Monday, March 31, 2008

Invading Spain

I'm off to Spain tomorrow to learn how to Horse Whisper. This will be a slightly more troubled trip than planned for two reasons.

1) I still don't have my debit or credit cards, so instead I'm travelling with a reasonable wodge of cash hidden about my person.

2) I've not managed to get hold of the people I'll be staying with to do a last minute check in to ensure they will be able to pick me up from the airport.

As you can imagine this had added to the thrill of the journey. I'll be landing in a country I've never been in before, with a limited command of the native language, only the vaguest idea of where I'm staying and no real contacts should things go wrong.

Still, it could be the start of a brilliant adventure and at least I do actually have some cash with me so I'm not going to have to become a highway man or anything like that. Or at least I won't have to become a highway man for a couple of days.

Now I have to frantically pack my bags as in traditional style I've left it for the last possible moment, in my head I've already selected what I'm going to take but none of is it actually in any luggage yet.

Also I'm going to need to brush up on my Spanish, I was learning it slowly because of the previous girlfriend but since we split up I rather lost interest. Still I can't blame a whole dialect for the failings of one person and so I'm going to be working through it again while doing a million other things.

This isn't a total holiday I'll be working on a few things while I'm there, and I have a piece I have to hand in on Wednesday which means I'll be writing bilge about property while I'm over there as part of my quest to get a motorbike. There is an outside chance that I'll get to write about the trip for work which would be spiffing as it would be my first travel piece and provide yet more funds towards aforementioned bike.

What I especially like about this trip is it is exactly the sort of last-minute roguish adventure that best suits a single chap with responsibilities limited to a couple of plants and a wardrobe.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The trouble with smokers

Friday was an experience. The boozing started just after lunch time, when I joined some chums for a quick pint in Blacks. Blacks was strangely empty which is a bit alarming. What does it say about the state of England's creative industry if no-one is getting trashed in members' clubs on Friday afternoons?

After a quiet pint in Blacks we bimbled over to the bar for the wine tasting. It went well, not terribly productive bit it was good. After a couple of hours of drinking very reasonable wines we managed to record about two whole minutes of radio show.

At this point we felt we had been so productive that we probably deserved some sort of reward and opened a bottle of champagne, and another one. Suddenly it was time to stumble on to the next event. A short tube journey later and I was in a pub in Camden.

It was the leaving party of a few people and the place was extremely busy. The Woo was vamping about and I talked nonsense with strangers, and even a few people I had met before. When the clock dragged itself around to about eight it was time to go and meet the lesbians to learn some sign language.

The pub was full of deaf people, I think it is regular meeting for them when they can all get together and chat each other up (there was a lot of that going on). It was lovely to catch up with my favourite lesbians and with in moments there was a large circle of people around us helpfully suggesting rude sign language.

It was a marvellous way to spend time. Some of the gestures are very easy to guess the meaning of and other ones are far more cunning. I was roaring with laughter as someone would do a gesture and then with my limited understanding of sign language and a bit of miming I'd try and work out what I'd just been shown.

It was brilliant fun and I were were all roaring with laughter so I decided to reward my helpers with some drinks and my coat was gone. My coat with my wallet in, I had put it on a chair right next to me so I could take notes and now it had disappeared.

As you can imagine this rather ruined the evening, After some furious searching we asked to talk to the manager to see if we could see who stole it and I went outside to cancel all my cards. I realised as well that my Zune was in my coat, you can't get them in England so that was a shame.

Having cancelled everything I could think of, I went back in the bar and tried to do a bit more research but it was no-where near as much fun. About an hour passed and the magically my coat reappeared.

A friend of a friend had borrowed it to wear while having a fag. This friend remarked that 'it was a bit weird that it had a wallet in it' and that I shouldn't be upset with her friend because it was just one of her ways. At the time I was so delighted just to have my stuff back that I didn't get upset but now I'm a bit miffed.

All my cards are cancelled, and there is no chance new ones will reappear in time and so I'll be travelling to Spain without the safety net of a credit or debit card. It's going to make the whole experience a bit of a pain and all because a silly girl didn't think to ask before borrowing a coat for an hour.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Itinerary for today

9am - Pitch ideas to newspapers, and a magazine.

10am - Bimble into work in Soho, I'm not officially in today so it's more of a social visit.

12am - Take someone out for lunch.

4pm - Wine tasting for a pilot radio show.

6pm - Drinks with old work colleagues.

7pm - Learning rude sign language off my favourite lesbians (some of whom are deaf).

8pm - Leaving do in a scary pub with lovely people.

Aches, Port and Champagne

I ache a lot today, in places I hadn't expected to ache. It feels like I've been punched in the stomach, it's not a very pleasant experience but at least I've not got any bruises.

After I'd finished scampering down buildings I returned to the office to get changed and after a bit of messing around with words it was time to go to my favourite wine shop in the whole world - Planet of the Grapes - to do a wine tasting recording for a radio show.

The shop was very busy so we couldn't do a recording (that is going to happen today) so instead we sat around drinking port and sampling some very nice wines. We drank one with 'cashmere tones' according to the chap from the wine house who was there doing business with the owner.

Once we had worked our way through a good percentage of the samples we moved onto the white port and helped the owner with his tasting notes. It was fun trying to come up with ridiculous phrases for him to put in my personal best were

'The nose is like a spring meadow with a bee hive, just hints of honey in the wind'

'This wine has a confident flavour that struts across the palette like a Troubadour'

When the wine nonsense was over I was filled with an urge to by some champagne. When I was proper bachelor I always had champagne in the fridge.

This is because you should always have it around for emergencies. Emergencies like meeting someone fun and you don't want to stop drinking yet but the pub is closed, a bottle of very good champagne chilling in the fridge can be just what a chap needs to save the day.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spiderman and his flaming hands

Well the spider walk went well. It nearly didn't happen. I was in a bit of a hurry and the costume was rather warm. I was wearing a layer of loose black clothes over the top (my old kick boxing gear) so to people in the street I just appeared to be a bit of a goth in a hurry.

This was okay until I ended up on the wrong street far from the right place so I was walking rather fast and got a bit warm, so I undid my coat a bit. This was fine, people on the street didn't seem to notice but when I got to the Thames and stopped to meet the photographer a Policeman noticed.

A Policeman who was NOT amused. They thought I was some sort of terrorist or Father for Justice out to stage a protest. I would have been quite a good time for a protest, the French president and his very pretty wife were only a few metres away.

I just about managed to 'oh my gosh, oh no Officer I'm not one of those' my way out of the situation but the photographer who was getting very agitated at this point got a bit shouty. It took even more comments along the lines of 'no look, I really quite like the French, I've got Carla's album' before they would let me go.

