Quote Of The Day

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

Friday, January 29, 2021

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Tate Britain Winter Commission: Chila Kumari Singh Burman...

Last Saturday night Stuart and I took a stroll down to the river to look at the Winter Commission by Chila Kumari Singh Burman at London's glitzy Tate Britain.

It was fab; bright, fun and packed full of meaning.

It's there until 31st Jan.

"This magnificent installation, remembering a brave new world, combines Hindu mythology, Bollywood imagery, colonial history and personal memories. Inspired by the artist’s childhood visits to the Blackpool illuminations and her family’s ice-cream van, Burman covers the façade of Tate Britain with vinyl, bling and lights. She changes the figure of Britannia, a symbol of British imperialism, into Kali, the Hindu goddess of liberation and power. The many illuminated deities, shapes and words are joined by Lakshmibai, the Rani (queen) of Jhansi. Lakshmibai was a fierce female warrior in India’s resistance to British colonial rule in the 19th century.

Burman is celebrated internationally for her radical feminist practice, spanning printmaking, drawing, painting, installation and film. Her Punjabi and Liverpudlian heritage enrich her self-expressive work. Burman mashes up stereotypes to create new identities, beyond the limitations imposed on South Asian women in a British cultural context.

The commission opened to coincide Diwali, the Festival of Light. It is a celebration of new beginnings, the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness. remembering a brave new world takes inspiration from the luminous struggles and victories of the past to offer hope for a brighter future."

Monday, January 25, 2021

🎵 Do you want to build a snowman? 🎶...

🎵 Do you want to build a snowman? 🎶. Highbury Fields was full of (big) kids playing in the snow yesterday.  

And we had a massive snowball fight across our street; Evens vs. Odds. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Last Christmas... Best. Song. Ever.

And talking of last Christmas (which we weren't), Last Christmas - the *best song ever* finally reached number one spol in the official UK charts earlier this month. 

Interestingly, although it got over 9 millions stream from Xmas Day to NYE 2020 that’s not what got it over the line. 1 download = 200 streams and Last Christmas got just over 1500 paid for downloads whereas All I Want For Christmas is You only got just over 700 paid downloads.  So for the extra 99p x 800 downloads (roughly £800) spent by Wham fans it made it to number one! Bargain!

Let' hope it regularly makes the number one spot each and every year. Best. Song. Ever.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks...

The Doctor is imprisoned, Daleks are on Earth. Can Captain Jack help Graham, Yaz and Ryan?...

I quite enjoyed New Year's Day’s Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks. Quite enjoyed it. Some excellent guest stars. And who doesn’t love the Daleks? But the end dragged a bit. Otherwise quite entertaining. 

Plot point: You’d think our metal friends would have cottoned on to not trust the Doctor by now and not all rush into her “spare”(?) Tardis! ?? 

Production point: Someone is obviously a fan of Alien! Face-huggers anyone? 

Doctor point: Still not keen on current Doctor though. Tennant did 3 series. Smith did 3 series. Capaldi did 3 series. And Whittaker..? Well, this will be her 3rd series. Standard BBC Doctor Who contract length? Who knows. (No pun intended)

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Sunset Boulevard @ The Curve...

Last weekend Stuart and I finally got round to watching the show everyone has been raving about, Sunset Boulevard at The Curve in glitzy Leicester.

And, the raving is well justified. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s version of Billy Wilder’s 1950 film is certainly brilliantly staged. Nikolai Foster’s production promotes the very building itself to star status; alongside Ria Jones as Norma and Danny Mac as Joe. Many of the scenes take place not only on stage in the round, but backstage, in the balcony, around the wonderful 16-piece orchestra, up in the rigs of the fly tower and even underneath the raked seating.

The music is of course great, the singing spot on, and the tone just right.

It is a great production of a great musical (if not quite pipping the superlative Watermill Theatre's 2009 production at the Comedy Theatre.)

Best line?
"Oh, they shot my screenplay... they shot the thing dead."

High points (and there are many)?
All of "Let’s Have Lunch"
Most of "With One Look"
Everything about "New Ways to Dream"
And all of "As If We Never Said Goodbye"
The rumbling baritone of Adam Pearce as Max Von Mayerling
Douglas O’Connell’s video design - it overlays much of the action on stage
Ria Jones's make-up

Award of the night?
Danny Mac's matinee idol jaw-line

Monday, January 18, 2021

Home-made Marmalade (yum, yum)...

First marmalade batch now safely jarred. Stuart knew I wouldn’t be able get my annual supply from Myrtle due to lockdown so he spoke to her, got her recipe (and a few cooking secrets) and yesterday he (and I) washed, chopped, stirred, and boiled 1 kilo of Seville oranges and 2 kilos of sugar into 7 jars of the stuff. And blimey it tastes good.


Friday, January 15, 2021

“It’s A Sin” has #Daleks in it! Tribute to @DoctorWho actor Dursley McLinden (Sgt Mike Smith) who died of AIDS...

The up and coming Channel 4 series that starts next week “It’s A Sin” has Daleks in it!

