money on you and are wearing only your pants, is not as impossible as you might think.

Some pics, with mucho thanks to Kelvin for doing the laborious scanning. Must. Get. A. Digital. Camera.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Curses. I wrote back last September or so how much I love my corner desk. It's a window seat and facing into the office (so free of people loitering behind me), and quite frankly, is the last thing keeping my job remotely bearable.

As of tomorrow though, an entirely unnecessary office re-shuffle (in the interests of 'fairness', apparently. Pah.) will find me plonked unceremoniously in the middle of things, with all and sundry able to see my screen. This means I will actually have to, like, work, which may drastically reduce my blog surfing and writing time even further.

Curses, I say.

Headline of the day: Danniella's boob explodes. Ouch.

Friday, June 21, 2002

Warning: rambling post with absolutely no direction coming up. It's Friday afternoon, deal with it.

So, Big Brother then. I've made no mention of it yet, on the grounds that I've really only had three words to say on the subject, which, in no particular order, are: 'Lee', 'arms' and 'woof!' (I'm with Chig on this one...)

But tonight's Spencer/Alex eviction could actually be very interesting. I'm for Alex staying in, if only because watching him skip girlishly around the house in flip-flops has been easily the most amusing thing so far.

Like the other big event of the day though, I shall miss it altogether, although not for a dull client meeting this time. The King's Cross Steelers, London's gay rugby team, are shortly off to San Francisco to play in the Bingham Cup, held in honour of rugby player Mark Bingham and his heroic efforts aboard United Flight 93 on September 11th. Tonight's a fund-raising event and send-off party held at some little place called the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, and knowing at least some of them, should be quite a party.

Meanwhile, belated reports from last weekend. In the unlikely event that anyone comes here looking for clubbing tips in London (and not, say, things such as the aforementioned search request) then I highly recommend Action. We rolled along to their second outing last Saturday and were most impressed. Great venue - I'm not sure what The Mayfair Works used to be, but it would have made a great school assembly hall, warehouse, or hangar for a small-ish aircraft with not very big wings. Much better than that sounds though, big, big dancefloor, plenty of bars, nice upstairs chill-out area, even an outdoor area for when it all got a bit too much. Very nice indeed, good music, and although we'd had fears of it being full of the sort of people who wear sunglasses indoors (you know the sort I mean), a very friendly crowd. Big thumbs-up all round.

So there you have it: Big Brother, Gay Rugby, Action. Actually I think I like that better without the commas...

Search request in my referrer logs, reproduced without comment:


So it's 9am this morning. 30 million people across the UK, and countless more across the world are gathered in homes, pubs and offices, glued to their TVs. The build-up has been inescapable, the excitement overwhelming - it's THE match everyone wants to see, and everyone is watching. The first game in four years I actually want to see (since England's last match of the previous World Cup, which for some reason I found myself watching in a certain London gay sauna. Don't ask...)

And where am I? On a sodding tube to sodding Paddington for a sodding 9.30 meeting with a two-bit pointless client (who finds the suggestion of postponing said meeting 'ridiculous') to discuss some rubbish campaign that will probably never happen, thus rendering the whole thing a complete and utter fucking waste of time. Grrr.

Still, that was that I guess. Strange how the same England flags that looked so jublilant and patriotic hanging everywhere a few hours ago now just look rather sad and forlorn.

That's the football then. Next on Live in London: girls, cars, beer and shagging.

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Yay! New Framley Examiner pages. Ridiculously funny.

That's my day sorted, then.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

A new mum loves Ikea furniture so much she has named her new-born daughter after it.

"I remember thinking it was nice furniture and would make a nice name for the baby.", said mum-of-four Linda, 26.

Ikea will be a lovely sister for twins Homebase and Do-It-All, 2, and brother Carpet Warehouse, 3.

Okay, so I made the last bit up.

What would you sell your soul for? Apparently you can get £11.61 for it on ebay.

Me, I'd settle for some more sleep right now...

Friday, June 14, 2002

Camp cabaret news now, and American drag artiste Varla Jean Merman makes a welcome return to the Soho Theatre in her one-woman show. As they might say on 'London Tonight'.

Saw her last time around, but this review is spot on and probably tells you more than mine did. Good fun if you like that sorta thing.

Ah, weekend. Just about in sight, at last. There is a law that states that your first week back at work after a holiday will seem only marginally shorter than the average Ice Age - and this week's certainly been no exception.

Things I'm looking forward to this weekend: more Yard-based drunkenness this evening, the joys of Camden Market tomorrow, a barbecue at Jonathan's, possibly giving new club Action a whirl tomorrow night, and finally, on Sunday (after four whole weeks off - the withdrawal symptoms have not been pretty) - Return To The RVT! Hurrah.

