Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Parrot Procreation and Press Prize Pull Offs

Part Two Of The Honeymoon Diaries

"Look baby... they are doing rude things... look baby... look sixty nine... look baby he´s going for it!" Mr B it appeared was rather enthralled in the parrots of Barcelona´s parks. These were not the ones in the Zoo we were heading for, I know I know you go to a new city and head for the Zoo as it was it wasnt free so I wasnt going in! Now I have seen parrots in Hampstead, Kew but nothing as loud or frankly as racy as this. Mr B was thinking of home as we strolled through the palm trees gazing a provocative parrots and eating mango gelato´s. Parrots in Brazil are apparently much more common, much bigger and make much more noise... show offs.

The stroll was much needed as we spent the first 4 hours of our sunny Tuesday indoors. First port of call was the tourism office, no not the tourist information, goes straight to the head honcho´s does Mr Savidge. The wait for almost an hour in reception was worth it after a delightful coffee and natter myself and my beloved left the building with press packs and most importantly press passes. Big perk of the job... well there has to be some. This means we now have free entry to all attractions and forms of transport yippee!

Sadly being press doesnt mean you can queue jump (selfish) and so we queued for almost 40mins just to get into the Sagrada Familia, we decided not to bother queueing the two hours to get a lift to the top, naturally with my loathing of heights I was gutted! It has changed since I last came 13 years ago, but not masses, I will definately come back to see it done in 2020, a little bit of a hopeful date of completion me thinks. Its a complete masterpiece though.

Post parrot porn we went not to the Cathedral, the Picasso Museum, one of the mountains. No we went to the Aquarium and despite my snobish ´why´when Mr B pleaded I am glad we did. You dont get to pet penguins in London! It was awesome. Alexs second choice wasnt. I dont think I would have enjoyed ´Dinosaurs Alive in 3D´even if it had been in English. A chocolate donut covered in mint choc chip shut me up!

We came out to seriously hardcore glorious sunshine, and so we hit the beach. I will tell you all my issue with sand another time but I braved it and we frollicked, well strolled, along the shore and for the first time it felt totally like I think a honeymoon should. Hand in hand in the sand, that will be my fondest memory of 2008, or possibly when Mr B got stuck as a rogue wave sucked him in. I laughed and laughed it was just bliss and there was me thinking I would kill him with so much time just us two. I currently dont want to come back! After braving sand I was on such a high I thought I should brave heights and go up the twelve floors to get the cable car from one side of the sea to the other, incredibly high, incredibly wobbly, sadly it had closed, again I was gutted hahaha!

Note: I would talk about dinner but it was so bad (I actually demanded to see the manager which is so not me) I think I should leave you on a high rather than a moan. After dinner we swam on the roof, in a pool obviously, looking at the stars and the moon and freezing our bits off...maybe thats my favourite memory of 2008????

Oh and as am a day behind in blogs, and on a themed note, have a very very Happy Nude Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Barcelona Burger ID Scandal

Part One of the Honeymoon Diaries

Could the honeymoon period of the honeymoon already be over? Yesterday morning I had the strangest feeling it could, then I finally took my extra strong valium and everything was fine. Yes the belated honeymoon is here and thanks to Ryanair it almost ended in tears before it had even begun. Their website wouldn’t let us book an additional bag for some reason, and as Mr B is from a non EU country we couldn’t check in online meaning we have now been charged an addition forty quid each way. (i cant do pound signs on this Spanish keyboard and if my spelling is bad, well slightly worse than normal its because the spell check thinks everything am writing is wrong.) So after that we hoped it would all be plane sailing (geddit?) sadly we were delayed, delayed, flight changed, flight cancelled, terminal changed and then suddenly in the air… just as my drugs wore off. The flight though bar the vile yellow and blue theme and horrific endless selling and jingles was great. I have to say I thanked the lord I had 4 weeks of The Archers to catch up on downloaded on my iPod, I think I have finally found the answer to my flying phobia... Big doses of Ambridge Farm.

So finally yesterday afternoon we arrived in Barcelona, well when I say Barcelona I actually mean Reus. Reus is not Barcelona, don’t believe a word anyone at Easyjet or Ryanair say Reus IS SIMPLY NOT IN BARCELONA. We know this from the almost two hours it took to get from Reus to Barcelona at the small cost of thirty euro´s. We musn´t complain though, we are here safe and sound. We finally got to the hotel at 7pm meaning we had missed a day. It is an amazing hotel (will do a photo blog when back) the breakfast this morning was amazing, the room has different themed lightings and everything works via switches next to the bed, very Austin Powers.

Like pure tourists we were no sooner rid of our luggage than asking the receptionist the way to a McDonalds. We were starving and after endless journeys we´d had no more than a blinking cheese and ham toastie all day. Now we know that when you are away from home things arent quite the same and I normally like that. The chicken burger thing they are doing here, for example, beats anything in a maccy d´s back home. When you come to pay you dont expect the words "do you have any ID?" Fortunately we did.

This kept happening and for a while Mr B and myself were thinking ´wow, we must look so young´a lovely lady put us right in the local supermarket where we had gone for hotel must haves water, juice, crisps and chocolates... oh and a new favourite ´Don Simon Sangria´. She told us "we have to ask as your cards are foreign and their is so much theft in Barcelona streets we never know if its yours or not!" Well that filled us with christmas cheer and hope. We laughed about it, and the day in general on the way back to the hotel. We realised we were shattered, well it had been an eventful 24 hours. We were in bed asleep by 9pm UK time.

Now well slept, full of cheeses and meats, I am caffined up and raring to go and have more adventures. I think today is the big massive cathedrale and the seaside!

Oh note: A certain person said that bloggiong about being away is the biggest invite for burglars at your flat, so any thieving b**stards around... we have flat sitters in! I thank you!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Chrimbo Catch Up

In the time it takes to run a bath, in what seems to have been the only free hour for weeks and weeks, I thought I would catch up with you all and firstly wish you a belated Merry Christmas (insert picture of Mr B and myself looking like silly elves – oh I have). We both have some form of mild food poisoning at the moment so in the flesh don’t look so chipper… and no it was not my Christmas cooking.
I did have a small myspace holiday as it was all just getting too much but I am back. I hope you are all well and had a delicious Christmas? Christmas Day was a very quiet affair this year. Just me and Mr B at home for our first Christmas as husband and husband, and actually it was perfect apart from a small glitch when I opened my presents and already had them all. Moving swiftly on, I really enjoyed things being so simple. I know Christmas is a family time and though I love my mother and step dad when it comes to being cooped up in their log cabin (though idyllic) in the middle of nowhere in Shropshire with two teenagers and two under elevens, certain cracks begin to show in our relationship and things can get a bit tense. This year saw me at possibly my calmest. I even managed to pull off my first ever proper Christmas dinner. The husband said that my maple syrup glazed roast carrots and parsnips were heavenly and my brussel sprouts, chestnuts and pancetta (or bacon – thanks Nigella) were a taste sensation, which from him being a bit of a food buff was quite the compliment. The highest compliment of all was that he said it was better than my mum’s, naturally I told her this and she has now decided to up the ‘evil mother in law routine’ for 2009.

Speaking of my mother she came for the weekend before Christmas and we had the loveliest time. There was the London Eye, well Mr B took the children on the London Eye whilst my mother and I sat in a café and caught up. This was the first time we had been alone together, no kids or partners or anyone, for THREE years, and it was really nice sipping and gossiping. We then, thanks to the ex, got tickets for Panto after a delicious Italian in Wimbledon, if the amount of wine I drank in said evening hadn’t riddled my brain I would recommend the venue but I have forgotten the name. Cinderella was good, Gareth Gates could sing but not act and Stacey from Gavin & Stacey (I don’t know her real name) could act but not sing, somehow it worked. That could of course be down to the amount of alcohol we drank my mother is certainly using that for the excuse as why she slept through a lot of it. The ugly stepsisters stole the show.

In other news bulletins from the busy goings on in December; I have been working on the new issue of Bent and need Bears, yes big gay bears please, please contact me if you’re interested. Am currently thrilled as February will be my 4th cover feature in a year (by this I mean the cover picture feature, I have actually had at least two of my features on the cover every month), which in my first proper year I think isn’t half bad and I don’t normally blow my own trumpet but am feeling quite proud.

I found my own porn double. Now I am seriously not making this up. For the Bear issue Triga sent me some gifts and in one I was confronted with almost myself on screen. To say it was odd was an understatement, to then have your husband ask ‘oh my god have you done a porn film’ and give you funny looks for the rest of the day is bizarre. He did also do this with Mark from Westlife only then he wanted to know if secretly I was in a boyband. I think the lesson is my husband is crazy.

I took the lovely Dom Agius to see Boy George who was awful. The venue was dire and so were his singing and song choices. I was really disappointed as had been really looking forward to it. We left before the interval and went for a beer or two and a gossip in the Kings Arms instead, much better.

I did some temping, as a) research b) was bored c) wanted extra Christmas cash which after tax was royally pointless, during my extended Christmas break from the magazine. I realised I don’t really like anyone other than me being my boss but did invent some fun games to play such as;
- Spot the gay staff
- How to look really busy when you’re not doing anything and no one is giving you anything to do or any eye contact as your not really worth it
- Getting lost, well it takes up time
- Staring off a member of staff who spills tea everywhere until they understand via the power of mind reading/facial expression
that ‘no I am not going to clean that up, you made the mess, you f**king clean it yourself’ all whilst somehow smiling sweetly
I think maybe I should stop in case I ever decide to do this malarkey again and someone from one of the companies spots me and reads this! It was interesting though and I did come away with four chapters under my belt and three wonderful characters. Plus it paid for all Mr B’s presents whilst leaving me able to get myself a Blackberry so it was worth it in its own way.

