Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Domestic in Domestic Heaven

Oh the joys of Ikea. With a trolley in our hands and vouchers in our pockets myself and Mr S took on the showrooms of Ikea with the determination to spend money and buy absolutely loads. I am not normally someone who likes to mooch through shops unless they are book shops, the showrooms of Ikea are something quite different. I like to linger in every room they have created for as long as possible thinking is this me? Is this the future of my lifestyle and my home? I spent about 20 minutes in one set of rooms imagining they were my very own. I could see that Mr S was beginning to get very bored. Forty minutes of me aimlessly browsing around we went for food, it appeared that the mood Mr S was in was being caused by hunger. You cant beat Ikea food… ok you can, but the meatballs yummy!

Food done and it was down to some serious shopping, well that was the plan. The thing was nothing big leapt out at us. I mean in terms of some glasses, pointless utensils and a serious amount of flat packing in fabulous patterns (to be explained later) there was nothing. The sofa beds were boring and some were just stupidly priced, there were some shelves we liked but then we bought a TV table and so couldn’t carry them, we’ll be going back. So rather than spend the vouchers we got, I couldn’t say to people ‘thanks for the wedding gift, I got a whisk, cat basket and some dishtowels’. We are gonna wait for the sale. Sadly somewhere between lighting and cushions a world war erupted, over a ‘real need’ for a garlic press I has spotted in the trolley that we totally didn’t need, I lost. It then spilled into something else and we were having a domestic in the rug section. Fortunately my friend Holly’s track ‘I Don’t Care’ came on and we both started praising and texting her. So that was that dealt with.

Now Mr S has gone to work and I am doing some serious reorganising. I haven’t really unpacked or sorted a lot of stuff in the flat since I moved in back in December… 2006! So now I am having a break from being arm deep in old nasty tatty flat pack boxes which make the flat look like a disused warehouse and going for something floral, fabulous and more of a feature. Once I am done you can see the delightful effects… oh and when Mr S has made the tv table, I am good at seeing how everything should look and imagining the final results, I am hopeless at putting those results together.
On no that would be a showroom...

This is it in all its glory, yes the cat is real and so is the rubbish in the back ground!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Does The O.D Stand for Over Dose?

The last few days have seen me bored silly, I pulled a random muscle (I wasn’t aware I had any) in my leg and have had to have a few days of painful lying down. Rather than spend hours creating a masterpiece of some sort I treated myself to a full day leg up with my laptop catching up with all the TV I’ve missed and some I didn’t even know I wanted to watch. Thank the heavens above for BBC iPlayer and 4od. So some of the joys that I watched…

Mum & Me (BBC iPlayer) – I normally love documentaries by Sue Bourne, in fact I made a big blog about how much I loved her Channel 4 documentary My Street. I have never ever wanted to slap someone so much in my life. Actually there is someone else coming up but for now lets concentrate on Sue and her brat child. The documentary was all about the relationship over 3 years of Sue, her daughter and her mother with Alzheimer’s. This is a subject that is very close to my heart as my Uncle Derek suffers from this and is in a home. Sue whined and moaned and bitched about the relationship with her mother in the past (we all have problems with parents, they are parents stop moaning) and how she ‘had’ to make the trek once a month to her home in Scotland from London. Here’s a simple solution move your mother to a home in London and then you can stop bitching about how much it costs and how ungrateful she is for her day trips out. I have seen people in my uncles home who hit, shout, throw their shit around and abuse, Sue Bourne’s mother was one of the happiest people with Alzheimer’s I have ever seen. She was generally jolly and only on the odd occasion like when Sue had been moaning about the fact she smelt of urine, they do they aren’t in control, and she said ‘its not nice when your told you’re a smelly old bitch’. Sue then tirades into ‘oh I never said that’ actually you did you vile woman. The worst bit for me was when she hit her mother. These people, its not hard science to comprehend, do not understand what they are saying and doing is wrong, they have gone back to being childlike and need looking after, and it takes and adult to do that. Not some stupid woman and her giggling little shit of a child. Sorry it made me so cross.

13 Children & Wanting More (4od) – OK now anyone who wants to give birth that many times in my mind is crazy. I know its everyone’s right to have as many children as they want, no issues there. What bothered me was a woman crying as she couldn’t get pregnant for a 14th time. I know several women who would kill to be pregnant once, so please when you have 13 don’t moan. Even worse was a man who quite obviously had something wrong with him as his wife was obviously seriously ill from so much child bearing and he kept saying (as she was in tearful agony) ‘its just god’s way’ and ‘I don’t wear condoms it’s not natural. No it’s not but then without them thousands more would die every year! Also he was on benefits, now that’s where I got angry. Have as many children as you want, but please don’t make me pay for them.

Gay To Z Series (4od) – I didn’t feel much about this one way or the other after fiver twenty minute episodes. There was a lovely lesbian in Brighton who I felt I wanted to be best friends with.

Reverend Death (4od) – Well I loved this show, only for how crazy the people were. It made me a little cross but nothing like the two above, possibly because it seemed so unreal. This was the story of a man whose name I cannot remember who basically is a self appointed martyr to suicide. Now as far as I could tell the guy was honey nut! After showing the tools of his trade he announced how many people whose suicide he had helped. Some people think suicide is wrong, I don’t agree with it, I do however think there are people who have illnesses and need help then that should be a life choice. People who want to kill themselves generally have some form of depression who need a psychologist (who takes them seriously and sorts them out) rather than a middle aged man, who comes round for a cuppa brings you a video on peoples ‘fabulous’ out of body death experiences. Later on as he ‘helped’ someone kill themselves over the phone and reach what looked very much like an orgasm, I wanted to hurl. When they announced he was gay, well I just thought ‘thanks very much another great gay public figure to boost any homophobes opinions out there’. You need to see this show to believe it.

Skins Series One (4od) – I have to admit I love this show, absolutely love it. After years of me refusing to give into it and the hype I am fully converted and am almost finished with series one and ready to start series 2. Favourite scene so far is start of episode 4 and the morning glory/Viagra lavatory and shower scene I laughed so much, all my muscles hurt. I love Cassie ‘yeah… wow’.

Well that covers today’s viewings so far… think going to put the laptop down and try and wean myself off the internet viewing, to start the whole of Sex & The City once again. Oh the life of a coach potato.

