Friday, October 31, 2008

Getting Into The Spirit Of Things

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Crikey... Where The Heck Did September Go?

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

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

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

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

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