Oh... it just happens to be me! Sorry but I am barely able to contain my thrill at the news but I will talk about it properly in a bit.
It has been a long time since I have done any blogging that hasn’t been based on books as Savidge Reads has gone strength to strength leaving both The Great Gay Reads (though this is moving and being revamped too) and my personal blog behind. However its time for a change and along with a new job I will be moving this blog somewhere else too. The aim of my personal blog was originally to keep family and friends in foreign fields up to date with my news as I am rubbish at emailing and also for anyone else in the ether who was interested. Somehow it stopped and now after almost 5 months I am back, even if I am moving.
So what have I done in the last nearly five months? Well…
- I moved into a new lovely two bed flat twice the size of my last.
- Made the decision to move my book blog, Savidge Reads as it got too much traffic and needed a revamp.
- Started working for a Cancer Charity as well as me journo stuff, manic but worth it.
Debated moving to Brazil which is now on hold, well for the foreseeable future anyway.
- I went to Switzerland and had an amazing time, may do a belated blog on that soon.
- Mourned a Goldfish, got a new one.
- Started a new central London Book Group.
- Finally stopped talking about it and started writing 500 words a day of the novel I have waffled on about writing and stuck to it.
- Got a new role as London Editor for Bent Magazine (as in this week).
- Decided to start my personal blog again because of above point, only move it somewhere new.
So why move? Well moving Savidge Reads from Blogger to Wordpress was one of the best things that I did in the last five months and so I thought I should do the same with Daily Savidge, only it feels that I should start a fresh so I am not dragging Daily Savidge with me, rather having a facelift and renaming myself Savidge Tales. I also think sadly it may be time to say farewell to Myspace, I can’t think when I last logged on (though I will today to put this up)? Is it me or does it seem a bit over?
I also thought that as in the last few months its been new job, new flat… why not a new blog. The subjects will be the same me jumping for joy at random madness and then whinging and having a moan about the life of a married London Lad in his Late Twenties. I do feel like it’s a ‘new era’ which is quite a delightful feeling. Maybe I should make some resolutions? Maybe tomorrow… when you can find me HERE where today is a blog thats a slightly reworked version of this one. Lazy and yet finikity all at once...
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Oh... it just happens to be me! Sorry but I am barely able to contain my thrill at the news but I will talk about it properly in a bit.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
I have a very last minute freelance job to thank for this change. On Thursday last week I got a message from the editor of Polari Magazine saying that someone had dropped out of doing a piece for the magazine last minute and that I had been recommended (thank you Kenneth Hill) as someone who could write something. The brief was a blog-like piece that was around 900 words on ‘changing the guard’ to be delivered in twelve hours. Firstly I was stumped with ‘changing the guard’ I knew a piece on the ritual outside Buckingham Palace wasn’t what they were after. So I will admit that the first three hours or so were ‘research, thinking, smoking, coffee drinking’ aka procrastinating. I went to be with a few pages of notes and a doomed feeling in my stomach. 8am Friday I sit at my computer and type, concentrate and type shutting all the naughty distractions of. Three hours later it’s done. And looks like this…
You can see the full piece here at http://www.polarimagazine.com/03mar09/20-21.html I am not going to copy and paste it all in this blog as I really want people to go and read the mag as its great. Do have a read though as would mean a lot to me! As for the piece its a subject I never thought I would write about and I am quite proud of it as a whole (without sounding like a self promoting big head), it’s a change in style for me a little bit more mature. The people at the magazine are really, really lovely and are really keen to push The Great Gay Reads which is exciting. It seems it has also given me the kick I need to get the whole ‘I work for myself I need to manage myself’ ethos properly formed in my mind and since then I have to admit that I think this is the most creative and productive writing week I have had in ages. So it appears I have changed my guard in some strange way.
With that said I better dash and get some more typing done!
Monday, March 30, 2009
I am bothered by parents who moan about their children or having had children. Working from home I have the radio on a lot (I very much care for Radio 4 – lots of bookish programmes, plays and of course The Archers) sometimes I listen to the TV, I don’t watch it as I would never do any work, so I listen to it a room away, strange I know and slightly wasteful on electricity. Something that seems to be being discussed in various forms at the moment is having children and how much they cost, or how difficult schools are or just general moaning. Plus you feel like saying “did you really think babies cost no money and continue to cost no money for the next eighteen years”. It’s not just the media though it is also something you see. I have lost count of the number of times I see mothers screaming and their screaming kids in Tesco or having a go at them in the street and it enrages me. I heard one woman down the high street shout ‘I wish I had never had you’ maybe the child did too.
It annoys me that there are so many bad parents out there. I am aware there are lots of good parents out there; they are not what I am talking about these delightful people today. I don’t just find these scenes and debates on radio annoying just because I am gay and can’t biologically have children but for anyone who can’t have children. I ought to add before I get battered for being anti-straight people I am not at all. I know people who couldn’t conceive and who have had to spend thousands on IVF, some have now got gorgeous well looked after and completely dotted upon children now, others haven’t been so lucky. I am also not anti young single parents either. My mother herself was sixteen when she had me and took me to University with her (I think going to university aged three, explains why I didn’t go as an adult) she got her degree and has become very successful.
A lot of people are against gay couples having children including many gay people themselves which is fine that’s their choice, though if someone straight said it to these gays they would quite possibly fly into a PC rage. I can’t biologically have children with Mr B obviously but I do want children, in fact so strong is this urge that had Mr B not wanted them I don’t know if we could’ve been together. We were asked only the other day if we would do it through surrogacy I had two answers to that first was ‘did you see that Channel 4 show about surrogate mums?’ If you didn’t then you missed a whole load of crazy, I know that’s a generalisation and these women were very extreme cases but there is a much bigger reason I would rather adopt.
