Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year...


A very Happy New Year to all my readers.

I'm off to Duckie tonight for their New Year's bash at South Central. Matt, Aaron and I will probably meet up first and travel down together.

I'm taking things easy this afternoon with a siesta partly in preparation for tonight and partly in recovery mode from yesterday's craniosacral therapy (thanks JC), afternoon delight (thanks Nick) and late night boozing (thanks Stuart, Gary et al).

Let's hope 2006 is better than 2005.

The Big Room...


Two blokes overheard on the Victoria Line on 30th December at 11:48pm between Kings Cross and Higbury & Islington:

"What you doing tomorrow night?"
"Liz is going to a gay George Michael-type wedding at 5 then we're out to the pub"
"A gay wedding? On New Year's Eve? You going too?"
"Nah. I`m meeting her later."
"You don`t fancy it?"
"Not that. But New Year`s Eve? Funny time to get married, innit?"

Gay weddings Civil partnerships join the big room.

Friday, December 30, 2005

King Kong...


Roger and I went to see King Kong last night. A bum numbingly long film - all 3 hours 9 minutes of it. Good fun though but with perhaps rather more dinosaurs (hints of Jurassic Park) and insects (hints of Starship Troupers) than I might have expected of an ape picture. If you like CGI-fests though then it's a goodie. Especially the sequence with the ship running aground (hints of Titantic).

Afterwards we met up with the super sexy Matt, the equally sexy Alistair and Matt's visiting friend Aaron for beers in the Eddie.

Arbie the Robot...


A 'press release' from my very good friend Roger....

Hello! As some of you already know I was in the recording of the last ever episode of "Never Mind the Buzzcocks". I appear as my alter ego Arbie the Robot (www.arbietherobot.co.uk) in the line up of "guess the star of old". Arbie had originally appeared in the Pointer Sisters' Top of the Pops performance of "Automatic" back in 1963.. (ok maybe not THAT long ago!) It is being shown on New Years Eve (Saturday Night) on BBC2 22:30 - 23:00 - set those video recorders or cancel your New Year's celebration and stay in to watch me on the television! The episode is supposed to be very funny, according to friends that went - I was left in the dressing room for 2 hours and didn't see a single second of the recording (no, not even my bit!!) , so I can't pass comment!!!!!!! A Happy New Year and hope to see you in 2006!!! Love Roger. ps. its repeated on Mon 2 Jan, 23:00 - 23:35

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Dr Who is top TV Moment of 2005...


Britain's TV viewers have voted a clip from the Christopher Ecclestone incarnation of Doctor Who as the top TV moment of 2005. The behind-the-sofa moment - featuring a suitably spine-chilled Doctor and Rose confronted by a ghostly lad haunting Blitz-ravaged London in The Empty Child - will appear on the BBC 1's 2005 TV Moments on New Year's Eve.

Bar Fly...


Jason is over from Ibiza at the moment and has been staying with me for the past couple of days. Last night we thought we'd do a bit of a tour of the West End bars; visiting our old haunts and maybe a few new ones too.

We started in Comptons (bit dire to be honest) then G-A-Y Bar (thought I'd hate it but actually we had fun swaying to I Know Him So Well), Friendly Society (didn't stay long as were getting stared at by the lesbians), Escape 'Dance Bar' (if G-A-Y bar was a twenty somethings video bar then Escape is a thirty somethings video bar), Comptons (again) and then Bar Code ('rammers' and 'kicking', as I believe my nephew might say).

Along the way we bumped into loads of friends including the lovely Darren (Hi Darren!), the equally lovely Mark (Hi Mark!) and the rather gorgeous Jim (Hi Jim!).

Fun night but slightly paying for it today.

Christmas brain teasers: The answers...


1. Teeth, feet, head, ears and hands.

2. As I say, true story. There was a special deal: buy 10 cards and get 1 (or 2) free. This means that nobody would buy 10 since they may as well take the extra two for the same price. The deal was 50p per card or 12 for £5. So while buying 5, 15 or 20 cards was cheaper than buying 6, 16 or 21, buying 10 was not cheaper than buying 11, or indeed 12!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I'm Dreaming of a White Trash Xmas...


Last Friday the wonderful Ian treated me to a Christmas present of a trip to The Pit at the Barbican to go and see Tina C's I'm Dreaming of a White Trash Xmas show. Up to Tina's usual high standard - we laughed and laughed. We even got a chance to say a quick hello to Tina C's alter-ego Christopher Green afterwards. Marvelous.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Dr Who: Christmas Invasion...


Well, what a great show is was last night. Dr Who: Christmas Invasion was funny, scary and action-packed. I especially loved the mass suicide attempt, the Lion King gag and the slightly post-modern Doctor chat. I think David Tennant will work out very well indeed. I'm really looking forward to the spring when the new season is upon us.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Lady Varnishes...


It's been a very productive non-Christmas Day so far; emptied the dishwasher, got that first coat of varnish on the new boarding in the bathroom, did a bit of office work and had some beans on toast.

This afternoon I've got the car to test out to make sure it's in good working order for the trip to my folks tomorrow, a few more presents to wrap and those pesky second and third varnish costs to apply.

Oh, and it's the Dr Who special (Christmas Invasion) at 7. Marvelous.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Food Shopping List...


Here is my Christmas food shopping list. I bought it all at Sainsbury's on the way home from work Friday. Chicken pie on Christmas Eve. Beans on toast Christmas Day - the meal that is also the recipe. £13.43. Not bad. Most of that was the cost of the beer.

Stella and I shall be having a private time this year.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Gay Men's Chorus...


Last night Alistair, David and I went to see the Gay Men's Chorus at the Barbican Hall perform their show Make The Yuletide Gay. And they did.

What could be gayer than a choir of over one hundred gay men all in excellent voice singing close harmonies in matching outfits for a couple of hours?

The hostess for the evening was the rather lovely and rather throaty Rula Lenska (aka Rosa-Marie Leopoldnya Lubienska, ex-Mrs. Brian Deacon, ex-Mrs. Dennis Waterman, Q in the rather wonderful Rock Follies and Rock Follies of '77, Dr Styles in Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks where she was shot with an invisible energy beam by enemy troops just as she's about to activate the ship's self-destruct switch. But I digress). She was rather fabulous though.

The chorus mainly sang Christmas carols with a few drag queens thrown in for good measure and lots of crowd participation.

The encore to the night was a Destiny's Child / Beyonce medley complete with dancers and all hundred of the choir 'doing the actions' - clutching their bums and hamming it up to Survivor. Very funny.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas brain teasers...


