Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Alex Reid

Look, this is a difficult subject, and I've been avoiding it, but we may as well talk about it. The next Mrs Jordan:

He may have a face like a reject-shop Phillip Olivier, but he's got a body so tough you could ride safely around Afghanistan in it. Plus he likes fighting and has done a movie where he doesn't knock before entering.

The downside is, of course, that he's going out with Jordan, who is increasingly looking like a genetic blend of Essex Girl, Preying Mantis and Drag Queen. Now she's rolled over St Andre like a monster truck over a smart car, taking on a cage fighter seems the next logical step.

This is a woman who has few challenges left, and watching her shred one of the world's hardest men without even creasing her forehead is going to be fun indeed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Parent update

So, the cat is still on holiday in Plymouth. She's been hunting things and has been shaven (i cannot wait to see this). My parents display a euphoric delight whenever cat presents them with something dead which outstrips their muted "is that good?" response to my A Levels.

Mum, meanwhile, isn't doing well. Her broken finger which she tried to reset with duct tape caused a minor sensation at the health centre, resulting in an operation, some rebreaking, stitches and plastic surgery. Not good. My mother, with an ex-nurse's resilience, thinks it's a giant fuss over nothing. Upside, though, is finally getting to say to my mother "I told you so." It just doesn't feel that comforting.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cigarettes and Lesbians

It's Saturday night. I'm shattered. I've been working all day and should really go out properly but instead make it to the local bar.

I've got the smoking terrace pretty much to myself, apart from a group of gays in the distance. They're actors. I can tell this cos they're saying things like "Why do you still have a personal trainer? You're not in Spooks now" and so on.

Anyway, out of the flat, quiet drink, relax. Bliss. Suddenly two old lesbians sit down at my table. One is dressed as a pirate, the other is wrapped in floaty tie-dye and wears a child's t-shirt as a shawl. "We'll sit here, Moonpaw," says tie-dye to pirate.

They sit down. I smile at them weakly, thinking "Of all the empty tables, why me? Why can't you pick on the fagtors?"

They make small talk. Or rather tie-dye says "Good evening, my child," and Pirate says "Can I have one of your cigarettes?"

I say no to this. I've just decided this is my new resolution and I'm seeing how it goes.

Pirate says: "Fuck you. I'm Madonna's daughter."

Tie-Dye says: "You owe us nothing, child. But positivity is everything. Why, I gave away fifty-thousand pounds once."

She smiles serenely and steals my lighter.

Tie-Dye goes on to explain how she gave her inheritance away to really needy deserving people and now lives off benefits while counselling and writing book reviews about world peace. She is, I can tell, a Good Person. I don't take to her at all.

Her list of donors includes "the High Priestess of Avalon who needed £2,000 to clear her mortgage, and of course I offered that." And I'm thinking "Two grand left on her mortgage? That's pennies. The Priestess saw you coming."

Pirate will occasionally mutter "I fucked Freud's father". Pirate has a walking stick and scowls at me. Pirate has clearly not forgiven me for not giving her a cigarette. I have not forgiven Pirate for dressing like a pirate but making it look like it isn't fun.

I think about lighting another cigarette, but Tie-Dye has stolen my lighter. "And then," she is saying, "An actor friend, very famous, needed emergency tooth whitening. Of course, I've never seen a penny of it back. But I believe that what we give we receive ten fold. I don't believe in God but I do cherish the World Soul."

"You're a fucking moron," growls the Pirate.

I go home thoroughly defeated.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

DoomWatch Watch: By The Pricking Of My Thumbs

Some schoolboys blow up another one. Rather than expel them all, the Headmaster just gets rid of the tallest.

His explanation? The boy's tall for his age.

The tall boy's adopted father happens to be the kind of journalist Ben Goldacre sprinkles on his shreddies, and launches a campaign for the reinstatement of his bomb-making son, arguing that this is all to do with an extra Y chromosome.

Cue Doomwatch. Rather than say "What about the child who got blown up?" they head off to try and stop a tall boy throwing himself under an airplane. Luckily John's slept with the right dollybird who can explain all about illegal genetic testing.

He then goes to the school, finds some boys, and gives them cigarettes and money until they tell him what he wants to know. Some science stuff happens here, but I'm just staring at the screen thinking:
a) This is horrible.
b) Paedophiles had slim-pickings in the 1970s.

