Quote Of The Day

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

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Gran Canaria Notes #3...



Thursday
Pool / very sunny day / slight sunburn / chatted to Sergio and Mark / drinks at Hand and Hans / Detox Retox / Milano / early night

Friday
4 mile walk / to the lighthouse! / drinks Terry and Robin / Jade garden / another early night!

Saturday
Checked out / moved to Villas Biancas proper / baking hot / lounging by pool / chatted to Andreas and Michel / left 5:15 / met Mark from Tufnell Park in check-in queue / Walk The Line on the plane / Philip met us at Gatwick and drove me home / back by 2am / bed by 3am / thinking of Sunday night

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Gran Canaria Notes #2...



Tuesday
Pool / way too much sun / Detox Retox / Merlin / The Block / Construction / chatted to Luxembourgers Claude & Gaston / home (avoiding all policemen just in case)

Wednesday
Pool / burnt shins (!) / dunes / threw cocktail party by pool for all neighbouring bungalows / quite a success as they were invited for 1 hour but stayed for 3 / Charlie, Michael, Hans, Hans #2, David, Marcus, Sergio, Mark, Terry, Robin, Seth, Urf, Martin Marcus #2 and me / Milano / The Block / Construction / home pissed but dignity intact (just)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Gran Canaria Notes #1...



Friday
Smooth flight / row 8 has leg room Cyd Charisse would find comfortable / BA Stewardess Anita rather fabulously supplied never ending wine / chaffeur to Club Villa Bianca in Maspalomes / shower / change / Detox Retox for smoothies / Yumbo / awful food / awful beer / Stage bar / Construction / home to sleep / is this all there is?

Saturday
Sun / cloud / food shopping / snooze / Detox Retox for smoothies / Mundo / Cita / mugger's paradise! / Yumbo / Café Nestar / Construction / home to sleep

Sunday
See Sat

Monday
Sun / cloud / home sick / over-compensation alert / walked to dunes / beers / no disco nap / Milano / cheap beer @ The Block / Construction / more beers / three ciggies / questioned by local police (oops!) / no passport / no hablo Espanol / I must have been niave to expect them to believe Michel Mouse or my story that I was just admiring the view - what view! / friendly enough though / The Cruise / home for 2am

Friday, February 17, 2006

Gran Canaria...


Overyourhead is off on his holidays today. This time it's to Gran Canaria for eight days - so don't expect any/much posting. Eight days of relaxing by the pool. Eight days of sun-bathing on the beach. Eight days of catching up on my reading. Bliss.

And a big thank you to the lovely Martin for all the latest info on where to go and what to do when I get there. Martin was there really recently and knows what I like!

Hasta mañana!

Kim Weston...


Last night Darren., Stuart and I went to see soul diva Kim Weston bring her own special piece of magic to London's Jazz Cafe. Kim Weston was one of the greatest, although mostly unsung, female vocalists on Motown records during the 60's. She is perhaps best known for her hit duet It Takes Two with Marvin Gaye.

She arrived on stage in a black, slightly tacky ball gown with loads of sequins, a wig that looked like something Shirley Bassey or Tina Turner had thrown out and a set of lungs you might expect on someone thirty years younger.

It was a great show with lots of humour and songs aplenty.

Sadly she didn't do my favourite though, the angry-shouting-from-the-back-of-the-church classic It Should Have Been Me.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Gilbert and George and George and Dragon...


Last night Ian, Paul and I went to see the Gilbert and George Son of a God exhibition at the White Cube in Hoxtonia. After all the kerfuffle I was moderately disappointed. Sure the pieces were pretty but not really saying much to me. Blasphemous? No. Shocking? No. Thought provoking? Maybe a little.

Afterwards we popped along to Viet Hoa Cafe for some nosh before joining Andy, Stuart et al for a few jars in the George and Dragon.

The Brits 2006 Winners...


Last night it was the Brits 2006. If you want to watch it tonight on ITV1 at 8pm and don't want to know the results look away now.

James Blunt Pop Act
Presented by: Harry Hill
Lemar British Urban Act
Presented by: Jamelia
Jack Johnson International Breakthrough Act
Presented by: Beth Orton
Kanye West International Male Solo Artist
Presented by: Boy George
Kaiser Chiefs British Rock Act
Presented by: Tamsin Greig
Arctic Monkeys British Breakthrough Artist
Presented by: Chris O'Dowd
Kaiser Chiefs British Live Act
Presented by: Thandie Newton
James Blunt British Male Solo Artist
Presented by: Wayne Coyne
Coldplay Speed Of Sound British Single
Presented by: Morten Harket
Green Day International Group
Presented by: Kelly Osbourne
Kaiser Chiefs British Group
Presented by: Deborah Harry
KT Tunstall British Female Artist
Presented by: Jo Whiley
Madonna International Female Solo Artist
Presented by: Neil Tennant
Green Day American Idiot International Album
Presented by: Paris Hilton
Coldplay X&Y MasterCard British Album
Presented by: Madonna
Paul Weller Outstanding Contribution
Presented by: Ray Winstone

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Oh My Giddy Aunt...


