Crawling through technology, life and love
Pool Paradise - GC on Wii
Podcasts - Chris Moyles, Mark Kermode and Stephen Fry
Bits and Bobs:
Gerry's Lyrics Pop Quiz
Sites I like:
Top 40 Singles
Some blogs I enjoy:
Books recently read:
Time Out Guide to Havana (and Cuba)
And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks - William S Burroughs and Jack Kerouac
At My Mother's Knee ... and Other Low Joints: The Autobiography - Paul O'Grady
Star Maker - Olaf Stapledon
My Booky Wook - Russell Brand
When You Are Engulfed in Flames - David Sedaris
Then We Come To The End - Joshua Ferris
A Spot of Bother - Mark Haddon
The End of Mr. Y - Scarlett Thomas
I Never Knew That About London - Christopher Winn
The Arsenal Miscellany - Adam Gold
Young Hearts Run Free: The Real Story of the 1970s - Dave Haslam
Magical Thinking - Augusten Burroughs
Veronika Decides To Die - Paulo Coelho
Time Out Guide - Amsterdam
Lillian's Story - Kate Grenville
The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
Schott's Original Miscellany - Ben Schott
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J K Rowling
A Gay History Of Britain - Matt Cook
Time Out Guide to Madrid
Time Out Guide to New York
Kingdom Come - J. G. Ballard
The Hours - Michael Cunningham
Mutants - Aramand Marie Leroi
A Young Man's Passage - Julian Clary
Growing Pains - Billie Piper
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Wild Swans - Jung Chang
Highbury: The Story of Arsenal N.5 - Jon Spurling
Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins - Rupert Everett
Affinity - Sarah Waters
Lighthousekeeping - Jeanette Winterson
Tipping The Velvet - Sarah Waters
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Of Human Bondage - W Somerset Maugham
Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
Lucky Man - Michael J Fox
Labyrinth - Kate Mosse
Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
The Night Watch - Sarah Waters
The Pedant's Revolt - Andrea Barham
The Republic Of Trees - Sam Taylor
Written On tbe Body - Jeanette Winterson
Untold Stories - Alan Bennett
The Plot Against America - Philip Roth
Read All About It - Max Clifford
The Folding Star - Alan Hollinghurst
Thursbitch - Alan Garner
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim - David Sedaris
Staying Alive - Matt Beaumont
The Bookseller Of Kabul - Asne Seierstad
Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince - J K Rowling
A Short History Of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
Count Karlstein - Philip Pullman
The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Spell - Alan Hollinghurst
The Double Life Of Daniel Glick - Maurice Caldera
The Smoking Diaries - Simon Gray
Straight- Boy George
Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
Deception Point - Dan Brown
The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
Sydney - Time Out Guide
Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
Eleanor Rigby - Douglas Coupland
The Scarecrow and His Servant - Philip Pullman
Tha Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
Planet Simpson - Chris Turner
The Line Of Beauty - Alan Hollinghurst
Barcelona - Time Out Guide
The Closed Circle - Jonathan Coe
The Clerkenwell Tales - Peter Ackroyd
Copenhagen - TimeOut Guide
The Butterfly Tattoo - Philip Pullman
The Broken Bridge - Philip Pullman
In Search of the Pleasure Palace - Marc Almond
Brick Lane - Monica Ali
Vernon God Little - DBC Pierre
Last Exit To Brooklyn - Hubert Selby Jr
You Shall Know Our Velocity - Dave Eggers
Touching The Void - Joe Simpson
Life Of Pi - Yann Martel
Istanbul - Time Out Guide
Millennium People - J G Ballard
The Duchess Who Wouldn't Sit Down - Jesse Browner
Hey Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland
Eats, Shoots and Leaves - Lynne Truss
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami
Our Man In Havana - Graham Greene
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
Lyra's Oxford - Philip Pullman
Doran - Will Self
Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
the book, the film, the t-shirt - matt beaumont
High Society - Ben Elton
Man And Wife - Tony Parsons
I Was A Rat - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix - J R Rowling
Great Apes - Will Self
Barrel Fever - David Sedaris
Round Ireland With A Fridge - Tony Hawkes
Close Range - Annie Proux
The Third Way - Anthony Giddens
dot.con - John Cassidy
The Salmon of Doubt - Douglas Adams
One Hit Wonderland - Tony Hawkes
The Thief Lord - Cornelia Funke
The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen
The Cloud Sketcher - Richard Rayner
Keane: the Autobiography - Roy Keane
A Wasteland of Strangers - Bill Pronzini
The English - Jeremy Paxman
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People - Toby Young