Please note: I don’t normally watch this much telly.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Daily News-Sance

Sitting in bed with the husband (sorry the novelty will wear off) on a nice bank holiday with a lovely cup of tea something was missing. I picked up my tome of a bedside book but that wasn’t what I needed, I love the Victorian era but I wanted something more tangible, more current dare I say more real?

‘You need a newspaper Baby’ Mr S said. ‘I don’t read the bloody news’ I said astonished he didn’t know me better.

‘No, I know, you don’t. You never watch it either; you complain it’s too miserable. The only time you ever pick up a paper is if it’s got the books section in it.’ This could have been our first marital domestic only we were both smirking, him with being right and me with a semi sulk. The thing is he was right. I avoid the news like the plague.

Part of it is down to childhood, when I was little and there was a break between watching neighbours with Alice, Caz and Matt and the latest from on the street there seemed to be a giant cavern which only contained people in suits talking about awful things that happened with a slightly happier story at the end. These days even that last bit of happy news seems to have vanished. When I was getting ready for school watching The Big Breakfast I wasn’t fooled, they might have been wearing day-glow and mentioning the odd celebrity… but it was still news and generally signalled time to leave for school. Maybe they should think about doing a happy news show, dare I say the 7pm ‘Good News’ show?

Mr S had a valid point however I don’t generally know what’s going on in current affairs, I mean I didn’t even know Billie Piper was pregnant. No seriously, Mr S loves the news and left News 24 on the other day and I was disgustingly out of touch with what was going on. Wearing my ‘Vote Hilary’ t-shirt at Lovers and Losers people kept saying I don’t think so now… I had no idea what she’d been up to or if she had even lost.

So I had to agree with Mr S, maybe a paper is just what I needed but which one I should choose I am clueless. My family expect me to vote Labour because they do, they therefore would also expect me to read The Guardian and The Observer. I pick up The Guardian at the weekend as it has an excellent review section, the weekend is a different matter all together and I pick up all the papers for their book review inserts.

I will never forget the face on Bong last year when we went shopping for the papers and I bought The Daily Tory-graph. He was outraged, until he read it and then he admitted secretly he liked it. The problem with the broadsheets is just that, they are too broad! I don’t want to have something that crowds me in. Should I try something more compact? Maybe The Times? I used to work for News International and we used to get The Times for free and it wasn’t bad but I flicked. For a while I bought The Sin, sorry The Sun, everyday I liked the entertainment but think its time I grew up a bit.

I even then devised a list of both what I do and don’t want here is a condensed list. Firstly what do I want?
- The latest news in a non sided honest factual way.
- To find out things I never knew and can use at a dinner party or two.
- A newspaper that’s about people, and has a human feel
- Good news thrown in, not just tales of woe or how awful the world is.

I don’t want;
- To be patronised, I’m not stupid (I am no genius)
- Over long or pompous wording, come on I am a commoner, let’s keep it real.
- One sided discussion
- Bigoted, homophobic, or backward thinking pieces.

I think I am searching for the impossible so have decided that for the next few weeks I will try a full week of a different paper. I have chosen my first one on the fact I know a few people who have written for it, some people I respect read it and its title suggests it should be just my cup of tea. ‘The Independent’ it is then. Lets see how I get on, I’ll keep you updated. Oh and if anyone has any recommendations let me know.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My Husband & I

We met the family and the best women for our first lunch as husband and husband today at Little Italy and the first question everyone asks, and a lot of guests were asking yesterday, is ‘does it feel any different?’ The answer… in some ways yes in some ways no.

I am certainly enjoying the newness of saying ‘my husband’ but to hear myself referred to as that is really odd. We weren’t sure if that was what we would call each other, for a while it was a joke of who should be the wife? If one of us did some thing particularly domestic (like when I was in joyous rapture over our new hot plate coffee maker in Curry’s) or when one of us is particularly nagging the other (Mr S to tidy our table which is a mess of brainstorming and papers as its also my desk) then instantly its ‘oh you’ll be wife’. We both hate the term ‘life partner’ it’s not a sodding business, it’s a marriage.

I love Mr S more and more every day so to say I love him more is a natural thing, there is something different there now. I look at him a bit differently, not in an odd way but in a nice way. Watching him sleeping last night I thought ‘wow, that’s my husband’. There is definitely a bond I have never felt with someone before now, it’s quite indescribable but that is enough of the mush.

It does feel a bit rubbish that the wedding is all done and gone. Then you realise that yes that amazing day has gone however you have a future filled with things and experiences to share. The first one was Lovers and Losers 1st Birthday Party at Trash Palace where the delicious DJ’s Dom Agius and Paul Burston put on a lovely bash which we could only manage the first couple of hours at as we were so thoroughly knackered. It was lovely to see them Mick, Paulo, Matt and Arun. We missed blinking Juliette though as she’s such a socialite she arrived late.

The second one we are doing you can all be a part of in a random sort of a way, its not often I get the begging bowl out, however I am about to. On Sunday we will be participating in the Walk for Life and we would love it if people would sponsor us. To sponsor me you can go to and/or to sponsor Mr S go to if you wanted to sponsor both of us that would be great. We are doing it for GMFA which is a fabulous charity that does great things for sexual health and HIV/Aids. So please, please, please sponsor us. From my husband and I.

The Wedding That Whizzed By

After a final day or last minute packing, it was my final night of freedom (silly expression) with my Best Woman Muffintop. This entailed a visit to the cinema to see Indiana Jones and the Stupidly Ridiculous Plot That Will Ruin The Whole Series, a few cocktails in The Green in Angel and some pear cider and The Princess Bride. It was then the wedding day.

Was I woken up yesterday with birds singing and bright skies? Yes, only mingled with an enormous migraine which made me sick. I think it was a mixture of nerves, stress, tension and not enough water with my pear cider me thinks. From the madness of getting ready and the Number 30 bus to the venue it all is a crazy blur until I got home at 4am. Not a drunken one, I was merry, when they say your wedding day whizzes by they are spot on.

It was a very happy, very merry and very wonderful day. We had a couple of technical hitches at the ceremony (which involved me getting my iPod shuffle out in front of the whole congregation to find the track to enter and exit) and a few tears. The dinner was gorgeous and the speeches were moving and hilarious, bar mine which was rushed, how can you forget to write your own speech?