The first part of the climb involved striking spiderman poses on top of the building with the London eye in the background, then after we did this I had to strike Spiderman poses while half way off the building followed by striking Spiderman poses on the side of the building.

Once I was allowed to actually go down the side of the building by the photographer it was okay. The harness really cut into me, the Spiderman costume didn't offer that much in the way of protection and perhaps I should have gone for the one which was padded.

About half way down the building my glove got caught in the mechanism and I was suspended for a bit rather helplessly. Thankfully with a bit of tweaking I managed to get the rest of the way down with only one glove and landed safely.

I thought it was over but the photographer wanted another run of it, this time taking photos from the bottom of me descending. As this was my second run I went a bit faster, occasionally stopping (painfully) so the photographer could take more photos of my Spiderbum.

This time the rope passing through the gloves managed to set them on fire. Would would have thought that a £50 spiderman costume isn't high performance climbing gear eh? Smoking hands are quite entertaining but not really something I'd recommend to a chum.

I landed safely and I don't think I'll be doing it again, I couldn't really spot the fun in it all, it peaked when I nearly got arrested for menacing Carla.

Still another day another dollar.

Itinerary for today

8am - Write nonsense to person I've never met who is in jail on a murder charge because they are a chum's husband. This is my second letter, who knows what I'm going to say to him this time.

10:30am - Meeting in Soho with company to talk about 'teh interwebs'. It's a serious meeting so I probably should be in a suit.

11am - Help out of writing of an annual. Lunch. Buy Spiderman costume. Get changed in office and then walk down to the Embankment

1:30 - Jump off a building in the Spiderman costume. Try not to die. Write about experience.

3pm - Interview some people about 'community'. Spend the whole time repeating in head 'this will pay for part of a motorbike'.

5pm - misc.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Well all that furious clicking and revision paid off. I passed the theory part of my bike test first time and aced it. I even managed to do with a personal best compared to the mock tests I was doing and I'm feeling rather chuffed.

Right I've got to go and interview some not terribly thrilling people for a piece. I'm furiously trying to get as much work as possible to pay for all of this.

Some of you may have noticed that there hasn't been much mention of fun with girls recently. This is because I have decided to get a motorbike instead. Girlfriends cost about the same if not more and there is just as much testing involved (or 'dating' as it is also known) so I think it's a fair comparison.

Plus when a bike is dirty you can clean it with a hose, girls get angry if you do that.

The Danger click

I have been doing a lot of revising for this test, especially the hazard part. I've spent countless hours watching videos of people in slightly shabby looking Northern towns (somewhere near Leeds judging by the road signs) go about their lives while I get a driver's eye view and click in the face of danger.

It's like being an insect, or some other creature with a survival system that can be triggered. Now when I walk along the road I'm working through the dangers in my head as if I was riding.

Someone reversing.
Young kids on bikes.

And now it's spilling over into my private life.

Meet a dark-haired woman in while out shopping for food. Who while talking about the relative merits of potatoes manages to mention she is single but her ex-boyfriend cheated on her.
Discover female friend has been telling mutual friends she has decided to seduce me.
Being tempted to 'invest' in a lime green three piece suit

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hazard perception and winkle pickers

The bike (and car) tests have got rather involved, now one has to take a theory test and a hazard perception test as well as the practical test we all know and hate.

The theory test doesn't bother me too much, I'm quite good at memorising useless facts and so knowing the stopping distance in ice when you are travelling at 70mph isn't presenting much of a problem. I brought a practice DVD anyway and I've managed to get to the point where don't have much to worry about.

The second part is the bit that troubles me. The Hazard Perception test involves watching a series of clips from a drivers view and and clicking the mouse when you see a developing hazard. I'm not completely sure what their definition of the hazard is. Buses turning right is a hazard, but a chap pulling a wheelie on his bicycle was gleefully ignored. Anyway I've brought a DVD and now I'm spending hours watching videos and clicking frantically when something even mildly threatening appears.

The other problem is I keep getting distracted by the other people in the videos just strolling along the side of the road. There was a lady who really shouldn't have been wearing winkle pickers with those trousers (click). A very ill-thought out mullet (click), a puffa jacket combined with shorts (click) and we shall not speak of the denim top and bottom combination that as far as I am concerned is definitely a hazard (click, click, clickity-click).

So I've had to take a break and look at something else for a while. All this hazard spotting is very tiring. I do wonder though, who ever actually picked some winkles in winkle pickers? Or creeped across a brothel in brothel creepers?

I can't really talk, I've never smoked a cigarette in my life but I've got a plethora of smoking jackets.

The chocolate question

People have very different tastes when it comes to chocolates. I suppose if you are eating something purely because it tastes nice you want it to be filled with things you like and if it isn't filled with something you enjoy eating then it has failed in it's cause.

Which is why I've been pondering the chocolate question. Should you date someone who likes the same chocolates or someone who likes different chocolates?

If they like the same chocolates then they clearly have good taste and you can bond over how nut clusters really are fine things and perhaps even become close by looking down on the people who like nougat. However ultimately you may come to blows because you will be fighting over the same chocolates in a mixed box.

Or you could date someone who likes different chocolates to you? So if you receive a box of mixed ones together you can happily polish off the whole container with each having total domain over the centres they like. Sadly I think over time the fact that they are the sort of reprobate who actually enjoys eating a strawberry dream might get to you. I mean if they enjoy that sort of unpleasant thing in their mouth who knows what other depravities might they be into?

It's one of those questions that isn't really about chocolates and probably doesn't have a right answer.

Radio 4, Bees and shirts

I've had the flat to myself this weekend, the flatmate has scampered off north to see her mum for the long weekend. I didn't go to Devon because I had my CBT training on the Saturday so I had to be in London. It's the first time I've missed out on Easter in Devon for a while. I think I'll bimble down soon, perhaps when the weather is a bit more pleasant.

Since I've had the flat to myself I've been listening to a lot of Radio 4. I love radio 4, I've accidentally learned loads while pottering around doing other things. Did you know the Nazis banned jazz but approved of The Tango? I seem to live with people who don't like Radio 4 very much, which strikes me as strange but it has caused Radio 4 to become a dirty little secret. Now it's a thrilling treat that I dabble in when I can. I sneak out of the house and listen to it on a portable radio, or when I'm alone, I lock the doors and have it burbling along in the background. Of course I don't like everything on Radio 4, I hate the Archers with a passion that you only get if you actually grew up on a farm.

