Saturday, April 28, 2007

Chav Central

Me-I don't wear no jewellery I don't.

But soon I'll be wearing a naked my hand looks without it.

But, hey, for fun-tonight I'm, a gonna wear this silver thing that came from....the silver shop on Carnaby Street-what's it's name? Does it matter? How deliciously Billy Piper.

Odo Oh No

I nabbed this from Much Ado About Monty, but only because last October when these guys looked down on our bed, I always thought that this guy (the one behind) looked like Odo, from Star Trek:DS9.

See what I mean?

(whereas the guy in front is very much more mon C)

Comment Te Dire Adieu

With flowers of course. But you can also just give them for no reason, or to say, I love you...

This was the view we had from the party I threw in February. Next time a different City, but equally well known views. Our wedding day!

Wedding Wear - Sorted

Well, I never got my Samsonite luggage. I *knew* that I should have bought the carry on case that I saw in Printemps in Paris last weekend. Still, I'm back there in a couple of weeks, and whilst it'll be too late for Helsinki, I'll use it for La Re.

Which got me thinking...each time I've been to Printemps it has had a far superior selection of luggage that I can find on Oxford St-Lewis & Selfridges included. We pride ourselves (well, at least I do) on the quality of retail fare available to us in London, but actually, each time I try to buy what I've seen somewhere else I fail to find it.

I never got my Monkey Spanker either-but I will, another time. I promise. And if it's good enough for a big banana (see below), then I'm sure that it will be good enough for me.

What is it with this wedding fever?

CuteCTguy is getting ready for it (big time, big style), as is Slightly and Liam. Project 76 was glowing for a year after his...

I may be repeating myself, but the reason for choosing something other than the status quo, hence getting hitched, was primarly for mon C's benefit, should I go under the proverbial Clapham omnibus. His rights would be protected.

But, having decided to jump the broom, wow, I find myself angry that so many gay people were denied the right to demonstrate publicly, in front of family and friends-people who matter-their love and respect for their same sex partner. How dare that be.

Emotionally it means far more to me that I thought it would. After all, we live together, so why should it be different? But it is. I promise to love and respect him always. Out loud, publicly, in front of family and friends. To those who bear witness...

I guess then it is no surprise that what started in my mind as low key is now anything but!

We've gone for classic plain and solid platinum bands for our rings. We're having the ceremony rather than the minimalist signing of the register. We are having a champagne reception and a sit down munch at the OXO Tower restaurant. I was just going to dress casual...

I'm really not a clothes shopper. It just doesn't give me pleasure. I prefer my gadgets-electronic starting at 42". But I did want to find something nice for the occasion. But certainly not a suit. After all, I wear a suit every day to work, and no matter how sharp or exclusive it may be, it is still *school* uniform.

Today we went looking. We started in Paul Smith, where I saw a lovely shirt and waistcoat. But they didn't have my size. It was catwalk stuff, apparently, so very limited! We resolved to leave it until next weekend. But then we passed Ted Baker, and I saw some rather nice and dandy things. And you know what, they rather suited me.

I saw the jacket first, and I dressed around it. To maximise it's use (a la Camilla-remember when she wore her wedding day coat at the Braemar Games, with different cuffs) I bought a number of shirts which compliment it. Then I bought the trousers, and as a finishing touch, the socks. green argyle, with a pink cross stitch.

As for the look-think BoHo dandy meets Doctor Who number 6...mmm. Well, it's a look! But don't worry it's really nothing like this. Much more sophisticated. But still Dr number 6 (which is kind of fitting, don't'cha think)? You will see what I mean later, once I show some pics!

Right, got to get ready. We are off to the Menier tonight, for dinner and a play-Christopher Hampton's Total Eclipse.

I Just Wanna Spend

I have a real urge to buy something. Something for me. A new toy...

For some time I've been looking at a new Sony Viao-one of the super tiny one's that I can put in my pocket (well, not quite), and take away with me. As much as I love my Mac PowerBook G4, I find it hard to work my way around. The office applications look great, but aren't as intuitive as they seem to be on my pc.

However, for media applications, it's super sexy!

I'm also looking to buy a new video recorded-one with a hard drive. I never really warmed to the DVD cam that I have, and it's not compatible with the mac. However, I found out that the Sony hard drive video cams are still not compatible. Which is a pity, because the pc software editing stuff is nowhere near as good as the mac stuff...