Meanwhile, should you be in need of somewhere to overindulge this weekend, why not try the automatic Pub Crawl Generator? There's no quality control so who knows where you might end up.

Which could, of course, be half the fun.

I'm being pursued by Mick Hucknall.

Well, not in person, but Simply Red's 'Stars' has been following me everywhere I go today. On the radio this morning, in a shop at lunchtime, and on yet another radio station now. There's no escape.
'And I-I-I-I wanna fall from the stars...'

Oh if only, Mick, if only.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

I wondered why there was a group of about 30 excitable fans congregated yesterday outside the Chancery Court Hotel, close to my office in Holborn. Mostly too old to be screaming boyband fans, but simply not enough of them to have been anyone mega-famous.
'Michael! Michael!' they shouted (surely Michael Owen's in Japan? I thought. Apparently there's some football thing on.)

But thanks to Popbitch I now know - we have a certain M. Jackson in residence. Anyone want an autograph? (trust me, there's not much of a queue...)

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

You know you're getting old when...
A newsletter arrives from with their Top 40 gift suggestions for Father's Day, which falls on Sunday here in the UK. You're not sure what your dad would like, but there are things on it you'd like yourself. Lots of them.

When did I suddenly get middle-aged?! Hmph.

[trundles off in pipe and slippers in search of mislaid golfing magazine]

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Two weeks ago it was Official Stress Week, judging from the number of sites (mine included) expressing some form of desperation and despair over workloads and that sorta thing. Just what was going on there?

This week, I'm declaring National Costume Dilemma Week. David's already having one; and here's mine.

I'm going to a sort of charity ball thing in Birmingham next weekend, partly organised by some of our more flamboyant friends. The costume theme (as opposed to the event) is 'Mardi Gras' - which is pretty broad, although one thing's for certain: knowing at least some of the (mixed, but predominantly gay) crowd, there's no danger of being too risque nor over-the-top. Quite literally anything will go, I imagine.

I'm strangely drawn towards some kind of gladiator outfit (as in the Russell Crowe movie, not the lycra-clad ITV gameshow, that is), but suspect this is purely because I quite fancy the idea and not because it has anything to do with the theme, which admittedly, it doesn't. And I already have the arm-bands.

So I'm thinking Mardi Gras and everything I see seems to involve silver hotpants, wings, feathers, or indeed all three. More imagination is needed, I feel. So, any suggestions?

Oh, and feel free to contribute your own dilemmas - even if it's just what to wear to work tomorrow. We'll all help.

I've been most remiss. Some of you lovely people have been signing my guestbook, and I've not even got around to thanking you for your kind words. So, belatedly, thank you. I love you all. Repeatedly. And with props/whipped cream/leather implements if required. The choice is yours.

And since we're doing the lurve thang: big hellos and linky-love to more lovely people who've pointed their pointery things in this general direction. Always appreciated (and apologies if I've missed anyone).

Not forgetting those of you who drop back here every so often to read this nonsense. You're lovely too.

Whew. Think I need a cigarette now. Was it good for you?

Monday, June 10, 2002

Speaking of chat groups, whilst checking the BBC website to see if there's any hope of sunshine for the weekend - and thus a bit of Highgate Ponds sunbathing-type action (there is - yay!) I couldn't help noticing they have a 'Weather Chat' room. Weather Chat?

This being Britain, I can only imagine every conversation starts something like:

dullbore272: Dreadful weather we're having for the time of year aren't we?
olddearinstockport: Ooh, I know. I thought it was going to be nice today or I'd never have gone out without my cardigan
dullbore272: They say there might be more showers tomorrow, too. *Sigh*
olddearinstockport: It's a woollen cardigan, you know. One of those nice ones from M&S.

Or thereabouts.

I've got a new PC. At work, at least. Finally the steam-powered monstrosity I've been struggling with for the past four years is consigned to the IT department bin and I have a sleek(ish), fully functioning mean machine. But four years' worth of settings, shortcuts, colour preferences and who knows what else have all of course disappeared. It's strangely disconcerting. And it's a PC belonging to someone who was recently made redundant. I feel like I'm walking around a dead man's house, looking in cupboards at things that aren't mine and wondering why they chose those curtains.

In other news, the MD and Chairman are having a company-wide email debate as to whether the guy in the sandwich shop downstairs is wearing eyeliner, and Mat has kindly changed my log-in password to 'Spunkboy'; this is revenge for my signing him up to 'Gay Bald Toupee Wearers', '19th Century Facial Hair', 'Piggers' (for people who love pigs, and boy, do they ever...) and other bizarre chat groups who now drop him many an email.

Just another day.

Back, back, back. And brown, goddammit, brown. Well, actually a rather Judith Chalmers shade of orange at the moment but if the gods of self-inflicted skin damage are smiling, very soon, brown.