Yesterday I went to a house party sort of by accident, I was talking to a chum lets call her Bee and she said she was going to a party but wasn't sure if she was going to go and she invited me. I'm not the sort of chap who says no to an adventure so I bimbled across London on the tube to get drunk with strangers. It was a nice bash, but I had to leave early due to tube issues. I spent almost the entire tube journey (when I wasn't reading about Mongolian battle tactics) thinking 'gosh if I was on a bike I'd be there by now', of course if I had been on a motorbike I would not have been able to drink and probably would have spent half the night popping out to check on my bike, but still. I expect I shall be having a lot of thoughts like that in the days to come until I do sort out the bike stuff.

We talked a very reasonable amount of nonsense and then someone the conversation got onto politics (gulp) Red Ken (double gulp) and then how this country is going to the dogs (triple gulp). I'm always amazed how political types can mess something up completely and yet some people will always support them. Also why does everyone who abandons England to live somewhere warm always turn right wing? Is it something about the hot weather that drives people a bit bonkers?

I'm on a bit of a clothes hunt, I want a shirt of the sort wore by cowboys but I can't find the blasted thing. I managed to describe it well enough to a friend that she could find a picture of one but her name for it doesn't match a name that the Internet recognises. She calls it a double-breasted windcheater shirt but that's not what the Internet calls it. I want one, in a rugged low-key material the sort a cowboy might wear. Don't worry I won't be wearing ten gallon hats anytime soon, although I must admit some nice cowboy boots are on my hit list, in a low key sort of way. I had to borrow a pair for my cowboy training day and they were excellent fun.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bikes, LA and everything inbetween

Well the first bit of my bike test is out of the way, well the sort of pre-test. I managed to pass my CBT with flying colours. I say pass, you have to work hard to fail but still.

It started off a bit wobbly, the wind was all over the place and we had to contend with sideways snow and rain. I was the only person on the course on a proper bike with gears, the rest were on rubbish scooters. The bike was set up to be almost exactly the opposite of the bike I have been riding recently (the monster thing my dad made) so I was struggling a bit with the gears and clutch. However, after the instructor tweaked the setting a bit, to change the biting point I was AWAY.

When we did our ride on the road I even got to lead the pack and we encountered all sorts of obstacles which just made the ride more fun. Avoiding berks in cars opening their doors or pulling out of side junctions without indicating wasn't a pain it was a joy. Even the chap in a merc who nearly drove one my fellow learners off the side of the road was but an other enjoyable event to overcome.

Needless to say I've got the bug and I'm going to have to book the rest of the tests are soon as possible. I must ride some more, I'm addicted.

The last week was a bit of a funny one, I spent a day with an LA script writer who has done things you will have heard of, she is really is astoundingly well connected. I met her because she is chums with a chum of mine it was lovely hearing about how LA works an she was giving me all sorts of useful advice.

Apparently agents are like boyfriends, you have to pretend they discovered you but then once you have them hooked you have to treat them a bit mean to get the best out of them.

There was some other stuff she said, but I'm still buzzing from riding the bike that I'm not going to be much good for anyone

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Spiderman, Spiderman,
Does whatever a spider can
Spins a web, any size,
Catches thieves just like flies
Look Out!
Here comes the Spiderman.

Yup, my next assignment is to spend an afternoon (next Thursday to be exact) jumping down the side of the old Shell Building on the Strand. It's not just abseiling, it's abseiling down a building in a Spiderman costume.

The chance of me ever doing any sort of serious reporting drifts ever further away, but I might be able to fight some crime while I'm there so it all balances out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bye Spider

I've just found out that my cat has died. He passed away in his sleep last night while dozing in the barn. This has made me really rather sad.

Spider didn't live with me because when I moved to London I was in a cat unfriendly environment so he stayed in Devon at my mum's house. It's a much better life for a cat really, he lived with a very grumpy lady cat called Stripy who he was deeply in love with and there was a nice warm aga to lean against.

He was quite an evil cat really, but very clever. Spider would use his paws to turn door handles so he could go into the parts of the house he wasn't supposed to be in. I remember when my little brother was small and would be scampering around the garden Spider would always be there, keeping an eye on him like a black furry angel. He was the same with me when I was younger. I'd often go off into the woods on my own to fight stinging nettles with sticks or build castles out of wood and Spider would come with me.

He was a really good rat hunter and was covered in scars from vicious fights with the giant rats that patrol the stables. Spider would kill all sorts of things and then leave them as offerings in the boot room with a little side salad of grass. Even though he was probably responsible for half the deaths of birds in the county Spider never went after the chickens or the ducks because he knew they were off limits.

Spider was also a very cuddly cat, he had no time for being coy or anything like that so he would jump into the laps of strangers and then vibrate furiously as he purred with bliss. He used to sleep in my bed with me, like a person with his head resting on a pillow and every time I went home to visit my family the moment I got through the door I'd always spend some time on the sofa in the kitchen stroking him as he purred and dug his claws into my leg.

He was terribly old for a cat - I think about 19 - so he had a good life full of warm summers and interesting furry things to murder but it is still a shame. I'm going to miss him. If there is an after life he is probably there now chasing after something small and rare, or put another way


A bum like no other

The birthday bash yesterday was lovely. It was the old crowd of work with a few extras which was an interesting experience. I say interesting because present were the chap I really disliked at work and the infamous A who I spent a large part of 2006 wiffling on about.

This was my first encounter with the chap since I left the job, the job which I left on account of him being put in charge of me. I really don't like him, and I can say that with some authority as I do know him well, this isn't just a shock reaction. Of course I was scathingly polite to him, in the way that a chap must be in public.

I also ended up having quite a long chat with A. It was strange, she even commented on how awkward it was, which was remarkably self aware of her. We caught up a bit, but now her speech patterns and funny little gestures faintly annoyed me rather than enthralled me. It's weird how someone who you were attracted to in such a chemical way before is now just another girl. It was like prodding an old injury to see if it still hurts and discovering that it wasn't there anymore.

Instead I caught up with the other girls, who I had worked with for years. I do miss them so and our strange little chats over morning coffee. But I feel that the fact that we've stayed in touch means that we aren't just work-friends we are proper friends. We confide in each other about real things.

Also present was someone who joined the company after I left, who I ended up talking with for a while. She has an award winning bum. Some underwear company had a 'best bum in the world contest' in which she represented England with her rear. I've never met a person who has represented a whole country with a body part but it's a very noble cause.

We were talking about a chap who was trying to seduce her through the medium of text messages. She had shown almost no interest in him at a party, but he had got her number off a chum and asked her out. I can't remember what he asked her out too, but she replied something along the lines of 'that's not very romantic' to which he replied.

'I'm not trying to be romantic, I just want to f*ck you up the arse'

This text message did not have the response he expected as she was rightly furious about it and got the mutual friend to give him a jolly good telling off. The thing that concerns me, well makes me think is that for a chap to use a line like that it must have worked at least once, oh dear.