Dead Famous - Ben Elton
The Amber Spyglass - Phillip Pullman (again)
The Subtle Knife - Phillip Pullman (again)
Northern Lights - Phillip Pullman (again)
The Bear and The Dragon - Tom Clancy
101 Reykjavik - Hallgrimur Helgason
Forward The Foundation - Isaac Asimov
Carter Beats The Devil - Glen David Gold
The Tin Princess - Philip Pullman
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Tiger In The Well - Philip Pullman
The Rotters Club - Jonathan Coe
Generation X - Douglas Copeland
Perfume - Patrick Suskind
All Families Are Psychotic - Douglas Coupland
The Shadow In The North - Phillip Pullman
No Logon - Naomi Klein
The Dirt - Motley Crue
Miss Wyoming - Douglas Coupland
The Amber Spyglass - Phillip Pullman
The Subtle Knife - Phillip Pullman
Northern Lights - Phillip Pullman
The Ruby in the Smoke - Phillip Pullman
The Sandman - Miles Gibson
Blood and Gold: The Vampire Marius - Anne Rice
The Actrocity Exhibition - J G Ballard
Shameless - Paul Burston
Sing Out! - Boze Hadleigh
Brilliant Orange - David Winner
New Boy - William Sutcliffe
London - Peter Ackroyd
Wonder Boys - Michael Chabon
One For My Baby - Tony Parsons
How To Be Good - Nick Hornby
White Teeth - Zadie Smith
Lust - Geoff Ryman
Tulip Fever - Deborah Moggach
Dead Souls - Ian Rankin
The House Of Sleep - Jonathan Coe
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Dave Eggers
What a carve up! - Jonathan Coe
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
The Grapes Of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Heartwood - James Lee Burke
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
Man and Boy - Tony Parsons
The Map Of Love - Ahdaf Soueif
e - Matt Beaumont
The e Before Christmas - Matt Beaumont
Friday, April 30, 2004
Too much information...
Him: I've never done this before, but may I have your phone number?
Me: Sure. (I start to write). That's my home phone... mobile phone... work phone... direct line... home e-mail... work e-mail... other home e-mail... hotmail... gmail... other home number... home web site... personal web site... home address... work address... ... ... ... ... ... and if *that* fax machine is out of paper, try the one down the hall, but leave me a voicemail if you do. (I look up) Oh. Where did he go?
Paramount Comedy Shorts 2004...
Paramount Comedy Shorts 2004 showcases completed comedy short films of up to thirty minutes. It started as a nationwide competition which saw the 107 odd entries whittled down to just the final four. And the wonderful Guy gave Marky and I a couple of free passes to see the screening of these final four films at the Curzon Soho last night and to see the final announcement. The winning film was How To Tell When A Relationship Is Over - a hilarious series of 15 vignettes of two people spilltting up. A theatrical release will follow. So congrats to them.
There was very, very cute ginger-haired man at the bar. We got free drinks. These two facts are only loosely related.
The short list was:
HOW TO TELL WHEN A RELATIONSHIP IS OVER.
Director: Tony Roche
Producer: Jim Spencer
The story of a couple splitting up fifteen different ways.
Director: Peter Lydon
Producer: Steve Ackhurst
Why is Sara not talking to Bill? Why doesn't Bill stop talking to Sara? What could have happened at the dinner party the night before? Is Lucy at the bottom of it? Maybe it's something to do with Eddie? Surely Beth's in the clear? Oh, and did someone hit Bill? It looks like somebody hit him. Whatever happened, Sara's not telling.
A FEVER IN THE BLOOD
Director: Andrew Pulver
Producer: Fiona Caldwell
Based on a short story by Ethan Coen, A Fever In The Blood is the tale of a private eye who loses his hearing after his ear is bitten off in a fight. He tries to set up as a 'hearing impaired' private detective, but retribution catches up with him in the end.
Director: Phil Traill
Producer: Tini Howarth
A man finds a rope hanging from the sky
Thursday, April 29, 2004
After much planning, many phone calls, e-mails and texts the lovely Roberto managed to pull off a surprise 40th birthday party for David in a little bar in Stockwell called The Far Side Bar last night. He'd done a really good job keeping it quiet from David and had even gone to the trouble of getting a cake. Although the word cake barely did it justice. It was a wonderful, creamy gateau. The whole gang was there to shower David with gifts and attention including David, Jason, Matthew, Richard, Andy, Kevin, Darren, Rachel, Chris, Michael, Guy, Pano, Johnny, Marcus, Luca and I. The only person missing was David's best friend, Ian, who sadly had to work. I think David enjoyed himself though. He didn't stop smiling from the moment he arrived so that should have been some sort of clue, I guess! Welcome to middle-age, David!