Here is a picture of Mr B (now Mr S) and myself with the bridesmaid and best man (one best man didn’t even show up) for you.
Here's one of the happy couple and Mr B's new in-laws...
...And here is one of the grooms at The Masked Ball.
And here is one of the grooms possibly a little bit drunk... maybe?
Was it the happiest day of my life? Most definitely.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Longest Fastest Week

It sounds stupid to say that a week can drag and yet seem to whiz by, this one has and therefore I can say it! Tomorrow of course is the big day. After endless weeks of preparation and debating what we wanted and how it’s now almost all ready, and it’s a little daunting but very exciting.

This week there have been days of ups like Monday where I spent a wonderful lunchtime with Mr Agius in The Grenadier in Belgravia, Madonna goes there don’t you know, and then had a lovely drunken dinner with Mr B and The Ex.

Tuesday in a foul mood after the delightful row and emails from Stephen (Dad just isn’t a title I am going to be using again. Oh update on that, my grandparents sent me a lovely letter and card so more proof Stephen talks absolute tripe.

Wednesday was a manic rush to get the perfect shirts and ties. In Debenhams Groomzilla threatened to raise his ugly head after being told ‘purple is so not this seasons fashionable colour’ he controlled himself and only silently spoke the words ‘coming from you that’s ironic’ under his breath… he is a one that alter ego. Speaking of alter egos I then decided to treat myself to ‘Iron Man’ is it wrong to say that Robert Downey Jr is a damn fine example of a man? Well he is, and as far as super hero movies go Iron Man was a good effort. 4/5

Yesterday I was glum and misery guts to the hilt. The Ex came round for a coffee and tried to cheer me up and succeeded. I then had an evening of black and white heaven with Bette Davis, just what you need when you’re feeling a bit down trodden and over stretched. ‘Whatever Happens To Baby Jane’ is one of my all time favourite movies though now I fear it may have to step aside for ‘Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte’ which is a thing of genius!

Today I am feeling much better. Have started the mammoth Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber and am already 100% sure I am going to love it, a whole 800+ pages of joy to come.

People have been asking ‘how do you feel with it being tomorrow?’ It’s a strange one to answer, part of me is really looking forward to the whole thing, I kind of want the ceremony over so that I can natter to all the guests and catch up with people I haven’t seen in ages. Part of me is numb and can’t quite believe its happening. Part of me is worried as one particular guest is renowned for saying the complete wrong thing to people and I am nervous something might kick off, the best women have been notified ha, ha. One massive part of me sees that after tomorrow this is a new phase in my life. I plan on much less drama and my have a spiritual kind of ‘clear out’.

You definitely learn who your friends are in a process like this. Some people you would least expect phone you all the time and check how it’s going, others of your closest don’t seem to give a monkeys and a fair few make the day so much about themselves you want to scream ‘this is the only day I can legitimately say is all about me’. I think my most common quote this week has been ‘I could kill…’ and if I had followed it through there may have been quite a massacre in London Town. So here’s to new beginnings and a new phase starting tomorrow. Can’t wait!

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Fathers Speech?

I dont normally air my dirty laundry out in public, but just this once as it links with a previous blog 'and when did you last see your father'. Here is what my Dad (though he didnt sign off as such) emailed me today about his attendance to the wedding, and our relatioship! I guess this would be his fathers speech?


The reason I (we) cannot assume anything is that virtually everything you tell me (us) changes – we have absolutely no way of planning anything around you with any degree of certainty. You have let us (me and G&G) down a lot in the past – with regards to visits that never happen.

I just cannot function in your hap hazard fashion.

On the issue of contact and effort made – yes you have phoned me but certainly not a lot – but I have travelled every time to see you. You have made no effort to see G&G in all your visits to Matlock – why? You have made no effort to come to Leicester and yet you can go anywhere else –why is that? You have made no effort to let Anna Chris and Emma meet your partner – let’s just do it on the day shall we?

We are very different people - with very different ways of doing things with very different values.

Perhaps we will meet again – sometime.

I hope everything goes well on Saturday and in the future.

I am speechless to be honest! The reply...

Well at least I know how you now feel.

I think its a shame that you have had to put it across in such a manner.

My last email was to point out the comunication at the moment, I wasnt aware it was going to betaken in such a way especially as I tried to end it on a positive note saying how I wanted to see you more. I am saddened by your response and your sudden telling me of all my failings, could you not have told me this on the phone last time we spoke as it seems to have been brewing for a while.

I invited you in March which I think is a lot of notice considering this has been a quick wedding and I phoned you the day it was booked. I also invoted you Anna Chris and Emma because I wanted you to come. I also told you how I wanted G & G to come, you said you werent sure it would be their cup of tea. If you felt I was inconsistant and the like why didnt you call me to check?

I am trying to think of times I have let you down by not seeing you and can only think of when I came to Leicester for my previous job and ended up having to come home after my collapse? Could you tell me of specific times as I would be interested to know those as then I could apologise.

Why have I not seen G & G when I have last been up, lets see... maybe its because it was when Bong (David) was dying last year and the funeral and all that follwed? That was THE hardest time, Bong brought me up and to extent I lost much more than a grandfather, so I am sorry I didnt visit and have said this in a letter to G & G I would have loved to seen them but the timing was wrong! I have been up twice since once to spend time with a grieving woman and another for a Carolines 40th which originally I couldnt go to either as I was meant to be travelling for work and they were both short last minute visits because of the job I do.

On the subject of phoning I have looked back at bills and I phone you at least every two months to your absolutely NONE! So I think its unfair to then say I never come and visit, if you had to phone someone all the time and they never phone back what would you think they felt let alone feel like you could visit.

I havent met Anna still, at first it was clear she wasnt keen from what you told me so I think that is unfair. I would like to meet her, she was wonderful when I had my back done with all the advice she gave me. I would loved to ahve met her, you have a busy schedule and so have I - I think this is a two way street. As to Alex not meeting them, hes only met my mother 4 times maybe 5.

You have made no effort to come to Leicester and yet you can go anywhere else –why is that? I dont understand this, where is everywhere else? I have not been invited the last few times I have phoned and also I know you have been thinking of moving and had assummed it wasnt the right time. I'm not a mind reader.

We are very different people - with very different ways of doing things with very different values. Meaning? So I dont have values? If that is what you think I believe giving up everything in London to be with a dying man for 2 months is values! Or do you mean different like you see yourself and Paul and that you dislkie me and dont want to see me again?

