Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fitness First

I haven’t blogged for a while which is quite un-me. I haven’t really had much to say which is even more unlike me. I have joined the gym (again very unlike me) and have to say that right now Fitness First is not my favourite place in the world. I have had this whole ‘I wanna get fit’ rush already and that didn’t work, mind you let’s look into why that was.

I decided back at New Year that I was gonna have a new start. I had left my second job as an Office Manager (voluntary redundancy) and had a promotion at Bent so I thought stuff it I have more time on my hands let’s get me fit.

I ummmed and ahhhed over a few different places (there is a gorgeous Holmes Place near me – way too expensive for what it is though the pool was to die for) and so I thought I would give the former council Leisure Centre my service. It was a good deal, you didn’t have a contract you could leave whenever. That changed at my first training session. I had to have my photo taken so in three months they could prove that I had lost weight, if I hadn’t I had failed. This really bugged me a) how much pressure must they be putting on people b) to tell someone who wants to loose weight and tries hard they have ‘failed’ is wrong. Within a week I had been 4 times and was so proud of myself, until the guy came over checked my sheet and said ‘no, no you’ve not been doping what your training says you should, you cant pick and chose, do you want to get fit?’ Funnily enough that was the last time I went and people wondered why. There was also a weird incident with two guys who really freaked me out in the sauna but that’s not for now.

So as my beloved is now working for Fitness First and hopes to become a personal trainer, the gym is now free, I feel slightly more like I should be an advert for his healthy lifestyle (he hasn’t made me feel like this he is adverse to me loosing the weight at all) I am back in a gym. This time I love it! Ok that’s not true, I still hate it, but I know it’s a means to an end. I am wondering if I should go again before my very important date with a certain KM tomorrow?????? Ha, if only one day at the gym made you shed all your weight. Next I need to find a local gym buddy lol.

Bar the gym am trying to think of what else have been up to as it’s been nearly a week. We scattered Hoyden’s ashes last Friday Mr S, The Ex and me. I think The Ex found it the hardest out of all of us, I guess me and MR S had seen her and knew it was for the best whereas The Ex only saw her when she just got ill.

Saw a late night (leaving the cinema at 2am) showing of The Dark Knight on Saturday, which was after a major sulk that I didn’t get invited by Mr S to go to the motor show – I didn’t actually want to but that’s not the point lol. It’s amazing and I know everyone is now going all ‘Heath Ledger shouldn’t get an Oscar after he’s dead’ well actually he should. I have to say he blew me away and every scene with him seemed to have so much more presence. Having said that the whole film is awesome and I am definitely going to have to see it again on the big screen.

Other than that I have been seriously reviewing books and reading like a demon which *self promotion alert* you can see at http://savidgereads.blogspot.com have you seen the Man Booker list? I am a bit ‘meh’ about it all. Glad Child 44 is on there as the book snobs have already started bemoaning that. I think they should have a younger male of about 26 on the judge’s panel rather than Michael Portaloo don’t you? Right off to eat celery sticks!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Martin Fry Makes A Great Cuppa

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the 80’s Pop Greats (and if more people had bought ‘Traffic’ which is actually very, very good without them needing to reinvent themselves with Timbaland – yes I do mean Duran Duran and Madonna) anyway some of you will know who this legend is and others of you won’t. In all honesty until this week if I had walked past Martin in the street I wouldn’t have known who he was, thanks to Wikipedia, Youtube, Google and Dom Agius I now know he is the lead singer of ABC of ‘The Lexicon of Love’ album with the mammoth ‘Look of Love’ single.

Normally I get to meet people in a cafĂ©/bar/hotel room, today I got to go to his house and I was jealous, very, very jealous - gorgoeus house, fabulous cars and a gorgeous Pug, after loosing Hoyden I am magnetised towards animals. Instead of starting the interview straight away I was diverted spending about 15 minutes playing with him and another one they were looking after until they started getting jealous of the other and had a massive scrap. I quote the visiting dog 'normally spends his days in Monolo Bloniks, he's a working boy'. Martin was lovely and the interview didn’t start for 40minutes after it should as firstly I was intoduced to the family and then we were gassing away about the ‘north’. Chesterfield and Sheffield maybe in different counties but they are really close. So we’d already had a Yorkshire Tea before we’d even started. Sadly I didn't take any photo's I didnt think it would be too cool in someones house, I kind of wish I had.