Goldfrapp at Popstarz...
This Friday night I'm going to see Alison Goldfrapp doing a "short appearance" at Popstarz i.e. a PA of a couple of songs. She's promoting the re-release of Strict Machine - out on the 10th May - that's been "re-worked into a white lightning glam monster". Fab.
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
They Say Life Begins At...
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday, dear David
Happy Birthday to you
Camden Too Gay ...
The UK Independence Partys London Mayoral candidate has said he will not campaign in Camden Town because there are too many gays. Frank Maloney made the joke comment after the official launch of his election campaign, adding that he was anti gay pride parades.
I dont have a problem with a lot of parades in London, but there is a problem with gay parades, the Hamsptead & Highgate Express quote him as saying.
I object to seeing policemen in uniform holding hands in public its not a family way of life and we should support the family more. If a policeman and a policewoman in uniform were walking along holding hands in public theyd be pulled up, he added.
Im not homophobic but in public lets live a proper moral life. I think thats important.
You won't be getting my vote then.
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Trade Events @ Turnmills on Hold...
The Trade Collective have been working very closely with fellow club promoters, owners, press campaigns and local police to formulate ways of
stopping the growing menace of GHB. Some venues have had some success in attempts to try and stop this becoming a problem, but for others the problem is growing. We at Trade are more than happy for any venue, holding our events, to implement any procedures required to stop GHB. With strict searching policies and other precautions, we have had limited GHB problems with Trade Events @ Egg or Trade Tours.
However it is with the deepest regret that we have to inform you that Turnmills have decided to but on hold future events at their venue, as the last Easter party led to a number of GHB overdoses. Obviously we are deeply saddened at Turnmills decision, but we respect their decision with this growing menace.
The proliferation of GHB, in recent times, is a growing menace to the clubbing scene as a whole. A few individuals are in danger of ruining some
of the best clubs in the world, for the majority of sensible clubbers. When will these individuals wake up to the damage they are doing to your clubbing scene!
Trade @ Turnmills is just the first victim of the stupidity of a few.
The Trade Collective will continue to actively work with interested parties in supplying quality clubbing in a safe environment, free from GHB, for the majority of sensible clubber.
DON'T LET GHB RUIN YOUR CLUBS
We are working on future Trade events at the moment, so keep an eye on our website and press for details.
The Trade Collective
Jerry Springer opera set for Broadway...
Award-winning West End musical Jerry Springer - The Opera is set to open on Broadway in October 2005. I hope New York is ready for it!
Jerry Springer - The Opera is set for Broadway...
Award-winning West End musical Jerry Springer - The Opera is set to open on Broadway in October 2005. I hope New York is ready for it!
Monday, April 26, 2004
What a great weekend it was. The sun shone, Arsenal won the league, Kiki and Herb on Friday night were on fire and Saturday afternoon/evening drinking in Soho with all the gang was great fun too. So it's down in the diary as "a great weekend".
Friday, April 23, 2004
Friday's Four Word Album Review...
George Michael - Patience : long fantastic polished grower (rereading that, maybe I should have put commas between those words!)
Prince - Musicology : return to form? maybe
Agnetha Faltskog - My Colouring Book : gay icon does karaoke
Bonnie Tyler - The Best Of The Best : sing-a-long stuff for oldies (how did *that* get in here?!)
Human League - Dare (21st Birthday Edition includes Love and Dancing) : still oustanding remix bonuses
Happy St George's Day...
I love this picture. St Spice. What a bloater!
Thursday, April 22, 2004
Istanbul: The Pictures...
Below are a few pictures from my trip to Istanbul. If you want to see bigger versions or indeed the whole set then click here or on any of the pictures below to see a full slideshow. If you run the slideshow you can just 'preview' or 'filmstrip' also.
Big Ron Gone...
Ron Atkinson has (quite rightly) resigned over his "off-air" comments on Tuesday night.
Calling Marcel Desailly 'lazy', as he did, was fair comment. In his opinion Desailly was lazy in the way he played football on Tuesday night. But Atkinson couldn't let it lie. He called him, "a lazy, f-word n-word".