So, I thought that I should just buy a new camera. One with a better real (as opposed to digital) zoom. But, will I really get the benefit? Who am I kidding-I'm no David Bailey.

I do need some new luggage though. I've really come on to Samsonite trolley cases. I was looking at some in the Royal Exchange yesterday. There's a brand new carry on case with 4 wheels. It looked all to designer (I guess to justify the price), but it was just to wee. I need the max carry on size. I also want a check-in one as well.

We'll go look in Selfridges later today.

I guess the urge to spend it the symptom of an underlying lacking of something? Isn't that how it goes? Having something material to try and fill an emotional void? I never did psychology, although I read plenty of Sunday suppliments.

A new toy...Hmmm. How about the Monkey Spanker? Yup, a new vibrator for men, designed by a 32 year old south London freelance designer. Male sex toy.

The thing is. I'm sure that the sensation of pushing through the hole is great, but for me the pleasure is having something wrap around your length the further in you get. That is the thing.

But, you know what, in the interest of all you guys out there, I'm going to go buy the spanker and give it a test drive...I'll let you know just how it feels! This male sex toy!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Wedding Belles

This time next week I should have finished work for a 3 week break (there is every chance I'll still be in the office at this time though), and I'll be enjoying a glass of champagne. Chilled but not ice cold, outside on a sunny balcony I hope. With good company and looking forward to my last weekend as a single bloke (not that it'll be any different really-I'll be with mon C).

Bliss-3 weeks off. It's the longest break I've had for 3 years. Then I had a 6 week holiday when I changed jobs. Two summers before that I did have another 3 week holiday. But before that, you have to go back some 11 or so years to summer 1989 when I finished university.

It's not going to take me long to relax and get into holiday and "change of life" mode.

I have no urge to do anything wild or crazy to celebrate my last moments as a "single" man-although mon C had a surprise revelation last weekend when I met him in Paris. Something he did when he was in China. Hmmm. I'll tell you about *that* later...

However, to make it up he brought this home. It's not a doily for the table! It's something that people display on their windows in China to show that they are soon to be married. A good luck charm.

We collected our rings today.

So, what happens next week? Does Prescott become PM? What a shocker that would be. Jabba PM. I don't think so, though. Yet Gordon won't become party leader for some time after Blair resigns, as I understand it... need to check my constitutional text books. I can't remember how quickly after Maggie resigned John Major became PM. That was as leader wasn't awful that I have no idea.

Oh, and did anyone see Irvine Welsh's Wedding Belles? Wasn't it great? I have to get the DVD so that Xfe can understand it via the subtitles. Hell, I need the subtitles to understand it!

Change! Huh mon C tells me that things will change once we are married! I will have cleaning duties, I'll be attending church on Sunday (wait a minute- mon C doesn't even do that at the moment)-and I'll be teetotal. Fat chance!

13 days and counting...

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I've still not heard this year's UK Eurovision entry. But I must track it down (as uninspiring as I am sure it is) given that we're off to Eurovision in Helsinki, on the first leg of our honeymoon.

Really, how gay is that?

But I also have another treat in store for mon C. He loves languages, I love musicals. SO what better way to combine our interests than to go see a musical in Finish. Fortunately, for Xfe, who's not as enthusiastic as I in respect of said entertainment form, it's one he really enjoyed when we saw it in London. Now it's playing in Helsinki.

Avenue Q-though how our experience of it in Finish will be...

I blogged about some other Avenue Q stuff here.

27/4 update: I asked mon C at lundh today what his favourite musical was (after Mary Poppins). He had no suggestions. But when I suggested Avenue Q-"Yes, I loved it". Good news...


It's Thursday morning, 2.37am. I've been awake for the last 35 minutes, my mind ticking over and over the huge amount of work that I have to deal with before I leave for a 3 week break for our civil partnership and honeymoon. This modern life-workload, pressure and stress-sucks.

Mon C is still tucked up in bed, and fast asleep, as I was until a fox scuttling over the roof woke me. As I have mentioned before I am such a light sleeper.

Before then I was dreaming, a crazy dream. I was back in Aberdeen, but waiting for a Westminster bus. An 8d. Surprisingly an 8c came and we got on it-that is me, and the parents of my friend who is getting married in Ibiza later this summer.