We then head to Gatwick, where the tall boy is standing on the runway waiting to be mown down by a plane. He has done this by turning left at the sign which says "coach station" which tells you that while the 70s were tough for pederasts, they were a golden age for drug smuggling.

Doomwatch shout some science at the boy through a loud hailer and he isn't run over by a plane. Latest DoomTotty is called Dr Fay Chantry. She has expressive hair and a frozen face. She's up to something. Dr Quist delivers a speech about how, well, boys will be boys and it's nothing to do with genetics. The End.

I'm fairly sure I missed something here, but I couldn't say what. This episode also features some of the best arched eyebrow acting on television.

Please note: Man on the left - evil eyebrows of a misguided scientist aware of the error of his ways. Man on the right - concerned eyebrows of a moral crusader.

Friday, August 21, 2009

And in Bristol

We are outside Queenshilling, Britol's Premier Gay Venue TM. It is a Wednesday night. All that can be heard from within is a karaoke slaughter of "New York, New York". We are all smoking. It seems the nicest thing to do.

A yoof staggers up. He's about 7 foot tall and 3 inches wide. He slumps into the club and then comes out again. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a handfull of beans. "Coffee beans," he says, "They keep you going." He throws them into his mouth and chews noisily.

He then looks at me. "Can I buy a cigarette for a pound?"

This is the oldest trick in the book. Has anyone ever taken the money? I hand him a cigarette and vow never to fall for this again. Of course, I will.

The guy weaves around on the pavement and then sits down on it in a grasshopper tangle of elbow and knee.

"Good night?" he asks.

We nod. We are very drunk.

"It's shit here," he says.

We nod. We are still very drunk.

"I'm fifteen," he tells us.

We all take a step back. We're not that drunk.

He looks at us all with a glazed smile and tells us he's a car mechanic. He mimes drilling, making a "shunkshunk" noise and smiles some more.

"But aren't you at school?" one of us asks.

He shrugs. Cash in hand. He'd like to own a lambourghini when he grows up. He starts to explain the exact model. He then explains the kind of woman he would like to have sex with. He stands up, wheels around, and then shuts his eyes. They stay shut.

We start to sneak back inside. Then his eyes snap open and he looks at us, as though seeing us for the first time. And he speaks.

"Can I buy a cigarette off you?" he asks.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Top of the Pops!

Wonderfully, I am outselling Barack Obama and Stephen Fry in the Waterstone's audiobook chart.

This is marvellous and unexpected and exciting. Like most marvellous, unexpected and exciting things in my life it'll probably last less than a week - and it might only happen in the Edinburgh branch of Waterstone's.

But there we go. toot! toot! I am terribly grateful to a lot of people for a really marvellous year.

And will now have to redress the balance with some stories of appallingly ill-conceived boy wrangling.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New guilty pleasure

Must stop reading Twilight fan comments. They manage to make other fans seem sane. Impressively.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

In which I get a girlfriend.

"Hi! I'm Lauren! What you doing?"

I am sitting smoking in the rain. This is what you do in Edinburgh.

"All alone? I'm with my mates. You could do with some company."

That's terribly kind, although honestly there's really no...

"My boyfriend dumped me on Valentine's Day. Don't go there. Six years it was, but there we go and since then it's been brilliant. Honest, I've spent the whole time hanging with my gay flatmate. Gay bars are brilliant. My mum's dead worried that I'll catch lesbianism off of them, but no, mum, I say, it's not like AIDS, you can't pick it up just from hanging around them, no the only thing I've got from those gay boys is a love of the cock."

Er. Er. Er.

She takes a cigarette and smiles. "Am I forward? Do you think I am? It's my heart on my sleeve and my love of cock, that's what it is. I'm just off to the bar." And she winks and goes away.

I blink. Her friends lean over. One is called Sally. She's all smiles. The other is called Ginny. She is glowering at me. We talk aboout the trams and the weather. And then Sally says, "Look - sorry, but you're not gay are you?"

Yes, yes I am.

"I knew it!" groans Ginny, disgusted. "Another one."

Sally shakes her head. "It keeps happening. She's spent so much time around them homosexuals she just hits on them." A delicate pause. "You know, she is very good looking..."

