Saturday, March 31, 2001

Stayed home for the locks to be changed and to dispatch the Egyptian link back to whence he came. Into work. Did solicitory/mortgagey things. Went to see the flat again but took Nick this time. He likes it. Well, you can't fail to!! Walked back from there and that's about it. More minkering as it happens guys and gals.
Friday night's alright to party. Am sat in Charing Cross EasyEverything with Nick, prior to having some Italian food and a quick drink at Barcode. Due to Tube strikes, my home PC being fixed, being a busy boy and Blogger being down, I've not blogged since Wednesday. A lot has happened!!

Wed pm: Home, shower and shave and over to David P's for dinner and helping him with his Oz emigration application. Had nice food (Cajun chicken and salad, fruity, berry-y, Triple Sec-y dessert and lots of red wine. Nick phoned to tell me I'd left my keys at home. Doh. Didn't matter in the end, as I crashed out over at David's. We had a great time, put the world to rights, chatted to Brett and it was generally lovely.

Thu am: Nick and I have SMS conversation. It goes something like this:

Nick: What do you want me to do with your keys.
Dave: Leave in the cupboard where we put the bins out.
Nick: OK
Nick: Have sellotaped them to the binbag.
Dave: Fine, see you later.

Tube strike day. Walked with David P down into the city and I carried on over Blackfriars Bridge and home. Traffic chaos. Decided I wouldn't be going into work. Got to the flat. Opened the bin cupboard. No keys. In fact, no bin. Bin men had been in the time Nick had left for work and me arriving. On a Thursday. The bin men come on Monday's. Oh how I laughed. Actually I did. it just seemed so fantastic!! Anyway, phoned the letting agents and landlord and tried to get locks changed. Not until Friday. So, what's a boy to do?

This boy went flat-hunting.

Down to Brixton where I wandered into the first agency Carol had recommended and the guy offered to take me to the two things they had on the books that were suitable. One was OK, near Camberwell. As we were leaving, I said it's a shame I couldn't afford something more unusual. The guy asked me if I'd consider another area. Like where? Like Peckham. I said why not. We swung back to the office, picked up some more keys, and within about 10 minutes I was stood in the most incredible loft style, galleried apartment - all wooden floors and exposed brickwork. Double height windows and raised sleeping areas. In a converted school. Lovely. Lovely, lovely, lovely. I made an offer. It was accepted.

Ohmigod. It's all happening.

Thu pm: Went to Drew's for coffee and natter. Went into town to meet Big Steve to sort out the Manto drink thing. Steve and Audrey, Stuart and Andrew were slaughtered in Balan's. With a very nice looking Egyptian guy named Ahmed that they'd adopted. I joined them for coffee, then Steve and I sorted Manto's. Over to Compton's. Drew came. Nick came. More people arrived. Lots of drinking, playful flirting and such. To Barcode. Nick and I finally went home with Ahmed. Er...

Thursday, March 29, 2001

Wednesday, March 28, 2001

OK, my blog's not publishing. This is to make it think there's something new to post. Bear with me. Here's the word of the day from December 29th last year to keep you amused. For no real reason than scumble is a lovely word.

scumble \SKUM-bul\ (verb)
1 a : to make (as colour or a painting) less brilliant by covering
with a thin coat of opaque or semiopaque color b : to apply (a colour)
in this manner
*2 : to soften the lines or colours of (a drawing) by rubbing lightly

Example sentence:
Joan squinted critically at her self-portrait, then scumbled the
outlines of her face with her finger, and she found the vague dreamy
effect of the smeared edges was much more to her liking.

Did you know?
The history of "scumble" is blurry, but the word is thought to
be related to the verb "scum," an obsolete form of "skim" (meaning
"to pass lightly over"). Scumbling, as first perfected by artists
such as Titian, involves passing dry, opaque coats of oil paint over
a tinted background to create subtle tones and shadows. But although
the painting technique dates to the 16th century, use of the word
"scumble" is only known to have begun in the late 18th century. The
more generalized "smudge" or "smear" sense appeared even later,
in the mid-1800s.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

I think my vision is scumbled after last night's beer. For more words of the day, go here.
It's now Wednesday lunchtime and I'm only at Monday's activities. Think I'll make this short and sweet and get it up to date - I've got house viewings to sort out!
Monday: Work was OK. Made it in feeling remarkably chipper considering. Got through the day and made it home at a reasonable time. Nick and I had agreed to have a slobby night in - Indian takeaway, lager, Voyager on the box. And that was what happened. In the words of Soft Cell - Sag Aloo, Wave Goodbye.
Tuesday:Not much to report. Got through the day and then met ex-Capital colleagues for beers. Gill, Guy and Parv. Nice to see them. Everyone made their respective moves by about 9pm, so it was the perfect time for me to join David and Jonathan for the Retro Bar pop quiz. WE WON!

Of course I should now tell you all about it. Thing is though, David's already done it. And very well too. Thanks mate. I shall dedicate this new paragraph to you.
Well I left you at the end of the evening on Saturday. Or was it?