We were going to his father's parents for dinner. The bus never took us there. Instead it went all round an area that was meant to be London, but was part of Aberdeen. We went full circle, and ended back where we started. J's father phoned his parents to explain that we wouldn't be coming-we couldn' find it... It was 9pm.

Our rings are ready to collect on Friday-they are being engraved. I'll maybe take a picture of them at the weekend...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Natural Born Worrier

We spent a pleasant weekend in Paris. It did get off to a shaky start as I slept in and almost missed my 7.37am train. I was still in bed at 6.45am. I was feeling rather *tender* along the way. Too much pop consumed the night before...

Saturday and Sunday were glorious. The sun shone on the voting French public on Sunday, and after our friends had cast their votes we had lunch by the canal, en plein soleil.

Our friends live on the Place de la République. By 10pm Sunday evening the riot police-the CRS-had lined the square, in full riot gear (they had been there all day) and were closely watching the protest which had started...

Yup, the French are always revolting.

Mon C and I caught up with friends on Monday and arrived home yesterday evening.

One of the things about travelling on Eurostar is that sometimes the carriage can get a little whiffy on the way back from France, if people have been stocking up with cheese. We were just as guilty this time. I had to explain to the girl sitting next to us that the smell was not me, rather the camenbert in my hand luggage!

Over the weekend I've been worrying. I've had an anxiety switch it seems. The focus of my concern seems to be dangerous sealife.

So I have resolved that when in La Reunion, I won't be swimming in the ocean. Not only are there are dangerous currents to avoid, there are also dangerous fish! The waters around the island are well known for shark attacks. So, best to avoid "les dent de la mer". Already I've been dreaming about shark attacks, the plane crashing into the sea, worrying about the flight path over the ocean...

No swimming at dusk or dawn. No swimming outside the reef barrier area on the west of the island. Avoid the ocean where fresh waters open into the salt water and cloud the ocean. Sharks are stealthy predators. No swimming when the shark watch say so. So no swimming for me.

On a happier note though, there are no poisonous indigenous animals on the island. So I can trek the interior without fear of a nasty bite.

Now, if only the volcano which is currently errupting would give up before we get there.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Le Marriage

3 weeks today, and we will be Mr & Mr.

Champagne (Veuve Clicquot, of course), and lunch at the OXO.

With lots of kissing, personal contact and everything that comes natural-and why not? It's the happiest day for me and I will take is as naturally as it feels!

Ah. Mon C, mon mari.

Je t'aime.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Hey Scott,
Couldn't believe my eyes ... I got calls from the whole of Reunion telling me to take a look at Saturday's newspaper and there it was !!!
I hear you're planning on visiting our charming little island soon. That sounds like a very good idea. When excatly are you coming? I'm sure we have loads to catch up on ... I hope you're okay and that you 'll get this message in time.
Take care

Years ago, I fell in lust/infatuation with a boy from La Reunion. He was the sexiest, most beautiful guy I had ever met. He knew just how to make me feel so special. I couldn't believe that he was on the end of my arm. How he turned heads.

Ben, my first real bf (we were together for just over 5 years) was also "seeing" Seb at the same time in St Andrews. That's how we met. We both had a date with Seb at the same time in Edinburgh, at the same club, on the same evening. We knew about each other, we met, and the next 5 years were ours!

I kept in touch with Sebastien for a little while-I had moved on, and was quite happy to stay friends, but Ben felt really bitter about him, so we lost touch.

So, about 15 years later, I find myself going to La Reunion. I have no idea if Sebastien is still there. I thought he may have moved away, but I did also think big fish in small pond (a very apt analogy), and thought he could still be there... But how to find him? I did Google searches, but to no avail.

Once I knew that mon C and I were definitely going there on honeymoon I sent an email in my "best" French to the main paper in La Reunion, explaining that I was trying to get in touch with an old friend....I gave his name, described that he had done Erasmus at St Andrews, that I was from Scotland now in London...

That was a couple of weeks ago and I never heard from the paper. No acknowledgement. So I kind of put it out of my mind.

Then this! Wow, how exciting. It will be so nice to see Sebastien on his home turf. 15 years ago is a long time. I've told him that I'll be on honemoon with my French husband.