I went off the Christmas tangent there sorry. Well the bath is run and I need a long relaxing soak, so again a belated Happy Christmas and I again promise to be better at blogging I think everyone is just too manic at the mo. Hope you all ate drank and were merry and got all the presents you wished for!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Birthdays and Anniversaries

I have been meaning to write a few blogs this week but it all seems to have gone by ridiculously quickly and what with birthdays, Girls Aloud events, a fabulous strop at said event (not by me, but I don’t tell tales), being frozen for 90% of the week, catching the ‘bug’ and some antics involving theft of a traffic cone its been quite a week and its only Friday morning. I am sadly still feeling like death warmed up but am back in the blogosphere.

Last Sunday was Mr B’s birthday; it also happens that the same day as our anniversary. Yes Mr B was lucky enough to have me pretty much in a big drunken bow as his 27th birthday present when we came face to face on a dancefloor and I frowned at him… I was trying to get to the bar. The dancefloor in question is one that is soon to be knocked down just like our wedding ‘masked ball’ venue will be... is that telling us something? Anyway people always say ‘oh its so romantic that you met on his birthday’ (unless you happen to be my Gran who reminded me that my mother met her first husband on his birthday and he died before they were married seven months, she’s special my Gran). You either get the ‘romantic view’ or you get people who make vomit signs, which is what I would do if it wasn’t me involved in all honesty.

It does have a certain romance about it, well when you tell people that is, and true enough some people could use the word fate or destiny or simply ‘a sweet coincidence’. In reality not so much, especially after being together a while, the novelty wears of and instead you are left with a very strange unbalancing equilibrium of present buying and over compensating. For example the rules are a bit off, I mean you shouldn’t really have to be buying someone else presents on your birthday should you? There is of course a massive row waiting to be had over who will pay the bill over lunch and/or dinner, with one of you wanting to buy as an anniversary or birthday treat, the other trying to pay as an anniversary treat, it gets very confusing and it gets very vexing.

There is also the problem that one of you might not like birthdays at it brings back some sad memories and makes you think about where your life is going. On my birthday getting older isn’t really on my mind as I have hit the spirits by 11am in an aim to get the damn day over as quickly as possible as intoxicated as possible. This year was a hard one as it was the first without Bong. Mr B still misses his mother so much and when no one else in your family even bothers to call I think it made him feel particularly uncelebratory. Now this leads to one of you wanting to spend the day in bed curtains closed and shutting out the world. The other one of you is off running out to buy a birthday breakfast and some final presents and being all excited about the day ahead filling it with plans and expectations. It leads to rows, irritation and in the case of this year sulks in the bath, refusals to go out at all in the evening and a chicken being thrown. I won’t say who did what but I did one of the above.

I wondered whether it was the fact that the day was an anti-climax. You know, when you have things to celebrate I feel that I should be on cloud nine all day – not realistic but that’s the way that my mind works. I mean on my wedding day I was so insistent everyone else was having a good time it took me a while to relax and have one myself. By 7pm we weren’t speaking, he was lurking downstairs whilst I prowled upstairs. It wasn’t the fun we intended. Now I don’t know how it happened, I think I got the giggles over a stray piece of chicken that fell from the ceiling and landing on Mr B but before we knew it we were laughing hysterically all the way to the curry house. We didn’t fight over the bill, we simply relaxed and remembered the most important thing, not the presents or the ‘forced best day’ just being together and ourselves, it just so happened one of us had gotten a small bit older and maybe should have known better, sorry I had to get that in there.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Some people I know think that I am crazy to be having surgery next year. Particularly after a cancerous few years, these involved five operations in all, none of which were nice. However I am always up for something new, and am always up for something free (though I don't mind paying - like I am to have a new set of teeth in Brazil next Feb) and when you get offered the chance for some free cosmetic surgery well why say no plus as a project that's not for Bent and for something bigger and more visual (that's all am saying) it would be good for my career - not that you need surgery to be a roving reporter etc.

I had been told I could have anything done I wanted up to a certain budget. The ones that they had sent me the facts on were 'Intelligent Lipo', 'Non Evasive Face Lift', 'Botox', 'Chemical Peel' and 'Macrolane To The Penis' the latter didn't even seem bearable no matter what macrolane was. I never got to find out actually.

So off I went to see a specialist thinking 'oh this could be fun, you don't get the chance of this everyday'. I didn't expect it to open up the question 'how happy am I with my own body' which is a veritable can of worms. Well liposuction is of course and instant tick box, especially as this is a new form of liposuction that means less custardy lumps and bruising, yay, yay and thrice yay. That was not a hard choice to make. Botox, well why not lets give it a whirl. When I went to see the surgeon who is doing a non evasive facelift (no knives, no staples and only lasts six months) I didn't realise my faults would be pointed out so calmly and slightly bluntly. I am all for bluntness, if you are my friend... otherwise back off.

Bags under my eyes I could deal with, I am after all in quite a stressful job and at the moment doing two issues of the magazine in less time that we do one I have been loosing sleep. I don't give a monkey's about laughter lines as they show I have a sense of humour and laugh a lot. 'You know you could do with a nose job' he said 'looks like it could be smoothed out'. I wanted to tell him this is from when one of my delightful ex-boyfriends and I ended up in a fight and my nose was broken by him and broken back by a very handsome nurse and that actually I learnt a valuable lesson that day about men and this was a scar to remember it. I looked in the mirror, god do I have an ugly nose, self doubt started creeping in!

A few rooms later sat in my pants I felt like Samantha from Sex and the City when she gets covered in crosses going to see what she should have done to her face. Well this was my whole body, I looked like a noughts and crosses jumbo annual. This was thanks to Liposuction Man who I personally felt had gone a bit far. 'You could have laser surgery on those stretch marks' no, I haven't had a baby but yes after being on some certain drugs and lots of bed rest I am not the slender spring chicken I once was but life goes on and at least I am not dead. My patience was lessening.

'Oh and that scar on your back, we could get rid of that. The scar on my back is from a growth being taken from my spine, they filled it with a foot of gauze I will have you know... very impressive! I call this my war wound, yes its ugly some scar tissue is but it reminds me of something, well in theory it does, I cant actually see it most of the time. It reminds me of what was a very scary and worrying time in my life and how the horrid little vain nbitchy queen I was grew up and changed for the better - well I hope so anyways.

One thing that did lift my spirits, stroke my ego and make me chuckle (reluctantly at the time) was when he said 'so… will you be wanting the macrolane to the penis…' we both looked down to the offending article and he said 'oh no I see we might not need that' now as flattered as I was (I gave him the biggest smirk I could muster) I did want to say to him 'that nothing compared to when they thought I had something cancerous down there and the swelling caused the x-ray man to snigger'. I also wanted to add 'I have had one operation down there and seriously you couldn't pay me to do anything to that, unless death was the only other option'. I just got dressed and left in a flurry or grumpyness, so much so I never asked what the heck macrolane was.

Having taken some time to think on it I am still having a little lipo and Botox though just for research purposes you understand; I will still look exactly the same only slightly expressionless for a few weeks, but for now at least I am leaving it at that. What made me make this decision? Well...

After a bath and a soaking sulk plus some serious scrubbing to remove the surgeons felt tip marks from all over me I stood in front of the mirror and I thought 'do you know what, I might not be the buffest or thinnest of men, I might have scars and marks but my body tells a history of me and I think I like it just the way it is.' I have nothing against those people who choose to have full on surgery in fact I am going to be meeting a fair few, I am just not letting myself be put under pressure by any one or any surgeon to go that bit further.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Case of the Missing Parcels

I feel like I might have to become one of my all time hero’s and literary icons Sherlock Holmes for deep in the Tooting massive something odd and quite worrying seems to be happening. Letters are arriving at my home but now a whopping ten parcels have apparently ‘gone missing’. Should they have all been sent on the same day then I might think ‘oh a post box was set fire to by ruffians at a specific address’ or ‘oh dear maybe a postman or post van spontaneously combust’ but no as its on various different dates of these being sent it appears this isn’t the case.

In fact as Royal Mail have told me ‘if it hasn’t been 15 days then it’s not lost, some post can take 15 days’. Does this not scream of being slightly wrong? I thought we paid for first class stamps in order that they turned up the next day… not within the next 15? Maybe this is a secret only people working at Royal Mail know, like a secret handshake or non-specific nod? I think if this is the case it should be made slightly more public.

I normally don’t worry about post however one parcel is over one hundred pounds worth of books. I know, I know the sender should have sent them recorded delivery minimal, especially as they are now saying they won’t send replacements, I won’t mention names but Bloomsbury books you know who you are, whoops did I just out them? One email did make me laugh ‘seeing as we sent them to the address stated it seems pointless to send them again as they won’t turn up’ I can oddly see the logic I am still incredibly unimpressed. However its not just them its several other publishers and also some PR firms, I am wondering if the post man is going around with fabulous hardback or twenty resting on his trolley around Tooting whilst humming to Same Difference, Britney or Kanye West (aren’t I eclectic) blasting through his headphones?

There is a darker side to this that I am unsure as to whether to even open the can of worms to. All the parcels had ‘Bent Magazine’ written on, now I don’t play the homophobic card often its just seems odd that post merely addressed to me seems to arrive as long as it’s no thicker than a bill. It’s all very peculiar. They haven’t gone to head office in a random London = Leeds confusion, I have checked. Of course they could be sat in the sorting office with no ‘sorry we missed you card’ having been slipped through my slot, or maybe it went to another same numbered house on this road that is actually a separate road (complex but true) or maybe the shop has it next door? I just can’t imagine ten parcels getting lost on separate days can you?