There are so many children out there that need good homes and as I can’t biologically have them then for me adopting is the best option and no not because that is what Madonna or Angelina and Brad are doing right now. That worries me, famous people are making it seem ‘cool’ and ‘trendy’ and it should be about can your provide financially and most importantly lovingly for children. Though I said that if Mr B hadn’t wanted children I wouldn’t be with him I don’t mean that I would not be happy if I can never have children. If I can’t adopt children or have them in any way for whatever reason I would by no means feel my life wasn’t complete. I have lots of very little cousins and babies of friends in my life, I would just like my own.
I know one thing though, if I do ever have children I certainly won’t be moaning about it or telling the world how hard it is how expensive, not even about the dirty nappies and sleepless nights. You can hold me to that if in a few years time we meet over a coffee, me hollow eyes from lack of sleep with baby sick stains on my clothes and I start the sentence “oh god… having children…”
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I think it was all these thoughts that gave me a headache as I awoke on my birthday this Tuesday morning. Of course you don’t actually feel any different, in fact I don’t think I have felt particularly older, wiser or indeed more mature since around my 25th birthday. As Mr B’s card, my first of course, jeered sorry reminded me of the fact this was my first birthday as a married man I did have a wave of ‘oh blimey I am actually an adult aren’t I?’ Shouldn’t that revelation have hit me back at 18 when I had already been living away from home for two years and was drinking, working and living ‘an adult life’ no of course it didn’t. No matter how old and mature I said I was, I simply wasn’t. I do have an old head on my shoulders in general though and think my friends would agree with me on that.
Take for example birthday celebrations. I simply didn’t organise anything special or official. I decided haphazardly and a little last minute that last Saturday I fancied a picnic on Parliament Hill and if people could make it I would love it and if not that was cool. Twenty seven isn’t a special one is it, not like the aforementioned thirty which will be a big balls out (well not literally) party like I am planning for Mr B who hits that age in November. No, those of you know him, he is not 27 again.
My aunties both found it very weird that I was twenty seven and went on and on about how old it was, which then made them start saying how old they were (39 and 40) Alice recommended that ‘you stay this age, well that’s what you start telling everyone’. I then wondered if she had met Mr B before I did as until three weeks before we got hitched I had no idea he wasn’t in fact twenty six, and was in fact twenty eight. My attitude when I found out was ‘if you are gonna lie make it count, don’t do two years do five or ten’. I think my new age is weirdest for my Mum who herself is only 43 and said ‘I can’t believe I have a twenty seven year old son’. I was hoping this was more to do with that I am that old already than to my actual existence though you can never tell with Mum.
So do I have any big plans for twenty seven? Well it looks like the move to Brazil for quite some time (more years than months) is becoming ever more possible. However like at New Year I am not going to inundate myself with ‘I should’ or ‘I must’ and have resolutions for the 27th year coming out my eyeballs. The only one thing I need to nip in the bud by the time I am twenty eight is procrastination it gets me nowhere. Anyways here is a pic of me at around the 27 mark taken by the lovely Dom Agius...
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Now because my hair gets so curly and thick I used to spend a lot of the time a skin head. However as Mr B validly pointed out ‘while you have still got it you should really grow it’ and so I have been and then having thinning appointments rather than hair cuts. Until today that is!
I arrived at the salon which shall remain unnamed and was seated with a very blonde young lady who pointed at the chair and chewed gum which I think translated into ‘good morning, please sit here sir’ blew a bubble and asked me what I wanted which was a number two on the back and sides some blending and then no touch to the fringe trimming on the crown and thinning through. This isn’t me being picky, well not totally, I was a hairdresser so I know what I want, if only I could cut it myself.
She then started with the shaving of the sides and telling her colleague all about her holiday last week to ‘Ibiza’ or ‘Ibeefa’ - I am not stereotyping these were her words. After sides shaved I then reminded her ‘no cutting the fringe please’ to which a chewed and grunted ‘uh-huh’ was delivered followed by ‘and do you know what the boys aren’t even that fit out there’ at her colleague. She’d made no attempt to engage me in conversation.
There was then a very loud SNIP which sounded like a big chunk of hair being cut, said hair fell to the floor and I looked up… Five inches of fringe… gone. Tears welled up in eyes but rage from my mouth beat them to it! I shall not repeat what I said as it’s before the watershed but managers were called; I shouted a bit more, got a new stylist who then took over and made my hair look 'spikey funky' which made me smile. It also took me nearer to the door my previous stylist had been shooed with the manager where voices were raised and it sounded like I wasnt the only one who had tears in the salon. I then felt a bit bad... but I shouldn't... should I?
I do get quilt when I complain, though if something is bad or wrong then you should complain shouldn't you? In my old job people always said 'don't you find firing people hard?' My response is redundancy's are hard to do, but firing someone happens when they do something wrong and they probably new it was coming... well if your HR procedures are correct.
Still I hope she didnt get fired (I did earlier - but only from complete rage)... especially in this current climate!
Monday, March 02, 2009
Maybe but a kitten, though cute, wouldn’t change much. So why did this suddenly appeal? Maybe it’s from having a royally rubbish two weeks, believe me they have been vile particularly what I am calling ‘Faithful Friday’ last week shall not say more, that has made me feel this way? I didn’t blog as thought daily moaning and whinging might work for some but wouldn’t actually do me or anyone else out there any favours hence the silence. I’ve even neglected the Great Gay Reads which will be being revamped in the next two days, but oddly Savidge Reads has thrived maybe because it’s not work. Oddly though the thought most appealed last night after a blissful weekend which saw me really up and indulging in all the things I love. Maybe it’s just actually what I want for my future? I did some research and found my renovating dream...