Well yes, she is. But no.

Sally smiles kindly. "Just nip off to the loo when she gets back and we'll let her down gently. And whatever you do, don't take her for chips."

Ginny shakes her head wearily.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


What is the point of mobile broadband? In five year's time will we laugh at them as much as minidisc recorders? On the thick stones of Edinburgh the little beggar has given up, which is why i'm typing gamely away in a cafe/laptop farm full of fierce-faced people stabbing self-importantly away.

I am very happy, however. To write Harry Potter, JK Rowling booked the penthouse of Edinburgh's finest hotel. I am penning my latest book in an apartment above a gay sauna. It's as lovely as can be - although the air does whiff of chlorine and farts.

In between flailing away at my wordcount, I am seeing STUFF. Mostly wonderful stuff. I am not trying too hard. This morning I walked past some student actors in Elizabethan skirts bouncing up and down singing a warm-up song about bananas. I checked the crowd to see if there were any pretty boys. There were not - just a slightly flushed, overweight boy surrounded by a lot of girls with pinched faces and the make-up of 50 year-olds screaming "Banana! This is how we peel the banana!". So I decided it was safe to hate them and move on.

I've deliberately avoided seeing any Token Gay Plays, but did go and see a comic called Jimmy McGhie on the basis that he looked pretty in the flyer. He told nice jokes and his shirt kept riding up, which made up for the fact that Future Husband Rhod Gilbert was sold out. There was also a suicidal Welsh transvestite sing-a-long called Sue which was brilliant. There we are.

Apart from theatre and comedy there's also the joy of trying to use the Fringe Website which has the kind of woeful search engine you hope St Peter will use when it comes to judgment day ("Well, I'm typing in 'sodomy' and all it's offering me are tickets to a short film...").

At night (which in Edinburgh appears to start at about 1 am) I am finding the gay scene oddly flat. I'm either blaming the smoking ban or my indigestion, but it's peculiarly lifeless. There's a new barclubbar called "GHQ" which looks a little too imposing to even try and drink in. CeCeBlooms still has checkerboard tiles on which florid women are whirled around to Kylie by whip-thin dancing boys. As I'm getting older I'm noticing I'm edging further and further away from the dry ice and towards the slot machines and the scowling pensioners who sit there letting off 2a.m. farts.

Other than that, I dunno. It's kind of brilliant, really. I've also been watching Quatermass 2 again. It's a gift that keeps on giving, especially at scrapy-o-clock when you're utterly, utterly smashed and really just need to hear a women with plums rammed between all of her cheeks crisple enunciate "Johnny! Johnny! What's Happened To You! Is it the Amonids? Johnny?" Bliss.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

DoomWatch II

Thanks to Johnny for sending me the rest of Doomwatch.

So, where were with 1970s DoomPorn? Well, previously on DoomWatch a lot of people smoked and smacked women around and some people were eaten by rats.

I've skipped over a few episodes - like the joyous one where Welsh men stop having sex, or the one where Jesus explodes. But here we are in Series 2. And an episode called "Invasion".

The team turn up in an idyllic Yorkshire village. On the hill is an old base where the military have been very successfully containing a lethal pathogen... Until DoomWatch turn up and start meddling!

By the end of the episode people are dropping like flies, the army are shooting the pets, and the entire village has been evacuated for ever. Thanks DoomWatch.

Saturday, August 08, 2009


Clearly, the best URL ever: I can't actually work OUT WHAT THE PAGE MEANS AS IT JUST does THIS A LOT and then gets VERY CONFUSING (fact).

Sample text:

"DISAPPEARING ADMISSION OF PERJURY BY THE ONLY ONE PROSECUTION WITNESS. 43% of his cross examination by the “defence barrister”, questioned him about his best mate (the complainant) lying about the amount he had to drink, which he said was 2-3 bottles of Budweiser on “Mad Friday” in a thirteen hour drinking binge. “Mad Friday being the last working day before breaking up for Christmas”. That one witness admitted perjury when caught out lying but this admission MIRACULOUSLY VANISHED OFF THE CROWN COURT TRIAL AUDIO TAPED RECORDINGS and in the court transcripts!