With that I shall get my cape, pipe and deerstalker and go and investigate.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Special Needs Pets

I don’t now if anyone else watched this last night on the delightful channel 4 but it was one of the oddest TV shows I have seen for ages. ‘Special Needs Pets’ looking to the households who look after, well, pets with special needs. Now I am a bit of a cat lover and quite happily confess that I will possibly end up in a bungalow smelling of cat wee surrounded by forty cats (heaven help me when I do a feature at Battersea Dogs Home next week) in my jungle like back garden and home.

This show worried me, really worried me. Not in the fact that quite clearly these people loved their pets for indeed every single owner seemed greatly concerned for their pets but in some cases this bordered on keeping their pet for their own emotions and not for the fairness of the pet. Some stories were lovely for example Katie the Jack Russell whose brain wasn’t sending the right messages to her legs and was toppling over quite often. She was bought a wonderful dog like wheelchair for her back legs and was soon charging around the garden like a new born pup rather than a elderly dog and using a stair lift to get anywhere her wheels wouldn’t let her. I also loved the lady who might become a small icon of mine who was a veterinary nurse and who saved cats with special needs, she had twelve but wasn’t ‘a crazy cat lady, so don’t you say it’. I would say for ten of the cats it was fine, for two of them I had a moment of sadness one dragged its back legs and one just couldn’t walk properly and kept falling over. However she worked for a vet and so I thought she must have a good insight.

Two cases completely disturbed me. No not the masturbating parrot or the parrot who was balding from grief of the loss of one of his owners – did you know parrots are the pet most prone to mental problems? You learn something new every day.

The cases that disturbed me were one of a rabbit who was paralysed from the waist down and wore a nappy couldn’t walk and could only be kept in a fairly small cage, wrong, completely and utterly wrong. The woman made the valid point that you wouldn’t put a disabled person down, you could argue back some people choose to euthanasia in certain circumstances. The one out of all of them that to me seemed the cruellest was some idiot posh accountant whose cat had a horrific accident. The cat was left unable to go to the toilet by itself bar occasionally wetting itself. So the owner would pummel and push its stomach three times a day until it did its business. Now I have owned a lot of cats but even if you haven’t, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that if the cat is screaming and screaming while you have to empty its stomach its not really having a good quality of life… don’t even get me started on its nappy wearing. The owner said the cat had ‘dignity’ funny it didn’t want to cuddle him ever.

I know how hard it is to make the decision to put a pet down, I had to make the decision earlier in the year with Hoyden as she was clearly unhappy even though the vet said she could last a few more months, said vet did also make me feel like the worst cat owner in history for the second time, I’ll come back to the first shortly. It was horrible to choose whether your pet lives or dies but you need to be completely unselfish and think what’s best for the animal. I chose what was right for Hoyden even though it killed me inside.

There was one other couple I felt sorry for and that was the couple with the overweight cat Boris, I think it was called Boris? Their vet, like mine (this was when he first made me feel like the worst owner on earth with Thisbe Hoyden’s sister) told them that they were over feeding their incredibly fat cat and that they were killing it. I got really angry at this as Thisbe was huge, she made floorboards creak in fact I will add a picture so you all know how fat she was, and every diet I put her on she stayed fat. I played with her till the cows came home and to no avail. As you can now see…
People and pets, what can you do?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Under The Depths of London Bridge

I remember on Saturday night thinking quite clearly as I stepped down into the dark ‘the things I do for bloody charity’ that was in the 20 minutes calm before Polly, Mr B and Michelle were all screaming their heads off, I wasn’t screaming of course – far too butch and brave for that. You’re right I am completely lying I was screaming and a few seconds before the doors to the tomb closed you might have possibly heard me mutter ‘why did we f-ing go first, I might s**t myself’ it was by then of course too late.

I was of course back in the London Tombs I obviously can’t keep away, even after almost wetting myself with fear walking round the London Bridge Experience upstairs in the daytime with a torch and then screaming my head off down in the tombs where things come to get you. I don’t know whether going back down knowing what was coming made things worse or not? To see Polly and Michelle scream that much was a pure delight even if it did include Michelle walking backwards on my toes every ten minutes but not letting me let go of her, it was like a strange for of torture for us all. Last time was just the two of us which was bad but in a group its worse, in one room we were all screaming… at nothing but ourselves. Corporations should definitely take newly bound teams down there; I was hugging men I had never met before in fear, well that was my excuse.

The tombs were discovered when they were building what was going to be a Dickensian Restaurant Attraction. They were digging out one of the many vaults under London Bridge to build a wine cellar when they found skulls and bones, after tests were conducted they found that they were two different types, some were plague victims and they had come across a plague pit, others further down were skulls only with a hole in the roof… traitors for traitors gate. No sooner had these been discovered than odd things started happening and eventually a group of big burly builders quit in fear. (For the sceptical I have seen the invoices for jobs half done and the letters.) So the owners decided to make it into a scream attraction, I advise everyone to go its brilliant.

St Johns Ambulance had setup the whole spooky sleepover to raise money in a new and fresh way and it really worked. The first part of the evening was as have said going on the two levelled attraction before a delightful buffet. We then had time with a proper paranormal investigation team where Mr B and Polly looked completely unimpressed but Michelle and I got dowsing and also became an interrogation squad of sorts to the poor medium. Well I have always wanted to ask a medium so many questions so I didn’t hold back. I couldn’t work out if he thought I was being serious when I asked ‘can you switch it off, I mean they would talk to you all the time otherwise and you might be on the toilet or something?’ It was a genuine question, I remember before Bong died and he knew it was coming, he said ‘I will come and hover around you know’ I said ‘remember there is a time and a place’.

We then got a second walk around with Ghost Stories; the actor was really good the choice of stories wasn’t. I mean The Picture of Dorian Gray is a great story but is it a ghost story… not so much. There were some great stories just none that actually scared me, but in one of the rooms something did scare me. I got what I can only describe as a ‘bwuuurrrrgggggghhhhh’ really loudly in my ear and almost… well you can guess. No one was behind me, Mr B thought he had heard it sat on the floor next to me, I felt awful as I kicked him thinking it was him. We had a break and then did a séance in the depths of the tombs, they didn’t want to play, but then three members of the circle fell asleep and it was only bloody 3am!

We got back upstairs and realised that by sleepover they meant sleep, in my head it was ghost hunting until dawn. Everyone started scuttling off to sleep in safe warm rooms! Fortunately James the Manager I met before was on shift and after asking him a very important question (who had been kicked off the X Factor) as he had the internet. He then asked if we wanted a private tour just the four of us and him. It was great we went into private areas, walked the tombs in the dark was definitely my favourite hour and a half of the evening. Pretty soon though we were flagging so got out or sleeping bags curled up as a four in one of the dark spooky rooms and tried to sleep. I found the companionship of two suits of armour slightly off putting… but we coped and before we knew it, it was 8am, we’d managed it and we were hardcore.

Now if you want to sponsor us as its all done you still can (hint, hint) just visit you have till January, but the sooner the better lol.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Blindest of Dates

I have never really considered what it would be like to be blind; I have considered what it would be like to be deaf as one of ex-boyfriends Pete was deaf. My mum dated someone very briefly who was blind, well I think she dated him I might be wrong they might have been ‘good friends’, and I remember dancing with him like a crazy thing at a Wedding disco, he also told me of his parachute jumps. I suppose with meeting such a positive role model I didn’t think being blind could be that difficult, I suppose I thought it would be dark obviously however now the idea of not being able to read a book or use the internet or see my little siblings smiling faces.

Two things have made me think about blindness recently one was the fact that my mother at the ripe young age of 42 has found out that she is getting early cataracts (which could be hereditary) and could in her old age go blind. There have been a lot of tears partly because my mum still believes she is nineteen, she had a girls only disco in the pub she is converting for her last birthday and is throwing a concert for my step dad for his 50th in their field. Rock on ha! The other tears I think were frustration and also the idea that reading would one day not happen. My Gran reminds us that you will never read all the books you want to in your life. I can imagine my favourite writer releasing a book and me popping my clocks a week before, bugger. I digress… my mothers current state has made me think about how I would feel in that situation.

The other thing that made me think was when I went out for dinner at ‘Dans Le Noir’ last Wednesday for a function. The premise behind ‘Dans Le Noir’ is eating in the very pitchest of pitch black. The staff who serve you are all blind and the idea is you not only have no idea what you are eating but that you also experience what it is like to be blind. It was one of the most eye opening experiences of my life, quite literally, and also taught me a lot about myself.

Now I admit when I am in a group of people I am someone who watches rather than jumps headlong into a conversation. I am not nervous about meeting new people, it wouldn’t be advisable in my job and actually oddly at work I come out of my own more to build a rapport with an interviewee. With my friends I am quite loud blunt and up for a laugh. However in the pitch black, I swear you can see nothing, I found myself not only checking my own personal space but also going even more insular. Ten minutes before at the bar with a few cocktails in me I had been nattering to everyone. Now sat at the table I was saying nothing and actually sat elbow on the table (no one could see my bad manners) chin resting on my wrist and hand in front of my mouth. I felt completely vulnerable.

Now when you are blinded your other senses magnify, the first few minutes after having followed the waitress loosing all sense of where I was and then having to work out how to sit on my chair and not fall off it I was astounded by how loud everything was. It was completely off putting. I just couldn’t think straight, I couldn’t hear who was next to me from someone on the other side of the restaurant because everyone talks louder to speak over everyone else. It almost makes your headache. I then spent a good ten minutes working out where everything was making sure I could feel where my glasses and cutlery where, I noticed I redid this every three minutes. It teaches you a lot about yourself and gives you a very rare insight that I will take away with me.