Until last night I always thought that Agnetha from ABBA was crazy to bugger off and live in the middle of nowhere now I think she has a lifestyle that I want myself one day… I just have to win the lottery first. So is it getting older, is it a vile few weeks, am I missing my homeland and the Peak District? The Peak District doesn’t have any sea though and I definitely want sea especially with dolphins and seals like Monty Hall. Or is it simply I need a bloody good long holiday… I wonder if Monty needs a room mate for a few weeks.
Monday, February 16, 2009
I had some slight reservations about what might be lurking there as despite dovegreyreader's delightful memories of Mitcham, but it has become renowned for being a bit rough. However I had promised I would visit the area (I certainly wasn’t going alone during the week) and so we got the bus and ended up in what looked like a lane that wouldn’t go amiss in a crime novel as you can see.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
So its here, Valentine’s Day is upon us, the day when we celebrate the Saint Valentine who was martyred and buried in Via Flaminia on February the 14th around AD 269, no jokes about the number please as this is a serious Christian and Catholic Day… only it isn’t. As it goes other than the information above nothing is really known about St Valentine, so why do we celebrate this day, and should we really if we aren’t religious? The answer, well the people I blame are the likes of Clinton Cards, Thornton’s (who can be forgiven for their amazing Viennese Truffles), Tesco and if I could I would blame Coca-Cola but that’s Christmas isn’t it. Actually I did some research and even one of the Pope’s (Gelasius I) abolished one of the original Valentine’s festivals Lupercalia as he felt celebrating fertility was a little sinful. So why are we? I blame Chaucer and his lines ‘for this was on seynt Volantynys dayWhan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make’ I mean really, who can make any sense of that?
I am not and never have been a fan of Valentines Day. I don’t mean in a ‘bah -humbug’ way just in a ‘what is the point’ kind of way. I have this thought that people should know you love them without buying them cards, chocolates, fluffy teddy bears and roses. Though that’s what Mr B got when he came down to the lounge at 5am, we’ll gloss over the slight hypocrisy there as a) it is our first Valentine’s married and b) I didn’t spend over a fiver, I simply refuse. Mr B is quite a fan of all the romantic schmaltz but we do things on June the 12th which is Dia dos Namorados or ‘Day of the Enamored’ in Brazil. I don’t really deep down go wholey for either, I think you should tell people you love that you love them everyday and buy little surprise gives just randomly now and then, not on a forced specific day, well apart from Christmas and Birthdays - would be bad manners not to on those days. It’s quite sad in a way that for some people this is the only day it happens.
The other thing that really irks me about Valentines Day is that is can make people who don’t have that special someone feel like lepers. I know some people say they don’t care and indeed I am sure some people really don’t care, as one of my friends said to me ‘while you’re having a romantic dinner for two’ which we aren’t we are having fish and chips in front of the telly ‘I will be off in a certain shameless venue having sex with copious men’ now that doesn’t sound like a bad Valentines night does it. Oh I mean it would be if I wasn’t married that is… moving swiftly on! One phrase I love about Valentines Day is from Bridget Jones when she talks about ‘smug married people and sickly couples’ who simply throw it in your face. I haven’t been single on a Valentines Day since I was about 16, ok let’s rephrase that I haven’t woken up alone on a Valentine’s Day since I was 16 until oddly today!
So what is Smug Married Savidge doing on Valentines Day, apart from blogging right now of course? Well he had a small lie in even though Mr B woke me up at 5 to leave for work where he will be until 5pm. So I have most of the day alone doing exciting things waiting in for a new bed, washing the whites, cleaning out the goldfish bowl, finishing a review novel, writing 1000 words, hovering and maybe cleaning the bathroom, oh and not forgetting a run to Sainsbury’s to buy dinner for tonight. I might fit in the perusal of a few book shops just to show myself some love and treat myself.
So basically it’s a normal Saturday not one of theatre trips, staring into each others eyes with love on the tube to town to upset single people (who couldn’t really care less) whilst eating a ridiculously over priced meal with champagne and its bliss. I have even cancelled a work thing tonight so I can simply snuggle up on the sofa with some homemade grub and nice glass of wine or three, Mr B and a good movie (Burn Before Reading) which to me is bliss. The only thing am slightly riled about is I haven’t had a card… well not from Mr B anyway ha, ha.
So rather than end wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day, I shall do as the locals in Finland do and wish you Ystävänpäivä which is today and is ‘Friend’s Day’ remembering and giving love to all your friends, so that is what I shall do! Happy Ystävänpäivä!
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Yes of course my delightful if slightly mad family, though the photo I uploaded I realised was also including a lot of my friends as this was taken on a very special day in my life when they were all together, my wedding last year. So those of you who guessed Siblings and social events… good guess but no. My siblings are on their as are my very little cousins, in fact if you saw them close up you would wonder which are siblings and which are cousins or aunts. My mother is 42 and the eldest of four and it regularly happens that we are confused for siblings and my actual little sister (aged 9) and my brother (aged 7) are confused as nephews and nieces.
I am particular about seasides though. Firstly they can’t be sandy as I have a slight phobia of sand which I blame on moment in Tynemouth when I lived in Newcastle aged about 6. I don’t like to talk about it but Polly was there only it didn’t scar her for life. Since then sand makes me panicky and sick. So I like pebbled beaches as a rule and they MUST HAVE rock pools. I am off on holiday to Whitby soon and am wondering what sort of beach that is?
In particular Jelly Belly as pictured, the tutti fruitti flavour is amazing!
Everyone thought this was swearing which is actually more appropriate so maybe I should change it as I love a good swear even if it is ‘lazy language’ its bloody descriptive. As I like writing I thought scribing would be good, I was going to put an image of scribbles as I do that all day too.
I believed Sunbury in Matlock Bath where I grew up was one of them, it was more Mansion sized, and spent a lot of time as a youth in Derbyshire going around Chatsworth. My Gran and Bong also took me to endless stately homes and castles as a kid; my favourite of all is Hardwick Hall.