Last night Emma and I went out and committed some random acts of Valentine's Day terrorism. The way you do. Having both been shat on from a great height in the last year VD seemed a perfect time to vent some anger on men in general and get up to some mischief. The evening started gently enough in the Marriott Park Lane but we were soon to leave a trail of carnage across the West End; running into restaurants, laughing at mournful faced couples with nothing to say to each other sitting down for overpriced table-for-two set dinners, extinguishing candles with water-pistols, shouting "Down with love!" and "All men are c*nts!" God, we must have been right pains in the arse. But we did laugh. A lot. And drink. A lot.

Actually we probably laughed and drank a little too much come to think of it. We consumed five (yes, FIVE) bottles of champagne in various establishments. And I'm only just now beginning to remember some of the stuff we did. Through the fog a name comes to mind (Francis Johnson? Scottish RADA? Something about a show reel?). And a place we ended up (Bar Code was it?). And a late night phone call (oops! sorry!).

Mischief making to one side, it was actually amazingly good therapy for us both. Emma and I got all the anger out of systems, made some positive decisions and ended up very drunkenly celebrating love in all it's many forms.

Positive decision #1: I love Emma. She's fab!

Smoking Ban in 2007...


Last night the commons voted for a total ban on smoking in all pubs, clubs and restaurants in England from the summer of 2007. I, for one, am very pleased. It'll help me give up my social smoking.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Budapest Diary Notes...


Here are the notes I took during Pete and my trip to Budapest. What a lovely city. Cold but lovely. Really friendly people and lots to see. Recommended.

Friday

Airport easy despite long delay on Heathrow Express / Flight not too bumpy / Chatty vicar when we landed. Too chatty / Snow everywhere / Gellert Hotel right in middle of Budapest / oldy worldy charm / River view / Headed for bars via Burger King / Darling Bar / Tranny serving / Downstairs could cut atmosphere with a knife / Upstairs smoke so thick could have knitted it / Action bar / Card system that we were to fall foul of later / Two strippers / 1st big dick no idea how to (pole) dance / Second one who we thought was cute with his clothes on proceeded on stage to wear black thong, tie, cowboy hat and black leg warmers. Oh dear. / Atilla the Hun(k) / Kebabs on way home / Very merry

Saturday

Breakfast in sumptuous breakfast room / Cute waiter / Walked along river through snow / Across chain bridge / Two hour city tour / All the sites / Parliament / outside St Stephen's Basilica / Hero's Square / Palace / Gellert hill / freezing cold / Turkish baths for 3 hours / Ancient and modern / 4 hour disco nap / Goulash in traditional Hungarian restaurant (Horrid!) / Coxx bar / Industrial, exposed brickwork etc. / beers / Angel club / more beers / Back to Coxx / Turned down going to an after hours party on an island / Kebab

Sunday

3 hours sleep / Breakfast / Check out / Soviet statue park abort / St Stephen's Basilica inside / Liberty Park / Metro / Octagon / MacDonald's / Chain bridge / Funicular / Fisherman's Bastion / Started journey home by Funicular-tram-bus-airplane-train-tube

Friday, February 10, 2006

Airport Anxiety...


As is usual for me I'm heading to the airport by train but feeling nervous as hell. Taking a flight really doesn't get any easier for me. Or to be more accurate the very idea of taking a flight doesn't get any easier. It's all mental really.

Someone mentioned I should try the 'tapping technique' but not really knowing what it is or how to do it I've been simply tapping my forefinger finger on different parts of my face and forehead furiously. While gently distracting for me it seems to have had a big effect on my fellow train passengers; I'm now getting very odd, serupticious looks and odd whisper. So that's left me feeling not only anxious about my flight but mildly paranoid too.

I think I'll tap mentally from now on. Less effective but stops me looking a complete tit.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Budapest...


I'm off for a short break tomorrow: going to Budapest with Pete. Has anyone got any tips about good places to go see while we're there?

I'm... wait for it... Hungary for knowledge (geddit?! Hungary? Hungry? Oh, please youselves!)

Les Miserables...