There was of course the food. Now while I enjoyed the idea of not knowing what I was eating the reality wasn’t so sweet, well apart from the desert. I did make the valid point that blind people do know what food they like and would choose something they wanted. However being up for anything I gave it a go. The starter started well… oh a lovely salad and then I bit into what I can only describe as warm crispy fat and not in a pleasant cracking kind of way, in a deep fried lard kind of way. I admit I might have heaved a little. The main course was better lamb, vegetables and some lovely chicken like mushrooms, kidney I can cope with liver I cannot, weirdly I could tell what all the flavours were, well so I thought. In fact bar a small incident of thinking a lime was a tomato it was fine. The pudding of Mango Sorbet and Chocolate Mousse was a doddle.

It wasn’t until the next day when I found the starter was foie gras and that the ‘chicken flavoured mushrooms’ were in fact snails that I suddenly felt slightly violated. It was certainly an experience though and bar a moment of panicking that ‘what if I go back in the light and I have gone blind’ I have never been so relieved to see the harsh glare of a light bulb. At least it prepared me for 12 hours locked in a tomb under London last Saturday night though... more on that soon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Deidre Savidge... What A Coincidence!

I have never been a great believer in fate, although many people think my meeting my now husband was fate. I had been drinking at the Christmas Party at a previous employer’s from lunchtime and at midnight my assistant decided we must go to GAY. I wasn’t up for it to be honest. However, there my eyes met (over a sticky dirty drunken dance floor) Mr B’s and something fizzled. Mr B himself had been dragged out for his birthday by his friends when he had wanted a quiet night in. I guess both of us being dragged to a place we didn’t want to go and meeting is a kind of fate. Fate however is meant to be quite romantic and not contain the sentences of ‘sorry, who are you?’ or ‘seriously you don’t have to call me or swap numbers’ the next morning, but Mr B persisted but I have gone off on a slight tangent.

I am a believer in coincidence and I dont mean the 'what a coincidence' of Muriels father and Deidre Chambers. For example the fact that when Polly (my best friend of 23 years) and myself became best friends at school we found out my Mum and her Dad were at the same school together in Matlock, more of Matlock later. If I hadn’t been a believer in coincidence before this week has proven it.

On Saturday I went to see Blowing Whistles (which was ok not great, I do now have a large crush on Paul Keating though) and whilst Mr B took time to have a fag in the interval, I was reading my book when I heard ‘Simon!’ I looked around and there was the delightful Mr Burston and his husband Paulo. Now myself and Paul have bumped into each other at Spamalot and Joan Rivers on press nights, yet this wasn’t a press night it was just a random Saturday show. In all the theatres in all of the West End they had to walk into mine… what a small world but a beautiful one as I love Paul and Paulo and we had a lovely chat on the way to Leicester Square.

We waved them off as they descended into the Northern Line, whilst it was my call that Mr B and I have a Burger King, I am mid-ordering my Bacon Double Cheese meal when I hear a shriek of ‘Simon!’ and its my friend Holly Rose (she’s also a popstar, her version of Minnie Ripperton’s ‘Inside My Love’ is amazing and out next year) who lives in Hertfordshire and I haven’t seen for ages, well since the wedding. I think our ‘mutual love in’ and shrieking camped up Burger King no end.

However what has pushed coincidence into new heights was Tuesday. I had an interview booked with the lovely Christopher Green aka Tina C/Ida Barr. At work I am known for doing my research on the day or the night before as I like it fresh in my mind. So when looking on Wikipedia I see he is from Matlock, my home town, though I am technically Matlock Bath - believe me up there the valley dividing the two makes all the difference. So I phone my aunties and ask them if they went to school with anyone called Christopher Green? Now before you say ‘how rude, he is only in his 30’s’ can I add my mother is the eldest and she is 42, so it’s not that rude it actually makes sense. By chance when I spoke to Alice (she’s just had twins) she had and not only that, they were best friends at school.

So armed with this knowledge I met Christopher and told him and after saying ‘do you know how old you have made your interviewee feel’ and me explaining my mother was the teenage gymslip pregnancy the whole of Matlock talked about, we got on like a house on fire and best of all I have got them both back in touch, see it really is a small world. But is that fate or coincidence? You decide.

Oh and my biggest ever case of coincidence? It has to be when I bumped into my ‘big sister’ at a Post Box on Charlotte Street carrying a Chihuahua puppy and looking gayer than gay after having not seen her for about 4 years, that’s another story though.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Can Boys Write Mills & Boon?

I meant to put this blog up a week ago, but with the whole Presidential Election and the fact I have had some new responsibilities at work and have two magazines to get done not the normal one, I got held up.

Last Sunday saw one of my favourite nights of TV in ages as BBC3 had a Mills and Boon themed night. You might be sat thinking where has this come from but it has always been a well hidden secret that isn’t that well hidden that I have a secret fondness for Mills and Boon. Yes I know, but I am sorry I have.

There were two brilliant shows, which if you missed… well you missed out, the second was a fabulous drama celebrating 100 years of Mills and Boon with a brilliant cast including my favourite actress Olivia Colman. Get watching it on iPlayer now. The previous first show saw the delightful and fabulous Stella Duffy take on the challenge of writing a Mills and Boon. She looked into the whole Mills and Boon phenomenon, and got to enter its hallowed halls, me jealous, never! She also met some fans and writers, it was fabulous. She also spoke to a man who had tried to write Mark Billingham, who now writes best selling crime. Helen Fielding started off trying to write Mills and Boon, did you know that? I didn’t think men could write Mills and Boon, a fact that stopped me trying to write ‘The Emancipation of Love’, now I know (I asked Stella) that men can. Well that’s opened up a whole new world to me and given me hope. I have dug out my old piece and I shall put below but first let me tell you how my love of all things Mills and Boon happened…

I can actually remember the first time I bought a Mills and Boon, I was about twelve or thirteen - my mother will be mortified I am posting this as she is an English teacher - I was allowed to buy any book in an odd antique market in Newcastle, I think I was having a major mardy and so Mum didn’t really give a monkeys what I bought. This wasn’t the same when aged eleven I bought a porn version of the Greek Myths accidentally, the irony being that my mother also teaches classics. So I chose a delightful red covered 70’s Mills and Boon the new covers have nothing on golden old era. I don’t think they had the ranges and spin offs that they had then they just varied the range with different colours, I have never seen a yellow one yet though. Other children got into Agatha Christie, Robin Jarvis etc, I got into Mills and Boon.

I have wondered if buying this book set the ‘he’s gay’ alarms going off in my mothers head at all. I wouldn’t have been obsession with the Spice Girls or dressing up in Polly’s Princess dresses aged five, or singing the whole Erotica album at the top of my lungs aged ten would it? Sorry I digress.

I don’t remember the full ins and outs of it or what the name of it was but I could guarantee I would recognise it if I saw it in Oxfam etc now. It featured a heroine with her perfect blonde bob pearl earrings and a black lace dress resisting the powerful domineering man, some could say it changed my life in one look I had learnt if you lean away from a man he will lean in. This has never worked but at the time I thought it must be an alluring pose… or something. I do remember a very racy scene where he tore her lace bodice with the force of his thumbs on her nipples. Until this point the most I had seen At aged thirteen that was quite something. I hadn’t really discovered sex quite yet then, I had discovered Madonna but I didn’t really know what she was banging on about.

After that it became a little secret obsession of buying secret copies (it felt a bit illicit at the time, I was living in Marlborough for god’s sake not much happened there) and divulging them, this stopped when I was about 15 and my pocket money was banned frequently as I was a toe-rag. I forgot all about this until at Milkround I met the lovely Michelle, we bonded at a work do where no one was speaking to either of us as we were knew, we then bonded on Mills and Boon… and Colin Firth. We even thought of writing one and eventually I started one, more of that later. Michelle and I became slightly obsessed and most lunch times would head of to Oxfam to see what new ones were in for the all too good price of 49p. How can you go wrong?

We also came up with the rule behind a Mills & Boon which were:
- The man must be rapacious, arrogant and possibly loaded they can also have an evil streak making the heroine question him, herself or the world in general.
- He must be gorgeous; in fact everyone in a Mills and Boon should be frankly.
- Mentioning a mans thighs in some sensual way must happen at least once every chapter.
- Women can be independent, not too independent though, unless they are the ruthless love rival.
- The ending needs to be happy tied up, not in a bondage sense, that’s Black Lace a wholly different title, if its not happy or inconclusive then its not a Mills and Boon.
- There can be a villainous man or a scheming vixen, no gay sidekicks but that should be rectified.
- Sex scenes are now welcome however these edge on Silhouette or simply porn, we like to leave the bedroom door firmly closed.
- Titles with alliteration like ‘Sensually Savidge’ and titles ending in ‘tion’ are bought more often.

So under these rules I started ‘The Emancipation for Love’ back in 2007, I have now dug it out again and here it is, it has been compared to early Jilly Cooper by Dom Agius, which I think is a compliment ha. While you read that I am off to read a copy of the superb ‘Queen of the Castle’. Enjoy!