Ok, words aren't necessarily racist in themselves of course. It is the intention behind them. The meaning. But I think Atkinson's meaning was pretty damn clear here. It was racism, pure and simple. Bye, Ron. Don't call us...
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
All regular Blogger users have been given the chance to create accounts on Google's new 1Gb Gmail system early - part of their beta program I think. I thought I'd at least sign up - even if I don't use it much at first: privacy concerns etc. I was somewhat surprised that there are lots of good e-mail addresses still up for grabs - but I took one that I thought would be easy to remember (the FirstName.LastName variety) rather than wacky one. Hey, you can send me a test message to my new account if you like (see new gmail link on left column).
For those interested, this is the message that you get when you join.
First off, welcome. And thanks for agreeing to help us test Gmail. By now you probably know the key ways in which Gmail differs from traditional webmail services. Searching instead of filing. A free gigabyte of storage. Messages displayed in context as conversations.
So what else is new?
Gmail has many other special features that will become apparent as you use your account. Youll find answers to most of your questions in our searchable help section, which includes a Getting Started guide. You'll find information there on such topics as:
How to use address auto-complete
Setting up filters for incoming mail
Using advanced search options
You may also have noticed some text ads or related links to the right of this message. They're placed there in the same way that ads are placed alongside Google search results and, through our AdSense program, on content pages across the web. The matching of ads to content in your Gmail messages is performed entirely by computers; never by people. Because the ads and links are matched to information that is of interest to you, we hope you'll find them relevant and useful.
You're one of the very first people to use Gmail. Your input will help determine how it evolves, so we encourage you to send your feedback, suggestions and questions to us. But mostly, we hope you'll enjoy experimenting with Google's approach to email.
The Gmail Team
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Marc Took My Soul In Istanbul...
The Marc Almond concert last Thursday in Istanbul was amazing. Second only to the first Union Chapel gig. Yes, that good. It was held at the Roxy: an intimate subterranean venue just off Taksim Square with a bar down one side. Andrea, Claudia, Hanko and I arrived early and took up our places right at the front by the stage. Soon we were joined by Kevin from Brighton who I'd not met before. Boy, did he have some stories to tell! Tel Aviv's very own Shira made it just in time too. The super-groupies had arrived. And suddenly he was there; 11pm on the nose. Just a few inches away from us. The first few chords of She Took My Soul In Istanbul and the crowd went wild. Marc was indeed giving us a full show: full theatrics; full vocals; full band - Neal X on guitar, John (?) on keyboards and the fabulous Venomettes once again on strings; full 1 hour 35 minutes on stage and a set packed full of extended versions of rarely performed pieces was well as crowd pleasing classics. And what a blinding set list it was:
01. She Took My Soul In Istanbul
02. Tears Run Rings
03. Under Your Wings
04. My Hand Over My Heart
05. These My Dreams Are Yours
06. A Lover Spurned
07. Black Kiss
08. Bitter Sweet
09. Desperate Hours
11. Black Heart
12. Mother Fist
13. Something's Gotta Hold Of My Heart
14. Ruby Red
17. Gone But Not Forgotten
19. Say Hello Wave Goodbye
20. Tainted Love
[Thanko Hanko for helping with this]
We were all numb with pleasure afterwards and stayed dancing in the club chatting about how great it was.
Eventually we left (you can pick up the story elsewhere)
(Click to display bigger versions)
Hanko and I had fun later (when very, very drunk I may add) making up our own Marc Almond Kebab Set List:
01. She Took My Kebab In Istanbul
02. Kebabs Run Rings
03. Under Your Kebabs
04. My Hand Over My Kebab
05. These My Kebabs Are Yours
06. A Kebab Spurned
07. Black Kebab
08. Bitter Kebab
09. Desperate Kebabs
10. Sheherezaded Kebab
11. Kebab Heart
12. Mother Kebab
13. Something's Gotta Hold Of My Kebab
14. Ruby Kebab
15. Tormented Kebab
16. Torched Kebab
17. Gone But Not Kebabed
19. Say Hello Wave Your Kebab
20. Tainted Kebab
Monday, April 19, 2004
She Took My Soul, Heart & Voice In Istanbul...