The interview wad great, he was very gracious not showy off, he was down to earth and just really friendly and that to me makes a great celebrity interview. He gave me some good bitchy quotes but not in a horrid way in a very well humoured way. Yes that’s my excuse when I have a good bitch. The Steel City Tour is coming around the UK in December and I’ll be at it for sure. One final thing before I go – a big thank you to Mr Agius for his 20 minute ABC lesson and for giving me some deeper insight into the group and for the cartoon knowledge. In fact now that I have had his words of wisdom and downloaded the discography I could be an expert on ABC. Next time I have a big 80’s popstar to interview I know who to send… Unless of course its Kylie or Madonna, then he can just come in my man bag! I’m off to find myself a pug, so I can dress it like this…

Friday, July 18, 2008

Whatever Happened To 'The Letter' (and Penpals)?

After reading what I think has easily been on of my favourite books this year ‘The Mitford’s Letters Between Six Sisters’ (which you can see a review of, and many others, on my book blog http://savidgereads.blogspot.com/) it left me wondering if there were six sisters going through the same things what would be left, maybe a book of texts or a book of emails? I miss the letter, where has it gone? I also watched the fabulous Bette Davis film ‘The Letter’ today so that’s another reason that I think this has been strong in my mind, you wouldn’t get the same story line if it was ‘The Text’.

When I was about 17 a friend Barry and myself used to write each other twice a week and these weren’t just notes these were eight or nine sides of A4. I look back at them and squirm because I was 16, thought I knew it all and was so adult, I had left home (run away) the summer before and so was a turmoil of hormones, coming out, the works. I also did this with several other friends and these letters are really dear to me. (I have started to talk more like a Mitford, it was an addictive world).

Then of course there were the 'penpals' at school. Did everyone have those, we had a school from Marlboro in America which our head teacher thought was very clever as we were in Marlborough Wiltshire. Mine was called Ruth and looked like a man... I shall say no more. It was a pleasant relationship the 6 months it lasted, sadly we werent very interested in each other (I think same sex would have been more out ideal pen pal) unlike Matthew one of the French Exchange students I had a fabulous few months with and wrote to for five years before he threatened to come over and live here! No thanks! He wasnt even my exchange student, he was a classmates.

Looking back its cringe worthy but its part of my past and I am so glad that I still have those. I also really looked forward to those letters, sometimes waiting at the window for the postman; doesn’t that sound fabulously Jane Austen? It’s true though, now the only thing I wait for in the post is the latest book I’ve swapped on readitswapit.co.uk or DVD from lovefilm.com. The only other post I get is junk mails, bills or statements.

Also I know the state of Royal Mail has declined somewhat but then when people are hardly using it and spending money on it how can we begrudge that, actually we can but you know what I mean, and then people are also in uproar that its likely Saturday post will be cancelled in the future. I blame the telephone, which I am a fan of as I spend several hours a week on it to family as they aren’t really into emailing and sadly seem to have lost the will to write; when I was younger I used to get loads of letters from them.

So as they say that friends are the family you choose to have, I am sending out a plea to my blog friends… lets start writing letters, seriously. I am being 100% genuine; I would love to have a legacy of letters to leave for my family. They’ll probably want rid of them but as long as they recycle them that’s fine. You never know though they may find them of historical (or hysterical) value one day. So if you’re up for it, drop me a message! I thank you.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Books Glorious Book Blogging

As most of you who know me will know I am sure I am a bit of a book geek. I love reading and would choose reading over the TV any day frankly. Well maybe not everyday as I love a good movie but you get the drift. My mother and grandmother are to blame. Both of them have rooms with literally a whole wall that’s been turned into a massive set of book shelves both have easily over a thousand books (and that’s only on show), they too read like there is no tomorrow although my mother seems to have taken a backseat on this one of late and is still reading a book she’d started over two months ago, most unlike her. We discuss books on the phones at length; we are all parts of a duo that started book groups. The list could go on and as you could see I can waffle (in general too) on about books until the cows come home.

