Saturday, January 31, 2009

Love Thy Neighbour?

At 3am this morning it has to be said that this wasn’t quite what I was thinking. In fact what I was in fact doing was restraining a naked Mr B as he made for the fire exit with one of my steel toe capped boots in his hand. The reason for this slightly bizarre image I have given you? The neighbours from hell of course! I think I might have mentioned the neighbours we have here before. I don’t mind people who are insatiably nosey, in fact we all have that trait in is somewhere, come on everyone likes a gossip. However blame throwing, accusatory and alcoholic isn’t that easy to live next door to. The blame throwing accusations of our flat smelling, where they in fact dropped their entire dairy shopping etc in their over laden bags in the hallway, still irks me, can you tell?

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

Tooting Top Ten

I saw Clayton Littlewood’s ace blog on his Top Ten Things About Soho and told him I would think of my Top Ten Things About Tooting, I also thought after the rather heavy (but very important) previous blog this might be some light relief. When people ask where I live and you even mention south of the river there can be a look of disgust. If you say Tooting there is a look of puzzlement.

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.

3. Café-cino
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

A Plague Of Politeness

I don’t think London needs another great fire and I think bubonic plague and ‘the black death’ could be a little bit excessive after all I wouldn’t wish death on anyone but I would wish manners. Manners seem to be something really lacking in people at the moment and it’s wrong. I was shocked when I read this yesterday, the lovely Stella saved some poor girl from being spat at sworn at and wished aids upon. The people around this scene either walked on or milled past!

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 Great Gay Reads

I have been slightly absent from the inter-dolly for the last few weeks and haven’t blogged at all despite my promise to blog much, much more. Well I haven’t blogged on here anyway. The reason for my absence is that firstly my Book Blog Savidge Reads is doing really well and had a huge overhaul over Xmas and is now seeing some of the UK’s top book bloggers adding supportive comments or sending emails as to how much they like it. This has been brilliant and though I am not normally one for self promotion (though you are getting two doses of it from me today) if you should wish to check it out then its

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 I would love to hear from you all.

Oh and the blog of course

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Talking With Ravens

I had the weirdest dream last night. Not only was I out at a stately home with girl who I kind of stopped being friends with a few years back and having some very deep and meaningful conversations and how we shouldn’t have stopped being mates, but also it suddenly dawned on me as we were walking through the grounds that I could talk to ravens. As you do in dreams. They weren’t crows or overly large blackbirds post Christmas munching I know that much, they were definitely ravens. I used to be a bit of a bird spotter, is it time I also come clean and tell you all I used to collect stamps? Moving swiftly back on to ravens.

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

A Goodbye Letter

Dear 2008,

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.

Simon x

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

The Boys Are Back In Town

The Conclusion of the Honeymoon Diaries

So I am back, back from the sunny delights of Spain to the rain and gloom of London. As we were landing I had the briefest thought that the pilot had been wrong saying that London was two degrees and covered in mist, he was right. Mind you Stanstead is not quite London and it did clear up on the Express Train (how is an hour and several stops express?) but it’s not the hot sun of Barcelona.

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.
The gorgeous hotel room
The husband on the beach
Me on top of Gaudi's Casa Mila

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

Feliz Año Nuevo

Part Three of the Honeymoon Diaries

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!!