Wednesday 14th April
Strange, strange day. But strange is good, right? We like strange. We do. The flight over was fine - for me at any rate: smooth take-off and landing and copious Bloody Marys to even out the bumpy bits. Once I'd worked out I needed to buy a visa, immigration was straightforward enough so before long I was racing to Istanbul proper in a beaten up taxi - complete with broken windscreen and a driver called Saul who kept asking me if I was married (I found out why days later). Luckily he became distracted - it started to snow. Heavily. By the time we arrived in Taksim Square it was a full blown hail storm. The Taksim Square Hotel was fine. But only just 'fine'. The room was too hot and with no view of the city - I guess that's what comes from booking on the interwebnet, I suppose. Minutes later I was having coffee with my German friend Hanko in the coffee house next to the hotel. We consulted The Time Out guide and went in search of what we believed to be the nearest gay café - Sugar Bar Café. For the next 2 hours we walked aimlessly up and down Istiklal Caddesi fruitless looking for fruits. We eventually gave up and headed for the Aga Hamam. Hamams are an ancient kind of sauna cum steam room once very popular in Turkey. They consist of rooms of hot marble slabs, heated rooms (dry and wet) and copious numbers of marble washing bowls. As is traditional both Hanko opted for a full body exfoliating massage - choosing the less sadistic of the two masseurs on hand. It was a stimulating experience. And painful. Later on Hanko and I met up again and aftre a few drinks went to Neo - a rather tacky club. We didn't stay long. While wandering back from there we hit upon an Internet café with two guys so obviously using Gaydar. Strange. Hah! I wandered about a bit more. Had a kebab and went to bed.
Thursday 15th April
What a(nother) strange day! It started off very wet. Rain and more rain. After another Sugar Bar Café hunt proving a no-go, Hanko and I headed off to go sight-seeing. Two Greek girls tagged along for a while too. We seemed to be attracting people - a theme that was to continue throughtout my stay. We got the funicular down the hill and walked across the old Galata (Atatürk) bridge over the Bosphorus to Sultanahmet. There we mounted the, er, mount and paid a respectful visit to the Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque. Beautiful. Simply beautiful. We inadvertently picked up an inpromptu toothless tour guide on the way who we didn't have the heart to shake. 20 million Lira seemed to keep him happy though. Next we descended into the cavernous Basilica Cistern - a vast ancient underground man-made water tank supported by a forest of 336 pillars. Breathtaking. After all this culture we decided that a bit of self-indulgence was in order so went to another hamam, the Çukurcuma Haman. Not quite as nice as the Aga but certainly busier. I left Hanko to his own devices while I left to meet Onur, a Turkish guy I'd been chatting to before I left for Istanbul. Onur is a super nice guy and we had a lot of fun hanging out together. He showed me round the Taksim area pointing out the best places to eat and drink. Invaluable advice. We all then met up with Andrea and Claudia - two fellow Marc Almond super euro-groupies - for more coffee. By that point Hanko, of course, had a guy in tow and Onur was drafted in as interpreter - poor guy. We also took up Onur's excellent suggestion of eating at the 5th Floor Restaurant. Great food, great view. Then it was time for the gig...
(I'll write about the Marc Almond gig separately tomorrow)
...Hanko and I walked Shira home and then popped into a night club called 2C for a night cap. The way you do. It was OK. But pretty empty and a bit techno for me. We got semi-accosted on the way home by a guy who called himself Albert. Good sense prevailed though and we soon ditched him. We retired to my hotel and stayed up late talking super-groupy nonsense.
Friday 16th April
Another excellent suggestion by Onur found Hano and I at Gloria Jean's for breakfast. We sat in armchairs in the sunshine. Lovely. Over in Sultanahmet we met with Andrea and Claudia again to cruise around the Grand Bazaar - a labyrinthine world of earthly delights. Hanko and I then visited the Süleymaniye Mosque to commute our shopping fever to a more holy calling. Later on I got to see Onur once again before going out with Hanko, Andrea and Claudia for meze and kebabs - how oh so Turkish of us, huh? Onur swung by later with his handsome friend Sinan to take me out clubbing. We danced, we drank, we had fun; I was in bed by 2am though. Did I mention they are both just 23 years old? How can an old guy like me keep up?
Saturday 17th April
I met my German friends at Gloria Jean's once again before mounting the 63 metre high Galata Tower. A breath-taking panorama of the city almost made me forget my vertigo. Almost. Claudia and I then recreated a classic Time Out photo on the Kamondo Steps before we set off back across the Golden Horn one last time to visit one of the (unofficial) 7th wonders of the world - the Kucuk Haghia Sophia Mosque. Quite incredible. Later on Onur's friend, Sinan, and I had a spot of dinner before I turned in early. I was dead beat. What was on TV? Turk Idol! Blimey!
