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, November 30, 2005
Am I Right?...
This from the misheard lyrics site Am I Right? made me giggle.
You had a temper, like my jealousy
Too hot, too greedy.
You had distemper, like my jealous ell
Too long, too greasy.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Duckie's Big Saturday Night Seaside Birthday Special...
Last Saturday I ventured down to St Leonards Warrior Square (ger-where now?) in the historic town of Hastings (ah, so that's where it is) to stay at the super-lovely Charlie's for the night. Charlie lives down there and had offered to put me up as we had tickets to Duckie's Big Saturday Night Seaside Birthday Special that was being held just up the road at the rather delightful De La Warr Pavilion.
The evening started for us with Charlie throwing a little drinks party at his place with mulled wine, nibbles and a pop star (!) It was great to meet Gary, Tony (I do know you from somewhere, right?), Derek, Vanessa, Nicola, Denise, Dave and Andy B and we all got suitably mulled up before bundling onto the screamers express on the local branch line station. Ten minutes later we were at Bexhill heading for the De La Warr arm in arm. We were off to see the wizard.
Duckie was sold out so it was standing room only for some - but luckily we'd booked in advance and had seats at a numbered table on the terrace that gave us a great view of the stage, the performances and the other punters.
We ordered our drinks at the bar and sat back to be treated to a fabulous evening of variety - all with that Duckie twist: opera (Ann Dalton), magic (Tommy Angel - Gospel Magician), manic cookery (Marcia Farquar), lady shaving (Helen Paris), glamour (Miss High Leg Kick), old time music hall (Ida Barr) and special guest local performances of close harmony singing (Bexhill Harmony) and belly dancing (Sheik's Delight). Oh, and a guy from the Blue Man Group got his cock out.
As per normal, DJs Readers Wifes soundtracked the party with dance cards while Miss Amy Lame was our hostess. Part of the entertainment were fours booths - fortune telling, grabbing hand, kiss me quick and tattooing. The tattooing was particularly fun as you just plunged your hand into a dark hole and hoped for the best. If I didn't know better I'd have sworn that person was sucking my fingers while he was tattooingg me!
A great night with wonder, drama, music, fun and frolics. Happy 10th Birthday Duckie!
Duckie By The Sea In Pictures
[Thanks to Paul for the pix]
Duckie By The Sea In Movies (all in Quicktime)
Marvel at Miss High Kick, Bexhill Belly Dancers Sheik's Delight and Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady Phillishave.
[Thanks again to Paul for the movies]
Monday, November 28, 2005
Nice when things are organic. You make no plans then stuff just happens.
I was facing a quiet Friday night in alone (Paul was signing a new tenancy agreement in Valencia and Drew was in Brighton) when three things happened almost at once; 1. I decided to go see Sarah, Ben and the cheeky monkeys down at Lewisham Hospital, 2. David suggested I join him and his chums to go see Justin "you'll always be Jason to me" Bond & The Freudian Slippers at Too2Much and 3. Ben suggested we go see Dustin's Bah Mitzvah perform late at The Garage after his Clapham gig.
So it turned into a fabulous fun packed night (and indeed early morning): the joy for me of holding little baby Eve for the first time, the beaming pleasure of watching Justin Bond storm the place with his multi-encored last night and finally then the sheer unselfconscious wonder of getting down with the Uth for some NuMetal thrash & indie orientated sweaty bopping. Top night.
Note to self: absinthe makes neither the heart nor wallet the grow fonder.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Sup All Night...
I ventured out to the Man Bar last night to see if 24 drinking had perhaps started a day early. Sadly not. Back at the bar and with another beer I had a man of flawless, dead good looks shift up to me and start talking with the banal sing-song that in the outside world would indicate a long and comfortable acquaintance and here was used as a short cut to a short one.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
People spend a lot of time considering names for their kids. It's just a pity they don't always think as hard about their domain names.
Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views:
(I actually subscribe to this but had never noticed!)
Need a therapist? Try:
We have the Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New South Wales
And there is an Italian Power company:
Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island
and finally Who Represents? ~ a database for agencies to the rich and famous:
[Thanks Andy and Richard]
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Proud Mother, Proud Father and Proud Uncle...
I went to see Sarah-Jane in the maternity wing of Lewisham University Hospital last night and she is doing brilliantly. I was so pleased I could see her on her big day and she was really pleased to see me too. You'd never have guessed she'd given birth to triplets a few hours before. She looks fantastic.
Obviously Ben was there too and it was so lovely to see them together - the proud parents. We all chatted for a couple of hours and then after the maternity ward's 8 o'clock curfew Ben and I retired to the local boozer near the hospital to wet the babies heads and watch the delivery room video. There's a time and a placenta for everything.
The doctors had got it all wrong of course. Ben and Sarah had been told that they would be having two identical boys and a third sex-as-yet-unknown. In fact they had two identical girls and a boy. Quite how they got that wrong is yet to be established! One of the nurses says that sometimes girls tease the parents by putting their thumbs between their legs (!) In any event Dylan was first out weighing in at 5lb 5oz born 12:05pm, 'working title Eve' was next at 4lb 5oz appearing at 12:07pm and finally we had 'working title Lola' coming in at 3lb 9oz at 12:09pm. Three beautiful babies. Well when I say 'beautiful' I really mean crinkly and wrinkly bundles of pinkness but they looked beautiful to me.
Below are snaps shots of the two girls. Dylan was camera shy.
Actually Dylan was not feeling 100% when he came out, poor fellow, as he had a bit of fluid on his lungs which was making it harder for him to breathe. I did get a chance to see him though, the handsome chap, and could see the specialist nurses are doing marvelous job and he is getting their best attention. Unfortunately the two girls had to be moved to another hospital as there wasn't room for them at specialist care unit at LUH. Hopefully space can be made later in the week and they'll be moved back to be with the rest of the family.
All in all it was a great day and I for one am as pleased as punch and bursting with pride for my two friends and three new cheeky monkeys.
Monday, November 21, 2005
News just in: "We have two daughters and a son. All doing well." YAY!
Vodka viral marketing. Very funny.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Week 34 in the Big Mother House...
In just 24 hours Sarah will be wheeled in the operating theatre and the triplets will be on their way. I'm so excited for them. Can't wait to see them!
Friday, November 18, 2005
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang...
Last night Martin and I went to see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Go see, go see. Laugh out loud funny.
Kate Bush Official Team...
I got this is the post the other day.
I came across your Kate Bush blog entry, http://www.overyourhead.co.uk/2005/10/kate-bush-aerial.html and am contacting you on behalf of Columbia Records and M80. I run the Official Kate Bush Online Team, which helps get the word out about Aerial, runs contests with for free copies of the CD, and is basically just a cool place for Kate's fans to hang out. I was hoping that you might be interested in joining it, as such a loyal Kate Bush fan. Perhaps your readers would be interested as well? I'd really appreciate it if you could check out the team at: http://katebush.fanitorium.com/?L2282 and let me know your thoughts. Thank you!
Grassroots Team Director, M80
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Must-see TV last night was the ITV documentary about Take That. It had it all; drugs, booze, sex and Lulu.
As French and Saunders once pointed out, "I wonder how she signs her cheques?".
The rather dishy Stuart Price (Madonna collaborator, DJ and remixer to the stars) is interviewed by PopJustice. And Madge's Pet Shop Boys love is revealed!
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Dopamine @ The Garage
Last night Kevin treated me to a night at The Garage (just at the end of the road) to see some bands play; Dopamine, Days In December, Firstborn, Che and The Blackout.