1. Below you will find a sentence of a young man who ate and ate so much Christmas cake. Within the letters of the sentence are hidden five parts of his body that grew the fastest. Can you work out, using all the letters, what the five parts are? HE SAT THERE AND HE FEASTED

2. True story. Last December the Crown and Greyhound pub was selling it's own Christmas cards. Cards were sold seperately and in theory you could ask for whatever number of cards you wanted. Among the other combinations, many customers ordered multiples of five cards; lots bought 5, some bought 15 and several bought 20. What seems odd, though, is that no body bought 10 cards. Apart from coincidence, can you think of a simple explanation for this?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

It's A War Out There...


With no disrespect meant to anyone who has actually been in a war zone but... who knew that Christmas shopping in London's glitzy West End had been reduced to what is virtually unarmed combat. Yes, I mean you, rude woman with dopey kid in Hamleys. Yes, I mean you, aggressive woman in Nike Town. And, yes, you too, you arse-hole who physical manhandled me in HMV Oxford Street. You know who you are. You cunts.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Constant Erection...


"I have a bit of a problem. For the past day and a half... I have a constant erection."

The Human League...


Paul's surprise Christmas treat for me last night was a trip The Forum in Kentish Town to go and see Sheffield's finest - The Human League. And they were awesome.

I really like the venue as the sight lines are good and even though we stood near the back we could still see perfectly well, get to the bar and had space to dance.

When the Phil (Oakey), Sue (Sulley) and Jo (Catherall) appeared on stage the audience went wild. The light show was excellent, the sound quality top notch and set list perfect. Phil's voice was very strong - its lost none of its rich warm baritone end, and he also cranks up to those high notes in "Human" perfectly well.

The set including, but wasn't limited to:
- Tell Me When
- Heart Like A Wheel
- Love Is All That Matters
- Mirror Man
- (Keep Feeling) Fascination
- The Sound Of The Crowd
- The Lebanon
- Sin City
- Rock And Roll Is Dead
- All I Ever Wanted
- Marianne (one for the fans, the first B-side of the Holiday 80 / Being Boiled 7")
- Human
- Love Action (I Believe In Love)
- Empire State Human (my favourite League song - 'fetch more water, fetch more sand, biggest person in the land'. Did Oakey really come out to perform a synth duel with a Moog Liberation strapped round his neck?)
- Louise
- Open Your Heart (sounded fantastic live)
- Don't You Want Me?

Encores
- Being Boiled (surely the only song with the word 'sericulture' in it. Silk worms and Nazis in the back projections... Okaaaaay...)
- Together In Electric Dreams (strictly speaking Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder but we were all dancing too much like loons to quibble)

We went to the pub afterwards which was crammed full of people chatting about the gig. We fell in with some motley crew and were soon swapping stories about League gigs, Marc gigs, 'Frapp gigs... There's a certain type, isn't there?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Buttplug...


"Buttplug. Have you got a buttplug?"

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous...


I went round to see Ben and Sarah and the triplets on Saturday afternoon. It was just wonderful to see them all. Dressing the kids up and pushing them round the park was so much fun. We then went and got a Christmas tree and made the place look festive too. A lovely afternoon. What could possibly go wrong?

Full of good humour I headed round to my friend Ian's in Vauxhall. That's when things started to go a bit wobbly. Ian had a bottle of a drink called 'Scotched' (22% whiskey blend) so we mulled the lot and downed most of it (hic!). We then went to a drinks party in Waterloo, had vodka and champagne and wobbled a bit more. More pre-show drinks at the bar of the Old Vic were in order - well you wouldn't want to be sober for pantomime now would you? Serina McKellen's Widow Twanky in Aladdin didn't disappoint. If anything the show was too gay. More drinks at the interval helped the giggles come thick and fast. I was a bit giddy by the end.

Back to Ian's afterwards we had more Scotched and then we danced across the cobbles to Duckie. Where we proceeded to get completely hammered. Ian wisely made a move early but I stuck it out. By 2am I'd snogged the landlord, snogged the short gay rapper from Fierce Girl and snogged some guy in a blue cardie. Luckily good sense prevailed and I poured (pawed?) myself into a cab just in time only to wake up at home wrapped in a towel watching QVC at 5am. Heavens! God knows if I ordered anything! Needless to say I had the hangover from hell yesterday. Mind you, I had people round to play games in the afternoon so soon perked up after some hair of the dog. Alcohol - it's own cure. Dontcha just love Christmas?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Optical Illusion...


Pink or green or nothing at all?

If your eyes follow the movement of the rotating pink dot, you will only see one color, pink.

If you stare at the black + in the centre the moving dot turns to green.

Now, really concentrate on the black + in the centre of the picture. After a short period of time, all the pink dots will slowly disappear, and you will only see a green dot rotating if you're lucky!

It's amazing how our brain works. Of course there really is no green dot, and the pink ones really don't disappear.
[Thanks Rog]

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Dump...


"Did you do a dump in my car?"

Kiki & Herb - Jesus Wept, A Christmas Concert...


Last night Paul, James, Drew, Stuart, Blake and I went to see Kiki & Herb's show at the Queen Elizabeth Hall - Jesus Wept, A Christmas Concert. We found were just two rows from the front in the middle. Perfect seats. And what with James, Stuart and Blake all being Kiki virgins I had a feeling they were going to get it full in the face. And they did. As it says here: Putting the terror back into cabaret, Kiki and Herb return to London to premiere an updated version of Jesus Wept, their OBIE award-winning show. These performances are NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN. And indeed it wasn't. Suitable for children that is. But very, very funny. A reprise of a previous show I'd seen but updated with some new songs (Scissor Sisters) and some new demented ramblings (Kiki and Herb are now immortal) along with all the old Christmas favourites such as Frosty The Snowman/Smells Like Teen Spirit/Theme from M*A*S*H*. Fabulous.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe...


A bunch of us went to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe last night. Oh dear. I shall struggle to say anything good about this utter pile of pooh.

Perhaps I can say this (regular readers will know I'm a fan of the four word film review site):

Even wardrobe was wooden.

Aslan looked like bagpuss.

Dawn French's beaver sags.

CGI Lion, DIY plot.

Or as Dennis Pennis might have said: "It's the biggest film in Hollywood. 11 words."

Monday, December 12, 2005

Wild Weekend...


It was a bit of a wild weekend. It started with what I thought would be a 'quiet night in' on Friday. Wrong! Thanks for coming over Michael though.

On Saturday Ian, David and I went to a tranny/fetish all-nighter in Cable Street. The way you do. It was called KAOS at club Stunners - lots of trannies, straights, gays and fashion victims of every flavour. Some naked; dancing, boozing and a dark room. Fabulous. And at 4am I thought to myself this is why I live in London. For places like this. Oh and a fashion tip for those who may want to go: tranny admirers traditionally wear black - don't want to show up the gals in their garb. You learn the oddest things at tranny clubs!

