Monday, January 30, 2006

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, steal my camera 

David and I hosted our Roman Murder Mystery party on Saturday. It was good fun and everyone appeared to enjoy themselves. I would show you pictures but someone has taken my camera. I hope, and believe for the moment, that it was taken mistakenly. Someone else had a camera of a similar appearance so maybe he or his partner picked up mine thinking it was theirs. Maybe.

I would really love to show you pictures of my hired Centurion outfit which was, unfortunately, slightly too small. This was definitely not an outfit to wear if you wanted to go commando. I didn't, I hasten to add. It was drafty enough with pants.

I cast my friend Mark as a Vestal Virgin. He had a very simple costume with a wig that managed to make him look, at times, like Princess Di and, at others, like my niece, Lynne. David's friend Stephen wore the wig later and looked the spitting image of Boris Johnson.

David, as the grieving widow, was dressed in a red winceyette toga and a T-shirt. The toga kept coming undone so I had to help him several times to put it back together.

Actually many people had toga trouble, apart from those who could wear other things. Stephen had a bought Caesar's outfit which looked good on him and his partner, James, had an excellent Cleopatra outfit.

Despite all that, I'm not too keen on hosting another of these events in the near future. If I do, I want to be doing far less cooking than I needed to on Saturday. Also I'll have to try to be better organised so that I don't have to keep dashing out to the kitchen and missing vital clues!

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Haircut with the psychic barber 

I found the most amazing barber: Vasos Gents Hairdressers in Grape Street.

I popped in at lunchtime for a haircut and beardtrim. He was very painstaking and took a long time both with me and the two guys before me but, when it was my turn, he trimmed my beard exactly the way I wanted it without me even having to say a thing.

I will go back there again.

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Today I got to Orpington station early enough to get the early train. I hadn't made a special effort to get it, I was just early. That train was, howevever, cancelled so I got my normal train after all. It filled up quite quickly, unsurprisingly, as there were two train loads of people getting on the one train.

I can't remember if I mentioned it before but Orpington is a terminus for commuter trains heading into London and this means that I can always get a seat on the train. So there were no problems there.

Two old women sat opposite me. They talked a lot in that repetitive rambling way that old ladies do but I was able to drown them out with my iPod. Abba covers a multitude of sins.

No-one sat next to me until Petts Wood, the next station, when a large woman got on. I was a bit squashed but it wasn't a problem. She didn't fidget, put on make-up or smell of strong perfume.

When we got to London, we were a bit late so I got the tube. That was a mistake. The tube trains were fuller than the train. Goodness knows what was going on there. The only mild annoyance there was some prat with a bag who wouldn't take it off his shoulder despite the carriage being packed to the brim.

This is a long and boring post with the only intention of saying that I didn't get stressed by any of this. I was beginning to think that I was becoming a grumpy old bastard but it seems that I only react strongly to certain stimuli: strong smells, annoying noises and make-up.

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

We Will Rock Rock no more 

About ten minutes ago I got an email telling me that We Will Rock You will have its last night at the Dominion Theatre on Saturday 7th October. It goes on tour after that.

I got on the phone to TicketMaster straightaway. I think I got the last two seats! I'm going with my sister.

That will be some show!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Beard change 

I decided at the beginning of January to let the neckline of my beard grow naturally. I quite like the feel of it although I'm not sure of the way it looks. Too many crowns. It's a lot easier to maintain. As I don't have to shave a neckline although I still have to shave the twenty or so hairs on my cheeks which takes all of ten seconds.

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Monday, January 23, 2006

Glad I didn't get the early train 

Seven minutes before my normal train there is a fast train. I always manage to miss it. To be honest, it's not that fast. It misses out Hither Green and London Bridge and the train I do get is slighly less crowded.

This morning when we got to Grove Park, all the people from that train had to pile onto my train. It looked like their train had broken down. Not everyone got on.

They may have been clever enough to get the early train but we got the seats. Perversely, I was quite smug about that.

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Friday, January 20, 2006

Turning into my father 

I was writing an email to a friend of mine this morning when I realised that what I was writing sounded exactly like something my father would have said. So I erased it.

Don't get me wrong. I didn't erase it just because of I sounded like my father. No, it's a bit deeper than that.

Since he died or maybe since I turned 40, I've started to notice aspects of my personality are very similar to my father's. I've begun to understand him a lot more in recent years than I ever did while he was still alive. In some ways I've grown to love him more now than then. At some times in my life I hated my father.

However, this is where it becomes a useful lesson. I know now why he said and did things BUT I also remember the effect that those things can have on other people. In essence, I know how my words and deeds will appear to other people and to a certain extent I know how that will affect them. I have been at the other end of those words.

How many people can say that?

Now all I have to do is realise when I am doing it before I do it and therefore become a better person. After that, I will bring about World Peace. discover a cure for cancer and learn how to fly under my own power.

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Am I a racist? 

Okay, perhaps I'm not about to join the KKK but, like many Brits, I realise I am not that fond of the French. I have no idea why. We just don't get on.

This posting was prompted by my reaction to a French girl who got on my train this morning talking in French on her phone. It was like I was a dog and she was a cat! I nearly got up and moved. Irrational of me.