Geraldine Day looked at the headline aghast; she was tearful and somehow also verging on rage in one complex emotion that she wasn’t sure that she liked. ‘McPinto Takes over Publishers Botherworthe Books’ she had heard rumours in the office, yet these had been flatly denied to all members of staff. That was the corporate world for you. I mean one minute they will tell you that you are getting a promotion and yet somehow its two steps down the career ladder from where you thought they were going to hoist you, she shouldn’t be bitter, it was unattractive, she just couldn’t help herself.
It was here however, the facts right in front of her very eyes, the words broke her heart in two; yes Geraldine Day was almost having a nervous breakdown in her late twenties over a headline. Oh, and the future of her job too. The small lovely independent company, she had worked for since she graduated in Fine Arts & Literature from Oxford with a first, had sold out and that meant she might have to. Worst of all was to whom they had sold themselves, had they no soul? McPinto Corporation a filthy capitalist institution that played with money as recklessly as it did peoples lives. She wouldn’t stand for it; the Germaine Greer in her soul suddenly reared its ugly head and didn’t stop for the remaining twenty minutes she was sat underground.
As soon as she got into work she ran up the four flights of stairs in her killer heels, thank goodness for her gym classes and athletic figure. She was heading straight for her bosses’ desk and she would tell Timothy Trothemheim exactly what she though of the whole debacle. I mean who the hell did he think he was lying to everyone saying nothing was going on and then letting her see (and her co-workers) some cast off part of the Financial Times telling her that her career might be over?
She barged through the door feeling high on her anger to find two people in mid conversation, neither were her boss, these were two people she had never laid eyes on before. The woman stood directly in front of her was dressed in the latest pinstripe Dior suit, sunglasses by Chanel were perched on her tightly pony tailed auburn head. She eyed Geraldine icily up and down as if assessing that the Primark dress and jeans combination was from hell and definitely should not be seen in the office. The words ‘and you are’ gently seeped out of her red lipstick coated mouth it was like poison webbing its way through the air.
‘I actually had the same question for you frankly’ Geraldine blurted out her words stumbling all around the room while she thought what to say next ‘where is Timothy I demand to speak to him now’.
The woman eyed her like a python eyes a mouse before it strikes ‘oh, you must be Geraldine, Geraldine Night or something like that’. Geraldine squared herself up to her new opponent; she wouldn’t be intimidated by anyone let alone this woman. What was she corporate Barbie or whatever children cut the hair off these days? ‘It’s Day actually’ she snapped ‘Geraldine Day, where is Timothy? I need to talk with him urgently’. Her voice faltered, the woman’s gaze however did not.
‘Timothy no longer works here… I would have thought you would have known that, but maybe your research skills need to be looked at in your next appraisal’ Geraldine could here the sneer in the heart of the woman’s tone ‘he has been made redundant with immediate effect… I am his replacement, your new boss so it would seem. My name is Stephanie Stark and I will be bringing this place up to scratch’ she looked Geraldine straight in the eye as she said ‘it seems this place is lacking in… well almost everything. Now if you don’t mind I am in a very important meeting, I think we will be having words later.’
With that she turned her back. Geraldine was unable to move, she felt like she had been winded, tears started to well in her eyes where had that empowered feminist speech disappeared? Stephanie turned to face her once more.
‘Anything else Miss Day? Maybe you could actually turn your computer on and get on with something rather than looking like a fish gasping for water as it flounders on a shore.’
Geraldine turned to leave speechless. As she did so she made direct eye contact with the other figure in the room. An electric bolt ran straight through her. He was tall dark and handsome. He was smirking at what he had just witnessed with a dashing audaciousness. His suit was cut to perfection and she couldn’t help but blush as her eyes were drawn straight to the cut of the top of his trousers and what seemed like a rather predominant mound. The fact that this man was devastatingly attractive which only made her blush more as her surveyed her a little longer than would seem fit.
‘Goodbye Geraldine’ he muttered.
‘Is she still here?’ Stephanie snapped, and Geraldine closed the door behind her thankfully covering her rosy cheeks as the hot flush swept over he body, her blood pulsating through her veins.


Several hours later in her local Sainsbury’s Geraldine reflected over the meat section at what a pig of a day it had been. Nothing had gone right from the moment she had left Stephanie’s office. All day she had been on tenterhooks waiting to be hauled into her office and fired, it never happened, in some ways she wished it had.
It was a game of power; Geraldine could see that, Stephanie had her exactly where she wanted… in limbo. Even her normal lunchtime gossip had been no fun. She would meet Charlie in the lift on the way down at 1pm sharp they would sit in the nearest park or coffee shop and put the world, and more importantly their careers, to rights. Charlie worked in HR and was undoubtedly her best friend in the company and her gossiping partner. They had bonded in a Fire Warden course the year before they both discussed just how unsuitable they were as responsible adults in a crisis. Charlie adding that ‘It would be most likely to be me setting the fire alarm off having a crafty cigarette in the toilets, or just being offsite in the smoking area and not being able to get in and save everyone, I shouldn’t be here.’
The only gossip that anyone wanted to discuss during the torrential down pour in the glass walled canteen over there creamy prawn salad was the take over and worst of all Stephanie.
‘Charlie I may have to leave’ Geraldine stated a prawn almost falling from her luscious lips. Charlie looked at her straight in the eye through the brown curly hair that Geraldine secretly envied. Who wanted long sleek shimmering blonde hair like hers? Charlie’s was so much more unusual and special, really eye catching if Geraldine was honest.
‘Geraldine honey, if you leave now you are only cutting your nose off to spite your face. You’ll receive no wages as we’re paid in advance and the merger could be really good for us all. I know, I know you hate McPinto Corporation and you would rather die than work for them but look for jobs over the next month, bide your time, you may even find yourself liking the new changes and systems.’
That was all very well for Charlie and her natural perm to say, Geraldine said nothing, just bit into that Chocolate Cheesecake and the fake canned cream a little harder than needed. That would be all she needed having to go to Stephanie and request for some time off to visit the dentist.
After lunch it only got worse. The glass walls meant Geraldine could see Stephanie watching her every move. This resulted in her tripping over her chair and sending files flying through the air, spilling coffee down someone else’s dress, sending emails to the wrong publisher eight times and dropping her paperweight on her toe and chipping that No.7 nail varnish she’d taken hours of coating on the previous Sunday to get it just perfect. Well she didn’t have any dates so there wasn’t much else to do, maybe read a book about how awful men were but that hadn’t become much fun over the last twelve months of celibacy.
Feeling like a meaty meal would only add to her problems Geraldine bought a large ready made Caesar Salad she certainly wasn’t going to cook. As she pushed her trolley through the vegetable section her eyes were drawn to the cucumbers and her memory to that dashing man in Stephanie’s office. Who was he? What was he doing working for McPinto Corporation? What was his relationship with Stephanie Stark? Why was she at the checkout with no alcohol in her trolley?
She arrived home to find two messages on her answering machine. One was from her sister Penelope who worked for high flying recruiters in New York. ‘Geraldine... where the hell are you? I have been trying you all day but the new receptionist says you no longer seem to be on the list of staff at Pinto Publishing? I have some urgent things for you, firstly Mum is back in hospital the prosthetic leg has been causing her problems, you really should be looking after her better, I am miles away what can I do. Plus with a marriage and children to keep control over I am flat out here. Secondly, are there any vacancies going? We could do with a recruiting deal on a merger like yours; it’s really most selfish of you not to have told me. Maybe you could ask that Charlie friend you spend an unhealthy amount of time with? Bye.”
Since her mother’s accident and father’s death Penelope and Geraldine had not had the best of relationships. Penelope had taken the first chance she got and flown to another country to work her way into the pants of her boss and now husband. She had left Geraldine to pick up the pieces of the crash that had left her father dead and her mother a grieving wheelchair bound widow. Now that she had children and a rich and successful husband, not only did Penelope like to tell her sister how busy she was and how she simple couldn’t help look after her mother, she also liked to tell her sister regularly how amazing having children was and how perfect her marriage had been and remained. Geraldine begrudged her mother nothing, but she hadn’t had the time to grieve her father, and her sister earning triple what she did and only work part time had built up resentment in her so strongly she no longer answered the phone to her. There relationship was now built upon angry voicemails and accusing emails.
The second message was from Charlie. The one person in her life who meant a lot to her and also the woman that Penelope felt her sister was having a lesbian affair with ‘well she does have a boys name and you haven’t had a man in over a year’. Charlie had phoned with news that she obviously hoped would cheer Geraldine up. ‘Hi Geri, its Charlie, oh you would know that. I am just phoning as I have heard that in honour of the merger McPinto Corporation are throwing a ball to help us interact and mingle with new and old faces. Better get your glad rags out sweetheart. Bye for now… phone me if you wanna talk clothes.’
That was all she needed. A party. What did she have to celebrate? She would have to mingle with the enemy, and no doubt Stephanie Stark would be there to watch her balls everything up. She’d have to go to the effort of making herself look impressive, buy a new outfit and not one from Primark; this would have to be special. She’d have to be on her best behaviour with the people that she wanted to see the least. Then a thought occurred to her, if everyone was going to be invited then maybe that mysterious gentlemen would be there. A smile crossed her lips as she put the TV on; ironically she turned on a very relevant film ‘Sleeping with the Enemy’.