So rather than bore people to death (as people seem less bookish these days) who I know that aren’t avid readers or authors I have bored to death already, or people I know who just don’t really read. I also have the pain of being married to a non-reader can be quite overwhelming, in fact even worse a non reader who bans you from buying books for having too many. What should I do? Someone sent me a link to Book Rabbit where seriously you can rabbit on about your fav books to your hearts content; I wanted something more personal too, like a book journal.

I decided to blog it all and have now created a new book blog, which at the mo is still a work in progress as I have written a stupid amount on books in the last year (but been so busy reading haven’t put them all up) that it only has a few ‘book thoughts’ and all the reviews of books I have read this year. People may role their eyes and say that these reviews are not long enough or bemoan another book blog, fine don’t read it! I don’t personally like reviews that never end and love other blogs where they sum up the book in less than 500 words and make you feel like you either do or don’t wanna read it! I would love publishers to send me books that I can review in advance, but that’s a dream that maybe one day will come true. For now I have no incentive or bias and am simply going to blog about my books and my book thoughts to my hearts content. If you should want to pop by you would be more than welcome.

It’s http://savidgereads.blogspot.com (and no sadly that picture is not my book shelf).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

City Lights & The Lavender Library


We have had two wonderful nights in The Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank. On both nights we were there to support Polari and The House of Homosexual Culture, as they have their nights of Literary Debauchery and Decadence, as part of the London Literature Festival.

‘City Lights’ was a night of discussion by authors and the like (Rupert Smith, Stella Duffy, Q Boy, Paul Burston etc, etc) and their love for the city, and why gay men and women rush to the city as some kind of escape and re-invention. The conversations were very thought provoking. Daddy Burston and David Llewellyn (we’re working out if he is an uncle/cousin/step brother at present) were first up as ‘Small-town Boyo’s’ to talk about their earlier days – we aren’t saying ‘youth’ in case it offends and our pocket money is stopped – in Wales and their love for London. There were some very, very funny diary extracts from Bertie Marshall, some interesting thoughts on women who dressed up as women (like drag but women as women, it made sense if you were there) like Mae West from Andrea Stuart. Finale of the first half was Christopher Fowler on what the city has meant to him over the years.

The second half saw gorgeous fabulous wonderful Aunty Stella Duffy (can you tell we love her?) talking with Maureen Duffy about their work, the city, and how it can create a ‘reinvention’ for people. Stella read from ‘The Room of Lost Things’ which one of us has read (we won’t shame Polly – whoops) and can say is a beautifully written book about, starring and celebrating London and a host of wonderful characters and Maureen read some really moving poetry which she is releasing in September. Get us, first name terms with them all now. Funny Uncle Rupert then conversed with Brian Paddick (whom we warmed to muchly) about the city from a coppers perspective and as a closeted and then out gay man. Tres interesting indeed. Q Boy finished us all off (literally in some cases we are sure) with a very interesting speech about the work he is doing with kids in city schools and the dangers the city can have for gay people, as Brian had pointed out earlier. He then did some serious dancing and rapping over some disco and Kate Bush, what more could you want and that was night one. Below is a picture of us with Uncle Clayton who has a book ‘Dirty White Boy’ out later this year, in front of the mens loos no less! There are more pictures on Daddy Burston’s blog or in Daddy Agius’s photo’s. As this is our blog we’re making it all about us. Ha!