If you though Spooks then that’s also correct as its one of my favourite shows. I wanted to be a spy for ages after my great Uncle Derek read me many spy stories as a youth on our ten mile daily hikes (we went on lots of walking holidays) and I have always liked a good Bond.
I just put the cat on there to confuse. I do love big cats though but Snow Leopards aren’t my fav’s and didn’t think to find a picture of a sabre toothed tiger. Love swimming is a current favourite past time in my new gym routine.
I could live on Sushi (and curry) as it is one of my favourite foods. I used to think the whole idea of it was wrong on every level and once I tried it I was caught by the bug… no not a tummy bug. The best place to have it was Gili Gulu near Seven Dials in London as you could get all you could eat for £13. It’s now closed down and there is an empty space in my heart… and my gut!
With a picture of the Most Haunted crew which is my guilty pleasure on the TV. I geekily own every DVD and am quite a believer. I had the pleasure of a ghost hunt with ex Most Haunted member Phil Whyman and my mate Michelle last year and something very, very, very odd happened. Sadly nothing happened when we spent the night locked in the London Tombs for charity last year, maybe on the next one?
I cannot help but be pulled in. I think it is a defect somewhere deep in my psyche. It is also what my study and lounge are slowly but surely beginning to look like. You could also see this as Stories, as you may have guessed I love a good tale/novel/book so it’s a multiple answer.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Can you guess what my top ten favourite things beginning with S are?
I am mulling over prize ideas...
Saturday, January 31, 2009
The last week we have been woken to the huffing and puffing of imminent heart attacks from the rather larger proportioned couple and loud discussions of ‘oh I need a wee now’ or ‘oh someone has been having a barbeque in the building, oh, oh the smell of burnt meat’ somewhere between midnight and 1am… when they have come back from a night at the pub. We’ve remained irritated but silent; I have a feeling that may now have all changed. As being woken at 3am to singing, shouting, wailing and crying you tend to loose all sympathy. In Mr B’s case you decide to jump out of bed grab the nearest heavy weapon (in this case a boot – I don’t even want to know what he was going to do with it) and charge for the area where our fire exit meets their front door on a landing. Yes the area they dropped all their food and blamed us for, it would have been an ironic place for a fight, well ironic in an Alanis was maybe.
Retelling the whole sorry saga back to one of my friends this morning she said ‘it’s London though Simon isn’t it? What did you expect your neighbours to be like the couple on the old Nescafe adverts?’ I decided not to comment at the time and simply said ‘well I think it’s selfish and rude’. I do strangely have the deep down desire that I should befriend all my neighbours and have a lovely time, have dinner parties, develop life long friendships - you know the stuff of soap opera. Well maybe without the constant bed hopping, occasional murder and finding out you sister/wife/Alsatian/Dad is in fact your Mum. One of those almost happened to me as it turns out if things had gone a certain way when I was born, but that’s another story.
Growing up in the 1980’s in the little town of Matlock Bath in Derbyshire (or Little Switzerland as it is sometimes called), everyone was friends with every one of their neighbours. Doors were left unlocked and you could pop round for some sugar if you ran out like in the old Nescafe ad’s. In some cases like with the Nescafe ad’s little love stories developed, especially if you sent my aunties (who are only 12 – 14 years older than me) round and one of the many neighbour’s sons answered their plight. Oh the Savidge girls were minxes. In fact I must blog at some point about Matlock Bath and my childhood there as it was the most happy time and is such a strange but brilliant place. I have a picture below and you can see out house if you go to the middle from the top of the postcard and drop down till you get the very dark tree our house was the one on the left.
Sorry in going down memory lane I digressed. There was also of course the show Neighbours which taught you everybody needs good neighbours, that love was just around the corner, you could be there for one another, bad people don’t win out, girls can be mechanics too and that sleeping with twins was possible. Oh erm scrap the last one (I loved the Alessi twins, not as much as I loved Paul Daniels though) and of course in finding Kylie it changed my life in a whole other way.
In my mind ‘The Matlock Spirit’ was what being a neighbour was all about and still now in Matlock my Gran has neighbours who do the same; they all look out for each other, do Tai Chi together of a Thursday, have book groups, swap recipes and get very drunk playing bridge. I suppose it’s a bit like the Golden Girls, another show which in my early twenties furthered my ideals of what housemates/neighbours should be like. Mind you I think my Gran secretly dreams of a life like The Archers and all the goings on in Ambridge. I was subliminally subjected to these goings on from the age of zero (the theme tune was the first music I danced to) to around sixteen as my mother and Gran both devour it. Maybe another reason for my ideals of neighbours and how they shoudl behave. For me though the two biggest ideals of neighbours came from TV and books in my late teens.
The first of which was This Life. Oh how I adored that show. I was fourteen so had to go to bed then wait for mum to be asleep and then creep down and watch it or somehow sneakily leave the video recorder recording BBC2 all night so I could watch it. There were flaws in this, the tape would run out or Mum would notice it recording think of the electric wasted and stop it, shes always been enviromentally minded. She never seemed to notice it was the same accidental recording the same time every week, well she probably did but just overlooked it. Mums know everything after all. At the time I was obsessed with the show and Anna in particular. I think she was a first major icon for me and I dreamt of auditioning for the role of Anna’s brother and getting it. It didn’t matter there wasn’t such a role, or London was miles away from Marlborough (where we'd moved and the neighbours were evil) or that I couldn’t do a Scottish accent. Oh or the fact that I can’t act; as the rejection letter from my Hollyoaks audition which is framed in my toilet will tell you all. One day deep down I knew I was going to live that life, well This Life life!
