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
Thursday, March 31, 2005
1. What are the three words in the dictionary that have no rhymes?
(If you can think of others please let me know)
2. A car travels at a distance of 100 miles at a speed of 65 mph. It covers 25 miles per gallon, and has a total tank capacity of 9 gallons. However, sod's law strikes, and the petrol tank has sprung a leak. It was full when the car set off, but is empty when the car reaches its destination. How much fuel has it lost per hour?
Doctor Who a hit and quits...
With a little under 10 million viewers the new Doctor has been a success. So the BBC has commissioned another season and a Christmas special. Yay!
But not with Christopher Eccleston who fears being typecast. I see.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
The UK Civil Partnership legislation was passed by the Government last November and will come into force later this year - on 5th December 2005 to be exact. That is to say the first date for registering at the Registrars' offices is 5th December 2005 and the first ceremonies will start on the 21st December 2005. Brighton is hoping to be the first with three planned for just after midnight on that day.
Key Points for couples are:
- Must be of the same sex.
- Must not be married or already a civil partner.
- Not under 16.
- Parental consent is needed if under 18.
- Must give notice of proposed civil partnership to the Registration authority.
- Must have resided in England and Wales for at least 7 days before giving notice.
- Notification must include a declaration as stated in the Act.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
The Chemical Brothers - Believe...
The Chemical Brothers' new single 'Believe' is released on 18th April but over the weekend we saw the amazing video. OMG. Incredible! Car construction robots on the loose! Dom and Nic have pulled off another winner.
The Kath And Kim Drinking Game...
I wrote this a couple of years ago so it mainly refers to season one of Kath and Kim. I gave a copy to Gina Riley last year and she found it very funny.
The Kath And Kim Drinking Game (Acrobat format).
Sunday, March 27, 2005
New Doctor Who : Episode One: Rose...
So how was it? The first new Doctor Who television episode for 16 years (not counting that American funded telemovie with Paul Gann in 1996)? Was it any good? Did it break all the rules? Were there gay Daleks? Was it too jokey? Too self-referential? Too cheap? Wobbly sets? Wobblier acting? Was it even worthy of it's own heritage?
Well, the die-hard fans (which I count myself among) needn't have worried. It was magnificent. The plot was clever. It looked good. The special effects were spot on. The music was fantastic.
I was a tad worried that the new series might be an over-hyped damp squib. All that build up. How could it live up to such pre-publicity? How wrong I was - absolutely superb - witty, funny, scary, and finally the visual effects have caught up with the writer's intentions and viewers' imaginations. A perfect blend of old and new styles and elements. It deserves to achieve a massive success and whole new generations of fans.
Billie Piper was great as the side-kick (best since Sarh-Jane?), and Chris Eccleston was excellent at the Doctor. He's an actor. A proper actor; with just the right amount of quirkiness (Patrick Troughton), enthusiasm (Peter Davidson), action-heroism (Jon Pertwee) and, of course, that winning smile (Tom Baker).
Best bit: the visual gag with the Doctor and the London Eye
Best line: "Every planet has a North".
Minor quibble #1: the 45-minute running time with no cliffhangers
Minor quibble #2: that wheelie-bin burp
Cock up: Graham Norton's impromptu audio cameo from the Strictly Dance Fever set when the Autons were after Rose. Can we expect him every week, Auntie Beeb?
Roll on episode two!
Thursday, March 24, 2005
The invasion begins: 2 days 10 hours 25 minutes 15 seconds
Retro Bar Teasers Pop Quiz : The Answers...
01. Mick Jagger
02. Peter Sarstedt
03. David Bowie
04. Lou Reed
05. Steve Harley
06. Errol Brown
07. Billy MacKenzie
08. Marc Almond
09. Terry Hall
10. Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams, Mark Owen, Jason Orange, Howard Donald
11. Bryan, Kian, Mark, Nicky, Shane
12. Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham, Stephen Gately, Shane Lynch, Keith Duffy
13. Will Young
14. Andreas Johnson
15. Freddie Mercury, Bryan May, John Deacon, Roger Taylor
16. Tony Christie & (Is This The Way To) Amarillo?
18. Andy Bell
19. Vince Clarke
20. Jeff Buckley
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Retro Bar Teasers Pop Quiz...