I did not intend this last email to start such a conversation, I actually said in my first email How is all with you? I want to make more of an effort to see you from now as I have been pants. How does that sound? Now I get an email like this. I wanted to make things better.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Only A Week To Go

Sitting here now I cannot believe that in one week I will be a happily married man. Well I hope happily, if I am not happy in the first five hours might be an issue. Almost everything seems to be done and the budget is over but what the hell I don’t intend having Elizabeth Taylor’s marital record, her money wouldn’t be bad. The thought of having a ‘husband’ does seem quite surreal, I guess the planning and organising of everything has taken my mind off the significance of the whole event at the moment it just seems like I am planning a fabulous day for friends and family.

I have been writing my speech today and looking back over the time since Mr B and I first met (in GAY of all places) and it’s been a nightmare, what are you meant to say to describe someone? It is not going to mushy (well not too often) I’m hoping it will be a success, he is still undecided on his or if he is even doing one.

We’ve bought our ‘his and his’ masks. I have never known such a nightmare, as you learn in a wedding it’s the little things that cause the most grief. I was firstly in the mask shop two hours prior with Dwarf choosing 6 different peoples masks from the small (I am being sarcastic) selection of 200 masks available. It involved several very stressed tense phone calls to both best women one of whom almost threw up from a hangover during the call – that’s dedication. Two hours on and Mr B and I were at loggerheads, he wanted a clown mask, I wanted something more ‘Showgirl’ you will have to wait for the photos to see which one of us won the battle, it took some persuading from both parties.

So am I going to miss being a single man? Yes and no. I mean I haven’t technically been single for quite a while now, and we don’t do ‘open’. Yeah there are those first dates where the butterflies are all over the place and all the firsts. However there will be many firsts to come I hope, first home, first married row, first anniversary and one first of which we are both keen on is first child, that is a blog for many moons in time. However this morning was an example of why married life will be more intimate than those first few lustful bedroom moments when you meet someone. It was the two of us lying in bed reading our books, there is something distinctly intimate in that, I can’t quite describe it!

Will I miss being out on the gay scene with my mates talking about sex, men and having a frivolous night? Hell no, those nights aren’t going to stop, the only difference is I will have a slightly bejewelled and fabulous ring on my finger. I have just realised I am not having a stag do; it’s too late in the day now I guess. Maybe I will have a ‘fuck I’m married’ party instead in fact that sounds quite fabulous.

Oh and one question a few people have asked is will I become Simon B? No, Mr be as of next Saturday will be known as Mr S, yes he loves my family and my surname so he is changing to mine. Simon Brustolon doesn’t have the same ring as Simon Savidge I don’t find.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thats Why They Call Them Best Women

I had one of the funniest random three ways tonight. I do not mean in a sexual way though if laughter was a form of orgasm I was on multiple. I mean a phone call. It was with ‘the best women’ having not seen Muffintop of Mitch since the last trying of the dresses experience several weeks ago we needed a catch up. When I say catch up I mean between the three of us. Separately I cannot fault them for there enthusiasm, dedication, never ending ‘can we help’ and putting up with me being a stressed harridan. Mitch is normally on the phone three times a week occasionally, in severe times of stress, daily. Muffintop has been emailing on her two week holiday in the Maldives with constant support. This is indeed why they are called best women.

Muffintop was round for dinner and from seeing each other everyday at work until December and a few times each week since, not seeing each other for two weeks was a bit odd. We both had been on fabulous trips, but we’d still missed each other. We ended up a little tipsy on Bucks Fizz, which believe me can happen, and then had Mitch on speaker phone for wedding talk. In the end it ended up being a one hour conversation that was about anything but. From Mitch’s mum’s love of ‘knob ends’ on bread, to perverts, to the shit office we all worked at once. It was heaven and not a word of confetti, outfits or the like in site. That was just what I needed, and that’s what best women are for, thank you kindly ladies!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Literally A Fabulous Day

Sat with Mr David Llewellyn having a chinwag (which was also an interview, I don’t do formal really) over a coffee sat in the sun on Old Compton Street we both felt that ‘this was the life’ that a) we deserved and b) people probably think that authors and journalists have. You know, you don’t do much; you have masses of money coming in and so you can swan about doing the odd casual interview, maybe throw in some reading and sunbathing as David had been before, or just catch some rays by a pool on a roof as I did in the afternoon and then attend the odd party. If only, dream on. Yes we were both having one of those days; it’s not a reality sadly.

Today has been a very literary day though and I do love one of those. I was up to do some more of my Bent deadline quite early, which is not very like me I finally believe the jetlag is wearing off. I then went to meet David for an interview (I am determined to get more literature into Bent, my editor may have scrapped my Stella Duffy article previously, however I am not giving in again) on my way there I tried to get a copy of his latest novel ‘Everything is Sinister’ plug, plug. Well I wasn’t allowed one, not until Polari, which I was attending anyways so it was fine. I couldn’t believe a book shop wouldn’t sell me a book, Mr B would have laughed at my reaction of dumb founded despair… I did buy it later!

Coffee (and interview) with David was a delight. A really decent guy, genuine and very funny, made my job a bloody doddle. Very interesting discussions on books and torchwood were had by all; well by me anyways I may have bored him to death. Look out for his feature in next months Bent. As mentioned above I then proceeded to head for the pool and a serious bout of sunbathing. Am currently reading Will Self’s ‘The Book of Dave’ (why did I think Will Self was gay?) and it’s a bit of a good ‘en but a blinking difficult ‘en too! So tried to look very well read in my Speedo’s and shades.

Met Spanners at Westminster to go to the worst album launch ever, and it was for a serious artist too, I have now truly come to the decision that if a launch isn’t good in the first 30mins it’s not going to get much better. With this in mind we left for Polari, which was where I wanted to be anyways. The delightful Paul and Dom were there and made Spanners feel very welcome. David’s reading was extremely witty and a fab night was had by all… it always is at Polari.

Oh and I finally got to meet Clayton and put a face to the name. David and I had popped into Dirty White Boy earlier to say hello and left a note with Jorge as he was out! He arrived after David had done his reading and was as lovely in real life as you read him online or in the London Paper. So all in all a very literary day and altogether a fabulous one.

Now off to bed with Dave and the Mokney, who would have thought you had to learn a new language to read a book?

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Attack of Groomzilla (Possibly Part One of Many)

You know how The Incredible Hulk goes from being an ordinary guy and then suddenly in rage turns into the green giant, normally to save the earth I grant you, I fear I know how he feels. I used to watch that show ‘Bridezilla’s’ and laugh at how crazy people get about weddings… this fat lad aint laughing (or singing) anymore.