Sunday 18th April
I was up at the crack of noon to do a spot of souvenir shopping in Istiklal Caddesi in the lovely Turkish sunshine. I then took the ride of my life - or should I say near-death - with a ride to the airport. Let's just say the driver wanted more than just the taxi fare... I refused. Due to my refusal he put his foot down on the accelerator. Big time. We might have been killed. But at least I'd have been buried with my dignity intact. As my Turkish friend put it later, "Ahahaha.. Welcome to bisexual Turkey. They don't like being rejected, that's why I never speak with driver in the taxi!"
The flight home was tame by comparison.
What a fantastic trip. I'd definitely go back.
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
It was a weırd trıp here - and a weırd tıme so far. Strange taxı rıdes. Strange cıty. Strange keyboard (not all the letters seem to work). But generally good. Pıcked up the Marc tıckets for tomorrow, hooked up wıth Hanko and went to a hamam. So all ıs well. Sıghtseeıng tomorrow.
We spotted a couple of boys on Gaydar ın an ınternet cafe - hence the late blog. Hee, hee
Money, money, money...
Bank teller: Next!
Bank teller: Hello.
Me: I'd like to buy some Turkish Lira, please.
Bank teller: Italian Lira.
Me: No, Turkish Lira. Turkish.
Bank teller (slowly): Turkish... Lira...
Bank teller: You... want... to.. buy... some... Turkisk... Lira...
Bank teller: You can't buy it, sir. You mean you want to exchange it. You want to exchange some Turkish Lira.
Me: Well, Ok. Yes. I want to exchange some Turkish Lira. Well, I actually want to exchange some pound notes into some Turkish Lira.
Bank teller: Pound... notes...?
Me: I give you stirling, you give me Turkish money. Yes?
Bank teller: And how much would you like to exchange, sir?
Me: Half a billion, please .
Bank teller: Half... a billion...?
Me: Yes, I want half a billion Turkish Lira. 500 million.
Bank teller (sniggering): Wait a minute please, sir.
(Bank teller disappears for long period of time. Eventually returning with bank manager)
Bank manager: Can I help you, sir?
Me: Yes, as I was explaining to that chap there I 'd like to get some Turkish Lira. About 500 million if you've got it.
Bank manager (eying me suspiciously): Do you bank with us, sir?
Me: Yes, I do.
Me: You do know that 500 million Turkish Lira is only about £200, don't you? Two and half billion Lira to the pound. 25% annual inflation.
Bank manager: I'll have to check.
(Bank manager disappears, bank teller asks me to move to one side so he can serve next customer)
Bank teller: Next!
Next customer: Hello.
Bank teller: Hello.
(Some time passes before bank manager returns)
Bank manager: I'm sorry sir we don't hold that sort of amount here. Have you tried a Bureau De Change?
Me: Not I haven't. No.
Bank manager: Your best bet I think, sir.
Me: Oh, OK. Thanks. Goodbye.
Bank manager: Goodbye, sir.
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Australia - Hungary - Nashville - Morocco...
The Easter weekend was four full days of debauchery and to be honest I'm pleased to be back in the saddle. Did I say 'saddle'? I mean harness.
Thursday night we had a delightful evening round at our Aussie friends Emma and Catherine. There was a house full of hard-drinking Australian women talking (at times very explicitly) about men, sex and Kath and Kim - how could we not have fun?
Up at the crack of dawn on Friday I was helping out a friend of mine with some techie stuff which ended up taking all day. Still had time for a beer in Comptons afterwards though. I then finally got a chance to meet up with my Hungarian blogmate, Kristof - but for all too brief a time; sadly I didn't see him again that this trip - next time, huh, Kristof?
More follow-up techie work on Saturday again took up a large part of the day but I still managed to squeeze in a beer or three with the oh-so-lovely Guy in Comptons. That night we went to Balans for dinner and then on to the Soho Theatre to see the oh-so-talented Rhinestone Cowgirl, Tina C. Straight from her World Peace Tour, Tina was in tip-top form delivering a fiercely political yet very funny show - Nikki and Kim, who came with us, were in stitches throughout. We cheered and cheered as the show drew to a close - and were rewarded with two encores - one being a rather sly take on Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 interspersed with rapping about minimum wage and migrant labour. Excellent.