Headed home, showered and changed and headed up to David P's. Me, him Chatty Paul and Little Andrew then went to Up in Whitechapel. It was kind of OK. Not sure what to make of it really. Long coat check queue featuring pushing in wankers and flicky haired rude girls; school disco feel (room sectioned off by black drapes); Keith Haring cutouts hanging from the ceilings (and hitting people's heads - yes even me); DTPM funky music in main room OK; slower, funkier even music in small room at 'ear-drum perforation' level; not that many people with their shirts off; slightly too light and way too much UV giving snow blindness off people's white tops; full of people I didn't know. We almost left and went to Crash, but finally decided to stay and make the most of it. Once that decision was made it was quite fun, and the last couple of hours went quite quickly and enjoyably... and then it was time for Trade. Which was OK. Nick and crowd there - nice to meet up with them. Not the best night I've ever had there though. Music became really shit and disjointed and so by 9.30am Sunday me and David toddled off back to his to chill. Tea. Chats about Australia and Brett. Vodka and orange. Twice. Big ones. Left at midday to go home, shower and change and meet up with Dad. Ugh. Not him, me. Had coffee and then headed off to the Imperial War Museum. Had more coffee there and a good look round - though I'm not sure how much of it went into my head to be honest. Back to the hotel for a sandwich and then I'd had enough. Home.
Showered and changed and hit the Vauxhall. Don't really know why I did it. It was fab though. As ever. A slightly different crowd as various people away, but fun. Nick, Tara and Steve. Mike and Nick. David P and Chatty Paul arrived later. Fun, fun, fun. Swept out with the (rest of the) trash at midnight. Home, coffee with Nick. Internet play. Bed 2.30am.
Right, 5.30pm Tuesday, and I'm just about to start and blog what's been going on since Friday night - how does that work? (Not very well in terms of continuity in my book). Here we go.

Friday: Ran out of here and headed into town to meet my Daddy. No, I mean my actual Daddy. Down from Yorkshire for the weekend. Even though it was raining, we got some spectacular views from the London Eye. Thence back to Dad's hotel for large vodkas before having dinner. I can recommend the lamb at the Marriot County Hall Hotel should you ever get there. After a couple more large voddies I left Dad to it and headed home, where I showered, changed and launched myself anew at the Two Brewers. Karl had texted me to say all the gang would be there, and he wasn't wrong. Commenced minkering, to the point of being persuaded by Wayne and Karl to hit Sub South. Familiar ring (as it were)? Seem to remember doing that some two weeks ago... More minkering until we finally left to go and chill at Michael's at 4.30am. Oh dear. Coffee and chats and eventually the bus home at 6am. In bed for 7am. Slept until 11am.
Saturday (post 11am): Into town to meet Dad at the hotel. He'd busied himself at the Aquarium and was happy. We wandered into Covent Garden and had a quick snack before heading to the Prince of Wales Theatre at 3pm for the Witches of Eastwick. Have to say, it was absolutely fantastic! Much, much better than I could have hoped. Ian McShane was understudied for the afternoon, but it didn't really matter. Go and see it if you get chance. Fun, witty - a good spectacle. And that's from a gay man that can take or leave musicals.

Yes, there are a few of us around.

D'apres, I took Dad back to the hotel and then met Pilar at Waterloo. We took a leisurely stroll back to County Hall, had a drink with Dad and then we headed off to Porter's for dinner. I took the 'most-traditional-English-food-I-could-find' route, knowing Dad's aversion to all things culinary that are actually interesting. The meal wasn't bad. Bumped into Craig and Peter (Karl's lodgers from last night at the Brewers) who were sat two tables away. Fortunately no flouncing over and air-kissing (not that they're like that actually), so Dad went away convinced in his own mind that Pilar and I will be married. We went back to the hotel, dropped Dad off over another drink, and I escorted Pilar back to Waterloo. A most enjoyable evening.

D'oh - run out of time. More tomorrow. Drinks to be drunk. Me to be drunk most probably too.

Tuesday, March 27, 2001

OK, OK!! I'm late, I'm late, for a very important blog. Soon. Very soon. Full weekend update and latest musings - some of which you'll hopefully find a-musing.

Monday, March 26, 2001

Come and have a go, if you think you're hard enough. Oh, you are coming and having a go. In droves. Thanks guys. Firstly David (aka Simdy, Sylvie, Sinead, ET, Dubs) disses my height in a roundabout way here. I would just like to state, for the record, that I am very proud of all my 66 inches. Secondly I get quite excited as Michael in NYC comments on how my 'completely compelling descriptions' of my morning commutes have helped him on a 'journey of personal and spiritual growth'. Until the last line of the entry. Git. And he manages to steal my 'last-line delivery' style in the process. Thanks mate. I hope you can sleep at night.
Oh I just shouldn't. How many Monday mornings and/or chats to Stevie P start with that opening line? Way too many. More later. Suffices to say that minkering opportunities were exploited to the full over the weekend. Ay caramba. Feeling remarkably chipper at the moment. Fantastic.

Saturday, March 24, 2001

Bored. As a very bored thing on a very bored day. I'm too hot (office temperature: currently set at 'Tropical House - Kew Gardens') and not bothered. I've also realised that recently my obtuse links (for which I attained a small level of notoriety) have been a bit lacking. Apologies. I'll try and get back on my perch.

