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
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Sitges Bulletin 2...
It´s my last day in Sitges and I intend to make full use of it. So I´m off to the beach to over do it and perhaps pick up that sunburn I´ve managed to so skillfully avoid thus far.
Sitges has been fun this time around. Why? Well, it´s been great spending more time with Simon. I do like Simon and he is a funny guy. It´s also been nice to get to know Jeremy that much better (and boy did we had lots to talk about!) I guess I´m beginning to feel better about life in general too which is something I´m pleased about. The sun does that I suppose - make life seem that much brighter.
It´s also been great getting to know Pete and Craig too. And Matthew and Richard, of course. I´d not really spent much time with them before this trip. Not forgetting other partners in crime: David, Roberto, Pano, Ian, Andy, Kevin, Alistair, Tomas, Stefan, Gary, Paul, Gary no 2, Jonathan, Fabio, John, Ray, Paul no 2, Simon, Nick, Mark (I could go on...)
TV On The Internet...
Currently Telewest are trialling webcast TV - and at the moment it's free for everyone. Yay! At the moment there are just four channels which includes content such as entertainment, films and sports. Maybe not earth shattering but good proof of concept I guess.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Poverty vs Poofs...
I have it on very good authourity that as Live8 and Gay Pride are on the same day (2nd July) in London and both events start or take place in or near Hyde Park that Live8 tried to get Pride stopped. The quote I heard was, "What's more important? Solving poverty or a bunch of drag queens waving rainbow-flags?" Hmmm. Good point. But room for both, surely?
"What Jimmy didn't know was that Ralph was sick, a sickness of the mind known as homosexuality." It's hard to believe this 1950s public information film was actually meant for real. The whole premise is so demented it just reads like comedy.
Monday, June 27, 2005
Richard Whiteley RIP...
PNEUMONIA is a nine letter word.
Having a great time in Sitges. Falling into a bit of a routine too. Al Fresco Cafe for brunch at 1, nudist beach at 3, Parrots at 6, dinner at 10, XXL/Bear Bar/B Side/Man Bar/Mediterraneo/Trailer/Organic for the rest of the night. Marvellous. Not exactly restful but fun all the same. (Especially loving the foam parties)
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Overyourhead is off on it's holidays (again) from today for a week: Sitges (http://www.gayinsitges.com). If I don't get a chance to do any posting... back soon!
Make Bono History...
I'm not quite sure what to make of this.
"Although worthy causes like the makepovertyhistory campaigns tackle the big issues head on, we think it’s time that the powers that be paid a bit more attention to some of the, well, more petty issues that tax the average man on the street. Take Bono, for example. Last time we looked, no-one was planning to storm the streets of Edinburgh to demand an end to didactic Irish frontmen. But think of the untold suffering that Bono – and other celebrities like him - have caused the world over the years. It’s enough to make a stone weep… get your makebonohistory t-shirt."
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Justin Bond And The Freudian Slippers...
Paul, Drew, Marcus and I went to see the marvelous Justin Bond with his backing band The Freudian Slippers at the Soho Theatre last night. Partial thanks must go to Favourpill for some free tickets.
Justin (the Kiki of Kiki and Herb) is an amazing vocalist - calling him distinctive doesn't really do him justice. His impressive range, his throaty "I've been chain-smoking since the tender age of two" rasp and his sheer power of projection is enough to keep any audience transfixed.
As is his trademark he managed to weave random stories into his singing that both shocked and tickled in equal measure: Salome wants to be baptised in John The Baptist's blood and cum, Justin's dress is from a hippy Goat Shop, only the committed really know the meaning of the word commitment. We were taken on a journey back to the sixties, to free love, on to prostitution, to drug use and despair. We were shown glamour and squalor. Torch and chintz.
The set started with the Sex Pistols' Anarchy In The UK and moved from jazz, folk and tranny pop through to Joy Division's Heart & Soul and finally a Bossa Nova of Shannon's Let The Music Play "We started dancing and love put us into a groove, as soon as we started to move." the virtually full house was transfixed thorughout. A triumph.
Third series of Doctor Who...
I thought the final episode of Dr Who on Saturday was amazing: well written, incredibly exciting, a Dalek invasion, lots of death, a big old gay kiss and, of course, that regeneration. Perfect.