In the past 48 hours I have had half of Warehouse UK quaking in my path for a start. I then had a blazing go at three people I hold very dear, this is not like me. I also madly babbled on the phone to my mother for 30 minutes again not so much like me. Yes I have become Groomzilla.

The Warehouse thing was over the Best Women’s dresses. It took us two full days of searching to finally find the right outfits that a) Mr B and I liked and b) they liked and c) were the right colour for the theme – since when did I care about themes? So after all this I had forgotten my cards and had to come back, by which time all 8 of the stores I trekked around yesterday, with Mr B scurrying to keep up, had sold out of mainly the dresses and then the ones in the sizes I needed. The internet fortunately had one for Mitch, but Muffintops… nowhere! Now a lot of people think, and I mainly agree, that Muffintop can suit anything, she is after all model like. ‘Occasion’ dresses stumped us, until the perfect dress appeared. So I phoned Warehouse today in one of my Groomzilla moods and had ‘Stacey’ shaking at my tone. I do feel bad and I do apologise, it wasn’t me it was Simon Groomzilla. The dress has been found and Warehouse are now fabulous in my eyes. And no I didn’t use the term ‘do you know I am a journalist?’ Groomzilla did and he should hang his head in shame. I have never done that before, well once.

We then spent a few hours by the pool, and I particularly in the pool under the orders of Mr B to ‘cool off’. After which we hit Soho for some drinks with our two friends who got married last weekend. On the way I wanted to pop in and see Clayton at Dirty White Boy only for some reason something came up and by the post box across the street I let rip at Mr B, I think he had laughed at something weddingy which you must NEVER EVER do in front of a potential Groomzilla. We wanted to get some nice ‘wedding night’ underwear however after several conversations with people that apparently is a myth as your too pissed, that’s another story I am sure.

We tried the food for the wedding a starter of which I sent back for being ‘bland’, this from a man who if given the worst food from the worst restaurant would not complain just silently sulk, and this was in one of my favourite restaurants. We have now decided the final meal options and are happy! Groomzilla disappeared only to rear his ugly head about 30 minutes later with two of his delightful friends the ‘recently married’.

I have mentioned before offering help and telling people what to do are two very different things. These drinks became a ‘this is what we did and therefore what you should do’. I ignored the ring advice, they are sorted and fabulous, I ignored the debate on champagne. I ignored the ‘we cant believe your not inviting some people to the meal’. However when the subject of cake came up, despite the tapping of Mr B’s leg on mine, I couldn’t help it. We don’t want a cake. ‘You don’t want a cake, you have to have cake, if you don’t buy a cake we will get one for you’. I lost it I said something a long the lines of ‘I know you two just got married and its really nice that your sharing, well telling us what we should do rather than sharing your advice but will you just back the fuck off, I don’t want a cake, people are having puddings I don’t need a cake and I certainly don’t want people buying me one I am likely to hate.’ I then went very silent funnily and soon we had left and Mr B had taken me to the Haagen Dazs Restaurant for a seriously large ice cream. Wedding talk was banned for the rest of the evening.

Tomorrow, praise be, I am having a day filled with work as I haven’t done any since I came back from Philly. I am meeting Mr David Llewellyn to interview him about him, his book etc. Then have a showcase in the early evening with cocktails and canap├ęs, followed by the fabulous Polari, and not a word of wedding insight… bliss!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

And When Did You Last See Your Father?

I watched this movie last night and several parts of the film have resonated in me so much that I cannot stop thinking about them and feel I have to get these thoughts out. The film was out last year and tells the story of a relationship between father (Jim Broadbent) and son (Colin Farrell) from the past to know and in the particular light of their fraught relationship from the son’s childhood. This is all brought to ahead when the father is diagnosed with cancer and becomes terminally ill. That is all I shall say on the movie, it’s a very well acted and written piece and I would heartily recommend it to anyone, you might need some tissues.

The film its self raised many questions and thoughts with me. How is the relationship with my father? How does it feel to have had more than one father? How am I coping since Bong died, the cancer part of the film was a little too raw in parts, how am I getting on? What would my ideal relationship with my father be? See a veritable can of worms was opened up in my head and not much sleep was gained last night. This could be a long blog, let’s start at the beginning.

I think if I look back I have had five father figures in my life. Bong (my granddad), Paul (my first step dad), Tim (my step dad now), my Dad and also my Mum. My mother had me when she was just 16. My father wasn’t about for long and so she brought me up as a single mother, taking me to University with her, and also being the role of both parents. I didn’t find out until quite recently that my mothers parents Gran and Bong had offered to bring me up as theirs. My mum refused as she wanted me to know my true mother and also because she had decided to have me and that was that. I am glad of this the whole thing could have been far too Eastenders to be true and I had enough Eastender like storylines in my childhood thank you very much. I am proud of my mother for this and also the fact she single handily raised me whilst doing a degree.

My Grandparents however looked after me for long periods at Easter, the summer holidays and Christmas letting my mother have a social life and time to revise. They took me on long holidays in the car to France and other European destinations and to a degree I felt like I had a second set of parents the idea of a father or what one was didn’t occur to me in my early years. That was until my mother met Paul. Sadly (as I would love to be able to) I cannot remember the first time I met Paul, all I do remember from those early years was that he made me laugh and we had lots of fun.

Eventually we left Newcastle and Paul and Mum and I all lived together, no teething problems all was good after a few years Paul proposed to Mum in Thailand and I was jubilant at the news. Then the possibility of adoption came up and I was more than happy to take Paul as my dad. I know this all sounds very rosy and to a degree it was, yes me and Paul had some mammoth rows as sometimes I felt he would over step the mark of ‘friend’ to ‘father’ and in some ways this meant ‘foe’. On the whole though it was a very happy time and bar one big row we had where we weren’t talking just before the wedding all was fine. Sadly this didn’t last as in 1992, six months after they married, on the 5th of December after a day of Christmas shopping my mother and I came home and I found Paul hanging from the attic. He had a brain tumour and in the previous months his behaviour had been erratic, we had fought more this was all too do with the tumour having burst on a holiday in Ibiza, none of us knew that until after he died.

Suddenly it was just me and my mother again. I became man of the house only my mum being deep in grief (though she was never sorry for herself which was highly commendable) couldn’t do the dual parent role. Bong stepped in and I went off the rails. I skipped school, I did a lot of weed (all aged around 11-13) I became violent, aggressive, and mean sickly mean. Bong tried to help and being a teenager and quite a screwed up one at the time I rebelled further and took against any authority figure that happened to be in my way. I think this was when Bong and I had a very fraught relationship and one now I regret.

