Quote Of The Day

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

Friday, October 30, 2009

First They Came For The Drag Queens...

First they came for the drag queens, and I did not speak out — because I was not a drag queen;
Then they came for the fairies, and I did not speak out — because I was not a fairy;
Then they came for the poofs, and I did not speak out — because I was not a poof;
Then they came for the queers, and I did not speak out — because I was not queer;
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Candle-lit Vigil for Ian Baynham...

A silent candle-lit vigil will be held against hate crime in memory of Ian Baynham in Trafalgar Square 8pm to 10pm on today Friday 30th October 2009 to show the world that this criminal behaviour is unacceptable here and to stand shoulder to shoulder to stop this happening again.

Below is a picture of Ian (centre) in happier times at Shake Your Tail Feather in August with Janet and David.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Too Perky...

Sometimes people can be too perky in their jobs. Last week we went to check on my nan in the hospital to see if she'd made it through the night.

"How is nan?", we asked the doctor nervously.

"GIVE ME A "D"...!

Daphne And Celeste Getting Bottled At Reading 2000...

Ooh stick you, your Mamma too and your Daddy!

U G L Y you aint got no alibi. You're ugly!

I like the very end when she says, "You guys are wasting so much food!"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Triplets...

The other week I had the triplets, Sarah, Myrtle and Dad over. Myrtle bought them some toys, we had lunch and we played in Highbury playground. All great fun. Pix here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ging Gang Goolie...

Ging gang goolie goolie goolie goolie watcha,
Ging gang goo, ging gang goo.
Ging gang goolie goolie goolie goolie watcha,
Ging gang goo, ging gang goo.
Hayla, oh hayla shayla, hayla shayla, shayla, oh-ho,
Hayla, oh hayla shayla, hayla shayla, shayla, oh.
Shally wally, shally wally, shally wally, shally wally,
Oompah, oompah, (stick in up your jumpa).

Had Had...

James, while John had had "had", had had "had had"; "had had" had had a better effect on the teacher.

And And...

The pub sign painter had spread the lettering out too much. There was too much space between the 'Pig' and 'And' and 'And' and 'Whistle'.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Paloma Faith...

On Saturday night Simon treated Stu and I to a trip to the HMV Forum in Kentish Town to see the rather marvellous Paloma Faith.

The support acts on the night were Mumford & Sons (rather pleasing folk rock with the emphaise more on the 'rock' than the 'folk') and Mr Hudson (without his Library and it has to be said, rather loud but rather bland).

Ms Faith herself was a complete star. She took to a stage that looked like something from Alice In Wonderland - decorated as it was with white helium balloons, over-sized white dominos and small white chairs. Dressed in 1940s garb she bore comparisons vocally to Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Kate Bush and the Puppini Sisters.

Song of the night was definitely current single New York. This was mashed up rather wonderfully with the classic New York, New York and features on her debut album Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful. The song itself has been described as "a gospel-tinted ballad painted with orchestral beauty for broken hearts and dark, sleepless streets." So there.

Ms. Faith is also an actress and appears as the devil's lover in The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus. There is obviously no end to this lady's talents.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Good Riddance You Corrupt Homophobe....

Tory MP David Wilshire is a truly odious man.

It's not just his £160,532 parliamentary expenses bill that make him odious (with his London flat less than 15 miles away from where he lives) or his expenses claims for furniture or travel or entertainment or paying £105,000 over three years to Moorlands Research Services (a company he set up and owned with his partner Anne Palmer to run his office.) Oh no. He has a worse side to him.

For it was David Wilshire who was responsible for introducing the Section 28 legislation in 1988.

The ban was eventually reversed by Parliament in 2003 but naturally Wilshire was one of 76 MPs to vote against the repeal. Early in 2000 the lovely Mr Wiltshire had voted to prohibit teachers from introducing steps to prevent bullying on the grounds of homosexuality in a later Local Government Bill. He also voted against homosexual couples being allowed to adopt children in 2002, against the Civil Partnership Bill of 2004 (which granted a legal relationship for same-sex couples) and against the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) in 2007, which outlawed discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities, services, education and public functions on the grounds of sexual orientation. In each case Wilshire's vote was in the minority.

Well, now we hear that David Wilshire has announced that he will stand down as an MP at the next election. Shame really as I'd have liked to have seen him stand - and lose. Badly.

Good riddance you corrupt homophobe.

Freedom of Speech...

Nick Griffin on Question Time last night was odious. But, as Voltaire said: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Annie Get Your Gun...

Last night Stu and I went to the Young Vic in London's fashionable Waterloo to see Annie Get Your Gun.

Jane Horrocks plays sharp-shotting Annie and Julian Ovenden plays Frank the handsome, womanizing star who challenges anyone in town to a shooting match when Buffalo Bill’s ‘Wild West Show’ comes to town.