I didn't ask for Miss Bottom of England's number after that, but she did look me up on Facebook the moment she got home. I do hope she isn't just after bum sex.

Facebook and dating

Facebook is an interesting device for relationships. If you meet someone in real life and then become chums with them on Facebook you are invited into their world. Suddenly their whole dating history is there to be looked as well as a selection of photos some of whom they won't have approved of.

It's as if you get to see a fairly honest appraisal of who they are which has to be a good thing.

The other thing I've noticed is that it's a subtle way of contacting someone when you haven't exchanged numbers. If you have chatted away to someone at a party but didn't ask for their number they can always find you on Facebook, especially if you are at a party with mutual friends.

This has happened to me a few times, where I've talked a bit of nonsense with a girl, then had to scamper on to some other venue only to get a little email to say that they want to become my friend. It's the timing that throws me. One girl added me to her friends when I was still out on that night out, does that mean she really liked me or did she just have a really bad night?

Last night I met someone at a bash for someone I used to work with, we happen to live close to each other so we got the tube together. I said a polite goodbye at the end of her road and ambled off into the night but by the time I unlocked my door I had an email saying that X wanted to be my friend.

Was that eager or just polite? Should people wait before linking up? Will it become part of the dating dance? Will people now start to wait three days before linking up so they don't seem so eager? Should I now go and have lunch with three female friends and obsess about someone named after a size?

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Gentleman Adventurer and the Temple of Doom

The weekend of manly antics was deeply pleasant. I ache in places I didn't know you could ache and my legs are riddled with cuts from thorn bushes. I'm tired in that special way that you only get after a really serious weekend of running around and doing things in woods. Of course a weekend with a 'special friend' in Paris can have roughly the same affect, but that tends to involve fewer twigs in your hair.

The events on Saturday were as tiring and fun as to be expected, I've gone many times and I do really enjoy getting deep into the woods where the only noises you can hear are nature. It seems to re-charge the soul.

Sunday involved the tree top adventures. I took a friend to what can be best described as an Ewok village full of traps that we had to progress through in the name of entertainment. If this wasn't challenging enough it was rather wet, and windy and my chum had decided to do it in a monkey suit.

We scampered up rope ladders, ran across strange warped bridges with holes in and slid down all sorts of exotic rope slides across valleys and into other groups of trees. There was even a bit where you had to Tarzan swing into a rope net to progress which was like being caught in a giant fly swat.

It was excellent fun and the wind definitely added to the element of danger. Sadly the wind managed to get up to to Gale force 6 and such our adventure was cut short, but we did get to experience a reasonable amount of terror and a brilliant rope slide across a valley where you were chucked about by wind and rain.

We returned home damp but smiling and I'd love to go back and finish the course but it would probably seem a bit tame if it wasn't in storm conditions.

I've got a party tonight, for which I will have to keep my trousers on no-matter what happens. Otherwise any woman who sees my legs is going to wonder why it looks like I was mugged by a pygmy with a razor blade and that's going to take far too much explaining when you've just gone back somewhere for a perfectly innocent coffee at 3am.

Woman Vs woman

The weekend gave me lots of time to think about things, it's amazing how much time you get to ponder life while fearing for your life or being so out of breath because you have run up what feels like a limitless hill that you want to die.

I had a bit of time to think about women and my relationship with them. They seem to fall into two camps in my experience.

The first lot drift into my life through happenstance and whimsy. Sometimes unknowingly they help me out of a tricky situation. Sometimes this might be something to do with work, or home life or perhaps even another woman. They are wise, lovely and I smile just to think of them. They are like angels, sent to gently nudge a chap onto a better course and I adore every single one of them.

I could write a chronological list of these wonderful people, and beside every name give precise details of how they made life better, or finally got me to do something I should have done long, long ago. I like these woman and when-ever I see them I am filled with joy. These are true friends, people you can talk to about anything.

The other sort of women can be precisely defined as 'women I get involved with'. I have dire taste in women. If a license was required to date, mine would have been revoked years ago for the greater good and perhaps a string of unpleasant accidents would have been avoided.

I have a strange ability to seemingly ignore the most unpleasant behavior or actions when it happens at the time, when really what I should be calling a halt to what ever is happening and jolly well pulling them up on it.

When I look back on it now I feel foolish, and if a friend had been in the same situation I would have counselled them to get out, fast. Alas it is one of those rummy things about relationships that you can't see the faults in your own one but can spot the problem in a friends with crystal clear clarity.

I can co-ordinate like a trooper, and will happily spend long periods of time thinking about the right sort of shoes for the evening I have planned but I have terrible taste in women. Terrible.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Macho Macho man I've gotta be a macho man

This weekend is a manly one. Just thinking about it makes me get facial hair.

Today I'm going to be running around in the woods doing all sorts of weight lifting and timed running stuff. It doesn't sound terribly thrilling but the organiser makes sure it's always an entertaining form of knackering yourself. I'll be doing this with a load of chums I've not seen in ages so it will be nice to catch up in between bouts of fighting for ones breath.

On Sunday I'm going to be running around on the woods. I'm going on an assault course in the trees for a newspaper. This is part of a plan to become less of their 'feckless fop in residence' and more of a 'gentleman adventurer'. It's working so far I've just been given the thumbs up to go hang-gliding which has a special place in my heart.

Why you may ask? Well I was named after a Great Uncle, one who sadly passed away before I was born and the reason for his demise was a hang-gliding accident. I'm hoping the odds of two people with the same name from the same family dying in the same way are fairly low and thus I'm practically immune to death.

Anyway, these days I'm far to macho to do anything as cissy as die.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Lucy Porter, Dangerous perfumes and holidays

Last night I didn't go to the party as planned. Just as I was about to scamper out of the door I got a call from The Urban Woo asking if I'd like to do a gig tonight at her friend's comedy club.

I said yes, because I'm of the opinion that when opportunity knocks you don't just grab it with both hands but also ask it in for a nice cup of tea. So I quickly re-jiggled my evening plans and sprinted towards the tube. Just managing to arrive in time, a little warm under the collar but acceptable.

Lucy Porter, the proper professional comedian was there that night, as the first act which was one of the reasons I said yes. Just by appearing in the same show as her would mean I've shared the bill with someone who actually makes a living out of comedy and thus it will probably be the peak of my comedy career.

She was utterly lovely with amazing hair and we talked for a bit before the show started. My previous plans for the evening had affected my choice of fragrance so I was wearing the extremely effective scent that worked so well on my friends P.R. agent before. It was having it's now usual effect and even Lucy was caught up in the spell, not to the point of kissing of course, she is a professional but still.

I'm starting to get a bit worried by this scent, I'm not sure I'm ready for the level of responsibily of having it. It's only a matter of time before it gets a girl riled up too much and then what will I do? Luckily (depending on your view point of course) Lucy only asked to have a couple of sniffs and nothing more.