On Sunday having barely recovered it was off to Dave's birthday party (Happy Birthday, Dave!) where I finally got to meet Nathan (Hi Nate!) and all the gang. Then down the road to Horse Meat Disco where I seemed to know half the club. Great fun.

Oman: The Pix...


Friday, December 09, 2005

Listen Without Prejudice...


I have a letter published in the Evening Standard today:

A lot of what George Michael says about the practical necessity of gay civil partnerships but not wanting to ape the institution of marriage makes sense (5 December). And I'd be the first to agree with him that gay open relationships are poorly understood by most people.

But whether Michael likes it or not, these types of open relationships aren't the norm even in the gay world - they are just one type of relationship. I should know. Having been in a long term gay relationship like Michael I too realise that it often requires the sort of trust that goes beyond mere fidelity. After the early stages of a relationship, it's love and understanding that binds you together, not sex. Being unfaithful is not the same as losing faith.

This is precisely where the new civil partnership shines. In the unfortunate event a partnership goes off the rails its dissolution could only be based upon the grounds of separation, desertion or unreasonable behaviour; adultery is explicitly excluded. So unlike marriage - which for so many couples ends in divorce and heartbreak on the basis of a moment of faithlessness - gay couples are free to make their own choices of what being faithful means and still be recognised under the law. As George says, we should listen without prejudice.



UPDATE: To those people who called or sent me messages of agreement or support I thank you. And to those people who sent me vile messages and hate e-mail... just ask yourselves what you are so afraid of?

Love Plus One...


In the office today. Back in the saddle. Did I say saddle? I meant harness. And it's our Christmas Party tonight. I'm not going to go though. That dreaded "+1" puts me off.

I popped out for a swifty in the Man Bar last night. Just to help me get my head down you understand.

Oh, and keep at eye out for today's Evening Standard letters page. Publish and be flamed.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sneaker Sniffer...


Ian and I happened upon this advert on the tube the other day. Is it me or does it look a bit pervy? Now don't get me wrong, I've got anything against pervy. Why some of my best friends are pervy.

A typical advert for plimsoles pumps training shoes sneakers trainers would usually focus on the aesthetic; the style or the look. Very external things. Look at me I've got new trainers. I look great in them. Aren't you jealous? Wear these shoes and you'll look good.

Whereas this advert sends out an altogether more personal message. These trainers are sensual. They smell good. Why don't you smell them? They will make you happy. Aroused even. These trainers are for you and no one else. Smell the quality. Wear them and you'll feel good.

Oh, and what exactly is he doing with his right hand? Naughty.

The JCB Song...


Out in time for Christmas this JCB song is really sweet. Gets a bit boppy towards the end. The web site's pretty cool for doodling too. There's also a video.

Oman: Day Six (well, for 15 minutes away)...


A nice chillaxing time yesterday on the beach of the, if the blurb is to be believed, seven star hotel was just slightly marred towards the end by the fact I knew it was almost time to head home. So I consoled myself with a Swedish massage. The way you do. Muscat Airport isn't the most glamourous point of departure either but it served drinks and me very well so I wasn't complaining. The journey was seemingly never-ending (fourteen hours door to door) but relatively uneventful; the BA cabin crew service was poor (no change there then), the stop over in Abu Dhabi needlessly long and the movie I managed to stay awake for was a bit disappointing. War Of The Worlds (why did they drop the 'The'?) was high on action yet low on just about everything else. I simply didn't care about Tom Cruise or his sniffling kids and secretly wanted the Martians to win. "Is it terrorists?" asks the boy when the Martians first attack. "No, they're from another place," chips in Tom Cruise. Scriiiiipt! Anyways, I'm home now and in much need of some shut eye. Good night all. Zzzzz.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Oman: Day Five...


Being the last full day here I've decided to maximise my time. So I'm writing up all the notes from the business part of the trip and been checking work and home e-mails so I've not got too much of a backlog when I get back. All being well I might be able to squeeze in a bit of time by the pool too.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Oman: Day Four......


Work now finished I can relax. We toured Muscat, did some shopping and took in some of the sights. It's a beautiful country and can perhaps be typified by one word. Tidy. It's amazingly tidy: no dust, no dirt, no litter to be seen with flowerbeds, trees and bowling green-flat lawns everywhere. Quite how they keep it so neat is beyond me. Just incredible for a place so arid. The temperature is just right too - about 28 degrees - so I'm intending to do a bit of sunbathing by the pool this afternoon. Oh, and we had to change hotels earlier. Now at the Al Bustan Palace which, as it's name suggests, is simply palacial. God, I hate business trips.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Oman: Day Three......


Work started properly today. We got to meet members of the Omani Royal Navy, Omani Royal Air Force and Omani Royal Police. I shall have to keep mum about what was discussed but needless to say... I hung on every word.

News From Back Home...



Gay Weddings, Telewest becomes NTL becomes Virgin and (could it be true?) Steps to reform.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Oman: Day Two...


I had a terrible night's sleep last night. It wasn't the alcohol, oh no. I did my back in by slouching badly on the plane and later in the bar so by the time I got to bed I was in agony. I was woken up every five minutes throughout the night by shooting pains up and down my back. At four in the morning I'd reached the end of my tether and was lying in my back on my hotel room floor with my legs in the air trying to find a position that wasn't uncomfortable. No really. Anyways, come morning I took four neurofen and soon felt better. Why hadn't I taken them earlier? D'oh!

I had breakfast delivered to my room being a lazy sod and had a much needed lie-in. Early afternoon I popped down to the pool (did I mention I'm in a five star hotel on the Gulf Of Oman?) and had lunch on the hotel veranda over looking the sea. Things were indeed looking up.

The day just kept improving as I booked myself an hour long Swedish massage all on expenses and not long after discovered that I didn't need to start work until after midday tomorrow. Suitable manipulated I met up with some work colleagues later in the afternoon and ventured out for a Mongolian meal, the way you do. The food was spicy and chewy - that yak never tasted better.

So I'm now back in my hotel room having seen a bit of Muscat (nice sunset, mountains in the near distance, clear sky and every building adorned with gaudy neon) and watching The Simpsons in Arabic on Omani TV. Bliss.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Oman: Day One...


I'd been putting off packing. After all, each item packed would put me one step nearer to the dreaded take-off. So Paul, God bless him, had to help me pack last night. Admittedly I was a bit droggy (I'd fallen asleep watching QI nursing a glass of Fleurie) so if he hadn't helped me I'd probably have grabbed the first things I'd laid my hands on. And pop-socks aren't the best thing to wear with a suit.