I am so excited! To meet an old friend. *Friend*, of course! 15 years. It's now just a happy memory!

The Randomiser

How random that this week's Dr Who featured the Macra, last seen in 1967, in their once ever outing, The Macra Terror.

That's them as they were then, giant Crabs. But with the sexiest Who companion, in my opinion, Ben (the cockney sailor). Innit?

Macra 2007

CGI style

Mind you, Macra 2007 had Travis Oliver. Quite sexy him.

Pretty, My Pretty

I forgot about these pics of Annecy, taken from our trip there at Christmas. It was such a picturesque town. I can't wait to go back and visit.

These pics were of very old buildings.

and of mon C looking rather cold, but always pretty. What contrast to today where I can smell the heat, and it's 25c outside at 5pm.

We're back in June, and it will be nice to see how Annecy is in summer.

Bud Watch

How it grows...

There's a vast difference in the amount of green the tree is showing in the space of a week (click the "tree" label to see the previous 2 weeks' growth).

Hurrah, this time next week I'll be in Paris with mon C. He flies back from China on Friday night, arriving in Paris early Saturday am.

I have a party on Friday night-which includes the showing of a friend's designer bf showing his Autumn line, then I'm Eurostaring out early Sat am to meet mon C in Paris. He has to report in to the Chanel office on Monday, then Monday evening we come home...

Home, to get hitched, to have our honeymoon. Then a week after that he is off to Tel Aviv for 10 days and then he is back with no more jobs until September.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

How Soon Is Now?

There's a club if you'd like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go, and you stand on your own and
You leave on your own and you go home,
And you cry and you want to die.

When you say its gonna happen now,
When exactly do you mean?
See I've already waited too long
And all my hope is gone

I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does

So, how much does this mean to you? Do you have a shyness that is criminally vulgar?

Somehow, reading Bobby's Body made me think of this. Although I don't know why. What I do know, though, is that it was seminal for me. A defining, *connecting* moment.

I have been fortunate to meet Morrissey twice in my life. I interviewed him twice as a "student journalist". The second time I met him we had (me, a friend and his girliefriend) about 50 mins with him, interrupted only by Johnny Marr! I have it recorded somewhere. I must digitalise it. I was so naive, and he was "a child of the 60's".

At my parents' I have most of the Smiths 12" vinyl.

How Soon Is Now first appeared as the B Side on the 12" of "William It Was Really Nothing", so I recall.

How much did it mean to you?

Clutter Clearance

I need to clear physical space so that I feel clear of clutter. I find that I get to the stage where the weight of possessions weigh heavy, and I need space to breathe.

Obviously, I don't mean the physical weight, nor a physical space.

Possessions and other things. From another life, from this life. I am a hoarder. I find it difficult to throw away even the smallest thing-whether it be a token reminder or a token (yup I held back from throwing out 3 incomplete Cafe Nero coffee house partly stamped loyalty cards).

So, I started with clothes I took down for winter, but never wore. Then things I had not worn for some time.

Gifts, items from another life with other people...Books I will never read.

At the same time I'm shredding. Information I don't really need to keep-pension fund, bank, credit card, endowment and other insurances statements.

Stationary. How I accumulate it!

Three black sacks later, I've ended up with the same 4 boxes to organise. But this was the prologue. To have cleared that on a Thursday bodes well for the weekend, when I'll have a more thorough cleanse.

As for last night. I woke up with a start. I had another recurring dream. A completely different theme-and one that I have not had for a long, long time.

Often I would dream I was in a car driving, yet not driving. So, in this morning's dream I was in the front passenger seat in a car, driving, but not the driver, of a car rushing up to a junction. I put one foot in the break but "chance" the junction without slowing or looking. I make it and decide I need to shift into the front seat so I can steer, break. But I realise I'm driving dangerously and have to wake myself up with a start...

I always thought that this dream was about an anxiety that I had for driving. I never really enjoyed driving. Ok, I got to like it a bit.

Anyway, I used to have this dream often (I've never had an accident I should say).

But I've only driven once since I came to London over 5 years ago. Consequently the "driving dream" let up. I honestly don't know the last time I had it, but I think it stopped with cessation of driving. Until last night...which makes me think that the dream has more to do with being in control. Control of my life-and *CLANG* I just realise-literally as I am typing this-how that fits in with my urge to clear the clutter! I know that de-cluttering has to do with regaining control. Hello!