Last night the lovely Stuart and I went to the Queens Theatre in London's glitzy West End to see the phenomenon that is Les Miserables.

I'd seen it once before twenty years ago. This was Stuart's fifth time. I simply had fond memories. He was obviously a bit of a fan.

When it was at The Palace Theatre it had a distinctly Gallic feel (hello? it is set in nineteenth century France), a cast of thousands (well, it seemed like it at the time) and rousing anthems throughout. This time around it seemed an altogether smaller production; just twenty-eight in the cast, the accents were distinctly Plaidstow rather than Paris and the songs seem to have lost some of their shine.

That said, Kerry Ellis as Fantine was amazing as was John Owen-Jones as the lead Jean Valjean. Special mention does need to saved for Shonagh Daly who plays Eponine. Marvelous.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Queer London...


Laura, Matt C and Matt HOn Saturday I went to the Museum of London to see the launch of LGBT History Month and watch some speakers give a series of lectures on Queer London.

Queer London was a day of talk, discussion and debate on different aspects of gay and lesbian history in London. And here is some of the itinerary:

- ‘A New City of Friends: London and Homosexuality in the 1890s', Dr Matt Cook, Birkbeck, University of London. Yes, the lovely Matt himself. Excellent and very amusing talk which made we want to stay for the rest of the day in fact.

- ‘Which is the Rooster, Which is the Hen? Female Masculinities in London’s Gay Twenties' Professor Laura Doan, University of Manchester. Great presentation with gags a plenty: "Hello everyone. In case you hadn't guessed, I'm the L in LGBT" and "In the twenties many lesbians used to live in the countryside who, unlike some gay men, took cottaging literally" Ha ha.

- 'Perils and Pleasures in Interwar London', Dr Matt Houlbrook, University of Liverpool. Matt wrote the blockbuster 'Queer London'. Self-proclaimed Doctor of Cottaging, surely he is far too cute to be straight?

- 'Gay and Lesbian London: The fifties and sixties', Alkarim Jivani, journalist and broadcaster. Interesting stuff.
'Queer is Here' exhibition
- 'The Ladies of Llangollen: The London dimension', Jack Gilbert, Executive Director, Proud Heritage. Sadly it was perhaps a little too ambitious a subject for the brief time he was given. Interesting though.

- 'Alchemy', Maureen Duffy reads from her latest novel, set in London in 1603 and 2003, and covering themes of fraud, witchcraft, lesbian life and disappointed love. What a brilliant writer! And witty raconteur to boot. A national treasure.

- 'Queer is Here', exhibition opening led by Peter Tatchell. See picture.

- Performance by the London Gay Mens Chorus. Very moving. Sadly no Destiny's Child medley though.

All in all is was a great and really rather uplifting day. Afterwards we retired to a wine bar to gossip about now fabulous Sarah Waters' book launch the previous Thursday was. I heard so much about it I almost feel like I was there too!

[Click on the photos for bigger versions]

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Duckie: Keep the Faith...


Last Friday the lovely Martin and I joined the swelling throngs and went to the Tate Britain to see Duckie: Keep the Faith (part of the Late at Tate Britain series). The Salvation Army Regent Hall Band kicked the whole evening off by performing some rousing hymns on the Millbank Steps before marching around the galleries blasting out their particular brand of musical miracles.

As Martin and I entered the gallery we were greeted by giant projections of words of wisdom onto the gallery walls from public artist Martin Firrell. DJ Hushpuppy provided the rather ecletic soundtrack to the night which was hushed only slightly as we entered one of the side galleries to discover table after table real vicars (plus free tea and cakes to boot). A sort of 'grill a Christian' event.

Super talented Christopher Green was roaming around on a soapbox doing a very funny bible thumping comedy vicar - soemthing I hope we'll see more of in some of his shows. Later on we had entertainment from Palestinian songstress Reem Kelani before the night was topped off with gospel illusionist Tommy Angel and his assistant, Miss Direction. Neo-blasphemy with a twist.

All great fun and just a little bit weird in only the way that only Duckie can.

Monday, February 06, 2006

List of Films Ordered by Uses of the Word "Fuck"...


Wikipedia is full of weird little corners where someone felt some obscure thing was worth explaining at length. Take this as an example; a list of films ordered by uses of the word 'fuck'. The accompanying graph is especially informative.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Friday, February 03, 2006

What Men Want...


Frasier: "I think she just used sex to get what she wanted"
Daphne: "Oh come on. Don't tell me that *men* have never used sex to get what they want..."
Frasier: "How can men use sex to get what we want? Sex *is* what they want!"