In any event the morning came and despite London Underground's best attempts to thwart me, I arrived at Heathrow on time. Being a nervous flyer I checked the television screens in Departures every thirty seconds for updates. Every. Thirty. Seconds. I. Checked. For. Updates. And suddenly my worst fears where confirmed. They actually changed the Gate. I immediately turned round to tell my travelling companion the news... before realising I didn't actually have one to tell. Silly me. So I spoke to myself very quietly, "They've changed the Gate. It's Gate 12 not Gate 2. It'll be fine." God, I'm sad.

So anyways I board the plane. And one of the air stewardesses clocks me (must have been the eyes darting left and right and jerky head moments). "Your first time?", she says sweetly. "Sadly, no." I reply frowning. She thinks for a moment and says, "Hmmm. Can I get you something? A brandy, perhaps?" I beam and measure out with my thumb and forefinger, "Just a tiny triple!" Off she scuttled. Bless her.

Four hours later we're half way through the flight; I've downed the best part of the bottle of wine, two more large brandies and a gin, watched Batman Begins (excellent) and most of Mrs Henderson Presents (better than I thought it would be) and she says to me, "you feeling more relaxed now?" "Oh yessh. Mush besser, fanks"

Luckily there were no blood tests when we finally arrived at Oman airport.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Oman...


I'm off on my travels again first thing Saturday. This time to Oman for six days; bit of work, bit of pleasure. Hopefully I'll be able to use the hotel's Internet facilities but failing that as per usual I'm taking an array of technology with me that should keep me connected.

As anyone who has traveled with me before can testify - I'm never short of a bit of technology when I'm on the move. And much to these traveling companions initial amusement, but later I suspect quiet relief, there's usually a spare socket for them too. Because I take an entire UK power extension board with me wherever I go. Well, why not? There's the phone charge to plug in, the computer, the speakers, the iPod, the digital camera, the video camera... and with a power extension board you only need one adapter in a foreign country. The only slight snag sometimes I hit is that the security personnel at the airports get a bit edgy when they see all those wires, cables and plugs in my bags. I ask you, do I look like a terrorist? (OK, don't answer that!)

News Quiz...


Last night the ever lovely Ian got tickets for us to see a recording of The News Quiz at the Drill Hall. The News Quiz is a weekly BBC Radio 4 comedy show that takes a sideways look at the news a la Have I Got News For You. This week the regulars Alan Coren, Andy Hamilton and Jeremy Hardy were joined by new boy Alan Parsons. As ever Simon Hoggart was in the chair. All very amusing and if you want to catch the (I suspect heavily edited) frivolity it airs at 6:30pm tonight and 12:30pm on Saturday.

After the show Ian and I retired to a local boozer for a pint where I rather brain sluiced about the environment. Heavens. I really should apologise for such half-baked ramblings. I blame the weather. And the beer. Great night though.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire...


Last night Paul and I went to see HPatGoF at the Vue in N1. We'd had a rather rushed buffet Chinese first which was in stark contrast to the film itself coming in at two and three-quarters of an hour.

Even so, this particular Harry Potter outing is itself a rather abridged version of the six hundred and thirty-six page ox stunner of the JK Rowling book. No Uncle Vernon for instance and the fledgling romances, although craftily done considering the target audience, seem all too brief. That said, the film stood up in its own right as a first class piece of entertainment - funny, sexy (!), lavish, exciting, a visual delight, well plotted (Harry finds himself selected as an underaged competitor in a dangerous multi-wizardary school competition) and at times actually quite scary. Severing of hands, torture and cutting of human flesh all played their part. Oh, and the new Doctor Who's in it!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Am I Right?...


This from the misheard lyrics site Am I Right? made me giggle.

"Wuthering Heights"

Original Lyrics:
You had a temper, like my jealousy
Too hot, too greedy.

Misheard Lyrics:
You had distemper, like my jealous ell
Too long, too greasy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Duckie's Big Saturday Night Seaside Birthday Special...


Kiss me quick, tongue me slowLast Saturday I ventured down to St Leonards Warrior Square (ger-where now?) in the historic town of Hastings (ah, so that's where it is) to stay at the super-lovely Charlie's for the night. Charlie lives down there and had offered to put me up as we had tickets to Duckie's Big Saturday Night Seaside Birthday Special that was being held just up the road at the rather delightful De La Warr Pavilion.

The evening started for us with Charlie throwing a little drinks party at his place with mulled wine, nibbles and a pop star (!) It was great to meet Gary, Tony (I do know you from somewhere, right?), Derek, Vanessa, Nicola, Denise, Dave and Andy B and we all got suitably mulled up before bundling onto the screamers express on the local branch line station. Ten minutes later we were at Bexhill heading for the De La Warr arm in arm. We were off to see the wizard.

Duckie was sold out so it was standing room only for some - but luckily we'd booked in advance and had seats at a numbered table on the terrace that gave us a great view of the stage, the performances and the other punters.

We ordered our drinks at the bar and sat back to be treated to a fabulous evening of variety - all with that Duckie twist: opera (Ann Dalton), magic (Tommy Angel - Gospel Magician), manic cookery (Marcia Farquar), lady shaving (Helen Paris), glamour (Miss High Leg Kick), old time music hall (Ida Barr) and special guest local performances of close harmony singing (Bexhill Harmony) and belly dancing (Sheik's Delight). Oh, and a guy from the Blue Man Group got his cock out.

As per normal, DJs Readers Wifes soundtracked the party with dance cards while Miss Amy Lame was our hostess. Part of the entertainment were fours booths - fortune telling, grabbing hand, kiss me quick and tattooing. The tattooing was particularly fun as you just plunged your hand into a dark hole and hoped for the best. If I didn't know better I'd have sworn that person was sucking my fingers while he was tattooingg me!

A great night with wonder, drama, music, fun and frolics. Happy 10th Birthday Duckie!

Duckie By The Sea In Pictures
Naked and singing about missile ranges Miss High Kick makes custard look sexy Martin toasts the happy couple - this *is* a wedding, right? Can Paul be getting ready to clutch his pearls?
[Thanks to Paul for the pix]

Duckie By The Sea In Movies (all in Quicktime)
Marvel at Miss High Kick, Bexhill Belly Dancers Sheik's Delight and Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady Phillishave.
[Thanks again to Paul for the movies]

Monday, November 28, 2005

Organic Friday...


Nice when things are organic. You make no plans then stuff just happens.

I was facing a quiet Friday night in alone (Paul was signing a new tenancy agreement in Valencia and Drew was in Brighton) when three things happened almost at once; 1. I decided to go see Sarah, Ben and the cheeky monkeys down at Lewisham Hospital, 2. David suggested I join him and his chums to go see Justin "you'll always be Jason to me" Bond & The Freudian Slippers at Too2Much and 3. Ben suggested we go see Dustin's Bah Mitzvah perform late at The Garage after his Clapham gig.

