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, October 30, 2009
First They Came For The Drag Queens...
First they came for the drag queens, and I did not speak out — because I was not a drag queen;
Then they came for the fairies, and I did not speak out — because I was not a fairy;
Then they came for the poofs, and I did not speak out — because I was not a poof;
Then they came for the queers, and I did not speak out — because I was not queer;
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Candle-lit Vigil for Ian Baynham...
A silent candle-lit vigil will be held against hate crime in memory of Ian Baynham in Trafalgar Square 8pm to 10pm on today Friday 30th October 2009 to show the world that this criminal behaviour is unacceptable here and to stand shoulder to shoulder to stop this happening again.
Below is a picture of Ian (centre) in happier times at Shake Your Tail Feather in August with Janet and David.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Sometimes people can be too perky in their jobs. Last week we went to check on my nan in the hospital to see if she'd made it through the night.
"How is nan?", we asked the doctor nervously.
"GIVE ME A "D"...!
Daphne And Celeste Getting Bottled At Reading 2000...
Ooh stick you, your Mamma too and your Daddy!
U G L Y you aint got no alibi. You're ugly!
I like the very end when she says, "You guys are wasting so much food!"
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The other week I had the triplets, Sarah, Myrtle and Dad over. Myrtle bought them some toys, we had lunch and we played in Highbury playground. All great fun. Pix here.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Ging Gang Goolie...
Ging gang goolie goolie goolie goolie watcha,
Ging gang goo, ging gang goo.
Ging gang goolie goolie goolie goolie watcha,
Ging gang goo, ging gang goo.
Hayla, oh hayla shayla, hayla shayla, shayla, oh-ho,
Hayla, oh hayla shayla, hayla shayla, shayla, oh.
Shally wally, shally wally, shally wally, shally wally,
Oompah, oompah, (stick in up your jumpa).
James, while John had had "had", had had "had had"; "had had" had had a better effect on the teacher.
The pub sign painter had spread the lettering out too much. There was too much space between the 'Pig' and 'And' and 'And' and 'Whistle'.
Monday, October 26, 2009
The support acts on the night were Mumford & Sons (rather pleasing folk rock with the emphaise more on the 'rock' than the 'folk') and Mr Hudson (without his Library and it has to be said, rather loud but rather bland).
Ms Faith herself was a complete star. She took to a stage that looked like something from Alice In Wonderland - decorated as it was with white helium balloons, over-sized white dominos and small white chairs. Dressed in 1940s garb she bore comparisons vocally to Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Kate Bush and the Puppini Sisters.
Song of the night was definitely current single New York. This was mashed up rather wonderfully with the classic New York, New York and features on her debut album Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful. The song itself has been described as "a gospel-tinted ballad painted with orchestral beauty for broken hearts and dark, sleepless streets." So there.
Ms. Faith is also an actress and appears as the devil's lover in The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus. There is obviously no end to this lady's talents.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Good Riddance You Corrupt Homophobe....
Tory MP David Wilshire is a truly odious man.
It's not just his £160,532 parliamentary expenses bill that make him odious (with his London flat less than 15 miles away from where he lives) or his expenses claims for furniture or travel or entertainment or paying £105,000 over three years to Moorlands Research Services (a company he set up and owned with his partner Anne Palmer to run his office.) Oh no. He has a worse side to him.
For it was David Wilshire who was responsible for introducing the Section 28 legislation in 1988.
The ban was eventually reversed by Parliament in 2003 but naturally Wilshire was one of 76 MPs to vote against the repeal. Early in 2000 the lovely Mr Wiltshire had voted to prohibit teachers from introducing steps to prevent bullying on the grounds of homosexuality in a later Local Government Bill. He also voted against homosexual couples being allowed to adopt children in 2002, against the Civil Partnership Bill of 2004 (which granted a legal relationship for same-sex couples) and against the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) in 2007, which outlawed discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities, services, education and public functions on the grounds of sexual orientation. In each case Wilshire's vote was in the minority.
Well, now we hear that David Wilshire has announced that he will stand down as an MP at the next election. Shame really as I'd have liked to have seen him stand - and lose. Badly.
Good riddance you corrupt homophobe.
Freedom of Speech...
Nick Griffin on Question Time last night was odious. But, as Voltaire said: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Annie Get Your Gun...
Young Vic in London's fashionable Waterloo to see Annie Get Your Gun.