So, I ended up blogging about Molton Brown at 3am this morning.

Then I had another dream-but was it after or the night before? I loose track and honestly can't distinguish. I wasn't a lawyer anymore. I had become a history teacher after retraining. I was presented at my school-yes the school I attended, by my history teacher (I had him for 5 years solid-he was great). I was thrilled to be his staff, but equally I was worried about surviving on a vastly reduced teacher's salary.

So, what was that about?

Somehow I feel I need to contact him, though I have no idea why.

Simon was a teacher. And I remember that in my dream I had given up my greater salary but was happy that I would share the benefit of extended school vacations with my bf.

Gosh, I have to say, all this is sounding once more like anxiety. Yet I *know* that it's not. I *know* that physically mon C is so much more interesting to me. That I so enjoy him intellectually too. So why does it keep coming back to S? Regret, sadness? I don't honestly know.

But let there be no doubt-mon C is my man. To love and respect-always!

More Molton Brown

I took the opportunity of passing through the airport to buy some more Molton Brown product. As you can see, I'm a little bit of a fan...

Mmm, Molton Brown. It's fabulous. Eachtime I buy one as a present and give it away, I end up trying some, rather liking it and end up buying for myself.

Originally I stuck to warming eucalyptus, but came to prefer suma ginseng as bath and shower gel of choice. However, I have to say that for sometime we have been using the blissful templetree, which is just...bliss! Don't let the yucky blue colour put you off).

The Molton Brown scent stays on your skin for some time after showering. It's beyond freshness.

I am also using the blissful templetree moisture bodybalm to hydrate my face. It melts into your skin with no greasiness.

Templetree, also known as frangipani, is a sacred tree found in temple gardens in southeast Asia. Its blossoms produce the milk (well, that's what the bottle says).

For hands (that do dishes, or indeed do not in my case), we originally went for the thai vert. But naran-ji has become the firm favourite. And as Xfe bought the naran-ji glass arc (yes, it too is a piece of art...apparently), which coincidentally best suits our bathroom decor, it will stay with us for a long time.

I recently gave my mother some blue maquis for mothers' day. I tried some this weekend. Mmm-mmm. I immediately recognised some of its base aromas...

Rosemary, patchouli, incense. It's fanny-tastic.

So, not considering myself a label type, I realise that when it comes to-it has to be:

scent-comme des garcons
shower/skincare-molton brown
refreshment-veuve clicquot.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ice Dance

In real life, when I saw this the first time, it made me cry.

I went to see it a second and third time at Sadlers Wells, and it still made me cry.

I never go to the ballet. Matt Bourne's Swan Lake and Nutcracker left me cold.

Car Man was the start of something engaging. I never saw Play Without Words. But, my oh m, Edward Scissorhands was special. If it comes back I'd *kill* for a ticket.

If the truth be told it was a defining moment. I'd bought tickets for Simon and I as soon as they went on sale. That was about March, for a Christmas 2005 treat. However, we split up shortly after that and those tix hung heavy over me, like a dark cloud. When I went to see it my heart was far too tender, and the effect crushing. It was Christmas, and for only the second Christmas in 13 years I was alone. OK I had my family-but I *was* alone.

At the best of times I find Edward's story moving. One can't help being moved by the music, by the parable. But this time it was crushing. The tears were my memories, and the beauty of the dance, the sadness of my heart.

Yet, for the first time the dancing thrilled me. So much so, despite the painful associations I saw it a further twice.

Short promo clip here:

Longer unofficial clip here:

And here's the movie version ("I'll probably win another Oscar-you can present it", "I'd sooner die". "You probably will").

And while you're at it, why not swing!

I hope it comes back to Sadlers Wells so mon C and I can see it together.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Afternoon In Soho, And A Date With Harry Potter

I spent a pleasant Easter Monday with friend R1. We walked from Old St to the Southbank, had lunch in Giraffe, then walked to Soho, where we enjoyed a couple of drinks.

As much as she tried, this lovely Lithuanian lady just couldn't interest us in what she had to offer. Here she is, pestering me by bluetooth.

However, Daniel Radcliffe wasn't able to join us for a drink.