Sadly my scent was not designed to make people laugh, the audence were a strange crowd. While they would clap loudly at the end of the act the guffawing seemed to be only be happening when they couldn't stop themselves and the rest of the time they sat with their arms folded across their bodies looking at you like you were trying to give a presentation on why children should be eaten or something like that.

Lucy's act (I love how I'm pretending we are chums now), ahem Ms Porter's act amused the audence but not as much as it should. I mean really, it wasn't like it was a bad crowd but perhaps they just weren't in a very funny mood.

After Lucy ran off (I offered to walk her imaginary dog, which I think is a new low for me) there was a short break and then the rest of the acts went on. I had a couple of people appear before me both of whom have excellent sets and I've seen the very same routines get absolute peels of laughter on other normal nights but this time it felt like the only time anyone laughed was when they absolutely couldn't hold it in.

The time for me to amble on stage occured and I went through my usual routine which went down okay, and them gambled and did a whole extra section on writing letters to friends in prison. I'd only invented it on the tube over so it wasn't as polished as it should have been but it only got minimal laughs which I think is a shame as I think it could be good.

I must admit I'm not so sure about the comedy thing anymore, being a writer is hard enough and comedy is far more cut-throat and demanding. I'm of the opinion that your hobbies should balance out what is missing from your day to day life. So perhaps I need a hobby with a lot of responsibilty and a management structure.

Anyway on to the subject of leisure time. I appear to be collecting holidays. Especially ones that involve taking another person but sharing a bed with them. This presents a bit of an issue, while I have quite a few friends I know I'd have a great time on holiday I don't really want to be sharing a bed with them.

It was suggested to me last night that I just pull my socks up and jolly well find a girl to take with me. I suppose it could work, I've got the overnight stay in the hotel suite that I won so that could be like a test and then if that works I've got a week in a villa in Tuscany that I have to go on. Perhaps a personal advert would work?

'Wanted female chum to take on holidays, must have own luggage and not mind sharing a bed with a raffish type who thinks about shoes and waistcoats too much.'

If that doesn't work, I can always bring out the scent, I've probably got just enough of it to keep a girl intoxicated long enough for a flight to Italy.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Rejection, passports and parties

Being a writer involves a lot of rejection. It's a big part of the job, countless ideas will be sent over to editors in a light-hearted fluffy sort of way to see if they make the grade. Most of them don't, which is why newspapers are good I suppose but it still makes it a bit sad when an idea you think is an absolute corker is approved by the features editor but the over-all editor says no.

These things happen and a chap should just take them on the chin and jolly well come up with some fresh ideas. I don't really mind that much, I mean this is part of the fun of writing if it was easy it wouldn't be anywhere near as much fun.

Speaking of fun my new passport is going to arrive in a few days, I can't wait to start going on all sorts of adventures with it. It looks like the first trip on it will be one to Spain where I'm going to learn how to talk horse. This is an excellent thing to do for two reasons.

1)It's bound to be at least a little bit warmer in Spain so I can crack out the linen suit.
2)Learning how to talk to horses is great for impressing girls.

Before any of this sort of stuff can happen, I've got to get myself looking respectable again. It's time for the traditional Thursday party for something I can't quite recall but that will feature cocktails and girls in pretty dresses.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Doing the Ritz

As most people know Cheltenham was cancelled. We only found about this when we were about half way there. This was after an hour or so of drinking on the 'luxury coach' so everyone was prepared for what would have been a hard days gambling, but it was not to be. I've never started on the Bucks Fizz before 7:30 before so that was a first.

By the time we got back into London we were feeling a little bit giggly, so the people brave enough to carry on drinking (Most of the Irish banking community) decided to go to the Ritz, and then a pub, and another pub and then some bar, and then the Wolseley.

It's 7pm and I am spent, I'm absolutely trashed. I'm not usually a fan of banking types but this Irish lot were extremely good fun and so we had a very merry time. It almost made up for the fact we didn't get to see any horses scampering around.

There is some big bash tomorrow, so I've got to get some sleep because while I may be a lush I do know how to pace myself. Or at least I like to pretend I do.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Note to self

7:15 Paddington

What does it mean? Well I phoned the Art Dealer to talk about some nonsense and she invited me on some jolly that an Irish bank are organising. Free champagne, horse racing and a bank is paying for it all?

Ding Dong

Last night, just the facts.

Number of chums in the pub - 5
Number of different ciders sampled my myself - 3
Number of pub quizzes entered last night - 1
Number of pub quizzes won last night - 1
Score at the end of the pub quiz - 38
Points awarded for recognising Eugine Levy - 1
Money won - £52 ( I think )
Number of dishes brought as part of the victory 'slap up meal' - 7
Ratio of women to men on our team - 1:2
Total number of 'sure fire' business ideas generated between rounds of the quiz - 3
Number of usages of the phrase 'Tenderly mopped' - 1
Percentage of the team who think that people who weren't alive when Kurt Cobain was alive don't really understand his importance, even if they wear a t-shirt with him on - 100%
Total uses of the word 'minky' - 5
Probability of flatmate putting on a pained expression when I get back to the flat (I'm in the library at the moment) and then telling me off while calling me 'doll' because I was home after curfew - 1

Legacies, Tuscany and Motorbikes

I've just had my first bike piece commissioned, for a classic bike magazine. I'm going to write about the bike my dad built. Luckily before he passed away I had a fairly extensive email conversation with him about how he made the bike so the glory of it's construction can be shared with a wider audience. Or at least a little sparkle of what made it special. I'm not really qualified to ride the bike, let alone write about it but I suppose that is the nature of death. It forces us to grow up a little bit faster.

This means I have to rescue the bike from the house of the second wife. I'm not looking forward to that but I suppose it will have to be done. This will require specialist equipment, some sort of van or trailer that can transport two bikes something I don't have but I'm sure on of my friends will be able to help me out with it.

My two wheeled inheritance has also had another effect, I'm finally going to get my bike license. I spent large parts of my youth racing bikes around off road in various events but the practically and relative safety of a car made me get my driving license instead and left bikes as a fond memory.

Getting my bike license would be especially timely because last week I managed to land my first travel piece that will involve spending some time in Tuscany. Going on a plane would be okay but to ride there on a bike, now that would be something special. So the plan is to sort out my licence, get some serious hours under my belt and then go down to Tuscany, spending lots of time playing on passes in the Alps. Playing in a safe way I mean, with no near-death experiences unlike last time.

When I'm back on the Stelvio pass, astride a bike, feeling a hint of the Sirocco wind on my face and the sweeping beauty of Italy in front of me I'll think of my dad. It's exactly the sort of adventure he would have enjoyed.