Last night Paul suggested we go to the Retro Bar Teasers Pop Quiz. Great idea! Regular readers will know that we used to love going there in years gone by and last night was no exception. We skipped supper and met up at 7pm to get warmed up (hic!); the quiz didn't actually kick off until 9:30pm.
As happenstance would sometimes have it I got a call from Drew saying he was meeting the lovely James in the Retro Bar too so we thought we'd make a team of it. (In fact Drew and James sloped off for eats before the quiz began returning for just the last 30 seconds!)
The quiz was based around male lead vocalists. Wendy would play the song and we'd have to say who the lead vocalist was. Easy, huh? We got thirteen and a half - the winners got all twenty.
Why not give it a go?
01. Who's lead vocalist on 60's track "Mothers Little Helper"?
02. Who's lead vocalist on 60's track "Where Do You Go To My Lovely?"?
03. Who's lead vocalist on 60's track "The Laughing Gnome"?
04. Who's lead vocalist on 70's track "New York Telephone Conversation"?
05. Who's lead vocalist on 70's track "Judie Teen"?
06. Who's lead vocalist on 70's track "You Sexy Thing"?
07. Who's lead vocalist on 80's track "Party Fears Two"?
08. Who's lead vocalist on 80's track "A Lover Spurned"?
09. Who's lead vocalist on 80's track "Thinking Of You"? (Clue: The Colourfield)
10. Can you name all the members of Take That (first and family names)?
11. Can you name all the members of Westlife (first names)?
12. Can you name all the members of Boyzone (first and family names)?
13. Who's lead vocalist on 00's track "Your Game"?
14. Who's lead vocalist on 00's track "Glorious"? (Clue: Here she comes with a master plan And I’m starting to lose control)
15. We got played G4's Bohemian Rhapsody but... can you name all the members of Queen (first and family names)?
16. Who's lead vocalist on the current No. 1 single new release "Amarillo" and what is the exact title including brackets?
17. What is Will Smith's new single called?
18. Who's lead vocalist on new release "Don't Say You Love Me"?
19. Who's his trusty side-kick?
20. Currently with an exhibition on in London, who was cut short in his prime and sang "Grace"?
Gay Gaelics Say Practice Makes Perfect...
I read that the Scottish Epicopal Church (that's Scottish Anglicans to you and me) are saying "being a practising homosexual is not a bar to a person becoming a priest".
Further the Scottish bishops said, "We are conscious that as a church we are much indebted in our life both to a significant presence of persons of homosexual orientation, and also those whose theology and stance would be critical of attitudes to sexuality other than abstinence outside marriage. We rejoice in both."
So you guys want to have it both ways, huh? It's OK to be a bender, correction: a practising bender and it's also OK to be a bigot. I see.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Our Computers Are Down...
Monday, March 21, 2005
Tony Christie tops singles chart...
Well, it had to happen. Tony Christie's Is This The Way To Amarillo is number one in the singles chart after being re-released by comedian Peter Kay. All in the name of charity of course. Has anyone seen the video? Apparently it shows Kay miming the track alongside 'stars' including Michael Parkinson, Jimmy Savile and Ronnie Corbett. Good on him.
Room With A View?
The Hyde Park Plaza, Sydney is a shitty hotel in that they repeatedly screwed us over royally with our room bookings on the three occasions we were there over the last month: bookings we had made six months earlier - and had written confirmation of. First they claimed we hadn'?t made a booking (we had), then that we were quoted the wrong room rate (we weren?'t) and finally that they were full (?"don'?t you realise Neil Diamond is in town?"?). Grrr! Not staying there again.
If however you do want to stay there for Mardi Gras I can recommend the following rooms for their panoramic view of the parade (in descending order of fabulousness):
409, 509, 609, 709, 809, 905, 1005, 1105, 1205, 1305, 1405 & 1505.
Friday, March 18, 2005
Rag and Bone...
My partner, Mark, recently threw out a t-shirt I have worn regularly for 20 years. Is that a record?
Brain Teasers: The Answers...
