Quote Of The Day

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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Celebration...

Last month I had a fantastic day out with Dean, Jim, Phillip, the Doctors, the Companions, the Monsters and all the madness that goes along with Doctor Who at the Excel Arena in London's not so glitzy East End for the official Doctor Who 50th Celebration.

Needless to say I took zillions of pix but will spare you the avalanche and just post a few in the next week or so.

Monday, December 30, 2013


I used to love playing charades with my gran at Xmas. 
I used to give her the made up film "Shaking Salt On Your Tongue".

Friday, December 27, 2013

Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor...

Stuart and I saw the 50th anniversary Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor at the Southend Odeon Cinema.

It was in 3D and a made sure there was no chitting-chatting going on around us. The broadcast was almost live - there was a delay while Strax told us all to shut up and Matt Smith showed us all how to put on our 3D glasses.

The show was great though. exciting, thrilling, lots of stuff for fans and casual viewers alike and uber pleasing to see David Tennant, Billie Piper, Tom Baker's returns. What with the Night Of The Doctor that's two regenerations in one week. And the third at Christmas. Stephen Moffat you're spoiling us.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Mother's Favourite Joke...

Here is my mother's favourite joke. She tells it every Xmas. With relish. My Dad pretends to find it funny too.

I walked into the pub the other day with my mother in law and three men set about attacking her with a chair. Beating her senseless.
"Aren't you going to help?" said the barman.
"No, I think three is enough"

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday Entitlement...

An American friend asked me recently how much annual holiday I was entitled to each year at work. He was moaning he got just two weeks leave so couldn't come over to see me. So that's 10 days off a year (apart from national holidays.) Gosh!

I rather sheepishly had to admit we did rather better than that for holidays so maybe Stuart and I should come and see him instead. He pressed me for a more exact answer. I still didn't want to tell him. "You Europeans(?), you're are always on vacation. What is it 20 days? Something nuts? 25?!"

So I had to confess to him:- in 2013 I took 29 days holiday, still have 15 days holiday left over and as I work a 9-day fortnight had taken every other Friday off (an extra 26 days) on top of all that. So that's 55 days off and 15 to carry over. 70 days total.

He went very quiet. Then said, "Jees! No wonder your British economy is down the crapper!"

Monday, December 23, 2013

Red Hot...

Running this week at The Gallery Redchurch Street is Thomas Knights's exhibition Red Hot celebrating the ginger male.They have a calendar too and the profits go to a good cause. I might just pop in.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Natalie's 40th / Kerry's 40th / Pippa’s 40th...

It's been a month of 40th birthday parties - all of them fabulous. First we had Nat's in Upminster. Then Kel's in lovely Southend-on-Sea. And finally Pip's on Eel Pie Island. He's one photo from each.




Thursday, December 19, 2013

Stephen Ward...

Last night Stuart and I went to see Andrew Lloyd Weber's new musical Stephen Ward at the Aldwych Theatre.

Set in 1963 the musical deals with the Profumo Affair, the political scandal that involved then Minister for War, John Profumo, and Christine Keeler, with whom he had an affair. This lead to revelations, resignations and the eventual collapse of Harold Macmillan's Tory Government.

The person who introduced them and who got vilified by the Establishment for it was osteopath Stephen Ward. Scapegoated by the press and the police he was soon driven to suicide.

With hindsight it was Stephen Ward who was the real victim of the Profumo Affair - not, as is widely supposed, John Profumo himself.

On paper this musical looks like an easy sell: music by Andrew Lloyd Weber, lyrics by Don Black, chequebook-journalism, the role of a free press, the sexual morality of the rich and famous, the sex lives of politicians, two-timing glamour pusses, Russian spies, celebrities who aren't quite what they seem, police corruption, the class system and social change.

Sadly it didn't really deliver. The music was sort of OK but some of the lyrics dire, Stephen Ward (Alexander Hanson) was pretty flat, the plot a mess. It looked like the piece had been the victim of rewrites and had been rewritten into a dogs dinner.

The two female leads Christine Keeler (Charlotte Spencer) and Mandy Rice-Davies (Charlotte Blackledge) were great though. It was just a shame that they were given such trite things to do and say.

At it's heart you had no sympathy for the Stephen Ward character and the six-form drama production values (did we really need him to be next to a waxwork Hitler and an acid bath murdered?) didn't help. And don't get me started on all those curtains.

Tonight's it's press night. Let's see how kind they are to it and whether it finds an audience.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sparks: The Revenge of Two Hands One Mouth...

The other week Simon and I went to see Sparks perform their show The Revenge Of Two Hands One Mouth at the Union Chapel in London's glitzy Islington. Similar to the show we saw the other year. This pew ain't big enough for the both of us!

It was Ok I guess. Sadly no Beat The Clock or Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth. The sound was pretty atrocious too. Sort it our Union Chapel!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Michael Clark Company...

The other week Stuart and I treated Darren to a return trip to see The Michael Clark Company perform three pieces (up from last year's two) at the Barbican Theatre in London's glitzy Barbican Centre.