Jane Horrocks plays sharp-shotting Annie and Julian Ovenden plays Frank the handsome, womanizing star who challenges anyone in town to a shooting match when Buffalo Bill’s ‘Wild West Show’ comes to town.
Irving Berlin wrote the musis and lyrics which includes some of his all-time favourite show-stopping tunes, including, There's No Business Like Show Business, Doin' What Comes Natur'lly, You Can't Get a Man with a Gun, They Say It's Wonderful, and Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better.
The song I'm an Indian Too was dropped from the show as it was considered racist and demeaning of Native Americans - although other shows see it as a mildly satirical attack on racial stereoyping. Hey ho.
Good show though.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
You've heard of Chinese whispers, right? Well this is Japanese whispers. Start with a sentence in English and then keep translating it backwards and forwards into Japanese and see when the translations stabilise.
In Their Ivory Towels...
One of my favourite malapropisms: "I bet they feel safe in their ivory towels"
On Thursday 5th Nov 2009 the Stonewall Awards will be held at the V&A. It's the biggest event in the gay autumn calendar and honours those who have made a positive contribution to lesbian and gay equality in Britain in the past year. The show is hosted by Gok Wan, and nominees include Paul O'Grady, Janet Street Porter, Beth Ditto and Stephen K Amos.
And guess what? Paul is up for an award for broadcast of the year with Economy Gastronomy. Go Paul!
Broadcast of the Year
‘Corrective Rape in South Africa’ (Samira Ahmed – Channel 4 News report)
Economy Gastronomy (BBC 2)
Find me a Family (Channel 4)
FYI Radio (lesbian and gay youth radio station)
Pobol y Cwm (BBC Cymru)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Out at last on DVD is the cult 1970s camp classic drag film Outrageous!
Telling the story of Robin Turner's (Craig Russell) rise from hairdresser to fully fledged drag queen the film's limited budget, so-so sound and grainy print quality does nothing to detract from the great performances.
Craig Russell has a three octave range and is an uncanny mimic (Mae West, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, Ethel Merman) - so that’s who Dame Edna Experience got his act from! Close your eyes and it could be SLAGS @ RVT only circa 1977.
The action starts in Toronto where Robin lives with his mad female friend and flatmate Liza (Hollis McLaren). Robin's rapid rise in the drag world is mirrored by Liza's own gradual descent into schizophrenic fantasy. It is both moving and funny to watch the two - the madness of him performing to leather queens in a frock and the madness of her as she tries to cope with her own delusions. Ultimately it is their love for each other that keeps them both going as we see them move from the gay bars by the Great Lake to the The Jack Rabbit Club in the Big Apple.
This is rare film indeed - a pre-AIDS gay film which manages to be non-judgemental in it's depiction of gay men; leather queens and drag queens drinking, dancing, loving and living.
It's a sort of The Next Best Thing meets Hedwig And The Angry Inch meets Priscilla meets Shortbus.
My favourite quotes:
Why do you live with 'that'? 'That' is my best friend.
There are three important things in life: sex, movies, and my career. You should think almost entirely about them and never about yourself.
I'm dead inside. You're not dead. You're alive and sick and living in New York like eight million other people.
You’re mad as a hatter darling. But that’s OK. ‘Cos I am too
It's competition time! I have five copies of the new DVD Outrageous! to give away. Yes, to give away! All you have to do is answer a simple question.
What is the name of the actress who plays Robin Turner's flatmate Liza in the film?
Email your answer and your postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org before 26th Oct 2009 and you could be in with a chance of winning a copy of the film to keep and keep again.
The small print: Five winners will be randomly chosen from correct entries. UK entrants only I'm afraid. overyourhead's decison is final.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Roger and I went to Blackpool last weekend to see the Funny Girls show. We had great fun up and down the Golden Mile and in and out of the bars. It was great to meet Spencer again and indeed his parents.
Friday, October 16, 2009
NSPCC City Conker Cup...
Last night I attending a charity event - the annual NSPCC City Conker Cup at Loose Cannon down by Cannon Bridge.
I'd been baking my conkers, soaking them in vinegar and threading them on the toughest twine I could find - but as per the rules, we could only use their conkers not our own.
Our team was called Conkering Heroes and we got through to the 3rd round before my and ne of my team mates strings broke.
It was a great night and although I didn't win The Conker Cup as planned I did win something way better at the silent auction. I how have a very big hole in pocket now but big ups to the NSPCC for organising.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Canada Victoria and Whistler Pictures...