Then she started putting on make-up. Ha! Proves everything!

Actually, I used to work with a lovely French girl called Sophie. She had a marvellous sense of humour and was stunningly good looking. Had all of the straight boys lusting after her. We became quite good friends but we've lost contact now, more's the pity.

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

More clicking 

I thought I had become a little more tolerant about mobile phones and texting. I send and receive a few more texts these days than I used to and when I have nothing else to do, I will play one or other of the games on my phone. I don't think, however, that I have long annoying spells of rapid clicking.

I have moaned about this before but I really take exception to people that sit writing a novel on their phone. There was a girl on the train this morning who was doing just that. The worst part was that she had a crap phone. The keys had a very definite click and she didn't have predictive text so each letter was carefully but quickly formed from two or three clicks.

I thought I would try to subtly tell her she was being annoying by sending a text of my own to a friend and mentioning this woman. I don't think she saw the message before I sent it. Curses.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Yes, here I am, a stereotype, a gay man who likes Abba. I have always liked them but I have been a bit of a lightweight fan. I only had the Gold and More Gold albums. Nothing else. I never sampled their less commercial work.

Until now. David has bought the new box of everything they have ever recorded. It only just stops short of answering machine messages. Anyway, I have fallen in love with "Nina, pretty ballerina". It's a silly little song but I think it's marvelous. I've listened to it non-stop all day.

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For the last few weeks, I have felt bloody knackered. I've fallen into the habit of going to bed later than I need to and waking up tired. Nor have I been able to catch up with my sleep at the weekend. I still wake up after about six hours, still tired but unable to get back to sleep.

I don't know what I can do about this. My concentration is shot to hell.

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I may have mentioned them before but there's a group of women that get on my train who appear to gat the train just after dropping their kids at the nursery. There is one woman in particular who always makes me reach for my iPod and turn it up.

I am surprised she manage to stop talking long enough to have children.

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Monday, January 16, 2006


Some woman on the train this morning must have been swimming in perfume. The whole carriage reeked of it.

Why? Maybe she hadn't washed this morning and was trying to cover it up. Perhaps she spilled the bottle when she was doing her make-up. More likely she burnt out her sense of smell a long time ago and really has no idea how much of this crap she's chucking on.

Hoestly, you women. Do you really think anyone likes the smell of that stuff?

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

King Kong 

It was long and some things were a little unnecessary but I enjoyed the film. The thing that scared me into gripping my legs and pushing myself back into my seat was not the gorilla, nor the dinosaurs, nor the natives. No, it was the Empire State Building. That last scene brought on my fear of heights.

There was a little voice in my head yelling at Ann Darrow to not climb any more and at Kong to not leap at the planes.

I was a little put out at the bugs as well but I could tolerate those. I just found that scene on the building just that little bit too realistic.

You wouldn't think I'd been bungee-jumping would you?

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Friday, January 06, 2006


David, my boyfriend is terrified of the dentist. He hasn't been for years but recently asked me to book an appointment for him at my dentist. I have, however, been forbidden from telling him when it is. He won't talk about it.

I have no idea how I am going to get him there on the day. He's told me that he has previously deliberately gone to the wrong address when his dentist moved.

I think I'm literally going to have to hold his hand.

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Do you ever find that some words always look like they are spelt wrongly whatever way you try them?

For me the word committed looks wrong with two m's and two t's. It also looks wrong with another other number of m's and t's. Thank goodness for spell-checkers.

Although I believe the punctuation is correct in the above paragraph, a little bit of me shuddered when I put in the apostrophes and made me feel like I should be selling apple's, orange's and banana's in the market.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Christmas 3 and New Year 

For the first time ever, I spent Christmas with my boyfriend and his family. We usually have separate Christmases and then have a special day together but this year I was invited to come along with him. My own family were doing other things so I went.

It must be awful trying to accomodate a complete stranger, let alone meet your brother's boyfriend for the first time but they did spendidly. I felt very welcome and they are lovely people. They even bought me presents! Chocolate is always welcome (see the earlier post about my huge bottom) as was the scarf, which I have worn near enough every day with the onset of the cold weather.

New Year was spent with friends (John and Martin), drink and board games. I've never been a great fan of New Year, to be honest so I'm not keen on large parties and celebrations. Probably my father's fondness for drink was a bit of an influence there as it has been on other large parts of my life.

John and Martin are friends of David's. I like them. They're fun and like coming down to see us every few months or so and go and see a show. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have seen Mary Poppins last year. We saw two shows just before the New Year. The first was Aladdin with Sir Ian McKellern. Very good. Very funny. Very rude. Thank goodness I don't have children. I wouldn't relish explaining some of the jokes.

We also saw Sunday in the Park with George, a play about George Seurat, the Impressionist painter. I can't describe it adequately - there are plenty of reviews on the Internet, go and look for yourself. Nor can I tell you why I and David and Martin were all close to tears at the end. I'm not afraid to give anything away ... I just can't say why it had that effect on me. It was just extremely moving.

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More Christmas - Much More 

I saw some photos from the staff Christmas party today. One of them was of me from the side. I have an enormous bottom. I look like I am wearing inflatable comedy trousers.

A new regime of diet and exercise beckons, I think.

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