1. The answer is BANANA. You get it by removing the letters SIXLETTERS from the sequence.
2. Neither hit the ground; I was over the sea!
Thursday, March 17, 2005
1. Cross out six letters from the following sequence so that the remaining letters, without altering their sequence, spell a well known word:
B S I A N X L A E T N T A E R S
2. In a balloon stationary off the coast of Ireland, I dropped two bottles off the side. If one was full and the other empty, which hit the ground first?
Laurie Anderson - The End of the Moon
18 - 21 May 2005 7.45pm Barbican Theatre
90 mins / no interval
£10 £12 £16 £21 £28 £35 + Superseat (Pay £5 more for a Superseat)
Conceived and performed by Laurie Anderson
Who taught you what beauty is?
After the success of Happiness during BITE:03, master storyteller Laurie Anderson returns with The End of the Moon, the second in her trilogy of solo works. Part travelogue, part personal theories and dreams, Anderson weaves narrative and music; painting an expansive but deeply intimate picture of American culture. Drawing on her recent research and travels with NASA, The End of the Moon explores the tangled relationships between war, consumerism and spirituality.
"She's a master storyteller who uses the microphone as an instrument of intimacy, conspiracy and seduction." (The Chicago Tribune)
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Book a celebrity...
From £300-£5000 you can have dinner with a 'celebrity' of your choice. I like the idea that "Limahl will talk extensively about his experiences in the music industry and perform many of hit hits in a karaoke style. He will also take part in after dinner party games." Bless.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Since You've Been Gone...
So what's been happening in good old Blighty for the last four weeks or so since I've been away? Any major news stories, celebrity gossip, scandal, fun things I should know about?
Back In The Saddle...
Good to be back in the saddle. Did I say saddle? I meant harness.
Monday, March 14, 2005
Back in the UK...
We landed in Heathrow at 4:30am this morning (were we allowed to do that?) and since getting home to Highbury have been doing all those boring things like catching up with washing (3 loads so far), voicemail messages (12), home e-mails (234) and work e-mails (457). It's sad how quickly you forget your holiday and start to get back into 'work' mode.
I'm staring at the large jar of Vegemite I picked up yesterday and also at the MMS I just received of Steve at the beach in Sydney and wishing I was back there. Ho hum.
Friday, March 11, 2005
It's been a fun packed week in New Zealand. Unfortunately I've been ill for most of it though.
Tuesday we arrived in Auckland and met with my Mum and Dad for cocktails on the 50th floor of the Skytower. Later we met Alan (Rich's ex) and Paul for dinner and drinks at Hydrant (the old firestation). Cute men, the both.
Wednesday we drove to Rotorua where we spent the night. Rotorua STINKS as it's full of hot water springs, bubbling mud pools and sulphur lakes. We both had a lovely mud bath - but regretted it soon afterwards. It turns your skin green and even days later you stink of rotten eggs. Beautiful town though.
Thursday we drove to Wellington and checked into the Inter-Continental (believe me, we needed the comfort). Friday I was feeling pretty ill so stayed in bed all day but was well enough to meet the lovely Dave and my parents for dinner. Later on Dave, Marky and I went to the rather dire Sovereign Bar (a.k.a. Pound) for some more beers before turning in early.
Today we're returning to Sydney for one last night and then flying back home to Blighty on Sunday, arriving first thing Monday morning. Jet-lag here we come. It'll be nice to be back home though.
Monday, March 07, 2005
Mardi Gras Parade and Party…
On Saturday the Lesbian, Gay, Transsexual, Queer and Transgender Mardi Gras Parade (to give it its full title) was great fun. It lasted about 90 minutes and we got a bird’s eye view from our hotel room balcony. According to Channel 9 News 500,000 people watched 180 floats and 6,000 people took part. There were lots of comedic themed floats (Freddy Mercury with a Hoover, The Nanny, Little Britain), political floats (Greens, Democrats) and issue based floats (gay marriage, health).
After the parade we made our way up to Fox Studios for the LGTQT MG Party. The place was packed and it seemed half the world was there.
The MG Party itself ran from 10pm Sat to 10am Sun. This was followed by Toybox at Luna Park Funfair from 10am Sun to 8pm Sun. Time for a short break before Indulgence (the leather party at The Shift) from 9:30pm Sun to 6am Mon. This immediately proceeded by Crash from 6am Mon to 2pm Mon.