And more good news: the BBC confirmed last week that a third series of Doctor Who - plus a second Christmas special - has been commissioned. So that's another 28 episodes at least. Filming of the first Christmas special and second series with Casanova star David Tennant, Eccleston's replacement and the tenth Doctor, is due to begin in July. Jane Tranter, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning, said that Billie Piper, who plays the Doctor's companion Rose Tyler, will feature in every episode of series two, contrary to earlier reports. Cool.
Monday, June 20, 2005
My Hot Weekend...
It was 32 degrees in London but that didn't seem to slow me down.
Saturday was Matthew and Richard's London Partnership Registration and reception at the Grange Hotel Holborn - 400 guests were fed and watered everyone seemed to enjoy themselves immensely. Well done, boys!
Mid-evening Stuart and I headed off to Martin's 40th party at Vic Naylor's Bar in St John's Street. Martin's ex, Paul, had prepared an amazing array of puzzles, toys, games and events all based on Martin's life. Everyone came in fancy dress too. Great fun. Especially the giant swan. He seemed to like my present too.
On Sunday Drew moved in and we took loads of stuff to the dump to clear the decks and Martin popped over to tell me how much he liked his present but wasn't sure how to plug it in. Oops.
Sunday night we went to see Ellen Greene...
Last night Paul and I went to see Ellen Greene perform her Torch show at the New Players Theatre. She has performed this nightclub act all over the world and finally was making it to London. Lucky London, I say.
Ellen Greene is perhaps most famous for portraying Audrey in the 1986 cult classic Little Shop Of Horrors including her show stopping songs Somewhere That's Green and Suddenly, Seymour both penned by the wonderful Howard Ashman and Alan Menken.
Last night's performance demonstrated Ellen's experience as a stage performer. She simply shone as she treated us to a diverse selection of music, ranging from jazz classics to more recent pop: Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Queen were just some of the artists that Ellen covered. She was funny, energetic and disarmingly vulnerable. Her unique vocal style was engaging at least, brilliant at best and her emotional range meant our hearts were singing one minute, breaking the next.
Go see. On until the 27th June.
Friday, June 17, 2005
Brain Teaser Answers...
1. The answer is 41 and 43. The numbers are made up of the number of days in the month plus the number of the month itself January 31+1 = 32, February 28+2 = 30, March 31+3 = 34, and so on.
2. A decimal point
Death Of A Salesman...
Drew treated Emma, James and myself to a night at the theatre last night. That's Theatre with a capital T, darling. He took us to see Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman at the Lyric Theatre in London glitzy West End.
Death of a Salesman is one of Miller's most famous plays and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1949. Willy Loman is an aging salesman who has worked hard throughout his career, but all his aspirations for himself and his family seem to have failed. He begins to lose his grip on reality leading to tragedy.
Great production and moving performances (especially by the fabulous Brian Dennehy as Willy, Claire Higgins as the wife and rather excellent Douglas Henshall as golden-boy Biff).
It's a long play - three hours - but quite gripping. Shame the theatre was so hot though.
An unintentionally funny moment was in the last dying (literally) moments of the play as Willy's wife finally breaks down and weeps over Willy's grave after he has committed suicide. "We're free. Free. We're Free Willy. Free". Fnah. We had a whale of a time.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
1. Complete the following series:
32, 30, 34, 34, 36, 36, 38, 39, 39, 41, ??, ??
2. What mathematical symbol can you put between 2 and 3 to make a number greater than 2, but less than 3?
You're A Winner, Baby...
The rather fabulous Flavourpill were running a competition in this week's missive about Justin Bond and the Freudian Slippers show starting next week at the Soho Theatre: "Performing as Kiki, which early-'80s power ballad became Bond's torch song?" I sent off my best guess (OK easy enough if you're a fan) and hey presto!
Sent: 15 June 2005 17:08
Subject: YOU WON A FLAVOURPILL CONTEST!!!
Congratulations Jonathan! You won a PAIR of tickets to Justin Bond and the Freudian Slippers, Mon 20 June (7:30pm) at The Soho Theatre. I'll send a confirmation to print out and bring.
flavourpill - cultural stimuli
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Dalek Found Safe And Well...