When I finally did house share in London it didn’t quite end up like that. There were some illicit nocturnal drunken activities with fellow housemates and even once the landlord who ‘lived in’, there were lots of parties but nowhere in This Life was their an obsessive self proclaimed ‘fag hag’ who turned up on all your nights out, fell in love with you and tried to ruin any female friendships you had or any relationships with boyfriends you had. They should have though it would have been a cracking storyline. For me though it was a very real few years of hell in East London. My house-sharing days are now behind me and I can think of them as mayhem of the past and slightly fondly.
When I got my own place though it would of course be just like one of my biggest late teen obsessions… Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. Through these novels, in my mind at least, the perfect neighbours were created. Ok so some of the inhabitants were a little bit ropey but what a landlady! I have never ever had a land lord or landlady who has ever come close to the Madrigal and it has wounded me in some way I am sure. Plus who knew you could end up meeting a stunning rich gynaecologist after going roller-skating? I almost met a fit first aider through roller-skating though sadly not because he caught me as I fell, more because I sprained something and had to be helped out of the scene which I had caused. It was my ideal vision though of what my adult life would be like when I lived in the big city. A mixture of lovely gay guys, fabulous women, some fit straight men who didn’t beat up gay men and a fabulous crazy lady with dark secrets (I have now noted I don’t live in this environment but it does sum up my friends quite well) what more could you ask for?
Waking up at 3am this morning I of course I realised that though that scenario is heavenly it simply isn’t going to happen. Well not at this address anyway, but maybe at the next one. There is a block that Mr B and I are permanently watching locally to see if a flat comes up on which is beautiful and art deco filled and I secretly think has the great makings of the next Barbary Lane!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Now Tooting isn’t really famous for much other than curry which I will be mentioning more about later. Its main fames are as Clayton mentioned ‘The Bill is occasionally filmed around Tooting and the Thai bride from Little Britain, Ting Tong Macadangdang, is from Tooting’ but really The Bill is centred more around Collier’s Wood. There is of course Sandi Thom and her basement concerts, but let’s just gloss over that, though I did see her do the Popjustice interview outside the station and have passed her in toiletries in Sainsbury’s. WE are also famous for having the worst post sorting office in the whole of the UK. So what do I love about Tooting?
1. The Markets
Here in Tooting we don’t have one market, we don’t have two markets we have around ten. Some are the full on markets where you can come away with some slippers that will fall apart, all sorts of snacks from around the world, a budgie and a tattoo or two. (A tattoo or two in Tooting frankly should be the area’s tagline.) Others are like mini marts where you can get endless spices, and endless varieties of fruits and veg you have never heard of cant pronounce and you might cook wrong and do some damage but that’s part of the fun. I have to say since we moved to where we are now I have never eaten so much fresh fruit and veg, it’s marvellous. Oh and I must mention Tilda Talcum Powder. Only Tooting seems to stock it, it comes in the most amazing turquoise art deco bottle actually made of tin. It makes me smile when am soaking in the bath.
2. Curry Houses
I could eat curry morning noon and night. Mr B doesn’t like spicy food but that’s frankly just tough. What’s brilliant about Tooting is that at the moment there is an estimated 22 curry houses and I am quite happily taking on the challenge of eating in every single one. Oh every single one has won at least one award; some have won twenty apparently, the competition is hilarious and also makes the prices cheap! I love the curry houses here as they aren’t pretentious and false like some you get they are a bit like a café in terms of cheap tables and chairs only with amazing fresh curry at whatever heat you like.
You couldn’t make it up could you? This is incredibly well hidden (and am not saying where as want it to stay that way or everyone will be eating there) but is my favourite café in the whole of London. The staff are really friendly and you can have the full English with fried bread, scolding strong tea, gorgeous mushrooms, the whole works for £4! It reminds me of cafes up north which is odd as the theme is meant to be Italian.
4. Cheapest Council Tax in the UK.
That doesn’t really need expanding on does it?
5. The Library
Now some people would say that Tooting Library is the worst in the Wandsworth borough. You can never get the book you want especially if it was published after 1989, there aren’t actually many books in it and if one is in stock it won’t be where it should be. I go there not for the books but for the memories. With its outdated furniture, peeling wallpaper and old book smell its like the Library of my childhood in the 80’s... in fact really they should make it a museum of the 80’s they wouldnt have to do anything.
6. It’s the capital of the world for Lidl.
Well not officially but we do have three, yes that’s right three. Why we need three I just don’t know, but we do, and if like me you love having your cupboards filled with tins of god knows what then its perfect, priceless and life wouldn’t be the same without it.
7. Hardy’s On A Sunny Sunday
Also known as ‘the f-ing massive yellow pub’. You can often find me here in the summer, bathing in the sunlight next to the main road and the car fumes. It’s not that bad honest. I am not there on Sundays for the Sunday roasts as generally the vegetables are still frozen in the middle. What I am there for is the platter which is stonking huge with ribs, prawns, garlic mushrooms, onion rings, chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, it goes on and on! It is the stuff of legend and all for £12 to share between two, which could actually feed four. It’s also full of nurses if that’s you thing.
8. The Tooting Tesco Beautiful Baby Bear
The stuff of porn legend, well he would be if he was in it. Seriously unbelievable eye candy! I had to pass him once in the cramped (well it is a Tesco local) tinned foods section and haven’t been quite the same since. Mr B hates the Tooting Tesco Beautiful Baby Bear.
9. Primarni, Pound Shops and Charity Shops
Now I am sure several people will be saying ‘oh pound shops and Primark how cheap and vile’ my response is ‘blah, blah, blah’. I have been asked on many an occasion where I got that t-shirt etc and have even been asked by some to shop there for them! You can’t go wrong with some Primark same applies to pound shops. Though I hear it on good authority that Balham has converted its old Woolies into one of amazement, you can even get a firemans outfit for a pound. Why havent they done that with Tootings empty wollies or M&S? I have pound shops to thank for my Audrey Hepburn collage in the boudoir. As for charity shops sadly one of them has just closed down, however three others are still going one of which is like a book buyers Mecca and I have had people come to visit just for this particular book store where you can get 6 books for £2. Yes really. The staff in there are brilliant if you need characters for a book, the main lady tells everyone who wants to hear her business and the staff’s private business. I always have my headphones in but with nothing playing, her barrage of gossip is priceless.