Things calmed down and Mum eventually met Tim. He was a science teacher at my school where mum also taught. At first I liked him, we got on well and I liked his daughters. When he became my science teacher when I was in year 11 and my mum also became pregnant things went weird. We moved in, I didn’t want to. I started misbehaving more again at school and at home and declared war. I then had to move schools as we’d moved away from the area and I guess I pushed all the blame on Tim, I saw him as spawn of Satan, and naturally I also blamed my mother. Miriam was born and for a while that took the pressure off, I felt I had an ally even if a 2 month old one. Then it became too much and I left. I ran away from home. I was gone.

Whilst all this madness was going on, not only was I coming to terms with being gay, I had managed to get in touch with my Dad’s parents and in turn my dad and after 16 years not long before Mum had Miriam we met. I knew he was my Dad the minute I saw him, the feeling that a stranger has such an overpowering bond with you is the oddest feeling ever. We had some similarities and seemed to get on well and we even ordered the same McDonalds meal, for some reason that memory really sticks with me. We wrote regularly and I met some of my other family members, when I left home this relationship quietened also.

Now to the present day where are these relationships? Much has happened since much reconciliation has been made and I have a fantastic relationship with Tim. We go down the pub together, we get drunk together, and he is great company. I have never called him ‘Dad’ as I think it would freak him out but now I do see him as that and know that when the time comes my children will know him as their Granddad.

As some of you will know Bong died last year aged 68. It was very sudden; he was diagnosed with cancer and died within 7 weeks, to say a huge part of me is now missing would be an understatement. The fact he wont be at my wedding is like a wound that I don’t think will heal, I will have a fabulous day, he would be furious at me if I didn’t, I will always miss him. You don’t get true gentlemen like him anymore.

As for my Dad? It’s an odd one. We don’t have an ideal relationship by far (whatever that is) we speak on the phone every couple of months and email occasionally we haven’t seen each other in over three years. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the fact that with my entire childhood bond with him having never existed we don’t have that connection which is a shame as I would like us to. I invited him to the wedding and got a muted response and have heard nothing since so I can only assume he won’t be there, maybe he would find it to weird? I have never met his wife; I have met my younger brother and sister once, though Emma does text me quite often. This is down to both of us I do not lay all the blame with him at all. I do however feel I am at a crossroads of do we try hard to make the relationship work, or just leave it? I don’t even know what sort of a relationship he wants with me? This is something I need to clarify and deal with pronto I think as life is just too short.

I don’t know if I have answered any of my questions that I set out to; I do know I feel much better for getting it all out. I have also just realised that rather than my hard efforts to write something in fiction it would be much easier for me to sell out and get a deal writing one of those ‘tragic life stories’ only it would be just that… tragic. I don’t feel sorry for myself over any of this, yeah life can deal you a shit hand but it can with anyone. If I was to write a memoir I would much rather it was in the vein of Augusten Burroughs who has some mad stuff happen to him but is fine with it and, like I can, can see the funny side.

Wow, what a deep amount of writing one film can inspire hey? I feel like I have been far too serious and should add something shallow and silly, so I shall. If you don’t want to watch the movie for the story… watch it for the scene where Colin Firth is having some ‘solo time’ in the bath! And with that thought in both yours and my heads, I shall sign off!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Giving Notice & No Notice Giving

Finally today Mr B and I gave notice, no not on the flat (though the thought is tempting we are now have scaffolding to the nines) the 16 days notice that you need to give before you get partnered up. We were greeted as ever by the vile Betsy who you think given the name would be a fabulous ‘Golden Girl’ woman and who is in fact a homophobe who I have already once had words with. You can see a previous blog for that, she is vile, she can’t be arsed to do her job is obviously unsatisfied and so turns to being a complete bitch, but with a cyanide smile. There were no water cups for the machine and the face she pulled when nicely asked to get some more was akin to Medusa. I know, I know, I know if she was on the telly and not part of my life I would love her.

Patricia then came to meet us and to give us our separate interviews. Now can I just say that bar Bitch Betsy the people at the offices are wonderful, we have laughed with them all and had a gay old time, Patricia was one of these people… and laugh during my interview? I howled. She is also somewhat a celebrity in Registrar circles being the first ever black female registrar in the UK. I know this as she had some cuttings on her wall and we had a lovely chat about it. I can’t divulge all the questions (a very silly rule) but we did come to a hiccup when I couldn’t remember how to spell my dads first or last name. I refused to have him ‘blanked’ but even phoning my mother she couldn’t remember ‘it’s been over 26 years Simon’ and he wasn’t at home or at work. So if he is spelt wrong whoops.

The whole thing took around an hour or so and then it was done… phew! After this we found out that Jenny cannot do our ceremony which was a bit gutting as we loved her and her Kath and Kim-ness but we have met the two ladies who will be doing the service and they are lovely, again there was more laughter and we sorted out some of the ceremony and how it will work. With just over two weeks to go it was about time.

After that I went to relax and tan at the Oasis in town. I normally don’t like the sun but after enjoying it thoroughly in Philly I thought that this year I will make an exception so with my notebooks, current read and mp3 player in tow I was off. I had forgotten how cruisey it was. There were groups of gay men and single gay men just out on ‘crotch watch’ I think me in my Speedo’s might have put them off but I wasn’t caring. What I loved was the ‘look at us’ preening some of them were doing. One particular group, who I swear all had socks down their trunks, were bitching about people, each other when the others were swimming and preening endlessly. Now that was great for the notebook, however I had to pretend that I wasn’t noticing them as didn’t want to give them the satisfaction or the opportunity to bitch about me.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Since When Did People Stop Boasting About Sex?

I am not going to dwell on my early return from Philly or ‘family’ stuff that is going on so I shall simply carry on with other items regardless. Tonight was my first night working for FS Magazine, it’s a charity health and lifestyle magazine produced by the wonderful GMFA who I volunteer for, so as well as being for a good cause I also get more experience with working on different features and with new people.

Tonight I was doing the Vox Pops for ‘holiday/summer’ issue which is coming out in a few weeks. So I arranged to meet the photographer in Clapham at 7.30 as we thought that was the perfect time for the lads to be out. They weren’t. While Kazbar was sort of doing ok, the Brewers was quite quiet, we had come too early. Eventually however the bar started to fill just as my jetlag slapped me around and I started to feel slightly odd. Being professional (I am) I simply carried on regardless in hindsight I don’t think it’s my best work and I am really a bit disappointed in myself.