Oh, believe me, I gave out long before the end.
Paying The Piper…
I spent almost the entire of Monday in bed feeling like shit. Think I have a cold. Well, if it’s not a cold it’s something. D’oh! Needed rest though - off to Auckland, NZ tomorrow.
Friday, March 04, 2005
Jonathan’s Day Off…
Friday was my day off. I had a really nice brunch with the boys – sat on the roof of our building in the sunshine with a beer, read my trashy book and watched lots of eye-candy in the pool and jacuzzi. A 'me' day. Lovely.
In the evening Frank had arranged dinner for us all at The Tilbury Hotel down in Wooloomooloo. Andy, Wiener, Frank, Graham, Steve, Mark and I enjoyed a very pleasant evening of fine dining.
Later on we all piled up to The Oxford for a few beers and some crowd watching. Sydney by this time is heaving with people. Mardi Gras proper starts tomorrow.
We had a earlyish night. Ish.
Thursday, March 03, 2005
Blood On The Dance Floor…
Ok, the something that happened at The Shift was I got a little cut. I was dancing away and I got grabbed by someone and their ring cut me. It was a really little cut but there was some blood. Actually quite a lot of blood – and before I knew it, it was all over my hands and underwear. Funny how things like nose bleeds and cut lips seem to gush endlessly – must be all those blood vessels. Anyway I wasn’t seriously hurt; there was just a lot of the old red stuff. And seeing a man running to the coat check with a large patch of blood on his underwear and bloodied hands must have freaked out most punters – the sea of people parted pretty damned quick I can tell you.
So once home I went to bathe and the next day Mark accompanied me to A&E just in case. I was seen quite quickly - the doctor there was fine about it. Just take it easy for the next week or so – your cut will heal all by itself just fine. It was a shame it happened when it did because we had planned a trip over to Manly.
In the evening Steve cooked us a magnificent roast lamb dinner and we watched some Little Britain (we explained the more obscure references to Steve) and Kath & Kim (he explained the more obscure ones to us). We finished the evening off with a trip to Manacle where we met up with all the UK boys again.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine…
Another day, another trip: this time Steve drove us three out to the Blue Mountains. It was an easy drive and we chatted on the way – funny how similar people are the world over: (to take a random selection of topics) everybody loves/lusts after firemen, healthcare systems work pretty much the same, and nobody likes speed cameras.
The Blue Mountains were really very beautiful, especially the Three Sisters (three large outcroppings).
Back into town Marky and I journeyed over to Newtown to meet Davie and Craig in the Newtown Hotel for a beer or three and then some eats at Twelve (just down the road). It was great to catch up with Davie and also get to know Craig a little bit better. Such nice guys. Sounds like they are pretty much getting things sorted house-wise, job-wise and are obviously very much in love – they couldn’t keep their hands off each other! Bless.
Hot-footing it from Newtown back to Oxford Street we met up with the boys (including Steve and Frank) again and before long I found myself at an underbear party in The Shift – yes, you read that right underBEAR party. The place was packed with lots of large (for ‘large’ read ‘very large’) hairy men in their underwear. It was all strangely non-sexual really but heaps of fun. We danced the night away together.
Until something happened…
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Shop Till You Drop / Life’s a Beach / Party Till You Drop…
As Mark has been going to the gym most mornings Graham and I thought we’d do a bit of shopping. I say ‘a bit’ – I actually bought some t-shirts, a Polo cap and various items of underwear. We walked all over Sydney’s lovely downtown shopping district and stopped occasionally for beers and / or coffees.
In the afternoon the lovely Steve drove Mark, Graham and me to the beach. The beach was called La Peruse – and we did. Now how can I describe La Peruse? Well, it is not exclusively a gay beach (we did see ONE straight couple) and not exclusively a nudist beach (we did see one person was wearing flip-flops) - but you get the idea: it’s pretty much a gay nudist beach. We roasted just nicely in the sun.
Back home to shower and change we then met up with Tim, Andy, Andy, Kevin, Michael, Andy, Stuart in The Colombian before we all
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