So it turned into a fabulous fun packed night (and indeed early morning): the joy for me of holding little baby Eve for the first time, the beaming pleasure of watching Justin Bond storm the place with his multi-encored last night and finally then the sheer unselfconscious wonder of getting down with the Uth for some NuMetal thrash & indie orientated sweaty bopping. Top night.

Note to self: absinthe makes neither the heart nor wallet the grow fonder.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Norris Family...


Three little bundles of joy in pictures (Click for bigger versions).
Dylan Eve Lola
Sarah on slab Freaked Dad

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Sup All Night...


I ventured out to the Man Bar last night to see if 24 drinking had perhaps started a day early. Sadly not. Back at the bar and with another beer I had a man of flawless, dead good looks shift up to me and start talking with the banal sing-song that in the outside world would indicate a long and comfortable acquaintance and here was used as a short cut to a short one.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Domain Names...


People spend a lot of time considering names for their kids. It's just a pity they don't always think as hard about their domain names.

Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views:
http://www.expertsexchange.com
(I actually subscribe to this but had never noticed!)

Need a therapist? Try:
http://www.therapistfinder.com

We have the Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New South Wales
http://www.molestationnursery.com

And there is an Italian Power company:
http://www.powergenitalia.com

Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island
http://www.penisland.net

and finally Who Represents? ~ a database for agencies to the rich and famous:
http://www.whorepresents.com

[Thanks Andy and Richard]

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Proud Mother, Proud Father and Proud Uncle...


I went to see Sarah-Jane in the maternity wing of Lewisham University Hospital last night and she is doing brilliantly. I was so pleased I could see her on her big day and she was really pleased to see me too. You'd never have guessed she'd given birth to triplets a few hours before. She looks fantastic.

Obviously Ben was there too and it was so lovely to see them together - the proud parents. We all chatted for a couple of hours and then after the maternity ward's 8 o'clock curfew Ben and I retired to the local boozer near the hospital to wet the babies heads and watch the delivery room video. There's a time and a placenta for everything.

The doctors had got it all wrong of course. Ben and Sarah had been told that they would be having two identical boys and a third sex-as-yet-unknown. In fact they had two identical girls and a boy. Quite how they got that wrong is yet to be established! One of the nurses says that sometimes girls tease the parents by putting their thumbs between their legs (!) In any event Dylan was first out weighing in at 5lb 5oz born 12:05pm, 'working title Eve' was next at 4lb 5oz appearing at 12:07pm and finally we had 'working title Lola' coming in at 3lb 9oz at 12:09pm. Three beautiful babies. Well when I say 'beautiful' I really mean crinkly and wrinkly bundles of pinkness but they looked beautiful to me.

Below are snaps shots of the two girls. Dylan was camera shy.



Actually Dylan was not feeling 100% when he came out, poor fellow, as he had a bit of fluid on his lungs which was making it harder for him to breathe. I did get a chance to see him though, the handsome chap, and could see the specialist nurses are doing marvelous job and he is getting their best attention. Unfortunately the two girls had to be moved to another hospital as there wasn't room for them at specialist care unit at LUH. Hopefully space can be made later in the week and they'll be moved back to be with the rest of the family.

All in all it was a great day and I for one am as pleased as punch and bursting with pride for my two friends and three new cheeky monkeys.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Week 34 in the Big Mother House...


In just 24 hours Sarah will be wheeled in the operating theatre and the triplets will be on their way. I'm so excited for them. Can't wait to see them!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang...


Last night Martin and I went to see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Go see, go see. Laugh out loud funny.

Kate Bush Official Team...


I got this is the post the other day.

Hi!
I came across your Kate Bush blog entry, http://www.overyourhead.co.uk/2005/10/kate-bush-aerial.html and am contacting you on behalf of Columbia Records and M80. I run the Official Kate Bush Online Team, which helps get the word out about Aerial, runs contests with for free copies of the CD, and is basically just a cool place for Kate's fans to hang out. I was hoping that you might be interested in joining it, as such a loyal Kate Bush fan. Perhaps your readers would be interested as well? I'd really appreciate it if you could check out the team at: http://katebush.fanitorium.com/?L2282 and let me know your thoughts. Thank you!
~Lauren Kozak
Grassroots Team Director, M80
www.m80im.com/www.m80teams.com
Lauren@m80im.com

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Take That...


Must-see TV last night was the ITV documentary about Take That. It had it all; drugs, booze, sex and Lulu.

As French and Saunders once pointed out, "I wonder how she signs her cheques?".

Stuart Price...


The rather dishy Stuart Price (Madonna collaborator, DJ and remixer to the stars) is interviewed by PopJustice. And Madge's Pet Shop Boys love is revealed!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sony...


Just one screw up after another. Looks like there had never been a worse time to buy Sony.

Dopamine @ The Garage


Last night Kevin treated me to a night at The Garage (just at the end of the road) to see some bands play; Dopamine, Days In December, Firstborn, Che and The Blackout.

Dopamine is Mitchell Froom, record producer (Elvis Costello and Paul McCartney) turned performer a.k.a. Mr Suzanna Vega. He played a weird set, blending instrumental music, bizarre songs, atmospheric tunes and a cast of thousands. Individually many of the songs were quite effective and the instrumentation was nicely varied including (it says here) Indian banjo, oscillator, button cinema organ, and optigon. But overall the set was perhaps a tad too variable for my taste. Which is kind of odd as Froom is known for his consistent and cohesive production with other artists. Some great ideas though.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Trailer Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ...


Trailer in Quicktime
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson
Director: Mike Newell
Official Site Link
UK Opening: November 18, 2005
Rated: 12A
Genre: Fantasy
Explosions: 4
Weapons: Fire, scythe, teeth, wand
Man Quotient: 3.8 (Explosions + Weapons + Hot Babes - Kisses)/ Minutes
Voiceover: No
Worst Moment: Harry's spit take
Trailer Déjà Vu: Harry Potter and the Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Spoilage Factor: 40%
Geek Factor: 35%
See Trailer? Yes
See Movie? Yes

Gay Maps...


Travelling to a strange city and want to know where to go? Try downloading a Gay Map.
[Thanks Dilwyn]

Monday, November 14, 2005

Madonna at G.A.Y....


Madonna will perform an exclusive one-off show at G.A.Y. at London’s Astoria this Saturday. She will be singing tunes lifted from her new record Confessions On A Dancefloor released today. The capacity of the Astoria is just 2000. Standing room only I expect.

I think the new album is a bit of a return to form albeit rather too evenly paced. But then it is a dance album so what did I expect really? And the best track? Sorry.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Lord Mayor's Show Fireworks...


Stuck for something to do this Saturday afternoon? Well why not tootle along to the Thames between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges at 5 o'clock and gape at The Lord Mayor's Show fireworks. Always a good display.