Looks like that stolen Dalek has been recovered from Glastonbury Tor following its theft from a Somerset tourist attraction last week.
I Put A Spell On You...
I love the Belgians. Why? Because they have a cunning misspelt ID card plan. The new Belgian electronic ID card contains typos introduced purposely to confound potential fraudsters. To trick fraudsters, the Belgian Government has introduced three circular arcs on the card - just beneath the identity photos - where you will find the name of the country in the official languages spoken in Belgium - French, Dutch and German, as well as in English. But instead of 'Belgien' in German, the ID card incorrectly uses the name 'Belgine' and instead of 'Belgium' in English, the card reads 'Belguim'. Apparently other errors will be printed on the card to "further confuse fraudsters". With any luck, these will not be revealed. Yay! Mis-smellers of the world untie!
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Michael Jackson cleared of child abuse...
Michael Jackson moonwalks free. "We expected some better evidence, something more convincing - but it just wasn't there" - Jury member.
The Incredible Machine...
I've always loved playing The Incredible Machine - and here's an online version.
Monday, June 13, 2005
I had a nice little weekend. The Morrissey bash on Friday was great fun - highlights were loads of gladioli hanging from the ceiling, Justin Bond singing I Know It's Over and finding out that Panic was written in response to DJ Steve Wright playing I'm Your Man immediately after a news report of the Chernobyl disaster. What more could one want? Fun and informative.
On Saturday it was my nephew Angus's annual birthday BBQ. Simon and Dawn were in fine form and it was great to see all the family as ever. Afterwards I popped over to see Jo and Martin's new extension and came away the proud possessor of four freshly laid hen and bantam eggs that I had for breakfast Sunday - Mmmm, delicious!
Sunday afternoon I popped in to see the gorgeous David's new gaff in South Lambeth Road and then on to a little soiree hosted by the super-sexy Darren and Jim. It was all very nice and very civilized - well, initially anyway! Nice to catch up with Rachel too.
I rounded off the evening with a trip to Horse Meat Disco and caught up with the ever-lovely (and could that be freshly gym-buffed?) David and Roberto and listen with some intrigue to Ian's latest shenanigans.
Gone 2 The Dogs...
Sweet game on this film web site.
Friday, June 10, 2005
Panic On The Streets Of London...
Tonight is the first of the London Readers Wifes Holy Trinity starring Justin Bond, Tina C., Nathan Evans, The Puppini Sisters and many, many more. Hosted by Miss Amy LamÃ©, the Un-Official Stephen Patrick Morrissey Fan Club Convention promises talkaoke, puppetry, poetry, karaoke, contemporary dance, visceral video vox-poncery, hairdressing and some brilliant pop song performances. The festivities will commence at 9pm at The Coronet right next to the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre. Come! It'll be a scream. Next up Bowie and then Bush.
Brian Eno: Another Day On Earth...
Brian Eno's new album is out June 13th. Yay! Gotta love the man who brought us ambinet music and worked with Talking Heads, U2 and James.
Eno's song-writing, his typically concise analysis of the problems that most song-writers face, and the methods he employs to solve these problems reveal the unique nature of his approach to this particular art: 'Song-writing is now actually the most difficult challenge in music. It's very easy to make music now but lyrics are really the last very hard problem in music. What I think lyrics have to do is engage a certain part of your brain in a sort of search activity so your brain wants to say 'here are some provocative clues as to what this song might be about'. They don't have to be explicit... in fact for me they certainly shouldn't be explicit'.
And here's the track listing:
1 This 3:33
2 And Then So Clear 5:49
3 A Long Way Down 2:40
4 Going Unconscious 4:22
5 Caught Between 4:25
6 Passing Over 4:25
7 How Many Worlds 4:47
8 Bottomliners 3:59
9 Just Another Day 4:21
10 Under 5:19
11 Bone Bomb 3:09
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Erasure New Single
Why not listen to clips from the fantastic new double-A side Erasure single Here I Go Impossible Again / All This Time Still Falling Out Of Love out 20th June?