10. The Lido (in summer)
Want to sunbath, see endless men (mainly of the knackered nurse, hot chav or DILF variety) in their summer swimwear finest, then really there is no other place to be, Oasis Shaftesbury Avenue has nothing on this. Oh and if your there to swim it’s the biggest Lido in Europe, yes really.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Until last night (you wait for what’s coming) the only time I had witnessed the joys of the British (well London) people doing sweet nothing was when a guy collapsed cracking his head open in front of Tooting Broadway tube. The florist lady and I were left to deal with the scenario with no one offering any help or simply gawping. The worst offender for me was a girl who simply reeled off the events down her mobile phone to a mate while she looked on, a mobile that could have been used to call an ambulance.
Back to last night when I went and saw the slightly un-thrilling Thriller Live! Hattie and I were unlucky enough to be sat on the same row as a rather large group of drunken ladettes who had seats in the middle and arrived late. Later still was one of the delightful groups’ sisters and pal who decided the free seats in front of us would make good resting spots for their almost paralytic mutton dressed as lamb saggy arses. (Sorry if am being rude ha!) At which point not only did they start ‘yee-hee-ing’ etc they stood up and danced, swayed, screamed.
A girl next to them kindly said ‘I know your having a good time but could you tone it down a bit?’ To which the most mutton dressed as lamb lady turned, sneered and screamed ‘shut the f**k up you black bitch, I paid good money to see this show, don’t think your any better than me, I am a f**king huge Jackson fan, so shut the f**k up’. To my horror this was met by quite a lot of laughter, I hope some was nervous. No one did anything though.
I couldn’t help but say ‘I don’t think anyone behind you paid to see you though did they?’ The manager was called for which I think saved my bacon from monster mutton, though as the lady who had been insulted ‘didn’t want to make a fuss’ they were asked simply to sing and dance at the back. Now when I worked in theatre management a complaint lead to action and in this instance the girl and her group would have been told to leave, their booking name would have been taken and ticket sellers would have been contacted and that booker would have been barred from theatres for a year. Clearly the Lyric don’t feel that’s the way to respond. What shocked me most though was that all parties washed over the racist comment. (My Gran would be proud – I have sent a strongly worded email.)
However, it’s not just casual homophobia, as Stella saw, or casual racism like last night that’s overlooked its manners as a whole. London commuters are famous for being rude. Why is that a claim to fame and not just deemed unacceptable? I then realised I am partly to blame as I can think of a few incidents when I have simply let other peoples rudeness pass me by. For example being asked as a favour to write something for someone and something they do on more than one occasion, spend hours on it and then that person not even having the decency to say they don’t need it anymore. Did I say anything… no! Then there was the neighbour who collected all the post the other day told me none of the ten parcels were mine ‘they are all for us, all of them for us’ before slamming their door. Two minutes later with a loud thud and bang my parcels are thrown/dropped in front of my door. They were fortunately books not glass. Did I say anything… no! When someone barged into me and trod on my foot on the tube. Did I say anything… no!
That has all changed after last night as come on manners cost nothing. I am a great believer in karma but if I am not doing anything then I can’t really complain, well I can I just have. I have done something about last night though and a new leaf has been turned over. It showed when today my landlord phoned to say that the neighbours have complained that the area between their front door and my fire escape smells and it seems to be emanating from my flat. The landlord said he found this odd as every time he has been round it’s been spotless. So rather than be rude and say how these neighbours were always having loud sex, stomping up and down the steps. I sweetly said ‘I think that might be from when they dropped all their shopping outside their front door including milk and eggs and haven’t cleaned it up since.’ That’s not rude that’s just truth. What’s rude is lying and blaming others. I have popped a note through their door offering some of our carpet shampoo to clean up the stains, that’s neighbourly of me isn’t it?
So that’s my rant over, and I shall leave you with my wish… if I could be all magical and mystical, I would send not a plague of politeness simply on ‘both your houses’ or my neighbours house, lets go for the whole bloody city and surrounding areas, in fact maybe the whole country could do with a bout of it?
Monday, January 19, 2009
The other reason for the absence is that as I have been hinting I have started a new project. I am searching for The Great Gay Reads. Now I don’t simply mean making a list of the best Gay Books Ever or doing a big vote, though there is voting involved. I am actually going to read through them all. This isn’t as some people may think, anything to do with Bent, though they are interested and helping, this is something I thought would be interesting in looking at what gay books are out there, what the history of gay literature is, what qualifies as a gay book and what good ones are there out there?
As a young-ish gay man I still have no idea the mass of gay works there are – though believe me I am beginning to. You can always find out what’s new and upcoming in the media because of course people are promoting it. I know there was The Big Gay Read but that was three years ago and has gone silent, it was great for some of my research though. What about the history of the gay novel and great gay novels of the past? I haven’t seen anything and believe me I have been looking. There seems to be lack of information about Gay History in this country and I want to find out more about my passion, books. (You all thought I was going to say willies and bums then didn’t you?) The great thing is I seem to have the publishers on side too!