Doctor Who on Christmas Day...


The Doctor Who Christmas Special, provisionally titled The Christmas Invasion, will be broadcast on Christmas Day, the BBC has said. The hour-long one-off show will mark the first full adventure for tenth Doctor David Tennant after his brief appearance in the ultimate episode of the 2005 season, The Parting of the Ways, when ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston's time in the role came to an end. That said, Tennant will also appear next Friday in a half-hour special recorded for the BBC's Children in Need telethon. The mini-episode, set between The Parting of the Ways and The Christmas Invasion will be broadcast on the evening of 18th November at about 9pm. The following Monday (21st November) sees the release of a monster Tardis-shaped box set comprising all 13 episodes of the last series on DVD, along with a Krynoid-sized heap of extras, including commentaries, video diaries and behind-the-scenes features.

The Christmas special will see the good Doctor come to grips with his new incarnation while he battles the deadly Sycorax, bent on conquering the Earth in the guise of Father Christmas. The story will see the return of Harriet Jones, MP, from the last season's Aliens of London and World War Three, again played by Penelope Wilton, but now promoted to Prime Minister. Actors Noel Clarke and Camille Coduri reprise their roles of Mickey and Jackie Tyler, respectively. Billie Piper, recently awarded a best drama actress gong for Doctor Who, returns as the Doctor's sidekick, Rose. Can't wait.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sigur Ros...


Last night Blake treated me to a wonderful night out tickling London's none too glitzy underbelly as we ventured down south to see Sigur Ros at the Brixton Academy. The first (and indeed last) time I'd seen these wonderful Icelandic peddlers of beautiful chill and impenetrable thrash had been at Somerset House back in The Weekend That Changed My Life© four months ago. On that occasion I'd turned up pfd in leathers on the back of Kevin's motorbike. Last night's gig was a far more subdued and an all together more moving affair. The Ros were in fine fettle and on numerous occasions following some fresh assault on the senses a deathly hush would spread through the crowd like some inverted Mexican wave. People were actually listening. Amazing. The crowd were firmly in Goldfrapp, Kate Bush, Antony and his lovely Johnsons mode. Felt Mountaineering for the masses.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Have I Got News For You...


HIGNFY on Friday was so naughty: "In America yesterday there was some criticism that Camilla is too old. She's approaching 60. That's nothing, as she went into that tunnel Diana was approaching 120." We gasped. Then burst out laughing.

Aerial Artwork Mystery Solved...



Is the mystery of the artwork to Kate Bush's album Aerial perhaps solved? Why according to the sleeve notes it's the soundwave of blackbird song. Makes sense. But will she be number 1 this week?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Fancy Address Party...


Paul and Hendrick's Hallowe'en fancy dress party on Saturday night in London glitzy West End was a-maz-ing. The invite had said 'dress scary' but that didn't begin to describe the lengths people had gone to. There were devils, horror and gore aplenty. The place was a completely huge fuck-off apartment on two floors that looked like a film set - all behind a giant clock face that was transparent looking out onto Northumberland Avenue. As I say there were loads of boys and girls in really cool costumes consisting of about 60/40 gay/straight. At one point the cast of Chicago turned up (who seemed to take a shine to me in my Caligula outfit for some reason.) The party got a bit fruity later on but I managed to steer clear of all that... until I was about to leave. Thinking it wise to get all the fake blood off me before I ventured into the night I dived into the walk-in shower. But while I had soap in my eyes and completely unbeknownst to me two women and another man appeared beside me! What? Those bathroom door locks don't work then! They just did it for a laugh I think but shameless all the same! To my discredit I blushed deeply, grabbed a towel and fled. A top, top night though.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Kate Bush's Aerial is Sublime...


Oh. My. God. Aerial is simply fantastic from start to finish. Washing lines, parquet floors, hymn-like reveries, spooky backing vocals, signature portrait pieces, footprints in the sand, racy flamenco, shivery duets, staggering beauty, exquisite singing, audacious silliness, it's all here. My favourite track changes with each listen. Currently it is: Pi Sunset Nocturne Somewhere In Between. A masterpiece.

Brain Teaser Answers...


Congrats to Dave who got all correct and also to Mark who tried (unsuccessfully) to get me to remember the answers while in the pub last night.

1. 7162 and 3581.

2. Five words: Piers, Prise, Pries, Peris and Spire.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Word verification shocker...


Google's word verification system does choose some odd words.

Click for a bigger version.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Brain Teasers...


1. Find two blocks of numbers from within this list, one of which is double the other, and which when added together make 10743: 57162383581

2. How many English words can you make from the following five letters. Each letter must be used in the word, but can only be used once: E I P R S

What's in a Name?...


Pity poor 5th row on the right and I guess that must be her brother 4th row 2nd along.
[Thanks David]

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

En-gay-ge


Star Trek actor comes out as gay.
[Thanks Rog]

Pink Martini...


On Sunday the ever-wonderful Paul treated Simon, Charlie and I to tickets to see the rather lounge-tastic Pink Martini at the Sadler's Wells Theatre. It was a head-noddingly, foot-stampingly, hand-clappingly, arm-wavingly, finger-clickingly sensation of a show from opening bar to mind-bending crescendo. Good then.

This quirky, wildly original 12-piece band lie somewhere between a 1930s Cuban dance orchestra, a classical chamber music ensemble, a Brazilian marching street band and Japanese film noir. Pink Martini are engagingly impossible to categorise. On one level they are a retro-chic, Latin-based, classy easy-listening outfit, specialising in charming and melodic cocktail lounge ballads, before veering off into anything and everything from brooding European balladry and operatic mood pieces to ragtime or the Far East. The band is centred around the seductive vocals of China Forbes and piano genius Thomas Lauderdale. They are joined by four percussionists, two horns and a double bass.

Favourite bit? The fat bloke at the end of our row dancing to Brazil.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Chinese State Circus...


On Saturday afternoon the loveable Ian organised tickets for Winston, Martin and myself to go see the Chinese State Circus who had pitched up tent on Blackheath Common.

I'd not seen the CSC before and was mightily impressed. Martin had seen them before but even he was as excited as an excitable thing. There were so many, many "Wow!" moments but my favourites by far were the lions. They were funny, amazing and seemed so innocent and fun loving.

Marvelous.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Hallowe'en 2005...


David held his Hallowe'en party on Saturday night and here are some shots. Click for a bigger version.

More Hallowe'en 2005...


Saturday, October 29, 2005

It's In His Kiss...


The voice-over man put on his best booming voice-over voice and announced to the waiting crowd, "Ladies and Gentlemen. Please welcome to the stage... straight from her successful tour of Japan... (you mean she's had an unsuccessful one?)... Linda Lewis."