If you've been paying close attention to Dr Who you might have seen references to Bad Wolf in recent episodes.... check out the clues, the revelations, the theories and the Dr Who site itself. You might even want to contribute to the Bad Wolf forum.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Big Brother 6: The Grim Sleeper...
They're all up for the chop this week. Got a scythe, anyone?
Anne Bancroft is dead...
I used to love Anne Bancroft who sadly died recently. Yes, she was great in The Graduate and other worthier work but secretly I loved her most in husband Mel Brooks's To Be Or Not To Be. Hilarious.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
You've Slovene one, you're Slovene them all....
Last Tuesday Drew and I headed off to 'London' Stansted Airport at the crack of noon. We were Slovenia-bound for our quick fire trip around the Balkans. We parked in the long-term car park and took the Pink Elephant transfer bus to the terminal; £7-20 a day thank you very much - and that was the cheapest rate. The flight was smooth and we arrived at Ljubljana in glorious sunshine - weather that was to follow us around for the next five days.
What a beautiful country Slovenia is; handsome cities, lovely countryside and lots to do. We visited mountains and lakes, castles and monasteries, caves and beaches. We even went up a cable car that was a mile higher at the top than at the bottom - yes, a mile.
We stayed in a lovely hotel - the Grand Hotel Union Executive - a stone's throw from the river. Perhaps not quite the five stars it advertised but certainly four and a half. The river runs through the centre of Ljubljana spanned by picturesque bridges, river-side restaurants and bars. It was quite delightful to walk through this old part of town on the warm evenings and take in a beer and do some people watching. The Slovenians are a handsome bunch and Drew and I we happy just to admire the view. Or wiew (sic) as one ad sign said.
In the evening we met up with Goran and Marco (hi guys!) for beers, a bit of friendly chatting and some invaluable tourist advice.
On Wednesday we headed up to Lake Bled - world famous for it's scenery - and then on to the far end of Lake Bohinj for the head spinning cable car ride up the Vogel. I bricked it. We headed back into town to see the Ljubljana Castle, climb the tower and sent pictures by e-mail back to friends and family. In the evening we went to Pri Skofu for eats and then more beers with the boys.
On Thursday we headed down to the world famous Postojna Caves, carved out by the River Pivka over the centuries. There is an electric train which took us 5km into the caves but the untraversable and most breath-taking part we saw on foot. In the caves there are marvellous stalactites and stalagmites, which must place these caves amongst the most beautiful in the world.
Later in the afternoon we crossed the border into Croatia and headed for the coast. Eventually we stopped at the Millennium Hotel in Opatija. Now Croatia is worlds apart from Slovenia - the infrastructure is dreadful out of the cities and it is definitely a work in progress. Having said that, the seaside resorts are very well developed - having been a much sort after tourist destination for hundred's of years. It reminded me a bit of Brighton or Nice.
On Friday we drove to Zagreb and stayed at the fabulous Regent Esplanade Hotel - a truly well deserved five stars; chilled champagne when we arrived, heated marble floor in the bathroom and staff who could just not do enough for us. It was heaven. The city itself was interesting and defo somewhere I'd like to go back and explore.
On Saturday we drove out of Croatia and back into Slovenia. En route back to Ljubljana we stopped off at the Cistercian Sticna Monastery. It just so happened there was a festival on and if I didn’t know better I'd have said they were worshipping the sun! Beautiful place though and a real find.
Continuing our journey we legged it back to the capital for a relaxing sauna (me) / walk through the Old Town (Drew) and then dinner by the river. Goran and Marco joined us once again for beers at Lan (?) and then a night-cap or three at Tiffany - tucked away in Metelkova, a sort of artists area where a few bars, discos and clubs come alive after dark in broken down barracks abandoned in the 1990’s by the disappearing Yugoslavian army. Tiffany bar was a rough as anything but great fun. The music was 'dance' with little 'd' with Slovenian and Croatian pop thrown in for good measure. We showed them some moves.
Sunday we crawled out of bed severely hung over and to the airport ready for our trip home. Great holiday. great holiday destination.
Monday, June 06, 2005
We know how you like your pizza. No, we really know how you like your pizza.
Petals Around The Rose...
An old chestnut but fun all the same - Petals Around The Rose.
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