Ibiza was lovely. Speaking as someone whose impressions of the island were previously based on mixed reports from friends, travel brochures, and shelves in music stores full of 'The Best Ibiza Club Anthems Ever!! Apart From All The Ones That Were On The Previous 19 Volumes', I hadn't been sure whether to expect a peaceful, idyllic paradise, or a frenzy of drug-fuelled hedonism in an aircraft hangar. Or indeed, both.

In the event though our week leaned, perhaps surprisingly, towards the former. We stayed around fifteen minutes' walk from Ibiza Town itself, in Figueretas, a small, beachside resort which is home to a handful of bars, restaurants, and most of the accommodation available through the gay holiday companies. Ours, the Sud Studios was probably the only disappointment of the holiday. We knew it wasn't going to be luxurious - it didn't need to be - but a sofa where the bit of wood serving as a makeshift support didn't snap the moment you sat down, beds that didn't collapse the moment you attempted anything more than a cuddle, and bathrooms that had been refurbished at some point since the 1930s might have been nice. Oh, and some, like, cleaning or something. Still, it was very reasonable, the location was great, and above all the views from the balconies were stunning, being right on the seafront - beaches to the right and left, plenty of palm trees, a gorgeous waterfront restaurant below where the waves practically lap at the legs of the tables, and the most incredible turquoise water stretching right out towards the smaller island of Formentera.

Apart from a couple of cloudy mornings and a couple of showers, we got lucky with the sunshine, so the days consisted mainly of lounging - on Figueretas beach, on the smaller gay beach nearby (something of a scramble down a cliff path to get there but well worth the effort - not least because the difficult access keeps it free of Families With Children That Scream), and by the Hotel Cenit's gorgeous rooftop pool, with its sociable atmosphere, a poolside bar, and being atop a hill, the most stunning views across the bay. If it weren't for that pesky, y'know, flight thing, I'd still be lying there now.

For the evenings it was into Ibiza Town, which consists principally of the Port area (lots of narrow, winding, whitewashed streets sprinkled with boutiques and bars) and towering over it, the Old Town (D'Alt Vila), an ancient fortress city accessed only by a handful of arches, with cobbled streets and history and character oozing out of every well-preserved stone. It looks stunning when the giant outer walls are lit up by night, too.
'Wow! It's just so...drama!' gushed someone who couldn't possibly have been me.

Restaurants - good, loads of them, many in exceptionally picturesque settings; Shops - lots of them, mostly tiny, bit limited but who cares? And then there's the nightlife.

Much of the rowdy, lagered-up, Club 18-30 hell you see on the likes of 'Ibiza Uncovered' is confined to San Antonio on the north coast, and the big-name clubs are out of town too, so by night it's largely locals, non-clubbing tourists, and the gay crowd filling up the bars. Ibiza's season doesn't really get going until mid-late June, and last week was apparently relatively quiet, but still lively enough - a clutch of bars on Calle de la Virgen blends more or less into one as everyone stands out in the street, and from there it's usually up to Angelo's, a plush terrace bar against the imposing backdrop of the D'Alt Vila wall.

Of the mega-clubs, most have yet to get going for the season. Space's opening party was already in full swing when our plane touched down (we, however were in a post-Purple daze, and in no state to contemplate anything stronger than one or two beers), while Amnesia was due to open Saturday night but postponed a week due to the relatively low numbers on the island. Still, with tales of three-hour entrance queues, £30+ admission, £7 water bottles and over-zealous security staff abounding, it's something I wasn't overly bothered about missing: at least it'll be something new to experience next time.

So, as a result, we saw rather a lot of Anfora, Ibiza's only gay club, tucked high up in the Old Town and home to a sunken dancefloor in a cave, impromptu drag shows, theme nights (Thursday's 70s/80s night is worryingly popular), an aviary and oh, all manner of other things. And certainly an eclectic crowd - as with many Spanish resorts a large German contingent (cruel tongues suggested they may have thought it was 80s night every night, to judge from the Bonnie-Tyler-backing-dancer look), Brits, French, Americans, Dutch men who'd left their wives on the other side of the island for a night of fun (which they duly found, mentioning no names...), amongst others.

And that was pretty much it - lots of sun, lots of relaxing - hey, even lots of sleep. That never happens on a holiday. Being too lazy to haul our asses any further than Ibiza Town means there's loads of the island, the vast majority in fact, that I haven't seen - and on the basis of what we did see, I'm sure it'll be beautiful. But plenty of time for that on future trips, I think. I can see there being many.

Next stop, the now annual return to the happiest homo hotspot of them all, Sitges, in late August. Two months and two weeks away. Not that I'm counting.