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Canada Vancouver Pictures...
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Canada The Rockies Pictures...
The night began with Tito Jackson and his band The Brothers performing a tribute to their late brother Michael; a string of Michael's best loved songs - along with Jackson 5 hits and his own material. Interestingly his brothers Marlon and Jackie were there too as was their mother Katherine.
After the interval the Knight really started. “Hey y’all!", she said. "Work day’s over it’s time to party!”
Opening with her very first hit of Every Beat of My Heart from 1961 Gladys treated us to a wandering through her career both with and without the Pips. We were treated to such hits as:
I Heard It Through the Grapevine
If I Were Your Woman
You’re The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me
The Way We Were
Come Back and Finish What You Started
Licence to Kill
If You Don’t Know Me By Now
End Of The Road
Midnight Train to Georgia
I Will Survive
She mused at one point, “I didn’t really understand If I Were Your Woman when Mr Gordy gave it to me and didn’t want to sing it, but he was right in the end to make me.” Too right he was.
Gladys Knight has a uniquely emotional and spiritual voice, few can compare to The Empress of Soul. The raw emotion that she put into her singing meant that every song sounded fresh, bringing many spine-tingling moments.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Canada Toronto Pictures...
Friday, October 09, 2009
Canada Montreal Pictures...
100 Famous Rock Guitar Riffs...
And here's the answers.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Doctor Who Fans Name Best Episode Ever...
Over 6700 Time Lord fans responded to a Doctor Who Magazine call to rate all 200 episodes of the classic sci-fi TV series, and selected 1984's The Caves of Androzani - in which fifth Doctor Peter Davison hung up his sonic screwdriver - as the best of the bunch. Davison's finale beat 2007's excellent Blink, with David Tennant, into second spot. Tom Baker deservedly took third place with 1975's Genesis of the Daleks.
In The Caves of Androzani, the Doctor and companion Peri arrive on the planet Androzani Minor, and are soon entangled in a dark plot involving gun-running, drug-smuggling and android duplicates. At the climax of the story, dying from poison, the Doctor has to regenerate to save his own life, but saves the life of Peri in the process.
The full 200-episode league table appears in Doctor Who Magazine #413. The top ten are:
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Victoria Wood's Talent...
It was funny night and we had the privilege of attending a Q&A with the cast and Victoria after the show.
'Talent' is set in 1978 with a talent night at Bunter’s niteclub, and contestant Julie and her fat friend Maureen are waiting backstage. As they are plunged into a world of ukulele wielding pensioners, crotch grabbing comperes and some long buried personal history, Julie and Maureen have to decide how lucky they really want to be.
Talent is a comedy with original songs written by Victoria Wood. It was first performed in 1978 at the Crucible Theatre Sheffield, winning Wood the Evening Standard award for Most Promising Playwright. Adapted for TV the following year, it won her another Most Promising Writer Award and a BAFTA nomination.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Dr Who New Logo...
Dilwyn's Birthday Party...
On Saturday night - still awake from our 500 mile journey and 9 hour flight from Vancouver - we headed out to celebrate a couple of birthdays. As a warm up we popped into Nat's 30th down in Fulham and afterwards we popped into Dilwyn's
Monday, October 05, 2009
Back In The Saddle...
Did I say saddle? I meant harness. So I'm back at my desk - with terrible jet-lag. Just hope I can make it though the day.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Our last full day in Canada so we decided to take a day trip to Vancouver Island. It was a bit of a haul - a twelve hour plus round trip but we wanted to explore the coastline a bit more and perhaps catch a glimpse of a whale on the way.
Our transportation method of choice was coach to the ocean then ferry across to the island and then coach again once there. This seemed to be the best way to relax and take pictures, listen to the live commentary should we want to and also take a nap(!) The driver was a right comedian and gave us the low down on what we were seeing as well as the state of politics in British Columbia.
The trip was good fun - despite the initial rain. Victoria wasn't quite the chintzy bundle of British kitschiness we'd been lead to believe but is was good to see it. We had a late lunch in a Scottish-themed pub (no really) and then spent the next two hours playing "I see your
The day wasn't a total wash out though. We got to spend some time in the rather wonderful Butchart Gardens (fifty-five acres of stunning floral show) and despite not actually spotting any whales, we did enjoy our little cruise amongst the Gulf Islands.
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