Monday, March 10, 2008

My time as a god (sort of)

Yesterday I was reminded of a silly incident that happened to me a few years ago. This anecdote involves religion and is not intended to offend. If it really does make you angry please take a deep thoughtful breath.

Many moons ago I was at a party. A chum of mine was trying to chat up a girl, who turned out to be really quite religious. She was a committed Christian and for some reason my chum believed that the best way of seducing her was a bit of light ribbing of her religion.

His basic point was that her god seemed to claim a lot of credit for the good stuff, wouldn't be blamed for any bad stuff and yet still gave out orders on how one should live a life. He thought this was a bit off and as part of a throw away remark said

'Religion is crap, gods never do anything,' he paused to look around the campfire 'Why, even Louche would make a better god.'

This caused all the other conversations to stop as everyone looked at me.

'Louche as a god?' Another friend piped up

'Yes a god, he might be a bit slow some times but he is a nice enough chap so I'm sure he'd be a jolly helpful god.'

He then got down on his knees and put his hands together and said

'Dear Louche, please in your Almighty power can you get some more wood for the fire, for I am cold.'

Well, when a chap asks that nicely you can't help but go and get him something to burn, so I strolled off into the darkness to find something to put on the fire. I grabbed an armful of tree parts and returned.

I was greeted with a cheer and this event was dubbed 'The miracle of the getting of some wood'. Another friend piped up at this point and said

'Louche can't be a god, that's just wrong. I mean look at his sideburns.'

I was sporting some very silly sideburns at this point in my life. This caused a heated debate about what a good god should look like and it was agreed that a good who looked a bit silly was probably a good thing.

Another friend arrived at this point and was rather unprepared for being outside, he wasn't wearing a suitable coat and he was shivering. Someone else commented on his lack of outdoors clothing and then decided to do a prayer.

'Dear Louche, please can you help my friend get warm. He is a bit of a berk and has come out in a T-shirt.'

I sorted the chap out by lending him a hunter jacket and this was dubbed the miracle of the coat.

I would have thought it ended there but things got a bit out of control. I went to bed as it started to get light but several of my friends stayed up all night drinking, singing and laughing. When I arose in the morning the friend who started the whole debate was now my official Pope, the woman he was chatting up had decided to become my High Priestess and I had several Hymns about either the miracle of the wood, the miracle of the coat or how idiotic my sideburns were.

With a strong ecclesiastical structure in place and a couple of rather spiffing tunes that people could really sing along to things really got going.

The next time I met up with my chums I had a few Vicars (the followers had decided to ape the Church of England style of softly-softly religion), a couple of monks and even someone who wanted to be 'The Low Priest'.

It had been decided that I was part of a polytheistic approach to religion so people could follow me as well as their main religious figure. So I needed to become a god of something. While sideburns were offered up as an option the religious council decided I should be the god of 'getting away with it'. People would pray to me when they need to get away with something with out getting caught. I even had an official slogan, 'Louche, he cares'

It was also around this time that the religious iconography started to appear. The monks decided that they would also grow silly sideburns as a mark of their respect and other people would wear badges or pins with crudely made bricks on them. I've never understood the brick connection but the Pope said it was about how 'big things grow out of small parts' plus I think he just happened to have a load of badges featuring house bricks made out of fimo.

Winter approached and so the time of parties in someones gardens was over and I thought perhaps that this would fade away so many other silly things. It did not.

When I went to the first big party of the season someone (I think one of the vicars who after this became a bishop) had managed to get hold of a big marque tent which had decided was a Temple to Louche where people could have tea, cake and gin and a nice sit down no matter what the time of day. It was a very easy going approach to religion, no-one appeared to be actively converted they just seemed to switch over if they felt like it, and if they didn't well that was fine too.

Needless to say the lure of tea and cake proved strong and the numbers of the religious order grew massively. We even had a couple of Saints. They weren't dead as it was reasoned that at that point they couldn't use their Sainthood to impress girls/boys/people on the bus. The two first saints, their names have be changed to protect their identity.

St Jasmine - The saint of getting something done even when your boss makes it really hard for you to get it done but you do it anyway and they don't even notice

and St Nigel - Who is the saint of getting very drunk when something doesn't go well and then something wonderful happening because you happen to be drunk and you think the day can't get any worse so you ask out someone you have fancied for ages and then they say yes.

It started to reach the point where I didn't know people who were followers and so I would wonder around the parties looking faintly confused as people talked to me about their problems or asked me to help them chat up girls.

Since the religion was formed out of a chat-up routine it was considered very holy to rope your god in to help out with a seduction. I even went on a date and was introduced to the girl as 'my god Louche' I brought them a bottle of champagne and left. I think they are still going out.

By the time the apex of the party season had arrived things had got rather serious. People had started putting down 'A follower of Louche' as their religion on official forms and various chapters had been set up in universities around England. A few proper religious types had been made aware of what was going on and branded me the leader of a 'sinister cult' and while I rather enjoyed the title it wasn't exactly true for two main reasons.

1)There isn't anything that sinister about a cult where you are nice to people and have a cup of tea. The closest we got to any sort of sinister intentions was when the Pope suggested that people take ten percent of their yearly income and spend it on something that would make them really happy.

2)I wasn't in charge in the slightest, The Pope and the High Priestess organised everything and I was just supposed to appear and wave at people.

Things grew and grew for a couple of years and for a while I had a few hundred followers. The Pope and the High Priestess even started going out, but when they broke up things got a bit tense and the religion faded away a bit. It's for the best I think.

If I do go to heaven (which considering I'm don't really believe in it would be pretty lucky) I think I'm going to have a bit of explaining to do to the chap upstairs, but perhaps we can bond about how sometimes your followers do things that are a bit silly and have a nice cup of tea.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Lady Grog and Code Blue

It seemed that most of London went to a house party last night, myself included. I had been invited to a bash by The Ice Queen. Some of her friends were warming a new abode and I was asked to attend.

It was in Shepherds Bush, absolutely miles away from any transport link so I had a surprisingly long walk while juggling booze thinking about how this was exactly the sort of thing that having a bicycle was good for. Of course that's absolute nonsense as if I had gone by cycle I would have arrived all hot and bothered, spent the whole party checking my bike out of the window and then put off going home for as long as possible to avoid the journey home. Since I don't have my bike I'm going to view it and all bike related activity with rose tinted specs.

The party was excellent. I knew almost no-one apart from the Ice Queen, who was roaring with good humour and sporting an excellent bob style haircut. So I could breeze up to strangers and find out all about them, including a few friends the Ice Queen was trying to set up me with, but more on that later.