Hidden (Cache)...


Last night the lovely Sean treated me to a film at the Odeon Covent Garden: Michael Haneke's discomfiting drama Hidden.

Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche play a middle-aged, successful literary couple. Auteuil has a television talk show. Binoche is an editor at an important publishing house. They have attractive, well-educated friends; they throw dinner parties. It's easy to imagine that they have shared happy times together in their well appointed Parisian home with their awkward, amiable adolescent son - enjoying the fruits of their well-earned success. Of course, we do not get to see simple, easy moments of domesticity. Haneke only shows tension - and not the ordinary sort of friction between loved ones. From the start, the Laurents are being oddly terrorized. It's a slow growing, subtle sort of terror campaign that begins with only slightly menacing video tapes that show the couple's front door. Cars come and go, occasional pedestrians shuffle by. Often, as in life, nothing happens at all. This nothingness is almost maddening; something menacing lurks and threatens to manifest further. So in their banal (if stylish) existence, the Laurents wait for the next video tape. A spaghetti dinner cannot be enjoyed. Soon, disturbing postcards begin to arrive, along with new videos that again show little, a slow moving scene from a car window: only the landscape changes. Georges (Auteil) recognizes the roads leading to his family's country home. He puts together the pieces in his head and begins to suspect the only person who might want to ruin him. Haneke takes his time in "Hidden." The pace is terrifically slow. The filmmaker, who only last year provided a devastating portrait of post-apocalyptic life in "Year of the Wolf," knowingly plays with the unease of both his protagonists and his audience. As the hints continue to come, the Laurent’s grow more and more frightened. The same is true for the audience, who finds itself in a the position similar to that of the wife, trapped in darkness, not knowing the whole story that Georges (Auteuil) had always meant to leave buried. Hidden is as frightening as any horror film, where the blood hungry murderer threatens to appear at any moment, wielding a knife or an axe or any other instrument of mayhem and murder. In an interview, Haneke stated that he wanted to make a film about guilt. He could not have been more successful. Well-mannered George's childhood secret is connected to an historical event, when a large number of Algerians protesting their conditions were drowned in Paris, in 1961. Georges is an arrogant man, but he is also recognizable, and likeable. As events unfold and Georges begins to act badly, Binoche's need (and ours) to like and accept him further complicates an already difficult film.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Internet Explorer 7...


You can download and play with the latest Internet Explorer 7: Beta 2 Preview here. It's really quite good. Playing catch up with Firefox but that's no bad thing.

The Caesar Twins...


Last night Roger, Tom Kevin, Ian, Mervin, Matt and I went to the Comedy Theatre in London's glitzy West End to see the Caesar Twins and Friends.

It was a surreal night of identical twins, acrobatics, muscle, homoeroticism, feathers and water. Naturally we were front row centre.

Why surreal? Well, for starters one of them fell off stage into Ian and Melvyn's laps. Then there was much made of a 1980's chrome and leather chair. At one point one of them jumped off stage and sat next to me and chatted for a bit. The crowning glory was perhaps when we all got filmed and then Matt got called up on stage and took part in a three-way comedy routine (God, I wish I could have taken pictures!). All quite bizarre but really quite good fun too.

For the statistically minded amongst you... Pablo Caesar Born 19.09.1980 at 17.35 pm. Height:1.64. Weight: 55.Kg. Tattoo on the right side. Pierre Caesar Born 19.09.1980 at 17.30 pm. Height:1.64. Weight: 55.Kg. Tattoo on the left side.

And there are some quite revealing pictures here. I especially like this one. And let's not forget this one.

Oh, and we got very wet too. But that's another story.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I'm All Stood Up...


As some of you may know I'm starting to get back in the dating game. After being dumped last year it's taken a while for me to climb back in the saddle (or maybe that should be harness?) but I think I'm beginning to get there. Having said that I'm not really searching for anyone serious right now but sometimes it can be fun looking. Sometimes...

Why the hesitancy? Last night I was stood up. I had a date (or so I thought) and he didn't show. I sat in Bar Aquda looking and feeling like a lemon.

Which raises a couple of questions: How long should you wait for a date to turn up? I waited an hour and a quarter. And secondly, should I contact him and ask why he didn't show? Maybe it was my misunderstanding after all?

So that's twice in nine days I've been stood up. It does little for self-esteem I can tell you. But I suppose it's all part of the cut and thrust of dating. Hey ho.

Brain Teaser Answers...


1. The mirror. The person Gary is talking about is himself.

2.Forty (Incidentally in French there are several numbers: deux, cinq, dix and cent)