The Lavender Library was in the Queen Elizabeth Hall which is huge and it was at least two thirds full. Fabulous turn out. This was a night introduced by IoS Literary Editor Suzie Feay and kicked of with Funny Uncle Rupert discussing ‘City of Night’ by John Rechy which has a fantastic and saddening tale behind it and is no longer in print in the UK, Rupert felt very strongly about both the book and the fact that its not out here and we were quite moved by his passion. Next up was Diana Souhami who discussed the love affair of Gertrude Stein and Alice Tokias, we laughed (cowing) and were moved by this two. We would like a drunken dinner party with Diana, very dry sense of humour and wonderful timing. Singer David McAlmont championed James Baldwin and his novel ‘Giovanni’s Room’. Aunty Stella was up and discussing Patricia Highsmith and ‘Carol’ the first book where lesbians have a happy ending, and temping at Bloomsbury, we would love that job, we need say no more than this was a fabulous was to end the first half!

Daddy Burston opened up the second half with a talk on ‘Queens’ by Pickles, we shamefully had never heard of it but the excerpt showed that actually not a lot has changed on the gay scene (especially Heaven) like we like to think it has. Karen McLeod read from ‘Crocodile Soup’ which had everyone laughing and we are both desperate to become her new best friends and also get our hands on her book ‘In Search of the Missing Eyelash’ there are unconfirmed rumours she will be at Polari in January… cannot wait we may start stalking her! Not really, well, no we mustn’t. Andy Bell of Erasure discussed Joe Orton’s Diaries and had some very funny tales to tell. Julian Clary told us of EF Benson and his sexuality and Map & Lucia books. Phew, and then we were amongst the regulars Matt, Aruan, Paulo, Ben, May and Juliette of Polari (that we know so far) for some dancing and drinks. The bar closed too early but that didn’t stop us having fun from the last picture you’ll see. So with that we say goodnight and leave you with some pictures from Agius! If you’d like to see ones of other people other than us we’ve told you where to go… we mean other peoples blogs, we’re not that rude!

The Children of Polari with Daddies Burston & Agius and our gorgeous fabulous Aunty Stella.

Polari & The Gang... Everyone looking slightly like the Kids of Fame as Dom put it!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Future In Movies

Having had a ropey old Friday I had a weekend that was filled with vodka but also with quite a few movies and two of these leapt out at me as two possible versions of my future, and one that could quite easily feature Polly two. As you may know we have become, on the occasional evening, The Children of Polari and we were both wondering what the future could hold for such an unlikely duo.

Polly came round on Friday to be there for the thing I am not going to talk about and afterwards bought and cooked me dinner (I was a bit all over the shop) and then got me very drunk on Ribena and Cava followed by Peach vodka and lemonade. While we were enjoying these we watched ‘Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?’ which is one of my all time favourite movies. Bette Davis is just amazing and so, so wickedly evil. The tale is of two sisters one of whom becomes a child star and then the other an adult star, jealousy and envy flare leading in one running over the other… from then on its simply high drama and high camp action! Amazing acting! In some sick and twisted way this film made us think of us though now we are concerned over who is Baby Jane and who is Blanche? …Answers on a postcard please.

We had planned a fabulous DVD night to happen next week but a) we are both up to the nines next week and seeing each other three nights in a row already and b) I needed the support then, so sadly the other film that we had wanted to watch hadn’t arrived from Lovefilm.com yet. This is one of Polly’s favourites and the reason she thought we should watch it will become apparent. It arrived on Saturday.

‘Grey Gardens’ isn’t so much a film as a documentary. It was filmed in 1976 at the home of Jackie O’s cousins Big and Little Edie Bouvier. These women had been seriously renowned women in their day in the 1920’s and 1940’s. However they had become a pair of recluses, the house was decaying around them and they had cats, cats galore and fleas as well as you found out.

They were both completely mad as you could see from the documentary, they had wild raccoons living in the attic which Little Edie would go and feed despite the fact that these cute little monsters where tearing down walls in other parts of the house. Big Edie and Little Edie both spent much of the time in a permanent sing off against one another which is hilarious to watch and were both prone to uncontrollable rages. One minute they were mother and daughter the best of friends, the next they were like two cats fighting. Oh and the cats, these women were living in one room (with a fridge which only seemed to stock ice-cream and a camp burner that only ever seemed to boil sweetcorn) and they had cats everywhere and they were doing all sorts of business all over the room. Seriously you must see it, it’s beyond belief. And to add to the campness of it it’s now also a musical www.greygardensthemusical.com it appears I don’t need a crystal ball to see my future or two possibilities.