When I arrived the party was pretty busy but no-one was eating any food. This was because a couple were stood in front of the food table doing the sort of public canoodling reserved for people having affairs and lusty teenagers. Actually it was worse then that, it was real 'look go and get a room' type stuff and no one wanted to go near the food just in case they got caught in a flailing arm or were landed with a miss-placed kiss.

Talking of kisses, several girls at the bash were sporting bright red lipstick and for some reason they decided to 'tag' me with it by kissing me. I hadn't realised what had happened until I walked home this morning and lots of women were giving me strange looks because I had a selection of lipstick marks running over my face and neck. If had known I would have put a bit more of a spring in my step.

As the party entered it's latter stages we had to get more creative with our drinking, I created a new cocktail out of what I could find, which admittedly was mostly rum and invented 'Lady Grog'. This caught other people's imagination quite a bit and soon theme tunes were being composed. Apparently, Lady Grog is the choice of the drunk generation.

In the later stages of the party it had thinned out a bit, most of the couples had left and so only the single types remained. One of the Ice Queen's friends had taken a shine to me and my pocket watch and kept asking me and a very loudly but slurring voice.

'Can I see your clock?'

To which I replied in a shocked way 'What did you say?' Not because I was fighty but because two or three glasses of the Mark 2 Lady Grog (everyone was drinking it by then and the second version was much stronger) and rendered her unable to say the L in clock. Or at least I'm hoping that is why she kept saying that. She also asked me to get 'my clock out' and even asked if she could 'touch my clock'.

Before she could act on this she collapsed onto the sofa and started snoring so that was another danger averted. Another one of the Ice Queen's friends approached me at this point and she was terribly nice. We ended up playing a game of 'who had the worst 2007?' which strikes me as a rather English game which in a rather English way ended in a good natured draw.

After this we topped up our Lady Grogs and she asked me to follow her using that slow 'come this way' finger thing. Girls should do that more often. I was lured away to a quiet corner we were talked about more nonsense while she sat on my lap. There are definitely worse ways of spending an evening.

Almost suddenly it was 8am and the Lady Grog was all gone and people had switched to cups of tea. It was during the second round of tea that we had a 'Code Blue'.

A Code Blue is when someone you fancy makes their intentions towards you clear enough that you have to check if you are wearing your lucky pants. One of the girls whose house was being warmed has been lusting after a friends little brother for years. At some point while the Ice Queen and I were making tea he must have reciprocated her intentions and so suddenly we all had to leave.

So we left while loudly shouting 'We have a code blue, lucky pants are go'. It's an excellent way of embarrassing people as they just start kissing and if anything it can be quite a bonding experience, for them I mean. Nothing like a bit of light ribbing to get a relationship started.

I can't wait for the next house party.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Goodie bags

I had to give the ol' room a bit of a clean as it wasn't really suitable for visiting, not that any visitors are planned but I think that a clean room is much more relaxing. Plus it's sort of a traditional signifier of a new start in life.

Of course I have far too much stuff and thus tidy is more of a state of mind rather then an absolute concept. I put on some nice music and set about stuffing freshly laundered shirts into my wardrobe. It has a light in it, which always makes me smile when I turn it on. It doesn't matter that most of my shirts are slightly crumpled and squished when they are dramatically lit.

Wardrobes can be telling places, I went back to the flat of a 'new friend' for a coffee a few weeks ago and things were terribly civilised until she showed me the contents of her wardrobe. Things got out of control just after she brought out the vintage dresses. I'm not sure what that says about either of us apart from the fact we should stay away from Chanel in polite company.

Anyway, while I was tucking away various velvet and tweed numbers I also realised that I had made a line of goodie bags. Returning home from a drunken night out I triumphantly throw the bag down and collapse on my bed. This has happened more than a few times in the last few weeks and now a very pleasantl looking row of little paper bags full of exciting things has built up.

They are bulging of minature bottles of booze, glasses, make-up, leather wallets, vouchers for things I shall never do and other promotional items. If you open them they can be a bit disappointing as you often realise that they are mostly fluff with very little gift but undistirbed they are rather pretty. The spoils of a strange war, trophies of the party circuit lined up against a wall.

This also means another nice tradition can return. Now that I'm out and about again and I'm building up the bags of little pleasant things, everyone who visits will get a goodie bag. I'm returning to the days when everyone who pops by for a cup of tea or restoring glass of gin will get a little gift to go away with. Some pleasant little amusement just because.

This tradition started because I used to work in a female world, so many of the gifts pressed into my palm as I stumbled into a cab at the end of the evening were not really for chaps. I had a surplus of fripperies and make-up that needed a good home. A good home that could always be provided by my chums.

Anyway it's back, in force so who wants to come over for tea?

Friday, March 07, 2008

Nancy Dell'olio, Grog and Sandalwood.

A few weeks ago I was having a very silly conversation with my always entertaining chum the art dealer. We were talking about crushes. I have an almost uncontrollable weakness for women with lovely dark hair and fiery temperaments. We discussed a few of my unwise crushes including Ms Winehouse (now out of favour of course) and I mentioned that I had a bit of a crush on Nancy Dell'olio a few years ago. I even once tried to get her phone number off her agent while drunk at a party. This caused roars of laughter and I thought no more of it.

Last night I worked the circuit of a few bashes. I started off in Mahiki to meet a chum and to hopefully properly meet her lovely sister who I have been longing for a few weeks for in a 'writing her name on my pencil case' sort of way.

Sadly I went to the wrong part of Mahiki and only bumped into my chum after drinking far too much grog (yes actual grog) and I could only stay for a short while before I had to zoom off to the next thing. Her sister hadn't arrived by the time I left so I suppose I'll have to just carry on writing her name in the margins of my Geography homework for now.

I whizzed over to meet the Art Dealer, who was dressed magnificently and with her new P.R, whom she shares with Nancy Dell'olio. I was introduced as

'This is Louche, ooh he fancies Nancy, you should set them up'

I worked on generating an award winning blush while the P.R. actually did text her client and even took a photo of me when she thought I wasn't looking. Who knows what will happen but I struggle to think of a less manly way to ask someone out.

The next bash was an Art and Film party, hosted by Tod's. Will Young was there and was as charming as always and Agyness Deyn was prancing about too. Although the poor lamb seemed to have a bit of a dickey stomach as she had to keep nipping to the loos with a friend and when she came out again she had the sniffles. Bless.

The party was quite good, they didn't hold back on the champagne and some poor lady was furiously shucking oysters so people could gobble them down but the crowd was strange and no-one really knew why they were there.

After a few drinks we ambled over to Shoreditch house so we could sit down and drink a proper cocktail. This was exactly the right sort of thing to do as the Art Dealer was wearing terribly pretty but painful shoes. We set about the cocktails and some how the conversation got to scents.