Irving Berlin wrote the musis and lyrics which includes some of his all-time favourite show-stopping tunes, including, There's No Business Like Show Business, Doin' What Comes Natur'lly, You Can't Get a Man with a Gun, They Say It's Wonderful, and Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better.

The song I'm an Indian Too was dropped from the show as it was considered racist and demeaning of Native Americans - although other shows see it as a mildly satirical attack on racial stereoyping. Hey ho.

Good show though.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Japanese Whispers...

You've heard of Chinese whispers, right? Well this is Japanese whispers. Start with a sentence in English and then keep translating it backwards and forwards into Japanese and see when the translations stabilise.

In Their Ivory Towels...

One of my favourite malapropisms: "I bet they feel safe in their ivory towels"

Stonewall Awards...

On Thursday 5th Nov 2009 the Stonewall Awards will be held at the V&A. It's the biggest event in the gay autumn calendar and honours those who have made a positive contribution to lesbian and gay equality in Britain in the past year. The show is hosted by Gok Wan, and nominees include Paul O'Grady, Janet Street Porter, Beth Ditto and Stephen K Amos.

And guess what? Paul is up for an award for broadcast of the year with Economy Gastronomy. Go Paul!

Broadcast of the Year
‘Corrective Rape in South Africa’ (Samira Ahmed – Channel 4 News report)
Economy Gastronomy (BBC 2)
Find me a Family (Channel 4)
FYI Radio (lesbian and gay youth radio station)
Pobol y Cwm (BBC Cymru)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Outrageous! (1977)...

Out at last on DVD is the cult 1970s camp classic drag film Outrageous!

Telling the story of Robin Turner's (Craig Russell) rise from hairdresser to fully fledged drag queen the film's limited budget, so-so sound and grainy print quality does nothing to detract from the great performances.

Craig Russell has a three octave range and is an uncanny mimic (Mae West, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, Ethel Merman) - so that’s who Dame Edna Experience got his act from! Close your eyes and it could be SLAGS @ RVT only circa 1977.

The action starts in Toronto where Robin lives with his mad female friend and flatmate Liza (Hollis McLaren). Robin's rapid rise in the drag world is mirrored by Liza's own gradual descent into schizophrenic fantasy. It is both moving and funny to watch the two - the madness of him performing to leather queens in a frock and the madness of her as she tries to cope with her own delusions. Ultimately it is their love for each other that keeps them both going as we see them move from the gay bars by the Great Lake to the The Jack Rabbit Club in the Big Apple.

This is rare film indeed - a pre-AIDS gay film which manages to be non-judgemental in it's depiction of gay men; leather queens and drag queens drinking, dancing, loving and living.

It's a sort of The Next Best Thing meets Hedwig And The Angry Inch meets Priscilla meets Shortbus.

My favourite quotes:
Why do you live with 'that'? 'That' is my best friend.
There are three important things in life: sex, movies, and my career. You should think almost entirely about them and never about yourself.
I'm dead inside. You're not dead. You're alive and sick and living in New York like eight million other people.
You’re mad as a hatter darling. But that’s OK. ‘Cos I am too

It's competition time! I have five copies of the new DVD Outrageous! to give away. Yes, to give away! All you have to do is answer a simple question.

What is the name of the actress who plays Robin Turner's flatmate Liza in the film?

Email your answer and your postal address to onthe@hotmail.com before 26th Oct 2009 and you could be in with a chance of winning a copy of the film to keep and keep again. 

The small print: Five winners will be randomly chosen from correct entries. UK entrants only I'm afraid. overyourhead's decison is final. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Blackpool Pictures...

Roger and I went to Blackpool last weekend to see the Funny Girls show. We had great fun up and down the Golden Mile and in and out of the bars. It was great to meet Spencer again and indeed his parents.

Friday, October 16, 2009

NSPCC City Conker Cup...

Last night I attending a charity event - the annual NSPCC City Conker Cup at Loose Cannon down by Cannon Bridge.

I'd been baking my conkers, soaking them in vinegar and threading them on the toughest twine I could find - but as per the rules, we could only use their conkers not our own.

Our team was called Conkering Heroes and we got through to the 3rd round before my and ne of my team mates strings broke.

It was a great night and although I didn't win The Conker Cup as planned I did win something way better at the silent auction. I how have a very big hole in pocket now but big ups to the NSPCC for organising.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Canada The Rockies Pictures...

Gladys Knight...

Last Friday night Stu treated me to a trip up the Jubilee Line to Wembley to see the truly wonderful Gladys Knight perform. Allegedly her farewell tour she was saying goodbye to the UK the best way she knew how; a blinding set of her classics, standards and modern songs reinterpreted.