No Jarvis Cocker in the flesh this time round but a Relaxed Muscle specially recorded video plus music from Scritti Politti complimented the new piece performed to some Sex Pistols. It was OK I suppose. Not quite the wow factor of last year though.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Julie Madly Deeply...

Last week Stuart I went to see Julie Madly Deeply - Sarah-Louise Young's affectionate tribute to Dame Julie Andrews at the Trafalgar Studios in London's glitzy West End.

We were speechless. It was a great show. Childhood, teenage years, Broadway, My Fair Lady, West End, Poppins... And that was only the first half!

Then in the second half we had: The Sound Of Music, Blake Edwards, media hounding, SOB tits out, Carol Burnett TV specials, nodules, throat operation, O2 concert and then a singalong.

A real love letter from a talented singing uber-fan. Go see!

Friday, December 13, 2013


Last week Stuart and I went to see Candide at the Menier Chocolate Factory in the London's increasingly glitzy but not quite there yet London Bridge Quarter.

Oh dear. Where to begin? "It was boring", how about that?

All the worse aspects of Pippin - over-long, hey fiddle-dee ye olde worlde episodic travelogue, mediocre lyrics, trite plot line - were just about saved by excellent tunes, acting and singing.

James Dreyfus and Jackie Clunes sang their hearts out but sadly the source material was just too weak. It looked great and was performed with great gusto but... but... it just wasn't a very good piece in the first place.

In my humble opinion a rare dud from The Menier Chocolate Factory. Avoid.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Jumpers for Goalposts...

A play? A play about football? A gay play about football? I'm there! Last week Stu and I went to the Bush Theatre in got so glamorous Shepherd's Bush to to see Jumpers for Goalposts.

It was great. Funny, sweet, heartfelt, funny, moving and funny. Oh, did I mention it was funny? It is.

It's really a play about friendship and teamwork. It's glorious. Growing up gay in Hull. Or anywhere really. Some wonderful line and great performances. A delight.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Richard II...

Last night Stuart and I went to see Richard II at the Barbican Theatre in London's glitzy Barbican Centre.

This Royal Shakespeare Company production starred David Tennant as the erstwhile king whose fey elf-like demeanor hid a cruel streak and a firm belief in the Divine Right of Kings. Set in a time when dueling, banishment and confiscation of lands were common place not enough of the former and too much of the latter leads to Richard's undoing.

Originally written as a tragedy it was reclassified as a history. I'm it's a bit of column A, a bit of column B.

Mr Tennant is excellent throughout conveying just the right amount of vulnerability and regal arrogance the role demands. The production itself is fine too with a chorus, musicians and a simple but effective set.

Four stars.

One of my favour Shakespeare speeches is in this play so I was all aquiver when I heard:-

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Steeleye Span...

Last night Paul and I went to the Barbican Hall in London's glitzy Barbican Centre to see folk funsters Steeleye Span. There to promote their latest album Wintersmith (a Terry Pratchett collaboration) the Span gave just a gambol through their hits and lots of new stuff. And very good it was too. We were tapping our feet and clapping along. Having toured for over 40 years they know how to put a show together.
Must surprising for me was the blacked up Morris Dancers - not something I had come across before.
The encore was sing-a-long All Around My Hat and Gaudette. Great night.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Nelson Mandela...

I think this is how I shall always remember Nelson Mandela - meeting my friend Roger. That's Roger there. Can you see him? Yes, him, the one on the left. In the big purple dinosaur outfit.
Nelson Mandela RIP.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Doctor Who: The Time of The Doctor...

The Doctor Who Christmas episode will air at 7:30pm on Dec 25th 2013. Called The Time of The Doctor it will see Matt Smith regenerate into Peter Capaldi.
"Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe's deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars. And amongst them - the Doctor. Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe."

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Coming Out...

I've told this story before but it perhaps bears repeating on this of all days, the day Tom Daley came out. 

On a day like today in 1983 I came out to my Dad. 

I took a deep breath and said, "Dad, you know I love you but I have something to tell you. I been wanting to say this for a long time now and I want to be honest with you. Be true to myself. I know you're going to find this hard to take, but... Dad... I have to tell you...  I'm gay. Does it bother you?"

Dad said, "Not as much as it'll bother your mother." 

I said, "Oh no. Oh dear. Do you think she'll be terribly upset?"

Dad said, "Upset! She'll be fucking devastated, she owes me 500 quid now."

Monday, December 02, 2013

Tom Daley: Something I want to say...

Good for you Tom. "This has been a hard decision to make, but I wanted you to hear this from me."

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Duckie 18th Birthday...

Last Friday was Duckie's 18th birthday party. Held at The Electric Brixton (formerly known at The Fridge) it saw 2000 odd people dance the night away to songs old and new. 

A big gang of us went; Paul, Stu, me, Darren, Mark, Chris, Hudd and had a gay old time.

Marc Almond was on stage performing. Sadly his equipment let him down somewhat but we were treated to crowd-pleasers Jacky, Say Hello Wave Goodbye and Tainted Love.

Here's to the next 18 years!