Sunday we spent with Mark's brother, Paul, and his family which was lovely. We hadn't seen them since October last year and so still had Christmas gifts to exchange (!). The two Cow Parade figurines will take pride of place on our new sideboard. Later that night our flatmate Paul was back home and full of stories of his week's trip to Morocco. Mark and I resolved to go at the earliest opportunity.
Monday we had Ady and Carl over to play games. Much beer drinking was only briefly interrupted by the playing of Mario Kart, Monkey Tennis, Eye Toy Groove, Dance Mats, Monkey Bowling, Beach Volleyball and Ice Hockey.
Friday, April 09, 2004
Arsenal Lose Bottle...
I'm gutted. But just to prove I have a sense of humour:
Foster a Baby Rhino...
How sweet is this? Little rhino orphan Shida needs fostering. You can read about his sad little life here. I wonder if Disney is making a film of it yet?
Thursday, April 08, 2004
Next week I'm off to Istanbul for a week. Anyone been before - got any advice or warnings?
SportKa - the Ka's Evil Twin...
You may have seen in the papers or heard on the news about two car adverts that have been banned. Well hold onto your taste buds kids 'cos Uncle Jonce has them right here. Thanks to Rog for passing them on.
Both adverts are for the new car called the SportKa which is a sportier version of Ford's Ka.
The first advert has the car and a cat.
The second advert has the car and a pidgeon.
The Evil Twin web site is now password protected.
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
European Champions League...
What a crap result. Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea. I'm gutted. We didn't want that stupid FA Cup but the European Cup would have been sweet.
Kath and Kim: The Hornbag...
[Thanks to Mark for the snap]
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
Kath and Kim: The UK Living (Re)Launch Party...
Let me just say I'm a big Kath and Kim fan. Huge. And I gush a lot. Ok, now on with the story.
I waited and waited and waited. Did he call? Did he write? No. Did he tell me where it was? Did he tell me where to be? Or when? No. Nothing. Not a word. The Kath and Kim UK Living Launch Party was almost upon us and Neil hadn't called. Neil, you may remember, had accosted me in the Yard last month promising the bountiful - copious invites to a big glitzy Kath and Kim (re)launch party with all the trimmings. He said he was going to be in touch. He said he'd let me know. He said a lot of things. But as the big night approached the silence for deafening. So I had to make my own arrangements in that department.
Guy (bless his little cotton socks) stepped into the breach and made a few calls. So many thanks must go to him and to Alan 'voice of the balls' Dedicoat and Richard (big man at UK Living) Woolfe for swinging it for us. We were on the guest list.
Australia House loomed large and we entered through those huge iron doors to be confronted by a large chandelier decked hall filled with people dying to meet Kath and Kim i.e. PR people, media whores, gay men and gushing fans (I shall leave you to decide which category(s) I fall into).
Guy and I headed straight for the bar and nestled ourselves next to the cutest man we could find. The drinks flowed, the crowd swelled and the canapes did whatever it is that canapes do.
Suddenly Richard (big man at UK Living) Woolfe was on stage introducing Kath (Jane Turner) and Kim (Gina Riley). Coming on in character, they ran through quite a few of their routines: "Look at moye Kimmy, look at moye, look at moye!" and "Oh alright! Chardonnay! Chardonnay! You pack of chunts!" The crowd was in hysterics.
Then we had a 'meet and greet' where basically Guy and I positioned ourselves as close as possible to Jane and Gina so we could have a chance to gush like the crazed fans we are. Our turn came and gush we did. I rabbitted on to Jane about how much I love the show, how I love Big Girl's Blouse (the show that spawned Kath and Kim), she said I must catch Something Stupid as it's really good too. Jane was saying how they're working on Kath and Kim series three at the moment and how they're going back to basics with it to let the characters shine through. I was in heaven. But all over to quick - she had been whisked away to talk to... er... TV Quick. I was star struck. I needed (another) drink.
Next we (s)talked to Gina and she was an utter blast. I showed her my Kath and Kim Drinking Game that I created (I'll try and sniff out a copy for you guys too) which she was amazed about. She asked to keep a copy - I gladly obliged. We chatted about the show. I gushed. We chatted about Madga. I gushed some more. She took it all very well. And after being whisked away by some PR woman to talk to someone else Gina made a point of coming back over to us both to say goodbye and thanks. That was so cool.