There he is being minded into the Gielgud theatre, where he's starring in Equus, after. Tiny, tiny, so despite his buffed new look, he's slightly out of proportion.

Then we went for a coffee in not so good Old Compton St...

...where there are always interesting passers by. Just not in this shot, although the guy approaching in a suit is an Algerian chap known to R1.

czechOUT the sexy cup of coffee.

But Is It Art?

LEGO art by The Little Artists.

There is, naturally, a funny story about this limited edition piece-Gilbert & George's Singing Sculpture (we have no 1 of 10).

I'll tell you when *I* see the humour in it...

Easter Blue

Well, I am back in London. Given mon C is in China I was planning on going to the office today, to catch up. I'd get the day in lieu, but I decided not to. It's too glorious a day, I need a rest and I figured I'd have to justify to my boss (who'd joke about it, but still he wouldn't joke if he didn't want to make his point) why, having just agreed to an extra 2 weeks' honeymoon leave, I needed another day in lieu of a public holiday... So I'll leave it.

However I do feel that it's wasted. There is no C here to do anything with, and because I had planned to go to the office I now have nothing to do in its place. I'll sit outside in the sun, read. But it's no fun doing things on my own, without mon C. Otherwise I think I'd have been doing the tourist in London thing.

That said, I am half tempted to call some friends, see what they are up to...

Last night I sat and watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Well just a bit. I got fed up with it, was tired. So I hit the record button and went off to bed, where I fell asleep pretty quickly. Before 10pm for sure. It's the last Potter book I read. They just got too big, and too simple. Still, I'd forgotten so much.

Bud Watch

Last week I noticed the tree at the back had started to bud.

This week, there's some green. If I remember, or remain inclined, I'll keep a photo journal of its progress. Kind of like watching paint dry, but more natural.

Yes, my life is that exciting!!! Mind you, I did hear about a Cheesewatch Cam, where they had up to 500,000 his watching cheese mature. The big excitement was when they went to cut a piece. It was done live on R4's Today show as well as on the cam. SO, maybe it'll cause my hits to soar. Maybe not...

The other danger is that I go out and buy some new toy to relieve my boredom (erm, no not *that* kind of toy). I was looking at a couple of uber slim Sony viao laptops at the airport. 11.1 inch screen. Super small, but with more power than the viao in the bedroom, and smallet than the 12 inch powerbook. I love the mac powerbook, but I've never learned how to use it properly, and I struggle with s much of it. I don't even know where docs are filed, how to check the memory.

Anyway, arrangements are made. I'm heading out for lunch with R1.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Peace And Quiet

I am at my parents' in Aberdeenshire. It's a glorious day. The sun is
shining. It's already warm.

I can hear birds chirping and a few other animals (though mainly birds).
Sometimes a dog barks. Conspicuous by its absence is the sound of traffic.

The air is fresh and clear. Really fresh and clear. I can drink water from
the tap. The water here is nice, no limescale, no hardness.

Outside at the back and the front I look onto rolling hills and countryside.

Space, outside and in. There are 5 public rooms here (including a dining
kitchen) and 4 bedrooms (including the master bedroom), all with en suite.

My father built this house himself, with a little help from his friends and
family when it came to labour intensive jobs. I remember some 8 or so years
ago coming out in the freezing cold to help lift lintels. Then there were to
roof trusses-fortunately there were 5 others that day to help.

But the real beauty is the view. Here at the back, you look out to the back end of Royal Deeside...

Front Door 8am

It is so peaceful here. For the first time all week I slept all night.

It's equally as peaceful at the rear...

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Hope you enjoyed my April Fool! Gosh I *am* evil-but not as evil as some...

Happy Easter!

Réunion-Nous Arriverons

Sheer and lush, it appears to have risen dripping wet from the deep blue seas. Like Hawaii, Réunion has breathtaking natural landscapes, a live volcano...dramatic natural wonders
-lonely planet

And if you are wondering, yes it's that tiny dot thousands of miles away from France. Very definitely Creole, yet at the same time it's as though a slice of mainland France has been relocated lock, stock and wine barrel to an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

We're definitely off to La Réunion for 10 days of our honeymoon! And I can't wait. The beaches, the clear blue water and white sand, the mountains and the creole cuisine. Yay!