The other thing that disappointed me was people’s responses. Ask them about a holiday and they seemed to wanna tell you a bit, ask about STI’s or sex which is what we wanted and suddenly they clammed up. Maybe I wasn’t being as chatty and didn’t build up the rapport with them that I should have, but after having dealt with some bloody awkward celebs in the past however long (and some awkward no celebs in my social life) I wasn’t sure it was that. Maybe it’s the picture in a magazine that gets dotted around London bit that bothers peoples as a lot of people were saying ‘ask me questions but I don’t want a photo’.

Don’t get me wrong everyone is entitled to not having to talk about their sex life as much as people have the right to brag about it. I was asked to do a Vox Pop back when I was sweet 19 (I haven’t been what they are looking for since then damn them) and I was more than happy to discuss my sex life, but then I was also a complete tart back then. Now though I still do talk quite openly and in some cases very wrongly about sex with my friends… would I for a magazine? Hell, any publicity is better than none, or so they say. I guess the boys of Clapham just didn’t want to open up to me tonight and with the jet-bags under my eyes who can blame them?

So that was that, we managed to get 12 guys though I didn’t feel that the selection was diverse enough in ages or anything, but the photographer wanted his tea, and who am I to deprive a man of that?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Photo's Of Philadelphia

So after not being able to load up any photos whilst I was away here are a load to bore you senseless with in no particular order...

My hotel suite...
The view from my window...
The Ben Franklin Bridge...

The neverending Skyscraper ComTower (very Doctor Who)...

The famous Love Square...
The spookiest place I have ever been... The balloon I daringly rode...

The view back down...
The Polar Bears a serious highlight... Me being Rocky...

Monday, May 05, 2008

"Dawn Have We Been Hit? Dawn"

Saturday, Sunday and most of today have gone into one big blur. Partly because I have been so busy on both a pushed itinery and also because I was so desperate to do some much in the time that I have had there that the plan of doing a blog a day has kind of gone out of the window. I now have a few hours to spare before checking out and with rather bad sunburn the park that was once beckoning me with all its might makes me think ‘ouch’ a little. I have decided there for to pop some pictures with an over view of some of the fun and frolics I have had. Sadly I didn’t take my camera to the Blue Ball as that was an experience I shall never forget. Masses of pretty much naked men in a warehouse dancing to trance versions of the latest tunes all off their heads, unforgettable. I may have joined in, that’s something that only I shall ever know ha.

On Saturday morning we met the delightful Tami, she is ‘Gay Personality of the Year’ in Philadelphia and she met us for a gorgeous breakfast (I had pancakes with bacon scrambled eggs and potatoes – amazing) and for a tour of the famous ‘Gaybourhood’ we saw the hotels (I will be holding them to their free week stay they have promised) the shops, eateries the works including some of Americas oldest gay bars.

One of the things that struck me so much on the tour was the community. Soho I now know is not a community. We don’t have a community centre for example, we don’t have younger gay men looking after older (they call them the Phila-dentures very fondly), or older teaching younger in various classes from salsa to gay history. We have none of these things and it’s a shame. One of the things which to me symbolised the community feel of the place was the ‘gaybourhood mural’ which is part of a scheme in Philadelphia with all murals. The community gets together votes on a mural to brighten an empty wall (with convicted graffiti artists also helping as community service) in the area and then everyone joins in with the painting and it becomes a kind of public effort/gathering, again this is something we in London would never do.

After the morning with Tami we went of to the Rittenhouse Street Festival. Everyone joins in there are barbeques, stalls everything. It’s fabulous. It was then time for me to hit the Jacuzzi and have a smarten up before the Equality Forum Dinner, where we were joined by the wonderful Tami again, her girlfriend who I adored Melissa and the wonderful Marion who was our guide. The dinner was first class, the conversations interesting and I met a Governor which I found most exciting… it was in the toilets as well so that adds class to my story, oh and the fact I only knew he was the governor after the conversation at the urinal. I then got changed back at the hotel and was out again for the Blue Ball, which is a night I think best to forget.

Sadly this could not be forgotten the next morning (yesterday) when I woke at 8am only 3 hours after getting in to have a long shower before meeting Simon S2 to check out the Museum of Art. We made sure we stopped at the Rocky statue which has oddly been hidden. I mentioned the Museum and how fabulous it was in my last blog so I won’t bore you with the details again. I will say that it was Bongs birthday, or would have been, and was weird to be walking around the Museum he loved when he visited. I thought of him as I strolled around.

It was then a food hunt which I have to say has hardly been a hardship the food being so delicious. We decided to hop on the Philadelphia trolley to get to South Street (their version of Camden) a choice that ended up taking us bloody ages.

The trolley tells you everything you need to know (how Philadelphia was first and best for everything) and more. My encounter on Friday had been a light hearted one, this one was more harrowing with Dennis or whatever his name was finding himself very funny with in jokes to driver Dawn. I wondered if he noticed that no one else was laughing. The bad joke became even less funny for him (much funnier for us) when we were shunted hard by a car; yes the car happily drove into us and drove off. Well it took Dennis several moments to even acknowledge the hit! Unlike Dawn who I fear you would never wish to mess with. ‘Dennis, get out and see the damage, I need all your addresses and numbers, does anyone have whiplash?’ We then all had to sit and fill in our details and wait an age before we could move on.

South Street was explored and then we walked the front by the Delaware and headed for Sunday OUT the big street festival that isn’t Pride but sort of is, a little confusing. Was fabulous to sit on the street eating (yes more) chatting with Simon S2 who is a bloody nice fella and then take pictures of the people as they enjoyed the sunshine (the sunburn started here) and perused the stalls and other men. My random highlight was that I finally saw one of those famous homophobic cults who shout how gay men are paedophiles. As I gay man I should have been horrified, I was mesmerized and the battle of him verses the gay population was quite a spectacle.

Today, after an early night, we met Ellen and Sarah for our final Four Seasons breakfast. Ellen then took us to the Zoo. She was bemused we were so keen to go but it’s unlike any Zoo here (bar a pissed off leopard) and we saw Polar Bears, a real highlight for me. Speaking of highs it was then 400ft up in the balloon. Yes, me, who is scared of heights! Highs sums up the whole experience really, I am in love with this city, even the shops which I have hit hard not long ago. All too soon it will be time to go and I will be really sad to leave.