So far the project has been undergoing a ‘test’ phase the layout has changed lots the contents keeps changing but I think it’s done now. I don’t like the header yet but it’s a work in progress and with being on a mammoth deadline I am quite pleased. What’s amazed me is the amount of emails I have already had, how have people found me? I have had some lovely emails, some fantastic suggestions, some of the ‘what gives you the right?’ emails and a little bit of homophobia, you can see some of this on the site. I am just pleased am getting traffic. The biggest shock for me has been the amount of gay books that are out there, I have wondered a few times if I may have bitten off more than I can chew! I have also been invited to and talked at a gay mans book group it’s been bizarre, but am loving it, just need to remember the day job now.
So… enough about me, me, me. I want to hear from you, you, you. Have you got a favourite gay novel, did one change your life, which ones supported you through coming out? I want to hear it all. Through the world of blogs, facebook, myspace and the likes I know there are lots of authors out there, would any of you be up for interviews, chats, suggestions? Everything is welcome email me (if you have it at my personal address) if not at email@example.com I would love to hear from you all.
Oh and the blog of course http://thegreatgayreads.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
It got me wondering why we dream what we dream and how relevant it is to our lives. Some people believe it’s your underlying consciousness that is putting certain images or clever metaphors in your head… I am not so sure on that! I always thought of dreams as having some relevance to what you have seen in the day or heard around you. Mind you, I haven’t seen any ravens since me and the Mr went for a Christmas Day stroll to Wandsworth Common before swiftly heading back as it was rubbish and bloody cold. So why would I dream of them, I mean we have pigeons galore on our bedroom sill but the ‘coo’ rather than ‘caw’ and there is also the incessant budgie the neighbours own I want too shoot but that just forever tweets and chirps. So it couldn’t be sounds I was taking in during the night. Unless that is an ‘unkindness’ of Ravens swarmed Tooting’s rooftops last night, and yes a group of Ravens is indeed called an ‘unkindness’.
This worried me then as to what it could symbolise. Firstly there were lots of them, so this could be some evil ‘unkindness’ coming into my life, oh great. I also link them in my own head with death I think because you see them lots in graveyards, not that I spend a stupendous amount of time in graveyards if you get my drift. So I then decided to look up what dreaming of ravens means. I found the following.
If one dreamt about a raven means a symbol for a corrupt liar man.
If dreamt someone gave him a raven means he will be busy with such a man for a useless job.
If dreamt killed a raven means will overcome such a man.
If dreamt ravens gathered in a place means thieves and corrupt people will gather there.
If dreamt took or hunted a raven means will earn some money in a wrong way. Some interpreters say many ravens are a symbol for an army.
If dreamt skinned a raven means will have immoral sex with a stranger.
If dreamt killed a raven means a disaster.
If dreamt cured an injured raven means will give advice to a thief.
If dreamt found a raven and hide it means he will follow his temptations.
If dreamt a raven robbed something from him means a thief will rob something.
So none of these applied to me as no one seemed to talk to ravens until I found “if dreamt a raven spoke to him means he will be aware of news.” Well thanks for that vague reading; I think anyone who watches telly or reads a paper knows the news so really it left me none the wiser. I have to say my personal favourite raven related dream theory was this one. “If dreamt a raven was in his pants means his son will have sex with his servant.” I mean firstly why does it mean that, and secondly who dreams about ravens in their pants? Also what if you don't have a servant? In my dream I think might have hidden one behind my back (oh my goodness that means temptations – well I do eat a rather a large amount of chocolate and cheese biscuits, not together you understand) but put one down my under crackers, oh no I don’t think so.
So all in all I am left puzzled, as you possibly are reading a blog about talking ravens. Do any of you know why I might have dreamt this?
Saturday, January 03, 2009
It’s been three days since you disappeared from my life, I know you won’t come back and I feel there are something’s that have been left unsaid. Looking back at the twelve months we shared together I think we did pretty well, we certainly did better than I expected. Your old friend 2007 had been a fairly rubbish year what with another cancer scare, a ropey year in a career I wasn’t enjoying along side a writing career that I wasn’t sure about, plus of course after loosing Bong I had written off the next full year. You really had a lot going against you. As with anyone new I meet I start with no trust and faith whatsoever and take if from there. Yet now I feel sadness that you’re gone lots happened to us together, both good and bad, that was very memorable and you helped me make big decisions and changes.
The high light of the year has to be getting married swiftly followed by the miracle twins who have now made themselves very well known in the Savidge Family. Yes Iris and Maisie were indeed two amazing gifts in the form or gorgeous cousins that were bestowed upon me during our time together. I met many new faces with you that I now cherish. Through Polari we met some wonderful new faces Paul, David, Stella, Clayton and of course one of my dearest and closest friends Dom. Of course there are many others through various ways who I have met and delight in, you know who you are, from new faces through myspace and blogs to people I had long lost touch with until the joy of facebook brought us back together. Back to the wedding though, you saw me on my happiest day with all those (who could make it) I love being with me on an extremely special day. Boy did it make me feel like I had grown up though. I wasn’t expecting that. You’ve seen my career improve and finally found me in a role that I am good at and totally love, oh and thank you for the ‘book job’ my house is becoming the library of my dreams.
The biggest loss was that of Hoyden who is missed everyday, though the goldfish are delightful and a lot less maintenance they lack the character or the black and white furry feline friend who got so sick. Of course their have been lows and no I don’t mean giving up the fags that was quite easy. The credit crisis came in your time though you had already taught me the value of money and shown me the error in my ways early on so in some ways I was prepared. You taught me many things actually gave me confidence through the meeting and greeting of work.
I stuck with the resolutions (all two of them) that I made to you when we started out. I said ‘yes’ to almost everything within reason whereas before I had been far more inclined to say no. This meant facing my fears some big ones that now seem small like flying, wow we have travelled together America, Switzerland, Paris and Barcelona where sadly you deserted me. Small ones that now seem big such as telling certain people they were out of order when no one else would and some of these people being very close to me. They have all worked out for the better and what a learning curve. You have watched my confidence grow though I hope not to arrogant levels, I still am not the best in new company but I will work on it. You taught me to not accept the unacceptable one example which probably sounds banal is that having a leak in your roof for 12 months and no fridge for three means that you should move house. In a funny way as well as saying yes more you also told me when saying no is just as important.