Yes indeed, last night Stuart and I went to the Jazz cafe to see the rather marvelous Linda Lewis. Most famous perhaps for her hit It's In His Kiss Miss Lewis entertained us for a full 90 minutes with her own special collection of mainly self-penned songs taking in the delightful stylings that are calypso, soul, reggae, blues, lounge, doo-wop, gospel, scat, rap, pop, swing, country and western, rhythm and blues, and (let's not forget) jazz, jazz-funk and that old classic... jazz fusion. As Stuart remarked, "and all that in turquoise chiffon!"

Yes, she was a versatile little dynamo was our Linda, perhaps typified by one of her new songs I ddddddddon't do don't!. Great night. Thanks, Stu.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Homeward (I'll be) bound. Just having our final five star breakfast in the same room as previously occupied by Prince Charles, Neil Tennant and Whitesnake (although not concurrently one supposes). Then heading to Tallinn airport for our noon flight. It's been a fun trip but looking forward to being home.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Our full day in Riga was full indeed; churches, cathedrals, castles, museums, markets, monuments, Parliament, food & shopping. I must say, nice place. But we didn't see one smile all day. Must be the cold. The highlight for me was the Museum of Occupation 1939-1991 - very moving. Naturally we finished off the day/night with a bar crawl & then a Balzam nightcap. Balzam is thick, sweet, uniquely Latvian & 45% proof. Think we will be driving back to Estonia with hangovers today.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Blimey! We finally arrived in Riga after a marathon seven and a half hour drive from Tallinn. Our Latvia experience hadn't started well with a stroppy boarder guard barking orders at us. Then endless roadworks on the A1 and the new winter-time speed limit of 90 km/h coming into effect last weekend further compounded our delays. To cap it all though was the 90 mins we spent circling round and round Riga's Old Town trying to find a way in. This was incredibly frustrating as it was not only rush hour but also dark and the delights of horizontal sleet were sent to taunt us too. Tired, cold and wet we did eventually get to our hotel - to be pleasantly surprised at how very nice it was. Naturally we then did what any tourist first does and flicked the TV channels to find some natural disaster on the National Geographical Channel while we unpacked. Minutes later we once again heading out into the freezing cold and driving sleet - this time in search of a bit of beer, a bit of food and a bit of gay nightlife. The beer we found was Dutch, the food Latvian but the gay nightlife very 1980's. We had fun though. At least the music wasn't Eurovision for a change. We must have made a funny trio propping up the XXL bar: the uncle, the nephew and the niece. A couple of Swedes tried to engage us in conversation but fell at the first hurdle. They came from Finsbury Park. As if.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Opps! Spot the deliberate mistake. At 3:30am The Balkans & The Baltics seemed pretty much indisquishable. Apologies to Serbs, Croats, Slovs, Estones & Lats alike. We are, of course, in The Baltics.

Tallinn was lovely. We did the tourist thang & did the Old Town. Then dinner, X-bar (what? Eurovision night again?) & bed. Up at the crack we motored down to Pärnu where we stopped to snack, wander & look at the beach. God it's cold here.

Next stop Riga.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Balkans Baltics...


Overyourhead is off on holiday again (What? Yet again? I hear you cry!). Drew, Nat and I are jetting off to the Balkans Baltics for five days. We're up at 3:30am to drive to Stansted and then taking the first flight to Tallinn in Estonia. Then on Tuesday we're driving down to Riga in Latvia doing a bit of sightseeing along the way. Thursday we'll be returning to Tallinn and then flying home on Friday. None of us have been to the Balkans before and we're all looking forward to it.

I'm not sure what the GPRS network infrastructure will be like so posting may be sporadic or the next five days. So if you don't hear from me... do feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Arts and Minds...


On Friday Stuart and I went to Arts and Minds, a charity event hosted by Core Arts at Chats Palace in downtown-not-so-glitzy Homerton. We were treated to a night of poetry, music and art that was sometimes odd, occasionally bizarre but always loads of fun.

Core Arts promotes the artistic and creative abilities of people who experience mental health issues and uses the arts to breakdown the prejudices associated with mental health.

All in all it was quite an alternative night out and all the better for that: cheap beer, performances with passion and a very worthy cause.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (An Abba Sample After Midnight)...


So Madonna had to beg Abba to use Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) as the sample in her new rather fabulously addictive single Hung Up, huh? Well, she's not the first to use an Abba sample in a track. She's the third.

Sure loads of people have covered Abba songs - perhaps most successfully was Erasure with their rather wonderful number one Abbaesque EP. But only three people have actually sampled Abba (that I'm aware of). Those Swedes are notoriously loathe to let people muck about with their songs.

The ones before Madge were none other than the rather marvelous Fugees who used The Name Of the Game in Rumble In The Jungle in 1996.

But the Fugees weren't the first. Oh no. Someone had been there before them. So who were the first people to sample Abba? Which brave pioneers took that first step?

Bill Drummond wasn't a newcomer to the British music scene when he formed KLF. He had been a member of the late-'70s Liverpool band Big In Japan (with later-to-be-frontman for Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Holly Johnson). Neither was Jimmy Cauty who along with June Montana and Killing Joke's bassist Youth was signed to WEA as Brilliant. But between them these two men created one of the greatest music duos to hit the music scene. They survived loads of name-changes (Justified Ancients of Mu Mu , Disco 2000, The Timelords, The KLF, K Foundation and 2K), a handful of number ones, a sampling controversy that led to the withdrawal of their first album, and an unfinished movie project that almost put them in the poorhouse.

Their debut LP, released under the name of The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu, was unassumingly dubbed 1987 - WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON. Recorded by Drummond and Cauty, under the aliases 'King Boy D' and 'Rockman Rock,' in Cauty's tiny apartment on a hip-hop inspired whim, the album was a complete homebrew in-your-face masterpiece, combining drum machines and loud Scots shouting with sound bites from everyone from The Monkees to Abba.

Unfortunately, Abba bit back. The JAMS, it seems, had lifted virtually every ounce of the Swedish disco band's hit Dancing Queen and dropped it unaltered into a track the JAMS has dubbed The Queen And I (predating the loop-and-sample antics of MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice by three or so years). It wasn't so much a cover as it was an unauthorized remix, and the threat of an expensive lawsuit inspired The JAMS to 'Do The Right Thing' - burn all the unsold copies of the album. Shame.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Comedy Camp...


On Tuesday Ali and I went to Comedy Camp @ Barcode in London's glitzy West End. It was a long yet very entertaining night: four hours we sat in that basement. We laughed for most of it though. All good fun. Topping & Butch were headlining with Shazia Mirza, the rather hunky Greg Burns and Ruth Bratt supporting. Simon Happily was as usual compering. Does anyone else think he looks like Jack McFarland from Will & Grace?