Friday, May 02, 2008

First Friday

I am quite tipsy as I type so this will be short and sweet. I have been out with the wonderful Sarah and Simon S 2 tonight to two events. ‘Art After Five’ at the Museum of Art and ‘First Friday’ in the streets of Old City.

‘Art After Five’ is a new concept in the city where you go and watch jazz acts, singers, musicians and dancers in ‘The Great Staircase’. Sadly tonight we were treated to what was part mime, part art, part modern interpretation dance based on the life of the artist Frieda. This would have been fine had it not been so odd. A woman who took off most of her clothes threw herself round in some flowers and then wailed. I was glad of my 12% Philadelphian Beer frankly. We also kept getting vile looks as we were all talking!

We then had a very tipsy tour of some of the Museum of Art and it is fantastic. Not like in the UK where everything is behind alarms, ropes and the like. You can touch some of the old relics and get as close as you could wish to the paintings. There are also rooms that have been literally transported from halls in Derbyshire, hotels in Paris, temples in India and placed in rooms here. The highlight being a small Chinese village just sat in one of the galleries that you can then explore.

After this we were driven to old city (via the gamma, delta buildings of the frat population that looked like another set from an American movie) to first Friday. An event where all the private galleries open up to the public with wine, beer and nibbles and you can peruse and buy to your hearts content. I did much perusing and drinking but not purchasing. If only we had something like this in the UK it’s such a community thing, everyone getting together and buying and appreciating the local art scene. Genius.

Frivolous Fears in Philly (or First Impressions)

Today I am extremely proud of myself. I have combated a fear that I never thought that I would. In fact technically I have combated two. One is the fear of heights, the other is the fear of lifts. The pride I feel for myself is somewhat glowing in all honestly.

After a scrumptious breakfast of Eggs Benedict in their full American glory with Ellen (the Visitors Bureau rep), Tami (Gay Personality of the Year in Philadelphia) and Fara (Four Seasons PR) which was a magically momentous display of out doing and out knowing but with wonderfully saccharine smiles all round we headed to Ellen’s office before one of the most boring interviews/meetings I have ever endured. So much so I shall not mention it again.

In the reception of Ellen’s office I noticed that we would be getting a lift, I hadn’t from the outside bothered to check how tall the office itself was. In future I will be more aware of everything around me. As I noticed she touch the 30th floor I felt a small moment of dread. As she calmly said ‘I love this lift its so fast, I mean it doesn’t even stop until the 21st floor and it gets there in 15 seconds’ to Simon S2 I felt even more edgy and moved to where I could hold on, not that the sweat from my hands was helping my grip. Suddenly we were there.

I decided to leave the fact I was scared of heights and lifts for a short while. Well until Ellen asked me why I was so quiet and then I divulged. She gave me a hug. She then added a little to the torture through a laugh of ‘therapy’ and showed us a 360 of the view from the height, it was fantastic. Next up the 400ft balloon in the zoo if we go!

The afternoon (after a delicious lunch of a Cheese Steak – you should go to Philly purely for one of these) we were left to our own devices. Simon S2 went to check out some art. I decided to be a complete tourist and hop on the Philadelphia Trolley via a huge ice cream along the sidewalks of Market Street. The trolley took me on a tour of various hot spots of the north east and centre of town, past the ‘Rocky’ steps of the Art Museum and to a destination I almost jumped off the Trolley to get into, a destination that was not so much a travel feature destination but a very much Simon Savidge destination… The Eastern State Penitentiary.

The sun was shining so really I should have just wandered a nice park but this was too good a chance to miss and any Most Haunted fan would have done the same. Considering the sun was shining so much and that the prison is derelict and open in places to the elements I have never been so cold. I can only describe it as the spookiest place I have ever been. Though no one was ever killed on death row ‘the official way’ it had seen many murders and stabbings. The whole place had a dark, dank and typical ghost train feel only real. I was happy as a pig in the proverbial. I spent a good hour or so in there, including a few minutes in Al Capone’s cell which was odd. Now am happily sat at my desk at the hotel typing up this blog, that you probably wont get until I am back, watching the people of Philadelphia frolic in the fountain in Logan Square in Philadelphia’s Museum District. With the sun reflecting radiantly is as I type from the corner of the window where the skyscrapers seem to wink and shimmer. It feels like I have walked into a movie and as first impressions go, this movie will be my years blockbuster!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Side Order Of Pussy?

From our arrival at Philadelphia Airport Simon S2 (my fellow journo) and I were questioned, finger printed, photographed and then left to our own devices. We were being picked up from the airport to be driven around the city to see the different areas before arriving at The Four Seasons. Our driver was Michael. Michael was something else. Michael was the sort of character you couldn’t make up, he was also the sort of character you could never make up, and when you meet know you will have to use some day.

As a welcome to my blogs in Philadelphia here is some of the ‘Wisdoms of Michael’ we were treated to as we toured the city, I swear all of this is for real, I have a witness…

“For holy fuck, just fucking sort yourself out” (to a work colleague on his mobile as he was leading us to the limo, he had said nothing prior to this as was on the phone)

“That’s the laundrette where these twin broads work who I dated, one would substitute the other to start, they were cool with it, I wasn’t… how do you tell one that her sister sucks at sucking dick?”

“Did you say goodbye to your King and that so called bitch of a Queen?” (I think he meant Charles and Camilla)

“I love driving round this park… so many college girls near the here, gets you hard”

“My son is becoming a lawyer, which is good, he’ll earn good money… and I won’t have to fork out fuck all for him anymore.”

“Man I love them broads in them high heeled boots, they want it don’t they?” (He then piped his horn (ironic) at said broad and several others he would ‘do’.)

“You gotta check out South Street, the weed is amazing”

“My wife wonders why I look at other women when she never offers me her pussy no more, crazy bitch.”

“You gotta try the Philly cheese steak… its like warm pussy” (I actually snorted with laughter at this point)

He also told us about some pro-boxer he ran a business with and won a fight against, and a very disturbing story that confused me involving a slightly incestuous moment with his Gran. Seriously you couldn’t make it up. It was very much a bonding session for Simon S2 and me as we both gave each other some very knowing looks and also both tried to make the other laugh! What a welcome.

P.S -The flight was fine, I wouldn’t go as far to say as I loved it or I am cured, but it was bearable. I also learned something. Valium doesn’t work for me! I took two and nothing, two more later still nothing, so I just had to sit out my fear and 8 hours later I was slightly sweaty but I felt quite proud of myself.