Dopamine is Mitchell Froom, record producer (Elvis Costello and Paul McCartney) turned performer a.k.a. Mr Suzanna Vega. He played a weird set, blending instrumental music, bizarre songs, atmospheric tunes and a cast of thousands. Individually many of the songs were quite effective and the instrumentation was nicely varied including (it says here) Indian banjo, oscillator, button cinema organ, and optigon. But overall the set was perhaps a tad too variable for my taste. Which is kind of odd as Froom is known for his consistent and cohesive production with other artists. Some great ideas though.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Trailer Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ...
Trailer in Quicktime
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson
Director: Mike Newell
Official Site Link
UK Opening: November 18, 2005
Weapons: Fire, scythe, teeth, wand
Man Quotient: 3.8 (Explosions + Weapons + Hot Babes - Kisses)/ Minutes
Worst Moment: Harry's spit take
Trailer Déjà Vu: Harry Potter and the Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Spoilage Factor: 40%
Geek Factor: 35%
See Trailer? Yes
See Movie? Yes
Travelling to a strange city and want to know where to go? Try downloading a Gay Map.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Madonna at G.A.Y....
Madonna will perform an exclusive one-off show at G.A.Y. at London’s Astoria this Saturday. She will be singing tunes lifted from her new record Confessions On A Dancefloor released today. The capacity of the Astoria is just 2000. Standing room only I expect.
I think the new album is a bit of a return to form albeit rather too evenly paced. But then it is a dance album so what did I expect really? And the best track? Sorry.
Friday, November 11, 2005
The Lord Mayor's Show Fireworks...
Stuck for something to do this Saturday afternoon? Well why not tootle along to the Thames between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges at 5 o'clock and gape at The Lord Mayor's Show fireworks. Always a good display.
Doctor Who on Christmas Day...
The Doctor Who Christmas Special, provisionally titled The Christmas Invasion, will be broadcast on Christmas Day, the BBC has said. The hour-long one-off show will mark the first full adventure for tenth Doctor David Tennant after his brief appearance in the ultimate episode of the 2005 season, The Parting of the Ways, when ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston's time in the role came to an end. That said, Tennant will also appear next Friday in a half-hour special recorded for the BBC's Children in Need telethon. The mini-episode, set between The Parting of the Ways and The Christmas Invasion will be broadcast on the evening of 18th November at about 9pm. The following Monday (21st November) sees the release of a monster Tardis-shaped box set comprising all 13 episodes of the last series on DVD, along with a Krynoid-sized heap of extras, including commentaries, video diaries and behind-the-scenes features.
The Christmas special will see the good Doctor come to grips with his new incarnation while he battles the deadly Sycorax, bent on conquering the Earth in the guise of Father Christmas. The story will see the return of Harriet Jones, MP, from the last season's Aliens of London and World War Three, again played by Penelope Wilton, but now promoted to Prime Minister. Actors Noel Clarke and Camille Coduri reprise their roles of Mickey and Jackie Tyler, respectively. Billie Piper, recently awarded a best drama actress gong for Doctor Who, returns as the Doctor's sidekick, Rose. Can't wait.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Last night Blake treated me to a wonderful night out tickling London's none too glitzy underbelly as we ventured down south to see Sigur Ros at the Brixton Academy. The first (and indeed last) time I'd seen these wonderful Icelandic peddlers of beautiful chill and impenetrable thrash had been at Somerset House back in The Weekend That Changed My Life© four months ago. On that occasion I'd turned up pfd in leathers on the back of Kevin's motorbike. Last night's gig was a far more subdued and an all together more moving affair. The Ros were in fine fettle and on numerous occasions following some fresh assault on the senses a deathly hush would spread through the crowd like some inverted Mexican wave. People were actually listening. Amazing. The crowd were firmly in Goldfrapp, Kate Bush, Antony and his lovely Johnsons mode. Felt Mountaineering for the masses.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Have I Got News For You...