In other news, Amanda here at work said the other day that 'minker' was an odd word and always made her think of the words 'tinker' and 'sphincter'.

Funny how all three are often used in the same sentence.
Friday morning. Rain. Lots of it. At least it's not cold. Rain when it's warm is bearable. I made it out of the house somewhat bleary eyed around 8.25am. Headed down to Kennington tube. Oh London Underground. My heart's desire, my one true love.
My arse.

Two ticket machines, two ticket windows, 25 moist patrons. Not too bad. Until you realised that a) neither of the tickets machines were actually working, b) only one window was manned (or womanned actually) and c) your travelcard has expired. The quick ticket machine helpfully said 'Closed'. The new all-singing all-dancing touch-screen ticket machine was flashing up 'Wait by the machine. Your ticket purchase has been cancelled' like some sort of Buddhist mantra. The ticket woman then left everyone queueing to come out into the foyer to check if the machines were working. 'They're not working' she offered helpfully. In the dulcet tones of a hormonal rhinoceros. What is it with British people and Customer Service? It's never going to happen. Anyway, the rest of the journey was uneventful (no real problems, Dave managing to go the right way, etc). Today's arrival time at Notting Hill? 9.03am. Bugger. (Sorry Tony - I've stolen that particular writing style peccadillo from you!)

New para for David and Ian.

Queued for coffee in Coffee Republic. Decided Starbucks would be quicker. Queued for coffee in Starbucks. Left without coffee as it was fast approaching 9.15am minibus time. Met Amanda, Carol and Richard at the bus stop. Waited. Waited. Waited. Someone took a call on their mobile. 'There's no minibus today'. Joy. A 20 minute walk ahead of us in the rain. We opted for a cab. Ever tried to get a cab in Notting Hill? Ever tried to get a cab in Notting Hill when it's raining? So we walked. In the rain. Via Starbucks. Hmmm... coffee.

Into work and wrote long e-missive to my antipodean buddie. After a bacon buttie and the aforementioned coffee. Have loaned Daft Punk to Amanda. I feel naked. Right. Off to see if David's still playing i-sketch.

Friday, March 23, 2001

Comptons by 7pm. Very enjoyable beers with David and Ian. Had texted Jason to come join us there, and he did so. Had a couple more beers by which time we'd all put the world to rights, worked out how many degrees of separation there were between some of our friends and acquaintances and much more. Jason and I then headed off for a japanese restaurant in Soho - Taro, Brewer Street - which was really good. Jason lived in Japan for 6 years, so I left the ordering to him. Nice starters - tofu, little-bits-of-dumplingy-loveliness, butterfly prawny things and then rice, miso soup and a bit slabful of sushi. And beer. Best of all was having a really good talk to Jason. About life, the universe etc. Lovely man. Thanks Jase. It's not often you meet people with manners enough to text you thanking you for a lovely evening when on the way home.

New paragraph. This for David and Ian's benefit. They slagged me off in Compton's for having huge long chunks of text on my blog. Said it put you off reading it. I said it was my 'style'. Hmmm. Anyone got anything to add?

Decided to venture off to somewhere new to carry on drinking. Minkering. And a-tinkering. The A Bar in Gt Suffolk Street. It was fun in its own little way. Nice enough men. Nice atmosphere. Left there at 1am. And David, no jacket stories.
I'm back! Did ya miss me? Apologies for overdue blogging. Just writing an email akin to War and Peace to the Australian link. Goodbye.

Actually I'll post up bits and pieces over the next hour or so. Keep checking back! Highlights may include:
Last night's minkering
Last night's dinner with Jason
Last night's post-dinner entertainment :oÞ
Today's travel adventure

And more besides. No really. I'll make it exciting.
No real work done. After a mammoth emailing session all afternoon, I've arranged to meet David and Ian for beers at Compton's before I have to go and meet Jason for dinner. That's cheered me up. Spare a thought for Jonathan though. We'll have a beer for you Jonce.
Didn't update y'all about last night. Nothing major mind, just haven't mentioned it! Home where Nick and I tried to talk ourselves out of going to the gym, but in a feat of mind over matter (or something) we dragged our lazy carcasses down there and worked out. For some reason couldn't do the same cardio as yesterday, but I guess I should be easing myself back into it as it's over a month since I've been going regularly. Home to a very odd meal - one of those 'what have we in the cupboards/fridge?' affairs. Edible. Low fat. Not bad.
To then celebrate my resignation we hit Clapham - one drink in the Kazbar then down to the Brewers. It was OK. Michael was there so we hung with him and drank a bit. We were finally forced to catch the tube by the appearance of the drag act. How many times can you realistically see Pam Ann? Home, fixed the PC (which had been playing up earlier) and then phoned Tony. He wasn't in the best of humours but it was still nice to chat to him. Hope you're feeling better now matey. Bed and sleep.
It's now gone 2.30pm Thursday afternoon and I'm feeling oddly deflated. Maybe I should do some work.