And then who should pop up on my shoulder but Neil. Remember him? The man who had let me down. Oh, he tried to apologise. He tried to say he was sorry for shooting his big media-whore mouth off and getting me all excited. But this guy was just too hurt to accepted his half-baked apologies. I just had to drown my sorrows in a very large glass of sparkling white wine. And another. And then another. And then, what the hell, all was forgiven. We were friends again. Well, I say friends... Neil mumbled something about free tickets to Mamma Mia's 5th birthday party tonight. And St Etienne's Hymns to London. And how about invites for the launch party for Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, huh Neil? You do owe me one.
As the crowds began to dwindle we collected our "How To Be Hornbag" beauty pack (containing "Ooh la la" Hand & Nail cream, "Pash Rash" Strawberry Lip Balm, electric pink "Hornbag" Eye Mask, "Scrubber Glove" Exfoliating Mit and "Kim's Fabulous Nail Art Stickers") and a bunch of us decided to pile down to the Retro Bar - much to Wendy's amusement. The Times Business section was ably represented by Ingrid, Pete and Brendan; Kilroy's MJ and Unicorn's James came too; Guy and I brought up the rear. Drinks were drunk. Friendships were made. Indiscretions were confessed. Numbers were swapped. Great to meet you all. A fab way to end a night.
So thank you, Australia House.
Thank you, UK Living.
Thank you, Richard (big man at UK Living) Woolfe.
Thank you, Alan 'voice of the balls' Dedicoat.
Thank you, Guy.
Thank you, Jane and Gina.
Thank you, Kath and Kim.
A top, top night.
What more could a gushing Kath and Kim fan hope for?
Monday, April 05, 2004
Saturday Night's Alright For (Foo) Fighting...
On Saturday afternoon (once I had finally got out of bed) Drew and I made it down to Bar Room Bar for David and Jason's birthday drinks. All the gang were there and it was an all too short time before we were jumping in a cab to rendez-vous with Mark, Ben, Sarah and Stephen to go and see the Scissor Sisters at the Astoria. The place was packed, but the Scissor Sisters only gave us a short show, just 70 minutes, due to the fact that there was equipment failure. So for ten minutes we talked amongst ourselves. The sound was crap too. All very disappointing. Shame really as the songs that they did were very good it's just that the momentum to the show had been lost by the long break in the middle.
Into the rain next we headed down to Vauxhall for Duckie. Ben and Sarah had never been before and we all had a great time bopping and boogying. It was nice to finally meet Roberto (David's
Friday Night Fun (plus an exclusive)...
On Friday it was David and Jason's birthdays. Happy Birthdays, guys! To celebrate we (i.e. a big group of us) went to see Kiki and Herb's Mount The President show on HMS President. It was a fun show (I shall give nothing away in case you are going to see it) and our two heroes gave great performances. We're going back to see the show again on the last night (23rd April) when the London Readers Wifes will be DJing. Plus (I can exclusively reveal as I heard it from the horse's mouth): Marc Almond will be DJing for them on the Thursday night (22nd April). Quite some scoop, huh? So now I'm tempted to go then too. After last Friday's show I was in the bar chatting to Justin (Kiki) - who I insisted on calling Jason (I was a bit pie-eyed to tell you the truth) - and he was telling me about Jake from the Scissor Sisters being their neighbours in New York and that was why they (Kiki and Herb) are supporting them at their show at The Forum next week. He told me lots of other juicy gossip too which (a) I cannot repeat in print, and (b) I'm not even sure I remember it as fact as I was close to being paralytic anyway! Funnily enough I saw Kenny (Herb) the following night at Duckie and we had quite a long chat. He offered to buy me a drink too which was nice of him. Both Justin (see, I got his name right eventually) and Kenny are both really approachable guys and that is so nice to see - stars being nice to their (oh so gushing) fans.
[Thanks to Mark for the snaps and the much needed cropping]
Friday, April 02, 2004
Trapped in Motas...
If you liked the Crimson Room then you'll find the Mystery Of Time And Space adventure absolutely fantatsic. I was up until 2:20am last night finishing it off. Super addictive, super fun.
Colleague A: How can I make my job more enjoyable?
Colleague B: Get a spouse who complains a lot and then maybe a few kids
Colleague A: That sounds awful
Colleague B: You won't believe how much you enjoy being at work
Thursday, April 01, 2004
Just can't get enough of yourself?...
In the spirit of spicing up the content of this site I bring you: make your own dildo. And should you need any help getting an adequate pose for you cast then why not try reading some of the erotic short stories to be found here.
[Thanks my new Hungarian blogger friend cornelio]
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Dave,
Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Stuart,
Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Ant,
Happy Birthday to you.
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