ALL the 43% of the lead-up to this damning admission would have also vanished too but even they know nearly half of the ONLY prosecution witnesses evidence disappearing would be too blatant and obviously missed and cause immense suspicion! BURIED DOCUMENT – Ironically the oldest legal document in the case buried by my own “defence barrister” Sukhbir Bassra, I dug up years later undoubtedly proves by the complainants OWN ADMISSION, he had drunk AT LEAST 14 units (seven pints of strong lager) so proving perjury!

Other extremely important and damning questions have been removed from this cross examination from THE CROWN COURT TRIAL AUDIO TAPED RECORDINGS and transcripts which I can prove 100%.... on the same day that Judas betrayed Jesus, Peter Brennan of Lomax and Geddes Solicitors in Manchester, also betrayed me!"

Thursday, August 06, 2009

It's Raining Men

Now that homophobia is a hate crime, we live in a thrilling new age where you have to take a different approach to mockery and humiliation of gay men. Ooooh ahhhh missus.

Take for instance columist Rod Liddle on weathermen
: "It’s going to be sunny all day!” my local TV weatherman yelped at me on Friday, before singing Follow the Yellow Brick Road and pouting at a depression heading west from Ukraine."

What Rod has learned is that it is now Bad to have a go at people for being gay, but to it is fine to accuse someone of being camp. That's not homophobia - that's just joshing and funny hahaha. "Tomasz tells us about the awful storms and high winds approaching from the Baltic and I could swear he’s about to pirouette and break into I Will Survive" etc etc etc.

And then, after filling your column with 1970s backs-to-the-wall pillorying of a weatherman ("lascivious flourish", "flamboyance", "that little bit overfamiliar") you then say "camp... I don’t mind — nothing against it." Welcome to the new "and some of my best friends" argument. No, of course you've got nothing against it - you've just devoted your column to mocking a broadcaster for perceived effeminacy. Well done you.

For the record, he's having a pop at Tomasz Schafernaker, a man whose name i'd have tattooed on a bicep if I could be certain it would be spelt properly. Rod clearly sees in the Schaff all that is wrong with modern telly ("I never thought that with Bill Giles" he sighs wistfully). But what Rod objects to as overfamiliar and camp, I see as a brilliant stroke of genius - the BBC have appointed a good-looking Polish weatherman who spends a lot of time at the gym. Instead of the weather being "bad news from the headmaster", I now have no idea what it's about at all, but come away from a forecast feeling reassured and just a little dizzy.

But hey, Rod, maybe that's just cos I'm camp.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Hypnosis One Week On

Oh. Now this is curious. Haven't smoked for days, I've even stopped chewing the nicorette gum, and have even stopped fancying a bit of a nightcap, which always leads to more fags.

This has got to stop. I've started waking up at 5am feeling refreshed. What is the point of that?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Wuthering Heights

I've taken the cat to my parents before heading up to Edinburgh. This seemed a good idea, but has been a mixed success.

The weather has been awful, so the cat has gone from joyously excited about being in the country to a howling siren hidden somewhere in the garage. Neither mum nor I have slept much in the last three nights.

Somewhere outside is a lovely garden, but we haven't seen it for a few days. Instead we sit huddled in front of the fire (in August!) while Dad rings up from his cricket up the road, complaining of sunburn.

My mother's latest peculiarity - she broke a finger the other week, but hasn't bothered going to hospital. Instead she reset it herself and made a splint out of brown parcel tape. I've tried pointing out to her that this is Crazy Old Lady behaviour, but she shrugs and reminds me that she was a nurse for many years. "But mum," I argue, "All your patients died..."

She shrugs again. "They had more wrong with them than a broken finger, I can tell you," and then shuffles off to paint a ceiling.

I now love/fear her in equal measure, and may soon be joining the cat in the garage.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

My new friend

I have a new gay friend. This is scintillating and marvellous, if you're me. Especially as he's an enormous tart.

We meet up for tea last week and I ask him how his job interview went. He screws his face up. "Not so good, no. This interviewer kept on asking me about 'my experience' and I couldn't work out what he was on about. After I walked out, I realised that I'm fairly sure I've slept with him."

"Only fairly sure?"

He shrugs.

This week he had another interview. I toy with witty text about sleeping with the hr consultant, can't make it work and end up just asking him how it went.

"Bad. This time I definitely slept with the guy."