Thursday, March 22, 2001

My love affair with London's public transport system continues. Though this time the delays were mostly of my own making. Yesterday I managed to get into work on (my decided new start) time of 8.45am, despite London Underground's desperate efforts to nix me - slowing the train down, stopping in tunnels etc. Today I set off from the flat at 8.09am, which - given my commute time is 35 minutes - is pushing it to get the 8.45am minibus. (Incidentally, when I say starting at 8.45am I mean getting the shuttle minibus, which takes us radio station workers from Notting Hill to glamorous Bramley Road, at 8.45am - getting me here 5 mins later. The walk would take just over 15 minutes, so if you miss a bus by a minute, you might as well hang around for 15 minutes as you gain nothing by walking. Except for sore feet, perhaps). Recently, due to the closure of the Northern Line entrance at Elephant and Castle, I've walked to Kennington and connected up to the Central Line from there. Confusingly, I used to get the Bakerloo line from Elephant and change at Oxford Circus. Now I get the Northen Line and change at Tottenham Court Road. (Is anyone still remotely interested?) This is all well and good, except that before when changing platforms I used to come down the stairs and hang a right for Westbound services. Now I hang a left. Except for today that is. With my head in the 'soon-to-be-living-in-Australia' clouds I skipped down the steps and headed starboardwards. Doh. I then calmly waited for the next busy train to go through, priding myself on my restraint and thinking 'Well if i get the 9am bus it's OK'. Deeply mesmerised by Daft Punk at quite a high volume, I was oblivious to all announcements and my eyes must have glazed over in antipodean dreams as it took me two stops until I realised we were going the wrong way. Well I was. So I alighted at Chancery Lane and rued my mistake. Nothing to be done except head back westwards and swallow my pride. Best of all? The additional journey time meant I arrived at Notting Hill the usual 1 minute late for the 9am bus, meaning I had my 15 minutes of dead time to fill. Joy to the world. Blond moments? I've had a few. But I'm honestly not normally this dizzy. Am I? (I dare you...)
Yay. So, think I'm mad, or are you envious? It's the most liberating feeling, along with swimming naked and having your head shaved. Well, they work for me anyway. Thinking of telling your boss to stick his/her job where the sun don't shine? Get some tips from here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2001

As per today's title bar, I feel so much better after resigning. I feel so 'clean', for want of a better word. Last day 27 April. And counting. Think I'll spend the rest of the day walking round with a spring in my step and my hat at a jaunty angle.
Indeedy. Can those of you with access to this at Chrysalis please keep it fairly quiet for the time being please. I thank you.
To all of you people reading this in places other than the UK, you lucky gits. It's freezing here. Trying its best to snow in London. In March. One week before officially it's Summertime. Bodes well, doesn't it?

Tuesday, March 20, 2001

I live in hell. Woke at 7.10am, and for once dragged myself out of bed straight away and was out of the house before 8am. For my 35 minute journey into work. That took well over an hour. Great. This after yesterday's commute took longer than that. Yesterday I didn't know Tottenham Court Road station was closed due to flooding so was slightly perplexed as the tube flew through the station. That led me to try and connect to Hammersmith and City line at Euston Square short overground walk from Euston. All well and good, until I then had to wait 20 minutes for a tube towards Hammersmith and was late. Today I was ready for the Tottenham Court Road closure and got off at Piccadilly Circus, planning to nip on the Piccadilly Line to Holborn and across to Notting Hill. It then took 10 minutes, 10 whole minutes, to change platforms due to the number of people obviously trying to do the same thing. This then got me to my stop at 8.44am, just in time to miss the 8.45am minibus that drops us here at work. Bugger. Still it gave me time to get a coffee before the 9am one. I hate commuting. I'm through with this country :o)
Congratulations to Michael for wholeheartedly throwing himself into blogging. It seems like we've all come a long way since putting first fingers to keyboard, first post to publish, back in early February. P.S. Michael - tell Alan to write me already!
Monday evening. Nick and I didn't go to the gym. We chatted, watched the Simpsons and Voyager and stuffed our faces with pizza and salad. Much more therapeutic. Nice long chat to David P, bless him. Lovely text message from Karl. Friends can make all the difference.
On Saturday afternoon I bought the Daft Punk CD, having one of those 'I'm a witch' moments and thinking that it would turn out to be one of my favourite albums for a while. I put it on the Discman on the train back from York yesterday, and have so far probably listened to it through about 9 times. In less than 24 hours. Interesting. Maybe I am a witch. All the more bizarre as I didn't really have any great passion for One More Time at the time (though now it seems fab). 14 tracks. Probably less than half with (intelligble) lyrics. Synthesized, vocodered and over-produced to within an inch of its life, I can't remember having such aural pleasure in a long while (well not since someone misunderstood my reference to aural pleasure at the Vauxhall one evening!). Sure some of the sounds are so multi-layered and distorted that your ears seem to not only be bleeding but that they grabbed the razor blade themselves. This is perfect for me right now. For someone that listens to music in a number of different ways, the 24 track (minimum) production of each song is perfect for the 'lose yourself in the sounds/layers and don't think of what's going on in the rest of your life' mood I'm currently in. White noise with tunes. Sometimes. This is fun, kitsch, and by turns very now, very 80s and more besides. It samples Barry Manilow. Whole sections of it could have been the music bed from those awfuls bits in the middle of 'Kids from Fame' when they donned their leg warmers and did an impromtu breakdancing set in between lessons. It sometimes sounds like the Buggles have been dusted down and brought out of retirement for the 00s. It's music for drugs. It's music for after drugs. I'd be very surprised if it were recorded and mixed without drugs. Tunes range from sublime and lush to funky and mad. Plus, a couple of the tracks have lyrics that are so apt and poignant it's as if they're helping me personally through the confused mass of thoughts and feelings that passes for my brain right now. Highlights? Too many. Q mag always does that clever 'Best bit' thing in reviews which always seems to start '40 seconds into track 2 when the whole string arrangement seems to degenerate into a cat's cradle of string plucking that succeeds in its minimalism' kind of thing. Yeah, whatever. The apparent death knell of the bell tolling coming straight after the up-ness of One More Time works very well. Track 3 - Digital Love is the Buggles. Track 4 seems to have the percussion played on pots and pans. Crescendolls (well English isn't their first language) wouldn't be out of place at the Vauxhall. It's Bits and Pieces by Artemisia meets Blue Monday by New Order with a bit of Malcolm McLaren thrown in for good measure. And so on. Until the last track 'Too Long'. It lasts for 10 minutes exactly. You've got to admire their nerve. Particularly as the song itself is repetitive and builds and breaks down and builds and so on, inciting you to wonder at its naming. An album that makes you happy, sad, grin, wryly appreciative and feel just downright fantastic. Well done.