My other resolution of living life to the full I think I have done as much as I could. I have no regrets at all from our time together and that isn’t something that you can say that often after twelve months. So thank you. I am sure there are many things I have missed out and sorry if that’s the case, there have been a lot of things we’ve witnessed and its hard to keep track. One thing that I will carry over to your replacement is a new resolution to stop procrastinating, something I should have tried harder at with you. Like Matt Smith with David Tennant (sorry had to get this in some how) 2009 has got a tough act to follow, how will it be done I guess we will see.
So thank you 2008 you were great. I’ll miss you a lot but treasure your memory fondly.
Sorry it’s taken me a few days to write this I guess it has taken me a long time for it to sink in that you are really gone. That and possibly some of the procrastination I mentioned before.
Friday, January 02, 2009
When we left Barcelona there was no sun in sight as it was the delicious hour of 5am, that’s 4am British time and thanks to the lovely Joan who we had befriended from Boyberry (a DVD rental and internet shop with cabins is all I will say) we had a tour of the gay area of Barcelona and all the bars and hotels who completely spoiled us with booze meaning that we ended up going to bed at 1am very drunk and still feeling slightly merry at 5am.
I slept on the coach to Reus and when I awoke at the airport it hit me I was leaving. Our last day had been very leisurely, mainly as on New Years Day everything was shut. We went up Montjuic and I braved a cable car and then strolled down the mountain to the marina for a final wander around the town via the Picasso Museum. Picasso is my ultimate favourite artist, I just love his work and after the disaster of the closed museum in Paris, I had been patiently waiting to see the Barcelona museum. We hadn’t gone up until now as Mr B doesn’t enjoy art galleries and there were a lot of other things on offer. We got there… it was closed. I think the heavens might be telling me something. I didn’t have a tantrum though, just sighed in the resolve that it wasn’t meant to be, plus gives me another reason to go back to one of my favourite cities.
So now the honeymoon is over what happens next? They never tell you that in fairy tales, in fact they never go past the wedding and ‘all living happily ever after’. I mean we have a curry and then Celebrity Big Brother and an early night lined up, I am not sure if that was what happened with Snow White, Elizabeth Bennett (oh come on it’s almost a fairy tale) or Cinderella. Though I was obsessed with fairy tales (don’t think the irony has been missed) as a 26 (almost 27) year old cynic I know happy endings don’t always happen. Watch this space I guess. Actually what was nice when coming through customs was that the guard, who are normally formidable and look at you as if you have no right to come to the UK even if it’s your homeland let alone if its not, said that we looked ‘incredibly happy together, it must have been a lovely honeymoon’ and it was and a wonderful way to start a new year.
Now it's back to the real world, work, bills and I have also been dared and accepted to do one of the biggest projects in ages, nothing grand, but something big and quite special. I'll probably blog about that over the weekend once its finishing touches are done, plus I really need to work on my New Years Resolutions. Until then here are some pictures and then I will stop boring you with all things Barcelona I promise.
New Years Eve 2008 drunk on very cheap lager in the marina, just as it should be
Mr B having Champagne Breakfast to celebrate the New Year eight hours into it
A pair of complete honeymoon tourists (but very happy ones)
I'll stop there as could go on forever.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Watching the reflections of fireworks on the ocean, the streets smelling of Sangria and the noise of many revellers and men selling "cheap beer peoples cheap beer". The countdown was over and everyone was yelling and dancing and kissing and hugging. The silver fish in the ocean couldnt give a damn and carried on their frantic and eye catching display of hunting for food, streaks of silver everywhere. That was how 2009 started and hopefully its a sign of things to come. I have never had a New Years away from England before so this is quite something.
One odd thing we are hoping was part fo the festivities, bar letting fireworks off in the middle of the street regardless of where they were aimed or who at, was a weird sight we noted on La Ramblas. A huge crowd had circled round some men throwing all the used bottles in his direction though not at him. He then shouted at everyone asking them to hit him and throw more and harder. I found this very odd and slightly archaic, but then we were in the gothic area of town. If anyone knows what this ritual is please let me know!!
I wont re-live the highs, lows and changes of 2008 yet, I am far too busy enjoying being completely lazy and chilled and forgetting all my cares and though am shamed to admit it being a complete tourist. Yes I ended up on those tourist buses I hate with the earphones in snuggled up to Mr B with the excuse that all I had on was my bloody cardigan. Mr B looked mortified and said ´but baby its D&G!" I didnt realise that meant they could automatically be worn in the artic. The weather has been fabulous, serious sunshine, I have the well known "Beetroot Savidge" face going on.
It seemed weird when we suddenly got dolled up, both remembering to wear red underwear as is the spanish tradion at New Year, and were ready for a night on the town that what we ere getting dolled up for was the end of 2008 its run by so quick.
I did notice yesterday that there has been a shift in me somewhere during the past 12 months and yesterday I seemed to throw caution to the wind in hitting my fears right where it hurts. I went up a total of 8 lifts (and back down again )not including the hotel ones, I went on two funicular railways (I find the ´fun´part in their name highly ironic) that were very bloody steep and very bloody rickety. I went to the top fo a huge church all 12 stories on a mountain 500,000 feat above sea level with nothing higher than the neighbouring snow capped mountains. I also went on 4 rollercoasters on said mountain. I think in 2009 forget "Beetroot Savidge " you´d better get ready to be calling me "No Fear Savidge!"
Right am off to recooperate with Anna Karenina on the roof by and possibly in the pool! Hope you and yours had a fabulous one? Wishing you all every happiness in 2009!!