HIGNFY on Friday was so naughty: "In America yesterday there was some criticism that Camilla is too old. She's approaching 60. That's nothing, as she went into that tunnel Diana was approaching 120." We gasped. Then burst out laughing.
Aerial Artwork Mystery Solved...
Is the mystery of the artwork to Kate Bush's album Aerial perhaps solved? Why according to the sleeve notes it's the soundwave of blackbird song. Makes sense. But will she be number 1 this week?
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Fancy Address Party...
Paul and Hendrick's Hallowe'en fancy dress party on Saturday night in London glitzy West End was a-maz-ing. The invite had said 'dress scary' but that didn't begin to describe the lengths people had gone to. There were devils, horror and gore aplenty. The place was a completely huge fuck-off apartment on two floors that looked like a film set - all behind a giant clock face that was transparent looking out onto Northumberland Avenue. As I say there were loads of boys and girls in really cool costumes consisting of about 60/40 gay/straight. At one point the cast of Chicago turned up (who seemed to take a shine to me in my Caligula outfit for some reason.) The party got a bit fruity later on but I managed to steer clear of all that... until I was about to leave. Thinking it wise to get all the fake blood off me before I ventured into the night I dived into the walk-in shower. But while I had soap in my eyes and completely unbeknownst to me two women and another man appeared beside me! What? Those bathroom door locks don't work then! They just did it for a laugh I think but shameless all the same! To my discredit I blushed deeply, grabbed a towel and fled. A top, top night though.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Kate Bush's Aerial is Sublime...
Oh. My. God. Aerial is simply fantastic from start to finish. Washing lines, parquet floors, hymn-like reveries, spooky backing vocals, signature portrait pieces, footprints in the sand, racy flamenco, shivery duets, staggering beauty, exquisite singing, audacious silliness, it's all here. My favourite track changes with each listen. Currently it is:
Brain Teaser Answers...
Congrats to Dave who got all correct and also to Mark who tried (unsuccessfully) to get me to remember the answers while in the pub last night.
1. 7162 and 3581.
2. Five words: Piers, Prise, Pries, Peris and Spire.
Friday, November 04, 2005
Word verification shocker...
Google's word verification system does choose some odd words.
Click for a bigger version.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
1. Find two blocks of numbers from within this list, one of which is double the other, and which when added together make 10743: 57162383581
2. How many English words can you make from the following five letters. Each letter must be used in the word, but can only be used once: E I P R S
What's in a Name?...
Pity poor 5th row on the right and I guess that must be her brother 4th row 2nd along.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Star Trek actor comes out as gay.
On Sunday the ever-wonderful Paul treated Simon, Charlie and I to tickets to see the rather lounge-tastic Pink Martini at the Sadler's Wells Theatre. It was a head-noddingly, foot-stampingly, hand-clappingly, arm-wavingly, finger-clickingly sensation of a show from opening bar to mind-bending crescendo. Good then.
This quirky, wildly original 12-piece band lie somewhere between a 1930s Cuban dance orchestra, a classical chamber music ensemble, a Brazilian marching street band and Japanese film noir. Pink Martini are engagingly impossible to categorise. On one level they are a retro-chic, Latin-based, classy easy-listening outfit, specialising in charming and melodic cocktail lounge ballads, before veering off into anything and everything from brooding European balladry and operatic mood pieces to ragtime or the Far East. The band is centred around the seductive vocals of China Forbes and piano genius Thomas Lauderdale. They are joined by four percussionists, two horns and a double bass.
Favourite bit? The fat bloke at the end of our row dancing to Brazil.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Chinese State Circus...
On Saturday afternoon the loveable Ian organised tickets for Winston, Martin and myself to go see the Chinese State Circus who had pitched up tent on Blackheath Common.
I'd not seen the CSC before and was mightily impressed. Martin had seen them before but even he was as excited as an excitable thing. There were so many, many "Wow!" moments but my favourites by far were the lions. They were funny, amazing and seemed so innocent and fun loving.
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