We leave from Paris on the 15th and are there until 26th May. As an extra special treat I'm flying club, although Xfe had superior tickets but will "downgrade" to join me in the club cabin.

So we are all set, our plans confirmed. CP on the 9th May, wedding party at the OXO Tower restaurant. Mon C and I leave for Helsinki on the 10th-for the gayest start to a honeymoon you could imagine. The Eurovision Song Contest! We're in Helsinki until the 12th, then we leave for Paris on the 14th, to La Réunion on the 15th, back to Paris on the 27th, and...bah, back to London for work on the 29th!

A Busy Southbank

This lunchtime. Easter holidays and fine weather.

The City

The City of London is protected by these dragons at all entrances.

Another Fine Day

Looks like it's going to be a fine Easter Weekend. Just popped out this lunchtime to enjoy the sun, and because I do enjoy the river. I can smell the sunshine.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Can Fcuk Buddies Become Friends?

fuck-buddies... a term used to describe the physical and emotional relationship between two unmarried people who have a sexual relationship without necessarily demanding or expecting a more formal relationship as a goal.

A lifetime ago, before I met mon C and after I had been dumped by S, I embarked upon a series of encounters. All sexual. At best regularly and at worst far too frequently.

My need was usually physical, but sometimes emotional. At times I had an encounter simply because I was bored and had nothing better to do. Remember that until then I had, for the better part of the last seven years, lived with my partner, and I was accustomed to having them around pretty much all the time.

I met people on-line. Sometimes I met them at the gym. Long gone, however, was the experience of picking up in bars. Gosh, how times had changed. On one occasion though I did meet some guys at a party...

Encounters would last from 15 minute quickies to 6 hour plus sessions. Some were fuck and go, others would stay and chat-maybe have a coffee or a glass of wine-but only if we both wanted to.

A couple of times I met people for what was a definite non-date, but with the same, perhaps unavoidable end result.

I met people who spanned the entire spectrum-physically, intellectually and sexually.

On a number of occasions the guys were so very beautiful. People I'd never think of hitting on because I'd put them way out of my league. Other times they were not, yet delivered, as suspected, fantastic sex.

From time to time I'd recognise the same need in them. To sate a physical desire, to temporarily plug an emotional void. To feel loved.

It was liberating. It was destructive. At times I realise it was addictive.

Some of the guys I saw on more than one occasion. Some I never saw again. Some probably didn't want to see me again, and there were some I certainly wouldn't want to see again-for a variety of reasons.

Just as there were guys I felt I connected with, but who only wanted no-strings, so too there were guys who I knew connected with me, but who for me were never anything more than a one off. Just as I'd tell people that I didn't usually do repeat business, I would hear the same excuse. I became honest to the point of being brutal. I remember one guy who, a week after meeting, started an on-line chat with me...but I was busy. I told him I was busy, yet he insisted on telling me his news-he had been home, to his parents, that he had done this, done that. As my silence hit him, so he suggested that he was (in his own words) probably one of many, just another shag.

Honestly, I'd never made out it was anything else. And I remember it so clearly because it was looking in the mirror again. What goes around comes around. It was my time to dash a dream-yes; that's all he was. It crossed my mind that after I had left him the week before, perhaps he had spent his time thinking about us meeting again, creating a little fantasy of us, him and I together-and how crushing it would have been to be told it was never to be.

A handful of guys became regular fuck buddies. When either of us needed it, and the other was so inclined, we'd hook up for an encounter. It was honest; a no-strings good time.

Another guy I once did the deed with, has actually become a decent friend.

A couple of the fuck buddy guys became a little more than that. With one of them, we'd lie in bed after, and talk. He would talk about his relationship, about what was right with it and what was not. With the other, after a distinctly deliberate and purposeful sexual session, we sat down to dinner and watched a movie. Just like a non-couple-after all, he had a long-term bf.

Then, outside all of this I met Xfe. A week later, after our second date, the cruising stopped. I put off one of my fuck buddies (the extra handsome one). Mon C and I became one and I had to tell my fuck buddies that our time was over.