I'm glad I bought it. I am a witch. If you have it, lemme know what you think. If you don't have it I suggest you go and buy it immediately. Maybe from here.

Monday, March 19, 2001

You turn your back for two minutes and suddenly you haven't blogged since last Wednesday.
Dee left. That was sad. Very sad. A lovelier person you couldn't wish to meet. Someone I want to continue to see and develop our friendship. She sent me the loveliest email on Wednesday thanking me for being a friend, giving her inspiration and telling me I'm better than the people here. It's not really cool to burst into tears in the office, and I just about managed to hold it together. Dee, I hope it all works for you. You deserve big things. Go get 'em girl.
The rest of the week was uneventful. I was off sick from work (hence the no blogging). I did drag myself down to the Soft Cell gig on Friday night though. It was worth it. You can read full reviews from David and Jonathan.
Up to York to see my Dad for the weekend. Had a nice quiet time. Caught up with Richie and Martyn, which is always lovely. Bless 'em. Laughter is so therapeutic, and we did a hell of a lot of that.
Vauxhall. I had to. The voices in my head made me. Fab again. What more can I say?

Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Not much else to report since. Yeah right. Apart from the Tony dramas, which I'm not going to go into detail about (probably very much to Tony's relief (don't worry matey - I'll respect your privacy)). I've no real idea how that will pan out. I was kind of OK on Monday, beside myself on Tuesday and feel OK today. My emotions have been going up and down like this. It'll sort it self out. Meantime I've got lots to be going on with. Boy, have I!
Well as Henry Kelly used to say - 'Let's play catch up!'

Friday night: Home from work, and literally had time to fall in to the shower before heading out again to Steve and Steve's for dinner. It was great to see them again - we were joined by Paul (back from his travels round Florida) and Drew and Mario (first time I'd seen them since they drove the lorry down to Spain with the tiger tamer). Nice food - melon; steak au poivre with parsnip and turnip mash; and a dessert. Of some sort. Think I'd probably had too much wine by then! Not enough to stop me leaving there and getting a cab to Clapham where I joined minkers various at the Two Brewers. David, Darryl, Rieg, Karl, Rob and Wayne were all there - well in body at any rate. Soon we were even further on our way, and Rieg and I decided it would be a good idea to hit Sub South (as did Rob and Wayne). Ay caramba. Richard (the guy from just before Oz) was there, and it wasn't long before I persuaded him to 'come on home'.
Saturday/Sunday: Had a great time with Richard, and he finally left around 12.30pm. I was fairly wasted and couldn't really do much other than finally drag myself into the shower and head into Soho to meet up with Stevie P at around 4pm. We braved Costa Coffee on Compton Street and forced down a coffee and panini and suddenly things seemed alright with the world. Up to Islington to try and find something to wear to Fist (!). No real luck, so back to see what Steve had in his dressing-up box. Managed to find an Army jump suit that looked like it would suffice. Back home where I slept from 7-10pm. Steve and American Thom arrived, as did Baby Tom. had a vodka or three and then headed down to Imperial Gardens. Nick, Kay and Tara and Steve were there, as was Paul D and Rodger and Tony. Had a great time. Much dancing to quite hard music. Some of our group were more outrageous than others (you know who you are!), and eventually at 4.30am it was deemed the right time to go back to Steve's. This we did - showered, changed and got ourselves ready and hit Trade - at about 7am. God was it busy! Had a fantastic time. Lots of people we knew and spent the time between the main floor, and Trade Lite. And the area by the fruit machines at the bottom of the stairs as we'd hooked up with a few people by then and it was a good central place to stay. Met Dan and Michael, who it turned out I knew through Tim Red Shoes - who then bizarrely put in an appearance. Finally left about midday, when I went back to Steve's to chill. It was a weird chill out, as it just got busier and busier as the day wore on! By the time Nick, Rodger and I got our cab to the Vauxhall (no rest for the wicked), it was *going off*. And as for the Tavern? Well wow. Haven't seen everyone in such a party mood for ages. Not sure why, but no-one seemed to be complaining!! Steve and Steve brought along Anthony - a lovely man they'd 'met' the previous evening, and it was good to meet him. Paul D was there again too, so it was fab. Music was slightly different than normal - more oldies - and that seemed to add to the Bank Holiday feel. Finally stumbled home at 11.30pm. Wrote to Tony on e-mail and fell into bed. Ay ay ay ay ay.
You'll be please to know that I'll be updating Minkered a little later this morning. Meantime, I feel in a bit of better humour today. My journey into work was eased by some perfect pop platitudes from Erasure - Cowboy. Yes, I was the one singing along to every word on the tube this morning. I grabbed the following CDs to listen to at work today - what a fantastic foray into the recent and not so recent past. Definitely sing-a-long-a-Dave day today:

Pet Shop Boys - Very
Mel C - Northern Star
Gene - Drawn to the Deep End
Depeche Mode - Ultra
Propaganda - 1234
The Cure - Galore
Björk - Post
Mansun - Six
Duran Duran - Duran Duran
My Life Story - The Golden Mile
Mansun - Attack of the Grey Lantern
Kate Bush - The Kick Inside
Kate Bush - Never Forever
The Cure - Mixed Up

Oh, the trips down Memory Lane I'll be having today. Any of your faves in amongst those? Lemme know.

Day from hell.
Week from hell (and it's only Tuesday).
Everything hell.
Think that about covers it for the moment.

Tuesday, March 13, 2001

Mink, minker, minkered. Oh dear oh Lord. Full update from home later. Suffices to say I had a great weekend - one of the best in a while... seemingly everyone was in party mood and boy did we! Too much to do here at work to do it justice, and I'm leaving early for a doctor's appointment. Don't worry - it's nothing catching. Or at least I hope not...

Friday, March 09, 2001

It's diagram city. Take a look at David's latest entry into the A-Z of the Vauxhall Tavern. I is for Incestuous. And boy is that just the simplified version. Quite why David and I have spent the morning doing diagrams we'll never know. Maybe it's synchronicity.
OK - just had a quick catch up on a few other blogs. Rob - consider an introduction to David only 2 days away... and then you can congratulate him for the A-Z of the Vauxhall Tavern in person. The blogging/Tavern/Retro Bar quiz overlaps keep a-coming. Maybe we should start putting up Venn diagrams of all the interraction up here on the Net. Oh no, maybe not. It might get confusing. Oh it did - but take a look at the results and see if you figure anywhere...
OK. I need to buy a flat. Ideally as centrally as possible; as many bedrooms as possible (two would be fine); no chain; as many interesting features as it can muster; all for around £150k. Looking to complete in 2 months. Am I out of my mind?
OK, nothing much to report really since I returned to these lovely shores. What shores? I'll have a large vodka arf arf. Quick summary of happenings and feelings since Tuesday very early morning:

Jet lag
Bursts of feeling incredible
Long periods of post-holiday blues
Thinking back to the amazing time spent with Tony
Thinking back to the amazing time spent in Oz generally
Missing David and the boys - it feels like part of me's AWOL!
Getting fairly minkered at the pop quiz on Tuesday
Realising I have to buy a flat - sooner rather than later
Drunken phone call to Tony on Tuesday post quiz
Sudden deep-rooted hatred of work
Sudden deep-rooted hatred of all things to do with work
Realisation I should have got Kylie tickets
Being wide awake between 4-5.30am this morning
Realisation of how much I depend on the internet
Realisation that I have some very lovely friends

There's more going on in my head, and those of you in the know, know. Laters...