I quite like the idea of being a crazy old cat man!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Devastating Day

Today has been horrific, after the phone call from the vets yesterday there was sadly nothing I could do for Hoyden the cancer had won without us even knowing it was attacking till Monday, and after her leg stopped working last night she became quieter and seemed un-Hoyden-like (though still wanting lots and lots of cuddles, which she got, and to be carried around like the Queen that she was, which she did) so I knew it couldnt wait any longer. So after a day of spoiling, tears and endless cuddles, this evening I took her to the vets and she passed away at 6pm in my arms (Polly was a star and came and looked after me as Mr S had to work - he is heartbroken, the man who hated cats was charmed by little Madam Hoyden) so thats that. I feel absolutely devastated and so am off to hit the vodka big time.

Heres a little memory of a very precious pussy cat.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Polari, Just The Tonic I Needed

After the crappy start to the beginning of the week I was unsure if I was going to be able to make Polari or not, after a few calls with Polly, Dom and Mitch (who came to her first ever Polari last night) I decided that Polari would be just the tonic, decided my eye, I KNEW that it would be the perfect tonic. It was. It’s the busiest I have ever seen it, there was standing room only. The reason, apart from Polari being a fabulous night out, was that Will Self was giving a reading with Paul Burston hosting and Dom Agius DJing.

He was brilliant, very witty more than happy to talk about his time as an ‘omee-palone’ have I lost you, don’t know your Polari? Well maybe you should do some research, if you had been there last night you would have been given a glossary Paul had created and Polly and myself as our alter-ego’s ‘The Children of Polari’ handed them out to one and all. He was there to talk about and read from his reworking of The Picture of Dorian Gray as well as its author Oscar Wilde.

He was a superb reader and had the audience enthralled with accents, singing and some brilliant questions and answers. I am sure you can see the results from this picture below of the rapt (and one heavy eye lined menber of the) audience.

Mitch fitted right in (as you can see from the photo of Dom’s embrace below - thank you Dom for the photo's) and said she definitely wants to become a regular all the way from Hertfordshire. She had me in hysterics when she produced a Mills & Boon out of her bag. This one was special; it was a Modern Romance which Mitch announced ‘means he makes her a sandwich or some toast before a romp being a true modern man’. See the literature discussed at Polari is varied.
Yes it was just the escapism that I needed. Though there isn’t another one until September, what am I going to do with myself? Oh that’s right its City Lights and the Lavender Library as part of the London Literary Festival next Monday and Tuesday. Finally a picture of the children of Polari with their parents…

Monday, July 07, 2008

Sleepless Night

I have always said that I really want kids and for a second time I am now questioning that fully. Ok, how do I explain this? They say that pets are like your children and I am cat mad. In fact it has often been a joke at parties and at birthdays when I open the fifth cat related present or twentieth cat covered card that I am going to end up being one of those old women (?) who ends up alone in a bungalow, with a jungle for a garden and 50 cats.

Sadly today the idea couldn’t be further from the truth. I was going to sit down and write a blog about how lame pride has become, how brilliant I thought Dirty Books was and how much I loved being in a Pop band for 30minutes on Saturday at GAY, when sat with laptop on bed last night when I noticed my cat (Hoyden) had a swollen leg. I had to mentally track back all the 4 hours I had been awake before 9pm to think if myself or Mr S had trodden on her foot or she had done one of her stupendous (and stupid) jumps onto something that ends in a miss and a puzzled moggy on the floor. Neither of these had happened. The worry started, how had my cat broken her leg without me noticing? Bad parent/owner point #1

So an emergency call to the vets later I was told not to worry it would probably be a bite but if her breathing became erratic or her gums went whiter than normal I must call back. Rubbish parent/owner point #2 – I have no idea what colour Hoydens gums are normally. This morning after a night of practically no sleep (I slept with her in the bathroom for half the night worried about her breathing, so in fact I lay with her, I didn’t sleep) there was no change so called the vets and off we went.