Subsequently (and with Xfe's full knowledge of course) I met the extra handsome one for a drink one evening. He was most interested to hear how it was going with Xfe. We've met a couple of times for drinks since-and it is amazing how truthful and honest we can be with each other. I hardly know him outside the intimacy of a bedroom, yet without being a part of his day to day life, I can ask him and he will answer the most probing and intimate questions about his relationship and life-things I suspect he probably doesn't even tell his best friend.

But, is he a friend? I don't know.

The other one I bumped into yesterday. He knows the deal. He asked how my "frenchman" was-he got the name wrong! He laughed a little when I told him we were having a CP.

Then he asked if we could perhaps have dinner and maybe watch a movie-he was always impressed with my 42" and surround sound!! As friends, of course.

So. Can fuck buddies become friends? Discuss.

Monday, April 02, 2007

My Friend, The Foot Fetishist

It was a beautiful day again, so I decided to go for a stroll at lunchtime. I suddenly realised that I would pass by a friend who also works as a shoe shine-and sure enough he was at his station. No one was there, so I looked at my shoes, thought they could do with a polish-and I could say hello.

But here's the thing. He has a real fetish for shoes and socks. The kind of guy who likes your shoes to walk over him. The kind of guy who enjoys quite a bit of lick and spit, before the polish.

What genius then, to work as a shoe shine. In the City, as you would imagine, he has men in suits and brogues to give his special attention to, all day long.

Of course, I'm not going to tell you exactly where in the City he is. But next time you're having your shoes shined, and you think that you are getting some extra special attention-well, it just might be him.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Change. And Not A Moment Too Soon.

When I woke up this morning, it was with a start. Something was different, but I couldn't work out what. I listened to the radio for a while, read the paper in bed, rose to get a glass of apple juice from the fridge.

I was trying to work out whether it was the light-but no, the clocks changed last weekend.

The cats-well they were just the same. Needing to be fed and watered.

I went to put on some music, and I realised. I wasn't interested in listening to Les Miserables. I thought it was because I'd been reminiscing about the show too much recently, following the realisation that the 15th anniversary of my first visit had passed quietly, unnoticed at the time. But then I realised, nor did I want to listen to Evita, Cats, Starlight Express or Sunset Boulevard.

I didn't even want to listen to Madonna. Then I remembered. I don't like Madona.

I flicked open the laptop and went to find Idina and Glinda to see if even their Defying Gravity would stir me. No joy. Then a thought hit me...

I went to look at our Dieux du Stade calendar-the page needed turning over to April. As athletic and toned as the naked, buffed, tight bodied straight sportsman might look, I just didn't find him attractive. Nor last month's. Nor any of the guys.

I grabbed Tetu magazine. Pics of those hot guys did nothing for me.

The sudden realisation hit me. Like a slap in the face...

Guys, the news is-I'm not gay. Not any more. I was before, but now I've been changed. I can't describe it, other than to suggest it's some kind of miracle.

I tried to backtrack to what happened last night, to before I went to bed.

I'd been listening to some music on YouTube. I reviewed the history-and saw that I'd been listening to this, from the Drowsy Chaperone, in preparation for its London opening.

At the same time I'd been reading yesterday's Guardian. I came across the front page story of Sister Marie-Simone Pierre, who was diagnosed with incurable Parkinson's disease in 2001, but who is now cured. She had simply "[written] John Paull II's name and..was cured".

The "miracle nun" could barely move her left side, she could not write legibly, drive, nor move around with ease. She was in dreadful pain all the time. So great was the dread of her degeneration to come, she could not bear to watch her esteemed Pope John Paul II, also a Parkinson's sufferer, appearing on television in his pope-mobile.

Then one night after scrawling his name on a paper with her trembling hand, she woke up the next day cured.

As for me, well the "gay wedding" reference in the Drowsy Chaperone had caught my ear, and I found myself singing along to the catchy tune, whilst also thinking about the miracle nun and John Paul II.

After all, I couldn't but help myself. There I was feeling blue on my own without mon C, resolving to cheer myself up by having a gay (in the old fashioned sense) old time. So, tongue in cheek I found myself singing, "I don't want to be gay no more", whilst also thinking kind, dear thoughts of JP2.

And, just like the "miracle nun", I woke up changed. I realise that it is nothing short of a miracle-and it is all thanks to JP2. Saint him immediately.

Who dear? Me dear? Gay dear? Not any more dear!

But, I am left with a dilema. What am I going to tell mon C?


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