The ball had been announced the next day and was to be held a fortnight later. To say the time flew by for Geraldine would have been an understatement. All she had heard day in and day out was who was bringing who, what person would be wearing what and who might pull who from whichever department. She was thoroughly unimpressed.
It had had a slightly positive outcome, dealing with Stephanie day in day out had built up so much aggression in Geraldine that she had taken up extra classes in Kick Boxing at the gym. As she surveyed herself in the mirror before work that day she had noticed her toned arms, still feminine, and her ample bosom looked fuller and perter. She had to smile at herself, tonight she would shine, let them try and grind her down, and she would show them all.
The positive attitude she’d had in front of the mirror was soon shattered. It seemed Stephanie had been biding her time. ‘Geri darling, could you come into my office please’ she cooed. Geraldine knew this was all an act, letting everyone see her being so nice was just an act before the sting in the tail followed.
‘Geraldine’ Stephanie snidely looked at her once the door was closed ‘tonight as you know is a big night for everyone at McPinto Corporation, and you and I are no exceptions. I hope you will be tastefully attired as I am going to want you to introduce me to everyone. I don’t have a PA as such and so would like you to do me the… well the… honour, I suppose of being my assistant for the night. I know we didn’t hit it off to start with, however I have been watching you and I think, well yes think, you have signs of promise. I may even need a PA one day, who knows.’ Geraldine was speechless all the way out the door and to her desk.
The sting in the tail had been there of course. Geraldine having the job of a PA would possibly mean more money in the short term, but would be a huge demotion in terms of her role now. How could the Deputy Fiction Manager go to being the Fiction Managers PA.? Geraldine felt numb, if Stephanie wanted her to play games with her she could. This however was pushing her to the edge. ‘She is trying to get rid of me’ Geraldine thought to herself. ‘I am not going anywhere.’ She would play PA for a night, she wouldn’t bite the hand that fed her, more like pass it on to a deadlier animal, something that would really devour the whole arm that fed it, if only she knew what or who that animal was.


A few of the girls had gone back to Charlie’s to get ready for the nights events. Geraldine however had to go home via the hospital to see her mother. Her mother had gotten progressively worse over the last few weeks. The doctors said she just didn’t want to get better, she wasn’t dying she just wasn’t living.
Her mother had also noticed the physical change in her daughter but there was also sadness in her that she had not seen before. She had pressed the issue but Geraldine had stayed firmly tight lipped about anything to do with work. Her mother had said she felt no ill will towards McPinto Corporations for the accident, but Geraldine would not listen. She was just like her father, stubborn as an Ox.
Geraldine arrived home, shoved a Korma for one in the Microwave and wallowed in some good old self pity. A bottle of Buck’s Fizz later and the food still in the microwave and she felt a great deal better. She applied her make up with care but a slight drunken finesse, she suddenly realised she was late threw on her dress ordered a taxi and made her way to the ball. Tonight she would be Cinderella and she would have her prince without all that losing of shoes nonsense, she certainly wasn’t losing these shoes in a hurry they were Dior.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Barmy for Barack Obama

As I type this I cannot help but give a little giggle, the man on the BBC has just announced that its ‘so tight, and in places that it shouldn’t be that tight’, in a slightly tired haze you could be forgiven for thinking he is talking about something else, he is in fact talking about Florida and their projections for the presidential race. Now I am not normally one for a political blog, but sitting up and watching it, you do feel like you are hopefully watching part of history!

The coverage has been appalling on both BBC and ITV with both the old doddery sods adlibbing and coming out with some very random statements, especially over the whole ‘race issue’ with even some of the roving reporters getting very muddled over whether what they have said is PC or not, you have also had a lot of miserable old buggers bemoaning everything which is always positive in what might be a hugely historic moment.

In fact the news has just been announced with California and Virginia’s Obama is now the President of the United States. It’s actually a bit emotional, the crowds reactions and everything, tears of joy. My own first thoughts are ‘wow that’s amazing and so needed’ and secondly thank god Bush has finally gone and can become something of a distant memory, only sadly for America I think he will be a scar on their lands and history bigger than the San Andreas Fault frankly! See I can do politics.

I have been watching the whole presidential debate from a far since the primary run between Obama and Clinton, and I will admit I wanted Hilary to win it, I even bought a t-shirt I wore with pride in Philadelphia earlier in the year. However, if it couldn’t be here it HAD to be him; I mean could McCain actually live long enough to make it to the White House, or even the corner shop? Plus he is on Bush’s team and frankly I would rather live the apocalypse than see them stay in charge, and if they did I feared they would. There was one other person that I would have quite liked to have had a president but I don’t think it would have been wholly appropriate.

I am watching McCain now the line ‘it is my fault we have lost, not yours’ isn’t that what happens when you dump someone, rather than when you loose the whole race to be president. Plus like a true Pantomime they are booing Obama’s name, what a bunch of twats. Oh and now they are cheering Palin a woman who every time she opened her mouth made me think I could run for Vice President… and made Paris Hilton actually almost look like a superb Vice President let alone president. Oh hang on she will go for it next time wont she, am talking Palin not Paris, well that will be some serious comedy to come then, I am sure Obama is quaking in his boots.

I can’t wait for Obama’s speech. Why are people already being so negative, so far I have heard ‘this will be the briefest honeymoon period in Presidential history’ and that ‘it’s the black vote, people are voting for change’ and ‘Obama has Bush to thank for this no one else’. Oh knob off.

Yes, the fact that Obama is the first black President of the United States is brilliant, its historical and its something I know a lot of people never believed that they would see in their lifetime. Yes, George Bush completely messed up America and pretty much tried to infect his poison into the whole world (thank goodness Blair has also gone) and everyone had a very bitter taste in their mouth, including his fellow Republicans from the comments we have heard tonight. The fact was the man was pure evil, but shouldn’t Obama be getting credit for having a great campaign, for having the right values, for being inspirational, likeable, and decent? No that wouldn’t be normal politics would it. I wonder if one day we will get a female or gay president… or both, mind you according to rumour that would have been Hilary wouldn’t it. (I said according to rumour, I am not liable.) So before I watch Obama’s acceptance speech and head to bed, to wake on a dawn of a new era, I raise a toast of my cup of tea to Obama from over my hot cross buns, and leave you with a picture of the new President of the USA!
Oh a little note, I know some picky minx is bound to say ‘your blog is on Tuesday but it was written on Wednesday’ I am writing this on American time! Ok? Lol!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Getting Into The Spirit Of Things

Halloween has to be my favourite time of year, I don’t like Christmas at all, I’m not that ecstatic about birthdays (hoorah your older, you’re nearer your deathbed – huff), Easter is great for chocolate but does anyone actually celebrate it for what it’s really about? I quite like Pancake Day, I don’t mind Bonfire Night, and I love Halloween.

Come to my flat and you will find the whole collection of Most Haunted on DVD (if anyone makes a disparaging remark about Yvette or the show please knob off – lol) I have even been on one of Most Haunted Live (I used my journalistic wiles) and stalked Yvette, well hounded her for an interview in the latest edition of Bent. She was freaking fabulous. To cut a long story short, I love everything spooky, ghostly or horrid and when is a better celebration of all things that go bump in the night (I’ll allow the dirty minded of you a snigger there, because I just had one) than Halloween. Even if I am not going out I get a little bit dressed for the occasion, hence the Zombie face pack, I either make sure am at some fabulous fancy dress party, or like tonight make sure I have a good short scary story (Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black is one of my favourites) my favourite Most Haunted or a good scary film and a rather large Witches Brew or seven.
However back to ghosts… I have always been fascinated by what is ‘out there’ have I had anything spooky happen to me? Kind of. There was a Ouija Board incident back when I was 14, where I wasn’t involved and my first stepdads name was spelt out and no one would have known his middle names. Now if I told you about how I found him dead aged ten (no lie) that would probably creep you all out a little too much, I’ll leave that for my autobiography maybe so moving on…

Back when I lived in Stratford we had a really nice house where nothing happened to me but it did to my flat mate Jenny, she was woken up with voices, arguments on the landing outside my bedroom, which I never heard, and once a huge slap across the face which actually left a print. Our landlord eventually sold the property and moved us somewhere else which I can only say had the most ominous feeling ever, which only got worse when Jason (not THE Jason from the films lol) moved in.

Jason was obsessed with his dead Grandmother, absolutely obsessed. There were pictures, including ones of her when she was dying in hospital, all around his room as well as her old jewellery, antiques and the like. From the week he moved in there was a weird vibe in the house, not in just a ‘sensitive gay’ way but a genuinely horrid atmosphere had come from nowhere, friends at the time who visited would say it was creepy but only downstairs, only in the rooms leading off Jason’s room. It became a bit of a joke; we blamed the Grandmother, something I came to regret.

About a month later I was all alone in the flat happily sat upstairs sorting my cd’s when I heard bands and crashes, I thought one of the other housemates was home and thought nothing more of it. The crashes started again and slightly worried someone had had an accident I went down to look, no one was there I had thought I’d seen something scuttle through the conservatory which had a walled in door that lead to the garden and worried I was being burgled suddenly had a butch moment and went to look. Nothing. I thought it must be the neighbours and carried on faffing around.

The noises stared again. I called out, nothing, more noises, I banged on the neighbours wall, and it stopped. Ten minutes later a definite smash from the kitchen, so I went down. Now when you came down the stairs there was a mirror which meant you could see the kitchen because of the angle of the wall it was on. As I came down the stairs my heart leapt into my mouth as looking at me in the mirror with what can only be described as scorn was a little old lady. I won’t lie; I screamed, ran upstairs and locked my door. Not until one of the other housemates was in the building for definite did I come down, and when I did several smashed glasses lay on the kitchen floor. I never mentioned it to Jason and bizarrely he moved out, leaving us in the shit, two days later, he did a late night flit.

Now some of you will think I was drunk, must be delusional or could have made it up. I promise you I didn’t and the fear I felt that night showed plainly to everyone. I was a random Wednesday, not Halloween nothing, and I don’t even think it was Jason’s Grandmother, all I know is I saw what I saw and once I had calmed down the fascination and a spark of belief began and its grown. I even did my first ghost hunt this year which I wrote about in a previous blog. This is something that I want to continue doing (frankly I want Yvette Fielding’s job) and will be doing again for charity on the 15th of November.