The vet will be receiving a letter from me this week in how to talk to humans, it seems he can only speak appropriately to cats arses. It wasn’t a successful trip. The good news? No broken leg. The bad, it’s a tumour, or as the vet said ‘this is most likely a secondary tumour, there isn’t much circulation to this leg’ she has another in her tummy. My chin must have hit the floor. I nearly hit him when two seconds later he said ‘Mr Savidge does this look like a well cat to you?’ Now Hoyden is slim, she eats like a monster and so gets a bit of a potbelly, I have only had her since she was five (I got her and her sister from friends who had a baby the cats were trying to kill) and she had always been like this. Which I told him and the tale of the rescue of the baby killers from a fate worse than Battersea. Why did I feel I had to explain myself to this worm? By this time I felt like the most neglectful owner ever – rubbish parent/owner point #3.

The diagnosis isn’t good. In all likely hood she will probably have to be put to sleep. Now some people will think a 26 year old man being heartbroken like this is pathetic and in some ways I should pull myself together. They have done two hundred pounds worth of blood tests and as the receptionist said ‘the results will be in on Wednesday’ said vet popped his head through the door and said ‘Thursday, I am on holiday on Wednesday’ yes I am sure he is with the money I have just spent the f**ker! Just when I didn’t think I could feel lousier the receptionist adds ‘you must really not like this place, the last time you were here was to pick your other cats ashes up wasn’t it?’ Bad parent/owner point #4! And for once I was speechless!

Now after some very distraught phone calls and a big weep, Hoyden and I are in bed cuddling and she has a bag of Sainsbury’s goodies awaiting her in the kitchen. I have now been over indulgent after being announced the worst owner of animals by buying her all her favourites, Petits Filous (only the strawberry ones) a potato (she loves the peel) and various other things I probably shouldn’t have bought. Bad parent/owner #5. If I cant be a good cat owner then I am going to be one lousy father! But is it bad that I want the last few days to be the best she ever has? I’m not sure it is.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Laughalot at Spamalot & Introducing 'The Children of Polari'

Last night I had the joy of Spamalot, which I can honestly say I didn’t think I was going to enjoy even though I used to laugh at Monty Python when the uncles and aunties were watching it. I was wrong, by the interval Muffintop and I had tears rolling down our cheeks, and I have not laughed like that for a long time. The second half was equally as good with one of the most fabulous ‘camp’ (a severe understatement) scenes I have ever seen on stage, and that’s saying something, you must go its fabulous.

I had done an interview for a forthcoming (September) issue of Bent Magazine with the delightful and delicious Paul Burston and Dom Agius all about Polari. We went to the lovely Maison Bertaux on Greek Street which is a secret little (very) coffee and cake shop where everything is fresh and fabulous, another recommendation from me. I was talking with the chaps and ‘The Children of Polari’ came up again.

It had previously been mentioned at the last Polari when we had a picture with Paul and he hugged us saying ‘my children’ and I suppose you could say an idea was born, without any of us knowing it. It came up again today and later when Paul and I were reunited at Teatro for the Spamalot Party, both of us arriving with two fabulous women, mine of course being the other child of Polari, Polly. Is this making sense? So it was mentioned again and after Paul had departed (he was very well behaved as the wine was flowing excessively) Muffintop Polly and I kept discussing The Children of Polly and now after some work, there is a site www.myspace.com/thechildrenofpolari so get adding!We’ve had some cracking ideas for it so watch that space.

Here is a picture of us with Daddy Burston that I have stolen of his blog, I hope he won’t mind!

A fabulous fruitful day all in all, oh and on Dom’s advice have purchased ‘The Pursuit of Love’ by Nancy Mitford, I am becoming slightly obsessed with those sisters! Now with having a fun filled day yesterday (I also downloaded the whole back catalogue of Donna Summer) and fun and frolics on myspace most of the day today I better do some work.