I wear a custom mixture of scents, based on Sandalwood. I've spent ages getting just the right mix and I think it compliments me quite well, but I've never had the effect it had last night before. The P.R. of my friend had been pleasant enough through-out the evening was completely and utterly enthralled by the scent. It was bizarre she was almost zombified by it, so much so that in the latter stages of the evening she was kissing my cheek on command.

Too much power is dangerous so it seemed wise to leave before anything bad happened. I ended up staying in the spare bedroom of the Art Dealer's flat and slept like a log. One covered in tweed. Her spare bedroom is very amusing, it's her 'naughty room' so it has a bed, and no windows. Sort of like sleeping in a lady-like dungeon.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Memories of Charlie

It struck me that since I did not attend my father's memorial it seems sort of apt to have a bit of a mention of him here. As this may be a bit of a sad post you might want to skip it and wait till the next installment of cocktails and misadventure. This picture is of my dad, taken the last time I visited him in Wales.

My dad was my hero. I'm sure that most boys think that but my dad really was like a hero. He was the strongest man I've ever met, he could wrestle horses to the ground, lift cars and crush walnuts in his huge knobbly hands.

Everyone loved him, he could sweet talk a flighty stallion in moments so that it would trust him enough to let him put a halter on it or calm an angry dog just by talking to it. Animals adored him it was like magic to watch and at every party he was right in the middle causing waves of laughter around him.

I remember our local pub got a new owner who wanted to turn the place into a centre for political and philosophical debate. This chap put a small stage at the end of the bar for people to stand on and hold court. Of course this was in a sleepy Devonshire village so no-one would do it. After hours of trying to get the locals to debate the owner offered a free drink to anyone who would talk. My dad immediately took the stage and said

'I'll have a Worthington'

Dad was amazing with machines. He could fix a car with an old pair of tights or half a tin of beans no-matter what the problem. He even made a motorbike from scratch using no-plan but the one in his own mind. Something I don't think you see much of these days. His workshop was an amazing place. It smelled of engine oil, welding and swarfega and everywhere you looked there would be strange devices and tools. Blues would always be playing loudly and he would smoke a cigarette slowly while rotating some broken bit of machinery in his hands trying to work out how to fix it. He always would.

My Dad could drink too. He didn't seem to have a problem with it, he could just put away an awful lot of booze and still seem at least vaguely sensible. I remember once he visited me at University and matched my entire flat of rowdy Scottish and Irish men (who were proud of their drinking ability) drink for drink and by the end of the night they were ruined and he was just smiling to himself. It was a flat with eight people in, big rugby playing chaps and they had all been drunk under the table at the same time by my Dad.

That's not to say we didn't have a complicated relationship. My dad was sent away to Eton at a young age and it walled him up to other people. So he was hard to understand in a meaningful sort of way. When my parents marriage broke up I didn't speak to him for five years but recently over the last year or so I'd started to get to build up a relationship again. Or at least have a relationship for the first time. We used to email each other and talk about motorbikes or other nonsense.

It was nice to finally get to know him, he was a nice chap.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Cocktails and healthy living

The single life is one of parties and cocktails. My day is neatly cut in two by supper. During the day I beaver away on various writing projects and in the evening I change into a fresh shirt and waistcoat (or possibly an entirely new outfit) and scamper off to some sort of meeting somewhere.

By meeting I mean my traditional form of event where I get terribly drunk with someone I fancy. Business related things happen, but in a rather relaxed way that involves a lot of cocktails.

Speaking of cocktails I had some very good passion fruit daiquiris last night which were fruity and potent so it was like drinking an alcoholic salad. I'm sure they count towards my five a day.

On the way home from the pub I took advantage of a twenty four hour shop to do some shopping. I must have been rather trashed at this point because I only brought things with Tea in the title (Tea, Tea cakes, Yorkshire tea cake, some Tea soap thing) or that were egg shaped. I can't remember the exact logic behind this but I followed it completely so I awoke surrounded by a cornicopia of egg shaped foods and tea related products.

I must say that while drunk Louche is a nice chap has some extremely questionable taste, but then if you had met most of my ex-girlfriends you would know that.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

John Wilkes and resisting being rude.

I feel much better after having drinks in Blacks. It was my first trip there, I've been meaning to go for ages but every time something has been arranged I've been either distracted by a woman or the pub.

Now I've been to Blacks I must say that the experience of drinking a very decent bottle of plonk in front of a roaring fire in a secret boudoir with a chum is one I will definitely want to repeat. I may even go so far as to become a member.

It was a very agreeable evening and I even managed to resist the lure of going on to a separate even more exclusive club because I had to be back in time for the curfew. It wasn't just the curfew that was dragging me away from the fun, in the morning I had to help a friend through a photo shoot.

It was for a deeply silly piece I've been working on and as part of it some photographs of this friend had to be taken. She is a retired porn star, but through-out the shoot she kept striking poses that were inspired by her previous employment, she couldn't help but touch things she shouldn't really in a public place because that is what she did for years.

A man walked into a bench because he was so distracted by the way she was licking her coffee cup, which if you had seen it you would have understood. I was in fits of giggles the whole time but eventually we managed to get some photos that weren't filthy and I cooked her breakfast as a reward.

The rest of the morning has been spent reading about John Wilkes who is a marvellous sort and I think he may become one of my heroes. Also I've been involved in the planning of a new Operation, as part of Operation New Life.

This one is going to require daring do, outrageous audacity, colossal cunning and the luck of the devil. I bet Wilkes would have approved.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Cycling Malaise

It was a bit of a tricky weekend, I was in mourning for my lovely bike as well as other things.

The source of the various father related thoughts a few days ago were probably due to the fact it was the date of the memorial, which I did not attend. I made it quite clear to my father's side of the family that they would have to make a choice between his children and his second wife. Sadly blood is not thicker than water and thus none of my father's children attended his memorial.

Honestly, his family are awful and now they are dead to my eyes. If you think a woman, or a gay can hold a grudge just wait till you displease a dandy.

All of this means I've started the week on a less positive note than I would like but perhaps going for cocktails at Blacks this evening will help.

If in doubt, go to Soho.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Bike Thieves

Some absolute rotter has stolen my bike. My beloved bicycle that was brought during the London Terror attacks so I could get home has been take away by some absolute stinker.

It was a bit worn and wobbly and the brakes were more of a way of mildly slowing your pace rather than actually stopping. So it wasn't at it's best and I was thinking about getting a new bike but it had a special place in my heart because of when and how I brought it and because of all the adventures I had while riding it. Now it is gone.

It was securely locked up in the private garage here but clearly that wasn't enough to stop the horrible types who took it away. Well I hope they have an accident, and to be honest the brakes are so dodgy it's extremely likely.