Know Comment...


Yes, the comments feature is back at OYH. Blogback Comments is out (thank you for over three years of loyal service) and Blogger Comments is in. Unlike other more sophisticated commenting systems I've tried it's basic, it's easy and it just seems to work. I would of course welcome your comments.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Dr Who spin-off: Torchwood...


The BBC has announced plans to create a spin-off series from Doctor Who. Captain Jack, the maverick time traveler who guest stared in the latter episodes of the revived Doctor Who, will take centre stage in Torchwood, a "paranoid thriller" due to debut on digital channel BBC Three late next year.

Created by Russell T Davies, the writer who successfully revived Doctor Who, Torchwood will see super-sexy John Barrowman reprise his role as Captain Jack. The series - described as a cross between the X Files and lawyer drama This Life - will feature investigators solving human and alien crime, as well as chasing alien technology that has fallen to Earth.

The 13-part drama, aimed at a post-watershed adult audience, will be filmed and based in Cardiff. Each episode will last for 45 minutes. According to Davis the series will be markedly different from Doctor Who. "Torchwood is a British sci-fi paranoid thriller, a cop show with a sense of humour," he said. "It's dark, wild and sexy." One of the confirmed writers is Sapphire and Steel creator PJ Hammond. Yay!

Blimey. So will Rose, the Doctor's latest companion, and Captain Jack renew their flirtation? Sadly not, because although Torchwood will be spawned in the forthcoming Christmas special of Doctor Who there will be no cross-over episodes between the two series. Boo hoo.

And why is it called Torchwood? It's an anagram of Doctor Who, of course.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What's the largest living thing in the world?...


What's that? A giant Redwood? No. Bigger than that. Did I hear you say the blue whale? That's a good guess too. After all, the average blue whale measures about 75-80 feet long and weighs about 110 tons. And you're right n part, the blue whale is the largest living animal on earth. But there is another living thing that's bigger. Much, much bigger. It stretches 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers) across and covers an area larger than 1,600 football fields. And to add to it's mystery, most of it is hidden underground.

It's..... a fungus. Yes, a fungus with the scientific name Armillaria ostoyae. Known more commonly as the honey mushroom, this giant fungus was found in the Malheur National Forest in eastern Oregon. I guess you'd have to call it a humongous fungus.

Don't say you don't learn something when you come here, punters.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Week 29 Inside The Big Mother House...


Cheesey grins going for a walk Three cheeky monkeys Big bump!
I spent a lovely weekend just gone with gorgeous mother-to-be Sarah-Jane. And I can report that she is getting even more enormouser by the day. There are just five weeks to go now and the triplets are moving around and jostling for position like champion jockeys. I felt some of the kicking and elbowing that was going on and they're going to be feisty trio I can tell you. We had a a really relaxing time (something I suspect we both needed) just going for walks, chatting, playing board games, drinking green tea and talking baby-talk. Broody? Me?
Ben was still in South Africa but due back today. He's spent three weeks treading the boards, earning a crust to support the three cheeky monkeys when they arrive; three times the joy, three times the fun, three times the noise!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Goldfrapp : Number 1...


The (perhaps optimistically titled) new single from Goldfrapp is Number 1. See the doggy style video here or elsewhere. Very funny.

Hair @ The Gate...


Stuart and I went to see the Flower Power hippy musical Hair at The Gate in Notting Hill last night. The reviews had been mixed but good to enough to warrant an extension to the run (Hair Extension, geddit?!)

We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves even though the production was ocassionally a tad am-dram. Sure it had gusto, energy and some pretty good ideas but was perhaps just a little niaive at times. Think Pet Shop Boys video meets Fame meets Rocky Horror.

The original story of Hair tells a story about Claude, young man from Oklahoma who comes to New York City. There he strikes up a friendship with the group of hippies, led by Berger, and falls in love with Sheila, girl from the rich family. However, their happines is short because Claude must go to Vietnam war.

Last night the musicial had been moved to a contemporary setting; New York street life in the noughties rather than the sixties. Vietnam was replaced by Iraq which was an OK idea in theory but really only worked in practice when the cast - playing captured Iraqis - were having their pictures taken doing obscenece things by gloating Amercian soldiers. Quite a powerful scene.

In seemed the cast of 20 or so were close to out numbering the audience (it's a small place is The Gate) but it did give you a chance to see a bit of cock and fanny close up - oh, did I not tell you there was lots of nudity in Hair?

But the real reason Stuart and I were there was for those songs. Everyone a gem; Aquarius, Donna, I Got Life, Black Boys, White Boys, Good Morning, Starshine and of course the sublime Let the Sun Shine In. We sung along and clapped our hands like loons. Great fun.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

No Comment...


Blogback closed down today so no comments for the time being. Will try and get something up and running soon.

Kate Bush : Aerial...



Disc 1: A Sea Of Honey
1. King Of The Mountain
2. Pi
3. Bertie
4. Mrs. Bartolozzi
5. How To Be Invisible
6. Joanni
7. A Coral Room

Disc 2: A Sky Of Honey
1. Prelude
2. Prologue
3. An Architect's Dream
4. The Painter's Link
5. Sunset
6. Aerial Tal
7. Somewhere In Between
8. Nocturn
9. Aerial

Kate Bush's Album Artwork Contains Cryptic Message Fans baffled...
by Daniel Melia, Daily Star

Kate Bush’s new album cover reportedly contains a hidden message that fans are desperate to decode.

Bush’s first album in more than a decade entitled ‘Aerial’ has a soundwave image on the artwork that contains the cryptic message, apparently it is a “visaul representation of spoken, or sung words over music.”

A source told this morning’s Daily Star: “Sound analysts and fans alike have been agonisingly attempting to work out the message. The current favourites are wildly different.”

So far the leading suggestion are ‘We paint penguins pink’, 'Elvis is alive’ and 'Wind and waves of love’ although its not known if any of these are correct.

The source revealed that the plan was to baffle and intrigue the fans, they said: All the artwork on the album is interlinked and the cover art is supposed to get people guessing. The true message will only be revealed when you buy the album.”

The insider also quashed rumours that the second cd of the album will feature one continuous song, saying: The second disc, or B-side, is a number of different songs all linked together by theme to create one fluid piece of music.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Text Addict...


My latest monthly mobile phone bill arrived today:
Rental £7.50
Calls £7.45
Text £128.88

It's not the fact that the bill is £143.83 (pretty high for me I have to confess) that I find scary. It's the fact that 90% of the bill is for text messages. Just eighteen months ago it was a 50/50 split. So taking into account that some texts were sent from the UK (10p) and some from overseas (25p) last month that's still averaging 25 texts a day. No wonder my thumbs are so sore.