I know this is going to kind of come in the middle of all the Oz stories, but I couldn't resist it. Already my favourite opening line of a news story for some time:
"A parachutist was blown off course and ended up in the middle of a coleslaw-wrestling contest". Fantastic. Visual images abound.
If your visual images can't actually come up with coleslaw-wrestling, click here.
The flight from Perth to Singapore passed without incident. I read Whistling for the Elephants by Sandi Toksvig, which was entertaining enough but turned into a bit of an ad for Women's Lib by the end. Too much Sappho for me. Wandered round Singapore airport a while then went to check mail and blog. Mail from Tony which started well but dealt me a bit of an unexpected blow. Seems like he's been mailing someone else since New Year - another emigrating Brit, and that although there were no promises, they were going to see what happens. Kind of the same deal we'd struck, but I was thrown a bit nevertheless. Almost as soon as we left for Heathrow I fell asleep. And managed to sleep on and off the the next almost 9 hours. Woke then and struck up conversation with a lovely Scottish girl next to me - Catriona. We shared stories and gossiped until the plane finally landed at 6am. Got my bags, the Heathrow Express, the tube to Elephant and was home at 7.30am. It was finally all over.
OK - I really do need to put something new up here, or people are going to be deserting me in droves. Oh, you already have.
So, I left you properly last in
Sydney: as I was heading off to get ready for Mardi Gras. I didn't get chance to have a sleep of any kind, so ended up in all my finery round at Bruno and Chris's at around 7pm as arranged. Everyone was still getting ready and so it was vodka and lots of photos before finally getting ourselves down to watch the Parade. David had got tickets for us all for the Bobby Goldsmith stands, so we set off in 2 cabs, met back there and had a drink before going off to our seats. Originally we were in two separate sections, but as it turned out we managed to all get together in the end. The Parade was great fun - and the atmosphere brilliant. This meant that by the time we got to the party we were in fine fettle, and we arrived at the RHI just in time for the first show - lots of dancers on stage to Music by Madonna. We danced for a while and had a bit of a trek round. I saw David Bassett almost straight away - it was great to catch up with him in the flesh finally. I tried to find Ian (old flatmate) to no avail, and another couple of people weren't to be found where we'd arranged. Toddled off about 2.15am to try and hook up with Phil and Tony. No Phil, but the lovely Tony was at the Dome where we'd said to meet. And that kind of set the tone for the night - Tony and I spent most of the time together from then until about 8.30am. Tony was very flirty and frisky and the mood caught on a bit I have to say. Haven't snogged so much for ages! Left Tony for a little while towards the end whilst I tried to hook up with all the missing people. Bumped into Jason Harding finally, but lost him again when I went off to find David, Chris, Nigel etc. Dragged Tony back to the RHI to say our fond farewells and then he and I went back to his place. Relaxed in bed after a shower and some juice. It was fantastic. Just cuddled, chatted, snogged and has the loveliest time. It was very, very hard to leave him at around 2.20pm, but I had to check out of the hotel and make my way to the airport. Did so, and only there did it really hit me that I was on my way home. Not happy. Didn't want to leave Tony, or Sydney if I'm honest. Flagged badly waiting for the plane to take off, and a delay of two and a half hours didn't help. Managed to doze until we took off, and they made a bit of time up so it was only about an hour late into:
Perth: Brett picked me up at the airport and we had a quick catch up back at his and a couple of drinks. Out to the Red Lion in preparation for a late licence bit of minkering, as it was a Holiday in Perth on Monday. It closed normal time!! What?? So, onto Connections where I think I drank more vodka than I ever have in my life in a vain attempt to want to dance. Didn't really happen, and that coupled with the tiredness meant that it was OK, but not the most fantastic time. Home about 1am and sleep. Up early the next morning and decided to head off to have brekky at Floreat Beach. Had the world's slowest service but nice bacon and eggs and coffee. Sunbathed a while and then back to Brett's. Packed and off to the airport. David was flying into Domestic so Brett dropped me at International and went to get him. This meant we had a final goodbye in Perth airport before my wonderful holiday was over. Highlight? Too many to mention. But the time spent with Tony was very special.

Thursday, March 08, 2001

OK, no cheating. Who's going to be first to get the reference in the blog title bar?

Wednesday, March 07, 2001

I'm overdue with my minkering. I'm sorry. My body in one time zone, my head in another. As soon as I can get my head around being home, I'll update. Bear with me please!

Tuesday, March 06, 2001

Currently in Singapore airport. Too tired to do this properly now, but expect a full report on all Mardi Gras activities. I had a really, really fantastic time. Read more by Tuesday afternoon UK time!

Saturday, March 03, 2001

Happy Mardi Gras!! It's 5pm Saturday and I'm just heading off to get ready for the party. Yesterday turned out to be just *lovely*. Met Phil for coffee in the afternoon, and had really just been pottering. Put in a call to Tony and he called back about 40 mins later. Dinner? That would be lovely. So I go home for a disco nap (called nano naps here in Oz) and finally get ready and to Tony's in Bondi for about 8.40pm. Had a beer and chatted about life, the universe etc. and then toddled out to a local Thai for some great duck noodle soup. Bottle of wine and back to his where we talked some more, and then things kind of progressed. (You get the picture? Yes, we see!) Went for brekky this morning and I finally left to come home around 1.20pm :o)
Got to Bondi Junction and decided to walk down through Paddington towards home. Bought Mardi Gras shorts (finally!), new sunnies (finally as well - same as my old Persol's but a see-through version), some CDs and had my hair cut. Met Phil for coffee and that's been about the sum total of the day. Oh, bumped into Ben (Bel's boyf), Christian (the Perth DJ I though was previously called Ross!) and, er, Tony :o). Have arranged to meet him at the Dome at 2.30am - it's always a bit of a hit and miss thing to actually meet with someone you've arranged to as everyone's minkered and there are, after all, some 20,000 people there! We'll see. I hope so.
Right that's it. I'm off to get ready then to Bruno and Chris's to meet David and Chris and Nigel and we'll have a drink before going to the stands to watch the parade. From there it's on to the party. Laters everyone x