Yes in just over two weeks time myself and three other unlucky volunteers (Polly, Michelle and Mr B) who are becoming my ‘Scream Team’ are spending a whole night in a plague pit in The London Tombs, all to raise money for St John’s Ambulance. Now I have been through the place twice already with a torch in daylight and have been quiet uneasy so a whole night partaking in things which should call the ghosts there (and seriously you should hear the stories, people being pushed downstairs, people being followed, dark figures, I could go on) it will be petrifying.

Now I hate to get the begging bowl out but I will as hopefully you are all ‘in the spirit’ of Halloween and ghostly goings on and beg, plead, sell my soul to the devil for you to sponsor us. We have a very high target and so want to do the charity proud so please even if it’s just a fiver visit I don’t do the whole charity begging think hardly ever and so it would mean a lot.

So do any of you have any spooky stories to share (that I can creep the team out with on the 15th)? If so let me know, I shall now leave you with the wish you all have a very Happy Halloween and something spooky happens to one and all!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World

No not me and Alex, my new favourite gays on TV, Rick and Steve. It’s only been three episodes in and I am 100% smitten with the pair of them and look forward to my weekly liaison with them and their friends (every Wednesday on E4) a little too eagerly.
So what can I tell you about the lives of my new favourite gay couple in the whole wide world? Well naturally as the ‘happiest gay couple in the world’ – they aren’t, though to all outsiders they may seem to be. When we are introduced to the Playmobil looking (they are fake – computer generated – and plastic looking, oh the irony) duo that are Rick & Steve, we find Rick working over a hard microwave heating a quiche for dinner with their friends ‘the lesbians’ Kirsten and Dana, one a complete femme the other truly butch.

Every single character is a caricature of the gay world. Rick is a ‘Philippino bottom’ who wants love, children and everything ‘normal’ while Steve is still in the closet to his family (despite living in the ‘gay only’ community of West Lahunga Beach) and isn’t bored of Rick, but is bored of having sex with Rick. You see them on the stake out for a threesome in episode one which ends in a brilliant musical extravaganza. You have the lesbians butch Kirsten and femme and almost ‘fag hag; worthy Dana who are on the hunt for Ricks sperm to become ‘perfect lesbian mothers’.

There is also the other gay couple (who possibly get the most laughs from me because the humour is so dark and wrong) Chuck and Evan. Chuck who is wheelchair bound and has HIV and his ‘twink gym bunny’ (and stupid) boyfriend Evan, who when Chuck demands not to sleep with anyone after he dies responds with ‘but I sleep with other people already’. Even the area is a caricature where they welcome 'public displays of erection' with shops like ‘The Black Like Me Café’ or the 'Manjob' night club.

Sadly already people have started saying that ‘Rick & Steve’ is homophobic (mind you they did that with Little Britain), which is odd as the show was in fact created in America for the digital gay channel Logo. It’s written by and stars gay men, not so homophobic after all. However people are complaining about the humour and jibes, but if you have a dark sense of humour and don’t take yourself or life too seriously then you will love it. Mind you in the same yet slightly different vein I have heard a few gay men starting to say ‘oh we are so Rick & Steve’ and I think ‘oh dear’.

Also isn’t it time we had some out there gay characters on TV and especially a show where we are the main attraction rather than an interesting subplot. I mean we were all once complaining that we didn’t have ‘any gay characters on TV’ now we have the likes of the bitchy boring duo on Desperate Housewives (or have they blessedly been cut) the one on Eastenders who I think best I say nothing about or the ‘shock horror’ gay couple in The Archers who don’t really feature very often other than in ‘shock horror, gay men in a small sleepy farming village’.

Yes Rick & Steve are currently my favourite gay couple on TV… in fact my favourite couple on TV and long may we follow their dramatic, comic and dirty little lives. I’ll leave you with the lyrics from the shows theme tune.

You’re welcome here in our little queer community,
Whether or not you’re hot or if you’ve got HIV,
You may just find the love of your life,
Your same sex husband or same sex wife,
There’s Dana and Kirsten, and Evan and Chuck,
But all our lives just suck…
Compared to Rick and Steve, Rick and Steve,
Happy and gay like you wouldn’t believe,
Loving life and hating girls,
They’re the happiest gay couple in all the world.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Crikey... Where The Heck Did September Go?

Is it me or did the last month just vanish without a trace in a ridiculously speedy fashion. I decided rather than go over every single day and back blog (something that I occasionally do and is slightly naughty) I would just simply give the highlights of the (almost) month since I last blogged you lucky so and so’s.

I was lucky enough through work to get to go on a ‘working’ holiday to Zurich which I knew nothing about (I actually thought it was in Germany) on a press trip and I loved it out there. It was with possibly the nicest bunch of journalists that I have been on a trip with so far, no bitching, just laughing. Highlights were hearing all about Tina Turners house and then not seeing it, a drunken lake cruise, drinking champagne on arrival in the airport at 11am, Robbie Williams suite, eating fabulous food, getting insanely drunk, dancing on a tram and holding hands with several gay journalists going through a dark room maze for the sake of research… but that’s not for now! It was a blissful trip with much merriment and “hard work” and I’ve made some fabulous new friends some of whom I have seen a few times since. Who says gay journalists can’t get on? I cannot wait to go back in May for Europride. Oh and did I mention the chocolate… the diet went out the window… not content with just eating it here is a picture of some of us being massive pigs and drinking the stuff.
I love a good read but September has been crazy, despite me quitting book group, the TBR (to be read) pile has clocked up a crazy amount (the book blog will be soon I am sure – I am a blogging shame) with several review books coming my way. I had one from a random author who had read my book blog so that was a pleasant surprise. I have also been doing some for New Books Magazine, Waterstones and two publishers. Plus I have been lucky enough to get some advance copies of my (I hope I can call them this) friends Rupert Smith (the Secret Tunnel), Clayton Littlewood (Dirty White Boy) and Rick R Reed (most of his back catalogue) all of which will be displayed on my book blog soon and also in Bent for a writers special I am working on, see told you I would make Bent more literary lol.

Technical Tragedy
I almost cannot speak of the tragedy of when my Zen died… with all 20,000 songs on it. If you know me well you will know a life without music for me isn’t really a life worth living. So I wont lie… there was some severe stropping! However thanks to my delicious husband a lovely silver sparkly 120GB iPod has turned up, I always said that I would never go to the dark side of apple… I guess I am more like Snow White than I thought. We also lost the internet for a few weeks after our street blew up, yes blew up! Hence why have been so silent!

New Bundles of Joy
I HAVE TWO NEW COUSINS! Yes, Alice gave birth to two gorgeous little twin girlies Iris and Maisie and I have been up and seen them (now that was a journey it only took me five hours a train and three night buses to get home at 2.40am, it was worth it though) and they are absolutely gorgeous, bar slightly alien looking heads. Here is a little picture for you…
A Little Bit of Sadness
It’s been just over a year since Bong died and though I miss him everyday there is something about anniversaries that are so much harder. It was the first (and they say that can be the worst) and after a fabulous interview with Pam Ann or Caroline where I have given her not one but two jokes in her show, no lie, I felt so down and out. I just wandered around London and got a bit lost. He would have been a bit miffed at that, so I went home and got drunk.

Culture & Getting All Historic
Took my beloved to the Woman In Black (my favourite West End play) so that was a bit of culture. We also did Open Weekend with Michelle and her brother visiting some of the secret historic places in London who normally keep their doors locked like the House of Commons and some old gentlemen’s clubs and the like. Also Polly took me to Hever for the day to see the splendid Hever Castle… but that might end up being another blog maybe on of the Children of Polari blogs… if we’ve not been disowned for being so rubbish. Here’s a cheeky picture of Polly from the day out and proves you can take the girl out of Newcastle but you can’t take Newcastle out of the girl!
And Moving On…
We have been looking at new flats, but that is all I can say for now, the only thing I will add is that I have my fingers crossed very, very, very, very tightly! I’m sure there is more I just cant think. I will be a better blogger from now on!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Ghost Hunting With Michelle & Simon

Now sometimes I get myself into some unusual situations with work but I never anticipated that I would end up going ghost hunting least of all with Phil Whyman (who now runs who used to be on one of my favourite shows Most Haunted. However with a big Halloween piece for Bents October issue lead me through the rainy countryside this Saturday gone with Michelle all the way to Peterborough and to its Museum, once a Tudor mansion of which the cellars still exist, and then became another manor before it was then a hospital, school and now is the museum. A building steeped in history and hopefully full of ghosts.

The start of the evening involved a tour of the whole museum, with just torches and a few lights here and there. I was mainly fine but on one particular staircase I felt really sick, one that isn’t open to the general public. The other place that Michelle and I both felt funny was the cellar. Both of us just didn’t want to end up in that area of the building and yet when we first were split into groups and put on different levels of the building, where were we sent first? Yes of course, we were sent to the cellar. Once in there we also found it was the hospitals morgue which made us feel absolutely no better than before, followed by the next room which we did a stint in which was the original autopsy room and where they now stored mannequins and their spare parts some of which they use for Halloween so you can imagine what that was like. Bar some orbs and some strange rapping’s we didn’t really get anything.

After a break some snacks and a tea or two (they throw you a lovely buffet) we then headed to the top floor and being brave Michelle and I headed for the operating theatre to spend some time with whatever may be lurking there and sadly not a lot was, we did go around with an EMF meter (as Dead Haunted supply you with Planchets, EMF readers, scrying mirrors and any other ghostly equipment that you should need) and felt like proper paranormal investigators. One of the museums rooms on that floor made me feel odd, maybe because as you entered you were greeted by a coffin, here we asked out and had very little response… or did we?