As a tribute to the Doctor Who actor who played Sgt Mike Smith who died of AIDS.

“Russell T Davies wrote the character of Richie played by Olly Alexander as getting a part on the TV show Doctor Who, and filming a scene with Daleks. You can take the man out of the TARDIS, but you can't take the TARDIS out of the man. The show is also being produced by Phil Collinson who also produced all of Russell T Davies' Doctor Who. And the director is Peter Hoar who directed Matt Smith episode; A Good Man Goes To War.
The show sees a scene from the Peter Davison Doctor Who story Resurrection Of The Daleks with a little of the Sylvester McCoy Remembrance of the Daleks, recreated as the fictional Regression Of The Daleks for It's A Sin, with a Dalek/human shootout in space ship airlock, with Olly's character cast as one of the humans, Trooper Linden, rather than a Dalek operator.
Russell T Davies tells Doctor Who Magazine #560 that it's not just some kind of an in-joke for him, but a memorial for Dursley McLinden, who played RAF Sergeant Mike Smith in Sylvester McCoy's Doctor Who. who died of AIDS-related illnesses in 1995. "He became very wonderful in his AIDS activism when he was ill," Russell remembers, "but to me, he was that boy from Remembrance of the Daleks. That's why I knew I had to write a Dalek scene in It's a Sin. I didn't do it as a joke. it's not me going, 'Hooray, let's get a few pages in Doctor Who Magazine.' It, literally, felt natural. I was really desperate to do it. It's a little smile towards Dursley, who I loved. I did it for Dursley."

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Michael McIntyre, The Wheel and those carpet bombing adverts...

Michael McIntyre must know where the bodies are buried at the BBC.

He is undoubtedly a popular person. He obviously has talent as a comedian and presenter. He is well loved my millions.

But... he gets on my tits.

The BBC schedules are peppered with adverts for it:-


“Watch The WHEEEEEEEL!!”


Not only that but The Wheel itself is dreadful. I can imagine the BBC production meeting, "Look guys, get on to the BBC advert folks. We need to carpet bomb adverts for it across all channels. We've paid a fortune for this format - SO. IT. CAN. NOT. FAIL!"

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Flatten The Curve is said...

Jesus H Christ! When he said 'flatten the curve' he should probably have specified 'along the X axis'.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

It's A Sin (Russell T Davies' new drama): Having now seen Ep1 I have a eight things to say... Spoiler: Its fab!

Having now seen Episode 1 of It's A Sin (Thanks Darren) I have a eight things to say...

***No Plot Spoilers***

1. Being the first major British drama about the HIV epidemic the weight is certainly upon it's shoulders.
2. Russell T Davis has done it again. It's “Queer as Folk” meets “This Life” meets “The Inheritance.” Yes, that good.
3. Being of a certain age, I can confirm the tone of the show is 100% spot on. The writing, acting, casting, music, costumes, hair, whole production - are all spot on. I have to confess I cried as I watched  - tears of laughter, tears of recognition, and tears of fear. 
4. The show has a breathless energy, a forward drive, it's relatable, a dense drama of a fast-paced life. Lived fast as time was running out...
5. The show is not exactly a raging cry from the soul but a comedy-drama-tragedy about gay men. And what they faced. What we faced. In the 1980s. When AIDS hit.
6. It has a stellar cast: Keeley Hawes, Stephen Fry, Neil Patrick Harris, Tracy Ann Oberman, Shaun Dooley, Omari Douglas, Callum Scott Howells, Nathaniel Curtis and Lydia West.. They were all friends on set - and it shows. Olly Alexander is a revelation.
7. In Ep1 a scene played to "Hooked on Classics" which has to be one of the best moments on TV in 2021.
8. Watch it. Channel Four Friday 22nd January. It's fab.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Trump vs Social Media...

So Trump’s been kicked off Twitter, Facebook, and the rest. His power is ebbing. And as a mere mortal, repeatedly spreading disinformation, fake news, hate, and inciting violence will get you thrown off social media platforms.

He’s probably reaching for his MySpace, Goggle+, Buzz, Vine, Yik Yak, Meerkat, FriendsReunited or Friendster creds. Oh wait...

Friday, January 08, 2021

Stop Clause 27 March c1988...

Talking of storming Government buildings....  Back in the late 1980s I, and a bunch of other angry queers, were on a march aiming to Stop Clause 27 (later 28) and when we passed, we tried to storm 10 Downing Street. Later the big gates were put up to stop anyone entering the street. 

The clause went on to become a (homophobic) law on the English statute books for 15 years until it was finally repealed in 2003. The Scots ditched it in 2000. 

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

The past is only light with which we can see the future...

I've not been posting much recently. Covid, lockdown, being bullied, Dad dying, the recent homophobic hate crime, my fall down the escalator, anxiety, paranoia, sleepless nights ..  it was all been getting me down.

And when I'm down I don't really feel like posting on here. Or chatting.

But that's going to change.

New Year and new outlook. 

What has happen has happened. 

The past is only light with which we can see the future.