Friday, March 02, 2001

Bleurgh. OK, had forgotten what it's really like to be having the after effects of a good minkering session in 30+ degrees C - not recommended. So, what happened yesterday? Well tried to get tickets for the Arrivals party, but it had sold out. Great. In a fit of not sure what, I logged on to and looked to see if anyone was trying to get rid of tickets. What's most bizarre is I've no real idea where I knew the URL from, or even that they did a tickets thing. Sure enough they did though, and I sent off two emails tracking down 2 tickets each (though we only needed 2) on the long shot off chance that one might reply. Decided to go to the gym to work out my frustration, which was good. Came out of the gym and there was a phone message offering tickets! Fantastic!! How jammy is that? So, toddled off to pick them up and returned happy to get changed. Had dinner with Phil, and then we went to meet David at the Oxford. Oh yes, I'd arranged to try and meet up with David Bassett (ex from here), though I inadvertantly managed to stand him up. I called work as arranged, but he'd left 5 mins before - I'd forgotten he leaves at 5pm - and though I tried to track him down at various places I failed. I've spoken to him today, but not sure we'll actually get to meet up this trip, which is a shame. Never mind. Anyway, in the Oxford - David arrives and so do a few of the other from last night - including little v. cute Tony. His ex James was also there, and it was lovely to catch up with him too. At one point Tony dragged me off to the other side of the bar for a surreptitious snog - very nice!!! Watch this space.
Anyway, David and I went off to the Arrivals party - with me in a great mood as you can imagine! However, the party didn't quite live up to its billing - the music was very patchy and disjointed. The first DJ was a shocker! The second was marginally better and we had about a 15 minute session when it was fab. Still, it was good fun and nice to spend a night minkering with David. Bed in the early hours.
Up late this afternoon and down to meet Jon Boswell for lunch. Nice to see him again. Since then I've been in this lovely internet café catching up on mail and blogging. Still feeling a bit yuck to be honest. Not sure what else to do with the rest of the afternoon. Time to call a couple of people I think. Jason arrives tonight, so there'll be beers later. Phil's still around, David, Chris and Nigel, Bruno and Chris and who knows who else will be around too (Tony??? ;oD) so it should be fun. Minor minkering in preparation for tomorrow's mammoth session! OK, time to get my skates on.

Thursday, March 01, 2001

Surreal evenings I have known. Got a call from Charlotte to say that her and Bel were in a bar between Paddington and Edgecliff and so off I toddled to try and find them. Had a (very) rough idea where I was going, but called Charlie when I was a bit nearer to get directions a bit more exactly. I'll pass you on to Bel, she said, though you'll have to be quick as my battery's about to go. Next thing - nothing. Oh really. So I think OK, I'll still find the place. And sure enough, the very next street I turned down was the right one! Yay!! So, had a couple of drinks with them, and reminisced about the times when we all worked together at Capital and what else had been going on in the two years since we'd all got together. Ben (Bel's boyf) joined us - also ex Capital, but not from when I was there. Bel works for Charlie now, and Charlie's boss is a woman called Helen - formerly at Capital but selling from Manchester. We get a call from her - she's round the corner, so we de-camp and catch up with her. There had been stories of another former Capital bloke - Steve Smith, also being seen in Sydney recently - and he used to be Helen's boss. Still with me? Well, who should then be in the same pub? Yup. Just bizarre. We then decided (in our semi-minkered state) to call Andy Carter at Capital - the guy I've kept in touch with most and who everyone knows - and do the 'you'll-never-guess-where-I-am-and-who-I'm-with' routine. Fantastic.
Said our fond farewells and I joined up with David, Chris and Nigel at Gilligans. Long Island Iced Teas a go-go. Great fun. We eventually moved downstairs and C and N left. Got chatting to some nice blokes - Ross (?) turned out to be a DJ at a radio station in Perth, and Tony (little, v. cute Tony) turned out to be the ex of another friend here. I'd even been to their place for cocktails about two years ago. I left very happily with Tony's number :o)
Heading off for brunch now. It looks as though the cloud is here for the day, and David P's not answering text messages yet so assume he's suffering from last night's minkering. My mission for this arvo is to try and get tickets for the Arrivals Party - which is another excuse to get thoroughly minkered. I think I may just have to indulge...
Wednesday. Cloud. Grrr. After yesterday's post I picked up my Mardi Gras ticket, tried to buy sunnies but couldn't find the right ones, and headed for the pool again. Had been there about 20 minutes, and had noticed that a) it was cloudy and b) it seemed to be getting darker - not quite right for 3.45pm. Suddenly there was an announcement over the tannoy at the pool: "Ladies and gentlemen, just to let you know that we've received a severe weather warning. There is a big electrical storm approaching and if there is lightning spotted within 2 kilometres of the pool we will have to evacuate. Please look to the pool attendants if this happens". Well, call me old fashioned, but I didn't actually hang around to see if they evacuated as a quick look to the south told me all I needed to know. The biggest mother of a black cloud mass I've ever seen! So I toddled off homewards but only got as far as the Domain when the heavens opened. I sheltered in the museum, but managed to see the most spectacular deluge and the added joy of some filming (something Roman... along the lines of Gladiator it looked to me) being completely washed out. Never seen so many sodden people. It lasted the best part of an hour before letting up enough for me to continue home. Only regret is that I didn't have a camera with me - for the rain itself, and for the incredible views of the city centre buildings in the odd post-storm light. Incredible.