Thursday, August 27, 2009

Who is the new London Editor of Bent Magazine

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...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

'Changing The Guard' - Proactive & Polari

A change has come over Savidge Towers of late, the procrastination seems to officially be in migration (that leaves the possibility that it may come back but am hoping not) as I have now decided that self discipline is definitely the way forward. So at 9am (well technically 10.30 today as Mr B had a shoulder popping out of socket incident at 4am) I turn on the computer switch of the blackberry, close msn and any other messenger, ignore facebook and work. And do you know what this new routine is working, why had I not thought of this before?

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 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

Moaning About Children

No, oddly not me myself moaning about ‘the youth of today’ you can tell you’re getting old when that expression falls from you lips, which actually happened on Saturday. After a lovely night at the theatre seeing the wonderful (bar the actor playing the title role) ‘An Inspector Calls’ we went to the pub and as Mr B put it we all thought ‘is this a f**king kids school party’ I had to have a late night Burger King to commiserate. It was a Wetherspoon’s so could be highly likely they were under the age of sixteen in there. Anyway I am not moaning about them, not today.

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

Twenty Seven Is The New Twenty Six

Well it kind of has to be doesn’t it really? I mean one minute you’re going to bed feeling like a slightly tired twenty six year old, you fall asleep and wake up feeling like a very groggy twenty seven year old, it just seems a touch unfair. I know there will be sighs around the blogosphere of ‘oh you’re still a baby’ and it irks me. Yes I know twenty seven isn’t that old but it’s that much nearer to thirty, which isn’t old but seems to come with a certain pressure emanating off it that, is hard to describe. Should I have a house by now and stop renting and get a mortgage, is it time to start thinking about kids (as with adoption it can take up to three years, if of course we were accepted), should I have more of an idea of where my life is going, if we are going to move to Brazil for a few years isn’t sooner better than later?

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...
I dont think I have aged too badly... yet hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Yes that was slightly worried manical laughter!

P.S Not blogged for ages, but not had much to say and been busy as a busy bee working on Savidge Reads and The Great Gay Reads, and the book and having a job, but this will change!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

No Fringe Benefits

I might have gotten someone fired today. Not only that but I had managed this before 9.30am. The reason… my fringe! I can imagine people will be tutting or thinking ‘oh how gay’ but I have been growing it for about three months as the next hairstyle I was going for (yes that’s right - was) was a long straightened fringe and short back and sides, you know something a bit punky!?

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

Becoming a Recluse... A Future Aspiration?

I saw the first episode of Monty Hall’s Great Escapes last night, and found it so addictive and delightful I missed the results of Dancing on Ice, which is unheard of in our household. Suddenly nothing could better the idea of ditching a life in a big city and moving to the remotest cottage (more hut in his case) in the middle if nowhere with a dog (there would have to be two cats too – minimum) and bringing up pigs and chickens had never seemed like such a good idea. Why hadn’t I thought of it before? I never thought those words would come out of my mouth and with the look of shock on his face neither did Mr B. He sort of spluttered a bit and said ‘maybe you just need the kitten you were talking about?’

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...
It could also be that as March arrives thoughts go to my birthday (the 24th for all cards and gifts) and the fact I am getting older. It’s also the first birthday as a married man and now it’s more ‘our’ future as well as mine. The more I think ahead the more a small village by the sea with stunning views from my study, a nice log fire in the winter and more pets than a city farm seems more and more idyllic. I wouldn’t have them for my own dinner, though a vegetable patch seems a nice idea, just as pets I couldn’t see any animal I owned killed for my grub though oddly I am not a vegetarian. Strangely all this as opposed to the current hustle and bustle seems pretty marvellous.

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

The Moors of Mitcham

I have dovegreyreader to thank for what has been one of the best, and most needed, days out in ages. Sometimes your head needs a bit of time off. I’ve been having a phase of cabin fever one of the pitfalls of working from home and what’s worse… writers droop and readers block! So rather than do nothing on a Sunday which is usually (and slightly infuriatingly) the case I demanded Mr B get up and off we went on a magical mystery tour to Mitcham Common.

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.
I had some slight reservations until we turned the corner and were confronted with One Island Pond which looked like this…

I felt like I had stepped into one of the Moors from Wuthering Heights and yet I was still technically in London. In fact scrap Wuthering Heights I don’t like that novel, it was more a mix of the Moors from Jamaica Inn or Jane Eyre.

It also had the slightly spooky ominous edges of the sort of barren autumnal wasteland that you might get in a Susan Hill crime novel. My readers block vanished; I knew what I would be tucking into before bedtime. I think it’s the trees being so bare that made me think of crime sites, or too much ITV3, what do you think?

We then got lost and it started to rain. I could see the non reader (who forgot their coat) was looking less than happy until we turned another and were greeted by lots and lots of wild rabbits, some of which scarpered their white tails bobbing off in the distance and others who simply looked at us nonchalantly and carried on regardless. It was a delight. Sadly none of them stuck around long enough for a photo as it started to rain hard and they all vanished into their warm warren the lucky things. We then came across a small reminder of where we were which seemed to fascinate Mr B more than the rabbits ...

Despite getting so completely lost and their being no one around we eventually found a cyclist and some directions though the walk ended up going from four miles to six, we didn’t care as we were completely encapsulated by the area. We ended up finding the Ecology Centre, which was closed and then Seven Islands Pond where we both sat on an old tree trunk by the water skimming stones in one of those delightful comfortable silences. You don’t need to say anything to each other you’re both simply happy in your own thoughts letting you head wind down.
All in all just what the doctor ordered. I am off to start a crime novel... writing one or reading one, you'll have to wait and see!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

In The Mood For Love?

Today’s blog is sponsored by Cynical Smug Married

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

The S-ing Game Answers

I put this up on my other blogs and completely forgot to do it here, I blame deadline week whole heartidly! So after the post I did on the challenge of finding my top ten things beginning with S here are the answers;

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.

Stately Homes
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?

Second-Hand Bookshops
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

The S-ing Game

I have been challenged by Cornflower to do a list of my top ten favourite things beginning with the letter 'S' as pulled out of her scrabble letters bag after a shake and a rummage (I love the word rummage) and so my gauntlet has been laid down. I loved what Harriet has done which is to leave you guessing a while so I will do the same and put the results up tomorrow or Monday!

Can you guess what my top ten favourite things beginning with S are?

I am mulling over prize ideas...