The night began with Tito Jackson and his band The Brothers performing a tribute to their late brother Michael; a string of Michael's best loved songs - along with Jackson 5 hits and his own material. Interestingly his brothers Marlon and Jackie were there too as was their mother Katherine.

After the interval the Knight really started. “Hey y’all!", she said. "Work day’s over it’s time to party!”

Opening with her very first hit of Every Beat of My Heart from 1961 Gladys treated us to a wandering through her career both with and without the Pips. We were treated to such hits as:
I Heard It Through the Grapevine
If I Were Your Woman
You’re The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me
The Way We Were
Come Back and Finish What You Started
Licence to Kill
If You Don’t Know Me By Now
End Of The Road
Midnight Train to Georgia
I Will Survive

She mused at one point, “I didn’t really understand If I Were Your Woman when Mr Gordy gave it to me and didn’t want to sing it, but he was right in the end to make me.” Too right he was.

Gladys Knight has a uniquely emotional and spiritual voice, few can compare to The Empress of Soul. The raw emotion that she put into her singing meant that every song sounded fresh, bringing many spine-tingling moments.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Doctor Who Fans Name Best Episode Ever...

Over 6700 Time Lord fans responded to a Doctor Who Magazine call to rate all 200 episodes of the classic sci-fi TV series, and selected 1984's The Caves of Androzani - in which fifth Doctor Peter Davison hung up his sonic screwdriver - as the best of the bunch. Davison's finale beat 2007's excellent Blink, with David Tennant, into second spot. Tom Baker deservedly took third place with 1975's Genesis of the Daleks.

In The Caves of Androzani, the Doctor and companion Peri arrive on the planet Androzani Minor, and are soon entangled in a dark plot involving gun-running, drug-smuggling and android duplicates. At the climax of the story, dying from poison, the Doctor has to regenerate to save his own life, but saves the life of Peri in the process.

The full 200-episode league table appears in Doctor Who Magazine #413. The top ten are:

  1. The Caves of Androzani (1984 - Peter Davison)
  2. Blink (2007 - David Tennant)
  3. Genesis of the Daleks (1975 - Tom Baker)
  4. The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977 - Tom Baker)
  5. The Empty Child (2005 - Christopher Eccleston)
  6. Human Nature (2007 - David Tennant)
  7. Pyramids of Mars (1975 - Tom Baker)
  8. City of Death (1979 - Tom Baker)
  9. The Robots of Death (1977 - Tom Baker)
  10. Bad Wolf (2005 - Christopher Eccleston)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Victoria Wood's Talent...

Last night the lovely Guy and I went to see Talent at the Menier Chocolate Factory; written and directed by the oh so talented Victoria Wood.

It was funny night and we had the privilege of attending a Q&A with the cast and Victoria after the show.

'Talent' is set in 1978 with a talent night at Bunter’s niteclub, and contestant Julie and her fat friend Maureen are waiting backstage. As they are plunged into a world of ukulele wielding pensioners, crotch grabbing comperes and some long buried personal history, Julie and Maureen have to decide how lucky they really want to be.

Talent is a comedy with original songs written by Victoria Wood. It was first performed in 1978 at the Crucible Theatre Sheffield, winning Wood the Evening Standard award for Most Promising Playwright. Adapted for TV the following year, it won her another Most Promising Writer Award and a BAFTA nomination.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Dr Who New Logo...

Dilwyn's Birthday Party...

On Saturday night - still awake from our 500 mile journey and 9 hour flight from Vancouver - we headed out to celebrate a couple of birthdays. As a warm up we popped into Nat's 30th down in Fulham and afterwards we popped into Dilwyn's 48th... ahem... 38th in Dalston. As you can see. We had fun.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Back In The Saddle...

Did I say saddle? I meant harness. So I'm back at my desk - with terrible jet-lag. Just hope I can make it though the day.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Canada: Victoria...

Our last full day in Canada so we decided to take a day trip to Vancouver Island. It was a bit of a haul - a twelve hour plus round trip but we wanted to explore the coastline a bit more and perhaps catch a glimpse of a whale on the way.

Our transportation method of choice was coach to the ocean then ferry across to the island and then coach again once there. This seemed to be the best way to relax and take pictures, listen to the live commentary should we want to and also take a nap(!) The driver was a right comedian and gave us the low down on what we were seeing as well as the state of politics in British Columbia.

The trip was good fun - despite the initial rain. Victoria wasn't quite the chintzy bundle of British kitschiness we'd been lead to believe but is was good to see it. We had a late lunch in a Scottish-themed pub (no really) and then spent the next two hours playing "I see your and raise you " Oh, we laughed.

The day wasn't a total wash out though. We got to spend some time in the rather wonderful Butchart Gardens (fifty-five acres of stunning floral show) and despite not actually spotting any whales, we did enjoy our little cruise amongst the Gulf Islands.