It was the third investigation of the first floor that things started to happen and funnily enough this was after midnight. The second floor featured a shop which had been built to replicate one from the past with mannequins (which is always nice and not at all scary) and here we used the planchet to get them to write something using our energy. Though nothing was written Michelle and I felt like something was blowing on our hands (prior to this someone had done the loudest fart in the next room which wasn’t spiritual) and they had dropped in heat from the rest of the room by 10 degrees.

Then the weirdest thing of the night happened, we did a séance in one room where a girl appears. We were all asking out surrounded by dinosaurs in display cases, suddenly it sounded like something was running along the tops of them which actually made them shake really hard. The other teams were contacted and no one else in the building was moving, it honestly felt like and earthquake and no one else had heard it! Then a few minutes later we all heard someone walking loudly down the corridor and some of us saw a huge shadow, no one was there.

After a fairly quite time on the ground floor with Michelle, Phil and some others in a torture chamber (with more mannequins) we were allowed to go off on our own, after a nothing on the stairwell that made me feel sick we went back to the little girls room, as we did I saw a huge shadow move along the corridor above and nearly pooped myself as we knew no one was there. Michelle had a ‘tired/scared’ grump after this and before we knew it the night was over.
Am I more of a believer now? Ask me after I have stayed in the London Tombs in November! I will say that though odd things happened that can’t be explained I wasn’t scared and I wasn’t screaming ‘it’s a ghost’ instantly. I am more of a believer but more sceptical all at once, which is a bit odd and confusing frankly. I would recommend that everyone gives this a go. Try going with Dead Haunted as we did as they made us feel so welcome and had a laugh in what could be a seriously scary time… like it was for the woman who got a rusty nail thrown at her head in the cellar.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Joan Rivers, Electroqueer and Getting Touched Up Thrice

Another night another preview, ha if only my entire life could be like this, last night was the press preview of the fabulous Joan Rivers show ‘A Work in Progress, By A Life in Progress’. I love Joan Rivers and for some reason I always think of Bong when she is mentioned as he used to think she was hilarious, I also do the same with Nigella Lawson by that’s by the by. Joan is a woman who embodies everything that I think is fabulous, she loves the ‘c’ word, she isn’t scared to talk about anything least of all her sex life and private parts, but despite the plastic surgery she has something innately real about her.

She has struggled in life she was dropped by Fox, alienated by Jonny Carlson, and her husband killed himself (in the Four Seasons Hotel I stayed at in Philadelphia) leaving her to look after her daughter who at 16 also became her business partner. In spite of all of this tragedy she has an amazing sense of humour, tonight’s show however also showed another side to her. This show not only has you laughing in the aisles as you hear her tell her journey on stage but also lays her bare and sees her at her most raw. I was entranced; the audience was silent and totally mesmerized. I simply cannot wait to interview her next week now. Afterwards she joined everyone for some drinks and nibbles and was genuinely charming, no airs and graces which you would expect with someone of that star quality. This drinks and nibbles was where I got groped for the first time in the evening! Cannot wait to interview her next week!

After the fabulous time Muffintop and I had there we went on for ‘one drink’ as I had promised I would attend the second night of Electroqueer at Barcode. I didn’t know what to expect even though I am quite a fan of and have a similar taste (I was dancing my pants of to Lady Gaga later on in the proceedings – my favourite album of the entire year) in music to the host and DJ. There were live acts, one was pants, one was just bizarre (very electro Kate Bush meets Lily Allen gone askew) and Electrovamp who were just bloody fabulous!

One drink turned into several and while I was at the bar I was handed a piece of paper from a man whose friend had given him to pass onto me. It was his facebook profile… since when did phone numbers go out of fashion? This person shall remain nameless as he has a boyfriend and he proceeded to be the second person to grope me during the evening. About five drinks later I was trollied and Polly had to head home as she had work the next day so off I trundled to catch the night bus, this was to be where I would get my third grope of the evening in shocking fashion.

I was trying drunkenly to finish off Wuthering Heights on the bus and was doing quite successfully until we got to Clapham North where I started to feel slightly sickly so I stopped. At Clapham Common a young man I have seen about before who is quite hot (if I was single) got onto the bus clocked me and sat behind me. I was next to the window and had someone with a bloody loud mp3 player sat next to me, the guy moved opposite him. As Mr Mp3 got off, this chap then sat next to me at about Balham… by Tooting Bec he was feeling me up! He got off at Tooting Broadway and hovered, I got off outside my flat a few stops on and scurried home. That has never (well on a bus) happened to me before. I have given my number out on a bus back in my hey day but never has someone been so over zealous. I thought cruising to that extent was a bit ‘out’ or a bit old school, I am obviously so not with it!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Agius Exhibition

Last night was the preview of Crime & Punishment the new photography and arty exhibition at 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning which is near Herne Hill not Stockwell as I found when it took me ages to walk there, plus from Stockwell its not very well sign posted and one road leads to the road its on which meant I got lost for about 30 minutes and thought I might miss the whole event.

Now it’s very unlike me to go to the opening of an art exhibition as while I love art and photography I tend to not fit in with the crowds that attend the previews, and also its something I like to do solo so I can go and take in the art in my own time and in my own way.

However tonight was also my gorgeous friend Dom Agius’ preview, for he had several fabulous photos on show in the exhibition. One particular one of some curtains blowing in what looks like a fabulous manor really strikes a chord with me. (If ever I am allowed to write what is awaiting a certain author’s estates yes or no then I would love to use this as a cover for the work in question.) Wine was flowing and Dom was fabulously showing people around and I knew I would know people in the crowd who had come for the opening.

Paul Burston and Arun were there, so it felt like some of the Polari family were around, I also got to meet some fabulous new people. Two of whom were Chris and Biddy whose album launch I shall now be attending. They were both fabulous, both you couldn’t make up in a novel and both I want to get to know better, Biddy had me in stitches with some of his tales and demanded I tell him my life history ‘but only in 3 minutes for we must chase a cab’ the night ended in the one of the campest most fabulous journeys I have ever had.

Here’s a photo of Dom and I in front of his works (we’re pulling out ABBA/Mitford pose)…
If you can do go and check the Crime and Punishment Exhibition, its on at 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning, 198 Railton Road, Brixton (but its next to Herne Hill), London, SE24 0JT until the 11th of October.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Simon Savidge… Tomb Raider (and Screamer)!

Not content with going to see Most Haunted get the pants scared of them at the London Tombs on Friday night, I decided that a big scary spooky piece was much needed in next months issue of Bent, it is Halloween after all. So not only have I organised a proper night in a haunted museum that was once a hospital, cant wait to be shut in the cellar, morgue or operating theatre, the fun. I digress; yesterday I also got to go to London Tombs myself.

On arrival at London Bridge you can see the signs of London Tombs everywhere; there are bloody spectres and figures all over the shop handing out leaflets. However where you think the entrance is it isn’t, we were led around the corner and under a bridge with some fabulous modern lights that I have been through many times and never noticed the buildings (the Tombs and a pub opposite) when I have gone through. In the shop we met James the Manager who told us that rather than just go on both The London Bridge Experience and enter The London Tombs, we would also be taking a torch lit tour of the venue. Weirdly knowing the history of the site I then started to feel rather scared.
The London Tombs is a new attraction in London which has royally annoyed the London Dungeons. However unlike the Dungeons which were actually just warehouses and shops in its past, the London Tombs is a proper set of vaults which when being sorted for the new attraction found to have catacombs, a plague pit and tonnes of bones that were sticking out of the wall that backs onto Southwark Church and its cemetery. Some of these were simply skulls, and the skulls had wholes in the top, these are thought to be the skulls of beheaded traitors that were then attached to the Bridge for all to see. Builders have left the site and never come back, and some of the staff have almost done the same. Now you can see why I might have felt slightly edgy.
Funnily enough as James led us through these very vaults with just a torch and into several rather grisly settings which are part of the ‘experience’ as he did this he also told us of all the experiences that he has had and several of the staff have had, actually getting some of the actors to tell their tales to us. Its quite odd having someone dressed as a medieval beheader telling you of the dark figure he has seen. I would divulge more to you but you’ll have to read next months Bent Magazine. I would seriously advise that you head down and give the attraction a go as after the pitch black tour upstairs we went down to try out the Tombs I can honestly say I haven’t jumped and been scared that much in a long while… mind you, I haven’t lived the joys of Saturday night and some time in a haunted operating theatre and cellar yet, but more of that after the weekend.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Building Site = Bomb Site

Finally after over a year of having a leak that comes regularly through my bathroom roof my delightful landlords and agents (Time2Move – I don’t recommend them at the moment if your moving in south London) decided to send the builders round to sort it out. Shame the builders couldn’t be sorting out all the other 22 problems we had someone come and check a few months ago, but that’s just me having a good old moan.

So the builders arrived, now I don’t mean to be picky but of course they were late. Also why do builders never look like they do in porn films? I was expecting a pair of buff greasy twenty eight year olds maybe with skinheads in dungarees. I sadly got two fifty year olds (I have nothing against the age) but they weren’t the finest specimen of men. Porn is frankly just unfair advertising that will lead you into false beliefs.

It’s amazing how they also expect tea, on two occasions when I was happily beavering away doing my work at my desk and I heard ‘if you’re making a brew…’ I almost on the second occasion said ‘do I look like I am near a kettle?’ They also managed to go out and have ten minute breaks between ripping the ceiling down and then ripping some more stuff down and then running upstairs having tea up there and then plastering with breaks again.

What I loved was the fact that when they arrived they trampled mud in, they then did more through the roof terrace door, didn’t clean any up of course, and then I came home from the shops and was greeted by no builders but dust and general crap everywhere oh and this is how my bathroom now looks...Some might call it modern art on my ceiling I suppose, I wouldn’t be one of them mind.